Debates- Thursday, 15th March, 2007

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Thursday, 15th March, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





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

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



Mr Kakusa (Kabwe Central) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport what measures the Government had taken to compel the Zambia Railway Systems Plc. to improve the operations of railway transport in the country.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika) Mr Speaker, I wish to give a background of Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL). Zambia Railways Limited has a total route network of 1,266 kilometres comprising:

(a) mainline from the Victoria Falls to Kitwe which is 848 kilometres;

(b) branch-lines account for 418 kilometres which is Choma-Masuku, Ndola-Luanshya, Kitwe-Luanshya, Chambeshi-Mufulira, Ndola-Sakanya and Luano-Chililabombwe.

However, over the years, this rail infrastructure has been dilapidated due to inadequate capital investment by the Zambia Railways Limited due to:

(i) reduced tonnage hauled as a result of a reduction in copper production and exports;

(ii) uneconomic tariffs which were subject to Government approval; and

(iii) increased competition from road transport.

In March 2000, the Government of the Republic of Zambia decided to concession the freight and passenger services of Zambia Railways Limited to a private sector. The reasons for concessioning both the passenger and freight operations under different agreements were to enable Zambia Railways Limited through restructuring and privatisation to:

(i) increase operating efficiency;
(ii)  reduce cost of operations; and 
(iii) make freight services and tariffs competitive and consequently increase the railways’ share of local, international and transit freight tariffs. Additionally, efforts of a privatised and efficient Zambia Railways Limited to increase its share of freight traffic were expected to result in:

(a) heightening of road competition and consequently offer reduction in transport costs leading to the Zambian economy becoming globally more competitive and growth oriented;

(b) a significant reduction on traffic on roads and, therefore, a reduction in the budgetary allocation of funds to the maintenance and the rehabilitation of the road network in Zambia;

(c) Zambia Railways Limited becoming financially self-sustaining and being in a position to renew its assets and reward its capital providers; and

(d) Zambia generating more foreign exchange through a shift of considerable transit and international traffic from mostly foreign road haulers to ZRL.

Through competitive bidding, the Government through the Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA) awarded the concession to the railway systems of Zambia.

The concession to the railway systems of Zambia excludes the Njanji Commuter line in Lusaka and the Mulobezi Line as these were not owned by ZRL, but by the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Performance of the Railways Systems of Zambia.

The concessionaire took over the operations of the freight and passenger services on 3rd December, 2003. The concessionaire has been operating for three years now and during this period complaints have been expressed from various quarters of society and more specifically from the following:

(i) Members of Parliament;

(ii) Government Inspectors of Railways;

(iii) General Public;

(iv) Cooperating partners; and

(v) Zambia Railways Limited.

These complaints include:

(a) inadequate and slow passenger services;

(b) low tonnages on rail;

(c) long transit times of cargo;

(d) low levels of maintenance of rolling stock;

(e) low investment in the maintenance and up grade of infrastructure; and

(f) high freight rates.

Sir, we have taken measures to compel the Railway Systems of Zambia to improve their operations. In November, 2006, the Ministry of Communications and Transport appointed an Inter-ministerial Committee to discuss with the Railway Systems of Zambia on how the concerns raised by the stakeholders can be addressed.

The Committee comprises representatives from:

(i) Ministry of Communications and Transport;

(ii) Ministry of Justice;

(iii) Investment Centre; and

(iv) Zambia Railways Limited.

The outcomes of the modalities are as follows:

(a) the two parties agreed to prepare an addendum to the existing concession agreements which contains the following agreed resolution:

(i) Railways Systems of Zambia to increase its investment in the upgrade of   the railway infrastructure;

(ii) ZRL and the Railways Systems of Zambia will constitute a technical working team to assert the track condition and recommend the way forward and to define Phase II of the Investment Programme;

(iii) maintenance and the upgrading of the track will be carried out by the Railway Systems of Zambia under the supervision of Zambia Railways Limited;

(iv) at the end of the concession period, the Railway Systems of Zambia would hand over to the Government all the fresh locomotives and wagons active at the end of the concession;

(v) Work relating to the maintenance in the upgrading of the communications system will be carried out by the Railway Systems of Zambia under the monitoring of ZRL;

(vi) 28 passengers coaches will be maintained regularly by the Railway Systems of Zambia;

(vii) The Railway Systems of Zambia will transfer six of its inactive passenger coaches to ZRL to be deployed in the Mulobezi Line and to be operated by ZRL; 
(viii) at the end of the passenger concession period, RSZ will hand over all the fresh passenger coaches active at the time to the Government.

(ix) it was noted that the frequency of passenger trains has reduced due to safety reasons, arising from massive vandalism and sabotage to both the rolling stock and track. This was done in full consultations with the Ministry of Communications and Transport. The representatives from the Ministry of Communications and Transport, Zambia Railways Limited and Railway Systems of Zambia will form an ad-hoc committee to discuss how to resolve the vandalism problem and recommend a way forward in improving passenger service.

It should be noted here that negotiations are still going on. I expect to conclude the negotiations in June, 2007 when the Technical Committee finishes dialogue on what is supposed to be done to upgrade the track and other railway infrastructure. However, the railway system has made some progress.

 However, the Railway Systems of Zambia has reported the following achievements:

(i) three GM locomotives GT36 were fully overhauled and have been running smoothly after being fitted with diesel engines rehabilitated in the USA by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM);

(ii) 2 GE locomotives, type U2OG, have been fully overhauled locally and are also running smoothly;

(iii) another U2OC locomotive and U15C locomotive are about to be put on track soon;

(iv) up to 80 wagons per month go through the production line which was established in Kabwe;

(v) a total number of 1340 wagons were attended to through the production line as from mid 2005;

(vi) a thousand wheels were aligned through the production line programme;

(vii) it was noted that the investment which RSZ has made into the track maintenance and upgrade was as follows:

(a) securing the track from safety point of view through the ‘First Aid’ programme;
 (b) fixing of unsafe fish plate joints;
(c) interlacing bad sleepers (over 120,000 sleepers were replaced);
(d) securing unsafe turnouts;
(e) securing bridge sleepers;
(f) adding ballast to sufficient levels;
(g) horizontal bending of rails; and
(h) vegetation control.

With these works done, derailment statistics during ZRL times in some cases exceeding 400 in a year were reduced by 31% by RSZ.

The maintenance workshop in Kabwe which was shut down many years ago was upgraded and re-opened and the following has been done:

(i) the overhead cranes were reconditioned;

(ii) mobile cranes were reconditioned;

(iii) the washing bay was rebuilt;

(iv) re-railing equipment including hydraulic jacks was reconditioned;

(v) lighting gensets were provided to all stations;

(vi) the blacksmith workshop was re-opened;

(vii) pollution control and environmental mitigation measures were put in place.

RSZ is upgrading the Communications System, and has done the following:

(a) 19 high site repeaters and microwave radio link were upgraded;

(b) digital microwave radio on Kabwe-Livingstone was upgraded;

(c) locomotive to locomotive communication has been upgraded;

(d) locomotive to control centre communication has been upgraded;

(e) tracking and tracing system was introduced;
(f) modernisation of IT equipment has been done; and
 (g) GPS systems have been fitted on most locomotives.

With time, I am confident that RSZ will attend to all the concerns which are being raised by the stakeholders. They took over a railway line which was in a very bad state having suffered from years of inadequate investment.

The addendum to address all these concerns is scheduled to be ready and signed by the two parties during the course of this year.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I didn’t catch most of that, Sir. I may have missed the point, but the railway reservation down the centre of Lusaka parallel to Cairo Road, the area on both sides of the railway line, is over grown and is being used as a rubbish dump and a railway compound, but although the tenants have been given occupation, the area has not been surveyed.

Whose responsibility is this basic housekeeping in our city?

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Daka): Mr Speaker, that is partly the responsibility of the owners of the houses. Where the track is concerned, the Railway Systems of Zambia have contracted the people who live around the area to do the slashing and caring of the bush.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Can the Government acknowledge that the Railway Systems of Zambia has destroyed the little which that …

Mr D. Mwila: On a point of order!

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr D. Mwila: I stand on a very serious point of order. Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development in order not to inform the House about what has been going on about Maamba Collieries? It was in this House where the hon. Minister informed this House that ZCCM-HI (Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings) had taken over Maamba collieries. However, this is to the contrary. Not only that, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development had informed this House that they had paid the three months arrears to the workers at Maamba Collieries, again, to the contrary. I am referring to today’s paper, The Post, page 9 which reads:

   ‘ZCCM-HI Halts Payments to MAAMBA MINE.

‘The Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investments Holdings (ZCCM-HI) has said it will not pay the Maamba Mine employees until the Government clears the issue of shares.

‘ZCCM-HI Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Chikolwa, told Maamba Mine management in an e-mail, which was made available to all Maamba employees, that his board had instructed them to halt any further payments.

‘The Maamba Mine employees are owed three months salary arrears and currently the mine is not producing any coal.’

The paper further reads:

‘Mr Chikolwa stated that the board had decided not to release any money to the mine until the Government gives them a letter for the transfer of shares to ZCCM-HI.’

   I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: I want to lay it on the Table, Mr Speaker.

Mr D. Mwila laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Speaker: My ruling in the point of order being made by the hon. Member for Chipili is that, indeed, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development did inform the House about the status and the future of Maamba Collieries with regard to its role in the economic development of Zambia. Now, in view of the reported lack of progress with regard to what the hon. Minister had said in the House, it is necessary for the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to come back to the House and update the House on this matter as there sounds to be some misunderstanding on the matter.

A supplementary question was being raised by the hon. Member for Sinda. He may continue.

Mr L. J. Banda: Mr Speaker, can the Government acknowledge that the Railway System of Zambia Plc. has committed economic sabotage by destroying the little that was left by Zambia Railways Limited? Would it not be prudent for this Government to reconsider engaging another partner to run the railway systems in this country as opposed to the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc.?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the word ‘sabotage’ is a very strong word to use. The Government will not acknowledge that fact. If anything, the Zambia Railway System Plc. has improved the railway systems in Zambia.


Mr Daka: Sir, at the time of inception, when Zambia Privatisation Agency handed over the railway line to the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc., they had so far rehabilitated 650 kilometres out of the 1,200 kilometres of the whole distance. You will remember the rodent vandalism that happened on this railway line. We had been using wooden sleepers on this railway. My big brother, Hon. Hachipuka, will bear me witness that the Zambia Railway Systems Plc. has placed, every after four lines, a concrete sleeper instead of a wooden one.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out, through you, why the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport is so quiet when it comes to the increase of fares by the Bicycle Association of Katete where they are charging K2,000 for 3 kilometres while we charge K1,800 on buses for 20 kilometres and the airfare is US$100 to Ndola. Could he kindly tell us why he is so instrumental when bus operators increase the fares by K200 on certain distances.


Mr Speaker: Order! It is evident to the Chair that the hon. Member for Chimwemwe has got his own knowledge on these matters. It is clear that his question has got nothing to do with the Zambia Railway Systems Plc. I would like to guide him to raise a fresh question to the hon. Minister for him to deal with those issues he has raised.


Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the Railway Systems of Zambia has rehabilitated about 650 kilometres. I would like to find out how much investment that is monitory wise.

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the agreement between Zambia Privatisation Agency and the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc. was that in six years, the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc. were going to rehabilitate twelve wagons. In the two years that they have been there, they have rehabilitated ten wagons out of the twelve. In monitory terms, I need to go back and ascertain the cost of that rehabilitation. Suffice it to note that that is an improvement considering that the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc. took over the railways in December, 2003, and today, the freight that is being moved on the Railway Systems of Zambia and the passenger rate has improved as compared to the time the Zambia Railways Limited was running the system.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, when debating a motion that was moved by Hon. Muntanga on the viability of the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc, the Government had acknowledged that there was a very serious problem pertaining to its management.  Therefore, I am shocked that he is now saying that they are doing very well. Is he aware that most of the people who were using railway transport in this country have abandoned it because of its deplorable conditions?

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I do appreciate the concern raised by Hon. Mwiimbu. I would like to mention that, in transport, you ought to have a yardstick for what you are talking about. In 2003, ZRL moved 311,000 metric tonnes. Today, the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc. has moved 624,000 metric tonnes. This is a significant movement of tonnage. If you compare people boarding trains, although they have agreed that they have not honoured the passengers’ freight, with those using bicycles as my friend mentioned, you will find that more people board trains. Most of the people board trains because the fares have not been increased. The hon. Member for Chimwemwe must just declare his interest because he was contesting for the position of Chairman of Communications and Transport …

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, apart from the rehabilitation of the railway line, I would like to know when the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc. will bring into the country new locomotive engines to speed up the transportation of goods and services to areas along the line of rail.

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member of Parliament heard me clearly, the ZPA agreement stipulated that the Railway Systems of Zambia Plc. were going to rehabilitate the engines. So far, in six years, they have rehabilitated ten out of twelve. They have done this in less than two years. Therefore, when you talk of bringing new engines, that is a new phenomenon which was not part of the concession. These agreements are governed by rules and regulations, as you will agree with me. You do not shift goal posts as you go along.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


364. Ms Limata (Luampa) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the palaces of the following Chiefs in Kaoma District would be rehabilitated:

(i) Senior Chief Isiteketo Amukena;
(ii) Senior Chief Mutondo; and
(iii) Senior Chief Kahare.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, before I proceed, I wish to inform this House that, according to the records of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Chief Mutondo and Chief Kahare are not Senior Chiefs. Sir, I wanted to correct that.

Sir, I further wish to inform this august House that in the 2007 Budget, there is no provision for the construction and rehabilitation of chiefs’ palaces.

Mr Speaker, the Government is currently fanilising the Chief’s Policy, which will also take into account various issues affecting chiefs including palaces. It is important for hon. Members to note that currently, it is not the policy of the Government to construct chiefs’ palaces although in that past, the Government has, on humanitarian grounds, assisted their Royal Highnesses in rehabilitating their palaces.

In view of the foregoing, this year, the Government has not planned to rehabilitate chiefs’ palaces in Kaoma for:

(i) Senior Chief Isiteketo Amukena;
(ii) Chief Mutondo; and
(iii) Chief Kahare.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, there are so many chiefs that are known as senior chiefs. Why do you not confirm them?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, out of 286 chiefs this country has, we know exactly how many are called paramount chiefs, senior chiefs and chiefs. We have not changed those titles. We have maintained the same numbers and the same titles after 1935.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I very thankful.

Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing what criteria was used to exercise this very humanitarian gesture of rehabilitating some chiefs’ palaces and not others.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the humanitarian grounds were determined by the ability of a certain chief. If a chief is able to rehabilitate his palace or his subjects are well to do and can support him, then the Government would not come in, but in a situation where a tribe is so poor that there may be two million of them, but not even one has been to school ...


Mrs Masebo: … of course, the Government would come in and assist. Suffice it to say that, it is not the policy the Government to rehabilitate chiefs’ palaces. As the hon. Deputy Minister said in his statement, ordinarily a chief’s palace is supposed to be constructed by the subjects because the cultures, tradition and customs differ from one tradition to another. I am sure that hon. Members are aware that in some traditions, once the chief is dead, they have to demolish the palace and relocate to another site. Therefore, we do not encourage the policy of rehabilitating chiefs’ palaces in that it conflicts with certain traditions and customs.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Road): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the Government recognises Deputy Chiefs.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I have already said that the chiefs that are recognised in this country are 286. Below the chiefs, we have Headmen and various other titles. In principle we pay subsidies to the 286 chiefs. Therefore, if some of them are called sub-chiefs because of their culture, I would say, yes the Government recognises them.

Again, I have said that it is Government’s policy not to recognise chiefs who may have existed prior to 1935 and were stripped of their throne in 1935 because if we did that, we would open a Pandora’s Box. There are thousands and thousands of people who were called chiefs before 1935, some of them legally so, but, there title were abolished by the colonial Government. Therefore, we have tried to avoid opening a Pandora’s Box considering that even boundaries were demarcated or land was taken away from one chief and given to another chief.

Mr Speaker, since 1964, we have maintained the status quo. I therefore hope that all hon. Members of Parliament would not try to bring such issues back because that will just create confusion for us in this country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I am aware that, in the past, chiefs were given some money for rehabilitation of their palaces. The hon. Minister’s said that there is no Government policy to rehabilitate chiefs’ palaces. I would, therefore, like to find out how the chiefs are going to have their palaces rehabilitated. Is there a plan to ensure that they compel the subjects of a village to have their chief’s palace rehabilitated?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, earlier, I indicated that, in the past, the Government used to assist chiefs, but that was not based on the policy of the Government per se. It was on humanitarian grounds that in one particular year, all the chiefs were given K5 million each to rehabilitate their palaces, but since then, we have not done that.

In fact, in some exceptional cases, we have received a report that the chief’s palace has collapsed, but that becomes a disaster issue. We therefore, refer that to the Office of the Vice-President under the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit. Hence, by so doing, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has assisted that particular chief. As it stands now, the issue of building palaces is an issue for the subjects themselves with their chiefs. Currently, the Government is looking into all these issues because they keep coming.

Last year, the Government went round to consult chiefs and other stakeholders in preparation of the Chiefs Policy which takes into account the issues of whether or not the Government should build palaces for chiefs. The issues to take into consideration are the traditions and customs where a house is demolished after a chief dies and also whether it is a sustainable arrangement.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Malama (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Government has any plans to give back the chiefdoms to chiefs whose powers or chiefdoms were abolished by the colonial Government, for example, Chief Mutupa in Mpika District.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member must have been absentminded …


Mr Speaker: … when the Hon. Minister was belabouring on that very point.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I am a little excited by the hon. Minister’s statement that the recognition of chiefs is in respect of the date and year 1935. Let us suppose we are able to show that there are chiefs who have been chiefs before and after that date, would they be recognised by the Government?

Mr Speaker: That is slightly a different angle, however, the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing may attempt to comment on that question.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, indeed it is a tricky question and I will attempt to answer that by being consistent with the Government policy.

 In as far as issues of recognition are concerned, the policy of the Government is not to recognise any chief who was not recognised in 1935. Therefore, if there is a chief anywhere, who, once upon a time, was a chief, but somehow the colonial government abolished his/her chiefdom, wrongly so or rightly so, the policy of the Government remains that he/she shall not be recognised.

Sir, I am mindful that some of the chiefs had their chieftainship removed by the colonial government in an unfair manner. As I have indicated, the policy is that we maintain the status quo for various reasons. We feel that the various chiefdoms and their subjects must help the Government to maintain that policy because any diversion from it would have serious repercussions on the peace and development in our country.

Sir, currently there are different types of wrangles such as succession wrangles or boundary disputes and in some cases, these are being perpetrated by their subjects hence, bringing havoc among the communities in that area.  We have seen that in such areas, we have had no positive development because the people are fighting. Some of these fights are so deep rooted that you cannot tell the difference between a war in Angola and the fights found among the subjects in chiefdoms based on boundary and succession disputes.

Therefore, I would like to appeal to Members of Parliament and the public at large that we must assist the Government in maintaining the status quo instead of bringing unnecessary problems and friction in the country.

I thank you, Sir.


365. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives why the Ministry had not provided support to the farming groups in both Kasama and Samfya, which embarked on the construction of fishing ponds, after obtaining high interest loans from commercial banks.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, through the Department of Fisheries, provides technical support to farming groups in Kasama and Samfya such as site selection, marking of fish ponds and advises on management of fish ponds to fish farmer groups throughout the country. Further, it provides quality fish seed (fingerlings) to farmers. As a Government, we have the fish farms in the Luapula Province at Fiyongoli and Mwenda as well as Misamfu in the Northern Province. These are the two fish farms which also provide aid to farmers by providing them with fingerlings. Most fish farmer groups received grants from the Rural Investment Fund (RIF) and Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs) in Mansa and Samfya during this development.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott: (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: There is a microphone that is on.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, currently in India there is an epidemic of suicide among farmers who have been wrongly advised by extension services to borrow money in ventures that are actually not profitable and have been unable to pay. Can the hon. Minister assure us that accessing these commercial loans for fish farming is actually viable? I know the Bembas are less likely to commit suicide, but they get equally miserable when they borrow money on budded rice and then find that they cannot pay it back.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, generally, I think fish farming is viable depending on the scale. When it comes to getting of loans, those are covenants between the loan taker and the bank from which someone is collecting that loan. Therefore, whether someone could commit suicide or not, it cannot be measured by the Government …


Mr Mulonga: … of-the-day. However, we are sure, as a Government, that fish farming is very viable. That is why in this year’s Budget, we have included that so that at least our fish farmers can benefit from it. Currently, you may observe that we are having depletions of some of the species in the lakes and so fish farming would be very helpful to restock them.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that besides the fish ponds, canals, roads and embankments were embarked on in the year 2000 without effecting payments in Chilubi District?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives may provide a bonus answer.


Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, as I alluded to earlier on, there was Rural Investment Fund (RIF), which was providing the funds to the farmers. These funds were a grant from the Government. Therefore, if there was non-payment to other sources where the farmers got that money, the Government is not aware. What we know is that the Government provided grants for starting those activities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether the introduction of fish farming through the use of fish ponds has impacted negatively or positively in depleting fish species in our main lakes and rivers.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, fish ponds, by their nature, cannot affect the depletion of the species. What affects the depletion of the species in the lakes are the methods which are used by the fish mongers to catch fish. Fish farming using the ponds can actually add value to the existence of the species of the fish in the lakes and rivers in our country. However, the methods that are being practiced are the ones that are contributing to the extinction of the fish species.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




VOTE13/01 – (Ministry of Energy and Water Development-Planning and Information
                      Department – K62, 488,663,228).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Milupi (Luena): Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Yesterday, I made reference to the shortage of electricity that is not only looming in this country, but is already upon us. Another area of concern refers to the Rural Electrification Programme.

 I think it is notable that this is happening as the use of electricity can be a measure of the development that we require in this country. Alas, I need at this moment to implore the hon. Minister to ensure that the quality of the electricity that is taken to our rural areas is good. All too often, very long lines are constructed with very low voltage and electricity that is taken to some places such as Kaoma is such that any attempt to log these lines with manufacturing plants will cause serious voltage fluctuations. We demand that when new areas are electrified, they are electrified with power that conforms to certain specifications.

Another area of concern, obviously, is, to address all these issues of a looming power shortage, we all too often rely on our biggest remaining parastatal, which is the Zambia Electricity Supply Cooperation, ZESCO. Let me state at the outset that if we rely entirely on ZESCO to correct this situation, we shall be, as a country, engulfed by this looming power shortage.

The rapid expansion in the mining industry and also other industries will mean that, as I stated yesterday, by 2011, we shall have serious power shortages. All too often, what happens is that when we have a power shortage, the first consumers to suffer are households.

Regarding ZESCO, the issue of commercialisation that has been spoken about, is indeed welcome. However, let us ensure that this commercialisation is not just used to by the World Bank and IMF to hold us at bay from pressurising us to privatise. Let this be a consent that allows us to reap value for our parastatal organisation. What value are we looking for out of ZESCO? We are looking for high quality electricity in terms of voltage, frequency, harmonics and flicker.

The bottom line is that we know that any business must deliver value, but what value are we looking for? The asset base of ZESCO at the moment stands at US$1.3 billion. Any person who has done business studies will know that the return on that investment would be at least fifteen per cent. As a nation, the shareholders of that US$1.3 billion, we would expect something like US$200 million per annum out of ZESCO. That is not happening. What happens is sometimes we get a declaration of K10 billion, which is $2.5 million, which is not enough. Even if these things are done, that sort of commercialisation will be supported by all of us.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Thank you, Madam Chairperson for this opportunity to contribute to very briefly on this important Vote. In doing so, allow me to say firstly that when brilliant speeches are made in this House by some hon. Members and Government Ministers, these speeches are worth quoting. I would like to make reference, in good faith, to a brilliant contribution which was made by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, when he made his contribution on the Budget Address. He said that this year’s Budget has provided a lot of opportunities, which, if utilised to the fullest by Zambians, will create job opportunities and go a long way in improving the standard of living for our people.

I would like to agree with him and state that the Ministry of Energy and Water Development is one of the ministries that has the potential of creating those opportunities. However, I would like to say that these opportunities which have been referred to cannot be achieved or utilised if, for example, the contradictions that tend to pair the attainment or utilisation of these opportunities are not attended to. For example, I have in mind the Energy Regulation Board. This is an institution that can create opportunities for Zambians to improve their standards of living. Given the fact that some of the contradictions in, for instance, allowing Zambians to participate in the distribution of fuel being attended to as quickly as possible. Presently, it is truly difficult for a Zambian to become a distributor of fuel simply because there are so many enormous demands that are put on the road that is supposed to be used by a Zambian to be supplier of fuel. In view of these contradictions that may make it very difficult for a Zambian to break into that arena, this arena has been preserved for non-Zambians and in most cases, Whites only.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): and Somalis.

Mr Katongo: And Somalis, thank you very much. It is a challenge on the part of the hon. Minster to break this syndrome. Make sure that you create opportunities for Zambians to move into the marketing of fuel. Where do you expect a Zambia to raise money to put up a storage system to store fuel, as well as construct a filling station at the same time?

These are contradictions that are supposed to be removed in order to create a wind of opportunity for Zambians to move into this arena. At the moment, only a White person and, as my brother has ably put it, Somalis are taking part in this activity. When is a Zambian going to be empowered to create wealth for this country? We have said it several times, Madam Chairperson, that when you empower a Zambian to move into some of these economic activities, the economy of the country is going to improve because whatever funds will be generated by this person will be ploughed back into other activities unlike non-Zambians who are contributing to the net flight of resources, whatever profit they generate, will find its way into America, London and so on, thereby creating job opportunities for the nationals who are loafing in those countries.

Madam Chairperson, you should understand that the more you empower non-Zambians, the more you create job opportunities for these countries. Your own people are languishing in poverty because some of them, after they leave the institutions of higher learning, cannot even be employed. Lessen some of these conditions and make them extremely impossible for this White person to come and make wealth at the expense of the Zambians. This you have the capacity to do, hon. Minister. If you look at these conditions, they are a roadblock to what Zambians would like to achieve.

Madam Chairperson, if we are talking about empowering Zambians, these are some of the hurdles that you should lessen. I cannot even imagine a Cabinet Minister raising money to put up a storage tank and also put up a filling station before he can begin delivering fuel. This is impossible even at your level, hon. Ministers. In other countries, you have the ability and also the capacity, as Ministers, to run some of these ventures, but you cannot do it in Zambia, and so when you are fired or rejected by the people, you begin walking the streets. Who will sympathise with you? Nobody. Things must change for the better. When is a Zambian going to be proud that he or she is a Zambian and is independent? You have continued creating wealth for non-Zambians, but Zambians are employed as labourers and the like. Therefore, it is a challenge, through the Chair, hon. Minister, to look at this condition pertaining to the issuance of licences for one to be able to distribute or supply fuel. Lessen these conditions to allow Zambians to penetrate that market.

Madam Chairperson, we have seen, as Zambians, that where Whites or Zambians see where they can create wealth within a short time, they would like to put barbed wires so that Zambians do not penetrate these activities. We have to change for the better. Forty-three years of being independent and you are assisting foreigners to create wealth in your own country and you are even proud to call yourselves a poor nation and so on. These are problems of our own making. The people you are assisting are even laughing at you. Can we change for the better because you have the capacity and ability to do that. Change things in favour of Zambians.

Secondly, Madam Chairperson, we have all of us accepted the fact that ZESCO has the potential of generating wealth for this country whether you like it or not. The only problem that we have again is that this mentality of saying only Zambians can run this institution profitably must go and go for good. Can we remove that mentality from our minds? When you see an institution being manned by Zambians and doing extremely well, you get this funny concept from non-Zambians to privatise, concession or commercialise the institution and you say, yes. ZESCO, as far as we are concerned, is a viable organisation being viably run by indigenous Zambians and you must be proud of that record.

However, the funny part of Zambian leaders is that when an institution is being manned by indigenous Zambians, they will get a White person who is non-Zambian to introduce funny concepts and when those are implemented, by the end of the day, you see changes in management. All these Whites will be coming to your place to take over from Zambians. You declare your own Zambians redundant, and yet you create jobs for those funny characters. Let us protect that institution because we are proud of it. Look at the way they attended to that calamity that took place at Kafue Gorge. It was corrected by indigenous Zambians. When they moved in that area, within a short time, they were able to stop that calamity and so why should you float the concept of privatising ZESCO, commercialising it and what have you? And you use all those funny concepts that you tend to memorise.

Madam Chairperson, ZESCO is our own institution and we must be proud of it. It is an institution that is run and managed by indigenous Zambians in a profitable manner and we should be proud of this achievement. In short, hon. Minister, those who may be coming to your place, including the Government-of-the-day with a view of trying to privatise ZESCO, tell them that our language is that they should put their hands off our indigenous enterprise.

We have opened windows of opportunity for these investors to invest elsewhere. Why can they not tap the potential that is, for example, in Siavonga, Samfya and other waterfalls and so on. They are just focusing their attention on ZESCO, our own creation. That is not investment. Privatising what has been in existence for a long time is not an investment in my view. They are not adding value to our economy. Why are they looking at institutions that we have already created? Why can they not begin their investment elsewhere? These windows are open to those who want to assist us, but they keep looking at ZESCO and saying that ZESCO is not doing well. They are doing this because they know that from ZESCO, they will be able to generate a lot of revenue that will even enable them to create jobs for their own loafers in their countries.

Madam Chairperson, this is what you should understand when you are negotiating with these people. They think twenty years ahead of you and you should be able to think forty years ahead of them. I would like to appeal to you hon. Minister to give ZESCO money in order for you to make sure that you make it a viable institution. You have been talking about swapping the debt which the Government owes ZESCO and vice-versa. This has been on your lips for a long time. Action must be taken. Find out how much money ZESCO owes the Government and vice-versa and take action immediately. You have been making the same assurances that you will debt swap for twenty years now and you are still advocating for debt swapping. You should take action tomorrow.

Madam Chairperson, on the question of fuel, we are happy to learn from the Government that all may be found in the North-Western Province of our country, that should be supported because if for example that oil will be tapped from that area, all of us, as Zambians, are going to benefit. There will be cheaper oil because production costs will be lower and so on. However, we have seen that whilst you are making this arrangement to tap oil from North-Western Province, make sure that you cushion the impact of high fuel prices.

The people are suffering a lot. The cost of living is just too high because of high fuel costs. Hon. Minister, take action. In fact, your predecessor who is now the hon. Minster of Defence assured this House that money will be put aside to make sure that you continue to cushion the impact of fuel prices. We have not seen anything to that effect. Take action and consult him. If there is some money somewhere for subsidising fuel prices, take action as quickly as possible.

Madam Chairperson, water is life, can you take action.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Thank you, Madam Chair. When Hon. Kasongo debates in the manner that he does, my entire body metabolism is activated. I like that kind of debate.

Mr Kasongo: Thank you.{mospagebreak}

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, I would just like to punctuate the beginning of my debate by picking it up from where Hon. Kasongo has left off. Indeed, we must be very careful with some of the White people who visit some of our offices.

Hon. Government Member: Not all.

Major Chizhyuka: I am saying some of them, not all. You must understand that from the very beginning, when the White man wanted to conquer the territory of Africa, he came with the Bible. Chenua Achebe in his book ‘Things Fall Apart’ says we were amused of his foolishness and allowed him to stay. In the process, the White man put a big knife to all the things that held us together and we fell apart. So, the things that Hon. Kasongo is saying, hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development, you must take heed of. They will come with all sorts of modifications, in the process, all they want to do is reap profits and maximally mint money from this country of ours. You would be thinking that you are doing a good job, he is a donor and we should do this in order for him to assist you this and then you are in Paris and you are all over. They are just hoodwinking you so that they draw you away from giving economic power to the Zambians. Be careful, this is our country. We have nowhere else to go other than here. We are a rich country. I thought I should just punctuate that one. Now, I would like to go to my issues.

Madam Chairperson, this electricity we are talking about comes from three dams in the Southern Province. Some may think Kafue is in the Central Province or whatever, but Kafue is the original boundary in the Southern Province. The names of the three dams are Kariba, Itezhi-tezhi and Kafue Gorge. These are the areas where human beings died. They lost the most fertile soils where commerce thrived. The other day, I was talking about the Gwembe Valley being the city of commerce in this country in 875 AD.

Madam Chairperson, the Ila people have their history submerged in Itezhi-tezhi Dam, We cannot find anymore trace of our ecological history, as Ila people, because of the Itezhi-tezhi Dam. The waters have buried us for a very long time to come, indefinitely and for good, whereas the rest of the tribes of Zambia can find their history in their ecology, in their soils and in the bowels of the earth. Our history has been buried by those dams. That is a sacrifice we have paid for this country in order that the Copperbelt should be electrified. That is the sacrifice we have paid as the people of Namwala, Itezhi-tezhi and Bweengwa in order that the schools can be electrified. I understand that there is one province whose schools are all electrified.

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Major Chizhyuka: We have lit the entire Copperbelt. The mines whose energy is tapped from there pay only 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour. A domestic user of electricity in Namwala, where the source of electricity comes from, who has been deprived, pays 3 per cent and 3 cents. The commercial one will pay 4 cent, industrial 5 cents, and yet, the mines are paying 2.3 per cent per kilowatt hour.

Mr Kambwili: Shame!

Major Chizhyuka: What is this relationship between these current owners of the mines and this Government? Can we know?


Major Chizhyuka: The mines are busy rehabilitating the roads on the Copperbelt. I would have thought that the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development would have been worrying about the Monze/Namwala and Itezhi-tezhi/Mumbwa roads, the source of your water. You know in Namwala, Madam Chairperson, we have an insect called chihunya.


Major Chizhyuka: What that insect does, is that, when all the food is finished, it starts eating itself.

Hon. Opposition Member: Which part.

Major Chizhyuka: From the bottom.


Major Chizhyuka: Why I am saying that, Madam Chair, is that there is no way that you can tap wealth from the Southern Province and put back nothing. How many times have our hon. Members of Parliament from the Gwembe Valley talked about the Bottom Road? How many times in this House? Meanwhile, each one of you is benefiting from the power that comes from the Zambezi Valley.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: It does not even create an iota of feeling from the Government. They do not understand what this means. Do you want to be like the investors in Kabwe? After the mines are depleted, the town turns out to be a ghost town and in the process, becomes Chihunya.


Major Chizhyuka: You must invest back where you came from. You cannot continue to milk a cow, and yet, …

Madam Chairperson: Hon. Member, what is chihunya?


Mr Hachipuka: That is the name of an insect. There is no translation.

Major Chizhyuka: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. I hope I will not, oh! It has started moving. That is the insect which eats itself from the bottom. Once all the food and everything are finished, it starts eating itself.


Major Chizhyuka: So, I am making reference to it. What I am saying is, we want the money from the mines because there getting electricity from us. We have suffered the displacement of our people.

Let me tell you about this matter, Madam Chair and hon. Members of Parliament of this House. You will recall that the Speaker of the South African Parliament said while seated on that Chair there that in South Africa, they listen, to quote her words, even the smallest person because they have a place there. I would like to tell you that Ken Serawiwa, in Nigeria, only wanted the wealth of the Niger Delta for the Agoni people. That Government did not listen to Ken Serawiwa and they executed. The death of Ken Serawiwa was the birth of a militant gentleman by the name of Jomo. Jomo now leads a military force called MEND, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. All that Jomo and the people of the Niger Delta want is just a share of the wealth so that the wealth is distributed to the people of the Niger Delta, no quarrel whatsoever.

Madam, here we are, we subsidise Zambian Governments who have been thankless to the Southern Province demonstrated by the fact that from the Ilaland and the Gwembe Valley, they put back absolutely nothing. What kind of Governments do we have in this country?

Mr Mutati indicated dissent.

Major Chizhyuka: I can see that the hon. Minister is shaking his head.

We want those monies to come back to the Choma/Namwala Road. I understand the hon. Minister of Works and Supply saw the level of economic development along that road. We want the Monze/Niko Road to come from the monies that are yielded therefrom. You charge the mines the correct rates so that the roads that lead to where you are getting your electricity can benefit.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima interrupted.

Major Chizhyuka: One of the problems that you suffer is that when you enter into these external contracts, you do not have negotiators in the Government. It is important that the Government employs qualified business negotiators. Then you will understand because there is absolutely no reason this Government should negotiate with foreigners for them to pay O.6 per cent Mineral Royalties when the rest of the world is paying 3 per cent, 5 per cent and others 10 per cent. I understand that Tanzania now wants to increase from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. You are denying the people of Zambia their wealth by failing to comprehend the complexity of international business.

Hon. UPND Member: Like our President.

Major Chizhyuka: Yes, I am being reminded that the UPND has a qualified negotiator who is a Change Manager in the name of Hakainde Hichilema. If there are problems in understanding negotiation at the international level, go and consult him.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: However, I would like to state that we, the people from where the power source comes are making a very clear and humble request that to have a share of the wealth that goes to light up this country go towards the repair of our roads. I have a lot of respect for the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development. I think you have a lot of understanding on some of the issues that will evolve in this country. We only demand that which we must have, and nothing more. We only demand that which is rightfully ours. We must have those roads tarred because the money is there. We are not saying …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Madam, I did not wish to interrupt the hon. Member who is debating so well. Is the hon. Member in order not to mention that President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, is a senior lawyer who is able to understand all the legalities that may be arise at the negotiation table and instead talk about someone who is just a manager and a student, still learning, as someone who can negotiate for this country? I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Madam Chairperson: Order! The point of order has drawn this debate to a comparison of the Republican President and, I believe, implied Mr Hichilema. My very serious ruling is that we should not draw those people into the debate. The hon. Member debating should not have brought in Mr Hichilema, and therefore, we stop that kind of comparison by name of individuals who are not in this House for we risk, very soon, digressing into a debate of individuals who are not hon. Members of this House. That is my serious ruling.

May the Hon. Major Chizhyuka continue, please, and take that into consideration.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for that guidance.

It will be remembered that a gentleman who used to be the Managing Director of Grant Thornton is at the centre of a lot of reforms, including Parliamentary Reforms.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members, when a ruling is made, and I am repeating this for everybody, do not refer to it, but simply move on with your debate.

May the hon. Member continue, please, without referring to the ruling.

Major Chizhyuka: Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for that guidance, again.

I am stating these matters because we need to develop and the money that comes to light this country, the Copperbelt, is also needed in Namwala for our schools to be electrified. We need that. What is happening to our history? If we knew that this was how it was going to be, that we were going to be lighting, feeding and empowering people who are not grateful, we would have taken a different position. I would like to tell you that Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula said that the dam on Ithezi-thezi should not be constructed. If it were during the time that we were fighting in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Association, I assure you that I would not have allowed the construction of that dam, if this is what we were to expect. Let us also think about those people and bring some of the wealth to Namwala, Ithezi-thezi and the Gwembe Valley so that those people can appreciate the amount of suffering and disbursement that they have suffered in the process.

I thank you, Madam.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me a chance to debate the Vote on the Floor. I will be very brief. To start with, I want to thank the officers in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, companies such as Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), Indeni, TAZAMA and all companies related to this ministry for manner in which they carry out their work. I would be failing in my duties if I did not thank my own hon. Minister for the guidance.

Madam, this country called Zambia has boundaries. At one time, copper was mined on the Copperbelt and the wealth was distributed to the other parts of the country, including the Southern Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: The previous debaters should not come here and say that because power was tapped from the Southern Province, then they must benefit from its proceeds more than others when a lot has been done on the ground, especially by this Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Let us give credit where it is due. We are not saying we should deprive the people of the Southern Province because anyone can go and live in the Southern Province, in areas such as Itezhi-tezhi, Gwembe or elsewhere such as Mwinilunga and Milenge. Sometimes you might not even know that the power that is being enjoyed in the Southern Province is coming from Lusiwasi which is not in the Southern Province or from the Musonda Falls not to mention Lunzuwa in Mbala. History states that there was one hydro-power station in Livingstone in the Southern Province and the other one was in Mbala in the Northern Province around 1939.

When we are debating in this House, especially when we are informing members of the public, let us be factual. People were consulted when this development was being done. The fruits were not meant for one area, but for all of us. One may even ask that that there are a lot of things involved in making dams, such as, cement. The cement which was used to build the dams came from elsewhere. Never mind the manpower.

Hon. Government Member: Such as Chilanga.

Mr Sichilima: Yes, many people lost their lives, but when it came to labour, people came from all over the country, hence what we are enjoying now. I personally have nephews and nieces in the Southern Province because of my relative who went to look for a job there. My sister found an Ila man and got married there. I am very proud to say that they are very intelligent boys and girls born of an Ila man. Without my sister, they would not have been intelligent.


Mr Sichilima: In fact, I am now trying to review what they paid for my sister, especially that denkete is eradicated.


Mr Sichilima: On a serious note, Madam Chairperson, let us discuss developmental issues such as those raised by Hon. Kasongo for Samfya. That was a sound debate. It was some warning. It is time for us now to sit up and look forward, but I must say that my able hon. Minister has taken into account of all the points that he made. The other day, the hon. Minister talked about Kalungwishi Dam and Kabompo. Most of the issues that he talked about are being considered. Yes, it is high time that Zambians came together and dealt with these issues.

Let me ask this question. Why do we leave opportunities to the foreigners? They come and knock and we open and show them the rooms. When they invest, that is when we start saying the projects they are involved in are viable. Why have we not taken the centre stage by taking the first step before anybody else does? It is not dealing with poverty, but working in unity. The moment we start working in isolation, we will not develop this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: You need a lot of money to develop hydro-power stations. It is not done by one person. If we teamed up and formed what is called a consortium, chilimba, that is putting money together, never mind the ideas, we would develop this country. Most of these people do not even come with their money, but they come as a consortium. Sometimes, if not in most cases, they even borrow money from our own banks and start investing. Yes, there are opportunities and very viable so to say the least that there are many areas, not just in energy that we have lost out because we do not want to take the leadership to go and invest in those areas. Let us take out the grocery mentality of owning only a Kantemba and thinking you are rich. We will not develop this way. We need to put up ten Tuntembas in order to have shops such as Shoprite. Look at Arcades, everything that is there is local. They just went and borrowed and brought the money here. We need to move in that direction. Let us not blame this listening Government under the leadership of President Mwanawasa. There is an enabling environment which will allow anyone to invest freely and in a conducive atmosphere.

Madam Chairperson, I am a man of few remarks, and as I promised to be brief, I will end here.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mschili (Kabushi): I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to debate on the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Madam Chairperson, as I echo the sentiments raised by my fellow colleagues, I wish also to contribute to the debate on this vote. Zambia is blessed with abundant water. There are many lakes and rivers, but we are not using this water for development. For example, there is a river that passes through my constituency neighbouring other constituencies, yet day in and day out, in Kabushi Constituency, people still live without water. Water is being rationed and it is unbelievable that after 43 years of independence, we can still live with this scenario. In my constituency, we are still living with ablution blocks which are being shared in this current disease-prone scenario. It is very discouraging. This is the only constituency with a conventional township with pit latrines, yet the water reticulation is just within reach. How are we going to achieve this by 2030 as the Government’s vision is to ensure that each and every Zambian has access to safe drinking water? At the rate we are going, I do not think we will be able to achieve this. The vital nerve has collapsed in this country and this has led to these results.

Madam Chairperson, let me also say that there is lack of co-ordination between ministries. In the Budget, a lot of money has been provided for water in certain ministries. For example, K37 billion has been earmarked for Irrigation in Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Money also has been provided for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. In this Budget, there is K139 billion earmarked for this year’s rural water projects. Out of this money, K107 billion has been given to the Central Province.


Madam Chair, this province had an allocation of K71 billion even last year. Really, if we are looking at achieving this by 2030, I am sure that only one province will be able to achieve this and this is the Central Province. Therefore, I am urging this Government to co-ordinate their working programmes.

On Rural Electrification, there is K21 billion allocated. There is also, as I mentioned, K37 billion for Water Irrigation. The ministry that has provided dams and boreholes could sit as a group with other ministries and plan a way forward so as to come up with one project unlike the way it is being done where other developments are channelled to different provinces.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to talk about the energy sector in that it is really vital to national development. If you look at the energy source in this country, we have woodlands and forests which give us 70 per cent of the energy in this country. However, this should also be cause for worry because a lot of trees are being cut down indiscriminately, and yet we are talking about deforestation. We must be aware of the global warming because these are some of the effects that will compel us, as a Government, to look at alternative sources of energy.

With regard to the issue of oil and gas exploration in the North-Western Province, this is a very good and positive development. Therefore, let us take note of the amount of money that we are pouring in so that, by the end of the day, once we have made a break through in this, we do not start selling these fields at a give away price. However, we should be able to know whether we have made profits or not.

Madam Speaker, let us learn a lesson from the Mining Policy. We have given a very bad Mining Policy and I think we must learn from that. As we go on, I would urge, through you, madam, that this is made a national issue and once we make a break through, all the stakeholders should be involved and the people on your left side should be included in dealing with these issues.

Madam Speaker, on the issue of solar energy, I thought this was an in-thing now, but I am surprised to see that in this year’s Budget, there is no allocation for solar. In this regard, I would like a little more information from the hon. Minister.

On the Wind Energy System, as I said, again, I would like to get some more information before I can make any suggestion.

Madam Speaker, it is the duty of the Government to ensure that every district has a filling station. At the moment, it is unfortunate that some of the districts in this country, 43 years after independence, still do not have filling stations. For example, in Kabompo and Chinsali where people drunk that special tea, there are no filling stations.

Madam Speaker, these are some of the policies that we would urge this Government to look into and come up with a Government policy to have filling stations in all the districts. As we talk about filling stations, we do not want to …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hour until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mschili: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about the filling stations. I said that it is sad that after 43 years of independence, we still do not have filling stations in certain areas.

Hon. PF Member: Luwingu!

Mr Mschili: Even in Luwingu as my colleague has said. Therefore, we would urge this Government to come up with a deliberate policy of building filling stations in all the districts of this country.

I have noticed that in Lusaka and the Copperbelt there is a mushrooming of filling stations. However, I would want to urge the hon. Minister that before they give out these licences, they should ensure that these people meet the requirements of running filling stations. For example, some filling stations do not even have toilets or air pumping facilities. I thought that before they start operating, they should ensure that all these things are in place.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to find out the Government’s position on ZESCO? I am saying so because there is a cloud hanging over it because we do not know the direction the Government has taken. Although they say that they are a listening Government unfortunately, this Government has got no ears to hear. Therefore, we are saying that we want to know the exact position of the Government.

Madam Chair, I would also want to express my fears on the commercialisation of ZESCO because rural electrification will suffer once this is done.

Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Madam!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chituwo: Madam Chair, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament debating in order to say that we have no ears? I wonder what the purpose of him standing there is if really he believes that we have no ears with which to hear. Is he in order to label us deaf? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: The concern of the hon. Minister who has raised a point of order is that Hon. Mschili who is debating now alleged that this Government has no ears and his concern is that if the Government has no ears to whom is he talking?

Mr Mschili, take that into very serious consideration as you debate. You may continue.

Mr Mschili: I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for your guidance.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about urban electrification. As I stand here, I would like to inform you that, after 43 years of independence, part of Kabushi is still not electrified. These are the concerns that we are talking about.

May I remind you that just before elections, the Government started a programme of electrifying Kabushi. Immediately after elections, the programme stopped. Therefore, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what has happened.

Madam Chairperson, my other concern is about Masala Police Camp in my constituency. These police officers protect us day and night, and yet they do not have power in their camp. I am appealing to the hon. Minister to ensure that this police camp is provided with power. These police officers have acquired a lot of electrical appliances, but they cannot enjoy their benefits because of the low voltage.

You may be aware that the Government has a culture of not paying bills. You can see from the Yellow Book that the Government has very high unpaid electricity and water bills in all Government Departments. I also noticed that there is no provision for the World Energy Council and the Africa Energy Commission in this Budget. I do not know, have we gone international in not paying our bills? I would like the hon. Minister to comment on that.

There is an allocation of K100 million which is meant for Phasing out Leaded Fuel. The people may wish to know the difference between leaded and unleaded fuel. Assuming this is done, has Indeni got the capacity to produce unleaded fuel? These are some of the concerns which we would like the hon. Minister to address.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about Indeni. I have noticed a figure of K233 million for restructuring. I do not know what this is meant for. It can either be for the restructuring of management or something else? 
There is also an allocation of K221 million for the Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) rehabilitation. Indeed, TAZAMA was commissioned in 1969. This is a very old pipeline and we have had a lot of leakages in the past, but the Government managed to repair some of those parts. However, looking at the amount that has been provided, I am sure it is not meant for the rehabilitation of the whole pipeline.

Finally, I would like to talk about the construction of the Feedstock Tank based in Ndola. A loan was obtained to have this tank erected. It has been constructed up to roof level, but could not be completed because, I believe, some of the materials have gone missing. I am appealing to the hon. Minister to send auditors to investigate what has happened to those materials.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Imbwae (Luluku East): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving the opportunity to debate the Vote on the Floor of the House.

As I support the budget, I would like to draw the hon. Minister’s attention to Page 88 of the Yellow Book. I notice on that Page, that there are three items which are of great concern. Programme 10 is about Promotion of Bio-gas which was allocated K58,500,000 million last year, but there is no allocation this year.

With regard to Programme 11 – Energy Exploration and Installation – there was an allocation of K730 million, last year, while there is nothing this year. Programme 13 – Liquified Petroleum Gus (LPG) – to some of us who are not technical, it is commonly referred to as hand gas, last year, it was allocated K89,750,000, but in this year’s Budget, there is nothing. In my understanding, that affects a very big sector of the energy provision in this country.

Madam Chairperson, since Zambia Oxygen (ZAMOX) was privatised in 1997, we have not had a steady flow of the supply of gases in this country. I am aware, that Indeni is not always able to give us enough supply of gas. Most of the gas that we use in this country is imported, mostly, from South Africa. BOC Gases, currently, has not even got a Zambian manager. We have an expatriate manager to manage our gas supply. I am also aware that there are only two Zambians holding high positions at BOC Gases, and yet when we had ZAMOX, we were almost a Zambian company. We have lost our hold on the supply of gases in this country. What is the implication of this, especially, that in this Budget we have not provided for either the exploration of gas, for the supply of liquified gas or even for the promotion of bio-gas? This affects certain sectors that are very important.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to start off, on a lighter note, if we talk about carbon dioxide, those of us that drink coca cola know that there are many times in this country when we did not have coca cola because there is no carbon dioxide that is needed to make the carbonated drinks. We do not have to depend on an outside country for us to be able to drink coca cola. We, as Zambians, can provider for that plant. If it was impossible, Californian Beverages would not have been able to do it, but right now, Californian Beverages have their own plant from which they make their own gas and are able to supply their drinks very cheaply. Zambians deserve to have a supply of cheap gas for simple things such as coca cola, but that pertains to the other drinks.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about a serious issue. The supply of nitrous oxide which is used in our hospitals, the doctors will correct me if I am wrong, for making us sleep during medical operations. If we are not in control of the supply of our gases and are not able to provide a head in our budget to supply our own gases, what will happen to our operations? Is it any wonder that sometimes when you book for an operation at the University teaching Hospital (UTH) and you are not operated on because one thing or the other is missing?

Regarding the same issue of gas, I would like to bring in the issue of oxygen. Those of us who have had patients at the UTH know that there are times when there is no oxygen. This is a very serious issue.

During tea-break, I was verifying my information because I wanted to be very sure about it. We have not had a centralised supply of oxygen at the UTH since 1990. It means that even when we have critical patients, they do not have gas by their bedsides. It means that someone will have to wheel the gas from somewhere, if it is available, in order to supply to the patients that are in need. I can only attribute this to our failure to manufacture our own gases to the point where we cannot supply to our own hospitals. If the UTH is lacking to that extent, how much more so the other hospitals?

I can also not doubt that if these pumps have not been working, they must be blocked by now. If they are blocked and we are not able to use them, how much can we manage to pay, as a country, to send people outside this country? Can we convert that money into sorting out our own business here so that, at least, we can look after the sick? But again, there is no Vote for that in the Budget this year.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to quickly comment on liquid gas. It is the cheapest source of energy for cooking and many people use that hand gas for rearing their poultry It can be taken anywhere in this country because electricity has not gone where it should be.

If we are going to encourage our poultry industry and any other related industry, we need to have some thing in our budget on the supply of the gas that we need in the amounts that we need, so that we can promote the usage of hand gas since it is a much cheaper fuel than electricity.

We might be able to do that. I am aware that at a some period earlier this year, when there was completely no gas in the country, many farmers, who were using gas for their chicken runs, lost a lot of chickens because suddenly, their was no gas in the country and we had not imported any.

I am aware that we have only imported gas twice since September last year and those two supplies or importations have not been adequate. Whereas in the days of ZAMOX, forgive me for mourning ZAMOX, we were able to meet our gas requirements because we used to determine them here in the country. Since we are not able to determine our own demand and supply, we are dependent on imported gas from South Africa and it is extremely expensive to import. I think putting a budget line for looking into our gas would be much better and a much more sustainable intervention in providing energy to this country.

Madam Chairperson, still on that hand gas, I am aware that many lodges in this country and many food outlets are dependent on the usage of gas and we need to be able to supply whatever support we can to make sure that our tourism industry becomes competitive. If we continue to relay on electricity for our gases, for our cooking or managing the lodges, it is no wonder that sometimes people think that Zambia is an expensive destination. Most of our destinations can be serviced by ordinary hand gas. I would appeal to the hon. Minister, when he comes to present supplementary estimates to this budget which has three critical areas missing, to consider putting a line on hand gas so that the majority of Zambians can benefit especially since it affects health, cooking and our everyday life.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, let me start by thanking the hon. Members who have made contributions to the debate on my Ministry for the positive sentiments that they have expressed.

 I take note of some of the issues of concern that they have raised which my Ministry should attend to. In responding to the various issues that they have raised on my Ministry, I wish to put them under four block headings and these are:

(i) what the Ministry of Finance and National Planning refers to as House-keeping; 
(ii) Monitoring and Evaluation;
(iii) the Development Equation; and then lastly
(iv) Opportunities.

Now, in terms of House-keeping, Madam Chairperson, Hon. Imbwae was saying, a number of lines that appeared last year have not appeared this year. Examples were given for APG, J fuel, bio-gas etc, etc. What we have done this year is group the various activities in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development under appropriate headings and she will see that on the next page these have been put and grouped under appropriate headings. For example, under energy efficiency and conservation, she will find the line for APG which was on the previous page indicated nil. Every line that she spoke about has been put under an appropriate heading. Where the issues she raised are concerned, there is no need to worry because it is just that we have reclassified them and are just merely doing housekeeping.

Monitoring and Evaluation was raised and that the money used in monitoring and evaluation, under my Ministry, should be scaled down or indeed transferred to various programmes and projects. Madam Chair, may I borrow the word ‘nomenclature’ from the professor.


Mr Mutati: There is only one professor in the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Because the Yellow Book has this nomenclature called Monitoring and Evaluation, it would seem to imply that it is understating the practical activities. For example, under water, in Monitoring and Supply, this would entail the assessment and monitoring of both surface and ground water for development. This involves river-flow management, water quality taste, conducting geo-physical surveys, mapping the extent of flood zones and site investigations. That is under Monitoring and Evaluation, which is a critical activity that you must do. We have various gagging stations along most of our rivers which must be monitored in order to have the necessary data for you to plan. Therefore, these are necessary activities that must be housed in this Budget in order for us to perform.

In the area of energy, Madam Chairperson, last year, the Government spent almost US$ 10 million on re-capitalisation of Indeni. You will see a line in the Budget under Monitoring and Evaluation. Officers were sent on a continuous basis to audit and make sure that the money was correctly spent and the items installed and that is what monitoring and evaluation is. You do not want to be told a machine was installed when it was not.

Under Monitoring and Supply, the activities involve determining whether you need to supply power particularly to rural areas via solar, mini-grid or off-grid. For that activity, officers must go and do that work and that is why we have provided money in this Budget to undertake those critical activities. Perhaps next year, we shall change the nomenclature to reflect the precise activity. I just hope that that has been fully explained.

A third issue, Madam Chairperson, is this whole issue of the development equation. I think often we have heard about a particular province saying, we are not developed, we have not had the benefit of this and that. We have produced power in this province. We have not received the equivalent in development.

Madam Chairperson, at the national level, the moment you begin to develop on the basis of a region, you are going to have a lot of difficulties because there is no single region in Zambia that produces all its needs. It has to depend on other regions.  
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, for example, the power that was transferred from Southern Province to the mining sector was used for the purpose of taking tarred roads to all the provincial centres in Zambia. That is a development equation. The benefit of the oil discovery in the North-Western Province and perhaps in the Western Province must be extended. The moment our colleagues in the North-Western Province will say this oil must remain in the North-Western Province, then the development equation will go wrong. I am saying so because the North-Western Province will also require electrical power in order to develop that oil.

Mr Kakoma: We shall pay!

Mr Mutati: Therefore, we must distribute these issues appropriately. When we had droughts in the Southern Province, other provinces provided food which was sent to the Southern Province because the development equation does not know the region.


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, just to emphasise, in the 2007 Budget, for example, under Loans and Investments in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, PRP III, of the total provision that we have in the Budget of K98 billion for roads, K93 billion is for the rehabilitation of a road in the Southern Province. Under PRP II, of the K191 billion that has been allocated there, K50 billion of that amount is associated with the rehabilitation of roads in the Southern Province. The way we are looking at it is that even when we rehabilitate the Zimba/Livingstone Road, it is not only for the benefit of the people of the Southern Province, but to enable tourists travel from Mporokoso to Livingstone to enjoy tourism there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Therefore, that road belongs to Zambia and not to the Southern Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, that is why we have a different concept of the development equation. The location of the road is irrelevant. What is relevant is the productive capacity of the area to which you are taking that productive asset. We do not have the Southern Province or Northern Province roads. We only have Zambian roads.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, under the theme, ‘Opportunities’, it was said that we lost the opportunity to create particularly, the hydro-development capacity. Indeed, it is correct we lost opportunity for a number of reasons. The first reason we lost the opportunity is that we were not charging tariffs to cover the costs. The other one is that we compelled the utility to undertake non-commercial activities. Another reason is that the Government was not settling their ZESCO bills. Therefore, ZESCO did not create the capacity to undertake activities. We lost the opportunity because we did not put sufficient money in the infrastructure, generation, transmission assets of ZESCO and therefore, there was no expansion.

Madam Chairperson, we accept we lost the opportunity, but can we sit back, look at it now and create a new opportunity? We are now creating new opportunities in the area of the looming power shortage. We have already said many times in this House that we have got two approaches. The first one has to deal with the infrastructure of ZESCO under the Power Rehabilitation Programme. We have spent US$300 million for rehabilitating the generation, transmission and distribution assets. The result of this process is that the total capacity of 1,790 megawatts will go up to over 2,100 megawatts.

Madam Chairperson, the result of this is that we shall have capacity to supply power to Zambia for at least the next three years and therefore, propel the economy. The result of this is to supply power to the mining companies, agriculture and tourism and therefore, not slow down the economic growth.

Beyond power rehabilitation, we are creating new infrastructure. An issue was raised why ZESCO alone? We have said that in developing particularly, hydro capacity, there will be two issues. There will be the ZESCO assets and the neutral assets. That is why at Itezhi-tezhi, where ZESCO has already got a dam, ZESCO will develop extra capacity in partnership with TATA. At Kariba North Bank where ZESCO has already got infrastructure, it will develop that asset together with Syno-hydro.

Madam Chairperson, on the other assets such as the Kafue Gorge, Kalungwishi and Kabompo, these will be independent of ZESCO and will be developed by the private sector. Indeed, we have advertised and received bids from ordinary Zambians to develop Kalungwishi and Kabompo and they are rushing for this opportunity. Therefore, we have provided opportunity for Zambians to participate in hydro-development. We have also provided opportunity for Zambians to participate in the creation of the transmission line from the Copperbelt into the Congo DR. These are opportunities. Therefore, we are not looking out for opportunities only for ZESCO, but we are extending them also to the private sector.

Madam Chairperson, an issue was raised that there are opportunities in the Inga and the Western Corridor. Our strategic direction in the sector is that we have to take advantage of the existing assets and sights in Zambia before we look externally to develop Inga or to participate in the transmission line from the Congo DR to South Africa. If we did that we would be transferring opportunities from Zambia into another region. We should first deal with the local opportunity. That is why the hon. Member for Bweengwa was saying that we should consider domestic first before we go to regional and international because jobs must first be created here. You must first create empowerment and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) here before you take it to regional and international level. We do not know more about water under the bridge. We are converting that lost time into new opportunities and we are looking forward.

Madam Chairperson, an issue was raised that we are landlocked and what are we doing about taking advantage of our situation? At the moment, Zambia is the only country in Southern Africa that is taking advantage in the power sector of its position as a landlocked country. The things we are doing are as follows: 

The first one is that I have already referred a private sector constructing a transmission line from the Copperbelt to the Congo DR so that we will able to bring in 500 megawatts into Zambia, in case we need to use it. The second one is that we have already finished the construction of the 220KV from the Victoria Falls to Namibia and by that, we are expanding opportunities. Tomorrow, we will be meeting in Livingstone with the hon. Ministers from Tanzania and Kenya to finalise the interconnector between Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.

Madam Chairperson, in totality, what we are saying is that we are taking our being landlocked as an opportunity for us to transmit power to eight countries that surround Zambia. Therefore, for us, the location is an opportunity and not a constraint because we are using it to make money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer Minister!

Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, in the petroleum sector, the issue of licences and that we are making it difficult for Zambians to participate when we should have filling stations in every part of Zambia, as a ministry, all those things are accepted. Therefore, we must do it.

Madam Chairperson, we have created a liberal environment where we, Zambians, must be able to take advantage of these things which are in there. The Government will not hold your hand and take you to the bank and say, ‘Here is a bank, get money and go and make a filling station’. It is up to you to go to the bank, create a proposal and if you see that the proposal is viable, construct a filling station. It is not the role of the Government to construct filling stations in Mporokoso, Luwingu or other places. This role is left to Zambians to take advantage of. Therefore, hon. Members of Parliament, there, you have an opportunity to participate in the economy.

Madam Chairperson, I know the conditions for obtaining a licence of a minimum requirement of K500 million is a bit high. If you are going to run a filling station as a Zambian and in order for you to lift one tanker from Indeni to your filling station, you need to pay at least k150 million. You also need about four tankers per month, which is K600 million. Therefore, you need to have financial capacity to back a K600 million operation.

Madam Chairperson, if somebody comes to me and says he has got K10 million could I give him a licence to run a filling station. I am not helping that person, but instead, I am actually killing him because from day one, he is not going to be able to manage the process.

Therefore, you manage what you can manage. If you cannot manage that small thing, join with others like my hon. Deputy Minister said to create a big consortium in order for you to do a bigger job. We, at Energy and Water Development, are saying that Zambians must come together. In fact, we are encouraging them to come together so that they can take advantage of these various opportunities.

Madam Chairperson, let me announce here that on the Lumwana Mine, we have said we should let Zambians and not ZESCO distribute power to the compound that is going to have about 1,500 houses. Therefore, a group of Zambians is coming together to be distributors of power. We therefore, believe that is an opportunity. Otherwise, ZESCO would have rushed on it. By so doing, we are creating opportunities.

Madam Chairperson, talking about ZESCO’s commercialisation, privatisation and that we should not do this and that nomenclature, I think, must be understood at a simple basis. When we said we were commercilising ZESCO, as a Government, we made it clear that we were not privatising it. This is point number one.

Madam Chairperson, the commercialisation process defines the specific benchmarks that must be made on the operations of ZESCO. It basically said that ZESCO, which is owed so much money in fact, its debtor days is in excess of 250. You cannot run a business like that. Could you bring the debtor days to 90?

 Secondly, we have told ZESCO to collect money its money which the Government owes it. Today, the Government is one of the most current payers of ZESCO because we want it to be commercial.

Madam Chairperson, we asked ZESCO to reduce its waste by metering customers. ZESCO is now trying to meet as many customers as possible. That is commercialisation. I therefore, do not see where that type of process hurts. This is being done by 100 per cent by Zambian employees in ZESCO. No White man has walked anywhere near them. Therefore, the capabilities of Zambians are quite immense.

Madam Chairperson, yes, we may have difficulties and may not be running ZESCO to the full satisfaction of all the stakeholders, but we are doing something about that. We also know the issue which was raised on tariffs that the mining tariffs at 2.1 being paid to ZESCO is below cost. We know that.  Just like the hon. Member for Namwala said, we must do things correctly. If we find contracts that are already negotiated, for whatever reasons, in changing the parameters, you should first do your homework.

Madam Chairperson, the first thing that we did is engage experts to undertake what we are calling cost of service study to determine how much it costs to supply power to any customer whether it is domestic, industrial, commercial or the mining sector. Having done that expert job, it has told us that we are not recovering the cost of supply to the mining sector. Therefore, the parameters have been defined.

Madam Chairperson, we also know that engaging with these colleagues is going to be a tough job. Therefore, let us get the level of expertise that will match with whatever they will bring. If they will bring a lawyer from London, I will also bring a lawyer from London assisted by Zambians who will learn how to argue. Therefore, what I can say is that we are looking at the whole tariff structure because to expand hydro-generation transmission, you require to have a tariff that supports expansion. The cost of the service study has reviewed that, in most of the categories of tariffs in Zambia, we are supplying below cost.

Madam Chairperson, if we continue to supply below cost, we shall lose opportunities. Ten years later, we shall come back and ask why did we not put this in the Kafue Lower? The reason will be simply that there is no tariff to support the development of the Kafue Lower. Therefore, if you want to develop the Kafue lower, Kariba North Bank, Itezhi-tezhi and you want to do the transmission line, you have to look at the cost of the supply as a fundamental issue. Therefore, as a Government and as politicians, we are not going to interfere in the tariff structure. The only thing that we are going to interfere in is ensure that we do not have power shortage. Our role will be to ensure that the company does all the things that are necessary and ensure that there is no power shortage.

Madam Chairperson, an issue was raised over the restructuring of K100 million on Indeni and that what it is for?

We said that we were going to recapitalise Indeni. Last year, we spent US $20 million. In this year’s Budget, there is K42 billion for the same purpose. We also said that we were going to offload 10 per cent shares from Indeni to the Zambian public. Therefore, the restructuring process of K234 million is to support the selling of these shares to Zambians. Therefore, we are creating opportunities.

Madam Chairperson, the K234 million is going to create opportunities for Zambians to be shareholders in Indeni. Therefore, do not look at it as an amount, but as an opportunity for you to participate in Indeni.


Mr Mutati: I am a Zambian, too.

Madam Chairperson, on solar distinction, I can only say that opportunity has no distinction. The only distinction it has is capacity.  That is all.

Hon. Opposition Member: Wind up now.

Mr Mutati: Thank you.

Therefore, there is no solar allocation in the Budget, but there is K600 million. However, maybe my friend again because of the use of nomenclature and positioning did not see it.

In conclusion, I just wish to thank those who have supported this Vote and those who have recognised that the theme of the Budget has been fairly represented in the Energy and Water sector because we have created opportunities.

Madam Chairperson, our role is to see to it that all human life has equal wealth and that development is undertaken on the basis of the fact that all human life has equal wealth and not on the basis of a region.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

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

Vote 13/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 13/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 13/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 13/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 27/01 – (Public Service Management Division − K399,597,117,905).

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Madam Chairperson, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) in the Office of the President is mandated to manage human resources in the Public Service efficiently and effectively in order to improve service delivery for national development. Its portfolio functions, as outlined in Government Gazette Notice No. 547 of 2004 are: - Public Service Management and Development, strategic and performance management services.

In striving to achieve its portfolio functions, the PSMD is mandated to undertake the following:

Recruitment and placement of human resources, human resources development, human resources information and planning, formulation and interpretation of terms and conditions of service and Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC), industrial and labour relations.

Madam Chairperson, the Division, through its six departments, namely; Administration, Technical Services, Recruitment and Placement, Human resources Development, Human Resources Information and Planning, and PMEC Support Services, has during the past year been implementing programmes aimed at recruiting and retaining qualified human resources in the Public Service in order to maintain high standards and improve performance.

The Division also continued to facilitate the Public Service Commission (PSC)’s core function of appointing, promoting, transferring and separating officers from the Civil Service as well as processing of disciplinary cases. In addition, it continued to provide advisory and functional guidance to line ministries/institutions and provinces in their execution of human resources functions.

Madam Chairperson, in the course of the year the Division also undertook a training survey which identified, among other things, training gaps in the Public Service. In order to address these training gaps, this year, the Division will carry out human resources capacity building programmes for senior Public Service employees and human resources practitioners at service delivery points to bridge performance gaps and improve service delivery in the Pubic Service.

Furthermore, the Division produced advertisements for filling of vacancies in six ministries namely: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and Ministry of Youth and Child Development and processed appointments for new entrants in the Public Service.

In addition, Madam Chairperson, the Division will spearhead the development of the pay policy for the Public Service and co-ordinate industrial relations issues including collective bargaining with the Public Service unions. It will also review the terms and conditions of service for the Public Service and spearhead the implementation of the Voluntary Medical Scheme for the Public Service.

With regard to the implementation of the Payroll Management and Establishment Control System, the Division will endeavour to enforce compliance with the system and also build capacity in the Public Service for effective utilisation of the system.

Furthermore, the Division has set a number of priority programmes aimed at enhancing service delivery. Notably, Madam Chairperson, the Division will conduct Annual Performance Appraisal System (APAS) evaluation surveys of selected restructured ministries in order to evaluate the impact of the Performance Management Package (PMP) on individual  performance in the Public Service. The Division will also strengthen human resource forecasting to enable the Government address the human resource needs for the various sectors.

Madam Chairperson, in its continued effort to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Public Service, the Division will spearhead the development and implementation of the Public Service HIV/AIDS Prevention and Mitigation Strategy. The strategy will include key intervention measures among others, information packages, gender specific interventions and workplace programmes.

In conclusion, I wish to appeal to hon. Members of the House to favourably support the Division’s 2007 Budget Estimates as it will contribute immensely to the achievement of these programmes for the benefit of the Zambian people.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity.

In supporting the Vote on Public Service Management Division (PSMD), in the first instance, I would like to pay tribute to Permanent Secretary Kashoka who was at that department together with the senior officers there for doing a very good job.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: They have carried the image of that department so well and I only hope that they will continue to do a good job.

As I listened to what the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House said about the functions of the PSMD, I discovered that it has immense responsibility. Since it has immense responsibility, it therefore, in my view, acts as a pivotal stage of administration for the Government. Due to the fact that it is carrying this tag of pivotal responsibility, I feel that this department must be given more of the resources that it requires. As I was going through the Budget, I discovered that it is also the responsibility of the Public Service Pensions Fund. I am glad to see that the PSPF has been given K266 billion, which, I hope, will be able to help the Fund itself off set the big debt that it has with the pensioners.
Retirements are a source of worry in this country. Firstly, people do not seem to know when they are retiring. Those who know, because they are not ready, want to cling to the offices where they have been working. This is making it difficult for people who are supposed to take over from them. It is important for this Division to advise the officers to prepare and be ready when their retirement time is due. I do know that there has been a deliberate move to ask people to go on leave pending retirement. Unfortunately, some of the officers do not seem to want to take advantage of this very noble and progressive step. If they go on leave pending retirement, they should be able to get ready.

Some people think that when they go on leave and leave their offices, the senior positions they are holding will be taken away from them. I think that this should be purged from their minds. When the time has come for you to retire accept that the time has come. Just go on leave and prepare for that retirement. This is very important. Our Public Service officers must understand that there is a time to begin and a time to end. Therefore, that should just be taken as such.

I would like to also talk about the retirement benefit system. I am a retiree.

Hon. Opposition Member: You are not.

Mr Mabenga:  I am a retiree.

Hon. Opposition Member: A villager.

Mr.Mabenga: Yes I am a villager. You are correct. I find it somehow very unfair to see the number of people who come to get their retirement benefits who are told to come back after two months or three months or six months. In the meantime, they spend a lot of money moving up and down. This is the reason some of our people are destitute. The Pensions Fund has been given K266 billion. In my view, this amount of money should help them to off load the big number of pensioners who should be paid their dues. This way, we are going to get less people lining up for their monies at that office. I would also like to also talk about the Future Search.

My understanding of the Future Search is that it is supposed to offer a retirement preparatory service to people who are about to retire. Maybe officers still serving should take advantage of the Future Search so that they are able to understand what they are going to do when they retire from the Public Service.

 I notice that there is K1.9 billion that has been given to this scheme, which, if well utilised, this scheme will be able to prepare our Public Service Workers for the future. In this view, when they have retired, they do not begin to run up and down not knowing where to go to, but have a clear direction of where they are going and what they are going to do. People should take advantage of this. It is important at the same time for the Public Service Management Division to take deliberate steps to educate our Public Service workers so that they understand what the Future Search is all about.

During the time that we were retiring, we did not have these services at our disposal. I believe that people today must count themselves very lucky. They have schemes that will help them to prepare for their future, so that destitution is reduced or is non existent in this country. I do notice too that the PSMD is introducing the Employment Policy Review Programme. If I am not mistaken, I think that it has been given about K10 billion. Although it is a new scheme, I hope it will be able to develop an employment policy, which should be for the betterment of the people who are starting work today.

Indeed, there are quite a number of lapses in our Employment Policy today, therefore, this review is very timely. I hope that the PSMD will take advantage of this and use it to the benefit of our Zambian Public Service workers and enable them to work for the betterment of their country.

I would like to believe that recruitment is one area that the PSMD is involved in. I think this needs to be married together with what happens with, for example, Ministries of Local Government and Housing and different ministries in the country. Much as we know that the PSMD is going to recruit workers on behalf of these ministries, it is also important that this is made understood that it serves also the interests of the various organs of the Government. This should be able to help us bring out a system that will level the playing field for recruitment in this country.

Finally, I would like to reiterate the paying of tribute to Permanent Secretary, Mr Kashoka, because I know that he is a hard worker and is doing very well there. In other words, let not politicians begin pouncing on these civil servants, like what happened, if have to remind some people. They should not do it again. You do not go to a Public Service office and tell them what to do before you are put into any office at all. That is not good.

Hon. Government Member: Tell them.  

Mr Mabenga: That is not good, that must be stopped. You must give due respect for the responsibility that they have been given because they are doing that on behalf of the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mukubwa):  Madam Chairperson,

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zulu:  I would like to thank you for giving me this rare opportunity to make my maiden speech in this August House. It was not my intention to be the last to give my maiden speech, but as you are aware, I was also the last be sworn in by the Speaker.


Mr Zulu: Madam Chairperson, like other hon. Members said in their maiden speeches, I would also like to congratulate you, the hon. Mr Speaker, the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House on your election and re-elections. I am confident that your team will render excellent and valuable guidance to this vibrant august House.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PF Members of Bwana Mkubwa Constituency for electing me as their area Member of Parliament. In the same vein, I would like to pay my special and personal tribute to my campaign team which worked tirelessly during the campaigns. This team consisted of Mr Matafyali, Mr Chitambala, Miss Kafula, Miss Zimba, Mr Kampamba and Mr Chipili.

Madam Chairperson, I would also like to thank the Bwana Mkubwa Constituency Executive for their hard work during the campaigns. Madam Chairperson, Bwana Mkubwa Constituency Executive Members worked tirelessly as I was a new person in the constituency. Initially, I was supposed to stand in Kabushi Constituency where I campaigned for two years, but because MMD had field in a very strong candidate in Bwana Mkubwa Constituency by the name of Paul Katema, the PF needed a candidate of a higher calibre.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zulu: Madam Chairperson, therefore, I would like to thank Mr Kabuta who is the constituency chairman for a job well done. I would like to pay my special tribute to my own President, Mr Michael Sata. He is very active and more active than he was during the election campaigns whilst other party presidents are either sleeping or have lost direction.

Hon. Member: It is Sata who has lost direction.


Mr Zulu: Madam Chairperson, Mr Sata, my president, has just returned from a tour and after all, he will be the President of this country in 2011.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zulu: Madam Chairperson, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of my President, Mr Michael Sata, to convey warm, tender and friendly greetings to the hon. Members here in this House and the people of Zambia from the President and the people of Taiwan.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale: Ni ka province ka China ako, iwe!

Mr Zulu: Madam Chairperson, I was not going to be successful in my campaign and I would be failing in my responsibilities, if I did not thank my dear wife, Twiggy, who worked tirelessly for me. I would also like to thank my two daughters Dr Emelda Zulu and Dr Patricia Zulu who funded my campaign. Madam Chairperson, without their financial support, definitely, I was not going to be successful.

Madam Chairperson, Bwana Mkubwa Constituency is one of the biggest constituencies on the Copperbelt and at one time, it housed big companies such as the Ndola Copper Refinery, Dunlop, Contract Haulage, Lever Brothers, UBZ, Colgate and Palmolive, just to mention a few.

Mr V. Mwale: They were killed by Chiluba and Sata.

Mr Zulu: Madam Chairperson, now it is a sad moment for me because all the companies that I have mentioned above have disappeared because of bad policies and mismanagement by the MMD Government.

Mr V. Mwale: Uzifikapo, by Chiluba and Sata.

Mr Zulu: Madam Chairperson, most of the companies that closed either moved to Zimbabwe or Tanzania.

Madam Chairperson, I now would like to talk about health facilities. Madam Chairperson, those men and women you see on your right have failed to provide good health care service to the people of Zambia. There is a shortage of nurses and doctors. Most of the statements we hear in this House from the hon. Minister of Health are misleading. There are very few essential drugs available in our hospitals. I urge other hon. Members to do what I did three weeks ago. When these Ministers are visiting the hospitals, the staff are aware, but it is important that we, as hon. Members, visit any hospital to see for ourselves what is happening there.

Madam Chairperson, three weeks ago, I visited Ndola Central Hospital, and Dr Puma will agree with me that there is in the casualty ward what we call a casualty emergency tray. In this tray, there was no canular, and yet this is a very important item which we use for giving intravenous fluids to emergency cases. We have lost a lot of lives which we were supposed to have saved.

Madam Chairperson, I will give you another example and this is in Ndola Central at Chipulukusu Clinic. This clinic is a maternity delivery centre, and yet there is no oxygen. If a baby has minor breathing complications, they require oxygen. Now you have a delivery centre which has no oxygen, how can these babies survive? Sometimes at the same clinic, I am familiar with it because my wife works there, a nurse works for twenty-four hours. At one time, my wife worked for twenty-four hours and she was fed up and locked the clinic and carried the keys home. There is a critical shortage of nurses and therefore, the hon. Minister should arrest the situation.

My constituency requires health centres because there is only one health centre in the whole constituency. The others are just health posts. The type of health centres we require should be designed to conform to the requirements of the people of that particular area. For example, Kantolomba is 25 kilometres away from Ndola Central Hospital. When a person dies in Kantolomba, the body is taken to Ndola Central Hospital, which is 25 kilometres away, for mortuary service, so to say. When it is time to burry the body, it is taken back to Kantolomba which is 25Km away. Therefore, the best type of health centres are those which can have, at least, mortuary facilities so that when somebody dies in Kantolomba which is 500 metres away from the burial site, he/she can be buried there and reduce on the costs.

Madam Chairperson, as I said earlier on, there is a very critical shortage of doctors and nurses. The few who are there are over worked and their salaries are very low. They are not paid on time. Sometimes, it takes even three years for them to be paid their leave dues. That is why my two daughters, who are doctors, have refused to come here.

Madam Chairperson, definitely, with all these problems of the health sector, you will still find that senior managers in these particular hospitals and health centres go for seminars year in and year out. The same people attend the same seminars and use the same materials, denying the young people opportunities to learn.

Mr Kambwili: Summarise bamudala, inshita yapwa.

Mr Zulu: Madam Chairperson, let me talk about one of the most important things which is HIV/AIDS. This one is a very important issue, as you heard, in Tanzania, because of the problems of drugs, there is now a Ministry of Drugs. The Ministry of Health has failed completely. Therefore, we need, at least, one ministry, such as the Ministry of HIV/AIDS to tackle and give political will to the problem of AIDS.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson for giving me an opportunity to debate this Vote. I would like to spend my debate time on the plight of the retired workers in the Public Service such as the teachers, the police, civil servants and the rest.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: In my maiden speech, which I delivered in October last year, 2006, this is what I said. My emphasis in my speech was as follows:

‘Mr Speaker, wherever I went during the campaigns, I met with a very sad picture. A picture of old men and women who had given many long years of dedicated service and royalty to this nation. It was a picture of senior citizens who had been used, discarded and forgotten. These are old people who have seen their best days. People who can no longer afford to send their children to school or indeed, afford to have even one decent meal per day ...’

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: ‘… because they are owed their own benefits by the powers that be. People who retired many years ago are still owed their benefits. Honestly, how inhuman can we be? ‘

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Kapeya: ‘You only have to see the look of anguish and despondence on the faces of our retirees to realise that they are being treated most unfairly. Indeed, Mr Speaker, we have a duty, a responsibility and an obligation to ensure that our senior citizens and retirees are treated with the respect they deserve by expediting the payment of their money on time.’

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

Mr Kapeya: ‘It is their money and not someone’s money. There is no excuse for failure, and indeed, failure is not even an option.’

Madam Chairperson, during the term of their service, the retirees, there is an amount of money which is deducted from their monthly earnings. These are their contributions and this money is sent to the Central Treasury where it is kept for them. There is an understanding between the Government and its workers. It is in form of a contract, but at the end of their service or when they have attained the age of fifty-five, they will be paid their money. It is like the situation with the senior officers in the Government who work on contracts. Take, for example, permanent secretaries, who work on a three-year contract and are paid their money immediately upon the expiry of their contracts.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Kapeya: What is wrong with the public workers? Why is there failure in giving them their money which was deducted from their monthly earnings?

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Kapeya: Madam Chairperson, failure to pay public workers their money when they have attained the age of fifty-five, is like …

Hon. Opposition Members: Criminals.

Mr Kapeya: … a senior officer in the Government borrowing money from an office orderly. This is exactly what has happened in Zambia. The Government has borrowed money from poor people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Kapeya: What do you think of such a situation? It is very shameful, indeed.

In 2005, Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning made a promise and the promise was very clear and everyone in this country, especially the retirees were so happy with the promises that were made. I quote the budget speech by the Minister of Finance and National Planning in 2005. This is what he said

‘Mr Speaker, with regard to funding of the Public Service Pension Fund, I have made a grant provision of K159 billion. Of this amount, K142 billion will clear the backlog of lump sum pension payments for the deceased, early retirements on medical grounds and those retired in national interest cases.’

The payment was due in 2005 and this is what he declared:

‘In addition, I have provided K74.6 billion for the Employers Pension Contributions which together with the employees’ contributions will be remitted timely. Further, efforts to liquidate past pensions contributions arrears are being pursued. All these measures are aimed at alleviating the suffering of our senior citizens who devoted much of their working lives to developing Zambia.’

In 2006, K254 billion was cleared by the Pensions Board in the third week of December, and the payment of the outstanding beneficiaries are still going on. This year, 2007, the allocation of K266 billion is far too little to meet the projected number of retirees who will stand at 1,600 towards the end of this year. The money required to clear these 1,600 retirees stands at K400 billion.

Madam Chairperson, Zambia has been crowned as a Christian nation and indeed, the Government must always aim at doing good for every Zambian, just as Jesus did good to everybody, because it is a Christian nation.

The Government must ensure …

Mr Mbulakulima: On a point of order, Madam.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbulakulima: Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Member, who is debating eloquently and is also my name sake, in order to fail to declare interest in this subject before debating it? I seek your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The point of order is urging the hon. Member debating to declare interest in the debate on the Public Service Management Division Vote. The ruling from the Chair is that the hon. Member is speaking on behalf of the general public.

May the hon. Member continue, please.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Kapeya: The Government must ensure that it clears all outstanding issues related to retirees …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: … such as the K416 billion that the Government owes the Pensions Fund for of non-remittance of employers pensions contributions. These are the updated arrears.

Madam Chairperson, what the country needs today is to bring back those good old days, when a worker is paid his or her dues immediately upon retirement. This is what the country is looking for, and it is easy to achieve that if we were serious in this country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: In conclusion, Madam, …

Hon. PF Members: Continue! Continue!

Mr Kapeya: … through you, may I request all permanent secretaries, being the most senior civil servants in the Government, to ensure that bad behaviour by young Government workers towards retirees in various offices of the Government is brought to an end.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Madam Chairperson, retirees are treated as though they are beggars in this country. They are treated as though they are strangers or outsiders in this country.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr Kapeya: In Government offices, retirees are treated as if they are sinners. It is like when you retire in Zambia, you have qualified as the best sinner.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Mr Kapeya: These people must be accorded the highest respect they deserve. They are senior citizens who contributed much to what Zambia is today, like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said in his speech in 2005. We must respect retirees. Let us pay them their dues and bring back those good old days when anybody who qualified to go on retirement was paid on his/her last day in the office.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me a chance to debate the Vote. I have three issues to debate in support of the Vote on the Floor of this House this evening. These have to do with the programme of right sizing in the key ministries.

Madam, the objective of the Government to right size the ministry is a good one in that it is indebted to ensure that we keep the people who can perform. It also helps us, in the long run, to come up with salaries that are adequate because you do no have so many people working. You have few people who are efficient and, therefore, you can also pay them well. However, I think there is an issue that arises out of this system in that it has taken long, in some instances, even after some key ministries have been restructured, to fill up some of these positions. It would help us, indeed, as a Government, if we could speed up the process of filling up some of these positions.

Madam Chairperson, the other point that I would like to talk about is the new PMEC system. The civil servants at the various levels of the Government will do this Government a favour, if indeed, they fed the computers correct information about the number of workers at the various levels of the Government. Then we can do away with ghost workers. Many a times, the Government is having difficulties in ensuring that real people receive salaries because in different sectors of the Government there are ghost workers.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! If the Chair is listening carefully to the debate, the Government is advising itself in this House. Can you debate like Government, hon. Minister? Those are issues to which you ought to bring solutions here and not problems.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, I am saying that the Government has come up with a good policy to right size our public institutions. In implementing this policy, the Government does not work on its own. We need to talk to the public to assist the Government to ensure that it achieves its objectives. This is the objective of right sizing, and of ensuring that we no longer have ghost workers because, as a Government, even if we indicate that we have a system and the people at the grassroots do not feed the computers correctly, or put enter people’s names they know are no longer there, it will not help the Government. I think it is important that even, as a Government, we address these issues so that the public can appreciate what their Government is doing for them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.

Madam Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, you have always reminded hon. Members not to qualify the ruling of the Chair. Is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing in order to qualify the ruling of the Chair? I need your serious ruling, Madam Chairperson.

Madam Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member for Roan is actually ruling on the Chair. The Chair is listening carefully and knows exactly what kind of guidance to give. The hon. Minister may continue to debate.

Will she continue, please.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for that ruling. As I was saying, Madam Chairperson, the Government has come up with a policy to ensure that the various levels of the Government, starting from the lowest to the highest levels, can perform efficiently. In this vein, they have come up with a PMEC system with the hope that the PMEC system can ensure that the people who are working are the only people getting salaries.

You are aware, Madam Chairperson, that many at times the Government has sent resources to the various levels of the Government and most of this money has ended up going to wrong persons on account that the information the Government will have, in some cases, is that there are a 1,000 workers when some of them are not there.

Now, I notice that in this year’s Budget, there is enough provision to actually update the list especially that PMEC was developed two years ago. This means that the Cabinet Office will be able to flush out any more ghost workers who have continued to appear on the PMEC system. To this effect, I would like to commend the Government for allocating enough resources in this year’s Budget to ensure that ghost workers with their ugly heads do not get money which is not theirs.

The other point, Madam Chairperson, is the Decentralisation Policy. I note that there are some resources that have been put forth in this Budget to rationalise the organisational structures at the district level. As people are aware, we are implementing the Decentralisation Policy. One of the strategies in implementing the plan is to come up with organisational structures that take into account the functions that shall be devolved to the local level. I also note from the Budget that resources have been allocated thereto. That is good for us because while some resources at the Decentralisation Policy Implementation Secretariat might not have been seen to be sufficient, the allocation will go towards supporting and implementing Decentralisation Policy. This means that the Government is very serious about implementing the Decentralisation Policy. I am happy that the provisions that have been made in this year’s Budget are enough resources for the public sector to move to the districts and assist us in coming up with what we are calling …, what is the word?

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell us.

Mrs Masebo: I was going to say that the organisational structures which the councils are going to use will be able to be developed this year, 2007, by Cabinet Office. This is good. I am very satisfied, as Minister responsible for the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy that we will need to be supported for the Government to come up with structures at the district level that will take into account the functions that shall be devolved from other sector ministries to the local authorities.

In the same vein, I also would like to say that the establishment of these proto type organisational structures will come with descriptions of their functions. This has been provided for in the Yellow Book. Cabinet Office will, this year, be able to describe the various functions which each of these offices which shall be established at the district level in the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy will be taken on board. Therefore, this serves as a confirmation that this Government is serious about the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy according to the vision of the policy in that we shall have a structure at the district level which shall take into account, not just the local authorities, but the sector departments of other sector ministries.

Dr Scott: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.

Madam Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Scott: Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, who is a good friend of mine and who is talking so brilliantly is in order to talk about the serious Decentralisation Programme when she is knocking down people’s houses without even consulting the local council?


Madam Deputy Chairperson: If there is any consideration, the hon. Minister may consider that as she debates.

Will she continue, please.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. The problem is that there is lack of understanding of what decentralisation is.

Dr Scott: Ah!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that I am very happy as Minister responsible for decentralisation that indeed there is political will because you can see that money is going in the different sectors of the Government towards implementing the Decentralisation Policy. I am sending a signal to my colleagues that they should not be saying that there is insufficient allocated to the Decentralisation Policy Implementation Secretariat because decentralisation is not about the Ministry of Local Government and Housing alone, but about all the sectors. Therefore, in every sector, there will be something that basically is towards fulfilling the implementation of the policy. In this case, in as far as Cabinet Office is concerned, there is money in this vote to come up with descriptions of the organisation at the local level and functions in terms of job descriptions. To that extent, I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for ensuring that the dream of us implementing most of the various activities that have been articulated in the Decentralisation Implementation Plan (DIP) is being taken care of.

Only yesterday or the other day, Madam Chairperson, I was talking about the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning implementing the fiscal decentralisation by coming up with the Inter-governmental Fiscal Architecture (IFA). This is where, under Ministry of Finance and National Planning, they have, to some extent, given us resources which should go to the councils. My hope and prayer is that when we come next year, those figures will be bigger than what than they are in this year’s Budget. However, what is important is that a start is being made and it shows seriousness and consistency of a Government that is poised to be in power for the next three decades after 2011.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate.

Madam Chairperson, I am a bearer of a message from the Zambian workers to the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the incoming government in 2011 of the UPND.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, the public sector of this country has been failed by the MMD Government. The MMD Government is one of the worst employers in this country. They do not respect the laws that govern collective bargaining. It is not unusual …

Madam Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was indicating to the House that the MMD Government is one of the worst employers in this country. I am saying so because the MMD Government, through the Public Service Management Division, has been entering into agreements with the public Service workers. In most instances, these agreements that have been signed between the unions and the Government have not been honoured.

I have in mind the issue of housing allowances. The Government has agreed with the Public Service workers that those who are not housed will be paid housing allowances, but alas, the Government, for a number of years has been failing to honour their obligations. They have been failing to pay the housing allowances to the poor employees. How do you expect the poorly paid civil servants to pay for accommodation if the Government does not honour their entitlement? How do you expect to achieve the Millennium Development Goals if the implementers of your policies are highly frustrated? How do you expect to honour the Five-year Development Plan that you are bragging about if the workers are frustrated?

Surely, it is important and incumbent upon this Government to honour its obligations. This Government has a habit of punishing workers who demand for their rights that have been negotiated for by the union and the Government. I have in mind the poor teachers in Senanga who were claiming their rights inherent in the conditions of service. However, they have now decided that those teachers should be punished for being indisciplined simply because they demanded what is dully and rightfully theirs. If you have no obligation to honour, why enter into a collective agreement with the workers?

Madam Chair, these colleagues of ours are setting a very bad precedent. Most of the foreign organisations and employers defy the laws of this country with impunity because they know that the Government-of-the-day does not follow its own laws.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: This Government, under the Public Sector Reform Programme pruned workers without paying them. Recently more than 2,000 of those workers won a court case against the Government. The labour laws of this country demand that when a worker is retrenched, the Government or the employer must give the letter of retrenchment together with a cheque, but this Government has not done that.

Some workers who were retrenched five years ago have not yet been paid. Therefore, how do you expect outsiders to respect the law if you, the authors and originators who are supposed to protect the interest of the workers are the first ones to violate it.

Mr Muntanga: Mpombo!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I do agree with the sentiments that have been expressed by Hon. Mwansa Kapeya and I take his views as my own. This is one of the very few countries in the world where workers dread to be retired.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona! While he was seated on the Government Bench


Mr Mwiimbu: The workers dread to be retired because they know that when they are retired …


As Mr Mtonga left the Government side.

Mr Mwiimbu: … their dues will not be paid. In civilised societies any worker looks forward to retirement because they know that when you retire all the savings of your life will be paid to you, but not in this Government. Most of the workers who have retired from the Public Service are being paid posthumously. It is the beneficiaries of the estate who are benefiting and not the former workers. Why should we treat our own workers like that?

If we were allowed to debate ourselves, I would have given an example, but the law and the regulations do not allow that.

Madam Chairperson, it is high time we looked after our own employees and those who are retiring.

Madam Chairperson, the salaries and wages of our employees cannot sustain any, family especially those who reside in Lusaka. Can you imagine a civil servant who gets K500,000.00 per month, resides in Chelstone and works at the Government Complex? From Chelstone to town, it is about K3,000.00 and from town to the Government Complex, it is another K1,000.00 which makes K4,000.00. A round trip is about K10,000.00. If that employee works for 20 days in a month, they have to spend K200,000.00 out of the K500,000.00 on transport.

Decent accommodation in Lusaka is not less than K1.5 million. How do you expect the poor civil servant to survive? No wonder our poor civil servants are now using Government offices as their business centres. We should not be in the forefront in blaming them if we are not providing for them because they are trying to earn a living. I am not condoning corruption, but you colleagues are abetting corruption in the Civil Service by failing to look after the workers who are supposed to be delivering on your behalf.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Surely, why can we not be seen to be looking after our workers.

Mr Muntanga: Muchuma!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I have noted that my brother, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, is providing some money for the retirees. I commend him for that, but I think, he should be seen to be implementing what he is assuring us. You have made an attempt and I congratulate you on that. However, the money that you have provided, my brother, is not adequate to meet the obligations which the Government has to meet.

Finally, we are aware that the unfortunate situation obtaining and prevailing in the unions now, is very disappointing. A number of our union leaders have forgotten the interest of the workers. They have put politics first. They are busy politicking without looking into the interest of the workers who are their masters.

Mr Hachipuka: On a point of order, Madam.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hachipuka: I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving this opportunity to raise this point order. Is the speaker, who is eloquently speaking, in order not to mention that we, in the UPND, when we retired the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, paid him his terminal benefits immediately …

Mr Mwiimbu: As a councillor.

Mr Hachipuka: … as a councillor?


Mr Hachipuka: Is he in order not to mention that?

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling from the Chair is that, this House in Committee does not discuss conditions of service in UPND.


The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: The Acting Leader of Government Business in the House was a very outstanding councillor in Masaiti and we appreciate the services that he rendered.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that a number of our union leaders have betrayed the calls of the workers. They are highly inconsistent. They are not representative of the views of the workers. They have put political interests first without looking at the interests of the workers.

Hon. Government Members: Nonde!

Mr Kambwili: Nonde, Nonde, mumutina fye!

Mr Mwiimbu: I would like to appeal to our colleagues, the leaders in the unions, to ensure that they represent the interests of the workers adequately. A lot of our workers in this country are not benefiting from the services of the union leaders.

We are aware that there are companies in this country that have diplomatic immunities. These companies have been abusing the rights of the workers and the workers have attempted to go to court, but because of the diplomatic immunities, these workers have not achieved their intentions. Can we be seen, as a Government, to be protecting the workers? It does not serve anyone any purpose to give a company that is dealing in markets diplomatic immunities at the expense of the Zambian workers. Let us be seen to be protecting our workers. It is high time we rose and defended the workers of this country.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is not doing much in that regard. In most instances, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been siding with the employers. Even when the workers are right and have a genuine cause, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been in the forefront defending the employers. Your responsibility, as Ministry of Labour and Social Security, is to be an arbiter. You must not be taking sides. If you take sides, you must be seen to be protecting the workers of this country.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: They have the trust that when they have a. Minister of Labour and Social Security, he or she will rise above these other social vices which we do not like. We do not want a similar situation like where somebody ended up getting molasses from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and betrayed the workers of this country.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: I am much obliged. I thank you, Madam.


The Deputy Chairperson: Let us debate the motion. Any further debate? The hon. Member for Chifunabuli.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving this opportunity to support the vote on the Floor of this House. In doing so, I would like to say that I have only one contribution to make.

Madam Chairperson, as they plan for the employees in the Public Service, the Public Service Management Division must take this fact and this fact only into account and this fact is that, when age strikes, energy is usurped and people’s ability to sustain themselves is taken away from them.

In our country, retirement age, if my memory serves me right, is about fifty-five. At that age, in this country, there are very few survivors, especially, taking into account the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has set into our country.

Madam Chairperson, senior citizens are individuals who have contributed to the country. They have spent their lives toiling for their country and when they retire, they want to retire peacefully and enjoy themselves.

Unfortunately, in our country, retirement is not enjoyed by senior citizens. As we know, HIV/IDS has come and there are so many orphans around. There are very few senior citizens who go on retirement as man and wife. They have grandchildren who have become their children because their parents passed on. Consequently, the burden of retirement has been magnified, as it were, for them. Not only do they not get their money in time, but also when they receive the money, it is very little. In addition to that, they have to look after the children of their departed children.

In a country like ours, my suggestion to the Public Service Management Division is that, it is time they considered not just giving people their retirement benefits, but substantial money. Put them on a kind of a salary for them to live on and sustain those who are left behind by those who have passed away. It should be some kind of pension or some kind of relieving wage that enables them to look after their families that are left to them in old age.

Madam Chairperson, this suggestion is made taking into account the fact that we are not dealing with people who have not served the country, but individuals who have toiled for this country and are now tired and are unable to work. Therefore, my appeal to the Public Service Management Division is that it should moot the idea to the Government and since this Government is a listening one, it must consider paying our retirees some reasonable money. They have already worked for us. They have already expended themselves for this country. It is only right that, in retirement, they find some comfort after having sweated for a long time.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Madam Chairperson, I would like to start my debate by saying that the Government considers civil servants as indispensable partners in development. I will therefore, do everything possible to ensure that we are ameliorate the economic hardships they are facing. It is not the intention of the Government to keep our workers in a situation where they find themselves very hard to survive.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to refer to the contributions that have been made on this vote. We acknowledge the appreciation Hon. Mabenga has shown on the leadership that Mr Kashoka and his colleagues are providing at the Public Service Management Division. I am sure they have a very good team doing a very wonderful job. We have quite good professionals in that division. Hon. Mabenga also talked about the notification of officers due to retirement not being done in good time. I would like to assure him that the Public Service Management Division has since written to all Government ministries, provinces, and other Government institutions to ensure that they bring to the attention of those in provinces and ministries details about their staff that are due for retirement so that there is no confusion. This matter is being vigorously pursued and we are going to ensure that we do not create any problems as far as that issue is concerned.

Madam Chairperson, in delivering his maiden speech, Hon. Zulu touched on a number of issues. He also touched on the issue of medical facilities. I would like to assure him that the Government is doing everything possible. In this year’s Estimates, the Ministry of Health has indicated a number of health institutions that they want to build throughout the country. I have asked my colleague, the hon. Minister of Health to come and respond to you when she takes the Floor.

Madam Chairperson, I would also like to urge Hon. Kapeya that the Government does  not take lightly the economic hardships that are experienced by our workers as a result of non-payments of pension dues. As you may recall, the New Deal Government inherited a huge pipeline of unpaid arrears. You can see that we have taken deliberate and calculated moves to address this issue. In this year’s Budget, the hon. Minister has provided a sum of K266 billion towards the dismantling of this pipeline. Therefore, we are doing everything possible to ensure that we make our workers’ retirement as exciting as possible. In this regard, putting K266 billion is a very serious Government commitment. It is an indication that the Government recognises the plight of our workers and we want to move away from a situation where people who retire turn out to be destitute overnight. This is a very serious and frustrating matter as far as Government is concerned. We will try to do everything possible to ensure that our workers do not retire into overnight poverty.

Madam Chairperson, I am also grateful for the support and contribution by Hon. Masebo. I would like to also thank Hon. Mwiimbu for his debate. I have also asked my colleague, the hon. Minister of Education to handle the issue of Senanga teachers when he gets on the Floor. I also would like to assure you that in terms of housing allowances, in this year’s Budget, the Government has provided a colossal sum of money towards the payment of housing allowances. We will ensure that the money is not stolen or misapplied. We will make sure it goes to the right purpose only.

Madam Chairperson, regarding the retrenchment of staff, officers that are declared redundant or retired on national interests are either paid their benefits on separation from the Public Service or they are maintained on the payroll until they are paid their pension benefits in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Act Cap 268 of the Laws of Zambia. Therefore, this issue has been taken care of. Regarding the issue of unions going political, I would like to say that, as a Government, we share your concerns. We are concerned that some unions have become political rabble rousers. 


Mr Mpombo: Madam Chairperson, instead of concentrating on the plight of their workers, they are forever engaging in political contests with the Government. Some of them go to the extent of exhibiting corrosive hatred …


Mr Mpombo:… for the Government. As a Government, our role is to ensure that we develop this partnership with the unions. Our doors are open. Let us not fight and split hairs. We need to work together as one nation.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Vote 27/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 45/01 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services – K72,158,830,429).

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to discuss the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services for the year 2007.

Madam Chairperson, may I be allowed to state the mission of my ministry which is to provide and facilitate social economic empowerment of the poor and vulnerable and promote the development and preservation of culture for sustainable human development.

Madam Chairperson, in order to fulfill this mission, my ministry has put in place policies and programmes to address the needs of the poor and vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities. The ministerial programmes are also within the framework of the Fifth National Development Plan. These programmes are:

(i) Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS);
(ii) Social Cash Transfer;
(iii) Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children;
(iv)  Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities;
(v) the National Trust Fund;
(vi) the Programme for Urban Self Help (PUSH);
(vii) the Food Security Pack Programme;
(viii) Care for Older Persons ;
(ix) Women Development Programme;
(x) Non-Formal Education and Skills Development; and
(xi) Preservation Development and Promotion Of Culture and Art.

Madam Chairperson, this year’s Budget provision is K72,158,830,429.000 compared to K53,227,758,835.00 for last year. Much of the increase is as a result of the K6.4 billion that has been specifically earmarked for street children. I therefore, wish to call upon hon. Members of this House to support this budget and even ensure that more resources are allocated to ensure that the plight of the most vulnerable in this society is addressed. In the past, this ministry has not been sufficiently funded. This has lead to complaints, especially from the disabled that the Government has neglected them.

Madam Chairperson, the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme is one of the social protection initiatives that my ministry is implementing. In this programme, assistance is in terms of fulfilling the basic needs of the poor in the areas of health, education, food and shelter throughout the country. Although so many people need assistance, we are only able to meet an average of 150,000 because of budgetary limitations.

Madam Chairperson, you may wish to note that the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme programme has been decentralised to the community level in order to create a sense of ownership by the community.

However, there have been reports of abuse of this programme by either our officers or community leaders. Therefore, I would like to urge hon. Members of Parliament to take keen interest in the programme by knowing how many of their people are on this programme in order for them to provide the necessary support.

Madam Chairperson, with regard to the Cash Transfer Project, this is a form of public welfare assistance which assists clients with cash instead of other kinds of support. The advantage of cash is that it is more flexible and more cost effective in delivering to clients compared to other forms of support. Currently, the Social Cash Transfer Project is being piloted in Kalomo with the support of the German Technical Assistance and in Kazungula and Chipata with the support of Care International.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

 Ms Namugala: Under this project, beneficiaries are given amounts ranging from K40,000 to K50,000 in rural districts while those in urban districts get amounts ranging from K50,000 to K75,000 per month. Last year, 1,182 households benefited in Kalomo of which 54 per cent were older persons, 554 households in Kazungula, while in Chipata 1,081 households benefited from the project. Madam, this project is proving to be quite successful

Madam Chairperson, allow me to pay tribute to our co-operating partners who have continued to support programmes under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: However, Madam Chairperson, you may wish to note that the Social Cash Transfer Project is not a substitute to other forms welfare assistance because vulnerable persons still need other kinds of support.

Regarding funding, in addition to the K9 billion allocated to PWAS, the Social Cash Transfer Project has been allocated K1.5 billion in the 2007 Budget.

Madam Chairperson, as for Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, as you are aware, Zambia is currently facing a growing problem of street children. In response to this challenge, my ministry will focus on street children below the age of 15 and will target an average of 6,000 street children this year. This is the figure which will be targeted over the next three years ensuing. Therefore, the allocation of K6.4 billion for this programme will ensure that efforts are focused on reducing the number of children on the streets by identifying, mobilising, screening tracing their backgrounds and reintegrating them back into their families and communities.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to emphasise that giving money, food and clothing to children on the street encourages them to remain on the streets thereby making them vulnerable to dangerous vices. May I take this opportunity to urge hon. Members of Parliament to join my ministry in mounting a social campaign to encourage parents to be more responsible and have smaller families especially in the face of HIV/AIDS.

Madam Chairperson, let now comment on Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. The Government is concerned about the plight of the disabled. For this reason, the Fifth National Development plan has a chapter on disability which seeks to empower the disabled in order to improve their welfare so that they contribute effectively to national development.

The Government works through the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities, (ZAPD) which was created by an Act of Parliament to co-ordinate support to persons with disabilities. Currently, ZAPD runs resettlement and production schemes in order to enable disabled persons to undertake farming and other livelihoods. However, because of low funding and inability by ZAPD to raise resources outside THE Government, it has not been able to effectively run these centres, leading to some of the disabled persons running to the streets to beg for alms. I must however state that some of the disabled persons have become accustomed to begging and are unwilling to work for their living.

ZAPD has had a backlog of retirees’ benefits. We intend to resolve this through the K5 billion which ahs been specifically allocated to paying of retirement packages.

Madam Chairperson, the National Trust Fund for the disabled was also created by the Government, through my ministry, in order to empower the persons with disabilities with small loans at low interest rates. The objective is to enable them start small businesses. In the past three years, the Fund has provided assistance to 146 persons with disabilities with a cumulative total of K100,870,000.00. However, the Fund has not worked well because beneficiaries do not always pay back.  The low repayment rate is therefore one of the attributing factors to the difficulties in attracting co-operating partners and other stakeholders to support the fund.

Madam Chairperson, the Programme Urban Self Help (PUSH) is also a grant-aided institution under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. PUSH uses labour based methods (local communities) to undertake local developmental projects such as the construction of community roads and bridges in exchange for food rations supplied by the World Food Programme.

Funding to this programme has reduced because the ministry has taken on some of the activities as a result of the new structure.

Madam Chairperson, with regard to the Food Security Pack Programme, the ministry contracted the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) to implement the Food Security Pack Programme (FSP) for vulnerable, but viable farmers. This programme is aimed at assisting the low capacity farming households which include; households headed by children and women, the aged, disabled and the terminally ill. During the 2005/2006 farming season, 34,942 households were supported with packs of agricultural inputs.

In this year’s Budget, the allocation to the Food Security Pack Programme has been reduced because the ministry intends to use some of the funds to build capacity and also to implement this programme in selected areas because we continue to receive complaints from vulnerable persons that they are not always able to access the Food Security Pack.

Madam Chairperson, on Care for Older Persons, the ministry realises the need to provide better welfare for older persons. I would like to appeal to Members of Parliament to help sensitise communities on the need to uphold the extended family system in looking after the aged. It is sad to note that the aged are now being rejected by their families leading to some of them ending up in institutions. Madam Chairperson, everyday that passes we are aging so we are all heading there.

Neglecting older persons is not our culture. However, the Ministry of Development and Social Services looks after the destitute older persons by providing grants to institutions looking after or working with older persons. Currently, six homes with 123 older persons are being supported.

My ministry has also commenced the formulation of a national policy on ageing. This is because the country has not had a policy on ageing which could be a contributing factor towards the uncoordinated response to the needs of the aged.

Madam Chairperson, as for Women’s Development Programmes, the Government recognises that women play an important role in families and national development. However, despite their strategic position, they are marginalised in terms of access and control of resources at the household and community level. My ministry will, therefore, continue to provide financial technical support in form of grants and entrepreneurship skills to women groups.

You may be interested to note that in the past three years, my ministry has assisted 1,334 women’s clubs with grants for various income generating activities. In the same vein, 198 clubs were trained in entrepreneurship skills countrywide.

Mr Muntanga: They are all MMD after all!

Ms Namugala: Madam Chairperson, with regard to Non-Formal Education and Skills Development, my ministry appreciates that literacy plays a significant role in national development. In this regard, my ministry will continue to provide non-formal education to the poor and vulnerable groups who have not had an opportunity to access formal education particularly in rural areas in order to improve their livelihoods.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: In the past three years, my ministry has supported 283 literacy classes with a total of 6,295 learners.

Mr Sichilima: Tell them!

Ms Namugala: On Preservation, Development and Promotion of Arts and Culture, in the area of arts and culture, my ministry has increased funding to the cultural sector to support programmes under the Fifth National Development Plan. These programmes include the development of cultural infrastructure, cultural industries, cultural media programmes and support to the safeguarding of cultural heritage such as traditional ceremonies, rituals, rites, and other indigenous practices.

While the development of cultural infrastructure will provide venues where artists and cultural practitioners will train, produce and market their products, the ministry’s programmes of supporting cultural industries are intended to build the capacity of cultural entrepreneurs in the improvement of the quality and standard of their products, leading to employment and wealth creation. This will ultimately result in a significant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the cultural sector.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: My ministry will continue to provide grants and other support to traditional ceremonies which have great potential for boosting local trade and cultural tourism while supporting the preservation of our indigenous knowledge for folk culture.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, …

Hon. Government Members: Continue!

Ms Namugala: … my ministry embarked on a restructuring process in January, 2006. This process has led to an increase in the establishment of the ministry from 1,325 to 1,593 most of who will operate at district and sub-centre levels. This is meant to increase effectiveness and efficiency of the ministry in its efforts to improve service delivery.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to request Members of Parliament to support the Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: … as you will agree with me, Madam Chairperson, that with the poverty levels currently standing at 68 per cent, my ministry is key to providing relief to our people.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Quality.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Madam Chairperson, I feel sorry for my lady Minister and would like to say that in that ministry, you will be faced with many people coming to seek help. When the former hon. Minister Manjata was there, I once told him that he looked like a disabled person because you have many people sitting there asking for various types of sponsorship.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to request the hon. Minister that while she will be asked for various things she should not allow the Government to use the Ministry as an outlet for funny programmes. Things like Salaula …


Mr Muntanga: Yes, a heap of Salaula bundles were bought by the ministry to be distributed and the former Permanent Secretary, May His Soul Rest In Peace, did not account for those things properly. For instance, the ploughs which were sent to all constituencies for distribution were not properly accounted for. I would like to remind the good hon. Minister to know that this is an important ministry and all Zambians are looking to that ministry for assistance.

You must know that if you are going to solve the problems of the disabled people, then you should go to her Ministry. Madam Chairperson, the amount there of K1.5 billion is a special Transfer Fund. The programme started as a pilot project by GTZ in Kalomo. That programme has been running for four years now and it has been very successful. The programme started with K30,000 per one elderly person and now it has been raised to K50,000. People were asked to choose to be given either actual inputs or money. People preferred money because they have a choice to buy soap or any other needs for the family.

My worry now is that we have a successful programme, but the exit programme for this particular programme is not well arranged. The former Minister Marina Nsingo who witnessed the launch of that particular programme did indicate that she would make sure that the programme extended to all parts of the country because we need it. We have extended it to Dundumwenzi and Mapatizya and part of  Katombola on the western side, but we need the programme extended elsewhere. I have seen that in areas such as Liuwa , Mumbwa, Luwingu and Chibote, the people there are suffering. In all these developed countries, we have people who are paid money despite their not working. They are being given money to make them survive. It is this Ministry which we are treating as a Cinderella Ministry that can help out. All of you hon. Members know that you have adopted children as was pointed out by the hon. Deputy Minister of Works and Supply. It is this ministry which we are ignoring which needs a lot of funding.

Madam Chairperson, your vehicles are Hiace and ambulances, but this ministry does not have such kind of vehicles. Sometime back, when this ministry was headed by Princess Nakatindi Wina, it was ticking and many women clubs were helped and were also helped to build structures for their clubs. People were assisted to build houses, but now we tend to forget and leave out the important ministries.

Mr Magande: All ministries are important.

Mr Muntanga: Hon. Minister do not debate while seated. You should realise that you must give more my money to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. Our old people including your old mother …

Madam Deputy Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, most of the people in the village that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning left are suffering. For him to be able to make a meaningful contribution, he must increase the allocation for this ministry. I would have liked the hon. Minister to allocate money for each constituency through this ministry so that a Member of Parliament can go to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services for this or that help. At the moment, there is nothing.

Madam Chairperson, in the past, it is this ministry which used to run the function of literacy clubs in Zambia. You have put a woman who is intelligent and who is able to articulate issues properly, but we are not supporting her. The Acting Leader of Government Business in the House can get himself the position of Vice-President and so he should advice the President on the issue of increasing the allocation to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.


Mr Muntanga: You can change things. Even my brother who wants to be president, can he talk to the incumbent President now about increasing the allocation to this ministry so that we are able to see something.


Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Your own grandmother in Mbala was being helped. What point of order do you want to raise? You are unable to send money to your village. You come here just to be called Bikiloni, we want serious people.


Madam Deputy Chairperson: Order! A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Madam Chairperson, I rarely rise on points of order …


Mr Sichilima: Is the hon. Member for Kalomo who is claiming to be my uncle in order to start attacking the hon. Minister of Defence who is Acting Leader of Government Business in the House today and who is also attentively listening to his debate? He also turned round to attack the quiet hon. Minister who is busy taking notes in order to support the Vote. The hon. Member on the Floor has also put one hand in his pocket holding something which we do not know.


Mr Sichilima: Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Member in order to attack hon. Ministers? I need your serious ruling.


Madam Deputy Chairperson: Order! The point of order is a very serious one.


Madam Deputy Chairperson: It is serious in the sense that hon. Members are supposed to debate through the Chair and not to start pointing at individuals in the House. When you do that you risk having your debate interrupted by points of order. Those debating should do so through the Chair.

The hon. Member may continue, please.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for your guidance. The problem is that the young men of these days do not respect elders. We need to have support and there is nothing I can do other than tell the Leader of Government Business in the House to persuade the Republican President to increase funds. If we are going to change figures in the Yellow Book, the people in Government will not allow it because they are in the majority. They will not vote along with us. The only thing we can do is ask people who we think have some influence to help. I identified the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House because he has acted more than once and so I think he is being trained to become Vice-President. It is again in this vein that I have identified the influence of the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to assist as he prepares to be President of the Republic.


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, the K1.3 billion which has been allocated for the Social Cash Transfer Project is not enough. It is going to be very difficult to share this money. I feel sorry for the lady. People have heard there is a scheme by GTZ going on in Kalomo and all hon. Members want the scheme to be introduced in their constituencies, including Hon. Mubika, the Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport. The people living along the Angolan border are suffering.


Mr Muntanga: In Liuwa, people do not pay royalty. It is not okay. At one time, I went to Kaputa and found that people do not also pay this royalty. Kaputa needs help. If they paid this royalty, I think the living standards of the people would be upgraded. This ministry is very important. I urge the hon. Minister not to listen to people who are trying to cover her because they want to ensure that they support MMD clubs. Mind you, at the end of it, it is not MMD. These clubs can belong to MMD, but PF can be there tomorrow. Therefore, you must help everybody if you want support.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I am worried about this ministry. We do not have to relegate certain ministries to Cinderella ministries. This ministry needs a lot of money. It needs an amount in the bracket of K200 billion for it to function.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: The increase of 11 per cent from K63 billion to K73 billion is not enough. I am sure even the new hon. Members will notice that the amount that has been provided is not enough, though there are people who would like to have their own constituencies for years even though they came through the back door.


Mr Muntanga: However, hon. Members will find that this money is important after seeing the many problems that people face in their constituencies. You will realise that what Hon. Muntanga is talking about is important. We need to talk about giving a significant allocation to the poor. If I had my way, because I can see the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning listening attentively, I would have shifted some money from his investment …

Mr Mulongoti: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.

Madam Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, I have not raised any point of order before. I have been tempted to rise on this serious point of order. The hon. Member who is debating is canvassing for support from the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services because of his diminished resources.


Mr Mulongoti: Is he in order to allege that those of us who had the honour to be nominated bestowed on us out of 12 million Zambians …


Mr Mulongoti: … came through the back door?


Mr Mulongoti: After all, when some of us were in Parliament, he was just a peasant farmer.


Madam Deputy Chairperson: The point of order that has been raised is referring to hon. Members who came or have come through the back door. The serious ruling of the Chair is that no hon. Member has come to this House through the back door. Everybody has used the legal and provided entry into this House. Therefore, do not refer to anybody as having come through the back door.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Muntanga: Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for your guidance. When I was a peasant farmer and others were in Parliament, I would have heard that there was a change. These people, after coming into Parliament, still own dogs. I would want them to go to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services so that they are told to own a goat.


Mr Muntanga: Once he does this, he will be able to develop and support others. It is not good to praise yourself of having been a Member of Parliament for years when you only own a dog and cannot manage to buy a goat. These are the things that worry me.


Mr Muntanga: I urge the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services to correct some of these people who are not doing things properly in the ministry. If the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning thinks that he has done well, and is being supported and wants to increase money for the scheme in Kalomo, I am obliged.


Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, it is the disabled people whom we assist every day. When you talk about corruption, I do not think it is corruption to give a blind person money. That is assistance. Real corruption is what happens in offices and we do not want to mention things like that. I appeal to the Government to increase the allocation to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services so that in Lundazi and Luanshya where hon. Members have been there for years, the people there can be supported. For example, the hon. Minister of Justice knows that he must support the people in Muchinga otherwise he will have a problem. If he does not take big sums of money to Muchinga, he will not be received. There is need to increase the allocation to this ministry so that when we adjourn in April, the hon. Minister can also go with some money to assist the poor in his constituency. Mind you, those who do not have cattle will not kill anything to celebrate their victory. If you do not do that, you are out. Then, it will not be 70 per cent, but 80 per cent in the next elections. Some of the parties will have 110 Members of Parliament because this particular ministry has not been funded. You have also refused even to increase the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to K1 billion as UPND has been demanding. This would have helped. I think the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will realise that he should pump in more money so that we help the people in order for us to continue being in this House.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Coming from a poverty stricken or vulnerable constituency, I feel obliged to contribute and support the budget for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to say that this is a very important ministry and so we must support this budget. In fact, I urge the Government to add more money to this vote. If it is not possible this time around, let it consider an increase in the supplementary budget. I say so because all of us are here because we have a feeling for our people. We do not want to see the poverty that we see around. We all feel that our people deserve a better life.

During colonialism before the white man came, we used to live nicely. At least everybody had something, but now, we have a problem. The rich have become richer and are getting richer everyday. The poor are getting poorer. If you want to sleep peacefully, my brother who has an extra bank account and several cars in your yard, look after the vulnerable because you would not be able to enjoy what you have unless you look after them. If you ignore that street kid, tomorrow he will be too ashamed to be on the street and will come for you. I see some of the people who were street kids and now are adults and they greet me saying, ‘shani, mudala’ that is, ‘how are you, old man’ and they walk away because they know that I have recognised them.

Madam, these are our own people. We should not fear them, but if we do not provide for them, we should start shivering when we meet them. We need to give this ministry more money. This is how the capitalist countries, such as the United Kingdom, our former colonial master is able to survive in the midst of apparent poverty because as the former debater stated, people are paid despite their not working. It is source of society. It is does not make you socialists to look after the disabled. You will not be labeled socialists because of feeding somebody who is hungry.

We should not consider this ministry as a small one and we should not consider the hon. Minister as a small one. She is a big hon. Minister. Do not look at the size of her body.


Mr Chilembo: I am looking at the responsibilities which the hon. Minister shoulders and most of her functions tend to affect a lot of other ministries. In some circumstances, I urge the ministry to ask for assistance from these other ministries. They should be able to come in and give this ministry support.

Madam Chairperson, in rural areas, especially in Chama North, I do not see what this particular ministry is doing. Obviously, it is difficult to ….

Mr Chilembo moved away from the microphone.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! May the hon. Member, please move closer and use the microphone.

Mr Chilembo: When you discuss poverty, you can even forget the microphone.


Mr Chilembo: I do not see anything because the money allocated is just too little. It is very important that in the area of inputs, more money is allocated to the ministry so that the peasant farmers can at least grow crops. We should not confuse this ministry with urban problems of street kids. Even in rural areas, due to the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS, there are a lot of orphans. We need to assist those children. There may be no streets, but these are vulnerable kids. They need support. When you are sharing this money, you should not forget to look at the rural areas where there are a lot of orphans who are suffering without being noticed.

Madam Chairperson, I note that Katombola Reformatory Centre has been allocated some money. This is very important. A reformatory centre is meant to reform juveniles who find themselves in trouble with the law.

Hon Government Member: Especially Kambwili.


Mr Chilembo: It is, therefore, very important that a lot of money is allocated to this area because there is no point in saying that you are reforming people when facilities have no money to use. If you do not fund such institutions adequately, what you will produce there will be more hardened criminals. They will just be waiting to graduate and become bigger criminals. I urge the Government to fund all related centres in different areas. These centers have juvenile offenders who would need similar funding including Chama North and other rural areas. I appeal to the Government when they are budgeting, to look at all reformatories scattered in the country and not just Katombola Reformatory Centre.

Madam Chairperson, I am a proud African and I want all of us to be proud Africans. This is one ministry in the field of culture which can help us have that identity. However, when you read newspapers today and look at the pictures, especially in tomorrow’s newspapers, you will see the way our children dress and dance. In fact, this has become routine. You wonder if there is some guidance in that area. I am glad that we have role models here. The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing was in a Misisi attire the other day.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilembo: I think we should see more of that. We are role models here.

Hon. Government Members: We want more.

Mr Chilembo: We should see more of that so that our young people can see that.

Madam Chairperson, yes, this ministry should continue supporting traditional ceremonies. I note that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is also involved in this area. A co-ordination in that area might help, especially that funds are very limited. A co-ordination might just change the quality of what you are able to do.

I would like it that when all of us are asked what we did for our people, we are able to say we fed that hungry kid, whether a street or village or whatever kid. I would like us to be able to say that during our term in Parliament, whether you will be there just for one term or longer, you did think about that aged woman. You should also share with me the belief that we should not institutionalise institutions such as the institution for the aged. Let us look after them. I am not part of you if you are a person in our society, an African who will take your grandmother to some institution for the aged. Let us look after the aged, we should not be ashamed of the disabled, these are own people. I think for us who have come to Parliament came here because we have a feeling for our people.

I believe that the face of the Government will change if more money is put in this ministry.

Mr Mwale: Hammer, Mwana wakwitu!

Mr Chilembo: This is the ministry that will show that this is a Government for the vulnerable people. We have put money here to try and fight poverty, why can we not take money directly to this face of poverty in the name of Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

With these few words, I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Chairperson, I am humbled for catching your eye. Really, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is a very important ministry that requires more resources.

Madam Chair, I consider this ministry to be a religious ministry carrying out the duties Christ carried out. Christ came for the poor and the vulnerable and I think if you have that on your minds, we will go a long way in supporting the course of this ministry.

I would want to say that when I listen to what my young sister says, whenever she says it and wherever she says it, I will really be consoled to see that those things are done.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: I wholeheartedly appreciate your views. You have convinced me that you are not a person who should have say something and then pretend to be very concerned, no. Your heart as it pumps makes you say whatever you said, and I would like to tell you that you are going to be blessed beyond what you are if you consistently behave that way because the poor are for God and God support those that take care of the widows and orphans, and those that curse widows and orphans become at war with the Lord. Therefore, I would want to say that if I was one time given to be Magande, I would appropriate more to that ministry because that is where assistance is required and I hope I shall be one day, and he will support me because he is my elder brother.

Chairperson, I would like to draw all of back home where you came from. I want you to recall the day you went campaigning and calculate how much you spent to give the poor. You did that and looked at that, is how to measure the extent of poverty stricken people are out there. A good number of people are unable to go back to their constituencies because immediately you are there, you are the source of salt, fees and clothes. In advertently, we belong to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 16th March, 2007.