Debates- Wednesday, 14th March, 2007

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Wednesday, 14th March, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






360. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) whether there was any form of permanent road construction relevant to the situation in Western Province other than tarmac or gravel that has the capacity to withstand traffic of 50 vehicles per day; and

(b) if so, what the life span of such a road would be.

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

(a) At the moment, there is no other road construction method other than gravel and tarmac. However, studies are being carried out to investigate the use of soil fix. Soil fix is an ironic stabiliser solution mixed with natural existing road construction material and sand; and

(b) the indication of the life span of such a road would only be known after we get results.

A symposium organised by the Ministry of Works and Supply has asked construction engineers both in the private and public enterprises to come up with other ways apart from the current gravel or tarmac road construction.

The symposium will be held in April, 2007 at which engineers will present papers on how to construct roads using ironic stabiliser solution with regard to all areas including Western Province. Members of Parliament will be told about this symposium so that they attend just like all the other constituency leaders who have been directed to so by the President.

Mr Speaker, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that in the sandy areas of Botswana and Namibia they use water seal as a marginal material? It is naturally available and has a life span of close to 20 to 30 years.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for bringing that to our attention.

Sir, I wish he had included that information in his question rather than bring it as a supplementary question.

Hon. PF Members: Answer the question!

Mr Tetamashimba: We will wait for the professionals whom we have asked from both the private and the public sector to bring in their arguments to find out whether the sand that is available in Western Province can take the same type of tarmac that the hon. Member of Parliament has mentioned.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the ministry has also considered concrete as an alternative method to tarmac.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to state here that the one thing that the hon. Minister brought to our attention after his appointment was the question of using concrete as an alternative method. At the symposium we should find out the cost of cement blocks and how expensive it would be per kilometre and the durability owing to heavy traffic. Only then will the ministry decide what method we should start using.

This is why when you travel on the roads, especially in the plains of Lozi land and in other provinces you will find that wherever there are dambos the tarmac does not last. This is because of the type of the tarmac that does not last in a lot of water. However, with cement, it would be stronger by having cement blocks than the current tarmac. I am very grateful for that supplementary question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili interjected!

Mr Speaker: Order!


361. Dr Chishya (Pambashe) asked the Minister or Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources what measures the ministry had taken to develop the Lusenga National Park in Kawambwa District into a tourist attraction.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, the following measures have been taken by the ministry to develop the Lusenga National Park. The number of wild life officers assigned towards resource protection in the park has been improved with the expansion of the organisation.

A new land cruiser has been allocated to Kawambwa for resource protection in the national park. The ministry through the Zambia Wildlife will be relocating different wildlife animal species from other national parks to Lusenga National Park this year between May and June. Only animals considered suitable for the area will be taken there. This exercise is being done through a project funded by the United Nations Development Programme.

The ministry is also in the process of finalising the general management plan for the park, which will, among other things, identify sites for the development of various tourism facilities that have been identified.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chishya: Mr Speaker is the hon. Minister informing this House that the ministry has got plans to develop the Lufubu National Park in conjunction with the private sector?

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Pande): We do not have any such plans.

The question is what measures we are taking as a ministry to turn the Lusenga National Park into a tourist attraction.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Much obliged Sir. In light of the hon. Minister’s answer, if a private investor came in, should not the ministry work with them to develop the park or they just prefer going it alone, in spite of their limited fund capacity?

Mr Kaingu: Our economy is private driven. If such an investor came forward, the ministry would be willing to work with him.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I am perturbed. I want to know exactly what the direction is regarding tourism. Did the hon. Minister say there were no plans to invite private investors?

Mr Pande: As indicated earlier, we usually have a management plans for parks. After the management plan for a park has been done, it will identify the sites for development. Once these sites have been identified, then we advertise. The private sector then comes and develops the area in conjunction with us.

 I thank you Sir.


362. Mr F. R. Tembo (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Education when electric cooking pots would be bought for Nyimba High School in the Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Mr Speaker, electric cooking pots will be bought when funds are made available since the school has now been connected to the national electricity grid.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr F. R. Tembo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that Nyimba High School uses 750 tones of fire wood per year causing deforestation in the district?
The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, the Ministry is aware of the fuel type used in some of our schools. Now that the school has been connected to the national grid in terms of power, that problem will eventually be addressed when electric pots are bought.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Sir, the reason why the hon. Member of Parliament for Nyimba asked that question is because he takes cognisance of the fact that the Ministry of Education is responsible for undertaking tasks such as the one he asked about. I would like to solicit a further clarification from the hon. Minster.

When shall these pots be provided? Can the Minster state when he intends to acquire the money to procure the cooking pots. I think that is the question the hon. Member has raised.

Mr Hamududu (Bwengwa): Point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order has been raised.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and cooperatives in order to keep quiet in this House following the recent ban of cattle movement from Southern Province? This point of order is crucial because when the motion was moved by the Member of Parliament for Kalomo, the hon. Minister did not finish his ministerial response on the way forward to the problem. I would like a serious ruling Mr Speaker on this point of order.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Bwengwa is raising a point of order on a topic that was handled more than a week ago, on an adjournment motion. For his information and for the information of, especially of the honourable Members of Parliament, an adjournment issue is always inconclusive and is always beaten by time. That was why the hon. Minister of Agriculture did not conclude his reply. He was beaten by time.

 Hon. Member for Kabwata, did you conclude your supplementary question?

Mr Lubinda: Yes Sir 

Professor Lungwangwa:  We have clearly indicated that when funds are available, the electric pots will be bought. We can not tell now the time when the funds will be made available.

I thank you, Sir.




  Mr Sejani (Mapatizya):Mr Speaker, in view of the high poverty levels in the country and the resultant high rate of school drop-outs at Grades 7 and 9, this House urges the Government to extend the policy of Free Education in Zambia to Grade 12.

Mr Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mr Syakalima: Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this opportunity to move this very crucial motion which I consider, extremely, important in the development of our country.

Mr Speaker, before I go further in my debate, I would like to acknowledge the positive steps that the Government took in declaring free education from Grade 1 to 7. Although that decision came in the wake of profound resistance, it is gratifying to see that the Government caved in and declared free education in our lower grades.

Although I am a stranger to flattery and I am not gifted to giving out praises when they are not due, I feel duty bound to acknowledge the fact that the decision was positive.

Hon. UDA Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I know that it leaves a lot to be desired in the way it is being implemented.

Sir, in raising this motion, I am moved by the objective conditions that are obtaining on the ground in Zambia today. These are conditions and realities that demand that in tackling this motion, we must cast aside partisan persuasions and look at this problem on its merit.

Mr Speaker, there was a time in history when education was regarded as a mere luxury. It was a preserve of a few privileged people, those who could afford it in society. However, times have changed. Today, education is considered a fundamental human right so declared under the United Nations Human Rights Chatter, Article 26, Sub-Section 1.

Sir, this means that education is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to which all our children are entitled. I mean all children. Without education, a child is severely deprived. After all, in our impoverished circumstances, it is only education that gives us a beacon of hope for a better life in future. If this fundamental right is accepted, if Zambia truly wants to escape from poverty and underdevelopment, it is time we paid serious attention to trends and developments within our education system.

Mr Speaker, a system that spits and squeezes out tens of thousands of pupils every year deserves a second look. The way we plan and the way we budget for our education system requires a second look. In that planning and budgeting, I would like these promises to be appreciated.

We are planning and budgeting against a backdrop of severe poverty in Zambia today. By their own admission, the Government told us that more that two-thirds of Zambians are wallowing in poverty. The exact statistics given by the hon. Minister show that 68 per cent of Zambians live in poverty. This is the type of poverty which was not described by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on the Floor of this House.

We are talking about absolute grinding poverty. It is the kind of poverty where you do not have food to eat. It is the kind where people have to conduct a poll before determining who should eat. If you had breakfast, you are not eligible for lunch. If you had lunch, you are not qualified to have supper because there is not enough food to go round. This fact has been acknowledged by the Head of State himself. This is the type of poverty we are talking about in Zambia today.

Mr Speaker, under conditions of extreme poverty, people are faced with how to deal with matters of the stomach. Food comes first. Even in the pyramids of needs, food comes first. Even that revolutionist who has been discredited in certain circles, but who I still believe is one of the greatest revolutionists, Karl Max observed that mankind must first of all eat before he can pursue other things. We must eat first before we can come to Parliament. We must eat first before we can go to church and preach. We need to eat first before we can go to school. This means that there is not one child who will go to school if it must return to a home that has no food. The first energies and sources will be spent on finding food.

Sir, because of the pervasive poverty in the country, the following scenarios have arisen.

Out of the total eligible number of children ripe to enter Grade 1, only about half of that number actually starts school. In fact, the exact statistics is and I quote from the Educational Statistical Bulletin of 2005, Page 20:

“At national level the overall Net Intake Rate (NIR) stood at 51.2 per cent. This single indicator potentially can undermine all national efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals.”

This is a sad statistic. Out of the total number of Zambians ready to enter Grade 1 only half actually do enter. The point is that, the reason given by the 38 per cent that do not enter school is lack of financial support. These are statistics that we cannot ignore. Sir, the 13 per cent children who are not able to enter school are not doing so because they do not have the financial resources to do so. That point was confirmed by the Living Conditions Marking Survey Report of 2004 on page 30 and I have the document here. That is the first scenario.

The second scenario is that, out of the 50.2 per cent that are actually enrolled, we see a constant dropout rate every year from Grade 1 to Grade 12. Not on account of illness, disciplinary reasons, marriage and pregnancies, but on account of lack of sponsorship.

The survey that I am talking about has the figures. I have only taken three years to illustrate my point.

Mr Speaker, in 2004, 22,660 children dropped out of school for economic reasons. The exercise which is done by the Ministry of Education every year, which is the annual school census, will give you the statistics. To that figure, you add the number that was orphaned. This means that when a person is orphaned, he losses sponsorship. Therefore, they must be added to the figure of the economic reasons. The total figure for 2004 comes to 39,120.

Sir, in 2005, those that dropped out for economic reasons were 20,840 and add 16,409 as orphaned and the total figure is 37,249. In 2006, 21,731 dropped out for economic reasons and the orphaned were 15,565 and the total is 37,096. The total number of those that have dropped out in the last three years for economic reasons are 63,131 and the orphaned were 48,234. In total, the number of Zambian children who could not continue with their education for economic related reasons is 111,365.

Mr Speaker, I am not talking about people who have been squeezed out at Grade 7 because there are no enough classrooms at Grade 8. I am not talking about children who have been squeezed out at Grade 9 because there are no enough classrooms at Grade 10. I am talking about those who dropped out for economic reasons. This statistic should move even the hardest heart. We are neglecting the future for our children.

Mr Speaker, we can see that there is a strong co-relationship between poverty and education. In fact, this survey I am talking about established the relationship that education is a very strong correlate of poverty. It has been established in this survey that the same living condition survey of 2004 on Page 50 was found that households headed by individuals with no formal education are more than two times likely to be poor than households headed by those educated. In fact, the incidence of poverty in households with no education was at 81 per cent and of these, 70 per cent were classified extremely poor. Poverty and education are self reinforcing factors.

Mr Speaker, if you are poor, chances are that you may not be educated and if you are not educated, chances are that you may have been poor. So, poor leads to lack of education. They run with each other. Any serious planning and budgeting for education must aim at breaking this vicious circle. Otherwise, we are not serious at all. For many poor Zambians, education is the only way out of poverty. Education also has other sanitary side effects, surveys that establish that schooled women are less likely to die in child birth.

Mr Speaker, studies have also established that a child born of literate mother is less likely to die before the age of five. Education also is one attribute and feeling that makes it possible for you to observe other human endeavours. If therefore, education is so fundamental to our life, why should we deny it to some of our compatriots? If education is so fundamental, we must make it accessible to all Zambian citizens.

Sir, the money spent on educating our children must not be considered a cost at all. It must be considered as an investment in the future of our children and this country. It is therefore, not a cost at all. If we cannot appreciate that fact, then that slogan at the Ministry of Education, ‘we are educating our future’ must change because in fact, we are neglecting our future. We are not supposed to be neglecting our future. We are supposed to be investing in our future if we have to develop and escape from poverty.

Mr Speaker, without proper investment in education, come 2030, they will just prove a mere dream. I can assure you that by 2030, it will no longer be a dream but a gripping nightmare because we have forgotten to address some fundamentals. In this House, let us bring this argument closer to reality. In this House, as hon. Members of Parliament, we are all aware of the number of children who are unable to go back to their schools every term because their parents cannot raise the fees. We are aware of children who have not gone back to take up their seats in Grade 10 because their parents have not found the resources to send them back to school. In Zambia today, you need an average amount of K500, 000 to send your child to a high school per term and that is just school fees. I am not talking about transport money to and from school. I am not even talking about money you are going to spend on books, uniform and pocket money. I am talking about the average amount of K500,000 for school fees. When you add all other expenses, you do not need anything less than K1, 500,000 to send your child to a high school in Zambia today. The question is how many of our impoverished 68 per cent people can afford that? How many Zambians can afford K1, 500,000 to send their children back to school every term?

Sir, the question is nil because they still struggle to feed themselves yet education is a fundamental human right. Given the outline of the problem as I have tried to indicate, today, we have no choice but to urge this Government to extend free education from Grade 7 to Grade 12 so that all our children are given the basic tools needed to escape poverty and succeed in life. After all, I have already stated that education is the only beacon of hope for a better future. Therefore, it has to be made possible and accessible to all our children.

Mr Speaker, I hear a heartbeat somewhere within the compartments of State House. I hear the heartbeat of the mother who is concerned about the issues that we are talking about today.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: When addressing some meetings over the weekend, the First Lady, Madam Maureen Mwanawasa, alluded to this need. In the Monday Times of Zambia, Page 2, in an article entitled ‘First Lady wants free education extended beyond primary schools’, it was reported and I quote:

‘First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa has called on the Government to extend the free education facility beyond primary school for those that cannot afford. She was advocating free education for the poor because doing so is the only way universal education can be fully implemented. The First Lady further said that education is an important ingredient for national development.’

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: She could not have been more accurate with what we are talking about today.

Sir, my only hope is that there is unanimity in State House on this issue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: I hope there is unanimity in the first family on this issue. I also hope that there is unanimity on this issue in Cabinet.

It is my hope also, that there is unanimity in this House. If we cannot invest in our children then, we are neglecting our future.

Finally, if we think that investing in education is costly, we must start calculating the cost of investing in illiteracy and ignorance.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sejani: You will know the difference. In history, nations that started investing in illiteracy and ignorance have paid dearly.

Sir, I have no doubt that we are all concerned about the plight of our children and that we shall do our best to ensure that education is accessed by all Zambian children.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani laid the paper on the Table.

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

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

Mr Syakalima: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for this opportunity on behalf of all Zambians. On behalf of all the women, the children, the disabled, the vulnerable groups, the marginalized, the poor and the tired, I would like to make my contribution on the motion moved the hon. Member for Mapatizya.

Mr Speaker, I will take my debate from where His Excellency the President left it last year. When His Excellency toured Luapula Province, he addressed schools children at high schools that his Government was considering introducing free education up to Grade 12.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, for me, education is the starting point of the economic crusade. It is the starting point of the breaking of this vicious circle of poverty. The greatest way of any nation is its people, the poor inclusive. That is the greatest way of any nation.

 I will give an example of Japan who has nothing apart from its people and surrounded by water. All they did was to invest in their people to realise the potential of their economic crusade.

Therefore, Sir, investment in the education of our people and increasing their health and nutrition, is in itself an act of wealth creation. Wealth creation cannot take place in a vacuum. International resources must drive it. Thus, education is an indispensable key, engine and in fact, fuel to better personal and national productivity. Hence, what we call the education, poverty alleviation nexus. That is the starting point.

Mr Speaker, the UNESCO Education for All in expanded version, says and I quote:

‘Education produces substantial value for money. This is reflected both in national accounts and in individual earnings. As people are educated even earnings grow so do the savings and investment and, in turn, the living standards of society.’ End of quote.

For example, in an economy like Zambia where women are pillars of household food security, the link between farmer education and farmer efficiency suggests that more education for women could bring improved agricultural yields. If you educate a woman in agriculture, they will bring more agricultural yields. Therefore, when we talk about education for all up to Grade 12, we are reminded that in Zambia today, 23 per cent of our people are illiterate while 37 per cent are partial illiterate. Therefore, we are talking about almost half of the country being illiterate.

Why are we talking about free education up to Grade 12? I will give an example of South Korea and Pakistan. According to the World Education Forum, it states and I quote:

‘Both countries had the same per capita income in 1960, but different primary enrolment ratios. The Republic of Korea had 94 while Pakistan had 34 per cent.  By 1996, the Republic of Korea had three times per capita gross domestic products of Pakistan.’ End of quote.

 This is the important of education in the national development and the GDP that we talk about every day.

Mr Speaker, we know that out of the entire population, a paltry 10 per cent in Zambia have attained Grade 10 to 12 at the highest level. Get me right here. Between Grade10 and Grade12, 62 per cent of those whom have left schools have cited lack of support as a reason for leaving school. Therefore, the question that left many answers is that yes, we have free education up to grade 7 and so many drop outs. Therefore, those who manage to go into Grade 10, 62 per cent have left school before Grade 12 and they cited lack of support for dropping out.

Sir, it is true that a Grade 7 can never be a pilot. It is also true that a Grade 7 can never be a medical doctor, nurse, professor or an engineer. Furthermore, a Grade7 can never be an electrician either. Not even as a house servant today Sir, the reason we are saying that we should extend this free education up to Grade 12 is because we are aware that if a child is intelligent enough at Grade 12, he could go to university or college and one day be a pilot, a medical doctor or a teacher unlike at Grade 7. If this Government believes that a Grade 7 can be a pilot, His Honour the Vice-President can challenge me.


Mr Syakalima: I can assure you that none of them can be like that.

Today, we are crying about teachers because only somebody who has gone up to Grade 12 can become a teacher. We are talking about nurses today, but only a person who has gone up to Grade 12 can become nurse unless the Hon. Minister of Health tells me that they also recruit Grade 7 drop-outs.

The police, also in their own right, have been looking at the Fifth National Development Plan. Sir, this Fifth National Development Plan is off balance. The Fifth National Development Plan is from 2006 up to 2010. At your own admittance, you want to make Zambia a middle income country by 2030 and your investment in education is like this, this is a terrible joke. Your Fifth National Development Plan is off course. You are only remaining with three years. You will have literally done nothing out of your own planning.

Sir, realising that in the 2030 vision we must be a middle income country, they called so many countries which are middle income, to see how they spend on education. That is GDP. Not bubbling with the confidence that this year you will implement in terms of education allocation. Many countries talk about the percentage of GDP because that is what makes sense. It is not about the billions of Kwacha that will be increased. In any case, it is not the increasing that we need this time around, but it is the recruitment of teachers that has been the battle. That is not estimated based on GDP.

This is a Government document which talks about wanting this country to become a middle income country and it says, ‘As an average of GDP, Botswana 7.4 per cent; Egypt 5.8 per cent; Gabon 3.4 per cent; Malaysia 5.2 per cent; Panama 5.1 per cent; South Africa 5.9 per cent; Thailand 4 per cent; and the end trail, Zambia 2.3 per cent standing as GDP, and you tell me that you want to make Zambia a middle income country by 2030. Already this is in abeyance with the Fifth National Development Plan. Actually, you were not planning because you are not spending in accordance.

To make matters worse, and this probably can even annoy you, even Angola and Mozambique coming from glaring wars are spending more money or GDP on education than this country. A country that boasts of never having been at war, a country that boasts that there is peace and tranquillity, is at war with poverty, hunger, squalor, disease and poverty of the mind. The poverty of the mind is lack of education. If we cannot provide for our own people, where are we as a country?

Sir, every time I move along Great East Road and see those street children under the bridge, I find it very difficult to understand because in every one of those children I see a medical doctor, a pilot, an engineer and a teacher. However, they are on the streets not because of their own liking, but because we have denied them education and free education for that matter. In the Bible, there is a chapter and verse where it is written, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.’ That is what those children also say. ‘MMD Government, have mercy on us.’

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: That is what education is. Look into their eyes and hear their cry.  Those are the children we should have taken care of. Unfortunately, this Government at that time, allowed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to dictate to them not to employ teachers and they agreed not employ teachers. In the meantime, when those who had money could go to school they found no teachers. Even today, those who can afford to go to school find no teachers in classrooms. However, the burden is on those who do not even have money to pursue education.

I have here with me a magazine where President Paul Kagame wrote an opinion entitled, ‘Knowledge is the Foundation of the Future.’ Paul Kagame writes:

‘We know only too well that, just as the growth of the 19th and 20th centuries was driven by networks of railways and highways, the growth of the 21st Century is being powered by networks of digital highways and ICT value-added services. Unlike previously, when we missed both the agricultural and industrial revolutions, we in Africa and in the developing world generally, must regard the digital highway as one of the roads to growth, and strive to harness its potential.’

Only people who have been to school and are educated can understand these technological endeavours. This is what we need.

It is only now that we are now struggling to take off in agriculture, but the agriculture and industrial revolution went a long time ago. Why should we not start as Zambians? I know that at independence we had the best education system in Africa. That is why we must be going back so that we revolutionalise this capacity. We must make it as a revolution because only if you invest in the people will you invest in everything.

As my colleague said, ‘better educated women are able to attend antenatal and understand what it is. Child birth rates and child mortality rates are lowered down by educated women.

Mr Speaker, let me suggest something. If you are finding it extremely difficult to have a starting point then make all the girl children go to school for free because they are the most marginalised. What you will learn is that in a home where there is a girl and a boy child, when the father does not have enough money, they will tell the girl to stay home and the boy to go to school. Why can you not take care of the girl child as a Government up to university? There are so many people in this country who cannot afford to take their children even if it is a boy child to school. So, to all those children whose parents cannot afford to, let us, please, take them to school. The cost of educating them is not the same as that of not educating them at all. These are the same children who will come to trouble us when they become vagabonds.

Sir, already these children have wasted twenty years on the streets aged twenty years. Are you going to contain the level of crime?

Mr Mwiimbu: No!

Mr Syakalima: They will not care about any of us wearing a tie, you will be their target. They will say that it was you in Government, that you were the Member of Parliament and never spoke the language of the poor. Let us start speaking the language of the poor now.

There are some people who cannot speak for themselves. This is why we say that many of you got free education.

Ali Mazrui once said; ‘your education is useless, your science has been found wanting and your schooling is meaningless if it cannot be used for the good of society’.

Hon. Professor Lungwangwa, let us use our education for the good of society.

Finally, I want to say that what greater armoury can you provide for your people than to educate them to be informed, discerning participating communities so they can nature their democracy and know the true test of liberty in our times? What better investment can empower our communities to attack new frontiers and defend what we already have? That is what we have to do for the people. We should not just be exhibiting the culture of knowing the price of everything, yet not knowing at all. Knowing about adding value, but not knowing what value is. Here we are talking about justice. If we provide education to every child, we would have done justice to them because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. What affects one directly affects all indirectly.

When you think it is only affecting that family, you are wrong because it has affected you indirectly. Mr Speaker, I beg this Government and urge you in the most sincere and honest manner to carry on where President Mwanawasa left off in Luapula where he told school children that the Government was considering to promote free education up to Grade 12. That should not end just on paper, it must be seen as tangible as it is and we can only realise that when we check in the budget, otherwise we have a long way to go to reach 2030 and make Zambia a middle income country. Mr Speaker, the Fifth National Development Plan is off balance. Start now.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Tetamashimba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the straightforward motion which we have no objection to.

Mr Speaker, may be it is the left side of the mover where people do not want to support the motion. Sir, I agree with both the mover and seconder of this motion and especially the mover who stated that the mother in State House has feelings for children to have free education. It is not just the mother in State House, but also the father in State House wants the children of Zambia to be educated. He has been in this House and has told the Zambian people that he wants free education up to Grade 12 and that he is going to do that as soon as the economy of this country picks up.

Yes, there used to be free education in this country, but the mover of the motion will agree with me that when he was in that Government in which he served as Minister of Local Government and Housing and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, they removed free education for the children of Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: I would have expected my brother to at least acknowledge that he is sorry that he was in a Government that removed free education from the people of Zambia. Nonetheless, the motion is most welcome.

Mr Speaker, I agree that the girl child needs a lot of support, but as the debate went on I was trying to reflect to find which provinces we can find a lot of children who have not been going to school. Mr Speaker, wrong or right I came to discover that the culprits to this contribution of having many children not going to school are my brothers from Southern Province.


Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I have reasons for that. When you go to North Western Province, we only marry one woman, but my brothers marry more than five and in each woman they have more than six children. They also abuse our beautiful sisters by using them as workers on their farms.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, the children born on these farms grow up there and are used to rear animals thinking they have a lot of wealth. I want to urge my brothers that this motion should also go out there and tell our relatives to start having fewer children. That is the only way we can manage in this economic environment where there are few jobs on the scene.

Mr Speaker, I agree that there is need for this Government to make sure that every child goes to school up to Grade 12 free of charge, but as soon as the economy picks up, I can assure you that that will be done. That is why the example of South Korea and Zambia does not work out because our friends there do not have more than three children when here in Zambia one man has seven wives and thirty children in five years. There is no economy where you can have five wives and almost a new baby every year and think you can be equal to a man with two children in five years. It cannot work.


Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, as I continue supporting this important motion, I agree that Zambia, soon or later, will be a better place to live in. Most of the street children the mover spoke about are above twelve years. Some of them are going on to twenty years old. Now you cannot blame the Government for a child who is below ten years and not going to school because anybody who is below ten years and wants to be in school can go because there is free education up to Grade 7. Mr Speaker those above ten years have been caught up because the Government that was there before which did not give free education for ten years, the MMD Government in which Hon. Sejani who is the mover of this motion served, did not want to give free education. So for ten years Hon. Muntanga, the kids who were seven years and should have been in school were denied because of the introduction of fees. Those kids of that Government in which my brother served are now seventeen years and therefore, cannot access free education. What has this Government done to redress that? This Government through the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development has been mobilising these children and taking them into colleges for skills training so that they can know how to make a bed and sell it to the big farmers of Kalomo.


Mr Tetamashimba: So, you can see that we are doing something and I can assure the mover and seconder, that this important motion they have brought as we govern for the next 30 years…


Mr Tetamashimba: …by 2030 there will be no children who will fail to be in school because their parents have no money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: That, I can assure you. This Government of President Mwanawasa and whoever takes over in 2011 because we are still going to be in Government will continue with free education.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, yes, we need to support the girl child and I am not ashamed to say that as an individual, I have been supporting girl children not even related to me. One of them was in my office this morning. We saw her during the Constitution Review Commission (CRC), she spoke so well, but claimed that she had no money. The commissioners and I decided to sponsor her. She is now at the university. When I was at the Ministry of Education she was given full bursary. Her predicament now is not about what the Government can give, but money to buy books. She was at my office last week and I referred her to the Ministry in Gender Development and Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) so that they could help her.

Again, I declare interest because, Mr Speaker, I can inform you that the 10 years I have been in this House, I was sponsoring ten children at Solwezi College every year. I am outside those imaginations. I think we need to educate girl children. Even in our homes, I know that most of us men we take our monies to drink.

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Mr Tetamashimba: Yes, that is what happens, but for the mothers they normally look after the children. I agree with the mover and seconder that we should not disadvantage the girl child. My two brothers will agree with me that when I was moving in that province campaigning with the former President of UPND, I discovered that many girl children were being disadvantaged.


Mr Tetamashimba: That is the only way we are going to help the girl child.


Mr Tetamashimba: Even inheritance, people leave a will to benefit male children. That is what my brothers do. Please, I agree with you that we must now start changing and I hope next time when I go to campaign there for the MMD, I will find a lot of children and girl children being supported by all my colleagues on the left. I agree with this motion and I have no doubt that many of us are going to support it. It has come at the right time, but we need to agree that what this Government is doing is at least a step in the right direction. We do not have much resource because everybody who does some work for the Government wants an increment, including houses I cannot mention. They all want an increment, but that increment comes from tax-payers. As we ask for more money for our own pockets, we must think that by demanding for more money for our pockets we are disadvantaging this Government from putting that money for the child to go up to Grade 12. There was an example given about Angola. Unfortunately, my brother has never been near the border of Angola. Zambia did a lot for Angola and Hon. Kakoma will agree with me. Maheba was one of the biggest refugee camps. The children from Angola were being trained by this Republic. Angola and Zambia are distances apart. They have oil which is in high demand.

Hon. Opposition Members: GDP.

Mr Tetamashimba: It is a commodity that is making them be what they are. If you do not have a commodity to sell outside, your GDP is nothing.

Mr Kambwili: We have copper.

Mr Tetamashimba: Yes, Mr Accountant. It is because of the commodity that foreign exchange comes into Angola. They have oil. You must be praying that for the first time, at least, we have been told that there is gas and oil where we come from.

Hon. Opposition Members: It is in Mozambique.

Mr Tetamashimba: Yes, it is Mozambique, but where I come from, North-Western Province, I hope that this gas and oil are going to be in abundance. To think that GDP means if you have no commodity to sell, therefore, GDP will be better, I do not agree with this. You must have a product like copper that is in high demand by our friends outside. It is also the same with maize when my brothers were producing a lot of it previously because there was a lot of rain. However, I think it will not be good for us now to give free education to our children up to Grade 12 just because Angola is doing this. I think let us do and put in our best so that, as we move forward and with people’s integrity being in a Government without plunder and corruption, then what we are saying today will be achieved. This motion deserves a lot of support and I know that all our friends are going to support it without anybody refusing. I know even Hon. Kambwili will agree with me that this motion is very straight forward and so he needs to support it.

I thank you very much, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to support this motion and by supporting this motion, first of all, I would like to recognise the fact that the MMD Government has done a lot when it comes to education. For example, the MMD Government has employed so many teachers that in my constituency where they used to employ only one or two teachers, now we have a minimum of three teachers.

I can also cite an example of rehabilitation of schools in my constituency. Many of the schools have been rehabilitated and many schools have been constructed. Therefore, I should also recognise the fact that there is a bursary scheme that has been introduced in Zambia for the under-privileged children. I should also recognise the fact that the MMD Government has tried to raise the standards of education by supporting the standards officers, who are the inspectors of schools so that they are able to frequently monitor and inspect schools. At the same time, I would like to recognise the fact that transport has been given to people who are working for the Ministry of Education so that they are mobile.

Mr Speaker, however, I would like to also urge my listening Government to do more for our schools in order to give chance to all the children in Zambia to go up to Grade 12. I remember when I was headmaster for Lukona High School in Kalabo, His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan came to visit the school. When he arrived, he told me that in Japan, they did not have copper like we do in Zambia, only their people. Therefore, they look at school as a sacred place. We feel that if all our children could go to school to get knowledge and skills, then we would have reduced poverty and created wealth for ourselves.

Sir, it is for this reason that I would like to support the mover and the seconder of this motion. I realise that for some of our children to be able to pay school fees, other user fees and buy exercise books, it is quite a problem. As a former headmaster, especially, of a boarding school, I know that some of our pupils, especially girl children are much disadvantaged. By this, I mean that some of them are not able to pay boarding fees. As a result, they go into shanty compounds. In shanty compounds, for convenience sake, they get married. That is not good for us.

Mr Speaker, because of these reasons, I would like to ask my listening Government to spend a little more money on education because we know that if we are to reduce poverty in this country, we have to do a lot more in order to educate our children. After all, we know that an educated person who has a lot of skills and knowledge can do anything, even if we had no copper. This is because we would be able to import raw materials and make them into finished goods. That is if our children had the knowledge and skills.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, I rise to support this motion moved by the hon. Member for Mapatizya. I support the motion because it is probably one of the easiest motions to support. When I look in this august House, I see very enlightened men and women, people that have risen to the apex of society, the governance of this country, and yet, if I go deeper, I see hungry people from humble backgrounds. However, they have management to rise to where they are, mainly, because of education.

Sir, is it not for the foresight of our predecessors in the First Republic who not only rapidly expanded the educational infrastructure but also provided free education, in fact, up to tertiary level that today we have engineers, doctors, professors and so on?

Mr Speaker, having benefited from that free education, are we now going to act like a person, who together with other people is thrown into a pit and when a ladder is thrown to them, he is the first one to come out and when he does he pulls the ladder up? That is what we are doing in refusing to have free education for all our children because they are remaining behind.

Sir, education is a great equaliser. It is mainly through education that the child of a peasant, doctor, or minister can rise to equal status in the land, limited only by their capacity to assimilate academic principles.

Mr Speaker, education opens doors that were normally closed. It also provides a meaningful basis or a basis for meaningful development. Already, in this House, we have heard of economists that invested heavily in the education of their children earlier on in their development. Have we not heard of the four tigers, India, Bangladeshi and China that are moving ahead? They are catching up with the Western World mainly because they invested heavily in the education of their people.

Sir, education lifts people, families and societies from abject poverty. It is through education that new concepts can be assimilated. These are concepts such as farming, family planning and indeed, health. It provides the impetus for technological advances that is so much required, not only in our nation, but throughout the world. Education is not only required for the developing countries, but also for the developed nations. Was it not Tony Blaire in 1997, when he came into power, who was asked what his priority was going to be, and he said education, education and education?

Mr Speaker, necessary as it is, it is important to recognise that education is expensive. In a country where 70 to 80 per cent of the people live below the poverty datum line, it is not feasible to expect that they will educate their children from their pockets. In a country where a large section of our community live on one meal a day, as already has been said, it is not feasible to expect that they will spend money on educating their children. In a country where HIV/AIDS has ravaged societies, thereby creating orphans, it is not feasible to expect that these communities will continue to educate their children from their resources.

Sir, it is therefore, fair to say that many of our children cannot afford to go to school, mainly on account of lack of financial resources. Therefore, we turn to our Government and ask them to emulate the example of our predecessors in the First Republic by providing this necessary commodity to all our children by giving them free education up to Grade 12. It is not just education why a child goes to school we are looking for quality education.

Mr Speaker, the quality of our community schools and many of our basic schools as well as high schools, leaves much to be desired. The education that we are talking about must be that which will lift the whole society. Already, it has been said in this House that all our goals, achievements of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and the Vision 2030 or indeed, our Fifth National Development Plan will all be in vain if we do not invest heavily in education. It is proper to say schools must be built, but these must be quality schools. The existing schools must be rehabilitated. Teachers must be engaged and indeed education must be free.

The other area that we must focus on is the provision of mathematics and science subjects in our schools. We seem to be moving backwards. Not long ago this country established national schools like the David Kaunda Secondary Technical School where, incidentally, I attained my secondary school education. They also established Hillcrest and Munali Secondary schools as national schools. This was a reservoir. Those pupils with talents in mathematics and science subjects were taken to these schools to nurture them into becoming the future engineers. Many of the engineers we see in today’s society came from these schools. It is necessary that we revisit this policy to ensure that even as we move in our education systems, the science subjects are also looked at.

Mr Speaker, this is what we are looking for in quality education up to Grade 12 and even beyond that up to the tertiary education, but it begs the question. In our society where we are limited by funds, how are we going to pay for this education? Even as we debate now, we must help the Government resolve this issue. Here are some suggestions. How can we pay for this free education?

Too often in this House, we advise that it is time to be serious in terms of increasing our revenue base. The Vision 2030 on which the Government has based their plans sees us turning this nation into a middle income nation by the year 2030. In order to do that, we need to increase our tax base. Right now, far too few people are captured in the tax net. Many people who earn a lot of money are outside the tax net. It is not too difficult. I think we heard an example on this Floor yesterday how easy it is to widen the tax base. We must grow the economy and the only way to grow it is not by 7 per cent that was brought to this House by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Growing this economy by 7 per cent will not make this nation a middle income by the year 2030. Simple mathematics shows that if we grow this economy by an average of 7 per cent, we shall not reach the middle income status until the year 2045. Therefore, in order to grow it, first of all, we must stop squandering the resources that we have. We must improve as the budget says service delivery. Above all, we must increase the contribution from the resources that this country is so endowed with.

Earlier, we heard about oil in other countries. Indeed, we have copper in this nation which is fetching the highest price. I have said before that we must take advantage of this by collecting enough revenue and channelling it to the sectors that require this which include free education up to Grade 12. Our agriculture sector is another area that, if properly handled, can generate a lot of money for this country. It can also contribute effectively to the growth of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and can also work to contribute money to provide free education for our children up to Grade 12.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Member: Quality.{mospagebreak}

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, thank you for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to this very important motion.

Mr Speaker, in supporting this motion, I want to remind this Government that we are not simply seeking to urge you to provide free education up to Grade 12, but we want now, as a matter of fact, to provide you with how you can do it. I am not very sure if Professor Lungwangwa knows that we need infrastructure and if you do, it is very important that you consider the argument that was provided here on the issue of a percentage of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) going to education which one of your debaters almost distorted. To simplify it, assume GDP is 100 per cent, all we are asking you to do is to increase it from the present 2.1 per cent. We are not asking you to produce more copper or anything else, but we are asking you to increase the percentage within a 100 per cent. I hope my colleagues have understood this.

Mr Sejani: They do.

Mr Hachipuka: This should be out of a 100 per cent. Do not spend 2.1 per cent, but spend more than 5 per cent. That is all we are asking you to do. The reason why we are asking you to spend more than 2 per cent is for you to be able to provide decent infrastructure and convert any buildings that you can come across so that within this coming year, we are able to provide every child with free education or at least a place in a school because your present infrastructure can not take all the children.

Mr Speaker, this brings me to another very important point which I hope, through you, Professor Lungwangwa will understand. On the issue of examinations, this Government has been using examinations as a way of discriminating children from school. Your sole purpose is not only to certificate them, but to remove them because you are not in a position to go into a classroom and say these five children must go out and these ones should go to Grade 10. You are using examinations as a way of discriminating and making children drop out.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Suppose you had sufficient space in all the schools to drive the children from Grades 1 to 12, would the examinations be necessary? If yes, there would be a measurement for achievement, but not a measurement or an instrument to drop them out of school. You must reconsider your position on certification and examinations. Do not use examinations as a way to drop children out without putting effort to increase the numbers of children who go to school.

Mr Speaker, I want my colleague, the hon. Minister of Education, to appreciate this. This is the only country where if you are looking for love for a child, the mother-father relationship, is totally invisible. You can not see it unless you go in a home. There are many countries that literally spend Government resources to make children go to school. This is the only country where feeding children during lunch or tea break is the responsibility of a parent. How else do you expect children to go to school if you do not provide incentives for them?

You have to provide incentives for children to go to schools. In many countries, and thank you, Sir, to allow me to go to Lesotho and I was able to observe that in almost every school in Lesotho, children are provided with meals.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha interjected

Mr Hachipuka: Yes. Compare Lesotho to Zambia.

Mr Speaker, my brother, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs would not be like that if he was not eating well.


Mr Hachipuka: He is a product of real food.

Mr Speaker, it is very important that we encourage children to go to school and in encouraging them to go to school, apart from food, there is need for us to look at other incentives such as uniforms, sport, the quality of classrooms and the desks in the classrooms. If these are not attended to, how else do you expect children to continue wanting school?

In supporting this motion, it is a major issue, which the Ministry of Education and the Government must look at seriously.

Mr Speaker, another point that I want to raise that has been raised by my colleague is that if this country continues to pursue its present educational policy where children are dropped out of school in thousands, we are growing a nation of illiterates and therefore, a nation of illiterate cannot grow in terms of development nor can it create wealth. We should not be contented as this is the only institution.

Hon. Syakalima gave a written speech of so many people. A Grade 7 cannot become a doctor or pilot, and this is the only country where a Grade 7 can become a Member of Parliament.


Mr Hachipuka: And you are very happy that everyone from Grade 7 wants to come to Parliament and become a minister. Even those who have not gone as far as Grade 7, I know of some hon. Members of Parliament who never even went to a formal school and you are very happy.


Mr Hachipuka: You should be ashamed of yourselves. We must promote education and do not use your yardstick as a basis for this country’s development.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Mr Speaker, I rise to support this motion.

Mr Speaker, education is the key to success and as Government, we are aware of this important issue. As much as we talk about children being in streets as parents, leaders and Non-Governmental Organisations what are we doing about it? Each one of us has a responsibility over these children.

The Government is keen to see to it that the girl and boy child is educated. The problem we have as leaders today is that today we can say this and then the other day we will say something else.

Mr Speaker, as far as the Government is concerned, we have acknowledged the problems that we, Zambian people have created due to poor attitude that we have towards issues that concern us.

Mr Kambwili: Stop reading debate!

Hon. Government Members: Continue!

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, including the negligence of our own children who are now on the streets, at least, the Government has taken steps to this by at least, mobilising them and taking them to Zambia National Service for training and again, we have about fifteen youth centres around the country which at least, train our children and are expected to be better children.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Speaker: When business was suspended, the hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs was then speaking, but before she continues, let me remind the House that on Wednesdays, Private Members’ Motions like this one takes precedence over anything else. I emphasise, motions like this one take precedence over everything else.

I have been listening to those who have been contributing and I agree with them that they have been unanimous, but that is not the reason for the Chair to be persuaded to curtail further debates simply because you are unanimous.

I have been listening to your unanimity which is based on each one of you giving reasons as to why you are agreeing with this motion and most of you have given ideas or suggestions as to how those you are urging the Government may meet the expensive costs of allowing or providing free education up to Grade 12. What the Presiding Officer will not allow is repetition. If you agree on a motion and then you begin to repeat yourselves then the Chair would conclude that debate on the motion has been exhausted.

Therefore, I would like to remind those hon. Members and there is one at least, in the Chamber, who is impatient to see this debate curtailed because she/he hears unanimity. That is not the reason. Hon. Members of Parliament are here to debate and as you do so, you address reasons for or against a particular issue. That is what all of us should hear.

Curtailing debate on a motion like this is denying people the reasons that you are addressing for agreeing or, as the case maybe, disagreeing with on a motion.

Finally, I want to remind the House not to send us notes. They distract the attention of the Presiding Officers. We do not want to participate in the juicy gossip notes that you circulate among yourselves. We can gossip as presiding because that is our job and our function.

The hon. Deputy Minister for Home Affairs may continue.

Ms Njapau: Sir, we are on education and I was saying that education is the key to success and each one of us has agreed that education is the key to success. I am very grateful that hon. Members of Parliament have supported this motion, yet as MMD, we have it in our manifesto. We started it. I am aware that some of our friends have copied from our manifesto.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, Hear!

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker as I was saying, the Government is mobilising street kids by taking them to Zambia National Service centres where they are being trained in different skills including writing and speaking English.

Apart from that I also said we have sixteen youth centres in the country, which are training our children. In this country we need people our children to be educated so that when we die they will have the future for this country. I am standing here to invite all my friends who are hon. Members, even those who have already supported the motion and those who have not supported, but are yet to support it, to support it because the children rely on education. We cannot do without education, because then we will be doomed.

I am supporting the motion that we should have free education from grade seven to grade 12 so that in future, even the people who will be here in Parliament will have diplomas or PhD level of education like our advisor hon. Lungwangwa here.

As one of the hon. Member on the other side said, the first lady Maureen Mwanawasa has mentioned this. It is true that we cannot do without education and we are there as Government to support education. We are there doing everything to make sure that our children in the streets and without parents at least have an education. A reasonable person in this House should know whether you have a child or not, or you know somebody with three children and unable to support those children, let us give them our support. Right now I have six orphans at my house and I am educating all of them. Some are moment doing their grade twelve and others are now teachers. This is because I know that if I can not educate those children, no one will. I have to make sure that they get educated.

As a Government, we are doing everything possible to make sure that our children in streets are taken to places where they have a good education. The problem that we have as leaders is that when the Government wants to remove the children from the streets, the other leaders will come out and say; these are my friends in development. How are we going to do that? We have to support Government’s efforts, we have to come together as a people and make sure that our children get better education.

In conclusion, Sir, I do not want to bore anybody here, we must make sure that we support this motion and help those that cannot help themselves.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): I am an educationist and I feel that if I do not speak out, I will be doing evil to myself and my conscious. The issue of education is quite critical, it is quite cardinal. It is not an issue that we should sugar coat. It is not an issue that we must be seen to be propagandist about. Education is a real issue, which must be addressed realistically.

 Whereas I support that there should be provision of free education in Zambia, I also want to say that we need to critically analyse the operations of the Ministry of Education.

As PF, when we spoke about re-introducing free education, we said that firstly, we would critically analyse how the Ministry of Education operates. This is because the declaration of free education entails looking at the creation of new infrastructure in terms of staff houses, classrooms and expansion of college capacity. There is need to look at the expansion of the university in order to provide for quality education. It is not an issue that we must sugar dress, no. It is an issue that we must critically look at because presently the question I could ask is whether did the Ministry of Education has adequately addressed the issue of quality education. Has it addressed the issue of the teacher-child ratio? How about infrastructure via-a-vis the demand against the population? How much money has the Ministry of Education provided to go into provision of quality education? Those are the critical issues we should look at and address, as we are contemplating extending free education to higher levels. Recently when I went to my constituency, I found that there were fewer teachers compared to the number of children and I am wondering at my brother who says that there are enough teachers in Western Province. I am baffled as I do not think that is reality. The worst enemy of this country is ourselves because we do not want to live by the truth. We always want to politicise issues. Parliament is not about such issues.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

When we are here, we must not be propagandists. Propaganda must be up there on the platform. When we are here, we must reflect honour. We must not be related with politics at all, because this is governance and we are the third highest order of governance.

It will require re-looking at the curriculum. What has gone wrong with the curriculum? Last time I debated, I said that university education should not be denounced. I said we should ask ourselves why a good percentage of grade twelve boys and girls are unable to read and comprehend. Why is it that a grade seven pupil today cannot write a letter, even in Lozi to the grandfather? Such are critical questions that we need to look at. The hon. Minster of Education, as a professional and professor in education has a big challenge, much more than we perceive.

The question of teacher intake in all the nine colleges in Zambia today has an output of a drop in the ocean against the demand. This will require consideration of construction of more colleges to provide for the teachers.  This requires a re-look at desks, transport and the curriculum.

Mr Speaker, I have been very saddened as a teacher myself. I am one of the persons who liked teaching even when I was head because, I believe, that is my profession. This curriculum that is being changed day in and day out is retrogressive and has contributed to the poor quality of education. There is need for professors at the University of Zambia to come up with an indigenous curriculum to empower the people. If you went to the Democratic Republic of Congo today- I do not know the disease that Zambians have because for our neighbours, any child who leaves Grave 12 would be a mechanic. You cannot teach him how to grow cabbage. He would have acquired the skill through the process. That is the type of education that we would like.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: By the time a child leaves Grade 12, he or she would have known mechanics or driving. There would be no need to go to Road Traffic Commission (RTC) for a drivers’ license, they could acquire it through the process of learning. That is skills and education for empowerment. This would require a collective way of addressing the education system in Zambia. If we are all going to be looking for white collar jobs, we shall say what we can, but there shall never be change. This is a serious issue.

Mr Speaker, this Government claims to be a listening Government and that is why it must begin to see a change. When we say, ‘From stability to service delivery,’ we must mean it. I wonder why we want to pretend. Let us call a spade a spade. If it means talking to President Mwanawasa, hon. Members, let us do that because he is our man. We would cause him to fall if we lie to him. Never at all, will I ever lie to Michael Sata. I will simply say, ‘Sir, if you want to fire me, fire me. As a Christian, I would like to tell you that this can work or this cannot work.’

Hon. Government Members: Cross over!

Mr Chimbaka: I will never lie at all.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: That is why we are saying this today because somebody else lied to President Mwanawasa, Kaunda and Chiluba that the system was working …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: … when it was not. {mospagebreak}

Such is the leadership we have in Zambia. That is the disease that we have. No wonder why if you go to the Ministry of Education it takes an hour to see Professor Lungwangwa. How long shall it take when you increase the responsibilities? You must be realistic. Governance is not about playing at all. If it can take you, a Member of Parliament, one and half hours to see Professor Lungwangwa to agree and disagree with him on what must be done in your constituency, when you overload him with this burden, how long shall it take you? It may take you three years. You will probably be voted out of Parliament without seeing the minister ever.

The attitude of all of us must change. There must be reformation of character. There must be reformation of politics. There must be reformation of governance. We must be able to perceive and address issues critically as professionals. Even as hon. Members of Parliament when we are appointed or removed from these positions, we must have a vision of what it is that we must contribute to the Government. It is not a matter of getting a pay. It is not a matter of being called honourable, we must have commitment to move one step from where we are to the next forum and then we shall be hon. Members. Then posterity will judge us.

Mr Speaker, patriotism in this country has been eroded. Democracy has been misunderstood. Sir, even issues that do not need politicking like this one, people have got to criticise. What is it? The Executive also window dress issues!

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka:  This is not a window dressing issue. It is an issue that concerns the lives of our people. No wonder when say, ‘Can we please, domesticate this human right of education for all,’ some people will stand and say no. However, you have nephews and grandchildren at home whose parents died with the pandemic, and with what you get, are you able to support them? No!

Sir, this issue needs good, high level and sober minded persons to address it because failure to do that, we shall say what we can (Opposition), they will say what they can (Government), but there will be no resolution. We are blessed that we are existing here today. We are blessed that we have heard and agreed that education is key to development. Hence, the need for us to think beyond what we have today, beyond what is contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Vision 2030. We need, even before this House comes to the close in 2011, to leave a mark for which people shall say, ‘Professor Lungwangwa was worth living because he did what he was supposed to do.’

Time is gone for hon. Members of Parliament to come to this House to play. However, regarding issues of education and just like any other issues, let us show seriousness to the world. We must have our own indigenous way of trying to do that.

When you go to Botswana, you will get surprised. Those are the people we taught. If you go to Namibia and you look at their culture, the discipline, the way they interact and how they look at their property, you would wonder where they got their wisdom. Sir, you wonder where they got the patriotism, responsibility sense, love for their country, and jealousy for their resources, but here in Zambia, it is like we are bewitched …


Mr Chimbaka: … because we think even being a Member of Parliament is just playing. No!

Mr Speaker, the motion of Free Education up to Grade 12 is a good well-timed motion. I was there when President Mwanawasa announced it in the grounds at Kaole. I organised that meeting and I was next to him as Provincial Secretary of the MMD then.

Hon. Government Members: Come back!

Mr Chimbaka: He said, ‘We are going to do that.’

Hon. Government Members: Come back!

Mr Chimbaka: I am saying then!

Definitely, the people are looking forward to the fulfilment of that. As the President spoke out, it was regarded as a presidential pronouncement. Now, it is incumbent upon Cabinet to remind our President and not to fear to tell him. You are killing him! Tell him the desire of Parliament, and that this is the will and wish of the people. You are servants just as good as I am. We must be faithful in the sense that we should help to administer this country in a peaceful, acceptable and progressive way by doing what the will of the people so dictates.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this opportunity.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to add my voice and support this motion of free education.

Sir, I get disturbed when people who are hon. Members of Parliament are not consistent. This Government during the elections, when PF and UPND said, ‘There shall be free education,’ they said, ‘Do not trust comedians.’

Mr Kambwili: This afternoon, the MMD spokesman said that they are the architects of free education. People must learn to be serious.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Another Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs stood up and said, ‘We are the ones who started it.’ Where did you start it?


Mr Kambwili: You must be serious when you come to this House. Politics of appeasement must come to an end if we are to progress. This Government should not come to this House just because they know that people are listening to the radio and they should say that they started free education. They called us all sorts of names and they were even saying where is Sata going to get the money, he is just mad. There is no money for free education and yet they come today and say they started free education.

Mr Mtonga: Shame!

Mr Kambwili: This Government should be serious with what it says. Even the other time when the First Lady said…

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, on a point of order.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I rarely stand on points of order, but I want to ask my brother who is on the Floor if he is in order to dispute the fact that the New Deal Government is the leader in the policy of free education…


 Mr Liato: …especially that we already started free education from Grade 1 to Grade 7 with the commitment that we are would expand the facility to other grades. Is he in order to say that we are not leaders in this policy when it is actually in our manifesto? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security is disputing the assertion by the hon. Member for Roan on who started the idea of free education. That could be part of the debate. You may debate it.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection. These people are telling us this afternoon that there is free education. In Bemba they say, ‘umwana ashenda, atasha nyina ukunayo bwali.’ Having lived in the UK let me educate this Government what free education means.

Mr Speaker: Order! When an hon. Member uses a wise vernacular saying, it is traditional for that hon. Member to interpret it for the rest of the House to hear.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, it simply means, ‘if you do not travel, you would think where you live is the best place on earth.’ What is free education and what do you understand by it? You have said you are offering free education from Grade 1 to Grade 9 but what are we seeing? You are giving basic schools K1 million per term. They are not even able to pay for electricity, engage extra teachers when there is a shortage and they are not even able to pay for water.

Sir, for instance in my constituency, all the schools have been threatened with water disconnections by Nkana Water and Sewerage Company. Had it not been my effort, by now, the schools would have had no water and yet this Government wants to come here and tell us that there is free education. People are paying examination fees and they are calling it free education when they are not even providing books. I am on record of donating books to the Grade 8 pupils who were not able to go to school because they had no books. I donated books to all the schools in my constituency and this Government wants to come to this House and say they are offering free education.

Mr Speaker, there is no free education being offered by this Government. To the contrary, people continue paying PTA and K31, 000 for examination fees. What free education is this? If people do not pay PTA, their children are chased from school meanwhile this Government tells us that they are offering free education. There is no free education that you are offering unless you re-look at the meaning of free education. Free education means finding pens at school and eating lunch there. That is what it means by free education.

Mr Speaker, children should not have to pay for examinations. That is free education. What free education are you offering when you are chasing children for not paying K31, 000 PTA Fund? Children are not allowed to write examinations when they have not paid examination fees and you come here and start cheating the world and this country that you are providing free education.

Mr Speaker: Order! The word ‘cheating’ is unparliamentary. You shall withdraw it.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I withdraw and replace it with misleading the nation…


Mr Kambwili: …that you are providing free education. It is high time we started being serious. What we need to do in this country is to decentralise the Ministry of Education. Remove all that cream at the administration at the Ministry of Education. You have got too much staff at this ministry. You have provided K432 billion for administration at the Ministry of Education – Headquarters and given K108 billion to all the basic schools on the Copperbelt. What kind of free education is that? We need to decentralise education. Let the councils in each respective town administer the schools. Fire all that cream you have employed at the Ministry of Education because they are unnecessary. We want to pay teachers and this K432 billion must go to buy school books and pay for children who cannot afford examination fees and feed children at school.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Kambwili: It is not necessary to have fifty people at the Ministry of Education, Head Office. You find people  in charge of buying desks and yet there are no desks in schools.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: You are talking about providing free education from Grade 1 to Grade 12. Some of the children in rural areas are still learning in schools made of poles and mud. How are you going to provide free education if you are not able to build infrastructure? Let us be serious with the way we run this country. We can only do that if we start talking on principle and not the way my dear brother, Hon. Tetamashimba was saying. That is not being serious. Let us be serious with what we do. If we mean to provide free education, let us remove those aspects in the Ministry of Education that do not add value. What is all this K432 billion given to the Ministry of Education – Headquarters for when you have given K1.3 million to basic schools in each district? Which school can run on K1.3 million? The Headmaster cannot even attend meetings in Ndola because of insufficient money. He cannot even send teachers for youth celebrations.

Mr Speaker, I concur with what my elder brother said. If you want things to run correctly, advise the President that people are upset. If you keep telling him things are alright you are lying and killing him.

Mr Speaker: Order! Withdraw those two words, ‘lying’ and ‘killing.’ They are unparliamentary.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I withdraw them. These people are misleading the President.


Mr Kambwili: Tell him the truth for him to act on the needs of the people of Zambia. I want thank the mover of the motion. This is a motion that we need to look at very critically and seriously. In fact, this is what happens when you copy something.  You implement something in an up hazard way because it is not your original plan. That is why you have failed.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Kambwili: If you want to impress the people of Zambia, analyse the Ministry of Education. Know what free education is and offer free education to the people of Zambia. When I go to my constituency every weekend, children line up saying they cannot go and write examinations, ‘naba tutamfya’ meaning ‘they have chased us’ from school for K31,000. I have been getting money from my pocket. How many people am I going to pay for while you sit in this House saying there is free education? You go and ask all the schools how many children are not able to pay examinations fees and pay for them. Create an enabling environment for those children to sit for examinations. That is why my dear brother there was saying that you are using examinations to eliminate people from school. You must stop that.

Mr Speaker, in the United Kingdom, where 90 per cent of the people are educated and where my children go to school, they do not pay anything. All we pay is council tax and that is enough. The children leave in the morning and go to school. That is free education. Do not cheat people that you are offering free education.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kambwili: Do not mislead people that you are offering free education. We want you to offer free education worth its’ salt.

With these few remarks, I support this motion 100 per cent.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to address the House on this very important motion.

Mr Speaker, to begin with, the hon. Member who has put this motion before the House and those that have spoken on it are, in fact, vigorously trying to push an open door.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: The policy of free education from Grade 1 all the way up to Grade 12 is the Government policy of the MMD

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: It is in this vain that those who have debated on this motion have acknowledged the provision that His Excellency has taken meaning that the Government is pushing towards implementing free education from Grade 1 up to Grade 12.

Mr Speaker, as a matter of fact, two years ago, when debating the policy of free health services in rural areas, the Government  debated the policy of free education from Grade 1 to Grade 12. Therefore, this is not new. The Government has equally paid attention to the policy of free education from Grade 1 to Grade 12. However, the issue is the modality of pursuing and implementing it.

Mr Speaker, before, I go into the details of my submission let me provide a preamble to the policy of free education.

 Just like the previous speakers especially, Hon. Members like Syakalima, Sejani and Milupi who have punctuated or contextualised their debate. I would also like to punctuate or contextualise the debate in that education is a sine-qua-norm of every form of development.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Professor Lungwangwa: Education is the catalyst and foundation of our development.

Mr Speaker, this Government fully acknowledges that the development path it is taking is an economic development path which is rooted in the principles of a knowledge based economy.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: A knowledge based economy fully recognises the significance and importance of education as a foundation of all forms of economic development.

Mr Kambwili: Very good theory!

Professor Lungwangwa: The human capital of our people reflected in the skills, knowledge and attitudes of our people are critical to our survival as a nation. They are also critical to our development. Even as we educate our people at the highest level of quality and in the number that are appropriate, as a nation, we shall be able to acquire valuable social rate of return to the investment in education. The social rate of return will be reflected in the economic productivity of our people, in their health and even in our democratic participation and maturity of our political development.

Sir, just like it has been recognised by many people that education is a social equalizer of life opportunities, income and status in any society. Therefore, this Government fully acknowledges and accepts that principle.

In line with what Hon. Milupi stated in this House, as a Government, we do recognise that education is the key that unlocks doors to modernity. A fact that is extremely important in the way we manage, plan and organise our education system.

Mr Speaker, the debate on the Floor has been centred on three key principles namely; education as a human right, the role that poverty plays in hindering participation in education and of course the important development role of education.

The Government fully acknowledges that education is a human right. It is in this regard that in 2002, His Excellency the President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa declared that this country should have free education from Grade 1 to Grade 7 in order to comply with education as a human right. Indeed, this Government does recognise that poverty is a big variable can hinder access or entry to education opportunities. It can hinder full participation and performance. It can also hinder the outcome to education opportunities. It is in this regard, therefore, that this Government has come up with programmes to address the constraints of hindrances that poverty can actually play in the education sector.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Professor Lungwangwa: This Government has put in place equity directed programmes within the education sector. The Government has come up with a bursary scheme from Grade 8 to 12 to address the education opportunities of the orphans and the vulnerable children.

Mr Speaker, last weekend, it was reported in the newspapers that one of the co-operate agencies in this country donated K1 billion to support the bursary scheme for our vulnerable children. In addition and in line with equity principle to create greater opportunities in education, this Government has come up with a schools feeding programme. At the moment, my ministry is considering ways of scaling up the schools feed programme in order to enhance entry, participation and performance of our children especially those in food deficient areas. In addition, the Government has come up with the free basic education programme in order to enable the families cut down on the direct expenses on the direct costs of education.

Of course, grants are being given to all our basic education institutions. Furthermore, in line with the whole principle of free education, two years ago, this Government did a critical analysis of how much it would cost this Government to extend free education to Grade 8 and Grade 9. That analysis indicated that in order for this Government to extend free education up to Grade 8 and 9, we needed an additional K840 billion.

In addition, Mr Speaker, an analysis is currently going on to assess how much it would cost the Government to extend free education up to Grade 12. Therefore, it is in this line that I have indicated that the policy of the principle of free education is an open door. The Government is actively working on the modalities of how much this would cost. For the information of this House, our current estimates indicate that in order for us to offer free education from Grade 1 to 12, we shall need to raise the GDP contribution of the education sector three fold, from 3 per cent to about 10 per cent. It is a very big and challenging task.

Offering free education from Grade 1 to 12 is not an easy undertaking because it requires careful planning, analysis and a lot of in depth understanding. This is because there are a number of factors involved.

For example, to provide free education at Grade 10 to 12, we need to train graduate teachers. It means expanding our universities. At the moment, those who know the situation at the University of Zambia, like me, who taught there for twenty-five years, know that in our lecture theatres, we do not have enough space in the School of Education. We have 600 students in some courses for a lecture theatre that requires 300 students. Now, to expand free education, means increasing enrolments, we shall have to expand facilities at the university level in order to train more teachers. We shall have to expand our training facilities in colleges in order, for example, to facilitate those colleges to become degree granting institutions.

Mr Mwiimbu: Yes!

Professor Lungwangwa: These are issues that require careful analysis and planning and in depth understanding. They are not issues that demand a casual analysis or understanding.

In addition to teaching requirements, we have the whole challenge of providing educational materials from Grade 1 all the way up to the university level and this is a major problem requiring colossal amounts of resources.

Mr Mwiimbu: So?

Professor Lungwangwa: Equipment in terms of laboratories and other facilities must be in place in order for us to offer quality education. Our focus is not only on quality but on quantity education too so that the human resources come up with the highest level of attainment in terms of quality. They have to come up with the competences in terms of skills with the knowledge and the attitudes which can assist in pushing this economy forward in line with our vision of ‘Wealth Creation and Employment Generation.’

Mr Speaker, there are more factors which are required to be put in place. The whole area of infrastructure development, the requirement of teachers houses, at high school and basic school levels. These are big challenges. The whole area of teacher motivation, looking at the remuneration of teachers, all these are major challenges. So, the policy of free education requires careful planning and analysis, it requires in depth analysis and this is exactly what the Government is at the moment is engaged in.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Professor!

Professor Lungwangwa: This is what we are engaged in.

Therefore, the motion is a motion in which we all agree as a Government and those on your left should agree that the Government is working on this very seriously …

Hon. Opposition Member: Examination fees!

Professors Lungwangwa: … and all those issues of examination fees of course are being addressed including that of competency assessment.

 In the course of offering free education, what that entails is that we shall have to get rid of examinations at Grade 7 and 9 levels. In place of examinations, and in order to ascertain the quality of education that is in place, we shall have to institute a continuous assessment system which we are already engaged in. It has been instituted already so that at the point of abolishing the examinations, it will have taken route.

Mr Speaker, all these are measures which this Government is following seriously in the interest of this nation in terms of developing the human resources which we need to push our country forward to attain economic prosperity and create wealth for this nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind up this motion.

Sir, first of all, I am deeply indebted to the entire House for the support that they have given to this motion.

This motion is not about who started the policy of free education. I stated from the onset that I do not want this motion to be politicised because the people of Zambia know what we all have been saying about this issue. They know who the originators are and who the copy cats are. Therefore, there is no need to talk about who started what and who did what. What we want is the job to be done. Let us educate our children. Let us make education accessible to our children.

We do realise there are challenges and this is why we are debating. I think that Members of the House have given very useful information to the Hon. Minister of Education and I hope that he was taking notes which will assist him to refine the policy on this matter.

I know that Hon. Tetamashimba, Member of Parliament for Solwezi and Deputy Minister of Works and Supply, in his usual digressional style, talked about implementing this when the economy picks. This is an old Government excuse all over the world. When people are not willing to act they will come up with excuses of lack of resources.

Sir, we have talked about a vicious circle which is, lack of education leading into poverty, poverty leading to lack of education. If we do not start now prioritising education and do not plan to break that vicious circle, we will never get out of it.

I agree that I was part of that Government and I saw that there was lack of priorities. I am now a state witness.


Mr Sejani: Anybody who want to prosecute this Government in terms of their social criminality as neglect of education …

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Mapatizya is guided to wind up his motion to avoid antagonising those who wish to support his motion. May you wind up your motion?

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I urge this Government to set up a time frame for the implementation of the policy of free education. It will not do just to talk about it then throw it in the dustbin. We will not be doing ourselves a service, at all. Set a time frame to implement because we can no longer wait for free education for our children up to Grade 12.

 Mr Speaker, I am deeply indebted to the hon. Members of this House who have shown support.

I thank you.

Question put and agreed to.




VOTE 26 − (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services − K26, 366,395,376).



The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, the House will recall that on Tuesday, 6th March, 2007 when the House was in Committee of Supply considering Heads 08/01 and the hon. Member for Kasama Central (Dr Xavier Chishimba, MP) was debating, the hon. Member for Kantanshi Parliamentary Constituency (Mr Yamfwa Mukanga, MP) raised the following point of order and I quote:

‘Mr Chairman, I am sorry to rise on a serious point of order on my brother who is debating. If you look in the budget, there is Gender in Development, but my point of order is a constitutional one. Sir, Cap. 1 Article 44(2) (e) of the laws of Zambia gives power to the President to and I quote:

‘Establish and dissolve such Government ministries and departments subject to the approval of the National Assembly. Mr Chairman, we have a Ministry in this House called Gender in Development. This ministry was created by the President and was supposed to be brought to this House for approval according to the laws of the Republic of Zambia. Is the Government in order to create a ministry and appoint a minister without following the procedure of the law of the land? I need your serious ruling on this matter’.

In my immediate remarks, I said and I quote:

‘Since the point of order is on a legal issue and the Chair is unable to make a ruling just now, the Chair will defer the ruling of that point of order to a later stage’.

In accordance with Parliamentary Practice and Procedure, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote to the Secretary to the Cabinet to seek clarification on the status of the alleged Ministry of Gender and Women in Development. The Secretary to the Cabinet in his reply wrote and in part I quote:

‘I wish to advise that the President of the Republic of Zambia has not established a Ministry of Gender in Development as alleged. However, the President has appointed a Cabinet Minister to be in charge of Gender in Development and the minister is supported by the Gender in Development Division in Cabinet Office. The minister in Charge of Gender in Development is under the Office of the President. As will be apparent from the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 1st January to 31st December, 2007, the Gender in Development Division comes under Cabinet Office, Office of the President as Head 08/06. The explanation given by the Leader of Government Business from the Floor of the House on Tuesday, 6th March, 2007 adequately covers the actual position. There is, therefore, no Ministry of Gender in Development’.

Hon. Members, I have now studied the point of order and the response from the Secretary to the Cabinet and the following is my ruling. Article 44(2) (e) provides as follows and I quote:

‘The President may preside over meetings of Cabinet and shall have the power subject to this Constitution to (e) establish and dissolve such Government ministries and departments subject to the approval of the National Assembly’.

The interpretation of the above provision is that the President can establish or demolish a Government ministry or department only with the approval of the National Assembly. However, according to the letter from the Secretary to the Cabinet, the President has not created a new ministry, but has merely appointed a minister under the Office of the President to be in charge of Gender in Development Division. Furthermore, Article 46(3) of the Constitution of Zambia provides and I quote:

‘A minister shall be responsible under the directions of the President for such business of the Government including the administration of any ministry or department of Government as the President may assign to such minister’.

According to the Article 1 I have quoted, a Cabinet Minister need not necessarily be in charge of a ministry, but can operate under the direction of the President who can assign to him or her any appropriate responsibilities, including being in charge of a department or division. In this case the Gender in Development Division is already an existing establishment under Cabinet Office and what the President has done is just to assign a minister to be in charge of the Division. In light of the above, I therefore, rule that there is no Ministry of Gender and Women in Development and that the appointment of the Minister for Gender and Women in Development in charge of the Gender in Development Division does not conflict with Article 44(2) (e) of the Constitution of Zambia. As such, I have found that the Government has not breached the provisions of Article 44(2) (e) of the Constitution.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

(Consideration resumed)

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Mulasikwanda): I thank you, Mr Chairperson, for according me this opportunity to contribute to the budget estimates of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

Mr Chairperson, we all know that information is power and if utilised well people can acquire knowledge through it. Therefore, this afternoon, I would like to debate on the issues at hand where Hon. Kambwili misled the House and the nation at large by indicating that only the President, Vice-President and ministers are well covered in the media. During the tripartite elections of 2006, I used to watch with interest the coverage of all political parties. I remember that all political parties were well covered. At certain times, I could see that even the President himself could not be covered because he was only brought on the screen alone without an audience. Therefore, all we need to do is…

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Chairperson, I seek your protection.

The Deputy Chairperson: You have the protection.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Thank you. We need to correct the attitude that we all have. I also want to remind Hon. Kambwili, that he should not forget that…

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Kambwili, please sit down. The Chair wants to advise that we should really try as much as possible not to personalise debates because the moment you do that you will have other people raising points of order. There is another way of saying what you want to say. You need not necessarily refer to an individual. You can use the word ‘us’ or ‘you’ to avoid this kind interruptions. Now, with that guidance do you think it is still necessary for you to make that point of order? I think it is not.

Continue hon. Minister.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. I wanted to remind him because it is him actually…

Mr Deputy Chairperson: No, hon. Deputy Minister. You do not qualify.

Ms Mulasikwanda: …may I remind him that the person at hand…


Ms Mulasikwanda: …through you Mr Chairperson, that the President, the Vice-President and other hon. Ministers whom he had mentioned have a duty in this country to deliver, interpret and implement the policies of the Government.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear! Bwekeshapo.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Therefore, I want to say that it is only correct for the President, the Vice-President and ministers to be covered well because of those policies that are supposed to be articulated and interpreted to the people of Zambia in terms of our national development.

Secondly, Mr Chairperson, I said I was in Western Province in December 2006. I was amazed to find ZANIS vehicles in Mongu, Senanga and Sesheke fully equipped with information systems and not only vehicles, but also computers so that district information officers could transmit information quicker via the internet. Is that not a big progress that this Government has achieved?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: When I saw that I was excited and knew that my Government was working because information was trickling down to the grass roots. The only problem we have is that some journalists have reported on assumptions, therefore, there is need to retrain them so that they can specialise in different sectors of institutions for them to be perfect. So far, I have observed that training activities in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services are well covered so that our journalists perfect their reporting. For example, last year in December 2006, Zambia Breweries sponsored an award dinner for journalists who were good at reporting on sport.


Mr Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Deputy Minister, they are managing to distract your attention because you are listening to the people who heckle from their seats. Just be focussed and continue with your debate. As you can see you have been diverted. They want to begin debating with you and this is an excuse for us to interfere when somebody is debating. I think let us give her chance to debate.

Continue hon. Minister.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. I was saying that Zambia Breweries last year had sponsored an award dinner for journalists who were reporting on sport. We need to do that to motivate our journalists.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: On equipment, the opening up of ZNBC television and radio stations which have been mounted in districts which we never dreamt about has been put in place. It is another thing that Government has scored. I implore all hon. Members and the nation at large to pat this New Deal Government on the back for a job well done. Today, more citizens are watching TV and listening to the radio and are well informed about the happenings in the world over.

Hon. Government Member: hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: What about the new technology of computer that are connected to the internet which enables us to get in touch with the world over? Is this not good progress in information and technology? These have only been put during the MMD tenure of office and have been well improved in the New Deal Government.

Mr Chairperson, today some primary and secondary schools offer computer lessons and that is what our children need.

Mr Chairperson, in terms of district vehicles of information, the New Deal Government has put in place and created new jobs by having bought all those vehicles that are in the districts. For example, drivers, information officers and technicians have been employed for them to connect the internet for quick dissemination of news. That is a wonderful thing which my Government has put in place. We need to congratulate this Government if we are people who would want to see development in this country.

Mr Chairperson, soon, we will have about five new districts with television and radio stations. For me, this is great progress and there is need to support this Government.

Sir, with regard to community radio stations, I have already mentioned that there are several districts which have these stations. What we need at the moment is for individuals to mount these radio stations in the districts because the Government has already facilitated the move. We need to do it because the Government has brought this important milestone that will help the people of Zambia listen to the radio and watch television.

Mr Kambwili: Quality!


Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Chairperson, two cameras were mentioned in the House yesterday, and I would like to put this straight. It is unfortunate for an hon. Member to talk like that. A research revealed that there were sixteen cameras at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation in Lusaka and Kitwe, while the Zambia News Information Services (ZANIS) had eleven cameras, but people are complaining about cameras. This Government is efficient in terms of information.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Hon. Members should not complain, but approach these institutions and the service can be granted to them. They can also approach the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services as they are the ones running these institutions.

Lastly, Mr Chairperson, Government newspapers are sent to all provinces on a daily basis. This has never happened before. At least people have access to news or information. In Lozi they say haiba sika sikondile mani ni mani uswanela kuitumela …

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

Hon. Members, we cannot continue indefinitely. I will get one person before the hon. Minister winds up.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Chairperson, in supporting this particular Vote, I thought I should mention a few things that need concern.

Sir, looking through the Budget, the funds are not enough to sustain what we are looking for or build to improve the information technology that we are all talking about. Information is power as everyone is aware.

Mr Chairperson, we have no Budget for ZNBC in this House because it is a quasi Government organisation, but there is Programme 8, Activity 01 ─ Issuance of Radio and Television Licences ─ K5, 400,000, which is being spent by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. Can the hon. Minister tell us how much money is raised from television licences? We are now spending money for television licence issuance, but we are not told how much money is coming from television licences. I know that Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation does not have to disclose information of their revenue and how much they use, but if the Government is going to spend money to support them, we should also be told their income.

Sir, on Programme 8, Activity 02 ─ Inspection of Radio and Television Stations ─ K89, 520,000, inspections will be done on these stations and this amount will be spent by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. While the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is spending such amounts of money, they should care to help us understand. Some years back, there were issues of how the money was being spent from the television licences.

Mr Chairperson, I am interested to know that now in the Budget, there is Programme 10, Activity 01 ─ Appointment of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Board ─ K2,000,000,000. We know what has gone round and what has been the problem over the Independent Broadcasting Authority. Some names were brought to the House, but this authority is not in place. Now, we are going to spend K2 billion to formulate this authority which is approved. Can the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services ensure that what was approved in the House is put in place since there was a lot of effort made? It has taken this Government more than three years to constitute the Independent Broadcasting Authority Board and now we have to spend K2 billion.

Mr Chairperson, I am not sure why Government owned newspapers tend to be a bit shy to state and give information. As a result, they paint a picture that there is censorship that goes on there. Is it because there is so much scare that is given to them that if they write the truth, they would be fired? I have heard the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services often say that there is censorship, but why do we not get the information which states some things that are wrong about the Government? We have to go to other tabloids to hear the other story. Why do we not get it from the Government owned papers?

The previous speaker said that there was equal coverage on ZNBC television. That is not correct. We have to pay. The free coverage is the usual thing of the President, Vice-President and the next who is known. We know that you are in Government, but when you compare other governments that are democratic enough, they make sure that they also show the other side. I have listened to the Voice of America, and they give the most attacking statement on government. They give their view of the American Government.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha interrupted

Mr Muntanga: You have to listen if you want to be president of your party than debating while seated.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, it is very good for the people who want to be presidents to listen.

The Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: I am addressing the Chair.

The Chairperson: No you are not.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I would want to be listened to because we give guidance so that we are served properly by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and the Zambia News information Service.

We have heard that the vans are parked. How do you send vans without funds to run them? We have vans that are in the districts, but the man who is there – I know that the Minister of Information and Broadcasting has bemoaned lack of funding. You are proud to send the information, but you expect the provincial headquarters to fund. Why not send the money direct to the district because these District Information Officers cannot use the vehicles? If you want them to travel, they go begging. This is a similar situation with the other Government departments. It is like some kind of disease. They do not care what happens in the districts. Why should that be the case? If we need to have those vans work, we should fund the officers. Zambia News Information Service could not operate if the officers on the ground are not given the resources. What happened after giving them the vehicles?

Mr Chairperson, as we debate, we want the money to move from the Headquarters to the districts so that information is picked and distributed in the areas that are there.

I know that there was a praise of the independent newspapers and sending of newspapers to provinces, but what are you doing to support Zambia News Information Service? If you do not fund them and those vehicles cannot move, then it is a non-starter. Some of the computers that you have sent there are not working because the Government has not paid electricity bills.

Government departments in those particular areas have had their electricity disconnected because the Zambia Electricity Supply Company Limited wants money.

What I am saying Mr Chairperson, is that while they are busy making offices at headquarters look nice, every hon. Minister wants to have a beautiful office with a red carpet, they should also think of refurbishing offices in the districts. They are dilapidated. Officers are using old equipment. They still bear the Northern Rhodesia Government (NRG) label. I urge the hon. Minister to buy new furniture and equipment for these offices. If we are talking about improving information technology, let us also improve the equipment that they need to use in district offices.

Mr Chairperson, let me mention that some of these rural radio stations are operating better than the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation. In Kalomo, we hardly receive television signals. I have asked the hon. Minister why we have this problem. The reply I got was that Sinkobo Signal got burnt. In fact, we do not have radio signal either. The only signal I get is the Voice of America and Radio Botswana. I really do not know what the problem is for ZNBC television. A radio is important in any given area because it is used to inform people. In fact, Hon. Mwaanga has been in this ministry for many years and so he is supposed to understand that change should move with time. We do not want to remain with old equipment just because he is old.


Mr Muntanga: We want change. We should be able to watch television and listen to the radio on ZNBC. At the moment, what is happening is that you stop listening to the radio immediately you leave Lusaka. We start listening to Radio Sky. If anything, work out a system where you can use the equipment of Radio Sky so that you can beam through them. Otherwise, it does not exist.

Mr Malwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, I stand here on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member for Kalomo in order to accuse the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services that he is too old to run the ministry when he is a veteran and a man of wisdom and this is where we tap knowledge from? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The National Assembly will very soon be issuing a booklet of all hon. Members of Parliament. The Chairman speaking is about the same age as Hon. Mwaanga. The Chair does not consider himself as old. Therefore, Hon. Mwaanga can not be old. The hon. Member for Kalomo is out of order.

Will the hon. Member for Kalomo continue, please.


Mr Muntanga: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, although I was not protected. However, since the hon. Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development wants to tap knowledge from lack of improvement of equipment, he will go backwards to the old stone-age. I am scared that we will soon be nowhere.

Mr Chairperson, I want to emphasise that areas like Kalomo, Kazungula, Mbabala and Zambezi listen to Radio Angola. At one time, I thought the hon. Member for Zambezi West is Angolan. If I go to Kasama, the best radio I can listen to is the local radio. If you go to Eastern Province, you will find that it is the same. They say that mountains in Chipata block the radio signal from Lusaka. You can only listen to Radio Maria in Chipata. In fact, Radio Malawi is very clear. What signal is Malawi using?

At one time, when the tunnels were opened, we were told that there was a big 5 megawatt radio at State House. Where is it? Why not surrender it to ZNBC so that they can use it? People want to listen to Bemba or Lozi or Tonga programmes. I should not be subjected to the Chewa programme from South Africa. The Government is always talking about improving on the signals by contracting countries like China and Japan and I think soon or later, it will be India. When are we going to improve radio and television signals? Why not go to South African and find out how the South African Broadcasting Corporation is able to beam? I am sure those involved in communications always involve the satellite for easy communication. I urge the ministry to look into this issue seriously.

Mr Chairperson, it is quite sickening not to hear of any announcements that are made on the radio and television, especially the summoning of hon. Members to Parliament. Most of them are not able to hear because of the bad radio signals. Maybe it would be better if the Government went back to the old radio system called saucer pan. They were very powerful because we were able to listen to Malikopo stories in the villages, but it is literally impossible now. What is going on? I urge the Government to look into this issue and make sure that something is done about it. The private media is very powerful while the Government media is not. Anything that the Government gets involved is too slow. What is the problem? I want the hon. Minister when winding up debate to inform us why we do not have signals in Kalomo, Mbabala, Kazungula, Chipata, Zambezi and elsewhere. Should these areas be surrendered to Botswana and other countries?

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwaanga: Thank you very, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to wind up debate on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for my ministry for the year 2007.

I would like to thank hon. Members who have participated in this debate. A lot of suggestions made are constructive. I regret that there seems to be a tendency that unless you debate emotionally, you can not get Government to respond or act on your proposals. This is a fallacy.

Sometimes by debating emotionally you enter into what I call the corridor of irrelevance.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Chairman, the hon. Member for Roan did raise the issue of Muvi TV having applied for a national television licence to broadcast all over the country. For the information of all the hon. Members, I am the licensing officer for radio and television stations and I do not have such an application. Therefore, I am not quite sure where that information is coming from.

Hon. Members are free to verify this information before they come to this honourable House and begin making misleading statements, which, in turn, misleads members of the public.


Mr Mwaanga: I had a meeting, in fact, only ten days ago with the owner of Muvi Television in my office. He paid a courtesy call on me and he is a good friend of mine as well. He came to discuss the future of broadcasting for Muvi Television. We had an amicable meeting and we went through some of these ideas, which he would like to introduce to improve on Muvi’s broadcasting capacity here in Lusaka.

The issue of a national licence did not arise. There is only one national broadcaster in the country and that is ZNBC. There is no other. We do issue community licences from time to time and these community radio licences are intended to serve the communities where they are operating. They must bear a degree of relevance to the areas where they are operating and that is the basis on which community radio licences are issued and also the basis on which they will continue to be issued until the criterion has changed. For now, the criterion has not changed at all.

I want to thank my colleague Hon. Bonshe, Member of Parliament for Mufumbwe for the kind remarks that he made about my ministry’s operations. I can assure you that although a lot has been done in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services and its related departments and agencies, we are the first ones to recognise that a lot more needs to be done and we are determined to walk that extra mile to ensure that a lot more is done to improve not just reception for television, but reception for radio throughout the country so that Zambians everywhere can benefit from ZNBC’s efforts in this regard.

I also want to thank my nephew Hon. Gary Nkombo, Member of Parliament for Mazabuka who said that he is only covered when important people go there. I have brought with me here all my Departmental Heads including Heads of all the media; they are here and have been listening to this debate since it started yesterday. I am sure that they have taken note of the complaints that have been made regarding coverage.

We are very technologically friendly as a ministry. Notwithstanding the age, in fact, we are at an age where we appreciate technology more than some of the young hon. Members who are talking about it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: They talk about it only by word of mouth and they do not do anything to practice and demonstrate that they embrace technology and that they are even technology literate.

Hon. Sakwiba Sikota, I am grateful to you for taking to your usual subject of freedom of information which we dealt with not very long ago and which I answered in this House not very long ago. I can assure you that we continue to consult with the stakeholders. You were very correct in stating that this does not only affect journalists, but the citizens of Zambia as a whole.

I must be very quick to add that it also affects the lives of Members of Parliament, the life to privacy and the respect for ethics in terms of how they are reported so that there is a certain amount of protection given to them. We will not be blind to these realities in considering the issue of the freedom of information.

I know that we are asked to do and try many things not just here in Lusaka, but in other provinces. I wish to say that we prefer to consolidate what we have started and in this regard, we prefer to deal with the flaws that have been identified. For example, flaws that relate to reception of both television and radio before we begin moving into other areas.

One of our problems in this country is that we start new things before perfecting the ones we started. We, in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, do not believe in that culture. We believe that it is important that we consolidate what we have started so that before we move on to new things, we are able to deal with what we have started.

Hon. Mwansa Kapeya, thank you very much for the comments that you made in complimenting most of them regarding the operations of my ministry. After all, you were a member of my staff. I used to be his minister Sir, for sometime and I value the contribution that he made when he was there, and I am glad that he continues to make the same contribution here.

I also took note of the fact that you are concerned that there was no grant given to ZNBC this year. I want to assure you that there is a grant provided in this Budget. If you look under programme 13, Electronic Media Support, there is a grant to ZNBC there of K2.1 billion which should be given to ZNBC. However, thank you for the concerns that you raised.

Hon. Mulasikwanda, thank you very much for what you have said to support our efforts and it made it unnecessary for my Deputy Minister to speak because you covered a lot of issues, which he would have covered on behalf of the ministry.

I also thank Hon. Muntanga for the comments that he made. With regard to the issue of reception, I can assure you that these issues will be dealt with and that collective measures will be taken except that I am surprised by some of the utterances that you made because I am able to travel from here to Livingstone and I can follow ZNBC in my car all the way.

Mr Hachipuka: Not in Mbabala where you come from.

Mr Mwaanga: I said from here up to Livingstone, I can …

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

No dialogue between the two of you. Can you listen!

Mr Mwaanga: … in Mbabala I signed a licence for radio Macha which covers Mbabala as well and it so happens to be the area where I come from and where Hon. Hachipuka is our Member of Parliament who represents us well most of the time.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, let me end by just thanking all the hon. Members who have made their contributions and those who have not spoken for the support they have given in their silence and I can assure you that we are determined as a ministry to ensure that we correct what is wrong and that we work and consolidate what we started so that we do not move into new projects before we consolidate what we have begun to avoid the pitfalls of the past.

Mr Chairman, I thank you, Sir.

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

The Deputy Chairperson: When business was suspended the Committee of Supply was considering Vote 26/01, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Service and the hon. Minister had just completed winding up his debate. We were about to start individual items which we will do now.

Vote 26/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 26/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 13/01 – (Ministry of Energy and Water Development – Headquarters – K62, 488,663,228)

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mutati): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to present to this august House the budget estimates for my ministry for the year 2007.

Sir, energy and water sectors play a key role in the socio-economic development of our country. Indeed, these two sectors have continued and will continue to contribute significantly to meeting the objectives that we have set ourselves as a nation with regard to meeting our socio-economic development challenges.

Mr Chairperson, as I present my ministry’s budget estimates for 2007, allow me to acknowledge the ….


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please, we are chatting too loudly at the back there (Opposition). Can we, please, listen? We cannot have a debate within a debate. Continue hon. Minister.

Mr Mutati: … invaluable support that the energy and water sectors continue to receive from our cooperating partners in our effort to realise our various developmental goals in the two sectors. I wish to salute the Germany, Danish, Irish, Japanese and Norwegian governments for their continued support in the development of the water sector. I also wish to pay tribute to the Swedish and Japanese governments, as well as the World Bank, for the support they continue to render in the energy sector.

Mr Chairperson, the Government adopted the National Energy and Water policies to provide the framework for the development of the two sectors. In addition to this, the Government has also developed the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) as a framework that would assist the development of our country for the period up 2010. The budget for 2007 of my ministry has been formulated on the basis of this important framework.

Therefore, I am seeking the support of the hon. Members of this august House for the 2007 budget estimates for my ministry. This year’s total budget stands at K62 billion. This represents an increment of 63 per cent over K38 billion approved for my ministry in 2006.

The increase is as a result of an expansion in the ministry’s project portfolio for the current year, indicating our intention to improve service delivery and make a real impact on the very livelihood of our people through the implementation of critical energy and water related activities at all levels of society.

The proposed budget is composed of K4.5 billion in personal emoluments representing an increase of 17.5 per cent over the approved budget of 2006, while the non-personal emoluments amounting to K57.9 represents an increment of 68.6 per cent over those of 2006.

Sir, the key achievements in 2006 were:

Water sector

During the year 2006, the following were the major achievements in the water sector:

1. The Proposed Water Resource Management Bill was finalised. This Bills aims at facilitating the implementation of Integrated Management of water resources in Zambia.

2. The Revised National Water Policy. The Revised National Water Policy was finalised by December, 2006. The revision to the 1994 National Water Policy aims to make it more relevant to our current aspirations, including the need to provide a clear vision and holistic policy direction for the management and development of our vast water resource.

Water Resource Development

Five dams were constructed in Gwembe, Siavonga, Luapula and Nyimba. In addition, construction of Fibale Dame on the Copperbelt commenced, while the design for a dam in Mwinilunga have been completed. Tendering and award of a contract for the construction of a dam in Nansanga Farming Block in Serenje District was done. This infrastructure is meant to provide water for irrigation, livestock, fishing and water conservation.

Twenty-four dams were repaired and maintained in various districts of our country.

335 boreholes were constructed in various parts of our country to benefit a total of 85,000 people. These boreholes do not include those done under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

136 boreholes were rehabilitated around the country to benefit 34,000 people.

Three rain water harvesting structures were constructed at Lusitu Basic School in Siavonga District, Mpanshya Basic School in Luangwa and Moombe Basic School in Chibombo District.

Spring development works were undertaken at Don Bosco Convent in Luwingu to supply water to the Convent.

Water Resource Management

Sixty gauging stations at strategic locations of our rivers were rehabilitated in order to strengthen the hydrological network thus bringing the total number of gauging stations to 112. These stations assist us in providing water resource data for planning purposes.

Three high frequency radios were installed at Msipazi River, Luswishi and Zambezi River to bring the total network of radios to 13. The network is meant to assist in the dissemination of hydrological information for planning purposes.

Six boreholes were constructed for ground water monitoring bringing the total number of ground water monitoring and observation sites to 33 in order to assist in monitoring or groundwater whose data is required for planning purposes.

Flood Management Strategy for the Kafue Basin was developed in order to assist with the information in the management of floods in the Kafue Basin.

Eight-seven applications for water rights were granted in various parts of the country in order to enhance the abstraction of water points for agriculture and other uses.

Water Rights Database was developed in order to provide information for planning purposes.

Energy Sector

Sir, the Energy Sector has enormous challenges that require effective solutions. This is because there is an increase in the overall demand for commercial energy while at the same time, supply is limited. This is particularly true for the electricity sub-sector. On the other hand, the petroleum sub-sector is faced with high price of oil on the international market. This has negatively impacted on importing countries like Zambia.

Thirdly, Zambia relies more on the traditional energy sources like wood fuel, which currently supplies at least 80 per cent of the total energy supply.

Mr Chairperson, during 2006, my ministry concentrated on stabilising the supply of petroleum products. It is due to these efforts that we do not experience any fuel crisis. My ministry will continue to work towards maintaining fuel supply during 2007. However, escalating prices of oil continue to pose a major challenge to the petroleum supply.

On the other hand, biofuels continue to gain prominence the world over as oil substitutes. These are also fuels for which Zambia has a strategic advantage due to our vast natural resource such as land, water and adequate human resource. My ministry has made significant progress in promoting biofuels. This includes the formulation of biofuel policies, support to the establishment of the Zambia Biofuels Association and definition of a framework of incentives. A legal framework for biofuel is being developed. My ministry has made a provision of K600 million in this year’s Budget for development of the biofuel industry.

Mr Chairperson, in the year under review, my ministry achieved the following in the energy sector:

Legal and Institutional Framework

Sir, we completed the revision of the National Energy Policy in order to address emerging issues such as gender mainstreaming, environmental, biofuels and energy exploration issues.

Electricity Sub-sector

Rehabilitated and upgraded two generators at Kafue Gorge Hydro Power Station bring a total power production at Kafue Gorge to 930 Mega Watts. Two generators of 30 Mega Watts each were up rated at the Kariba North Bank Power Station bring the total generation capacity to 660 Mega Watts;

(a) Rehabilitation works at ten generators at Victoria Falls Power Station were undertaken maintaining generation capacity at 108 Mega Watts;

(b) Provided solar energy to 184 chiefs’ palaces and thirty-four schools country wide in order to increase access to electricity to rural communities;

(c) Commenced the development of the rural electrification master plan to guide the investment and implementation of rural electrification programme in order to increase access to electricity to rural communities; and 

(d) Commenced the development of a mini-hydro scheme at Shiwang’andu in Northern Province to increase access to electricity.

Petroleum Sub-Sector

Mr Chairperson, major rehabilitations were undertaken at INDENI Refinery in order to enhance its operational efficiency and enhance sustained stability in the supply of petroleum products during the shut down of INDENI Refinery.

Programmes for 2007

Mr Chairperson, my ministry will undertake programmes that are meant to increase access to water both for domestic and agricultural use. The following are the proposed intervention programmes developed within the framework of the FNDP and our quest to attain the Millennium Development Goals. These will among others focus on:

(a) Water resources development for productive use and information development;

(b) Water resources quality monitoring;

(c) Water Resources Management and Information Systems;

(d) Water resources assessment programme;

(e) International waters;

(f) Institutional capacity building and enhancement.

Mr Chairperson, the Department of Water Affairs in my ministry will be equipped with appropriate data capturing, collection, transmission and analysis instruments. We will construct automatic river gauging stations and employ skilled technical personnel to operate such equipment to ensure quality data capturing, efficient data analysis and information dissemination.

Sir, we sill continue to work closely with the Zambia Meteorological Department in order to enhance flood control and mitigation measures. We will also continue with the programme on the construction and rehabilitation of earth dams.

Sir, with regard to the Dam Construction and Rehabilitation for irrigation, livestock and other uses, my ministry will undertake the following:

(a) Construct four dams in Lufwanyama, Luwingu, Kapiri-Mposhi and Mwinilunga Districts. This will create employment opportunities for two hundred people;

(b) Rehabilitate twenty-four dams in various part of the country. Rehabilitation works will create 960 jobs;

(a)  develop the springs in Katete, Mbala, Chinsali and Mbereshi which should attract 100 jobs; and

(b)   rainwater harvesting activities, which will be undertaken in Kipushi in North      Western Province and Kalomo in Southern Province and will create 220 jobs.

A total estimated figure of K8, 202,096,561,00 has been proposed for these activities.

Mr Chairman, my ministry will also undertake groundwater development for drought cholera prone areas in Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Northern, Southern and Western provinces. This will be done by way of construction of fifty boreholes in these provinces benefiting 12,500 people and creating construction activities will create 100 jobs. An estimated figure is K570, 000,000. 

Mr Chairperson, in the course of this sitting of Parliament, I will present the Water Resource Management Bill, which will facilitate implementation of integrated management of water resources in Zambia.

Energy Sector{mospagebreak}

Mr Chairperson, the key issues my ministry will focus on during the year 2007 in the energy sector hinges on security of supply through the following:

(i) promotion and production of biofuels with a view to address the disruptions in petroleum supply which are being experienced on the international market;

(ii) ensuring compliance to maintenance of petroleum strategic reserves and also competitive procurement of petroleum products;

(iii) restructuring and recapitalisation of INDENI;

(iv) energy exploration and development;

(v) coordinating and consolidating of the energy sector reforms;

(vi) up rating of the current electricity infrastructure;

(vii) development of new hydro- power sites in order to avert the projected deficit in power supply; and

(viii) promotion of renewable and alternative energy sources.

Sir, an estimated figure of K5, 720,176,005.00 has been budgeted for the implementation of these programmes with the exclusion of the recapitalisation of INDENI, which has been separately put under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Chairperson, the looming power shortage is a major threat to Government’s efforts to achieve sustainable economic development as it will adversely impact on the key sectors of agriculture, tourism, health, education and mining including satellite industries.

Sir, my ministry has taken the first steps towards alleviating the looming power shortage. Through the US $300 million power centre rehabilitation programme project being implemented by ZESCO, about 210 MW will be made available by the end of 2008 by up-rating equipment at Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Station. Through the commercialisation of ZESCO, issues of unmetered customer and non-technical losses are being addressed to ensure efficiency utilisation so that the little we have goes a long way.

However, the long tem solution lies in building new power plants with higher generating capacities to meet the projected demand. In this regard, we have made progress in project preparation and the following projects are at various stages of consideration:

(i) 120 MW Itezhi-Tezhi hydro-electric Power – ZESCO and TATA have formed a joint venture to develop the project, which is expected to be commissioned towards the end of 2009;

(ii) 360 MW Kariba North Bank Extension – ZESCO and SINO-hydro are working together to implant this project. It is expected to be commissioned in 2011;

(iii) 750 MW Kafue Gorge Lower Project – the Ministry is seeking to engage international finance company as transaction advisor to develop the project as a public private partnership. The project is expected to be commissioned in 2012;

(iv) 163-208 MW Kalungwishi River hydro-electric project – my ministry has received tenders for this project and are evaluating; and

(v) 34 MW Kabompo Gorge – my ministry as received three bids and are evaluating the tenders.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to inform the House that according to the cost of service study carried out by the Energy Regulations Board and ZESCO, the current electricity tariff structure in Zambia does not cover costs of supply. Therefore, to attract investment, a financial sustainable power sector is required. This matter, therefore, requires to be addressed soon.

Rural Electrification Programme

Mr Chairperson, under the Rural Electrification Programme, my ministry will undertake the following activities:

(i) finalise the rural electrification master plan which will facilitate development with regard to increased access to electricity in rural areas; and

(ii) K21, 910,000,000 has been earmarked for the completion of projects under implementation and for the commencement of implementation of new projects.

In conclusion, the envisaged impact on the lives of our people in the energy and water sectors will only be made if corresponding resources to allow for the successful implementation of the programmes we have planned for 2007 are made available on a timely basis. I therefore, seek the House’s favourable consideration of my ministry’s budget estimates for 2007 to enable us achieve our objectives for this year.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.
Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development is key to any economy therefore, I support this Vote.

Sir, I will be very brief in my contribution and I will dwell on dams. I have noted that twenty-four dams were repaired. This is very poor performance. In this part of the world, especially in Zambia, we have been talking about drought. I always tell people that we have never had a serious drought that caused problems in this country. These droughts we experience are exaggerated because of poor planning. There is poor harnessing of water in this country.

Some of us who were born after independence and are Members of Parliament today are still complaining about simple dams. I am supporting this budget with some reservations. You just talked about Kalomo, what about Monze where we have a lot of animals?

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: We want dams all over the country. We need a grand water project in this country. Who knows, may be next year or the other year there will be a drought. This year the water has been washed into the Kafue River down to the Atlantic Ocean is now salty.

I was privileged to live in a country that is quite arid. In Namibia, Walvis Bay where I lived, it does not even rain. It does not rain in Walvis Bay, but there was not a single day when there was no water in the house. There was always water from the tap.

In Windhoek, sometimes it only rained for one month. I know Namibia more than anyone else here and I speak with authority.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: It rains for about one month or even two weeks, but they have enough water for the next two years even if it does not rain. However, in this country that God blessed with so many rivers, we are still complaining of drought. We are being embarrassed. Personally I am embarrassed to be a Zambian, if we continue with this type of management. Let us put more money for harvesting of water.

Mr Sichilima: Tamukonka bwino!


Mr Hamududu: No, listen. Botswana is picking up, but I am talking of a country that is very dry and yet they do not experience water problems. In this country it rains. When it rains for two months, you say that it is a drought. That is a fake drought. It is lack of planning.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: I want to say that I have seen a lot of things in this water project. When I debated on the budget someone stood up to challenge me on workshops. We are saying reduce on workshops and I mean what I am saying. In the Yellow Book you find items like Monitoring and Evaluation. It seems these people who were preparing this budget had an interest to eat money. Let us put our money where our mouth is.

Major Chizhyuka: Bauze!

Mr Hamududu: Monitoring and Evaluation. What are you monitoring because in my area there is nothing to monitor. You put the money where it is supposed to go. Comrade Minister, next year …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Unfortunately, the word ‘comrade’ is not accepted in the House. Use another word.

You can continue.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, I lived in Namibia where we had comrades. I am sorry about that.

The Deputy Chairperson: Not here.


Mr Hamududu: Hon. Minister, I will visit you at your office because next year we want this structure to change where you only find items like monitoring and evaluation. I know what they are doing, just pocketing travelling allowances.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: The money must go to the people. I know that this Government might not be the best Government, but it is reasonable 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: However, you must listen. When we criticise you we mean well. There is something wrong about this budget. Do not just challenge us. Go and sit you, have nothing to lose. We are doing it out of love. There is something wrong with this budget. There is too much workshops and travelling that must be curtailed. It is a leakage.

The advantage of dams is that it will empower the majority of Zambians and most of us here are coming from rural constituencies where the majority of the people are and they are the ones who produce and not those who are looming in townships. People who produce are in rural areas. Let us construct dams and begin agro related industries so that agriculture grows.

I challenge the hon. Minister in that the agriculture sector in forestry and fisheries only grew by 2.4 per cent. This growth is against the majority of our people. The more we grow, the more our people become poorer. This type of growth is dangerous for the future of the country and one way to empower the rural people is to go there and put more dams and then these people will be able to grow crops all year round and fight poverty. Without water, forget about fighting poverty and achieving the MDGs.

I now come to energy. My elder brother, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development, I want to tell you that this country is one with lost opportunities. I have never seen a country in Central Africa with lost opportunities like this country called Zambia. At Independence, this was the second richest country in Africa, it was second to Tunisia, but today we are at the tail. Why is this so? It is because we have lost opportunities where we had competitive advantage.

One of the areas where we have competitive advantage is in the area of water and energy. This country has rivers in every province. I have lived in a country where it is called a river, but there has been no water flowing in that river. Those who have driven to the South, I am sure you have seen. This country has rivers in all the provinces and that is the gift God gave us.

One of the issues here is electricity. Hydro power would have changed the face of this country. Today after so many years of independence, we are still talking about shortages here at home instead of talking about exporting power. Namibia, Botswana and South Africa are in need of power and these are opportunities for Zambia and that is why countries like South Africa, Botswana and Angola have by-passed us to go and develop the Inga Dam in the Congo DR because we failed to take advantage of the opportunities. We should have filled in that gap because it was our gap and so when they discovered that Zambia was not responding despite having all the potential, these countries regrouped and went to Inga Dam in the Congo DR. They are working on a very serious project.

Now they have regrouped to develop power from Inga Dam and light Namibia, Botswana and the Dry Bay Industries in South Africa. We should have taken that gap because that was ours. We are losing opportunities. We talk of not having power here when we should have been talking about how much power to export. After so many years of independence, we are still talking about building hydro power stations for the country, it is unbelievable. Let us freeze some of these useless expenditures and put the money where it will grow. It is not too late hon. Minister because if we plan properly, we can begin to fill in that gap. That demand is an opportunity. I lived in Namibia and the people there are thirsty for power. Even in the Caprive Strip where your power has been on and off, they insist on buying from us because they say we helped them in the liberation struggle, but we have failed them and as such they have gone to the Inga Dam.

We should be patriotic and put this country first. We should invest so that our future generations will have something. We must stop being a country of lost opportunities. We are just good at talking. When you send people to these countries for workshops they just go in shops to buy cell phones. I used to meet them. When Zambians travel abroad, they just want to shop. How can one buy a cell phone in Windhoek as if they are not here in Lusaka?

These people do not fear opportunities. They do not come and report to you what opportunities they have seen. There are even embassies that are supposed to feed you with information. They are not feeding you with this information so that we can take advantage of these opportunities. People are just shopping. Their trips are just for shopping, depriving our people of development.

As I conclude, I want to urge the hon. Minister…

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Machungwa: I am sorry to disturb my brother who has debated so well. Is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing in order to come into this House dressed in like she is going to a tradition dance, wearing a dress and a wrapper? Is she in order? I realise that there was Women’s Day some days back, but could she really be in order to be attired like this in this Chamber.

Mr Shakafuswa: Point of jealousy.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Well, the Chair is looking at the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing and I think she is properly dressed.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, let me conclude. In my language they say ahula mabi. If you say too much people will lose the actual picture. Let me summarise.

In conclusion, I want to say that you might not be the best Government, but I think you are reasonable people so listen to advice. Do not be rigid. In the next budget we want to see an improvement. I came from my constituency a day before yesterday, very disappointed. We are an agro farming people and we are producers, but even the so called dams that were left in the colonial time have all broken. Most of the dams in my constituency, Bweengwa, were built before independence. These are Ntembe, Munyenza and Hamangaba dams. After independence there was no attention on dams. You visit Windhoek. Around Windhoek, there are over seven dams. When it rains for two weeks, all dams are full and the water is enough for the next two years. Hon. Minister, please, I want twenty-one dams in Bweengwa Constituency this year. Call me to your office.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: We want to be self-reliant so that we can give food somewhere else not in Bweengwa. We do not want donations. We want to be empowered with skills. I am inviting you to visit Bweengwa so that I can show you what I am talking about. Let us take advantage of the gifts that God has given us in the area of water and energy.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Thank you, Mr Chairperson. I rise to support the budget estimates for this ministry. Let me state that the Ministry of Energy and Water Development plays a pivotal role to everything that happens in this country. It is the engine of development. Without proper and adequate supply of energy there will be no agriculture. Without proper and adequate supply of energy, there can be no manufacturing and there can be no mining. Therefore, this ministry is central and it is a key for our developmental efforts.

Mr Chairperson, I am happy that this ministry is headed by a dynamic minister whose integrity is beyond reproach.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: We are thankful that the actions that he has talked about point to the fact that we are in the right direction. Let me state that the ministry from my point of understanding, if we look at the energy sector, it is in two parts. There is the cost of fuel and electrical energy.

Mr Chairperson, let me say a little about the cost of fuel energy. In this area, this House had stated previously, and the hon. Minister has given commitment that he will come back to this House in due time. The cry of the House and those of us who represent rural areas is that there is need to level the playing fields in terms of having uniform pricing for fuels and oils. The hon. Minister has committed himself to study this, but everyday that passes disadvantages those in rural areas. In any case, these are the poorest of our society. There is nothing new or strange here.

After all, the other energy sector, which the ministry controls, the electricity sector, has uniform pricing. There is a cost of transmitting electricity from Kariba North to Kaoma, for example. There is a cost of transmitting that same energy to Kasama, but the prices that the person in Kasama and Lusaka pay per unit per kilowatt hour is the same throughout the country. It will not be strange for the cost of fuel sector to also have uniform pricing.

Mr Chairperson, in terms of the cost of fuels, we also have rampant theft of fuels which is sold along trunk roads. This must be stopped because it contributes to slowing down of the growth of the economy in several ways. One of those ways is because the people who steal from tankers have to replace it with substandard materials, causing the fuels at our fuel stations to be substandard. This causes damage to our equipment, engines in vehicles, clutches and so on. If someone was to work out the exact cost that this puts on the economy, you would be dealing with phenomenal figures.

Sir, with regard to the oil exploration that has excited many citizens, my view is that this must be extended. We are happy and thankful that the three districts in North Western Province have been identified, but they are not the only districts with the potential. The same information that has led to these districts being identified is the same information that is involved in Lukulu, Luena and other areas like Chama. We must have some form of equity in this, but our Government must focus on these other areas. When this oil is explored, we want to see equity. We must not repeat mistakes of the 1930s when copper was discovered in Zambia where multilaterals came and exploited at the expense of the local people. This time round, let us see proper empowerment of the communities who reside in the areas where that oil will be found. We do not want these opportunities to be limited to employment. Employment is good and we want those local communities to be empowered by way of equity participation.

Sir, let me now focus on the electricity sub-sector. As I have said, electricity is the engine for all that needs to happen, but in order for this country to achieve its goals in terms of all the parameters that we have set ourselves, the Fifth National Development Plan, Millennium Development Goals and indeed, the Vision 2030, it is important that we have sufficient and high quality energy, especially electric energy.

There is not only a looming shortage, as the hon. Minister admitted, but that shortage has already engulfed us.

The installed capacity in this country, if you add up the figures that the hon. Minister was relaying to this House, is 15,700,019 megawatts. Out of this, electrical engineers talk about the thermal capacity which is about 1,089 megawatts. If you look at the peak of this country at the moment, it is 1,414 megawatts. This already is higher than the thermal capacity. As we sit in this House now, there is already a shortage in terms of electricity.

Let us look at the future if we wind the clock a little bit ahead to the year 2011, look at the Copperbelt peaks which arise from the current 800 megawatts to 1,250 megawatts. Lusaka alone arise about 500 megawatts. The combination of the two areas will arise to 1,750 megawatts. If you look at the whole country, this will be in the region or even above 2,000 megawatts. This shortfall will be caused by the phenomenal growth in our economy particularly, the mining sector.

Hon. Member: Quality.

Mr Milupi: This growth, Mr Chairperson, is what we need and we look forward to that to benefit the whole economy and all of us, but we need to plan for the energy sector. We need rapid expansion of the generation capacity in this country and, in this particular respect, what the hon. Minister has referred to is what needs to be done at Itezhi-tezhi, Kafue Lower, Kalungwishi, Shiwa Ng’andu and others.

Let me add here that although we have already discussed in this House the Sioma Falls, I repeat what I said earlier that it will not disturb the flow of the Victoria Falls. We need Sioma Falls to be developed also because it will help regulate the voltage in the whole of Western Province.

Mr Chairperson, what is little discussed in the energy sector is the potential that exists in the Luapula River. In the Luapula River alone, there is a potential for 2,000 megawatts. The advantage of the Luapula River is that it has its catchment area quite separate from the Zambezi River catchment area. The water in Luapula River flows into the Atlantic Ocean whereas in the Zambezi River, the water flows in the Indian Ocean. What happens is that if you have a drought in the southern side, you do not have a drought on the northern side. The development of that potential would help us secure electrical energy in this country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi: In addition to expanding our generation capacity, Mr Chairperson, this country also needs to take advantage of each geographical location. There are many disadvantages to being landlocked, but in terms of the transmission of electrical power being the centre of the continent, it has its’ advantages. In this connection, Zambia must accelerate the creation of inter-connectors between the countries that have surplus energies such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and those countries that have deficits like those countries in the southern of Africa and East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. If we set ourselves correctly, this country stands to gain vast amounts of revenue. My calculation show that up to US$150 million per annum can be generated purely by transmitting power from the surplus areas to deficit areas. That US$150 million represents 5 per cent of the budget for 2006.

Mr Chairman…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 15th March, 2007.