Debates- Tuesday, 13th March, 2007

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Tuesday, 13th March, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: I would like to inform the House that, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Orders, Reverend Gladys Nyirongo, MP, has been appointed to serve on the Committee of Estimates in place of Mr V. Mwale, MP. Mr V. Mwale, MP, will continue to serve on the Public Accounts Committee and the Committee on Sport, Youth and Child Affairs.


Mr Speaker: I wish to acquaint the House with the presence of guests in the Speaker’s Gallery. These guests are Grade 11 pupils who were invited by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Zambia Branch from all the nine provinces of Zambia to take part in the commemoration of the Commonwealth Day by the Zambian Parliament on 12th March, 2007. Today, their last assignment is to experience how business is conducted in this House.

We welcome them to Parliament.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




357. Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when a second oil refinery would be constructed in the country.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, the country is currently served by the Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited which has a design capacity of 1.1 million tonnes of commingled crude oil per annum. The refinery is currently running at 50 per cent of its design capacity, that is, about 500,000 tonnes of commingled crude oil per annum due to a lack of recapitalisation.

The problem in the past has been the refinery’s unreliability. It is for this reason that the Government and Total, the shareholders in the refinery, have embarked on a three-year US$65 million recapitalisation programme. At 50 per cent of its design capacity, the refinery is able to meet the national petroleum requirements and export some products to neighbouring countries.

Therefore, the Government has no plans, at the moment, to have a second refinery as Indeni is currently able to meet the national petroleum requirements and its reliability is being enhanced through the capitalisation programme that commenced in late 2006.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, during the periods when Indeni is under repair, the country imports fuel from either South Africa or Tanzania. When the trucks carrying fuel come into the country, they…

Mr Speaker: Order! Can you ask your question, please.

Mr Kapeya: Why is it that trucks that bring in fuel from either South Africa or Tanzania go straight to Ndola to off load it instead of delivering it from the port of entry? For example, they can start delivering the fuel in Nakonde, but instead, they take it straight to Ndola and then reload the same fuel back to Nakonde.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, in most instances, the importer of finished products is Indeni which has its terminal based at Ndola and all marketing companies pick their products up from Ndola. Last year, BP won the tender to bring in fuel from outside the country and BP has its terminals located in Ndola and Lusaka. Therefore, the imports were transported to Lusaka and Ndola and they were distributed from there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, when is Indeni going to buy a steriliser to enable it distribute unleaded fuel to all the filling stations in the country?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we already referred to the recapitalisation programme that we have embarked on at Indeni. The role of Indeni will remain that of a bulk supplier of finished products to the oil marketing companies for distribution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government will block any private investor from establishing an oil refinery in this country.
Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we have stated many times that the policy of the Government is to pursue a liberalised economy. If there are private investors with the capacity to erect a second refinery, the Government will support them.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, considering that the reliability of Indeni is doubtful as a result of constant breakdowns due to a lack of capitalisation, which is likely to continue for sometime, how much strategic reserves do we have in the country now to cushion it when it breaks down?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons for the recapitalisation of Indeni Refinery is to enhance its reliability. Indeed, last year, we spent US $20 million in Phase 1. We are going to spend another US $20 million this year to enhance the reliability of Indeni strongly. To further empower Indeni, there is also a requirement for oil marketing companies to maintain fifteen days working-stock. Beyond that, as a Government, we are building up the strategic reserves. At the moment, we have about sixteen to twenty days strategic reserves.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, Indeni installed a new generator that should enable them operate full time. When will they manage to produce 100 per cent unleaded fuel as they indicated?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons we installed a standby generator is to assure the stability of power supply so that if there is any disturbance on the ZESCO line, the generator can be used and the operations of the refinery will not be affected. Since it was installed in November last year, the generator has worked extremely well.

With the enhanced power supply reliability, we are going to boost the amount of unleaded fuel that is being produced at Indeni.

I thank you, Sir.


358. Mr C. K. Banda (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) when the Government would open the newly constructed police post at Emusa Sub-Centre in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) when houses for police officers at Emusa Sub-Centre would be built.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Musosha): Mr Speaker, the recently constructed police post at Emusa Sub-Centre in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency will only be opened after the certificate of completion has been issued and the building officially handed over to the Police by the contractor and the Buildings Department of the Ministry of Works and Supply. This is done after an inspection that is yet to take place.

Mr Speaker, houses for police officers at Emusa Sub-Centre will be built once funds are released. The House may wish to know that the Zambia Police has a budgetary provision for the construction of housing units to compliment the infrastructure development in the Fifth National Development Plan.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. Banda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that construction of this police post was completed as far back as 2004?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, we are aware that the construction of Emusa Police Post was completed and that work started in February, 2003 and completed in January, 2005. The amount of money spent was K111,958.326.

The completion certificate is being awaited to date and we hope it will be ready by this month-end. We will construct the officers’ houses as soon as money is available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, considering that the budget does not have enough funds for the construction of houses for the Police, how do you hope to construct other houses in several other places other than Chasefu where houses have not been completed? Are you going to ask for supplementary estimates?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, there is an adage that says that, ‘we must tailor our suits according to the size of the cloth’.

I thank you, Sir.


359. Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) what the staff establishment for nurses was at the UTH Maternity Wing; and

(b) how many midwives were currently at the Maternity Wing.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) staff establishment has 100 registered Midwives and 160 Enrolled Midwives to run the labour ward and maternity wing.

Mr Speaker, currently, the UTH Maternity Wing has seventy-eight Midwives.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, what plans does the Government have to fill the establishment at UTH so that ward C11 that was closed due to a shortage of Midwives can open?

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, the Lusaka District Health Management Team complements the staff at UTH as part of capacity building. They work for two weeks and go back to their locations.

The ward was closed because we needed to have rehabilitation done.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out, in view of the shortage of Midwives, whether the Government is thinking of re-engaging retired Midwives who are still energetic to complement the staff.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, as we are debating the Budget, we have made a provision to recruit another 1,900 employees in the Ministry of Health and part of this is nursing staff.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Retired!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, lately, there has been so many complaints from members of the public that our mothers at UTH, on a number of instances, have delivered on the floor and in all instances, there have been no attendants. When is the hon. Minister going to stop this obnoxious situation that is obtaining at UTH?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, there are a number of times when we had speculations coming through. Therefore, we need to look at what creates some of these perceptions. Part of this is that hon. Members need to re-examine what our cultural practices are. Our traditional practices do not allow us to go to the hospitals in time, but encourage mothers to stay home until the last minute and that is when they rush to the health centres. Therefore, this is not due to negligence on the part of health employees.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, besides under staffing and congestion, the number of people being attended to is so huge that the services are inadequate. When is the hon. Minister considering an alternative University Teaching Hospital to offer thorough education and medication to would be patients and medical officers?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, we have already opened up centres in townships to decongest the University Teaching Hospital. There is a requirement that after delivery, mothers should be kept in the hospital for another eight hours to make sure that there is nothing wrong with them before they can be allowed to go home. This is what is causing the congestion. However, the centres that have been opened have helped ease the congestion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, has the ministry considered engaging traditional midwives or traditional birth attendants in urban areas as has been done in rural areas?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Member has answered his own question.

I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister know that a huge number of nurses have left the country? Is she considering bringing them back because it is common knowledge that there is a shortage of nurses in the hospitals?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Member acknowledges that there is a huge shortage of nurses in the hospitals. We have been talking about the human resource crisis in the health sector, and hence the reason for recruitment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Considering the rate at which mothers are giving birth, I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister whether the Government is considering up-grading traditional birth attendants to hospitals so that we lessen the problems.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, we incorporated traditional birth attendants to help us with this very function. In view of the shortage of staff in the health sector, we have started engaging them in the rural areas. With regard to urban areas, we have midwives therefore, the situation is somewhat different. It is a dual process where we have nurses available as well as the traditional birth attendants.

I thank you, Sir.




(Debate resumed)

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): I thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to present my ministry’s policy statement on the 2007 Budget.

The Ministry of Local Government and Housing falls under the local Government and Decentralisation Sector which is multi-functional in nature, as it performs delegated functions and responsibilities and manages the socio-economic and political spheres of governance.

Madam Chairperson, the following are the functions of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Arising from these functions, we have nine departments.

(a) co-ordination of Local Government administration;

(b) regulation and provision of social amenities, including housing;

(c) regional and urban planning;

(d) valuation of property;

(e) chiefs affairs;

(f) provision and regulation of water supply and sanitation;

(g) provision of infrastructure and support services; and

(h) co-ordination of the implementation of the national decentralisation policy.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry is also in charge of fire service rates, regulation of clubs, rent control, shopping hours, traditional beer, theatres and cinemas.

In addition to the functions that I have already stated, the ministry is also in charge of the following statutory bodies and institutions.

(a) Chalimbana Local Government Training Institution in Chongwe;

(b) the Gwembe District Special Fund;

(c) the National Housing Authority;

(d) the National Fire Services Training School in Kabwe;

(e) the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF);

(f) the House of Chiefs; and

(g) the seventy-two District Councils.

Madam Chairperson, as earlier indicated, the ministry is composed of nine departments that perform various functions.

The Mission Statement of the ministry is, and I quote,

“To promote democratic local governance and facilitate for the efficiency and effective delivery of quality housing infrastructure and social services by local authorities and other stakeholders in order to contribute to the improvement in the quality of life in communities.”

The goal of the ministry is to empower councils through the implementation of the national decentralisation policy and enhancement of good governance, citizen participation in decision making for the effective and efficient generation and delivery of services to the local communities.

The expected outcome is to achieve:

(a)  improved quality of life in the communities;

(b) a decentralised and democratised strengthened local Government decision-making process;

(c) reduced poverty levels; and

(d) a strong local government system.

The vision of the ministry is to achieve a fully decentralised and democratically elected system of governance characterised by open predictable and transparent policy making and implementation processes, effective citizen participation in decision making, development and administration of their local affairs while maintaining sufficient linkages between the centres and the peripherals.

It is necessary for the public and the Member of Parliament, especially the new Members of Parliament known as zezes to learn, …


Mrs Masebo: … understand and appreciate the ministry’s policy framework. The legal provisions under which the ministry operates and its objectives and programmes.


Mrs Masebo: Zeze means a new Member of Parliament.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is guided by the following policies:

(a) the National Housing Policy;

(b) the National Decentralisation Policy; and

(c) the Water and Sanitation Policy.

There are several legal provisions under which the ministry operates and these are:

(a) the local Government Act Cap 81;

(b) the Town and Country Planning Act Cap 283;

(c) the Chiefs Act Cap 287;

(d) the Rating Act Cap No. 12 of 1997 as amended in 1999;

(e) the Housing (Statutory) Improvement Areas Act Cap 194;

(f) the Valuation Surveyors Act Cap 189;

(g) the Market Act Cap 290;

(h) the Village Development and Registration Act Cap 289;

(i) the Liquor Licencing Act Cap 167;

(j) the Local Authority Superannuation Fund Act;

(k) the National Housing Act;

(l) the Rent Act;

(m) the Control of Dogs Act;

(n) the Traditional Beer Levy Cap 168;

(o) the Trades Licencing Act Cap 393 ; and

(p) the National Water Supply and Sanitation Act.

Madam Chairperson, allow me at this stage to give you a brief review of the ministry’s 2006 Budget performance and the major programmes that the ministry intends to undertake this year, as provided in the 2007 Budget. During the 2006, the ministry’s activities were mainly centred on the various functions of the ministry as earlier articulated, and these include:

(a) human resource capacity building social service delivery to communities;

(b) infrastructure support;

(c) solid waste management;

(d) support to market infrastructure;

(e) land use management;

(f) regional planning;

(g) housing development;

(h) valuation of property and preparation of valuation rolls;

(i) promotion of rural accessibility and mobility; and

(j) empowering the communities to make decisions through the process of decentralisation.

Madam Chairperson, it is worth noting that the 2007 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing stand at approximately K172,100,415,000 representing an increase of 97 per cent from the 2006 Budget which was approximately K87,389,089,000.00. From this amount, K6,078,000,000.00 is for Personal Emoluments while the allocation for non Personal Emoluments stands at K166, 023,000,000.00.

Madam Chairperson, in 2007, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has planned and budgeted to achieve the following objectives, programmes and activities through its various departments.

The first one is the Department of Human Resource and Administration whose objectives are to provide general administration, manage human resource and development policies, implement and co-ordinate HIV/AIDS and gender activities in the ministry.

Human resource is critical to the success of the ministry. In this regard, the department continues to enhance performance improvement to ensure efficient and effective performance through capacity building. In the fiscal year 2006, no provision was made for training and staff development in the ministry. In the 2007 Budget, a provision of K605,904,000.00 has been made to cater for the training needs of the ministry and local authority staff.

Madam Chairperson, the HIV/AIDS sensitisation for some members of staff in the ministry with the exception of the newly recruited employees has been done. What is required is to implement activities that will assist in caring for the infected and affected members of staff. It is also important to note that the ministry was not able to cover all Councils in the HIV/AIDS sensitisation programme due to inadequate resources. This will be done in the 2007 Budget for HIV/AIDS, which amount is estimated at K309,250,000.00. We have also planned a programme to ensure that all ministry and council workers, at least, know their status before the end of this year.

Madam Chairperson, in 2007, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing will also undertake sensitisation and mainstreaming gender in its operations in order to reduce male dominance over females and promote self-assertiveness among female staff. To this effect, a provision of K264,263,470.00 has been made in the 2007 Budget.

Madam, the Chalimbana Local Government Training Institute was established by the Government to provide training for Council staff at various levels. In 2006, the institute continued its mandate of human resource development in Councils. In this regard, a number of courses were conducted during the year.

 In 2006, there was a Budget provision for the rehabilitation of infrastructure that amounted to K93,071,000. However, since the money was released late and also due to lack of transport and inadequate staffing, the planned activities for 2006 in the areas of field training, consultancy and research were not undertaken. In 2007, the institute will concentrate on its core business of training for some members of staff in the Councils.

Madam Chairperson, the Chalimbana Local Government Training Institute’s planned activities and budget for 2007 are as follows:

(a) promotion of decentralisation strategies amounting to K116,580,000.00;

(b) design of new courses amounting to K63 million;

(c) rehabilitation of the institution’s infrastructure, amounting to K750 million; and

(d) research and consultancy, amounting to K174,398,000 and this will of course involve implementation of existing courses, seminars and workshops amounting to K415,345,000.00.

These have taken into account the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy.

Madam Chairperson, the second one is the Department of Physical Planning and Housing. This is responsible for facilitating the achievement of orderly and co-ordinated sustainable land use development and balanced regional development of human settlements as well as the provision of adequate and affordable housing for all income groups in the country. The department administers the functions of physical planning, regional planning and housing development which is guided by the Town and Country Planning Act Cap 283 and the Housing and Statutory Improvement Areas Act Cap. 194 of the Laws of Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, among the objectives for the department are the following:

(a) to ensure orderly development of human settlements in both rural and urban areas;

(b) to facilitate the improvement of living standards of the rural and urban population;

(c) streamlining the land use system, building standards, regulations and other controls to meet the needs, aspirations and capacities of all sections of the population;

(d) to attain an orderly, co-ordinate and sustainable regional development of its policies through planning to proportionately distribute socio-economic resources and services to curb imbalances and improve living standards of communities in various regions of the country; and

(e) to provide adequate affordable housing for all income groups in the country.

Madam Chairperson, the department has endeavoured to achieve the above-mentioned objectives through the programmes highlighted in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Annual Budget. However, past efforts have been hindered by challenges such as:

(a) lack of up to date plans;

(b) lack of an implementation strategy for the National Housing Policy;

(c) inadequate personnel as a result of vacant positions that have since been filled;

(d) multiple and uncoordinated actors with different formats in regional planning;

(e) inadequate and untimely funding of the approved budget allocation; and

(f) low budget ceiling that could not permit all programmes to be incorporated in the budget;

 Madam Chairperson, the Government has made proclamations that have a direct impact on programmes of the department. These policy measures include:

(a) the declaration of housing as a priority area by His Excellency the President;

(b) desire of the Government to have planned settlements throughout the country;

(c) Fifth National Development Plan with clear programmes under housing; and

(d) implementation of the decentralisation plan.

Madam Chairperson, arising from the highlighted challenges and policy measures, the Department of Physical Planning and Housing has come up with the following programmes to be implemented in the 2007.

Revision of legislation Related to Spatial Planning

Madam Chairperson, the legislation that guides spatial planning was prepared and reviewed in the 1960s and 1970s. Obviously, this piece of legislation is outdated and there is a need for the Government to harmonise the two pieces of legislation in order to ensure that emerging issues are addressed. The review is being coordinated with the support from the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (SIDA) and the aim is to review and harmonise the two pieces of legislation so that they are facilitatory as opposed to focusing on control. The Government is required to provide the counterpart funds to facilitate the consultative process. To do this, we have made a provision of K1,623,320,000. This will be done within twenty-four months from now.

Madam Chairperson, data collection and its management is cardinal to planning processes. Currently, the ministry does not have an adequate database to support the physical and regional planning functions. In order to have readily available data planning purposes, a geographical information system lab will be installed at the ministry. The equipment has since been bought by JICA and installed at the ministry. This programme will facilitate integrated local development planning in the country. This initiative is being developed for the provision of decentralised services. The Government is required to provide counterpart funding and an amount of K830 million has been provided for this purpose.

Madam Chairperson, the Integrated Development Plan (IDPs) provides a physical framework for socio-economic development. It gives a framework for land use planning such as residential, commercial, agriculture, recreation, industrial, social and economic infrastructure provision.

Currently, most of the districts do not have approved or updated plans. The aim is to have plans prepared and reviewed for all the seventy-two Councils. Out of the seventy-two districts, only four namely; Lusaka, Livingstone, Ndola and Luanshya have recently prepared plans although we are updating the one for Lusaka this year. The projected output for the Integrated Development Plan was K12 billion, but due budgetary constraints; we are only to provide K4.1 billion. Therefore, we expect to cover about ten districts with this amount of money because the cost of coming up with integrated development structural plans is quite high.

Upgrading of Unplanned Urban Settlements

Madam Chairperson, the other programme is that of upgrading unplanned urban settlements. As you aware, Zambia is challenged with the growth of informal settlements, resulting from rapid population growth and urbanisation. We are told that 70 per cent of populations in urban areas live in informal settlements with poor housing and inadequate or non-existent social and infrastructure amenities. The Government would like to embark on a programme to upgrade some of the informal settlements and has requested district councils to identify unplanned settlements that can be legalised and upgraded.

Madam, in 2007, a provision of K6.6 billion has been made for upgrading some settlements. This will involve mapping of squatter settlements, physical surveys and capturing of the current status in order to have proper layout plans. It will also involve relocation of displaced households due to the planning process. Although the allocation may not be sufficient, we intend to ensure that we start the process of providing some basic social services, especially water, sanitation and access roads.

Regional Development Framework (for Preparation of Regional Plans)

Madam Chairperson, this is a priority programme since the plans are a basis for national development. They are essential tools for targeting desired development goals, investment and improvement of the standards of living in Zambia. Existing plans in various regions of Zambian are not standardised.

The function of Regional Planning is vested in the Ministry of   Local Government and Housing by an Act of Parliament under the Town and Country Planning Act Cap. 283 of the Laws of Zambia is mandated to ensure that this is done.

 As you are aware, we have a newly created Planning Division under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. This year, we intend to harmonise the two departments so that we make progress. Although the District Development Plans are said to be in place, there is a need to standardise and consolidate them with land use known as structure plans to make them comprehensive.

Madam, K480 million has been allocated for this programme. Obviously, much more is required. However, due to budgetary constraints, we can only do this much this year and we hope we can do more next year.{mospagebreak}

National Housing Bonds Programmes

Madam Chairperson, this programme was kicked of in 2005 and we have made a lot of progress in that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Board of Trustees and its secretariat are already in place. It is anticipated that once the SPV is fully operational, local authorities in the five pilot districts of Chipata, Lusaka, Kitwe, Livingstone and Solwezi will have sustainable means of raising relatively cheap long-term finance for housing development from the capital market.

Madam, there is an allocation of K1.2 billion to facilitate initial issuance of housing bonds. A further K3.5 billion from the Private Sector Development (PSD) funds has been sourced to assist with the implementation in the five pilot districts.

Madam Chairperson, this year, the Government will begin implementing the National Housing Programme in which all the local authorities have been directed to set aside land for the construction of a 100 housing units in each district. To kick start this programme, a total of K13,921,000,000 has been allocated for opening up and servicing the land. The ministry will allocate the grant to the local authorities through the National Housing Authority who shall work very closely with the Councils in implementing this programme.  The private sector and individuals shall work with the local authorities to actually construct the houses. My ministry has since requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to encourage Zambians living abroad and its diplomats to rise to the occasion and invest their savings in housing construction.

May I also use this opportunity to appeal to the private sector in Zambia, including hon. Members of Parliament, to rise to this occasion and work with the Government in realising this programme of construction of houses.

In this regard, the focus of the Government will be to build more low and medium-cost houses to meet the ever growing demand for this category of housing. We hope that more resources can be allocated in next years’ Budget, considering that we have huge a housing deficit of over 1.2 million houses, especially for the low-income groups. If you can manage to construct five houses, please do not be scared to come and get five plots towards this programme because we need to construct houses this year. Therefore, we have asked almost all the local authorities to identify some land some land for this project and they have done so. We are looking for people who are serious developers and can move in and construct one, ten, twenty or indeed, 100 houses. If you want to build 100 houses in Chongwe, you can go to Chongwe and get some land as long as you are going to construct the houses and not sell the land.

Local Government Administration

Madam Chairperson, the Department of Local Government and Administration is responsible for the co-ordination of all the seventy-two councils. There are also two training institutions under the department, namely Chalimbana Local Government Training Institute and National Fire Services Training School in Kabwe.

The department’s programmes are aimed at facilitating the operations of local authorities and the statutory board in the provision and delivery of services by creating an enabling environment as well as for the actual provision of services to the communities through the councils. The following are the major programmes:

(a) Monitoring Service Delivery by Local Authorities and Boards

In 2006, the programme was not well executed due to lack of funds for the programmes for over five months. However, for 2007, a provision of K329,480,000 has been made to ensure successful implementation of the programme.

(b) Statutory Audits and inspections on Local Authorities Financial Records

Madam Chairperson, forty councils were audited up to December, 2005. With the assistance of our co-operating partners, JICA, the three big Councils of Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola were audited up to December, 2005, thereby reducing their backlog of unaudited books of accounts. The target for this year is to audit the books of accounts for all Councils up to December, 2006 in accordance with the law. The ministry has made a provision of K313,300,00 in the 2007 Budget for this purpose.

Retrenchment in Councils

A Sum of K25 billion requested in the 2006 Budget was released to reduce the Council’s indebtedness. Out of this, K10 billion was given to the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) to clear the K9 billion benefits for retrenched workers for all the seventy-two Councils. K5 billion was given to the retrenchees who were affected by the Water Sector Reforms on the Copperbelt. This year, the ministry has budgeted for another K25 billion to continue with this programme.

This year, the ministry will allocate part of this money to LASF to clear its arrears of about K11 billion as of December, 2006.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: We shall also give some of these monies to the local authorities that still have outstanding retirees’ benefits. It is the intention of my ministry to ensure that issues of retrenchees and retirees are dealt with. Indeed, if we are talking about reducing poverty levels, this is a programme we must give serious attention to.

As a ministry, our hope is to have a situation where LASF could be current with payments by the end of 2007.

Capital Gant

In line with physical decentralisation programmes, the Government has started implementing some of the plans that have been articulated in the implementation of the policy. To this effect, three grants have been provided for in this year’s Budget. There is what we call the restructuring grant which is the K25 billion which I have been talking about which will go towards retrenchment.

We are also talking about the capital grant which is meant to take into account the approved District Development Plans that have been incorporated in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP). K10 billion may not be enough, but it is a good start because some of the resources for some of the plans which have been articulated in the District Development Plans have been provided for in the line sector ministries. Although the amount is only K10 billion, in the education, health and other sectors, there is a lot of money towards infrastructure development or capital projects.

Recurrent Grant in Councils

The other grant is the Recurrent Grant in Councils for which we have provided a sum of K50.1 in the 2007 Budget to support recurrent costs of running local government in addition to all resources. Local government refers to local authorities and councils in addition to own resources such as property tax, personal levy and user charges. This has replaced the traditional General Purpose Grant.

Grants in Lieu of Rates

Madam Chairperson, for the first time there is a provision of K17.7 billion which has been provided as grants in lieu of rates for Councils. This is very good and we hope the money will be released on time to ensure quality delivery of services. It is a statutory requirement under the Rating Act for Government to pay grants in lieu of rates.

Provision of Fire Equipment for Established Fire Brigades (PRP)

Madam Chairperson, you will recall that this matter has been raised before. I wish to say that again, this is one of the very important functions. You know what has happened in the past concerning fire outbreaks. Unfortunately, we have not made any provision in this year’s Budget, not that we did not think it was important, but because the cost of purchasing equipment is between K60 billion to K75 billion which is the total estimate for fire-fighting equipment. Due to the ministry’s ceiling, it was not possible for us to take out this money. However, we are lucky because at the moment, some fire-fighting equipment has arrived in the country. This was procured through the Vice-President’s Office and the London office at our Embassy. It was donated by some co-operating partner. We shall be distributing it according to the needy districts.

Construction of National Fire Service Training School

There is a need for us to expand the National Fire Service Training School that teaches basic skills in fire fighting. Due to budgetary constraints, we have only put K5 million to start the process this year. This will only cater for advertisements and evaluation of tenders. We hope that next year we can have something substantial to improve this very important training school.

Provision of Fire Hydrants

Madam Chairperson, it has been observed that whenever there is an outbreak of fire, the major problem faced in quenching the fire is lack of water from the main part of town. The fire fighters find it difficult to find water to use for fire fighting because either the fire hydrants have no water or are non-existent. There is an urgent need to rehabilitate the existing ones and to restore the hydrants where these are not available. The cost of one fire hydrant is approximately K3,000,000,000. Lusaka alone has 2,774 existing hydrants that need rehabilitating. A total of K17.5 billion is required to rehabilitate 6,500 hydrants for Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola. However, this could not be provided for due to budget limitations …

Mr Kambwili: Fyafula!

Mrs Masebo: … and only K114 million has been provided to start the exercise.

Constituency Development Fund

A provision of only K9 billion has been made for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to finance micro community projects in all the 150 constituencies in the country.

In order to ensure proper management and utilisation of the funds, my ministry has revised the Constituency Development Fund guidelines to enhance transparency and accountability.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry is appealing to this august House to consider allocating more money to CDF because these are funds that have a direct impact on the communities in reducing poverty.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Infrastructure and Support Services Programme

Mrs Masebo: The Department of Infrastructure and Support Services (DISS) is a technical department charged with the responsibility of co-ordinating the planning, development, maintenance and management of all municipal infrastructure. It, therefore, provides technical advice and specifications to Councils and other stakeholders in the provision of infrastructure. Municipal infrastructure includes, water supply and sanitation (including control of pests); urban and feeder roads, drainage, street lighting and traffic signals, markets, bus stations and solid waste management, to mention but a few.

Mr Kambwili: Fyafula!

Mrs Masebo: Fyafula, but that is how big the ministry is.


Mrs Masebo: In addition, the department prepares national programmes that are required for resource mobilisation to support the development and management of infrastructure.

Water Supply and Sanitation Programmes

Madam Chairperson, my ministry has the noble task to make sure that our country attains the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for water supply and sanitation so that other sectors may also achieve theirs. Water is life and there can be no meaningful development without it.

The water and sanitation programmes are intended to contribute to reducing by 50 per cent the number of people without access to safe and adequate water supply and sanitation services by 2015 as well as contribute to the poverty reduction strategies of the New Deal Government.

The programmes in the Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) sector are broken down into urban and peri-urban as well as rural. This is because, the policy of the Government is to establish commercial water utilities to provide services in urban and peri-urban areas whilst for rural areas, the local authorities will work with the communities to develop and manage communal water points and household sanitation facilities.

   My ministry therefore, intends to establish national programmes through which to improve and manage infrastructure rather than through isolated projects. In this regard, a ten-year National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme has been prepared to increase access to safe water supply from 37 per cent to 80 per cent and improve sanitation from 13 per cent to 60 per cent by the 2015. The total cost for this important programme is approximately K144 billion per annum for the next ten years. The programme includes the drilling and equipping of boreholes, construction of protected wells, support to the construction of latrines, sustainable operations and maintenance as well as education in hygiene.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry is also currently preparing a similar programme for urban and peri-urban areas so that the country as a whole can provide an environment free from cholera and other water-borne diseases.

My ministry will this year ensure that Lusaka, Luapula and Eastern provinces also establish commercial water utilities within 2007. This is because it has been proven that utility companies are providing a better service than before and that with Government support, they do even better. My ministry will therefore, ensure that workers who are retrenched as a result of the Water Sector Reforms are paid in a timely manner. Furthermore, working capital and cheaper water treatment chemicals will be provided so that the utility companies can produce the water and sanitation services at competitive tariffs.

To this effect, my ministry has provided a total of approximately K62 billion for rural and water supply and sanitation programmes out of which Government contributions amount to K5.6 billion, with the balance from our co-operating partners. Similarly, K158 billion has been provided for urban and peri-urban water and sanitation programmes, out of which K13.4 billion is Government contribution and the remainder is from our co-operating partners. The Government intends to gradually increase its contribution in order to make up for the funding shortfall so that all the people of Zambia receive equitable services.

Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign

Another programme is that is which quite familiar; the ‘Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign’ programme. We have provided K300 million under this ministry and this will be used to carry out public campaign to sensitise the masses as well as to launch the campaign. In addition, the National Solid Water Management Programme has been introduced to assist local authorities implement the guidelines for solid water management that the ministry has produced.

I would like to appeal to other arms of Government, ministries, civil society, the private sector and individuals to also budget for and take part in activities to rid the country of the filth that we see everywhere.

Rural Accessibility and Mobility, Urban Transportation

Madam Chairperson, the other programme that has been provided for in this year’s Budget is the Rural Accessibility and Mobility, Urban Transportation (RAMP). K4.5 billion has been allocated as counterpart funding for this programme which will over three districts in the country on a pilot basis. The co-operating partners will contribute K7.5 billion in this year’s Budget.

This is a programme which is intended to promote intermediate means of transport such as bicycles, donkeys, motor cycles and trailers.  The programme will also focus on construction of footbridges, embankments and footpaths to improve accessibility in rural areas that are cut off from social amenities in the rainy season. The impact on the ground will be improved flow of both inputs and produce to enable the subsistence farmers access the markets and reduce poverty. Therefore, RAMP will focus on non core road network for improved accessibility of the vulnerable communities, especially in the rural areas.

Madam Chairperson, on market development programmes, I would like to say that with the demise of many parastatal companies during privatisation of state enterprises, markets and bus stations have become a major source of employment and income for many of our people. With improved management and depoliticisation, markets and bus stations can become a reliable source of revenue for the local authorities.

My Ministry has initiated the market and bus stations legislation which is currently in this august House in order to bring order and sanity in the management of public facilities and introduce proper sanitation and collection of refuse and levies.

Currently, some markets are under construction in Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola. This is the first phase of the national programme. However, K2.7 billion has been set aside as counterpart funding for the programme for 2007, but it is hoped that this will increase in the following years. In addition, K1.16 billion has also been set aside to support the local authorities rehabilitate existing markets by way of improved water supply, drainage system, sanitation and solid waste management. However, the money is inadequate to cover all the markets in one year.

Madam Chairperson, the importance of infrastructure in economic development cannot be over-emphasised. It is the most important ingredient in the attainment of the MDGs.

Madam Chairperson, I now come to the Government Valuation Department which is a specialised Government organ whose main objective is to advise Government on policies related to real estate with particular emphasis on the provision of valuation services. The department also offers valuation services to central and local governments, parastatal companies as well as members of the public. Various decision makers rely on the valuation advice in real estate business. The department operated from distinct offices. These are the Headquarters, Southern and Northern regions. The Headquarters under the ministry deals mainly with policy and administrative issues of the department. The two regional offices which were under the ministry deal with professional and technical issues. The main activities under the programme for 2007 are: to update the valuation rolls for most Councils because as you are aware, a Council is supposed to valuate its roll every five years. Currently a number of Councils still have their valuation rolls not updated.

You are also aware that after the sale of Government houses, updating of valuation rolls and money arising from that has remained one of the many sources of income for local authorities. Therefore, my ministry intends to ensure that this year we update almost all the valuation rolls of the remaining local authorities. To this effect, we have provided K1.87 billion and out of this K57 million is required by the department to prepare the annual national rating programme. The remainder of K1.81 billion is required for the actual preparation and supervision of valuation rolls. Out of this amount, K710 million is required for contracting the preparation of valuation rolls to private surveyors. The remainder of K1.1 billion is required for the department’s participation in the exercise.

We would have wanted to have more resources so that most of these services can be outsourced to the private sector and this exercise is completed in time, but obviously, due to budgetary constraints, we will do the best we can under the circumstances. The other allocation is for valuation consultancy services. Again, this is a very important function because it contributes to raising the much-needed revenue to the Treasury. The department is currently facing problems to respond to urgent assignments because it does not fall within the appropriation in the aid bracket. This has greatly affected its contribution to revenue generation for the Government.

The budget for the provision of consultancy services is K387.8 million. The department also plays an advisory role to the Zambian Revenue Authority, ZRA, on property transfer tax. The rationale is to equip ZRA with property market trends in order to administer property transfer tax effectively. However, the Government still loses a lot of the much needed revenue because of under declarations. We have estimated K87.1 million for this programme which is supplemented by other programmes such as the production of property bulletins if we are indeed, to make informed decisions in issues of property business.

Madam Chairperson, the Department of Government Valuation also deals with the Surveyors Registration Board. This hosts the secretariat for the rating valuation tribunal and the valuation surveyors registration board to provide logistical and technical support to ensure smooth operations. The two secretariats attend to correspondences, prepares agendas and minutes of the meetings on behalf of the board and the tribunal. The total amount budgeted for this programme is K28 million.

Mr Kambwili: Fyafula mami!

Mrs Masebo: I now come to the House of Chiefs Department. The Department of House of Chiefs and Chief’s Affairs started its operations in 2003 in accordance with the provisions of Article No. 130 and 131 of the Constitution of Zambia. Since then, a number of meetings have been held and according to the Constitution, the main function of the House of Chiefs is to advise the Government on matters of tradition and custom and also to deal with any other matters referred to it by the President.

Madam Chairperson, the House of Chiefs has been allocated approximately K18,899,000,000 in the 2007 Budget compared to K13,808,376,305 in the 2006. This high increase is as a result of a provision of K6.6 billion which has been specifically allocated for the purchase of thirty-six vehicles and two speed boats for our traditional rulers. The Government intends to ensure that our traditional rulers are facilitated in carrying out their traditional and developmental functions, taking into account the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy. A number of activities will be undertaken this year and the years after. Therefore, there is a need for chiefs to be very active. The vehicles and boats are to be used by all the 286 traditional rulers.

Madam Chairperson, the vehicles shall be administered by the ministry through the provincial Permanent Secretaries and the district Councils.  The Department of House of Chiefs and Chiefs Affairs will require a supplementary budget because for certain issues that deal with chiefs welfare and settling of boundary and succession disputes, we seem to have a shortfall of K999 million or should I simply say K1 billion.

Madam Chairperson, the department has however budgeted a sum of K7.750,000 for chiefs and chief retainers’ subsidies and wages. This will also include uniforms for retainers.

Madam Chairperson, under dispute resolution, there are currently sixteen outstanding cases and it is envisaged that the House of chiefs will attend to most of them in 2007. A sum of K160 million has been provided fro this.

On decentralisation of secretariat programmes, I would say that this is the last department which is responsible for the facilitation of implementing the National Decentralisation Policy. During 2006, the secretariat commenced various preparatory activities towards the full implementation of the policy. Having successfully completed most of these tasks, the ministry, during 2007, commenced the substantive implementation of the Decentralisation Policy in accordance with the Decentralisation Implementation Plan. In the plan there are ten programmes.

The first one is sensitisation. We hope that this year we can again, come back to Parliament to sensitise the Members who are new and other stakeholders on the policy so that more people understand and follow the policy and the plan for implementation.

We also hope to continue with the sector devolutions with the various sector ministries and so far eight ministries have been covered and the exercise is on going. The ministry will also take legal reforms to various pieces of legislation in order to re-align them to the policy.

To ensure that all citizens share the Government’s vision on this matter and that we carry everybody on board as we proceed with the reforms, my ministry will continue to undertake sensitisation and dissemination campaigns in the seventy-two district Councils. To this effect, a total cost of implementing the planned activities during 2007 is estimated at K5 billion. The 2007 Budget has only made a provision of K3.1 billion towards this important undertaking. As it is, we are quite comfortable that this will go a long way. We hope that the other sector ministry can also use some of their resources in some of the programmes that have been lined up for implementation this year.

Madam Chairperson, various co-operating partners have continued to show considerable interest in supporting the Government in implementing our policy. The Government will continue to work with such partners.

Mr Kambwili: Fyafula mayo.

Mrs Masebo: In conclusion, I wish to recognise the additional financial support given to the functions under my ministry provided in this years’ Budget. This is reflective of the direction that our budget process must take in order to realise the Government’s vision of empowering our people through decentralisation and of course, the MDGs. It is indeed, important that our vision be demonstrated in how we apportion and use our resources.

Madam Chairperson, while I appreciate the increase in my ministry’s budget allocation, I wish to point out that some critical programmes are still inadequately funded. I hope that this august House can support this, especially the Constituency Development Fund. I note that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has already circulated an amendment to the CDF which I am grateful to. We need to improve on our allocation in the areas of water supply and sanitation in subsequent budgets to ensure that our delivery of public goods and services meet the expectations of our people.

With these remarks, I want to thank you, Madam Chairperson and the Members for your attention.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for according me this opportunity to debate the vote pertaining to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Madam Chairperson, first and foremost, I would like to express my disappointment, that collectively, as Members of Parliament we have let down the people of this country by failing to provide adequately for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

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

Mr Mwiimbu: All of us here, apart from those who are nominated, are all councillors and we should realise that the local Government is the Government that is closest to the people. The local Government is the one that provides the service to the people of this country. Alas, even in this year’s Budget, the provisions are not adequate to uplift the standards of living of our people. We are all aware that the local Government is mandated to provide clean and safe drinking water. They are supposed to provide good roads in their localities and other necessities of life, but nothing much has happened in this area.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, it is not strange to note that the MMD Government is associated with the destruction of the Local Government system in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: When the MMD Government came into power, they introduced legislation that led to the destruction of the Local Government system in this country. In one of the pieces of legislation, the then hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing …

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Mwiimbu: …who I am not going to mention, introduced an amendment to the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund which required that any officer who had serviced for twenty years in the local Government service had to retire. The consequences of that bad law was that all those who were qualified at the time and all those who had experience had to leave the local Government service.

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

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, …

Madam Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Thank you, Madam Chairperson, and my apologies to my brother, hon. Member for Monze. I did not wish to interrupt him. Is he in order to leave this House debating who was involved in disrupting some of the Acts on superannuation? Is he in order not to mention the name? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Member: Sata.


Madam Chairperson: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister for Energy and Water Development is concerned that Hon. Mwiimbu, in his debate, did not mentioned the hon. Minister who is alleged to have destroyed the councils. The serious ruling from the Chair is that, it is within our procedure not allowed to mention names of people who may not defend themselves in the House. So, he is in order.

You may continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Mwiimbu: Much obliged, Madam Chairperson. When somebody is a Cabinet Minister, he or she is accountable to the Government of the day. There is collective responsible or irresponsible.


Mr Mwiimbu: As a result of that law, most of those who we had confidence in; those who had experience left the local Government service. Consequently, most local authorities could not afford to pay the retirement and retrenchment benefits for those who left. To date, these ramifications are still being felt by most of the local authorities. Fortunately, after a lot of lobbying and pressure, this law was amended, but we could not redress the harm that was done. All those who were qualified are still looming the streets. At the moment, they are street adults.

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, as I said, the Government is failing, to date, to provide the requisite finances to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. There is a law that requires the Government to ensure that the Government provides adequate grants to local authorities through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. There is a law that requires the Government to provide grants for roads, but the law has not been amended. Grants for roads, water and all the services that are required to enhance the living standards of our people are there in the local Government service, but the Government is not providing for them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: I stand here, Madam Speaker, without fear of any contradiction that the Government that will be able to provide all those requirements for the local Government service and correct all the wrongs that are there, will never be defeated in the elections. I am happy to note that this side, in 2011, when we come into power and with those whom we think are going to join us, we will make amends.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, the local Government service has been denied certain taxes that are already in the law which are supposed to go directly to local authorities. Sometime back, there was a tax called Beer Surtax. This Beer Surtax was supposed to be paid to the local authorities. If I am not mistaken, it must be about 25 per cent of the collections which would go to the local authorities, but this money is being collected by the Central Government and it is not remitting it to the local authorities. How do you expect the local authorities to provide the service?

Madam, I am glad to note that the current Minister of Local Government and Housing is actually a local Government person. She understands the local Government system. She has been a Councillor, deputy mayor and has risen to where she is and knows the problems. I hope that the colleagues in Government will support her to ensure that the local Government system is uplifted.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, the lawlessness that is prevailing in the country today is unacceptable. There is no way you can run a country where residents or individuals just do whatever they want to. The epidemics that we are having in this country are as a result of lawlessness. Cholera outbreaks are as a result of lawlessness. People are constructing houses where they are not supposed to. Where there are no sewer services and water, people are constructing.

The local authorities who are supposed to be the planners have been overtaken by political planners. Politicians are the ones who are busy demarcating and allocating land in this country. Why should we allow lawlessness? Zambia has become one of the dirtiest countries in the world. Why should we be proud of that?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Arising from that, I would like to praise Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe who has not allowed lawlessness in that country. In Harare, there were illegal structures and people were trading on the streets, but because the Government had political will, they moved in and redressed the situation. However, in this country, because of votes, we have leaders who are even encouraging people to trade in the streets because they have nowhere to go. The truth is that in most of the townships, the markets are empty. People do not want to trade in those markets. Why should we allow such lawlessness?

Look at the way Lusaka is now? Surely, are we not all ashamed here collectively, of the situation that is obtaining in Lusaka? Can you actually, with decency and pride, take a visitor to our city in town for a walk? You cannot. All of us here do not even go to town, but Manda Hill and Arcades because there is law and order. Why should we do that? We should take corrective measures.

Madam Chairperson, this is our country and we should ensure that we take corrective measures. There is no politics about decency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Why should we do that?

Look at what is happening along Kafue Road. Factories are mushrooming. Kafue road was supposed to be the best area of development in Lusaka. However, what has happened? Some of these people, and I know that most of them are foreigners, and I am not ashamed to say this, have started building factories there. Ramshackles are coming up along Kafue Road.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr Mwiimbu: I partly blame the department under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Foreigners have taken over the area 300 metres on both sides of the road, but the department has not done anything about this. The officials there are part and parcel of the mess that is going on. They continue planning. You will find that one plot along Kafue Road has more than seven titles, but there are people who are supposed to be responsible for controlling the wrongs that are going on there. Why should we allow that? Lusaka is the Capital City of this country, but it has become the dirtiest town in Zambia. Why should we do that?

Madam Chairperson, I also would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to take note of the suffering of most of the employees in the rural areas. It is not unusual to find a situation where some employees have not been paid for four years. Surely, we should do something about this. I have noted that you have provided some money, but it is not adequate. We must come up with a permanent solution to the problem that is dogging our Councils …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … and not these cosmetic measures which will not solve any problem.

Finally, Madam, with regard to the issue of our able and hard working councillors, we are all saying that councillors are part time. We should not even assist them get a pay. We should not provide transport for them. Surely, how do you expect them to provide the services that are required of them? These are the ones who are our agents in the constituencies. Everyday, they are working on our behalf. Why can we not find a way of providing for them? Why can we not provide Government resources and give them an allowance to enable them perform their duties? Surely, I have no doubt in my mind that if a Bill was brought before this House to provide for councillors, most of us would support it. These people are working hard on our behalf. It does not make sense for us to continue saying that they are doing a part time job for us.

Madam, please, I would like to appeal to all of us here to ensure that we provide for the local authorities.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate this very important Vote on the Local Government.

Madam, …

Mr M. Mwale: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr M. Mwale: Madam Chairperson, I am compelled to raise this serious point of order as it hinges on the credibility of this Government.

Madam, the then Acting Minister of Mines and Minerals Development in supporting Head 14, in his policy statement, informed this House and correctly so, as follows and I quote:

“Due to the growing interest in Uranium Mining, the Government started developing the Uranium Mining Regulations in 2006. Although Zambia has a well developed mining industry, with established mining laws and corresponding regulations, there is no history of uranium mining.”

Madam, the hon. Member for Lusaka Central, Dr Scott, informed this House in debating and in support of Head 17, with glee, while looking at the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, said, and I quote:

“I was going to tell the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, through you, that Zambia’s first major impact on the international scene was in 1945 when Northern Rhodesia, as we were then, supplied uranium for the first atomic bomb to be dropped in anger.’

Madam Chairperson, I bring your attention to an article which appeared in the Times of Zambia of Friday, 9th March, 2007, entitled Congolese held in missing uranium, and I quote:

‘The Democratic Republic of Congo’s top atomic energy official is being held over allegations of uranium smuggling.

A man in Congo’s Southern Province of Katanga supplied the uranium that was used in the atomic bombs that were dropped by the Americans on the Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To thank and reward Congo, the Americans funded the creation of Congo’s Nuclear Centre in 1958.’

Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Member for Lusaka Central who was born the year before that atomic bomb was dropped in Japan in order to cast doubt on the credibility of the hon. Minister’s statement and misinform this House and the country at large that Zambia was the supplier of that uranium? I need your serious ruling, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development has raised a point of order on the debate made by the hon. Member for Lusaka Central, Dr. Scott, on the usage and supply of uranium. This is indeed a very serious point of order. The Chair will for now defer the ruling to a later date.

Will the hon. Member for Luapula continue please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr. Machungwa: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Before the point of order was raised, I was just beginning to stress the fact that Local Government is an important institution in the governance of the country because it deals directly with the people, hence this is a very important vote. If the Local Government system is not performing, we have a lot of problems at the grassroots level.

However, to begin this debate, Madam Chairperson, I wish to point out that since the economic decline in the country which began around the mid 1970s, there has been serious economic dislocation in the country and we began economic restructuring in the early 1990s. The decline of employment, especially in the formal sector meant that a lot of people had to find means of sustaining themselves. Vending and trading in all kinds of goods and services has increased in the districts, especially in the urban areas. Street vending now has become so common that it is almost regarded as normal.

Now, the Government started addressing this issue in the 1990s. At one point, a Vendors’ Desk was established at State House to try to look into this problem. One of the measures that were started was to begin building modern markets so that instead of people going into the streets, they can sell their ware in the markets in a more sanitary manner. If they also had problems, there was a means through the Vendors’ Desk for them to communicate with the highest authority in the land. Now, markets like the Lusaka City Market and other markets in Chilenje were built, Luburma Market and many other markets were started in the country. Unfortunately, more recently, when some of these markets were being completed and the Government in power was allocating stalls to the intended beneficiaries, foreigners were getting the larger share of these stalls. If you go to Luburma and Town Centre markets and elsewhere in the country, you will find that this is a problem. In fact, what you find is that our people, rather than going to trade in the markets, are on the streets. Of course, the point has been made earlier that people want to be on the streets rather than in the markets because they would rather meet customers on the streets than in the markets. I am cognisant of that fact. However, when people have no market stalls …

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

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Chairperson, I have no reason to interrupt my learned elder brother in his debate, but I would like some clarification. I want a strong ruling on this. I wonder whether someone would blame the Government for the allocation of stalls in markets when we know that for a very long time, Lusaka has been in the hands of the Opposition. The councils are the ones who have been actually allocating stalls in these markets. Is the hon. Member in order to apportion blame on the Government instead of the city councils through the councillors?

Madam Deputy Speaker: The point of order raised by the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning is that the hon. Member for Luapula who is debating is apportioning blame on the Government when Lusaka Council has been in the hands of the Opposition and, therefore, the allocation of the stalls is their responsibility. The serious ruling from the Chair is that the hon. Member for Luapula may take that into consideration and my right side has also a right to debate. We allow the hon. Member for Luapula to debate and those with any other information will debate too.

Will the hon. Member for Luapula continue, please.

Dr. Machungwa: Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson. The point of order from …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Just debate. Do not qualify.

Will the hon. Member for Luapula continue, please.

Dr. Machungwa: Yes, Madam Chairperson. I am impressed because the hon. Deputy Minister is using very good language today which will  most likely to earn us some warning and complaints from the society at large. In this House, we try to use the language that is acceptable.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Debate the motion.

Will he continue, please.

Dr. Machungwa: Yes, Madam Chairperson.

Coming back to the issue I was raising, it is the Local Government, through the city councils, that is responsible for allocating market places not a member of the opposition party like myself. It is not only the City of Lusaka we are talking about, but other places in the country where market stalls and small shops in the markets are going to foreigners instead of the people for whom they were intended. Now, this has created a problem.

 As a result, people take the law in their own hands and move into the streets. Unfortunately, when you allow illegality for sometime, it becomes a normal thing and people come to believe that it is not illegal and they continue conducting business. What we see now is that people have settled in the streets and when you try to remove them now, they will resist.

We see a lot of illegal things happening. For example, along Lumumba Road, as you all know, this is a dual carriageway, but between Mumbwa and Los Angels roads, mini buses just park as they please and the police do not do anything about this. They allow illegality to become legal. You cannot govern like this.

My honourable colleague was talking about a lot of illegal things that are going on, but when the authorities have a lax attitude, they wait until people build an illegal structure that is when they go in the middle of the night to break it. That way, you are causing a lot of tension in the country because people have invested their little resources in the structures. Therefore, when you destroy their structures when they are about to move in, as Government, you have the responsibility to stop it. As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’.

On Lumumba Road itself, we are about to have a calamity because the road is used by heavy trucks transporting heavy goods from the South going to the Copperbelt and night and day, they are travelling on that road. If one of those trucks carried off the road, it would kill hundreds of people. It is not possible to walk there. A car cannot use the service road that is there. Who is responsible for this?

Hon. PF Members: Masebo!

Dr Machungwa: Since we have given the markets to foreigners, the local people have nowhere to trade from and when we see illegality happening, we allow it to continue. Now illegality has become normal. However, when you try to move in, you should be prepared. This is not political at all, but you have allowed illegality to be treated as normal.

Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing and Government in general, including the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, now that you are in Government, you have allowed both taxis and mini bus drivers to stop and pick up passengers anywhere and so are the police. That did not happen when I was Minister of Home Affairs, I can assure you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: There was legality.

Madam Chairperson, let me move to the issue of CDF. I wish to commend the hon. Minister as well as the Government for taking a small step towards what this fund was meant for and was designed to move in the direction towards which it was intended to. When this idea was debated in this Chamber in 1992 –93 and was raised by Hon. Mwansa who is sitting hear, Hon. Mukupa and Newton Ng’uni who are not hear. They came up with this idea that there should be a Constituency Development Fund and there were people who opposed it so bitterly that they even threatened to expel the three colleagues from the party. Do not ask me who that person is or was, but you can ask Hon. Mwansa.

Mr Sichilima: Ni President wenu!

Dr Machungwa: You want me to name him. He will be embarrassed.

Hon. Members, when the idea was mooted, an initial K30 million was approved, but the amount asked for at that time was K500 million per constituency. Since it was a new idea and was being studied, it was agreed that they started with K30 million and each year thereafter, depending on funds, we would be increasing this so much that if we had been moving in that direction, we should now be talking about a figure over K2 billion going to the constituency. Looking at the figures as circulated by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, we are moving towards K200 million.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was urging the hon. Minister of Local Government who is not hear right now, that with regard to CDF, we should be looking at a figure that is much higher because when this Bill was presented to the House, the intention behind it was to come up with a figure that would be escalating over the years. Therefore, the figure of K200 million, though an increase, is still inadequate. We would have expected, this year, a figure of K1 billion to go to the constituency because these directly affect the lives of the people at the grassroots.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: While talking about that, the practice has been that the council takes a 10 per cent as administrative fee for administering and monitoring the usage of the CDF. In the past at K60 million, the administrative fee was K6 million.

Now that we are moving to K200 million, it does not make sense that it should be held at 10 per cent. In fact, it should remain at K6 million.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Since the work they will be doing is the same, the amount will not increase. I want to caution the hon. Minister of Local Government who is not hear, but I hope she is listening somewhere. The Chair and the Leader of the House are not in the House. I see the Deputy Minister of Local Government is here. This House will not accept the local councils taking K20 million from this amount. They shall remain at K6 million so that all the funds are used to benefit the constituency because this was the intention of this House when this law was passed.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Dr Machungwa: Coming back to the issue of the 100 houses that are going to be built by the Government in various districts. This is a commendable idea if it is going to be implemented.

Firstly, the areas where these houses are going to be built should be serviced before the construction begins. In fact, during the campaign, the Patriotic Front (PF) said that they would breakdown some houses in some areas. What they meant was that they would break them down and build better houses in place. Unfortunately, the Government did not understand this because it was not their idea. Instead, they are breaking down structures without any replacement.

I am urging the Government to have plots properly serviced if they are going to build houses so that we avoid problems such as cholera and other difficulties that our people are facing in some of the areas that have not been approved. The most important thing, as I said earlier, is for the Government not to sit and watch people engaging in illegality, do nothing about it and come back five or six years later and say, ‘now we shall follow the law.’ Where was the Government when the law was being broken? This is what is leading to anarchy.

Madam Chairperson, I am most grateful for the chance to debate the Vote for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North) Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Floor of the House.

I support the budget. I would not be a true Zambian if I went against it. As we all know, Local Government …

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Madam

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. The tradition of the House is that the hon. Minister in charge of a ministry should be in the House when the vote for his or her ministry is debated. Is the hon. Minister in order to be absent when issues of importance that affect the citizens of this country are being discussed? I seek your serious ruling on this issue.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Mr Mukanga’s concern is that the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is not in the House while the debate on the Vote of the same ministry is going on.

The ruling of the Chair is that the Government is here and the Deputy Minister is sitting there and listening …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: … the Leader of Government Business in the House is also here.

Can you continue.

Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that Local Government, as we all know, is one institution which is very close to the people. One reason I came to this House was to address the basic problems which the people are facing. I had the rural areas in mind. The only sad thing is that my mission here has started on a low note because when it comes to the provision of water supply, the amount allocated is very minimal. It has been put in neutral terms. If we start asking how much of this is going to the rural areas; to constituencies like Chama North, you will find that it is negligible.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Chilembo: Before this House, there was information that for the past five years, the Eastern Province only had 100 boreholes, Southern Province had 4,000, Central Province 5,000 and North-Western Province had ninety-seven. Already, that distribution tells you that there is an inequitable way of distributing these much needed boreholes.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Chilembo: I do not want somebody to tell me that there are a lot of rivers in Chama North and Luapula provinces.


Mr Chilembo: Madam Chairperson, we are talking about the supply of clean drinking water which does not threaten human life.

I will give you an example of how serious the problem is. Please, pardon me if I nauseate you.

Mr Nsanda: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nsanda: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is this Government in order to have a discriminatory law which forbids someone whose parents are from outside this country from aspiring for presidency? At the same time, the same Government has made a very big loophole by having people in the cabinet whose parents are from outside this country, including Mugabe’s niece. That is why we are having laws of destruction from Zimbabwe coming to this country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: The point of order is, actually, not a point of order. Those are constitutional matters and should, therefore, be referred to the Constitutional Review Commission and should not be debated in this manner.

Mr Chilembo, you may continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilembo: Before that point of order, I was saying that I hope I will not nauseate you, but this is a reality in my constituency and probably most of the rural constituencies. Due to poor sanitation, people tend to answer the call of nature in the bush which could be near the rivers.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilembo: Now, that it has rained and there are floods, I leave what the scenario could be to your imagination.

Mr D. Mwila: Landa ulimwaume!

Mr Chilembo: When we have such a situation, one would expect this matter to be attended to with the agency it deserves. I have noticed that in the budget, there is K40 billion allocated to gender activities. It is a good idea. However, why have these activities when you will not even have clean drinking water? What I am saying is that, the Ministry of Local Government should consider shifting some of this money to more needy arrears such as water. I do not wish to see a situation were my grandmother has to chase a baboon to draw her drinking water.

Mr Kambwili: Naimwe mwalikwata ba baboon!

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilembo: I do not want to see Chama North or any rural constituency in general, in a situation where the colour of water remains brown or green.

Mr D. Mwila: Sosa!

Mr Kambwili: Mwandi kuti bakutanfya.
Mr Chilembo: This matter of safe drinking water should be looked at to save people’s lives. We are talking about people’s lives which cut across party affiliations. We are talking about our own people. We need to address this issue very seriously.

I also came to this House because I hoped I would be able to grade that little road, but this budget has not made any provision for graders. Yes, we are now talking about the increase of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and it is welcome as a matter of good gesture. If we can have a provision for graders, we would stop asking the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to do certain things that could be done locally.

Madam Chairperson, I must commend the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing for passionately dealing with the issue of decentralisation. All of us must pursue this issue with passion. I must hasten to add that without money, decentralisation does mean anything. When we talk of decentralisation, we must have enough money. Otherwise, it will not do. How do we expect rural Councils with nothing, to stand on their own? These Councils will not be able to pay salaries. If you came to Chama North Constituency, you would find that there is no infrastructure to talk about. You would find prime land right in the boma where there are thatched houses. You cannot talk about gaining any income in terms of rates. How do you expect these poor Councils to be self-sustaining? It is therefore, very important that the issue of grants is pursued vigorously by the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. 

Madam Chairperson, this is not a matter we should suspend, but one of urgency. I am saying that all these Councils, including the rural ones, must stand on their own, but how do they stand without a proper beginning? It is like asking a baby to start feeding and looking after itself without any support from the parents. We all needed support from our parents and guardians to get us to where we are now. Therefore, these Councils are babies and they need support from you. You should not forget that they have the potential to do fine. For example, in Chama Constituency, when we start producing oil, we will be able to look after even those who appear to be rich today. I think you should give us a good start.

Madam Chairperson, I was sad to learn that very little has been given towards the fight against HIV/AIDS and that only certain districts will benefit. I think we should demonstrate our seriousness in this area by giving money for this HIV/AIDS awareness.

During my campaign, an attempt to provide sex education to the people was not the most welcome subject.  In fact, I was warned that it would cost me some votes. The mention of the word ‘sex’ is still a taboo and I get worried when this issue is underplayed. Let us allocate more money to this very important subject. 

Madam Chairperson, I was very delighted to hear from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing that she intends to be up to date with the payment of pensions to people who worked very hard in the ministry. This is very important and we must not forget that some of these people risked their lives. The firemen who worked with inadequate equipment surely deserve to be paid. The security guards who went to the market to demolish any illegal structures need to get their money at the end of the day.

Madam Chairperson, I note one problem when it comes to the Pension Scheme run by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Under Statutory Instrument 115 of 1996, there is a provision for a basic salary to include all allowances and indirect payments. Under the LASIF Act, when it comes to computing the benefits, various allowances are not taken into account yet, but with regard to the terminal benefits at the Local Government   level, allowances are actually included. I think there is a problem there because they pick the basic salary which is less the allowances. This means that the retirees under that Pension Scheme are under paid. I note that it is a problem of conflict in the Statutory Instrument under the LASIF Act.

Madam Chairperson, I urge the ministry to take up that matter so as to harmonise the law. It is clear that LASIF would actually accept the contributions at 10 per cent of that basic salary which is inclusive of allowances, and yet in the same breath, when it comes to payments, they refuse to pay the benefits that should be inclusive of the allowances. Therefore, you will find that at the end of the day, the employees are actually underpaid. I thought I should cover this vote so that I do not appear to be rural oriented when I can also speak for the urban areas.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Mulongoti): Madam Chairperson, this is a very interesting subject to debate. Us, from this side of the House (right), believe every Zambian has the right to aspire to rule and to do various things. The hon. Member of Parliament for Chimwemwe has raised a very pertinent issue. I know he is my mulamu. This now tells us where we are having problems in this country. He raised a question of which villages people come from. The National Secretary of his party, Dr Scott …


Mr Mulongoti: … is a foreigner, but to us, he is a Zambian. His father does not have a village. You ask him where his village is.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, it is critical that if you live in a glass house, you do not start throwing stones. To us, Dr Scott is a Zambian, but we have been told very clearly from the other side that …

Dr Scott indicated on a point of order.


The Chairperson: Order! Can you please both sit down. It is normal procedure that if you are debating and a point of order is raised, you do not stop debating and neither does the other person stand until the point of order is granted. I have noticed that as long as somebody raises a point of order, he is already on the Floor. This is not the first time I am noticing this. Please, let us observe this because you may not be given a chance to raise a point of order just because you have indicated. Therefore, let us follow the procedure.

However, Dr Scott, your point of order is granted.

Dr Scott: Madam Chairperson, I wonder whether the appointed hon. Deputy Minister on the Floor is in order to use me …


Dr Scott: … to divide and rule the Opposition. The point that I understand that was made by the hon. Member for Chimwemwe was not a racialist, but that of consistency. Is he in order?


The Chairperson: Order! Dr Scott is concerned that he is being used as an example to divide and rule this side of the House.

Madam Chairperson pointed to the left side of the House.

 In fact, the serious ruling from the Chair is that there was no point of order that was admitted from the hon. Member for Chimwemwe. Therefore, there is nothing to refer to. The ruling was inadmissible. Therefore, there is no point of order.

Could the hon. Minister please, continue?

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for your guidance. I will observe that. However, I hope this has been taken note of.

Madam Chairperson, what we are seeing is equivalent to a criminal leading the police to a scene of crime and thinking he or she is very clever.

Madam Chairperson, there is no way you can talk about local Government in Zambia and the law that makes it difficult to administer other than the leadership of the people  who today plainly see things are all wrong.

The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is doing everything possible to give direction, but the people who knew what they did before they left Government are fighting her to a point where they are calling her a thug.

Hon. Minister, I would urge you to continue what you are doing because it is noble.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: The people know who the thugs are. Please continue. You have a noble duty.

Madam Chairperson, already, I have heard two statements. Hon. Member for Monze was talking about empowering Councils. Even before his words could disappear from the House, Hon. Dr Machungwa stood up and said do not give them K200 million. Why are you contradicting yourselves?  Give them the money to empower them. Is it because you have a share in the running of the K200 million that you do not want the Council to benefit?

Dr Machungwa stood up.

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, let us be consistent if we want the councils to benefit. For instance, given a Council where you have twenty hon. Members of Parliament and each contributes K20 million, how much will that be for the Council. We want the Council to run effectively. Do not do it in a selective manner.

Hon. Government Members: Tell them!

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chaperon, the hon. Member for Luapula said when his party said they were going to demolish houses, they did not mean to demolish them without building others in place. They have a history of having demolished houses before and not building any in place. That is the reason we are concerned

Hon. PF Members: It was your President.

Mr Mulongoti: Your President was MMD before.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, let us live up to our commitments. When we are targeting to run Government and we fail to meet that target and we only manage to acquire Councils, …

Mr Kambwili: Balikusula iwe.

Mr Mulongoti: … let us make sure that we run the Councils perfectly as an example. The problem is that …

The Chairperson: Order! Could we stop shouting across the Floor? Let us …


The Chairperson: Order! Order! This is a House of order. No matter how aggrieved you feel, you have to wait until your turn comes. If you are not given the right to speak, you wait until your time comes. That is just the way we do things in this House. Therefore, hon. Members, you should show how honourable you are by being patient and waiting.

Could you stop shouting across the Floor and listen to the person debating. If you have anything to say, you will have your time to debate.

Could the hon. Minister continue?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: I am grateful to the Chair. I am the only Member who can debate honourably.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, if I recall, in 1966, there was a parliamentary report that was tabled in this House on the running of Lusaka Urban Council. The report revealed so many things. When I met the ex-councilors from the Lusaka Urban Council, I told them to go and look for that document because it revealed so many things. What did that document do? It told the House and the Councils at large that Lusaka Urban Council was the richest institution in Lusaka. The only problem was management.

Madam Chairperson, if you look around, there is no company or institution that can be bigger than the Lusaka City Council. Therefore, I would like to challenge my colleagues who are councilors in that Council whether they have been to the institution’s archives to check what was reported in that document. In the Council, there is so much revenue to collect that even security guards are collecting revenue.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, I will give you an example.

A District Commissioner was appointed in Mporokoso. He looked around and noticed that there was a lot of money lying around. To him the Council Secretary and the Treasurer were not capable and he removed them from office. He moved on to get new people into the two offices. Thereafter, he collected K4.6 billion.

Madam Chairperson, the trouble with people who are not honorable, is that, it is difficult to debate with them. However, …


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, through those Council officials, t District Administrator managed to raise K4.6 billion. He rehabilitated the Council’s guest house. He managed to do so much by simply asking whoever was using the buildings; World Food and Red Cross to pay rates. Therefore, you can see that with responsibility, you are able to run these Councils without necessarily turning round to face our friends.

For instance, if you look at Lusaka, how many properties are in this city? If all the rates had to be collected, the Council would not be worrying about refuse collection and things like that. Therefore, we are appealing to all our friends who have influence over these councils and councillors to be creative and imaginative. Do not just come here and cry. Who are you crying to? The by-laws that you make are there to help you do things legally. The problem is that maybe, you do not understand the difference between doing things legally and pretending that you are doing what is correct to just please people.

As a member of the Board and as a Councilor, how can you pretend to go back to the owner of the business and say ‘you must invest some more money somewhere’, when the owner of the business has already told you to go ahead and run this business effectively? The problem we are facing is the question of management.

In 1996, I debated on the Floor of this House and I asked a question that if Bill Gates was looking for a person to employ to run the City Council as his business entity, would he employ some of the people you are employing as civil officers? He would differentiate. We have to develop this city because it is our responsibility. What qualities are we attaching to the leadership that is going to run these Councils?

When late Shamwana, may his soul rest in peace, tried to raise the qualifications of Councillors to Grade 7, what happened?




Why should it be so? Is it possible for a person to understand investment policies when he or she cannot even read a book? What are you complaining about? Do you want to have a leadership that cannot understand what a balance sheet is all about or that cannot understand what a portfolio is? At the end of the day, all you want is to blame the Government. Who is Government? You have the authority in those Councils just to be there to suspend more. Is that the way you are going to run this country?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear


Mr Mulongoti: Tell us what it is that is an impediment in the way the law is being administered. We have not seen an impediment in the way the law is being administered. The problem is that you want to engage in politics. Why are you intending to engage in politics instead of looking for ways and means of empowering these councils? If you cannot manage small things how are you going to manage big things?

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

Mr Mulongoti: The memories of the people of Zambia are not short.

Madam Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair!

Mr Mulongoti: The memories of the people of Zambia are very fresh. They know who did what. When you think they do not know then you are cheating yourself.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, why is it that in this country, when you make a decision that was wrong and you were not able to defend it, you want to take advantage of what you did wrong to blame the people who in power. That is lack of honour.  When you have honour you will say, ‘I did this, and I made a mistake. Can we correct it together?’

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: You do not turn round and say, ‘You people are doing wrong things,’ and yet you know that you are the one who did a wrong thing in the first place. That is lack of honour. I was in Government before together with Dr Machungwa, Dr Guy Scott and Hon. Ernest Mwansa. We should all be honourable. If we make mistakes let us correct them. That is what leadership is all about. Even the former Inspector-General (Mr Mtonga) there was also in Government.

Hon. PF Members: Even V. J. Mwaanga was!

Mr Mulongoti: I was acknowledged all those who were in government.


Mr Mulongoti: Madam Chairperson, these Councils will not go anywhere if you the hon. Members of Parliament who are Councillors and are supposed to provide leadership, spend all the time worrying about little things. Let us rise to the occasion; let us go to the Councils and elevate the level of debate. At this level, if you cannot get this debate into Councils then you are killing the Councils.

I am making an appeal to the House to support the Hon. Minister of Local Government Housing so that we can move our Councils forward and create income to provide social services. As we walk out of here, let us go and implement.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this chance to debate. To start with, I wish to support the Vote.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: In supporting the Vote, I want to dwell on one issue in detail and this is the issue of housing. Hon. Dr Machungwa has already talked about housing, but let me go deeper to show that we have a huge mountain to climb and we should not just go round it.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: I listened to the Hon. Minister who said that we have a backlog of 1.2 million housing units. Last time, Hon. Lubinda said we needed to build at a rate of 200,000 each year for the next ten years. To me, there is a similarity in the two figures. For the sake of simplicity, let me use Hon. Lubinda’s figure to drive a point home. Let me pick on a low cost house and show how much we need to invest in order to overcome the mountain that I have talked about.

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: The cost of putting up a low cost house is about US$200 per square metre. When you convert that, it gives you about K800,000 per square metre. Now, for easy calculation, let us use K1,000,000 per square metre. Taking a standard low cost house which measures roughly about ten metres by six metres, it gives an area floor of sixty square metres. If you multiply this by K1,000,000 it gives you a cost of K60,000,000 each house. We are talking of 200,000 housing units each year for the next ten years. Now, if my arithmetic is right, that gives me an amount of K12 trillion which is the Budget for this year. All I am saying is that we have a big mountain to climb.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: It will take many years to overcome this.

The Government is trying to look into this problem by attracting donors and the private sector, but before that, I think it is very important to look at the root causes of this problem. Once we have identified the root causes, we will come up with incentives that will attract the private sector who can venture into construction.

As I have pointed out, K12 trillion is a lot of money for each year for the next ten years. In short, what I am saying is that let us give the private sector and co-operating partners good incentives so that this mountain can be conquered.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Mooya: Coming to the next point that is related to construction, I was very interested in the advertisement for Meanwood Property Development Corporation Ltd that appeared in the newspaper. They are advertising quite a number of plots so that people can apply and put up houses. However, what interested me most were the conditionalities attached to this project. Probably, as a Government, we could learn from them. For example, they have their own design which anyone who is successful can use.

Alternatively, they have said that anybody can come up with a design and use it as long as it is approved by Meanwood Property Development Corporation Ltd. In addition, they are saying once construction starts, the developer or the one building can either use Meanwood’s equipment or any contractor as long as that contractor is registered with the National Council for Construction. Meanwood Property Development Corporation Ltd have given a conditionality that all this has to be done in four years time. To me, this is the only way we can arrest what is currently prevailing in Zambia; ugly buildings.

Madam Chairperson, all I am saying is that housing is such a huge problem that if we are not careful, we will not solve it in our life time. The figure of K12 trillion that I have given, for the next ten years each year, is a lot of money. I do not think even the private sector would be able to handle that amount of money, but it is better late than nothing. It is better to start now so that this problem probably could be solved by our grandchildren when we are gone.

All I wanted is for the hon. Members in this House to see what I see regarding the huge task we have. When we talk about constructing houses, we should have this picture in mind. Otherwise, we will just be singing and dancing about construction of houses.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: we have a huge task before us.

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote.

Madam Chairperson, I stand to support the allocation to the ministry although it is inadequate considering the responsibilities it has to develop our rural areas in particular.

Madam Chairperson, the role of local Government to me seems to be confined to the Councils and to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing as opposed to ensuring that all people from the village going up are catered for and that programmes are taken into account that ensure that all our people in the country are linked as it were to the central Government.

Madam Chairperson, decentralisation has taken far too long to be implemented and in a sense I feel that it is probably because we, as a people, have had this belief that if you devolve power to the local authorities, you will undermine the Central Government. There seems to be, I presume, this fear that Central Government must be made such that whatever is taking place at the local level is controlled by Central Government.

In my humble view, Madam Chairperson, that is undermining the minds and intellect of those who live in our rural areas. This assumption that only those of us who stay in Lusaka and are at central level have the monopoly of knowledge and ideas of developing our country is the very reason our country’s rural areas are undermined. People, wherever they are, know what is best for them. They know what kind of things must be done in their local areas for the development of those areas. It is not what we view as development which is development in my constituency. It is possible to take a very large project in my area which ends up not being appreciated by the local people because a very small project in our view, as people from the centre, is not the most important and ought not be the first project in their local areas.

Madam Chairperson, I think we need to review the way we consider local Government. The best people to develop an area are those who live in that area. They know and understand their problems. They have concerns that are their own and so they must be given the authority and the power to decide their destiny. They should decide what they must do in order to raise the standard of living in their localities.

Madam Chairperson, I want to say to my Government that a mother or father who wishes to see his or her child walk must take the risk that the child may fall along the way. That is not the reason to stop the child from trying to walk. It is actually that which ought to encourage us to allow the child to walk because it can only become steady when it is taking the steps.

Madam Chairperson, the problem we have in our country is that we are afraid of what local Government leadership will do even before they have done anything. If there is mismanagement of finances, the law is there to punish those who do that, but first give them the enabling environment. Let the people decide their fate in the local authorities. We cannot legislate against none performance or we cannot protect people who have not even started to operate at all. We must let loose the potential that is in our rural areas. Madam Chairperson, I would like to say that decentralisation is critical to development and it is important if this country is going to develop. You cannot develop from the centre; you have to let all the people become masters of their own destiny.

Madam Chairperson, I am also going to add my voice to a matter that I am very passionate about and that is the Constituency Development Fund. I am passionate about this, firstly because I am convinced that until money gets to the root, which is the villager, we are not talking development, but selected development. Until people begin to see money and use money in their own localities, we are going nowhere. The advantage of the Constituency Development Fund is that it is targeted at each and every constituency of our country. It is targeted at the lowest represented geographical area of Zambia and so we know how much money will go to Chifunabuli, Kaputa or Senanga and that is money that will be easily accounted for because we know how much it is. We do not know the rest of the money, we see figures, but we do not know where they land.

Madam Chairperson, when money is disbursed from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, it will first get to Local Government and Local Government will have its own priorities. They will use some it before it goes to the province. At the province, there are priorities which will take up some of that money, and then it goes to the district. By the time it gets to the end user, there is so little remaining that it is absolutely meaningless.

Hon. Opposition Members: Quality.

Mr E. C. Mwansa: My appeal is that let us send money where it is most needed and that is at the constituency level. If there are any Members of Parliament who misuse that money, let the law visit them because they do not deserve to be hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa: If there are stealing, then let them remain in the gallows because that is where they belong, but that should not be an excuse to undermine development at constituency level.

The second point concerning this fund, Madam Chairperson is this that it is wrong to leave matters of developing at that level to the desires of one individual in the country. I have no problems with Hon. Magande, in fact, I raised my hand to him for having raised CDF to K200 million. Allow me to say that it still remains at the whims of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning as an individual. May be the other hon. Ministers will help, but he will be the one to determine exactly how much the budget is like because he is the one who understands it. I want to suggest that when we are dealing with sending money to our people at the local level, it is not an individual’s decision. It is a national decision and it must be a legal decision too.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa: No individual must have the monopoly to decide how much money must go to what particular area, particularly not to the constituencies. It must be a matter of law that a certain percentage of the money must go to every constituency. It must be a matter of law, not left to individual whims.

Hon. Machungwa gave an example here, Madam Chairperson, where the decision was first for us to be given a paltry K30 million for every constituency. We were promised before long that they would raise it to K500. By the time I left, it was still K500. That was almost ten years later. This is the problem with leaving things to individual decisions. If it is a matter of law, nobody can ignore the law. Everyone will want to respect the law because the law will visit them for failure to obey it. I appeal to the hon. Ministers who are in the front bench to consider this matter not as a party issue, but for the development of our country.

To me, CDF is a master plan for Zambia’s development. It is a plan where the Government deliberately decides to send as much money to the rural areas as possible. Lusaka has enough money that circulates in it. If you put a billion Kwacha in every constituency, the end result will be a lot of little businesses will spring up and there will be a lot more people employed in those areas and there will be more taxes collected by yourselves. So, you are not undermining development; you actually encouraging development by sending money there.

Madam Chairperson, I beseech this Government; a listening Government, to consider raising this money to make this issue statutory. I hope one of these days, by the will of the House, we will bring a law here that ensures that issues of CDF are a matter of law. I hope we can amend the Local Government Act to ensure that the hon. Minister seated there, listening very seriously, is empowered to allow this money to be increased to at least K1 billion as a starting point.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes.

Mr E. C. Mwansa: What is wrong with just deciding that 1 per cent or 1.5 per cent of whatever budget we collect must go to the constituencies? After all, they are the owners of the country. It is the people that bring us here. We should not be masters of the people who bring us to this House, but their servants.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa: Let us hear what they are saying and be answerable to them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Even Felix agrees.

Mr E. C. Mwansa: Now, Madam Chairperson, let me just mention one or two other issues that are of concern to me. First of all, I have noticed that there is an amount of K20,470,000,000.00 given to Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) as support. Now, there has been no such budget before. This is the first time it has been given. May I just ask this question, is LWSC making a profit or is it running at a loss? Why are we giving a business entity so much money from people’s taxes? I think hon. Minister, just explain to me and let me understand. There may be things I do not understand. Surely, K20,470,000,000.00 for a going concern is really worrying to me, unless there is a very serious explanation to why people’s money must go to a company that is to be making a profit.

Madam Chairperson, I also heard about this issue of raising money by the local Government or local councils. Yes, there are many things that can be done to raise this money, but this is going to be possible only if we allow local councils to operate independently in the first place. You do not intervene in the activities of a Council unless something has happened. Then, the ministry can have the authority to stop it and correct the mistakes. Raising taxes is a tedious process and structures must be set up for that to happen.

Madam Chairperson, I am particularly concerned about the issues of rates and other services. I live in a place called St. Bonaventure. The only service that has ever come there are ZESCO power lines. There are no roads, water, sewer lines, just absolutely nothing. Now, what am I paying for? What services is the Council supplying to me for me to pay. These are fundamental issues. When we are opening up land to give to people, can we please supply the roads, make the sewer lines are available and make water available to the people so that when we are talking about service charges, you have really serviced the area. Do not ask for money when you have not invested any money there. This is one of the major problems, particularly for Lusaka.

I have never known of an area where you just demarcate land, give people plots and then leave them to imagine where the roads and sewer system will pass. There is no such planning on earth.

Mr Kasongo: Finally, they come to collect money for service.

Mr E. C. Mwansa: Money for service, they do not waste time to make threats about evicting and collecting people’s goods, for what? Let us be more organised in the way we do things. We all want to pay for services provided by the local authorities. This is our Government and this is our country. Therefore, we want to see it develop, but the Government must show seriousness in the way things are run.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona.

Mr E. C. Mwansa: It must be seen.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing for some of the programmes she alluded to this afternoon.

She talked about waste solid management and also sensitisation. I support the budget, but I think the programmes should also be given more money. Sometimes, we take things for granted. We expect our people to know certain things when they do not. As the President said, Members of Parliament should monitor the programmes …

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mrs Sinyangwe: …the President of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Sichilima: The President for MMD.

Mrs Sinyangwe: It is not MMD. That is where you go wrong.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Chairperson: Order! Hon. Sinyangwe, if you do not address the Chair, you risk responding to all sorts of heckling.

Can you address the Chair.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Thank you, Madam Chair. I would like to say that many things in this country are tied to local Government because



what happens in the compounds is what is determines development. If a person in the compound does not see water, he would not say the Government is working. One thing we should learn to do is try to take responsibility. The little I know is that if I go out and delegate, when I come back, I will not say things have gone wrong because the person who was there did not do his job. I have to accept all the wrongs because I delegated.

Madam Chairperson, we have not moved very well as a Government. We saw the houses being sold. However, this was a good thing and people were empowered. Some of you there benefited and were very happy. However, what I should see is more houses being built because when people buy houses, they buy them for good. The Government is employing young people who have nowhere to stay. Police officers have nowhere to stay. How do you expect them to work? The landlords are milking the workers. Therefore, I would like to see houses being built in the normal way.

Madam, the illegal structures in shanty compounds are not helping the situation. I have seen people make political mileage by giving plots illegally. As Patriotic Front, we have said that we will not condone this. You have every chance to correct your mistakes because we are here to support you. We do not want to see illegal structures. That is not our baby.

You have demolished the structures that were put up in the cemeteries and we supported you. We did not say people were going to talk. What is wrong is wrong. You must also appreciate that when something is wrong, it will never be right.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Hon. Machungwa said that we were not going to legalise wrong things.

Now that you made mistakes and allowed the mushrooming of huge compounds that have no roads, water, social amenities, and so on, you better move in correctly because it is your mistake. Whoever will come into power will inherit those mistakes. We do not want to come and inherit your mistakes.


Mrs Sinyangwe: The other issue I would want to talk about is that of markets. I think we should have a deliberate policy to build markets. If you went to Matero today, where cholera is looming and see where the people are selling the food from, you will appreciate that we are defeating the purpose of saying we are combating cholera. It is a shame that they sell from the floor that is dirty. We have Luburma Market in Kamwala, but we do not have a decent market in Matero just like the other compounds. I think we should look into this issue. It is very important because food is essential. If we are going to handle our food well, we might avoid some of the diseases that we have seen breaking out everyday.

Madam Chairperson, you have given the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company a lot of money, but I am afraid they have not done a good job. They have subcontracted Kajeema in Matero who are changing prices at will. Today, the price could be K100.00 per bucket and tomorrow it could be at K200.00. I think we do not supervise these people adequately. I would like the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to watch these people closely. There is no monitoring in all that we do. I think it should be done.

 Therefore, while I appreciate the President’s call for us to monitor, I would like the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to also try and give the budget to hon. Members of Parliament so that they are able to monitor adequately. You cannot monitor somebody who is running and you are crawling. You will not get where you are going on time.

Therefore, we need to help you by working together because at the end of day, what we want is development for our people. When we talk about who did this and that, it is not helping anybody. After all there are no roads designated for PF, ULP and so on. We just have roads for Zambians. That is why when discussing, we must be focused and not be derailed by our party inclinations.

Madam, I would also like to say that we have given the cadres too much power.

Hon. PF Members: MMD cadres!

Hon. Government Members: PF cadres!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Cadres believe that they are great. I should commend my younger sister, Hon. Masebo. She has done a lot in that she has tried to remain focused. Sometimes she can be derailed, but she gets back on track. At least, she has supported us in some ways. However, there are people who go round to tell squatters to resist eviction because they want to gain political mileage. Let us win elections and popularity by doing what is right and not by doing wrong things.

Madam, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to look into water affairs very seriously because we are a signatory and going by the UN charter, clean water should be given without consideration or debate. Let us move and work together. We are here to support you because we are working for the people and we should do what is right. We are supporting the budget. If possible, please, give more money to local Government because this is the only ministry that touches everybody in the compound. Only sick people go the hospital. Those  who are not sick, do not go there, but they need a road, water and shelter everyday.

I thank you, Sir.

The Chairperson: The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Mrs Masebo proceeded to the delivery box.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity, once again, to wind up debate on the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. I will try to ensure that I address, mainly, the issues that have come out in the debate.

Madam, with regard to decentralisation, I note that many a time, there are comments to the effect that the Decentralisation Policy is moving very slowly. Many a time, I hear comments to the effect that Central Government is scared of decentralising. However, I would like to make the following comments.

I would like you to understand that firstly, the policy of decentralisation was adopted by this Administration. Although the desire to decentralise started many years ago, it was this Administration that adopted, launched and are implementing it. I would also like you to understand that decentralisation is not an alternative for the Central Government because whatever happens, they will always be a link between the centre and the periphery. That is the decentralisation that we are talking about.

As regards, the concept of devolution of functions, I would also like you to understand that even when you look at the current Local Government Act, you will find that there is a provision for most of the functions that are being suggested for devolution. In some cases, there is even legislation.I think the problem in the past has been resources to back these functions.

I would also like to tell you that the Decentralisation Secretariat has done so much since this policy was launched and we continue to do this much, but you must appreciate that this is a complex policy. It is not an event, but a process. Therefore, we are moving everyday, every month and year. In this year’s Budget, for example, when you talk of resources, you will see that the budget has increased by 97 per cent. The increase is as a result of the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy.

This is why I explained to you that for the first time we have grants in lieu of rates. We have K25 billion for restructuring, K10 billion for capital grants and K50.1 billion for recurrent which was never there. This is part of the implementation process and it is important to note the steps that the Government is taking to implement the policy.

There is a tendency for people in this country to waffle about issues they do not understand and they mislead others as a result. It is a very dangerous arrangement. We must understand what this policy is all about and begin to speak about matters in their correct perspective because some of you are very good at talking. You have a lot of platform and you mislead the public.

We are doing everything possible to implement this policy and there is great commitment on the part of the Government, but we have to be cautious because you also have to understand that even the public is saying we must be cautious.

Now, there have been comments to the extent that we are interfering with the operations of the local authorities. I would like to address myself to this issue. Local authorities are performing delegated functions and almost 90 per cent, if not everything, has to be approved by the Central Government through the Minister of Local Government and Housing. When you here people make statements that there is some interference from the hon. Minister, I ask myself what this means. Do they know what they are talking about? The function of my ministry is to monitor local authorities to ensure that they perform their functions in line with the Local Government Act. That is why the Act says that should they go outside that provision, I have powers to suspend or dissolve them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I want to say that the Government and people were not foolish in ensuring that certain powers should remain with the Central Government because we hear even now of small kings in certain districts. So many things are happening in Councils. Both hon. Members from the Government and Opposition have come to appeal to me as minister that there are problems in the local authorities.

Why is it that when it suits you, it is good for me to interfere and when it does not suit you, it is not good for me to interfere? Let us be reasonable and realistic leaders. I wish this House had more women than men because when women speak, they speak with their minds and hearts, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … but most men, speak for the sake of speaking. Men have contributed to bringing this country down. There is too much pettiness among our men leaders. That is the problem we have. The problems of Local Government will continue because of the cheap men in most of these positions.


Mrs Masebo: Let me talk about CDF. It is good that the allocation has been increased. However, as I said last time, this money is not for hon. Members. As hon. Members, we should not meddle in the use of this money because we will just end up in jail.

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

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

Mrs Masebo: Yes, and many others.

The Chairperson: Order! A point of order is being raised on the hon. Minister. We have gone through the debate. The hon. Minister is winding up debate and I am sure she will be brief.

Will the hon. Minister continue, please.

Mrs Masebo: The hon. Member for Moomba talked about the issue of involving the private sector in the construction of houses. I want to state that indeed, it will never be possible for the Government alone to increase housing stocks because the backlog is huge and the amounts of money required are colossal. This budget can never provide for the construction of houses in terms of meeting the challenge or gap. However, we have come up with municipal housing bonds. The idea is to engage the private sector in raising long-term cheap money to construct houses. We also hope that individuals can continue constructing on their own. If you have noticed, in Lusaka, for example, although we have this backlog, a number of houses have been constructed by the private sector and these are not being captured. We hope that since we are going to conduct a head count this time, we will be able to tell exactly what the backlog is and what we have implemented.

The Government’s role is to create an enabling environment for the private sector to come in construct houses. That is why we have come up with this programme. It is a small programme, but would go a long way if we managed to construct hundred housing units per district compared to the private sector who may be constructing on a day to day basis.

This brings me to the issue of unplanned settlements. I want to say that it does not pay to pretend this problem started today. I want to agree with what the hon. Member for Monze said and I give him the respect that we should take responsibility as leaders. All of us have played a role in the mistakes of the past and I think what is important is to accept that fact and begin to correct the wrongs of the past. It cannot do for us to fold our hands because things have become so bad. Then, we are not a Government. I think it does not matter sometimes which party one belongs to. Let us be like our colleagues in developed countries where when a President or Government of the day comes up with a policy that is good for everyone, they all rally behind that person or Government. However, we have a situation here where everybody knows that this is bad, but they want to politicise and gain political mileage out of nothing.

I want you to know that the Zambian people are not foolish. That is why no matter how good some of you are and how many times you run for presidency; you shall never make it because the people are not confused. They know who can be a president, Member of Parliament and councillor.


Mrs Masebo: There are people who are calling me names. These are people who have messed up the Councils. I am my best in a very clean way for that matter, without partisan affiliation, to make sure that Councils work properly. However, there are people who are loud mouthed and are calling me names everyday. Surely, when you compare their faces with mine, which one looks like that of a thug?


Mrs Masebo: Do not be scared of me. I am just a Member of Parliament and simple minister. Some of you are so worried because of your presidential aspirations and some of us look like a threat to you and you want to use these platforms to try and destroy us. You are wasting your time because I work and feed myself and do my work diligently without involving myself in things that are crafty like some people.


Mrs Masebo: With regard to the issue of markets, somebody talked about the fact that Councils are dominated by the Opposition. Let me say this that there is no Council that is dominated by MMD or PF. In fact, to me, those titles are meaningless. Those are my Councils. I work with them for the good of all citizens. As minister responsible for local authorities, Councils and my ministry are one. It does not matter under which party they have been elected. When things are good, that good name goes to the Government. When things go bad, those bad names will still go to the Government of the day.

 To this effect, although Councils have been dominated by the Opposition for the last ten years, whatever has been happening even in the allocation of markets, the buck has still fallen on us as a Government of the day. This is why from time to time, you find that as Central Government, we come in to try and make things right when they are wrong.


The issue of allocating market stalls to foreigners does not arise. You must try to understand, especially those of you that are councillors in those local authorities. For example, Kamwala’s Luburma Market was constructed as a joint venture between a private sector and the Council. In that joint venture, they said that since there are 1000 marketeers there, they should build 1000 structures for these marketeers. In addition, we shall put twenty big shops that we, as investors, are going to lease out to the people.

Therefore, when this market is finished, big shops will be leased out by the developer, and not the Council or Government. Those 1000 plots, again, were allocated by the Council based on the list of people who were originally there. There has never been a time that a Council allocated a market stall to a foreigner because it is not even allowed by law. What has happened is that Zambians themselves who got those market stalls sold them or sub-leased them to foreigners. Those are the facts on the grounds. Do not just make statements that cannot even be justified. Go down and investigate.

The same applies to the allocation of plots. We all know that there has been too much politicking in the allocation of land and you also know that even as we are demolishing, there is no house that we demolished that was occupied. In Kalikiliki, not even one person was living in those demolished houses. These are people who have constructed houses on people’s land and in some cases; people have been killed for their land. Do you want us to fold our hands, and yet some of you come to me and say, ‘please hon. Minister, move in and demolish the structures’? When I move in, the same Members of Parliament turn round, pretending because you want to please one man who is trying to gain political favour out of nothing.

Mrs Phiri: No, not that way!

Mrs Masebo: It is important that we are honest and decent in the manner in which we conduct public affairs. Let us be honest with each other. If you want us to work together, be honest and straightforward. Do not bring politics into work because I am not interested in that myself. 
Madam Chairperson, let me say that this ministry is cardinal in our functions as Members of Parliament. If I see that you are a Member of Parliament who knows why you are here, then I will have no business with you because I can see that some of the Members of Parliament want to work while others are not interested.

The Chairperson: Hon. Minister, address the Chair!

Mrs Masebo: As for the 10 per cent of CDF to be allocated to the Council for maintenance, I am surprised that on one hand you are saying that we need to give councils resources, while on the other, when it suits you, you do not want any money to go to the Council. I think this is being inconsistent.

The money for maintenance, evaluation and monitoring is necessary. What we should bear in mind is that this is the same money the Council will use to administer committees that are meeting. In the past, we said that members of the CDF needed to be given some money in terms of transport and assisted in terms of accommodation for those coming from rural areas. That is where the money will come from. Therefore, what do you mean by saying that you must leave it at K6 million. Let us not be selfish.

On management of markets and bus stations, the Bill is on the Floor of the House. Some of you who are Members of Parliament today were the people who destroyed the bus stations because you wanted to use them to make money in an illegal manner.

Madam Chairperson, the markets and bus stations belong to the Councils and the resources from those markets are supposed to be used for the provision of services in order to improve the living standards of our people. I hope when this Bill comes here, all of us will support it and, of course, where there is a need for amendment, we can dos so because the reason for a Bill to come here is to ensure that we are all in agreement.

However, if you are going to come here to talk about the hon. Minister having powers, let me tell you that the powers of the minister are the powers of the Government. The minister is just used by Central Government.
With regard to the formation of Boards, I do not sit on any Board and I it is not possible for me to see who is in Shangombo as minister. At the end of the day, what is important is for you to know that the policy of the Government as it stands today, in as far as Government’s presence is concerned on all Boards irrespective of which sector, is that it must be felt and the interest of the Government and the public must be served.

There is a 300-metre space on either side of Kafue Road that has been invaded by foreigners. Again, these are some of the illegalities that we have allowed to perpetrate for many years.

I am happy that the Member of Parliament for Monze spoke very eloquently on these matters and I would like to adopt his statement as my own.

I also want to say that if, indeed, we are going to make this country a better country, it is important that all of us work together and that what is right like the hon. Member for Matero said shall be right and what is wrong shall be wrong. It cannot change. It does not matter what we say here, if something is wrong it is wrong.

Madam Chairperson, I want to notify all the street vendors in Zambia, not just in Lusaka and all those who are perpetrating illegalities in this country that the law shall visit them. Do not be cheated by any politician whether from the right or left side of the House who will come to you and say do not worry, you will be protected because there is no protection. This time around, the Government is serious and we are going to implement our decision. I want the people to take precautions now and not wait for the police to pounce on their goods and then come back to me and say, we have widows, children and so on and so forth. This Government has to protect every citizen whether rich or poor; everybody must be protected. You cannot protect one group against the others who are following the law. I do not agree with that.

Lastly, Madam Chairperson, Hon. Mwiimbu raised a point concerning beer. The law was repealed and therefore, the Central Government is no longer collecting that money. We need to be very clear, especially those of us who have been in the local authorities so that we help those who do not have a deeper understanding in the way we articulate these issues.

When we start talking about the lack of resources or expanding the revenue base of local authorities, we must be clear and say to the Government, ‘whatever monies you are collecting, can we share it equitably in the manner that can help us deliver the services at the local level’, considering that most essential services are provided by us. I am talking about the issue of roads, you are aware that although the Transport Act has been amended, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply has already appointed all local authorities to be in charge of the construction and maintenance of roads.

Basically, this is in line with centralisation, nothing has changed except that this will be subject to the directives of the Road Development Agency and the other two agencies that are responsible for roads.

On the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company issue, I am told that a lot of money has been allocated. Let me say that the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company has not been given that much. This money is a loan from the World Bank for the rehabilitation of water supply and sewerage facilities. You need to appreciate that with a population of over two million now in Lusaka, the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company is providing water to 200,000 people. There is a need to extend the provision of water supply to all the new houses that are being built.

You were talking about houses being built without services and this is where the majority of the people are serviced. Therefore, there is a need for the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company to ensure that we support it.

I have just talked about the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme that is already in motion and money has been allocated and the donors are fully supporting it. We are trying to cover everybody, both in urban, rural and peri urban areas.

I think the hon. Member for Matero should be happy that this year, the Chinese will be moving on site in Matero to improve water supply in peri-urban areas. We should thank the Chinese for this.

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

Mrs Masebo: It is also important that as Members of Parliament, we appreciate and understand that we are members of the Boards of these institutions and therefore, have a role to play. It will not do for you to talk as if you are not part of the Boards. In fact, if we have to be morale about it, we should be criticising ourselves and this is why, for me, I took what Hon. Mwiimbu said. Maybe, it is because he understands what local Government. There is lack of understanding because sometimes people come here to complain about the Council when they are the ones who are making those so-called policies that are bad. It is important that we appreciate and understand these issues.

One hon. Member of Parliament talked about monies going towards HIV/AIDS instead of water supply and sanitation. Water supply is important, but HIV/AIDS is equally important. You must also understand that this Government has mainstreamed gender issues and HIV/AIDS. So, we cannot ignore the very important issues that contribute to development just as much as water supply does.

The allocation for HIV/AIDS is only K200 million while the money that we have allocated to the Water Supply and Sanitation Programme is over K400 billion, part of it is from the Government. Sometimes you here people ask questions like, ‘why are you buying a vehicle for a director when there is no water?’ Are you saying that because there is no water, people cannot be mobile? I think that is an absurd way of thinking. It is important that we understand these issues in their correct context.

Lastly, there is this notion that somebody can implement his or her party policies at Council level. I would like you to get away from that kind of dreaming. It is not that easy because the Council is an organ that has been delegated by the Central Government to perform its functions. The Central Government is the one that has won the election which have a party policy. That policy comes from the centre of the province to the district. So, at what point can you dream and say that money is in the pocket, so go and reduce taxes. You must also understand that Central Government approves your budget at Council level. Therefore, any increment or reduction that you would like to propose might be a good suggestion. However, just make the decision and let it come to Central Government. If we think your proposal is good, we will support it. If it is useless and it is meant for political gain, we will throw it away.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: So, do not dream about powers that you do have. No!

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

Vote 20/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 20/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 20/06 ordered to stand art of the Estimates.

Vote 29/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 29/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 29/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 29/05 – (Ministry of Local Government and Housing – Local Government Administration Department – K115,797,452,955).

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on Subhead 4, Programme 10, Activity 01 –Disbursement of Constituency Development Funds, by the deletion of K9,000,000,000 and the substitution therefor of K30,000,000,000.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Vote 29/05 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 29/06 – (Ministry of Local Government and Housing – Infrastructure and Support Services Department – K9,601,997,310).

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Madam Chairperson, I am referring to page 297 and I notice that it is the only ministry that has so far made an attempt to mainstream environment. I would like to draw the hon. Minister’s attention to Programme 7 and the three activities that are there to mainstream the environment. However, I would like to appeal that at some later stage …

The Chairperson: Ask your point of clarification.

Ms Imbwae: I am sorry, Madam Chairperson, …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Ms Imbwae: Madam Chairperson, before was suspended, I was seeking clarification on whether the ministry could consider changing the heading to ‘Mainstreaming Environment’ and also increase the Budget line.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, we have actually mainstreamed environment under that programme without writing the name ‘environment’. Again, in terms of increments, it is this House to decide whether there should be an increment as they have increased the Constituency Development Fund.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 29/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 29/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 29/08 – (Ministry of Local Government and Housing – House of Chiefs Department – K18,898,928,729).

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Madam Chairperson, I would like to seek clarification on Sub-head 1, Programme 3, Activity 01 – Chiefs Subsidies and Retainers Wages, we have K7,429,098,271 while last year, according to Page 302, on Sub-head 8, Programme 3,  Activity 01 – Chiefs’ Subsidies and Retainers’ Wages, we have K9,344,458,072. I want to find out why there is a reduction this year.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, I did indicate in my statement that although we seem to have an increment as a result of the K6.6 billion under the Department of House of Chiefs, there is actually a reduction in certain activities. I further indicated that there will be a need for a Supplementary Budget on issues to deal with chiefs’ affairs, in particular, issues of land disputes.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Sub-head 3, Programme 8, Activity 06 – Traditional Ceremonies, whether traditional ceremonies are now being subsidised by the Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing because there is K100 million that has been provided for this.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, that was a good question, indeed. The K100 million is meant to assist Traditional Leaders during traditional and burial ceremonies. From time to time, when a traditional ruler dies, there are certain rituals that are conducted and the ministry is expected to assist this under Chiefs’ Affairs.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Chairperson, the question I asked was to do with wages or salaries. I am wondering whether there are some chiefs who may not be getting salaries this year because there is a reduction in the amount of money that has been allocated. I need further clarification on this issue.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, the provision for chiefs’ wages as subsidies and salaries has been fully provided for and every chief will get their dues. In the past, we have put together all other issues pertaining to the general welfare of chiefs. This time, we have divided that so that we leave the issue of subsidies and chiefs’ welfare alone. This is because they come here when they are sick and when they are called by the President, we have to accommodate them. This is why I indicated in my statement that there is a deficit of about K990 million. We shall come back to this House under the Supplementary Budget.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 29/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 29/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 26/01 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Headquarters – K26,366,395,376).

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr Mwaanga): Madam Chairperson, as I stand to table the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, I wish to point out the important role that information plays in our lives.

In this information society, information has been recognised as part of the fourth factor of production next to land, capital and labour. This is so because information and knowledge are transforming people’s lives and the way we do our business. It is in this light that I wish to place on record my appreciation of the value being placed on information and the development of the media sector in general. I am therefore, hopeful that hon. Members will support my ministry in ensuring that it is given the necessary resources to accomplish its various programmes.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry continues to play a significant role in explaining Government policies and programmes to Zambians and world citizens. There can be no doubt that my ministry’s functions, which are cross-cutting, are critical to our national development. To this effect, I am pleased that there is a growing appreciation within and outside Government that my ministry should therefore, be given greater attention and higher priority in budgetary terms and involvement in the national agenda.

 Madam Chairperson, in the past few years, information has also become accepted as a basic need besides food, shelter and clothing and people are always clamouring for their right to information and the right to communicate.

In this information age and with the information revolution, which is rapidly changing the way we live, it is important for us to accord the information sector the recognition and priority it justly deserves. We also need to acknowledge that most of us  if not all, are in this House today because or electorate were provided with the information they needed to make the informed and wise choices they made during the 2006 Tripartite Elections. I believe that the Zambian people voted wisely to usher back into power the MMD Administration because its policies and programmes are well-meaning and forward looking and intend to take our great country to greater heights.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: Madam Chairperson, I would like to place on record my deep and sincere appreciation for Government’s investment in the public media, particularly during 2006. This placed our officers in a better position to cover the campaigns and the elections effectively throughout the country.

As observed in my statement last year on the status of the media today, I wish to say that the public media capacity has been significantly enhanced though much more can and must be done to improve its performance. Through increased Government investment in my ministry and through the various donations, including those from the People’s Republic of China and Japan, my ministry has now a printing press at the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) Headquarters. The department now has at least five specially equipped motor vehicles in every province, cameras and public address equipment at almost every district centre and has computerised its district offices for ease of communication between the districts and ZANIS Headquarters here in Lusaka.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: Madam Chairperson, I wish to inform this House that the capitalisation of the public media has greatly enhanced our outreach and our people are now able to get the two public daily newspapers before midday in most provincial centres. In accordance with the ministry’s objective of increasing media outreach and enhancing a free flow of information, the public media, including ZNBC television are now going far and wide. Reports coming from provincial leadership indicate that the provision of the necessary requisites to ZANIS offices has made my ministry visible in most rural areas of Zambia. During the campaign period, the officers were able to reach many people due to increased mobility, process and provide news to the media and community radio stations quickly because of computerisation and to show the much sought after bioscope or video shows because of the thirty-seven vans we equitably distributed to all the nine provinces of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: Madam Chairperson, my only appeal is that provincial and district leadership should support us in the maintenance and usage of the vehicles and other equipment. There have been reports of some senior district officials of other ministries grabbing ZANIS vehicles from our operatives for personal use. In some districts and provinces, the specialised vehicles are lying idle because the provincial and district administration are not funding the information offices, yet under the current arrangement, provincial administration are supposed to fund the operations of the information department in their respective areas. This is regrettable and retrogressive.

Under the rural television programme, we now have almost all districts receiving the TV signals via satellite. Plans are underway to move into population centres this year to fill the gaps left by low power transmitters which we are in the process of upgrading.

Madam Chairperson, I am happy to say that the programme to acquire FM radio transmitters is being treated as a core programme under the Fifth National Development Plan. This is a big programme which will require more substantial funding to be accomplished. Once in place, these transmitters will eliminate the reception problems currently being experienced with short-wave transmitters.

Hon. Members may recall in my earlier submission in this House that a total of twenty-six districts had TV transmitters either installed or rehabilitated last year alone. Moreover, the national broadcaster, which is ZNBC, was able to refurbish some old equipment and to modernise their studios using the revenue collected as TV Licence fees.

Madam Chairperson, in ensuring that the office of the Chief Government Spokesperson reached a wider audience and that it gave out as much information as possible; my ministry established a website in 2006. I therefore, invite other ministries, hon. Members of Parliament and Zambian Missions abroad  and citizens of the world generally to take advantage of this facility. The address is

Hon. Opposition Members: What is mibs?

Mr Mwaanga: Madam Chairperson, it is an abbreviation for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services

Madam Chairperson, in conformity with Government’s commitment to create a conducive environment for media operations, my ministry will this year review the 1996 Media Policy in order to remove any remaining hindrances to greater press freedom and investment in the information sector. I wish to point out that if the funding continues to improve as it has this year; the ministry will effectively execute its functions in the provision of information and enabling the public and private media to play a grater role.

Apart from the printing presses ZANIS Headquarters, the Government plans under the Five-Year Development Plan to establish printing presses at provincial centres which will be open for use by the public, especially those investing in community newspapers and magazines in rural areas. K500,000,000 has been set aside for a pilot project this year. When decentralised, the printing presses would enable ZANIS localise the printing of vernacular newspapers that presently are centrally printed in Lusaka and distributed down to districts at a very high cost.

Madam Chairperson, though the ceiling of K26.2 billion for my ministry in this year’s Budget is an improvement from past allocations, the poor funding by provincial administration to my provincial and district offices hinders the intended results. Some provincial and district offices get as little as K300,000 per month from which they are expected to pay rentals, telephone bills, water bills and fuel. These findings have led to most of our officers working without telephones and thereby missing out on the new technology of internet.

My ministry intends to establish a country-wide network this year, linking all our provincial offices to Head Office, using Very Small Aperture Technology (VSAT) for ease of communication and processing of news. There is a provision of K49 million in this year’s Budget for this activity.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry continues to play a big role in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic with the assistance of Zambia National Response to HIV/AIDS (ZANARA) that donated ten mobile video vans, one in each province that have in turn enabled ZANIS to effectively carry out advocacy programmes, leading to a high number of people going for VCT.

Training is another area in which my ministry will focus its attention. It has become extremely necessary for our journalists to be trained and retrained in order to halt the falling accuracy of reporting and standards of journalism generally in the country. Many a time my fellow leaders, including some Members of Parliament, have accosted me over some media reports in which they have been misquoted or misrepresented. Training in this field is therefore, vital in order to raise standards of journalism in this country.

Moreover, with the economic picture getting brighter, Zambia needs journalists who could articulate economic issues well and excite the investors through analytical reporting. This necessitates specialisation. A total of K193,200,000 has been allocated for long-term training and K59.4 million for short-term training.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry needs the support of all hon. Members of this House if all the programmes I have outlined above are to become a reality.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Chairperson, thank you for affording me this opportunity to contribute to this Vote.

I wish to support the allocation for this ministry. In supporting this Vote, I wish to state the following.

First and foremost, I wish to address the issue of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). When we are in this House to debate the budget for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, both the Members of Parliament from the Opposition and the Ruling Party come together to support and approve it, but what we see in terms of coverage is something else. We have seen, more often that not, that ZNBC has been covering the Executive; the Ruling Party more than the Opposition.

Hon. Government Members: It is normal!

Mr Kambwili: It is not normal. It is immoral and not normal.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: This institution is for the people of Zambia not the MMD. When we approve the budget, we are not approving it so we can watch Mr Mpombo or Mr Magande alone. We want everybody to be covered.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: When the Opposition is holding rallies, only a clip is shown on television, but if it is a Member from the Ruling Party, he or she is covered for five minutes on television. This is not right. When we approve this budget we expect all political parties to be covered. After all, we all pay K3,000 as television licence fees. You want to use us to tell the people to pay television licence fees in order to watch you all the time. It is not fair.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: You must put a block unit. ZNBC is a media for everybody and not a tool for the MMD. We want to see a situation where the Opposition are covered by ZNBC when they have information to deliver to the people of Zambia. When you go to ZNBC for a story be covered, you are told, ‘we only have two cameras; one is with Vice-President and the other one with the President.’ Who told you that the camera must be for the President and the Vice-President?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: We also want to be heard because we pay K3,000 and we are tax payers for ZNBC.


Hon. Government Members: Boma!

Mr Kambwili: It is unfortunate that these people think that ZNBC is for the Ruling Party. This is extremely unacceptable and it has to come to an end.

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Ms Njapau: On a point of order.

Madam Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Ms Njapau: Madam Chairperson, I think that this House is an honourable House where Members of Parliament have to respect the Head of State whether they are from the Opposition or ….

Hon. PF Members: Aah!

Ms Njapau: …. the Ruling Party, but you find that Hon. Kambwili wants to attack the President.

Madam Chairperson: What is your point of order?

Hon. PF Members: Point of order!

Ms Njapau:  Is it in order for the hon. Member to attack the President as if he is his friend?


Madam Chairperson: The point of order from the Hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs is that Mr Kambwili drew the President of the Republic of Zambia into his debate. This, therefore, brings into contention the presidency. The ruling of the Chair is that we are in the middle of debate. Let us debate on both sides and let me discourage you hon. Members from debating through points of order. If we have to make progress stand up, indicate and debate.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Chairperson: However, people who are not here should not be debated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Chairperson: Therefore, Mr Kambwili, as you debate, put that into consideration.

You may continue.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, even when PF comes to power in 2011, …

Hon. Government Members: Never!

Mr Kambwili: … there should be no situation where the cameras are allocated to the President and the Vice-President whether from PF or MMD.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: The issue of the camera being with the President should come to end. ZNBC must buy more cameras so that more people are covered. Some people get excited when certain offices are mentioned, but I will forgive them because they are nominated.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, the Times of Zambia is another problem. At the moment, the Post newspaper sales more than the other two newspapers which are, the Zambia Daily Mail and the Times of Zambia and the reason is simple; they want to carry the stories that only talk good of the Government.

When an Opposition member praises the Government, it will be headline in the Times of Zambia, but when you attack the Government, it will not be written in the Times of Zambia.


Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail are national newspapers which are supported by tax payers’ money and we want to see a situation where everybody is covered regardless of their political affiliation.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale: Panga yako newspaper bakazikulemba iwe.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, we are approving a budget here on behalf of the people of Zambia and we want the newspaper to carry what people say throughout the country regardless of their political affiliation.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, time has come when we should move from thinking that the national media is a tool for the Ruling Party. I have stated and I will emphasise that even when PF comes into power, if the newspapers will be for PF, I will be the first one to condemn that.


Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, we want to see a situation where the editorials of the Times of Zambia and the Daily Mail are not impartial. We want to see editorials that will comment on issues where the Government is wrong …


Mr Nsanda: On a point of order, Sir.

Madam Chairperson: Order! I have just guided the House that when it is issues to do with debate, let us not interrupt those that are debating because you will have time to debate. Unless you are bringing up serious issues in your point of order, we should refrain because we have a lot of business on the Order Paper. We should raise points of order that are absolutely necessary. We have already been guided on what constitutes a point of order. Let us limit ourselves to procedures and practice in the House.

Mr Nsanda: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. When we come to this House, we have a lot of things to do outside as well. Can you tell the hon. Members on your right to stop making noise because we want to listen to the debate?


Madam Chairperson: Order! That point of order is necessary. However, I really do not know which side of the House should keep quiet.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Chairperson: It is necessary that both sides of the House listen to each other. That is the guidance I can give to that point of order. Why is it that you only hear noise when it is coming from the other side, but when it is coming from your side, it is not noise. Can we be orderly in the way we debate?

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, coming to the issuance of TV licences for the private broadcasting houses, we have heard a situation where Movie Television has applied for a licence to extend its coverage to the Copperbelt, one year along the line, the licence has not been approved. What is the hold up? Is it because Movie TV cannot be censored? We want to see a situation where fairness is applied in approving of broadcasting licences. I want to urge the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to quickly expedite the application for Movie TV so that the people on the Copperbelt can know the truth.

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

Mr Bonshe (Mufumbwe): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to air my views on this important Vote.

I stand to support the allocation given to the Ministry of information and Broadcasting Services because they have outlined the services that are going to be provided in the rural areas. I am happy that they are going to extend television services to the rural areas.

Madam Chairperson, I want to comment on the coverage of leaders by newspapers and ZNBC. As we discuss this issue, we should appreciate that these are Government ministers and they should get preference.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: It is a fact that they are Government ministers who are leading the country and everyone in the country would like to hear what the ministers are saying on issues affecting the nation. They would like to hear from ministers what policies the Government has put in place to improve the welfare of the country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: When the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Home Affairs is talking, the nation will want to listen and hear the home and foreign affairs. Therefore, there should be a distinction because we are not at the same level. Even when the President is being covered, he is not covered as President of the MMD, but as President of the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: Even when you listen to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), some people do not even know the opposition leaders in the UK where democracy started. When you buy a British newspaper, you will see Tony Blair on the headlines because he is the leader there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: That is a fact.


Mr Bonshe: When you listen to the Voice of America, you hear them talk about George W. Bush. Those are Government leaders. Even those who listen to Radio Zambia would like to hear what the President or the ministers have said. People are not interested in politics, but governance; how the country is being run.

Even I as backbencher should not compare myself with ministers in terms of coverage. Government ministers who know the policies of the Government should be given preference because they lead the nation. We should not make mistakes because we are jealous of our friends in Government. We should let them govern because they have that authority to govern. We should wait until such a time when we are in Government, but it will take a long time because the MMD is going to lead beyond 2011. This is a fact.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: That is just in Mufumbwe.

Mr Bonshe: Yes, in Mufumbwe, we will not allow politicking, we are serious about governance and we are happy with the Government of the day which is doing everything possible to improve the lives of the people. We did not have television network in Mufumbwe, but today we have a signal. That is an indication that the Government is working.


Mr Bonshe: We should not be deceived because these are Government leaders and they should be respected. Even in the UK where democracy started, their Prime Minister is respected. Why should we marginalise our own ministers? We should not talk ill of our Government all the time. It is a disgrace, we are disgracing ourselves. We should give praise where it is due.

With these few remarks, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Chairperson, I rise to give support to the allocation given to the ministry.

Madam Chairperson, I am perturbed by the sentiments of the hon. Member for Kasempa who seems to know only Mr Tony Blair. If…

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

Madam Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Chairperson, I do not want to disturb my younger brother. Is the hon. Member for Mufumbwe who is the Chairman of the Glorious Band in order to come into the House without a scarf …


Mr Muntanga: …and tie? Is he in order to protect the Zairean team and show that he is an Angolan?


Madam Chairperson: Order! The point of order is on the hon. Member for Mufumbwe that his dress is incomplete. I am sure the hon. Member was just about to go and change.


Madam Chairperson: Let me also take this opportunity because I see this type of dress every time. It is an Indian type of attire. It is not our safari suit. Therefore, let me caution hon. Members to avoid this type of dress because there are many others that have been cautioned over this.

Mr Bonshe went outside.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I am very thankful once again. I would like to make a quick correction that it was the hon. Member for Mufumbwe …

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

Madam Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Pande: Madam Chairperson, I am sure the House knows that I rarely rise on points of order. Is the hon. Member for Mazabuka in order to indicate that the Member of Parliament for Kasempa who is speaking now, only knows Mr Tony Blair, when I have not said anything about that?


Madam Chairperson: The hon. Member debating now should take into account that very serious point of order.

Will he continue, please.

Mr Nkombo: I appreciate, Madam Chairperson. I apologise to the hon. Minister. I was saying that it is not our fault if the exposure of Hon. Bonshe is limited to only Messrs Tony Blair and George Bush.

What I would like to say is that in supporting the budget for the Ministry of Informing and Broadcasting Services. I would like to state that it is a pity that we are in an African setting where sometimes the status quo must be accepted. Unfortunately, there is very little we can change, but I am sure we can be given …


Mr Nkombo: … an opportunity to at least air our views.


Madam Chairperson: Order! The Chair would like to listen to the debate and it is almost impossible to hear what is being said. Can we, please, listen.

Will the hon. Member for Mazabuka continue, please.

Mr Nkombo: I appreciate that. I would like to state that the status quo in Africa is such that we all have a duty to try and change. The status quo is such that, normally, parties in Government, although they will give us a very flamboyant presentation such as one that my uncle Hon. Mwaanga has given us, the fact is the information that people deserve to know is normally suppressed.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona.

Mr Nkombo: It is not our fault and it is not their fault, but I think we need to work towards perfecting our society. There is nothing to fear because this country belongs to all of us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: This country has not what the future holds for us because we are guided by elections. Tomorrow, we may find that one of us from this corner may be the Head of State and it is not a dream. I am simply saying we cannot determine the future if we go at the pace at which we are where we can clearly say that we need support for this ministry to give the best we can in order to keep the nation knowledgeable on one hand and on another hand we are busy supporting important events that happen within our people. It is a shame. I would like to say that I support the budget for the ministry because it has done very well in my province.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: In Mazabuka to be specific, I am sure that you all heard about events, however, negative they may be. It is because information flows. However, when it comes to critical matters that involve politicians such as myself, if I am going to do something that is of benefit to the people, normally, in my status as a politician, it is my party that gets the credit. I do not know why Governments in Africa tend to fear to give credit where it is due.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to indicate to this House that it is possible and it is not expensive to make a video link from any corner of this country to the benefits of all Zambians to know what is going on in Kaputa …

Hon. Opposition Member: Your constituency.

Mr Nkombo: … and in Shang’ombo; it is possible. I think it is deliberate that the people must not be moving at the same frequency. Obviously, the people in Lusaka know better than the people in Chama North as regards what is going on in our country. This is the reason you will see that the dynamics of election results do not make sense in this country. This is because one corner of this country believes in one thing because of the limited knowledge that they have, and yet another corner of this country will believe in another thing.

What is the reason? I think it is a simple reason. It is blacking out of necessary information. If people can be given the necessary information in order to make an informed decision, I think this country will be moving in unison. What is going on here right now, the ping pong that goes on between the Executive and us in the Opposition is simply nauseating because people out there think we are adversaries and enemies, and yet we are not.

I would like to thank the Chinese Government …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … because for those who do not know, I am privileged to sit on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Committee. Therefore, I am privileged to have met the Chinese President and thanks for whoever chose me to go and meet him. It is at this forum where I learnt that our radio station has actually been sponsored by the Chinese Government where we can be heard verbatim. It cannot be censored. For that, I congratulate the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: However, we should not use this House as a place to settle scores. We have one country, I repeat. This one country we need to develop it in unison. It does not make sense for people in the Western Province to believe so much that President Levy Mwanawasa is the right candidate, and yet the people in Luapula believe otherwise. It is because there is a clear cut division and black out of information between the two areas.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: The Zambian people deserve to know the truth. It does not make sense. It does not mean that we are tribalists as certain people would want to term us. When I go into my constituency, I am going to tell the people of Mazabuka what I think I can personally contribute by urging whichever Government that comes into power to uplift their standards of living.

That is my simple message to them. I am not going to dwell on who is Bemba or Tonga because it does not make sense. Unfortunately, this country had degenerated to a federal state, if you do not know. We had a federal state in which people from the North and South believed in certain ideals. I would be very happy if we went really federal so that we know who can run their own affairs better than the other. If you were to cut us out in the Southern Province, we would see how you would run your affairs. If you cut my brothers the easterners and my cousins the westerners, then we would know who is meant to develop this country and who is not.

Madam Chairperson, I am sick and tired of the pronouncements by our senior leaders in this country. At this point in time, there is a need for everybody to tone down in order for the child at home, my son, not to think that I am an adversary to Hon. Mutale Nalumango. I should be able to come to your house and drink a cup of tea without being labeled MMD. I should be able to host Hon. Mutati in my house without him being labeled this and that because we are one people and that is what we stand for. For as long as we are going to have selfish leaders and people who are self-centred, we are going to ground this country to a halt.

Madam, this country is nearly grounding to a halt because we have lost sight of the real thing to develop this country. I get sick when I sit here listening to my hon. colleagues from the MMD and PF getting at each other. It does not make any sense for us to continue like this. We need to deal with real issues. I would like to urge the Executive to lead by example.

If you are given full coverage, that is your benefit, but do no abuse it. Simply do not because one day in the future, no matter how far or near, someone from this end may be in the saddle. It is sickening that only the Government must get full coverage. I got full coverage one moment and I was lucky because I happened to be in the company of Hon. Magande in my constituency. It simply does not need to be like that. Ever since I became a Member of Parliament, the first time I went on television, I had to accompany the Vice-President who was touring the Zambia Sugar Factory for their intended expansion programme. I am a Member of Parliament for God’s sake. Whatever I do down there, the people deserve to know. Whatever bad or good that I do for the people who chose me, they have the full right to know what kind of fabric their Member of Parliament is made of.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Nkombo: It does not make sense to suppress the truth. In ending, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and make an earnest plea that if somebody is going to make public ridicule of the President, he or she is making public ridicule of the whole country because he is our representative.

However, it should not be taken for granted that simply because we are in the Opposition, we must be deemed black sheep. I can assure you that there are a lot of people here with something to offer to this country. They must never be suppressed by the political ramification of whoever designed such. There are political engineers who told me that it came from as far back as then, where people who want to serve are blacked out. It does not make sense and God is not foolish. At one stage or another, they will find themselves on the Opposition, if not on the Opposition, may be outside and if not outside, may be far away.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Life is like a seesaw. One moment you are up and the next moment you are down. That is the way it works. There is nobody who lives their lives in perpetuity. Dynamics of life are such that there are changes. The only thing that is constant is change.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Madam, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this debate. I would like to endorse what my colleague, Hon. Nkombo, has said. I agree with most of what he has said and the sober manner in which he has presented his debate. It makes me feel at home again in this House that debates can be done in fashion.

Madam, I would like to take on the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services on the question of the Freedom of Information Bill. I wish to emphasise to certain people who believe that this is for journalists. In fact, the Freedom of Information Bill was not designed for journalists, but for each and every individual in Zambia, including Members of Parliament. Journalists were only going to benefit by-the-way, but it was not targeted for them.

Madam Chairperson, the Freedom of Information Bill in its genesis was supposed to help us fight the scourge of corruption. This is because where you have light shining on any situation; it is very hard to hide corruption. The light that the Freedom of Information Bill would cast on dealings of the Government, public and private bodies, which impact on society in general, would then lay them bare for everybody to scrutinise. That way, we would have less corruption in this country. By holding back the Freedom of Information Bill, we are delaying a very important tool which is needed to fight against corruption. We are hampering the fight against corruption by not putting in place the Freedom of Information Bill.

Madam, there were certain reasons which were given in 2003 when the Bill was withdrawn from the House. One of them was the 9/11, but this had happened two years previously. So that was rather an ingenious excuse for removing the Bill from the Floor of this House. The reasons advanced were that there was a need to have some consultations made before it was reintroduced. Four years have passed and it has not been reintroduced. Four years is a long time for consultation. However, we have not heard who exactly has been consulted. There are certain people who were sponsors of the Private Members’ Motion for that Bill such as Hon. Charles Banda and myself. Neither one of us was consulted. Surely, if there was going to be some consultations, the sponsors of the original Bill would have been consulted. However, there has not been a single attempt to even consult the sponsors of the original Bill.

Madam Chairperson, the other day, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services was raising certain questions that he said needed to be resolved before the Freedom of Information Bill could be reintroduced. If my memory serves me right, some of the questions he was posing were like; what type of information would the people be asking through the Freedom of Information Bill? What will it be used for? Is it going to be for research? Who will it be passed on to? He asked these questions when there was no opportunity to answer back.

Madam, I would propose to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services that if he truly wants to explore possible answers through these questions which he posed here, the only way he can do that is if he calls the interested parties and stakeholders to some kind of meeting or seminar where we would attempt to give him answers to some of these questions. So long as he comes and poses them without us having an opportunity to answer, we will not progress.

 I would like to believe that he should honestly be seeking answers to these questions. If he is honestly seeking answers to these questions, I would ask him to honestly call us to discuss and provide these answers. For example, he asked questions such as; ‘if somebody gets this information through the Freedom of Information Bill, who will they pass it on to?’ They are worried. There is a simple answer to this. If the information is not security sensitive, it matters not whom the information is passed on to. If the matter is security sensitive, then under the rules of the Freedom of Information Bill, that information in the first place would not be released. The fears that the Government has with regards to that particular question would not arise because of that.

What would it be used for? It does not matter again. It can be for mere curiosity, research and it can also be to embarrass a Government official. This is a very important thing. If a Government official or anybody else has done something for which they should be embarrassed, we should not shield them. We should have them exposed. They should be embarrassed. Even if somebody wanted to use the door merely to embarrass, that is good enough because you cannot embarrass somebody unless they have done something which is embarrassing. Whether it is malice or not, do not expose yourself to that malice in the first place by doing a wrong thing. If you have done something wrong, you deserve to be exposed. We need to get into a situation where people should be ready to have an open society where nothing is hidden under the carpet.

Madam Chairperson, I would like also to point out that this Freedom of Information Bill would assist us in dealing with corruption. For example, we have had problems recently at the Ministry of Lands. If we had the Freedom of Information Bill, I am sure we would not have reached this stage. I for one, at times, want to acquire certain land. I apply for it, and then I do not even get called for interviews. When I see that it is somebody powerful and connected who gets the piece of land I was eyeing, I wonder to myself, did they apply before me? Why were they given that piece of land? I would like to go and ask, what is the waiting list for the land? How did this person jump the queue? If the people at the Ministry of Lands knew that people could go and seek that information, they would not dare do the things that we are told they have been doing because they would know that they would be exposed. The Freedom of Information Bill would be a very important tool for us to fight corruption. I urge you to seriously consider putting it in place.

I would like now to move onto the issue, Madam Chairperson, of regional television stations. We do have the equipment and personnel in most of the provincial centres that would allow us to have regional television put in place through ZNBC. This would help people get localised news which they would be more interested at times than what they get as national news. Of course, they would also have access to the national radio station. I would like the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to consider this as a matter of urgency. This would also help to ensure that we do have promotion of local cultures and languages in those particular areas if we used regional television.

Indeed, we would be very glad to show the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing’s traditional attire in which she is this evening on the Mongu Television.

Madam Chairperson, with the ZNBC that should, by now, have all the trimmings of being a public broadcaster, as a matter of policy and in order to get over some of the things that have been complained about in terms of coverage, should have been ordered to give a certain amount of time as party political broadcasts. Whether or not, we are going towards an election or during a time like now when we have just come out of an election. The benefit of this would be that you would be affording politicians a platform from which they can put forward their policies, manifestos and so forth. Quite often, you will find that some politicians get very desperate for coverage and then they find out that they will only get coverage if they say the outrageous and the desired. As a result, they resort to saying the outrageous and desired so that they can be covered.

Mr Mtonga: Like Mpombo!

Mr Sikota: Sometimes out of desperation, but if they know that there is a slot allocated to them and they will get that coverage which is guaranteed, surely, they would not say the outrageous nor the desired during that slot, but will try to project an image of themselves of being reasonable people in order to woo support and later lower the tension immensely that we have in the country. I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to take that into consideration.

I would like to very quickly commend the hon. Minister for thinking of the ZANIS printing presses in that it would be used by others. However, I would like to caution that some measures must be put in place such as legal measures to protect these ZANIS presses in terms of liable liability because as a printer, if you do print for somebody, you will be liable as well. We could find these ZANIS presses being ceased due to these private jobs that they do. However, that can be remedied by bringing forward legislation that would protect them in such circumstances. In this regard, I would urge the hon. Minister to look into this before we spend lots of money on the presses and then after a few years, they are ceased and taken away.

Madam Chairperson, due to time factor, I will jump to the issue of tolerance in general. We have heard some debates saying that these are state facilities so they must only carry the ministers and President. That is a bad attitude and would not be good governance as it would be tolerance of over views. Only this week, at the weekend, the President was talking about the need for all of us to be tolerant. I think we should embrace what the President said. It is very important for a nation to be tolerant of each other and accept that there are divergent views and therefore provide for a means to air those divergent views. That is the only way we are going to grow our society; through reasoned debate. That is the only way Zambia is going to reach the place that it should be in our society. This is a great country. Let us not suppress its greatness. Let us be tolerant enough so that we rise above all our differences and get back to being a great country.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): I thank you very much Madam Chairperson, for affording me this opportunity to debate the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

It is always said that a well informed nation is bound to make sound development. Indeed, this comes about when the media is well organised and well focused. Madam Chairperson, in Zambia today, the only effective media which penetrates most parts of the country is the electronic media, which is radio and television.

Therefore, it is important for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to pump in a lot of funding in the electronic media in order to allow it to move into the countryside to collect as much information as possible which should be aired for the benefit of our young generation.

Madam Chairperson, the Government has to come up with a deliberate policy in setting up FM radio community stations in every district of the country.

As it is well known, a nation without a sound culture is as good as a dead one. In this direction, radio plays a major role in uplifting our cultural heritage. Therefore, what is required is for the ministry to ensure that it gives the department a lot of money for it to go into the countryside to collect as much information as possible so that our cultural heritage is maintained.

However, I am a bit disappointed to note that in this year’s Budget, there is no mention of funding for the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation. At the same time, when it comes to coverage, it is the Government which takes the upper hand. Yes, the hon. Minister may inform this House that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation makes it makes its money through television licenses fees. For sure, hon. Members of this House will agree with me that K3,000 cannot make the institution generate the much needed money for better programming and the purchasing of the required equipment.

Madam Chairperson, Zambians are good people who can even suggest, today, to start paying K10,000 as television license fees as long as there is fair coverage or balanced coverage as earlier alluded to by the previous speakers. If the hon. Minister is saying that ZNBC can generate its own fund, let it operate on its wavelength without much control. Let it have balanced coverage for all the political parties. Zambians are very good people and they will even agree to pay K20,000.00 as TV licence fees for as long as there is  balanced coverage.

Madam Chairperson, another equally important media in this country is the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS). This department has not lived up to its expectations because of lack of necessary tools such as transport and other requirements. I am happy that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services told this House that most of the districts have been equipped with transport. I was a rather nervous because in Mpika, which is the largest district in Zambia, there is no single vehicle. The Information Officer in Mpika just walks from place to place. That Information Officer covers the distance of about 200 kilometres by foot.

Therefore, Madam Chairperson, there is a need for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to share the resources equitably in terms of transport. Yes, during the elections last year, there were some vehicles which were procured by the Government, but other districts did not benefit from this. The Zambia Information Services are the custodian of information and Government’s mouthpiece. They are supposed to move throughout the country and show the people what is taking place in other districts, but this is not being done today.

Madam Chairperson, last year, we were told that K27 million was allocated for video shows in rural areas. If I were to ask among us the hon. Members of Parliament who saw the Zambia Information Services Vans in their areas showing the video films, none would agree. Today, we are told that K400 million has been allocated for the video shows in rural areas and I hope and trust that this will be a reality.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry has been allocated K151.7 billion towards the purchase of vehicles, but surely, how many vehicles can be bought from this K151.7 billion? 
Madam Chairperson, the Provincial Information Offices need to be funded, especially in terms of fuel allocation for them to move around the country. The system where the provincial administration gives out fuel to all departmental heads or departments in the district or province has lamentably failed in all departments. I would therefore, suggest that ZANIS be funded so that it would be responsible for the distribution of money to district levels for the purchase of their own fuel. Maybe, this way we shall see some improvement in the coverage in various parts of our country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Madam Chairperson, as Zambians, especially those in the Ruling Party, our duty to ensure that people, ensure Zambians are informed correctly.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

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

Madam Chairperson, It is important that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is given this money and I support the budget estimates.

Madam Chairperson, as you know, information is power. Therefore, we need this information to be accorded to all our people in all the provinces and districts.

Madam Chairperson, this evening, I want to talk about the media in our country. Before, I talk about the media, I would like to thank the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services for the good job that they have done.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear! Bwekeshapo apopene!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Madam Chairperson, when I went to the Western Province some time last year in December, I was surprised that there were vehicles in each district for the publicity of information in our districts. When I went to Senanga, I found the same type of vehicle. Again, when I went to Sesheke, a similar vehicle was there. Then, I knew that the Government was working and was doing a very good thing for our people

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Ms Mulasikwanda: The vehicles were the same, with loud speakers on top. I am sure most of the districts in the country have received these vehicles. This simply means that information is trickling down to the grassroots.  This is a job well done for our people. I would therefore, like to thank the hon. Minister for that.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Madam Chairperson, I was amazed when I heard Hon. Kambwili complain that the print and the electronic media is biased. This is not true.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Let me read what I have written down so that I sound correct.

Madam Chairperson, what Hon. Kambwili said in the discrimination of representation by the media is  misleading to the House and the nation at large because it is not only Government ministers who are covered on TV, radio or newspapers. What I know is that even the President or cabinet ministers are not well covered each time they want policies to be known to the entire country.

Madam, Chairperson, I say so because several times, the hon. Minster has acquired …

Madam Chairperson: Order!

(Debate Adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 14th March, 2007.