Debates- Wednesday, 28th February, 2007

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Wednesday, 28th February, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






341. Mr Sejani (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the mobile issuance of National Registration Cards would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Musosha): Mr Speaker, it is Government policy to conduct mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) to areas that are far from registration centres.

The Department of National Registration is always ready to carryout the mobile issuance of NRCs, but this is dependant on adequate funds being made available.

In this respect, the mobile issuance of NRCs will commence as soon as funds are released.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, during the last tripartite elections, over one million Zambians were de-franchised on account of lack of NRCs because the registration exercise was done in the last weeks and in panic. When will this Government make money available in time so that citizens can access this important document? It is also a security risk to millions of Zambians moving around without this identity card. When will they make the money available?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, the issuance of NRCs is a continuous process which is available at district and provincial levels, where hon. Members can take members of the public to get their NRCs. We are talking about a mobile issuance of NRCs that requires a special budget before we have reached the areas that are unreachable.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out when the Government is going to be proactive by ensuring that this constantly-talked-about mobile national registration is provided for in the allocation of funding so that it does not become an issue any more.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, now, as the budget is passed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, it is very clear that the utilisation of a mobile registration system will not work. Has the hon. Minister considered decentralising from the districts to the constituencies or any administrative offices away from the districts because, in my case, the people need to travel, sometimes in excess of 100 kilometres? Has he thought of decentralising from the districts to perhaps constituencies?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, where there is a necessity and need, the mobile registration takes place in the constituencies. In some cases, where there is no security for us to have offices, we are unable to centralise to those areas. It is an option that this Government shall consider as we continue to register the rest of the Zambians.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) Mr Speaker, as and when this exercise commences, what security measures will be put in place to ensure that foreigners do not access this facility?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, we rely on the local individuals as the officers who carryout mobile registration may come from Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe or Livingstone into Sesheke and may not know whether the people who come for registration are foreigners or Zambians. As you know, a foreigner’s nose from Angola may look the same as that of a Zambian. Therefore, it is very difficult for the people in my ministry to identify the foreigners by their features and structures. We rely on the local people, hon. Members of Parliament, district officials and headmen to identify their people and foreigners.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bwengwa): Mr Speaker, when is the Government planning to improve the quality of NRCs?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the plans are already underway. Once we have the money in the budget, both the quality of the Zambian Passport and the NRCs will be improved.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, most of the time when people go to obtain their NRCs from the registration centres, they do not find films and cameras. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that when the people go to district offices for registration, films and cameras are in place?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Member to tell me where because, as I am talking now, all over Zambia, the films and cameras are available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what sort of security the hon. Minister would like to put in place before he can decentralise the system to the constituencies? What would be his problem in his asking Immigration officers to go to the constituencies with police officers because there are some in Kalomo?  Why can he not take the mobile registration to the constituencies?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the question asked by Hon. Hachipuka was talking about permanent structures in the constituencies. Therefore, we are yet to have permanent structures for the NRC officials to be in that place. For the purposes of mobile, we get the police to go with the officers who are conducting the registration exercise.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


342. Mr Sejani asked the Vice-President when continuous registration of voters would commence.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Ms Lundwe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Electoral Commission of Zambia has put infrastructure in place in readiness for the commencement of a continuous voters’ registration. What is remaining is the release of the required budgetary amount of K52 billion.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


343. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Justice how many parliamentary petitions were lodged after the Tripartite Elections of 2006.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Machila): Mr Speaker, there were forty petitions lodged after the Tripartite Elections of 2006 and these are broken down as follows:

Town   Number of Petitions

Lusaka  32

Ndola  05
Kitwe  02

Mongu  01

Total   40

I thank you, Mr Speaker.





The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, I am a bearer of a message from the President recommending favourable consideration of the motion which I now lay on the Table.

I beg to present a Bill entitled the Biosafety Bill, 2007. The objectives of this Bill are:

(a) to regulate the research, development, application, import, export, transit, contained use, release or placing on the market of any genetically modified organism whether intended for use as a pharmaceutical, food, feed or processing, or a product of a genetically modified organism;

(b) ensure that any activity involving the use of any genetically modified organism or a product of a genetically modified organism prevents any socio-economic impact or harm to human and animal health or any damage to the environment, non-genetically modified crops and biological diversity; 

(c) set and implement standards for the assessment, evaluation and management of any potential risk involving the use of any genetically modified organism or product of a genetically modified organism;

(d) establish the National Biosafety Authority and prescribe its powers and functions;

(e) provide for the establishment of the Scientific Advisory Committee;

(f) provide for the public participation, information and consultation in the field of biosafety;

(g) provide for a mechanism for liability and redress for any harm or damage caused to human and animal health, non-genetically modified crops, socio-economic conditions, biological diversity or the environment by any genetically modified organism or a product of a genetically modified organism;

(h) provide for the formation and registration of institutional biosafety committees; and

(i) provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Education, Science and Technology. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 20th March, 2007.

Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.


The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Markets and Bus Stations Bill.

Mr Speaker, the object of this Bill is to provide for the establishment and regulations of markets and bus stations; to provide for the establishment of management boards for markets and bus stations; to repeal and replace the Markets Act of 1937; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 20th March, 2007.

Hon. Members who wish to make submissions or amendments to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

I thank you, Sir.


The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The National Payment Systems Bill, 2007.




(Debate resumed)

Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, before the House adjourned yesterday, I was talking about the high levels of poverty in this country. I was saying that the MMD Government has been in power for fifteen years now, but they have lamentably failed to create meaningful wealth to reduce the poverty levels in this country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I am not trying to be controversial, but to remind the Government to be responsible on matters concerning people’s lives.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the Republican President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, in his speech on Page 13 said:

“Mr Speaker, whilst we have made important macroeconomic gains, admittedly, the standard of living of the majority of the Zambians remains poor.’

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, he went on to say:

‘This was clearly the message that came out from the electorates in both the rural and urban areas. The people of Zambia want results and a translation of the macroeconomic achievements into an uplifting of their standard of living.’

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, this clearly shows that the Government in power is very good at putting figures on paper without translating them into reality.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, firstly, let me comment on last week’s description of poverty by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning while answering a question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Bangweulu who wanted to know what measures had been put in place by the Government to eradicate poverty in this country.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister gave various examples of types of poverty ranging from money poverty to hair salon poverty.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr C. Mulenga: Sir, the hon. Minister said that one can have food, but if that someone is lacking clothes then, he is clothes poor. He even gave an example of himself who is a rich farmer and that because he had no access to fertiliser then, he was fertiliser poor.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Minister that the kind of poverty the people of Zambia are living in is what is known as absolute poverty.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, this kind of poverty is as a result of insufficient access to food, education, health care, adequate shelter, adequate income, clean surroundings, sanitation and safe drinking water and not what the hon. Minister was talking about last week.

Mr Speaker, Robert McNamara President of the World Bank in 1978 defined absolute poverty as a condition of life limited to malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, squalid surroundings, high levels of infant mortality rates and how life expectancy negates any reasonable definition of any human decency.

Mr Speaker, the poverty situation in this country is real and needs to be taken seriously by the people on your right hand side.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the statement given by McNamara still remains a powerful description of the reality experienced by large segments of the Zambian population. The wide spread and worsening poverty in this country is about two thirds of the Zambian population.

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, as income continues to decline and productive assets continue to dwindle, survival in this country has become more and more difficult. Most of our people have been left without any choice of what they can do to survive and, as a result, they have been particularly affected in areas of food security, health, education, sanitation and employment.

Mr Speaker, let me comment on the Budget.

I would like to draw my attention to the Government’s objectives. On page11 paragraph 65 of the Budget Address states:

 “Sir, Government macroeconomic objectives for 2007 are to:

(a) achieve a real GDP growth rate of 7 per cent;

(b) reduce inflation to 5 per cent;

(c) reduce the Government’s domestic borrowing to 1.2 per cent of GDP; and

(d) raise gross international reserves to at least 2.5 months of import cover.’

Sir, these figures impress me very much. There is no doubt that if this Government achieved what they have laid down indeed, the poverty we are talking about would be reduced and this country would be turned into a paradise. However, I know very well that these figures will only end up on paper.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: They will not give any meaningful translation to the Zambian people because the biggest problem with this Government is that they put very nice figures in the Budget, but when it comes to translation, nothing happens.

Mr Speaker, some five years ago, the inflation rate was around 30 per cent. Today, this Government is boasting of having reduced the inflation rate to a single digit of 8 per cent. At the time the inflation rate was at 30 per cent, a bag of mealie meal was costing in the range of K18,000 to K20,000.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: What is the cost of a bag of mealie meal today if the inflation rate is at 8 per cent? Where is the translation here? If we talk about transport, the fare from Chelstone to town was about K800, but today, it is K3,000. Where is the translation?

Hon. PF Members: Hammer, mudala!

Mr C. Mulenga: In the past, we used to pay K40,000 from Lusaka to Chinsali, but today, we are paying K120,000.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mulenga: Where is the translation of inflation?

Hon. PF Members: Shame!

Mr C. Mulenga: Where is this 8 per cent inflation rate? Where is it? I do not understand it.


Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I wonder how this Government is going to achieve the macro-economic objectives with the observations I will cite below.

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Mr C. Mulenga: Yesterday, Hon. Chitika talked about the Fertiliser Support Programme. However, I would like to emphasise this point because where I come from, in Chinsali, we depend on farming.

The reduction of the Fertiliser Support Programme provision from K198 billion to K150 billion is a sad move. The President had earlier indicated that the Government’s contribution would be increased to 60 per cent. Do we doubt the President’s powers? Do we understand the powers of the President? Why should we doubt him? With the decrease in the Budget provision, one wonders the seriousness of the Government’s intentions to fulfil that promise. How are you going to fulfil this promise when you have reduced the provision?

Last year, the Government’s support was 50 per cent to cushion the peasant farmers from the input cost. Going by the Government’s pronouncement, the expectation was that the provisions for the Fertiliser Support Programme would be increased, especially that more farmers had joined co-operatives. Therefore, it would be very difficult if we reduced the number of bags of fertiliser in my constituency because with these pronouncements, a number of farmers have joined co-operatives. In fact, this year, we require more than 50,000 bags of fertiliser in that constituency. Now, by this reduction, how are we going to meet the farmer’s expectations?

Mr D. Mwila: Hammer, hammer!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, on the health sector, I wish to state that the percentage of allocation to the health sector has not increased thereby diluting the Government’s intentions to release additional funds to this important sector which, in fact, was identified as a priority in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP). This implies that there are no additional funds that have been allocated to this sector. This is a clear contradiction from the statement that debt savings would be channelled to this sector. A serious compromise on the Government’s continued effort to improve health service delivery to the poor people in the nation is non-existent.

The education sector, Mr Speaker, has also not been spared in terms of misallocation of the much-needed funds. The allocation in percentage has dropped from 16.1 per cent last year, to 15 per cent this year. This clearly indicates that contrary to its claims, the Government is actually scaling down the provision of quality education by reducing the resources available to this sector. Therefore, there is an urgent need to reverse this trend, if the country has to achieve meaningful gains in the provision of quality education.

Mr Speaker, the issue of unemployment in this country is a source of concern. The lack of jobs among the youth leaving the education system is worrying. It is surprising to note that the MMD Government that has always been advocating youth empowerment has, in this year’s Budget, not allocated anything under the Youth Development Fund.


Mr C. Mulenga: Does it mean that the allocation of K40 billion in the last budget was merely there for elections purposes?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! Hammer! Corruption!

Mr C. Mulenga: Most of our youths are on the streets and are suffering a lot because they do not know what do. During the Kaunda regime, the Government came up with initiatives such as the Zambia National Service because they wanted to create jobs for the youths. This Government is dormant. They do not think of devising anything for the youth, to see to it that they are out of the streets.

Mr D. Mwila: They have run out of ideas! Landako panama, mudala!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I would like to challenge my former boss at Lima Bank, Hon. Magande, …

Mrs Masebo: He is your boss now!

Mr C. Mulenga: … that there is a lot of black money at Kamwala Trading Centre. Why can you not go and collect that money? Today, if you go to Kamwala to buy an item, you will not be given a tax invoice. The cash registers that the ministry introduced are just decorations in those shops and are not serving any purpose. They are sitting there idle. What is happening is that, these traders collect sales inclusive of tax, VAT, but they do not declare the turn over, meaning that they pocket this money from a poor Zambian and do not surrender it to the Government so that it can be used to clean up the roads and do other things in the nation. Why not collect that black money from there? There is a lot of black money there because they declare less turn over.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Leakage!

Mr C. Mulenga: Mr Speaker, due to limited time, I wanted to talk about Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), but …

Hon. PF Members: Talk! Hammer!

Mr C. Mulenga: Sir, the decision lifting the tax free PAYE threshold from K320,000 to K500,000 is nothing because within the K500,000 you are talking about, there is a lot of hidden tax. Therefore, you have not given any relief to the people. There is VAT, personal levy, and a lot of other taxes, even dog levy …

Hon. PF Members: Continue, there is time! Hammer!

Mr C. Mulenga: With the remaining seconds left, the question I would like to pose is: when is this Government going to give the people of Zambia what they want? When are the people of Zambia going to come out of poverty?


Mr C. Mulenga: Reducing the inflation rate to 8.2 per cent is not a guarantee because the rates are not real.


Mr C. Mulenga: With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Beene (Itezhi-Tezhi): Mr Speaker, allow me to brief this august House as regards deliberations pertaining to the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure presented to the House by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning on Friday, 9th February, 2007.

Mr Speaker, in an effort to enrich the process of scrutinising and analysing the 2007 Budget, your Committee invited various stakeholders to make both written and oral submissions before them. Let me state from the outset, Sir, that despite the paucity of time, your Committee received a favourable response from the stakeholders.

Mr Speaker, permit me now to highlight some of the salient issues that your Committee encountered during their deliberations.

Sir, from a historical perspective, Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate declined from an annual average of 1.5 per cent in the 1970s to 0.3 per cent in the 1990s. The inflation rate increased steadily from about 10 per cent in the 1970s to about 70 per cent in the 1990s. These inflation levels combined with the population growth which was above the growth rate of the GDP resulted in an average annual decline in real per capita income of 1.6 per cent.

Further, the macro-economic performance since 2000 has been strong. Economic prospects for the country have since brightened.

Hon. Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr Beene: The rate of GDP growth has risen from 3.6 per cent in 2000 to almost 6 per cent in 2006, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: … implying an annual average real rate of about 5 per cent. This has all been possible through generally broad-based strong performance by the mining, manufacturing, construction and services sectors. Sir, because of the satisfactory fiscal and monetary restraint, the inflation rate, which stood at 30 per cent at the end of 2000, fell substantially to 16 per cent at the end of 2005 and declined to the single digit of 8 per cent at the end of 2006.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Sir, in order to fully appreciate the policy framework within which the 2007 Budget is set, an assessment  of the relationship between this year’s Budget and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for the period 2007-2009 and the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and the accompanying Vision 2030 was undertaken by your Committee.

Mr Speaker, the Vision 2030 document defines the long term national vision for Zambia as ‘to become a prosperous middle income country by the year 2030, thereby reducing hunger and poverty and ensuring a competitive open economy’. In the context of this national vision, the FNDP outlines a five-year medium term development perspective which will be achieved using a number of macro-economic objectives, policies and strategies. These include an overall real growth rate of 7 per cent annually, sustained single digit inflation, financial and exchange rate stability, a viable current account balance on the balance of payments and the reduction of domestic debt to sustainable levels.

Mr Speaker, the MTEF is a rolling plan within the FNDP, it forecasts and programmes public spending over the three year period 2007-2009, taking into account both the likely resource constraints and the linkages of such spending with the economy. The MTEF sets out the macroeconomic framework, linking growth of the GDP, savings, investment and the balance of payments to public spending and revenues. It also projects current spending on debt service, public administration, defence and recurrent departmental charges.

The 2007 Budget is a one-year (2007) segment of the MTEF and should be the authoritative legal document for allocating resources, adjusting the distribution of income and wealth, maintenance of low and stable inflation, and the achievement of an appropriate rate of economic growth, with allowance for the effects on trade and on the balance of payments.

Mr Speaker, despite strong macroeconomic performance over the past three decades, Zambia still faces major challenges. In this regard, it is notable that despite the on-going structural programmes, the economy still shows weak and uneven growth, a low savings rate, high real interest rates, a weak external position, a very high degree of dependence on copper exports and, therefore, remains extremely vulnerable to external shocks. Another area that needs close monitoring is the exchange rate as it impacts on competitiveness of Zambia’s products in international markets.

Mr Speaker, the 7 per cent rate for real growth of GDP targeted for 2007 is feasible, but Zambia faces a fiscal dilemma in that fiscal austerity may not necessarily always be compatible with increasing growth, incomes and employment. It is important, therefore, to combine fiscal reform with other measures in trade, industry, agriculture, services and other sources of growth, and in the financial sector. To do this, a comprehensive diversification programme will be required.

Sir, your Committee fear that the 5 per cent target rate of inflation this year may be difficult to attain because of the anticipated increase in the cost of food stuffs, especially due to floods being experienced in most productive parts of the country and the entire region. Further, the country’s inability to control global fuel prices would contribute to the negative performance on the economic front.

Mr Speaker, there is also the issue of domestic debt. In recent years, Zambia had increasingly come to rely much more on domestic borrowing to finance budget deficits. This has led to the accumulation of a huge domestic debt. Sir, it is a destabilising factor for the Government to resort to delaying payments on domestic debt relating to purchases of goods and services and to contractors. In other words, the Government increased arrears on domestic debt, including those on pension for Public Service employees. This practice has, therefore, become an important source of financing by simply not making payments. It should be noted that arrears are implicit credits that have similar macroeconomic consequences as other forms of public borrowing. Arrears must, therefore, be eliminated or reduced to a given target, either in absolute terms or as a ratio of the GDP. Otherwise, arrears by the Government to suppliers and contractors may have severe knock-on effects in the financial system and the suffering of the retirees.

Mr Speaker, your Committee, are concerned that in spite of stability occurring on the macroeconomic front in the year 2006, the Public Service delivery system still leaves much to be desired, with less than a decade to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the social front has not stabilised or performed to acceptable standards. From the above, it has been observed that the social indicators are still on a downward trend with poverty continuing to be widespread. Your Committee reiterates that, the fact that the majority of the Zambian people still live in abject poverty is unacceptable.

Let me now, Sir, highlight a few of the specific areas of concern that your Committee encountered during their deliberations.

Mr Speaker, Social Infrastructure – a look at the state of the social infrastructure in both urban and rural areas reveals a grey of the prevailing social economic situation in Zambia. As a result of this, as well as other factors such as inadequate staff for health and education, lack of essential drugs and obsolete equipment, among others, education and health facilities are not only inadequate, but also below acceptable standards.

Mr Speaker, secondly, Supplementary Expenditure – your Committee are worried about the continued rise in the supplementary budget expenditure which is increasing each year. The supplementary budget for 2006 was K643.7 billion which amounted to 59 per cent of the total annual budget compared to 4.6 per cent in 2005. Of this amount, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning had a supplementary budget of K441.1 billion which constituted 68.5 per cent of the total 2006 supplementary expenditure. Your Committee are also concerned about the expenditure items financed by the supplementary budget which include Office Administration and Emoluments. They strongly feel that these items should be well planned for and should not be financed under supplementary provisions. Otherwise, the role of this august House in the budget cycle is rendered irrelevant.

Mr Speaker, on incentives under the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) – the qualification requirements under the ZDA Acts stipulate that only companies with an investment capital of US$500,000 will be eligible for the incentives. In Zambia, only a large enterprise could have such an amount of investment capital. Therefore, these incentives will still be elusive to most local enterprises. To stimulate the growth of local industry, it is necessary that the Government reconsider this provision, as well as address various constraints being faced by local entrepreneurs under the Private Sector Development Programme. The constraints include the high cost of doing business in Zambia, with particular regard to telecommunication services, energy and the tax regime.

Mr Speaker, on Income Tax Exempt Threshold, your Committee are concerned that the Pay-As-You-Earn contribution to revenue is still higher than that of corporate revenue. This implies that employees still have to bear most of the burden, compared to companies and organisations. Your Committee implore the Government to consider the possibility of a further review of the levels of Pay-As-You-Earn. This way, the increased disposable incomes of employees will increase the level of indirect consumption-based tax, mainly in the form of VAT. Further, such a tax exempt threshold would stimulate local business growth through increased consumer spending on locally produced goods and services. A broadened tax base would compensate for any revenue loss arising from a lowered top rate of Pay-As-You-Earn. Nevertheless, the upward revision of the income tax exempt threshold from the current K320,000 to K500,000 is a step in the right direction as it will, at least, increase the take-home-pay of the majority of Zambians.

Mr Speaker, with regard to Agriculture, the agriculture sector is not contributing as it should to the GDP because the sector faces constraints such as climate conditions, inadequate infrastructure, lack of affordable credit facilities, excessive import dependence and lack of insurance mechanisms. Smallholder agriculture is particularly affected by these factors, despite its huge potential for development. These constraints need to be addressed urgently in order to reverse the fortunes of agricultural producers and the country as a whole.

Mr Speaker, on the Mining Sector, your Committee share the concerns of other stakeholders that copper prices will not remain at the current levels for very long as Zambia stands to lose if the very generous incentives given to the mining sector are not reviewed quickly. Your Committee are also extremely concerned that there is no specific provision in the Budget showing the revenues to be earned by the Government from the exploitation of gemstone resources, despite the fact that this is a multi-million dollar business. Your Committee are of the view that, in a resource-poor country such as Zambia, it is critical that all economic activities are captured in the national accounts so that the revenues therefrom are used for the benefit of the entire population. They further note that the sector is dominated by foreign operators, and strongly recommend that the Government take measures to reverse this trend.

Mr Speaker, as regards Debt Contraction and Management, following the debt cancellation under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and MDRI arrangements in 2006, Zambia’s external debt stood at the manageable level of US$500 million. It is important, therefore, to ensure that the country maintains a sustainable debt portfolio. However, there is no transparency in the procedure for contraction of new debt. Consequently, it is important that a debt policy be clearly spelt out. Such a policy should include an overall ceiling to be approved by Parliament on the amount of debt that Zambia may contract any given period.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: The overall ceiling should further impose limits based on the tenor and maturities attached to the loans. In addition, all debt contracted forthwith must be directed at productive projects and these must be agreed upon in advance.

Hon. Opposition Member: Cattle development.

Mr Beene: This would call for substantial amendments to the loans and guarantees (Authority Act).

Mr Muntanga: Correct.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, Public Financial Management – the management of public funds is a source of concern in Zambia. In view of the paucity of resources that the country is faced with, it is necessary that the resources available are put to optimum use. So, the need to prevent wastage, misappropriation, misapplication and outright defalcation is paramount.

Mr Speaker, in a nutshell, let me state your Committee’s concern. In the context of the Government’s Vision 2030 and the Fifth National Development Plan, the attainment of the 7 per cent rate of the Real Economic Growth annually of the planned period will not be sufficient to make Zambia a middle-income country. This rate of economic growth will not be strong enough to generate sufficient wealth to make a meaningful reduction of poverty among the people of Zambia, including the achievement of the target of the Millennium Development Goals. In consequence, the aim should be to achieve the growth rate of at least 9 to 10 per cent annually. It is growth of this magnitude that may lead to significant increase of Zambia’s GDP and assist us to make a meaningful dent in the high poverty levels currently pervading our country.

Sir, finally, let me express your Committee’s profound gratitude to you, for allowing them to undertake this important assignment on behalf of the august House and for your guidance in carrying out this important task.

Your Committee also wish to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the excellent services provided to your Committee throughout their deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for affording me the opportunity to debate the motion on the Budget Address delivered in this House by my brother, Hon. Ng’andu Magande. From the onset, I would like to commend Hon. Magande and his staff at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for a job well done.

Mr Speaker, the Budget for 2007 is very good. It is a Budget that will move Zambia from stability to improved service delivery. It is a Budget that gives hope to everyone in this wonderful country, Zambia. It is a Budget that gives hope to the young, youth, mature and those that have mellowed in age. It is a good Budget because the Government has done many things correctly in this Budget.

Mr Speaker, this Government has done what is right and must be commended. What is right in this Budget is that it arises from the Vision 2030, which is important. This Budget emanates therefrom. It, therefore, has a big and very strong foundation. It is said, in the ways of the ancient of days, that, ‘Where there is no vision, people perish.’ This Government, therefore, has given a vision. We are providing leadership.

Sir, the Vision 2030 does not stand alone. It has the Fifth National Development Plan to go with it. This Budget comes out of the Fifth National Development Plan where it draws its true colours from. You can, therefore, see that we have a very clear way for the future of this nation. As a nation, we do not have to stagger our way into the future. The vision is clear. Yes, there could be areas where we need to smoothen the vision, but this is a challenge for any visionary leader and a vision-oriented nation that we must smoothen our way forward.

Mr Speaker, this Budget, for the first time since independence, has provided a clear picture for the nation to advance. For once, a larger part of the 2007 Budget is being funded by Zambians, except for only a very reduced percentage.

Sir, we have a situation where past Budgets were funded by foreigners. This time, we are funding our own Budget. This is good because the nation is making progress. It is right that, as Zambia, we finance our own budgets. The future, therefore, is bright knowing that Zambians are capable of financing there own future budgets. On Page 16 of the Budget Address, Hon. Magande has indicated that 72 per cent of the Budget will be financed by domestic resources. This is very good. In the past, the greater part of the budget was financed by external resources. Therefore, we have checks and balances that have helped us to reach this level where we can put 72 per cent of our own Budget. We are a growing nation and a Government-at-work.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, as regards the external debt issue that has been spoken about, Zambia today is on the right path. Debt has almost been wiped out. Zambians can no longer walk with a huge chain of foreign and external debt around their neck. It has been removed. It was a yoke on our necks. We can now freely walk with our heads high. This New deal Government is providing leadership.

Sir, Zambia has the best record on foreign debt now in the world. Zambia is very marketable. We have achieved what was considered impossible before.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, with regard to poverty reduction, this Budget addresses the burning issue of poverty reduction in the country. External debt reduction is a clear right step to reducing poverty. This Government has done what is right. Many right actions have also been reflected in this Budget. One of the right actions is the budget allocation to poverty reduction sectors such as education, health, local Government, social welfare, indeed job creation and land resettlement and many other areas. This is important because poverty reduction means opportunities being made available for improving the lives of our people.

Sir, my appeal is that as leaders in this august House, we must help our people to identify these opportunities which are inherent in the Budget and not to remain negative to what is good in the Budget. This Budget is for all of us and the opportunities therein are for all of us. However, as leaders, it is very critical for us to know, show and lead the way. The Government knows the way and we have shown the way and in this Budget, we are providing leadership.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: It is, therefore, necessary for the hon. Members of this august House to help our people to know their way through this Budget, to show the way and lead the people to prosperity. It is said that a pack of sheep headed by a lion will defeat a pack of lions headed by a sheep. Why is it so? It is so because leadership is very important. The people of Zambia are looking to hon. Members of this august House to provide leadership in the Budget and in the Fifth National Development Plan and in the Vision 2030. Without leadership, opportunities will be lost.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is facing numerous challenges as a country. The country needs leaders that are going to take the people through these great challenges to the promised vision and this Government has given the Vision. The Vision 2030 and indeed, the Fifth National Development Plan and the Budget are areas where we should be able to assist our people find their way so that they can prosper. Where there is a plan, there is hope for the people. This Budget provides pillars of hope and development. These pillars of development are available to us. We, must, therefore, grab the opportunities provided by these pillars of development rather than being negative to this Budget. Therefore, as leaders in this august House, we must indeed, help our people through this Budget.

I appeal, therefore, here for us to seize this opportunity to show our ability to lead well through this Budget. It is not an opportunity for us to tear it apart as a nothing Budget. This is a good Budget. As I have heard, many of my colleagues and friends from the Patriotic Front have tried very hard to try and make this Budget look bad, but failed. It is not about making this Budget look bad, but for each and every one of us to lead our people and show them the nuggets of opportunities that are available in the it. No matter which side you are, I appeal that you be positive to this Budget. Let the Budget be challenging to your leadership abilities. It should be a challenge for you to find opportunities in a good budget. Opportunities, such as:

(a) reducing poverty amongst our people;
(b) bringing incomes into the pockets of our people;
(c) creating opportunities to deliver our country from poverty and diseases;
(d) making opportunities to lead our people to a vision;
(e) devising opportunities to defeat HIV/AIDS, cholera, tuberculosis and prostitution; and
(f) providing opportunities to stop the many lives that are being lost on the roads as a result of road traffic accidents or criminality.

Mr Speaker, many opportunities can be found in this Budget, the Fifth National Development Plan and in the Vision 2030. Therefore, if we are negative, we shall not see these opportunities. A word of caution to all the wonderful hon. Members of this House is that without a positive eye, mind and heart to the Budget, we will never see, know and find these opportunities provided for by our own budget. As leaders, we must be positive to the budget. This is a good Budget. I know it is not perfect, but there is no perfect budget in the world today. Every budget has its own nuggets that must be exploited for opportunities.

Mr Speaker, many years ago, who would have known, for example, that we would mine minerals in the Southern Province? We used to complain about the drought year after year, but huge opportunities today have opened up in the Southern Province and these are the opportunities that our people must be shown. I see many opportunities, for example, for the police. Hon. Mukanga, in his debate, pointed out that nothing will be done with K30 billion to solve the problems of accommodation for the Police Force. The hon. Member for Kanyama also said that this money will not cater for the building of classification of houses that are needed for senior police officers. I and my staff are aware of these areas of concern. However, I would like to address the nation, through these hon. Members’ concerns, that Rome was not built in a day. The great leaders then saw the opportunity and used the opportunities, small as they were, to build Rome. Indeed, as a Government, we see a great opportunity to face these challenges and provide good and adequate accommodation for our police officers. We are determined to provide good accommodation for our police officers.

Mr Speaker, in the early history of this country, the British and Indians, who were the settlers, came with nothing, but a vision, plan and developed a budget on what they found here in our land. They found opportunities after they were revealed to them. We watched and even cheered and in certain cases, were vexed by the wealth that was being shown by these people. The Indians came with small bags without merchandise, yet a few years down the line, they had their own houses, schools and shops. They saw opportunities and grabbed them. We had a negative attitude. We watched and quarrelled amongst ourselves, yet the foreigners in the country saw opportunities that we could not see. Today, we are still exhibiting the same negative approach to the Budget, but the Indians, Chinese, Taiwanese, Congolese, West Africans, Egyptians, British, South Africans, Nigerians, Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians and Mauritians and you name them, are pouring into Zambia today. Why? The answer is not far fetched. They see opportunities whilst we argue about the lack of opportunities in the Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: They see opportunities in the same Fifth National Development Plan that we are putting in place whilst we argue that it is a bad plan. They see opportunities in the Vision 2030, whilst we argue that there are no opportunities in the vision. These foreigners see opportunities everywhere whilst we are sitting here to argue that there are no opportunities.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I appeal to the hon. Members of this august House to, please, see the positive side of this Budget and be able to achieve greater results. Taxes are reduced. Is it not part of the opportunities for you and I to bring to our people? The schools will have thousands of teachers to be employed. Are there no opportunities where thousands of teachers are being employed? We can show our people these opportunities. There is K30 billion for police accommodation. Is there no way we can get more houses out of this K30 billion? These are opportunities.

Mr Speaker, someone said, and I quote:

‘Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people’.

Mr Speaker, let us be lion leaders in this House, leading sheep to victory.

Let me dwell briefly on China. The issue of China and the Chinese has been spoken about on the Floor of this House from both sides of the House.

Mr Muntanga: Taiwan.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Taiwan, yes. Mr Speaker, the issue of China and Chinese investment in Zambia has been a source of much debate in the House. Therefore, I would like to dwell a little on this matter. I cannot understand why there should be some hon. Members of this House even supporting Taiwan. Let us be visionary in our approach to the question of China and the Island Province of Taiwan.

Mr Speaker, the Chinese on the mainland and on the island are one and the same people. Why should Zambians take sides in a family equation that they do not understand? Neither can you mediate on it. See the bigger picture. As leaders in this august House, we should instead see the opportunities that China brings. The whole world wants to do business with China. Why is the world seeing these opportunities with China? In today’s The Post, at page 14, there is an article that gives a testimony to this and I will read it. It says, ‘Wal-Mart to buy Chinese’. This is one of the biggest trading organisations in the world which is American, but they want to buy Chinese products.

Chinese themselves, Mr Speaker, have come from a very poor economy to become an economic giant. Chinese leadership saw opportunities and used the population factor. They developed work ethics to become their biggest strength. They developed entrepreneurship and competition based on Chinese culture. China changed and Zambia must change. We must provide leadership for that change as this Government is doing. As leaders, we must see opportunities everywhere.

I remember one time in the early 1960s, a man stood on the Island of Majorca off the coast of Spain. He saw this barren land with grass and the wind was blowing and too much sun. It was not even fit for tourism, yet he grew a patch of tomatoes in his garden and sooner, he started selling to the rest of Europe. Every city was buying his tomatoes. Today, Majorca is a prosperous island with so much income. Why? This is because one man saw the opportunities. This august House must see opportunities.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, does a vision of US$800 million investment on the Copperbelt not provide for a mouth-watering opportunity to do business to lead our people to prosperity? I see great opportunities in the economic zones in Lusaka and Chambishi. I see Zambians negotiating for better deals. I see Zambians taking business out of the economic zones to nine of our neighbouring countries. I see many dollars pouring into Zambia. I see some of my brothers who deal in scrap metal changing to deal in procuring copper and I see opportunities for more recruitment of policemen. I see that these opportunities will increase when the economic zones are in place. Therefore, we will provide more jobs. These are opportunities that are being made available in this wonderful Budget. Therefore, I would like to present that this Budget is a good one. Let us provide leadership rather than tearing it apart. I said that when we provide leadership, our people will also be led.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, after such a powerful speech by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, I rise to give my maiden speech.

Mr Speaker, in the first place, I must thank you for giving me the opportunity to deliver my maiden speech in this august House.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by congratulating His Excellency, the President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC on the landslide victory in the just ended tripartite elections. The people of Zambia deserve a pat on the back for this timely wide decision for choosing a man of renowned leadership quality. Well done Zambians!

Mr Speaker, allow me to forward my sincere gratitude, again, to His Excellency President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. and the leadership of my party, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy for adopting me as a candidate to the just ended by-elections in Liuwa Constituency. To be selected from a group of twenty-one credible party members is a gift that cannot go without being mentioned and appreciated. Crowned with the material and moral support given to me by my President and all the party officials up to the branch, I feel humbled and will always remain indebted to this gesture of goodwill. It is through their untiring efforts during the campaign that I emerged a victor in this race.

In the same vein, I would like to forward my utmost heartfelt thanks to the people of Liuwa Constituency for giving me their votes to represent them in one of the highest institutions of our land. I would like to assure them that they have made the right choice and I will do my best not to fail them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, through you, Sir, let me take this rare opportunity to acknowledge, with gratitude, the very warm welcome I received from my fellow Members of Parliament when I was first introduced in the House as the last, but of course, not the least hon. Member of the House. I salute you, hon. Members of the House, and I say, ‘apa epashili pakuleka’.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, the recent happenings in Liuwa Constituency have not been quite pleasant. Hardly a day after he was declared a winner as Member of Parliament, Hon. David Maliwa Kashweka sadly passed away. Shortly after this sorrowful event, his predecessor Hon. Bataba Wamulume also passed away. I wish to pay my special tribute to these gallant children of our motherland and promise to carry on the banner of spearheading development in our constituency. Hon. Members of Parliament, join me to wish these souls to rest in eternal peace.

Mr Muntanga: You bewitched them.

Mr Imasiku: Having said all this, allow me to acknowledge, with thanks again, the efforts His Excellency the President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. and his New Deal Government for the significant achievements this country has made in this very short space of time he has espoused the leadership of our country. It is His Excellency’s art of governance that has created such an enabling environment which, in turn, has enabled us, as a country, to achieve the HIPC Initiative Completion Point. This has seen us put enough food in our granaries, attract foreign investors some of whom have opened new mines and re-opened those that were once abandoned. The once galloping inflation rate has now been arrested and reduced to a single digit. The Kwacha has stabilised, tourism is booming, the poverty margin has been dragged down and more is still being done to reduce it further. The road infrastructure has considerably improved and telephone communication systems are now accessed in many parts of the country. Better still, basic education is now free while user fees in almost all health facilities have been abolished. What else do you want to see to prove that this Government is working?

It is this Government that has revived the once forgotten planning culture. To this effect, we now do not only have a far-reaching Budget for this year. In addition, we have a five-year development plan and a long-term plan that is giving the country a vision up to the year 2030. Planning is the cornerstone of any path to any meaningful economic success story and these results are beginning to show. If you support it, hon. Members, it will show.

Mr Speaker, these and many of those success stories that we have not mentioned are no mean achievements by this Government and I feel most privileged to be associated with such a focused and hardworking dynamic leadership.

Mr Speaker, driving this point back home, which is the Western Province, the New Deal Government, among other achievements, is adored for their contribution to the improvement of the road infrastructure in the province. The Livingstone/Sesheke Road and the modern Katima Mulilo Bridge is a project accredited to this Government. The Lusaka/Mongu Road is now a road worth its name. It is only now that bus companies whose names were not known in our vocabulary are making double trips to Mongu on a daily basis. This was not the case before the New Deal Government came on board and gave a constant attention to this very important road.

With reference to the health sector, with which I am very much familiar, the Ministry of Health, under the New Deal Government, has done a commendable job in the provision of health facilities in the province. I am aware that during this period under discussion, a total of twenty-four new health facilities have been constructed and a similar number are being constructed. These include Shangombo Modern Hospital and the replacement of Kaoma District Hospital. In addition to the numerous rehabilitation and extension works carried out, long outstanding structures at Lewanika General Hospital are being completed. These are successful stories indeed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imasiku: For the people of Kalabo, the Mongu/Kalabo Road project is the greatest gift the people of my district has ever received from any Government since independence. Its completion is the greatest day the people of Kalabo are eagerly waiting for. From what we have been informed, this day is not very far fetched. On behalf of the people of Kalabo, I would like to salute the power behind this project, the New Deal Government.

Mr Speaker, the people of Liuwa are grateful to the Government of the day for the decision taken to partner with the African Parks Management in safeguarding the animals in Liuwa National Park. It is gratifying to note that since this organisation took over the management of this park, hardly a period of four years, the animal population has tripled from 15,000 to 46,000 with a corresponding increase of tourists to Kalabo.

Mr Speaker, notwithstanding all the positive achievements mentioned above, Liuwa Constituency is one of those areas that require a deliberate development programme if it has to come close to the level at which other rural constituencies in the province are. Geographically, this is the only constituency in the province that gets totally cut off from the rest of the district during the rainy seasons. It is Liuwa Constituency where the semi-island of Siluwe Ward is totally inaccessible by land throughout the year as this part of the district is not only hard to reach, at times it is even hard to return to. You may ask Hon. Muntanga who was there.


Mr Imasiku: Mr Speaker, hon. Members of this august House, this is the kind of situation the constituency in question is hence, the need for a deliberate programme to have it developed to an appreciable level.

Some of the areas that require urgent attention are as tabulated below:

Mr Speaker, with regard to the tourism sector, the constituency houses the most lucrative tourist attraction places in the province. There is the Liuwa Game Park which is the richest park in terms of the wild beasts population in the country. As referred to above, this park now houses a total of 46,000 beautiful wild beasts distributed in clusters on this bare plain, of course, intertwined with the remnants of the other species thus, making the place a more splendid site that any tourist yearns to come across.

Despite its tourism potential, the Liuwa National Game Park has no road infrastructure. Instead, it is serviced by seasonal sand trucks on which only tourists with four wheel-drive vehicles can venture to drive. The lack of lodges is also another deterrent aspect to the frequent visitation of tourists to the park.

With all these shortcomings in mind, I am compelled to deduce that since Liuwa Constituency has always been the domain of the Opposition, these sceneries were, perhaps, not brought to the attention of the Government. For us to contribute handsomely to the wealth of the country through tourism, we are requesting our listening Government to construct an all-weather paved road round and through the park, ultimately upgraded  to a bituminous finish. The Ministry of Tourism Environment and Natural Resources is being requested to avail a good portion of its funds allocated to the hospitality industry to our local entrepreneurs who, in turn, will develop lodges in the area.

At this point in time, let me appeal to the Africa Park Authorities to hasten the restocking of the scarce and diminished species of animals such as lions, buffaloes, elands etc. and bring the park to its original state.

Mr Speaker, given the attention it deserves, the Liuwa National Game Park often referred to as ‘the Sleeping Economic Giant of Kalabo’ can be activated into an economic lifetime of the people of that district.

Another tourist attraction in Liuwa Constituency is the Kuomboka Ceremony, west of Zambezi. Hon. Members, this is a site that you cannot afford to miss because as you sail or cruise alongside Her Royal Highness Chieftainess Mulena Msowanyikona, you will be privileged to see some of the old shrines of the Lozi people such as the Makono Village where all the Litungas derive their royal authority from before they are crowned to reign over the Lozi Kingdom. You are all invited, hon. Members, to come and see this Kuomboka Ceremony.

Mr Speaker, on education, the Government-of-the-day has tried to provide ample and quality education to the children of Liuwa Constituency, suffice it to say that most communities have been provided with basic schools. The rehabilitation of rundown buildings is also being undertaken. This is another step in the right direction.

However, like most other parts of the districts, there are still some small pockets of our communities where children have to cover unbearable distances to the nearest school. Efforts to mitigate these disparities by parents have instead resulted in the mushrooming of community schools which are, of course, below the desired standards. We, therefore, urge the Ministry of Education to start absorbing these poor types of schools into their regular system, if our children are to receive quality education in the early stages of their learning.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the health sector, in their efforts to provide equity of access to cost-effective quality health care as close to the family as possible, the Ministry of Health, under the New Deal Administration, has also contributed favourably to the welfare of the people of Liuwa by providing health care services.  Among the three rural health centres in the constituency, two have been upgraded to almost prototype stages, while the third has been fully rehabilitated.

However, this number of rural health centres is far from adequate because the large population of our people cannot access these services. It might be of interest to note that the shortest distance between these institutions is an average of 60 kilometres.

The Siluwe Ward which is completely cut off from the rest of the constituency has no health facility. Our immediate need in this respect is a provision of health facilities at Siluwe, Mutaa, Luola Sishekanu and Luoke areas in that order of priority. Thereafter, other needs could be looked into.

Mr Speaker, on the road infrastructure and water ways, while the Government has put in more effort to develop the road network in the district, as already cited above, I must admit that Liuwa Constituency has not received equal attention. Currently, only about 60 kilometres out of a stretch of about 130 kilometres from Kalabo Boma to the border with Angola has been cleared of vegetation. The eastern side of the game park and the route to Libonda Palace have no real roads, so to speak. Worse still, the Libonda Harbour has no pontoon.

Mr Speaker, the people of Liuwa Constituency are earnestly asking the hon. Minister of Works and Supply for a gravel road round the park including the road connecting Kalabo to Limulunga through the Libonda Palace, and a pontoon at Libonda Harbour.

Mr Speaker, let me now comment on Power. One of the success stories the Government has made for the people of Liuwa is the connecting of Libonda Palace to the National Grid. The extension of this source to the other large population groupings will act as a catalyst in terms of development. We are also appealing to the Ministry of Education to complete the provision of solar power to all schools in the constituency.

Mr Speaker, in terms of the communication sector, telecommunication has also been extended to Libonda Palace. All the rural health centres and some schools are also provided with radio communication. Those areas near Kalabo and Limulunga can access Celtel services. This development is highly appreciated and would be more rewarding if all schools could be provided with radios.

Mr Speaker, on the agriculture sector, allow me to thank the New Deal Government for instituting measures that have helped to limit the spread of the dreaded Contagious Bovine Pleura Pneumonia (CBPP) which had almost wiped out our animals. You may wish to know that Liuwa does not only have good grazing areas for our wild beasts, but also rich pastoral areas for cattle. The Libonda Plains is one of the best cattle grazing areas in the Western Province. It contributes close to 50 per cent of the cattle population in the district. We are therefore, requesting the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives to hasten or double the cattle restocking exercise alongside with the disease surveillance programme being undertaken.

Mr Speaker, in the area of mineral exploration, Liuwa Constituency is part of Kalabo which has the same geological stratum like that of Lukulu and Zambezi Districts. It is generally believed and in certain cases documented that these districts have some reserves of minerals and oils which have not yet been tapped. I am requesting the Ministry of Mines and Minerals to extend the exploration of minerals and oils to Liuwa Constituency.

Mr Speaker, I would like to make a plea for relief food and other logistics. It is on record that Liuwa is the most affected constituency in terms of the 2006/2007 floods. The physical features of the place, as explained above, make the constituency more prone to flooding than the other parts of the district. We are, therefore, asking for a fair share when relief food and logistics are sent to the district.

In conclusion, let me wish His Excellency the President and the entire leadership and the citizens of this great country good health and prosperity.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to discuss this year’s Budget. This year’s Budget will go down in the history of this country as a Budget that put the country on a mine-meriting economic metamorphosis.


Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, after several years or decades of economic decline, only an incorrigible arm chair critic will try to down play the importance and historical significance of this Budget.

Mr Speaker, this is very important Budget. Hon. Magande is a ball of fire and all he is trying to do in this particular Budget, is ensure that the macro-economic gains that have accrued are now meant to percolate to the grassroot. Like the President said he needed these gains to be passed on to the grassroots and that is what the Hon. Magande is trying to do. In short, this is a Hanged Poverty Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, this Budget has a human face and must not be subjected to the usual narrow and parochial politics. All critical stakeholders have welcomed the Budget as a significant development, full of rare ingredients of economic wizardly, a Budget indeed which is a great source of inspiration. This is a Budget that gives reason for hope.

Mr Guy Robinson, the President of the Zambia National Union of Farmers has declared the 2007 Budget progressive, constructive and fair to the agricultural sector. He has further said that farmers are also very happy that there is increased funding to sectoral programmes such as irrigation, livestock disease control, and Food Reserve Agency. Giving the Food Reserve Agency more than K205 billion is a serious indication of the Government’s commitment to reviving the marketing policies. This means that farmers will have to sell their produce all the time and that will spur more agricultural activities. This is a very welcome programme.

Mr Speaker, you will note that over the years, there have been several complaints about the marketing processes because of inadequate funding to the agents. This move is welcome and recommended.

Sir, the Chairman of Consumer Association of Zambia, Mr Muyunda Ililonga has also supported the Budget that it will address only the long standing concerns in the economy. These are critical stakeholders, people who understand economic matters and those who have done extensive research. That is how important this Budget is.

Sir, the World Bank Country Representative, Mr Ohene Nyanini described the 2007 Budget as a nice show piece of work done by Government. He went on to say it is a nicely done Budget by the people and for the people.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Congress of Trade Union President has also supported the Budget, including the President of the Zambia Manufacturing Association. I alluded to this issue so as to indicate the level of professional accolade that this Budget has received. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning must be encouraged because he has done a very good job. Coincidentally, I think Mazabuka produces very good hon. Ministers of Finance and National Planning because there was also the late Joshua Lumina.

Sir, On economic matters, the Government’s increase of the exempt threshold for income tax from K320,000 to K500,000 is a major relief to the workers. That is why I say this Budget has a human face. Apart from that, workers who will be earning between K501 to K1.1 million will be taxed at 25 per cent as opposed to the current 30 per cent. These are major concessions.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, business was suspended, I was saying that the Government’s decision to increase the exempt position of terminal benefits from K10 million to K20 million is also a landmark decision. This decision can only be made by a Government that is concerned about the plight of its people. The Government has also thrashed excise duty on electricity from 5 per cent to 3 per cent. This is again another humanitarian intervention by this Government because it cares for the people and it wants to ensure that people’s lives are made affordable.

Mr Speaker, the road network clearly says that a good road network is a necessary concomitant …


Mr Mpombo: …to any meaningful economic policy. To demonstrate this commitment, despite the limited resources, the Government has, again, continued to support this sector. I could urge all hon. Members of Parliament to support this particular Budget.

On mineral loyalties, this has been a very contentious and acrimonious issue. The Government has seen it safe to increase mineral royalties from the current 0.6 per cent to 3 per cent. I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National for this. As an orderly Government or as a Government that does not thrive on chaos, we will not nationalise. We will discuss and negotiate with the mine owners. If we nationalized as some people in this House suggested, all the gains that have accrued to Zambia would be lost. Therefore, the Government is determined to ensure that we continue to inspire foreign investment. Lumwana Mining is another good venture and it has put up a good policy on human resource development and they are also caring for their workers. This is what companies should do in order to plough back the profits.

Mr Speaker, this is a very important sector of the economy. Therefore, this Government does not intend to rush or make any irrational decision that can cause this country quite a lot. Other countries in the region that had resorted to some economic decisions are in a very grave position. We therefore want to avoid that.

Mr Speaker, the GDP Growth projection at 7 per cent is a good projection because anything beyond that could have resulted in the economy being ‘overheated’.


Mr Mpombo: Sir, the 7 per cent projection is attainable because the expected economic growth to be accrued by the private sector investment in tourism, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction. These are measures that are going to anchor the projected growth. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is determined to ensure that we remain focused on ensuring that we continue with this provision.

Mr Speaker, let me say a few things on China.

Sir, all I can say is that, as a Government, we want to express our unswerving and unflagging and spirited commitment …


Mr Mpombo:…to our sound economic relationship with The People’s Republic of China because they are all-whether friends and have stood by this country. When we had floods, they were the first ones to come on the scene with a cheque of US $150,000 which has going a long way. As a Government, we will continue with this focus and we will nothing to do with the renegade province of Taiwan.

Mr Speaker, I also would like to comment on some issues that have been raised over President Mwanawasa’s house. A certain amount of money has been put in the Budget to initiate the construction of his house.

Sir, I would like to say that this is a decision in the right direction. We must ensure that all our former Presidents are well looked after. I am glad that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply indicated that all the houses for our former Presidents will be finished by 2011. This is very important as there is nothing sinister about this. We just want to be orderly. There is no point when the former Head of State retires without accommodation and not well looked after. We want to avoid such kind of set backs.

Sir, there were also some negative issues raised State House maintenance.

Mr Speaker, this is mind boggling because even the White House which was constructed around the 1870s is refurbished every time. If you went there, you would find that they have made a lot of changes to the structure of the building. Therefore, that State House is for the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: It is not for the President Mwanawasa. If something went wrong and President Mwanawasa had lost the elections, it would have not been President Mwanawasa in State House, but somebody else, but God forbid because He knew the consequences.


Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, we are saying that State House is a national property. There should be no talk about Mwanawasa because President Mwanawasa is the Head of State and he is occupying the State House by virtue of being hired by the people of Zambia. Therefore, when President Mwanawasa leaves that house, another man will live there. After all, President Mwanawasa has indicated that he is not bidding for a third term. Therefore, why do we not give him some peace?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I am very worried about the question of democracy.

Mr Speaker, the way I am seeing issues is that democracy in Zambia has been turned into some sort of martial art or kungu fu.



Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister of Defence may continue.


Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, this is a severe set back to our democratic dispensation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: If someone becomes President by virtue of being elected and he becomes an object of scurrilous and insulting comments every day, even when he has not made any mistakes, I think that is most unfair.

Recently, there was a leader from one opposition party asking that President Mwanawasa should step down. I think that was indecency, to say the least. Therefore, it is important that we respect leaders. If we are going to have a culture of insults, we will not develop. If you came into power, you would want the people of Zambia to respect you for being elected, but if you are going to insult other people, you are setting a dangerous precedence. That is not democracy, that is anarchy.

Each time my hon. Colleagues from the other side of the House speak, there is blood cuddling language.


Mr Mpombo: We should not encourage this kind of behaviour because we are actually embarrassing ourselves. Therefore, my appeal is that since we are all Zambia, tomorrow the other side of Parliament will be on this side and will require us to support them. However, if each time you wake up on the wrong side of the bed you talk ill of Mwanawasa and each time you do something wrong, it is Mwanawasa, you are not being helpful. We need to respect our Head of State because the people of Zambia elected him and gave him the mandate whether we like it or not.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: Therefore, we must respect the voice of the majority.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: Those who have presidential aspirations should continue nursing them. I would like to assure you that political revolutions happen once in a while. We had one revolution in 1991 and a near revolution last year. The next revolution will be two decades from now.


Mr Mpombo: Therefore, anyone aspiring is engaging in politics of martial arts.


Mr Mpombo: The people of now want to discuss issues and want people who can discuss important issues. Therefore, if you think what happened in the near upset will happen again, you are mistaken. It will not happen again, not all. There is not chance.

Mr Speaker, you could see that our democracy is descending into rings of political criminality.


Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, recently we heard that an elected Mayor was suspended by mere party cadres. This is incredible. It is a big shame, is it not?. It should never happen. You bundle out an elected lender. You organise villagers from Kamwala and other places go there and …


Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, this must be fought to the bitter end and a legal process must initiate to ensure that …

Mr Mtonga: On a pint of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I am thankful. Is the hon. Minister of Defence in order to confuse this House by debating an issue of the Mayor who is not in this House, especially in the context that in the past seven years I have been member of the council, all the Mayors have been defecting to MMD. Is he in order to debate this matter out of context in this House?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kanyama, through that point of order, is essentially advising the Hon. Minister of Defence to leave that subject alone.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Hon. Minister of Defence may continue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I am most obliged.

Sir, there were a few comments made by new Members of Parliament and my advise is that when you are not sure on certain items, please, consult.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: There was too much debate on the United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ). Why talk about UBZ when it is non-existent? The conditions under which UBZ went under were bad, and people faced a lot of hardships as a result of that move. The Government is taking action to redress that particular issue which has been a thorn in the flesh. However, you still condemn Government’s efforts. I think, in future, it is important to consult.

There was another Member who was talking about ideologies. Political ideologies have been consigned to the dust bin of history.


Mr Mpombo: You cannot talk about socialism which is long gone. How can you say that because in China there is something related to Mahatma Gandhi, why not also have something related to Mahatma Gandhi here. That is not correct. It is important to ensure that when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is doing very well. We should give him a pat on the back.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: This is because he is looking at all the constituencies. For instance, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply was saying that they want to the streamline road networks in the constituencies and that programme will run in all the 150 constituencies.

Mr Simbao: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: He did not confine it to the MMD-held constituencies. That is how broad minded the party and the MMD Government is.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpombo: In conclusion, Sir, the Fertiliser Support Programme is a vindication of this Government’s commitment to serious agriculture.

Mr Kasongo: Defence!


Mr Mpombo: It is really important that we understand that this Government is very committed in ensuring that food security is maintained. If you have food security then you have helped families who will have money in their pockets to buy school uniforms for their children.

Mr Mukanga: Talk about defence!

Mr Mpombo: In terms of my ministry …


Mr Mpombo: … we are trying to do everything possible to address issues affecting the army such as provision of accommodation and various other issues. I would like also to say that the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) is currently involved in the ferrying of food to the flood hit areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, I wish to add my voice to those who have contributed in support of the motion presented to this House by the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Sir, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to address this august House. Allow me to combine my address to this House with some observations on the address made to this House by His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: This is in the opening speech of First Session of the Tenth National Assembly.

I wish to convey my gratitude …

Hon. Government Members: Just read!


Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I wish to convey my congratulatory message to His Excellency for his re-election into office which was a mandate by the Zambian people, and there is no doubt that the Zambian people believe President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: … will give them credible leadership.

The President has displayed his vigour and true democratic leadership to this nation and this is why no one could stand against him in the past elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Sir, I wish to thank the MMD Party, National Executive Committee (NEC) and His Excellency the President for adopting and appointing me as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. I also wish to thank the people of Kapoche Constituency for electing this Government into office.

Mr Speaker, your re-election to that position is a clear demonstration by this august House of the confidence that they have in you.

I also wish to congratulate the Deputy Speaker who broke the record by being the first woman Speaker in this august House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Further, I wish to congratulate the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House. I say congratulations to all of you on your positions.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, allow me to comment on the Budget which was delivered on 9th February, 2007 by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. The speech indicates an economic growth for this nation. The title ‘From Stability to Improved Service Delivery’ indicates to me that Zambia attained economic stability until 2006. For now, all of us must concentrate on improving delivery of the economy to the people, especially those in the rural areas.

Allow me to cite some of the few developments that have taken place, especially in comparing the last budget of 2006 and this year’s Budget Estimates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Sir, in 2006, the inflation rate was lowered to 8.2 per cent and this year’s target is 5 per cent.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: This is the vision of the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the fertiliser subsidy which was subsidised at 40 per cent last year, this year, this Government wishes to subsidised fertiliser at 60 per cent which is a score for this Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Allow me to indicate that the allocation of 8.8 per cent in the 2007 Budget in agriculture is a score because this country depends mainly on agriculture.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: On the road network, those who have been following history, and who saw the status of the roads in Zambia in the early 1970s to 1990s cannot compare it to that of the roads under the MMD Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, we used to take more than four days to travel from Chipata to Lusaka, but now we just take three to four hours.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I would like to indicate that this is because the Government has worked on the road and this is commendable.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the 19.3 per cent of the budgetary allocation to the economic affairs in 2007 is a step up as compared to 18 per cent allocated in the 2006 for the community and the other housing amenities. This is a score for this Government.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, for the first time in the Zambian history, the inflation rate was lowered to 8.2 per cent and it can further be lowered if all of us in this House can put our heads together to improve the service delivery.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale: Apo nthena wanozya.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, by 2006 GDP was reduced to 1.5 per cent. Sir, this is a score by this Government and must be commended.

Mr Speaker, I now would like to dwell on social protection. The Government allocated 2.9 per cent in 2006 and in this year’s Budget there is an allocation of 3.3 per cent. This is a score by the Government because people are expecting better delivery than last year.

Mr Speaker, I wish to state that this Government has created a conducive environment for macro bankers systems which will allow the people of Zambia to acquire loans which will improve their lives. The Government has also focused on establishing culture villages and supporting religions and other cultural arts centres and the allocation in the Budget has been raised from 0.3 to 0.9 which is a score by this Government.

Mr Speaker, the theme ‘From Stability to Improved Service Delivery’ is in itself an indication that it gives each one of us the responsibility to manage our part especially we, as Members of Parliament, who have to monitor development so that the Government can deliver.

Mr Speaker, one hon. Member in this House said that when the inflation rate was at 30 per cent, the mealie meal price was K18,000. Sir, I believe that during that period there were coupons, but, this time, people are able to buy mealie meal at a very good price. This Government must be commended for that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, at that time, people were not able to buy fertiliser and as a result, were not able to produce enough crops. This, in turn, meant that they went hungry and so this Government has again scored on fertiliser distribution. I also wish to commend the Government for the Fertiliser Support Programme which has helped the vulnerable people to grow maize for their survival.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Kasama (Dr Chishimba) said that this is a political budget and I agree with him because a budget should be political as it is us the politicians who promise people to build roads when we do not have the money and so the Government must provide a political budget to cater for the roads which we promised.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I wish to urge all hon. Members to support this Budget because it is well done.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, I want to echo the support given to the motion by other hon. Members who have spoken before me. It gives the hope that, as a nation, we now have unity of purpose which is to deliver service to our people. Our purpose is appropriate to the theme of this year’s Budget which is: From Stability to Improved Service Delivery.

Mr Speaker, I would be out of scene if I did not go the Chinese fashion and therefore, I wish to borrow the Chinese saying that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. We have made our first step towards a thousand-mile journey. The journey starts with the Vision 2030.

The second step is that a focus was made in the budget allocation this year to the health sector. In line with the Vision 2030, we have made strides by increasing allocations to key inputs to health service delivery, particularly the following:

(i) human resources as it relates to the production of health workers, their recruitment and retention;

(ii) making available essential drugs and medical supplies in the right quantities; replacing obsolete equipment in our facilities;

(iii) building more health facilities and rehabilitating the existing ones to make improvements; and

(iv) improving the delivery of health services by investing in priority public health interventions such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, child health and TB.

Mr Speaker, this has been an achievement, through an increase in the allocation to the health sector. The health sector in this year’s Budget has had an increase of 18 per cent in real terms from the 2006 Budget. As a proportion of the total health budget, health has maintained its 2006 allocation at 10.7 per cent.

Hon. Member: It is a reduction.

Ms Cifire: It is not a reduction, but it is still below the 15 per cent target. There is need to increase the allocation to the health sector.

Mr Speaker, allow me to use this opportunity to explain why it is important to invest more resources in the social sectors in general and the health sector in particular. It is not an exaggeration to say that no society has since attained economic progress when it has neglected investment in its people’s health. Thus, to develop and to sustain human capital and with it its economic progress, individuals need to invest in health. I am glad that there is increasing awareness amongst most of us that health expenditure is a cost which brings economic benefits. This is a strongly shared view by mainly policy makers who have seen the benefits of investing in health. There is evidence to show that expenditure on health constitutes an investment in a critical sector of our economy bringing benefit in both the short and long term through enhanced productivity, economic growth, trade expansion and increased competitiveness.

Mr Speaker, I am sure the big question from some of us is how investment in health can contribute to economic development. There is strong empirical evidence which demonstrates a two-way relationship that economic growth improves so that improved health also significantly enhances productivity and wealth. Thus, there are economic and welfare benefits of the increased investment in health in that improved health supports labour productivity by augmenting life expectancy and encouraging savings and private investment in education. Hence, through appropriate investment in health, health-led economic development is possible. On the contrary, at the crudest level, sick people are unproductive and there are substantial costs related to sickness, which are burdensome to some households and to the country.

Mr Speaker, there is testimony today of less noise in the House in that Hon. Kambwili is sick.


Ms Cifire: He remembered to phone me this morning that he was bedridden. You can, therefore, see how unproductive and less noisy our colleagues have been this afternoon.


Ms Cifire: The two-way relationship between economic growth and health is important as increased life expectancy and adult survival rates can only result from increased investment in healthy exercise.

On a positive impact and human capital formation, hence on economic growth, Mr Speaker, I am glad to note that hon. Members of this House have made a paradigm shift in thinking with regard to health and health expenditure and this is not theoretical. All of you have alluded to the fact that you need to have health facilities in your constituencies for development to be seen. Considering the significant contribution, improved wealth makes economic productivity and growth a long-term perspective and health expenditure as an investment and not a cost should be taken into account. These investments can better be focused through the interventions and technologies that will accelerate the achievement of the people level impact in terms of health outcomes. I am glad to note that we have made efforts to allocate resources to those interventions that will accelerate the attainment of the desired people level impact in this year’s Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me this opportunity this afternoon to make a brief statement on the National Budget that the Government has made for the agricultural sector in the year 2007.

I am happy, Mr Speaker, to observe that the preparation of the 2007 Budget that is based on the FNDP was proceeded by a consultative process that included all the people at the grassroots level. The bottom-up approach which the Budget preparation took is a sign of giving real power to the people of Zambia because that is where power belongs. Regardless of their standing in society, they had an opportunity to make contributions to the preparation of this year’s Budget, including some hon. Members of the Opposition who cared to participate. This is the way it should be because the Budget belongs and affects all the people.

Mr Speaker, I wish to acknowledge that the national Budget presented to Parliament on 9th February, 2007, by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was well thought out, well articulated, well received and accepted by the majority of the Zambian people as it offers hope and a clear destiny for this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: The theme for this year’s Budget, Mr Speaker, ‘From Stability to Improved Service Delivery’ is most appropriate, especially when one looks at the fact that economic fundamentals for last year were largely met. We achieved a real GDP growth of 5.8 per cent against our target of 6 per cent. At the end of last year, the inflation rate came to 8.2 per cent, which was lower than the estimate of 10 per cent. This is a great achievement, of course, by all standards as the inflation rate previously even reached three digits. In fact, 8.2 per cent has been the lowest inflation rate over the last three decades and the Government must, therefore, be commended for a job well done.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: The inflation rate increases not only the course of doing business, but the general course of living as well.

Mr Speaker, another fundamental is that domestic Government borrowing has been pushing up lending interest rates. The business community has always complained about the fate of Government borrowing, and now it has been reduced to 1.5 per cent of the GDP against a target of 1.6 per cent. As a direct consequence of this, bank borrowing reduced last year. In fact, the downward trend is, in fact, continuing and it is my hope that the interest rates will come to between 10 per cent and 15 per cent as the economy, as we all know, continues to register positive growth. Even the Doubting Thomases must accept the fact that the economy is looking forward not backward.

Mr Speaker, the other fundamental is that the foreign debt stock reduced significantly from US$7.2 billion, but we, of course, inherited US$7.2 billion worth of debt from the First and Second Republics and now we only have a manageable US$500 million. However, if the creditors make a demand on us, I am happy to say that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who is sitting behind me will sign a cheque and pay. We no longer have that heavy load hanging over our heads.

Mr Magande: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: Thanks to the good work of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, given the achievements of the New Deal Administration since 2002 in general, and in 2006, in particular, I am very confident that the 2007 Budget will achieve its main objectives which are:

(i) achieving a real GDP growth of 7 per cent;
(ii) reducing inflation further to 5 per cent;
(iii) reducing domestic Government borrowing to 1.2 per cent so that the business community can have enough money to borrow from the banks and at the same time because there is reduced competition between ourselves and the Government, the interest rates will continue to go down; and
(iv) to raise growth international reserves to at least 2.5 months of import cover.

Mr Speaker, allow me to register my gratitude to the donor community. I know that some people have said that we must have nothing to do with donors, but the onus is on us. As long as we put the money to good use and target it at improving the country, donor support must be welcome. We thank them for being supportive to the Government as a whole and agricultural sector in particular. In this year’s Budget, donors have pledged to provide direct support to the national Budget. Their commitment is an indication that the funds will be forthcoming as it has been the case in the past. They have promised and delivered on their promises.

Sir, I am very pleased with the Budget allocation to the agricultural sector this year. As you are all aware, the Government has allocated 8.8 per cent of the national Budget to agriculture. This is the allocation of K1,062.9 billion, a 33.1 percent increment over last year’s allocation when agriculture received only 5.7 per cent.

Mr Speaker, at 8.8 per cent, Zambia is only one and half per cent short of the African Union Maputo Declaration of the allocating a minimum of 10 per cent of the national Budget to agriculture by 2008. I am, therefore, very confident of reaching 10 per cent in next year’s Budget as long as Hon. Magande remains hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, it is clear from the Budget allocation that he has given to agriculture that the Government has recognised the vast potential that lies in agriculture and the avenues that are available for tapping into this potential in order to achieve wealth creation, food security and poverty reduction. I am aware that we have been talking about agricultural potential in this country, which is very vast. However, I am afraid people will never eat agricultural potential. They are going to eat the result of the exploitation of that potential. That is what this Government is doing. It began in 2002 and we are now moving forward exploiting and putting money in the farmers’ pockets.

Sir, as you are aware, more than 60 per cent of the Zambian population depends on agriculture for their food security, incomes and livelihood. It, therefore, follows that in order to improve the lives of the largest section of our population, substantial amounts of public, private and donor resources should be directed towards development of the agricultural sector, as it is the mainstay of the Zambian economy because it is a renewable resource.

Mr Speaker, in the past three years, the sector has been contributing between 18 and 20 per cent to the GDP annually.

Sir, allow me to highlight some of the priority programmes in the agricultural sector that have been allocated funding in the 2007 Budget. I will begin with the topical subject, which is irrigation. It is a pity that my good friend Hon. Request Muntanga who is very interested in this topic is not here. A total of K37 billion has been allocated for irrigation development and support.

The ministry has finalised the National Irrigation Plan (NIP) and strategy to spearhead irrigation development targeting small, medium and large scale farmers, in that order. 75 per cent of the money will go to small and medium-scale farmers, which means most of the money, will go to indigenous Zambians for them to begin improving their standard of living. A small amount will be given to large-scale or commercial farmers who can, in any case, afford to borrow from the bank and pay the interest.

Mr Speaker, the modalities for accessing the Irrigation Development Fund (IDF) have been completed and the full programme will be launched very soon. I am hoping that within the next one month, I will be able to launch this Irrigation Development Fund.

Sir, I listened to the contributions from my good friend Hon. Request Muntanga and others who want us to allocate most of the money from the IDF to farmers. I am saying that 80 per cent of the allocation to irrigation will directly benefit farmers. The balance of 20 per cent will go towards coordination of the programme as well as training of both ministry staff and farmers in various aspects of irrigation because you cannot begin dishing out money without training. You train and then give money. If we do that, they will pay back. If we do not train them, they will not pay back.

Mr Speaker, with regard to livestock, I think we are all aware that over the last 10 to 15 years possibly, disease has been playing havoc in this country. These are Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth, East Coast Fever, Corridor, African swine fever and so on. K47.5 billion has been allocated to livestock development. This allocation is for combating livestock disease such as Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth, East Coast Fever, Corridor and so on. The money will also go towards construction of a cordon line to help prevent disease transmission. Restocking and sensitisation of farmers on disease control are also catered for in this year’s allocation.

Sir, this increased allocation is also intended to create a base for the establishment of foot and mouth disease free zones and help in rebuilding the national herd because it has been decimated. As a duty of this Government, which will never be found wanting, we will ensure that there is stock in the Southern Province, Western Province, and Eastern Province where cattle rearing is done as a major activity. Of course, now, we are also going to go for cattle introduction. There are some provinces such as Luapula where we want to introduce cattle. We intend to increase the number of stock in the Northern Province.

Mr Speaker, the third point that has been allocated money is land and infrastructure development. K20 billion has been allocated to agriculture infrastructure and land development. The allocation is largely for development of farm blocks. The Government plans to establish one farming block in each province. The location of the actual farming block will be decided in consultation with the local leadership and the local people, while the Provincial Agriculture Co-ordinators will be the focal persons in the selection of sites.

Sir, we would like the local people to determine in their province, where the farming block will be. We do not want to impose the location. However, the Provincial Agriculture Officer will be the focal point of that selection.

Mr Speaker, it is a well known fact that inadequate and poor agricultural infrastructure has tended to limit progress in the agricultural sector in the past. The Government, through this year’s Budget, has made substantial amounts of funds available to increase investment in infrastructure.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives will promote commercialisation of the farming blocks so as to attract investment in agriculture. To this effect, synergies between large and small-scale producers will be encouraged.

Sir, with regard to fisheries, K25.7 billion has been allocated for fisheries development. The fishery sub sector is one of the programmes that the ministry wishes to promote with the view to increasing and diversifying resources of protein. Currently, annual consumption of fish is about 100,000 metric tonnes while production stands at 70,000 metric tonnes. We need to improve fish management in natural water bodies. We would like to ensure that we sensitise the people against wrong fishing methods. We also would like to encourage fish farming or aquaculture.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives will endeavour to rejuvenate and re-organise co-operatives into business-oriented ventures such as supplying of farm inputs, marketing of agricultural produce and agro-processing.

In practical terms, the ministry will implement a systematic and consistent training programme at the field level targeting both staff and co-operators themselves. In this year’s Budget, the Government has provided sufficient resources of K15 billion and that is a rise from K3.5 billion previously;

On the Food Reserve Agency, K205 billion has been allocated for strategic food reserve to facilitate the purchase of maize, cassava, rice, soya beans and groundnuts. Of course, in 2006, K140 billion was provided in that budget. This year’s allocation, therefore, is K65 billion more than last year, which is 46.43 per cent more.

As regards the Fertiliser Support Programme, this year, there is a provision of K150 billion against an allocation of K198 billion last year, which is a drop by K48 billion. However, given the limitations of the resource envelope, the K150 billion for the Fertiliser Support Programme will go a long way in creating household and national food security. I am, therefore, submitting that this money will go a long way.

Mr Speaker, allocation of huge sums of money to the agricultural sector does not in itself guarantee progress. It is effective implementation of the programmes that will bring about the intended results. It is for this reason that I call upon hon. Members, especially those from rural areas, to find time to monitor Government programmes, such as, the Fertiliser Support Programme, Food Reserve Agency and the National Irrigation Development Fund. I further encourage hon. Members to work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives in ensuring effective targeting and distribution of fertiliser under the Fertiliser Support Programme. To this effect, the ministry will avail hon. Members with information on quantities of fertiliser supplied to each district.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, on his re-election as President of this country on 28th September, 2006 and thank him for re-appointing the able and capable Hon. Ng’andu P. Magande Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: May I take this opportunity, Mr Speaker, to congratulate the staff of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for preparing such a good and progressive Budget which will carry this nation from stability to improved service delivery.

Mr Speaker, it is opportune at this point to also thank all hon. Members of this august House who have commented both positively and negatively on the allocation of the agricultural sector in this year’s Budget. We, at the ministry, appreciate fully their advice, concerns and expectations. I shall, therefore, do everything possible to apply the allocated funds for the intended purposes so as to impact positively on wealth and job creation, household and national food security and hunger and the rural-urban drift.

Mr Speaker, in view of the acceptability of the Budget by the majority of the Zambian people, I make an open invitation to all hon. Members and the general public to come on board this development ship which is now sailing from poverty to prosperity. Yes, the sea might be rough, but the end justifies the means.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr Mwaanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to participate in this important Budget debate.

Sir, I would like to begin by thanking the mover as well as the seconder of the motion for the very able manner in which they did so. I also would like to thank the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Ng’andu Peter Magande, for a very carefully thought out and presented Budget. It is a matter of fact that preparations of budgets all over the world are never an easy task, particularly when your resource envelope is limited. There are so many competing, but equally important interests which need to get a share of the national cake.

On the part of Cabinet which gave this Budget its full support, it was a painstaking effort in many ways because we had to go through a fairly laborious consultative process to be able to allow the budget that we have brought to Parliament this year which, according to my experience, has probably been the least acrimonious Budget that I can remember.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: There was a long consultative process which involved a number of organisations which have interests in the growth of this country and in the economic prosperity of Zambia.

Sir, I also would like to pay tribute to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for having successfully led the country to the HIPC Initiative Completion Point, which made it possible for Zambia to achieve such a high debt cancellation ratio from a debt of US $7.2 billion to US $500 million and from what I know that figure is going to go down even further. This is a great achievement and that is why the international community has recorded that during the year 2006, Zambia was the only country that received the most debt relief in the world. This is no mean achievement.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to state that this Budget addresses not all, but many of the issues which arose during the last election campaign. During the election campaigns, many issues arose and many promises were made by political parties on what they were going to give to the people of Zambia. The burden of doing so, however, lies on this side of the House which got the necessary mandate from the people of Zambia to enable this Government to respond to some of the needs which the people indicated they wanted during the last elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: We have also, Mr Speaker, returned to national planning. I do not know of any country in the world which has made progress without national planning. National planning is exceptionally important for development. Without it, it is like developing a country while you are groping in the dark. Thankfully, as a result of this national planning, we now have the FNDP and the Vision 2030. I must add that this past year, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and his staff were able to produce the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) which gave us a longer term vision of what the Government’s plans for expenditure and the areas of priorities were going to be during 2007, 2008 as well as 2009. It gave our citizens an opportunity to be able to see what our priorities were going to be and to comment extensively on these priorities. These comments were sent to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the officials at the ministry, together with their hon. Minister looked at them, and as far as possible, those that could be accommodated have been accommodated in this particular Budget.

I have been surprised to hear that although the cry for many of our voters during the last campaign was that they wanted taxes to be reduced. I have heard from the Floor of this House that the Government has not responded to this particular need. Peanuts is better than nothing. It is also better than smoking cigarettes.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, the tax exempt threshold in 2006 was K320,000. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, in his wisdom, took into account the fact that it was necessary to leave many of his options open because this is not going to be the last budget. There will be many budgets. There is no Minister of Finance who exhausts his or her options in one budget. It would be unwise to do so and no Minister of Finance ever does that anywhere in the world. The tax threshold is being increased to K500,000 per month. This translates into K6 million per year. That is a substantial increase compared to the increases that we had in the years 2005 and 2006. Although it is not enough, there can never be enough resources for any country to share anywhere in the world. There is no country which has achieved self-sufficiency in everything. There is none whatsoever.

This Budget also addresses the issue of roads, water, HIV/AIDS, rural electrification, health sector, education sector and also addresses an issue which is closer to the hearts of many elected Members of Parliament, namely; the Constituency Development Fund, which my colleague, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing will talk about in greater detail. I do not know how much more the budget would have been able to achieve.

In terms of agriculture, my colleague has explained what has been provided in this year’s Budget. A substantial sum of money has been provided in this year’s Budget to ensure that the small-scale farmers and those vulnerable, but viable farmers get the support that they need from the Government. This year, the number of small-scale farmers who are going to benefit from this programme is going to rise substantially from what it was last year. 210,000 small-scale farmers will benefit from the Fertiliser Support Programme this year. This is the highest number that has ever benefited from such a programme introduced by any Government since independence.

Dr Machungwa interjected.

Mr Mwaanga: I know that the needs are greater, but I also know that it has not been possible in the past. Let us face it, we have had many Ministers responsible for Agriculture and other Government departments before, but they have never been able to reach this threshold. I do not think that it is really fair to begin criticising those who are trying to do something for the vulnerable, but viable groups to enable them have an income of their own and be able to stand on their own feet so that they can earn a decent and honest livelihood.

Mr Speaker, the economic fundamentals have been put in place by this country and as a result of the economic fundamentals being put in place now, the people can slowly begin to benefit from the benefits of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, though non-payment of the debt and money that has been saved from debt servicing as the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning announced in the past, will be spent on the critical social sectors of our economy so that we can improve on our infrastructure in the social sectors such as education, health, clean water, roads to mention, but a few.

Having just attained this HIPC Initiative Completion Point and the debt cancellations only late last year as we were getting towards elections, it is not possible to begin benefiting from what we planted in 2004, 2005 and 2006 because there is a time lapse before you can begin to benefit from where you have sown.

Mr Speaker, it is important that we learn the lessons of other countries as well. We are not an island, but part of a globalised village. As we continue to globalise, we should also bear in mind that in this global village, there will be competition. We must position ourselves for that competition so that we can take part in that competition. We must also bear in mind that, as we fight for free trade, that trade in the global village must also be fair. We want free and fair trade so that we are not disadvantaged as we take our place in the global village.

Mr Speaker, I know that a number of statements have been made regarding Freedom of Information laws and I am glad that there was a workshop which was organised by the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia not very long ago in which hon. Members of Parliament were invited to participate. I had been invited to open that workshop, but I politely declined because I wanted to give hon. Members of Parliament an opportunity to interact with journalists to find out what is it that they wanted.

Mr Speaker, there is a misleading notion that the Freedom of Information Bill is about the press. It is not about the press, but the citizens of Zambia. Every citizen has got an interest in the Freedom of Information Bill. However, there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved because, if you will recall, it was not originally a Government Bill. It was a Private Member’s Bill which was taken over by the Government and after it was taken over by the Government, we discovered that there were a number of flaws that needed to be corrected before the Bill could be brought back to Parliament for enactment. Some of the flaws in the Bill that still remain include things like ‘what kind of information do the citizen want now which they are not getting?’

Secondly, what do they intend to use that information for? Thirdly, who else is going to have access to that information through them? What are they going to do with that information which they are going to get? What sanctions would there be for people who transgress the confidentiality of that information? Those aspects are missing. What protection is there for citizens to be protected from unfair attacks, which the press are capable of unleashing as a fourth a State, because they know that they have the last word? These questions have not been answered yet. I have said that we should continue this dialogue and learn from what others are doing.

Mr Speaker, the United Kingdom (UK) introduced the Freedom of Information Bill in 2005, after so many hundreds of years. They introduced it in 2005. Next month, they have called a workshop to which Zambia has been invited to discuss the problems they have discovered in an effort to administer that Bill. They have requests, yes, they do get requests from citizens, some of them well meaning while some of them are less so.

Sir, the kind of requests they are getting requires the kind of information which is requested. It requires that they employ additional officers in each ministry to handle these requests. You will be very surprised to learn that when I was in the UK recently, I was shown what these requests represent by one of my colleagues, a ministerial colleague. They want to know how many pens were used in each ministry, for instance. They have to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to look for that kind of information.

In the United States of America where they have had the Freedom of Information Bill for a longer period, there are a number of requests which have been unattended for nine years to date. This is because the information being requested has not been declassified yet to be made available to the public. In this age of terrorism, governments have to be very careful with the manner they give out information. We are not resisting the introduction of the Freedom of Information Bill, but there are some critical questions that need to be answered before progress can be made on this matter.

Hon. Government Members: Zoona!

Mr Mwaanga: Once these questions have been answered, I can assure the House that I will not hesitate, for as long as I remain Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, to come back to the House and bring a Freedom of Information Bill which is not meant for the press, but for the whole citizenry or all the people of Zambia because they have a stake and an interest in this particular matter.

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by saying that, as we move our country forward, let us learn to work together for the benefit of our people.

I will only end by paraphrasing what the late President John F. Kennedy said, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to join many of my colleagues both on your right and on your left who have debated in support of the 2007 Budget.

Mr Speaker, I wish from the onset, to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, his Deputy and the entire staff in the ministry on coming up with a good Budget.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I would also like to commend His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC. for his clear development vision and leadership which made this 2007 Budget less controversial and acceptable by all sectors.

Mr Speaker, the 2007 Budget whose theme is: ‘From Stability to Improved Service Delivery is appropriate. It is appropriate in that, it is an agreed fact by everybody in this House that we have reached stability in our economy and now is the time to translate this stability into improving service delivery both at the national level and at local level.

Sir, I will not dwell on the economic jargons which my colleagues have ably articulated in terms of the macroeconomic policies which have created this stability and made our economy grow from 3 per cent in 2002 to 5.8 per cent in 2006.

Mr Speaker, I would like to concentrate on how this stability will improve service delivery at the local level considering that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, through the local authorities, is closer to the communities and is there for service delivery.

Sir, this Budget is a good Budget because we have seen an increment in the budget allocation for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. I would like to say that the ministry’s budget has increased by almost 95 per cent which I have to say is very good. Although in practical terms, the cost of improving service delivery would require much more than what is in this year’s Budget, but I would still like to say that it is a very good step in that the increment is quite huge.

Mr Speaker, you will recall that the allocations to the local authorities in the 2006 Budget only amounted to K35 billion, but this time around, that has been increased to K105 billion which, obviously, will improve service delivery at the local level.

Sir, in the 2007 Budget, we have seen an allocation of K25 billion for restructuring of local authorities. This K25 billion will assist the councils to pay off their outstanding arrears to retirees and the people who were retrenched, but have not yet been paid. It is the intention of the ministry to use this year’s Budget to pay a big number of our workers who were not paid by both the local authorities and also the workers who were retrenched as a result of the water sector reforms.

Mr Speaker, in the same vein, this budget will assist my ministry to assist LASIF in ensuring that they become current with the outstanding dues to the retirees. To this extent, I would like to say that for us in the local authorities, this budget will assist us to reduce on the poverty levels because the money will get in the pockets of those who worked for it.

Sir, the other issues that this budget will help us deal with is the issue of Recurrent Expenditures. As you are aware, some local authorities are very small and are not able to raise enough resources even to pay their salaries. This year’s Budget has also taken that into consideration. To that effect, a sum of K50 billion has been allocated to that exercise. Most of this money will go to the fifty-four rural district Councils, which indeed have problems. It is hoped that with the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy, local authorities will be assisted in terms of capacity building programmes and so on and so forth.

The other allocation in this year’s Budget, which, again, is a plus on our part, is the Capital Grant. You will recall that in the 2006 Budget, we did not have any amount against capital grants. In this year’s Budget, there is an allocation of K10 billion. This again is a positive act on the part of the Government to ensure that local authorities are assisted with grants that can be utilised on capital programmes. One would say that K10 billion does not sound enough to carry out a number of capital projects, but this will go along way in assisting our local authorities.

Mr Speaker, for the first time, as an hon. Minster of Local Government and Housing, I am happy because the Government has in this year’s Budget decided to allocate K17.7 billion as grants in lieu of Government properties. As you are aware, the Government has a statutory obligation to pay for the properties which are in the various districts. In the past, this money was not released despite having been budgeted for. This time around, I am happy because a sum of K17.7 billion has been allocated. I just pray that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can ensure that this money is released in one installment so that the local authorities can use it effectively.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Sir, the other positive aspect of this Budget, which we believe will really improve service delivery at the local level, is that we have made substantial allocations for Housing Development. The allocations we had in the Housing Department were not enough even just to come up with one integrated district plan. This time around, we have some resources that we shall use in preparing our district profiles and district development plans. At the moment, only four councils have an integrated district plan out of seventy-two. This year, we intend to cover a minimum of ten districts so that we have plans that articulate the socio-economic aspects of the districts. This is as it should be.

Mr Speaker, apart from that, this year, we will be able to review the two pieces of legislation that deal with spatial planning. These are the Town and Country Act and the Housing and Improvement Areas Act. These two pieces of legislation are archaic and there is need for us to review and harmonise them, taking into account all the issues that are challenging us, especially in the area of housing development. We are hopeful that in the next twenty-four months, we will have a new piece of legislation that will help us in orderly development, co-ordinating of development, and also, creating enabling environment for the people who would like to construct properties and houses.

Sir, the other aspects of this Budget which will indeed help in enhancing the living standards of our people is the CDF. You will note that there is an increment in the CDF. This fund is very important to our communities because this is the only fund, which goes directly to our communities.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Sir, what we have done this time around is review the guidelines by improving on the accountability and transparent use of this fund. In order to assist my colleagues, especially the new hon. Members of Parliament so that they do not get caught up in the misapplication of this CDF and end up in prison, …


Mrs Masebo: …we have made the rules more strict. I hope that the hon. Members of Parliament can appreciate that these guidelines, stiff as they are, are meant to assist them so that they do not end up in trouble. I am saying so because it is very tempting to handle money. Just this morning, an hon. Member of Parliament sent me a note, asking if, according to the guidelines, he could get an imprest from the 10 per cent, as an hon. Member of Parliament.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, you can see that some of our colleagues, especially the new ones might not really understand and appreciate this. I just would like the hon. Members of Parliament to know that this CDF is not for them. It is just that the hon. Member of Parliament is a major stakeholder. This money will be like any other money that goes to the local authorities. Your main function this time around with your committee shall be to identify the priority projects. The business of choosing who should be a contractor and who should provide a service must be left to the officers of the council …


Mrs Masebo: Please, just listen. It is for your own good.


Mrs Masebo: … staff members of your councils who are already guided by the financial regulations so that when they make a mistake, you, as policy makers, can act decisively against them. We do not want to see an hon. Member of Parliament going around with a cheque in his pocket. Therefore, stick to the dictates of the guidelines.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, there is another issue which is important. You will recall that there has been a lot of debate relating to fire fighting equipment. This Budget, although it has not made adequate provisions for acquiring of the fire fighting equipment, I am happy to say that the Government, through the Office of the President and that of the Vice-President have managed to procure over forty fire fighting equipment. Twenty of these are already on their way to Lusaka from Durban and the remainder will be in the country before June this year. These will be distributed according to the needs in the provinces. Despite not having enough funds for procurement, I would like to say that we have already managed to procure a donation through some corporatiing partner. We hope that this will go a long way in curbing the fire out break that has characterised most of our districts.

Sir, another important issue is the Decentralisation Policy. I would like to say that this Budget has made a provision of K3.1 billion towards implementing the Decentralisation Policy. The K3.1 billion will go towards the various activities and programmes that have, so far, been articulated by my ministry in achieving the objectives of the policy. I am aware that a number of my colleagues are not very familiar with this policy. It is our intention this year to bring the policy on the Floor of the House, in terms of the implementation plan so that we make progress together.

Sir, under the Housing Department, there is an issue that has to do with the upgrading of unplanned settlements. We have put a K9.9 billion for this exercise. Obviously, K9.9 billion will not be enough because we have asked all the local authorities in their respective districts to identify settlements which they want legalised and upgraded. For this year, more than ten settlements will be upgraded. We also have a National Housing Programme under which we have asked local authorities to identify land for development at a minimum of 100 countrywide. There are also national housing bonds …

Dr Scott: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

I think this is a time that the hon. Minister is not supposed to be interrupted by points of order. Is this something to do with procedure? Hon. Member for Lusaka Central, let me hear your point of order. 

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, my point of order concerns an undertaking made by the Government on the 14th of November last year when the hon. Minister Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources made a statement on the pollution of the Kafue River in which, in the subsequent follow up questions, he undertook to provide to this House the results of tests on the water running all the way round to Lusaka. I was just wondering whether he is in order to have not done so or whether we have to pass the Freedom of Information Act first in order to obtain this information, Sir. Is he in order?

Mr Speaker: Let me guide the House, that once an undertaking is made on the Floor of this House, it is always followed up. We have a system in place which does that. It could be that point of order is reminding the hon. Minister responsible to begin acting.

While I am still on the Floor, I just want to let the House know that this motion must be resolved by not later than 1915 hours tonight. If not, we have nothing to do tomorrow and the rest of the year. Therefore, I wish to request the one of the two hon. Members who are yet to speak to be brief and to the point in order to leave enough time for the other hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to wind up his motion and answer to a number of issues which may not have been answered to by the Portfolio Ministers.

The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing continue.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, before that point of order, I was on commenting on the Housing Department. I was talking about upgrading of unplanned urban settlements. I was saying that K9.9 billion has been set aside this year to upgrade at least a minimum of ten unplanned housing settlements.

Sir, I was also saying that under the National Housing Programme, we have asked all local authorities in the country to set aside a minimum of 100 housing units for construction of houses countrywide. Before June this year, the first housing municipal bonds shall be issued under the Housing Bond Programme in the five districts that are piloting the bonds.

Mr Speaker, we want to improve on the management of markets and hence, the new Bill that is on the Floor of this House. We hope that once the management of markets is streamlined, we are sure that enough resources can be generated from these markets and bus stations for use by local authorities. Apart from the Bill, we have put some monies aside to assist us in the implementation of what will be articulated in the Market Bill.

Mr Speaker, under the Government Evaluation Department, we want to update all the valuation rolls of the local authorities that are not current.

Mr Speaker, under the House of Chiefs, in this year’s Budget, we want the Chiefs to continue with the sessions. We also want to assist the Chiefs to have vehicles and to this effect, we have put some resources to acquire at least a minimum of four vehicles per each province so that Chiefs in those respective provinces can make use of the vehicles by going round to articulate developmental issues arising from the Sessions in the House.

Mr Speaker, we also want to ensure that all the local authorities audited accounts are updated to December, 2006. Therefore, we have made a provision for this in this year’s Budget. Last year, we audited forty districts and this year, we will cover the seventy-two districts and have all the books of accounts of local authorities are updated and current so that there are able to move forward.

Lastly, I just would like to appeal to hon. Members as my councillors that when they are out of this House, they attend all council meetings so that we can realise the theme of this year’s Budget. Without their input in the local authorities, the local authorities might have a problem of capacity. We need you, as hon. Members of Parliament, to participate by attending all council meetings.

As I have already said, we are the ones responsible for service provision because here we just make laws, but the actual work is done in the districts. Therefore, it is important that the hon. Members of Parliament participate in this service delivery.

Lastly, we have also made a provision for legislation amendments. We are looking at amending a number of articles or clauses in the Local Government Act so that there is less politicisation of the councils.

Mr Speaker, as you are aware, some of our Mayors do not work, and yet the law tells them to perform civic duties. Sometimes there are conflicts in their political parties which might expect them to do something else.

Therefore, in this year’s Budget, we are looking at tightening the Local Government Act. Sir, I just would like to say that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning must be commended for this Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: As the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development is coming to take the Floor, I just would like to alert him that he does not have 20 minutes because he has to share the little time left with the hon. Minister of Education. Therefore, Sir, you are under pressure. Be brief and to the point. You have the Floor.


The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Namulambe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me time to add my voice to this very well presented Budget Address.

Sir, to start with and following your guidance, I will briefly just answer the concerns that were raised by one of the hon. Members of Parliament on your left concerning the youth.

Sir, I wish to state that there is a provision of K30 billion in the year’s Budget on which I think, very soon, my ministry will be issuing a ministerial statement to give guidance on how the funds are to be administered.

Mr Speaker, in this year’s Budget, we are not going to include the Constituency Youth Development Fund because this is a grant and some of these monies for last year are still being approved by various constituency committees in various constituencies. As a result, I would like to assure the youth in this country that my ministry will endeavour to give proper guidelines that are going to safeguard the fund and that will ensure that the youths in this country benefit and prosper. This is going to be a revolving fund.

Mr Speaker, we are also making many preparations for the allocation that we have been given in this year’s Budget to see how we can enhance and protect the welfare of children in this country. We are also going to work with other line ministries to ensure that we protect the girl child and prevent early marriages. We are going to ensure that this time around, we take to court the parents who allow children under age to be married. We want to protect these children because they are the leaders of tomorrow.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, in the few minutes I have been given, I would like to add my voice to that of the others who have contributed on this Budget, an excellent Budget which is anchored in the national vision as well as the implementing mechanism mainly the FNDP.

Mr Speaker, with respect to education, this Budget has looked at education as a major priority sector in the whole stride towards wealth creation and employment generation in our country.

In respect to education, the Budget has acknowledged …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended I was saying that to achieve the contribution of the education sector to the creation of wealth, employment generation in our country and that there is a need to transform the education sector as an effective service delivery sector. We are this year going to concentrate on the following:

(i) Recruitment of Teachers

According to the Budget, 4,000 teachers will be recruited this year, but that is just the net recruitment. We still have the replacements of teachers who are retiring, dying and resigning from the system. This will bring the total gross recruitment of the teachers to be recruited to 6,800 this year.

(ii) Teachers Training

This year, we plan to focus on a programme of training teachers at the degree level in order to cater for high school expansion. In this vein, we plan to transform the three diploma granting colleges into degree granting institutions. These colleges are Nkrumah, Copperbelt Secondary Teachers Training College and Luanshya Secondary Technical Training College. These will be transformed into university colleges granting degree level studies in education.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, let me move to the next point.

(iii) Construction of Infrastructure

For the first time in twenty-six years, the ministry will embark on the construction of students’ hostels at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU).

Mr Magande: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: In addition, we are planning, as a ministry, to phase out all the pole and mud schools inherited from the colonial past. This year, we are embarking on the construction of forty-five schools throughout the country. In addition, we are planning to construct two high schools per province. The location of such high schools will depend on what the provinces through consultation will come up with.

(iv) Rehabilitation of Infrastructure

This is an on-going programme and we have set aside in our budget funding for the rehabilitation of our education infrastructure at all levels.

(v) Education Materials Provision

This year’s budget will enable us to procure educational materials at all levels including the universities, restocking the universities in terms of library books as well as electronic journals.

In addition, we are recapitalising Zambia Education Publishing House so that it is able to produce books and other educational materials to enable us meet the free basic education programme from Grade 1 to 7.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Sir, there is also another measure.

(vi) Curriculum Review

This year, we plan to embark on a comprehensive curriculum review in order to produce the necessary human resource that is better suited to actively push the development process forward.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, let me mention yet another measure.

 (vii) Adult Literacy Campaign

Adults are an integral part of the economic productivity in our economy. Equipping them with literacy skills and relevant knowledge will enhance their productivity. Therefore, this year, we plan to embark on a nationwide Adult Literacy Programme so that we can effectively enable productive adults to contribute more effectively to wealth creation and employment generation to our economy. To this effect, Mr Speaker, I would like to request all hon. Members of the House to conduct literacy campaigns in their respective constituencies and report frequently on the progress that they are making because this is extremely important in all the development activities that we may embark upon in our respective constituencies.

Mr Speaker, these are but, some of the education related activities planned for this year, which will contribute towards enabling the education sector function or serve as an effective system in terms of service delivery which can contribute to wealth creation and employment generation in our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank all the hon. Members of this august House, who have contributed on the debate on the Budget Speech I delivered on the 9th of February, 2007.

Similarly, I wish to extend my appreciation to the Chairperson and Members of the Expanded Committee, for, once again, doing a commendable job of affording the stakeholders to provide constructive comments on the various aspects of the Budget Speech, and indeed, the 2007 Budget.

Sir, the hon. Members have raised a lot of pertinent observations both on the revenue and expenditure side of the Budget, as well as on some policy issues which are contained in the Budget Speech.

As I wind up the general debate on policy of the Budget, allow me to comment on some of the observations raised by your Committee and some of the hon. Members.

Mr Speaker, the theme of the Budget is ‘From Stability to Improved Service Delivery’. Clearly, I would like to indicate that this theme was deliberately and carefully chosen. On stability, we want to remind ourselves that for the past four or five years, this country has been working on macro-economic parameters in order to get them to levels where they are acceptable internationally, but more so important where they are conducive for the participation of Zambians and other investors who might want to produce goods and services in our country.

Indeed, Sir, it is said in the Budget Speech that for the first time, we are able to achieve most of our macro-economic parameters. Apart from the growth rate which we had anticipated at 6 per cent, but got 5.8 per cent, we actually did much better on the rest of the parameters than what was in the Estimates.

Therefore, after trying for so many years to get these parameters in order we felt comfortable enough to talk about stability of the macroeconomic parameters. That gave us the confidence to aim for a higher rate of growth because we felt that after what had happened, Zambians were now ready to participate actively. The financial sector was ready to assist those who wanted to go into business. Indeed, most of the Government’s subsidised programmes had run their time and we felt that it was time that the numbers of those participating increased.

Therefore, Sir, the 7 per cent may not be sufficient to achieve the objectives of the Vision 2030, but we are confident that if this year we achieve this growth rate, then in the next twenty years or so, Zambia and Zambians will look to a different set of circumstances. I would like to assure all my colleagues who commented on this particular objective that we intend to achieve this. I know already that only today when the Central Statistical Office announced the inflation rate for February at 12.6 per cent, it appeared that the 5 per cent we have given ourselves might be a tall order to achieve. We know that at this time of the year, we always have high inflation rates because this is the time that most of our food is still in the fields as it is still growing, but we know that the food prices will obviously adjust themselves.

Mr Speaker, some of my friends have been asking me how I will achieve this growth rate and in particular the desired inflation rate when most of the areas are flooded and therefore, we need to give subsidised, if not relief food. The Arithmetic is simple, Sir. If we are going to give free food to the people, there will be no purchasing and there is no price and so there is nothing that will go into the formula in calculating the inflation rate. It will be free food and will be at zero cost and so, we should not worry about that. We have enough stocks, I am assured by the FRA that we will be able to attend to all the hard hit areas that have been identified by the Head of State by physically going there with the Vice-President to see what is happening. Therefore, that should not be a big worry for us.

Mr Speaker, I heard one of my good friends saying that this was an easy Budget to prepare and that therefore, it is a simple Budget. I would like to assure him that the best headman as he adjudicates a case is assisted by the presentation of that case by the accused and the defendant in making a wise decision. It is not a simple decision.

Mr Speaker, I called this Budget simple to prepare because most of the Zambians decided to participate in our consultative processes to bring forth their ideas. As we have already heard, some of them who were shy to come before us, were courageous enough to go before their political party leaders and say what they wanted. Fortunately, the MMD was given the chance to continue with the programme that we had set for ourselves and that is how we also heard what the people said and through the Medium Term Expenditure Framework; the Fifth National Development Plan and the Vision 2030. We know clearly what the Zambians want and that is how we were able to frame a Budget that lays a foundation for hope and indeed gives, like Hon. Shikapwasha says, opportunities for those who will be looking for them.

Mr Speaker, in the mining sector, the Government wishes to take note of the observations by your Committee and in particular on the measures that we have taken. Mr Speaker, let me take an opportunity to inform this august House and the nation at large that there is not a single mining house or mining investor who has a tax holiday. We have not given any mining investor any tax holiday. The corporate tax for mining investors is 25 per cent. Anybody in the mining sector who makes a profit after taking off their expenditure is supposed to pay 25 per cent as corporate tax. However, Sir, I would like to point out that most of the mining investors have not started paying the 25 per cent because they are still investing and are not making any profits.

Mr Speaker, in the case of the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), I would like to inform my good friends that most of the money KCM is making currently is being re-invested in the Konkola Deep.


Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, as such, they are not making any profits. Once they make profits, they will pay 25 per cent as per development agreements or they will pay 30 per cent which is the new corporate rate. There is no investor with a tax holiday and so take it from there.  We should not talk about giving foreign investors tax holidays, we have not done that.

Mr Speaker, what we need to be careful about is that we do not scare people who are sinking their own money into 1.5 kilometres of a shaft at Konkola Deep. None of us here had the courage to do that. The other day I heard my good friend who was elaborating on technological replacement of man power. I think that is how it was put. He was very technical and I wondered when I thought of that. He comes from the Copperbelt and he knows what is involved in sinking a shaft. How many people and Zambians would be able to sink a 1.5 kilometre shaft using their hands?


Mr Magande: The answer is nobody would be able to do that. As a result, if you went to Konkola now, you would find some of the sophisticated mining equipment in the world sinking that shaft. It is only after the shaft is sunk that you will be able to get to the ore body. I am not a miner, but a farmer and I know that in order to get a good crop, you have to plant and wait. That is why farmers planted in November, but are still waiting for the harvest. While waiting for the harvest, it will be a very bad bank manager who is going to demand their overdrafts. That is what we are saying.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that the new regime of taxes for the mining sector is attractive enough and as Hon. Dr Kalombo Mwansa said, we hope we are going to develop our mining sector into one of the best in the world.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I heard your Committee commenting on Pay-As-You-Earn. I would like to say that apart from the fact that anybody can come up with a number, I do not have any special comments on what we have done. We have, indeed, increased Pay-As-You-Earn threshold and because of that we will lose K211 billion and because we are also negotiating salary increments as a Government, we know that our civil servants will also have an additional relief because of the increment. However, Sir, I would like to say that at K500,000, as Hon. Mwaanga said, this is the best we can do for the moment.

Mr Speaker, already at that level, 16,000 to 20,000 workers are going to fall off the tax net, and that, to us is a loss. At the level which has been proposed now of K800,000, I am not sure who has exactly proposed this, Mr Speaker, because all the records which we checked at the ministry, indicate that none of the organisations that submitted cited this figure. The Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), as you heard from President Hikaumba, proposed K600,000. We do not know where the K800,000 has come from. However, I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to your Committee that perhaps some participants went to tell them so. At K800,000, we will lose another additional K201 billion. At a time when we are talking about more investments in social services, we do not feel comfortable, as a Government, to lose this money. Therefore, I would like to implore this House to support the measure that we have already implemented of increasing the threshold to K500,000.

Mr Speaker, there have been a number of discussions on the private sector and the availability of affordable credit. Again, coming from an inflation rate of over 100 per cent as your Committee observed, now we are talking of an inflation rate of around 10 per cent. We feel that credit has become affordable. What we need to do, like Hon. Shikapwasha said, is be courageous and take the opportunities available. For example, write a very good project, even if it is about farming. At the moment, there is a lot of negative reporting on the current rains that Zambia has experienced. I wonder how many of us are seeing this water as an opportunity and an asset. We are not all in flooded areas. How many of us want to use this God-given free asset to improve our lives. This is an opportunity, and indeed, I know Hon. Muntanga keeps on talking about the Lozis. I have met some of them who have encouraged me to go for Kuomboka Ceremony this year because there will be as much water as possible …


Mr Magande: … and they will be able to get onto the boats quicker than going to the harbour. That is an opportunity that we are going to have, a better Kuomboka and tourism will leave money in Mongu this year. If I may suggest, I hope someone will pick it up, perhaps, to tell our good friend the Litunga about this opportunity. I will leave it to Saki to suggest to the Litunga that this year, we should not have one Kuombuoka, but two or three.


Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, we heard that the incentives under the Zambia Development Agency Act are only for foreigners. Let me repeat, like your Committee has so kindly said, incentives in the Laws of Zambia are for any investor. They are not for foreigners only. If you think you can get a foreigner to come and partner with, what we will look at is your investments. We have already indicated the levels of investments. If you cannot raise $500 million alone then you can look for an investor whom you can partner with so that you can go into an investment that allows you incentives. For example, Livingstone was zero rated for accommodation and food some three years ago. However, I know many Zambians in Livingstone who bought houses out of the Empowerment Scheme, either under Zambia Railways or Zambia Airways or the Government in the last three years have been selling their houses to foreigners who have turned them into lodges and are making money. Like Hon. Shikapwasha said, in fact, it was somebody else who said we do not seem to realise where others see opportunities.

Mr Sichilima: I said it.

Mr Magande: All the houses on the main roads now in the entire Livingstone, those houses where you used to find your friends, you are going to find foreigners because they have bought them from Zambians, and yet, we have a credit facility under tourism from which they could borrow money to improve their facilities. What else can we do, Mr Speaker? That is why in this speech and in the President’s Speech, we talked about changing mindsets. We have a mindset that says I cannot succeed here …


Mr Magande: … except somebody else. Unless, we do that, Mr Speaker, we will continue to complain while others are making money and that is the truth of the matter.

Mr Speaker, we listened on debt contraction and management that, perhaps, our debts, again, will end up accumulating US $7 billion if we are not careful. I mentioned here that we have already started working on the amendments on the Loans Guarantee Act so that we put all this in the Constitution whereby, Parliament will have a role to play. It is, indeed, our wish, as a Government, through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, to be transparent and as accountable as possible. It will be interesting to see how many of us will be able to discuss whether we need another US $20 million for the Mongu/Kalabo Road, when most of us have not even been to Mongu. We do not even know the importance of that road, but I think that is what leadership is, you can ask other people to give you information in order to discuss.

We want to say, Mr Speaker, that since the HIPC Initiative Completion Point in April 2005, we have already contracted some debts, but the negotiations of these loans started much earlier. As I said some two weeks ago, we now go for concessionary loans that have a ten-year grace period and forty years repayment. Also in the productive sectors of the economy, we are not putting in money as was done before. Therefore, I want to say that this matter is already being addressed.

On social infrastructure, Mr Speaker, I take note of what your Committee has reported. They are saying we must be careful to distinguish between recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure. Now, part of the recurrent expenditure is to pay the human resource we need in education and health. Therefore, to say we are putting more money in recurrent expenditure, and it is not going to capital expenditure might not help us because we also still need a lot of man power that has to be paid and as we all have said, has to be paid adequately so that it can remain in Zambia. As you have heard from the hon. Minister of Education, we are going to train and recruit more people. Therefore, we might not get the proper ratios between capital and recurrent expenditure as we move along.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was worried about the huge supplementary estimates. I would like to assure the Members, as most of them are new Members, that we have come a long way in the last three years. From around 10 per cent of the normal annual budget, we are now talking of 4 per cent. Yes, we moved from 4 per cent to 5.5 per cent in 2006, but we still feel that, most of that, actually, can be worked out and got rid of if we have proper planning. This year, you cannot be a better planner against God’s ideas. The money that we will spend on these floods will be additional money. It is not yet in the Yellow Book. Since we had already printed the Yellow Book, it will be supplementary money. Therefore, we are very careful to live within our own means.

Mr Speaker, I was encouraged that your Committee talked about public finance management. We, in the ministry and Government, are very concerned about managing our limited resources. That is why I would like to say thank you to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning I, who is the President of the Republic, for having invited the hon. Members of Parliament to be supervisors of development work in their constituencies.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!!

Mr Magande: I hope that each one of them has received a letter which invites them now to be a custodian of the public funds in their constituencies.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: This has been done because we have seen that part of our problem is not lack of resources, but lack of management and monitoring of the projects in our constituencies. This is why I must be excused for not subscribing to the idea of increasing the CDF to a figure of K1 billion. It is because most of us are relatively new. I am a new Member of Parliament and I am still learning about my constituency and how my district council officials operate. I am still learning about the different Acts and laws that regulate the district council. Therefore, if you entrust me with a big amount of money before doing that, it will be like throwing some away money as quickly as possible.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I would like to plead and invite my colleagues, this year, to learn how to supervise all the Government money that will go to their constituencies. In some of the constituencies, it is a lot of money. For example, if the Government is working on a feeder road, which is worth K10 billion, say in Chilanga Constituency, it will be my responsibility as hon. Member of Parliament to supervise that work. I have to know the contractor who is doing the work and every time I go there, I have to inspect to make sure that it is properly done. That is why I feel that for this year, our increase from K60 million to some other figure, which perhaps, could be around K200 million, is enough. We must first learn to supervise the rest of the Government.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Member for Chinsali, Mr C. Mulenga, talking about fertiliser and the education level. At one point, he even said that there was no Youth Fund in this year’s Budget. As I wind up, I would like to implore my colleagues that once we finish this job, you should go to your offices or homes and get the Yellow Book and go through it page by page so that you appreciate what projects are in there. As a ministry, we intend to produce, perhaps, parts of the Yellow Book so that when we come to the Eastern Province, we will only have a part of the Yellow Book that relates to the Eastern Province. However, the hon. Members for the province must know where to find the Lundazi/Chama Road in the Yellow Book so that when we tell you that money has been released, you should know which part of the Yellow Book to check and see whether we have released adequate money according to the Budget. Now, the hon. Member for Chinsali, who claims that he was my junior, I thought by now he should be my senior because I thought I taught him while at Lima Bank.


Mr Magande: Since he has not read the Budget, I advise him to turn to Page 581 of the Yellow Book where he will find a figure of K30 billion for Youth Empowerment Fund. That is one of the issues that we want the hon. Members to do. They have to know where their projects are and how much has been budgeted so that they can supervise the work quite well.

Mr Speaker, again I would like to say that this has been a very easy Budget to prepare and I found the discussion in this House much easier because it was just reinforcing what is in the Budget. For example the amounts which were floated were additional to the additional amounts which we made. It was like moving from K60 million for CDF to K200 million and you asked why we could not make it K1 billion. You said the Pay-As-You- Earn threshold has increased from K320,000 to 500,000 and you were asking why we could not move it to K1 million. You said the Education sector has been given 10 per cent and they are getting more and you asked why we could not give them 15 per cent more. You were saying the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has been given an increment of 95 per cent, but someone said we should give them more.

Sir, as we heard, this Budget is a break from the past in terms of allocating and identifying the programmes that we think are going to move our country forward.

I would like to thank every one of my colleagues who contributed and I hope I will be seeing them in the provinces as we supervise the projects.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.

Mr Speaker: Order! The House will now resolve into Committee. However, Committee work will commence tomorrow, 1st March, 2007.



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

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for allowing me to move the Motion of Adjournment. My subject of debate is that I would like to urge the Government to control the spread of the Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia from Kazungula District to the rest of the country.

Mr Speaker, the Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia disease is a disease that has ravaged cattle in the Western Province. This disease is endemic in Angola. It has caused several economic problems for the Western Province. I remember when I was still energetic as a young man, in 1972, we decided to put a physical cordon line from the Western Province to Southern Province up to the North Western Province. We did this to physically stop animals from crossing from Angola to Zambia. At that time, there was a very energetic Provincial Veterinary Officer, Dr Zyambo. The Government was willing to spend money and a physical cordon line was erected. Those who come from the Western Province will remember that between the areas where there is the home of the new hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa, Mr Imasiku, and a village called Sikunde, there was a physical barrier which was running into the Game Park. At that time, 40 kilometres from this point to the areas around Lola in the Western Province, there were physical vaccinations of cattle.

Mr Speaker, the Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia is a disease that affects the lungs. It contaminates other animals as an airborne disease. Within a 40-kilometres radius, animals could still be contaminated even if they are vaccinated. It is one of the diseases which is known as scheduled diseases. In Zambia, there is a list of all diseases that are scheduled. We have the Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia, Rinderpest, Anthrax, Black Lake, and several others including the African swine fever.

Sir, the Government, together with departments such as the Office of the Vice-President, must immediately treat this disease as a disaster and move to have it controlled. Such action is what made us control the disease in 1972. By 1973/74, the diseases were controlled and restricted only to Angola. Unfortunately, after this control measure, animals moved from the Western Province freely and the disease was out of control.

When the MMD Government came into power, various changes that were made including the removal of excess workers and veterinary assistants who were manning the cordon line and a number of them were either retired or fired. Then the physical barbed wires also were removed.

We have been talking about the cordon line for the past three to four years. Last year, an amount of K1 billion was allocated in the budget. There were also some tractors that were brought to help erect the cordon line. I am not sure whether some of the tractors have been moved out of Mount Makulu or they are still in Mongu or in the areas where they are supposed to be used.

What has happened now, Mr Speaker, is that the whole of the Western Province has been engulfed by the contagious CBPP. I must emphasise that this is an airborne disease and if nothing is done the whole cattle industry could be destroyed. Now, you have allowed people who buy cattle from Mongu to take to the Livingstone abattoirs. It must not be forgotten that there are other diseases in Kazungula District of the Southern Province.

Last week, Mr Speaker, twenty-two animals were slaughtered at Kalomo Boma because they tested positive of the disease and they were from a disease area. The whole cattle industry in the country from the Southern Province to elsewhere is threatened with the CBPP disease. I have not seen the Government take very effective measures to control the disease. They should make sure that no livestock movements from Kazungula are allowed any more.

Mr Speaker, we have been talking about using the cattle industry as one of the areas where we can improve our economy, but I fear and shudder to think that when this disease is spread from Kazungula through to the areas of Kalomo, Itezhi-tezhi and Namwala where my brothers and sisters only live by rearing cattle, it will only take a short time before the cattle industry is wiped out and yet the Government is doing nothing about it.

In an effort to control the disease in Kalomo, farmers were asked to pay veterinary officers K300,000 to K400,000 to accompany a truck carrying animals to Lusaka. Who was benefiting? It was the civil servants putting the money in their pockets on the pretext that they had to accompany the animals, but there were no serious measures put in place by the Government. I now ask this House to urge the Government to assume their responsibilities. They must realise that if they do not take serious steps to control this disease, the whole cattle industry will be wiped out.

Mr Speaker, I must further state that we have had situations where the African Swine Fever was to be controlled from the Eastern Province and it was appropriate that any pig that came from there was slaughtered and the farmers compensated. This is the law. This disease is on the list of scheduled diseases. I know that sometimes there are stories that the hon. Minister who was involved was selfish. It is law that should any disease break out in a particular area, the Government must move in and compensate the farmer. The only way to clear that disease is by the Government moving in and removing any animal that responds positively by coughing.

Sir, let me explain that contagious means it can be spread. Bovine is an animal. Pleural pneumonia is a lung disease. I would like to explain all this because I want you to understand since you are the legislators. You must see that this contagious disease is not a playing matter. It is a serious issue. I urge this Government to firstly erect a physical barrier to clear off the areas of Sesheke, Mwandi and Hon. Limata’s area so that all the animals within a 40-kilometre radius are physically vaccinated. Any animal that will respond positively, should be slaughtered and the farmer compensated. That is the regulation. When you do that, you will then remain with only negative animals that are not diseased. That is the way it must be controlled and that is how it was controlled.

Mr Speaker, I would like this Government to respond. I would like to further explain how people have suffered and cried when their animals have died. Some people have died because of having lost all their cattle. Some people in the Southern Province own 2,000 or 3,000 cattle. People in this province do not count how many cattle one has because they believe in the more cattle one has, the more money one has. It is like when the Meridian Bank was closed, and a number of people cried, died and some committed suicide because they had their money held in this bank.

Now, I am saying that the CBPP can spread rapidly to the Central and Copperbelt Provinces. By the time it reaches our friends in the Luapula Province where they have very few animals, there will be no cattle left.

We have another problem, Mr Speaker, in Chambeshi. Chambeshi has the East Coast Fever and the natural barrier of this disease is Chambeshi. The only veterinary method to apply here is to control any movement of animals from Chambeshi. A good Government helps farmers by giving them dips to control the disease, but this is not happening any more. There is no area now which is free of livestock disease. Kasama, Luwingu and Mporokoso were free areas, but I am not sure if they are anymore.

Mr Speaker, I urge, implore and seek support from this Government to respond quickly. When this is done, please, inform us exactly what measures the Government is going to take to stop the spread of the contagious bovine pleural pneumonia from Kazungula District to the rest of the country. I also urge the Government to put back the cordon line and vaccinate all the animals in the Western Province so that we restrict the disease to Angola where it is endemic.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the motion which has been brought by the hon. Member for Kalomo. Indeed, it is very important that the issue of the CBPP in the Western province is dealt with. It is important because the people of the Western Province rear cattle. They are a people who depend heavily on animals. It plays a very significant role in the economy of the Western Province and if this industry was to be destroyed due to the diseases, it would mean that a great many lives of people in the Western Province would adversely be affected. This, in turn, would raise the poverty levels in that province and as you know Western Province, at the moment, is a province which has the highest poverty levels countrywide. Measures, certainly, should be taken to support the major industries so that the levels of poverty do not plunge even deeper than they are at the moment.

Mr Speaker, the cordon line or physical barrier is required as Hon. Muntanga has stated in order to keep in check the random migration or movement of the animals which make it difficult for the veterinary officers to control the disease.

Mr Speaker, as we put this cordon line in place, we have to ensure that the Government puts in measures to control or eradicate the disease because merely putting the cordon line and doing nothing further will not alleviate the problem that is there. To that end, I think that it would be very important that the Government considers increasing the number of veterinary offices in the Western Province so as to eradicate this disease. Indeed, I also concur with the hon. Member for Kalomo who said that the situation is so grave that the Government should, in fact, declare the situation a disaster. I fully endorse that because where you declare something a disaster, there is a need for you to take measures in order to reverse that disaster and then take extraordinary measures in a disaster situation.

It is for this reason that I say that much more should be spent in the Western Province by the Veterinary Department to fight this disease. Many more personnel such as veterinary officers have to be put in place for them to go round educating the people in the province about exactly how they can identify animals that are sick and what needs to be done once the animals that are sick have been identified. Therefore, there is a need for education to be taken to the people of the Western Province over this issue, so that they, together with the Government can fight this disease. If we do not have the cordon line backed up with both education of the farmers and veterinary extension services, this fight against the disease will not succeed.

In addition, once we have managed to eradicate the disease from the area, it will be important for the Government to then embark on a re-stocking exercise because a good number of people would have lost their herds. As we know that this is a very important economic base of Western Province, it would be important that the cattle that would have been lost during this period are restocked.

This would not be something strange because it has been done before, for example, in Southern Province where there was a cattle re-stocking exercise. Therefore, we would not be asking the Government do something it has not done before. We would be merely asking them to be consistent in their policies and concerns for people who have lost their means of livelihood.

To that effect, I would call upon the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning before the Budget is approved to take into consideration the issues that have arisen as a result of this motion and ensures that monies are set aside for this exercise because to leave it much longer will mean that many people’s livelihood will be endangered. Many people will not be able to sustain the standards of living at which they are which, at the present moment, are very poor.

Mr Speaker, apart from this, in order to ensure that the cattle rearing people of the Western Province are not exploited, incentives should be given to the people so that they can have many more abattoirs in place.

At the moment, people who rear cattle in the Western Province are paid a pittance for their animals and it is the large corporations that own abattoirs, some of whom are monopolies who set the price because there is no competition to basically lower the price. They set whatever price they want and the poor cattle farmer has got no bargaining power against them. The Government should, as a matter of social responsibility, step in and be on the side of these small cattle rearers. It should step in and help the small person in Zambia, that small-scale farmer, who maybe has a herd of only ten to twelve cattle, who requires that each animal he disposes off from his kraal gives him sufficient money to run his family for an appreciable length of time. If that is not done, all the efforts in clearing the disease will, at the end of the day, not benefit the majority of the people in the Western Province.

Mr Speaker, this motion is a very important one and I hope that the hon. Members in the House will recognise how important it is and will all lend their support to it. We are talking about changing the lives of a good number of our citizens, we are talking about empowering our citizens in a field which they know about, or in a field where you will not need to take them to schools and make them learn the trade. We are talking about something that they traditionally know about, but in which they need assistance in fighting the disease.

Therefore, if you do that, they will carry on their tradition of rearing animals and the Government will not have to spend so much money to ensure that this tradition carries on.

Mr Speaker, I do know that many people are itching to also contribute to this debate. However, there is still another issue that needs to be considered as we do this restocking exercise. As we carry out this exercise, it is not only abattoirs that we need to look at. We also need to look at other industries related to the livestock industry that one can do.

Mr Speaker, there are things such as tanneries that we need to look into. Tanneries should be encouraged so that we get maximum use out of the cattle that is there in the Western Province.

On the issue of tanneries, there would be a need to set up schools because that is not something which, traditionally, people know how to do. So, there would be a need for the Government to put in money in order to school the people on skills of tanneries and so forth.

The issue of tanneries as well is not the only one there is. There are other issues such as glue making, a by-product that we can get from cattle. It is also an industry that we can encourage in the Western Province. We need to maximise the tapping on this important resource that the people of Western Province have so that we can get a total use of it. Nothing should be let to go to waste.

Mr Speaker, because the industry is at risk, it should be looked upon more like a public health issue if you were talking about human beings. Indeed, it is a public health issue because you do not want people to eat diseased animals. Therefore, that aspect also has to be looked at.

As a result, one of the measures under the declaration of the disaster to be included should be the provision of absolutely free veterinary services to combat this disease. Nobody should be asked to pay because once you do that some people will not get their herds treated because of the mere fact that they do not have the resource. Once you have that kind of situation it will, be difficult to bring the disease under control.

Sir, as was stated by the hon. Member for Kalomo, the disease is popping up in all parts of the country. In Chongwe …


Mr Sikota: … we have a situation where, I am told, in an earlier discussion with the hon. Member for Chongwe who happens to be Minister of Local Government and Housing, that she is concerned …


Mr Sikota: … about this issue. I am sure when she stands up to debate, she will also support the motion. No doubt she will, that I am very sure of.


Mr Sikota: When you have concern coming from all over the country, …


Mr Sikota: … you then see that this is a very serious problem. Sir, it is an extremely serious problem. Hence, my call on the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to review his Budget and see whether he can accommodate this issue.

Mr Magande: No.


Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, with those very few words, …


Mr Sikota: I thank you.

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi) Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this motion. I would like to thank the hon. Member for Kalomo for speaking so well …

Mr Muntanga chatting with Hon. Matongo.

Mr Mabenga: … although he is not listening to my debate, unfortunately.


Mr Mabenga: Kalomo! Sorry, Sir.

Mr Speaker, the CBPP is a very serious disease. In fact, it is has broken down the economic power of many of our communities in the province.

Sir, Mulobezi Constituency has not been spared from this disease. Many people in that constituency depend on cattle to send their children for higher education.

Mr Speaker, I am just a week old from there and I am glad that the Government answered our call to curb this problem. I found personnel putting up a cordon line in Mulobezi. I am very glad and you should be smiling because you are doing something to complement the efforts of this Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, what is important now, as Hon. Sikota has said, is to ensure that our people understand the use of the cordon line. We really need to educate our people on this issue. Of course, I had an opportunity to talk to our veterinary staff there. I was also able to go round with them for two days in order to tell the people the use of that wire because people might not know. I am glad that these people are able to talk to the village headmen, who are the people who disseminate information to the general populace in that constituency. I am therefore very glad that that is taking root in the constituency.

Sir, I would like to lobby for an increase in the amount of drugs that should go for the curbing of this scourge. I am calling it a scourge because it has actually killed a lot of animals. The number of animals I had some two years ago in the village is not the number of animals I have now. You measure the status of a person, in our area, by the number of animals he has and not by the number of animals he kills from game parks, like my colleagues from the North Western Province especially, Solwezi and Kasempa Districts.

Mr Tetamashimba laughed.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, what I am trying to emphasise is the fact that once this scourge is controlled, we are very sure that our animals will continue to multiply. We will be able to ensure that this Government continues to rule this country even after 2011. The fact that they are silent over there (Opposition side) it means that they concur with what I am saying.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, while I am speaking on CBPP, I would like also to commend the FRA for a job well done. The FRA has done very well to pay for the maize they bought from the people. I am very glad because the people have told me that the FRA have bought their produce and have paid for it.

Mr Speaker, I really support this motion that Hon. Muntanga has brought and also commend Government for the job that it is doing.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for according me the opportunity to debate. I thought I could not have found time to debate because there were so many people indicating to debate.

Mr Speaker I stand to support the motion raised by the hon. Member for Kalomo. In supporting this motion, I would like to say that I have heard some of the hon. Members saying that when the cattle finish, they will rely on fish.


Major Chizhyuka: I would like to state that in Namwala, we also have a preponderance of the Kafue River and have a lot of fish, but at the time we used to fight for the independence of this country, we never used fish money, but cattle money. We are in this House because of those women and men who sacrificed their personal wealth in the form of cattle to liberate this country.

This motion is a very important motion. It is not a motion that you can be joking and laughing about. I understand that since we are in Parliament, we are supposed to use parliamentary language.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, this disease is a disease of national economic importance. CBPP is of a national importance. I just want to give you a few figures. Areas such as Choma, Namwala, Mazabuka, Monze and Itezhi-Tezhi currently have a total of 491,292 heads of cattle. Namwala alone has about 1000,000 herds. All these districts are predominantly in the Southern Province which is the main cattle rearing area and sells about 34,000 carcasses per annum to Lusaka and the Copperbelt.

Sir, given the average market value of K2 million per carcass, without any other support from anybody, this area raises about K78 billion per annum which goes in support of the small scale-person in this country so that he can send his child to schools and his mother to the hospital and make a meaningful contribution to the GDP of this country.

Namwala sells about 5,000 carcasses which is about K10 billion. This value does not include the value of draught power neither does it include the value of…

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Major Chizhyuka: I am being reminded that I am running out of time.

Sir, this potential is being threatened by this huge disease hon. Minister of Agriculture and co-operatives whose concerns are of national economic importance. Since cattle were slaughtered in Kalomo, there is a chance that this disease is already in Kalomo. Kazungula is close to the cattle rearing areas of the Southern Province. Resources are needed to protect this area in cattle rearing. The measures required needed to be urgently put in place so as to restrict the disease in Kazungula.

Sir, K70 billion is what is realised internationally.

 In Zambia, we were able to control diseases and use methods for cattle development like they are doing in Botswana. Can you imagine that Zambian doctors and nurses who have left this country to work in Botswana are earning a little more than the salary they used to earn here? Beginning 2005, 41.3 per cent of the GDP of the Botswana economy is contributed by the cattle livestock sector by exporting beef to the European Union.

Mr Speaker, I am trying to say that Zambians who leave this country to go and work in Botswana earn cattle money from a country which is a dessert when we have very good grazer scheme in the Kafue Flats and Zambezi Flats in the Western Province. We are better than Botswana that is a drought country. Actually, we could earn more money than Botswana does. We could do much better. Therefore, we must control this disease. There is a need to declare outbreak of this disease a disaster because we must take action. The cattle industry is better than mining because it earns more money than mining. Hence, Botswana has the best economies on the continent in spite the fact that there is Angola which has oil and South Africa which has a lot of diamonds and other minerals. It is even better than Libya.

Sir, I therefore, would like to say that I support this motion and give a chance to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to debate. Let us declare this disease situation a disaster. Let us move forward.

I beg to support the motion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Mr Speaker, I believe I must begin at the right point. I have said in this august House, several times, and the hon. Member for Bangweulu has warned me, several times, against referring to the 1991/2001 season, but today’s discussion is based on the depth of that problem. I would like to say that unfortunately, facts are very stubborn and man knows it. If you break a system, then you are inviting trouble. That is what has happened to this country. We have broken the system and now we are paying for it. We shall pay for it very severely.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: We might even pay for it with our blood because we asked for it. That is what corruption does to a country. That is what indiscipline does to a country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: That is what laisséz-faire does to a country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: We are paying for it and we shall continue to pay unless we raise the required amount of money to spend and huge sums of it.

Sir, we have had numerous enquiries including the one that hon. Member for Kalomo (Mr Muntanga) has presented. He is an old friend of mine. We have travelled and farmed together and today he is making this motion which I believe is making in good faith and in the interest of the livestock sector. For this reason, I would like to give a background to this problem so as to show the hon. Members of Parliament in this august House, where we are coming from, where we are, where we are going and why we must go there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, the livestock sector is the major provider of meat, milk and eggs to this country. This sector also provides raw materials such as hides, skins, blood and bone meal to the manufacturing industry including the making of stock feeds. It also provides agricultural inputs, especially animal draught power in the Southern Province. Animals are a source of transport because they pull the ox-carts.

Mr Munaile: Scotch carts!

Mr Kapita: Yes, you call it ichiko kala.


Mr Kapita: The livestock sector employs both women and men. The role of the livestock sector, therefore, in alleviating hunger and poverty, cannot be underestimated. It contributes 35 per cent to the overall agricultural GDP. Despite the contribution of this sector to the socio-economic development of this country, it is currently facing several problems, I must admit, such as livestock diseases, including the CBPP, which is the cause of this motion. Inadequate livestock extension, inadequate livestock marketing facilities, lack of livestock credit facilities and generally run down infrastructure necessary for the support of livestock development have been the cause of the problem.

To avoid further decline, these constraints require attention from both the Government and the farming community. I must emphasise here that very often, we, the farmers are a problem. For example, yesterday when I went to the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) in Kafue, I was told that there is a lumpy skin disease in Mansa. Immediately, I called Dr Songolo and this female doctor told me that this is a farmer’s problem or farmer’s management problem. We, the small and medium-scale farmers have not been doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, livestock diseases in Zambia are divided into two categories a Hon. Muntanga correctly analysed them. These are management diseases and diseases that have concerns of national economic importance.

Mr Speaker, I now want to discuss those diseases of national economic importance. The control of these diseases is the responsibility of the Government. Those which are scheduled such as the CBPP, foot and mouth disease, east coast fever, the African Swine Fever and all the others are a responsibility of the Government. These are trans-boundary animal diseases that present a sudden and major threat to livestock production in respect of food, fibre or animal traction power; public health and export of livestock or livestock products. These diseases are mostly of an epidemic nature or are major zoonoses. Included in this category are diseases that cannot be controlled at the farm level and can only be treated by veterinary officers of the Government.

The Government wishes the country to remain free of the diseases not yet present in Zambia and to eradicate those that are present. These diseases include the following: contagious bovine pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP); avian influenza which is now taking rounds in some African countries such as Nigeria, foot and mouth disease (FMD); the African Swine Fever (ASF) and rinderpest.

With regard to these diseases, control programmes have been put in place. Vaccinations for CBPP in North Western and Western Provinces are scheduled for June/July every year and surveillance for the foot and mouth disease is on going in areas most likely to be affected.

Mr Speaker, I now would like to discuss the management diseases. These are diseases whose control and prevention is the responsibility of the farmer. If you keep animals, you must be prepared to look after them like a business. Yes, for the small-scale farmers, we as a responsible Government, we will always assist. These diseases include hemorrhagic septicaemia, brucellosis, senkobo, intestinal worms, foot rot, lumpy skin disease and corridor East Coast Fever and other diseases that are carried and transmitted by ticks.

Management diseases have effective treatment and vaccines that provide effective protection. There are diseases such as anthrax and rabies that can be treated, but because they can attack a human being, the Government gets involved when there is an outbreak of rabies and anthrax. During the current rainy season, outbreaks of the East Cost Fever …


Mr Kapita: I am responding. Outbreaks of the East Cost Fever have been reported in the Southern, Central and Eastern Province. Lumpy skin disease has been reported in the Luapula Province. Both these diseases are management diseases. Therefore, our staff are currently in the field. What has been said by Hon. Mabenga is being taken care of. We are establishing a cordon line.

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, it must be noted that the current heavy rains and subsequent flooding in most parts of the country has created favourable conditions …


Mr Speaker: Order! As the time is 1955 hours, I interrupt the proceedings and the debate lapses.

(Debate Adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 1st March, 2007.