Debates- Thursday, 22nd February, 2007

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Thursday, 22nd February, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, today, I will inform this august House, on the clinical trials that were conducted on three herbal remedies that were said to cure HIV/AIDS. These claims were made by our own traditional healers.

Sir, HIV/AIDS continues to be a major public health concern in our country. Though the prevalence rate is gradually falling, it still remains unacceptably high at 16 per cent in those aged 15 to 49 years. The prevalence rate is even higher in some sentinel population such as pregnant women.

Mr Speaker, it is worth mentioning that our fight against HIV/AIDS, pioneered and coordinated by the National AIDS Council (NAC), is bearing fruit. Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and care services are now universal in our country. From only two sites offering Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) services in 2003, we, today, have these services in all our seventy-two districts. At present, we have over 75,000 citizens receiving free Anti-Retroviral drugs.
Sir, to further improve access to health care, services which support Anti-Retroviral Therapy are also free of charge in fifty-four of our rural districts following the abolition of user fees. As a result of all these measures put in place by the Government, fewer people are now dying in our country from HIV/AIDS and the occurrence rate of orphans has subsequently reduced.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the other gains made include the reduced number of admissions as a result of AIDS related complexes (ARCs) which development translates into savings from hospitals as well as from the now reduced occurrence of opportunistic infections.

Sir, the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV is a remarkable opportunity for our country to have a generation of children born free of HIV. I am happy to report that this strategy has reached universal coverage in Zambia. It is in place in all of our seventy-two districts.

Mr Speaker, I must repeat that the Government, however well meaning, cannot put its people on Anti-Retroviral Therapy if they do not undergo testing. My ministry will continue to appeal to all Zambians to access VCT services so that all those that need Anti-Retroviral Therapy care can have it. Remember that Voluntary Counselling and Testing is, indeed, an entry point to survival.

Sir, following claims by some traditional health practitioners that they could cure HIV/AIDS, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, embarked on research to verify these claims. We now have Anti-Retroviral Drugs which are saving lives, but we do recognise the need for further research, in general, including in our own herbs in particular, for us to find a cure for HIV/AIDS. This study was a response to this need.

Mr Speaker, willing HIV positive people were selected for this study. The three herbs were administered to them over a period of time. The parameters used to assess the effectiveness or harmfulness were:

(i) the viral load, which refers to the amount of viral particles in a given volume of blood;

(ii) the CD4 count, which refers to the amount of defence cells damaged by the virus in a given volume of blood; and

(iii) observing any side effects.

Sir, the National AIDS Council was given the task of coordinating the research. A total of seventy-nine herbs were presented for research. However, only four qualified to be researched on. The four herbs were:

(i) Mayeyanin;

(ii) The Sondashi Formula;

(iii) Mailacin; and

(iv) Ngoma.

However, Ngoma could not be analysed as the owner died before the commencement of the research.


Ms Cifire: A total of twenty-six HIV positive participants were enrolled in the study:

Mayeyanin  11

Sondashi Formula 10

Mailacin.  5

Mr Speaker, the research covered the period November 2005 to April 2006. This was a period of six months. This was above the period of three months within which the herbalists claimed they could cure a client of HIV/AIDS using their formulas. The objects of the research were:

(i) to determine herbal safety. This was aimed at determining whether the herbs were safe for human use; and

(ii) to determine efficacy. This was aimed at ascertaining whether the herbs could eliminate the virus from the human body so as to amount to a cure.

Sir, the report on safety states that the herbal drugs given to the participants could be said to be safe for the following reasons:

(i) none of the twenty-six participants died; and

(ii) no side effects were observed.

Mr Speaker, the report on efficacy states categorically that all the three products did not cure the HIV infection.

The total amount spent on the study was about K1.4 billion and this was for:

(i) fees for the investigators;

(ii) laboratory costs;

(iii) participants upkeep and allowances; and

(iv) administrative costs.

Mr Speaker, based on the preliminary findings, the following conclusions were made:

(i) the herbal medicines that were under study do not cure the HIV infection; and

(ii) there is need to undertake more research, for example, a longer study preferably with a larger sample size would be ideal.

Sir, the Ministry of Health would like to thank all the participants and investigators for making sure that this research was undertaken and for their commitment during the study period.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members may now ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement which has been made by the hon. Minister of Health.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the number of people dying from HIV/AIDS has reduced. She also said that 75,000 people are on ART treatment yet Zambia has about 920,000 people who are HIV positive. I would like to find out how those figures correlate because I see a situation where only 75,000 people are being attended to or getting treatment while the rest are still infected and dying.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the statement I read said we have over 75,000 people on ART meaning the number is increasing. We can change this figure on a monthly basis because stigma is slowly reducing. Access to ART starts with going for testing. That is why we are appealing to everyone to know their status so that they can access ART services. If people go for testing and know their status, they can be put on ARVs which are able to prolong life. When we talk about less people dying now, it is because they are able to get medication. Therefore, people should test to be able to get the ARVs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bonshe (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, it was found that the herbal medicines which were tested do not cure HIV/AIDS. Similarly, the medical treatment of ARVs does not cure HIV/AIDS, but can reduce its side effects. Can the hon. Minister confirm whether these herbal medicines are also able to prolong life and reduce the symptoms of HIV/AIDS.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I said in my ministerial statement that no harmful effects of the herbal remedies have come through in the research because none of the participants died. We are still at the level where ARVs as well as herbal medicines are able to treat some side effects, but cannot cure HIV/AIDS.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister which part of the country still has a high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, this is an issue we dealt with yesterday. We talked about the line of rail having the highest numbers with Lusaka having the highest number.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Misapa (Mporokoso): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has explained that the herbal remedies have proved to be more or less equivalent to ARVs. Have we taken any steps to make sure that we put this herbal drug on the market so that we treat it as a Zambian issue?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, at the moment, what we have are the ARVs that have been certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and all the other bodies. We have been researching on the herbal medicines from our traditional doctors, but we have not subjected them to the international tests required for us to be able to put them on the market.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, following the hon. Minister’s confirmation that stigma is slowly reducing with regard to HIV/AIDS, when is her ministry going to allow medical personnel to conduct universal testing so that all the people who go to hospital, if they show signs of HIV/AIDS, can be tested? This can enable more people access ARVs and save lives.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, this is already being done. It is an acceptable practice by the WHO that there are some symptoms for which we do not have to wait for the actual testing to have people put on anti-retroviral drugs.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm that the idea which was mooted by the MMD Government for the traditional healers to work side by side with medical doctors has been abandoned. Could she also tell us the reasons for this.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the fact that the Government is able to allow these tests to go on means that we are ready to work with the traditional healers. There are norms that need to go side by side for conventional and traditional medicines to work together and that is what we are following now. Until such a time that we can streamline that, we will do that. However, we have them as partners right now, hence, our facilitating the tests that are going on.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what happened to the twenty-six people who were used in the research after the six month period. Has the Government continued to assess their condition? What is happening now?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, according to the traditional healers, these people would get cured in three months. When we did our research, we subjected them to confinement for six months. This was an extra three months of the usual practice. After that, we let them get back into society. We cannot confine people forever. So, they are back home.

I thank you Sir.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Health whether the CD4 count showed that the herbs reduced the virus.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the reason we are saying that this is not a cure for HIV/AIDS is that the viral load did not go down. If we were talking about the viral load disappearing, then we would be talking about a cure for HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Hence, we are saying that this is not yet a cure for HIV/AIDS.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, of late, there are international vultures in every sphere of life. I would like to find out the measures that the hon. Minister of Health and the Government have put in place to protect the property rights of the herbalists whose medicines are proving to be potential future cures of HIV/AIDS.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, first, we have taken it as a test being done by the Government. Of course, we would like to get the credit for the cure if it is going to come through. Therefore, this is something that we are safeguarding.

Secondly, we hope the traditional healers involved will also be patriotic so that, as a country, if we are to find something for which we need to have our own credit as well as international credit, they will not go the other way to achieve it. For now, we are safeguarding it and also hope that we do not go the other way in view of the vultures that the hon. Member is worried about.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, when is the ministry going to allow doctors to put the cause of death on the certificate in cases where the cause of death is related to HIV/AIDS? Instead of putting malaria or pneumonia, why can they not just state that a person died of HIV/AIDS?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, an HIV infected person dies from an opportunist infection. At the time of death, they would have died, maybe, of malaria or tuberculosis. If that is the cause of death, we cannot say that someone died of HIV/AIDS when the disease was malaria or tuberculosis.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated to this House that what they term traditional medicines perform the same functions as ARVs and that both do not cure HIV/AIDS. I would like to find out from her, having spent in excess of K1 billion in research, what they are doing to promote the four producers of these drugs so that more people can benefit not only from the ARVs from abroad, but also from what I would call ARVs from traditional medicines from Zambia.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the amount indicated just shows us how expensive research is. It does not come easily. This was a preliminary report and more work needs to be done and there is room for improvement on what has been done. We will give the necessary support to enable us have a product that, maybe, would help us get rid of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, VCT is a good exercise that must be encouraged. Is the hon. Minister of Health able to tell us the consequential effects of the same? Has she got any statistics that indicate the number of people who have died because of the pronouncement that they are HIV positive?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I would like to know exactly what the hon. Member means. When we talk about VCT, we are talking about preparing a person for the outcome of the test. You prepare the person to accept negative or positive results. So far, from all the tests that have been carried out, we have not heard of any person that has died of shock because of being pronounced HIV positive. When one decides to go for the test, at that moment, they are in shockproof position. So, simply put, I would say that we have not had anybody dying from shock.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, mine is a follow up to Hon. Katuka’s question. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Health whether the twenty-six patients have continued taking herbal medicines or have gone to ARV drugs.
Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, as I said, these were volunteers who chose to be secluded for six months. Now that they have gone back to their respective homes, they have a choice on what avenue to take regarding the medicines they are going to take. Since they are at home and not in confinement, it is not easy to tell whether they have continued on the formulas or are on ARVs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, our traditional healers are trying their best to find a cure for HIV/AIDS. Are our modern doctors also trying to find a cure for HIV/AIDS?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the modern doctors the hon. Member is referring to are those in Zambia or internationally. Right now, the researchers in the medical field are working day and night to find a cure for HIV/AIDS. The new scenario we have concerns traditional healers who have also started doing research. These others have been researching since HIV/AIDS was pronounced a disaster.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that they need to safeguard certain things which are obviously not being said now. I would like a straight answer from her. Does this research on the four herbal medicines have some good or bad? Is there hope there? What are you safeguarding?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I stated that, so far, the medicines have not proved harmful. They have not been toxic and did not kill any of the twenty-six people who participated in the study. Healing has not been talked about here. The bottom line is that all the tests have been done on the herbal medicines and they have not proved to be the cure for HIV/AIDS as at now.
I thank you, Sir.
Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that the thrust that the Government has seen in relation to the fight against HIV/AIDS is the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT). I would like to find out what the Government is doing to reach the children who are born outside hospitals. This is because it is easy to give medicine to the mother who is pregnant, but not the children who are born thereafter. Does the Government have intentions to incorporate PMTCT in the mobile mother to child health care service?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, our statistics show that antenatal attendance is almost 95 per cent throughout the country. It is only at the time of delivery that those statistics may be reduced to, maybe, 46 per cent. So, the fact that 95 per cent of our mothers attend antenatal clinics means that they have access to PMTCT. Through this, we are assured that ART services are accessible to them as they attend antenatal clinics. Therefore, we have hope for an HIV/AIDS free generation.

I thank you, Sir.




323. Mr Sejani (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how many state-owned or parastatal companies had been privatised since the commencement of the privatisation programme in 1993;

(b) how many companies were currently earmarked for privatisation;
(c) how much money was realised from the entire privatisation exercise; and

(d) how this money was utilised.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, 262 state owned companies and units had been privatised as at 31st December, 2006.

Twenty-two state owned companies are currently under various stages in the privatisation process.

As at 31st December, 2006, the gross proceeds realised through privatisation were K25.6 billion and US$109.75 million. The net proceeds after meeting employees’ terminal benefits and other liabilities were K5.6 billion and US$65.6 million. These amounts were transferred to the Zambia Privatisation Revenue Account which is managed by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

The proceeds of sales go into an account controlled by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. It is up to the Government to decide what to do with the money within the alternatives that are provided for in the Privatisation Act.

Mr Speaker, as per Section 39 (2) of the Privatisation Act the following are the uses that this money is supposed to go:

(i) funding the cost of privatisation and the Privatisation Trust Fund;

(ii) initial financing of mutual fund;

(iii) expanding existing productive capacities ;

(iv) financing credit creation by the Government for Zambian investors;

(v) rehabilitating existing plants;

(vi) supporting new capital investments;

(vii) funding the restructuring of any of the unprivatised institutions;

(viii) supporting redundancy payment schemes in consultation with the Ministry of Labour;

(ix) supporting alternative income generating projects; or

(x) funding any social project that will be in the public interest.

Mr Speaker, some funds were utilised to meet the cost of the privatisation programme and these were as follows:

(i) employee obligations that were met at privatisation costing K7,259,342,027 and US$5,197,681;

(ii) credit obligations met on transactions at privatisation costing K5,794,290,976 and US$13,327,820;

(iii) privatisation expenses costing K1,537,171,794 and US$1,272,156;

(iv) other cash utilisations costing K560,358,812 and US$191,209;

(v) amounts still held in the Escrow and interim managers accounts and not yet transferred to the PRA are K258,062,004; and

(vi) amounts still due from those who were offered the companies are K3,393,500,000 and US$3,652,931,
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, from what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has told us, does he want to describe the privatisation exercise as a success? If so, in what sense? Maybe, he wants to describe it otherwise and if so, in what sense?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, an exercise in which you sell 262 companies cannot be described by one adjective. Some of the companies sold were farms which were sold to Zambians who failed to maintain them. Even in this House, I know there are people who have failed to farm. Therefore, the privatisation of that farm was a failure. I also know some privatised companies which have been successful. Therefore, we have to look at individual companies or parastatals and see whether those companies are still operating or have closed down.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, some of the privatised parastatal companies were sold at a give away price. Is the hon. Minister saying that they will go ahead and privatise the remaining parastatal organisations or they have learnt a lesson that the process was done in a hurry and, therefore, they will rescind such a decision?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of companies that were sold at a give away price. However, I am aware of some companies whose valuations were very low.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Njobvu (Milanzi): Sir, may we find out from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning how many state farms were given to would be buyers who were asked to pay later.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I do not have any information about farms which were given to some would be buyers for them to pay later. I might come back to this House with that information later. I am sure the hon. Member of Parliament might have that information and would be able to help me with the research.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the position on a number of United Bus of Zambia (UBZ), Zambia Ceramics and Mansa Batteries workers who have not yet been paid their benefits. As far as I know, these companies were privatised a long time ago.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, UBZ was not privatised, but put under liquidation. Mansa Batteries was put under receivership. There is a difference between this and privatisation. Some of the parastatals had failed to operate and they owed their creditors a lot of money. In order for the creditors to safeguard their loans, they put these companies under receivership. The receivers sold those companies to realise money for the creditors. It was not privatisation by the Zambia Privatisation Agency. UBZ was put under liquidation and the liquidator is still working on closing the liquidation. Unfortunately, part of that problem is that one of the debtors was the Government. This is because the Government took over a loan which was owed by UBZ and then we discovered that, in fact, we had not honoured that loan. Once the Government pays that loan to the liquidators, the liquidators will be able to pay the terminal benefits to the employees.

With regard to Mansa Batteries, the creditors appointed receivers and the receivers decided to sell the equipment to a private organisation. After that, Mansa Batteries remained a shell company without any assets. The Government is trying to see how best they can pay the terminal benefits of the workers, perhaps, by giving them the housing stock as part of their terminal benefits. Mansa Batteries’ equipment neither belongs to the Government nor to Mansa Batteries. It now belongs to a private individual or company that bought it.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning whether he regards the sale of ZAMCLAY, a company that was among the parastatals that were sold, as having been successful. I ask this question because I know that this company had a unit called Nega Nega Beef Factory that was sold to one individual, a non-indigenous fellow, who bought the entire factory and fifty housing units without offering the sitting tenants first priority to buy those houses just in order to charge them monthly rentals.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mazabuka talked of ZAMCLAY, but the company that we know is Zambia Clay. It owned a facility in Nega Nega and another one in Kalulushi. That company was not sold to a foreigner, but to a local person for US$250,000. I am not quite sure whether we have a company called ZAMCLAY. I would have to go and research on that.

I thank you, Sir.


324. Mr Sejani asked the Vice-President:

(a) how much money and property had been recovered since the fight against corruption and plunder of national resources was launched by the Government; and

(b) how this money was utilised.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, last week, I answered a similar question posed by Hon. Masiye. At the risk of being repetitive, let me state that the Task Force on Corruption has recovered cash and property amounting to the colossal sum of K116,406,483,096. The break down is as follows:

Money or Cash

Mr Speaker, bank balances at the Bank of Zambia are as follows:

(i) the United States Dollar account has US$1,099,497.50;

(ii) the Kwacha account has K708,938,973.59; and

(iii) there is nothing yet in the British Pound Sterling account.


Mr Speaker, rentals collected from forfeited flats and houses are now properties handed over to the Ministry of Works and Supply and include:

(i) in the United States Dollar account is the sum of US$208,760.38; and

(ii) in the Kwacha account is the sum of K117,463,807.22.

Other Cash Recoveries

Sir, in addition to the rentals and cash balances at the Bank of Zambia, the Task Force on Corruption has also recovered US$2,100,000 in cash recovered from a suspect by Ovag Limited. They also prevented a dubious debt payment involving Fap Famos amounting to US$8,100,000.

Total Cash

They have also recoveredUS$11,508,257.88.

The Kwacha account has K826,402,780.81.

Total cash amounts to K48,334,683,096.


Mr Speaker, with regard to recovered property, the value of this property is as follows:

(a) apartments in Belgium valued at US $8,900,000;

(b) landed properties in Zambia equivalent to K25,802,000,000.

(c) motor vehicles and bikes valued at K1,305,500,000;

(d) water vessels valued at  K1,100,000,000;

(e) various plants and machinery valued at US $99,500; and

(f) aircraft valued at approximately US $500,000.

Mr Speaker, the total property values amount to:

(a) the United States dollar account amounts to US $9,491,500 the equivalent of K39,864,300,000;

(b) in the Kwacha account there is K68,071,800,000;

(c) Grand value of all recoveries equals K116,416, 483,096.

Mr Speaker, as regards the second part of the question which focuses on how this recovered money has been utilised, I wish to inform the House that Cabinet will soon sit to allocate this money to deserving social sectors in line with the Fifth National Development Plan and Vision 2030. As at now, with the authority of the Secretary to the Treasury, the sum of US $763,335.00 was paid on 12th July, 2004, from the recoveries account to contracted legal firms on the understanding that the donors would reimburse the recoveries account at a later date.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I seek confirmation from the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House whether the Government is collecting property and money from suspects and not convicted people. This is because one of the properties they collected was collected from a suspect. I would like confirmation on that.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, a task force is tasked to recover properties and monies suspected to have been fraudulently swindled from the Government. We are guided by the Anti-Corruption Act and there are procedures that we follow because of the legal implications.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, when is the Government going to sell the properties that have been recovered so that the money can be used on some of the programmes in the Fifth National Development Plan?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I alluded to the fact that Cabinet is due to meet to decide on how to dispose of these properties to deserving social sectors.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, the Anti-Corruption Commission has done very well in recovering monies and properties that are purported to have been stolen. However, of late, we have heard about corrupt practices continuing. The Head of State also complained about this. When is the Government going to set the very Anti-Corruption Commission on those that are believed to have pocketed, misdirected and abused the K3 trillion or K36 billion?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, although that is not part of this question, I would like to state that corruption is a serious cancer that destroys the fabric of the nation. Therefore, as a Government, we are vigorously pursuing all perceived offenders.


325. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Works and Supply what measures the Government intended to take on buildings whose construction had stalled for a long time and were a danger to human life.

The Deputy Minister of works and Supply (Mr Tetamashimba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government, through the Ministry of Works and Supply Buildings Department, shall first write to all Provincial Permanent Secretaries to provide data of all uncompleted buildings by July, 2007. Thereafter, the Ministry of Works and Supply will constitute a team of officers to inspect and come up with cost estimates of uncompleted buildings and then submit them to various institutions. The Ministry of Works and Supply will also prepare an action plan on how these buildings can be completed.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that the conference centre and a banquet hall at the Government complex, including the landscaping, are incomplete as at now. The costs are estimated at US $18.4 million. The conference hall is estimated at US $10 million, the banquet hall at US $8, million and landscaping at US $400,000.

Sir, with regard to private buildings, these fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing under local authorities. The Ministry of Works and Supply, through the National Council for Construction (NCC) Act No. 13 of 2003, is only concerned with the construction of buildings and not with buildings which have not been completed. The planning function is the responsibility of local authorities.

However, in line with the vision of the Ministry of Works and Supply, the National Council for Construction has trained prosecutors who can prosecute offenders in the construction industry.

Mr Speaker, just yesterday, NCC produced graduates to take up this challenge

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


326. Mr Sejani asked the Vice-President whether the Government had any plans to create an inventory of surviving freedom fighters so as to accord them due recognition.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I wish to bring to the attention of the House that since 2001, the Government has continually recognised Zambians who have made outstanding contributions to our society in all walks of life, including freedom fighters from the political arena, officials from the Public Service, academics and artists through the annual investiture ceremony held each year in October at State House.

The Government is committed to continuing this practice as it provides an important forum for recognising our nationals who have exhibited exemplary conduct or made outstanding achievements in their area of competence.

The House may also wish to know that the Government has deliberately made the process of identifying and selecting deserving candidates for the various categories of awards as participatory as possible by involving district as well as provincial authorities in order to ensure that all parts of our nation are included. Each year, my office writes to provincial authorities to identify and recommend deserving individuals to the national committee. Hon. Members are free to participate in this process.

It is, therefore, open to all of us to identify any deserving national for consideration; freedom fighters as well as other nationals who have distinguished themselves and made meritorious achievements. It is not necessary for the Government to create an inventory of surviving freedom fighters. The local committees that identify these nominees are doing a commendable job and there is, therefore, no reason for any further action.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Acting Vice-President whether the Government is considering awarding material things to members of the public who have been honoured by the Government other than just honouring them when they are in destitution.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, let me give a brief background to this matter. In 1991, when UNIP was about to be swept out of power, …

Mr Mpombo: … they came to this House and enacted a law to enable former freedom fighters receive certain amounts of money. When they lost the elections, the Minister of Local Government and Housing then, …

Mr Tetamashimba: Hon. Sata!

Mr Mpombo: … Hon. Sata, and Hon. Dr Guy Scott voted unanimously in this House to cancel that deal and the law was repealed. Therefore, it is only this House that can authorise that. The UNIP Government came to this House and was given powers to do that, but when the government of Hon. Sejani came in, they overturned that by repealing the law.


Mr Mpombo: So, as far as the Government is concerned, we cannot dish out any monetary or material items until we get the authority of this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, is the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House assuring this House that the Government will now come back to this House with the same proposed Bill in order to provide comfort to our former freedom fighters?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, any reckless moves on the part of the Government would open up a Pandora’s Box. So, we are considering other options.

I thank you, Sir.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


327. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security how many foreign investors and companies had had their licences withdrawn for not following the country’s labour laws.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, companies in Zambia operate under many different licences issued by different government ministries and institutions such as the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Environmental Council of Zambia and local authorities.

With regard to company operations, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security only issues the certificate of registration of a factory. This certificate is only issued to companies upon meeting the minimum requirements of occupational safety and health as outlined in the Factories Act, Chapter 411 of the Laws of Zambia. Subsidiary certificates issued under the certificate of registration of a factory include certificates relating to operations of pressure vessels like boilers and air receivers and lifting machinery such as. passenger lifts, goods lifts and cranes.

During the year 2006, fifteen factories had either some or all of their works suspended for not meeting the minimum requirements of occupational safety and health. Of these, five were foreign owned. Zambians and foreign investors jointly owned one. Nine companies were solely Zambian owned.

Attached is a matrix showing the details of the companies whose works were suspended. With the permission of the Hon. Mr Speaker, I will lay it on the Table for hon. Members to peruse.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Liato laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


328. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning when the Government would clear the backlog of arrears owed to public service pensioners in Zambia.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, we cannot give a time frame within which we are going to get rid of the backlog of arrears owed to pensioners. Last week, in an answer to a question on pensions, we indicated that under the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), we intend to spend as much as 1.2 per cent of GDP to try to resolve this matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is definitely aware that many retirees are now wallowing in street sponsored poverty. Is the Government not sad about this?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, we are not aware that we are sponsoring poverty in the country.

Mr D. Mwila: Aah!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, while we sympathise with retirees, we should also not use wrong statistics to alarm the nation. During last year’s election campaigns, there was a gentleman being shown on one of the advertisements. We actually went to interview him at the railway station and proved that he was not a Government retiree. He was being featured by the party to which Hon. Sejani belongs.


Mr Magande: So, we should also not give wrong information. We are aware that there are 937 retirees, both retired at 55 years and on early retirement, and we owe K80.2 billion. We are doing our best, within the limited resources, to try to have them paid.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, is it possible for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who we all know bragged about being a mathematician, to produce a five-year plan without making any effort, whatsoever, to try and liquidate this outstanding debt and simply come to this House and say he is trying his best? What does he mean by trying his best when he cannot translate it in the five-year development plan?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, as part of our planning, we have an annual plan, medium term expenditure plan, a five year national plan and Vision 2030. I said that within the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, we will try to reduce this. I want to assure the accountant, Hon. Hachipuka, that the MTEF is for three years. The five year plan is for five years. Therefore, we are planning within the five year national plan.

I thank you, Sir.

329. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how many succession disputes involving chiefs had been recorded in Zambia from 1991 to 2006;

(b) what the causes of these disputes were; and

(c) what measures the Government had taken to resolve the disputes.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that there were seventy-six disputes involving chiefs recorded from 1991 to 2006. Out of the seventy-six cases, sixty were successfully resolved while sixteen are still unresolved.

Mr Speaker, there are two main causes of these disputes and these are:

(i) lack of understanding of the meaning or use of a family tree during succession; and

(ii) greediness by some family members during succession.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the measures taken by the Government to resolve these disputes, the Government re-established the House of Chiefs in 2003 which comprises three elected chiefs from each province to represent other royal highnesses in the House. One of the mandates of the House of Chiefs is to resolve succession and land disputes amongst chiefs. This arrangement has worked well and has seen the reduction of unresolved chiefs’ succession disputes from seventy-six since 1991 to sixteen.

I thank you, Sir.

330. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Sport Youth and Child Development what measures the Government had taken to address the growing problem of street kids in Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Mulasikwanda): Mr Speaker, my ministry has embarked on a youth and child empowerment programme targeting street children and other vulnerable youths in order to address the problem of streetism. Under this programme, my ministry identified three ZNS training camps, namely, Kitwe ZNS Skills Training, Chiwoko ZNS and Chishimba ZNS.

The first intake of 230 children and youth was taken to Chiwoko ZNS and Kitwe ZNS training camps on the 30th of December, 2004. Out of these 230 children, 204 completed the training.

Mr Speaker, they were trained in the following skills:

(i) carpentry and joinery;

(ii) bricklaying and plastering;

(iii) poultry;

(iv) general agriculture;

(v) shoe making; and

(vi) auto mechanics

Mr Speaker, the children graduated from Chiwoko and Kitwe ZNS camps in August and September, 2006, respectively. Upon graduation, the graduates were assigned to the sixteen youth resource centres run by the ministry.

The long-term plan is to settle the graduates in the various districts of their choice. Some graduates will be settled in cooperatives while others are being assisted to settle as individuals. My ministry is also working with the office of the Vice-President in the provision of land for graduates in agriculture. The second intake will have 650 street children and youth and is scheduled to commence on 5th March, 2007.

Mr Speaker, 250 girls will be at Kitwe ZNS Camp while 400 boys will be at Chiwoko ZNS Camp. The recruitment is being done through the provincial mobilisation committees under the supervision of the Provincial Permanent Secretaries throughout the country. Upon completion of the rehabilitation works at Chishimba, another 250 boys will be enrolled there.

Mr Speaker, my ministry also realises the need to educate the nation on the importance of protecting the rights of children. In this regard, my ministry undertakes awareness programmes targeting the general public, children, traditional leaders and local authorities.

Further, my ministry gives monthly grants to institutions and organisations dealing with street children and other vulnerable young people. The grants are meant to enhance their capacity to support and care for the children.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, how does the Government expect to successfully fight streetism, when every year the school system off loads tens of thousands of kids onto the streets? This year alone, for Grade 9, there are over a 100,000. How do you expect to succeed with these limited measures that you are taking?
The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Namulambe): Mr Speaker, the ministry is looking at vulnerable children who have not been to school and have no parents and nowhere to stay. These are the people that we are targeting and not those drop outs who have parents looking after them. We are also considering training those that are vulnerable and have nothing to do.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, realising that children are born out of wedlock or in marriage, in Zambia’s situation, in the event of both parents passing away, there are still members of the extended family system to take care of the children of the late. When is the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development going to bring to this august House a Bill to compel such relatives to take care of the children of their late relatives even Members of Parliament who deny their children?


Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, at the moment, I do not think there is need to enact a law that is going to compel people to extend their families. We are looking at creating awareness so that people should feel responsible for their own relatives. In this case, we are also urging hon. Members of Parliament to encourage their electorates to promote the extended family system.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, this programme appears to be yielding positive results. Is the ministry thinking of opening, at least, one training centre in each province since we have so many street kids? In addition, how often are they supposed to recruit these street kids per year?
Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the programme my ministry has of opening up youth skills training centres is not specifically designed to take on street children because some districts like Chavuma and Shang’ombo have no street children. When the resources are available, we are going to try to open up some youth skills training centres to accommodate those youths who cannot afford to enter into other trades institutes due to lack of the necessary qualifications.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simama (Kalulushi): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that when the Chinese President came to Zambia, all the street kids who are found near Manda Hill were removed? Why can they not continue using the system they used?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that some street children were removed from Manda Hill.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: If there is a good Samaritan who removed them, I would encourage him to get as many as possible.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chazangwe (Choma): Mr Speaker, since most of these youths have never been to school, does the ministry have any plans to have these children put in classes, say, from Grades 1 to 7 and so on and so forth?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, at the moment, we are looking at giving the youth survival skills because it is not only by attending Grades 1 to 7 that a person can live properly. There are some people who have survived without formal education. So, we are giving them some basic skills to enable them earn a living. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is targeting the age group between 1 and 15 and it is within that age group that there is consideration to take some children to school. This is because at the age of 25 it will be very difficult for one to start Grade 1.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, what monitoring mechanism has the ministry put in place to ensure that these children use their survival skills after graduating and do not go back on the streets?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we are going to put up monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure that we supervise and monitor how these children are going to survive. At the moment, we are trying to monitor how they are behaving after the training. So far, we are satisfied that we can start reintegrating them into society. Next week, we have a symposium in Kitwe where we are going to look at the most suitable methods of enhancing the integration of these street children into society. The monitoring and evaluation system is one measure that my ministry has put in place to ensure that these people do not go back on the streets.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: In view of the interest which the House has shown in the welfare of the children in general, I would like to guide the House that there are various pieces of legislation which were enacted in this House. I would suggest that hon. Members acquaint themselves with those Acts. One of them is entitled ‘The Affiliation and Maintenance of Children Act.’ In particular, this piece of legislation deals with parents who neglect the welfare of their children. It comes under the Ministry of Justice.{mospagebreak}


331. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:

(a) what assistance the Government had given to the Retirees Welfare Bureau of Zambia since its recognition by the Government in 2001; and

(b) whether the Government had plans to formulate a national policy on retirement and ageing.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, is collaborating with the Retirees Welfare Bureau of Zambia in the fields of research, policy development and facilitation of funding. In December, 2006, a team comprising officials from the ministry and the bureau travelled to Chipata to undertake research on the social and economic challenges faced by retirees and elderly persons above the age of 55.

Mr Speaker, the Government is in the process of formulating a national policy on aging. There is a draft policy document in place and the next stage is to convene a stakeholders’ consultative workshop.

Sir, with regard to the national policy on retirement, in order to establish a comprehensive social security system, the Zambian Government has maintained a three-pillar social security system as follows:

 (i) First Pillar

Compulsory national basic scheme under which we have the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA), which is basically for all. No one can opt out of this scheme. The pensionable retirement age for both male and female is 55 years.

(ii) Second Pillar 
The National Occupational Pension Scheme

(iii) Third Pillar

Individual Private Informal Arrangement Scheme

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is in the process of formulating a policy implementation strategy to deliver a social security programme as outlined in our Fifth National Development Plan.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister indicate briefly when this document which is in draft form will be concluded and brought to the House.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, right now, there is a committee working on the policy on retirement. We believe that by the end of this quarter, they will have completed their meetings. In the second quarter, we should be finalising the policy on retirement.

I thank you, Sir.


332. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing how many boreholes were drilled in the country from 2001 to date, province by province.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that the following are the number of boreholes drilled in the country:

Province  Number of Boreholes
 Eastern    945

 Luapula   118

 Northern   277

 Central    4,516

 North-Western   79

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Kazonga: Southern   5,410

 Western   136

 Lusaka    67

 Copperbelt   102

 Total    11,750

Mr Speaker, my ministry is also implementing a National Rural Water and Sanitation Programme with the overall objective of providing sustainable access to water supply and sanitation in all rural areas so as to contribute towards poverty reduction as well as facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether there is a deliberate policy …

Ms Masiye: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Masiye: Mr Speaker, I apologise to the hon. Member for curtailing his important debate.

Sir, I rise on a serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, Mr Simbao, in order to remain quiet and not act to prevent the loss of revenue and life at the Kapiri-Mposhi Weighbridge where truckers and buses are avoiding going through the weighbridge or resorting to offloading cargo before passing through the weighbridge? The junction where the weighbridge is located is already known for frequent motor vehicle accidents and the urgent construction of the divert road for trucks may be ideal. Can the ministry urgently institute a method of penalising buses without necessarily inconveniencing the travelling public.

Mr Speaker, I make reference to yesterday’s Times of Zambia, dated 21st February, 2007, on page 3. Allow me to quote and, thereafter, I will lay it on the Table:

‘Kapiri Weighbridge Congestion Continues

Congestion at the newly commissioned electronic weighbridge in Kapiri Mposhi has continued while some truck drivers are evading the check point. Some drivers were offloading their trucks before the weighbridge on the Kabwe/Ndola/Mkushi junction and were using smaller vehicles to carry the goods which they reloaded onto the trucks after the check point.’

Sir, allow me to read a little more. I will also quote the last paragraph:

‘A visit to the area on Monday showed that there was still congestion at the weighbridge, especially in the evenings when the trucks jam the highway.’
Sir, the latter part of the story says:

‘Some bus passengers talked to said authorities should treat public buses differently instead of inconveniencing them alongside truckers. “We have been here for quite sometime now because of the long process involved in the clearance of buses, but this is inconveniencing to us innocent passengers,” said Kitwe bound Enwick Kaombe.’

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling on this matter.

Ms Masiye laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Chilembo: Quantity!


Mr Speaker: Order!

As the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Mufulira does not qualify to be raised in this House, I consider it to be informative for the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, who may be unaware of what is happening in Kapiri Mposhi, to go into action and resolve the situation there.

May the hon. Member for Mapatizya continue, please.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whether there is a deliberate policy to prefer dam construction to borehole drilling in areas that are getting drier and are returning dry boreholes like Mapatizya.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, the construction of dams falls under the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. Suffice to say that we in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing only concentrate on supplying water for domestic use. Therefore, we do not take that into account when dealing with issues of drilling of boreholes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing what criterion is used to allocate boreholes to provinces. I thought that since the drilling of boreholes is part of the MDGs, provinces such as the Western Province, which is one of the poorest provinces in the country, would be considered.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the criterion used is that the districts themselves determine their priorities. When you look at the Budget, you will find that certain provinces will budget, for example, for livestock and other provinces will not budget for this. Even when it comes to drilling of boreholes, it depends on the priorities of the district and how they decide to spend their resources. You will find that some provinces or districts would always demand that they drill boreholes as opposed to, maybe, livestock issues like in Southern Province. Apart from that, in certain areas, we have had support from different donors and certain donors choose which provinces they want to work in. In this case, we have had a number of donors working in Southern Province. You will find that even in terms of road construction or rehabilitation, Southern Province may have more donors or other stakeholders working there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, of late, there have been rumours of financial mismanagement by the district WASHE teams. What measures has the hon. Minister put in place in order to arrest the situation?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, what we normally do when we receive a case of mismanagement or misapplication of resources, is appoint auditors from the ministry to audit the funds that have been set or raised for a particular project. In this case, if the D-WASHE committees have misappropriated resources, we send an auditor. When the audit report is out, the local authority is supposed to look at that audit report and take decisions. If the decisions which they have taken are not satisfactory to the ministry, then the hon. Minister has powers to surcharge any officer at the local authority who has caused the loss of the resources.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I had just started asking a supplementary question on Question No. 332. In view of the statistics that we have been given by the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, I would like to find out if the Government is in a position to direct the donors to drill boreholes according to the different needs in different provinces rather than creating imbalances.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, yes, the Government has come up with the National Water Supply and Sanitation Programme. This programme is being supported by the Government, donors and other stakeholders. Through this programme, we have asked the districts to identify their needs in terms of the number of boreholes to be drilled in each district. We have cost that and tried to raise resources from the Treasury and, of course, other stakeholders, including the donors. To that effect, we now have in place a plan which takes into account the real needs according to provinces and districts.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wonder if the hon. Minister would care to estimate how many of the 5000 plus boreholes in Southern Province, lets say, are not functioning due to lack of maintenance, spares and knowledge on the part of the village community as opposed to the underlying reason of dryness. This is because every year, we keep going back to drill boreholes.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, it is true that in some areas there are times when a borehole is drilled, and yet there was another borehole that may have collapsed due to lack of maintenance. That has been taken into account in the national programme. What we have done and will continue doing is to count the number of boreholes that were drilled that need rehabilitation. We also have within the programme a component for training the community on how to manage the boreholes and ensure that any small works that need to be done are carried out at the local level.

In fact, we are decentralising the whole issue of water supply and sanitation to the district level through these D-WASHE Committees. We hope that with time, as the programme is being implemented, we will have a situation where each district is able to maintain the existing boreholes and ensure that there is proper co-ordination of the boreholes that are being drilled in each district.

In the past, whilst the Government was drilling boreholes in an area, non-Governmental organisations also moved into the same area. In some cases, one village would have three boreholes while others within the vicinity had none. So, we are trying, through this programme, to harmonise the situation by bringing all the stakeholders on board. There is a committee comprising NGOs, donors and so on and so forth so that we are seen to be moving together in the effective implementation of this programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if there is any relationship between the distribution of boreholes in certain provinces and the retention rate of Members of Parliament who participated in last year’s elections. What will the Government do to make up for those provinces with few boreholes?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I am not sure whether there is a direct relationship between the distribution of boreholes and the number of Members of Parliament from provinces like Southern Province that were able to retain most of their Members or other provinces whose Members did not come back. All I can say is that, again, it depends on the priority that each district sets. Obviously, if in your community, what is required is a borehole, but you decide to spend your Constituency Development Funds (CDF), on clubs that cannot show what they are doing, that will reflect at the end of the day.

As a Government, we have asked the local councils to tell us their priorities in as far as water supply and sanitation is concerned. The councillors and hon. Members of Parliament must be very active and attend those meetings. This is why, in the past, I have tried to encourage hon. Members of Parliament to attend council meetings. Even now, a circular has already been issued to all the local authorities on the issue of water supply and sanitation. We are telling the local governments that it is their job to tell us how many boreholes their districts need.

If you do not attend those meetings and the final list is submitted and you discover that Central Province has more boreholes, it means that the hon. Members of Parliament in that province were very active and attended every council meeting.

Therefore, take interest in these developmental issues by attending council meetings. I have said to a number of my colleagues that here we make the laws, but the actual implementation of what we do here is at the district level. Fortunately, you are judged not by the number of laws you make or how much you speak here, but by what people see on the ground.

Therefore, the best thing is to translate what we make here into reality by implementing those things so that the people can see the benefit of our talking here.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify whether the scheme where we were asking for water to be pumped from Luapula to Southern Province to fill up our dams could be resuscitated so that we can stop the drilling of boreholes.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Member of Parliament is trying to teach me that in areas like Luapula where there is a lot of water, I should not be talking about drilling of boreholes, but reticulation and that, maybe, there are more boreholes in Southern Province on account that it is a drought prone area. So, the only way is to drill boreholes for them. However, those in Luapula do not need boreholes because they have enough water. What they need are modern ways of getting water into their houses. I take note of that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing where the borehole pumps that were found in the late Mwiinga’s warehouse near the market, here in Lusaka, are at the moment and if they have been used.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, that question is slightly difficult to answer. However, what the hon. Member is talking about is that once upon a time, when he was Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, we used to have a warehouse where chemicals and a number of different pumps –I think these were mark 11 pumps – that were purchased under some bilateral agreements with some countries, were kept. These pumps were supposed to be distributed to the various local authorities that requested for them.

Yes, I know that we had these pumps, but I do not know how many they were. I am also aware that a number of these hand pumps were distributed to various districts that made the request. Beyond that, I do not have any further information. Maybe, the hon. Member of Parliament has information on this. I am willing to listen to that information and follow it up.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing if there is a survey group from the ministries of Energy and Water Development and Local Government and Housing in areas where companies are drilling boreholes. This is because if a community sees a company drilling a dry borehole on an allocated site and suggests that the company should deepen that borehole, the company refuses saying that that was the agreed number of metres in the contract. Is the ministry paying for such boreholes? In my area, for instance, Mukubwe Ward, I suggest that a canal be constructed because the programme of drilling boreholes has been there for the past ten years but has been a failure.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, that it is a good question. If others did not hear it, I heard it.

Mr Speaker, I think, this is where we have had a problem and that is why we are trying to change the way we are going to deal with this business of contracting from the centre. Indeed, in the past, my ministry would contract somebody to drill boreholes in a certain province and the contract was signed from Lusaka. In some cases, the local authorities were not on board and so when this person went and drilled boreholes and if they were so many, sometimes they would come back and say the boreholes had been drilled and they would be paid. Even if people went to check on these boreholes, sometimes, you would get a report that the boreholes had been drilled, and yet they had not. Maybe, you would agree on a depth of sixty metres, but somebody would drill fifty metres.

So, this is the truth in terms of the reality on the ground and that is why we are pushing for decentralisation. We want the districts to determine the number of boreholes, plan for them and advertise them. If they lack the capacity, even if we, at the centre, advertise, we want that contract to be signed between the contractor and the districts so that the districts can supervise because they will be nearer.

It is difficult for me in Lusaka to go to Samfya to check whether a borehole has been drilled. Many a time, contractors become rude when the people in the community or the local authorities try to supervise them. They will tell the local authorities that they do not know them but the people at the Ministry of Local Government and Housing because those are the ones they signed the contract with.

So, they get away with that. That is why we are trying to decentralise planning and budgeting. Our job will be to inspect the councils to see whether the money we send to them for the drilling of boreholes is used for that purpose. In any case, we do not even need to go there because the community will know and they will make so much noise that those people will be scared not to do the right thing.

So, yes, in the past, it was possible, but we are trying to rationalise this. We hope that what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has already started will be emulated by the other ministries. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning has taken the lead among all the sector ministries in terms of trying to decentralise. They have been bold enough to start the process in this year’s Budget. It might not be perfect, but they have taken a step. I hope the other line ministries can also begin to take bold steps to look at what functions they will devolve to the local authorities so that the local authorities can plan on their own and supervise the construction of infrastructure.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Njobvu: I wish to ask the hon. Minister of Local and Housing, from her experience, how many boreholes can be drilled from K60 million.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, there are many factors that come into play such as the depth of the borehole to be drilled. A borehole that is going to be 120 metres deep, for example, will cost more than a borehole which is sixty metres deep.

In some areas you find water just after thirty metres, but in other areas like Kalomo, you really have to go deep because those are drought prone areas. So, the cost will differ. However, on average, it costs between K20 million and K25 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamir (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, I would like to learn from the hon. Minister whether the mono pump spares are sold by the D-Washe team. I ask this because the local communities are failing to raise money for the spares.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, are you able to answer that question?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, yes, there is a provision now that if you have a borehole in the community, the committee must work out some mechanism to make sure that they raise resources to maintain that borehole so that if there is any problem, they can use that money to buy certain spares. Currently, we are working on a programme with some cooperating partners in the Southern Province, because they have many boreholes, and I think Western Province as well. We are working out training of some kind for keeping resources specifically for buying spares that will be required for the maintenance of these boreholes.

So, there is a programme not just for drilling boreholes, but also for training the communities to maintain them and know how to keep money to buy the spares that are required. We are also looking at the possibility of making some of these spares locally, but that is a long term plan.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, much as we appreciate that Luapula Province is endowed with abundant water and we praise the Lord for that, is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing aware that there are places on the plateaus of Mansa, Mwense, Kawambwa, Nchelenge and Samfya districts that require clean water from boreholes? The Luapula River, Lake Mweru and Lake Bangweulu are excessively used as means of transport by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia and, as such, their waters are not recommended for human consumption.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I am fully aware of all the implications of the various sources of water as the minister responsible for water supply and sanitation. That is why you will note, from the answer given by my Deputy Minister, that boreholes are still being drilled in Luapula Province. Currently, we have a programme for Luapula Province.

In fact, today, I instructed the local authorities in Luapula Province to call for a special council meeting before the end of March to create a provincial water utility. The utility will take into account the various districts and the sources of water for each district depending on the terrain and, indeed, whether they have a water source which can be extracted to supply water to those communities, whether it should be drilling of boreholes or water from the other rivers. Suffice to say that even if it might be said that that water is not good for consumption, in this modern age, there are processes that can turn even sewerage water into water fit for drinking.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: I am sure you are aware that in a number of countries, today, sewerage water is being recycled into drinking water which you end up drinking and importing. In some cases, you even like it better than manzi.


Mrs Masebo: I thank you, Sir.




The Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons Bill, 2007

Report adopted.

Third Reading on Friday, 23rd February, 2007




(Debate resumed)

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, before we adjourned last evening, I was discussing the inadequate funding to the road sector. I was explaining that there is a huge gap that we should bridge. I also pointed out that according to this year’s programme, K1.4 trillion is supposed to be allocated in the Budget, but there is only a provision of K787 billion which is about half the amount that is required. Therefore, I tabulated suggestions and proposals that would assist bridge the gap.

Sir, the first one was the amendment of the Finance Act which would make it possible for fuel levy to go straight into the Road Fund as against the current practice where it takes a long route and about three months for it to reach the Road Fund. During that process, there is a very strong possibility of the funds being abused. A point of order was raised because I said that there was not much improvement on the remittance of fuel levy since the Motion I introduced about four years ago.

Sir, let me support that idea by citing from the Auditor-General’s Report of 2005. On page 36, there is non-remittance of fuel levy up to May, 2006, amounting to K146 billion. That is what I meant when I said that I was not happy with the way the fuel levy was being remitted. Therefore, I was in order when I said that.


Mr Mooya: Sir, may I also refer to the Times of Zambia dated 1st February, 2007 where the same K146 billion was mentioned. I repeat that those are the leakages that I was talking about.

Sir, let me go to the second proposal which the people on your right could have used to bridge the gap. I proposed that all road user charges, as originally agreed when the Zambian Government was negotiating with the donors, should be channelled to the Road Fund. That would raise roughly an additional K50 billion. I was happy two days ago, when the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing assured this House that the road licence fees would be channelled to the Road Fund.

Mr Speaker, let me come to the third point which is the need, like I have pointed out many times, to have one road authority as originally planned. Currently, there is still fragmentation. There are three agencies under three different roofs. If the original idea of having one road authority was implemented, we would not spend a lot of money on the operations of the agencies. For your information, the three agencies have forty-six board members against the original plan of having only ten. That is where money can be saved to bridge the gap.

Sir, the forth issue is that the Road Fund is owed about K37 billion by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. What is happening is that on every certificate, the National Road Fund Agency pays VAT, which is then paid over to Zambia Revenue Authority. The VAT is then sent to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for onward transmission to the Road Fund, but that has never been implemented.

Mr Speaker, the fifth way of bridging the gap is to do away with Government funding. I think this is where we have a very big problem. We were told in the workshop on roads that last year, only 30 per cent of GRZ funding was realised. How can we do away with Government funding? I suggest that excise duty on fuel of about 10 per cent should be transferred to fuel levy so that fuel levy can be 25 per cent instead of 15 per cent. From there, we would raise about K133 billion.

Sir, if my arithmetic is right, summing up all these savings, I get to about K1.2 trillion and we are short of about K0.2 trillion.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, we can get this short fall of K200 billion from windfall taxation like Hon. Matongo suggested. Alternatively, we can take most of the programmes for poverty reduction to the Ministry of Works and Supply because that is where we can really make an impact in terms of poverty reduction.

Sir, let me highlight this point. We know that Roadsip II requires US $1.6 billion. Approximately a third of that would go to labour based contracts and that third is about US $500 million. From my experience 40 per cent of that would go for wages which is about U S $200 million. We have nine provinces, but for simplicity, make it ten. This simply means that every province would get US $20 million. Take a province like Southern Province which has eleven, for simplicity, ten districts. You would find that you have US $2 million per district. If you get a district like Monze which has three constituencies, roughly, each constituency would get about US $1 million which is about K4 billion. If that US $1 million was given to Moomba Constituency, it would make a lot of impact.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Sir, I wonder how many new ploughs my people would buy and how many old ploughs they would rehabilitate by buying bolts and nuts. How many exercises books and how many blankets would they buy? That is why I am saying that why cannot we not do away with other poverty reduction programmes and transfer the funds to the Ministry of Works and Supply because that is where it makes sense. Since we know that feeder roads are in rural areas, this would really uplift the living standards of the people.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, those are the measures which my Government, under the UDA, would have implemented straight away without problems.
Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, I can still hear the words of Mr Chilundika, the Assistant Director of the Road Development Agency (RDA), which he said at the end of the seminar. He said:

‘If hon. Members of Parliament approve the 2007 Budget, we will continue driving on pot-holes. If we do that, we should not blame the Road Development Agency.’

Mr Speaker, he went on to say that, ‘Politicians and the general public should not complain about poor conditions of the road network.’

Mr Speaker, all I am saying is that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should find money to bridge the gap because we know the importance of roads.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: There can never be any development without roads.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Mooya: Roads stimulate development.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would like to thank you.


Mr Chibombamilimo (Mpulungu): Can you mind your own business.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, …


Mr Chibombamilimo: Listen to the voice of wisdom.


Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, I stand to support the adoption of the 2007 Budget as it contains every good reason why every representative of the Zambian people here should, indeed, support it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, this is a budget that demonstrates the consistency of the Government’s economic policy which is intended to achieve stability and an environment conducive to investment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, these are important goals for an economy such as Zambia’s that had almost spun out of control at the time the MMD took over power by dismissing the UNIP Government, that caused wanton plunder of the National Treasury, from the political stage. It was an economy that was not only stagnant, but ever sliding into zones that could have plunged the nation into an abyss of hopelessness.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, this year’s Budget promises growth; a promise the New Deal Government has made and kept over the past five years as evidenced by the economic growth rate averaging 5 per cent per annum.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, this growth rate should not be trivialised by being explained away as a mere statistic with no bearing on our lives as Zambians. This growth is a manifestation of the real actions the Government has been taking in the management of the economy …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: … resulting in the cancellation of a huge chunk of our international debt by our international creditor nations and multilateral institutions.

Mr Speaker, the savings made from debt cancellation can now be channelled into the social sector to address some of the challenges the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning outlined in the Budget which include the HIV/AIDS pandemic, education and health.

The hon. Minister further observed that:

‘When the available resources have not been applied judiciously and purposefully, someone has corruptly approved or certified the outcome instead of demanding quality goods and services from the private or Government supplier.’

This statement demonstrates the Government’s vigilance in the implementation process and a genuine desire to correct the situation for the benefit of the Zambian populace. Zambians deserve quality service from their Government and we are committed to doing just that …
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibombamilimo: … as demonstrated by the provisions in this Budget as a matter of fact.

Mr Tetamashimba: Hammer Chibombamilimo!

Mr Chibombamilimo: When hon. Members of this House notice poor service or corrupt practices; when non-governmental organisations speak out on what they see as poor delivery of service, it helps us, as a Government, correct the situation.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Chibombamilimo: Mr Speaker, we see those that point out shortcomings as playing their rightful role in our society as guardians of the resources of the Zambian people. This is why the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said as he concluded his Budget presentation:

‘All stakeholders, including local communities, non-governmental organisations, the business community and, indeed, Members of this august House, must take up the responsibility of developing the country by supervising Government programmes which use public funds.’

We are a large society with too many players fighting for the same resources. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, not everyone wants to play by the rules resulting in our inability to achieve all that we set out to do in our national programmes.

If we leave the duty to police our use of resources to traditional policing agencies of the State alone, I mean the police, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Drug Enforcement Commission, we shall unnecessarily slow the pace of development in our nation.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, make a passionate appeal to every Zambian to access a copy of the 2007 Budget, follow closely disbursements to their various constituencies and councils and challenge relevant authorities where they suspect inappropriate application of funds.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to deliver my maiden speech.

Let me begin by paying special tribute to the people of Gwembe for giving me an opportunity to represent them for the second term. I pledge to work even harder without fear or favour.

Let me also congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on your re-election as Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, and also Madam Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House on their election. You really deserve the position and you are a good Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Your commitment and dedication to work is not recognised in Zambia alone, but outside Zambia as well. I want to make known to this august House that some time last year, I was given the opportunity by this House to represent Zambia in the United Kingdom on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). During this visit, I was privileged to visit Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. During the introductions, the Secretary of the CPA, UK Branch, Mr Andrew Turgy, introduced me to Queen Elizabeth. In his own words he said, ‘This is Hon. Ntundu from Zambia, and Zambia is a country whose Speaker is committed to the CPA.’ Queen Elizabeth smiled on her throne and said, …


Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, one hon. Member is asking me why I delayed to deliver my maiden speech. I want to inform him that I was looking for an opportune time so that I could give a factual speech.

Sir, Queen Elizabeth was delighted and said, ‘Can you please give him a badge of silver for my birthday.’ This is the badge of silver that I was given by Queen Elizabeth. It is worth £500.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Lay it on the Table!

Mr Ntundu: This is the badge.

Mr Ntundu showed the badge to Hon. Mr Speaker and hon. Members.

Mr Ntundu: It is beautiful. Sir, this is because of your commitment to the CPA.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: Hand it over!


Mr Ntundu: It is mine!


Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, to me, the fact that no political party that participated in the 26th September, 2006, elections petitioned the Presidential Elections is enough acknowledgement that His Excellency, President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, emerged victorious.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I would now like to congratulate His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, on emerging victorious in the just ended tripartite elections.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I also want to commend the Patriotic Front (PF) President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for giving the MMD a good run up to the elections.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I also want to commend my party President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, who managed to score a good number of votes despite the fact that he had been on the political scene for only fifty days. Had he been on the political scene as long as the other two, this time around, he would have been the Republican President.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, actually, Mr Hakainde Hichilema still works to be the best of the three.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I now want to talk about the famous Bottom Road. I want to register my total disappointment over the information which was given to this House by the hon. Member for Mbala who happens to be the Deputy Minister for Energy and Water Development. Surely, this Government needs to be serious. The Government needs to compensate the people of Gwembe. It is not correct for the Government to bring shoddy answers to this House when we ask them good questions which are for their own good. We want to see seriousness and a change from this Government.

Mr Speaker, the people of Gwembe need to be compensated. I wonder why the Government has decided to neglect the people of Gwembe when ZESCO is making billions and trillions of kwacha at the expense of the people of Gwembe who were displaced during the construction of the Kariba Dam.

Mr Speaker, from the time the people of Gwembe were displaced during the construction of the Kariba Dam, they have been living in the hills where it is rocky and there is no arable land. As a result, they will always need relief food since it is not their fault. They need to be compensated.

Mr Speaker, I now want to talk about feeder roads. The Government should follow up moneys which are released for feeder roads in Southern Province. There is something very wrong going on there. We do not want to blame the Government all the time because sometimes the Government does release funds which are misapplied by Controlling Officers. I would like to commend one hon. Member of this House, Hon. Mpombo, who headed the province sometime in 2002. He left a name and since Hon. Mpombo left, no feeder road has been done.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, if I had my way, I would take Hon. Mpombo back to Southern Province.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I hope Hon. Mpombo is listening because he is Acting Leader of Government Business in the House representing His Honour the Vice-President. I have no doubt that my sentiments are not landing on a deaf ear. The man who he is representing, Hon. Rupiah Banda, is a very decent man. This is the first time that His Excellency the President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, has appointed a decent and good Vice-President.


Mr Ntundu: Yes, I have no doubt that he is a decent man.

Mr Speaker, let me come to the press. I want to particularly condemn some of these newspapers in their writings. For instance, there is one editor of a named newspaper in this country who thinks he is cleverer than everyone else. He can even write that the President is stupid and get away with it. He can write that hon. Members of Parliament are greedy and are looking for higher perks, which is demeaning Parliament.

Mr Speaker, let some of these editors advertise their payslips so that we see who gets more money.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I cannot afford to buy a jaguar which some of these editors drive. His Excellency President Mwanawasa, SC, is just too good because some of these editors should have been followed. Mwanawasa is a very decent President. He is too good.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: In fact, he is very kind. Some of these editors can buy houses, raze them down and put up mansions. We need to bring sanity in this country. We want the press to respect Parliament and the President.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: We will not tolerate this, Mr Speaker. If this continues, we will rise against them.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, sometimes they promote tribalism. We do not even know where they come from because they have names which we do not know.


Mr Ntundu: They are the only ones who have such names.


Mr Mabenga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, coming to the Budget.


Mr Ntundu: Sir, I need your protection.

Sir, it is a known fact that on the day of elections, one newspaper was supporting a political party. They had put a picture on the front page. They should come out in the open and state which political party they support. They should put it straight so that we know that in their writing, they support a named political party.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: We know the political party they support. In fact, some of these editors, even if they are demeaning Parliament, have never worn a tie and suit. They do not even know how to wear a tie and suit.

On the Budget, Mr Speaker, all the budgets speeches that have been delivered to this House so far are so good. There is no single budget speech that has been given in this House which I can condemn. What amazes me is the failure to implement what is contained in these budgets.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Ntundu: All the Members of this House will agree with me on this. For instance, in the 2006 Budget, K1 billion was indicated for the Bottom Road and no work was done. In this year’s Budget, K5 billion has been indicated for this road and I have no doubt that no work will be done.

Hon. Government Member: No, we are not lazy.

Mr Ntundu: If you are serious …

Hon. Government Member: Yes, we are very serious.

Mr Ntundu: … and want to get votes from Gwembe, do the Bottom Road.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I have no intentions of crossing over.


Mr Ntundu: If all the other hon. Members from this side cross over to that side, I will be the only hon. Member remaining on this side.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, we would like to check what the Government is doing. We would like to hold the Government accountable.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: After all, when we were campaigning, we told people that we wanted to bring in a Government that would deliver.

Hon. Opposition Member: A decent Government.

Mr Ntundu: A decent Government. The fact that we are Members of Parliament means that we want to support the Government in delivering.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: I pledge that I will support you in order for you to give the people of Zambia good services.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: I will not condemn you when you are doing right, but when you do wrong, I will be the first to condemn you. 
With those very few words, Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Members: Continue.

Mr Ntundu: Time is money. In fact, there is one hon. Member who keeps on murmuring, Mr Speaker. He is lucky because I have stated the items and issues which they omitted when they were delivering their maiden speeches.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: So, they must thank me, Mr Speaker, for having delayed to deliver my maiden speech.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The august House is aware that it is not in keeping with the procedures and practices of this House to interrupt a maiden speaker. As such, I did not wish to interrupt the maiden speaker who just delivered his speech.

There are approximately fifty to sixty reporters accredited to the National Assembly. I am trying to get the exact number. This signifies the importance of the interdependence of the media and this House. The media reports what we say here. It is a conveyer belt of what we say here to the people of Zambia. I am aware that reporters, including their editors, are human beings, but it is inevitable for all hon. Members of this House to work harmoniously with the media at all levels. As such, I would like to caution the House to avoid acrimonious debates that make reference to members of the media with whom we should work. In any case, it will be difficult for them, if you criticise them, to come here and defend themselves.

The interesting thing is that the media, particularly the press, has the last word on this debate. I thought the House would benefit from this. A lot of studies have been done, even at Commonwealth level, on how and why national parliaments or any parliament should work closely with the media in general, and the press in particular. {mospagebreak}

Mr Bonshe (Mufumbwe): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to the wonderful contributions which have been made in this House by the hon. Members of Parliament. Most of the Members of Parliament have urged us to support this year’s Budget. I am in total agreement that this Budget should be supported. It is a wonderful document which has been well designed to bring prosperity to this nation.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: In this vein, I have to congratulate our national planner, our able and dynamic Minister of Finance and National Planning, for guiding the nation to prosperity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: This document has laid a foundation and a way forward. I have been listening to radio commentaries and discussions and to programmes reviewing the budget both on TV and radio and most of the people have praised this document. The technicians, professionals and even those with the propensity to criticise the Government like the Church, trade unions and NGOs have praised this year’s Budget and said it is one of the best and second to none.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: Then, I asked myself, if all these professionals have supported this document, who am I to say this document is bad?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: I am sure and believe that even our friends across there, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: … in their individual capacities, support this document.


Mr Bonshe: The only problem is that they are dictated to by their leaders. We have read in the papers their being told to oppose this Budget. They are not speaking on their own, but are following the dictates of their leaders.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: That is very unfortunate. Let us speak out on our own. This is a listening Government and it has listened to all the problems which have been put across. This country was going down. We only saw the mushrooming of minibuses with no people to pick.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: Maybe, it was because of the background of some leader. However, with the coming in of President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, things changed for the better.

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

Mr Bonshe: Agriculture improved. The vocabulary of bumper harvest came into this country for the first time. There had never been a bumper harvest before the coming into power of President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: We should praise him for that.

Mr Speaker, this Budget has given good allocations to all the Government ministries. It is for this reason that those opposing it have not come up with good facts. They have now jumped to implementation. That is another stage in which all of us hon. Members of Parliament shall participate to ensure that this year’s Budget is well implemented. We should not jump to the implementation stage yet. We should look at the contents of the Budget, which should be supported in total.

Agriculture, which has been revamped, has been given a lot of money. Because this Government attaches great importance to agriculture, livestock shall be increased. My only appeal is that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives should consider North-Western Province for livestock. We do not have animals. Just as my uncle said yesterday, our biggest animal is a dog.


Mr Bonshe: That is what we own.

Mr Mabenga: Banzolo!

Mr Bonshe: Yes, we have chickens commonly known as banzolo.


Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, my appeal, through this House, is that the hon. Minster of Agriculture and Cooperatives should stock animals in North-Western Province.

The people of North-Western Province still use hoes to cultivate which is a very archaic method. We need to improve on that. So, the allocation to agriculture is quite substantial and we believe that North-Western Province will be considered.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, with regard to education, it has been given good money to enable us improve our education system. For the first time, my constituency has been given a boarding high school which is being constructed now. The beauty of this is that the boarding school is being constructed by our all weather friends in development, the Chinese.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: I had an opportunity to talk to their leader. I was promised that the project would be completed in a period of six months. These are people who live by their word.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: They are hard workers. Some lazy Zambians do not want to associate with the Chinese because they are hard workers. They work day and night. In their midst, they could have a doctor who would abandon his work and join in manual work. You would not notice that there is a doctor in their midst until there is a sick person. That is the working spirit of the Chinese.

Mr Tetamashimba: Not Taiwan!

Mr Bonshe: Of course, not Taiwan.


Mr Bonshe: We say, ‘Long live China and its province Taiwan. One China, one Taiwan.’ That is the message being put across.

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

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, as regards health service delivery, this listening Government has given us a hospital. We were not maximising the health service delivery because we had no hospital. This time around, we have been given a hospital by this listening Government. We were crying for a hospital and it has been provided for in this year’s Budget. That is commendable. We have to commend the President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for the wonderful job that he is doing.


Mr Bonshe: We shall continue to hammer where things are good.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: I look forward to the Chinese winning the contract to construct the hospital because they can do a good job.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: This is a listening Government. Even the slogan of ‘More Money in Our Pockets Through Less Taxation’ has been listened to.

Mr Kanyanyamina: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.
Mr Kanyanyamina: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to discuss only China in the House when Zambia is a sovereign State. There are other nations which support Zambia, but we do not sing glories about them? We only sing praises for China.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member for Kanchibiya is suggesting that the hon. Member for Mufumbwe should sing praises for other cooperating partners. Well, that is an opinion and the hon. Member for Mufumbwe thinks that because the Chinese Government is building a boarding secondary school in his constituency, he should concentrate his praise on them. He is in order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: While I have the Floor, I said that I was checking the number of reporters accredited to this House. They are forty-seven.

May the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection. We are praising the Chinese because of the huge investment they have brought to this country since independence. We are talking of the Tazara Railway Line which was built by the Chinese and a huge investment which is going to employ over 600 people in Zambia which is being brought by the Chinese.

Ms Mulasikwanda: 60,000!

Mr Bonshe: 60,000 people are going to be employed. These 60,000 people are also going to employ others. We expect to have over 120,000 employees as a result of this huge investment by the Chinese. There is also the Tazama Pipeline, Mongu Road, just to mention a few. So, it is worth it. You can go on counting the major projects, which have been brought by our good friends the Chinese. I am in order to praise the Chinese.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, I was talking about the slogan of ‘More Money in our Pockets.’ People were crying for that and our listening Government listened and reduced the tax. As a result, there has been a tremendous reduction in tax. There will be more money in the workers’ pockets.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Bonshe: We shall now see where they will shift to and which other point they will raise because the slogan is now ours; ‘More Money in People’s Pockets’. We have conquered that one.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, I am a Christian and when I talk, I always refer to the Bible so that when I say something, it should be spiritual. When Jesus Christ was writing letters to the churches, he praised them on all the good things that they did, but He did not spare them on things which they did not do right. I will also do the same by citing one example which is a biblical teaching. This is in the Book of Revelation, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

There will be no reference to any Book of Revelation in the House. You may debate the Budget.

Will the hon. Member for Mufumbwe continue, please.

Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, the M8 Road has been a problem since the Kaunda and Chiluba eras. I was a bearer of a good message in November when I posed a question in this House to the hon. Minister of Works and Supply on when this road would be completed. With his love for the province, the hon. Minister wanted to have the road completed as soon as possible. He told the nation, through this House, that the road would be completed by November, 2007. We were all excited to be bearers of the good message to be delivered to the people of North-Western Province. Now, we are being told, barely two months later, that this road might take ten years to complete. What are we going to tell the people in the province about this road?


Mr Bonshe: I know that this is a listening Government. Therefore, we have to tell them when we are not satisfied so that they can improve. The people of North-Western Province need this road to be attended to. This road was used as a campaign tool for all the hon. Members in North-Western Province, including the four hon. Ministers in the Front Bench.


Mr Tetamashimba: Even the Opposition.

Mr Bonshe: Even the Opposition used this road in their campaign material. No one can deny this. Maybe, they went through because of this road.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hanjika.

Mr Bonshe: They should not be silent, but talk about this road. If we go back and tell the people that this road will be completed in the estimated ten year period, they will skin us alive.


Mr Bonshe: Mr Speaker, this is true.

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I have a lot of respect for the hon. Member who is on the Floor. However, is the hon. Member, who is the strong man for Mufumbwe who defeated people who were in this House and those who were sent by the people from the other side, …


Mr Tetamashimba: …in order to mislead…

Hon. Opposition Member: You are the next one.

Mr Tetamashimba: …this House and the nation that we are not capable of finishing the road if all the monies were put on that road and the team used was mentioned on the Floor is …

Mr Mtonga: Raise your point of order.

Mr Tetamashimba: You do not know. I do not know why you are still sitting there.


Mr Tetamashimba: Is he in order to imply that when we stated ten years, we meant the monies that we release every year in the Budget? Is he in order to mislead the people of North-Western Province who gave an overwhelming vote to this Government by insinuating that they were misled when we were telling them the truth? I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker, so that the people of North-Western Province can continue supporting this Government which they have been supporting since 2001.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The ruling of the Chair on the point of order raised by the hon. Deputy Minister of Works and Supply on the debate of the hon. Member for Mufumbwe is that the hon. Deputy Minister has, in fact, already debated this issue in his point of order this afternoon. These are the issues the hon. Member for Mufumbwe is debating. The matter is debatable.

May the hon. Member for Mufumbwe continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for your protection. I think even the hon. Deputy Minister knows very well that the message of the estimated ten year period to finish the road has not been well received by the people of North-Western Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe: We were told, in this House about billions of kwacha that were recovered from the plunderers. We would like the Government to consider something because the K20 billion which has been allocated to this road is just a drop in the ocean. Covering a stretch of about 20 kilometres is torture even for the contractors. You call them to work on a 10 kilometre stretch and later call them again instead of allowing them to work continuously on the road. I appeal to the Government to extend the stretch to be worked on this year to 50 or 100 kilometres. That is when we shall know that it is a listening Government. I know that as a listening Government, they will do something.

My appeal to the Government is that they should reconsider the first love which they had. That is why I referred to the Book of Revelation in the Bible where Jesus Christ was telling the people, ‘Remember your first love though you have fallen so that you can continue doing the best things.’ In this case, we were promised that the road was going to be completed in a year’s time and we were looking forward to that. At least, even a 100 kilometres stretch should be covered because there is about 500 kilometres from where the road begins up to Chavuma. Now, the ministry is telling us that it will only go up to Kabompo. This road is not the Mutanda/Kabompo Road, but the Mutanda/Chavuma Road. Therefore, the whole stretch up to Chavuma should be covered. This is my appeal.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this very important subject.

Firstly, I would like to thank the mover and seconder of this important Budget Speech Motion. In order for us to debate properly and thoroughly, I will start by looking at what parameters were in the 2006 Budget.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister came to this House in 2007 and in his preamble, he stated that if the achievements that were spoken of were translated into improved standards for our people, then that would be very good.
He called his Budget ‘From Stability to Improved Service Delivery.’ However, I do not understand how stable this Budget is. I do not understand what stability he is talking about when this Budget is dependent on donor funding. If it is donor-dependent, it cannot be stable.

Mr Speaker, the people of Kantanshi are not secure with this year’s Budget. They feel left out. I can guarantee you that I will not support any budget or statement that will not be able to meet the aspirations of the people of Kantanshi or help alleviate their poverty which is what they are looking forward to.

Mr Speaker, we are not secure because when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was talking about growth in the manufacturing sector, he stated that there was a growth of 3.3 per cent when, in actual sense, if you look at the Budget in detail, there is something missing.

Mr Speaker, in 2006, the same hon. Minister came to this House and, on page 5 of his Budget Address, stated that in 2005, there was a growth of 3.7 per cent from 4.7 per cent in 2004. This year, he comes to the same House and says, in the Budget Address of 2007, that there was a growth, in 2006, of 3.3 per cent from 2.9 per cent in 2005. I do not know how 2.9 per cent can be equivalent to 3.7 per cent.

From these figures, the growth is like this: In 2004, we had a growth of 4.7 per cent, in 2005, 3.7 per cent and not 2.9 per cent and, in 2006, 3.3 per cent. These statistics definitely do not show serious growth. They show shrinking in the manufacturing industry. There is shrinkage in the manufacturing industry. We should call a spade a spade so that the people out there can understand. These figures are actually doctored to suit the master’s conclusion and not reality.

Mr Speaker, how can the people of Kantanshi and I trust the Government if the figures are being cooked? We definitely cannot.

Mr Speaker, in 2006, we were told that the construction sector continued to register double growth. Yes, it registered this, but on page 5, paragraph 31 of the 2006 Budget Speech, talking about construction, the same hon. Minister stated that the Budget in 2005 had grown to 19.9 per cent from 20.5 per cent in 2004. This year, talking about the same industry on page 3, paragraph 21 of the Budget Speech, he stated that there was growth of 9 per cent in 2006 from 21.2 per cent in 2005. Definitely, 21.2 per cent is not the same as 19.9 per cent. There is something missing. How can one trust a Government that keeps changing figures and goal posts?

Mr Magande: On a point of order, Sir!

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling. Is the hon. Member for Kantanshi in order to claim that the figures that we present in the budget are cooked whatever that means.

Mrs Masebo: He is a musician.

Mr Magande: As a musician, perhaps, he cooks something.


Mr Magande: We came to this House as a Government and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and said that we would not present the financial report for the year during the presentation of the Budget because the figures were not complete. As you can see now, the figures in the Budget are estimates which will only be confirmed when we bring the financial report in March. This House agreed that we present these figures with the Budget estimates. Is he in order to quote estimates instead of the figures in the financial report? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: My serious ruling on the point of order raised by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is that he should reserve his reply to what he considers inaccurate growth rates for the time when he winds up debate on his Motion. I am aware that he thinks that it is too far to connect with the debate taking place today. So, he has served notice that he will correct the assertions which, in his opinion, are inaccurate. For now, the hon. Member for Kantanshi may continue debating the Motion.

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance. When I look at all these things that I have talked about, I see that we are not stable as a nation, but insecure. It is for this reason that I would call this Budget ‘From Instability to Insecurity’. We are not stable as Kantanshi and a nation.

Mr Speaker, in 2006, we were told, in this Parliament, and people were even singing songs and praising themselves, that we were going to have K40 billion for the youths across the country. When the actual time came for implementation, we were only availed K6 billion. To date, the youths have not even accessed that K6 billion.

Mr Speaker, how can we trust this Government that says one thing and does the other? Why does the Government take people for granted? Why should the youth be taken for granted? When it comes to elections, they want them, but when it is time to share the cake, no one wants them. This Executive is not serious.

Mr Speaker, the Budget is unstable and we are not safe, especially when we consider that there is K1 trillion lying somewhere in the banks. There is a problem because when we talk about K12 trillion, we are talking about K13 trillion for this year because there is a K1 trillion lying in the banks. Not only that, with the crop of civil servants that we have who constantly plunder the resources of the nation, the taxpayers’ money is constantly leaving the Treasury and going into their pockets. We will not trust this Government because we do not know how safe we are.
Mr Speaker, let me now come to the 2007 Budget. Now that we have received a lot of debt cancellation, the people of Kantanshi expected improved food security and health services and better working environments and tax relief than we are offering. Currently, 68 per cent of the Zambian population is living below the poverty datum line. We are talking about absolute poverty and not relative poverty as the hon. Minister was defining yesterday. We are talking about situations that we have found ourselves in. Zambia is for Zambians and we needed to have a situation where the hon. Minister, even in his Budget Speech, talked about poverty alleviation, but he never mentioned it. What is there in the Budget for the Zambians?

Mr Speaker, we are talking about serious issues. Just because the Government did not prepare a good budget is no excuse for this Executive and Government to talk about multi-facility economic zones and consider Chambeshi because that is where the Chinese are. As people of the Copperbelt, we are saying that give us a break. We want proper investment. We are not against foreign investment; we are against investment that does not translate into tangible development for the Zambians. We want sustainable development on the Copperbelt. We do not want growth meant for foreigners. If that zone in Chambeshi is going to be for the Chinese, we are saying no to that. We want concessions to be for Zambians before they are for foreigners.

Mr Speaker, quality investment is what we want on the Copperbelt. I am sure that the Chambeshi MACZ will create jobs, but the 2000 Chinese who are coming are the ones who are going to get the quality jobs while the Zambians, if they are 50,000, will get poor jobs. They will be low quality jobs that will not assist matters. We need a situation in which we will be able to protect the Zambians.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that we cannot expose the Copperbelt to further risks on the mines by bringing investors whose history and record, back home, is compromised.

When we talk about China, their record in as far as mining is concerned is very bad. They had accidents in October, 2004, in which they lost about 3,400 people on the mines. That is a small thing to them as compared to their population. However, in Zambia, losing 3,400 people is a big issue because that is getting rid of the entire mine. We cannot compromise our health and our security by bringing in people who might even pollute our environment.

Sir, we would like to thank Mopani for what they have done so far. They have plans to reduce sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere by 60 per cent and that is a plus. Those are the investors we want; investors who are able to take into consideration the health of the people. We do not want infesters; we are interested in investors on the Copperbelt. We are interested in people that shall support the Zambians. Giving us a stadium as a gift, maybe, as a compromise for the lives that we lost is not acceptable.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: What we want are people who are able to help issues.

If I recall very well, pronouncements were made that Luanshya and Ndola were going to be tax free zones. To date, nothing has happened. Is it because there are no foreigners interested in those two towns? We need to be serious when it comes to giving tax holidays.

Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about public order and safety. The police in Mufulira are living in abject poverty. They do not have proper accommodation. They do not even have proper water and sanitation facilities. How do you expect a policeman who does not have these facilities to be committed to work? How do expect a policeman who, when he wants to take a shower, has to go with a bucket of water to the shower room to be committed to work? It does not work? This Government should show commitment. These people are committed officers. From the Budget Speech that we have today, we are told that K30 billion was going to be set aside. What is K30 billion as against seventy-two districts? When you divide that, you will have about K420 million per district. What is K420 million per district with regard to accommodation? It is nothing! Our police officers are assured of continued suffering. They are assured of the status quo being maintained. It is suffering as usual.

Mr Speaker, let me talk about mining. What is there for the miner in Mufulira? We have been talking about miners suffering, the acquisition of title deeds, better conditions of service and terminal benefits. Nothing has been included in the budget for the miner.

Mr Speaker, nothing seems to have been addressed, and yet every time there is a campaign, people say, ‘We are going to give you title deeds and terminal benefits if you vote for us.’ To date, nothing has happened on the Copperbelt. The miner continues to suffer. When it comes to their conditions of service, the labour laws that we have in this country are still archaic and that is not being addressed even through this Budget. Investors are worshiped in this country at the expense of the Zambian, the person who owns the wealth. This wealth belongs to Zambians and not the investors we worship so much.

Mr Speaker, some investors, even on the Copperbelt, sleep in containers. If an investor can sleep in a container, what conditions do you expect him to give his employees?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: It is important that we start moving and are serious when we talk about these issues. Investors are making a lot of money. Those involved in mining activities are making a lot of money because copper prices have increased to about US $3 per pound. You talk about 3 per cent mineral royalties. That 3 per cent you are talking about is not even an increment because that is what it used to be during the time of ZCCM. We are just maintaining the status quo. We needed the mineral royalty to be increased to as much as 10 per cent so that the worker’s plight is addressed.

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I know that my brother in-law is a miner, but is he in order to continuously mention the Chinese Government without conceding that without the Chinese demand for copper, copper prices would have been the way they were when those leading political parties in the Opposition were in Government? Can he concede to that while he debates. I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Can the hon. Member continue taking into account that point of order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Sir, I was saying that the Government should call the shots and not plead with investors. The Government should be in the forefront of telling the investors what to do and not the investors advising the Government on what to do.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, corporate tax should be increased. Thirty per cent is not enough.

Mr Speaker, if this Government was serious, how come to date, only 45 per cent of the nation has been geologically surveyed? Why have we not taken interest to ensure that we improve on that?

Sir, talking about the tax regime, this country does not seem to have anything tangible regarding how they arrive at the tax regime. Pay as you earn (PAYE), which comes from the employees, stands at about K2 trillion in this Budget, while company tax is at K935 billion. How can the employer pay less than the employee? It does not work. It should be the other way round. The employer should pay more than the employee. We are over-taxing the miners on the Copperbelt. We have over taxed them because they are the people who work so hard and tirelessly.

Hon. Government Members: Katumbi!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, PF is saying we needed a threshold of K1 million as a cushion. People needed to be given K1 million as a cushion because even the food basket states that it should be K1.2 million.


Mr Mukanga: Why can you not copy from the Patriotic Front and put it at K1 million so that ...


Mr Mukanga: Swallow your pride and accept reality.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, when we come to the health sector, in the 2006 Budget, 10.7 per cent of the total budget went to the health sector.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

There are too many loud consultations.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, in 2006, the budget allocation to the health sector was 10.7 per cent of the total budget. In 2007, the budget allocation to the health sector is 10.7. There is no change in as far as the percentage is concerned.

Mr Speaker, Zambia will maintain the status quo in the health sector. The suffering that people are going through in as far as health provision is concerned will continue. Where is the Abuja Declaration? We said that Zambia was committed to offering 15 per cent of the national budget to the health sector? This Government is not serious because they sign instruments and do not put their hearts to it.

Mr Speaker, we need to look at these issues from a more serious angle. They keep on singing about HIV/AIDS. They claim they are doing a great job with regard to Voluntary Counselling and Testing, but have the leaders themselves gone for VCT? Lead by example!


Mr Mukanga: Go for VCT! Then you will see that most Zambians will also go for VCT.

Mr Tetamashimba: Here I am.

Mr Mukanga: Then we will see a situation …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

It seems we are amused by his mentioning leaders going for VCT. Can we give him chance.

Can the hon. Member continue.

Mr Mukanga: If leaders go for VCT, everyone will be encouraged to go and this will help reduce stigma and discrimination, in the country, against people who are living positively with the virus.

Mr Speaker, talking about education, the allocation to the education sector is only 15 per cent of the total budget this year compared to 16.1 per cent in last year’s budget. This Government also signed a declaration that they will provide much more than that.

When we look at development, sustainable development is directly proportionate to increased literacy levels in the country. Without education, there will be no development. I think this Government is not serious. There are places where there are no desks and schools, but we keep on singing songs to the master’s ears so that the master can praise us; to the Chinese. I am telling you that if you do not provide education, Zambia will continue to be underdeveloped. We need to be educated. Without education, we are not going to achieve our goal.

Sir, as I have very little time remaining, I would like to talk about transport and communication. Much has been said about the roads. Even in my constituency, there is a 4 kilometre road from Mukambo Junction to Mulundu which this Government has not worked on in forty-two years. People are living in poverty and are complaining everyday. You cannot even drive a 4 x 4 vehicle in Kantanshi Constituency because of the poor state of the roads. Maybe, that is one way of preventing people from campaigning. I want to state that we need to be more serious about the budget allocations. The Budget allocation at 7.6 per cent is not enough. We need more money so that roads like the Pedicle Road can be done. We should not just sing songs. We need to work on the Mchinji/Chipata Railway. We do not want…

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, is my cousin in order to allege that there is no transport when last week he was telling us that Zambians died in the Democratic Republic of Congo on a foreign railway line which comes from Zambia? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Can the hon. Member on the Floor continue taking into account his cousin’s point of order.


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the railway system in Zambia has collapsed. We need more funding to run it. Without money, you will not be able to run the system. Even if you are a hard working hon. Minister, things will collapse and no train is going to run on that railway line. Therefore, you need proper funding so that we see the system work. In Zambia right now, there are no roads and there is no proper communication. How do we achieve the agricultural boom we are talking about? It will not be achieved. Even the Chinese will fail to move from one place to another because there will be no roads.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to this year’s Budget Motion and to air my views. I totally agree with Hon. Magande’s 2007 Budget …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Njapau: … because it is well prepared. It has addressed most issues in various sectors of our economy. We have to give praise where a good job has been done. There is no need to criticise just because we like criticising.

To provide good health and job creation in order to fight poverty and diseases, the vision of the health sector has been addressed with the aim of improving the health status of our people in order to contribute to socio-economic development and to be mindful in the area of training and recruiting at all levels.

Sir, the reduction of excise duty on electricity by 2 per cent will go a long way in reducing the cost of power to the people. The goal is to increase electrification levels in order to increase access to socio-economic development.

Mr Speaker, even rural areas like Chavuma, where I come from, will have electricity, which is good.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Njapau: Mr Speaker, the agricultural sector in this country almost collapsed, but the New Deal Administration has done very well. The rural populace has benefited unless one is lazy. 
The Government has committed itself to improving service delivery in the education sector by recruiting at least 7,100 teachers. They have also provided free education to our children at certain levels.

Sir, we must commend the New Deal Government under the able leadership of His Excellency President Mwanawasa, SC.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Njapau: Sir, I do not even regret because he is a leader with a vision.

With regard to HIV/AIDS, the Government has done extremely well by introducing free Anti-retroviral drugs to the poor when in some countries it is very difficult to access them. Some hon. Members will only start to travel abroad now that they are in Parliament, therefore, they do not understand what I am talking about.


Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, the New Deal Administration has delivered in all sectors. From 2002, hon. Members of Parliament were not good, but with the leadership of President Mwanawasa who stood by his word, even the hon. Opposition Members are benefiting from the New Deal Administration.

Mr Speaker, I can go on and on. My contribution is that we should be committed, support Government programmes and be honest to ourselves when dealing with national issues.

Mr Speaker, as you are aware, the Ministry of Home Affairs is very big. In this year’s Budget, we will try by all means to see to it that our officers in the Police Service are well looked after by providing adequate accommodation and other requirments.

Sir, in conclusion, I would like to mention that I wonder why people are always against the allocation to State House.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Honestly, for her to debate properly, it is only fair for us to give her time to debate. There are too many interjections.

Can you continue.

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, they are shouting, ‘hammer’ because they do not know …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, can you just go to the point.

You may continue.

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the Ministry of Home Affairs is my ministry. As you are aware, it is a very big ministry. From this year’s Budget, we will try by all means to see to it that our officers in the Police Service are well looked after and accommodated. As a listening Government, we will try by all means to see what we can do for them.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wonder why we always debate against the State House allocation. That is not one person’s house, but a national house. It is allocated money because a lot of functions go on there. Even the investors we are talking about cannot just come without somebody convincing them to come and invest in our country. It takes a man like President Mwanawasa to do that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, when we talk about employment, we need an investor to come and create employment. Even we can be investors by employing people to work for us and earn a living. So, why should we say no to investors? Are you not an investor? Unless, you do nothing in your life, you should not say no.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, this is a very good Budget which we all have to support. If we notice that some areas need amendment, let us do that because that is why we are here.

Mr Speaker, as regards my constituency, I have a very big constituency and that is Zambia. I do not regret this.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Njapau: I do not regret.

Mr Speaker, we need investors to come and invest in this country and not those who will come and ask for their money after losing elections. We need real investors …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Njapau: … like the Chinese.

Sir, this House must guard against the people who are against this Government and do not bring any ideas. The only idea that they have is just to say, ‘Quality! quality,’ …


Ms Njapau:… because they do not have any ideas. You have to think before you talk.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Njapau: No! I have not finished.

Sir, some people are saying that this Government has done nothing and that there is no money. They are cheating us. They export copper in the name of scrap metal. They are here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, Hear!

Ms Njapau: We are watching them. The film is there and we are watching them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, I am very grateful…

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. This is the second time, in a space of ten days, that innuendos have been made on the Floor of this House affecting all hon. Members of this House.

The first time it was about hon. Members of Parliament carrying women in their cars to Parliament Motel. Today, we have heard another innuendo. I would like to find out from you whether the hon. Deputy Minister is in order to insinuate that there are hon. Members in this House who are criminals and steal copper under the guise of exporting scrap metal without mentioning who that person is so that not all of us are suspects? Is she in order? I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon Members, I think you will agree with the Chair that when we make statements, the people out there are listening. So, we should be very careful about what we say. The hon. Deputy Minister may continue debating, but she should take that point of order into account. I think that it is for the good of all of us that we should not begin casting aspersions on ourselves.

Could the hon. Minister continue.

Ms Njapau: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance, but when it is the right side…

The Deputy Chairperson:  Order! There is no but. The Chair has given guidance. So, continue on your subject.

Ms Njapau: Sir, I thank you for that guidance.

Sir, we are here, as hon. Members of Parliament, to guide the nation. We are not here to debate personal issues which will create problems in the country.

Mr Speaker, this is a very good budget. Therefore, all of us have to support it as Zambians. Where we see that we are not satisfied, Hon. Magande is there. We can go there and say, ‘Hon. Magande, why can we not put one, two or three figures here to correct the situation.’

Mr Speaker, in short, I am saying that this is a very good budget and we are going to listen to questions or answers which will bring harmony and peace and develop this country without fear or favour.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga stood up.

Hon. PF Members: Boma! Boma!

Mr Mtonga: Real boma.

Hon. Government Members: By-elections


Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the Budget Speech.

Mr Speaker, I want to make a few preliminary points which are critical to the leadership we demand from an elected Government.
Sir, when we stand to offer our views, we expect that the elected Government will see, in the opposing views, alternative routes to serving our people. It is not meant to vex or simply obstruct progress.

First of all, from time to time, I am disappointed when I hear the MMD Government that was ushered in the Third Republic talk about a New Deal Government as if it took over from the Opposition. You are one movement; Movement for Multiparty Democracy, MMD. Actually, it is confusing when you begin to separate yourselves.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The Chair would like to remind the hon. Member on the Floor to address the Chair to avoid interjections. Therefore, address the Chair.

You may continue.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I am most grateful and I will abide by your good guidance.

Mr Speaker, Zambians deserve to be told that this is the Third Republic which was ushered in by the MMD. Therefore, we do not have a new party called the New Deal Party. It is the MMD.

In my constituency, the understanding is that when leaders who have been elected continuously into Government begin to disown their past failures by distancing themselves from their own leaders, they are misleading the people and…

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: … failing to acknowledge failure and, so, address corrections properly.

Therefore, I think that it is time the MMD accepted what President Chiluba did for them as their leader.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: We should not hear from those benches statements that make it appear as if the MMD that was led by Dr Chiluba was a different party.

Mr Speaker, the other point I want to make to the leaders who have debated in support of this Budget Speech, particularly from your right side, is that they seem to have forgotten that many ideas that were brought forth in the pre-election debate were an attempt to sell manifestos on the basis of which parties sought to come into Government. Many times, we talked about deadlines and gave ourselves deadlines in debates. Therefore, for an hon. Member of Parliament to stand up and vex the other side by saying, ‘Now that you are not in Government, why are you not implementing your ideas within ninety days,’ is a waste of time. Really, those were ideas that we were competing on. Moreover, I get confused because His Excellency, President Mwanawasa, SC, has publicly said that what would the Opposition complain about if he took their ideas on board because they were good. For an hon. Member, who is now in Government, to come here and begin to vex us by saying, ‘Why are you not implementing it in ninety days?’ when we are not in government, what are you aiming at?

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

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, collectively and individually, we have been condemned by members of the public as being ignorant and sometimes not able to research issues …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member debating so well in order …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Sichilima: … to mislead members of the public that the MMD Members of Parliament, on your right, were reminding them of their ninety days promise, and yet they are not in government? The reminder that hon. Members made was for the councils such as Lusaka, where they are in charge and where, in ninety days, they have not implemented what they had promised the people. There is a lot of dirt …

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your point of order?

Mr Sichilima: Is he in order to start misleading the nation that this side of the House said they could be in government tomorrow? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Laundry!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The Chair’s ruling is that it is true that PF is not in government and that the MMD is ruling.

Can you continue, please.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, before I come to specific issues in the Budget, I have one or two points to make with regard to the policy of the MMD Government.

Firstly, some of the Members that have disagreed with the MMD have since left and formed other parties. Some are ordinary Members of Opposition parties. The logic of this is that, when a member has disagreed with you and has left to form another party, you have no business criticising him by saying that he was in the government in which some of his colleagues are still serving. You only isolate, for example, President Michael Chilufya Sata and say he was in government. Yes, he was. So, how does it serve you or Zambia …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mtonga: How does it serve Zambia?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The Chair was trying to see how that speech correlates with the Budget. Could the hon. Member on the Floor veer off that path and come to the Budget.

Mr Mtonga: The issue was raised by one hon. Member, here, who talked about the former leaders that were in Government. The point is, when you are in Government and have left, you have the duty to deliver. The fact that one of you has left is no excuse.

Mr Muntanga: It is a big loss to them!

Mr Mtonga: It is no excuse unless you are terribly jealous or just occupied with pathological hatred for one man.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: I would like to tell a little story for the sake of the hon. Deputy Minister. My honourable cousin, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, was debating in this House the other day. He asked us, ‘Why did you leave government and now you are talking the most on the other side? Now that you are in the Opposition, you are talking about issues that you should have talked about when you were in the MMD.’ I want to say that I am one of those interested in studying leadership dynamism. I wish flippancy could be avoided when we make serious statements about leadership.

President Khrushchev, after succeeding Stalin, was addressing a group of policy bureau leaders. He condemned Stalin for his excesses after Stalin had died. One of them said, ‘Why did you not say that while Stalin was alive?’

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha interjected.

Mr Mtonga: He was speaking while seated, as Hon. Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha is doing right now.


Hon. PF Members: Tell him!

Mr Mtonga: Khrushchev then asked the audience, …

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.
Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I rarely rise on points of order, but I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanyama, who was a wonderful Inspector-General of Police at one time, in order to discuss Stalin, and yet this Budget is about Zambia? Is he in order to bring Stalin into this Budget?


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: I need your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The Chair’s serious ruling is that when the opportunity arises, the hon. Minister can counter that argument.

Can you continue, please.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Khrushchev told the House, ‘Would that gentleman who questioned why I did not say this while Stalin was alive stand up.’ Unlike Hon. Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha, that man failed to stand up. He was totally in fear of the repercussions.

Mr Sichilima: What is your story?


Mr Mtonga: You could have heard a pin drop in that room at that time. Khrushchev turned round and said, ‘My colleague, whoever you are that asked me why I did not say this when Stalin was alive, I was in similar circumstances like you are now. You cannot stand up and challenge me openly. That is how I felt.’

The reason why I bring this example to this Budget Speech is that unless leadership is properly in the saddle, wise, tolerant, magnanimous and ready to tackle the truth, we are going nowhere.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: We are going somewhere!

Mr Mtonga: No, you are not. Already, you cannot take issues from the Opposition. You are busy opposing.


Mr Mtonga: You are deaf to good ideas.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

This is what the Chair was trying to avoid. When somebody is debating and you are making remarks while seated and he is addressing the Chair, then you will end up having this confusion. Can you, please, listen. If you have a strong argument, you have an opportunity later on to counter his argument.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Mtonga: In our province we say, ‘If …

Mr Simbao: Which province?

Mr Mtonga: Eastern Province.


Mr Mtonga: Please, do not interrupt.


Mr Mtonga: In our province, we say, ‘If you do not learn from others and you want to make your own mistakes, you are a dangerous fool.’


Mr Mtonga: The reason I bring this example is that wise people learn from others. In Zambia, at best, you only have forty-eight years to live. You are lucky if you are already beyond that. So, you need to learn from others. I brought this example so that we have a good leadership that is able to drive this programme to success.

Let me now briefly talk about the Budget; the Budget, in this case, apart from the leadership qualities that must drive it and which are crucial to the success of this programme.

I wanted to look at areas which affect my people, particularly in Kanyama.

Hon. Government Members: Aah! Not Eastern Province?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

We should lead by example. Let us not do that. I expect us to be magnanimous because the moment we go astray, we will not debate reasonably. So, please, can we keep order.

Will the hon. Member continue, please. You have the protection of the Chair.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I was looking at how the poor people in Kanyama, John Laing and Linda could benefit from this Budget. I have seen, for example, under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, that there is a drop in the money allocated to physical planning and housing development. I was trying to see whether this Government, which talked about upgrading the houses of people who live in substandard structures because Government housing could not expand fast enough as did Chilenje, Matero and others, would be able to do this. However, there seems to be no money for this. I hope Hon. Magande could throw some hope on this because the MMD Government leadership promised that townships with substandard structures which from year to year are affected by cholera and other health hazards would be improved.

Mr Speaker, the upgrading of unplanned settlements, which falls under PRP, only has K2.7 billion which will not even do the roads and sanitation of the recently upgraded or lawfully acknowledged townships. In my area, I see a budget item concerning the reclaiming of 300 metres on either side of the Kafue Road. Against this, there is K3.2 billion shown as a possible measure that would support the reclaiming of that area. In some parts of this area, there are people’s houses. I would like to understand that this money will go towards relocating and building alternative homes for them.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I would like you to come to the Floor of the House and explain how this money will be disbursed. Are you going to pay it to the investors from China or are you going to pay it to our people so that they are relocated.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, talking about your investors from China, I would like you to know that this country, for example, constantly wants to claim to be a Christian nation and this is in the constitution. The Chinese do not recognise the Pope. They do not go to Church on Sunday and have no God. The Chinese even harass our people when they want to be off on Saturday or Sunday. The Seventh Day Adventist in particular, are in serious trouble if they work for a Chinese national. They ask, ‘Where do you go on Sunday? Does he pay you’? They ask if the man upstairs pays them.

Major Chizhyuka: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor, who is debating so well and who has a very good record of public service that spans several decades associated with the good of the history of this country, which is associated with the good the Chinese have done, in order now that he has shifted camp, to condemn them so badly when his good record as Inspector-General of Police and a good policeman is associated with that very good history?

Is he in order to throw away his decency and past for the sake of political good? I need your ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Members, let me, again, guide the House. I think that while the House allows hon. Members to briefly refer to foreign countries, from my experience, we have to be very careful. This is because we may not like them now, but tomorrow, we may want to go to them. Therefore, I get concerned when we begin debating other countries. I would, by way of guidance, request, not only Hon. Mtonga, but all those that will speak later to zero in on the Budget. Slight reference to other countries may be made, but we should not dwell on them because we may go astray.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I am indebted to you for your guidance. This issue was raised on the Floor of the House. When it is examined from all sides, it is important, that there is no sacred cow.

I now want to say something about social welfare under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. We heard, in this House, only a few weeks ago, from the hon. Minister in charge of community services and social welfare, that streetism would be fought. However, when I look at the Budget, there are no supporting measures to upgrade this exercise. Were Zambians told something that is unsupported by the Government? Why are there no measures to support the removal and rehabilitation of street children? They are not present in the social welfare department. In fact, there is so little money on it that, perhaps, it will only go towards administering the social welfare offices that exist throughout the districts to deal with juveniles who commit crimes.

Mr Speaker, the other issue I want to raise regards the Zambia Police Service. Perhaps, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs will help to put more vigour into raising the appropriate levels of money for Zambia Police Service because what is there now seems to be nothing. For example, on poverty reduction programmes, it is only reflected in issues of HIV/AIDS awareness and the expansion of cells at prisons and the rehabilitation of things like that. However, the issue of …

Ms Mulasikwanda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Before I allow that point of order, let me say that we are developing a habit of debating through points of order. We are allowed to make points of order, but let us do so reservedly otherwise we will lose our thrust.

Will the hon. Deputy Minister make her point of order now.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to mislead this House that there is no money for street kids when, today, I was on this Floor to inform the House and the nation that on 5th March, 2007, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development will continue with its ongoing programme of mobilising the youth and taking them to camps where they are trained in different skills? Is the hon. Member, therefore, in order to mislead the nation?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Deputy Minister has adequately debated her point of order. However, the hon. Member on the Floor should take into account what she has said.

Will he continue, please.

Mr Mtonga: I have taken note of that and I even heard you on the radio. So, do not think I did not hear you. There is no money to support a new level of attack on this very serious problem of streetism.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: In conclusion, I would like to say that when I looked at the allocations to the defence forces, the police and national service, all the moneys on poverty reduction do not seem to go to the families and children of poor officers in their respective camps; families that live in compounds. You do not seem to have addressed the need for you, as a Government, to support their children; their little kids that have no crèches, no nurseries and no milk during the day. They spend their time stoning and spoiling things in the camps. Where is the PRP for the Police Service, Zambia National Service (ZNS) and Zambia Air Force (ZAF) officers; young officers that cannot afford to take their children to a drop in centre?

Mr Speaker, I want to ask the hon. Minister of Home Affairs why there is no money to service the only chopper that you launched only in 2006. There is not even a single ngwee. Are we preparing for another Gabon? If this chopper is not serviced, we are going to lose precious detectives that will be running in an unserviced vehicle.

On housing for police officers, Mr Speaker, the Government has set aside K30 billion. Police officers have to live in standard houses and I am sure you know this. I hope the hon. Minister of Home Affairs knows that there are classes of accommodation for officers, including young officers. K30 billion can only build a maximum of forty medium cost houses for low ranking officers. When are we going to find enough accommodation to accommodate the huge imbalance? There is a huge imbalance between 27,000 as strength and the 12,000 or so. The actual establishment is 27,000. When are we going to fill that if there is no accommodation and we cannot build on a pro rata basis?

Many times, when we have funerals, we go to the army for tents and assistance. The PRP shows no consideration for that service which is extended free of charge to the ordinary Zambians that need a tent to mourn their beloved ones.

The final point I want to make goes back to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. In Lusaka, just to take one town, if a dog is killed by a motorist, the council has the job of picking that carcass and taking it away before children suffer from disease or before it contaminates the area. When a person dies in our compounds, they bury there. I had a case where because people do not have katenga malilo, Black Maria, a Government commitment, they have buried in the yard. We even have reports now that in many areas people bury in Kabanana irrespective of where they can find a space. In Linda, they also bury in an unauthorised grave area. Where is the listening Government that claims it is listening?

Hon. Opposition Member: Tell them.

Mr Mtonga: Where, Hon. Magande? When can we look forward to a time, as was the case in the colonial era, where a katenga malilo is provided for each compound to go and collect the coffins? Councils are not getting any grants not even the statutory grant. This Government of laws breaks the law by not providing that statutory grant. You should be taken to court for not fulfilling a statutory obligation.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I feel disappointed that these things have not been adequately addressed.

Finally, the giving of a house to a President is clearly set out in the law. If this House is going to vote on the K1 billion given for the existing leader …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Your time is up. Any further debate? The hon. Member for …

Mr Hamir: Chitambo.

The Deputy Chairperson: I wanted to say that, but because you are not supposed to instruct the Chair, I am sorry, hon. Member for Chitambo, you will lose that opportunity.{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, I want to start by thanking you very much for giving me this opportunity to add my voice in supporting this very progressive Budget by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Speaker, I want to start by saying, just as it has been said, that it is easier to destroy than to build. It is also easier to criticise than to offer solutions. If you are in a stadium watching a football match, it will be very easy, from the terraces, to criticise a brilliant player when you cannot even match the style of play. So, you can be a very good coach from the terraces, but given the same opportunity, you would play very badly. I say so because there are some leaders in the Opposition who have been in leadership before and have failed this country.

Hon. Government Members: They were bad players. Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: They can be seen as very bad players.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Although many of my colleagues on your left have spoken and said so many things to try and discredit this Government, there are issues in this Budget Speech and certain paragraphs you can quote from it that are not disputable.

Sir, in paragraph 3 of the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said to this House that on the 28th September, 2006, we had Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections throughout the country and that these were held in a very calm and peaceful atmosphere. He also said that it was very well known that the MMD emerged victorious and was re-elected into office.

What is important is the significance of the MMD returning into office. It underlines two things. Firstly, that the people of Zambia have given an endorsement, yet again, to the New Deal Administration to govern this country because, and I want to underline this, of the good policies of this Government.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Secondly, it is a clear indication of a vote of confidence in His Excellency the President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. Paragraph 4 says:

‘Given the fresh mandate, the New Deal Government will continue to work tirelessly to improve the lives of our people, and, therefore, has a resolve to pursue its economic agenda with a renewed vigour to steer the country to greater heights.’

Mr Speaker, paragraph 20 of the Budget Speech also contains another fact. It is a fact that in the 2005/2006 farming season we had an increased production of crops. We had a bumper harvest resulting in 1.4 million metric tonnes of maize as opposed to 866,000 metric tonnes in the previous farming season.

Mr Speaker, to our over 800,000 small-scale farmers, it is the good policies of this Government that have enabled this kind of bumper harvest. The Fertiliser Support Programme, the food security packs and the out-grower schemes are programmes which have been pursued by this Government. This is why even when we went to the just ended elections, it was not possible for our colleagues on the other side to convince people that the MMD had not performed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: It may have been easy to convince those in towns like Lusaka and the Copperbelt most of whom do not farm. The majority of the Zambian people, who depend on agriculture for their lives, knew that the MMD had delivered. That is why it is important for all of us to know that even though you want to criticise and oppose, the final judges are the people out there. There were people in the Opposition who almost used to insult this Government and many of them did not come back. When Hon. Magande presented his Budget last year, they said that it was bad and inappropriate for our country and that it would fail the Zambians. However, it was clear that that the Budget did not fail the Zambians because we had a bumper harvest. If the agricultural policies were bad, we would not have ended up with 1.4 million metric tonnes of our staple food crop, maize.

Mr Speaker, in this Budget, the hon. Minister has allocated K205 billion to the Strategic Food Reserve Programme to facilitate the purchase of maize. This is crucial and important except for those who do not engage in farming for their survival. However, for the majority of Zambians who live on subsistence farming, this K205 billion is something that they appreciate greatly. This money is for facilitating the buying of maize and other crops.

Further, there is K150 billion for the Fertiliser Support Programme for the 2007/2008 farming season with further provisions for irrigation …

Mr Hachipuka: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security in order to debate about food instead of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security? I seek your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister on the Floor is in order because we are discussing the Budget. Therefore, he is not restricted to matters relating to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

May the hon. Minster continue, please.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for your protection, but I wish to add that there is a direct relationship between labour and farming. Many farmers would not be able to farm without employing workers. There is a direct relationship …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You have already been protected.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I was talking about other facilities in the Budget regarding irrigation, fisheries and livestock farming. With regard to livestock farming, my cousins in the UPND are the largest beneficiaries of livestock farming.

Sir, it is important to talk about the New Deal Administration because this was the vision of His Excellency, President Mwanawasa, when he took office. He had his own vision which was totally different, in terms of management style, from that of the other man in the previous administration. Whilst the other man did not give you extension officers to vaccinate …

Hon. Members: Which man?

Mr Liato: The former President, Dr Chiluba.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Liato: …. your animals, President Mwanawasa, through his hon. Minister then, my uncle, Hon. Sikatana, gave you extension officers to vaccinate your animals and dip tanks for your animals. Above all, he gave you animal restocking programmes, which you cannot dispute. This is a New Deal Administration with a new style of management.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, paragraph 80 of the Budget Speech talks about mining. I am glad that the Government has made a further commitment to promote both large and small-scale mining by providing a conducive business environment.

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

For now, the Chair wants to exercise his discretionary powers by denying you that point of order.

May the hon. Minister continue, please.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, there is a further provision in this Budget for geological information, which is crucial to the development of mining in order to allow more extensive exploration works in our country. Mining, like agriculture, has a high potential for employment creation and poverty alleviation.

Mr Speaker, today, there are new investors on the Copperbelt. 10,000 jobs have been created at Mopani and 8,000 at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). There are more jobs yet to come on the mine in Chambeshi when it is fully operational. More jobs have been created even in Ndola at Bwana Mkubwa Mine. These job opportunities would not have been there if this Government had not provided an enabling environment for investors to come. This Government has attracted investors and, today, we have more jobs on the Copperbelt.

There is new technology in terms of extracting copper in our mines and very heavy investment in terms of plant and machinery. If you went to Mufulira today, you would find one of the biggest smelters in Africa. It is number five in the world. This is the kind of investment people sitting in this House may not even be aware of. We need to take some interest in what is happening on the Copperbelt because we may be given half-baked information by our brothers from the Copperbelt. It is important to go there and see for yourself.

Hon. Government Members: Tell them.

Mr Liato: It is a huge investment, Mr Speaker, to have a smelter built in the country. This will create wealth. Some of these benefits will accrue to this country many years after even President Mwanawasa and the New Deal Administration have left. If you go to the Copperbelt, you will find that since independence, no shafts were being drilled until now.

Hon. Opposition Member: No.

Mr Liato: Yes. The shafts which you find on the Copperbelt were sunk before independence. Now, they are sinking five shafts. One of the shafts being sunk in Chililabombwe will be the biggest so far in the country. This is investment that you cannot dispute and which you must take interest in and that will benefit Zambians many more years to come. Instead, people want to pretend that nothing is happening. There are so many things happening. I have taken interest to go to the mines and I have seen what is there. There is so much wealth which will create many jobs for our people. All we need to do is begin to reason with the investors and ensure that they do not carry all the profits away.

Hon. Opposition Member: No.

Mr Liato: Yes. If we talk to the investors, we can find that we can clearly find a way with them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: They will begin to develop our roads once again. They will begin to create social amenities for our people like promoting football clubs. These are things which can be achieved. You can condemn or chase investors. We need these investors. I know that the President is very firm in terms of fighting for his people because he has written letters to them and he can disclose that. The President has been firm on this issue. He wants investors to be fair and give Zambians a fair share of the deal. This is the kind of commitment that is needed from the leadership to ensure that things go the right way. President Mwanawasa and his leadership are doing just this.

Mr Speaker, the MMD New Deal Administration has fought for workers interests on the Copperbelt. Our colleagues should not forget that Luanshya was almost a ghost town. You should appreciate that something was done to save the situation. People’s jobs were saved at RAMCOZ in Luanshya …

Mr Mukuma: Even in Mufulira.

Mr Liato: ... and Mufulira to the extent that many people who were left stranded without benefits by some of the leaders who are in the Opposition were paid by this Government. We must learn to agree.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hon. Pwele.

Mr Liato: May his soul rest in peace. He was never in Government. It is this Government which paid the people. Money came from the State.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us not do that because you would not be happy if you were on the Floor and someone interrupted you the way the hon. Member is doing. Do not interrupt your friend. Can you pay attention, please.

Will the hon. Deputy Minister continue, please.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection.

If you go to paragraph 112 of the Budget Speech, regarding education, the hon. Minister has made a provision that over 4,000 teachers will be recruited from this year’s allocation so that they can go in the service and help the many Zambians who need education.

However, what is important to me is that he has made a provision of K1.8 trillion, which translates into 15 per cent of the total Budget, for education. I think this is a wonderful provision. I do not understand why our colleagues on the other side fail to read figures that are so clear. They are bent on condemning the Government and saying that it has done absolutely nothing. To set aside 15 per cent of your total budget for education is good. Let us read the Budget Speech so that we are able to see this provision.

Again, there is an effort in the area of health to provide 1,900 frontline medical personnel to help reduce the shortages in the health sector.

Mr Speaker, before I conclude, I want to touch on one very important issue; the continued criticism of monies allocated to State House.

Mr Speaker, State House does not belong to a single individual, but to all Zambians. It is a national institution and, therefore, we must agree, as a nation, what kind of State House we want because it reflects the national character to outsiders who come to visit this country.

I do not know whether you want an institution which when people come here to visit, when they go back, they begin to feel that Zambia is a very bad country because you cannot even manage yourselves and your house looks poor. Even in the house where you stay, if your dogs look very thin, it reflects very badly on you.

Therefore, if people visit State House and find that impalas, which are a very common animal in Zambia, have literally ribs on their bodies, it reflects very badly on us. So, let us not begin to be so subjective. Today, in this House, almost everyone is wearing a suit. These suits you are wearing cost money and it is not right for someone to argue, in a very subjective manner, that you are not supposed to wear a suit which costs K2 million because that money should have gone to the village to help your uncle who has no food.


Mr Liato: Such arguments are subjective. We are beginning to target State House and make it appear as though it is a personal house and saying that the State does not deserve the things that belong to it. How can we argue that way? State House deserves certain things. You argue that you deserve 4 X 4 vehicles to go to your constituencies when you know that the people who elected you do not own bicycles. What right do you have? It is because these things belong to the institution. So, you cannot strip an institution of entitlements that it deserves by making it so subjective and personal.

Mr Speaker, as we debate this Budget, let us make State House a national institution. We know that it deserves certain things that reflect on our character. So, we cannot then make it appear as if it is President Mwanawasa’s house.

Mr Speaker, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget Motion.

Mr Speaker, I rise to debate on the Budget under the theme ‘From Stability to Improved Service Delivery’ as presented to this august House by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. In his foreword, he reminded us that this was drawn from the Fifth National Development Plan, which, as he put it, was a result of wide consultation with the public, business community, trade unions, civic and religious organisations, professional associations and our cooperating partners.

Mr Speaker, as we are all aware, this year’s Budget comes not only in the wake of the Fifth National Development Plan, but also of Vision 2030 dubbed ‘To Become a Prosperous Middle Income Country by the Year 2030.’ This was launched by President Levy Mwanawasa, SC.

Mr Speaker, in order for all the citizens to share this vision and participate in its realisation, we should urgently begin to show the relevance and appropriateness of this. It must show to the people of Zambia.

Sir, here, I would like to turn to my hon. Colleagues on your right. I remember some hon. Colleagues I sat in the corners with complaining about the lack of political will. I remember sharing with Professor Lungwangwa, who was complaining in corners, …


Mrs Sinyangwe: …when he was running the University of Zambia, about how the Government was not funding the university.


Mrs Sinyangwe: I complained, …

Mrs Sinyangwe: I sat in the corner complaining.

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member in order to make reference to a previous position which an hon. Member like myself occupied when a ruling was made in the House by Mr Speaker that no reference shall ever be made to hon. Members of this House in respect of their previous positions or engagements? I need your serious ruling on this point of order.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

My ruling on the point of order raised by the hon. Minister of Education, valid as it may seem because the Speaker made a ruling at that time, is that I believe the circumstances are a little different now.


The Deputy Chairperson: The person debating was making reference to the fact that she used to consult with the hon. Minister in corridors, which I think is alright.


The Deputy Chairperson: Can she continue.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your protection. I also used to consult my colleague, the hon. Minister of Science and Technology, when he was board chairman of a school in Kabwe.

With regard to the complaints that we had, I hope that since we are lucky that they are now in positions of influence, they are going to correct the things that they thought were wrong.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Now, I am just going to give free consultancy. We should learn to listen and do things right. We are not here to condemn, but to make them realise that certain things are not going the right way.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mrs Sinyangwe: We have heard that this Budget has achieved certain goals like recruiting 7,000 teachers, building additional classrooms and many other things. We appreciate that, but we must realise that there is a lot more that needs to be done. I should remind this august House that somebody was boasting that the allocation to education is at 15 per cent of the total budget. In case the hon. Minister does not know, according to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Declaration, we are supposed to be at 25 per cent. Other countries like Zimbabwe are even above 30 per cent. So, for us to start boasting about 15 per cent is not good.

Let me say one thing. The teachers that we have are very respectable people. What is 7,000 compared to the numbers that we are losing every year? Over 2,000 teachers die every year. Some go, others resign and yet others go to other countries. We are not going to waste taxpayers’ money to train teachers who are not going to teach the children of this country, but instead are going to teach Zimbabweans, South Africans and Namibians. It is a shame. What makes us fail to motivate our teachers?

Sir, we have seen a situation where our teachers go on strike everyday because of housing allowance. If our neighbours can empower their teachers, why can we not do the same? Let them have a home ownership scheme to build their own houses. You should give them loans. I am sure the money that we are spending on housing allowance could be put to good use. You will lend them the money and they will pay it back.

Mr Speaker, in case people do not know, our teachers live in servants’ quarters of rich people. You will find that in the main house of the servants’ quarters in which they live, lives a pupil that they teach. How do you expect the teacher to be respected by this child whose father accommodates him/her in his backyard?

We talk of high failure levels. Why are our children failing? They are not dull. We know that the teachers are intelligent, but they are not in the classrooms. They are busy offering tuition because they cannot make ends meet. Their salaries are poor and conditions of service nothing to write home about.

Sir, I think we should start looking at the situation as it is. We need human resource. We cannot have children who will all end at Grade 9. We will no longer have human resource, but human stock in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Sir, how do you develop with a country full of Grade 9s? The donors we are celebrating in this country come with ideas to perpetually make us dull and uneducated and we follow blindly.

Sir, I was in the Ministry of Education when the Basic Education Sub-sector Implementation Programme (BESSIP) came and we all celebrated. A lot of primary schools were built to provide basic education. They told us that in 2004, when BESSIP came to an end, they would build secondary schools. This is 2007 and the secondary schools are nowhere to be seen.


Mrs Sinyangwe: I would rather have a situation where when a donor comes, we dictate the terms by looking at our needs. They should not come and dictate their terms to us.

Sir, the other issue which I am sad about, is that of children with special needs. Nobody talks about them. What do we do with them? The same donors, because they want to blind us, come back with the concept of ‘inclusive education’ in which you integrate children with disabilities and normal children and say, ‘Learn’. What sort of learning is going on?

Mr Speaker, when I was at teacher training college, they told me that one child with special needs is as good as ten children who are normal. Therefore, how do these children fit in a classroom of forty?


Mrs Sinyangwe: How do you give a child with a disability to a teacher who has never gone for training and does not know sign language? What help do you expect the child to get from that teacher? I think we need money to look after these children. We need a proper institution. Let us strengthen the Zambia Institute of Special Education (ZAMISE) so that we have more teachers who can look after these children. We just look at them as a by the way issue. Even when the hon. Minister of Works and Supply was building that bridge, it came as a by the way for the disabled people. That is not the way we are going to run matters.

Mr Speaker, this brings me to the issue of funding. We are saying that K1.8 trillion is enough. It cannot be enough. We know that teachers have been living …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 23rd February, 2007.



No     Industrial     Ownership     Location     Reason for suspension of work

1.     Bakery         Zambian         Lusaka        Poor ventilation and poor hygiene

2.     Bakery         Foreign           Lusaka        Poor ventilation and poor hygiene

3.     Brewery      Zambian         Kasama       Operating without boiler certificate

4.     Brewery      Zambian         Livingstone  Operating without boiler certificate

5.     Brewery      Zambian         Mazabuka    Operating without boiler certificate

6.     Brewery      Zambian         Mbala           Operating without boiler certificate

7.     Brewery      Zambian         Petauke        Operating without boiler certificate

8.Construction Site  Zambian      Livingstone    Lack of personal protective clothing and equipment

9.Food Processing  Zambian       Lusaka           Poor ventilation in chemical laboratory

10. Food Processing  Joint          Livingstone    Electrical hazards and lack of Sanitary conveniences

11.     Laundry         Foreign        Livingstone    Lack of personal protective clothing and equipment

12. Lime Processing
      Plant                  Zambian        Lusaka          Poor ventilation

13. Manufacturing of
      Synthetic hair     Foreign         Lusaka          Poor ventilation and lack of emergency exits

14. Tobacco
      Processing         Foreign         Lusaka          Lack of appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment

15. Transport           Foreign         Lusaka          Lack of personal protective clothing and equipment