Debates- Tuesday, 20th February, 2007

Printer Friendly and PDF


Tuesday, 20th February, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]







303. Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning what measures the Government had put in place to attain broad-based economic growth and sustainable poverty reduction.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government intends to reduce poverty and maintain economic growth through the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP).

Sir, the FNDP which was launched recently emphasises the creation of strong linkages between the capital intensive sectors and the rest of the economy so as to enhance broad based growth.

Mr Speaker, the key FNDP growth strategies are, therefore, intended to support linkages between the capital intensive sectors such as construction and mining and the rest of the economy so as to enhance broad-based growth.

Mr Speaker, the Government will also target accelerating higher economic growth. This will include targeting key growth sectors where Government resources will be channelled. The assumption here is that wealth creation will mainly be led by the private sector. It is for this reason that the Government, in collaboration with the co-operating partners has put in place a mechanism to ensure the development of a strong private sector through the Private Sector Development Programme. It is envisaged that the private sector will be the engine of economic growth. The role of the Government at this stage is to ensure that the cost of private investment is reduced by ensuring that support infrastructure is developed. The private sector is expected to concentrate on their core business (private investment) and leave public investment programmes to the Government. In this manner, the role of the Government and that of the private sector will be complementary.

The long-term sustainable strategy of poverty reduction is wealth creation. The Government will, therefore, target the sectors that have a potential for pro-poor growth. Public investment in these sectors will be scaled up. However, in the short term, the Government will continue to mitigate the impact of poverty on the vulnerable sections of society.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, the document which the hon. Minister has referred to is not home grown. In other words, it contains a lot of measures or ideas that are borrowed from our co-operating partners. How does he expect the imported ideas to succeed?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, through you, Sir, I would like to say that, as Zambians, we should have confidence in ourselves because we have the ability to develop this country. This country has resources and I beg to differ with the hon. Member that we use borrowed ideas because most of the ideas we are talking about are home grown.

Mr Speaker, just to amplify what has happened, the growth indicators presently are encouraging to a large extent because of the mining activities, demand in construction and the growth in agriculture. If all these are viewed from a macro level, it looks all right, but sustaining them is another issue. We have seen that, as a country, we have the foundation, but we need an engine. Through Private Sector Development Programme, we are saying if we can have our own entrepreneurship and our own bourgeoisie, we will be able to sustain economic growth in this country. If we create business opportunities for the private sector, this country’s economy will grow. This has nothing to do with borrowed ideas. These are home grown ideas which we, as Zambians, have developed as home-based solutions to our problems.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the private sector will be the engine that will drive development. How are we going to ensure that the development that they are going to bring will be sustainable because the private sector is interested in making profits?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, whatever business you create, profit is the motive. If you want to go into business and profit is not your motive, then you are not a businessman. However, what you do in your pursuit of profits, is expand your business and, as a Government, we will tax you and the people you have employed and that way, we will be creating a bigger base. Therefore, we are saying that we want the private sector to be the ones to drive this Private Sector Development Programme. Public investment will be made by the Government and we, as a Government, will lay infrastructure such that if you put a factory near the Chembe Bridge, we will ensure that the Chembe Bridge is constructed and completed as anticipated for instance, in the following eighteen months. God willing, the people will be able to use the infrastructure to be able to get to their markets.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, recognising the need for a lot of funding in the social sector, what measures is Government putting in place to broaden the tax base on the informal sector?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, it is a new question, but I know my brothers from the west always expect answers and even bonus answers from me. Yes, as a Government, we are looking at broadening the tax base. We are also appealing to hon. Members instead of talking from anti-hills to come with their ideas. As a Government, we have already tested what they are talking about. The cost-benefit ratios do not run in some of their grand ideas. If the cost of compliance is higher than the revenue collected, despite broadening the tax base, what will come into the net is very small. If we have ideas which can help this Government and the people of Zambia to collect that money so that we can overcome all these challenges we are facing as a nation, we will be glad to sit down and plan with you to chart the way forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, based on the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning’s response that the plan of the Government is to build an indigenous bourgeoisie by helping Zambian entrepreneurs to grow, how will the Government do so, if it is killing the Zambian entrepreneur by taxing them heavily and giving concessions to foreigner investors, thereby making Zambian entrepreneurs incapable of competing with the investors who are on tax holiday.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I will say that these are assumptions which are premised on wrong premises.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, Zambians are not overly taxed. It is the responsibility of the Government to raise revenue and the Government has to look at its own local resources.

Mr Speaker, we have given concessions mostly to mini-investments. If a Zambian wants to enter into a new project and he/she has US$1 million, as a Government, we are looking at the additional employment that will be created therefrom. It would only be negative if the indigenous people were prohibited from contributing to additional revenue to the coffers of State. In fact, creating a private sector is not restricted to foreigners, but the problem with us Zambians is that most of our entrepreneurs are investment shy. We are investment shy. What is stopping us from growing and opening and investing in the nickel mine in Mazabuka? We have opportunities. We just discovered that there are minerals in Mazabuka and we have a lot of land. What is stopping us from investing in this venture? You come with US$1 million and we will discuss and give you concessions as a Zambian entrepreneur.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Deputy Minister to tell this House where a Zambian like me can source external financing at the same price as the person in Australia who has started mining in Mazabuka because I have failed.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, actually, we have even moved at the intention of some our entrepreneurship. That is why this year 2007, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning in collaboration with our co-operating partners will call a conference where we are going to tell Zambians where they can access money and how they can access it. The other point is that the Zambian entrepreneurship finds it hard to come in because we have a poor credit culture. This credit culture is the one which is killing our name. That is why you cannot walk into a bank and borrow money as a Zambian. Other people are getting because they are credit worthy. As we do business when we borrow whether it is from the Government through the Japanese who put in a grant through Development Bank of Zambia, we should pay back. We should know that for the bank to give another Zambian money, you have to pay back the money you borrowed so that we create an environment where we have more businessmen. We are also concerned about building a Zambian entrepreneurship. That is why, as the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, we are thinking of bringing together Zambians who are serious. We will only approach the Zambians who are serious, not Zambians like Jonas Shakafuswa just because he is a politician and he has five businesses. We have to look at the past performance and see how this person is struggling and can only develop if he is helped in a particular way. Those are the ones we are going to assist. Therefore, I appreciate your position and if you fail in that bracket, please, come and attend the conference which we will be calling soon.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I would just like to get on the record on what I thought I heard, but I was not quite sure. Can the hon. Minister assure us that there will be no discrimination between nationals and non-nationals when it comes to incentives and concessions for new investment? Could he say that clearly, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, yes, I will say it clearly. There will be no discrimination between nationals and non-nationals on new investment, especially, for Zambians for whom we have created some zones where we have even put incentives through the ZDA. For those in the zones, the incentives will be applicable across the board.

I thank you, Sir.


304. Mr Kasongo asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning what measures the Government had put in place to eradicate poverty and hunger in Zambia by the year 2015, in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, to start with, on the MDGs, we have not ascribed to eradicating poverty by 2015. We are working to halve the number of people who are living in poverty by 2015. The 1999 figure of poverty was 58 per cent which reduced in 2006 to 46 per cent. We want to halve that to 29 per cent by 2015.

Sir, in responding to the question which was asked, there is a difference between total eradication and halving. That is the English actually.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has articulated its long term development objectives in the National Vision 2030. The national vision is to become a prosperous middle-income country by the year 2030. The national vision has been operationalised by the FNDP. The FNDP covers the period 2006-2010. The FNDP is the Government official development agenda aimed at realising the Vision 2030 which encompasses …

Mr Kambwili: Answer the question in 2015.

Mr Shakafuswa: … what we want achieved by 2015. In order for the vision to be realised, a number of development goals have been identified and, among them, is the significant reduction in hunger and poverty.

Sir, the Government, as outlined in the FNDP, recognises wealth creation in combating poverty and hunger. Wealth creation shall be seen as a means towards the realisation of strategic social objectives of poverty reduction and in doing so, meeting the goal of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mr Speaker, therefore, fiscal policy direction of the Government, during the FNDP implementation period and beyond, shall give greater attention to ensuring that the composition of public spending is not only growth oriented, but also pro-poor. The focus of the FNDP is on a pro-poor growth oriented sector that creates employment and income opportunities for the poor. These include rural development, agriculture and manufacturing which provide a greater opportunity for creating wealth and jobs, thereby rapidly reducing poverty. In order to accelerate this pro-poor growth, public spending on economic services, especially rural and agricultural development shall be considered as a priority.

Sir, mining, construction and energy sectors are expected to continue contributing to the overall economic growth and agricultural and rural development have specifically been targeted because the majority of rural and urban households rely on incomes from agriculture and agriculture-related industries.

Agriculture and related industries such as manufacturing tend to be more labour intensive and also have strong linkages with the rest of the economy. Growth in this sector is, therefore, expected to generate jobs and create employment opportunities for households.

Increasing rural household incomes create a market for domestic non-agricultural production, thereby providing an important platform for structural transformation.

Mr Speaker, it is, however, important that rural and agricultural development alone, although critical, cannot achieve poverty reduction and hunger eradication in Zambia. Other areas of intervention therefore, include social investment in health and education. It is envisaged that the achievement of the MDGs will be further enhanced by the interventions that the Government has put in place such as health and education to get rid of ignorance.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, my first job in Zambia was to work in planning and I produced the Transitional Development Plan, the First National Development Plan and the Second National Development Plan, covering a total period of twelve years during which Zambia was reduced from being one of the top Third World Countries to one of the poorest countries in the world. Does the hon. Minister not agree that there is a big difference between planning and effective programming, and a difference between a paper plan and a policy?

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, I am delighted this afternoon that one of us is admitting that he actually contributed to the failure of this country’s economy …


Mr Magande: … from being a middle income country to a low income country. It is obvious now that he has retired to be a Member of Parliament where he will be paid only to speak instead of writing. However, I would like to assure him that without plans, you cannot implement your development ideas. What is important is how you implement those plans. It is also not correct that while Hon. Dr Guy Scott was in the Government and planning all facets and sectors of Zambia collapsed. He has to do some research on that.

It was out of the planning of the education system in 1964 when we had 100 university graduates that by the early 80s, we had produced over thousands of graduates. Therefore, please, do not give us the impression that from 100 graduates in 1964, during your ten or fifteen years as a planner, we ended up with less than five. Dr. Kaunda’s Government did a lot of good and that is how some of us are in this House.

Sir, what happened was that some of us who were implementing the projects were doing it half heartedly, perhaps because we were already educated or rich. What we are trying to do as the Government-of-the-day, is see how we can move the other people who have been left behind in this development train.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, since we only have eight years to reach 2015 and that we are coming from somewhere where a number of people are living in poverty and hunger, I would like to know what percentage of the Zambian population is living in poverty and hunger.

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning may take note of the fact that there is a question under that subject on the Order Paper, but he is free to answer part of the supplementary question on this main question.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, infact, I was going to remind the hon. Member that there is a question which is on the Order Paper today, seeking this information. I wish he had looked at his Order Paper before asking his question. Therefore, I will leave this for later time so that I can give him more details.

I thank you, Sir.


305. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources what marketing strategy the Government had taken to attract investors to the beaches of lakes Mweru and Bangweulu.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Ms V. Tembo): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government follows a strategic tourism developmental agenda focusing on priority areas, which if developed, could generate more economic benefits. The Northern Circuit (Luapula and Northern provinces) has been prioritised as number two after Kafue National Park for tourism investments. These include the beautiful beaches of lakes Mweru and Bangweulu.

I wish to state that  the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has embarked on a programme to diversify the tourism product base which hitherto is largely wildlife based. The beaches of lakes Mweru and Bangweulu provide opportunities for beach tourism while the lakes could be home to diversified ranges of water-related sporting and tourism activities.

Sir, in order to attract investors to the beaches of lakes Mweru and Bangweulu, the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has embarked on a strategy of packaging these and other investment opportunities and marketing them at local and international investment fora. In 2006, the marketing of the Northern Circuit was included in the investment promotion to missions in South Africa and Namibia. At home, the Zamia International Trade Fair and the Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show in Lusaka were used by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural resources to market these tourists’ attractions.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, under the current arrangement, the Luapula Province and, Mansa in particular, has no resident tourism co-ordinator. The current arrangement is that one shuffles between Mansa and Kasama. When is the ministry going to consider deploying a resident tourism promoter in Luapula Province, particularly in Mansa?

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Pande): Mr Speaker, we have programmed, under the ministry, to increase the number of offices in the country, particularly, after the Bill that we will be bringing to the House has been passed. I ask and hope hon. Members will support the Tourism and Hospitality Bill. Mansa is being considered for an office.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, does the ministry have sound investors who have shown interest in tapping the tourist attractions in the Northern and Luapula provinces following the directive from His Excellency the President in 2005?

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, we promote these areas and it is the investors’ business decision to decide where to invest. You cannot force an investor to go where he/she does not want. At the moment, we are actively promoting these areas and we hope a number of those investors interested in tourism will be able to participate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, while we appreciate that the hon. Minister has over studied the need for promoting tourism in Zambia, what deliberate policy has the ministry put in place to stimulate and promote the Zambian potential investors to make sure that they also participate in the development of tourism, particularly in the Luapula and Northern provinces?

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, one of the deliberate efforts that this Government has made to attract or encourage Zambians to participate in the tourism industry is the introduction of the Tourism Credit Facility with very low rates of interest. As for the Luapula Province, officers in the ministry went there and conducted courses or workshops to show people how they should package their business proposals in tourism. This is one way we are encouraging Zambians. The ministry would like to have many Zambians join the industry. As you may be aware, there has been this complaint of leakages of foreign exchange and we shall only overcome this when we have more Zambians participating. I also urge the hon. Members with resources to go into the tourism industry. As you know, it is not a finishing effort, but it is something which can be sustained. Tourism is long lasting.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, in the Vision 2030 and in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP), one of the targets in the tourism sector is to increase participation of locals in tourism not only as investors, but also as a source of tourist attraction. I would like to find out, given the fact that the answer from the hon. Deputy Minister did not mention anything about ethno-tourism, if the ministry really does have strategies to encourage ethno-tourism in the Lakes Mweru and Bangweulu and countrywide.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, ethnic tourism is becoming very popular world over and Zambia will not lag behind. We are encouraging Zambians, particularly in rural areas, to go into ethno-tourism. We have a pilot scheme in the Southern Province where it is doing very well. It is on board and in our plans and we will continue encouraging Zambians to go into that field.

I thank you, Sir.


306. Mr Hamir (Chitambo) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when the nursing school at Chitambo Hospital which was closed would be re-opened;

(b) when staff houses at Chitambo Hospital would be rehabilitated; and

(c) when Chitambo Hospital would be provided with reliable transport for its operations.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the ministry has set aside money for rehabilitation works and construction of training schools, district hospitals and staff houses in the 2007 Budget. Chitambo Nursing School, including staff houses will benefit from this allocation. The rehabilitation works are scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2007 and we hope to complete them by December, 2007. Prior to re-opening the school, the General Nursing Council of Zambia and the ministry will inspect this institution. You may recall that the school was closed in 1990 based on recommendations from the General Nursing School of Zambia as the infrastructure did not meet the recommended standards.

As regards when staff houses at Chitambo Hospital would be rehabilitated, Mr Speaker, rehabilitation works are scheduled for the second quarter of 2007.

With regard to when Chitambo Hospital would be provided with reliable transport for its operations, the ministry has planned and budgeted for procurement of vehicles for health institutions in this year’s Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, is the ministry aware that there is a shortage of medicines at the Chitambo Hospital?

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, the issue of drugs is what we have been talking about last year and this year. I am glad that we have had provision in this Budget to ensure that most of our health centers do not run out of drugs. I am glad that the hon. Member has brought this matter up. We will follow it up and make sure that the hospital is supplied with drugs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has just emphasised the question of planning. Now, part (a) of the question has not been sufficiently answered. When will the ministry open the nursing school?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, we have said that we are going to re-open the nursing school by December, 2007.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what type of nursing training is going to be offered at Chitambo Hospital. Will it be Zambia Enrolled Nursing or Zambia Registered Nursing?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, Chitambo Mission Hospital is an old Nursing School. We had just closed it, but we are reopening it. We will continue with what we used to do doing in the past when we reopen, that is both Registered and Enrolled Nursing.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


306. Mr Hamir asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) what programmes were in place to enable district councils raise funds; and

(b) whether there were any plans to involve councils in the construction of schools, clinics and feeder roads as a way of generating funds.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the ministry, in implementing the National Decentralisation Policy, has put in place organs to enable local councils have sustainable sources of revenue.

The following measures are being implemented in order to enhance the revenue base of all local councils:
(i) Revenue Sharing on Resource Extraction.

Local councils ought to benefit from the economic activities being taken in their areas. To this effect, my ministry is working on programmes that will enable local councils benefit from activities such as mining, wildlife/tourism revenue, dry ports, waterfalls, fisheries, power transmission and communication installations, civil aviation, professional services not covered by Trades Licences Act.

(ii) Taxes Proposed to be Shared

The ministry recognises that the Government is devolving some of its functions on service delivery to Councils and the latter would need resources to deliver these services. It is for this reason that my ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to devise mechanisms that ensure equitable sharing of centrally collected revenues for sustainable financing of councils for service delivery. The targeted taxes are as follows:

(i) Fuel levy, 
(ii) Motor vehicle licence fees, 
(iii) Presumptive tax;
(iv) Game licences; and
(v) Toll gate fees etc.

(iii) Reconfiguration of the Grant System

The Government has devised a formula based grant system that has transformed the previous ad hoc based grants into three grants. The first one being Restructuring Grants, then Recurrent Grants and the Capital Grant. The key principle of these grants is that they should be equitable, transparent and predictable. The Government has already approved this proposal and it will be implemented in the 2007 Budget.

(iv) Devolution of Functions to Councils

Devolved functions will move with their portion of the budget allocation, including sources of revenue under the sectors that are being devolved. Sources of revenue such as ground rent, forest fees, trade licences, stock movement fees e.t.c. will have to be administered by councils according to the National Decentralisation Policy.

(v) Enhancing Revenues from Property Tax

Mr Speaker, Property Tax (rates) is the largest single source of revenue for most councils in the country. This has the potential to increasingly contribute to the financing or service provision in the councils. However, failure of this source of revenue to contribute significantly to councils’ revenues has been attributed to infrequent update of the valuation rolls due to inadequate resources to hire private property valuers. My ministry is working on a programme to update all councils’ valuation rolls so that they can capture properties devolved in the last ten years, which are currently not on the valuation rolls.

(vi) Financial Management and Revenue Mobilisation

My ministry, in its implementation of the National Decentralisation Policy, has embarked on Financial Management and Revenue Mobilisation Reforms. This programme is designed to improve financial resources in councils by involving them in the construction of schools, clinics and feeder roads according to the District Development Plans developed by each council.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, I would like to get a clarification from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing on the valuation of properties in towns. Is he aware that the value of property in townships is much less than that of the property in towns? Is this not going to affect the people when paying those rates?

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the valuation rolls take into account the value of the property. If the properties in these rolls belong to the councils and have a lower value, even the property tax on them will be lower. However, as long as these valuation rolls are updated, we are convinced that it will, at least, make a contribution towards improving the resource base of our local authorities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that there is equitable sharing of central resources and equitable grants given, but I would like to find out from him what exactly he meant by ‘equitable’. Is it equitable in terms of the needs of particular areas, population or relative state of development or other criteria? What exactly is the criterion?

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, equitable in this case is being used in the context in which I remember the hon. Minister of Education indicated last week that it is both horizontal and vertical. This means that, in some cases, it will be dependent on the population or the particular needs of certain councils. Therefore, equity in terms of what we are talking about will be applicable in terms of both horizontal and vertical needs.

As you may be aware, the first one is that we have different categories of local authorities. We have the city, municipal and the district councils. Therefore, some of these needs may not cut across because district councils may have needs that are different from city councils. Therefore, equity will take into consideration some of these variables.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to know the method the Government is using to valuate the houses which they intend to collect revenue from. I am talking about houses on the Copperbelt like in Chimwemwe and Kamitondo which were sold at K10.00 and now the new value indicated is in millions. What methods have they used because they used the same valuators from the Government to arrive at K10.00 per house and now the value is in millions.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, it is true that when houses were being sold, some of them were sold at values that were well below their true value, on humanitarian grounds and in some cases, the prices were negotiated.

Now that these houses have been valued over the years, some of the values, of course, shall be higher than the actual amounts which where paid against these houses. The question should be, ‘Are were going to be charging less than K10.00 or K10,000.00? Obviously, not! In some cases, some people will end up paying K50,000.00 at the new rate value even if they paid K10,000.00. Suffice it to say that when the valuation exercise is being done, these values are open for scrutiny. If there are any objections, the property owners are free to dispute the amount through the tribunal that will look at these matters and the decisions taken. I just wanted to say that the values that are normally given will be reflecting the current value at the time the property is being valued. Yes, it might have been K10,000.00, but it cannot remain K10,000.00.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze):  Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is considering their signing of the revenue votes that were taken away from the local authorities in the country by the Central Government in order to enhance their financial standing in the country.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the response we have given, actually, has answered that question. The Central Government is currently looking at various ways of expanding the revenue base for local authorities taking into account the many policies of the past which have adversely affected local authorities. One such policy was the sale without due regard of the true value of the houses and that is why the local authorities lost out. Yes, the home owners, the residents, are happy because they own property while the councils suffered. However, we need to make good of that decision by valuating those houses and ensuring that the people begin to pay rates against those houses.

Now, I know that currently, local authorities are still battling with the collection of rates against those houses because most of those houses do not yet have title deeds. I think that the hon. Minister of Lands is ably dealing with that matter to speed up the process of ensuring that everybody has title so that when we value these houses, the councils can get something else.

Apart from that, with regard to decentralisation, in the Yellow Book, you will see that there is a great leap in terms of resource allocation to the local government. Last year, we were at K35 billion and this year, there is an allocation of K102 billion that has to go to local authorities to try and address the challenges which local authorities are facing.

However, beyond that, we are looking at various other sources of local revenue which councils can be allowed to start collecting. All this is within the Decentralisation Policy Implementation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, with regard to the valuation rolls that the Government is working on, has the Government budgeted to bail out councils which do not raise sufficient money for them to have valuation rolls.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, may I apologise for my dressing.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I am very reluctant to raise a point of order on my beautiful Hon. Cousin, Mrs Masebo. Is she in order to come dressed in jeans in this important House? I would have dressed the same way if it were permitted. Is she in order, Sir?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kanyama (Mr Mtonga) has raised a point of order after the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing has pre-emptied that point of order. What is necessary, however, is that after she has dealt with this question, she knows what to do next.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I thank you and I am most obliged. I have just come from the field.

Sir, currently, there a number of local authorities that have problems especially the small councils. We have, as a Government, taken note of that. Hence, the adoption of the Decentralisation Policy which seeks to get not only functions to the local authorities, but also matching resources for both financial and human resource so that we can assist them. Mr Speaker, one of the issues that we have found out, is that some of the problems in some councils have to do with management. There is poor management. They do not know what to do. Even where there is potential, they are not able to pay salaries. They are not innovative. Therefore, we are dealing with this issue.

The other issue is in terms of resources. In this year’s Budget, the Recurrent Grant will basically be used to fill the gap where the local authority cannot raise enough revenue for their administration to run their districts. Of course, the purpose of the capital is to assist the smaller councils where they cannot even put up a basic market store or a bus station to shield the public from the rain. We would like to assist such small councils.

Sir, there is the Restructuring Grant which is specifically meant to address issues pertaining to restructuring of local authorities such as looking at issues  the officers that were retrenched in the past and have not been paid or those that still need to be retrenched so that we can equip these councils with qualified personnel.

Mr Speaker, yes, we note that there is a big problem at the local authorities that needs to be addressed. I am glad to say that the Government is aware of the problem, they have found the solution and they are working on it. I think that councillors and Members of Parliament can assist in ensuring that these councils come back to life by way of assisting in the policy decisions that are being taken. In some cases, what is killing these local authorities is that we, the hon. Members of Parliament as Councillors make these decisions detrimental to the good operations of the local authorities.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Njobvu (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whether they have any plans to raise the trading licences fees to help the councils knowing that trading licences are so low that they are not quite helpful. 

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, it is true that the current licence fees are not just low, but in some cases, they are even unfair. For instance, Shoprite will pay the same amount for the licence fee as a marketeer at Soweto Market. We are not able to categorise the licences. Therefore, the Government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, working with relevant sectors such as the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, will be bringing amendments to the Licencing Act so that we take these concerns on board. We intend to categorise the different licences. For example, a supermarket like Shoprite should not be paying the same amount for a licence as a person trading in the market.

Sir, we also would like to ensure that licences for products which get so much money such as wholesales are changed. Therefore, we are looking at that and we are hoping that in this city, this Act will come in the first half of this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the Presidential Executive supersedes all Government programmes. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why her ministry has not instituted instructions issued by the President to the extent that road licencing must revert to councils and that Statutory Instrument be issued. What is holding them back to the extent of making the President appear as though he habitually tells false promises?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, it is true that His Excellency the President gave a directive that motor vehicle licences be reverted to the local authorities. This arose from a study that was conducted, which actually brought out all the rules of local authorities on what has caused the various problems and how to get out of them. One of the suggestions that were proposed in that financial document, which was laid on the Floor of this House, was that the Government be urged to revert the issue of motor vehicle license.

Sir, when that directive was given, the relevant arms of Government started looking at who was to implement that presidential directive. What has happened all the time is that we have, as a Government, found that in fact, if we instituted this directive on motor vehicle licencing fees reverting to councils, the people in Lusaka will benefit more because there are over two million vehicles in this council. The Chongwe Councils on the other hand, only has about fifty vehicles. In Lundazi where Hon. Mtonga comes from, there may only be three vehicles. This means that Lundazi can only get licence fees from three vehicles and these resources will not help in terms of road works.

Mr Speaker, we have come up with a Roads Fund under the new institutional arrangements under the Transport Policy. All the resources are going in this fund. These resources are specifically meant for roads in the country. Therefore, Lusaka can subsidise Lundazi and this system will ensure that the roads are not only good in Lusaka, but also in Chongwe and Lundazi. I admit that there was that directive and it was considered favourably. We are implementing it in a much better way by ensuring that all the money goes back to the districts and is shared equitably. That is what we mean by ‘equitable sharing’. The people in Lusaka who earn more money and have all the good amenities must share with the people of Chongwe and Lundazi Districts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing what the Government is doing about the surviving widows and orphans who are losing properties through bailiffs due land rates on the Copperbelt.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, that is a very difficult question. I am saying so because the law says that everybody must pay their rates. When the council finds that people are unable to pay their rates, the council can move in and take possession of that property. The Government cannot stop the council from enforcing the law. In fact, we encourage the council to enforce the law. We therefore, ask the council to be user friendly in the manner in which they enforce the law. In this case, there is a need for sensitisation and there is also a need for the council to engage the communities.

Sir, sometimes a resident could have been a good payer and somewhere along the way, something happens. This person could be have been the breadwinner, but he/she dies or something else happens to him/her. In such cases, we always encourage the council to negotiate with such families so that they are given space to allow them to pay their rates. Of course, there are times when we have individuals who are unable to pay. We encourage these to go to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services where they can be assisted through the safety net. Obviously, these resources are not enough. What I would like to say to the hon. Councillors, the Members of Parliament, and the affected persons is that when you reach a stage where you cannot survive in town, it is better to put your property on rent and go back to the land because there are rates to be paid there.

Mr Speaker, we have to face and accept this reality. You cannot have everybody leaving their villages and coming to live in Lusaka and expect the Government to provide for all in the City of Lusaka. Zambia consists of seventy-two districts and we have ample land in this country. We cannot have a situation where the whole ten million people come and squat on one piece of land. Therefore, we look to educate and encourage our people to go back to the land. The President has led the way. He is showing everybody that they can go back to the land. This is why this administration has continued with the subsidies on fertilisers and maize seed. This is taking into account people who are not able to survive in town. Therefore, we really need to talk to each other and find better ways of surviving.

Sir, we are being told that there are mines opening up. You can get into small mining and do something. We need to get away from thinking that the only venture you can survive on is sell on the streets or create problems in town thinking that in the name of Human Rights and good will from the Government, the Government can do everything. The Government takes money from these people and gives it to other people. When we come here and ask you to pay 30 per cent you will complain that the tax is too high. It is high, but it is these issues that cause taxes to be high. Therefore, we need to look at this issue not just from one angle, but also from another angle.

Therefore, I agree that when you are vulnerable, there is a safety net under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services that you can resort to, but as we have said, it might not be sufficient.

Mr Speaker, it does not mean that when somebody is a widow, then she is vulnerable. There are widows who are very rich, but we know that there are some people who are not even widows, but married couples and both of them are more venerable than a widow whose   husband left some property behind. Really, we need to engage our people and talk to them as leaders. The problem with this new crop of leaders is that we do not know how to talk to our people.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to be explicitly clear on the road licence fees and the Road Fund. Could the hon. Minister come…

Ms Masiye: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Masiye: Mr Speaker, I wish to find out if the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is in order to come to this House without making a statement over the serious issue of poisoning at his office. Is he in order, Sir?


Mr Speaker: Order! The ruling by the Chair following the point of order by the hon. Member for Mufulira is that the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is in order as he can be seen very clearly to be a very healthy person.


Mr Speaker: Therefore, he is in order to sit there and say nothing about what you read in the media.

The hon. Member for Moomba may, please, continue.

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing explain clearly on the road licence fees and the Road Fund because what I know is that the fees are supposed to go to the Road Fund.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, what I have said is that following the President’s directive, a committee was set up to look at the directive’s implementation.  So far, what has been discovered is that if the President’s directive is implemented, councils such as Kitwe, Ndola and Lusaka shall benefit, but the other fifty-four district councils which are rural councils where there are few vehicles will not.

Currently, those resources are going to the Central Government and the Central Government is equitably sharing them to all the seventy-two local authorities irrespective of whether that district has few vehicles or not. Basically, what has happened is that the whole process of resource collection has been streamlined. In the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy, we are coming up with various formulas to allow the Central Government to ensure that the resources that they are collecting even beyond the road licences fees and other taxes such as VAT and so on and so forth, are subjected to a mechanism that we have worked out to share the resources from the Central Government and give to the local government which is the local authorities or councils. To this effect, in this Year’s Budget, we have already come up with an Inter-governmental Physical Architecture that we are calling (IFA). This has been done by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning working in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in the spirit of implementing the Decentralisation Policy. This is why you have seen the resources to councils this year have leaped from K35 billion to K102 billion.

We know that somebody was talking about K10 billion under the grant. There is K10 billion on the grant, K25 billion for Recurrent Expenditure and there is K50 billion for Restructuring. We know that the k10 billion is not enough, but at least we have made a start. We are hoping that in the next budget, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can pull resources which are in the line ministries, but are meant for districts from the other sector ministries. Therefore, that figure being K10 billion, it is not the real K10 billion.

Mr Speaker, in the Yellow Book, a lot of resources are littered in all the ministries. Under the Ministry of Health, the hon. Minister has money for construction of hospitals and health posts. Under the Ministry Works and Supply, there are monies for construction of roads.  Under Ministry of Education, there are capital resources for construction of schools. All that money is not going to remain at the Ministry of Health Headquarters. It is going to the districts where the hospitals and schools are going to be constructed.

Sir, what the Decentralisation Policy is seeking to achieve in future is that this money should not be appearing under the Ministry of Health Headquarters or the Ministry of Education Headquarters, but it should instead appear under the district. Therefore, we must have a district named i.e. Kitwe District. The Kitwe District has come up with a plan that we are calling the District Plan. The plan is integrated and this means that it consists of Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Ministry of Health and Ministry Education. Therefore, in future, all those people are supposed to sit under one roof called local government and decide on what they want such as five schools, ten health posts, twenty good roads and so on and they will put all the needs under one budget.

Mr Kambwili: Fyafula!

Mrs Masebo: Therefore, that budget will show the money under the Capital Grant at that at district.

Mr Speaker, people should not complain about the K10 billion. In fact, it is not k10 billion because it is more than that except that some money is still appearing under line sector ministries. Therefore, the idea of the decentralisation is not to keep the money at the centre because it takes time to go to the provinces and the districts. If it was K10 million, by the time it leaves the ministry, it will become K9 billion, if it was K8 million, by the time it leaves the province, it will become K7 million and by the time it leaves the district to go to the sub-district, it will be K6 billion. We would like Hon. Magande to send the whole K10 million directly to the province and the district so that Kitwe can see the K10 million and begin to implement its plans which it has put in the FNDP. That is the idea and the vision. We have begun this process. For this year, there will be few and we hope we can achieve more next year.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


308. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) how many cholera cases were reported in Zambia in 2006;

(b) which provinces were most affected and why; and

(c) what measures the ministry had taken to prevent a recurrence of the disease in Zambia

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that 6,576 cases and 192 deaths were reported by 9th November, 2006.

The provinces that were affected, number of cases and deaths by 29th November, 2006 are as follows:

Provinces Cases Deaths

Lusaka Province 5,384 154
Central Province 248 2
Copperbelt Province 171 5
Southern Province 328 9
Luapula Provinces 223 9
Eastern Province 222 13

Mr Speaker, on the reason some areas are more affected than others, places with the below mentioned circumstances seem to be more affected:

(i) densely populated areas;

(ii) areas with little or no basic water and sanitation facilities; and

(iii) mostly unplanned settlements seem to be more affected.

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that areas where the above situations are non-existent, the cholera outbreak duration situation seems to be better and takes shorter duration, whereas the areas that are densely populated with no basic facilities such as water and sanitation and have unplanned settlements, it lasts for longer periods.

The following are the measures that have been taken by the Government:

(i) all health institutions in the country have been put on alert and advised to re-enforce preventative measures and re-activate District Epidemic Preparedness Committees;

(ii) staff have been mobilised to work in cholera treatment centres should the outbreak arise;
(iii) preparation of cholera treatment centres in cholera-prone districts have been made;

(iv) distribution and restocking of medical and non-medical supplies for use during cholera outbreaks at national and district levels;

(v) health education activities have been intensified through the national radio, television, community radio stations and public address systems;

(vi) distribution of chlorine for domestic water chlorination;

(vii) intensified monitoring of water quality by both water utility companies and district health management teams;

(viii) engagement of health inspectors in inspection of public places, markets, eating places, abattoirs and drinking places and giving notice of closure to places that do not meet basic health standards;

(ix) contact tracing and disinfection of homes from whom suspected cases of cholera have come from is being done;

Sir, we go to the place where every case that is identified as a case of cholera has come from to disinfect their home, the surrounding neighbourhood and also trace the people whom they may have come in contact with so that they are given medicines to prevent them from getting cholera;

(x) intensified collection of both recent and historical garbage;

(xi) liming of pit latrines particularly in Lusaka District;

(xii) production and distribution of information education and communication materials for prevention and control of cholera; and

(xiii) the ministry is working in collaboration with stakeholders such as the Zambia Red Cross Society in resource mobilisation as evidenced by the hand over of 7,000 domestic chlorine bottles and ten bicycles worth K14,000,000 and also the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) donated chlorine worth about K27 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that the reason cholera has found permanent residence in Zambia is that the ministry does not carry out continuous sensitisation to the nation, but their sensitisation has been periodical therefore, cholera has found residence in this country?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, two weeks ago, we unanimously agreed in this House that we need to tackle the issue of cholera using the multi-sectoral approach, meaning that this cuts across the board because there are so many partners who need to get into the fight for us to combat the issue of cholera. The issues we identified had to do with water and sanitation. Water and sanitation is not necessarily an issue of the Ministry of Health alone. We had to look at the issues of hygiene, which are not an issue of the ministry alone. And overall, what we need is continuous awareness which the Members in this House have a duty, as leaders, to participate in by informing their electorate of the need to change habits and attitudes. If we are talk about issues of cholera and we still come back here and want to make it an issue of the Ministry of Health alone, then we are not providing the necessary leadership that is needed for us to change our living habits as a country and in helping to see a cholera-free Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, there are parts of this country where there is adequate water supply at a good price and at least, the infrastructure is there, and yet there is cholera because the water table is high and shallow wells in proximity to latrines are used by some people as cheap water and consequently cause an epidemic. Taking her point that the Ministry of Health cannot do it alone, will she undertake to convene a meeting with the stakeholders, the Lusaka Water Sewerage and Sanitation Company, Lusaka City Council, Ministry of Local Government and Housing, in one selected area such as George Compound, she can change it if she wishes, so that we solve this problem once and for all?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Member that these things are on-going. We have preparedness committees which comprise all these sectors that he has talking about. Most of the areas that are currently affected by cholera are the ones that use shallow wells and efforts are being made to educate the people who are in these areas to bury the wells.

One of the issues that came up is that our Members, who feel they were ably voted into this House by those people, are the ones who encouraged them not to bury the wells.

Hon. PF Members: No! Awe! Awe!

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, what we need is to have concerted effort to educate the residents of these cholera-prone areas. However, we have a negative attitude coming through which means that we will have all these meetings and they will yield nothing. Therefore, the issue he is raising about the multi-sectoral approach is already in place.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how the Government is relating with the private sector in combating cholera, especially on the Copperbelt where there are mining companies?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, we have made a plea to all entities that are ready to partner with us on the issue of delivering health service. I should say that we are happy that most institutions are exercising their social responsibility by coming through and assisting us. I expect that if that has not already happened on the Copperbelt, I am sure they will respond. Presently, I think they have already come on board on the issues of malaria and others. Therefore, if there is an outbreak maybe, they will come on board. What is pleasing is that, so far, the Copperbelt has not been affected so much by the cholera issues. These are being contained in Lusaka.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, we heard the hon. Minister of Health lamenting about the failure by the members of the community and co-operating partners to ensure that cholera is eradicated in this country. Is she not aware that under the Public Health Act, the hon. Minister of Health has the power to take over the functions of the local authorities and administer them accordingly in order to avert the epidemic?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Member is asking me to do this tomorrow. I will take it up.

I thank you, Sir.


Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health has said that cholera has to be tackled inter-sectorally. Has the Government got any plans to fund the overhaul of the system of the cash stripped Water and Sewarage Company which has inherited old and dilapidated hard pressed systems which were meant for smaller populations?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the water utility companies come under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and in that sense, the Government has an interest in their running and does everything possible to make sure that they continue with providing the service that they have been mandated to discharge. The Government has already taken measures to ensure that these utilities do not go under, but continue to deliver the services they offer to the people of Zambia.

Dr Kalumba (Chiengi): Mr Speaker, I just would like to correct the impression created by the hon. Member for Monze. Is it not correct hon. Minister that with the repealing of the Central Board of Health Act which incorporated the element of the Public Health Act which gave you the powers to control councils, it is no longer possible for you to do so?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, may I seek guidance from the hon. Minister of Justice on this issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Uleba serious iwe!

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister is appealing through the Chair to seek the legal opinion of the hon. Minister of Justice. It is not possible here, but you can consult him outside this Chamber.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, in answering the question from the hon. Member for Lusaka Central, the hon. Minister stated that some Members who are elected by the people are the ones encouraging people to dig shallow wells. I would like to ask whether or not she is aware of the fact that Members of Parliament in Lusaka had agreed with the councils to bury those wells and yet her office is the one that stopped that programme on the basis that the people needed that water otherwise they would suffer from scabies? If she is aware, is she willing to withdraw the damaging statement that she made on the Floor of this House with regards to hon. Members of Parliament from Lusaka?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I remember talking about burying the shallow wells and not digging them up. This is new information which the hon. Member is giving us.


Mr Kambwili: Iwe, you must resign.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I rely on my memory and I spoke about burying and not the latter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, in view of the cholera outbreak, I would like to find out what the Ministry is doing about the garbage at Soweto Market.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, I referred to the issue of cholera as needing a multi-sectoral approach. Garbage collection is a responsibility of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing through the councils unless the hon. Member is asking me to stop looking for drugs and send the health teams to collect garbage.


Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, when we talk about the issue of cholera at the Ministry of Health, we are at the tail end. We treat the cholera cases, that is, after occurrence and take care of the issues of hygiene that have not been properly taken care of. Therefore, what we need is the council …

Mr Kambwili: Just resign, iwe!

Ms Cifire: In the case of Lusaka, let us talk about the councils collecting garbage and I am glad that at the moment, the councils are controlled by the hon. Members who are actually asking the Ministry of Health to go to Soweto Market to collect garbage.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Chair wishes to remind a few Members of Parliament in this House that if you use impolite expressions even whilst seated, this House can discipline you. Therefore, hon. Members must be very careful because debating carelessly whilst seated is not protected by the privilege of free speech. This House can deal with you.


309. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services:

(a) how much revenue was realised by ZNBC from television licence fees annually;

(b) how the money from TV licence fees was utilised; and

(c) whether there were any plans to allow private television broadcasting stations to benefit from the TV licence fees.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr D. Phiri): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this august House that the Zambia National Broadcasting Services started collecting TV licence fees in August, 2003. Records, however, indicate that the following were collected as follows:

 2004 – K1,507,434,000
 2005 – K6,058,970,000
 2006 -  K5,167,613,000

Mr Speaker, the utilisation of the TV licence fees has mainly been in the following areas:

(a) Acquisition of programmes
(b) Fixing of broken down infrastructure
(c) Capacity building; and
(d) Enforcement of TV licence (Inspections).

Mr Speaker, the trend all over the world has been that TV licence fees are only collected by public broadcasting organisations due to their universal mandates to service the public irrespective of whether the service being provided is profitable or not. The TV licence fee as collected, therefore, goes towards the cost of delivering such services as usually the Government budget allocations not always sufficient to support the capital and operational needs of broadcasting organisation.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s answer indicates that there was drop of about 17 per cent in revenue collected between 2005 and 2006. Could the hon. Minister, please, advise the reason why there is this drop in revenue being collected and whether this is a trend he expects to happen in 2007 as well.

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I am glad for that question. There is indeed a drop there. The drop in the revenue collection is because certain licencees were simply not obliging. It is, however, expected that in 2007, the licence fees will increase because ZNBC, as you may be aware, is currently collecting licence fees along the line of rail and the provincial centres. They intend to go to the districts in 2007. Therefore, we expect an increment in the licence fees that shall be collected.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he thinks that as a result of collecting these fees, there is some improvement in as far as entertainment on Television Zambia is concerned. I say so because the programmes that are offered on TV Zambia do not even have a meaningful theme such as wrestling in comparison to the other television stations.

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I think that there is a general improvement in the operations of ZNBC as a result of the introduction of the licence fees. Through licence fees ZNBC has been able to build capacity generally, and they have been able to improve their infrastructure and this means that ZNBC has been able to acquire equipment such as cameras.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, following up on the answer by the hon. Minister from the hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga, the people living in rural areas, since you have given signals that you will be collecting fees from districts, would like it clarified whether you will be collecting fees on account of the signals received in those areas or on account of the ownership of boxes that are called TVs.


Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, collection of fees will be based on the ownership of boxes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if these TV licences …

Mr Speaker: Order! I suspend business for fifteen minutes.


Mr Speaker: However, when the House comes back, the hon. Minister will have to clarify the issue of what will determine the TV licence fee. Is it based on the TV set or on the service provided? The House has to go back to that.

Business was suspended from 1610 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Speaker: Before business was suspended, the House was considering Questions on the Order Paper and the House was on a question that was asked by the hon. Member for Gwembe. Some supplementary questions were raised on that question and the answer to one of which has led me to guide that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services comes back to clarify whether the TV license fee is payable on even television sets in areas where the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation is not providing television services.

The hon. Minister of Information Broadcasting and Services may respond.

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I am aware that there are still a number of districts that do not have the ZNBC signal, and yet some people in those districts own boxes and they use these boxes for watching video cassettes. In such an instance, the people do not pay TV license fees. Only the people who are in districts where the ZNBC signal is transmitted and own a box pay the licence fees.

Mr Speaker, that is my clarification.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: There was an hon. Member asking a supplementary question. Was it Chama-North?

Mr Chilembo: Yes, Chama-North.

Mr Speaker: Yes, Chama-North. Please ask your supplementary question.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I wanted to know whether ZNBC actually issues TV licences for the TV fees we pay because I have never seen any licence. What is this license fee without a licence?

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, there is no physical licence that is issued. The only thing that happens is that when you pay the licence fees you are issued a receipt.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, since we pay this K3,000 per month, and it is public money, is the hon. Minister going to tell us how they are using this money because we doubt whether we are benefiting?

Mr Speaker: Could the hon. Minister give a detailed catalogue of the areas in which the licence fee is applicable. Would you care to give this information.

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, for advising the hon. Member, indeed, I did catalogue how the TV licence fees are used. That notwithstanding, Mr Speaker, could you, please, allow me to repeat.

The utilisation of TV licence fees has mainly been in the following areas:

(a) Acquisition of programmes;

(b) fixing of broken down infrastructure;

(c) capacity building; and

(d) enforcement of TV licences. This is inspections.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Next question. Oh! The Hon. Member for Kanyama.

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I am sorry, I knew that the issue was being wound up.

Sir, I would like to find out whether tax collected on television sets can be directly used by you without submitting first to the general revenues of the Government as other road agencies do on fuel tax.

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, this issue was allowed in the Act.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether he has any plans to put more people on the ZESCO Plan as this is the only sure way they can get the money.

Mr D. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I just would like to take this opportunity to commend ZESCO for the good work that they are doing in helping to collect fees on behalf of ZNBC.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


310. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) how much companies in the road construction industry were awarded tenders to construct or rehabilitate roads in 2006;

(b) how many of these companies were foreign owned, name by name; and

(c) what measures the Government had taken to ensure that Zambian-owned constructing companies participate favourably in this industry.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, there are sixteen companies in the road construction industry that were awarded contracts for rehabilitation or construction of roads or bridges, namely:

(i) China Geo Engineering Company Construction

(ii) Spencon and Polythen

(iii) Yakashika Contractors Limited

(iv) Road Construction Contractors

(v) China Henan International Corporation Company

(vi) A. Argente

(vii) Sable Transport

(viii) Basil Reeds

(ix) Stefanutti and Bressan

(x) J. J. Lowe

(xi) Turner Company

(xii) G. M. International

(xiii) Tomorrow

(xiv) Lwezi Enterprise

(xv) Agro-Fuel

(xvi) Spancrete

However, there are several local companies which were awarded maintenance contracts in 2006. To mention a few, these were:

(i) J. J. Lowe

Accelerated urban road rehabilitation projects in Mansa, Luanshya Mufurila, Kitwe, Kalulushi, Chililabombwe, Solwezi, Mongu and Kafue.

(ii) Turner Company

Accelerated urban road rehabilitation projects in Kapiri Mposhi Way Bridge and Kazungula Way Bridge Construction, Ndola and Chingola.

(iii) G. M. International

Accelerated urban road rehabilitation projects in the Southern Province, Mazabuka and Choma.

(iv) Sable Transport Projects

Accelerated urban road rehabilitation in the Northern Province, Kasama/Luwingu, Katete/Chipata and Katete/Chadiza

(v) Tomorrow Projects

Mfuwe to Chisengu under Zambia Wildlife Association (Zawa), supervised by Road Development Agency.

Mukubwe and Kaseke, abutment of Lot 1 Bailey bridges in the Northern and Luapula provinces under Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, Office of the Vice-President.

(vi) Lwezi Enterprise

This was supposed to happen in the North Western Province, but the matter is in court. Therefore, nothing happened.

(vii) Agro-Fuel

These are supposed to build bridges on Lunsemfwa River, Kalulu and Luangwa, under Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit in the Office of the Vice President.

(viii) Spancrete

These are supposed to build bridges on Luombwa, Lukasashi and Fukwe in Serenje District under the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit in the Office of the Vice-President.

(ix) Yakashika Contractors Limited

These are carrying out periodic maintenance by Out Performance based road contracts in the Copperbelt. That is Lufwanyama/Ingwe/Targagan road and they are also supposed to carry out maintenance of Mpongwe/Machiya road.

(x) A. Argente

Output Performance based road contracts in Lusaka Province. These are supposed to be working on Leopard Hill Road through Chiawa to Chirundu. This road, in some cases, is non existence. Therefore, they have to reconstruct these sections.

Sir, the following are the names of the foreign-owned companies which were awarded tenders to rehabilitate roads in Zambia in 2006:

(i) China Geo Engineering Construction

These are carrying out periodic maintenance of trunk, main and district roads by Output and Performance based road contracts in North Western Province, Western Province, Southern Province and Eastern Province.

(ii) Spencon and Polythen

These are doing Nakonde/Kanyala and Nakonde/Mbala in Northern Province.

(iii) Road Construction Contractors

These on Mulobezi Road

(iv) China Henan International Corporation Company

These are working on the Lusaka/Chirundu, Luanshya/Kafulafuta, Chingola/Kasumbalesa and Chembe Bridge

(v) Basil Reeds

Choma/Namwala Road

(vi) Stefanutti and Bressan

Chipata/Lundazi Road

Mr Speaker, the ministry is encouraging foreign-based companies to go into joint ventures with local companies when bidding for road works. The ministry also intends to package the works in such a manner that certain activities will be reserved for or restricted to local contractors. Further, the Government has created the National Council for Construction (NCC) to help train and empower local contractors with skills for bidding and executing works contracts.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister is aware that G. M. International which constructed the eight-kilometre road stretch in Mazabuka did such a poor job that in October, you did not need to be on a vehicle for the bitumen to stick to the tyres on your vehicle. The bitumen actually stuck toyour shoes. I would like to know whether this company was paid in full. If so, I would like to know how he shall get this job to be redone. I would also like to find out what measures the Government has taken to make sure that they do not get shoddy contractors such as G. M. International.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for asking this question. His description of the road sounds so bad that perhaps it did not last a week. The approach nowadays is that we are blacklisting contractors. We have problems. There are some contractors who still have contracts running, but their work has proved to be very poor. As such, we want to see how we can terminate such contracts. However, from now onwards, we have told everyone that once we prove that the works are poor, it is the last contract one will get with this Government. I am going to take up the hon. Members’ revelation on how this happened. If found wanting, we shall definitely take action against this contractor. This is not a hidden fact that from now onwards, all consultants and contractors involved in these works if found wanting, it will be their last time at least in this term of office that they will be awarded contracts.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I note that China Henan has four major projects. Are they not over loaded? Are they in partnership with any local Zambian contractor?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for asking that question once again. Most of the contractors that we have at the moment have a big capacity. China Henan is one of those, at the moment, and so are China Geo Construction Company and Belga. The reason they cannot do what they are capable of is due to lack of funding and because of this, most of their capacity is under utilised. China Henan, right now, has the capacity to do this work.

Mr Mooya: What about partnerships?

Mr Simbao: I am sorry, Mr Speaker, I am being reminded about partnerships. Maybe this is important. We are trying to encourage our Zambian counterparts that it is important that they partner with most of these foreign contractors. We have seen that most of our Zambian people do not want to go into partnership with most of the contractors because of lack of personal capacity. We have made it a must, for example, at the Road Development Agency (RDA), that any major contract that will be going on from now onwards shall have Zambians attached to it be it a consulting or contractor’s firm so that at the end of the day, we shall have built capacity amongst the Zambians to carry out most of these contracts either in consultancy or actual contracting.  However, we need Zambians who can have the courage to partner these foreign contractors.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the bridges on the Batoka/Maamba Road are collapsing and if he is, what plans is he making to immediately redress the situation?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this is a very good question which I hope will stop other questions which are similar to this one from being asked. The issues of disasters and emergencies are a responsibility of the Office of the Vice-President. Yes, this is happening on the road that was worked on by maybe RDA, but when it is an emergency or a disaster, it becomes an issue of the Office of the Vice-President. They are the ones with that kind of funding. We do not have that kind of funding as Ministry of Works and Supply. Our funding is in the Yellow Book and we can deal with those projects itemised in the Budget. Anything else that comes outside what is in the Budget cannot be taken from our funding, but from the funding under the Office of the Vice-President.

Now, what we have done as Ministry of Works and Supply is request all our regional engineers to compile a report costing the works necessary so that we can hand this to the Office of the Vice-President. This will be done either today or tomorrow because the report is ready. Once they get the report, the Office of the Vice-President will look at how much money they have and decide which ones will have to be worked on. This is why they need our help because we need to contract people to undertake the works. On our own, we do not have money for whatever bridge is going to collapse now or whatever road is going to be eroded. The only money we have as a Ministry of Works and Supply is what is in the Yellow Book. That is all we have got.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, I have heard the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, on several occasions, indicate that the Government will be encouraging Zambians to partner with foreigners who have been engaged by the Government to do various works. Is he not aware that this House recently passed the Citizens Empowerment Act? Under this Act, there is a provision that any foreign organisation that is going to derive a benefit from the Zambian Government should partner with a local organisation or person.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for asking that question. I really do not know what wrong statement I made because I am aware and it is in that line that I am encouraging Zambians to be involved. I have this opportunity to speak to the whole nation because I am being heard on radio and that is why I am saying this. We need Zambians to partner with foreigners in this country. Now, if someone has not read what we passed in this Parliament, maybe, they will be fortunate to hear me speaking now that actually, there is this law and we are encouraging them to do that.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister …

Dr Chishimba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in order to have elected to remain mute on a matter which alarms the nation, that is, in line with The Post of Saturday, 17th February, 2007, in which it was reported that about K6.9 trillion is alleged to have been lost from 1984 to 2004?

Mr Speaker, let me begin by quoting some of the interesting excerpts from The Post newspaper. I will start from page 1 and continue to page 4. It reads:

‘Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection Director Father Pete Henriot has said Zambians are too passive.

‘Reviewing the book SHOW ME THE MONEY! launched by Transparency International Zambia, which has revealed the loss of K6.9 trillion of public funds between 1984 and 2004, Fr. Henriot said a document like this one should bring people onto the streets.

‘He said the book highlighted gross dishonesty and disgusting greed.

‘It’s is disgusting and a sad story because it is causing a lot of suffering and death, he said.

‘Fr. Henriot said elsewhere he had seen corruption killing and that it had continued to kill.

‘He said corruption was being perpetuated by a reluctance to effect reforms to the Constitution and independence of the Office of the Auditor-General.’

The article goes on to quote another person as follows:

‘And Economist, Professor Oliver Saasa said the book was a must read.

‘He wondered to what extent Zambians were interested in what was going on in the Government and whether they were sufficiently informed to ask the Government questions.’

‘He said the Office of the Auditor-General should be independent and that its reports should, instead, go directly to Parliament and not the Executive who were the appointing authority.

‘If the President feels uncomfortable that those close to him should be exposed, he will not allow them to be named. Don’t allow individuals to determine the efficacy of the system,’ said Professor Saasa.

‘We need to reflect the rule of law if we have to make a difference.’

Mr Speaker, as I said, I had the opportunity to buy this book from Transparency International Zambia and I will lay this paper on the Table together with the book which is the source of what the Saturday Post newspaper published.

Mr Speaker, at page 59 to 62, it is indicated that between 2002 to 2004, the alleged losses amount to K404,342,000,000, which is an estimated US $90 million. These losses were incurred only in the two years reported.

Mr Speaker, this, in fact, takes me to the reports that were in the media that is, on The Post of Thursday, 8th February, 2007 in which His Excellency the President said about K3 trillion had been embezzled and on which a ministerial statement was made. However, it makes me wonder why the names as have been indicated earlier of the suspected criminals or in this particular case plunderers of public funds were not laid on the Table. As I raise this point of order, I must say that I am aware of the position of the law as per Article 18 of the Constitution of Zambia, sub Article 2(a), which secures to the individual, who is alleged to have committed a criminal offence, the right to presumption of innocence. That is the position of the Constitution.

Mr Speaker, I also invite you to look at the underlying principles which are determined by the law of precedence. This House is on record as having admitted into evidence names of suspected plunderers.

I am referring to the address, which His Excellency the President made to this House on Thursday, 11th July, 2002 in which names of the so-called suspected plunderers were laid on the Table. This, as I said, makes me wonder whether the application of the law in this particular case is selective.

Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling on this matter if, indeed, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is in order.

Dr Chishimba laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. PF. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Did you also lay the book on the Table?

Dr Chishimba: It is here, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Shikapwasha out!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kasama Central has raised a point of order in two parts. The ruling of the Chair on part one, regarding the contents of the book he has laid on the Table as reported by the Saturday Post newspaper, is that this House, through the Public Accounts Committee, has dealt with those issues raised by the Auditor-General during or over a period of years. And, as such, those issues were being dealt with through the Action-Taken-Reports as required by our procedures. If the book is complete, the author or authors should have said so.

On the second part, the issue you raised was dealt with by this House during the time you were referring to and the decision of the House was unanimous due to the reasons that were given at that time.

The Head of State wanted clearance to have certain legal processes taken against certain individuals who were mentioned at that time; and the House, through that prima facie evidence, made the unanimous decision I have just referred to; and that is a closed matter, anyway, because some of these cases and some of the individuals involved were or are still appearing in court. So, we cannot debate that issue.

The hon. Member for Chingola may, please, continue.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply alluded to the fact that the Government is encouraging Zambian investors to partner with constructing foreign company investors and vice-versa.

The question is: Is this encouragement sufficient? Should not the foreign investors be compelled to partner with the Government by scrutinising them …

Hon. PF Members: Order!

Ms Masiye crossed the Floor.

Dr Katema: … when they are giving them contracts and making sure that those who are given contracts are only those companies that have partnered with the Zambian enterprises?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, it is not possible to force people, especially to this kind of marriage. It is important that Zambians build confidence and capacities in these sectors, then partners will be easily found.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, technology in road construction has advanced and I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Works and Supply what efforts are being put in place to empower Zambians with advanced equipment and machinery so that they could compete effectively with the foreign contractors?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, before I answer that question, I would like to inform the House that the National Council for Construction and the Road Development Agency will be carrying out a symposium. There have been adverts in the paper asking for all those with ideas of how to make roads to come forth and present a thesis. Whoever, will be selected to present, will be paid some honorarium. It will not be for free. Therefore, we are asking all Zambians who have ideas of how to construct a road in Zambia to participate in this symposium.

Mrs Masebo entered the Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I do not know if that ties with what I am talking about.


Mr Simbao: Sir, I am informing all hon. Members of Parliament in this House that a symposium will be held. The two parties will appear on television soon to explain what they will be expecting at this symposium. Therefore, it is important that all hon. Members come and hear and ask questions where they are not clear.

As regards that particular question, yes, the roads technology has advanced, but not as much as he is putting it really. The most recent type of road construction is concrete roads. Otherwise, yes, the way we do it has changed. The hon. Members heard that this Government is purchasing equipment amounting to US$39 million so that the equipment is made available in all the provinces. This will be available for hire by any Zambian who will have a contract to construct a road. Therefore, the Government has taken care of that concern.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a) what the current official statistics on the levels of poverty in Zambia were;

(b) what the causes of poverty were; and

(c) what specific programmes the Government had embarked upon in order to alleviate poverty in Zambia.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, in Zambia, we determine the poverty levels using what we call a Living Conditions Monitoring Survey that is conducted by the Central Statistical Office. The recent and latest one was done in 2004. For the last two years, we have not done that and it will be done in future.

Sir, according to the 2004 Living Conditions Monitoring Survey Report, 68 per cent of Zambia’s total population was designated as poor. We all must be aware that we have a problem in defining poverty in Zambia and in the world at large. What then, was later defined was the people who were mostly disadvantaged. From saying 68 per cent of the Zambian population was poor, the survey said, out of this, 53 per cent were mostly disadvantaged. Therefore, we stopped using the word poor or poverty. We talk about the disadvantaged.

Now, what is being disadvantaged? Being disadvantaged is not being able to afford the minimum basic food requirements. You are extremely poor if you cannot afford the minimum basic food requirements. However, if you are not educated to a level where you are literate and you can understand or read a document which might be helping you to move out of poverty then, you are said to be extremely poor.

So, instead of talking about food, we start defining poverty in terms of literacy and education. If you are educated, but you cannot find income to, perhaps, buy food then, you are defined as income poor.


Mr Magande: So, poverty has moved from food and education to income. If you have all these things, you are educated, you have food to eat and you have some income, but you cannot find a clinic nearby and you get sick and you are likely to die then, it is called health poverty.


Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I know when Hon. Sejani asks about the level of poverty, he expects that the figure of 68 per cent is going to be just an easy people number count. Likewise himself, if he has no clinic nearby, in spite of having an income, he is poor. The United Nations Development Organisation has now come to define what we call the Human Development Index in which they claim that if people are not able to participate in the development or politics of their country, they are poor.


Mr Magande: Sir, that is now governance poverty. They are not taking part in the development of their country and therefore, they cannot participate in elaborating how your country must be managed. So, they are poor.

Mr Speaker, that is why even in Zambia, amongst ourselves in this House, when we start asking about poverty, some of the people in here will claim that they are poor people. They are poor because they do not have the capacity to participate in some of the things. Some of them cannot be farmers because they cannot find land. So, they will start saying that they are poor people because they do not have land, but they are driving very expensive vehicles and staying in very expensive residential areas such as Kabulonga.

Mr Speaker, when we ask about poverty, in Zambia and in the world in general, we have to be careful because the definition is very complex. Therefore, what should we do, like Hon. Sejani’s third question that asked what the Government is doing. First of all, we have to identify what causes these various variants of poverty. It is obvious that if you do not have fertiliser, you do not have a field, you cannot grow food and you do not have income to buy the food, you are food poverty …


Mr Magande: … or food poor because you cannot find the means to produce food.

If you reach, perhaps, Grade 7, you cannot find money to continue to high school then, you become education poverty.


Mr Magande: So, you will start saying, we poor people who cannot afford to go to university, but you have food and you are, actually, very healthy.


Mr Magande: There is a clinic nearby and you are not suffering from malaria, but you start saying, we poor people who cannot afford to go to university. You need a scholarship. Sometimes, you cannot afford an income because you have no income earning occupation. So, because you lack employment which generates income, therefore, you will say we are poor people who cannot afford to buy a pair of trousers or shoes …


Mr Magande: Since you have no job, you are poor. But, you are educated with a PhD, but you cannot find a job to give you an income. It is lack of employment that does that. Mr Speaker, this afternoon, I have heard a number of my colleagues calling on the Government to empower the Zambians with capital. For most of those who spoke this afternoon to try to get equipment and loans from the Government, it means that they lack capital and they are poor.


Mr Magande: They are looking for means of getting themselves out of this poverty. Therefore, lack of capital, in terms of money or assets is a cause of poverty for some of the people. Sometimes you can have a very health family, but only one person in the family is working. During that time, everybody in the home will afford everything. If the breadwinner dies, then this is a cause of poverty in the family because the other people were too dependent on one breadwinner. The causes of poverty are many.

Sir, as for what the Government is doing with these variances of poverty as we define them, the Government has a lot of programmes in place. Sometimes, if the Government notices that you in an area which is inaccessible for marketing and that your tomatoes will rot, the Government will construct roads, like Hon. Simbao has just mentioned, so that you are able to get your produce to the markets. Therefore, you will earn an income and get out of income poverty. That is part of Government programmes.

Sir, sometimes, we have problems with health delivery. We are currently talking about cholera in this House and I am sure most of the people who are afflicted by this disease will start saying, ‘We poor people.’ This afternoon Hon. Cifire told us what the Government is doing to improve on water and sanitation under the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. We therefore, remove that aspect of poverty. We know that at the moment, the Government is giving subsidised fertiliser to farmers. The Government is giving the fertiliser to those who cannot afford to buy it. The Government is also selling it to others who can afford to pay a small amount. For those who cannot afford, the Government gives the capital for them to come out of their poverty. This might mean that they will earn a bit of income, but they will also have food. We are actually food secure and are eradicating food poverty. That is what the Government is doing.

Sir, sometimes, you might have problems of health like I said and then the Government is putting up the health centres and making sure the medicine is available to the people. We are therefore eradicating the health poverty from the people. We know that there are many people who are HIV-sero positive. When the drugs for this disease first came, they were very expensive. The Government decided that these poor people who cannot afford should be given these drugs for free. Therefore, we have free ARVs. That is also to help the poor people who cannot afford to buy these ARVs.

Sir, in the Budget, we also have the empowerment programmes. We have talked about the empowerment scheme. This is to empower the poor people or whatever definition they might give themselves. That is basically what we are doing.

Mr Speaker, we also have a very big programme for education with K1 trillion this year to enable us remove the ignorance, which is part of poverty. It does not remain as poverty itself, but has a cause of poverty. If you are a poor farmer and you apply fertiliser wrongly, you will not produce the food. We therefore want to remove that poverty by educating the Zambians through the various means.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, we welcome very amusing definitions of poverty from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. In defining poverty, the hon. Minister talks about poverty of education, health and food. Does he realise that these poverties lead to fundamental violation of Human Rights and the people have been waiting for a long time for the dividends of HIPC Initiatives to trickle down to them. When will Government ensure that the dividends of HIPC Initiatives are distributed to the more than ten million poor Zambians who are waiting for them?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I presume that the first question by the hon. Member asking what percentage of Zambia’s population is poor was for him now to have the statistics and use them correctly for planning. After I told this House that according to the survey of 2004, 68 per cent were designated as poor and Hon. Sejani stands up and says ten million Zambians are poor, I am wondering how he can arrive at such a figure. If he does not want that information for his own use and knowledge, he should not have asked the question.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Magande: Sir, Zambia’s population is about eleven million. How does ten million become 68 per cent? I thought he wanted that information to use in his future planning. It is not ten million Zambians who are poor. It is 68 per cent as per the statistics of 2004. From now, let him challenge me on that figure and not on the ten million.

Mr Sejani: You meant poverty!

Mr Magande: The most important aspect is that the poverties that I mention manifest themselves in different forms. When a person who might be poor in terms of food gets food and does not realise that it is expensive, they eat and become full. When they become full, all they would do is fight you and show their muscles.


Mr Magande: That is not Human Rights. Where do the Human Rights come in when you give a poor person food? What Human Rights is he going to exercise?


Mr Magande: Sir, I do not understand the connection with that. When an uneducated person becomes literate, he will read books which will also tell him that his Human Rights are not open because there is also another person next door, who has his/her own rights. These can only be exercised within limits of the individual who is next to him. That is because he is educated enough to read.

Sir, when a sick person goes to the clinic and he becomes well, what Human Rights is he going to exercise if he does not go to produce food for himself, which is a demand on individuals. It is not that when you become healthy, you should demand food from another person. You should be able to work for yourself. Human Rights include self rights and self obligations …

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Magande: … and that is why we are not talking about Human Rights here. We are talking about the poverty of being disadvantaged so that after being advantaged, you will have a capacity to do what you want. What you want must be within a particular context.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, with your various interpretations of poverty and indicating that nearly everyone in here is poor, are these the factors you used to get the 68 per cent of the poor people in Zambia or is it an extension of the poverty definitions from your ministry?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, yes, we actually asked various questions in order to come up with what we call the disadvantaged. For example, when we go to Hon. Muntanga while conducting the survey for 2005, we will take note that the Southern Province where you live is an agricultural area and for you to move out of most of the variants of poverty, you need land. The question they will ask him is that do you own a piece of land and I hope he will be frank enough to say, ‘I do not’.


Mr Magande: Then, they will define him as being poor not having land in an area where to be advantaged is to own land. Therefore, our inference, as a Government, will be to ask how many people in an area with comparative advantage for agriculture from which you can produce your food and earn an income, but do not have land so that the Government can make a decision. The Government will say since there are so many Zambians in this area who do not have land, let us come up with a policy on land distribution then only can we talk about establishing farming blocks so that from the statistics, those who do not have land can be assisted to own land.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Actually, we ask a lot of questions. They will ask you when you last went to a clinic. Hon. Muntanga might say ten years ago. Then, they will ask him if he ever gets sick?


Mr Magande: He might say no, I do not. Then, we will be very happy because we will ask him why do you think you do not get sick? He might say that because of my size.


Mr Magande: Then, we will use that information to plan. Therefore, there are various questions that we ask which help us to collect information to plan how to eradicate the poverty which is in different sections.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimumbwa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning what the Government is doing to stimulate human social values against the technological innovations which we have set in motion a drain of secondary expansion in various sectors of our economy.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, clearly, that question is from a very complicated technological theory. Therefore, I do not understand it unless, the hon. Member for Nchanga can bring it down to my level.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, 68 per cent poverty levels are quite alarming. I would like to find out from the Government whether they have put any timeframe in which these levels of poverty are going to be reduced and what targets is the Government is looking at in terms of percentages.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, yes, we have timeframes. From the statistics which we have been recollecting over the last ten years in particular, over the last five years when the economy has been growing at 5 per cent continuously, we seem to find that for every percentage of the economic growth, there is a level of poverty reduction. Therefore, we are saying that if the economy continuous to grow at 5 per cent annually for the next fifteen years, we think that we are going to halve the 68 per cent of poverty. That is why we have now a development plan where we hope by investing in the economy and by growing the economy consistently at not less than 5 per cent annually, we are going to be able to get the poverty levels in the various categories come to a lower level within the next fifteen years.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Sampa-Bredt (Chawama): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister really understand that many people in this country are poor not only because they lack education, food and shelter, but mainly lack nearly every necessity of life.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, yes I am aware and that is what I said that there are many variants of poverty. We are aware that many people actually lack the basic necessities of life.

Mr Speaker, we would like to identify the areas of poverty not in terms of a group of people who are in one locality only.

For example, on a Sunday, the hon. Member who asked the question may ask the people who are in her Sunday service how many of them are poor. These people will have gone to one place. You might find that all the fifty people would say that they are poor. That should not give her the impression that Zambia’s total population is poor because 100 per cent of the people who are in her church are poor. They have come from different geographical areas and when they go back, you might find that one of  those people has come from an area where 99 per cent of the people do not go church because they are busy working in the field. While that person exhibited poverty in church as part of the fifty people, when that person goes to the community, he might be the only person who is poor. Therefore, 99 per cent of the people in that community are not poor. That is why we have to be careful where we look for this poverty.

Mr Speaker, all of us belong to different clubs. You might go to a golf club and think that because all of you colleagues are playing golf and have the capacity to buy drinks and drive expensive cars, then, there is no poverty in Zambia. When you separate and go to your own places, you would discover that one of your friends comes from a family where he is the only educated person and that family is made up of 99 per cent  poor people. This is why I said, we should be very careful where we look for poverty and how we define it in the national context.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask this question to the hon. Minister and he must be serious once more.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has told us about health poverty, Human Development Index, governance poverty and so on. They set salaries of all workers in this country including his. He also talked about income poverty. What is the Government doing to get people out of this income poverty since they are the people who set their salaries and your salaries?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning tabulated the areas in which the Government is trying to get people out of all sorts of poverty. He may summarise in case the hon. Member for Chimwemwe may not have been in the House when the hon. Minister was replying.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, perhaps I might not be able to make a summary for the hon. Member. I would therefore, request him to approach the CSO and get a report on the Living Conditions Survey for 2004. There, he will find the issues on income poverty and what the Government is trying to do. It is not just the people who are working in my ministry or Government that the Government is concerned about their income poverty, but also the people who are employed by private people like himself. He has many workers and I wished that he had given us an example of what he is doing in order to reduce the income poverty of his own workers.


Mr Magande: I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning aware that when we are talking about poverty, it is either we are talking about poverty in relative terms or absolute terms? By that, Sir, I mean that when we are talking about relative poverty it simply means falling behind the income level and in such a situation nobody can be poor. But we are talking about absolute poverty which in this case is the main concern of CSO, we are simply talking about lack of sustained access …

Mr Speaker: Order! Order! The hon. Member for Kasama is debating. May he ask his question?

Dr Chishimba: The question is: what is Government doing to ensure that as the economy grows, it translates into development of the communities that are disadvantaged or the people who are living in absolute poverty, if I may use that term, not relative poverty?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I am very happy that the hon. Member for Kasama Central used a very positive term, ‘as the economy grows’, so he is also seeing that the economy is growing.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: What is economic growth? The economy is not Government. The economy is the production of goods and services in the country. Goods and services are produced by the people and not the Government alone. Therefore, if he knows that the economy is growing, he is then admitting that these people who are relatively disadvantaged and poor are going to produce more goods and services and will earn more income. That is how we are going to ensure that they participate in reducing their own poverty.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, when I was elected Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central Constituency, I had no suit to wear to Parliament. So, I was clothes poor.


Dr Scott: But I got some money and bought a suit. The hon. Minister has just emphasised the growth as a way out of poverty, but poverty is a combination of two things growth in national wealth or national GDP on one hand, and distribution on the other. And Zambia has one of the most uneven distributions between the very rich and the very poor of any country. What is his Government …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Dr Scott: The question is coming. Be patient.


Dr Scott: What is his Government doing to redress these gross imbalances that are found in my constituency and elsewhere?


Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Lusaka Central knows that I stay in his constituency. I was supposed to be his voter, but I decided to leave because I did not want to vote for somebody who is already so rich.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Magande: Sir, on a serious note, he knows that I am a farmer, but I do not get subsidised fertiliser from the Government, because in the definition of farmers, I am a rich farmer.

Hon. PF Members: Wow!

Mr Magande: The farmers who are poor in his constituency are registered under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and given free fertiliser so that they are able to farm in the same way I farm as a rich farmer. To begin with, that is how we are trying to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

Hon. Government Members: Yes! Yes!

Mr Magande: I do not know whether the hon. Member is still a pig farmer …


Mr Magande: … but I would like to tell him that while he is able to buy his own pigs, the Government has a programme of giving free animals such as pigs, goats, chickens etc, to the poor people who cannot afford to buy the animals.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: We cater for these people who also want to become farmers like him and so, we have programmes in place that are helping to raise them to his level. That is the only way …

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to mislead this House and the nation that there is free fertiliser when there is only subsidised fertiliser? Is it actually free fertiliser? He has stated that the poor farmers in Hon. Dr Scott’s constituency are given free fertiliser.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall earlier in the afternoon that there was a point of order raised by one hon. Member on why the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was keeping quiet when there had been a scare on his life. As I looked at him when ruling, he looked as if he was enjoying good health!


Mr Speaker: And the vigour with which he has now answered supplementary questions under Question No. 311, demonstrates that he is enjoying a wealth of health.


Mr Speaker: Therefore, the hon. Member for Roan who has raised a point of order must join the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning as he is enjoying his wealth of health. Next question!



312. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Government had any plans to demolish squatter townships in the country.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the growth of squatter townships in the country is of great concern to the Government. The growth of squatter townships is as a result of rapid population growth and urbanisation which has not been met with adequate services including housing.

Sir, the Government has plans to demolish squatter townships which cannot be upgraded because of their unsatisfactory location either in water-logged areas or on prime land that is earmarked for important national development programmes, such as schools, clinics, sports fields, water and sewer pipes etc. The Government would like to embark on a programme of upgrading some of the squatter townships and has requested councils to identify unplanned urban settlements that can be legalised and upgraded. In this way, the Government will control the springing up of unplanned settlements.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, may I find out from the Ministry when they will get tough with illegal allocation of plots since that seems to be the genesis of these squatter townships.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, this morning I had the privilege to tour some of these unplanned settlements and I would like to say that the situation on the ground is very worrying. We have reached a situation in the country where construction in unplanned settlements and the illegal allocation of plots with impunity by some of our residents has reached a stage which really needs the Government and the people of Zambia to begin to work together to redress the situation.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that the situation has become so bad that in one incident, a white man was killed in the process of trying to protect his land from being encroached on by the people who are selling land indiscriminately and with impunity and, in some cases, to unsuspecting residents.

Mr Speaker, the situation is such that because people believe that once a house has been completed, the Government will fail to demolish those houses. The information I have is that people are selling land to others and telling them to construct the houses within three weeks so that once the house is complete, there is nothing the Government will do because people have spent some money in erecting them. This is very serious and not an easy issue, especially as I have always said, when it is politicised and people make statements that it is cadres allocating land.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that these are not cadres, but criminals and law breakers.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: And they must be treated as such. They normally use names of political parties to be shielded and they change parties to suit the situation. When they go to the council, because they think the council is controlled by the Patriotic Front, they say they are PF cadres. When the Government wants to move in to demolish their structures, they say they are MMD cadres because they think they can work on the minds of the politicians. As Minister responsible for physical planning in this country and as principle planner in accordance with the law, I have made it very clear that any unplanned house or structure that comes up will be demolished. This is the directive I have given.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, we have to start from somewhere. I would like to seize this opportunity to beg the politicians, especially the hon. Members, councillors and members of the communities to work together with us. We need to stop this scourge because it will catch up with all of us.

Mr Speaker, I would like to report that the people are living in fear because of the squatters who seem to have taken over the law and who think they are untouchable. This Government has said several times that it is a Government of laws, but what is happening on the ground does not reflect that. We are saying that we shall use every available means to ensure that this is brought to a stop and to that effect, this morning I directed the Lusaka City Council to move within this week and demolish any illegal structure in the areas that we visited. We need to stop this because it is becoming a big problem for this Government. People are putting up structures on water pipes, sewer pipes and on people’s properties when the owners of those properties have spent colossal sums of money, but are compelled to run away from their properties. It is unfair because we need to protect every citizen, especially those who are law abiding.

It looks like those who are breaking the law are being shielded and those who are following the law are not being protected. We must work together to stop this scourge. All the cholera problems we are talking about arise from the unplanned settlements. We know that people are coming to Lusaka and the population is growing. This is so because most people do not know about family planning and I hope that the Ministry of Health will double their efforts to ensure that people do not have children whom they cannot look after.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I also would like to state that this is a very big country and Zambia is not Lusaka. We have land all over this country, but the problem is that people tend to think that Zambia is Lusaka. Therefore, people come to Lusaka and when they get here, they start getting land illegally and they construct houses anywhere and think that the Government will fold its arms because if they move in, they will say it is a bad Government.

Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to speak to the nation and say that this Government is going to enforce the law. I have said I am not looking for a re-election and, therefore, I am not looking for cheap votes. As Minister responsible I am going to do what needs to be done.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I am prepared to go up to the end and even to die to ensure that this scourge is stopped. I know that if I do not die today, I will still die tomorrow. Sir, this city will become so dangerous that people will be unable to drive in town. The amount of anarchy is unbelievable, especially in Lusaka.

Therefore, in answering this question, I would like to thank the person who has asked this question because this has given me an opportunity to say that the Government is not going to fold its arms. Yes, we are upgrading squatter compounds, but that is not a passport for people to think that the Government is upgrading and so they should continue building illegally. People are busy as I am talking now buying and constructing houses on illegal plots. Construction is even taking place at night because they think that when they finish constructing, we will not demolish their structures. It is important to give a very serious and straightforward answer that we will demolish illegal structures.

Mr Speaker, in this Budget there is an allocation to upgrade some squatter compounds. Even when you are upgrading, some houses have to be demolished because there are no roads and water. It is just chaos. One day, Members of Parliament should take a tour and see how bad the situation on the ground is. It is very bad and frightening. We need to stop this vice. The politicians who want to use this for political gain must stop.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: We must, together, say no to anything that is against the law. If street vending is wrong, it is wrong. If unplanned settlements are wrong, they are wrong. Some of the councillors are scared to go round their wards because they are being threatened and I want to say that I am very happy with the Police Force because they have been very supportive and they have given us full security to protect us when demolishing unplanned settlements.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the worst part of these unplanned settlements is that land is being given to foreigners. In one area I visited, I was told that most of the people there come from Tanzania and other places. These people come for business and when they see that business is booming here, they buy land illegally and start to construct. Sir, is this the way we are going to run our affairs as a country? We need to work together to make a difference. Today, we are here in this House protected. We have the police with us and at home we are guarded. As Members of Parliament we have all these monies, but tomorrow we will be out of this Parliament and end up in those communities which we will have allowed to spring up in the name of politics. I would like to make this last appeal to both hon. Members on the right and left and those who are outside in other political party offices, to work together with us to bring this scourge to an end without any politics.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair wishes to guide the House on a matter of importance. The regulations that are made under the laws which are made in this House are made to promote peace and order. As such, the hon. Members, the leaders here and the leaders elsewhere, must understand that they are protected by law and whatever they do in performing their responsibilities is protected by law. The leaders must not feel either threatened or intimidated by anybody from any quota when they carry out their duties under the law. Therefore, hon. Leaders, wherever they maybe, must live, and not die, to carry out their responsibilities.

The hon. Member for Bweengwa may take the Floor.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, this weekend I had the privilege of passing through some of the compounds, behind the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) called Valley View and I share her sentiments. In this crisis, there are some kingpins that are involved in the allocation of land. Is the ministry planning to expose these people so that they can bring an end to this?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in executing this exercise of upgrading squatter compounds and demolishing some of the unplanned settlements, we have agreed with the police that they move in because it is necessary that the culprits are brought to book. The culprits have been known for a long time, but somehow they still continue to survive. This is why the police are moving in so that the people who are actually perpetuating this vice must be brought to book. You know this plot is not yours, it is illegal, why are you building on it?. They will use a name the ‘Chairman’ because this is the title that is very common in the communities. This Chairman, is not necessarily a political Chairman. Sometimes it is a community Chairperson, but sometimes he may be a political chairperson. This is the title they use for a man they respect because he seems to understand them or he seems to have influences in various offices. These people have managed to survive even after some houses have been demolished. Now we are saying that we should target these people, but the people who can help us to know who these culprits are, are the same people who have bought land from them. In some cases, they are shielded by the people who have bought this land. In today’s tour, a number of them said the person who sold me this land is dead. I suppose they thought by saying he is dead, it will be considered.

Mr Speaker, unfortunately, most of the people who are buying this land do not know, in some cases, what the law is and mainly, it is the poor and in some cases, the very vulnerable persons. This is why it is important that Members of Parliament sensitive their communities against this vice. This is also why I have also been asking the members of the press to assist us because it is not an easy job, and yet, it is a very important issue that is threatening the good health of the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, I just would like to find out from the hon. Minister, other than putting it boldly the way you just put it, when some squatter compounds such as Misisi and John Laing compounds and parts of Kanyama and Eyeview will be demolished and/or upgraded.

 Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in this year’s Budget, we have made a provision for upgrading of squatter compounds. We have written to the local authorities to identify squatter compounds to be upgraded. For example, Misisi Compound is one of the squatter compounds that is earmarked for upgrading and a number of other townships not just in Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and other cities. You have seen that in the Budget, we are going to give more resources to the councils this time than in the last budget. This is meant to assist the local authorities to upgrade them. Upgrading simply means providing some water because, in most of these townships, there is no water, there are no roads, and there are no toilets. There is nothing. It is just a house. So, upgrading means provision of services such as water and sanitation and creating some roads by way of re-planning that particular area. One of the Members of Parliament here when he stood up talked about an area behind NRDC. That area has been invaded. Even the value of the houses there has gone down as a result of that invasion.

Mr Speaker, there are some areas that even as much as you would like to will not be possible demolish. Now, some areas such as Misisi Compound is an old compound which was created in the 60s, 70s and those people have been there since. We are upgrading those areas. We are targeting some structures that need to be demolished so that we can create roads. Generally, the policy is that if something is illegal it will be demolished. It is simple as that. We shall continue to upgrade our areas including Libala. The roads are in a state of disrepair.

Mr Lubinda: Yah!

Mrs Masebo: Sir, it is important that the public is clear that when we talk about upgrading, we are not legalising wrong things. We are not going to legalise wrong things. Anything that is illegal we are going to demolish and do not come back and say what the Government is doing is bad. I have told those people to go back where they came from …


Mrs Masebo: … because before they went there they were somewhere. They must go back where they came from and follow the legal process to acquire land and develop it.

Mr Speaker, that is what we must all stand for. On the issue of land I have made it clear that the chiefs do not sell land. Only last month, I retired one of my workers at home after he had worked for me for twenty years. I wrote a letter to a chief in the area where he came from and that chief has received him and given him a piece of land and he is growing some maize. He is doing something.

Mr Speaker, two days ago, we were all in our constituencies, and saw a number of people going back to the villages to settle. They are putting up structures and living a good life. Now, there is no point in allowing people to come here just to squat and create problems in Lusaka. We must not accept this. In every country, there are rules and regulations which everybody must follow. I cannot leave this place and go to settle in the middle of London and say, ‘I am a very poor person. Do not demolish my house which I have completed.’ There is nothing like that. Therefore, why are we allowing this in Zambia?


Mrs Masebo: The question was on when we are going to demolish illegal structures in illegal settlements? We have already started demolishing them. When are we going to upgrade? We have already started upgrading selected compounds in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The House will go on, on this matter. I strongly feel that the answers to this question have been exhausted. The Clerk will now read the Order of the day.




(Debate resumed)

Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget Speech. I will begin on a spiritual note to guide myself as I debate on this very important motion.

Mr Speaker, the Bible …

Mr Speaker: Order!

No religious citations are allowed in this House. Could you, please, debate the motion.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, the fish starts to rot from the head. Isabi litampila ukubola kumutwe.


Dr Chishimba: Unless you cut off the head of the fish, the whole body of the fish will rot.

Sir, let me begin by stating that a budget is a political tool, as opposed to what we heard when the motion was moved that it was a non-political matter. It is a political matter in the sense that the political parties present to the people their manifestos and if given the mandate, they are to deliver as their manifestos spell out. For instance, some political parties such as mine, which believes in lower taxes, went to the people of Zambia on that premise. If it were given the opportunity, it would implement it. Therefore, the budget is a political tool. Of course, if the budget does not respond genuinely to the demands of the people, then we are bound to fail as a nation.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, since we have been told through what has been debated in this House that the Budget was drown from the Fifth National Development Plan, which was drawn from the Vision 2030, I thought it wise to study the Vision 2030. That is why probably, during the course of last week, I could not indicate to speak because I was busy studying and trying to understand the context in which the Budget was prepared.

Sir, a vision should not be vague. A vision, in my understanding, must be inspiring and one which various players in the country can tap into. It must inspire our people. In other words, a vision must not be as vague as this one which reads:

 ‘A prosperous middle income nation by 2030.’

What do you mean when you say ‘a middle income country’? Already, when you put such a sentiment in the vision, the people of Zambia, the majority of which are illiterate, will begin to wonder. When you go to my grandfather in Chief Mwamba’s area, he will not understand what you mean by a middle income country because you will begin to look at the issues of the range of growth in terms of GDP to determine at which level the country is, whether it is a or high, middle, or low income country in this particular case.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I am aware that an attempt has been made to try and highlight what constitutes the Vision 2030. Some of the issues include developed political systems and a common and shared base. Whilst appreciating all these, I must state categorically here that a vision is useless unless it is communicated to the people and in this particular case, it must be one which is communicable and understood by the majority of our people.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 It is only then, Mr Speaker, that the people will participate effectively in the political process of the country, but in this particular case, I see that the participation is lacking. Not only that, we have not, as a nation, defined the ideologies that we believe in as a nation. What are our values? There are guiding principles here, but we have not stated the ideologies, especially the principles upon which this nation was founded by the founding fathers of Zambia.

What do we believe in as a nation? That is why if we do not clearly define our beliefs, we will end up jumping from one programme to another to the extent of even praising somebody who has come to steal what genuinely belongs to Zambians while the people continue to wallow in poverty.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I have also looked at Zambia’s transition in the under-developed nation status. Here again, quite well, it has been acknowledged that Zambia was actually more prosperous than some of the countries, such as Botswana, Egypt and Thailand at Independence in 1964. Now, what has gone wrong in our country? Of course, I know that in the First Republic, several attempts were made by the Government to keep Zambia on the development path. This included the development plans such as the Mulungushi Reforms and others, but I would not like to dwell much on that due to time constraints.

However, I would like to say that it is very heart-throbbing that countries such as Thailand which was worse off at the time of Zambia’s Independence, today are on the course to a nation that I would say is making very significant strides in the area of development.

Sir, in terms of social development trends in this Vision 2030, the trends have been well acknowledged in here and I will be bias towards the health sector. The maternal mortality rate is on the increase. 729 per 100,000 live births is too high. Some of the causes or leading factors to this situation include unskilled home deliveries and limited access to facilities. Of course, the other causes of this are the postpartum diseases such as haemorrhage. After the forty-three years of independence, we do not expect our mothers in the villages to die needlessly when we have the opportunity, as leaders, to act and set our priorities right now. We have to remember that, as we sit in this august House to plan, there is somebody out there who needs action. Lack of action will lead to the loss of some precious lives of the people in this country.

Mr Speaker, infant and under-five mortality rates in 2002, stood at 95 and 168 per 100,000 live births respectively. This, again, shows that the chances that our children will grow …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to move to another point.

Sir, I now turn to the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP). The priorities identified in this FNDP include strengthening the economic and social infrastructure, especially roads, schools and hospitals and also enhancing agriculture and rural development. While these priorities are appealing and appropriate, it is very disappointing that the allocation in the Budget, for instance, to Infrastructure Development such as roads is inadequate. At the same time, there is no deliberate mention of programmes that seek to enhance rural development in our country. I must mention here that we can not deliver development to our people, especially the rural people, without opening them up to economic zones through road infrastructure.

Now, if you look at irrigation, as I said, it is below the required standard and it shows that whilst on paper or by word of mouth, we are being told that the Budget was drawn from this FNDP, on the ground, the practical situation is that nothing much has been drawn from this FNDP.

Mr Speaker, on agriculture, 90 per cent of the so-called strategies in here are actually activities. First and foremost, I would like to mention here that a strategy is some kind of pattern which will show how you are going to approach the implementation of the desired programmes and the vision which you are seeking to achieve. For example, to promote and enforce grades and standards of major roads. Here, you would be talking about promoting enforcement. This is an activity and not a strategy. How are we going to do it? How are we going to implement the programmes so that we are able to distinguish between activities and strategies?

Mr Speaker, as regards monitoring and evaluation, it is only through this that we are able to check whether or not we are on course or not so that where there are some deviations, we are able to take corrective measures and get back on course so taken as a nation. Indicators which are here, again, are so simplistic. For instance, there is an indicator which is just talking about the number of schools and number of other items. We need to have indicators that are concrete and measurable. I know that there are some sections where they have cited some values, that is, the base line value as at 2005 and the targeted value as at 2010. There are values in selected programmes, but I must state here that these seem to be somehow disjoined from what is contained in the sectoral activities in this particular strategic Fifth National Development Plan. It appears that the whole process is a mere academic exercise or was just made to try and impress the donors that Zambia is now responding to what other countries are doing.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, this Fifth National Development Plan also lacks the process indicators. We need to look at how Zambia is progressing in terms of the outputs in the short-term implementation of the programmes as well as the outcome indicators. These have not been segregated. Not only that, the sources of verification have not been identified, and yet these would assist us, as a country, to measure progress. In addition, critical assumptions are not there. Critical assumptions are simply conditions which must exist in order for us to achieve the goals that we have set in this Fifth National Development Plan. Now, without critical assumptions, how are we going to check ourselves or keep this country on course as we work towards the attainment of our vision as a country?

Mr Speaker, I now turn specifically to the Budget Speech. I note, with sadness, the Multi-Facility Economic Zones that have been proposed in here, especially the Chambishi Mine. What is the rationale behind the settling for the Chambishi Mine? These ideas started from New Castle in England. Economic zones are meant to revive the industries. In Zambia, Ndola was the industrial heart of this country. In Ndola today, most of the factories are white elephants. Why not target Ndola where there are so many industrious Zambian businessmen and women? Now, in Chambishi, who are you targeting?

Hon. Opposition Members: Chinese.

Dr Chishimba: Is this in the interest of Zambians? These are the questions that we need to ask ourselves. We hold the greatest responsibility to our people. We should put Zambians first and not any other persons.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: If you believe in the principle of Zambia First, then we have to look at areas that are strategic such as Ndola, as I have already said.

In the FNDP, Mr Speaker, in terms of what has been set therein, K787 billion has been allocated to Infrastructure Development which is not enough. The Office of the President or Zambia Intelligence, for instance, has been allocated K184 billion. What is this money for? Of course, I appreciate that we have to invest more on the role that the security wings play in this country, but we have to set our priorities right.

Mr Speaker, on health, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has set aside 10.8 per cent. I do not know what kind of mathematics was used. My calculation gave me 10.1 per cent. I consulted several people before arriving at this figure. I do not know where this 10.8 per cent came from. In fact, this is, again, below the Abuja Declaration of 15 per cent. We cannot expect, as a nation, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals we set for ourselves unless the population is healthy.

On tax, there have been some attempts to reduce it, but this is not enough. Let there be a programme to broaden the tax base so that we can relieve the Zambian worker of the pressure which is on them. In fact, this has been the song for many years.

Mr Speaker, what lessons can you learn from other countries which have a vision? In other words, I am saying we need to have a vision of what we want to do and we need to be very clear as opposed to the vague vision that I have talked about here.

Mr Speaker, if you take the case of India, you will learn that it is one country which was poorer than Zambia at Independence, but today, India is even able to donate food to us and we gladly take its rice.

Mr Kambwili: Tata vehicles for District Commissioners.


Dr Chishimba: And yet India is also a developing country. What do we do when we go to these countries? What do we learn from them? Do we just go there to get donations?

Mr Speaker, the Bible clearly states that it is more blessed to give than to receive. What has gone wrong with this country? When you go to India, do not just go and beg and then celebrate for having been given US $20 million, but come back and tell us what you learnt from that country.

Mr Speaker, India uses different approaches. They were very clear about what they wanted. For instance, with regard to approaches in development, they had to identify strategies to use and programmes to reach out to the people. It included a project approach and different other approaches were used in order to reach the people. The target area approach was also used so as to identify priorities and work according to those priorities in rural development. It is also about time that Zambia begun to chart her own development philosophy and approach like India which has one approach called the Gandhian Approach. Why do we not have the Magandean or Daka Approach in Zambia as well?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear! Mulumendo wachitenge!

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, not only that, there are also programmes, which include, for instance, Area Development, Command Area Development Programme, and Drought-Prone Area Programmes.

However, as a country, India looked at the Land Formation Policy and based on that, they begun to plan according to the local situation. We should not just borrow some of these imported strategies from other countries.

Mr Speaker, apart from that, on job creation, India created various employment programmes. For instance, Youth Scheme for Rural Employment, Food for Work, National Rural Employment Projects and Private Intensive Rural Employment. All these are programmes that worked for India. There are others such as the Social Welfare Programmes, Applied Nutrition Programme and Integrated Child Development Programmes. All these programmes put together are what put India where she is today. We can learn so many lessons from India.

At the University of Zambia, Department of Development Studies, there are so many concepts that were brought from India. Why can we not begin to chart our own course?

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by saying that nothing will save Zambia other than a revolution. If we sit and continue to do things the way we do them, at a slow pace, we shall not go anywhere. We should not become captives of the past. We have to break away from the past and begin to look at the challenges of the modern times.

Mr Speaker, an army of a thousand is easy to find, but how difficult it is to find a General. Not only that, great men must know where they are going.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Opposition of this House, should not be intimidated just because they are in the Opposition. We need to provide real leadership in order to deliver our people and dedicate Zambia to God after all.

The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Member’s time has lapsed.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! Any further debate?

Hon. Members, as you can see, we do not need to remind each other every day. Really we should not give the impression to the people out there that we are running short of ideas.

The hon. Mr Speaker, last time, dwelt briefly on this point and my understanding and that of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Presiding Officers was that we were still buying time to study the Budget. Therefore, we had hoped that by now, we should have had many hon. Members wanting to debate. However, as you can see, there is only one person who has spoken and no other person indicating to debate.

Hon. PF Member pointing at Hon. Lubinda.

The Deputy Chairman: That is good, hon. Member for Kabwata, you have the Floor.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I would like to start by registering my sadness over this period. I think that all of us, our hearts should be out there for the many Zambians whose houses and crops have been destroyed by floods. As we debate, we have to bear their difficult circumstances in mind.

I would like to call upon the Vice-President’s Office, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit and all aid agencies to quickly scale up their efforts to avert the looming human calamity in the affected areas. It can be and it must be avoided.

Mr Chairman, I would also like to comment on the devilish attack on the health and lives of the officers at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning last week.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: No omission or commission of any kind should warrant any person to be a victim of such satanic attacks and I would like to condemn the perpetrators of that act in the strongest terms possible.

I only pray that the officers at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning who came in contact with the powder poison are out of danger. I also hope that the Zambia State Intelligence Services shall warrant the large allocations that we allocate to them every year by investigating this matter, speedily and bringing the culprits to book.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Talking about the health condition of officers there …

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Much as the Chair appreciates the sympathy you have for our colleagues out there, I had thought that the hon. Member would not dwell long on that subject. We leave that subject to the rightful arms of Government to look into it. Therefore, we should revert to the Budget.

You may continue, please..

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I always think about other people’s problem when they are attacked like that.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that I acknowledge the fact that this is the first time that Zambia is making an attempt at a long-term vision running beyond a horizon of one generation. This is what we, in the Opposition, have been calling for for a long time. In the same way that my dear colleague, Member of Parliament for Kasama Central said earlier this afternoon, a vision is only a vision if it inspires people to act in a predetermined fashion in a firm belief for a future, they commonly aspire for. That is when it is a vision. If it does not inspire people to a common end, then it ceases to be a vision.

Mr Speaker, I would like to subject the Vision 2030 to a very simple acid test.

(a) Is the vision inspiring?

A vision, reads the report, ‘a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030’. There are conditions attached to that and one important condition is that we should be a nation with a common thought with a gini-coefficient of 40.. In other words, the vision is for a nation in which wealth distribution is skewed against the majority in which total wealth is in the hands of the minority, probably, about 30 per cent of the population.



Sir, a nation in which 70 per cent of the people do not share control of national wealth, surely, shall not inspire anyone.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Lubinda: Because what the Zambian people are looking forward to, is a country in which national wealth is equitably distributed, at least, to some extent.

Sir, I am sure that Hon. Magande, who was teaching us Magandenomics this afternoon, knows very well that the gini-coefficient at the moment in this country is about 60. Surely, will it inspire Hon. Magande that his children and their children after them, in 2030, should be in the 70 bracket who have no participation whatsoever in the acquisition and control of national wealth. It will not inspire him.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, secondly, I would like to ask whether this vision is attainable. To measure that, I would like to use simple Gross Domestic Product. I would like to look at its growth.

Sir, in 2006, Zambia’s GDP grew by 5.2 per cent and it is projected to grow in 2007 by 5.8 per cent. However, that growth is attributed largely to traditional growth sectors of mining, which grew my 11.8 per cent last year, transport and communications which grew by 13.4 per cent and construction which grew by 9 per cent. Converse to this, the non-traditional sectors of the economy which are even more labour-intensive, the sectors that put money directly in the pockets of the people such as agriculture, manufacturing and trading were in the second schedule of contributors to GDP growth. They grew only with a marginal 2.4 per cent and as for agriculture to 3.9 per cent in manufacturing.

Sir, exporting earnings are another way of checking the GDP in the various sub-sectors contributing to GDP. I would like to do a small analysis here. The total export of the year 2006, grew by 77.3 per cent from US$ 2.2 billion in 2005 to US$3.9 billion in 2006. That, Sir, was as a result of the following. The mining sector grew by 93.7 per cent from US$1.6 billion to US$3.14 billion. Yet, the Non-Traditional Exports Sector, Hon. Mulongoti, only grew by 30.9 per cent from K576 million to K754 million.

Sir, when growth is based on foreign investment; when growth is predominantly contributed to by foreign investors, who pay slave salaries to our Zambian workers; foreign investors whose contribution to the Government revenue is close to nothing, that growth is meaningless. That growth cannot be called sustainable. That growth is not anything to write home about.

Hon. Opposition Members: Even if you use Magandenomics.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Lubinda:  Sir, this is the reason in Zambia today, total domestic revenue is a small 16 per cent of the GDP. When the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning stands up to respond, he must explain what that means in real terms. When only 16 per cent of your total GDP is in the control of the Government through its domestic revenue in the Budget, you must start to question where the rest of the income is going. Who is controlling the 84 per cent of the total earnings of our country?

Mr Mtonga: The foreigners!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, like I said earlier, this is the kind of growth that you cannot, as a country, rely upon. That is the reason, Mr Speaker, the ones who are fuelling the machinery of the Government are, unfortunately the poor, the voiceless workers, who this year, are expected to contribute 20 per cent of the total Budget. I am not talking about the domestic budget. When I say 20 per cent, I am talking about 20 per cent of the total budget which means the domestic revenue plus the revenue to be given to us in form of grants and loans by our so-called partners. While the workers are contributing 20 per cent of the Government Budget, companies put together, are only contributing 9 per cent. This is a scandal.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Lubinda: This is worse than a vampire that sucks blood from its victim until it is dead.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, what I mean is that the ratio of contributions by workers and companies is 1 to 2.2. Hon. Magande, this means that for every K1,000.00 that the companies pay to the Government, the poor worker is paying K2,200.00. It is not a matter to be smiling about. It is a matter to be sorry about. We cannot have a country where the people, themselves, are the ones who are contributing a much larger share of the Government Budget. You cannot!

Mr Kambwili: Bebe, Yellow Man!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, when there is economic growth, as any economist will tell you, you will also see an increase in the savings portfolios in banks, and yet this is not the case in Zambia, at least, not by individual savers. The reason for this is that the Zambian tax payer or the Zambian worker is over taxed. They do not have, at the end of the month, any disposable income for them to save. We were being told today nay we were being lectured in Magandenomics which says that poverty can be measured by the number of clothes. If you have no clothes, therefore, you are clothes poor.

Sir, anyone who has studied economics will tell you that the reason there is money as a denominator is so that it can be the measure of wealth. When you talk about poverty, you are talking about poverty in relation to the capacity to acquire needs, basic needs and services.

Mr Mtonga: Ndiyo Nkani ifunika.

Mr Lubinda: The fact that one person lives in Chizera, very far away from the clinic, does not mean that person is health poor. If they have sufficient money to be able to take them to the hospital, when they need it, they are not poor. They are rich. I hope that this simple economics shall sink in the minds of our colleagues. If they come and tell us that they are planning for us, and yet, they cannot make such small interpretations of economic issues or economic concepts then, it gives me a lot of doubt.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Am I going to leave such a country to my children? Who is going to aspire to lead them well?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Lubinda: It gives a lot of hurt in my heart. My heart bleeds to see that the number one engineer of our economy does not seem to understand such simple economic concepts.

Sir, I would like to say that, the lack of thrift in our economy is causing a very big draw back in economic growth. We cannot depend entirely on Foreign Direct Investment. Sir, all the incentives that we give to foreign investors, does not add value to the country because they are allowed by law to externalise all their profits. For as long as they can get our cheap labour, and pay our employees as cheaply as they doing, they are very happy because they will externalise their profits to their countries of origin.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: What they are leaving in this country, is just big holes, empty of every one of our resources.

Mr Kambwili: Voka!

Mr Lubinda: They shall leave huge, huge dams in which our people shall fall.


Mr Deputy Chairman: Order! You are disturbing the person on the Floor. So, can you just listen. You will have your opportunity. We have a lot of time if you want to debate, that is, if you have not already debated. You will be given the opportunity.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Lubinda: I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtonga: Hammer!

Mr Lubinda: One of the Fifth National Development Plan preconditions for economic growth is to reduce population growth from 2.9 per cent in 2005 to 0.8 per cent in 2030. This means 1 per cent reduction in population growth every year. Sir, studies have shown that reducing population requires a number of measures that keep the population preoccupied with chores other than making children. That is the only way that we can reduce population growth …

Mr V. Mwale: Wayambo tukwana manje.

Mr Lubinda: … to engage the population in activities other than those activities that have to do with making children.


Mr V. Mwale: Kutukwana!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, these measures include avoiding early marriages, multiple marriages and activities on which the population expend energies and activities from which the population generates relaxation and pleasure to an extent where sex stops being a core source of pleasure. These are the programmes that we want to see in a country which is encouraging a reduction in population growth.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, do we have these programmes in the Budget for 2007? Do we even have money for that in the project of 2007, and yet this Government is telling us that unless we reduce population growth, we will not achieve our vision of being a middle income country by the year 2030.

Sir, programmes such as those on the girl child are extremely important if you want to reduce fertility rate. We also ought to give full gainful employment to the people so that they have something they are working on such that by the time they go home, sex would not be an issue. They also require access to non-sex recreation, but are we providing for this in the Budget for 2007? I am afraid not. There are some areas in this country where the only form of entertainment and recreation is being in the bedroom …


Mr Lubinda: …and we are talking about reducing population growth? That is a fallacy.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, another challenge is that we have the notion in Zambia that children are a form of security. This is because of the poor or lack of social safety nets for the elderly. Also because of the poor annuities that we pay to our pensioners, they tend to think that if they do not have children, by the time they retire, nobody will take care of them. Therefore, they must produce as many children as possible. In some cultures in this country, children as a mater of fact, are a source of labour. All that orientation has to change if we are going to achieve reduction in population growth.

Sir, even if the time is running out, I would like to say that another area which is being referred to as a monster of Zambia’s economy is agriculture. In the FNDP, the agricultural sector has the following objectives:

(i) attainment of food security from 50 per cent of the population to 90 per cent by 2030,

(ii) increase of contribution of foreign exchange from 3 per cent in 2006 to 10 per cent in 2010 and 10 per cent growth per annum from 2.4 per cent in 2006.

These projections are fantastic, they are good and to achieve them, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has proposed a magic formula of reducing the allocation in the procurement of inputs under the Fertiliser Support Programme from K191 billion in 2006 to K144 billion this year. How then is he going to grow the agricultural sector? Another shame!

Sir, instead of increasing on the number of farmers participating from 150,000 to a larger figure, they are now even proposing a reduction. They are saying they are going to grow the agriculture sectorby 10 per cent per annum. How is this going to happen?

Sir, I have to end by saying that corruption is ravaging this economy. Unless we work on corruption, there shall be no meaningful development in Zambia. There will be no real reduction in poverty.

Sir, I hope that the K2.7 billion that has been allocated to the Ministry of Justice for Law Reforms shall also be used to domesticate the United Nations Convention against corruption and the African Union Convention on the prevention and control of corruption. These are two important pieces of international treaties that require to be domesticated for us to fight the scourge of corruption. The book that my colleague laid on the Table is a book that I recommend to every serious fighter of corruption in this House to read. They must read so that they understand that this country has been bleeding at a rate of K350 billion every year over the last forty-two years and that translates to K15.5 trillion. That, Hon. Magande is more than the Budget of this year and it is one third of this year’s GDP. You can imagine all that money went into the pockets of greedy people. We have to come up with serious measures to ensure that we stop corruption and arrest the corrupt people. We ought to arrest them now and not next year.

Sir, I would like to encourage the hon. Minister to reflect upon the following issues and a number of outrageous allocations of which I will completely have to address and for which I shall move amendments, such as the K869 million for State Functions when 68 per cent of the Zambian people are living below US$1 a day. The K5.3 billion meant for VIP vehicles, and yet our mothers are giving birth on ox-carts and rickety taxies because there are no ambulances. There is also the K8.5 billion Voluntary Medical Scheme for civil servants, and yet our people are going to ng’angas because hospitals have no drugs.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, there is  K15.8 billion meant for rehabilitation at State House, and yet 50 per cent of our Zambian people are living in sub-standard structures.

Mr Mtonga: Ramshackles!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, what reaction does the Government expect from us after provoking us by giving disabled people an annual tax credit of only K72,000. What can they buy from this amount of money? That is only K6,000 a month which cannot even buy a box of matches. When they allocate to the health budget per capita, only K110,000 which is US$27, and yet what we should be aspiring for is US$150 per capita if we are to build a middle-income nation.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, how should we respond when the children and our youths, through their ministry have been given K7, 400, and yet wild game animals are allocated K780,000 each, simply because they happen to be at State House. What sense does it make? I would like to urge the hon. Minister to agree to that being amended because we do not want to bring the reputation of the President into ridicule as if he is thinking more about game which he does not even have time to look at, and yet our Zambian children are suffering with only K7,400 a year.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Muchima): Mr Speaker, I have a man’s voice.


Mr Muchima: Sir, do not worry about Manjata.


Mr Muchima: Worry about what you are going to hear.

Mr Speaker, when you look at this Budget, you observe silence. This is because everything is agreed upon.

Hon. Opposition Members: By who?

Mr Muchima: Hon. Magande is not in Finance by chance. He is an economist who did his homework.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! We are now not being honourables. When the Chair is here, he wants to ensure that you people give your ears to the person debating just as it was quiet when the previous two hon. Members where speaking. I urge you to be quiet when the other persons are speaking. Let us not disturb him.

Can you continue.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for protecting me and nothing will intimidate me. Hon. Magande has presented a well designed Budget. He has even gone further on television to explain it in detail, especially to those who do not understand the mathematics of the country.

Sir, when you look at this Budget and compare it with last year’s, we wonder how one can doubt that there will be no wealth creation. I am happy another member, just a few minutes ago, said that there is growth in certain sectors. We ought to understand the law of demand and supply. At the moment, this Government would like to provide everything to its nationals, but has no means and nobody is providing an answer for wealth creation. You are only talking about statistics. You are just quiet on the answer to wealth creation. You are not providing us with an alternative of how you are going to broaden the tax base. You are the same people …


The Deputy Chairman: Order! Could the hon. Deputy Minister address the Chair. They are the same people.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Do not take advantage of my guidance to the hon. Deputy Minister to debate while seated.

Could the hon. Minister continue.

They are the same people who are saying this. In that case, you are protected.

Could you please continue.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.

Sir, the 2007 Budget is a forward-looking Budget. It addresses most of the people’s expectations. There is a deliberate increase in agriculture. There is also deliberate increase in education. In its own way, that is wealth creation. It is looking at the people whom we will lead tomorrow except that there is not enough to satisfy the needs of the people of this country in one year.

Sir, even those who are telling us that they will build a school in ninety days should provide us with the mathematics where that money will come from.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! He is not addressing you, but the Chair. Why do you want to engage him?

Mr Muchima: The cake is small, but the distribution is equitable except that it is supplied broadly. If it was concentrated in one area while others are sacrificing, it would raise a lot of issues while addressing some.

Mr Speaker, I would like my hon. Colleagues in the Opposition to tell us that they have  sacrificed the money which has been put in the road infrastructure to come to the M8 Road and the road will be completed by the end of this year.

The Chairman, my hon. Colleagues at that corner want their roads to be rehabilitated at the same time. It will not be possible because the small cake will not address all our issues at the same time. Unless, we make a deliberate decision within this Parliament to ignore some demands and concentrate on the most prioritised issues, then it would be possible.

Hon. UPND Member: Such as the Bottom Road.

Mr Muchima: The Bottom Road project has never been started.


Mr Muchima: We should first finish the ones which we started. You are just criticising the Government, and yet you are not offering an alternative. There is no any other mathematics other than the  Magande one.

Sir, the tax is what provides us with whatever is available in this country. You are all saying investment, but what investment have you Zambians made?. Even the buses you are bringing in are coming form other people. They are not manufactured here. You should start manufacturing buses here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: When you bring in an investor, first and foremost, respect should be accorded to him/her because he/she is the one who is providing employment. Mwanawasa has brought in investors in the North-Western Province. Already, there is employment creation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: On a point of Order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I do not intend to disturb my cousin who is speaking very well except that he needed to cough. Who is this Mwanawasa is he talking about? Since he is a Deputy Minister, could he tell us who this Mwanawasa is? Is he in order to just tell us about a Mwanawasa?

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Can the hon. Deputy Minister take that point of order into account as he debates? Clarify that point even though  I know what you meant.

Mr Muntanga: Cough!

Mr Muchima coughed.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, in order to please him, I had to cough and I will repeat.

Mr Muchima coughed again.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the Mwanawasa I referred to is the Republican President of this country, the State Counsel. In fact, his full names are Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Hon. PF Members: His Excellency!

Mr Muchima: Yes, His Excellency.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, growth is a prerequisite to every Zambian’s economic advancement and not the Government alone. Who is the Government? It is every Zambian except that those on the right are just managers and employed to manage the affairs of this country. Likewise, the Opposition, had they been given the mandate, would have been managers, but they should wait for their time to come which I cannot foresee in the near future.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, when we talk about growth, it does not start from the top, but from the bottom. When you look at the issues which are being addressed by this Budget critically, they are showing us a way except that we are too big as a country and our demands are many. As we are reminded, the children bearing rate has become too high. Others are ‘producing’ twins every year.


 Mr Muchima: Yet, they have got no means to look after them.

Some of us who are here do not even know the names of these children. We are having three to four children without a budget for them.

Mr Speaker, the Zambian Government is budgeting for the known figures that can jump from one step to another, but we are not marching the demand with the supply.

Sir, Hon. Magande can only offer whatever is available for distribution. It is within that, that we can share and that cake has been brought here to be shared and that is being transparent. There is no sacred cow.

Mr Speaker, President Mwanawasa’s Administration has put measures in place to control misapplication of funds unlike what one Member of Parliament was saying that CDF is misapplied. I have to remind hon. Members of Parliament that CDF is controlled by nobody else, but by the hon. Members themselves. The committees are appointed by hon. Members of Parliament. Therefore, it is the hon. Member of Parliament himself who misapply it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Some of these cases which you are talking about are coming from where the Opposition had the majority of votes meaning that their officers misapplied that money to win the vote. Unfortunately, we had to win where we had people who had confidence in us.

Mr Speaker, this country has the capacity to grow, but are we serious? It is the Zambian himself who is not serious. If you are not serious, we have to depend on investors such as the Chinese.

Already, they are contributing US $800 million worth of investments as mentioned in the Budget Address.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Muchima: This money will create jobs and it will not select by looking at the MMD cadres only, but at Zambians. It has no selection.

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairman, I need your serious ruling on this matter. Is the hon. Deputy Minister who is supposed to be a Government official in order to mislead the House and the nation that the Chinese are bringing US$800 million to this Budget? Are the Chinese actually contributing US$800 million to this Budget?

The Deputy Chairman: An opportunity will arise for you to counter check if that is a wrong figure. For now, we have to continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: You may continue, please.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I did not say to this Budget, but it is mentioned within the Budget Speech that there will be some investment from the Chinese. If I may remind him, the Chinese were not brought in by His Excellency President Mwanawasa, but even in the Kaunda days, the TAZARA was constructed by the Chinese and you are beneficiaries in the Northern Province.


Mr Muchima: We are just reminding you that they are bringing more investment to this country for the benefit of all us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Hammer! Hammer!

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Order! You know, for him to hammer properly …


The Deputy Chairman: … you have to lend him an ear. Listen and do not disturb him.

Can you continue, hon. Deputy Minister.


Mr Muchima: The Minister of Finance and National Planning did his homework. That is why there has been very little debate to this Budget which was presented in this House. The majority of the people just want to be heard, and yet they are in agreement with everything that has been presented in this Budget which covers the whole country. It is covering every district in all aspects.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Not only that, Mr Speaker, even …

Mr Kambwili: Nokokwine balekuseka, mudala!


Mr Muchima: Do not worry about that!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, in my contribution, I just wanted to mention that we shall belabour for the sake of debate, but otherwise the Budget is well intended for every Zambian. And it is going to give us results.

In conclusion, I wish Hon. Magande good health.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hammer!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mschili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, I will begin by saying that I was actually following the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s debate who defined poverty. He went on to talk about a number of issues, but there is one which I wanted to find out. Supposing, in his case, he has got a vehicle, the money and everything …

Mr D. Mwila: And a farm!

Mr Mschili: … and a farm, but in his culture, he has got no second wife …


Hon. PF Members: He is wife poor!

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

The Chair is discouraging the hon. Member on the Floor from going into the details of Hon. Magande’s personal life.

Can you, please, come back on trace and debate the Budget?

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Mr D. Mwila: Hammer, mudala!

Mr Mschili: Mr Speaker, in my maiden speech I described the state of affairs in Kabushi and Ndola in particular as very critical. The situation obtaining in Ndola is also all over the country. So, it was my ardent desire and hope that this 2007 Budget will address a lot of issues. A lot of issues were raised and even in my speech I did say that this House should ‘hear me loud and clear’, unfortunately maybe that day, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning had problems with hearing.

With careful scrutiny of this Budget, I am saddened and I must borrow the words from Hon. Professor Lungwangwa that ‘I am very, very disappointed’ that this Budget has not addressed the issues that were brought before this House.

Mr D. Mwila: Hammer, mudala!

Mr Mschili: Mr Speaker, I thought the high unemployment rates issues were going to be addressed in this Budget. It is surprising that the hon. Minister ably spelt out a few successes, but the many failures were not mentioned.

Mr D. Mwila: Like ama street kids pa Manda Hill! Hammer, mudala!

Mr Mschili: Sir, it is high time that this Government which considers itself a listening Government puts an ear to the Opposition. Once the Opposition a good idea originates from the Opposition, let this Government support and take it as advice.

If we talk about tax, they should take heed because the Patriotic Front, in its Manifesto, had one of the best tax ideas.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mschili: This Government copied this idea. Unfortunately, the implementation has been poor.

Sir, the unemployment rate is so high and the would-be beneficiaries will not come from my constituency.

The unexpected rain pattern has caused misery to this Budget. I wish therefore, to state that the 2007 Budget will not address the poverty of this country unless this Government adopts a practical and holistic approach to effective implementation.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr D. Mwila: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Mschili: Mr Speaker, this Government told us that we should tighten our belts and we did that for a very long time.

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Mr Mschili: In 2007, I thought the hon. Minister was going to come here and tell us that now it is time to loosen our belts.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mschili: But he still insists that we should continue tightening our belts.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Mschili: I can only see that his has been loosened.


Mr Mschili: In my maiden speech, I mentioned an issue in which I talked about the marshal plan. I am sure you all remember this marshal plan which was there after the World War. There was that depression and this marshal plan addressed a lot of issues. I was expecting that the Fifth National Developing Plan coupled with a 2030 Vision …

Mr D. Mwila: That is fake!

Mr Mschili: … to work, but it has now been revealed to this House that this is actually not viable. Therefore, I do not know where we will go after this.

Mr Speaker, I now want to talk about agriculture. I am glad that there was a deliberate inclusion of K37 billion which is meant for irrigation. It is a step in the right direction, but it has been long overdue. This House may wish to know that too much of anything is dangerous. Right now, we have floods in the country and the situation is likened to the 2003 drought. Both scenarios are not good and so I am adding my voice to the many voices which are calling this Government to declare this situation a disaster.

Mr Speaker, my concern over the K37 billion is the usage of the money. We believe that they are going to give farmers irrigation equipment, but, Sir, how are the people going to utilise the equipment without working capital? These are some of the issues which the Government should consider before they disburse these funds.

Mr Speaker, on irrigation, we should also look at the issue of electricity. This modern equipment will need electricity, but in the provision, I doubt whether they have indicated where a farmer will get electricity. I urge the two key ministries will come up with an inbuilt mechanism to ensure that the would-be beneficiaries be given this power and it should be included in the loan facility. To ensure that this works out well, we would like the Government to put up a team that will be monitoring, from the onset, where these things will be distributed and they should make a follow up to see that the equipment is put to good use until the loan is repaid.

Mr Speaker, I now would like to move to manufacturing. According to the Government projection, the manufacturing industry is expected to contribute 20 per cent of the GDP by 2030. This is a significant ratio, but I would like to advise the Government not to invent the wheel but improve on it.

Mr Speaker, there are a lot of idle buildings on the Copperbelt, held both by the private and public particularly in Ndola and so the Government should come up with investors who will revive the industry in Ndola and when this is done, it will shorten the period of reaching the desired GDP. Sir, that is why we are saying that the Government should come up with good tax incentives for the local people that want to take up these industries. Taxes on raw materials should be reduced so that once we have more local investors, there will be creation of employment and the benefits from the HIPC Initiative will follow.

Mr Speaker, I now want to talk about local Government. The Government should realise that local government is a partner of the Government, but the Government has ignored local government. We want operations in local authorities improved.

Mrs Masebo crossed the Floor.

Hon. Members: Order! Order!

Mr Mschili: Mr Speaker, it is also gratifying that this Government is looking at decentralisation, but my worry is that the Government is still insisting that it will take ten years before they can decentralise. Sir, when are we going to start getting the benefits of this decentralisation? The proposed Budget provision is too low to create any desired impact. Therefore, we would still like this Government to consider local government to be a partner in all these development issues.

Mr Kambwili: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Mschili: I wish to talk about tourism. The Government has messed up on the policy of mining and this time we should not cry over spilled milk.


Mr Mschili: So, let us look ahead. The only alternative where we can get income now is from tourism. This tourism unfortunately, is being misinterpreted by the local people. When you talk about tourism, people think it is only foreign people who are supposed to be tourists, and yet we can have an impact from our locals. So, we wish that as we start collecting the unbudgeted mine loyalties, we allocate the bigger chunk to tourism in readiness for this country to benefit from the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Mr Kambwili: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Mschili: Mr Speaker, once we have this, there are so many places which we can develop such as the Bangweulu. If these places can be developed, we can start making money, but the problem is that this Government selects the places where to take development.

Mr Speaker, as I move now, I would want on a lighter note …


The Deputy Chairman: Order! You may continue.

Mr Mschili: Mr Speaker, my brother Hon. Lubinda talked about the budget for State House on entertainment. Indeed, it is saddening that this budget is too high, and yet much of it only caters for cadres. I think these are national issues which we must address and …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mschili: … ensure that we have people of quality take part in these functions. In the last function which was here, I identified some poachers …

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

We should be very careful in what we say because there are several such occasions that will take place. Therefore, the Chair would want to caution the hon. Member on the Floor. Shy away from that and come to the subject.

Continue, please.

Mr Mschili: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.

Mr Kambwili: Hammer nomba, mudala!

Mr Mschili: Mr Speaker, at these functions, we found some poachers who wanted to poach our last Mpombo in this House.

The Deputy Chairman: Order!


The Deputy Chairman: Please, can you come off that track. That is what the Chair feared would happen.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! Please, come off that track and come on track. Let us not debate such issues, otherwise people will begin wondering who these poachers are.

The hon. member may continue.

Mr Mschili: Thank you, Mr Chairman. As I conclude, I would like to approve a good budget that will benefit the people from my constituency Kabushi and not to harm them. I do not want to approve a bad budget.

Hon. Opposition Member: No.

Mr Mschili: So, Mr Speaker, on a lighter note, I wish to thank you that even as we move on, let us emphasise on the local tourism. Only this way, will we be able to forge ahead.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, before going into the meat of the debate, I would like to speak briefly as an hon. Member of Parliament for a constituency. I am sure I will speak for all ordinary Members of Parliament as opposed to elevated Members of Parliament. We need resources to be able to do something in our constituencies. The Constituency Development Funds that are proposed are traditional and not adequate. So, I would like to give notice to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that he will be facing this demand right down to the last dot of Committee Stage.

Sir, we would also like to see some progressive upgrading, For example, the way it was done in Bauleni, intelligently, softly, without any roughness around the edges and in a phased way. I would like to see more of that in some areas in my constituency such as Malata Compound. There are many other areas in Lusaka and throughout the country which need to be worked on. This is my parish-pump and the parochial part of my speech.

Mr Speaker, I do apologise, on behalf of the hon. Patriotic Front Members of Parliament, for being a bit slow to come forth to debate. I think this is accounted for, as you yourself said, Sir, partly by the fact that people want to be sure that they understand all the aspects of this Budget. We have experts of our own who are preparing a seminar for our hon. Members. Another part of the reason is that around the time of day when the Motion of Supply comes up, our friends in the Front Bench tend to disappear. I know that they come back in part, but it is very discouraging for an hon. Opposition Member to talk to the Government while wondering whether the particular minister is ever going to hear what he said. Perhaps, they get transcripts, but I do not think so.

Therefore, please, I beg the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to let his counterpart, Hon. Pande, the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and his Deputy, Hon. Tembo, know what I am about to say.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in his speech, talked of the global economy. It is a short piece with a couple of paragraphs. It is becoming increasingly difficult in this day and age, to leave it there without talking of the globe or the global ecology if you want to use a longer term. It seems that we humans have turned the earth into a machine for churning out commodities. It churns out an enormous amount of food, cars, brassieres and cell phones. It seems it is becoming over-heated and starting to breathe its own exhaust fumes so much so that even the Americans who are the most cowboy people when it comes to ecology are starting to worry about global warming. I am sure that hon. Members of Parliament have seen the simplest signs of this such as the melting of the glaciers and breaking up of ice shelves in the Antarctica and Arctic.

However, science also says that raising the temperature of the globe has tropical effects. Those tropical effects are occasionally very spectacular such as Hurricane Katrina. They also tend to be statistical. The statistics basically say that when you have warm weather, you have weather which is violent and unpredictable.

Therefore, Sir, you tend to have floods today and droughts tomorrow and floods over here and drought over there. I am sure it was the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, who is hiding behind his tusks, who announced to the world, the other day, that the floods in Zambia, this year, were unprecedented and beyond the capacity of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the Office of the Vice-President. At the same time, we had very late start of rains in places and people were nervous, as you can see the hon. Member, Mr. Muntanga shaking his knees as I speak because he is worried about the condition of his mapopwe. His mapopwe was late planted. It was only just fertilised. If there is no more rain down there then his maize is finished …

The Deputy Chairman: Order! The hon. Member for Lusaka Central is using a word that may not be known by many hon. Members. What is mapopwe?

Dr Scott: In my understanding, Mr Speaker, mapopwe is a Tonga word for maize, but they may have been teasing me. Maybe it means cassava. I do not know.


Dr Scott:Mr Speaker, I think we were years late as a country in rising up to the dangers of HIV/AIDS. We were years late in taking notice of the severe damage being done by corruption in this country which did not start recently. Let us not be years late in evaluating and starting to respond to what 90 per cent of the experts say is happening. There are implications for everybody. There are implications for the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs who ought to be out there campaigning, after all, the Zambians are suffering from other people’s greed. Why are we not demanding our share of compensation? Why are we not going there to advocate and push in for more Kyoto? The Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources is in charge of forestry. Forests are crucial to any kind of response. Forests modify flooding and river flow. Forests, in the first place, take carbon out of the atmosphere and can actually be used as a resource through carbon trading.

Mr Speaker, I am very pleased to see that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives is here. He has to think these things through. We cannot use the habits of the old days where four years out of five, the season was kind. We are coming much close to a situation where three years out of five, the season is unkind. It is either it is too dry or too wet or too flooded or too cold or too hot. Many people feel this will get worse quite rapidly. I think let us make this a Zambian response. Let us not wait for a group of Americans consultants with huge sums of money to come here and tell us we need to study this problem, meaning that they want to study the problem and take the money home with them. Let us use the Zambian expertise that we have. There is plenty of it. Many of them are unemployed. We have a lot of senior Zambian consultants outside the Public Service and outside the country. We have many experts like Mr Mufwangi, Mr Mudenda and Mr Mweene who are free to attend to this kind of issue. Let us make it a Zambian response and let us show the rest of the world that we are capable of doing it. We should not sit back and wait for someone to shout that we have a crisis in Central Africa. I would urge our colleagues to take this issue seriously. I also strongly recommend that we go to the DVD Shop and hire or buy a very good documentary movie produced by Mr Al Gore called An Inconvenient Truth. I strongly recommend this simple documentary on the subject.

The macro-economic targeting gets one thinking. We recently have been having some economic associations with The People’s Republic of China, be it Communist or mainland China. They are recording 10 per cent to 11 per cent annual growth and have been for some years. We are targeting 7 per cent this year except it came to 6 per cent before someone added 1 per cent for cosmetic reconstruction. Why is it that we, who have the resources are going at 6 per cent and those who do not have resources except plenty of people are going at nearly twice that rate such that by the year 2030, they will be a middle-income country. We will just either be middle aged, middle class or middle something, but we will not be middle income.

It is very simple to do the calculation and get the middle income in real terms, per capital income in Zambia by the year 2030, that is to say something like US $3,000 to US $4,000 per capita per year instead of the present 300. You need to go at 8 to 10 per cent. Do not start in fifteen years time. We have to start now and keep that 10 per cent growing, that is, if you can stop your population from producing babies because sex has lost its charm as Hon. Lubinda suggested, so much the better, but you cannot target it at 5, 6 or 7 per cent. If we only target it at 5, 6 or 7 per cent at a time when our commodity booms happen to suit us, what when they happen to hammer us?

Mr Speaker, we should really address ourselves to the question: Are we really going to get serious like the Chinese seems to be? I was listening to one local Chinese trader who quoted the British Guardian. He said that the trouble with the Zambians is that they have learnt too much from the British. They think working is all about having tea, leave, weekend offs or sick leave. He said in China, working is not like that at all. It is a tool. That is what the man said. I think we need to take a moment and think quickly to sort out many of these issues.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: I liked the Budget document because it has got some pictures and the picture has got an operating theatre. I wonder whether this operating theatre is today the same operating theatre because one of the machines has actually broken down and somebody has failed to find a spare part to replace. In my experience of the Zambian medical sector is that it is full of dialysis machines that are not working without standby generator, CT Scanning machines with missing spare parts forcing people to go to Johannesburg to have CT scans and spend more money than it would to buy a new CT scan here in Zambia.

In my constituency, at Bauleni Secondary School, our school needs maintenance, and I went to the school and found out that it did not need maintenance, but all it needs is knocking down and rebuilding it. Why? This is because no one has done the tiny bits of maintenance or the clearing of the drainage. The cracks are forming in the walls of some buildings, and yet it is a simple thing to stop water running under the foundation. It is falling down because we do not carry out any maintenance owing to the fact that we have a policy of zero maintenance.

Hon. Zukas when he was in this House said that Zambia was the first country in this region to experiment socialism, and it was the first country in this region to experiment the policy of non-maintenance and the first country to reverse its decision to be socialist. Now, when will it ever become the first country to reverse its decision of zero maintenance?

One day, it will be worse writing on this is as a motto through a routine boring maintenance to the stars. We do not maintain our streets and roads. I have a nightmare now in Lusaka Central that everybody shouts at me when I go to the supper market about the roads in Nyumba Yanga and Woodlands. They say that you said ninety days. All I can say is that I will do my best.

Mr Speaker, I think we need to bring back that maintenance culture. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, be it the current or the next one has to devise a way in which in the budget, maintenance is not always an obvious thing to defer so it always gives in the end. Somewhere, the discipline and rigidity has to be brought into our system for us to actually maintain the wonderful things that we have. It should not be always be the case that we are looking for new developments and investments.

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 21st February, 2007.