Debates- Thursday, 15th February, 2007

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Thursday, 15th February, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Akakandelwa) stood up.

Mr Speaker: Order! Order! You are not the Minister of Defence.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, I sincerely apologise for that.

Mr Speaker, I beg to present to this august House the statement on the state of affairs at Zambia-China Mulungushi Textile (Joint Venture) Limited (ZCMT) which is based in Kabwe.

Importance of Zambia-China Mulungushi Textile (JV) Limited

Hon. Members, this company is important both to Kabwe and the national economy. For one, ZCMT (JV) Limited employs 1,005 people. Going by the average size of the Zambian family of six, it is not incorrect to say that this company is a source of livelihood for more thank 6,000 people. ZCMT is also a major source of revenue for the local authority. Additionally, it contributes to the Nation Treasury by way of various taxes. Last, but not the least, being a manufacturing entity, it consumes huge quantities of various services and utilities for production processes.

For example, water and electricity are major inputs in the production processes, Thus utility companies and other service providers benefit from the existence of ZCMT. It is for this reason that the closure of the company albeit temporary, is a source of grave concern to the Government. We do not take pleasure in seeing people thrown out of employment.

Mr Speaker, because of the importance that we attach to the enterprise, I intend to be elaborate and incisive in this statement.

Problems of the Joint Venture

Hon. Members, the Joint venture began its operations by setting up a cotton out-grower scheme involving more than 2,000 farmers who were contracted to grow cotton for the textile. In addition, the joint venture set up two ginneries to process cotton into lint to feed the textile. The excess of the cotton was to be exported. ZCMT then undertook feasibility studies to establish a cooking oil plant using seed cotton from the ginneries. Establishment of these cotton-based integrated business activities was intended to broaden the product mix, hence the revenue base of the joint venture.

Hon. Members, over the years, ZCMT has been facing financial and operational problems. These problems can be summarised as follows:

(a) old equipment and machinery that has affected production efficiency;
(b) the fluctuating exchange rate that makes planning difficult;
(c) competition brought about by imported cheap cotton fabrics that are flooding the local market; and
(d) erratic supply of coal that is the main source of energy for the boilers at the textile.

Closure of the Textile

Mr Speaker, the financial woes of ZCMT worsened in December last year when it completely failed to raise funds to meet its wage bill. The management had no alternative, but to close the textile and send the labour force on leave as a temporary relief. Thus on 2nd January, 2007, 820 workers were sent on leave

Way Forward

Hon. Members, ZCMT is a viable project that is capable of contributing even more to the economy of this country if it is run efficiently.

From 26th to 30th January, 2007, the Chinese shareholders were in Zambia for consultations with the management of the joint venture and my ministry on ways of resuscitating the company.

In the short run, the following measures have already been taken so that the joint venture reopens by 31st March, 2007:

(a) to liquidate all the debt owed to ZCMT by various Government institutions,
on Friday 26th January, 2007, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, gave ZCMT an amount of K2.6 billion to liquidate the debt which various Government institutions owed. This money will be applied to settle bills of the various creditors as well as resume operations.

(b) as a survival plan, the management has been directed by the Board of Directors to come up with a survival plan to get the company back into operation. This survival plan is expected to be tabled before the Board of Directors within this month.

(c)  to clear salary arrears, the Chinese shareholders have managed to raised K600 million which has been used to clear all outstanding salary arrears as of 31st December, 2006

In the medium to long-term, the following measures are being instituted to ensure that ZCMT operates as a viable venture:

(a) Review of the Shareholding Structure

As directed by the Public Accounts Committee of the previous Parliament, the board has initiated moves to review the shareholding structure of ZCMT.

(b) Investment in Modern Textile Technology

For ZCMT to reposition itself in the market, it shall have to invest in modern textile technology to enhance efficiency and improve the quality of products


Hon. Members as I conclude, I wish to reiterate what I stated at the start of this statement that the Government does not take pleasure in seeing people thrown out of employment through the closure of companies. For this reason, we are currently engaged in a lot of consultations to ensure that ZCMT does not take long to reopen.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are free to ask questions on point of clarifications on the Ministerial Statement given by the hon. Minister of Defence.

Minister how much the Chinese shareholders have invested in ZCMT.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, from 1997, a total sum of US$24 million has been pumped into the project.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister inform the House the extent of Government debt to ZCMT and how long this debt has been outstanding?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, as I have sufficiently stated, the Government owed ZCMT K20.6 billion which has since been paid.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister give us his opinion where he thinks this is now a harbinger of what is to come since China has promised to invest K800 million in fifty different enterprises in Zambia. Are we going to remain lame ducks or white elephants?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament Dr Sky …


Mr Mpombo: … Dr Guy Scott has the propensity to shoot from the hip.


Mr Mpombo: I would like to state that China is the fastest growing economy in the world today.


Hon. PF Members: No! Taiwan!

Mr Mpombo: Yes, it is a major player in the international market, including Zambia. So far, we are talking of creating economic zones here in Lusaka and Chambeshi at colossal amounts of money. So, it is very sad for leaders in the House who are quite aware of the giant steps China has made to trivialise the importance of China.


Mr Mpombo: In answering the question, I would like to say that China’s investment is very high and we respect it. As a Government in power, we will continue to consolidate our economic ties with China.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, can the Hon. Minister tell the House how much money is required to modernise the equipment at Mulungushi Textiles and what Zambia and China are doing to contribute respectively towards the new capitalisation.

Mr Mpombo spoke without switching on the microphone.


Mr Mpombo: I am sorry, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mpombo: I want to say that the amount of amount involved is quite colossal. As indicated, there are behind the scene discussions going on. This is a joint venture. In terms of contributions, China has 66 per cent, while Zambia has 24 per cent. So, we are going to ensure that this company remains afloat so that it can satisfy the purpose for which it was set up.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, aside from the K2.6 billion that the Government owed ZCMT what is the size of the total debt portfolio that ZCMT is still waiting to be paid or is the Government the only debtor?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, according to the information the ministry received, the Government is the only debtor at the moment.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, it seems the problems at Mulungushi Textiles have become perennial despite the investment the Chinese have made. Is the hon. Minister aware that when the Chinese came in, they, in fact were demanding to be exempted from the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act so that they could have conditions that were relaxed, but it appears the problems have continued despite what the hon. Minister is calling massive investment. What guarantee do we have that the problems will not continue in the future?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, let me state that I am not privy to these historical facts. However, let me give a background to the problems that affect the textile sector.

Sir, before 1991, there were about 120,000 manufacturers in the sector. When we took measures to liberalise the sector, we saw that by 2002, the number of manufacturers had reduced to about 2000 and employing less than 2,000 workers. When the number stood at about 15,000, it was in fact helping the situation.

At the moment, in Livingstone, for instance, which was a backbone of the textile industry, all the companies have closed because of the cheaper salaula which has come on the market. There was a big company called ZAMTEX that used to produce blankets, but is being converted into a hotel because of the same problems. There was also Continental Textile that has now changed its name to Kariba Textiles because of the same problems.

In Ndola, there is a graveyard for industries. Swap Spinning Mills are literally on their knees. So, these are general problems that have beset the industry, but have nothing to do with China. The problems are due to the general economic situation prevailing in the textile industry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to explain to this House why he has decided to mislead the nation by complaining so much about the cheap products which are found on the Zambian market when, in fact, it is his Government which has allowed these products on the markets.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, the Government has taken measures to liberalise the economy. In this particular sector you cannot put measures that will hinder progress in the economic sector. I would like to state that almost each economy in the world is reforming. In short, Mr Speaker, I am not misleading the House, but merely stating the facts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimumbwa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, since ZCMT is a joint venture between the Chinese and the Zambian Governments, what is the agreement between the Government and the Chinese management team in terms of management portfolios. I am saying this to find out whether we have senior management personnel at ZCMT to monitor the operations of the company and make sure that the Chinese are not making false declarations in terms of profits or losses of the company.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I indicated the share structure clearly. I said that the Chinese had 66 per cent which means that they are providing management. As Zambia, we are providing deputy management, but the chairperson of the board is our Permanent Secretary. In order to ensure that things were properly done, some time last year towards the end of December, the Zambian Board of Directors travelled to Chin Dao in order to see how far they can go in resolving the economic issues.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, will the hon. Minister of Defence be sincere to this House. Having looked at the financial statements, I agree that China has failed us.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, that is extremely mind boggling …


Mr Mpombo: … and the hon. Member is sending wrong signals. How can he, in his right frame of mind, say that China has let us down when it is China that bailed us out at the height of problems in Zimbabwe?

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, Kabwe will soon be a ghost town. Will the hon. Minister explain- since China is a big investor and it has not failed Zambia- how the workers at the closed ZCMT are surviving and maintaining their children because that is our concern as Parliament?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, in the conditions of service and the collective agreement with the union, there is a provision that in the event of a shortage in raw materials, workers can be asked to take unpaid leave. The company has serviced all the outstanding debt with employees.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, all the Governments of the world have a deliberate policy of protectionism of local companies and industry. Is the hon. Minister saying that this Government has no such policy and upholds liberalisation even at the detriment of its economy?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, any measures that are deliberately taken to protect an efficient company have a harmful effect on the economy. In this era, a company has to be competitive in order to remain afloat on the market. Therefore, the Government has no intentions of creating situations which will allow inefficient industries to operate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister not running away from the responsibility of protecting the local industry, particularly the manufacturing industry by using the word liberalisation as if that helps us protect the local industry. Is he not just running away from the responsibility as a Government to protect our own manufacturing industry?

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, I am extremely befuddled …


Mr Mpombo: … The hon. Member who asked the question was in the Government that dismantled the UNIP economic policies. When the economy was liberalised in 1991, companies such as Dunlop went down and at the time, the hon. Member was Minister. So you cannot try to offload the blame on the Government of the day when you were an architect of the same problem in the process.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how much tax concession has been given to ZCMT.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, there are no tax concessions given to ZCMT except that the Government has substantially reduced on taxes for textile.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify what is happening to ZCMT. The company was built in such a way that besides the textile industry, it could produce by-products such as cotton cake. The company was split into three; the out grower scheme, the cotton cake and the textile. Why is the Government allowing the splitting of that company when the three were meant to support each other? This is causing confusion.

Mr Mpombo: Mr Speaker, Hon. Muntanga is right. As a Government, these are the measures we are trying to take to correct the situation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I have also given permission to the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training to make a Ministerial Statement.


The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, from the 24th to 30th January, 2007, the African Union (AU) held the Tenth Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union, and the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of the summit was ‘Science and Technology and Scientific Research for Development’.

The summit considered issues and recommendations that emanated from the African Union Ministerial Conference of Science and Technology (AMCOST) held from 23rd – 24th November, 2006 in Cairo, Egypt. The Ministerial Conference was held to discuss various recommendations and issues raised by various experts on science and technology. Some of the key recommendations made by experts to the AU Ministerial Conference of Science and Technology were as follows:

(a) Biosafety and Biotechnology be dealt with concurrently due to their complimentary nature and the endorsement of the strategy on biotechnology high level panel. This strategy calls for among other things the need to have a policy and appropriate legislation on biotechnology and capacity building in biotechnology.

(b) the formation of an African Presidents’ Council of Science and Technology that would enhance visibility of science and technology issues at a higher political level.

(c) the need to establish collaborative programmes between advanced Member States and lagging states in order to encourage technology transfer amongst African countries.

(d) the need to encourage more women and youth in science and technology disciplines.

(e) the need to create a Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation (PAIPO) which would harmonise and streamline intellectual property activities while catering for all member states of the African Union.

(f) the need for every country, whether rich or poor, to work towards providing 1 per cent of GDP towards science and technology as a means of directing resources according to a nations ability to generate wealth.

(g) the need to establish an African Science and Innovation Facility (ASIF). The fund would be a flexible funding mechanism of the Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action and managed within existing AU organisations.

(h) the need to create a network of centres of excellence to enable the continent implement the Africa Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action.

(i) that member States, in collaboration with the private sector, civil society and development partners, should integrate climate change considerations into development strategies and programmes and called upon Africa’s co-operating partners to support member States to effectively integrate adaptation and mitigation measures into their development plans and implement them.

Mr Speaker, the African Minister Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) meeting reaffirmed that science and technology is the driving force for socio-economic development, economic competitiveness and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Through the African Union summit, the Heads of State were to be accorded an opportunity to cast a fresh re-appraisal on the role of science and technology for Africa’s socio-economic development in view of the dynamic changes facing the continent.

Having discussed and reviewed the recommendations of AMCOST, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU made the following decisions:

(a) to declare 2007 as the year to launch the building of constituencies and champions of  science, technology and innovation in Africa;

(b) to promote research and development (R&D) and develop innovation strategies for wealth creation and economic development by allocating at least 1 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to R&D by 2010;

(c) approve the establishment of a Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation (PAIPO);

(d) support the South-South Co-operation in science, technology and innovation and enhance its role in international partnerships.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note that Zambia has already made some progress in implementing some of the recommendations. Areas that I wish to point out are the investments the Government had made in rehabilitating and re-equipping our research and development institutions. The Government has spent over K5 billion on this programme in the last two years. With the help of the Norwegian Government, we have also established a modern biotechnology laboratory and we are training and re-training our scientific staff in biotechnology in both short and long-term programmes.

Furthermore, we have a special bursary for female students pursuing Masters Degrees in Science (Msc) programmes at our local universities as part of our efforts to increase the number of women in science and technology.

The area that requires immediate attention is that of funding to research and development that, at the moment, stands at 0.2 per cent of the discretionary budget. Having recognised the science and technology sector as one of the most important economic sectors in the Fifth National Development Plan, we must begin to back up this recognition and appropriate allocation of funds for its implementation.

Mr Speaker, of similar concern is the lack of adequate researchers and technical staff in our research institutions mainly due to the inability of these institutions to attract competent staff. The debt burden in our institutions also makes it impossible for them to operate efficiently.

The Government is however, working hard to empower scientific institutions with enough resources to address both the problems of huge debt and inadequate professional staff.

Mr Speaker, in order to strengthen regional co-operation an AU/NEPAD-funded Southern African Network for Biosciences (SABBIO) workshop will be held in Lusaka, Zambia towards the end of this month. At this workshop, terms and conditions of collaboration in joint research programmes on herbal remedies will be discussed and agreed upon. Participants have been drawn from all research and development institutions within the SADC region.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Members may now ask questions that will enable the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training to clarify points contained in his ministerial statement.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba (Kasama): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has clearly stated that about 0.2 per cent of GDP is allocated to science and technology which includes research in Zambia. What is the Government doing to ensure that there is enough allocation given to science and technology and research in this particular case so that research institutions such as the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) can live up to the mandate of the founding fathers of this nation who had a  vision for it.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, as I earlier stated, one of the ways of increasing funding to science and technology institutions is to create a conducive environment to retain young scientists and have funds for the work. The 0.2 per cent which is allocated to science and technology is basically for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training. However, one will see that science transcends many ministries such as agriculture, health and so forth. It was resolved that in order for us to catch up with the need for development, we need to continue allocating more funds to science and technology.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister …

Mr Imenda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, I apologise to my colleague who was about to raise a very important issue. I am rising on a very serious point of order on the Minister of Education who I note is not in the House. However, the Deputy Minister and the Acting Leader of Government Business are here.

Mr Speaker, in Senanga District teachers have been suspended due to an issue which involves hardship allowances. The ministry has deliberately kept quiet when pupils have not been learning ever since schools opened. Is the hon. Minister of Education and the Government in order to remain quiet over such.

I need your intervention, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Lukulu East has raised a clear point of order in which he needs some answers from the Ministry of Education on the situation of teachers who have been suspended in Senanga District. This is an Executive function and the Chair is requesting the Acting Leader of Government Business to ensure that the relevant hon. Minister informs this House as soon as possible on this matter and not later than 1255 hours tomorrow.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chingola may complete his supplementary question.

Mr Katema: Mr Speaker, at the conference I attended, the hon. Minister of Science and Technology alluded to one of the issues regarding taking youths aboard in science and technology. How will the Government do this if all the basic schools have no laboratories? Are we not producing scientists who have never been in a laboratory at all?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I must commend the hon. Member for asking that question. Clearly, in order to involve youths, particularly women to a level where they are called scientists, we begin at the basic education level as stated. The hon. Minister of Education made it clear the other day that in order to promote and strengthen science, there shall be no more upgrading of basic schools that have no laboratories. Secondly, he made it clear that there was a bottleneck of a shortage of school places at high school. He also stated that the Government was embarking on building more secondary schools.

Sir, the Ministry of Education organised jet fairs in order to promote the participation of youths in Science and Mathematics. In addition, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training has a basic scheme at college level, targeting mainly the vulnerable children who are girls so that they too can get into technical educational colleges. So, we believe that with all these, if we are consistent, we will be able to produce youths that will be future scientists in our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Education said that the Government shall no longer upgrade basic schools, but instead build new secondary schools. He did not say that the already upgraded basic schools will cease to be basic schools. Really, these will continue to exist and still have no laboratories. Does the Government have any intentions to build laboratories in the already upgraded basic schools?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I think I will answer that question with the advantage that I was at one time Minister of Education. I confirm that the Government plans to build laboratories in upgraded basic schools. Clearly, where that is not possible, we shall utilise mobile science kits that are produced at the National Science Centre until we have fully-fledged laboratories in our basic schools.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi-West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister in his statement referred to bio-safety technology.

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I rise on a serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs in order to remain silent without informing this House and nation at large on the train accident that took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, 13th February, 2007, at 0300 hours in which it is believed that seven Zambians died and have been buried in shallow graves in the Democratic Republic of Congo, against the consent of their relatives. The Daily Mail dated, 15th February, 2007, says and I quote:

‘Seven Zambians died in DRC – Train Accident. Seven Zambians are among over twenty eight passengers who have in a train accident in a border town of Mokambo in the neighbourhood Democratic Republic of Congo.’

Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling because the Democratic Republic of Congo is a neighbouring country that is near my constituency. I will lay the document on the Table.

Mr Mukanga laid the document on the Table.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Kantanshi, in his point of order is calling on the Government to do something about the accident that he has referred to. Now, because that point of order is not really for this House and I refer the hon. Members to the information I have been referring to before, at what constitutes a point of order in the House. That point of order is not, serious as it may be, for this House.

I believe that the hon. Member through the Chair, actually, is asking the Executive to inquire from the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo about what has transpired and why the bodies of the Zambians should not be exhumed and brought home. That is an Executive function and the hon. Acting Leader of Government Business, Mr Mpombo, will look into this matter and work together with the area Member of Parliament to ensure that the wishes of the relatives of the deceased are fulfilled. There will be no need for him to come to the House to make a statement on this matter.

Will the hon. Member for Zambezi West continue, please.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister in his statement referred to bio-safety technology that was discussed at the conference and there have been serious controversies in the past in Zambia concerning the safety of some of the foods that we eat that are suspected to be genetically modified. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if Zambia now has the capacity to detect genetically modified foods. If so, have we detected or impounded any illegally imported genetically modified foods in the recent past?

Dr. Chituwo: Mr Speaker, this is a very good question. In the first instance, we do have a bio-technology policy. I shall be coming to this House to present a Bio-Safety Bill that will constitute the framework which deals with the second part of the question and, that is, whether we have the capacity or not. In my response, I alluded to the fact that, in fact, we do have an ultra-modern bio-technology laboratory in Lusaka in Chilanga to be specific with the assistance from the Norwegian Government. Secondly, we also have started to build capacity in that we have two post-graduate students already in Norway at Masters Level and two have been trained already at Bsc. Level.

Mr Speaker, when the Bio-Safety Bill is presented to the House, I hope it will receive due consideration so that we, as implementers, can have the support from those who will utilise our national referral bio-technology laboratory in order to detect genetically modified organisms of whatever sorts.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, what plans has the Government put in place to promote science and technology as tools of development in Zambia?

Dr. Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I had hoped that my colleague would listen to my statement, but in case there was some lapse in concentration, I will just state that in the sense of promoting Science and Technology, we will start from basic level in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Secondly, the ministry will strengthen existing institutions in terms of rehabilitation, equipment and human resource development. Thirdly, the ministry will promote or encourage youths and women to participate in Science related subjects. These are the measures that the Government has put in place in order to promote Science and Technology in the country.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr. Chishya (Pambashe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister in his statement referred to the allocation for Science and Technology. How much of this allocation is redirected to Research and Development and how much of this is directed to Science and Technology support activities?

Dr. Chituwo: Mr Speaker, that question requires a detailed  response and when we are approving the budget, the hon. Member will be accorded the opportunity to look at that, but certainly Science and Technology activities do support Research and Development and sometimes these activities are intertwined.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, having been a teacher, I know that some children have a technological mind, starting from Grade 1 and some of them might not complete the educational programme, but from the things they do one can see the potential  in technology. Is the hon. Minister putting in place a deliberate policy to identify such children and help them in this regard?

Dr. Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member rightly said that she was a teacher. There is no deliberate policy as such to identify children who have the ability inclination towards Science and Technology. However, in equipping the teachers to identify these children at an early age, it is one sure way of ensuring that these children are encouraged. I cannot see any other vehicle of identifying the talents of these children other than equipping their teachers at basic and higher levels of education.

Thank you, Sir.




238. Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives when subsidised fertiliser sales would be oriented towards the poor.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, the Government has designed two complementary programmes, the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Food Security Pack under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. The target beneficiaries of the subsidised fertiliser and seed under the Fertiliser Support Programme are the vulnerable, but viable small-scale farmers while vulnerable, but not viable farmers benefit from the Food Security Pack programme which is a full grant programme.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives aware that the two approaches he has referred to have always benefited the rich people. In my constituency, for example, the fertiliser that is meant to be distributed to the poorest of the poor is sold at the market and that the poor do not even benefit from this facility?

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that information which maybe new to the ministry. What he is saying could be true, but the arrangements of the ministry are such that the beneficiaries of the fertiliser are identified the communities from the grassroots, who later inform the co-operatives. It is from the grassroots to the co-operatives where now, emanates the district organisation also composed of farmers. Therefore, it is at the district level where the co-operatives are identified and the co-operatives in turn identify those who are vulnerable, but viable to benefit.

It is upon the receipt of this information from the grassroots that the ministry now sends the requirements and fertiliser to the target groups. As for the pact from the community and social services, it is still the same. We have the social services personnel at district level that literally go to search for those who are really poor from the community. However, for further information on this programme, I refer the hon. Member to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Chitika (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, we appreciate that the programme that the Government has put in place is good because it is helping the poor, but it has been abused. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what mechanisms the Government is putting in place to ensure that the vulnerable and viable co-operatives receive this fertiliser and that it does not end up in market places?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, as alluded to, communities as well as members of Parliament are at liberty to check with the District Agricultural Committees that are responsible for fertiliser distribution within their districts. Where they find some officers wanting, it is incumbent upon the hon. Members of Parliament as well as the communities to report such cases to the police. Otherwise, there is no any other way of controlling the culprits.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I would like proper clarification from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives. This question has come in this House in different ways. This House was informed that there was a monitoring system to see how farmers were upgraded from the support programme. The Government further stated that they were unable to trace the farmers unless the hon. Members of Parliament went to the villagers. At what point will the ministry know that the Fertiliser Support Programme is benefiting the people and that there is upgrading of small-scale farmers?

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that this question has been raised, as the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo says in different forms and shapes and for different reasons. We have given perfect answers to the question, and I intend to give further clarification.

The fertiliser under the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) is definitely intended for the vulnerable, but viable small-scale farmers. Mark the use of three key words, vulnerable, but viable and one must be small-scale farmer to qualify for this. Those are the three critical components of this programme.

The intention of the ministry and the Government is to empower poor people out there and the mechanisms put in place are such that we are supposed to meet that target.

As the theme for this year’s Budget says: ‘From Stability to Improved Service Delivery’. We intend to do just that. The arrangement is such that we have given power where it belongs to the people out there. The people have formed what we call District Agricultural Committees (DAC) that are chaired by elected Chairmen. It is these committees that have full powers to oversee the receiving, allocation and distribution of fertiliser. They work with the officials from primary co-operatives. Again, this is deliberately done because we want to empower the village level. Therefore, the officials of the primary co-operatives are the ones who bring the list of people who are vulnerable, but viable. They are assisted by the camp officers from my own ministry and block officers to identify the real poor people.

Therefore, the programme, as intended, is supposed to achieve good results. I must confirm that there has been an improvement in household food security.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Kapita: What has gone wrong is the behaviour of the people at the local level and I would like to repeat what I have said before. The Government, like in any other government, can make laws, but if there is no monitoring, there is no way a minister such as myself, can go to Kalabo, Kaputa or Chama to supervise this programme because it is not possible, but we expect the local people to have an interest in ensuring that the programme is to their benefits.

There are some areas in this country where this programme is doing well. For example, we sent a lady by the name of Chisala to Mbala as District Agriculture Co-ordination Officer (DACO) and the people are very happy.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: This lady is from Lusaka and she was received very well. Therefore, it is the people in a given place who are supposed to help us. There is no way a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives can be everywhere. That is why we have people from both the Opposition and Government out there to see to it that things are moving smoothly.

The DACOs live among the people therefore; I believe that we have put in place sufficient safeguards. In any case, people who have followed the happenings lately will confirm that we have a sufficient number of people now, behind bars. I sounded a little low initially, but I am very happy because the number is increasing as a result of the support that I am getting from the people. I am still insisting that I will put those who steal from the poor behind bars with pleasure. I can forgive someone stealing from me, as Kapita. However, I will report to the police anybody stealing from the poor with pleasure.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


284. Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security what the Government was doing about increasing the minimum wage and ensure that it cut across all sectors.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, the Government regulates the minimum wage through issuance of Statutory Instruments. The present Statutory Instruments numbers 56 and 57 of 2006 for shop workers and general application were published on 2nd June, 2006. In these Statutory Instruments, the minimum wage has been raised from K95,000 to K268,800 per month.

The Government under the Employment and Labour Chapter of the Fifth National Development Plan intends to review the Minimum Wage and Conditions of Service Act so as to align it to regional and international standards.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how enforceable the minimum wage policy is in the country. If at all it is enforceable, to what extent have some of the culprits who are paying their workers below the minimum wage being dealt with?

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I think the policy is such that the Government will review the minimum wage from time to time. As at now, what is important is that there is a law in this regard. Employers will not follow the law can be traced by our labour officers who on the ground and they are in the field, but in some cases where they have not been traced through our Labour Inspectorate Department, we are also appealing to the general public to report any such cases to the ministry so that we address them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that from time to time the minimum wage will be reviewed. I would like to find out whether the Government has considered indexing the minimum wage to some criteria such as the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) basket so that the minimum wage would be realistic at any given time seeing that it always takes a long time for the Government to react.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we usually operate together with our social partners. That is the Government itself, our colleagues in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and employers. We have what is called the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council Meetings which again are held regularly. When try to draw a consensus from these meetings so that we apply what our social partners agree on and so this process is continuous.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the amendment regarding the minimum wage will be brought to Parliament in that most of the companies have started their financial year.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, the renewal of minimum wages under the Act is done every two years. The recent one was last year. This means that the next review will be in 2008.

Now, the minimum wage, as it has already been indicated, entails a long process of discussions and we feel that by next year, when the time is due for us to submit the minimum wage amendments, we will be ready by then.

I wish to also mention that in the review of the minimum wage, there are a lot of players that come in after we have arrived at the minimum wage during our tripartite meetings, but there are some who are always not satisfied. Even with the one that we are working on at the moment, there are still a lot of complaints. So, we are still looking at proper mechanism of working out something that can satisfy almost all the employers. Probably, we may consider restructuring the minimum wage according to the sector or according to the employer, but we seem not to come up with a formula that satisfies everybody. I think the ministry is doing everything possible to come up with a formula that would eventually satisfy everybody on the market.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has taken any trouble to work out the poverty datum line for this country so that we are able to work out the minimum wage based on the poverty datum line. Has this been done?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, when working out the minimum wages for workers, the ministry and the other players consider all the information necessary, including the poverty datum line.

We are talking about the minimum amount that a person can survive on. This is the figure that is brought and each player in the meeting or in this particular discussion comes with his or her own. These are discussed and reviewed and obviously, some come up with higher proposals while others with lower ones, but we take into account various factors, including the capacity to pay before we can arrive exactly at what we think is the minimum wage which we can approve and that the people will manage to pay. That is how we arrive at the minimum wage.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister why domestic servants are not included in the two Statutory Instruments that the hon. Deputy Minister spoke about in his reply?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, domestic workers were not included for several reasons. The major ones are that firstly, there is a union for domestic workers and the Act clearly stipulates that those who are covered by any process of bargaining are not included under this minimum wage condition.

The second reason is that my ministry has not really developed sufficient framework to monitor and control the domestic sector. It is all scattered and it would be difficult to administer such a law.

So, there are the two major items. We hope that when we are prepared, the domestic workers could be included, possibly in future.

I thank you, Sir.


285. Mr Chimbaka (Chitambo) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

(a) how many people from Luapula Province had so far benefited from the Tourism Development Credit Facility;

(b) what their names were; and

(c) how much, in Zambian Kwacha, each person received.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, nine companies and individuals from Luapula Province have so far benefited from Tourism Development Credit Facility.

Sir, the following are names of the individuals and companies who have benefited from the Tourism Development Credit Facility:

(a) James S. Mulungushi, Chinuchi Enterprises;

(b) Mumba A. Nsheta, Mount Phim Environment;

(c) Sydney Lorny Chama, Luena Huts Lodge;

(d) Daniel Leo Chisala, Leo Jonas Ngosa Investments;

(e) Gershom Kapalaula, Vantage Enterprises;

(f) Mumba Mutuka, Prosperity Guest House;

(g) Nelson Kabaso, N.K. Boutique;

(h) Chola P. Nkonda, Namushamba Enterprises;

(i) Chief Puta, Taima Taiwa Guest House; and

Sir, the loan amounts received by the beneficiaries totaled K819,800,000 of the K13 billion disbursed from 2003 to 2005 and the break down is as follows:



Name of Applicant   Project Name  Location  Amount (K)
Chola P. Nkonda   Namushamba   Kawambwa 50,000,000.00

Nelson Kabaso    N. K. Boutique  Mansa  50,000,000.00

James S. Mulungushi   Chinuchi Enterprises  Mansa            235,000,000.00

Mount Phim Entertainment  Mumba A. Nsheta Mwense  50,000,000.00

Luena Hats Lodge   Sydney L. Chama  Mansa       149,000,000.00

Sub total                   534,000,000.00


Daniel L. Chisala   Leo J. Ngosa  Samfya  50,000,000.00

Gershom Kapalaula   Vantage Enterprises Mansa  22,000,000.00

Sub total         72,000,000.00


Mumba Mutuka  Prosperity Guest  Nchelenge  48,800,000.00

Chief Puta   Taima Taiwa Guest Chiengi            165,000,000.00 

Sub Total                   213,800,000.00

Grand total         819,800.00.00

Mr Speaker, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, Luapula being very well endowed with potential tourist areas such as the Lake Bangweulu with a very beautiful beach …

Mr Speaker: Order! Ask your question.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, what is it the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Naturals Resources and Government in general are doing to advertise and attract the would be investors to come and look at the beautiful beach of Samfya, Lake Mweru and many historical places of Ntumbacushi, to name just a few. There are many other places with historic significance …

Mr Speaker: Order!


The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Pande): Mr Speaker, I think it is important for the hon. Member to know that last year, the target was Luapula and Northern Provinces because of the tourist attractions that he has just mentioned. Concerning advertising, the current publications show that we have indicated so much Luapula and the prospects of Luapula growing into a tourism centre. This has been the reason that a lot of people have concentrated on Livingstone. As a ministry and Government, we are trying to spread this to other areas thus the concentration on Luapula last year.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Chitika (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why this credit facility was not extended to politicians who are in business because this is not a grant, but a loan which is supposed to be repaid.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, every credit facility has its own guidelines and rules. This particular one exempted politicians.

I thank you, Sir.


286. Hamir (Chitambo) asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Government had any plans to establish police posts in the following areas in Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency:

(a) Serenje/Samfya Turn-off;

(b) Mpelembe Ward; and

(c) Chitambo Ward

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Mr Speaker, not only does the Government has plans but also a policy, through the Zambia Police Force, to build police stations wherever a need arises. 

This is an on-going exercise country-wide that the Government endeavours to carry out as and when funds are released.

Meanwhile, Mr Speaker, police posts at Serenje/Samfya Turn-off, Mpelembe and Chitambo Wards will be established as soon as an assessment in terms of crime rate, population and willingness of the community to participate and contribute has been completed. The House may wish to know that Police Posts are not part of community policing and as such, the local community is expected to contribute materially, for example an office block.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, does the ministry have any plans to turn the Zambia National Service Camp at Pensulu Sub-Station which is near Serenje-Samfya Turn-off into a police post.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, as the first question was answered, if the community so wishes, then they should be able to approach the Ministry of Defence and turn that into a police post and we will support them.

I thank you, Sir.


287. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) when former ZCCM miners taken over by Mopani Copper Mines Plc would receive their terminal benefits; and

(b) who was responsible for paying the miners at (a) above their terminal benefits.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, former ZCCM employees taken over by Mopani Copper Mines Plc received their terminal benefits as they leave employment with Mopani Copper Mines.

The mode of exit determines on who pays out the benefits. Employees who leave employment through dismissal or resignation are paid by ZCCM- Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH). The ZCCM Trust Fund was created to facilitate payment to eligible ex-ZCCM employees by ZCCM-IH.

Mr Speaker, for modes of exit other than dismissal or resignation, Mopani Copper Mines pays accrued benefits relating to the service in ZCCM Ltd and that arising from service in Mopani. This is provided for under the Privatisation Transaction Documents.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister is aware that it now ten years and Mopani Copper Mines has not paid miners who crossed. What is the Government doing to ensure that the miners who are currently in employment get their terminal befits so that they can send their children to school?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, we believe Mopani Copper Mines is a viable company. Therefore, there is no reason for failing to paying eligible workers. Now, since this has been mentioned, they are going to enquire from Mopani Copper Mines why there has been this delay and appropriate action will be taken.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister explain why it takes more than a year for the miners once they decide to leave employment to get money from the Government which they worked for a long time and yet it does not even accumulate any interest at all.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, ZCCM Investment Holdings has inherited liabilities from the former ZCCM Ltd. There is a Trust Fund which the hon. Minister has already mentioned from which employees are paid. The fund is liquid and is administered by ZCCM Investment Holdings. Every so often, miner’s money is put in that account by ZCCM Investment Holdings and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

The fund has a committee that meet on a quarterly basis to look at applications for payments. Only last week, they were meeting to consider eligible employees who are due to be paid. There is no delay in as far as we are concerned. The delay can only arise when people that are dismissed from Mopani or leave through resignation have not had their files and information brought to ZCCM Investment Holdings. When ZCCM Investments Holding gets this information, they do not take time to pay. Otherwise, there is no intention to keep miners unpaid for too long.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, the money that was accrued by miners from service in ZCCM should have been paid to them at the time of termination. If this was done, it could have been put in the bank to earn interest. I would like to find out if the ZCCM Trust Fund earns interest and if it does not, why.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I have stated that payments from the Fund are very regular and consistent.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Aah!

Ms Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the hon. Minister is aware that the money he is referring to is kept in a Trust Fund against the will of the miners.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, that is contrary because about K44 billion of the benefits from this money has been paid from this account to about 2,300 miners. How do you say that it is against their will?{mospagebreak}


288. Mr Sikota asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when the Government would extend the benefit of rural electrification to the people of Kasiya Ward in Livingstone Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, the ministry with the support from the Japanese Government is currently preparing a Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) expected to be completed by December, 2007. The Master Plan will provide a blue print for electrifying all rural areas of Zambia in a systematic and prioritised manner.

With regard to Kasiya Ward, during the Rural Electrification Master Plan Workshop held for Southern Province on 22nd November, 2006 in Livingstone, it was considered one of the priority projects in the submissions made by the provincial leadership to the Study Team. The ministry is therefore, aware of the importance the leadership in the province has put on this ward and it will be reflected as such in the Master Plan. ZESCO has already worked out and cost the project to electrify Kasiya Ward. The cost is estimated at K650 million.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that Kasiya Ward will be considered in the Master Plan and the Master Plan is going to be perfected in December, 2007. Could the hon. Minister please give us assurance that even before the Master Plan in the ongoing Electrification Programme during the course of his year, Kasiya will be considered.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, there can be plans, but implementation is another thing. Through ZESCO, the Government has gone a step ahead to even cost. Therefore, it is in this plan that it will be included.

Mr Speaker, I must mention things change as they go. At the time when this plan will be completed, the payment might change with some other projects. So, I would urge the hon. Member of Parliament to work closely with the planners in the province. That way, it will be implemented.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we have heard about this Master Plan from the former Minister. When will it be effected and stop being a changing plan? Is it a Master plan or just something else?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, last year, we got US$1 million from the Japanese Government to begin to prepare the Master Plan. The duration of the preparation of the Master Plan was agreed at eighteen months, ending December this year.

Sir, what we also need to know is that historically, we have a number of rural electrification projects that remained incomplete. Therefore, the strategy for the Ministry of Energy, particularly for 2007 is to deal with the backlog of projects that are not complete. we want to complete these before we take on new projects.

I thank you, Sir.


289. Mr Sejani (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) when the Government would create a National Irrigation Fund; and

(b) what programmes would be carried out under this Fund.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has included in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP), the establishment of the National Irrigation Fund. It is expected that the Fund will be created and operational in 2007.

The National Irrigation Fund is a special purpose Fund for capital investment in irrigation projects and acquisition of irrigation technology by all categories of farmers and industry operators.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, we welcome the formation of that Fund, but for the purpose of achieving intended results, I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether they are considering putting the Fund under the administration of a semi- autonomous agency along the lines of the Road Development Agency (RDA) to avoid problems of bureaucracy, chronic under staffing, lack of motivation and structural deficiencies which are associated with Government departments. Are they considering that?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am happy that this question has been raised. At the moment, we cannot consider the question of whether we must put this money in an agency such as RDA. Meanwhile, we believe that the small-scale farmers will benefit more if it is under the ministry than if it is goes elsewhere. The big farmers will benefit from the agency, but the small-scale farmers will be disadvantaged. I think the onus is on the Members of Parliament from the rural areas if they want to expose the small-scale farmers to an agency or they can trust the ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wonder if the hon. Minister could tell us what new element he is bringing to irrigation schemes in Zambia, considering that the country is littered with schemes that are under utilised such as Sefula, for example, in the Western Province which is only about 30 per cent utilised. What new crops or ideas is will make the Government lay the irrigation works this time?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central …

Mr Sichilima: Former Agricultural minister!

Mr Kapita: … I am aware that there are some schemes in this country which were started, but abandoned. We are resurrecting those schemes. What this country experienced in 1991/2001 was unfortunate. Sir, this new programme will be …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that we have in place a monitoring mechanism that is going to ensure that the National Irrigation Fund (NIF) works. To start with, the National Irrigation Fund will be disbursed on the recommendation of the officers from the Engineering Department in my ministry. However, the money will be disbursed by the Apex Bank. I would like to say to this august House that before I left the office the Permanent Secretary gave me the document which finally tells me that now we are ready. I have to finalise reading that document and we are going to launch the project.

At the local level, again, we are going to have a committee in the district that is going to ensure that the beneficiaries use the equipment. By the way, there will be no cash given by the National Irrigation Fund. We are going to give the equipment to the farmers and they will be selected for the irrigation system. If we give cash, chances are that the cash will not be utilised to buy into irrigation equipment. So, the local committee will ensure that the equipment of the irrigation system that is installed is actually being used for irrigation.

With regard to the type of crops, yes, the irrigation system will be used for various crops, depending on the type of farmer. The small-scale farmers will use it largely for vegetables during the dry season. The commercial farmers will also use the same irrigation system, but on a bigger scale for high value crops. I am hope that our small-scale farmers too, will venture into irrigation of high value crops. So, the type of crops will depend on the choice of a farmer and the market will determine what he must produce.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s reference to Appex Bank, in my understanding is that he is referring to the Bank of Zambia. I would like to find out how the Appex Bank will be in a position to expend such type of money given the massive jobs that it is handling.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, the Appex Bank in this case is not the Central Bank or the Bank of Zambia; it is one of the commercial banks. Two commercial banks have been recommended and we will choose one of them. The two commercial banks have been user friendly to agriculture, especially in the past few years. I am happy that it is the user friendly banks which have been recommended by the committee and they are a new culture of this country.

I thank you, Sir

Major Chizyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister when the Government is going to consider re-introducing a bank that can service indigenous Zambians who, by the way, are the majority, small-scale farmers. I am asking this because the interest that is going to be charged by the Appex Bank so chosen are bound to benefit the commercial farmer who is already benefiting from these other banks such as Stanbic at very low interest rates, a system which is supposed to service the indigenous …

Mr Speaker: Order! You have already asked your question.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I will answer the second part of the question because the first part is a new question which I cannot answer right now. However, I will answer when we are just the two of us.

Mr Speaker, I cannot tell when a new bank is coming up because the Government has to decide. As for the amount of interest to be charged by Appex Bank, I want to assure my colleague from Namwala who happens to be a very good farmer that we have taken every precaution, to ensure that the interest charged is affordable to the majority of the farmers.

 I am aware that in this country the bigger you are in farming, the more you benefit. This has been the situation, but the Irrigation Fund is supposed to push farming further and the majority of the people who farm in this country are small-scale farmers who number about 1.3 million and our focus is principally to support these farmers.

Mr Speaker, for the interest that will be charged, it will be such that it will take into account the needs of all the farmers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I beg the hon. Minister to be consistent in his answers. The answer on when the Fund would be formed was that the money will come from the budget. The answer to the question on who was going to manage it was that we cannot allow the commercial banks, but that the Minister would handle it.

Now he has somersaulted. It is Appex Bank. The hon. Minister should be specific. What is there for this Irrigation Fund? Is there a Fund and who is going to handle it? I would like some clarification.


Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Member for Kalomo that I have always been specific, but for the sake of clarity, I will repeat the answer. Firstly, the hon. Deputy Minister was right in saying that the Fund is here. There is K37.5 billion that we are going to start with.

Secondly, the modalities for accessing the money have just been completed and the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry put them on my table. I found them on my table when I came back from the studio and I said; now I can answer the questions raised by hon. Members. The Fund is there and modalities have been completed. As to whether there is confusion between the ministry and the bank, I would like to say that there is no confusion at all. The ministry is going to recommend because the applications will come to the ministry. However, Sir, we cannot keep the money at the ministry, it has to be kept in the bank. Once the application is approved, the applicant will be referred to the bank where they will pay the money and they are going to pay the supplier of your equipment. That is how the bank comes in because there has to be somebody to keep the money. We cannot keep the money at Mulungushi House because you know what can happen.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to inform this House of the K37 billion that has been allocated to this Irrigation Fund. Has there been any money allocated to the Muvuma Water Project which I am sure he is aware about.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I must admit that I am not aware of that project, but I can be enlightened and be able to answer later.

I thank you, Sir.


290. Mr Sichamba (Isoka West) asked the Minister of local Government and Housing what measures the ministry had taken to improve water reticulation in Isoka District, considering that the Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company had failed to perform its functions.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that following the water sector reforms, the National Water Supply Act that was enacted called for the formation of water utility companies owned by councils. To this effect, Mr Speaker, water companies, including Chambeshi Water Supply and Sewerage Company were formed in all provinces to provide water supply and sanitation services to the urban areas.

Mr Speaker, the Government has received the business and investment plan developed by Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company that outlines the requirements for the improvement of the existing facilities and extensions needed to cover new areas. This business plan covers all the districts in the Northern Province. The Government has sourced about US $1,000,000 using the same plan from the Ireland Aid to finance emergency works that include works in Isoka.

Mr Speaker, the Government is also sourcing for funds from the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA) to finance water projects in three towns in the Northern Province namely: Kasama, Mpika and Mbala in addition to towns in Luapula and Copperbelt provinces.

Additionally, Mr Speaker, financial resources are being mobilised from the Treasury to finance the remaining districts in the Northern Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichamba: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures have been put in place to monitor the operations of water utility companies that have been formed under the Act of Parliament. The water utility companies are not providing the services to their clients per se, especially in Isoka and the Northern Province as a whole.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to state that in terms of monitoring, firstly, I will start with the shareholders themselves; that is councils. The hon. Member of Parliament being councillor should also be in the fore front to check what these companies are doing. According to the Government, the legal provision under which these utility companies operate needs to be reinforced. If the utility companies are found wanting, the normal legal processes will be followed in order to address these gaps.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, looking at the operations of Chambeshi in the Northern Province. It is evident that they have failed badly and the reason could be that the province is the biggest …

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member is debating. What is your question?

Mr Silavwe: I am building the question, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Silavwe: Is the ministry not thinking of attracting another company to come to the Northern Province to reinforce Chambeshi. In my view, the problems are not due to financial constraints, but the capacity to actually cater for all the twelve districts in the province.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, currently, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has no plans to create another utility company to compliment Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company. What we know is that they have had problems, but we feel that these can be resolved and one of them was that of financial resources. I am convinced with prudent financial management, they should be able to solve the problems.

We know that there a number of water utility companies, but some of the problems experienced are common to almost all of them. Some of them may wish to compliment Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company. So, we are committed to ensuring that water utility companies perform to the expectations of the residents in different areas. As area Members of Parliament, we should also encourage good performance for instance by ensuring that residents pay water bills. Let us support them and I am sure we should be able to make progress.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing aware that Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company has been rejected in the Northern Province and what steps is he taking to make the people of Northern Province accept it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, my ministry is not aware that Chambeshi Water and Sewerage has been rejected. If at all there is that information then the hon. Member can communicate to us because we need to find out why it has been rejected to find a solution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is it right for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to leave out Isoka where the situation of water reticulation is bad due to broken pipes? Could the Ministry of Local Government and Housing address the problem of water in Isoka district urgently?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, the ministry, in close liaison with Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company, is aware of the problems of water supply and sanitation in all the districts of the Northern Province, including Luapula Province. To this effect, we had to come up with a business plan. The plan indicates district by district the problems and what is required to address them. Obviously, the major issue here is financial investment to repair most dilapidated pipes and some areas are not even covered. The Government has managed to source about $10 million from BADEA and OPIC …

Hon. Opposition Member: China.

Mrs Masebo: No not China, China is Matero.


Mrs Masebo: We have managed to source $10 million and this money is ready. Currently, we are going through the tendering process. We hope that by August the actual works would have started. So, as a mid-term solution, the ministry under the Department of Infrastructure Services (DIS) is mobilising resources to assist the company improve water supply and sanitation in Isoka, Kawambwa, Mansa, Chililabombwe and Mbala. There are about six towns and this project is for six towns, three in the Northern Province and two in Luapula and one on the Copperbelt.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whether she is aware that the Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company has failed in all the districts of the Northern Province. So, I would like her to visit all the districts and see exactly what I am talking about because even the employees are unqualified.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company is a company that was created by all the local authorities in the Northern Province. This is in line with the water reforms that seek to ask councils countrywide to create utility companies to provide water supply and sanitation services. I am sure the hon. Member of Parliament will agree with me that in the past, when councils were providing this facility, in many cases, overtime, the whole system broke down and the councils were not able to provide this service in an efficient manner. However, through the creation of utility companies, the provision of water supply and sanitation is expected to improve, but this will take sometime. This is not the fault of the company. It is an issue of investment.

Now, the Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company has a Board. I am aware that in some instances, these Boards may not perform to expectation. As a Government, we are looking into this issue. We have directed all utility companies and shareholders, to come up with certain amendments to the articles of association so that Government’s interest can be felt in the water utility companies. I cannot travel to Chambeshi because it is not possible for me to be everywhere.

So, we are trying to streamline the operations of all utility companies in the country.

I thank you, Sir.


291. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

(a) how much money was allocated to the Tourism Fund from 2003 to 2006;

(b) how many of those who benefited from the Tourism Fund had repaid their loans in full and how many had failed to pay back; and

(c) what action would be taken against those who had failed to repay their loans.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, a total of K18.759 billion was allocated to the Tourism Development Credit Facility from 2003 to 2006. Of this amount, a total of K13 billion was released by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. The break down of this amount is as follows:

Year  Allocated (K billion) Released(K billion)

 2003   5   5

 2004   5   5

 2005   5   5

 2006   3.759   0

 Total   18.759   15

Sir, there are three loan scale categories with valid conditions, including repayment periods and these are:


Category  Amount   Grace Period  Credit Payable

 Micro-Scale Credit K50m   3 months  1 year

 Small-Scale Credit  K50m to K150m 6 months (except
whose grace 
period is one 
year)   2 years

 Medium-Scale Credit K150 m to K300m this credit has
a grace period 
of one year)  3 years

Sir, the House may wish to know that there were delays in the initial disbursement of the funds such that the funds released in 2003 were only disbursed in 2004. This delay was due to the fact that the first time, a lot of preparatory work had to be done in order to put systems and procedures in place.

Therefore, in 2004, eighteen micro enterprises benefited from the credit facility. Out of the eighteen, only two have successfully paid back the loans in full. The sixteen others are at different levels of meeting their loan obligations. I must state though that these beneficiaries were supposed to have finished paying back by the end of 2005.

For the 2005 disbursement, thirteen micro-scale beneficiaries are at different levels of meeting their loan obligations. This, therefore, means that out of the 105 beneficiaries, two have completed paying back the loans. Seventy-four are still within their repayment period and are servicing the loans while twenty-nine are in the extended payment period.

Mr Speaker, for those that will fail to repay their loans, the action to be taken by the Government will depend on the type of scale of the loan. As regards the micro-scale credit, collateral is not required and the Government will evoke the provision of the agreement which calls for sale of the projects or assets on which the credit was spent in order to recover the balance owed. With regard to the defaulting beneficiaries in the small and medium scale categories, we had to ask for some collateral for them to get the credit and the Government will fall back on the collateral to recover the balance of the loan amount.

Sir, this House may wish to know that my ministry has already visited the beneficiaries who are lagging behind in their repayments in order to encourage them to accelerate repayments. Further, we have written to defaulters to remind them of the implications of not meeting their loan obligations. Therefore, we do not wait to catch people unaware, but we continue encouraging them to pay and keep reminding them of the implications of defaulting. This is one way we are different from banks and we hope that only very few or none at all will fail to repay the loans.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, it is believed that most of the beneficiaries of this fund were either MMD supporters or sympathisers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Ntundu: In that vein, I would like the hon. Minister to explain to this House what criterion was used to arrive at who should benefit from these funds.

The Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources (Mr Pande): Mr Speaker, it is not true that only MMD sympathisers accessed the loans. If you check the list that was read out, you will find that those are not MMD sympathisers. The former Minister Sondashi, For example, was denied, but he was MMD. What we look at is the package of the proposal. That is when we go to the extent of assisting those who have not properly packaged their proposals so that they can access the money. What the hon. Member has said is not true.

I thank you, Sir.

Major Chizyuka: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Member indicate from the list that he has read who is not an MMD sympathiser.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, when applications are submitted, they do not indicate which party the names belong to. I am not in a position to know who is an MMD sympathiser. It would have been helpful for him to indicate who was an MMD sympathiser.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, in the same vein legislators or hon. Members were disqualified from these facilities. Why the fund not extended to house owners or to those who simply converted their houses or homes into lodges or brothels? Is the hon. Minister also aware that the reason payment is difficult to achieve is the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in this country and that they do not get business from people who want to meet at the brothels? Do they intend to repossess homes converted into brothels for this money to revolve?

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, from the records that we have, many of the beneficiaries that we have are running guest houses and not brothels.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, when the Tourism Fund was set up, no politician was allowed to access it. What was the targeted level if a politician or minister was accessing this Fund? What would be the position in that case?

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, one becomes a politician immediately he or she becomes a Member of Parliament and these were the people who were disqualified.

I thank you, Sir.


292. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) what institutional arrangements were in place to market maize and other crops in Zambia; and

(b) how much maize was bought by the Food Reserve Agency from farmers during the 2005/2006 marketing season.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the Government is committed to the liberalisation of agricultural marketing in Zambia where the private sector fully participates in crop marketing, including maize. In addition, the Government through the Food Reserve Agency, will continue to purchase specific quantities of designated crops, including maize for strategic reserves.

As regards (b), during the 2005/2006 marketing season, the Food Reserve Agency bought 78,386 metric tonnes of maize from farmers throughout the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, is the Government not worried that their effort to improve agriculture and empower the small-scale farmer is seriously undermined by a lack of market where our small-scale farmers are forced to move long distances to sell their produce, making the whole exercise uneconomic?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for raising this question. The Government is as concerned as the hon. Member for Mapatizya. We are looking not only at maize, soya, rice, groundnuts and cassava covered by the Food Reserve Agency, but also other crops such as cashew nuts. Now we have to revisit the cashew nut industry in Mongu and the Western Province in general. We are revisiting the Pineapple Plant in Mwinilunga. We are also looking at the marketing of rice from Chama, Chavuma, Zambezi, Kaputa, Mongu and Shangombo. I was told two days ago that even Mwinilunga is growing rice.

We are in the process of arranging small-scale polishing machines. Since this question was raised by some friends a few weeks ago, I have asked the Marketing and Agri-business Department in the ministry to investigate how we are getting the large quantities of rice outside this country. Since we are not supposed to issue the agricultural import permits by law, I have asked the Permanent Secretary to inquire on who is issuing the permits. When this is done, action will be taken. As a Government, when people respond and increase production, we are duty bound to respond by providing the market.

In terms of cassava, for example, we are sending a plant to either Mansa or Kawambwa which will begin to fortify cassava meal because we want to complete our experiment and see whether cassava can be a number two crop in terms of export because there is a very big market. I went to Nigeria and found that Nigerians are making a fortune form cassava and Zambia intends to do just that.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I believe that the hon. Minister has not answered the question from Hon. Sejani. I would like to find out what the ministry is doing to shorten the distance that the small-scale farmers cover to the markets?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, the question of shortening distances is very important owing to the fact that the majority of people do not have transport. In terms of livestock farming, I have been discussing with the Director of Veterinary Research and Livestock Management about the problems that were supposed to have been solved sometime back to establish markets for the livestock so that buyers could get livestock from those areas. That way, we are going to help in the control of diseases.

In terms of crops, let us look at those being bought by Food Reserve Agency (FRA). Last year, we had a problem of people walking long distances and we have given instructions as a ministry to the Chairperson of FRA to ensure that we do not just begin with the main depots this year, but satellite depots so that people stop complaining. That way, we are determined to shorten the distances.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what plans have been put in place to curtail the briefcase buyers who are exploiting farmers?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza in that he raised that question knowing that we have managed to put two farmers in Chadiza behind bars because they received K72 million for maize that they never delivered.

Mr Speaker, firstly, we have put measures in place and have instructed the FRA this year not to accept maize from unscrupulous businesspeople.

The FRA whose business is being conducted by the District Co-operative Unions (DCU) who will only buy maize from bona fide farmers who will be certified by camp officers and the District Agriculture Coordinators are going to supervise and ensure that only people who are producing access the market through the FRA. The middle people can sell their maize elsewhere. It is hoped that the area Members of Parliament and the councillors in those areas are going to ensure that only crops from bona fide farmers are bought by FRA. Those are the measures that we are putting in place.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Minister stated that he was questioning his ministry on who signed the import papers for rice. Is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives suggesting that the vast quantities of rice from the far East that were brought and have greatly disturbed the marketing of the rice grown in Zambia, including the vast quantities in Luena Constituency, were brought in illegally. If so, what is he doing to ensure that this coming marketing season farmers who grow rice in Zambia will be protected?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am not suggesting that the rice was brought in illegally. I do not have the answer yet and that is why I have asked my Permanent Secretary for Co-operatives and Marketing, Dr Mundia to investigate how this rice is coming into Zambia and whether there are any document that facilitated their entry into Zambia. As soon as I have the report, definitely, as Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, who is charged with the duty of issuing import permits for everything that deals with agriculture, I am going to take action.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what measures have been put in place to ensure that maize from the 2005/2006 season is distributed to needy areas unlike in the previous years when the maize was left in sheds for two to three years until it went bad when people needed it in the country?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, …

Dr Scott: Give us a lie.

Mr Kapita: Sorry Sir, somebody is asking me to lie. I can never lie and there is no need to lie.

Mrs Masebo: Who is it?

Mr Kapita: Hon. Member for Lusaka Central (Dr Scott).


Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, we have not put in place a mechanism for the distribution of that maize for the 2005/2006 season. I am not aware that we are supposed to give it at no cost. However, for FRA, we had set it aside even before we hear that they are going to require it for the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit in the Vice-President’s Office. We have put aside 22,000 metric tonnes of maize from that area. Then we left 150,000 metric tonnes as strategic food reserve for three months because we are using 50,000 metric tonnes of maize. We still have another 315,000 metric tonnes from the private sector.

Mr Speaker, I have a problem right now and people who were listening to the radio programme this morning might have heard me say that we have had to allow the millers to export 40,000 20,000 metric tonnes of maize and 20,000 metric tonnes mealie meal. One simple reason is that since the new crop is almost ready for harvest, the commercial farmers and millers asked if they could prepare their warehouses for the new crop, hence the reason we allowed them to export their maize.

Currently, the warehouses, for the first time in this country, are already full with last year’s crop. We must be very proud, as Zambians. We have given them permission to export 20,000 metric tonnes of maize and 20,000 metric tonnes of mealie meal. For us, we have space for the new season.

I sent Dr Mundia to Mpongwe when the farmers requested to export and as of last week, they had 22,000 metric tonnes in stock. They expect the crop yield of 65,000 metric tonnes. Therefore, they want their warehouses to be emptied and we have allowed them to export 20,000 metric tonnes as milling companies.

The other reason is that if we do not allow the millers to export some of the maize, they will not have the money to buy the new crop. that the Government will fail to buy.

I thank you, Sir.



(Debate resumed)

Mr Speaker: Before I call on hon. Members to debate, I would like to remind hon. Members who have not yet delivered their maiden speeches that this is the time to do so. You will have a good twenty minutes in which to deliver your maiden speeches.


Mr Speaker: Any further debate?

Mr Matongo (Pemba): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the Budget Address for the 2007.

Mr Speaker, we lose nothing as Opposition in complementing the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for the success in mobilising micro-economic and macro-economic paradigms to the satisfaction of the intelligentsia and those Lusaka-based economists.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: I state that it is very good to be technical in matters of the things I have stated, but perhaps better for us from rural areas to be social economists rather than technical ones.

Mr Speaker, I complement the hon. Minister for achieving, at least, the macro-economic stability that mean nothing in terms of delivery …


Mr Matongo: … of food on the tables of the rural people and compound persons.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: However, this means a lot for students of economics.


Mr Matongo: Secondly, I wish to complement the people who are never thanked for their work. These are public servants. I used to be one. I thank them for a job well done in assisting in drafting a budget which suits the Executive that runs this Government. We are aware that there were consultations. I was involved at the district development consultations. I am saying that if you are looking for glorious words from us, you will be expecting too much, but do know that you have friends that speak very highly of you because without your capacity, guess who would have done what you did other than for the talking and never walking the talk from this Floor.


Mr Matongo: So, we thank you public servants.

Mr Speaker, I would not lose sight of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mporokoso (Hon. Misapa) and my hon. Friend for Lukulu West (Hon Imbwae) for their very encouraging words in support of the budget to the extent that in fact, it is intellectually satisfying and perhaps very shoddy deliverables.


Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, the format for the Budget for this year, itself, raises fundamental questions because we are debating a budget which is historical in perspective and that is the way budgets are formulated. We do not have the 2006 Economic Report, hon. Ministers. We do, however, have the 2005 Economic Report.

Mr Speaker, we need this report to understand what we achieved in the Budget 2006. That is a statement of fact. What we have is the Economic Report for 2005 and I visited the Ministry of Finance and National Planning on Monday looking for the Economic Report for the 2006, it was not available.

Therefore, any meaningful debate for the Budget for 2007 for the informed mind and those who wish to read and understand the way forward to move the economic agenda of this country, will only debate from what has been provided by the hon. Minister. It is a matter of trust and faith. How many have that trust and faith? How many? Are we not all men of little faith?

Hon. Members: Very true!


Mr Matongo: Having stated that, I state here, hon. Colleagues on the Right of Mr Speaker and, indeed, on the Left that there is commendation that we have vision 2030. We also have the Executive Summery of that vision. I know that some people will say that they were not consulted. Mr Speaker, we were all consulted.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: At the district level, if you were a councillor or a Member of Parliament. If you were not, the process did not have to wait for you.


Mr Matongo: The vision and the summary should be taken as our own document. For those who have not read them, I would like to persuade the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to open his door for amendments. I will bet, there will be zero come 2008.

Sir, there is also something that has been dear to my heart. Fifteen years after we destroyed the Five-year Development Plans, we have come alive to the reality of the need to plan the way forward. Without a plan, nations economically never grow. Annual budgets and indeed cash budgets as our friends on your Right that have ruled us for fifteen years introduced, are, in fact, a recipe for misappropriation and mishandling of public funds …

Mr Muntanga: Correct!

Mr Matongo: … because you tying those in authority to nothing. That is without a plan. There is now a Fifth National Development Plan. Each one of us, please take time to know whether there is a provision in year-one of the Fifth National Development Plan which is this budget we are discussing on your rope. If it is not there, ensure that it is there along the line. After all, there is also what is known as Medium-Term Expenditure Frame Work (MTEF) which, in fact helps us on the Left of Mr Speaker, to hold our dear brothers and sisters to account for what they have not done by their own document and what they will do six months down the road.

Mr Speaker, I needed to give this background so as to state and state clearly that to be in Parliament and Government is not Government per se. To be in Government and be in the Opposition is not to oppose everything good and bad. It is persuading each other as I will be doing shortly to change certain figures to be in the interest of national development. I cannot speak for others; I can only speak for Pemba. Alas, I belong to a group, this group here (UPND) …


Mr Matongo: … who believe in the fundamentals of Zambia first, Zambia forward …

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Matongo: … One Zambia, one nation. This is the foundation of the group here.

While we are all hon. Members of Parliament and equal except those in the Front Bench, we have values of economic development and to develop is not as easy being on the top of the mountain and seeing valleys and rivers that do not exist.


Mr Matongo: It is, in fact, definitive achievements historically through reports, as I have indicated, of what we achieve there.

Mr Speaker, it does not matter while I am on this side (Opposition) of the House whether in fact, you will call yourselves the New Deal Government. I know you like it that way. Others (PF) call themselves what they wish to call themselves, but I only suspect it is from the new culture. I can say that both are MMD and if they are, are they not the ones who have been leading us into a garden path in economic terms since 1991 to date? What is the quarrel about? It is not about delivery of what people of moderate thinking are about to do?

Mr Speaker, I know that on your right, there are progressive men and women. On your left there are progressive thinking and indeed that end (PF side), there are wonderful men and women I have worked with before. These are very good people to deal with. In this corner (UPND) and my colleagues will forgive me, we are all embracing in the national development of this country. We are all embracing in discussing issues of HIV/AIDS, education and infrastructure. We do not care who should be blamed for what has been happening from 1991 to date. Quite frankly, those who were responsible for those misdeeds, as we heard yesterday people talking from that corner and other corners and making us look like brides looking for a groom, we want to state that we are only available on principle. We would like to participate in the correctness of approach to national issues and not in character assassination.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Matongo: Sir, we are not available in the pact, alliance or whatever you may call it as some people think. This group (UPND) is re-organising itself.

However, Sir, we want to work with you (MMD) and you (PF) in the national development of this country. We should try and take away character assassination, information and publicity. We want development as defined in this document. I needed to make this statement because really for anybody to accuse one of being part of the pact or agreements, whatsoever, we would have been down for electoral purposes, but now we are in the development agenda. In any case, who would want to marry somebody after she has eloped?


Mr Matongo: Sir, we should have dealt with alliances, as someone mentioned, before elections so that we would have been partners in development. For now, we are re-organising ourselves. We should concentrate on national development. It is necessary to define these things. We will work with everybody on these issues. I thought I should have stated this clearly so that there is no longer calling each other names.

Sir, I have a problem with the Budget in this Yellow Book. If you look at each ministry, only the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing have been provided for actual costs for hon. Ministers and Permanent Secretaries. The rest of the ministries, particularly, in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning have grouped figures. We will wish to ask the Executive to break down these figures so that we know the cost as put together in this situation.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I have a lot of queries on direct taxes and Pay As You Earn. The lowest employee is still paying more than the employer. We want those figures to be revisited and be balanced in due course. I appreciate that the Trade Union have accepted what the Government has provided as one less than what they asked for. They should have said that 6 per cent of what they asked for is double what the bread basket demands. Who are we to speak for Trade Unions if they have accepted that we shall be moving amendments on the Floor of the House in the interest of the ordinary workers who may not be in the executive of the Trade Unions to improve the take home pay?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, we will be demanding for windfall taxes on mining companies. In the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said that 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the items he put there are all subject to negotiation.

Sir, in 1966 and1967, Hon. Mwaanga will agree with me if he is listening, that at the height of the Vietnam War, the Government in this country because of the good copper prices, actually introduced windfall taxation to raise money for national development. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in the United Kingdom and the Secretary of State Finance in America are now funding wars out of windfall taxation.

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, the price of copper last year was US$250 per pound and this year is US$3.05. I challenge the hon. Ministers why they should not give half of that to the mining companies and the other half we share it. If the figure is US$3, they can take US$1.5 and we share the other US$1.5. If you have 75 per cent each, you will have money, in fact, to cover the K115 billion donor money that is provided in this, over night. 
Therefore, we demand windfall taxation on our people…

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: … to cut costs. A lot of vehicles are being provided to every department. Therefore, we demand motor vehicles’ standardisation and centralised procurement. We have to make sure that K3 trillion do not seem to disappear overnight through such practices. The disappearing of K3 trillion is like imagining all herds of cattle in Senanga disappear overnight without trace. Those who believed that figure need to redo their mathematics. As it is, I think there is theft in the MMD Government. We ask for the establishment of Government buildings and stores departments. It is unbelievable that a pothole in Lusaka District has to be patched by a contractor. Surely, we must have minimum capacity to deal with those issues. These are the areas where our money is flowing and disappearing.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: Sir, we will be raising a lot of issues to ensure that they are done correctly.

Sir, in this Yellow Book, literally every page has Poverty Reduction. For God’s sake, on Pages 3 and 7 under Ministry of Education where do you have outstanding bills shown as poverty reduction? I have nothing against my brother (The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning). What are you reducing? You have already consumed electricity and water. Where on earth do you have settling allowances? Where do you have such things appear that way? Poverty reduction means allocating money to social ministries such as the Ministry of Education for the repair of schools, roads and for community development. When we go through this Yellow Book, there shall be a fight on this Floor. We promise you that if these figures are not amended to reflect what there are to reflect what they mean, there will be a problem.

Mr Speaker, there is K1.6 billion for motor vehicles in one or two departments. I have dealt with that one and I think the hon. Minister will agree with me that centralising this will reduce corruption.

Mr Speaker, let me now comment on incinerator for papers. UTH has no incinerator for still born babies. My friend and very close friend of mine, Hon. Magande is looking for a paper incinerator – K450 million for the ministry when the Ministry of Health does not have an incinerator for still born babies. Where?

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

The Deputy Minister for Copperbelt Province (Mr Mbulakulima): Mr Speaker, it is befitting that I follow Hon. Matongo after he has spoken and I will give reasons later.

Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and his team for the wonderful job they have done. I want to believe that this is a good Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: It is a good Budget in the sense that there are ingredients that were missing in the past the have been incorporated in this Budget.

Sir, one of the most significant issues is the extensive consultation that took place as hon. Member for Pemba has alluded to. Unlike, in the past, this time around, a lot of stakeholders were involved. I want to believe that this is an exception because there are people out there who are very intelligent and can actually contribute to the welfare of this country. I also want to believe this House has no monopoly of knowledge. Therefore, it is important that we take that step.

Secondly, as alluded to, unlike in the past when there was ad-hoc arrangement, this Budget takes into account long-term planning; the part that was missing in the past. I want to believe is not done in isolation. We have dealt with the Fifth National Development Plan and Vision 2000. Therefore, this budget takes into account all these factors.

Mr Speaker, the 2007 Budget is important because it takes into account the realistic GDP growth of 7 per cent that is actually very competitive.

Mr Speaker, secondly, the Government intends to reduce domestic borrowing to 1.2 per cent of GDP. What this entails is that there will be reduction in inflation and interest rates. So, this is very important. Further, another important factor is that the Government intends to raise the gross international reserves. Further, there is also the issue of decentralisation.

In the past, a lot of emphasis was put on governance and tolerance while the critical issues of local Government were ignored. This Budget takes into account such factors.

Mr Speaker, it is important that whatever gains we realise today, if we do not take care of environmental issues, all the gains will be washed away.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, this Budget is prudent because it takes into account environment protection.

Mr Speaker, the HIV/AIDS issue is another critical area where this Budget is has put emphasis. It has gone further to take into account even the traditional medicines. That is a step in the right direction.

Mr Speaker, this Government has taken into account the cry of the people. The issue of tax has been taken care of. The adjustment from 37.5 to 35 per cent and from 30 to 25 in terms of PAYE cannot be termed a small achievement. The courage of this Government must be appreciated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the problems that we have is that there are still people who believe in politics of accusations which will not take us anywhere. After all, the motive is extremely questionable.

Sir, another factor that makes this Budget important is the fact that 72 per cent will be locally financed while only 28 per cent will be externally financed. This shows that this country is on the right path.

Sir, because of long-term planning, this Government is focusing on energy and it is projected that by 2008, the demand for electricity will have three current suppliers if generation capacity is not increased. However, you can agree with me that measures are already being taken because of the vision that this Government has.

Mr Speaker, on the national level you can go down to your constituencies and I speak for Chembe. I see hope in this Year’s Budget. Those who might know where Chembe is situated, it is through Mufulira and the pedicle to the Chembe Bridge which is under construction. The proper allocation of resources to this bridge brings hope to the people of Luapula and Northern provinces.

Further, this Government has put a lot emphasis on agriculture and my district is an agricultural area. That means that there will be poverty reduction which all of us are crying for. This brings hope that 15 per cent of our resources are going to education. After all, in my area, there is a high school coming up. It also brings hope because it has indicated that more teachers will be posted to that area. Already this year alone, 120 teachers have been posted. So, this is a Budget that gives hope to my constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the people of the Copperbelt have not been left out because copper still remains item number one. The expansion programmes that are going on cannot be under estimated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: When was the last time  a shaft was opened in this country? It was in 1972. Today, we are witnessing the opening of shafts on the Copperbelt. This simply means that there is hope.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the issue of environmental protection on the Copperbelt is cardinal.

Sir, over 150,000 tonnes of maize was produced. I want to believe that with this agricultural policy that has been put in place, Copperbelt will be actually a better place.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, the establishment of multi-economic zone is another milestone. The investment of 800 million is another milestone and the creation of over 60,000 jobs from one source can never be a small achievement.  I want to believe that this Budget will stand the test of time.

Mr Speaker, job creation is another priority on the Copperbelt. Therefore, I want to believe that everything has been taken into account.

The issue of implementation has been the source of worry. If you look at the Budget, there is a provision which says and I quote:

‘To enhance Budget execution in 2007, the Government will strengthen Treasury management and expenditure monitoring systems.’

This is fantastic and important. What are we supposed to do? The rest is up to us. The implementation is up to us. As Members of Parliament, we have to get on top of things.

I said earlier that I would get back to this when Hon. Matongo was speaking and it is good that I spoke after him. What is the problem with the implementation? In 1991, hon. Member of Parliament for Pemba (Mr Matongo) called me to his office when he was the Managing Director for Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZISC), and he said, ‘Mwansa, I have seen the way people do things here. You know what, it is not the physic, but brains.’ And I said, ‘it is my policy.’ He said, ‘yes planning and thinking are cardinal.’ And this is exactly what we are supposed to do with this Budget. It is thinking and planning. The problem is that there are people who want to use fists instead of brains. That is prejudice.

 Hon. Matongo, in my maiden speech, I made it categorically clear, if you research, and said, it is not the size of the stomach or the size of the chest …

Mr Tetamashimba: Muntanga!

Mr Mbulakulima: … or the height …


Mr Mbulakulima: … it is the brain that matters. For those who are huge and have the brains, well that is good, but when you are huge and you just want to eat the food …

Mr Tetamashimba: Muntanga!

Mr Mbulakulima: This will not take you any where.

Hon. Government Members: Kambwili! Mwila!


Mr Mbulakulima: I want to reiterate what I have said that we can implement this Budget through thinking and planning with no amount of intimidation. Actually, the harder they come, the harder they fall. As far has our party is concerned, we believe in. This budget can stand the test of time.

I want to urge my friends that we can work it out and implement this as long as we avoid the riotous approach to issues. You will not be welcome to any office anywhere with riotous behaviour.

I want to assure you that there is no one here who is not a seasoned politician. There is no one here who does not know how to talk. How did you go through the election? How did you win the elections?

Mr Muntanga: Address the budget!

Hon. Opposition Members: Budget!

Mr Mbulakulima: I am coming to that. It is part of the Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer, minister!

Mr Mbulakulima: You won the elections so you know how to articulate matters except that some of you want to be systematic. You know when to participate.

Mr Lubinda: Budget!

Mr Mbulakulima: Yes, you are talking about the Budget, but I would rather go to the final stage of implementation by using reasoning.

Mr Sichilima: Beebe ati ni maiden speech!

Mr Mbulakulima: We have to use reasoning if we are to implement this Budget.

Mr Lubinda: Budget!

Mr Mbulakulima: You see when you say, ‘budget’ it reminds me that people out there have been complaining of the low calibre of our debate. Hon. Munaile will agree with me, if he is here, that in football, even if you are a good team and if your opponent is not a good team, you are not able to raise the standard of play.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Mbulakulima: That is why you need a good team to play for the team.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: So this concept of participating on topics you least understand will dilute the standard of our debate. This House is supposed to be for great thinkers, but you find people participating in every topic they are not conversant with. Keep quiet! Sit down!


Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Hammer minister!

Mr Mbulakulima: So, I want to submit that this Budget is a good one as long as we use our brains and intellect, as Hon. Matongo told me in 1991.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene (Itezhi-Tezhi): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion of Supply on the policy administration given by the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Sir, may I also thank my colleagues, hon. Member of Parliament for Mporokoso (Mr Misapa) and hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West (Mr Imenda), for the support they gave to the hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, budgets have come in this House year in and year out. The expectation of the Zambian people out there is for this Budget to translate into their wellbeing in terms of development.

Firstly, the Hon. Minister did his homework by applying Mathematics and English to this document. And so, I will start with the Budget Speech itself. It has pictures on the front page and at the back. I heard one hon. Member of Parliament comment on one picture which is on the Creation of Economic Zones which I think is alright for the people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: The other picture is on Vision 2030 and the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP), which is alright. The big picture showing the modern facility which does not exist in all the seventy-two districts, hence many Zambians go to South Africa for medical attention is completely misleading. If you turn the booklet over, there is a picture on Educating the Future, pupils are seated on desks. Sir, this is a wrong picture to put on such an important document.

In my constituency, I have more than sixteen community schools and pupils sit on logs …

Mr Muntanga: On the floor!

Mr Beene: … on the floor, therefore, it is very important that when we draw a document of this nature we try to depict the situation on the ground.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: It would have been prudent to have a picture of land cruisers which were donated by donors and are found in all the seventy-two districts. It would have made sense.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them! Bambile!

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, I have gone through the Budget and there is a portion where the Hon. Minister is saying that it is a reflection of the Fifth National Development Plan. I tend to disagree. I was at district level where …

Dr Puma: On a point of order.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I rise on serious point of order. Is the hon. Member in order to mislead the nation that there are no such facilities indicated here? There is a picture on the Budget speech cover, what it is showing here …

Hon. Opposition Members: What is your point of order!

Dr Puma: Let me finish!

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!


Dr Puma: May I comment?

Mr Speaker, what it is showing here is a typical operation theatre at UTH and Ndola.

Mr Sichilima: Even Mbala!

Dr Puma: What it is showing above are lights that are used in the theatre. Every operating theatre has this. What is showing below there is an operation table which is there even at district level …

Hon. Opposition Members: Point of order!


Dr Puma: So, Sir, is he in order to mislead the nation by saying that these facilities are not there in this country?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister for Health is disputing the interpretation of certain pictures on the cover of the 2007 Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. That is only his interpretation, it is not substance. That is why the hon. Member for Itezhi Tezhi is debating. So let him debate the pictures.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, I will now debate the theme which was picked by the hon. Minister compared to the material which is in the Speech and the theme is ‘From Sustainability to Improved Service Delivery’.

Mr Speaker, I tend to differ with the hon. Minister over this because this Government has not improved any service delivery. It should have just read, ‘Stability to Service Delivery’ because they are just starting to deliver. The theme is misleading.

Mr Speaker, on delivery, I think not enough education has been delivered to the Zambian people as at now. We just had the Minister of Education here delivering a speech which revealed the number of pupils who have dropped out of school and they are being told to enrol for adult education. You cannot talk about improving.

Mr Speaker, as politicians, we should learn to listen to other stakeholders so that we can improve this country instead of completely ignoring other people’s inputs when we have the privilege of being in the Executive.

Mr Speaker, this draws me to agriculture. Where Government has done well, I will mention it and we will accept it. I would like to say that the Government has done well with regard to the money that has been put in agriculture.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: But, Sir, the Government has to do enough in terms of providing transport, especially in the rural areas to DACO offices, research and other Government departments. This should not just end on paper.

Sir, on economic domestic performance, I admit that the figures do not mean anything to the people out there both in the urban and rural areas. At the town centre, there are more people selling metal and this is happening in the main cities.

Mr Speaker, sure, …


Mr Beene: … can you talk about good delivery even where a modern market is surrounded by other things. Can you say that you have improved service delivery?


Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, we have to do something about that. This draws me to the roads. The policy statement by the hon. Minister is clear that in transport, the percentage has improved from 11 per cent in 2005 to 13.5 per cent in all modes of transport; rail and road transport.

Mr Speaker, the rail transport has deteriorated. The sleepers of the railway line from Kitwe to Livingstone are in a bad state. This Government has lost vision of that sector. That is a fact, Sir. Trains are falling every day.

Mr Speaker, I want to mention that in the developed world, and I want to say that most of the hon. Members here have travelled to developed countries and have seen how those underground trains operate and this is evident in Japan. The railway sector can be a pillar of an economy like in Japan. Are those figures translating an improvement, I can say, they are completely misleading. To travel from Kitwe to Livingstone, it takes about three months.


Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, what are we doing?

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member should debate factually. There is no train trip which takes three months from Kitwe to Livingstone.

May he continue, please.


Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, I will correct that. It takes one week.


Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, on education, what I would have wanted to hear from the hon. Minister when he talked about education, especially in the rural areas, is improved delivery because pupils are learning in thatched mud buildings. For them to hear that there is an improvement in education is completely disastrous in terms of their hope for improved service delivery.

Mr Speaker, I now want to talk about transport in relation to tourism. Itezhi Tezhi is one of the potential areas where this country has hope and it can be next to Livingstone because of the big lake. I would like to thank the Government because at last the power station is being worked on. I give credit for that job. However, where that power station is being put up, the road which links Mongu/Lusaka/Itezhi-Tezhi which is 115 kilometres was completed in 1978. It was a tarred road and those who designed the road had to make it tarred so that the equipment which is at the gates to regulate the water had to move on a road where it cannot be damaged. That road has never been attended to and this Government is now putting it on a programme of gravelling. It does not take an engineer to understand where there are trowels …


Mr Beene: … you cannot start putting mud. You are going to put up a power station, how are you going to move your equipment? In potholes and ditches? Where is the planning?

Mr Speaker, when I was at district level, during the input to the Fifth National Development Plan …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, this road leading to where you intend to put a power station is dilapidated. In 1978 it was tarred. Now can you tell the cost you have accumulated to make that road? In our input to the Fifth National Development Plan, our first priority was …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I am sorry to disrupt my brother, but is he in order to mislead the nation and the people of Itezhi Tezhi when he was in charge of planning at the district. What is going to happen is what he put in the document and that is what he is arguing against. Is he in order? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Deputy Minister of Works and Supply is challenging the debate by the hon. Member for Itezhi-Tezhi, however the hon. Member for Itezhi Tezhi is no longer speaking as a District Commissioner, he is speaking as a Member for Itezhi Tezhi. May he continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection. Sir, in the Fifth National Development Plan …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Beene: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about consultation when drawing the budget. Certain stakeholders were invited to be part and parcel of this process. This has not worked well. This is because people have come forward to make an input to the budget as they would want. I am happy that the Government even wasted a lot of money on the Fifth National Development Plan. It was money worth wasting because it involved people from the grassroots to come up with the Fifth National Development Plan.

Madam Speaker, where we have a problem is on the implementation of the budget. At the moment, we have the Yellow Book, but the problem is that the Constitution hinders this process from being meaningful to the people we represent.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Beene: Madam Speaker, how do we increase the monies allocated to institutions in this House. If K12 trillion is not enough, we need to increase it, but we cannot because we are restricted by the Constitution. So, our main problem is the Constitution.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Let the Members of Parliament rise in this House so that the clauses are changed meaningfully …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: … rather than leaving this to the Executive.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order and I know that the speaker on the Floor was not in the House the past five years, but people like the ones in front will agree with me. Is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to insinuate that this Parliament has never changed the figures in the budget when only a year or so ago, there was a motion from the Opposition that made us make some changes. Is he in order to mislead the country when he is very ignorant about what happened in this House?

The Deputy Speaker: Withdraw the word ignorant.

Mr Tetamashimba: Madam Speaker, is he in order to misinform the nation that we have never done this, when in 2005, there were changes to the figures brought up by some very clever Members of Parliament on your left …

Hon. Opposition Members: Withdraw.

Mr Tetamashimba: I withdraw that statement, but is he in order to mislead the nation.

The Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister has raised a point of order on what the hon. Member has said in his debate. Let me encourage all of us here that the debate has just begun. Let us all, particularly the hon. Members on the right have an opportunity to correct any perceived misinformation from the other side.

May you continue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: Madam Speaker, I am aware that according to the regulations, we cannot increase the Budget as it was already presented by the hon. Minister and that is a fact. May be we can only omit or reduce an item of a vote.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes.

Mr Beene: I am in order Madam Speaker. What I am saying and emphasising is that as a Member of Parliament, I am making an earnest appeal to have the law amended so that we revisit the Constitution and it becomes meaningful to the people who brought us to this House and whom we are accountable to.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: That is just a fact. The Fifth National Development Plan does not move in line with the budget as it is outlined. In my district, the first priorities are the two roads as Itezhi-Tezhi is linked by two major roads. The Namwala/Itezhi-Itezhi road is impassable. To go to Namwala in June/July, one has to use a vehicle. On the Itezhi-Tezhi/Mongu Road, our priority at district level and that of the local Government was Itezhi-Tezhi Road which is not a priority in this Budget. So, it is not reflected. Instead, it is misleading to say the Fifth National Development Plan is in line with the Budget. The problem is everything is left to the Executive. I still believe that we have to look at the statute of the Constitution if the Budget is going to be meaningful to the Zambian people.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Madam Speaker, everyone is saying this Budget is a good one. They could be right, but for me I will not say whether this Budget is good or not until I see how or what the people of Katombola Constituency are going to benefit from this Budget.

Madam Speaker, why do I say so? Because Katombola Constituency has 800 peasant farmers, but only 100 are supported. Until all the 800 farmers are supported, to me, this Budget is not as good as it is on paper.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Until all the maize is bought from the 100 farmers, to Katombola Constituency, this budget will be meaningless.

Madam Speaker, we are talking of poverty reduction. We cannot reduce poverty in the rural areas if the crops are not bought. Right now in my constituency, we have Contagious Bovine Plural Pneumonia (CBPP) and we all know that. In two wards, Ngweze and Siakaunzwe, the animals are almost wiped out. The Government is saying that for small or big animals, they are going to give us K500,000. At the moment, you cannot find an animal that you can buy at K500,000. The cheapest animal is about K1.2 million. Now, if a farmer is going to be given K500,000 for one animal, what will they do to replace the animals they have lost? That is a loss.

Madam, the duty of the Government is to improve the lives of people and not to reduce them from one to half by giving them half the price of an animal. Until my farmers are compensated handsomely or as they deserve, this Budget might not be meaningful to us.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, since the Government knows that we have Contagious Bovine Plural Pneumonia and that our animals have been wiped out, the funds for restocking must be doubled this time because we are going to start buying animals from scratch. Thank God the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, Mr Mpombo, is laughing. It means he understands what I am talking about.

Madam, there are no veterinary officers in my constituency. Those that were there were retired. The people have to go to Livingstone to get veterinary officers who will test their animals, especially with this Contagious Bovine Plural Pneumonia. They come from Livingstone and this means that a farmer has to look for money, travel to Livingstone from Nyawa, pay for the officer from Livingstone to Nyawa and back to Livingstone. Really, do we have a caring Government, no.

Mr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kaingu: Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola in order to debate a national Budget like it is a small Budget for her constituency.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member has raised a point of order and he is concerned that the hon. Member on the Floor is debating the national Budget as if it is a constituency budget. The ruling from the Chair is that the hon. Member debating is a Member of Parliament for Katombola, and therefore, can choose to be national or look at the issues affecting her constituency, which is not the same as the hon. Minister.

May the hon. Member continue, please.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I thank you for education my husband.


Mrs Musokotwane: Madam, I was saying that we have no veterinary officers. Farmers have to pay for transport to travel to Livingstone to fetch veterinary officers to come and look at their animals. We need a condon line at Bombwe …

Hon. Members: Condom!


Mrs Musokotwane: Cordon!


Mrs Musokotwane: … cordon line because that is where the animals from the Western Province enter through to Kazungula. These are the animals that brought the Contagious Bovine Plural Pneumonia in my constituency.

Madam, we had a veterinary officer in that area who was very compromised. I now hear that they have given us a new but all the same, he is only alone and the boundary is long. The people carrying these animals might not pass through a place where they know that there is a veterinary officer. I would like to urge the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to provide a cordon line at Bombwe.

Madam Speaker, this afternoon I asked a question, but there was communication breakdown between me and the minister. When I said distributing maize, I did not say that they were going to do it …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member may not bring the previous debate into the present debate. That was dealt with.

May the hon. Member continue, please.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 maize is still lying around in sheds. Right now, that maize cannot be consumed by human beings, only by animals. We need to make plans for the maize for this season so that it does not go to waste like the maize from the previous seasons.

Madam, we in Kazungula District will applaud the Budget when we will be given more teachers for our schools. At the moment, the teachers are not enough. We will praise the Budget when our community schools will be upgraded. In my constituency, I have more community schools than Government schools. I have more than sixty community schools and fifty-three Government schools. I will appreciate it very much if the Government is looks into this problem. However, if they upgraded my community schools, I will not worry very much. Right now, they are made of pole and mud. Can the Government help us turn our community schools into permanent structures? This is because their policy is to post Government teachers to schools where there are permanent structures only. The Government is not buying our maize from our communities, hence this poverty, and it is difficult for us to build our community schools into permanent structures. We need the Government to help us. That is why I am appealing to the 2007 Budget. In Katombola Constituency, we are watching to see how many schools are going to be upgraded.

Madam Speaker, you have heard that we only have fifty-three Government schools. This means that the level or standard of education in my constituency is low. Actually, I need to know from the hon. Minister of Education how many basic schools in Katombola Constituency sent pupils to Grade Ten. I will be surprised if there will be any. I know very well that a quarter of the number of pupils that failed is coming from constituency. However, we were told that they should enter into adult education. Therefore, we are requesting the Government to electrify our schools so that we can go into adult education. As it is, we have not facilities for adult education.

Madam Speaker, can I also ask the Government to help us increase the number of girls in our schools. We all know from the results that were read yesterday that the majority of the failures and those who were absent from the examinations are girls. We also know very well that when you educate a girl, you educate the whole nation.


Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, women and girls have to walk long distances to fetch water. That is why most of them fail and are absent from schools because they walk long distances to fetch water. By the time they come back, they are tired. They still have to walk long distances again to go to school. By the time they reach school, they are tired.

Let me also talk about schools. The facilities in our schools leave much to be desired. Most of the schools are far away apart and generally pupils have to walk long distances. Now, because of this, you will find that girls miss school. One will also find that the facilities in schools are not conducive. I urge Government to make sure that schools are built nearby so that pupils are able to go home during break and then go back to school. If this is done, girls will not be able to miss school.

Madam Speaker, let me talk about education. At the moment, teachers are mistreated. I think it is important to respect teachers. How can somebody just wake up one morning and say all teachers are suspended? Who is going to suffer if this is done? It is the children that are going to suffer. We all know that teachers are essential workers. I think the policy in the ministry should be changed.

Madam Speaker, another issue is decentralisation. What is the Government going to do about the capacity of councillors? This budget should address this because the councillors are the ones who are going to look after the funds that are going to come from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. They need capacity building because this exercise is going to take 15 years. I am sure a lot of us would have died by the time the exercise would be completed. I wish the Government could come up with a good policy say, for example, for 3 years only, the Government gives district councils K20 billion each, K30 billion each for municipal councils and K40 billion each for city councils. Are you sure we are going to talk about boreholes and feeder roads as hon. Members?

Hon. Members: No.

Mrs Musokotwane: This is because councils are going to work on this. What is happening now is that Government is giving them small grants which are not doing anything, especially for people in rural areas. The grants are completely nothing compared to the services that are needed.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, most of the clinics in my constituency have no drugs. We always hire a doctor from Livingstone once a week to go round the district to check on HIV/AIDS patients and if there are no drugs, how is he going to work? I urge the Government to give us more drugs.

Let me also say something about doctors and nurses. Most of our doctors and nurses have left this country because of the poor conditions of service in the Ministry of Health. When they come back, it is such a hassle for them to be employed even when we know very well that doctors and nurses are essential. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health has to write to the Permanent Secretary at Cabinet Office to seek permission to employ who also has to write to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to find out if there are funds to employ and meanwhile people are dying in hospitals. This is cumbersome. I think it is important to find a short cut to this kind of thing. After all, we knew when they left that they were qualified doctors. Why should it take so long for the ministry to employ them back? Why should they go through this hassle of being employed when they come back? I urge the Government to employ more doctors and nurses in hospitals and clinics. This budget should have some contingency money so that when doctors and nurses come back, they do not have to go through that hassle of being employed because there will be money readily available.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, this is going to be a good budget if all the points I have raised will be taken seriously.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko (Mwembeshi): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this golden opportunity to deliver my maiden speech.

Let me start by congratulating Mr Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole House on their unique re-election in the Zambian politics. I also congratulate Madam Speaker for her election. Secondly, let me also congratulate all re-elected and newly elected hon. Members on the recent held tripartite elections of 2006.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, I will be failing in my duties if I do not mention my late President and the new President. Our late President, Mr Anderson Kambela Mwanamubotu Mazoka, and his election management team to have built a strong foundation for UPND and for all Zambian people and indeed to those who shared the same vision for Zambia. May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, in the same vein, I want to congratulate our new President, Mr Haakainde Hichilema known as HH, to have put up a great fight during the ended tripartite elections. I wish him well in all his work as he is soldiering on to the year 2011 tripartite elections.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, the last tripartite elections were not easy, especially in Mwembeshi Constituency where three important people from Government came to Mwembeshi to campaign for their candidate. It was hard. Clearly, there was an imbalance during the campaign and this was levelled against me in favour of my opponent from the MMD. However, I was able to defeat him.

Madam Speaker, I owe it to the people of Mwembeshi in whom I give my trust, confidence and love. I promise the people of Mwembeshi that I shall serve them to the very best of my ability like I have always done in the past.

I shall forever remain indebted to the people of Mwembeshi. To all those friends, relatives, party cadres and the loving Zambians who helped me in campaigning using SMS messages, I say God Bless you all.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, coming to agriculture, on behalf of the people of Mwembeshi, I would like to echo President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC ‘s sentiments that with the support of good agricultural policies, effective and efficient delivery of input and favourable weather conditions, our farmers can perform well.

To the contrary, in Mwembeshi Constituency, our farmers are not doing very well due to the lack of Government support to our farmers.

Our people are hard working farmers, but the Government is not supporting them at all. Many people there are not benefiting from the Agriculture Support Programme owing to the fact that the Government is failing to deliver seed and fertiliser to Mwembeshi Constituency, which is only 155 kilometres. The Government prefer to deliver these inputs to Mumbwa Boma, which is about 165 from Lusaka, knowing very well that our farmers are so poor such that they cannot even afford to hire a track from Mwembeshi to Mumbwa to go and ferry fertiliser and seed for their fields.

Madam Speaker, the people who are benefiting from this Government support programme are government workers at the expense of our peasant farmers.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: In Mwembeshi Constituency Government workers and co-operative officials are selling these commodities to commercial farmers at a cheap price. One case is still in court and the former Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives is aware of it. There are records from Shibuyunji and West Wood Police Stations.

Madam Speaker, let me explain on the irrigation programme. For the past five years in this august House, Hon. Sikatana was dancing telling us about the irrigation system.

Madam Speaker, a lot has been said in this august House in the last five years about the irrigation scheme and we were told that this project would start from the district that is from Mumbwa up to Mwembeshi. To date, the irrigation scheme has not started. Therefore, when is the irrigation scheme going to start in Mumbwa District and Mwembeshi Constituency, in particular?

Madam Speaker, despite submitting several reports to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives on the poor rain pattern in Mwembeshi Constituency, the Government has not been listening to the cries of the people of Mwembeshi. Our plea have been falling on the deaf ears.

Madam Speaker, let me now say one or two things on the Food Reserve Agency. The people of Mwembeshi are urging the Government to do away with the Food Reserve Agency and replace it with National Agricultural Marketing Board (Namboard). Namboard spread countrywide and has strong sheds, depots and marketing centres, which the FRA does not have.

The FRA in its current form is a source of worry to many farmers. Its operations are ad hock and unpredictable.

Madam Speaker, in Mwembeshi Constituency we have free agricultural training centres that has been run down. I remember in the last two years, money was allocated to go and work on these centres, but to date, nothing has taken place and nobody knows where this money has been taken to.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: My appeal to the Government is that they should give us money to rehabilitate the three agricultural training centres.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, on the issue of the livestock production, many people in Mwembeshi are becoming poor and poor because their cattle are dying every day due to various preventable diseases that continue to ravage the livestock in the constituency. Many reports have been made available to relevant authorities, but the response has been poor and very negative. What people want are dip tanks and water dams for their animals.

Mr Speaker, the rural electrification exercise has not started in Mwembeshi. We have schools, health centres, police and houses that need to be connected to the national grid. Unfortunately, no power has been connected to both Government and private institutions.

Despite the ZESCO cables passing through the constituency to Mumbwa Boma, there is no electricity in Mwembeshi. Failure by the Government to provide electricity that can easily be tapped from the national grid shows serious disrespect for the people of Mwembeshi. No wonder the people there feel neglected by that Government.

Madam Speaker, this House has been approving monies for roads. There was K530 million in 2004, K530 in 2005 and the same amount in 2006 was allocated for Road D3534 D183 D554.


Mr Kasoko: These monies have not been sent to our constituency. Two weeks ago we had a workshop here at Parliament and when I saw a document that was prepared by the ZRA, our roads were put on a programme for 2008. My question is that who is holding on to all the money that we have been approving in this House?

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Kasoko: Can somebody explain to me where the K1.6 billion has gone so that I can go and explain to our people out there?

Mr Muntanga: Teta!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, Mwembeshi roads and bridges remain a nightmare.

The former Minister of Works and Supply informed the august House that there was a lot of money available for construction and rehabilitation of bridges, but to date, no bridge has been worked on.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Those who were here the last five years are aware. When the former Minister of Works of Supply Ms Malinomalino Nsingo …


Mr Kasoko: … Marina Nsingo stood up in here and asked hon. Members to make submissions because there was money for the construction of bridges. We made submissions. We went to the Ministry of Works and Supply several times, but to date, not even one bridge has been worked on in Mwembeshi Constituency.

The other case in point is the sixty-year old Chirundu Bridge which is in a shocking state. Madam Speaker, I implore the Government to provide these services to the people of Mumbwa and Mwembeshi Constituency, in particular. These people also deserve Government attention just like their counterparts in urban areas. They are also Zambians and need to enjoy their share of the national cake. This is not asking for too much.


Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, out of twenty-seven schools in Mwembeshi Constituency, only one has been given money for rehabilitation. Those schools were built almost fifty years ago. In forty years, this House approves money that ends up in Mumbwa every year.

Mr Muntanga: Dr Chituwo!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, for the last five years the money that was provided by this House was doing jobs in Mumbwa Constituency …

Hon. Opposition Members: Chituwo!

Mr Kasoko: … at the expense of people of Nangoma and Mumbwa. This time around we want that money we are going to approve in the Budget this year.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, through you, I would like to call on the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to ensure that a palace is built for Senior Chief Shakumbila that the Government promised to build during a by-election four years ago.


Mr Kasoko: They promised the chief and that chief died, but the palace has not been constructed. When is the Government going to construct this new palace?


Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, in my conclusion …

Mrs Musokotwane: Do not stop continue!

Mr Kasoko: … I would like to call on the Government not to sell Mpulungu Harbour as they are planning to. Instead, the Government must look for donors and local funding to deepen the Mpulungu Harbour like what the Tanzanian Government did on their side.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: This country will start making a lot of money if the harbour is deepened because many ships will be loading and off loading from Mpulungu Harbour.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, this, will be another source of revenue for the Government.

Madam Speaker, Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA) was also doing very well for this country. Those people on your Right are planning to sale TAZARA.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, the first Republican President (Dr K. Kaunda) made an effort to appeal to the Chinese Government to come in and assist in putting up TAZARA. Why are you now intending to sale TAZARA?

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, it is just like the TAZAMA Pipe Line and the closures at Indeni Oil Refinery- we know what you have in your minds.


Mr Kasoko: You want to sale …


Mr Kasoko: You want to wake up one day and say that we are selling the Indeni Oil Refinery because it is giving us problems when it is not even giving you problems.

Mr Mubika: On a point of order, Madam!

Hon. Opposition Members: It is his maiden speech!

Madam Speaker: Order, a point order is raised!

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member for Mwembeshi, who is debating so well, in order to allege that the Government is planning to sale TAZARA. Could he produce the evidence?  I seek your ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Even the maiden speech can be corrected if need arises. The concern raised by the hon. Deputy Minister is that the hon. Member on the Floor is misleading this House on a fact that the Government intends to sale Indeni and TAZARA. The hon. Member has, therefore, requested the hon. Member on the Floor to substantiate this allegation. The hon. Member may consider this very serious allegation and either substantiate or withdraw. He may continue!


Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, this Government is fond of privatising companies …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: I withdraw the statement that they want to sale TAZARA.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, year in year out, this House has been approving money to renovate the State House. When is that Government going to stop renovating State House? Who are making the State House dirty?


Mr Kasoko:  Where that Government is renovating and painting the State House every day or every year.

Mrs Musokotwane: Hammer!

Mr Kasoko: Madam Speaker, in the Yellow Book, there is a lot of money provided for that. There was an allocation of K4.2 billion in 2005 for renovations at State House. Another allocation of K4.2 billion was provided in 2006. Today, again, there is an allocation of K1.5 billion.


Mr Kasoko: What type of State House is this which is being renovated everyday?

Madam Speaker, I end here and I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Order

(Debate adjourned)



The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

The House adjourned at 1919 hours until 0900 hours Friday, 16th February, 2007