Debates- Tuesday, 13th February, 2007

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Tuesday, 13th February, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have been informed that in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President (Mr R. B. Banda) who is attending to other national duties, Hon. G. W. Mpombo, MP, Minister of Defence, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I thank you.




The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 8th February, 2007, the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., issued a statement in Mpulungu wherein he stated that an amount of K3 Trillion of public funds had been stolen by public service workers. The President was commenting on the brief he had received from the Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Management Division.

The statement by His Excellency become a subject of a point of order by Hon. Guy Scott, Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central. Sir, in your ruling, you directed that I make a statement to clarify the matter.

Mr Speaker, it has now been confirmed that the figure of K3 trillion was as a result of an error in calculation. The correct figure of the amount of money alleged to have been misappropriated by some civil servants is K36,675,745,936. The President did issue a public statement on Saturday, 10th February, 2007 on the matter and apologised for the wrong figure given earlier. The amount involves 326 public workers in various ministries and covers the period 2003 to 2007. The break down is as follows:

 (i) Fraudulent Activities      K35,675,745,936

(ii) Irregular payment of Housing Allowance 
 in the Ministry of Education     K     417,264,144

Mr Speaker, for most of the old cases where investigations were concluded, disciplinary action was taken and appropriate punishment, including imprisonment and dismissal, meted out to the culprits. The following are the details of the action taken against the erring 326 officers:

 (i) Surcharged       7

 (ii) Surcharged and reprimanded    195

 (iii) Surcharged and demoted    6

 (iv) Surcharged and retired    21

 (v) Dismissed      13

 (vi) Under investigations     15

 (vii) Under investigations and suspended   7

 (viii) Suspended and arrested    62

Mr Speaker, for the cases under the Ministry of Education, which I have indicated separately which, indeed, constitute the majority of the 195 who were surcharged and reprimanded, it was discovered that many teachers were being coerced to share the money meant for housing allowance. The money would have been surplus due to either a teacher having died or been transferred to another school. In other words, teachers were sharing balances of any money left over after paying those who genuinely deserved the housing allowance. It was, therefore, felt that the appropriate punishment should be to reprimand and surcharge the culprits, so that the money comes back to the Government.

Sir, the habit of sharing left-over public funds at the paying points seems to be rampant in many ministries. Even salaries for deceased officers are shared and not surrendered back to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. We are following up a number of these cases and apart from sealing the loopholes, those involved will be charged and surcharged and, perhaps, even be dismissed.

Mr Speaker, relating to the above statistics, we do have the lists of the names of the officers and the amounts involved in all cases. However, taking into account Parliamentary Practice and Procedures, we are unable to provide this august House with the list of those involved. I wish to assure the House that we will continue to strictly monitor the use of public funds and take stern action against those abusing their offices of trust as public officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement which has been given by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wonder if the hon. Minister would care to clarify what he understands by zero-tolerance of corruption. He has given a breakdown of over three hundred cases that are straightforwardly corrupt. If I heard him correctly, he said that the number of people arrested is less than one in five of those and the others have simply been surcharged. How would it take four years to get this far?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the point of order from the hon. Member for Lusaka Central was on the figure, which His Excellency the President mentioned in Mpulungu. I want to assure him that this is not the only amount of money that the Government has been following in cases of corruption. So, as much as we are discussing the K3 Trillion, there are other cases that have already gone through the courts where officers have been discharged, dismissed or imprisoned. Indeed, our understanding of zero-tolerance to corruption is that any case of corruption, to begin with, must be reported to the authorities and once we know, remedial action will be taken against the erring officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, most of these civil servants have built houses using these funds. Is the Government going to confiscate these properties so that they sell them and get back our money? I want to know what the Government is doing about these properties that have been built by civil servants using stolen money.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the current arrangement is that when we find a case where a civil servant has stolen Government money and has acquired a property or an asset, the case is dealt with by the Drug Enforcement Commission so that it comes under money laundering. That means we confiscate the assets that have been acquired by trying to clean the stolen money. In fact, there are cases where property has been confiscated and sold to recover public funds.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I am pretty sure the President did not just pick up the figure of K3 trillion from nowhere.

Mr Speaker: Order! You are debating. Ask the question.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, what action is being taken against the officer who misinformed the President about the K3 trillion?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, no action is being taken against the officer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, in explaining the K36 billion, the hon. Minister referred to the K35 billion which arose from the Ministry of Education and out of this K35 billion, he attributed the sum of K417 million to earlier house payments. What happened to the rest?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I think it is better we debate the issue of principle against corruption. I do not remember reading the numbers which the hon. Member is mentioning. I said K417 million is attributed to the Ministry of Education and not K35 billion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that some of the civil servants were put on forced retirement. Did the Government reimburse the money?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I presume the hon. Member of Parliament is trying to find out whether, in fact, the officers who were retiring reimbursed the money. I can assure him that they did.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, earlier on, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, through the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning, informed the nation that the amount of money stolen or which had gone missing for housing allowances was K100 billion. I wonder whether this K100 billion has been taken into account in arriving at the K36 billion that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is talking about or that is separate money still missing. I also want to know whether, indeed, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning also miscalculated this money.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the statement I made today was to clarify the statement by the Head of State and not a statement by the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning. Therefore, I am unable to answer that question.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bonshe (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, the cases which have been mentioned by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning are fraud and theft. I think these are criminal cases and not civil cases. As far as I am concerned, criminal cases are usually taken to court. I wonder why they arrived at only surcharging these people instead of being criminally dealt with so that it could deter further crimes.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I mentioned a figure of fifty-two civil servants who are under suspension and are arrested. When you are arrested, you are taken to court and that is a criminal case. The issues I mentioned on surcharge, I made it very clear that these are the teachers who were given money wrongly and irregularly. Therefore, I already made an explanation on that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, the figure of K3 trillion was mentioned without a period being given. I am gland that the hon. Minister has clarified that, actually, it is K36 billion over a period of four years from 2003 to 2007.

Sir during this period, there have been Audit Reports that have been presented to this House which show that larger amounts than K35 billion were misappropriated or embezzled and now the hon. Minister has stated that the total amount in this period is K35 billion. Could he state whether that is, indeed, the amount that has been embezzled from Government coffers or whether this is a selected figure and leaving out other amounts that were reported by the Auditor-General. If that is the case, would he came back later and inform the nation on the actual amounts that were embezzled between the two dates that he mentioned which are 2003 and 2007 because only then, would he clarify the statement by the Head of State who said one third of last year’s Budget was embezzled.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I indicated that the Head of State was making a comment on a report received from the Permanent Secretary, Personnel Management Division. I did not say a report from the Auditor-General. I do not know the purpose of that report and I am not aware whether the information of K36 billion which I have informed the House was collected from the Audit Report. If the House wants us to go and add up those figures from the Audit Report, that will be a different directive. All I was explaining was that the figure that the Head of State mentioned was from a report received from Public Service Management Division. I am not aware of its purpose or whether the information covered the audit report and the cases which were mentioned.

I thank, you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has stated that it is not only the figures that were reported, but that there are other figures that were also misappropriated. Is it not wise to start thinking in order that we must enhance accountability for public funds that members of the Executive in Government who sit in this House be part of the signatory process in order to enhance accountability of these funds? They must not be the only ones, but part of the signatory process in order to enhance accountability because this has been going on for a long time.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Namwala was not in this House when we were debating the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) issues. Some years back, we decided to involve hon. Members of this House in controlling the CDF. Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, the hon. Member for Namwala was not, then, a Member or Parliament. Otherwise, there were members of Parliament who were accused of misappropriating CDF funds. Therefore, it has not been thought prudent to involve very powerful hon. Members of this House in dealing with public funds. We want to save them from being arrested. We prefer that we still leave this to the Civil Service which also gives continuity and also does not get tempted to use money for other reasons apart from political reasons.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there are any immediate plans which they have put in place to avoid the re-occurrence of this problem.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, yes, there are, indeed, plans that we have put in place.

When opening this Session of Parliament, His Excellency the President mentioned some of the programmes that we are implementing. Apart from that, we recently changed the way of doing business. Like I indicated, we have computerised most of our operations and these will be less accessible to change of figures in terms of Government documentation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister be willing to revisit the manner in which culprits have been dealt with having been involved in embezzling that much amount of money especially if you would take into account that both the Financial Regulations and the General Orders set clear positions that when a criminal offence is involved, administrative action takes second place and not first place? Are you willing to revisit those who have been fired without being taken to court because embezzlement is embezzlement? It is not supposed to be straightforward fraudulent. It could also be taking advantage because all these are shades of stealing public money. Are you willing to revisit that?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, coming from one of the highest law enforcers, I am sure the advice is given in good faith. We have to revisit the way we deal with those people given public trust and misuse public assets, be it money or other assets. Obviously, that will require looking back at the law to see whether we can make these actions which we might not accommodate now, but be within the ambit of the law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Minister of Finance and National Planning what measures or assurances he is going to give this House and the people out there on the K12 trillion Budget that we are going to approve this year. What assurance is he going to give us that this money is in safe hands following the frauds in the Civil Service.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, that is a very important question.

Sir, the hon. Member has asked what assurance I will give that the people out there will be sure that their money will be well looked after.

Sir, there are 326 officers out of whom about twenty have already bee arrested and imprisoned. There is a list of them out there and they are the thieves.


Mr Magande: They are not in this House. All that I can plead for is for the people out there on both - the ones looking after public money as well as those who are supposed to benefit from public money - to start relating together so that those who are supposed to benefit can check. Like the hon. Member for Katombola said, if you see your neighbour who is a junior civil servant building a mansion, do not keep quiet. Find out. If you are not able to go next door to your neighbour to find out, report to somebody who can go and find out. If we do not do that, it is the people out there who will be sharing money while we are busy approving projects for developing the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, as against the background of going door by door to see who is building a mansion and who is not, has the hon. Minister considered using the tax regime for people to justify the wealth that they have? If not, why so? If permitted, I would like to know under which jurisdiction the determination of the classification of the penalty given to these 326 civil servants was done. Was it under the tribunal or just a disciplinary committee in the ministry to allow for such classification as reprimand, demotion and others? They need to be known.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, to answer the second part of the question I wish to state that we have organs such as the law enforcement organs, disciplinary enforcement organs, General Orders and the criminal codes that are used on officers if they are alleged to have committed an offence. So, out of this list, I mentioned that some are still under investigation. This means that an allegation has been made and the authorities, either the Ministry of Education Controlling Officer, the Chief Accountant or the Auditor-General at our ministry, are investigating to find the truth of that allegation. Once there is some truth to that allegation, then you decide under what circumstances that particular offence was committed and then apply various disciplinary measures. It is either you surcharge, take the case to be criminal or it goes to the Drug Enforcement Commission to be taken to court. In the courts, they might give different levels of penalties. They might say you go to jail or decide to surcharge the officer depending on how well the prosecutors present their case. So, there are various disciplinary codes, including the law itself, that we apply on alleged culprits.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell this House how much money, so far, has been recovered out of the K36 billion that has been stolen?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I am not able to give that figure except to say that about K20 billion of this amount is the one which affects the officers who have been arrested and their cases are in court. One of the big amounts is about K7 billion which was a public issue. In fact, we gave information when there was a problem at the newly-installed Centre for Motor Vehicle Licences. Some officers basically boggled the system and were feeding it with wrong information and about K7 billion was stolen by four officers who are now before the courts of law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister clarify the fraud cases concerning K35 billion that this has been so since 2003 because the Government decided not to employ permanent secretaries on a permanent basis but casual labourers as they are just on contract and, therefore, are not strict enough to avoid the various fraud cases that are occurring now? May he clarify that?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, controlling officers are not only permanent secretaries. They are, sometimes, directors of departments. So, it is not correct to say that we are losing money because permanent secretaries who are controlling officers are no longer interested since they are on contract. There are a lot of officers who are controlling officers, but are not permanent secretaries and are not on contract.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the head count that was done in the Ministry of Education - and huge amounts were spent on it - did not have any effect since we still have people not on the pay lists getting money.

Secondly, I would like to find out whether we have considered using the technology that has come in as a new way of finding out who is on the pay roll and who has retired.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I mentioned that the Ministry of Education, in particular, lost K417 million. That is part of the money which was found to have been paid out irregularly as housing allowance to teachers who are even staying in government houses. This exercise went through other ministries and the figures are not included in what I presented here.

The question of using the latest technology, as we say in our Information Technology (IT jargon), ‘garbage in is garbage out’. So, if officers decide to give the computer wrong information, it is going to make a wrong calculation and give you a wrong answer. So, everything still relies on the trust that the officers must give the public and the fact that they are actually putting in correct information. For example, you might have a teacher who retired in September last year and if somebody says the teacher retired in December, it means the other three months pay is going to end up in someone else’s pocket. That will be done clearly with a computer making the calculations. So, while we depend on the mechanical aspect which I said is going to be, we still believe that there must be ethics by the professionals that we recruit to look after public funds.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has told the House that the President was misinformed by some officers in a report and, as a result, he announced that the figure that was stolen was K3 trillion instead of K36 billion which, now, has been given as the correct figure. Now, the President stated that he was going to reveal the names of the people involved in these frauds, but now the Government has backed away from giving out these names. What is the hon. Minister going to do to try to stop these officers who are giving the President wrong information that these are the figures? Maybe, can he reveal the names when, in fact, the Government is not in a position to do that, so that Government continues to be embarrassed by these mistakes?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Luapula is making a distinction between the Government and the civil servants. Unfortunately, I do not see who is left once he removes the civil servants and only leaves a few politicians. So, it is the whole government system which he is asking not to make mistakes and I appreciate the advice.

I thank you, Sir.




273. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Works and Supply whether there were plans to tar the two (2) kilometre road leading to the Muoyo Royal Establishment.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Tetamashimba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Works and Supply has no immediate intentions to upgrade to tarmac standard the existing two-kilometre road leading to Muoyo Royal Establishment.

However, my ministry has plans of maintaining the two-kilometre access road leading to Muoyo. The 300 metres before the Muoyo Royal Establishment which has been heavily eroded will be reconstructed. The cost of doing the works has been estimated at K1.7 billion.

To this effect, a provision of K3.4 billion has been included in the 2007 annual work plan for carrying out emergency repairs of roads and bridges throughout the country.

Obviously, Sir, what was projected in the Annual Work Plan has been overtaken by the flood disasters the country has experienced and Western Province will not be spared as the water moves from North-Western Province. Meanwhile, the Road Development Agency has put all its regional engineers on alert and are providing weekly reports on flood damage of bridges and roads.

I thank you, Sir.


274. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) When the University of Zambia (UNZA) would build more students’ hostels, taking into consideration the current acute shortage of hostel accommodation at UNZA;

(b) how many UNZA students were currently accommodated;

(c) how many UNZA students required accommodation; and

(d) whether there were any plans to engage private contractors to build the hostels referred to at (a).

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, as far as sub question (a) is concerned, the University of Zambia (UNZA) has funds to construct one hostel and has completed tender procedures for the construction of one new hostel to accommodate at least 64 students. A foundation stone has already been laid at the Great East Road Campus between the central library and October Hall of Residence before construction begins. In addition, three more student hostels will be constructed during the course of this year, 2007, as provided for in the current budget.

With regard to part (b) of the question, the current hostel bed-space capacity of UNZA stands at 3,452 which means that there are 3,452 students who are accommodated and that figure is broken down into 2,456 males and 996 females.

As for part (c) of the question, almost all of the 8,430 full time registered students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels have requested for accommodation on campus. Thus, the estimated shortfall of student hostel accommodation stands at approximately two thousand, five hundred bed spaces.

In answering part (d) of the question, I wish to state that the university has, under review, proposals from various private corporations for construction works at the Great East Road Campus as well as Ridgeway Campus and is exploring the possibility of including additional hostels within the terms of public private partnerships.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, under what arrangements is the Government envisaging to partner the private constructors who intend to provide accommodation?

Mr Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, first of all the university has a very comprehensive Estate Development Plan which was approved by the University Council in 2005. The Estate Development Plan of the university is based on the public-private partnership using various modes of initiative. This is what the University Council under the current plan has approved and this cuts across a business pack of the university, the student’s hostels, staff houses, the stadium and various other estate development plans in the institution.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there is any time frame as to when the construction is going to finish because we are really anxious to see our children who are sleeping on the rooftops move into the rooms. In the same vein, is the ministry considering putting up renovations on the leaking roofs so that the money which is being spent on buying tents which are being put over those roofs can be channelled to the aid of the over 5,000 retirees, widows and orphaned children.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should understand that the last time a student hostel was constructed at the Great East Road Campus was 1980/1981 and that was twenty-six years ago. That was a long time. Mr Speaker, the current efforts should be appreciated by everybody in this august House. It is a very important step that has been taken by this Government to construct student’s hostels at the University of Zambia, Great East Road Campus.

Hon. PF Members: Answer the question!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, as far as the time frame is concerned, if the hon. Member, being the Member of Parliament for the area, cared, she could have requested for a detailed plan of the University of Zambia Estate Development. It is there in black and white, it is a public document and she can educate herself.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: As Member for that area, Sir, she should go to the institution and educate herself on such plans.

Mr Speaker, this is a short term, medium term and long term plan for the institution and the periods are clearly stated within the document itself. I would advise her to go and get that detailed document and educate herself.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: As far as the rehabilitation works are concerned, these are a continuous process which have been going on from 2003/2004.

If the hon. Member for the area cared, …

Hon. Government Member: Yes!

Professor Lungwangwa: … she should have gone to see for herself …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … the detailed works which are there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: The reports are there in place.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!


275. Mr Kasongo asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) How much money was required to pay off the electricity arrears owed to ZESCO by the Government from 2001 to date; and

(b) what measures the Government had taken to liquidate the electricity arrears owed to ZESCO to ensure that the company maintained its physical assets regularly.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government, as at 31st December 2006, owed the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) a total sum of K217,105,814,873 for electricity consumption by all the Government institutions.

The House may wish to note that out of the total sum of K217,105,814,873 alluded to, a sum of K7,800,000,000 is in relation to the period 1st January 2003 to December 31st 2006, and a sum of K209,305,814,873.32 is for the period prior to 1st January 2003.

Mr Speaker, on (b,) the Ministry of Finance and National Planning had in 2006 taken some measures to ensure that ZESCO and other utility companies’ bills were positively attended to, which included a centralised system of paying the bills. To this effect, during the period 1st January 2003 to 31st December 2006, the Government managed to settle a total sum K34,789,870,432.84 out of the total bill of K42,589,870,432.84 that was owed to ZESCO.

The sum of K7,800,000,000 owing as at the close of books of accounts for 2006 has been included in the 2007 Budget for the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for settlement.

I wish, further, to inform the House that all Ministries, Provinces and other Spending Agencies (MPSAs) have been urged to include reasonable amounts in their budgets to cater for their utility facilities usage during the Financial Year 2007.

Mr Speaker, the Government is determined to have the whole amount owed to ZESCO by various Government institutions for the period up to 31st December 2002 amounting to K209,305,814,973.52 settled within 2007.

However, as a measure to ensure that ZESCO also settles its indebtedness to the Government in relation to tax liabilities, it has been decided that a cheque swap process be conducted, so that both parties liquidate their liability status by K209,305,814,873.52 at the same . This process shall ensure that all the debts for prior years owed to ZESCO by the Government are fully cleared.

Finally, Sir, as a measure to forestall the accumulation of future arrears, the Government is studying the possibility of adopting the pre-paid system for use in all Government institutions. This is seen as a positive measure in limiting usage, as consumption shall be restricted to the resources available.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, you recall that sometime last year, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development informed this House that the Government owed the utility company the sum of ‘two hundred and something billion’. The hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is informing this House that as far as they are concerned the Government does not owe ZESCO any amount of money. Can you reconcile the two statements from the same ministry or the same Government?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the amount which was given by the Ministry of Energy and Water Development was for all customers. Suffice to say, we as Ministry of Finance and National Planning has admitted, I hope the hon. Member listened to my response, owing ZESCO an amount of over K209 billion. We should also look at it to say ZESCO owes the Government more than K206 billion, where we are saying we can swap the debts by saying ZESCO owes so much in tax arrears and we do a cheque swap.

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Shakafuswa: So, to answer the question that we have not admitted that we owe ZESCO, I wish to say that we do owe ZESCO K209 billion, which we are committed, as a Government, to settle.

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Deputy Minister’s answer with regard to the debt swap, I would like to find out if any of the amount owed by ZESCO to the Government represents penalties to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), and if so, whether the Government is going to consider doing away with the penalties seeing that ZESCO was put into that position through the Government not paying what it owed them.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, any taxpayer who defaults or delays paying tax is liable to penalties. There was very little relationship with what ZRA collects as tax and ourselves as a ministry. We keep at arm’s length. So, we do not intend to waive the penalty on ZESCO because part of the money which they have not paid to the taxman might have been the money paid by the hon. Member for Livingstone and it has nothing to do with the Government. As it has already been explained, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development informed us that ZESCO is owed over K400 billion. The balance of K200 billion, owed by the private sector, must be collected by ZESCO and then we tax them on that. So, we do not intend to forgive any taxpayer of any penalties, unless, the reasons are very good.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister to confirm that the failure by ZESCO to provide quality energy to the community which is experiencing lower energy is due to the fact that the Government has failed to fully liquidate its debt with ZESCO, and that is why ZESCO is experiencing this low frequency every time and the community is suffering.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, as we have already indicated, ZESCO is owed money even by private consumers. I am sure that if we brought the print-out from ZESCO, we will find out that even some of us in this House owe ZESCO money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Magande: So, we are all contributing to weakening the financial status of ZESCO. It is not only the Government except that it is the largest consumer and is also visible, but I do not know how much Hon. Muntanga, for example, owes ZESCO because that is a private arrangement between him and ZESCO.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kalomo.


Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I understand that the hon. Minister is getting overzealous by accusing me. However, I want this to be clarified. A year ago, ZESCO was on the verge of being privatised. We were informed, in this House, through your Committee, that the Government had liquidated its debt and made ZESCO commercially viable. Now, I am being made to understand that they have not done so by the hon. Minister’s report. May they put the record straight as this poses a threat to the existence of ZESCO.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, I did not mean that the hon. Member for Kalomo should rise on a question in which he is giving us wrong statistics. It was some five years ago when we said that we wanted to commercialise ZESCO. That is when we started getting rid of the debts to ZESCO. The figures that we gave were up to the end of December, 2006. Because the Government is a very large consumer, most of these amounts are only for the last one or two years. So, the situation is that, on a daily basis, the Government consumes and, on a daily basis, some of the bills are not paid.

I thank you, Sir.


276. Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security what system the Government had put in place to ensure that foreign investors complied with labour laws.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, my ministry has come up with a two-pronged approach to address this problem. These are:

(a) Tightening the labour laws through sealing of loopholes from abuse.

(b) Building capacity in the ministry to be able to conduct countrywide and comprehensive inspections.

Sir, with regard to labour law reviews, the Tripartite Technical Committee that was appointed by the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) recently completed its work and came up with proposals on how relevant sections of the current principal Acts could be strengthened. It is expected that these proposals would be endorsed by the meeting on the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council. Once the council has adopted the proposals, the normal procedures will be followed so that the proposed amendments are tabled before this House and the new law enacted.

As regards capacity building for labour inspections, my ministry has prioritised the building of capacity for both the Labour and Factory Inspectorate in its 2006 to 2010 Strategic Plan to ensure that adequate inspections are conducted. This is in the form of procurement of vehicles and other office equipment, recruitment of additional officers and training of existing staff.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, given the rising numbers of foreign investors, like we saw in Southern Province, whose actions are ultravires the labour laws, what is the ministry doing before the Principal Labour Act is repealed to ensure that investors, at the moment, follow the labour laws in their practices?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, currently, my ministry is intensifying the inspections of factories and companies to sensitise the employers on the need to comply with the labour laws. That is the activity that we are carrying out at the moment. As I mentioned sometime back in my speech, the current labour laws have not given us enough strength in terms of punitive measures to deter this activity but these will be included in the amended labour laws.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister on the time frame as to when these laws will be brought to Parliament.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council was supposed to have met from 15th to 16th, but other partners have just raised the concern that these dates are not suitable for them. They are proposing that we meet towards the end of this month. After that meeting, the amended laws will be presented to the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what measures the Government has put in place in order for it not to flout labour laws as regards to casualisation within its own ranks and as to late payments of salaries.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, as I have already stated, is talking to employers to bring to their attention the obligation of complying with the law. We have no discrimination. All the employers are being talked to.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what plans his ministry has to encourage people who are not represented by the unions, to have unions at their places of work.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the law requires that any company or any working place where employees are more than twenty-five, the workers should be represented by a union. The ministry is being guided by that law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, the ministry’s direct engagement with the employers has shown that this works and a case in point is Sun International which has now stopped casualisation. Is the hon. Minister considering engaging other employers who are flouting laws? I have in mind employers who are notorious in that they have more casuals than permanent employees, such as, Shoprite. Have they considered doing this?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, this exercise of sensitising and talking to employers includes every employer who is on our list and, indeed, the employer that the hon. Member has referred to has been talked to on several occasions. The only thing is that we are getting different responses from the employers. Some are responding quickly and others require repeated reminders before they respond, but otherwise we are doing everything possible. All the employers will be talked to and when we have the amended Act, it will give us teeth and we shall certainly bite.

I thank you, Sir.


277. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what measures the Government had taken to search for foreign markets for Zambia’s cassava products.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has been working with the Export Board of Zambia (EBZ) in sourcing export markets for cassava through trade exhibitions, enquiries to Missions Abroad and study tours. The search for foreign markets is an on-going process. On the other hand, the Government is supporting efforts to set up cassava processing plants within the country in order to promote the processing of cassava into various exportable cassava products.

Mr Speaker, before we research and explore foreign markets, the Government looks at satisfying the local market. As hon. Members are aware, cassava is the staple food for those of us who come from North-Western and Northern provinces.

Hon. Opposition Member: And Western Province.

Mr Kalenga: And Western Province. Cassava in Zambia is being used a lot in the industries. Uses of cassava include the making of industrial starch and in baking. Cassava is also being used in stock feed formulation. Plans are underway to start a cassava commercialisation project that will help farmers to add value to raw cassava through processing and then sell the high value by-products. This will mean increased usage of cassava which will result in more market and hence improved price for the commodity. All this will sum up into improved incomes for cassava farmers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minster implying that they are going to increase funding to cassava purchasing, especially that thousands and thousands of bags were not purchased last year?

Mr Kalenga: Mr Speaker, we will do that by providing an enabling environment and we will help farmers to commercialise cassava. At the moment, discussions are underway with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to put up plants in some provinces. This will increase production as they will buy from the farmers.

I thank you, Sir.





The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dr. Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, it is my great honour and privilege to address the House on the Prohibition of the Development Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons Bill of 2007. This Bill emanates from the obligation by state members of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC). Among other requirements, member states have to establish national authorities and legislation that will domesticate the convention.

The Bill, Mr Speaker, seeks to:

(a) establish the Zambian National Authority on the chemical weapons convention and define its powers and functions;

(b) prohibit the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons;

(c) provide for the destruction of chemical weapons;

(d) give effect to the convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling of chemical weapons and on their destruction; and

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

Mr Speaker, the International Community agreed in the Geneva Protocol of 17th June, 1925, to prohibit the use, in war, of poisonous or other gases and of biological weapons in that convention. In addition, this position was re-affirmed in the Convention of the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxic Weapons and on their Destruction signed in London, Moscow and Washington on 10th April, 1972.

Mr Speaker, Zambia forms an integral part of the International Community and, therefore, is bound by international agreements and conventions to which she is part. To this effect and in the spirit of the foregoing international instruments, Zambia ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention to prohibit the development, production, stockpiling or deployment of chemical weapons on our soil. Zambia became a signatory State to the Chemical Weapons Convention on 13th January, 1993 and subsequently ratified it on 9th February, 2001. By doing so, Zambia joined many other nations in the global effort towards the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and destruction of chemical weapons.

Chemical weapons are of great concern for the International Community as they are weapons of mass destruction that can easily fall into wrong hands and may be used for terrorist purposes. It also agreed that member States should be allowed to develop chemical science within the framework of the convention or for purposes permitted under the convention.

Mr Speaker, although Zambia does not posses chemical weapons, it is important that she enacts the legislation for the following reasons:

(i) The enactment of legislation to domesticate the convention will re-affirm Zambia’s stance and commitment to efforts aimed at maintaining international peace and security. As a strong advocate of general and complete disarmament, it is incumbent upon Zambia to demonstrate this position by actively engaging in the international efforts in this field. As such, Zambia needs to contribute towards international efforts to maintain peace and security by taking measures that will prohibit the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons on her territory. This is in the spirit of the United Nations Charter, whose principles Zambia has always observed since independence;

(ii) Zambia, as a developing, nation will be able to explore ways and means of positioning herself on the international arena so as to significantly benefit from the peaceful use of chemical science as provided for in the convention. There are currently 182 States that are party to the convention, a scenario that broadens the possibility of the international convention becoming of the universal character. This, therefore, provides a platform on which the international co-operation can effectively be promoted for lawful and peaceful use of certain chemicals.

The international co-operation will enable the country’s chemical industry to develop, by virtue of its being an active party to the convention. This is an aspect that comes out very clearly in the convention, which the New Deal Administration will fully take advantage of;

(iii) In the same vein, our country already enjoys a good deal of financial and technical support rendered by both the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and fellow member States. In this regard, Zambia has continued to receive offers for its nationals to attend various courses sponsored by OPCW through generous contributions made by state parties to the convention. In addition, recently, the Government, through the Provisional National Authority, received laboratory equipment financed by the European Union (EU) worth more than 100 Euros from the OPCW. The equipment is housed at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Zambia. This has built the capacity of the institution to carry out easier and faster analysis of chemical samples, which hitherto was a tedious and long process. Furthermore, it has presented an opportunity for our students at the University of Zambia to be able to train using advanced technology in chemistry.

Acquisition of this equipment was a result of hard work by our dedicated men and women both in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Zambia who ensured that the country competed favourably amongst many other countries that were also competing for the same equipment;

(iv) Legislation will create national legal framework for the state to effectively implement the provisions of the convention, especially the jurisdiction it provides, over all cases of breach of the convention occurring in Zambia. In light of the escalation of terrorism, the law will strengthen the Government’s capacity in dealing with possible abuse or abuses that may occur.

It will be recalled that in 2000, our alert law enforcement agencies apprehended a terror suspect who was later extradited to the United Kingdom. This is a clear example why it is of essence that the Government should create its own legal framework to deal with the problem at hand. Domestication of the Chemical Weapons Convention will, therefore, broaden the Government capacity to deal with possible attacks resulting from terrorist activities.

Mr Speaker, I wish to point out that the arrest and extradition of the terror suspect in 2005 demonstrated that Zambia was not immune to infiltration by terrorism of threats of the same. That was, indeed, a wake up call and it created the need for the country to reinforce her preparedness in dealing with issues of such nature. The enactment of legislation on this subject will strengthen the hand of our security personnel and other operatives directly or indirectly involved in the prevention of terrorism;

(v) The enactment of the legislation will also enhance the chances of Zambians gaining employment from the international organisations such as the OPCW and other in related fields. As our nationals will be able to receive specialised trained provided by OPCW, it will in turn, increase their chances to compete favourably for job opportunities in the organisation; and

(vi) Since one of the objectives of the OPCW is to promote international co-operation in the peaceful use of chemistry, Zambia also stands to benefit in this regard through the various programmes that bring together chemical industry personnel from around the globe to share and exchange the knowledge in this field especially in the light of the fast pace of technological advancement.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishya (Pambashe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to present your Committee’s view on the Bill referred to the House on 30th January, 2007.

Mr Speaker, I will be brief since your Committee’s Report is clear on their findings. Your Committee examined the Bill in detail and think that this House should accept the Bill with proposed amendments from your Committee.

Mr Speaker, the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons Bill (NAB 2/200) seeks to domesticate the Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC) following Zambia’s ratification of the same on 9th February, 2001. Despite the fact that Zambia does not posses chemical weapons, it is important that she enacts this legislation in order for her to reaffirm her desire to enhance the global efforts to achieving and maintaining the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Approval of the Bill by the House will greatly enhance international peace and security and would further reinforce the country’s commitment to the goal of achieving complete and general disarmament.

Mr Speaker, Zambia, as a developing nation, would also be able to significantly benefit from the financial and technical assistance that would be rendered by both the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and fellow State parties. The legislation would create a national legal framework for the State to effectively implement the provisions of the convention, especially with respect to jurisdiction over all cases of breach of the convention by Zambian nationals within and outside the country.

Mr Speaker, the enactment of the legislation would also enhance the opportunities for Zambians of gaining employment within the OPCW, which would in turn, result in skills development, and create their capabilities in harmonising the chemical industry for peaceful application. This also, in effect, demonstrates the Government’s desire to increase the employment opportunities for Zambians in international organisations.

Mr Speaker, since one of the objectives of the OPWC is to promote international co-operation in the peaceful use of the advances in the field of chemistry, Zambia stands to benefit in this regard through the various programmes that may bring together chemical industry personnel from around the globe to share and exchange knowledge in this area, especially in light of the fast pace of advances in the technology.

Sir, Zambia became a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention on 13th January, 1993, and subsequently ratified it on 9th February, 2001. By so doing, she joined many other nations in the global effort towards the prohibition of chemical weapons. These chemical weapons, which are toxic in nature, have been of great concern to the international community all along and are categorised as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). These can easily be used by terrorists. The convention, therefore, obliges State Parties to ensure that no one, including terrorists, is able to use toxic chemicals as weapons. If the Bill were enacted, it would enable Zambia meet the CWC obligation even though the target deadline of November, 2005 set by the 8th Conference of State Parties in 2003 has passed.

However, legislation would create a national legal framework that would enable the State to effectively implement the provisions of the convention, especially jurisdiction over cases of breach of the convention on the Zambian soil. It would enhance international peace through disarmament and promote international co-operation in the peaceful use of these advances in the field of chemistry. Furthermore, it will enable the country to receive assistance during any chemical attack.

Sir, the OPCW has already assisted Zambia in some way. For instance, the OPCW has assisted Zambia in the setting up of a new laboratory in the Chemistry Department at the University of Zambia. The assistance, among others, included laboratory equipment and the training of personnel to run the laboratory. The newly-acquired state-of-the-art equipment will, therefore, reduce the difficulties that are encountered like monetary and custom clearance in sending chemical samples to other countries for analysis.

Your Committee are of the view that the Bill, if passed into law, would not have any negative effect on the Zambian industry. However, there are laws in Zambia such as the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act (EPPCA) of 1990, Cap 204 of the Laws of Zambia and the Mines and Minerals Act that deal with the disposal and or destruction of toxic chemicals and that these laws need harmonisation with the current Bill.

Mr Speaker, inspection and laboratory testing are an important component in the control and prohibition of chemical weapons. It is, therefore, prudent to have well qualified personnel to meaningfully realise the functions of the authority. The Department of Chemistry at the University of Zambia should, therefore, be designated as the national testing centre for chemical weapons and their precursors.

Sir, the creation of this authority will need enough financial resources to effectively carry out its mandate. There is need to have adequate budgetary allocation for the smooth operation of the authority.

Mr Speaker, your Committee are of the view that Part II of Clause 5 (2) should be replaced to read: “The authority may invite any representatives of any organisations that campaign against the use of chemical weapons or deal with mattes relevant to the function of the authority”.

In conclusion, I wish to register my appreciation to all members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to their work and also to all the stakeholders who spared their valuable time to submit to your Committee their views on various issues and these were deliberated upon.

Sir, finally, your Committee wish to express their appreciation to you, Mr Speaker, and to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the invaluable and tireless assistance rendered to them throughout the deliberations.

Your Committee are hopeful that the observations and recommendations contained in their report will go a long way in helping the House make a decision on the said Bill.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to the Bill on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons.

Sir, I stand to support the Bill and I am doing so wholeheartedly because I am a crusader for peace and, as you know, Mr Speaker, I am a member of the AMANI Parliamentary Peace Forum which is campaigning for peace in the world and for the resolution of all conflicts through peaceful means.

Mr Speaker, this world would be safer without chemical weapons. I have been hearing some people, including hon. Members of Parliament wonder how Zambia can even think of banning chemical weapons when, first of all, we do not even have those chemical weapons. Secondly, they say that if we banned such chemical weapons, we would be left naked in the event that another country invaded us and started attacking us using these chemical weapons.

Sir, this is misplaced thinking because if every country in the world started arming itself from head to toe with chemical weapons, this world would not be safe. It would not make this world any safer to live in.

Mr Speaker, in so doing, I would like to say that while developing countries like Zambia are taking the initiative to domesticate the International Convention on Chemical Weapons, some developed countries, although being signatories to this convention, still possess some chemical weapons. We would like to appeal to them that this world would not be safer if we continued to stockpile these weapons. They should destroy them because their signing of that convention meant that they agreed to destroy all chemical weapons in their possession. However, the developed countries are showing double standards and hypocrisy by urging developing countries to ban chemical weapons or not even to develop them while they, themselves, are still in possession of such weapons. Those are double standards which will not make the world any safer.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the Bill and as a Member of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, it has come to my attention and the attention of the Committee that the definition of toxic chemicals, as defined in the current Bill, is limited because it just says that toxic chemicals are those that have harmful effects on human beings and animals.

Mr Speaker, this is too limited because chemical weapons have the capacity to affect even plants and the environment. Therefore, as your Committee, we have recommended that this definition be broadened to include the environment and plants. When chemical weapons are used in an environment like that of Zambia, it may not only harm animals and human beings but also our environment such as plants and vegetation.

Sir, I also support views that the current Bill could have the potential to strive for mineral development in Zambia. As you are aware, Zambia has many minerals, including uranium, which is in abundance in North-Western Province, the rising giant in Zambia.


Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, we know that uranium is on high demand throughout the world, especially in most countries that once developed nuclear weapons. My submission is that in the form in which the current Bill is, it will be difficult for Zambia to prospect, mine and export uranium. I say so because it will be classified as a radioactive substance. We would, therefore, recommend that the mining, prospecting and export of uranium should be exempted from the list of banned substances. This will make uranium a worthy product to legally exploit.

Sir, I would also like to submit that in the current Bill, the definition of a vehicle or vessel which is used to transport these banned chemical substances only refers to those vehicles and vessels that are registered in Zambia. This is erroneous because in the event that a Zambian or a foreigner used a vehicle or vessel that is not registered in Zambia, it would be very difficult for the Zambian authorities to impound that vehicle due as it would not be subject to the law. We, therefore, recommend that the definition be amended and broadened to include vehicles that are registered and those that are registered outside Zambia. As long as they are found to be carrying chemical substances within Zambian territory, those must be subject to the laws of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, there is one important subject which this Bill attempts to address and I am very happy that one of the benefits of domesticating international conventions is that you get the benefits of sound laws and democratic practices that are practiced in the rest of the world. For example, although the rules of Riot Control Agents appears to be normal and although Riot Control Agents are not considered to be weapons of mass destruction under the current Bill that we are considering, this will now become a prohibited substance in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, allow me to say that other definitions of the Riot Control Agent include the use of tear gas which the police in Zambia like using. This will now become a prohibited substance because the tear gas has the effect of disabling or incapacitating…

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, before we went on break, I was advancing the argument that this Bill on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons is welcome because the domestication of this international convention, will help us improve on good governance in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that this Bill seeks to prohibit the use of Riot Control Agents in the management of public disorder. Allow me to help other Members in understanding this issue by referring to the Bill and how they define the Riot Control Agents.

Mr Speaker, a Riot Control Agent is defined as any chemical not listed in the first sequence or third schedule, which can produce, rapidly in humans, sensory irritation or disabling physical effects, which disappear within a short time following the termination of exposure. It goes on to define a toxic chemical as any chemical which, through its chemical action on life processes, can cause death, temporally incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals and includes such substances, regardless of their method of production and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities in the missions or elsewhere. This is supported by Section III on the prohibitions of substances where it says:

“A person shall not ever or under any circumstances use that control agent as a national welfare.”

Mr Speaker, it is clear in the proposed Bill that the use of Riot Control Agents such as tear gas should be prohibited under the law. As far as I am concerned, this is welcome because it will remove draconian practices by the police where they use tear gas on defenceless civilians and schoolchildren who can never harm the police in any way.

Mr Speaker, not very long ago, in fact, last year, the police tried to use tear gas in Lusaka, Kalingalinga in particular, where one child died as a result of the teargas. Therefore, it is a dangerous aid harmful substance when used on human beings.

Mr Speaker, what is obtaining in developed countries is that when the police want to disperse or control a riotous crowd, they use other harmless and better methods of riot controls like just spraying water on that crowd and the crowd would disperse or  run away because water is a harmless substance compared to harmful substances like those found in teargas.

Therefore, Mr Speaker, I support the Bill wholeheartedly. When the Bill becomes law and somebody suffers as a result of police action, they will be free to sue the State.

Finally, I would like to say that even when this law takes effect in Zambia, we should take advantage of minerals like uranium in Zambia to develop our nuclear energy. The hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development has been projecting that soon Zambia will have a deficit of electricity because we do not have sufficient generating capacity from our hydro-power stations. Looking at the technology for the future, many countries are now resorting to nuclear energy to increase their electricity requirements.

In Zambia, we have the basic materials such as uranium. We have also trained many scientists. Some are working at the United Nations as atomic physicians and nuclear scientists. We can utilise our scientists for the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and not nuclear weapons.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, although I am in support of the Bill and the fact that we are domesticating what was earlier signed for by Zambia, I have made some observations on what we are about to do.

Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I find it very strange or funny that we have been asked to do things or stop the manufacture of chemicals that Zambia is not even producing. We have these big countries that are already producing chemicals and they are still stockpiling. They also have chemical weapons, but instead, they are telling small countries like Zambia not do anything like producing chemical weapons. We are now living in a dangerous world where big powers that are in possession of chemical weapons are directing small countries to do nothing about it. How do we defend ourselves?

Mr Speaker, we are now in a situation where we are proposing to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to give us authority to have a member to sit on this committee. Why should we have a foreigner sitting when we are domesticating what we have agreed internationally? Why are we asking for a UNDP officer to sit on this authority? We are asking somebody to be an overseer, inspector and someone who will always be around us. One day, you will not be surprised that you will be accused of having chemical weapons for mass destruction, as was the case in Iraqi.

Hon. Members: Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Mr Muntanga: I am sorry. Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Sir, when they looked for those weapons, they did not find any, but someone was removed from power. They are now allowing some people to sit on this committee. I totally disagree with this .If we are domesticating this law, why do we need a UNDP officer? Why should we have a foreigner to sit on this? I would only support the domesticating of this particular Bill in so much as it applies to Zambia. I would, therefore, like to commend your Committee for having said and recommended that they should include the factor of control or protection of the environment in Zambia.

Sir, we have enough regulation and Acts that stop pesticides and control of pesticides. We have to understand the situation where we sign protocols with international organisations for the control of air pollution in the world. The problem is that you do not have testing equipment to know how bad pollution is. The pollution problem is not in Africa, but Europe. In Zambia, we have already made the law and we have banned the use of lead because we believe that when vehicles use leaded fuel, they destroy converters in cars which will produce less harmful gas when we do not have the problem of pollution. As I have said, they are not protecting us. In the meantime, we are blindly supporting them.

Mr Speaker, because we need that for our own environment, I agree that we support it because we will need the testing equipment and we will also need what has been provided at the University of Zambia as far as environmental protection is concerned.

Who understands that at one time the Napalm Bombs was used in Zambia by Rhodesia? What happened? Did Zambia use it? Suppose you have a child who is learning how to walk and instead of encouraging that child, you tell her/him not to walk because walking is dangerous. The big countries are already walking. Who will stop stockpiling?

Sir, what will these inspectors inspect? They just want to come and give us guidelines on what to do and not do.

Mr Speaker, your Committee have gone further and talked about uranium. What else are we going to be told about uranium? Are we going to be told not use uranium because it is not good for you as it is only good for the big class? I am very hesitant to begin enacting laws which restrict us in defending our county. At what time will the Zambian security network develop or protect us? At what point? Before you even begin, you must stop. Do not do anything.

Mr Speaker, we need an amendment that the UNDP officer will not be a member or sit on this committee for us to be assured that our own sovereignty is guaranteed. We are not going to allow people coming here.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Defence should have looked at this. Are we allowing other people to begin defending Zambia or attacking it? Who is inspecting the big countries that are producing and stockpiling these chemicals? What regulations are in there? Do they obey these regulations? I doubt if they do.

In my view, the small countries that are challenging them, not to mention them, might make them scared so that they learn. It needs someone courageous to stand up and say no, we have much more important regulations to enact than enacting blindly. We need to put regulations in place on how to test pollution. Do we know, in this House, that the petrol without lead we use is useless if there is no converter in your car? It is useless but we have gone ahead to make regulations. Why? Now, we are going to ask these people to sit with us. I hope it is not money again! These people will be claiming money as they sit on this authority and say that they are going to inspect and control. What control? They are going to be sitting and getting allowances to talk about what? Is it to talk about chemicals which we are not producing?

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: They are going to sit on that authority and say we do not need to produce chemicals. Who is controlling who?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I think the world was fairer when there were just two super powers because they were scared of each another. Now we have only one and I am telling you as a policy officer what to do. We are in the same bracket now and this House must recommend. I want to say that we need to approve this only for environmental purposes. What are we doing about the people who were poisoned with lead in Kabwe? We have been pushing and people have been asking what compensation will be given to the people who were poisoned with lead in Kabwe. Nothing!

Mr Kakoma: And those are chemicals!

Mr Muntanga: Those are chemicals. What are we doing about the various mining operations? Those are things that I want to be checked before the enactment of this law. I am not talking about Weapons of Mass Destruction. For example, when we go to a certain country to look for them and find that they do not have them, we destroy that country. The people that are recommending this will need a lot of research and further scrutiny. It must specifically include environmental control.

The Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has been left out but it has been recommended by your Committee that they be included because it is important and meaningful to our own environment in Zambia.

Sir, sometimes we sign protocols blindly. And we tend to agree because he says so. We come here and do not protect him. Perhaps, we should talk about how we should defend ourselves from chemical weapons. Have we tried anything? They have banned the use of various pesticides but they will still release a little bit to control malaria in Africa.


Mr Muntanga: They have banned this but have come back and lifted it by releasing a little bit to control malaria. What happens afterwards?

In as much as I am supporting this Bill, Mr Speaker, I need further details on it before I can fully support it. Otherwise, I will ask the Minister of Defence about what plans he has to defend our country.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Mpombo! Hammer!

Mr Muntanga: If we talk about the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, what have we got? There are so many other things I have seen that we have followed blindly and I am getting surprised every minute that developing countries are telling us what to do. If we agree to enact it, then let us remove any representation by foreigners sitting on the committee. We are a sovereign State and should not allow foreigners to sit on our domestic and regulated bodies.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Muntanga: It is only at this point that we shall be able to advise that even if you are big, do not overrun Zimbabwe. Do not overrun that country. I want to know why these big countries make chemical weapons. What is wrong with us making chemical weapons? I know that they will be scared. Mr Speaker, because Zambia signed that protocol, I will only support it for environmental protection and not to control us because we are small. We must grow at some point.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Bill brought forward by the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons. Sir, I stand to support the Bill, but, of course, with reservations.

Sir, I agree, totally, that Zambia as a country is situated on the global world. Therefore, it is part of the many things that happen on earth. I do understand, further, that Zambia is a signatory to the many international statutes. These statutes are meant for the promotion of peace, and for the understanding and benefit of people and the country.

Mr Speaker, I note that this convention wants to engage the Zambian people into the promotion of peace. In fact, we get appointments to international organisations thereby promoting monetary gain. Now, I was looking at the Bill in Clause 5 (2) (a) which is talking about persons to be invited to the meetings of the authority but shall have no vote. The fact that they have no vote does not mean that they are not taking part. They are, in a way, taking part. Because they are taking part, they are able to get information and take it wherever they want to take it. So, I want to reiterate what my colleague has just mentioned about a representative of the UNDP sitting on this committee. The fact that this convention is being domesticated must ensure that whoever sits on this committee must be a domesticated person.


Mr Mabenga: In this case, it is a Zambian. Therefore, it is very important that, in my view, a representative of the UNDP should not sit on this body. I would like to learn from my hon. Colleagues in your Committee about a person who is a representative of any organisation which campaigns against the use of chemical weapons. I do not know which organisation this is but I would be very glad to learn from my hon. Colleagues which organisation resident in this country would have a representative who would sit on this committee and campaign against the use of chemical weapons.

Mr Speaker, I also want to look at one of the operations of this convention as highlighted on page 13 of the Bill which says that:

“The national authority shall perform its functions so as to effectively attain the objectives of this Act.”

Notwithstanding the generality of subsection (1), the functions of the Authority are to operate as a National Authority for the Republic of Zambia so as to fulfil Zambia’s obligations under the convention and to serve as a national focal point for effective liaison with the OPCW and other states parties to the convention’.

Now if, indeed, this body is going to operate as a national authority for the Republic of Zambia and also to ensure and fulfil Zambia’s obligations, of course, after we have signed which I am sure we have already done. What is important is to ensure that it is the Zambian because a Zambian has Zambia’s interest at heart. The Zambian wants to see that what is in this country is really for the people of this country and they are never going to talk against it because they know that this is going to help in the development of this country. So it is important that the people that we get to work and talk on behalf of our country are Zambians and must be Zambians in nature and not in practice.

Mr Speaker, I would like the Minister as he winds up to answer to 3 of the concerns that I have put up so that the need for complete domestication of this Bill will be highlighted.

I thank you.

Mr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, here, we are trying to enact a law which will domesticate the convention which bans chemical weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Speaker, I am afraid that we might be enacting a law which is dealing with weapons which we do not even have here but my fear is that we could be stock piling and using a weapon unknowingly here on our own people. Mr Speaker, here I am talking about a chemical which I even queried the Minister of Health here why he continues using it and this chemical is DDT.
Mr Speaker, it is the same DDT which when sprayed into the air, the people will inhale it and when it is sprayed on the walls as it is done, anybody who touches that wall will have it absorbed in the blood stream and stored in the fat of that person. It is the same DDT which has a health life of 15 years before it starts to disintegrate and we do not even allow it to disintegrate for 15 years because we spray the following year. We do it over and over again. Sir, this chemical has what is called cumulative effect, even if you go and urinate it, it will stay in the soil and the plants or grass which is going to grow there will be eaten by our goats and sheep and we will get it from the meat we will eat.

Mr Speaker, this chemical was banned by an international convention and as far as I am concerned, I have never seen another international convention which has sat and lifted the ban. Even if it has been lifted, it is the same DDT we are using, it has not changed its chemical composition.

Mr Speaker, one hon. Member in contributing to the debate on the Bill said that there are double standards by big powers. I can see double standards here. If you go to any European nation, you will never see any DDT but you will find it here in Zambia. In fact, our friends in the Latin America have gone back to the same World Health Organisation and negotiated with them so that they can look for alternative chemicals which can be as effective as DDT which do not have cumulative toxicity.

Mr Speaker, this DDT when sprayed on the wall and a person touches the wall, it gets into the blood stream and the following day when that woman breast feeds a baby, the child will get the DDT as well. So we are seated here discussing weapons of mass destruction which we do not have when we have weapons of mass destruction in our country which we have gone to ask unknowingly.

Mr Speaker, the best thing we can do is to include DDT on the list of those chemicals which have been banned.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this critical Bill.

 I am made to understand that to domesticate means to admit or incorporate into local jurisdiction. We are admitting the convention into the laws of the land. We are saying that the law will be operated and controlled by yourselves. I do not know at what point you start blaming other people when we enacted a law in this House saying, here is a regulation to help control the use of these chemicals etc. I do not see how you begin to refer to anybody, that is why it is in this House and for the purpose of trying to assure ourselves that the way we handle these chemicals is in line with the international accepted standards.

Mr Speaker, late last year, I went to the Hague to attend a conference on the same issue and out of one hundred and ninety two countries have signed and ratified the convention, except for about 11. What does that imply? The implication is that the world is saying no to this thing. If that is what the world is saying, those of you who are good at mathematics just calculate, 11 out of one hundred and ninety two is a little percentage. Except that at that conference, the emphasis was that even those that have not signed the convention, must do so because these chemicals are dangerous. To destroy them is not easy. When there was a cold way, the Eastern Block manufactured so much for their own purposes and the Western World also manufactured so much and in the process if you say to them destroy them as quickly as possible without considering the implications, it can have an effect on the environment.

So, we have to be cautious here. Yes, we want them to destroy but it is not as easy as that because it costs money and there is also a risk to the environment. So, Sir, I am a little confused, we are domesticating a law in line with the convention we signed but we must have a law which will help us to deal with those culprits who misuse this.

However, in the same vein, they have made a provision where they have said purposes not prohibited under the convention, which is five years for industrial agricultural pharmaceutical for other peaceful purposes. So, I wonder how Hon. Kakoma is worrying about the production of uranium I know he looks forward to being an oil sheik.


Mr Mulongoti: As for uranium, that is not for peaceful purposes. It says very clearly here, that for peaceful purposes we are allowed to develop. So, why should you worry about when the Bill provides for peaceful purposes? I also know the Hon. Kakoma said that for democratic reasons without control must not be. Now, it also says what we use as for chemical effect and after that it will disappear. There are very stubborn things the world over, who you tell please run, they will not run.

Hon. Government Member: Kambwili.

Mr Mulongoti: Right I hear of names, but I cannot tell what is xx?


Mr Mulongoti: Now, how do you help control those characters? Hon. Members who have been to United States of America, the first thing that will frighten you is that, every policeman there ensure is heavily armed. Why do they ensure they are heavily armed, that is a land of the free. Those are the people who say there is freedom, freedom the land of the free, but they are heavily armed. I had opportunity to be in Washington at a time when people were protesting against IMF and World Bank. What I saw frightened me. Riot control there is not about jokes. Riot control is serious business.

Now, what is riot control? Is the busy purposes, you want to bring back peace. It is not interested to harm anybody. You are protecting on citizens from the cantankerous characters.


Hon. Government Member: Restoring order.

Mr Mulongoti: And because of that you are restoring order. So, Hon. Muntanga do not be scared of restoring order. That is a peaceful purpose. This result to enable a big person like you Hon. Muntanga.


Mr Mulongoti: Suppose I am a policeman in my size confronting you. What am I threatened to you.


Mr Mulongoti: Am I not supposed to mobilising you, …


Mr Mulongoti: … not to drill you, but just Hon. Muntanga?


Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I am arising on a very serious point of order. Is the Deputy Minister for Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to start accusing me of not accepting the protection by police and encourage people to be protected from chemicals which do not exist in Zambia? Is he in order to mislead the people, this Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs?

Mr Speaker: Through that point of order, the hon. Member for Kalomo is saying that the hon. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs should leave him alone.


Mr Speaker: And the Chair supports that. Leave him alone. May you continue?


Mr Mulongoti: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was just giving leading examples of how difficult it can be to control riotous characters.


Mr Mulongoti: Sir, I did not mean the hon. Member of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, the Bill also says a Member of UN may be invited. Now, usually, law is discretionally. It does not say it is a must. There comes a time when you are looking for information, and that information could be held by somebody from the UN because the custodian of this convention is United Nations. Surely, how can it be harmful for one of their representatives if you are holding a meeting invited to come and attend and clarify on certain matters. Through your suspicion, what are you suspecting? The convention is coming from the UN and blaming that hon. to help with information in so is intruding is a spy, is whatever. I think we are moving this to levels that are a little bit frightening.

Mr Speaker, when you are enacting a law you must make provisions that I would like to prepare you or compare you in future to come and make an amendment into a law which is very trivial. So, to allow others who are not members because xxx are members of authority they may be invited. It makes it easier for you when you are seeking thinking so xxx can call a member of union to come and clarify. So, there is nothing to fear, we should not throw things into the Bill which are not well.

Mr Speaker, there are a lot of laws that are in our couch groups, which as Members of this House some of us will not better to leave. For instance, I see so many of you hon. Members carrying drums of fuel in the motor vehicles, but do you know that in statutory books, there is a law which says, if you carry a drum of fuel and you are caught without a permit from the council, you will go to jail for five years without an exceptional of a fine.


Mr Mulongoti: So, it will come in the certain books, why, because they recognise the fact that fuel can be innocent in judging the motor vehicle, but can also be very harmful if it is improperly used. So, for us hon. Members, there is nothing that we fear, all we are doing is that legislating for the purpose of controlling the use of chemical substances. If you have any fear that you think are very cardinal and that they need to be incorporated, the Chairman of the committee that looked at this were satisfied. That is what the report says from the Chairman, that they were satisfied that the provisions were useful to the country.

Mr Speaker, I support this in total and I urge all other members for this House to support this Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizyuka (Namwala): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I arise to differ with the all the hon. Members of this Parliament who have debated this matter and are in support. I arise not to support this very serious Bill.

Mr Speaker, when I look around this House and see all the 158 of Members of Parliament, I scrutinise them with respect to the struggle for the liberation of Southern Africa. I do not see a single Member of Parliament who was there when month in month out we fought in trenches of the Zambezi river, to defend this country and to support the freedom struggle for the emancipation of rest of, sorry. I see one Member of Parliament for Shiwang’andu in those hot days.

Mr Speaker, one Member of Parliament here has talked about Napamu. I want to tell you that on that fateful day in 1978 in Kavalamanja when Ian Smith used the chemical re-agency against our forces, in terms of the Napamu Bomb being used for the very first time, which is not supposed to be used by way of holding various Geneva conventions. I was the forward Commander of the troops in 1978 in Kavalamanja having pushed a communication trench which served those soldiers.

So, when I want to talk about chemical weapons, to the extent that chemical weapons have been used in this country against our own forces. I am talking about chemical weapons from the point of view of a practical experience.

Mr Speaker, when we talk about prohibition of the development of chemical weapons, what are we talking about? We are talking about limiting. We are talking about matters of national defence. We are talking about inhibiting the capacity of our defence forces to prepare in peace time to defend this country.

Sir, I see a lot of foreign input in this bill. How do we, in Zambia, who do not have chemical weapons, start preparing to plan a law that inhibits the production of those chemical weapons which we do not have? Why should it be right for America or Britain to stockpile and be wrong for us? Lets us ask ourselves the questions; who have created the most havoc? Who have killed the most people in the Middle East today? Is it those that do not stockpile chemical weapons or those that do?

Mr Speaker, we are hon. Members of Parliament elected by this country. America today has killed more people in Iraqi than Saddam Hussein whom they displaced thinking he had weapons of mass destruction. They went about looking for these weapons of mass destruction but could not find a single one up to today. Even up to the time when Saddam Hussein was executed, not a single weapon of mass destruction was found in Iraqi and yet the greatest stockpilers of chemical weapons in the world today kill as a result of their actions in the Middle East. They kill 150 to 200 people on a daily basis in Baghdad. The biggest stockpilers of chemical weapons in the Western World are the biggest killers of people.

Sir, I see a controversy. Even the committee responsible which you have tasked to deal with matter are pushing in front, the monetary peculiarly advantage; Zambia is going to benefit some money from the international community as a result of our compliance.


Dr Chizhyuka: This kind of reasoning is the kind of reasoning that is detrimental to the national security of this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chizhyuka: We cannot sacrifice our sovereignty as a country for the sake of little monies that come through aids or something else.


Dr Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, we have a country which is called Zambia and this august House is here to make laws that do not only play a role of punishing those that are offending but those that protect our country. Listening from the committee, I get the feeling with a military mind, that they have not done enough research. This is a very serious bill.

Sir, with regard to Uranium, may be they have heard that Zambia is going to have Uranium, and have decided to cut our wings so that we do not into production of things that the things that generate employment in this country and push this country to a level of affluence so that they can be the only ones to benefit from the Uranium and other minerals.

I think we have not had enough time to do enough research in this matter. I think that this should have been a bill which should have involved the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence and the Staff College to deal with this matter and determine whether we should be putting forward a law when we do not have chemical weapons in our country.

Mr Speaker, I beg that this bill is deferred so that there is ample debate on this matter and more information availed so that they can be able to understand the implication of curtailing our own wings when we want to fly.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, I stand to support your committee’s report with regard to Zambia taking a broad step in domesticating what we already ratified in 2001.

Sir, Zambia is not an island and for those that were before us to have looked at the need to ratify this conversion, it was to pay our little part in the safety of our country and the world at large. There is no need to have these weapons and to feel that because we do not have them, then we are safe.

Mr Speaker, the second issue that I want to clarify is the use of DDT. I think this House has been misinformed. On one hand it is true that through the stock on convention, there was a ban on the use of DDT on crops. This is because when you spray on crops, it gets directly into the water and in those crops, and then gets into the body to cause harmful effects. There is an exemption under this conventions that when chemicals (inaudible) World Health Organisation and other organisations with regard to a public health issue like Malaria, then, under strict guidelines, those countries are allowed to use DDT because the benefit from the use of restricted DDT are much more than that would incidentally by accident spill over into the community.

Sir, in this regard, Hon. Muntanga said it but there was a hon. Member who talked about DDT from the Opposition side. I want to make a clarification. Malaria is a number one killer of our children, under-five children and pregnant mothers in this country. So, if we are able to follow those strict guideline of the use and disposal off sachets and instruments in the use of DDT, we are doing good to our country than harm.

Mr Speaker, in the use of DDT or under this exemption criteria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Northern end of South Africa corridor leading to Mozambique have been allowed to use DDT under those strict conditions. So, it is absolutely misleading to state the mass of destruction is a DDT. I think that is a very wrong statement. The benefits outweigh those areas.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, I would like to urge this House that we support your committee’s report because in the long run, I think it is for the benefit of us all.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, I rise to support this bill, first of all, because I am a member of the committee that was tasked to look at this bill.

Sir, I think is a very serious bill. Sometimes in debating these issues, we overlook things that are important. There is not a single person present in this House who will not be shocked if they were to see the pictures (inaudible) of chemical weapons. In deliberating on this bill, some of us had had an opportunity to see the pictures of the main women and children who had been affected by chemical weapons. At the moment, it is true indeed that Zambia does not possess chemical weapons

It has already been said, Mr Speaker, that out of 192 countries of the United Nations, 181 or 182 have already ratified this convention. This is a convention of the United Nations, not of the super powers, but they have to differ with anyone who seeks to convince them that the United Nations is not an independent body.


Mr Milupi: This is a convention that a group of nations have agreed to. This country signed this treaty in 1993 and ratified it in 2001. Previous speakers who rose to debate this issue were right by saying that the whole purpose of this bill is to domesticate this convention.

A number of issues have come up. One of them, as one hon. Member said, is tear gas. It is to be or was going to be banned. It is possible that people will keep this tomorrow and say with the ratification of this convention, the tear gas will be banned in Zambia when that is not true. There are a number of chemicals that are allowed. In this regard, this is one of those chemicals that is allowed for us to control.

As regards the issue of the United Nations weapons programme representative, first of all, the members that will constitute the authority are very clearly specified. All of them are Zambians or people working in the Government ministries. The National Authority shall consist of:

(a) a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who shall be the Chairperson;
(b) a representative from the Ministry of Defence;
(c) a representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs;
(d) a representative from the Inspector-General of Police;
(e) a representative from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training
(f) a representative from the Ministry of Health;
(g) a representative from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry
(h) a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives;
(i) a representative from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development;
(j) a representative from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services;
(k) a representative of the Attorney-General;
(l) a representative of the Office of the President;
(m) a representative of the Environmental Council of Zambia;
(n) a representative of the Zambia Revenue Authority;
(o) a representative of the Chemistry Department of the University of Zambia;
(p) a representative of the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research; and
(q) the Director.

In addition, the committee recommended that we should have also representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Speaker, if you look at this Bill, the fear of the committee was that they were aware of a number of chemicals that are currently being used in Zambia’s industries, for example, the metallurgical processing plants and so on. Therefore, a number of experts from all over the country were called to give the correct views and we were assured that there is not a single industrial application that will be put in jeopardy as a result of passing this bill.

One of the contributors made reference to the defence issues. Zambia does not possess chemical weapons and I do not think Zambia wants to possess chemical weapons as a deterrent. I think that is the implication, but we must have chemical weapons so that we can defend ourselves against the use of chemical weapons.

First of all, all of us are aware of that sad incident when someone released some chemicals and so many people died. These chemicals can be applied on anybody. In the Westminster Parliament, somebody released a powder and there was panic amongst the British Members of Parliament. Somebody did that in the gallery. Fortunately, it turned out to be the harmless powder. It can happen here also.

Therefore, one of the issues that we must protect this country against is not only the ability to fall victim to chemical weapons, but Zambia as part of the global village can be used as a transit point for chemical weapons. It can also be used as a manufacturing centre for chemical weapons. When we get involved, if chemical weapons manufactured here are used elsewhere, we automatically become victims of people wanting to attack us.

Mr Speaker, reference has been made monetary benefits which is not really the theme of this bill. All that is being said is that, at the moment, even if we had a chemical attack in this Chamber or anywhere, it will be very difficult for us as Zambians to detect if chemicals had been used on us. This is not my view, but it is a view of all the experts that were brought together. That is why we got assistance from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to set up this laboratory at the University of Zambia as a first line of analysing what chemicals had been used on our people.

Mr Speaker, the main thing that we should bear in mind is that the whole world is moving towards banning chemical weapons and I do not think that anyone wants Zambia to be left behind. We are told of defence. One of the issues in this convention is that any member who ratifies this convention and passes this bill is automatically given access to the protection in the event of an attack. This is stipulated as one of the benefits of passing this bill such that if we are attacked by chemical weapons, we will three types of assistance. The first assistance is that other countries that have capabilities will come and help us identify what has happened and also to mitigate the effects of that attack. Secondly, automatically, as members of this convention, they would help us prepare for that kind of attack. Thirdly, by mistake, someone has talked about uranium and so on, this bill makes reference specifically to chemical weapons. It does not refer to biological or radiological weapons. Those are not included. So, there is no danger whatsoever that someone wants to limit our ability to mine uranium in this country.

With these few remarks, I support this bill, and I would like to say that I think your committee did all that they could to ensure that there is sufficient research and that this country is not put at any disadvantage by passing this bill.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this bill.

Mr Speaker, in contributing to the bill on the Floor, I would like to say, first of all, that the discussions and submissions that have been made underline the problem that we have as a country where we ratify conventions before this House has had occasion to consider them.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: This difficult will always arise because certain issues could have been cleared, but they arise because issues have not been cleared and suddenly a bill comes on the Floor of the House to ratify what has already been ratified. This is a big problem and it is my appeal to Government that they consider in future first discussing these issues within the House, that is, within ourselves as Parliament and the country itself before rushing out to sign documents at international fora that can commit the country to this kind of problem.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we ratified that convention on the 9th of February, 2001. Obviously, since we ratified this convention, we have been under pressure to domesticate the law, and the consequent result is what we see today.

However, the first thing that I am surprised about is that we were in a hurry to ratify this one. Why do we not be in a hurry, for example, to ratify the convention on Human and People’s Rights, which to me, is much more fundamental since it deals with our own issues and is localised. Therefore, we want to ensure that the lives of our people are safeguarded. Unfortunately, that has not been brought in here yet. We are still waiting, and this is the problem that I see.

Mr Speaker, coming to the Bill on the Floor, allow me to say a few things that also make me a bit uncomfortable. I have read the report and I am very grateful to the Committee that sat to consider the Bill. I have also seen that people who were called to look at this issue are great individuals in our country, highly renowned and obviously, very competitive in their fields. However, I was a little taken aback when I looked at what is being said as incentives of signing the convention.

Firstly, we were told that we will have financial technical assistance and that Zambia will get employment within the organisation.


Mr Mwansa: Should that be a motivating factor or should these be issues that we bring out here to discuss or we look at the benefits that affect each and every Zambian before we ratify any international convention?

Mr Speaker, speaking for myself, I am very uncomfortable, that in cases of being attacked, we must hold the idea that foreigners will come and protect us. I find that to be very strange. In other words, it is like we do not see ourselves as capable of defending our integrity, sovereignty and our rights as people. Why should we wait for foreigners to come and protect us? What is the responsibility of our trained forces? Is it not that they should protect us and is it not that we should ensure that they have the weaponry to protect this country? Why should we be waiting for foreigners to come and look after our interests? I do not think that those are the things that we should be writing down as incentives.

Mr Speaker, if, for example, a neighbouring country attacks us with chemical weapons, should we wait for the United States to fly in jets to come and protect our interest here? We will be dead by the time they arrive.


Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, this kind of rationale confuses me. Where is the interest of our country?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I think the controversy is not so far on the contents of the Bill and we should not really be misunderstood to be saying we should maintain chemical weapons because it is necessary. It is a rationale and what is a rationale of stopping this? In the world of good we must. However, we must have reasons that are tailored for Zambian interests.

First and foremost, I heard the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development saying that Zambia is not an island. I think it is fair hon. Minister that we begin by thinking of ourselves as an island before we go into the global community.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: There must be things that are particularly Zambian and we must be proud to be where we are. Certainly, Zambia is not an island. We are, first of all, a country before we are in the global picture. Therefore, our interest and sovereignty must come above everything else. If it means that Zambia must become an island in order to protect her people, then we should not be ashamed to become an island for that particular reason.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: We will miss in refusing ourselves to be proud of being Zambians. I do not think that it is correct for us, always to look to others to solve our problems. I think that there is something fundamentally wrong with our concepts and the way we look at ourselves as a country.

I, for one, would prefer a situation where if it becomes necessary for us to produce weapons in order to protect ourselves, we produce it with no apology to anybody.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: If it becomes necessary to keep chemical weapons for the protection of ourselves, we have to do it.

Mr Speaker, I just want to appeal to the hon. Members in Government to bear in mind that the people of this country put you there in order to protect their interests. You do not begin by listening to the world outside. Listen to the cries of your people here. If you are shocked, then I am putting the point home, you should not be shocked that Zambia must first be for Zambians. You should be shocked if I came out and began to talk as if I am not a Zambian.

I am very agreeable to the idea that we must fight against any form of banditry, even if it is coming from the developed countries. We should not be accepting that people can be killed by the strong, but the poor must live out the act. That is a wrong concept. While you are fighting and ensuring that in our country, we do away with weapons of mass destruction, I want to hear the voice of my Government telling the big powers to stop stockpiling the same chemicals that they do not want us to have. We should not sit and do everything they tell us without even a voice, they should not do that, but we should be seen to fight.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Mwansa: Yes. It was like fighting without consultation with the country, and that is my worry. Nobody must go out there and commit this country to anything before the country has agreed. That is the principal that I am trying to bring to this House, and I am almost getting annoyed.

Mr Muntanga: Get annoyed!


Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, let me just appeal to all of us as we consider the contents of the Bill that it is a very important Bill and we need to ensure that we are in line with what the world is doing, but not at the expense of our country. We also need to ensure that the contents of the Bill protects us from a situation where you cannot even go into research to produce, for example, anti dots to chemical weapons. We should be sure that when you have passed this Bill, our military forces and research people are all empowered to do what it requires to ensure that the interests and protection of this country are paramount. If we do that, I will be very happy and have no problems at all.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I would like to add my voice to the many hon. Members who have spoken on to thank your Committee for the report that they provided this House. I also wish to, particularly, my colleagues who have spoken on exceptional issues in the Bill.

It is not so much the objection, if I have listened carefully to the idea that chemical weapons are dangerous to use and we should not support them. I think most Members that have spoken do not accept the view that it is good stockpile chemical weapons. However, I note the concern in the House appears to be the bigotry of the powerful and how to deal that bigotry of that the power. When you read the Bill very carefully, it says in the silences rather than what it had said, I think it raises questions.

The list of chemicals on the schedule in the Bill appears to be chemicals that are not present in any locality in Zambia for the purposes of military use.

However, I know, Sir, and I am careful in my phrasing this statement that, Zambia in the past has been under pressure to account for uses of chemicals that are needed for our agricultural activities. I am speaking, particularly, with respect to one of our factories.

So, I want to be sure that the silence that is in this Bill would not create negative effects on the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia. It is important that we clarify our country’s position with respect to this particular facility because of past suspicions. I want us to be able to negotiate in finalising the ratification on this particular Convention.

Sir, there is a provision in international conventions to put reservations. You can ratify conventions and, still yet, submit a reservation.

Mr Muntanga: Correct!

Dr Kalumba: It is possible that Zambia can submit a reservation to ensure that we are not, in future, considered suspect because we have increased our production of nitrate products which are required in our farming activities.

Mr Muntanga: Mulongoti, listen!

Dr Kalumba: I want to say that I am speaking authoritatively and rest that we need to protect that particular factory.

Mr Speaker, I made reference to the bigotry of the powerful. It would have been very welcome if at the time we are considering the issue of chemical weapons, we were also afforded an opportunity to ratify conventions related to biological weapons which the big powers seem, to be quite at liberty, to stockpile. They are building social biological weapons * by increasing their stockpiles in biological weapons and we are not afforded an opportunity in international spheres to address this particular threat to humanity. Yes, there is threat to humanity and chemical weapons! Yes, there is threat to humanity and biological weapons! No country, big or small, should be allowed to stockpile any of these. If the big powers continue their arrogance, including the resistance on issues such as landmine- Sir, if you recall one big power had difficulty in just dismantling or accessing to the International Convention on Landmines.

Sir, that bigotry, is what I think, is infuriating most of the hon. Members in this House.

Mr Shakafuswa: Few!

Dr Kalumba: ‘Few’ of our hon. Members in this House.


Dr Kalumba: I thank you.

Sir, in supporting the Government Bill, I would like to conclude by stating that Zambia needs to reinforce itself against future attacks and the production of nitrate products that are required in fertilisers to our country. We need to put a clear reservation on that.

Secondly, we need to be advocates not only for reduction or doing away with chemical weapons, but also biological weapons.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this privilege to wide up the debate on the Bill on the Floor. I would like to thank all hon. Members for supporting the Bill which is non-controversial and, certainly, beneficial to our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.
Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 21st February, 2007




(Debate resumed)

Mr Misapa (Mporokoso): Mr Speaker, I am very grateful to you for giving me, yet, another opportunity to continue my contribution to the Budget Address.

Mr Speaker, last Friday, this august House was honoured to listen to the Budget Address presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. The Budget Address highlighted many salient features which may need some comments. However, because I do not want to appear as though I am making another Budget Speech …


Mr Misapa: … allow me to comment only on a few of them.


Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, to begin with, may I draw the hon. Members’ attention to the theme of this year’s budget which is, “From Stability to Improved Service Delivery”. Sir, this theme is in line with the relative macro-economic achievement and the positive economic growth made by this Government. It was, clearly, reported that as a listening Government, the budget was drawn from the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and from the consultative process with the general public, trade unions, civic and religious organisations as well as professional bodies. Mr Speaker, in other words, the budget as presented, is a piece of work well thought out and well researched.

Mr Kambwili: Are you sure?

Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, the budget has outlined a number of issues which include the successes, challenges and a general overview of the Government fiscal policy for the year 2007.

May I now single out some key address of the Budget.


We were informed in no unclear terms that the economy of the country continued to perform well with the preliminary real Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth estimated at 5.8 per cent from 5.2 per cent recorded in 2005. This performance was against the target of six per cent set for 2006. This, Mr Speaker, is a great achievement by this Government. We were informed that this achievement was attributed to increased activity in mining, construction, transport, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and retail sectors.


Mr Speaker, the reduction of inflation is another key fact to ascertain the growth of the economy, which has fallen to its lowest level in the last thirty years. The annual rate of inflation was 8.2 per cent as at end of December, 2006 compared to the annual target of 10 per cent, only an outturn of 15.9 per cent in 2005. This positive development explains the great achievements of the New Deal Administration in addressing the country’s annual rate of inflation.

Sir, during this administration, the nation managed to reach single digit rate of inflation. All these achievements are as a result of good, firm and prudent macroeconomic policies embarked on by the New Deal Administration in 2006. Yet again, the New Deal Administration has set itself macroeconomic targets for 2007 and these are as follows:

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

(b) to reduce inflation to 5 per cent;

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

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

Mr Speaker, this Government is serious with improving people’s well being and free the country from poverty and perpetual dependence on debts.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, surely, are we going to continue asking for external debts even after being granted a big relief by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AFDB)? We should not be HIPC anymore. This Government would like to see a situation of the economy which is predominantly given by the private sector invested in key sectors of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, construction and tourism.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning did not mince his words on this matter and I would be pleased if this House fully supports him.

Social Sector

Mr Speaker, in dealing with the social sector, Government will focus on improving the provision of public services in health, education, water and sanitation. In health and education sub-sectors, this will be done through recruitment and retention of teachers, front line medical personnel, investment in infrastructure and procurement of education materials. In the water and sanitation sub-sector, the Government will improve access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in most of the rural, urban and peri-urban areas.

Mr Speaker, this was articulated by the Minister of Finance and National Planning and I need not elaborate further than that. I want to implore all of you hon. Members to support this Government in this noble cause.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, the issue of HIV/AIDS pandemic is one of the aspects hindering development in the country.

Mr Sichilima: Drink water!

Mr Misapa: Sir, the scourge has been devastating, particularly, on the productive age group leaving a generation of orphans, vulnerable children, widows and widowers.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: Mr Speaker, we certainly need to tame this disease if not stamp it out completely. It is a menace to society and the future existence of human kind. It is with this in mind that I would like…

Mr Misapa drank some water.


Mr Misapa: implore this august House to support the intervention measures expounded in the Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning last Friday. Seriously speaking, the multi-sectoral approach to this scourge is required at all costs.

Structural Reforms

Mr Speaker, this Government is an ardent advocate of structural reforms with the view of providing effective and efficient public service delivery. It is in this perspective that the New Deal Administration would continue with the implementation of the Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability (PEMFA) Reforms, Public Service Management, Decentralisation, Private Sector Development (PSD) and Financial Sector Development Plan (FSDP). Under PEMFA Reforms, the focus in 2007 will be on enhancing compliance with internal controls and strengthening the capacity of institutions of good government such as the National Assembly of Zambia, Office of the Auditor-General and the Zambia National Tender Board. Sir, these are noble matters which need our support.

Mr Speaker, to carry out all the afore-named projects, the Government proposed a Budget of K12,042.4 billion or 26.6 per cent of GDP of this Budget of which K8,668.1 billion or 72 per cent will be financed by domestic resources while the balance of K3,374 billion will be from external sources.

Sir, the allocations as cited above serve to show the commitment of this Government with regard to issues of poverty alleviation, developmental projects and the financing of constitutional and statutory expenditures.

Sir, poverty alleviation issues are being addressed by Fertiliser Support Programmes and cattle and fish restocking programmes.


Further, Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to addressing pensioners’ and workers’ plight. It was proposed in the Budget to spend K343.5 billion or 2.9 per cent on social protection. Out of K345.5 billion, K266 billion is specifically for grant payments to the pension fund and for disbursement of pension arrears. So, there is no way one can ask whether Government does honour the pensioners’ demands. All we can do is to urge Government to expedite payments to pensioners.

Mr Speaker, allow me to comment on the issue of PAYE. This has been a thorny issue for our workers, particularly those in the formal sector. Some opposition political parties even used PAYE as their political gimmick…

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: … to amass votes. PAYE is key to the development of the country whether one likes it or not.

Mr V. Mwale: Bauze, bauze!

Mr Misapa: It is in this perspective that as a listening Government, this tax has been revisited. It was clearly stated in the Budget Address as follows:

“Government proposes to adjust the PAYE Regime to provide for the minimum tax exempt income of K500,000 per month from the current K320,000 per month.”

Hon. Members: Drink water. The voice is gone.

Mr Misapa drank some water.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! That is better.

“In addition, the Government proposes to reduce the top PAYE tax rate from 37.5 per cent to 35 per cent while the lower positive rate has been reduced from 30 per cent to 25 per cent. Sir, the above adjustment certainly meant more take home income to our workers.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Misapa: Sir, we should applaud the Government for taking such a bold step in the right direction and at the right time.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mining Sector

Mr Speaker, may I now address the issue of the mining sector with regard to the tax regime.

Mr Speaker, there was a public outcry that the mines in Zambia were sold at a …

Mr Mtonga: On a point f order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I am sorry to interrupt my gallant speaker. Is the hon. Member in order to threaten the whole House that he would not finish his supporting motion since he is not keeping to time? Is he in order to go on and on regardless of the yellow light?


Mr Speaker: Order! In his point of order, the hon. Member for Kanyama thinks the hon. Member for Mporokoso has overshot his time limit. As you can see around the Chamber, the hon. Member still has 2 minutes 57 units and 85 seconds. Therefore, he is within the time limit.

May he continue, please.

Mr Misapa:  Mr Speaker, in conclusion…


Mr Misapa: … may I point out that the Budget Address last Friday by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was easy to understand and contained valuable information for the country’s wholesome development? It is in this vain that I would like to implore policy implementers to seriously attend to the various proposed programmes to take off as scheduled and request all hon. Member of this august House to render their support tote Budget which I must confess has a human face and touch to the majority of the Zambian people.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I rise to second the motion of supply moved by the hon. Member for Mporokoso, Mr Misapa.

Sir, allow me to congratulate him …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 Ms Imbwae: … for ably presenting the motion before this august House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae: Mr Speaker, like I stated on Friday, the issues raised by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in this year’s Budget are very serious and affect the lives of all Zambians regardless of their political affiliation. It must, therefore, not be trivialised or politicised. Zambian is for all of us. I therefore, reiterate that the challenges before this House are immense and rhetoric and partisan approach to them must be avoided at all cost.

Mr Speaker, last Year’s Budget was dubbed “From Sacrifice to Equitable Wealth Creation” This year’s theme is “From Stability to Improved Service Delivery”. Sir, this is a very high sounding theme especially if most Zambians have seen the sacrifice, but not the equitable wealth creation. Unless we all work nard, this year’s theme can remain a pipe dream. We need to introduce the instruments for ensuring that improved service delivery is enhanced.

Sir, in his Budget Speech, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning states on page 28 and I quote:

“Many instances, it is not the lack of resources that has affected development outcomes, but rather a lack of effective implementation of programmes.”

Mr Speaker, the lack of implementation has manifested itself in many ways. For instance, how can the Government come to this august House and ask for the approval of a Supplementary Budget when colossal amounts of money as the Minister of Finance and National Planning himself has reviewed lie unused in Commercial Banks? One of the many questions one might ask is “How much interest has this money gained in these banks and how has this been used?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae: Sir, this seems to be the weakness of the mirror image accounts Government has been keeping with Commercial Banks.

Unless we apply ourselves to strict adherence to what proposed to achieve by this Budget, it will remain just a document like so many before it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae: Mr Speaker, even when it comes to laws especially in the labour market, the problem we have had is not that of lack of laws, but rather a lack of capacity to enforce them. How can one explain for instance, how safety laws and policies which made mines safe and healthy places to work in during ZCCM times suddenly become obsolete and there should…

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Ms Imbwae: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that what we need are not new laws or policies but a renewed zeal and capacity to enforce the existing ones.

Sir, as a nation we seem to be keener on safeguarding the interests of foreign investors at the expense and discomfort of our own people.

The revision of the Mineral Royal Tax from 0.6 per cent to 3 per cent is more than welcome and is long overdue but it would seem that the Government has put the proverbial cart before the horse. Should the Government not have discussed this royalty matter with the mining companies and convinced them about the need for this change before announcing it so confidently to this nation? What happens if the mining companies do not oblige? Or should we assume that this discussion has already taken place and the deal is done?

Allow me now, Mr Speaker, to turn to certain specific issues in a few selected sectors.


The health sector has been dogged with numerous problems both in terms of human resource, infrastructure and medical supplies, especially in the rural areas. The Government’s propose in this year’s budget to recruit 1,900 medical personnel, this is a welcome move but the question still remains, how many of these will the Government motivate enough to retain? It surely does not help to recruit ten medical personnel of whatever capacities today but lose fifteen of them tomorrow because there is a depletion of the old stock. What we should have been tackling in the first place, therefore, is how to motivate and retain those who are already with us and possibly attract those who have left us to come back. As the saying goes, ‘a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.’

Further, Mr Speaker, the budgetary allocation to the health sector still remains as it was in last year’s budget, at 10.7 per cent of the total budget. For as long as we cannot look after our people and keep them alive, it does not matter how much we invest in other areas. Sir, we are an endangered depleting nation.


Mr Speaker, in the 2006 Budget, the education sector received 16.1 per cent of the national budget. This time around, it has received 15 per cent. The question is, if the 16.1 per cent was nowhere near adequate, how much do we hope to achieve with an even lesser allocation?

Most schools, Sir, especially those in rural areas and these are in the majority countrywide, are still mud and pole. Even where some semblance of old structures have remained, there are no science laboratories for most of those schools that have been upgraded to high and basic school status respectively. There is no corresponding upgrade in equipment.

This, Mr Speaker, has adversely affected tertiary education because it has destroyed the ingenuity and creativity that Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS) used to create in pupils while still in secondary school. It is not surprising, therefore, that we no longer hear of inventions or extraordinary projects even at university level. The chasm that has been created between secondary and tertiary education is just too wide and deep and it will take a conscious effort and commitment from all players in order to bridge it.

Sir, technical and vocational training is also a disaster. It does not address the current personal survival needs as well as national economic challenges. All we have are graduates with certificates but unable to do anything for themselves if they are not in salaried employment.

University education has also suffered serious setbacks. We seem to be running a ‘kantemba university’ where students have to cook for themselves even if there are no facilities and end up sleeping on rooftops because we cannot give them accommodation. It is a wonder that our product is still marketable in other countries. Even at this highest institution of learning, the lecturers are not adequately remunerated. It is rare in Zambia to find other nationals choosing to be full time lecturers except in private universities that are out of reach for the ordinary Zambian.

Local Government

Mr Speaker, this is another sector that is plagued with a myriad of problems despite the spirited fight the Hon. Minister is putting up to bring sanity to local governance. She definitely needs the support of all of us.

Sir, using local authorities in their current state as a vehicle to decentralisation is impossible this is so because the human resource complement in local authorities, especially rural ones, is either ill qualified or misplaced. Because they are misplaced, they are ill paid and therefore, their output is terribly low. Their attitude to work also leaves a lot to be desired and needs to be changed.


Mr Speaker, the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning acknowledges in his budget speech, that the tourism sector continued to record positive growth between 2005 and 2006 due to improved infrastructure and marketing but does not show how this growth will be sustained in 2007 and beyond. One would have wished to see a more deliberate effort at enhancing this growth as has been done in the mining sector in the MFEZ areas. Does this growth also include the paraphernalia in all our tourism facilities? Mr Speaker, we are not yet a manufacturing giant. Where do our beddings, cutlery and even toiletries come from? Is there internal growth too in the provision of these items? If there is nothing, we need to look at that problem.


Briefly, Sir, this is another very crucial sector to economic development and any effort in making it viable is more than welcome. In this regard, therefore, I commend Government for the efforts being made in increasing our power generation capacity. The petroleum sub sector, however, has caused a lot of anxiety among Zambians and foreign investors alike and needs serious attention especially in making INDENI Oil Refinery operate efficiently, and consistently. In this light, Mr Speaker exploration works in petroleum and gas in Western and North-Western Provinces must be treated with the urgency they deserve.

Rural electrification, Mr Speaker, is also very critical as this will spread development across the nation other than concentrate on urban areas. This will also in turn stop the rural urban drift, which is currently outstripping the available services in our towns.

In conclusion, I wish to remind Government and hon. Members that the task at hand of translating this year’s Budget into tangible benefits to the ordinary Zambian is a mammoth one. The target of achieving real GDP growth rate of 7 per cent and reducing inflation to 5 per cent is equally a daunting one and unless and until we have the resolve, putting aside political fixations, to work together as one people, the Budget will remain a pipe dream.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is a proud and strong nation and we need to keep that in mind and, therefore, the Budget is only a means to an end, it is not an end in itself. The Zambian people do not mind the means as much as they do the end. They would much rather have their basic fundamental rights to water and sanitation, food, shelter and education fulfilled. Mr Speaker, how about achieving the Millennium Development Goals?

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to commend the mover and seconder of the motion who have provided the context in which the same Budget Address should be discussed.

Mr Speaker, a critical analysis of the same Budget has been done by both the presenter and the seconder. I would like to depart from that context and discuss the same Budget in general terms. Accordingly, Sir, I would like to invite the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to look at the theme for last year’s Budget that is ‘From Sacrifice to Equitable Wealth Creation’.

Mr Speaker, a critical analysis of this theme will indicate that no wealth was created the whole of last year. People were languishing in poverty, schools were in tartars, the health sector had been destroyed, and you can name them.


Mr Kasongo: The rate of unemployment was high especially on the part of the young people. The infrastructure has collapsed 100 per cent and I am happy to state that the first person to have acknowledged the fact that the performance during the same period 2006 was very bad and nothing was achieved was the President himself.

Mr Speaker, some of my colleagues who are hon. Ministers have said no, that is not true. I would like to invite them to read page 13 of the Presidential Address to this august House. The President said and I quote:

“To so many of our urban people, the lack of jobs, especially among the hundreds of our youth coming out of the education system, is a major concern. Apart from the high unemployment levels, the other major cry of our urban people is the poor of delivery of public service, particularly with regard to water supply and sanitation. Roads in suburbs and compounds and inadequate provision of health and education services and so on and so on.”

Mr Speaker, the Head of State spoke these words loudly in this Chamber and there is no way one can contest that position. In fact that same Budget for the year 2006 did not create wealth for this country. Apart from that, we notice a departure in this House when some of the Ministers and Deputy Ministers were contributing to the debate on the Motion of Thanks, they abandoned the concept of collective responsibility and raised the concerns affecting their respective constituencies and I would like to make reference to two debates in this House. The First one and I would like to quote from the speech that was made in this House by the hon. Deputy Minister at State House (Mr Taima). He said and I quote:

‘May I now move to the concerns and development in my constituency. (a) the need for high schools; serious implementation of rural electrification; working on the so many impassable roads; the need for modern markets in the area; they need to have a reasonable number of police posts in the area; and the need to increase the number of health centres with corresponding appropriate starting levels in the area’.

That was the speech delivered by the hon. Deputy Minister. This is a departure from the norms of this House that a Minister is not supposed to raise the concerns affecting his or her constituency but because the system had failed to deliver the goods and services to the people of Zambia during the same period that I have made reference to when the Minister said he was going to create wealth for this country, even Ministers and Deputy Ministers were persuaded to abandon the concept of collective responsibility and raised concerns affecting their respective constituencies.

Worse still, Sir, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma) also abandoned his position and spoke about the concerns of his constituency and that is what he said:

‘People know the Government programmes but the people of Kabompo East Constituency are still faced with poor social economic infrastructure; poor delivery system and so on’.

Mr Speaker, there was an interjection from here that you are a Government. Sir, the Chair that time could not stomach that departure from the concept of collective responsibility and he had to curtail the speech of the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security.

Mr Speaker, this confirms the fact the 2006 Budget never created wealth for this country and that is a starting point. And I am happy to learn that the hon. Minister has now said we are now going to be more forecast, we want to make sure that at least we forecast the attention on creation of wealth by providing a lot of infrastructure and so on, but that is questionable because that has been in the language for the past five years so to speak. That has been the language of the Government, all these assurances have not been translated into action, and now we are saying, hon. Minister, can you honour your promises because the moment you deliver your speech in this House, we take it that you are going to deliver on the basis of those promises. The moment you come back to this House or a year later without informing us how you created wealth, we are not going to take you seriously.

Sir, the situation is still the same, go to any constituency, especially, rural constituencies, roads are still impassable, schools have no teachers and clinics even hospitals have no medical personnel. Now, how can you contain poverty levels in the absence of personnel? Who will be able to contain the situation and how? For example, come to my constituency. I have invited you several times to visit even one school or primary school, you will be shocked to find that pupils are still sitting on the floor. You may find one teacher and the same teacher will be performing the same function of a class teacher, senior teacher, deputy head and headmaster and you are saying your budget address that you are planning is extremely well, how?

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Just by way of guidance. The Chair prefers that the person debating should address the Chair because if you keep on saying you, you, then, you could be inviting responses from the hon. Members. So, to avoid that, address the Chair than to say, the Minister said or he and so on. I think that would be better because if they interject, the Chair will be able to say no, no he/she is addressing the Chair.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Kasongo: Thank you, Mr Speaker, I know that those who are making running commentaries like fyafula, I know that they are enjoying my debate.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! No, no, just get on to your subject and address the Chair.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Kasongo: I thank you, Mr Speaker, my advice to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is that, he should be seen to take action or translate the same assurances that he makes in this House into action. People are now eating a meal per day. If for example, they are luck, get any newspaper, Sir, the newspapers are full of articles of people who are leaving on fruits. Newspapers are full of articles of people who are eating roots and you can stand up in this House and claim that, yes, we are doing fine and we have done an excellent job. That is not true.

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Kasongo: Go to our own university which is near by look at the plight of our students. What type of knowledge is he acquiring? A student, who is supposed to be taken care of in terms of accommodation and so on, is made to share accommodation with his colleagues. Some of them are even sleeping on the roof top of our own university.

Mr Shakafuswa interjected.

Mr Kasongo: And you make terms.

The Deputy Chairman: Order! That is what the Chair is trying to avoid. He is addressing the Chair so do not engage him. Let him continue.

Can you continue, please.

Mr Kasongo: When our own children are sleeping on roof tops …

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer!

Mr Kasongo: … of our university, you are saying that you are doing fine, that is not true. It means that you are not serious, even those who are making comments, I am afraid are not Zambians because as we have ably put it, a Zambian who has been put in that leadership of authority should be able to be seen to provide strong leadership. The problem that we have …

Hon. Government Member: Amen.

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, arising on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member who is debating very well, in order to call us not being Zambians, when the problems he is talking about are problems of our concern and have been as a result of some leaders who have been investing in those things which he is talking about, which are manifesting themselves today and could have been a thing of the past, were busy getting money which is now coming back to sponsor campaigns. Is he in order?

The Deputy Chairman: Order! The Deputy Minister kind of debated his point of order, but the point is that they are all Zambians and they are Zambians. So, please take that point.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, in order for us to address the plight of our own children who cannot gain admission to the University of Zambia not because they have done badly, but because school places or university places are limited. We have to make sure that we address that problem by converting most of our colleges into universities. At the same time, we should be able to stop the brain drain, the exodus of our own intellectual, who are now educating other people out there. They are in the South, Botswana and so on, and yet, our own children are let to fend for themselves. These are issues that should be addressed.

Sir, having analysed all these problems and so on, I would like now to look at the way forward. First of all, we should be able to develop our country through our own resources as a country because the moment we depend on the IMF and the World Bank we will continue to languish in poverty. Each time they come they will show you a lot of places and say you are doing fine and so on. All they are saying is that after all, we are milking you up to the bone marrow.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, is the Member of Parliament who has always speaking very well even when he was an independent Member of Parliament for the same constituency, in order to continue talking about hardships without him informing this House that they were leaders who would actually literally pick K2 billion from Parliament and take it to the convention.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Tetamashimba: Is he in order not to mention that in respect of what he is saying on the Floor of the House.


Mr Tetamashimba: I need your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! The Chair’s serious ruling is that the hon. Member debating should continue debating.

Continue, please.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Thank you very much, Sir. We should not depend on the IMF and the World Bank. The two institutions have created poverty in our country. The two institutions has, at least, who have sacrificed a lot are Zambians.

Mr Mukanga interjected.

Mr Kasongo: Each time they come to assure us that, no, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. They are just playing games. In other words, they will continue milking us up to the bone marrow.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: The best that we can do is to abandon this programme. You will recall, Mr Speaker, that there was a political appointee in this august House, who was always defending the same institution. That, no, the World Bank and the IMF are our institutions and are our banks and so on. Where is he? He had been declared redundant because of the same programme. I wish he was here.

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Strictly speaking, I think come to the subject. Let us not debate individuals.

Mr Kasongo: Most obliged, Mr Speaker. The second issue that I would like to suggest to the Government of the day is that, once you are appointed to be a Minister or Deputy Minister, you should be able to provide strong leadership even at managerial level, we are looking for result oriented leaders. Not those leaders whose performance will be measured by the number of big words that they memorise from the English Learners Dictionary.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! Order! Can you please come back on track. You are not debating the subject.

Mr Kasongo: Sir, the other issue that I would like to suggest to the Government of the day is to ensure that once funds have been approved by this House, they must be released as quickly as possible. I am happy the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning assured this House that he had put a lot of measures in his ministry and beyond to ensure that every single ngwee that is released by his ministry is ultimately released by the spending ministries.

You will recall how I fought in this House about the money that was released to Luapula Province and yet it was kept there for one year seven months but I am happy that he is going to take action. The hon. Minister may wish to know that in the year 2005, he released K1 billion to the Ministry of Communications and Transport to procure a boat for Bangweulu Water Transport. That money has not been spent up to now. Why? This is the question that I should ask the power that be. K1 billion was released for the purpose of procurement of a boat for Bangweulu Water Transport since 2005. I even wrote to the immediate past minister that the best he could do was to procure a boat outside the country. Up to now, that K1 billion has not been spent. Why? Where is accountability? What has happened to that amount money? Why have you not taken action? I have already seen the current minister and his deputy. I must confess that the Deputy Minister has been forthcoming and has assured me that action will be taken. However, you should ask them why they have kept that amount for one year and some months? They are not serious.

Sir, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to take action against these culprits. They will continue to undermine your authority as Minister of Finance and National Planning. So, you must be strong enough to take action. Ask your officers to be monitoring any ngwee that is released to any spending ministry. Question them or even withdraw that amount of money. We are not going to mind about it.

Mr Speaker, I must confess that I have said it openly in this House that there are some hon. Minister who are action oriented and I commend them openly. However, for those who lug behind, I will continue raising my voice against them. I will never make any apology as long as the people of Bangweulu Constituency continue sending back to this House. I have strong character.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: I have a strong character. That is why the people of Bangweulu Constituency have continued to vote me back to this House.

However, I am persuading the hon. Minister to maintain the same focus that you have articulated (inaudible) so that those culprits holding on to the money which is meant to reduce the sufferings of our people are brought to book. That is what we are going to do. We do not want to hear that those who are keeping the money are being shifted from one ministry to another. There is no way you can transfer a problem from one ministry to another. Those people must be fired. I said that it will require, if for example, you are so sympathetic with some leaders who are not performers and assets but liabilities, and I would like to emphasise what I said, that please send those people to Cabinet Office for re-orientation purposes. We are tired of such leaders who cannot perform.

Sir, the President is giving this money at managerial and political level but their performance is shoddy. Unfortunate, even the President has grown grey hair simply because he is not being respected by the same people he appoints.


The Deputy Chairman: Order!, Order! Please, make a point strong but do not stray into grey hair.


Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, I was saying that time has come to look for action oriented leaders who will assist Zambia to come out of poverty. We cannot be using the same semantics for forty years and so on. Japan is what it is today because leaders have been able to provide strong leadership. You even go to the same places and when you come back, all you say is that Japan is nice. Why can you not make your own country nice?

Hon. PF Members: China! China!

Hon. Government Members: Taiwan! Taiwan!

Mr Kasongo: Lastly, let me complain to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that there is this question of inferiority complex where you have depicted a picture of a Chinese on the cover of the Budget Speech, thinking that they are more important than Zambians. This must stop.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, we appreciate the theme which is “from stability to improved service delivery.”


The Deputy Chairman: Order! We are not listening.

Mr Chimbaka: This theme is quite articulate and sending signals that the Government of the day has realised the need to change from an unimproved way of management to the improved ways and means of management in order for the Government to deliver equitable and appreciated service.

Mr Speaker, this will never be realised until people in Government begin to appreciate that prudence cannot always be there in planning as there must be prudence in management of the country’s resources and its delivery system. If that is taken aboard, we are going to see development as we all aspire.

Sir, I want to appreciate the fact that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has alluded to the creation of labour and capital intensive industries. I want to emphasise the fact that labour intensive factories and agro-related industries is the only we are gong to deliver effectively because without labour intensive creation of industries of any kind, there shall never be creation of employment. The capital intensive benefits the neutral people who in socialist countries were referred to as the proletariat. This time around, we must address the grassroots level if we are to move forward.

Mr Speaker, just as my colleague has alluded to, one of the diseases that has killed Zambia is lack of seriousness. What I may address is probably attitudinal change in the implementation and interpreters of policy. Until when people shall begin to appreciate and interpret policy to put it into practical exercise, only then shall we see development. For many years, the Government has been parading and resolving just like it was in the First Republic where we had district councils resolving conflicts but implementation was very little. So, this time round, there is need to check on those that are warrant officers and those that are financial managers at every level.

 If we check very correctly and prudently, there is need to remove from offices those that procrastinate and fail to appreciate beautiful documents like the Vision 2030, the Fifth National Development Plan and the budget which was presented. If we have such, there would be no issues of K3 trillion and K36 billion and other related issues we have seen in the Auditor-General’s report.

Mr Speaker, I want to allude to the fact that this time around, there is need to close the holes which have been pumped with the equating and fraud systems such that it is taking years to detect somebody who fraudulently signed a document to allow payment. If that is not checked this time around, even this budget will fail and probably instead of talking about K3 trillion, we shall be talking about K30 trillion.

Mr Speaker, I also want to say that there is need to call for impartiality in the appropriation and disbursement of funds. My understanding is that appropriation is one thing, but releasing of funds is another. For many times now, we have heard of funds being released when a project should have been completed. We have heard of funds being taken back to the treasury because people failed to put that money to use. Such are the likes we are called enemies of the Republic. All culprits must be checked thoroughly and be punished if found guilty.

Sir, I want to say that there is need to equally depoliticise the Civil Service. We are failing to arrest and even lay on the Table culprits because there are ethics that deter this. One reason why we are failing to bring these people to book is because they are our relatives or friends. Now, because we appointed them, if we bring them to book, they will bring shame on us. It is like when you are ready to marry, you bring a gentleman who fails to meet the requirements of marriage. If marriage fails, it is not shi bukombe or mulangizi to blame, but the man. Because of this, we are going to continue with mistakes.

What I am saying is that politicising the Civil Service is another contributing factor to the failure to deliver because some of the Permanent Secretaries are untouchable. Some of the District Commissioners are purely party cadres. They can not respect the law and interpret the system. They can not deliver. All they are there for is to organise their party. We want Zambia to move forward. If we do not, posterity shall charge us harshly.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!



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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1914 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 14th February, 2007.