Debates- Tuesday, 6th February, 2007

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Tuesday, 6th February, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: In the absence of His Honour the Vice-President who is attending to other national duties, Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, MP, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, who is also Chief Whip, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.


Mr Speaker: Following the appointment of Mr A. Banda, MP as Deputy Chief Whip, I wish to inform the House that Mr H. L Imasiku, MP, has been appointed to serve on the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in place of Mr A. Banda, MP.




209. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) what constraints prevented the Government from paying pensioners and retirees their dues on time; and

(b) whether there were any plans to decentralise the payment of pensioners’ benefits to provinces.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, retirees from the Public Service receive both a lump sum and monthly pension benefits that are calculated in accordance with Cap. 260 of the Laws of Zambia. The payment of the monthly pensions averaging a monthly bill of K53 billion to 56,000 pensioners and beneficiaries has improved tremendously as pensioners are able to access their dues by the 26th day of every month.

Mr Speaker, the payment of lump sum benefits has continued to be the major challenge due to financial and administrative constraints which are as follows:

Financial Constraints

Prior to 2002, the budget allocation and releases to the Public Service Pension Fund were inadequate and partial, respectively. However, the budgetary allocations have increased by 360 per cent from 2002 to 2006. For example, the allocation of the grant has increased from K58 billion in 2002 to K254 billion in 2006.

Correspondingly, the overall budget under-funding from the Treasury has been reduced from 52 per cent in 2002 to 38 per cent as at 31st October, 2006. As a result of this under-funding, 1,518 retirees and beneficiaries have not been paid their benefits amounting to K124 billion as at 31st October, 2006.

Mr Speaker, the constraints in paying the retirees on demand is due to the increasing and widening financial gap that is the difference between the pension revenue and the costs. In the 1996 Reforms, the Public Service Pension Fund (PSRP) was closed to new entrants and this has affected the revenues as the stock of contributions is declining while the stock of pensioners and retirees is increasing. The now completed Retrenchment Programme in the Public Service compounded this problem.

Mr Speaker, as a short-term solution, the Government is committed to liquidating the pension contribution arrears which amounted to K416 billion as at 30th September, 2006, and introducing a budget line to finance the financing gap and adjust monthly pensions. As a long-term measure, the Government is revising appropriate mechanisms under the Public Service Management Programme aimed at improving the quality service to all retirees and beneficiaries which will ensure timely payment of benefits and these include developing a business plan for the Public Service Pension Fund by undertaking constitutional and legal reforms.

Administrative Constraints

Mr Speaker, the other constraint that impedes paying retirees on time is that of inefficient administrative processes such as the record and Documentation Management System in the Public Service. There are delays in submitting files for the processing of benefits from Government ministries to the paying agency. For example, it takes an average of three years for the statutory retirement cases, while deceased cases take an average of five years. It is also disheartening that, at least, 10 per cent of the files submitted to the Fund are returned to the originating ministries due to insufficient documentation and other queries. The Government has commenced the revamping and streamlining of the procedures and improving the service delivery under the Public Service Management Programme (PSMP). This will result in improved and efficient service delivery.

Mr Speaker, the sensitisation of the Human Resource Practitioners in pension processing started in July, 2006.

Mr Speaker, with regard to part (b) of the question, decentralisation by way of opening offices in each of the province or district of Zambia was considered, but the cost was unaffordable to undertake the project. In a bid to improve the service delivery to pensioners and retirees, the payments, enquiries, document certification and submission have been decentralised while the administration of the pension is centralised. As at October 2006, they were 56,000 pensioners distributed throughout the country, 130 are in United Kingdom, 102 in South Africa, 108 in Zimbabwe, 159 in Malawi and 06 in Kenya.

The pension payments, lump sum and monthly, are credited to different retirees’ and pensioners’ accounts electronically via DDACCV and Pay flex methods to pay points of their choice in their localities. Pensioners in Malawi are paid via Malawi Savings Bank, while those in the UK are paid via Crown Agents. Other foreign pensioners in South Africa and Zimbabwe have similar arrangements.

Further, Mr Speaker, there is decentralisation of enquiries, document certification and submission via the Zambia National Pensioners Association (ZANAPA) offices located in all provinces. Pensioners manning those offices were trained in handling enquiries and submitting documents to the Public Service Pension Fund. All the offices were equipped with communication facilities.

Further, the Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) and Zambia National Teacher’s Union (ZNUT) are being courted as partners to handle enquiries and submit documents to PSPF on behalf of their members.

The above methods have tremendously reduced the cost to retirees/pensioners and the inconvenience of travelling to Lusaka to collect their benefits.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, the workers make monthly contributions to their employers and that same money is invested by the Pensions Fund Board. Why does the Government delay to pay this same money to the owners at the time it is supposed to be paid?

The Minster of Finance and National Planning (Mr Magande): Mr Speaker, it is true that deductions are made from the employees’ salaries and the pension deduction is supposed to be sent to the Pensions Fund Board. As we have already indicated, up to 2002 and for some time before then, these remittances were not being made. As a result, some Government departments incurred arrears in their contributions. This is what has caused these arrears. In a normal situation, there should be no arrears.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, the Government has instituted both financial and administrative reforms to try and address the same concerns or problems that the Deputy Minister has made reference to. Is he admitting that these reforms have failed?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, yes, some of the reforms have failed because, at one point, it was decided that the new civil servants should not belong to the Public Service Pensions Fund but, that they should belong to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). As a result, the contributions that are going to the Civil Service Pension Fund are much less and, therefore, they are not enough to pay out when the civil servants retire.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I have seen senior citizens going to collect monthly pensions as low as K6,000 or K13,000. May I know from the hon. Minister how those figures were arrived at and whether the Government is considering increasing these ridiculously low monthly pension payments.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the formula for calculating the pensions is provided for under Cap. 260 of the Constitution and the Laws of Zambia. That formula has not been changed. We have recently been trying to see if we can amend that. Unfortunately, in the past few months as we were considering the Constitutional Amendments, the issue of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) came into play. Many pensioners went to make submissions to the CRC and recommendations came out of the CRC that we must amend the formula. It would appear that until, therefore, we revisit the CRC issue, we cannot bring that amendment. So, it is a formula which is provided for and we are concerned. In fact, I know, Mr Speaker, even an elderly statesman like Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, a former Permanent Secretary (PS), gets less than K50,000 as his pension.


Mr Magande: So, we are equally concerned and, obviously, we would like to do something about this formula so that, in future, the pensions are related to the salaries of serving civil servants. At the moment, there is a lot of disparity that one Permanent Secretary gets K40,000 per month while another one is getting K400,000, and yet, both served the Public Service in the same category.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, may my hon. Friend and Minister of Finance and National Planning tell the House what plans, if any, his Government has for clearing the arrears it owes the Pension Fund.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the arrears which we said are around K400 billion, at the moment, can only be cleared through the budget by making a provision on an annual basis. This is what we have been doing and then, in the last two years, we have provided up to K250 billion to try to pay off these arrears. Obviously, we cannot deal with arrears alone because there are also serving civil servants, including hon. Members of Parliament, who also have to be provided for. So, this is part of the domestic debt that we are worried about and we hope we will continue to service it until we have completely dissolved it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister specify what his ministry is doing about inefficiency and poor record keeping which are already known challenges at the ministry? These prevent the ministry from paying the retirees on time and, by so doing, encourage slum building in the middle of the city since most of these retirees have to be repatriated to their various homes where they have to pay school fees for their children in order to avoid having street kids. What is the ministry doing to avoid these and improve record keeping?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, in our reply, we said that some of the causes of the delays are poor recording keeping, not by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, but by the employing departments. In other words, if there is a teacher in Kanchibiya who retires, the procedure is that he must, first of all, report to the school where his file is. That file should go to the District Education Board Secretary to fill in the necessary information. Then, it goes to the Provincial Education Committee where more information is filled in, and then ends up at the Ministry of Education Headquarters where they also check the records. It is only after all this has been done that the file goes to the Public Service Pensions Fund.

Now, when the file arrives at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, we compare it with another file which is used for calculating the pay or monthly wages. If we find that the two files do not contain the same information or, for example, they contain different ages of this particular teacher, the file has to go back all the way to the District Education Board Secretary who is going to correct that information. Half way, it might spend one week or one month because officers are inefficient. By the time it makes its way back, it might be two years. This is what causes some of the problems of paying these retirees on time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what immediate measures have been put in place to discourage the retirees from staying in the mushrooming compound near the Intercity Bus Terminus.

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is not aware of this compound. I am sure the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing would be in a position to deal with illegally mushrooming compounds in towns.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why the retirees who retired five years ago have not been paid while someone who retired two years has been paid. Why do they not follow the ‘first come first served’ principle?

Mr Magande: Mr Speaker, as already explained, the officer who retired two months ago might have all his records in order. The officer who retired five years ago might have the files still making the rounds to have the information corrected. Therefore, we do not wait until we have sorted out what might be an administrative problem elsewhere to pay those whose records are accurate.

I thank you, Sir.


210. Mr Lubinda (Kabwata) asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Services:

(a) How many theatre houses were operating in Zambia; and

(b) whether there were any plans to construct a cultural centre along Thabo Mbeki Road.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, Zambia has eight buildings that were specifically built for theatre activities and these are:

(i) Lusaka Theatre Club in Lusaka: The ownership is yet to be established.

(ii) Venus Theatre Club in Kabwe: It was under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, but was given it to the Judiciary. At the moment, it is not being used as a theatre building anymore.

(iii) Lowenthal Theatre Club in Ndola: This is under the Local Authority and is currently leased to the Rotary Club of Ndola.

(iv) Rados Theatre Club in Luanshya: This was neglected by the mines.

(v) Nkana Kitwe Arts Society (NKAS) in Kitwe

(vi) Chingola Arts Society in Chingola: This belonged to the mines.

(vii) Kamenza Theatre in Chililabombwe: This theatre is now closed.

(viii) Mufulira Arts Society in Mufulira: This is now under the Local Authority.

Mr Speaker, of all these, only Nkana Arts Society in Kitwe, Chingola Arts Society and Lusaka Theatre Club are in usable state.

Sir, Lowenthal Theatre was taken over by Rotary Club in Ndola in 1997 and has become extremely expensive for the artists to use owing to the conditions that have been given or imposed for its usage.

Mufulira and Rados Theatres are in a state of despair while Kamenza Theatre is closed …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Kamenza Theatre has been closed to artists’ use since 1983. Venus Theatre has been taken over by the Ministry of Justice since 2002 and the ministry concerned is turning it into a courthouse to be used for High and Supreme Court Sessions.

Mr Speaker, my ministry, indeed, has plans to construct the National Cultural Centre to be situated on Thabo Mbeki Road. So far, my ministry has already facilitated and prepared architectural plans through the Ministry of Works and Supply for the following structures.

(i) Multi-purpose Theatre

(ii) Art Gallery

(iii) Workshop Facility

(iv) Restaurant

(v) Administration Block

(vi) Audio Visual Studio

Mr Speaker, the next course of action for my ministry, after completion of the architectural work, is to commence the construction of the above structures. I hope that the hon. Members of Parliament in the House will support the budgetary allocation, which is aimed at the construction of the multi-purpose theatre.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister might be aware that the Government spent a total of K118 million at the piece of land that is earmarked for the National Cultural Centre in 2003 in the procurement of hose pipes and wheel barrows. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware of that and whether, when he talks about the plans that they have now, that is what is provided for in the Fifth National Development Plan to the tune of K1 billion to be invested in the year 2007. I would like that confirmation so that we can assist the hon. Minister to supervise the work of the construction at the National Cultural Centre along Thabo Mbeki Road.

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Yes, Mr Speaker. The ministry is aware that some money was allocated for the construction of the national theatre house or cultural centre. We are also aware that it will cost K9 billion to construct. At the moment, the ministry has plans, this year, to start with a number of services within the set up. However, before the budget comes to the House, it is not possible for us to indicate exactly how much money will be allocated for this construction.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, what plans does the Government have to help rehabilitate the theatre houses in Mufulira and Luanshya because these were initially operated by the mines before privatisation?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we have currently embarked on an audit of theatre houses to establish the ownership. As the hon. Deputy Minister indicated in the reply, it is not clear who owns these structures because some were owned by the mines and, upon privatisation, we do not know what happened or whether the ownership changed. Since we are carrying out an audit, we will establish the ownership. Once we do this, as a ministry, we will propose that we take over these structures so that we can start the process of rehabilitation. In the meantime, we have plans to construct cultural villages in all provinces. These will include multi-purposes theatre houses.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, I would just like to find out, from the hon. Minister, if there are any plans of constructing cultural centres in urban constituencies since, as Zambians, we consider culture to be very important.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we would like to start with provinces, especially areas that are far from the line of rail. The hon. Deputy Minister referred to the threatres that were built along the line of rail. If we have funds available in future, we will construct these centres in urban areas. However, I would like to urge the private sector to also partner with the Government in providing these theatre houses.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister indicated, in his reply, that Venus Theatre in Kabwe has been given to the Ministry of Justice and, perhaps, the situation will remain that way. Are there any plans to get it back so that theatre, performances and arts could be promoted in Kabwe?

With regard to Lowenthal Theatre, which used to be very thriving in Ndola, but which is now being managed by the Rotary Club and they have put restrictions, according to the hon. Deputy Minister, such that theatre can not take place, are there any plans to get it back again so that theatre and performing arts can be taking place in Ndola?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, both Venus Theatre in Kabwe and Lowenthal in Ndola belonged to the local authorities. They have entered into agreements. The Lowenthal Theatre building in Ndola has been leased to the Rotary Club. They have entered into a very long-term lease. We have no authority, as a Government, to terminate that agreement. We, really, cannot interfere.

As regards Venus Theatre in Kabwe, it is true that the local authority there entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Justice because they needed a court house in Kabwe and this building was unutilised at that time. As such, it was found prudent to turn this into a court house. However, my ministry has put aside K240 million to construct a new theatre house in Kabwe to compensate for this.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


211. Mr Lubinda asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) How many churches were operating in Zambia in 1991 and 2005;

(b) how many churches were deregistered from 2001 to June, 2006 and under what circumstances; and

(c) how many approved church buildings were in existence in Zambia in 1991 and 2005.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Mr Speaker, the response to Hon. Lubinda’s question on churches operating in Zambia, churches deregistered and church buildings in Zambia is as follows:

(a) Churches are registered in two categories, that is, major churches and minor churches. The minor churches are those which came up in 1991 and after. The total number registered in this category is 3,028. Mostly, these are Pentecostal churches. The major churches are those which had been in existence before 1991, but had continued expanding and registered branches. The registered number is 9,183. Therefore, the total number of churches registered and operating in Zambia between 1991 and 2005 is 12,211; and

(b)  the number of cancelled churches is 138. The reason for cancellation is mainly failure to submit annual returns and for not furnishing information to the Registrar of Societies on the status of the church and the office bearers. However, there was a separate reason in respect of the following churches:

(i) Universal Kingdom Church;
(ii) Jehovah’s Kingdom Denomination; and
(iii) Kimbakist Church.

These were cancelled for involvement in inimical activities, and were hence dangerous to the citizens of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that the Universal Kingdom Church has since been re-registered. The Registrar of Societies does not inspect or approve church buildings. The Office of the Registrar of Societies only ensures that the church has contact addresses of office bearers and a place of worship. This could be any structure. Places of worship could be in a tent or even under a tree.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, my question at (a) reads: How many churches were operating in Zambia in 1991 and 2005? I posed that question that way because from that I would have raised supplementary questions. Given that the hon. Minister might have deliberately misunderstood my question and, therefore, given me only one figure of 12,211, may I seek your indulgence that the hon. Minister comes back with a complete answer? This is a half answer.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, my ministry has given ample information for the hon. Minister to ask any subsequent questions arising out of that because we have covered the period that he indicated in his question.

I thank you, Sir.


212. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Works and Supply whether there were any plans to connect Sesheke to the rest of Western Province through the Shichili-Luampa road to avoid the difficulties travellers faced during the flooding of the Barotse plains.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, in 2007, works will be carried out on the section of the road from Luampa Mission to Mulobezi Town. A total of 246 kilometres will be done.

There is already a contract on the section between Mulobezi and M10 (Sesheke Turn Off). The contract was awarded to Roads Contractors Company and Phoenix Materials Zambia Limited. The length of the road under the contract is 95.64 kilometres. The contract was awarded in October, 2006.

The section between Mulobezi Turn Off to Sesheke which is 42 kilometres is paved (tarmac) and routine maintenance is carried out on this section yearly.

The contract on the Mulobezi Road is being implemented using Output and Performance Based Road Contract (OPRC) and the contract duration is four years.
The Funding Agency for the section between Luampa to Mulobezi and Mulobezi to Sesheke Turn Off is European Budget Support.

I thank you, Sir.


213. Mr Mwangala asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) When works on the Limulunga/Senanga/Katima-Mulilo Road, which were abandoned, would commence;

(b) whether there were any plans to construct a bridge at Sitoti and, if so, which contractor would be awarded the contract and at what cost; and

(c) whether there were any plans to tar the Sitoti/Kalabo Road passing through the Sinjembela and Nalolo Parliamentary Constituencies and, if so, when.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, in answer to part (a) of the question, only 30 per cent of the works have been done. There is now need for the client (RDA) to approve a variation to recommence the works (Variation Pending).

Mr Speaker, as regards part (b) of the question, the Danish Mixed Credit will do a road from Senanga to Nangweshi which is 33 kilometres long. Multiple bridges will be constructed at Nangweshi using the same credit (2008 – 2009). To commence all the projects mentioned, a study will be done in 2007. The Danish Embassy has confirmed that their Government has approved the Mixed Credit Facility where Zambia shall only pay back the principal without interest.

Mr Speaker, periodic maintenance will be carried out on the feeder roads in Senanga and Sesheke districts under DANIDA Phase II when the study is completed. The Government of the Republic of Zambia will further carry out a study to look at the prospects of paving the road from Sitoti to Kalabo. Study is to be done in 2008. There are no immediate plans to tar the road.

Mr Speaker, the DANIDA Aid will do the next section from Nangweshi via Katima-Mulilo to Sesheke. A total of 187 kilometres will be done. The works will be done in 2008. In 2007, the study will have to be completed first.

I thank you, Sir.


214. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs what action the African Union had taken in response to the situation in War-Lord-torn Somalia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Sikatana): Mr Speaker, the African Union (AU) had initially participated in the sub-regional efforts undertaken by the member States of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to mediate between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).

In this respect, the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Oumar Konare, had appointed a special representative for Somalia to monitor the political and security situation in that country and to facilitate dialogue between the Transitional Federal Government and the Union of Islamic Courts. The AU had offered to make a financial contribution towards the deployment of an African peace keeping mission in Somalia.

Mr Speaker, the Chairman of the AU Commission also called on African States to rapidly provide peace-keeping troops for Somalia. In addition, he convened, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in December, 2006, a meeting of the IGAD and the League of Arab States to review the situation and discuss steps to be undertaken to help the peace process in Somalia.

Mr Speaker, the meeting appealed to the Transitional Federal Government and the Union of Islamic Courts to resume their political dialogue in Khartoum by January, 2007 without pre-conditions. It further called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops or elements from Somalia and for substantial international support to enable the TFG maintain security, the integrity and sovereignty of Somalia. The meeting finally called for the setting up of a joint-follow up mechanism to monitor the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1725.

Mr Speaker, after the defeat of the Union of the Islamic Courts in Mogadishu and Southern Somalia, the African Union has joined the efforts of the United Nations to deploy a UN-AU peace-keeping force in Somalia despite the apparent reluctance of African and foreign countries to contribute troops to the proposed UN force on the basis of the last experience that the American-led UN force had in that country in the late 1990s and the suspected presence of al-Quaeda elements in Somalia.

Mr Speaker, Zambia advocates the cessation of all hostilities and a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Somalia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, recognising the suffering the people of Somalia have undergone, what is the position of our Government regarding the intervention of Ethiopia vis a vis, the situation in Somalia?

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, the Ethiopian forces are currently withdrawing from Somalia. The Kenyan Government sent envoys to several African countries requesting them to contribute forces to avoid a vacuum after the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces. It is obvious that the situation in Somalia could get back to its old days where it was the war-lords that were ruling.

It is, therefore, gratifying, however, that the AU have now, mandated its Chairman to immediately raise alarm to all African countries to contribute forces to Somalia.

Mr Speaker, the situation in Somalia has been chaotic, to say the least, for many years and the same war-lords are now leaning towards the newly-formed government. Although their motive may not be known, it is obvious that all African countries are now responding to the contribution of forces.

Finally, the AU is urging the UN to come in and organise the AU forces and to avoid a situation of war-lord taking over in the areas that are relatively peaceful.

Mr Speaker, all has been done by the AU, but the forces behind these war-lords are so powerful that they are not easy to contain. I shall inform this House time and again over the developments in Somalia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs whether, after receiving a request to send troops to Somalia, the Zambian Government will respond positively or negatively considering the risks involved in Somalia and in the light that some of the fighting forces may be linked to al-Quaeda.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, we acknowledge that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has been approached. The Government is considering the approach and the nation will be notified accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.


215. Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Health what had been the successes and failures of the Roll-Back Malaria Strategy since 2001

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has noted the severity of the problem of child mortality and has taken several measures and I will just mention some of them.

(i) Increased Vaccination Coverage

Over the past three years, Zambia has recorded a steady increase in vaccine coverage throughout the country, thereby, ensuring that more of our children are protected against diseases. National Immunisations coverage has increased. The coverage increased from 75 per cent in 2003 to 80 per cent in 2004 and then 82 per cent in 2005. As a result of the increased vaccination, polio has now been eradicated from Zambia. It is also important to note that currently the Government covers 80 per cent of the cost of vaccines as opposed to the past when the major part was donor funded.

(ii) Regular Campaigns And Advocacy Activities

In order to prevent infections and make the nation healthier, the Government regularly conducts campaigns and advocacy activities such as the following:

- Child Health Week

Child health weeks are held twice a year to de-worm children, provide them with Vitamin A (which prevents infections and blindness) and provide vaccines. All these benefits are provided free to the end-users.

- Measles Campaign

The measles campaign is an activity that is meant to increase coverage of measles vaccination. The first campaign was successfully held in 2001 and the next shall be held in June 2007. Zambia and Togo are the pioneers of this campaign in Africa.

(iii) Anti malaria activities

As you are aware, malaria is the number one cause of death in Zambia and the Government has, therefore, stepped up malaria control efforts. The following is being done:

- Intermittent Presumptive Treatment

This was introduced by the Government for pregnant women to improve birth outcomes. The coverage is currently being scaled up. This is a practice where all pregnant mothers are given fansidar during the course of pregnancy.

- Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs)

In order to increase access to Insecticide Treated Nets, the Government has reduced the price of bed nets to K3,000 per net from about K25,000 on commercial basis for pregnant women and children.

- Indoor Residual Spraying

Indoor Residual Spraying of houses is being steadily scaled up starting with five districts in 2003, eight districts in 2004 and, as at 2006, we are covering fifteen districts. Some of the districts covered in Indoor Residual Spraying include: Lusaka, Chongwe, Kafue, Livingstone, Kazungula, Ndola, Kitwe, Chingola, Chililabombwe, Mufulira and Luanshya.

(iv) Food Fortification

It is now mandatory for all the sugar being consumed in the country to be fortified with Vitamin A, which improves children’s immunity against infections.

(v) Human Resources

Zambia has been experiencing a mass exodus of qualified health personnel from the country to seek better conditions of service elsewhere. This has adversely affected patient-care in our health facilities. The Government has acted by coming up with a human resource plan which was completed last year. Recruitment and retention activities have started and still going on. The doctors’ Rural Retention Scheme has managed to attract medical doctors to work in rural areas which they used to shun a few years ago.

(vi) Removal Of The User-Fees In Rural Areas

The Government has abolished payment of user-fees by clients in rural areas. Though user-fees are meant to regulate health-seeking behaviour, they may act as a barrier to accessing health care in some areas. Early indications show that utilisation of rural health services has increased since the removal of user-fees. This is likely to contribute to reduced child mortality.

(vii) Collaboration with other ministries

It has been noted that the Ministry of Health cannot, single handedly, resolve the problem of child mortality hence the collaboration with other relevant stakeholders such as the electronic and print media who are playing a critical role in sensitising the public on health matters especially during campaigns such as child health week.

Mr Speaker, the Government has noted that child mortality is a serious problem that is robbing the nation of the future academic, economic and political leaders, hence the efforts being made to contain the scourge.

Mr Speaker, though the above list is not exhaustive, the measures put in place are yielding positive results. For instance, the national incidence rate of respiratory infections like pneumonia reduced from 50 per 1000 population in 2003 to 44 per 1000 population in 2004 and then further dropped to 42 per 1000 population in 2005.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what has gone wrong in this country to enable our children and the communities to be subjected to fortified foods.

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, it is not a question of what has gone wrong, but what measures we are taking to protect people who may not have access to the multiple foods that would give them health vitamins. That is the main reason for fortification of sugar. The rest of the foods that are eaten are just like what is eaten elsewhere. So, we are part of the global village and the food that is eaten is what we are also going to eat.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bonshe (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, in rural areas, the health centres are very far apart and, in some instances, they are about eighty to 100 kilometres apart. Now, the immunisation of the children is not adequately covered in such areas. What is the ministry doing to address such a situation?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, when we get to the immunisation periods, we use mobile immunisation vehicles and we also do the sensitisation where we have information disseminated so that people are able to walk to the nearest health centres. That is what we are able to do now.

In future, we are going to take medical health delivery services to the people and that is why we are still in the process of building rural health centres and health posts nearer so that we can curb the distances that are now affecting most of our population.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Health why the Government is using DDT in the residual spraying of peri-urban and urban areas where houses are made of mud walls as part of the Roll-Back Malaria Campaign. DDT is a chemical which, at one time, was banned from being manufactured at an international convention. DDT has got…

Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair wishes to guide the hon. Member of Parliament that there will be a question specifically on the Roll-Bank Malaria. Could you wait for that time which will be soon.


216. Mr Kasongo asked the Minister of Health what had been the successes and failures of the Roll-Back Malaria Strategy since 2001.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, the Government has prioritised the problem of malaria and has stepped up measures to control the spread of the disease. In this regard, grants are being given to institutions for prevention and control of the disease. In addition to that, direct funding to all institutions under the Medium Term Expenditure Framework is given on a monthly basis. These efforts are being augmented by providing qualified human resource to move the strategy forward.

Sir, additionally, resource situation has improved in terms of partner participation and financing for malaria control. Resource mobilisation from all our traditional partners such as SIDA, the Netherlands, DFID, DANIDA and WHO has improved. Further, the ministry is being supported by initiatives such as the Global Fund to fight HIV/Aids, TB and Malaria (GFATM). Partners such as the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Path International have now come on board in the fight against malaria to ensure that within the course of the next three years, we will begin to reverse the malaria impact and sustain this by the end of the Six-year Strategic Plan.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health has changed the Anti-malarial Policy. This was revised in 2003 to adopt effective artemisnin-based combination therapy for treatment of uncomplicated cases. This was in response to high treatment failure rates of chloroquine. Countrywide coverage of Coartem has been achieved in all Government and Mission health facilities.

Sir, we have revitalised the In-door Residual Spraying Campaign in eligible districts. In 2005, operational coverage was 84 per cent of the targeted structures. More than two hundred and thirty six thousand households were sprayed in 2005. The target to be covered is 85 per cent of targeted structures.

Sir, there has been increased distribution of Insecticide Treated Nets. In order to address low retreatment rates, long lasting nets are being preferentially distributed over conventional ones. Currently, 50 per cent of households have at least a net, half of which have more than one net. 44 per cent of households have at least an Insecticide Treated Net. Boarding schools have received nets. All health facilities in Zambia with admission facilities have received Insecticide Treated Nets. Furthermore, free Insecticide Treated Nets mass distribution is now being implemented in phases with the target of at least three nets per households.

Mr Speaker, through focused ante-natal care, pregnant women are receiving Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) to prevent malaria in pregnancy. In 2006, about 75 per cent of pregnant women were receiving Fansidar for Intermittent Preventive Treatment.

Sir, the malaria programme has maintained a robust sentinel site surveillance system to monitor the process and impact of malaria interventions. A malaria information system is in place to address the inadequacies of health monitoring information system.


Mr Speaker, on the challenges, the biggest challenge the ministry is facing relates to the issue of funding and human resource. However, as the House may be aware, efforts are being made to resolve the problems.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katema: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the Government is using DDT in residual spraying of houses in the peri-urban and rural areas when DDT is known for its cumulative toxicity and that at one international convention, it was banned from being manufactured in the world.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, DDT has been known to have some environmental effects. As a result, as we will do the indoor residual spraying, we will be working very closely with the Environmental Council of Zambia to ensure that we use DDT according to the specifications. In the residual spraying, it means that we spray this medicine inside the houses and not outside. Therefore, environmentally, we do not expect that the chemical will be able to spread out into the streams and the rivers. Furthermore, we have found that when we use DDT on mud houses, it works better. That is why we are using DDT in mud houses whilst we are using other chemicals like pyrethroid in the other houses.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, some time last year, when the current hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, at that time Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo), went to launch the same programme in Samfya, she announced publicly that there was a programme of giving each household two mosquito nets as a measure against malaria. I wonder whether this programme has now been put in the waste paper basket.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Member he is talking about, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, is not here, I will follow it up.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! That was in reference to her, then, as the hon. Minister of Health.


Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the issue of giving out Insecticide Treated Nets has not stopped. If that was not completed in the area, we will follow it up and see what happened to the programme. We may find that, maybe, the nets are within the area. Once we get that information, we will communicate.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I am just following up on the DDT issue. DDT is an extremely effective and cheap agricultural insecticide whose banning actually led to a huge increase in insecticide control cost in Zambia. What measures has the ministry taken to ensure that it does not develop a black market or a leakage of DDT into the agricultural sector and, consequently, the environmental issues that it was originally banned for?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, we are hoping that the Zambian public will adhere to most of the issues regarding selling or buying some of these insecticides that should not be taken habitually. To assure the hon. Member, WHO has actually passed that DDT is the most effective medication or insecticide that can be used on the nets as at now. At the time of stopping the use of DDT, it was on the crops because it was direct consumption for the people. Since now it is being used on the nets, we can only hope that the public will realise that DDT can be fatal if consumed. So, for now we need all hon. Members to actually help us because this is a multi-sectoral approach that we need when educating the members of the public.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


217. Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central) asked the Minister of Health the extent to which the United Nationals General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS Declaration of Commitment had been implemented by the Government of Zambia.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that through the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council, Zambia now has a comprehensive and widely disseminated National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Policy. This has spelt out the role of all the sectors in the national response. The National AIDS Council has also gives guidelines on all aspects of conduct, implementation and evaluation of the HIV/AIDS response. In view of the above, the Government has issued a policy directive to have free access ARVs in the public sector.

Mr Speaker, in the area of Voluntary Counselling and Testing Services, the services were established on a larger scale in Zambia in 1999 with the aim of providing quality and friendly counselling and testing on the same day. These services were established in twenty-one pilot sites evenly distributed in all the nine provinces of Zambia with help from co-operating partners. To date, we have established 651 voluntary counselling and testing centres throughout the country and trained 10,000 counsellors.

Mr Speaker, another key cornerstone of the preventive strategies is the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT).

Sir, under the programme, there has been a scale up of interventions including optimal maternity care, offering testing for HIV and use of ARVs to prevent transmission to the child. Currently, more than 265 sites in all districts throughout Zambia are offering this service. More than 120,000 expectant mothers have benefited from this programme with about 25,000 being eligible for and being provided with ARVs to prevent mother to child transmission.

Mr Speaker, another aspect is the issue of Behavioural Change and Communication (BCC). This has proved to be an effective tool of changing people’s behaviour through the use of ABCC (Abstinence, Being faithful to one partner and correct Condom use). This BCC has worked very well especially in the setting up of youth friendly services.

The Government of the Republic of Zambia has gone further to support and establish work place programmes where productive age groups share ideas related to HIV/AIDS and encourage one another on how to overcome certain problems they undergo.

Sir, the Government has put up infrastructure to secure blood and blood products. The Blood Transfusion Service has been put in place and it ensures that 100 per cent of the blood collected is fully screened with optimal quality assurance. The blood is made available country wide free of charge.

Care and Support

The Government of the Republic of Zambia made a policy decision to make Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) widely available in all the public health facilities. Currently, there are 76,000 patients on ARVs.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that one of the commitments under the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS is that of increasing budgetary allocation to the health sector. If he is, has Government lived up to that commitment?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the budget will be presented on Friday. Last week, when we were talking about cholera, one of the issues I talked about was the necessary support that we need from our hon. Colleagues. Even as at now, I could safely say that we have raised the health budget from K550 billion to K820 billion this time around. So, that is in an effort to see that such issues are catered for. There may not be enough, but this is one step ahead of what has been happening in the past.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, Zambia has a high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. This is also in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda just to mention a few countries. These countries have now declared HIV/AIDS a national disaster. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when Zambia is going to declare HIV/AIDS a national disaster so that we can have more funds directed to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Zambia is at 16 per cent. As of August 2005, His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., realised that this was a disaster and that was the time the pronouncement was made that ARVs were going to be given free to Zambians and we are one of the few countries that have done that.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, in her statement, the hon. Minister said that Zambia is implementing a comprehensive approach towards HIV/AIDs prevention through ABC. I would like to find out why the Government has allowed the PEPFA Programme to be implemented in Zambia when they have not implement the ABC programme. In fact, they contradict the ABC Programme.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, PEPFA is just one of the many partners that we have in order to fight the HIV/AIDS scourge. Therefore, we have said we are gong to work with all the partners. They may have different approaches, but at the end of the day, we need various partnerships for us to be able to combat the disease.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health has just informed this House that the budget will be presented to the House on Friday. On he other hand, she has said that the ministry has managed to move the budget from K550 billion to K800 billion. Could we know the type budget that she is talking about?


Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, this is a proposed budget. I mentioned that the budget will be proposed on Friday. As of now, I am making a plea that you support the health budget. So, let us wait for Friday and see what the budget will be like.

I thank you, Sir.


218. Dr Chishimba asked the Minister of Home Affairs how many police officers and prison warders were accommodated in camps and how many were not accommodated.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Musosha): Mr Speaker, 11,000 police officers are accommodated in police camps, while 5,170 are not accommodated. The number for those not accommodated includes 1,600 officers who recently passed out at the three police training schools, namely; Lilayi, Sondela and Kamfinsa.

Sir, in the case of prison warders, there are 1,534 who are accommodated in camps. Meanwhile, the Zambia Prison Service has no warders who are not accommodated.

However, Mr Speaker, both the Zambia Police and Zambia Prisons Service have some officers living in rented homes which the two services are obliged to pay for the officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, more than 35 per cent of police officers are not accommodated, does the Hon. Minister realise that this may contribute to the current situation where policemen are found in acts where they hire out guns to criminals because they are staying with them in the compounds?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, we are aware and hence the plan for us to build accommodation for policemen, policewomen and prison warders.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, are market places also rented homes? I am saying so because I saw, on television, that policemen live at a market. Have you done anything to address this situation?

Mr Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, obviously, market places are not rented homes. My ministry is doing everything possible to accommodate police officers. Last year, my ministry bought flats worth K500 million within Matero and Emmasdale to support the effort to decongest the markets where they were living in bad conditions.

As we are talking, we are negotiating with National Housing Authority (NHA) in Lusaka as well as on the Copperbelt for us to purchase a number of mine houses and council houses in Kankoyo, Kansuswa and Butondo.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, arising from that answer that they are seeking accommodation in areas other than camps, I would like to find out whether the ministry has any plans to disband the camps in the country so that the police officers can stay anywhere they wish.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, we have no such plans.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mschili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer where he has mentioned that they are in the process of building houses, have they put a provision in this budget just for the maintenance of these police camps?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, we are proposing a provision for maintenance and we are asking hon. Members to support that provision.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


219. Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Lands:

(a) What criteria were used for one to access funds from the Land Development Fund; and

(b) how many people or communities had benefited from the Fund in Sesheke District, in particular, and Western Province, in general.

The Deputy Minister of Lands (Mr Muteteka): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Land Development Fund was established under Section 16(1) of the 1995 Land Act. The Land Development Fund which operates as a revolving fund has been aimed at assisting city, municipal and district councils to open up new areas for development. The projects to be funded under this Land Development Fund are:

(i) preparation of layout plans for areas earmarked for development;

(ii) demarcating and surveying of new areas earmarked for development;

(iii) opening up road networks in areas earmarked for development. These are gravel roads  and tarmacs;

(iv) lighting up of the earmarked areas for development, these are street lights; and

(v) provision of water and sanitation.

Mr Speaker, the sources of the Land Development Fund are:

(i) moneys appropriated and approved by Parliament for the Fund;

(ii) 50 per cent of the money received by the Ministry of Lands for alienation of land; and

(iii) 50 per cent of money collected by the Ministry of Lands for ground rates.

Mr Speaker, the criterion that is used for the council to access the Land Development Fund is that the council should submit a viable project proposal to develop land to the Land Development Fund Committee at the Ministry of Lands. Such a proposal should be in line with the guidelines on the Land Development Fund which stipulates that projects that are eligible should cover the following areas; roads, water and sanitation, surveying and demarcation, preparation of layout plans and electrification in terms of street lighting.

Sir, allow me to lay on the Table of this august House a copy of the Land Development Fund guidelines.

Mr Muteteka laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, those councils that have benefited so far, had met these criteria. However, there are other councils who have made requests but cannot meet the above criteria as they have requested for funding in such areas as construction of rural health centres, schools and police posts.

Sesheke District Council is one of the councils that has benefitted from the Land Development Fund. Since this fund is administered by the district authorities and is not given directly to people or communities, the immediate beneficiaries are those that acquire plots in areas that are serviced utilising the Land Development Fund. The trickle down benefits will be seen through the socio-economic development of the area.

As for Western Province in general, two district councils have benefited from the Land Development Fund in 2006, and these are Sesheke and Lukulu districts.

In 2006, Sesheke District Council was given a total amount of K500 million for gravel roads and water supply while Lukulu District Council was given K500 million for road networks, water sanitation and surveying of rural areas.

Mr Speaker, guidelines were sent to all the councils throughout the country at the beginning of 2006, but due to inadequate capacity to formulate project proposals, the flow of requests from councils has been slow. In order to address this issue, my office has embarked on a programme of visiting all councils throughout the country in order to explain the guidelines in addition to monitoring progress on implementation to those councils who have received funding.

In order to make it easy for the councils to access the guidelines, the ministry will also be advertising the guidelines in the print media.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Deputy Minister for that elaborate answer. I would like to know from the Minister of Lands, how they are able to fund various districts that do not allow people to own land since most of the money comes from ground rates. In certain areas, nobody owns land and as such no ground rate is paid.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the policy on owning land was developed out of the laws made in this House, so the hon. Member can come and see me at my office and we will answer him in detail.

I thank you.


220. Mr Mabenga asked the Minister of lands whether the ministry had any plans to turn the rich agricultural areas in Kataba and Njoko in the Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency into a farming block.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, the programme of identification of agricultural lands in form of farm blocks started way back in 2002. At least one farm block has been identified in each of the nine provinces. The details of each farm block identified are as follows:

(1) Nasanga in Central Province 
(2) Kalumwange in Western province
(3) Luena in Luapula Province
(4) Manshya in Northern Province
(5) Solwezi in North Western Province
(6) Simango in Southern province
(7) Machiya in Copperbelt Province
(8) Mungu in Lusaka Province
(9) Mwase-Mpange in Eastern Province

Mr Speaker, these farm blocks will be developed in phases. Work has commenced on the development of the first three farms namely, Nasanga, Kalumwange and Luena. At the moment, there are no plans by the Government to open farm blocks in other areas until the first nine farm blocks have been developed.

Mr Speaker, considering, however, that more land is required for agricultural purposes, the Government may consider opening farm blocks in Kataba and Njoko agricultural areas in Mulobezi in future.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister of Lands should have laid on the Table of the House certain details as he undertook concerning question No. 219. Did you lay it on the Table of the House? All right, it was done.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, the paper has been laid on the Table of the House.

I thank you, Sir.


221. Ms Chitika (Kawambwa) (on behalf of Mr Kambwili) (Roan) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) When operations at Mulyashi Mine in Luanshya would commence and how much investment the investor was prepared to put in;

(b) how many employees would be required for the full operations of the mine; and

(c) whether preference would be given to employ the more than 6,000 former RAMCOZ employees and, if so, what measures the ministry had taken to avoid abuse during the recruitment process.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, according to the Sale and Purchase Agreement signed late last year, Luanshya  Copper Mines (LCM) is expected to begin developing the mine twenty-four months after the signing of the agreement. At the moment LCM is in the process of carrying out a definite feasibility study after which the exact date for commencement of mining operations will be determined. Luanshya Copper Mines has envisaged an investment of US$80 million for the development of Mulyashi North deposits and oxide caps.

Mr Speaker, on the number of employees for the full operations of the mine, Luanshya Copper Mines Plc will initially employ 300 people to operate Mulyashi Mine. Employment of both Zambians and non-Zambians alike shall be within the confines of the law and regulations.

In the Sale and Purchase Agreement, there is a clause that compels Luanshya Copper Mines Plc to assist in attracting Zambians working overseas back to the Zambian mining industry by offering attractive packages.

Mr Speaker, through the Employment and Training Clause in the Sale and Purchase Agreement signed with Luanshya Copper Mines on Mulyashi, the Government has ensured that preference is given to qualified Zambians and to providing training to Zambians who may not have the skills to work at the mine. This may apply to former RAMCOZ employees who mostly worked underground and would be retrained to acquire open pit mining technical skills.

To avoid abuse in the recruitment exercise, there is a clause in the sale and purchase agreement which empowers the hon. Minister to establish an employment and training committee. Based on this clause, the hon. Minister shall soon constitute a committee to oversee all matters relating to the recruitment and training of personnel at Mulyashi.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Chitika: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the 350 people who will be employed at the mine are all going to be Zambians.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, our desire is that as many Zambians as possible are employed but as you are aware, there is a worldwide shortage of technical skills like geological skills and so we may have a few who are not Zambians working there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to clarify because when he was answering, he had mentioned 80,000,000, I want to know whether it was kwacha or dollar.

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, it is US$80 million.

Ms Phiri (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if at all, in the agreement, they have put in a clause which will enable the investor to plough back the profits to the community. I say so because what has been happening in our country is that investors come into Luanshya, plough the profit, put it into their pockets and go back to their countries and then leave Luanshya a ghost town.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I confirm that this was a very beneficial agreement. The following benefits accrued to Luanshya. There is 10 per cent equity in the mines that will be offered to Zambians in Luanshya. There is an education trust established for people of Luanshya to access money for their children to go to school. There is half a million dollars earmarked for Luanshya for the development of roads and other infrastructure. There is also a possibility of developing a limestone mine in near by Mpongwe. That is giving more employment to the people of Luanshya. In additional, there is also money that will accrue through the participation agreement, which now entails profit sharing between the Government and the operator.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer where he stated that, initially, there will be 350 people employed and seeing that the previous owners employed up to 6,000 people, would the hon. Minister care to tell us what the high point figure is with these new investors since he said initially there will be only 350.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, this is an opencast mining. It is not underground mining and the level of employment will be much lower compared to underground level of employment. So, expect that up to 400 people will be employed at the peak of production.

I thank you, Sir.


222. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security the measures the ministry had taken to ensure that Zambians had equal promotion opportunities to senior management positions in foreign companies operating in Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, the issuance of work permits to foreign workers is currently the mandate of the Department of Immigration in the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is represented on the committee that issues work permits to foreign nationals. The above committee ensures that all the regulations are adhered to before a permit can be issued to a foreign national. Our role on the committee as a ministry is an advisory one.

Mr Speaker, on the other hand, the ministry, through its Labour Department, ensures that foreign nationals have valid work permits and tries to ensure that the Zambianisation Policy is adhered to by promoting the localisation programme in which we ensure that qualified Zambian employees understudy the foreign ones with a view to taking over the said positions.

Mr Speaker, when it comes to employment and promotions opportunities in foreign companies here in Zambia. The labour inspectors ensure that there is no discrimination with regard to recruitment and promotion of deserving employees through our various and repeated labour inspections.

Mr Speaker, I wish to add that the hon. Member may wish to know that …

Business was suspended from 1615 hours to 1630 hours.

Mr Liato: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to add that Zambia, as a Member of International Labour Organisation (ILO), has ratified Convention No. 100, which talks about equal remuneration. In this convention, people holding similar or same positions or similar qualifications must be paid equally, whether they are male or female. So, in this convention we will try to ensure that there is no discrimination.

In this regard, Madam Speaker, our Labour Inspectorate works around the clock to ensure that the contents of this convention are adhered to.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minster whether the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has an inventory or a record of Zambians with specialised skills, whereby they use it probably to compare notes with specialised foreigners who come, as a basis for argument on who should, at least, take an appropriate position.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, that is a valid observation from the hon. Member of Parliament. The records that are available cannot be relied upon. In fact, one of the weaknesses of our labour market is that we do not have accurate and updated information. Therefore, that is one of the capacities that we are building in our ministry so that we have a comprehensive data record. At the moment, what we normally do, when there is an application for an expert to come in, is involve the sector that is concerned. Then, that sector advises us whether that skill which they are applying for is available in Zambia or not. So, that is how we are operating, but we hope that when we start our data compilation, we will have all that record available.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that Zambia is following International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. May I know whether the ILO Convention he is talking about has been domesticated? If not, when is it going to be domesticated?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, the convention in reference is being domesticated in the amended Act, which we shall soon bring to the House.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to inquire why the Government has not split the functions of giving work and resident permits. I ask this question because I think that as a ministry responsible for labour and social security, they need to be fully responsible of issuing permits for work as against what the hon. Minister indicated to us that on the committee that deals with the issuance of permits, they just play an advisory role. I ask this question because in this country, in general, and in Mazabuka where I come from, in particular …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Do not debate, please ask your question.

Mr Nkombo: My question is: Why have they failed to split the functions of issuing work and resident permits? I have a case here where I could have demonstrated a huge anomaly which has disadvantaged my people in Mazabuka where issues of work permits have been dealt with. My people have no jobs but they have given job to people who cannot even speak the English language, the position of General Manager, when Zambians who are qualified are languishing in the streets.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, there are a lot of issues to take into account when a foreign expert applies to come to Zambia. Security screening is one of them. This committee combines experts from various departments or ministries, each concerned with a particular exercise of screening the workers. While we advise on labour issues others advise on security issues. So, a committee was found to be convenient and quicker in processing matters. However, I wish to emphasise that this is an administrative arrangement. As usual, administrative arrangements are subject to changes depending on the dictates of certain circumstances at certain periods.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister is aware that one of the mining companies on the Copperbelt, especially in NFCA, 80 per cent of top managerial positions are held by the Chinese. This starts from the Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive, Finance Manager, Technical Manager, Mining Manager, including the position of Human Resources Manager. If he is aware, what is he doing about it?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, we are aware that in many organisations, there are a lot of things that need to be corrected. This is why we are re-organising ourselves as a ministry to start inspecting the companies and ensure that they comply with the requirements of this country or they comply with what we have told them to do. One of the issues that we shall be looking into when inspecting these companies is to see exactly how many Zambians and expatriates are there and whether they justify it or not. Where we find that it is not justified, appropriate action will be taken.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Deputy Minister, when referring to equal pay for equal work, made specific reference to gender equality. What is at issue - and I would like to ask the hon. Minister this - is whether forty-two years after Independence, this country is doing itself a service by allowing a situation where foreigners or expatriates get higher salaries than Zambians after all the training that we have done. Is the hon. Minister aware that highly technical companies like Zesco, Zamtel and Copperbelt Energy, all have their technical departments manned entirely by Zambians?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, I have had meetings with some companies on the Copperbelt, the Mines in particular, in trying to find out why there are such disparities in the salaries of expatriates and Zambians. The commonest answer that I have received from them is that where the expatriate is being paid a higher amount of money, it means that expatriate has specialised skills that are required throughout the country. They have to source that particular expert on the world market and for him to come here, they require to pay or lure him to come.

All the same, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will mount an audit of all the jobs that are in the companies when we start our information system in the ministry. We will get all the data concerning the employments and people who are occupying them and the skills that they have and find out whether this excuse they are giving us is true or not. Until we do that, at the moment, we have no way of finding out exactly. Where it is indicated that this particular organisation is doing it, we may go there and if we find that what they are claiming is not true, we will take action immediately.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that most Zambians who hold managerial positions get frustrated when key responsibilities are taken away from them?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, I am not sure of what the hon. Member is talking about because if one is given a responsibility or duty that he is performing, I do not know how we can say that some duties have been taken away from him. That is difficult for me to establish.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Singombe (Dundumwenzi): Madam Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that most of these foreign companies apply for work permits for their people on different employment permits and actually come into Zambia to take up other positions, disadvantaging local Zambians.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, my ministry believes and trusts that expatriates that come in the country do the work they have applied for on the work permit. We are not aware of those other anomalies. However, when we come across those anomalies, we will certainly take action.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether it is common sense to have a gardener or an accountant employed as an expatriate in this nation.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, if I got him correctly, does he mean an accountant being employed as a gardener? Is that the question?


Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, I have not known of those people who have been given work permits to do wrong jobs.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security whether the ministry has a programme in place to monitor the holders of these work permits. I say so because we have seen foreigners renewing permits from time to time in the mines and yet we have Zambians who are seconded to understudy them. When are we going to see Zambians taking over from these foreigners?

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, we have a programme of setting up a data base to give us all the information so that we make appropriate follow ups. What we require normally from most of these expatriates, when they get their work permits, is to specify within what period they will be working. There should be a programme of Zambians understudying them. Now, because of the constraints that the ministry is facing at the moment, we are making follow ups, but these are not effective enough. At the moment, we are building capacity in the ministry. Once we do this, we should be able to monitor these issues very effectively and produce very positive results. However, at the moment, we are constrained, and the system is at least already in place.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that since the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, we have had a register of all the Zambian graduates working in the mining industry. This understudy of an expatriate has been done all along and the data base he is talking about can easily be accessed.

Mr Mukuma: Madam Speaker, I am aware that we have educated a lot of Zambians in the mining sector, but I am also aware that since then, quite a lot of educated young men have either left the country or retired. The information that we have at the moment can not be relied upon until we set up a new data base.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.


223. Mr Chimbaka asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) When the Government would effect fish restocking in Luapula Province; and

(b) how many fish species were earmarked for the lakes in the province.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, the Fish Restocking Programme in Luapula and other provinces will only be carried out after an assessment of the levels of exploitation of the fisheries has been carried out. However, programmes to stop fishing methods detrimental to the fisheries are being implemented. Fisher folks are being sensitised on the implications of bad fishing methods and the need to adopt good management and fishing practices.

As regards part (b), of the question, there are two fisheries in the Luapula Province with a command total of 186 species broken down as follows:

(i) Bangweulu Fishery has eighty-six species, out of which thirty-three species are  commonly caught among the fishes; and

(ii) Mweru-Luapula Fishery has 100 species, out of which seventeen are commonly caught  among fishes.

One specie labeo altivelis, commonly known as Mpumbu in the local language, has gone extinct in Mweru-Luapula Fishery. The Department of Fisheries is breeding this species for restocking. For the rest of the species, the stocks will rebuild once good management practices are adhered to.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives aware that fishing is the main occupation of the people of Luapula and Northern provinces and that fish is a major source of proteins for the most of the people in Zambia? If he is aware, is it right for them to deliberately choose not to expedite action even when the President, during his campaign tour, emphasised the fact that fish restocking was going to be done within the framework of the time? Is he aware of the fact that as a result of the depletion of fish…

Hon. Government Members: Ask your question.

Hon. Opposition Member: Go on.

Mr Chimbaka: …the poverty levels in Luapula Province and…

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Member, you may ask your question.

Mr Chimbaka: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that by delaying fish restocking they are causing the escalation of poverty and malnutrition, especially that fishing is the main occupation and source of proteins for the people of Luapula and Zambia at large?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, as a Government and the ministry responsible, we are aware that almost half the population in Luapula and Northern provinces are dependent on fish. It is because of this importance that is attached to the fish industry that, currently, there is a fish ban so that the fish can restock itself, and in order to replenish the fish, the Fisheries Department is currently restocking the species.

However, I will repeat that the actual levels of the species that we are having can only be done after the fish ban because this is the breeding period. Therefore, the levels will only be known after the fish ban.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, some of us started hearing about the fish restocking when Hon. Sikatana was Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. However, to date, it has not taken shape and as such, I have two questions for the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(i) Is the hon. Minister aware that the fish in both lakes Bangweulu and Mweru, including the surrounding rivers have been depleted due to bad fishing methods?

(ii) In the event of fish restocking in the surrounding lakes and rivers, what preventive measures has the ministry put in place so as to prevent the re-occurrence?

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives may answer one of the questions.

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, as a Government, we are aware that there are bad fishing methods that lead to the depletion of the species in the lakes, hence in my answer, I did say that we have our men and women on the ground who are educating the people about the dangers of bad fishing methods.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Katema (Chingola): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his first answer, mentioned that restocking would only be done after studies have been done on the stock levels. I would like to find out if those studies have commenced, and if so, when are they going to end?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, I will still repeat the same answer that, currently, the assessment cannot be complete because this is the breeding period. Therefore, we are giving the fish the time to breed effectively. After that, the assessment and correct level of the stocks and the species that we have can be availed. At the moment, we cannot give the exact levels because the fish is still breeding.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Scott: Madam Speaker, I think, I am trying to get the same information from other questions that are being asked. This is a tragedy of the comments and, with individual interests, has led to common disasters as the stocks have been depleted like everything else. What practical measures, that will work, is the ministry undertaking to regulate the exploitation of these fisheries for us to be convinced and believe that, yes, it is worth restocking in those lakes again?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, the practical measures is, which Kasaka Fishing College that was a bit dormant, re-opened last year to train more people to man the fisheries. Equally, every other District Commissioner is now well equipped with the lecturers in the Department of Fisheries to train, yet again, more people in the Department of Fisheries and these are the people who are going to man the lakes and the fisheries. Secondly, I implore this House that when we bring the budget, they should support us because we have included, in the budget, a collective issue where we can equip our employees with new equipment, namely boats and machines so that they are able to patrol these lakes and, at the same time, talk to the fishermen and teach them the dangers of the bad methods of fishing.

I think those are some of the practical measures that the ministry has taken into consideration.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hamir (Serenje): Madam Speaker, what is the ministry doing about the other lakes that have no fish ban like Lake Lusiwasi?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! That is a new question. This was in Luapula.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Madam Speaker, recalling and acknowledging the answers given by the very able hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, can we seek clarification as to whether the Government commitment to restocking our lakes and rivers is a perennial or seasonal programme because the answer that he has given suggests that, maybe, it might be based on the assessment after the fish ban. Is this a standing Government policy to continue restocking our water bodies or a seasonal policy?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, the restocking exercise is dependent on the nature or the situation existing at that particular moment. We may say that it is perennial if we are going to say that the depletion will continue, perennially or we may say it is periodic depending on the level of the fish and the species we have in our lakes. So, it is dependent on a particular situation.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.{mospagebreak}


224. Mr Hamir asked the Minister of Education when the Government would resume construction works at the abandoned Kabola Primary School in Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Madam Speaker, Kabola Primary School was offered to be constructed by Choice Zambia Limited whose contract was terminated due to poor performance by the contractor.

Currently, the ministry has engaged a new contractor by the name of China Giansu Engineering Corporation (CGEC) and construction works are expected to start in the first quarter of 2007.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, what is the ministry doing about contractors who are not completing their contracts?

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, the ministry has put up an inventory of all the contractors that it has used before. It has also assessed the performance of each individual contractor. Those that have not performed to expectations have been blacklisted and, for some of them, legal measures will be taken against them.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


225. Mr Hamir asked the Minister of Education whether the Government had plans to construct more teachers’ houses to alleviate the current critical shortage in Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, the ministry has plans to build both teachers’ houses and classrooms in rural areas across the country including Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency. However, the number that will be constructed every year depends on the availability of funds under the Infrastructure Programme.

In the current Fifth National Development Plan 2006 to 2010, one of the priority areas of the ministry is to construct teachers’ houses and classrooms to replace those made of pole and mud and grass-thatched roofs found in some parts of the country. In order to provide adequate and decent accommodation in such areas, the ministry will give preference in terms of building classrooms and houses in these areas.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hamir: Madam Speaker, are there any plans to increase the rural hardship allowances for teachers who work under difficult conditions in order to boost their morale?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member has raised a different matter.


227. Mr Misapa (Mporokoso) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives when the Government would identify investors to invest in a sugar cane plantation in Mporokoso District.

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, the Government has been providing information on investment opportunities (including sugar production) in the agricultural sector to potential investors. Therefore, investment in sugar plantation in Mporokoso District would only be possible when willing investors come forward.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Misapa: Madam Speaker, I would like to learn from the hon. Minister whether he knows that Mporokoso is a place of abundance in terms of water because of the many rivers and arable land found in that area. If properly marketed, the investors would not face problems in terms of irrigation.

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, it is very true that Mporokoso is a place of abundance, just like the province or the country as whole. It is within this realm of the liberalised economy that the Government has invited the private sector to partner with Government in development. The Government, alone, may have limited capacity, hence, the need to invite the private sector to invest in different ventures. If we, as hon. Members of Parliament are associating with any private investor who is able to invest in sugar, please, let us direct that person to Mporokoso so that be can help in bringing about development.

I thank you, Madam, Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimumbwa (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, given the bad state of the Mporokoso Road ,how does the hon. Minister expect an investor to go and invest in Mporokoso where the investor will know deep down his heart that before he puts his money into the ground, whatever they are going to produce will end up being stuck on the road for two months and, hence, losing their investment?

Mr Mulonga: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the concern raised by the hon. Member of Parliament, but at the same time, I may wish to remind myself and the hon. Member of Parliament that it is only yesterday when we had a workshop on the road sector and this was one of the items which was heavily tackled. So, maybe, this question about the road can be directed to the Ministry of Works and Supply.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


227. Mr Misapa asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether the Government had plans to introduce a cattle loan scheme for the people in Mporokoso District.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to introduce a Cattle Loan Scheme for the people of Mporokoso District. However, the financial and private sectors are being encouraged to provide short-medium term loans to agricultural production to all categories of farmers including cattle throughout the country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Misapa: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, if the Government is not taking into consideration the fact that it would be better to introduce animals in virgin land so that they are able to avoid the prevailing diseases that are occurring in certain areas.

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, that is not a question. It is an idea or a suggestion. I think that is the programme for the Government, but with regard to the loans, we are encouraging the private sector to give out short-term loans. However, it would be a good idea to introduce cattle restocking in virgin lands.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Chitika (Kawambwa): asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development:

(a) When the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) last held an Annual General Meeting;

(b) whether the organisation had been presenting its annual and financial reports to the ministry in accordance with the provisions of the NSCZ Act;

(c) how many institutions/bodies were affiliated to the NSCZ and how many of these had, to-date, presented their books of accounts to the mother body; and

(d) what measures the ministry had taken to address the many squabbles in the NSCZ.

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Ms Mulasikwanda): Madam Speaker, the National Sports Council of Zambia is a Statutory body created by an Act of Parliament No. 15 of 1997. According to the Act, the Council is supposed to hold an Annual General Meeting every year and this has been the case since its inception in 1997.

Madam Speaker, the Council held its last Annual General Meeting on 29 May 2004. There was no Council Annual General Meeting in 2005 because the appointment of the Management Board was still under consideration by the Cabinet until 29 March 2006. It is expected that the Annual General Meeting will take place before the end of March 2007.

Madam Speaker, the National Sports Council of Zambia has been presenting its Annual and Financial Reports to the ministry in accordance with the provisions of the National Sports Council of Zambia Act No. 15 of 1997. There are thirty-nine National Sports Associations affiliated to the National Sports Council of Zambia.

Madam, Section 10 of the Act empowers the Council to ensure proper records of accounts are maintained by Sports Associations affiliated to the Council and to investigate accounts and other affairs of national association, club or body affiliates. So far, with the help of the internal audit section at my ministry, the Council is satisfied with the performance of most associations.

Madam, currently, there are no problems experienced in the current board. The hon. Minister recently met the board and advised them on the need to work as a team and instill discipline in other sports associations, and also ensure that associations are transparent and accountable.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


229. Mr Mukanga asked the Minister of Health how many children were on Anti-Retroviral Drugs on the Copperbelt, town by town.

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, in response to the question by Hon. Mukanga, I wish to state as follows:

Town   Facility    No of   Total  Comments
Chililabombwe  Chililabombwe  1  1 Cases are referred to    Heath Management     Nchanga General     Team      Hospital.
         Chililabombwe is yet 
         Build capacity in
         Handling paediatric 

Chingola  Nchanga North
   General Hospital  201           
   Chingola DHMT  129  330

Kalulushi  Kalulushi DHMT  23  23

Kitwe   Kitwe Central      Kitwe DHMT have 
   Hospital   278   not yet started 
         Providing ARVs to
   Kitwe DHMT  0  278

Luanshya  Roan General
   Hospital   25
Luanshya DHMT  49  74

Lufwanyama  Lufwanyama DHMT 5  5

Masaiti  Masaiti DHMT  25  25

Mpongwe  Mpongwe Mission
   Hospital   15
   Ibenga Mission
   Hospital   37  52

Mufulira  Ronald Ross General 120
   Mufulira DHMT  73  193

Ndola   Arthur Davison
   Children’s hospital 606  

   Ndola Central 
   Hospital   0  606  Cases referred 
          To Arthur            Davison Hospital

Mr Speaker, the total number of children on ARVs on the Copperbelt Province, as at 28 December 2006, was 1,587.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out how the ministry tests the newly-born babies for HIV/AIDS so that they would be able to plan properly to ensure that more children who are HIV positive are put on these ARVs.

Ms Cifire: Madam Speaker, at the moment, we are only able to test our children when they are about eighteen months old. It is not easy to detect the virus when the babies are still very small.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, what are the safety measures the Government has put in place to ensure safety in protecting of ART administration?

Ms Cifire: Madam Speaker, generally in the case of ART therapy, we have the paediatric syrups for the children to make sure that they are given the right doses. That is why we have said that it is not easy to detect the virus until they reach the age of eighteen months for us to be able to give them the right dosages. That is how we have made sure that proper treatment is given to them.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms E. Banda (Chililabombwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if those figures which have been given to us from Chililabombwe are only for the Government hospitals. I am saying so because I have worked in a hospital and I am a trained counsellor. I also worked in Konkola Mine Hospital where children were found HIV positive. Is there no co-ordination between the mine hospitals and the Government hospitals?

Ms Cifire: Madam Speaker, when the figures were given, they clearly stated that the reason why we have one appearing in Chililabombwe is that most of these cases are referred to Nchanga General Hospital. The issues of ARTs are most in a Government programme. Therefore, in Chililabombwe, there is only one and everybody else goes to Nchanga Mine Hospital where we have the capacity to handle the paediatric cases.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Phiri: Madam Speaker, arising from the answer that the hon. Minister has just said, I would like to disagree with that.


Ms Phiri: Madam Speaker, I am sorry, its only that these questions pertain to our children and meant to be answered well.

Therefore, my question is: What is the Government doing to cater for babies born HIV positive in the peri-urban areas? I am asking this because in the peri-urban areas, we do not have the mechanism to detect these viruses especially, those born at home.

Ms Cifire: Madam Speaker, the biggest solution we have to this is the programme on the prevention of transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child. Our statistics show that in as much as most of our mothers might not deliver at the ante-natal clinics, but at some stage within the pregnancy, they access the ante-natal clinics. Therefore, in this the solution, we are undertaking to reduce the numbers born with HIV/AIDS.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell this House if they have any data on HIV/AIDS from private hospitals. If they do not, is the 16 per cent we are talking about from Government hospitals only or all institutions in the country that are dealing with health?

Ms Cifire: Madam Speaker, all institutions that deal with ART services come under the general authority of the Ministry of Health. Therefore, when we talk about the prevalence rate, we are talking about the national rate and no institution stands alone in this issue.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I would like to seek clarification because in the context in which the hon. Minister is answering the questions, when you refer to children, what are children in terms of age?

Ms Cifire: Madam Speaker, when we refer to children on the issue of HIV/AIDS, we refer to all those children under eighteen months of age because those are the ones who get the paediatric syrup. After that, we are able to determine by weight and then, they are able to get the normal medication for HIV/AIDS.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Kalumba: Madam Speaker, what is the case fatality rate of children from the general cause of consequences upon the administration of the current regime of ARVs?

Ms Cifire: Madam Speaker, that is a new question.

I thank you, Madam.



230. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) How many schools were built in Zambia in 2005, province by province; and

(b) how many school desks were bought for the new schools in the same year, province by province.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the ministry built a number of staff houses, classrooms, VIP ablution blocks and specialised rooms in a number of basic schools across the country. This measure was undertaken to facilitate expansion of infrastructure facilities in basic schools in 2005. I give the total and then, I will lay the other data on the Table:

 Province Staff classrooms Library  Ablution Laboratories VIPs
   House     blocks

 Eastern  41 68  1  1   --
 Central  14 68  -  1   -34
 Western  94 124  -  7  - 222
 Northern 17 48  -  -  - -
 Lusaka  4 92  -  24  - -
 Southern 47 105    3  2 158
 N/Western 10        -
 C/belt  - -  -  -  - 20
 Luapula - 77  -  -   - 77
 Total  227 582  1  36  2 511 

Madam Speaker, in response to part (b) of the question, there were 1,380 desks procured during the year under review as follows:

 Province  No. of Desks Procured
 Eastern    nil
 Central    734
 Western    1,021
 Northern   270
 Lusaka    120
 Southern   nil
 N/Western   60
 Copperbelt   nil
 Luapula    1,380

Madam Speaker, it must be noted that under the decentralisation of resources to the districts and provinces, the lower levels are mandated to procure services and goods according to their priority needs. Therefore, procurement of desks should be done by the District Education Board, High Schools Board and College of Education Board.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Changwe laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, since the number of schools or classrooms built do not correspond to the number of desks that were supposed to be in those classrooms, how does the ministry ensure that there is quality education rendered in these schools, looking at the fact that most of these children have been sitting on the floor?

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, I am not so sure if I got that one. All the same, if the hon. Member wants to find out why the number of desks does not correspond to the number of schools, I wish to advise him that as a ministry, when we are constructing classrooms, we construct one teacher’s house per classroom. As such, if we are considering one school, then, we have to look at the number of classrooms that have been constructed and then, the number of teacher’s houses. I am not sure if there was another question.

Thank you, Madam.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, I heard that Northern Province received 200 plus desks. When you look at this province, it is the biggest province that we have. If you look at the schools, I think we have the worst schools in the country which do not even have desks. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what criteria were used.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, the procurement of desks is done by the lower levels, in this case the District Education Boards or, indeed, the school boards themselves. They procure or acquire any services or goods according to their priorities. If Northern Province did not prioritise the desks, then, they could have prioritised other services or goods. Therefore, it is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Education Headquarters to procure any services or goods. The hon. Member could find out what priorities were given by the District Education Boards in Northern Province.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Madam Speaker, may I find out from the Minister of Education what was the policy direction as regards to procurement of desks rather than running away from taking responsibility.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, I said that we have decentralised the system to the lower level. Therefore, we have given powers to lower levels to procure goods and services.

Madam Speaker, as at December, 2005, the policy was for the lower levels to do the procurement. Therefore, my ministry is not running away from any responsibility.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Chota: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how many schools of all those built during this period, were secondary or high schools.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, the data that I gave was for basic schools. Therefore, if the hon. Member needs information on high schools, we shall definitely come back to the House and provide that.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam, on Monday we had a very useful workshop with the Ministry of Works and Supply on the road network in this country. Is it possible for the Ministry of Education to give us a similar workshop on the state of our schools, desks, teachers and everything related to education?

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, if it is the wish of the House that a comprehensive information system be packaged and presented to the House, the ministry will comply.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chisala: Madam Speaker, what corrective and urgent measures is the Ministry of Education trying to put in place so as to cut out the critical shortage of desks in both government and community schools?

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, I think it is important for the hon. Members to understand that District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS), in their position, are on the ground with the grassroots and are in a better position, therefore, to look at what priorities they should take on board for the educational system in their areas. As a ministry headquarters, we have also given them guidelines on how they should go about prioritising educational needs.

In terms of desks, we have just started the year and in our budget we have catered for the provision of all educational materials, desks and other things which we shall definitely give.

Furthermore, for the moneys that shall go to the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) and schools, I feel that it is imperative for the hon. Members to work hand in hand with the DEBS in order to find out how they are going to spend this money. We must use this House to find out certain issues that can be done at constituency level.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, now that we have guidelines, according to the Hon. Minister, what practical mechanisms has the ministry put in place to ensure that those districts comply with those particular guidelines which have been put in place and what practical mechanisms are there so that priorities of districts are in line with national priorities?

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, at the Ministry of Education Headquarters, we have our Standards Officers who go to check on what is being done at lower levels. We also have our auditors who go to audit how the moneys are spent. So, the measures that we have put in place are that when they go there, they must check if what has been procured and how it was procured is in accordance with the guidelines.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, arising from the responses by the hon. Minister of Education, I am at a loss to understand that the ministry does not have a programme in place to make sure that all the schools have desks within a specified period of time. I want to know whether there is a programme in place to ensure that by 2010 all the schools will have desks and our children will be learning in a conducive atmosphere.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister may just repeat the answer to that question.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, I laid it on the Table.


Thank you, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister may not read the entire response but the question is about your policy on how you will make sure that there are desks in the classrooms.


Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the supply of desks to all our schools is part and parcel of our educational provision as strategies. All schools that are constructed are accompanied with the supply of the necessary desks, tables and so on. At the same time, the replenishment of broken down desks, tables and chairs, is an on-going process which takes place every year. The procurement, as it has been stated, is done at the district level through the DEBS offices.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, the earlier answer from the hon. Minister was that Members of Parliament should not come to this House to get answers from the ministry. Does the hon. Minister understand that he/she can only inform the people of the Republic of Zambia through this House on programmes such as the delivery of desks to all schools? If she does, when are they going to ensure that schools are provided with desks as this has been a persistent issue since the MMD came into power nearly fifteen years ago?

Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the answer was clearly an information answer to the hon. Members that information is available at the District Education Board Secretary offices. If the hon. Members so wish, they could get information on their specific questions pertaining to the respective constituencies at the district level. However, Madam Speaker, the ministry does endeavour and it will endeavour to answer all the questions that the hon. Members ask.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, we may seem to be belabouring the issue of desks in schools. The hon. Minister and Deputy Minister have stated that procurement of school furniture like desks, is the responsibility of the DEBS, but I also know that they do not have the responsibility of getting their own funds. So, they can only purchase if they have been funded by the ministry. So, to what extent can you say they can buy when they want if, in fact, the funds may not be there?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member is very much aware of the operations of the Government. He knows very well that, indeed, we are operating in a decentralised system and that necessitates certain activities to be undertaken at the district level and every year the budgetary process does start from the bottom at the district level all the way up. The district officers are in charge of assessing the requirements of the schools in their respective districts and costing what is required and those budgets eventually arrive at the headquarters and every budget does make allocations to the district level according to the priorities that have been effected and established by the DEBS and that process is very well known by the hon. Member who asked the question.

I thank you, Madam.


232. Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali) asked the Minister of local Government and Housing:

(a) What the functions of provincial local Government Appeals Boards were; and

(b) what measures the Government had taken to make the Provincial Local Government Appeals Boards effective considering that a number of them failed to hold meetings on account of inadequate funding.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, under Section 93 of the Local Government Act Cap. 281 of the laws of Zambia, the hon. Minister by Statutory Order may establish provincial appeals boards in each province which shall consist of the Chairman and not less than three nor more than seven other members. The functions of the Provincial Local Government Appeals Board, as prescribed in Section 99 of the same Act are as follows:-

(i) Hear grievances from officers relating to promotions or demotions;

(ii) Review disciplinary cases from the council relating to officers and employees of that council; and

(iii) Hear appeals on disciplinary matters from officers and employees of such councils.

Madam Speaker, on (b), Government has been providing funds to provincial Local Government Appeals Boards to enable them hold meetings in their respective provinces. In addition, as a long-term measure, my ministry, in the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy, is considering the re-establishment of Local Government Service Commission which will be permanent to look at these issues that are currently being dealt by the Provincial Appeals Board which is appointed on a part-time basis.
I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, does this policy of having a Provincial Appeals Board not run contrary to the spirit of decentralisation in the sense that the local authorities are being deprived of their authority to make final decisions on the employees whom they employ and if it does, when is the hon. Minister bringing a Bill to amend this particular provision in the law? If it does not, can she tell us how this enhances local governance?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, on whether the establishment of the Provincial Local Government Appeals Board is a contravention of the principle of decentralisation, the answer is that it is not because, as my hon. Deputy Minister has articulated, the role of the Provincial Local Government Appeals Board is to deal with appeals.

Madam Speaker, this means that the local council will deal with the disciplinary issues and, after that, if the officer feels that they have been unjustifiably disciplined, that officer has the freedom to appeal to the Provincial Local Government Appeals Board. Even then, the decision of the Provincial Local Government Appeals Board is not final and so, again, the officer has the liberty to take the case to an appellant jurisdiction, in this case, the courts of law. So, these are just principles of the rights of the staff and have nothing to do with taking away the powers of the local councils.

In the response, I have indicated that the ministry is currently considering the re-establishment of a full time Local Government Service Commission which shall replace these Provincial Local Government Appeals Boards. Even at that stage, it will not be right for one to assume that the functions are being taken away because the principal functions of employment and disciplining officers will still remain with the local authorities but we need to control these because of what is happening at the local level.

Madam Speaker, in the spirit of effective implementation of the policy on decentralisation, we need to harmonise some of the issues happening at the local levels where town clerks and other chief officers are at the mercy of councillors either at partisan levels or because of nepotism.

I thank you.{mospagebreak}


233. Mr V. Mwale asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) What the latest position regarding the implementation of the Municipal Housing Bonds was; and

(b) what other measures the Government had taken to provide housing units, especially to the poor.

Mr Kazonga: Madam Speaker, for part (a) of the question, the following has been done:
(i) A technical committee on the National Housing Bonds Programme has been formed and underwent training at the Bond Exchange in South Africa;

(ii) Pilot councils have been selected and these include Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe, Chipata and Solwezi;

(iii) Financial advisors or arrangers, Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited, backed by Stanbic Africa of South Africa have been appointed to oversee the revenue mobilisation;

(iv) A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Board of Trustees has been created and the secretariat to service the board is being assembled and will be housed at Mukuba House, Kamwala in Lusaka; and

(v) Sensitisation of stakeholders has commenced in five pilot councils and, so far, Chipata and Solwezi have since been covered.

In answer to part (b), Madam Speaker, with regard to the measures the Government has put in place to provide housing units, especially to the poor people, I wish to further inform this august House that my ministry has instituted the following:

(i) My ministry has directed the National Housing Authority (NHA) to build low cost houses in all councils instead of concentrating on building houses in Lusaka alone.

(ii) The ministry has, in this regard, directed all councils to set aside land for the construction of 100 housing units in each district to cater for the lower income citizens. The programme to build houses will be undertaken by the NHA in partnership with councils and private entrepreneurs.

(iii) The Government is also reviewing the National Housing Policy so that the Housing Plan can be put in place. The Government is also reviewing the Country and Town Planning Act so as to regulate the construction of buildings and houses in the country as a whole.

Madam Speaker, my ministry will continue to provide policy guidance, and co-ordinate housing construction in the country by various stakeholders, including councils. However, the focus of the Government remains on low cost housing development, as most of our citizens are in the low income group.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister for citing Chipata as one of those places where these housing bonds will be implemented. I would like to find out how many units will be built in Chipata.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, we have two programmes. The first one is the constructing of 100 houses units in all the seventy-two district councils, whereby the ministry has directed the councils to work with the private sector and NHA to construct 100 houses as a minimum in each district. This programme will be implemented in this year’s budget. The second programme is the 100 houses to be implemented as a pilot project in the implementation of the Municipal Housing Bonds, where Chipata is one of those five districts that have been selected. So, to answer the question, 100 houses units will be built under the Municipal Housing Bonds. We hope that at the end of this year, because we are hopeful that before June 2007 the first Municipal Housing Bonds shall be issued under the Special Purpose Vehicle. It is hoped that next year, 2008, this programme can be phased through to all the seventy-two or seventy-two minus five local authorities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, I am not very clear on the building of 100 units. Are you going to be building these units every year so that we have 7,300 units? If it is so, then I am wondering how long it will take because we have a back log of 1.2 million.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, that is a very good question, indeed. Firstly, the 100 units to be constructed through the implementation of the Municipal Housing Bonds is just for this year, 2007, and it is a pilot project. Hopefully, by next year, we need to phase this to cover all the districts. Our hope is that if the project phase stage is successful, we expect the private sector, working with local authorities, NHA and, indeed, other stakeholders that are in the construction business, to take on board this concept of implementing construction of houses through raising of cheap low term finances under the Municipal Housing Bonds.

So, in answering the question, this is just for this year, 2007. After next year, 2008, we hope we can construct more than 100 houses. The second programme for this year, 2007, is under the Local Authority Programme itself, the local authorities, including those with these pilot projects. On their own, as local authorities, working together with the private sector and working in collaboration with the NHA, have been directed to begin with a minimum of 100 units depending on the capacity and demands of that district. I hope I have answered your question.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, I would want to come here next year in 2008 and commend the Government when they have constructed those 100 houses in each district, but part of the question also talks about what measures the Government is taking to construct housing units especially for the poor. Now, in the absence of a deliberate empowerment policy, what guarantee is there that the vulnerable will be able to buy some of these houses that will not be bought by the powerful so that they will be owning houses so that we do not have a repeat of the situation in Lusaka’s Kamwala Market and Town Centre Market where these stalls were built for the vendors, but ended up in the hands of …

Hon. Opposition Member: Foreigners.

Dr Machungwa: … foreigners and so forth?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, firstly, there is the Empowerment Policy that this House went through last year, 2006, which is being implemented starting from this year 2007.

Hon. Opposition Member: Benze bana saina.

Mrs Masebo: Besides that, the programmes for the construction of houses do not limit themselves to only high cost, medium cost or low cost. All the three categories are taken on board depending on the demand in that particular district. Madam Speaker, as you will appreciate, most of the private sector entities, themselves, and individuals are constructing houses, even currently, both in the high, medium, and indeed, low cost areas. What we have done as a Government is to guide the NHA to spend much more resources in constructing low cost houses as opposed to the medium and high cost ones, because we believe that in terms of the medium and high cost houses, the individual Members of Parliament, from their gratuity, and indeed other citizens, can put up their own houses.

Now, the hon. Member of Parliament for Luapula has said he hopes that, come next year, 2008, the Government shall have constructed the 100 houses. It is not an issue of come next year the Government shall construct the 100 houses because he, as a Member of Parliament, as a member of the council and as a councillor, actually, is the one who is supposed to construct these houses. So, it is not himself to come and make sure. It must be the public that must say they heard the hon. Minister confirming that by next year they would be seeing houses being constructed in districts. We, here, in Parliament are supposed to implement that together.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Mrs Masebo: I thank you, Madam Speaker.


234. Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives when the ban on the transportation of livestock from Western Province to Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces would be lifted.

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, the ban on the transportation of livestock to Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces was imposed in 1997 after outbreaks of the fatal Contagious Pleuro Bovine– Pneumonia (CPBP) in Western Province in order to minimise the spread of the disease to the other parts of the country. The disease spreads rapidly through movement of cattle, and if not checked, can easily spread throughout the country, hence the ban. Since the disease is still prevalent in Western Province, it is not possible to indicate when the ban will be lifted. However, transportation of carcasses (meat) out of the province is allowed.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Ndalamei: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the ban has contributed to high poverty levels in Western Province because the farmers are selling their animals at low prices?

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, the Government is aware that it has contributed to the poverty levels in the province and is doing everything possible. That is why we have put in this ban so that we take control of the disease. This is also the reason why we have given chance to our farmers to transport carcasses to Lusaka and Copperbelt.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out what really tangible measures are being taken in order to put an end to this very serious disease. This is because hon. Members of Parliament from Western Province are very concerned about the poverty levels. At the moment, our farmers are selling their carcasses at a give away price.

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, the Government is just as concerned as the hon. Members of Parliament from Western Province are. That is why we have put in place the ban. We are putting up a cordon line from Shangombo to Mwinilunga.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister included Kazungula in his answer. Right now, animals from Western Province are coming through Kazungula and Bombwe. That is why we have the Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP), which has finished all the animals in Kazungula District. What is the Government going to do to stop the movement of animals from Western Province through Kazungula? What is the Government doing about increasing the amount of money given to farmers who have lost animals? K500,000 is nothing compared to what the farmers are losing.

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, the Government is equally concerned. That is why we put up the ban. We will mount roadblocks and put up a cordon line.


Mr Kalenga: All these are measures to correct the situation.

I thank you, Madam.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to assure us about the cordon line which is a mere barbed wire line separating us from Angola where the original Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia comes from. Without the co-operation of the Republic of Angola, is he sure that with the principle of the cordon line alone, this Government will be able to eradicate the Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia.

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, we are doing everything possible to talk to our sister country, Angola, so that we put measures together to control this fatal disease.

Thank you, Madam.


235. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services when the Government would ensure that there was television and radio reception in all districts country-wide.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr D. Phiri): Madam Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia embarked on the Rural Television Project in 2001 and since then, television transmitters have been installed in forty-one rural districts of Zambia. This is in addition to what already existed along the line of rail under provincial centres.

Although the Rural Television Project focused on improving television reception across the country, it has always been the wish of the Government to have 100 per cent radio and television coverage of the territory of Zambia to facilitate dissemination of information to the population.

Consequently, the recently launched Fifth National Development Plan has included, under the information sector, the promotion of the electronic media. Under this, the Government intends to continue with the development of electronic media infrastructure. It is, therefore, envisaged that by the end of 2010, all the seventy-two districts of Zambia will be equipped with FM Radio transmitters as well as television transmitters. With the installation of this equipment, the country will experience improved radio and television reception.

Madam Speaker, I wish to remind this House that only a few days ago, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services delivered a ministerial statement at which this issue was adequately handled.

I thank you, Madam.


236. Mr Sinyinda (Senanga) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the construction of Senanga/Sesheke Road would commence.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, the Senanga/Sesheke Road construction will commence this year, 2007. In the 2007 Annual Works Plan, there is a provision of K18 billion under the Danida Mixed Credit facility.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, may I know whether this road will be gravel or tarmac.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, the road will be constructed to bituminous standard.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, last week I asked a question about the development of the road between Sesheke and Shangombo. It was a similar question with the one about the Sesheke/Senanga Road. This Government has put an expensive bridge across the Zambezi. We were given the answer that there was no plan to upgrade the road between Sesheke and Shangombo, which is on the Sesheke/Senanga Road. Now, the hon. Minister has just said that he is going to construct a bituminous road on Sesheke/Senanga on the other side. May I know the correct position about this road? Maybe, they do not know which side. Is it Sesheke/Shangombo/Senanga or Sesheke/Senanga across the bridge?

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, this is how I answered last time.

I thank you, Madam.

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


237. Mr Sinyinda asked the Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training whether the Government had any plans to assist the United Church of Zambia to complete the trades school being constructed in Senanga District.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Dr. Chituwo): Mr Speaker, the ministry has a TEVET Fund which is designed to facilitate building capacity for improved training delivery in the TEVET sector. This fund is managed by the Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) and is accessible by all training institutions registered with TEVETA. According to the TEVETA Register of 2006, Senanga Trades School is registered as a training institution. As such, Senanga Trades is eligible to apply for funding under the TEVET Fund if the school meets the necessary criteria set under the fund. The institution should, therefore, be encouraged to apply for the funds to enable it complete construction of the trades school.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, we have so many investors coming into the country, especially Chinese investors. Is it possible for the Government to direct some of the investors to rural areas so that they help in building institutions like the skills training centres?

Dr. Chituwo: Madam Speaker, under the TEVET Development Programme, we are continuing with the construction and, in certain places, strengthening of the existing trades training institutes. The policy, now, is to reinforce and expand the trades training centres at provincial level. However, there are exceptions to these because we are also at district level in certain provinces, for instance, in Kaoma in Western Province and Petauke in the Eastern Province.

Under the current TEVET Development Programme (TDP), there is an amount of money which has to be used to finish the twenty-three institutions that fall under the Government. When that is done, there will certainly be consideration for development at the district level. However, the TEVET Fund is accessible to any institution that is registered with TEVETA. It does not matter whether the institution is urban placed or in rural areas as long as the criterion has been met. There is an accounting system and if the institution has the ability to offer skills training set by the Government, that is, in agriculture, mining, tourism and so on, funds will be provided. So, with time, I am sure we shall reach the rural areas which are district based so that we offer skills training at that level to cater for the local population either in the formal or informal sector.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, I want to…

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

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Matongo: Madam Speaker, the recent African Union Meeting in Addis Ababa was about science and technology, according to what was announced here on the radio. I had hoped my friend, the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training would give us a ministerial statement during this sitting so as to inform us of the decisions made in Addis Ababa on this very important subject and what preparation this country had for that meeting. Is he in order to sit here quietly and nicely answering to simple questions without giving us the ministerial statement? I need your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.


Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member needs a serious ruling on the fact that the African Union Meeting in Addis Ababa was centred on science and technology and that the hon. Minister should have come with a ministerial statement to inform this House on the preparations that this Government had made before attending the meeting and the resolutions of the same. My serious ruling is that this is important. However, the hon. Minister who has just been in the House today should be given time to come and give a ministerial statement. I think that we should, indeed, ask if we see that there is delay in giving a ministerial statement. In this case, I have seen that the hon. Minister only came into the House today. Can we give him chance to give us a ministerial statement, if he sees that there is need for it. For now, my serious ruling is that let us give the hon. Minister time.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: May the hon. Member for Kalomo, please, continue.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, the question from Hon. Sinyinda seeks to know whether the Government can assist the United Church of Zambia complete the Trades School being constructed. This means that, at the moment, there is no Trades School apart from the buildings intended for the same. The Government is asking the United Church of Zambia to apply for funding. Does this Government imply that any person intending to build anything can, therefore, apply for funding to complete his project?

Dr Chituwo: Madam Speaker, I really hoped that my brother had been listening. However, for emphasis, I will say exactly what I said. As for as records are concerned, Senanga Trades School is registered under TEVETA.

The question is: Can they be assisted to complete the Trades School? The answer is: Yes, they can be assisted under the current arrangement where the registered schools apply to obtain funding from the TEVET Fund which is specifically there to build the capacity in Trades Training Schools.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: There is no ambiguity there. It is very clear and that is the way in which this Trades School can be assisted by the Government. It is through the application to this fund which is available either for the private sector, churches or Non-Governmental Organisations.

Madam Speaker, I hope my response is clear.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


238. Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga) asked the Minister of Communications and Transport whether the Government had any plans to upgrade Nsumbu Harbour into a port.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Speaker, my ministry recognises the potential that Nsumbu Harbour has in terms of promoting regional trade.

To this effect, my ministry has had plans to upgrade Nsumbu Harbour as an internal port to handle international traffic from the countries bordering Lake Tanganyika.

However, Nsumbu Harbour, currently, has no adequate facilities, as the existing quay needs major rehabilitation works. For example, there is no terminal facility to accommodate the immigration, customs, police and other agencies.

Towards the realisation of my ministry’s plans to upgrade the harbour into a port, there is, in this year’s budget, provision towards the same. The budget provision is intended for the Gazetting of the harbour and feasibility study before commencement of rehabilitation works.

The proposed rehabilitation works include the resurfacing of the quay and the roads within the port. To this effect, my ministry has already constituted a team of experts comprising officials from both my ministry and the Ministry of Works and Supply to oversee the rehabilitation and improvements of harbour facilities.

Madam Speaker, further to the above, my ministry has received an expression of interest from a private sector entrepreneur who is interested in construction and operation of the harbour to which consideration is being made.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, suppose the infrastructure that the hon. Minister has mentioned, namely the Immigration Department, customs and the police, the private sector is already participating in building these and promoting Nsumbu and Kaputa District by building a new police post? They are also willing to assist in the other departments. How ready is the ministry to promote and build Nsumbu Harbour into a port? Is the hon. Minister aware that with the commitment of the Government in job creation, when this is done, they will be promoting tourism by adding substance to major tourist attraction centres and empowering rural communities. In addition to that, is the hon. Minister surely aware that the distances between Nsumbu Port and neighbouring Congo and Rwanda are very short and economic to the countries in question?

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Service (Mr Mwaanga): Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Chimbamilonga has made important points, which the Government is very much aware of.

The Deputy Minister, in his answer, stated that there is a private entrepreneur who is interested in pursuing this particular harbour facility and that the entrepreneur is currently engaged in discussions with the Government with a view to arriving at an agreeable situation as to how this facility should be approached.

The importance of the harbour in terms of its proximity to some of Zambia’s trading neighbours in the region cannot be under estimated and the Government will do everything possible to examine the proposals that have been made and make a decision which is in the best interest of Zambia.

I thank you, Madam Speaker,

Mr Chitonge (Mwansabombwe): Madam Speaker, apart from enticing hon. Members of Parliament to get more loans to purchase boats in our various constituencies, are there any modalities being set up by your ministry to ensure that, at least, within the course of this year, you start providing constituencies that need boats?

Mr Mwaanga: Madam Speaker, we have already stated that the Government is engaged in negotiations with the private entrepreneur to see how best this facility can be developed. I do not think that we can go any further than that without pre-judging issues at this moment.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, from the answer given by the ministry, I would like to know whether the Government is considering putting small harbours in areas where we have lakes and islands, particularly, in my area where people have to fend for themselves and the Government does not do anything for them?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister may answer, but this question was very specific to Nsumbu.

Mr Mwaanga: Madam Speaker, I am very grateful for the question asked by my hon. Friend. As you have guided, if the hon. Member is interested in asking a question, in which specifically addresses the needs of his constituency, I politely urge him to put that in the form of a question so that he can get a more reasoned answer which will make sense to him.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, realising that the Government is in serious discussions with a private investor to upgrade Nsumbu Harbour, I would like find out from the hon. Minister of Transport and Communications whether they have made further serious discussions with the Ministry of Works and Supply to ensure that the road linking Nsumbu to the rest of Zambia is upgraded and maintained so that the shortest way to Rwanda is made use of.

Mr Mwaanga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that there are on-going consultations between the Ministry of Works and Supply and the Ministry of Communications and Transport. All these are complementing issues which are part of the solution to the problem which has been raised by the hon. Member.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Mwaanga): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1852 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 7th February 2007.





231. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Home Affairs how many expatriates were employed in the manufacturing industry from 2001 to-date.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, from 2001 to January 10, 2007, 338 expatriates were employed in the manufacturing industry.

I thank you.