Debates- Thursday, 1st February, 2007

Printer Friendly and PDF


Thursday, 1st February, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to brief this august House on the furnace explosions which occurred at Chambishi Copper/Cobalt Smelter on Sunday 25th January, 2007.

I visited the scene of the accident on Wednesday, 31st January, 2007 in order to appreciate the circumstances that had culminated into this dangerous occurrence.

I must stress from the out set that there were no injuries and no fatalities recorded by the mine following this unfortunate incident. The workers at the smelter were quickly evacuated to safe places within the mine area. This demonstrates the high standard of safety at Chambishi Metal PLC and I would like to take this opportunity to commend the mine’s management.

Mr Speaker, there are two separate smelting processing streams at Chambishi Copper/ Cobalt Smelter. One stream smelts slag from Nkana Mine slag dump also known as the Black Mountain areas near Nkana Mine. The other processes Copper Sulphide Concentrate into Blister Copper. Under normal circumstances, the basic smelting operation at the smelter and Chambishi would proceed in the following manner:

Copper sulphide concentrate and cobalt slag are measured in correct proportions and mixed with fluxing agent or limestone and fed into two separate electric furnaces. The heat from the electric arc increases the temperature to about 1,400 degrees centigrade and melts the slag into molten metal. The fluxing agent assists to lower the melting point of the material that has been fed into the furnace.

The waste portion of the molten content is discarded from the furnace through the tapping hole while the useful part is sent for metal refining. 

The metallic assembly of the furnace is insulated with refractory bricks covering the whole inside part of the furnace. The refractory bricks are designed to withstand relatively high temperature without disintegrating. The brick lining protects the metallic walls of the furnace from reactive with the molten content of the furnace. The average life in refractory bricks in the furnace which smelts metal concentrates is estimated to be between seven and eight years.

Mr Speaker, from preliminary findings at the mine, it would seem the following events led to the cobalt slag furnace explosions. On that fateful Sunday morning, when smelting operations were still in progress, it appears the refractory brick lining inside the furnace suddenly collapsed. This event caused some of the molten metal to splash out of the furnace through the tapping hole onto adjacent cooling pipes containing water. The hot material raptured the pipes causing several water leakages. The excessive heat from the splash of molten metal and the hot gases which were emanating from the furnace disintegrated the water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen leading to the several explosions that were experienced and heard from the smelter.

Mr Speaker, the slag furnace and thermocouples (temperature measuring devices) are installed at strategic points of the brick lining in order to warn operators in the plant about imminent brick failure when there is excessive heat in the furnace. However, when this dangerous occurrence happened, it would seem the instruments gave no warning of imminent brick failure.

Mr Speaker, when this incident was initially reported as a gig fire, the Mines Safety Department under my ministry alerted management at Konkola Copper Mines PLC and Mopani Copper Mines PLC who quickly dispatched fire fighting equipment to the accident scene at Chambishi Metals. I wish to thank the two mining companies for the emergency preparedness and for their cooperation during the incident. Such cooperation should continue and be encouraged in the mining industry.

Although investigations by the Mines Safety Department are still in progress at Chambishi Metal, we believe the main cause of the explosions at the smelter was the sudden collapse of the refractory brick lining in the furnace. Therefore, in order to prevent a recurrence the following instructions have been conveyed to mine management:

(a) the smelter should be completely shut down to allow for total refurbishment of the slag furnace whereby the entire refractory brick lining should be replaced and the refractory bricks near the tapping hole be replaced with more robust bricks;

(b) that the refractory failure warning system be thoroughly reviewed and improved and thus be proactive in maintaining the furnace;

(c) a risk analysis be carried out and a code of safe working practice be formulated before permission for rehabilitation is granted.

Members of the House may wish to note that the mine has already complied with this directive in that the risk analysis has already been done and the code of safe working practice is approved by the Mine Safety Department to ensure that the rehabilitation work programme is implemented by the mine safely; and

(d) that other remedial measures deemed necessary be put in place.

Sir, the shut down of the cobalt slag furnace is expected to last between forty-five and sixty calendar days. However, mine management is doing its best to reduce the shutdown period.

The rehabilitation and re-building work programme will be carried out in the following sequence:

(a) to cool the furnace;

(b) to dig out the solidified metal in the furnace;

(c) to remove the brick lining;

(d) to replace brick lining; and

(e) to replace damage pipes and cables.

Mr Speaker, Members of the House may wish to know that the slag furnace was due for an overhaul in March 2007 for two months during which period the brick lining of the furnace was to be replaced. However, because of the explosions, this shutdown has effectively been brought forward to January 2007.

The loss in cobalt production is about 7 metric tonnes per day which at current prices translates into a loss of about US$300,000 per day. This should, of course, be put in perspective against the fact that the plant was going to be on two months shut down in March anyway.

At Chambeshi copper/cobalt smelter, production of cobalt has steadily increased from 500 metric tonnes per annum in 2001 to 3,500 metric tonnes per year in recent years. The design operating capacity of the plant is 3,700 metric tonnes per annum and the total number of employees at Chambeshi Metals is 1,031.

Mr Speaker the Chambeshi smelter is of strategic importance to Zambia as it is the largest producer of cobalt in the country. The plant is also a significant player in the mining world because world cobalt prices increased by US$3.00 per metric tonne following reports of closure of the furnace. The current price of cobalt is at US$40,000 per metric tonne.

Mr Speaker, I now wish to give historical background information about the cobalt slag furnace for the benefit of the Members of the House. Chambeshi Metals PLC is owned by J & W Holdings who are also the owners of Luanshya Copper Mines PLC. The assets for Chambeshi Metals comprise the Chambeshi copper/cobalt smelter, Nkana slag dump and Chambeshi cobalt and acid plants.

Baluba Mine of Luanshya Copper Mines PLC sends its copper and cobalt concentrates to Chambeshi Metals from where copper and cobalt cathodes are produced at separate tank houses using solvent extraction – electrowinning process after roasting. Sulphuric acid is produced from the acid plant and used at the mine. Copper sulphide concentrates are smelted in the copper furnace of the Chambeshi copper/cobalt smelter.

Mr Speaker, I need to clarify that apart from the slag furnace which has been shutdown for rehabilitation, the other plans which I have just mentioned are still operational at Chambeshi Metals PLC. Therefore, there will be no job losses because of the accident as personnel will be involved in the shutdown maintenance work or re-deployed to the other parts of the plan that are still operating.

Sir, the affected furnace, which was commissioned in January 2001 by the previous mine owners namely Anglo-Vaal Mining (AVMIN) of South Africa, has had an uneasy history of some failures as follows:

In April 2001 while the plant was still managed by AVMIN and when the smelter was being prepared for commissioning, it experienced the first refractory brick failure in the slag.

In July 2002 when the plant was still under the previous owners, AVMIN, the water cooler pipes collapsed.

J & W took over the Plant in July 2003 and the cooler pipes failed again in December 2005 and December 2006.

However, this is the first time since J & W took over the mine that the brick lining has collapsed. At the time of the current failure, the furnace refractory bricks had served for nearly four and half years.

Mr Speaker, Government policy on safety and environment in relation to mining is:

‘To promote the development and exploitation of mineral resources in the country in a safe, economic and sustainable manner for the optimum benefit of the people of Zambia’.

To this effect, my ministry recruited inspectors of mines in the year 2005 to fill in vacancies at mines safety department and procured three field vehicles to ensure pro-active inspections at the mines. In this regard, fatal mine accidents have reduced from eighty in the year 2005 to eighteen in 2006.

Finally, Mr Speaker, let me say that Government is very concerned about the increasing number of incidents at Chambeshi Metals. During my visit to the plant I urged management to work hand in hand with mines safety department in finding a long term solution to these explosions.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may now ask questions on points of clarification on the statement which has been given by the Hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I believe that if engineering standards are followed situations like the one which is happening in Chambeshi would have been avoided. I would like to find out how often such installations are inspected by the safety department to ensure that there is compliance to engineering maintenance procedures and protection of life and proper maintenance.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I must confess that in the past, we have not been pro-active with inspections. We have now procured enough transport and recruited more inspectors so we expect them to be very mobile and pro-active ensuring safety of the environment in work places.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, arising from the statement given, it is not stated if the furnace brick that had collapsed had reached its lifespan. If not, have measures been taken to ensure that the occurrence does not happen again?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the lifespan of the refractory brick is eight to nine years. And the bricks that collapsed are known to be about forty-five years. So, part of the investigations is to find out whether those bricks had a high standard or not.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I agree that the furnace bricks are supposed to last eight to nine years, but the tap walls where this explosion happened is a very critical area which is supposed to be maintained very often. How often do they carry out their periodical maintenance?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, it is our belief that the mine owners do carryout inspections but as I said, the Mine Safety Department and the mine owners are investigating to find out exactly what happened and what remedial measures to put in place to ensure that we do not have a recurrence of such accidents.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the Minister started of by praising Chambeshi Metals for the excellent safety record. Subsequently he indicated that the causes of the explosion was the failure of the refractory bricks, the coming in contact with hot metal and water, the failure of the temperature monitoring system through the thermal cables.

Mr Speaker, to me this was a very serious occurrence …

Mr Speaker: Order! May you ask your question?

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, in view of these failures which are very fundamental in the operation of furnaces, what is the hon. Minister going to do to ensure that these fundamental failures are not repeated?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we commended mine management for safety record because they were very quick to mobilise workers to safety when these explosions occurred within the mine area to areas that were not affected. They did it very quickly and that is why we commend them for that. But as to what we should do to ensure that we do not have a recurrence, we are also very concerned that is why a point was made when we visited them that we do not want these things to repeat themselves. We have also instructed the mine safety department and the mining companies concerned to ensure that investigations are thorough to determine exactly what happened and to ensure that we do not have a repetition of this type of accident.

I thank you.{mospagebreak}


 The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr Mwaanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to address the House on the state of the media in the last decade and shed some light on some of the developments taking place in the information sector and prospects for the future.

I shall endeavour to highlight the achievements and challenges faced by the sector, especially in the growing demand for information national wide and highlight some of our operational difficulties that we have had to contend with.

Mr Speaker, the coming into power of the MMD in 1991 brought about a changed media landscape in our country and for the first time in the history of the media, the Government came up with an international media policy. Since the Government had this total disposition that it would not sale the two Government owned daily newspapers, namely the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail, interested players were invited to set up their own newspapers. In that manner in respect of broadcasting, the air waves have been liberalised and private investors have been invited and encouraged to freely participate.

Mr Speaker, the liberalisation of the media industry led to the growth of both the private and community media across the country especially along the line of rail. This growth has, however been replaced more in the electronic media sector while the print media still remains largely in urban centres due to lack of printing infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, through the growing number of community and commercial radio stations and privately owned newspapers and television stations, our people have been provided with diverse views, news and opinions to enable them make informed decisions on matters affecting their welfare. Under the 1996 international media policy, the Government created a conducive environment for the media in order to and I quote:

“Promote and facilitate the growth of a sustainable media industry capable of enhancing full flow of information and freedom of expression for national development”.

Mr Speaker, the last 10 years have been a turning point as regards freedom of the press. The media has enjoyed more freedom to cover and establish issues of interest than at any other time in the history of Zambia. Political parties have also enjoyed coverage from both state owned and private owned media. During the last tripartite elections, for instance, due to the multiplicity of media institutions, the Opposition political parties were covered extensively and given the opportunity to sell their manifestos to the electorate.

Mr Speaker, I am alive to the fact that there will be some who will dispute this statement and if they do, I will accept honest differences of opinion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: This is understandable when you consider where we have come from as a nation.

Mr Speaker, as a matter of policy, there is no censorship in Zambia and newspapers are not registered with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. The only requirement for these newspapers, registered as companies under the Companies Act, is to deposit two copies of each edition with the National Archives which falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs. This is part of the laws that we inherited from our former colonial master, namely, the United Kingdom. Broadcasting status, within the laws, enjoy equal freedom and a great measure of independence.

In terms of support to the private media, Government has in the Fifth National Development Plan included establishment of a media development fund. This will be a revolving credit fund for those wishing to set up newspapers, radio and television stations. This is expected to be in place in 2008 while the modalities and guidelines, including a manual on the same will be put in place before or by the end of 2007.

On Electronic Media, the return of Zambia to multiparty politics in 1991 brought with it a number of changes which also affected the electronic media. Until 1994, the national broadcasting corporation (ZNBC) enjoyed the monopoly in broadcasting. Today however, the monopoly of ZNBC has been broken and other radio and television stations, both commercial and community have sprung up and are offering stiff competition to ZNBC. This is indeed as it should be.

In the last five year, significant progress has been made in Radio broadcasting. By last year, there were 28 licensed radio stations operating in Zambia, including ZNBC’s three channels, 1, 2, and 4.

In the year 2000, new FM Radio transmitters for radios 1 and 2 were installed at 7 provincial centres to replace the old problematic medium wave transmitters as well as improve ZNBC’s radio reception in those areas. Other measures taken were to install 2 x 100 KW shortwave transmitters to increase the radio coverage area to afford the rural population access to ZNBC radios 1 and 2 reception.

Ten years ago, the radio reception in many parts of Zambia, including Lusaka, Copperbelt and the provincial centres had greatly deteriorated mainly due to aging equipment. In the last five years, however, efforts were made to restore the radio transmission network. These efforts, however, were not sufficient as there were still many areas of Zambia experiencing poor radio reception especially in the rural areas.

Although, the airwave had been liberalised, it was noted that the emergency of private radios tended to benefit people in urban areas, as the proprietors tended to concentrate on the major cities such as Lusaka and Kitwe, leaving most rural areas without good radio reception. The Government is therefore, facilitating the establishment of radio and television stations in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, until recently television was still dominated by ZNBC which had eleven transmission stations located along the line of rail and the provincial centres. During this period, however, two private TV stations were licensed and became operational and these are; Multichoice and Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

The most significant thing to have happened on television was the Government’s decision to embark on the rural television project.

As hon. Members may be aware the Government, through my ministry, embarked on the rural television project in 2001 and contracted Cable Satellite Television (CASAT) to install television transmitters in 32 districts. The project, whose implementation was slowed down due to late releases of funds, ran into problems prompting Government to terminate the contract in 2004. At that time, CASAT had installed transmitters in 26 districts.

Mr Speaker, transmitters were supplied under the CASAT contract and had three main weaknesses namely;

(a) Reliance on foreign TV signals due to failure to link with ZNBC TV for local programmes;

(b) low power output resulting in poor reception in most parts of the targeted areas; and

(c) high failure rate resulting in long service outage.

The project was then turned to ZNBC and a total of K4.2 billion was sourced by Government in 2005, to ensure that some of the 26 transmitters installed by CASAT were rehabilitated and new ones purchased. This service has been made easy to the down link facility provided by Multichoice Africa through their satellite enabling ZNBC to down link signal from satellite via its transmitters dotted throughout the country. In 2006, we released to ZNBC, an additional K3.1 billion to continue this programme.

In this way, ordinary Zambians are able to access ZNBC signal without the use of decoders. Multichoice Zambia has a Zambian Government shareholding of 30 per cent through ZANBC, and as Minister responsible I appoint three directors to the board of Multichoice Zambia, including the chairperson of the board.

I want to assure the House, Mr Speaker, that there is no more CASAT project anywhere in the country at present and all the installations belong to the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The Government has in the recent past paid off CASAT an amount of K180 million as settlement of a dispute which arose over the termination of the CASAT contract. This has been done by mutual consent.

Mr Speaker, despite the success on the radio and television networks, the situation regarding radio and television production houses was such that these were still very limited and even those available were faced with a problem of obsolete or inadequate equipment resulting in poor delivery of radio and television programmes. On many occasions crews from organisation like ZNBC and ZANIS were unable to cover important events due to lack of cameras or other field recording facilities and transportation. The gains in the electronic in Zambia can, however, be said to have been consolidated by the emergency on more commercial and community radio stations as well as commercial televisions stations.

Mr Speaker, by the end of 2006, Lusaka had five television stations namely; ZNBC television, Muvi TV, TBN, My TV and Mobi TV, while another one in Ndola is currently on the way towards commencing its operations. Most notable, is that the number of community radio stations outside Lusaka and the Copperbelt has increased in the past few years with almost every province having one or two or even more community radio stations, and in some cases, more are still being planned. With regard to television, the more significant progress was recorded on the rural television project were additional TV transmitters were installed at 16 rural sites and 10 sites had their power upgraded. ZNBC can now be watched along the whole line of rail at provincial centres and in 42 other rural districts centres.

Mr Speaker, there was also been significant improvement in ZNBC production facilities and these include the following:

(a) Digitalisation of radio studios at ZNBC in 2005, in which the old analogy equipment was replaced with new digital studio equipment;

(b) the introduction of new digital format on television and acquisition of digital video cameras and editing suites. New digital video (DV) cameras editing and transmitting facilities were also procured by ZNBC to improve the quality of production;

(c) the acquisition of transport for all the ZNBC provincial centres, headquarters and Kitwe on the Copperbelt was eased the transport problems, as the corporation was sourcing in covering national events and carrying out maintenance of equipment which is dotted in various parts of the country;

(d) The putting of ZNBC TV programmes on the DSTV satellite platform through collaboration of Multichoice African Limited, for distribution of TV programmes to ZNBC rural sites for rebroadcast to local communities.

Mr Speaker, the reintroduction of TV license fees in December 2002 through the amendment of the ZNBC Act of 1997, made it possible for ZNBC to make improvements in its programmes and rehabilitation of broken down infrastructure. At K3,000 per year, this should be regarded as a nominal fee. Following the launch of Fifth National Development Plan by His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, recently, there is hope for further improvements in the electronic media. The Government plans to continue with the process or not only taking television to all parts of the country, but with emphasise on development of radio network infrastructure. Consequently, the following is expected to be done:

(a) The installation of FM radio transmitters for radio 1 and 2 in all the 72 districts of Zambia;

(b) the installation of additional TV transmitters in the 19 remaining districts as well as upgrading of TV transmitters in some districts to increase coverage area. This will be extended to other basic populated centres where electricity exists.


(c) The replacement of the aged and obsolete television transmitters along the line of rail and at provincial centres.

(d) The provision of additional production facilities to improve the acquisition on materials for broadcast. New cameras, editing equipment and other transmission equipment will also be procured. This is aimed at the establishment of provincial production centres to allow for greater participation by the public and also to improve the collection and processing of news and other programme materials.

Vernacular Newspapers

Mr Speaker, the revival of vernacular newspapers by Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) has managed to bridge the gap left my the mainstream English newspapers whose circulation and coverage is to some extent, largely confined to the line of rail.

Though not produced regularly due to limited resources, these newspapers provide a reliable conduit of information flow between the Government and the rural populous on the latest happenings and other developmental challenges within their localities and beyond.

Sir, I also wish to mention that there has been difficulties experienced in distributing these papers and measures are now being worked out to solve this problem. Hon. Members may also wish to know that though these papers are being sold, my ministry had decided that free copies be made available to Their Royal Highnesses, civic leaders, schools and other selected institutions. From what I have just said, it will be observed that this exercise is largely a public service to our rural communities.

Mr Speaker, there has been tremendous improvement in terms of equipment. All units at the headquarters have been equipped with modern equipment to be in step with the changing technology in the media around the world. The Government has procured modern video cameras and editing suites for the head office, thirty-seven mobile video vans were procured. Each province received at least four vans. My ministry is in the process of sourcing funds to procure more vans for all the remaining districts.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: Sir, through its maintenance section, Zambia News and Information Services has potential and capacity to provide Public Address Systems (PA) for effective dissemination of public information. The Government bought PA equipment, including digital still cameras to cover all the districts during the year 2006. The setting up of the local printing press has already contributed to efficiency, timely and quick response to Government’s call outs for printing materials such as during by-elections and other important national events.

All seventy-two district information offices will be equipped with computers. This will ease communication, as the department will have a wide area Internet connection to link provincial and district offices to the headquarters.

Mr Speaker, there has been tremendous improvement in the operations of public media in the last ten years, particularly, in the last five years. Both the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail which are 100 per cent Government owned have continued to enjoy editorial independence as well as to run on a commercially.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Mr Mwaanga: However, due to poor state of printing process of the two companies and lack of transport, the distribution of newspapers was mainly restricted to the line of rail with little going to rural areas until last year when Government bought delivery vans for the two companies.

In terms of service to the people of Zambia, I am proud to report that the two newspapers have contributed a great deal in provision of information in a two way channel from the Government to the public and from the public to the Government. A necessity to have the two newspapers have never been greater today than ever before considering that there is need for an information channel to project Government policies and programmes to the people and reflect the impact on them. When funds permit, the Government, as a shareholder, will have to find ways of assisting the two companies procure printing presses and other necessary equipments. As a start, in 2006, the Government eased the pressure off the two companies by settling all their foreign debts in respect of newsprint supplied to them going back many years ago.

Times Printpak Limited the publisher of Times of Zambia and Sunday Times, which until about fifteen years ago was one of the main printing companies on the Copperbelt, has been reduced to a mere facility of a newspaper. This is because there has been no capitalisation in the last twenty-five years, especially, since Government bought the company from the then almighty United Nations Independence Party (UNIP).

Further, because of the poor state of the printing press which breaks down frequently, the Times of Zambia has not printed in full colour like the other dailies. About K5 billion is required to procure a new printing press. The printing press which is there is what I left when I was Editor-in-Chief of the Times of Zambia and the Sunday Times of Zambia in 1972.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, however, in terms of transport, the company has benefited from a donation of eleven motor vehicles, eight of which are specifically for newspaper deliveries to rural areas, an exercise which is being undertaken at great loss.

The company will also need to downsize its workforce by about 100 workers, but this is not possible until there is an injection of funds to meet retrenchment costs.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Daily Mail, which publishes the Zambia Daily Mail and Sunday Mail Newspapers, is in a similar predicament in terms of printing presses. Although the company can print the newspapers in full colour, the quality is not as good as it should be because there are frequent breakdowns experienced almost every night. Like Times Printpak Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail Limited also needs to replace its printing press. However, for now, the Government has helped the company with eleven motor vehicles, eight of which are for newspapers deliveries to rural areas, again at great loss to the company.

Sir, I thought I should share this information with hon. Members of Parliament in the hope and expectation that they will have a better understanding of the challenges facing the media in our country.

Let me conclude by thanking our cooperating partners, the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Japan for the generous assistance that they have given to support most of the programmes I have just outlined. We have requested the Government of the Republic of Korea for computer assistance to support our rural operation. These discussions are ongoing and we remain cautiously optimistic that they will produce positive results.

With the support of President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Ng’andu Peter Magande, MP and above all, with the support of my colleagues in Government and the support of this House, I am confident that a lot more will be achieved.

Mr Speaker, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! As before the hon. Members may now ask questions, which will enable the hon. Minister to clarify for them points he has made in his statement.

Mr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wonder if the hon. Minister could give us his professional opinion on the extent to which the different pattern in the rural and urban areas of control of the media with Government controlling most of the rural conveyance of information affected voters in the last election.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, one of the most read newspapers in the rural areas is The Post. It reaches many parts of Zambia. The Government media only reaches a few parts. I am happy to inform the hon. Member for Lusaka Central that none of these newspaper patterns affected voting in the rural areas. The rural people are intelligent enough to make their own judgments.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bonshe (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, rural television has been restricted to the district headquarters commonly known as the boma. The radius coverage is very limited. We have been told that they are trying to extend this. Could we have a time frame in which this will be done? We are facing a lot of complaints from the rural community that television has only been brought to the district commissioners and Government offices.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I have repeatedly said that currently the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Rural Program is district-based. As we go along, this is going to be decentralised as we acquire more transmitters which are powerful to reach other parts of the district centers. We intend to cover all the seventy-two districts and improve the radio reception in areas where this is inadequate. We have made provision for this in the Fifth National Development Plan and under our current on-going programme to ensure that areas which have poor reception for both television and radio receive attention. This is the position, Sir.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, admittedly, the ministry has made a lot of strides in ensuring that the ministry improves its operations. Could the hon. Minister tell the House what strides, if any, his ministry has made in revamping the Zambia Printing Company?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, in response to the question from my learned friend, I wish to say that the Zambia Printing Company has been a problematic company for Government for many years now. A committee under the Chairmanship of my hon. Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services has been set up working together with the officials from other ministries to make a final recommendation to Government as to what should happen to that company. A number of options have been considered. One of them is liquidation. The other one is the management buy-out and another one is the possible merger with the Zambia Education Publishing House. These are options which have been considered, but a final decision will only be made after this committee has submitted its final recommendation so that a decision is made which will also be in the best interest of the workers some of whom have been retrenched for sometime and whose benefits have not been paid.

Thank you, Sir.

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, it was encouraging to hear the hon. Minister say that computers will be provided to the seventy-two districts. What is the ministry going to do to make sure that Mutete which does not even have electricity and which is not connected to anything will also be put on line?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I have already stated that we will deal with the districts where there is electricity. Installation of electricity is not part of the ministry’s function and I will leave that in the capable hands of the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, when is the technical bench going to take the decision made by the hon. Minister to do the right things there and then? We have been informed that we are going to have a rerun of the project to extend the radius of television signal which could have been banned there and then.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, telecommunication or communication of this nature can not be banned there and then. That would be too simplicity an approach to take. The issues will be tackled in a very professional way to ensure that the people of Chimbamilonga and Kaputa get the best possible service.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chitonge (Mwansabombwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services said that about five television stations have been opened in Zambia through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. Can he clarify how the money being levied through television licenses is shared amongst the five stations?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I did not talk about sharing of money collected from television licenses. Perhaps, the hon. Member should stick to the question as guided by the hon. Mr Speaker.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, what incentives has the ministry put in the plan to encourage or attract private people who want to introduce television and radio stations in rural areas?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I did say that we are encouraging individuals or communities that are interested in setting up radio and television stations in their different localities to approach my ministry by submitting applications and seeking guidance as how to do it. There was a time, in fact, when the Media Trust Fund used to assist communities which were interested in setting up radio and television stations by actually offering them equipment. I have already said that this position has changed. We are going to set up a development fund to which they could access once it is fully operational.

However, we encourage local communities to take advantage of the offer, which my ministry has made to set up local radio stations, whose main purposes should be to save the local people where they are operating.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, from the eloquent and elaborate answer that has been given to the nation by the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, I would like to find out whether his ministry is considering re-introducing the Freedom of Information Bill in this House so that the broadcasting stations throughout the country could have access to information that they would want to broadcast to the nation?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I deliberately left out that from my statement. Since it has been raised, I wish to inform the hon. Member for Monze that we have circulated to all the stakeholders a questionnaire as to how best we should improve on our Freedom of Information Bill that was withdrawn by the Government.

Once we have received the necessary comments from the stakeholders, we intend to submit it to the Ministry of Justice for scrutiny so that we can have a look at it and see how we can avoid some of the pitfalls the countries that are operating this law have run into. It is no secrete that countries that operate this law have run into pitfalls because this requires appointment of officers in all the ministries who will be able to handle information that members of the public are going to request.

Unlike his assertion, this is not only about the news media, but the Zambian public as a whole. For example, I do not see, at the moment, what information the public are not able to have which they would like to have and for what purposes they would like it.

Nowadays, Governments are sensitive due to the increase in acts of terrorism. We have to be sure that the people who obtain information and the people they pass it on to do not use it for unconstructive purposes.

I thank you, sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, we appreciate what the Government is doing in trying to motivate the media in our country. However, the hon. Minister did not explain when they are going to renovate the ZNBC that is in the middle of the city. To me, it looks like an eyesore. He has mentioned when they are bringing the new cameras, which like bringing new linen to the old house. Therefore, what access do hon. Members of Parliament have regardless of their opposition political parties if they have to have typical rural news covered since we are tired of town news?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, we must be wearing different glasses with the hon. Member because I do not know which ZNBC requires that level of rehabilitation he is talking about. Everything is being done to keep ZNBC, the complex that was built some years ago up to certain standard suitable for purposes of carrying out modern broadcasting network.

This is still the position and it has not been the cry of the Zambian people. The cries of the Zambian people have been for us to improve radio and television outreach particularly, in the rural areas. They believe that the city people have become bamba zonkes, in other words, and that we have ignored the news of the rural communities. These are the needs that are coming from out there, not aging of the building of ZNBC.

Mr Speaker, nothing has broken down at ZBNC and in this case, I am prepared to invite hon. Members of Parliament, like they have done in the past from the Information Committee of this Parliament to visit ZNBC and ascertain the situation themselves. It could be that the hon. Member here have not had an opportunity to visit ZNBC.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the hon. Minister on two incidences in that a few weeks before the Budget presentation, the hon. Minister presents such an elaborate statement on the general administration of his ministry.

However, in 2005, we debated the ZNBC Bill and proposed that the TV levy be named ZNBC Levy for the reason that other TV stations would not access it. However, the Government insisted that it should be called TV licence fee. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether, as he comes to present his ministry’s budget, he shall inform us whether of any plans whatsoever to extend the TV licence collection to other TVs that are also being run for the benefit of informing the Zambian population who are contributing towards the TV licence fee?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, since my hon. friend is talking about the budget measures, the Budget will be presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. I am afraid that I am reluctant to be drawn into what measures will be announced during the Budget on which we can follow out that kind of question. I would advise him to be patient since has been patient in the past. The Budget will be presented soon.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Mr Speaker, allow me to pause two very short questions to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services.

Firstly, when will ZNBC open provincial broadcasting stations and could the hon. Minister tell us reasons that led to the removal of one of the heads of media, Zambia Daily Mail in particular, immediately after the general elections last year?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, let me begin by answering the last question. The head of Zambia Daily Mail was removed by the Board of Zambia Daily Mail and the reasons were given to him. Therefore, I do not think it will be fair for me to discuss the reasons that led to his loss of job because that is a matter that remains between him, the Board and the ministry. So, for his sake, I do not think that it will be fair to go into those details.

As regards to when ZNBC will be extended to the provincial centres, the position is as he left it when he was there that in the Fifth National Development Plan; an attempt will be made to cover as many of these provincial centres as possible, resources permitting. You have noticed that during the last one year, we have opened up the Livingstone Station. We also intend to open up other offices in other provinces as we go along and as funds become available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, from the flowery statement by the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, I wish to find out whether the Government is committed to the dependence of the Editorial Comments by the Daily Mail and the Times of Zambia in that all the editorial comments in these two newspapers are pro-Government and never at any time have they spoken against the Government.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I made it clear in my statement that these newspapers are owned a 100 per cent by Government.

Mr Sichilima: Kabili nifwebo tuleteka.


Mr Mwaanga: Secondly, these newspapers do not always support the Government. They have attacked the Government, the ministers and have criticised actions that have been taken by the Government. It is an editorial function in which my ministry does not get involved. It is left to the editors to use their professional discretion and decision on behalf of their boards and on behalf of the Zambian people. It is not true that there are subject to censorship or control by my ministry because we do not get involved in the editorials which they write. They have written many editorials which have been critical of the Government.

I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I appreciate what the ministry is doing to improve and increase the areas of communication. May I know when they are going to attend to the various areas along the line of rail? It appears that they are concentrating on Pemba and Livingstone while in Kalomo we are completely off the television signals.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, my statement did not touch on specific questions of Kalomo and Zimba. However, if the hon. Member would like a specific question on that issue, our technical department will be happy to provide me with answers so that I can give him a more meaningful reply.

I thank you.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about panel vans for bioscope to go the districts. He is aware, too, that certain parts of this country, in particular my constituency, can only be reached by …

Mr Shakafuswa: Boats!

Dr Machungwa: … boats. Has he considered bringing in boats that can carry this panel van so that the people in those areas can also be part of the country?


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I have not considered that. However, since the hon. Member has raised the issue, he should feel free to write to me as minister so that he does not have to wait for a ministerial statement to be able to raise that issue.


Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, we are happy to have listened to the voice of the veteran who is a well trained and articulate journalist, experienced politician …

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: That is an editorial! May you ask you question?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer now!

Mr Chimbaka: Thank you for your guidance.

Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the veteran why, in the new dispensation and in the global world, Zambia is trying to deprive people of information which is a basis for national development and security?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, on the contrary, the Government wants to do everything possible to provide the people of Zambia with as much information as possible so that they can make informed decisions. This is the policy of the Government. I do not understand why my hon. Colleague who was giving me such going tribute should be asking a question which is totally unrelated to the statement which I made.

I thank you.


Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister made reference to the successes which have been recorded by his ministry. He has also articulated the way forward. May I know whether he has put in place a package to compensate the officers who are driving his ministry forward?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for the question asked by my hon. Friend who is a former Permanent Secretary and former Minister of State in the Government of the Republic of Zambia.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, officials who are employed in my ministry are part of the Public Service. Their rewards go along with rewards which are given to other members of the Public Service. They do not enjoy any special terms of Conditions of Service and they will continue to be so for as long as they remain part of the Public Service. As regards the ones who are not members of the Public Service, for example, the ones who are employed by the Times of Zambia, Daily Mail and ZNBC, there are boards which are put in place by the hon. Minister. These boards determine what kind of conditions of service they should have. We think that this is a much tidier and fairer way of dealing with this matter.

Thank you.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, first of all, I wish to salute the Government for having extended …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: … television reception to the people of Chilubi.

However, I have two questions for the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services. Firstly, most people in Chilubi cannot access the television reception. When does his ministry intend to extend the television reception to Chilubi? Secondly, he indicated that some of the districts have been availed with vehicles, when does his ministry intend to consider districts which were not given vehicles in the last consignment?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I made it clear in my statement that we have not yet covered all the seventy-two districts. We have made a provision not just in the Fifth National Development Plan, but from the money that was released even as late as December 2006 to ensure that we continue expanding our networks for both radio and television with the ultimate objective of covering all the seventy-two districts.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the vehicles, I also made it clear that we have provided, at least, four motor vehicles per province. We intend to cover all the seventy-two districts if funds will be permitting under the Fifth National Development Plan and also under the budget for the year 2007 once Parliament approves the budget by the Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Thank you.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister may wish to appraise us with the developments in respect of appointing or bringing the approved names of people to serve as members of the board for ZNBC.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, in keeping with the tradition of the House, that matter is currently before the Supreme Court of Zambia and until the Supreme Court has disposed of this matter, I am constrained to talk about it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister if the invitations for private radio in particular include short wave transmissions.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, the invitation includes invitations to discuss everything that has to do with my ministry. It is doing that invitation once accepted where these details can be discussed with members of the Technical Committee because there is an impression that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services makes these decisions alone. That is not the position. These decisions are made by a Technical Committee, which involves officials from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Communications and Transport, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services and Zambia National Broadcasting Services. Once an approach has been made to my ministry, the professional advice will be given to hon. Members to assist them make decisions and advice the communities where they live.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, distribution of Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail to rural areas is very poor and yet that is where most of the programmes which are undertaken by the Government are actually written. To this fact, we have given advantage to private owned papers. When is the ministry going to improve the distribution of these papers so that our people in rural areas could be able to appreciate what this Government is doing?

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, that remains our objective. As I stated in my statement, we are doing this exercise by allocating eight vehicles to the distribution of newspapers to the Times of Zambia and eight vehicles to the Zambia Daily Mail. Before the effects of this measure is felt, it will take some time. It is therefore, our objective to ensure that we increase this even if we are doing it at a loss in order to be able to serve members of the Zambian public, particularly, those who live in rural areas. I am sure that my colleague who has been a member of the Government is aware of Government’s constraints in this matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! I believe the House appreciates the frequency with which the Cabinet is volunteering ministerial statements for the benefit of the people of Zambia through this House. I urge them to continue in this spirit.




174. Mr Kasongo (Bweengwa) asked the Vice-President:

(a) How many people were unlawfully detained from October, 1997 to October, 2001;

(b) what the names of these persons were; and

(c) how much money was paid as compensation to each person for the unlawful detention.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Ms Lundwe): Mr Speaker, in response to the question posed by Hon. Kasongo, I wish to inform the House that one hundred and six people were detained from October 1997 to October 2001, under the Preservation of Public Security Regulations and in connection with the treason cases of 1997. Fifty-eight of these were detained at Lusaka Central Prison while forty-eight were detained at Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison.

The names of these people are in the schedule that I will lay on the Table of the House later on.

Sir, only those detainees out of the above mentioned who sued the State and proved their cases against the State can be said to have been unlawfully detained and these are as follows:

1. Dr K. D. Kaunda was paid K120 million.

2. Moyce Kaulung’ombe was paid K30 million with interest and K25 million costs.

3. The late Dean Mungomba was paid K155 million inclusive of costs.

4. Princess Nakatindi Wina’s matter is in court pending assessment of damages.

5. Dr Rajan Mathani’s matter is also in court pending assessment of damages.

6. The late Jack Chiti was paid K20 million for torture.

7. Epidius Kangwa was paid K30 million as damages plus costs.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, I am aware that Mr Mathani’s case is not yet in court and he was paid K52 billion. Can the Government explain what happened?

The Vice-President (Mr R. B. Banda): Mr Speaker, the matter is in court on appeal by the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, arising from the figures that we have been given by His Honour the Vice-President, the money that we are spending to compensate people is tax payers’ money. What has the Government put in place to avoid arresting people who have not committed offences and at the end of it all, we pay them money for nothing?

Mr R. B. Banda: Mr Speaker, every Government does this kind of thing.


Mr R. B. Banda: When there is a problem, people are arrested. Afterwards, some people prove that they were unlawfully arrested and some are found guilty. So, it is impossible to do what the hon. Member of Parliament is asking us to do.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, in response to the follow up question by hon. Kasongo that a named person was actually paid a colossal amount of money and the Vice-President is saying that the matter is in court on an appeal by the State, can he confirm or deny that after the Government paid compensation, it appealed? I would like to know under what arrangement the Government could have appealed after compensating.

Mr R. B. Banda: Mr Speaker, perhaps the hon. Member of Parliament would like to tell us where he got his information from...


Mr R. B. Banda: … but please, pay attention. The case of Mr Matani is on appeal from the Government and no money has been paid to him.

I thank you, Sir

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, may His Honour the Vice-President help us in this difficult situation arising from his reply. Is the Government aware that if these detentions which later prove to be unlawful were on the say so or incompetence of some leader, there is a financial rule that the person involved will contribute to repay and reimburse the Government payment to that wrongful fellow or was this rule quashed since the MMD came to power?
Mr R. B. Banda: Mr Speaker, I am aware of that. I think hon. Members also know that I am one of those that were detained under the zero option. I was later proved to be innocent and paid after that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


175. Mr Lubinda (Kabwata) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a) how many registered businesses/traders were operating at Kamwala Trading area in Lusaka as at the end of April, 2006

(b) what the composition of the businesses/traders by nationality was;

(c) how many persons were employed by the businesses/traders at (a) above;

(d) how much of the following taxes were paid by the traders at Kamwala Trading area in Lusaka for the year ending March, 2006;

(i) VAT;
(ii) PAYE;
(iii) Company Tax; and
(iv) Withholding Tax (rent); and

(e) how much of the above Withholding Tax (rent) was paid by China Hinnan and on what total rental income it was based.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Kabwata for asking that question.

In response, I wish to inform this august House that my ministry….

Mrs Sinyangwe crossed the Floor.

Hon. Members: Order! Order!

Mr Speaker: Order! Now, the whole House is not in order. Could the hon. Deputy Minister continue?


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the total number of registered businesses/traders operating in the Kamwala area as at the end of April, 2006 was 375.

Sir, with regard to the composition of the businesses/traders by nationality, the precise information is not available. However, I wish to state that these businesses are owned by Zambians, Indians, Chinese and other foreign nationals.

In terms of the number of persons employed by the businesses/traders, currently, this stands at 3,147.

As for the taxes paid by businesses/traders operating in the Kamwala area as at year ended March 2006, these are as follows:

 Tax Type   Amount
VAT    3,800.0
 PAYE     564.3
 Company Tax    552.9
 Withholding Tax (Rent) 5,299.8
 Total    5,299.8

Mr Speaker, China Hinnan paid K302, 405, 805 on account of withholding tax on rentals out of gross rentals amounting to K2, 016, 038, 700.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the response. However, I wonder whether the hon. Minister is aware of the fact that the figures, K3.8 million  that was given as VAT and all the other figures are actually monthly and not annual figures and if he is aware, could he explain to this House why the Government has continuously neglected the people of Kamwala trading area which is contributing such colossal amounts of money through taxes and yet , their roads are impassable and all calls by their Member of Parliament and council to repair those roads is continuously falling on deaf ears?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the information which was given is the correct information which was requested for.

 As of the demand for the services of the people who are paying tax, I think it should be looked at as a total demand on the revenues of the country. This should not only be left to the Government, it should also be looked into by the local councils who are also supposed to supplement Government’s efforts. Therefore, it should not be a situation whereby the local council of which he is a councillor and the Government have to look at what we can do together to help the situation. Out of it, the Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing gave an assurance in this House that the Government is going to look into the issue of all urban roads within their jurisdiction.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I wonder if the hon. Minister is aware that China Hinnan is claiming that the value of their development in that market is U S $ 6 million for tax purposes. From his personal knowledge of the area, does he agree that is a fair evaluation?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, when you look at the issue of China Hinnan, it was through a contract through VAT which was entered into by the local council and that company. Since the council in which the hon. Member who is a asking is also a member and has evaluators, they can go and ask the evaluators to value the building instead of bringing it to this House.


176. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when Lusaka City Council will resume the exercise of fumigating houses and other buildings as malaria control measure.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that Lusaka City Council has started the programme of fumigating houses and other buildings as a measure to control malaria after training people in this field. The programme started last year on 20th December, 2006.

Mr Speaker, this was after a team under the Ministry of Health consisting of Lusaka District Health Management Staff and the Ministry of Health personnel trained 294 members of Neighbourhood Health Committees from nineteen catchment areas of Lusaka clinics in residual spraying against mosquitoes.

The fumigation programme started with Chelstone Residential Area and have so far covered Kaunda Square, Chainda, Jesmondine, Ngombe, Garden, Chipata compound, Kabanana, Matero, Chunga, Mtendere, Kalingalinga, Helen Kaunda, Sikanze Camp and part of Chilenje. However, the programme has stalled due to insufficient chemicals which the council is in the process of procuring. The programme will resume and cover the remaining areas of Lusaka once these chemicals have been procured.

Mr Speaker, under the National Decentralisation Programme, local authority will be mandated to carry out their functions of fumigating buildings and houses against malaria in a well designed and predictable programme. So that this adhoc arrangement of fumigating houses and buildings will be avoided when there is a crisis.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, noting that malaria is number one killer against HIV/AIDS, is the approach given by the Hon. Minister serious enough to curb this issue?

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, with our limited resources and in accordance with our constraints, we feel this is adequate. However, if the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu East has any suggestions, he is free to come to our ministry so that we discuss feasibility of those suggestions.

I thank you, Sir.


177. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the ministry has any plans to construct houses for rent in urban areas to reduce the critical shortage of housing in the areas.

Mr Kazonga:  Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that there is a pilot project to construct 100 houses that will be in five districts namely; Livingstone, Lusaka, Kitwe, Chipata and Solwezi through the National Housing Bonds Programme. This project is expected to raise long-term finance for housing development in the country. Once the first phase is completed, the programme will be replicated to other districts.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that in the recent past, there has been no comprehensive study to ascertain the exact housing deficiency in Zambia in terms of various categories. However, the 1996 statistics in the National Housing Policy showed that the overall housing backlog was approximately 846,000 units. Currently, it is estimated that the housing deficiency in Zambia has actually already exceeded 1.2 million housing units.

Sir, from the time the Housing Policy was adopted in 1996, 1,282 houses have been built in Zambia by different actors broken down as follows:

Implementing Agency Number of New House Built
 - 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006  Total

National Housing
Authority (NHA)  94 133 113 150 187 149  826
Zambia Low Cost
Housing Development
Fund Trust (Former
African Housing Fund)  65 122 116 50 52 30  435
Other Contractors
Engaged by MLGH       21  21
GRAND TOTAL  159 255 229 200 239 200  1,282

Mr Speaker, as can be seen in the table above, the number of houses built is too meagre to address the national housing backlog.

Housing being an important sector, I wish to spend a bit of more time to explain it.

It is for this reason that the Government has developed and introduced the National Housing Programme that will not only see the construction of 100 houses in five pilot urban districts through the National Housing Bonds Programme but also a plan …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I indicated that the housing sector is a very important one therefore I will shade more light on it.

It is for this reason that the Government has developed and introduced the National Housing Programme that will not only see the construction of 100 houses in five pilot urban districts through the National Housing Bonds Programme but also, a plan to undertake housing stock survey so that current statistics are readily available for planning purposes. Mr Speaker, this is a comprehensive programme that was designed to take into account the concerns raised by His Excellency the President who declared housing as a priority in the Fifth National Development Plan and will cover both urban and rural districts.

Mr Speaker, on the other hand, the National Housing Authority (NHA) has been allocated pieces of land in councils, such as Solwezi and Kapiri Mposhi where NHA will build houses for rent and for sale.

In addition, NHA has constructed over 400 houses in Lusaka at Bennie Mwiinga Complex and 100 houses in Ndola’s Twapia Township that are meant for rent. The ministry has further directed all councils to make available land to NHA and to any other prospective investors to build houses for rent and for sale. The houses to be built will also include both medium and low cost houses for people in the low income group.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, following the sale of houses to sitting tenants, civil servants and Government ministers found themselves in a situation of not being accommodated. Has the Hon. Minister put in place a programme that will cater for these important people in Government?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, in responding to the question, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing has elaborated the plans that the ministry has in the area of construction of houses. And there is a programme where each district has been asked to set aside pieces of land enough for at least a minimum of 100 houses. And these houses shall be built by the private sector and in some cases, in partnerships and also National Housing Authority.

We hope that by the end of the year, once these houses are constructed, they will be able to accommodate the various categories of people in accordance with the levels because the houses will range from high cost, medium cost to low cost.

I thank you.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, to me to have a backlog of 1.2 million housing units is a disaster. Is there any hope of clearing this backlog?.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, indeed the backlog in housing can be considered a disaster in that housing is a basic need, just like water and food. But as I have said, there are many factors that hinder the construction of houses and I think one of the factors we have identified as Government is financing, hence the introduction of the municipal housing bonds.

Mr Speaker, it is hoped that once the concept of the municipal housing bonds is implemented this year, and hopefully we have been informed by the special purpose vehicle, which is the vehicle the Government is using for the implementation of the municipal bonds, it is hoped that once that takes off, by next year, they will be able to roll up this programme in all the 72 districts. As you are aware, the municipal housing bonds are a concept of raising cheap money, but on long term and so there are a number of pieces of legislation under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning that have to be worked on in terms of ensuring that we unblock the finances that are sitting somewhere, we are told, in some of our financial institutions and pension houses and we hope that these can be accessed by the private sector and make them to get involved in the construction business.

Mr Speaker, we also hope that with time the Government can come up with certain incentives which can attract the private sector to venture into housing as a business.

I thank you.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, one of the ways in which this problem can be alleviated is when individuals develop on the plots that they get from councils. What is the Minister doing about a situation where people acquire as many plots as they want in councils and they take many years to develop those plots. Is she thinking of making the rates payable from the time when they are supposed to have completed using the value that the applicant put on those applications?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, there are rules and regulations that have been developed by the Ministry of Lands in the process of acquiring land and indeed by the local authorities themselves in terms of guidelines that once you get land, you are given a certain period of time in which to construct that land and that if you fail to meet the deadline, the land is repossessed. But over the years, it seems like the enforcement of these rules have not been effective and as such we have a situation where people get land, just put a wall fence around it pretending that there is property there and the land stays undeveloped.

Mr Speaker, I also know that currently, councils are charging some form of levy for land that is being kept idle for many years just as a deterrent for people to acquire land that they do not actually need which they keep for speculation that they sell it at a higher price.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to say that it is true that individuals can also add to the housing stock and I am aware that even as we say that there is a backlog of 2.1 million housing units, a number of individuals and private companies have in the last ten years built a lot of houses all over the country and especially in Lusaka. It is just that firstly the council itself has not captured these houses on the valuation roll and no survey has been undertaken to know exactly how many such houses have been constructed. But this year in the plan of the Ministry, we have a programme of actually ensuring that we do a count of the various categories of infrastructure in terms of houses that have been constructed, not just in Lusaka, but throughout the country.

Mr Speaker, by the end of the year we will be able to know how many houses we have constructed. We have seen that in Lusaka the land is almost finished and there are a lot of properties. So the numbers that we are giving to you are from the backlog by Government. We also want to get away as Government from doing the construction of houses as a Ministry because we do not seem to be doing this in an effective manner. We cannot be constructing houses from the Ministry in Lusaka, we want that function to be decentralised to the local authorities, the private sector in various district and, indeed, to individuals. Our role as a Ministry shall be with policy and also to ensure that land that is being given out to the people for construction is fully serviced and to that effect we have made proposals in the budget and in the Fifth National Development Plan to give serviced land and we believe that by offering serviced land, everybody and I am sure even hon. Members here can quickly put up a house.

I thank you.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, the MMD during the Chiluba Government had a very good programme of construction of houses hence we saw the famous Ben Mwiinga Housing Project where we are told there are more than 450 houses. Can the hon. Minister tell this House why they abandoned such a developmental programme? Is it because everything to do with Chiluba was retrogressive?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, firstly the housing policy of 1996 is the same policy that we are pursuing. All we are doing now is to update that policy, to bring it in line with what is happening on the ground. We are also looking at improving on the legislation dealing with issues of housing, that is the Town and Country Planning Act, and the Housing and Statutory Improvement Areas Acts. Those two pieces of legislation are outdated and they are not able to respond to the challenges of housing in this century.

Now to answer the question specifically, the project was not stopped. If you recall, PHI was at State House, all we did under the New Deal Administration was to move it from State House and to put it where it should have been even in the first place, the National Housing Authority.

Mr Speaker, the National Housing Authority has continued constructing houses. They built 400 houses in 2005 and 2006. This year the National Housing Authority is continuing with the construction of houses in Lusaka, the Copperbelt and Solwezi. We do not want the National Housing Authority to be restricted to urban areas, we want it to be a National Housing Authority as the name itself implies.

So, we have not stopped the programme, we have continued with the programme of constructing houses, except that this time around we want to engage the private sector. We believe only the private sector can effectively help the Government in ensuring that the backlog is quickly reduced.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


178. Dr Chishimba asked the Minister of Health to what extent the Directly Observed Treatment Short course system (DOTS) has worked in Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, the DOTS strategy is the international recommended strategy for TB control. When we identify a patient with TB, we have to watch the patient take his/her medicine every day for the first two months. It is a simple strategy, but it has been known to be very effective internationally. The basic principle is just watching patients take their medicine for the first two months of treatment. The strategy has five main components so that it works well.

(i) Is the political commitment with increased and sustained financing;
(ii) case detection through quality assured bacteriology;
(iii) standardised treatment with supervision and patient support;
(iv) effective drug supply and management system; and
(v) monitoring and valuation system and impact assessment.

In Zambia the DOTS strategy has been implemented since 1993, and currently, the DOTS’s coverage in the country is 100 per cent. That shows it is being implemented in all the districts in Zambia.

Now, going further, Mr Speaker, on Political Commitment with Increased and Sustained Funding, the Government of Zambia through the Ministry of Health has put in place the national TB control programme under the Directorate of Public Health and Research trained staff placed at central level and focal places at provincial, district and health facility level. The Government has also legalised resources to control TB through a number of initiatives, including partnerships with institutions such as the Global Fund, World Health Organisation (WHO), USAID and others.

On case detection through quality assured bacteriology, Mr Speaker, health care providers and laboratory personnel have been trained in case detection through bacteriology, this is on going and there has been an improvement over the past years.

Last year, approximately 54,000 patients were diagnosed and put on treatment for TB.

On the standardised treatment with supervision and patient support, treatment has been standardised and guidelines have been produced in line with the international standards. All patients that are notified are supervised through the DOTS course by the health centre staff, training community volunteers and relatives depending on what is suitable and acceptable.

So, just to expand on this one, what we do is, once, we have identified the patient, for the first two months there several options that we have. Either the patient is observed at the clinic everyday taking their medicine or a relative is identified to be seeing the patient everyday. We give them a card were the relative has to indicate that the patient has taken the medicine or identify a volunteer to be able to assist the patient take the medicine every day so that when they come for review, we take note that the patient was being observed every day.

On the effective supply and management system, TB drugs are provided to all TB patients and are given free of charge in all public health facilities. There is an assured drug that supply and Government has put in place measures to ensure that there are no more TB drugs stock outs.

On the Monitoring and Valuation System and Impact Measurement, we have well established monitoring and evaluation system in place and reports are received from all the 72 districts on time.

Case detection of infectious cases has increased from 44 per cent in 2001 to approximately 50 per cent in 2004. So, the cure rates of the TB infectious cases have improved from 50 per cent in 2001 to 75 per cent 2004.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry takes due cognisance of the fact that the Multi Drug Resistant TB (MDRTB) is on the increase, which indeed, is because of the fact that the system is not being effectively implemented. Now, if he is aware of that, what measures has the Government put in place to ensure that those that have MDRTB are put on treatment accordingly, probably a second line of drugs.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, at national level we have a surveillance system, where we are monitoring the patients that are on not only TB drugs, but all other drugs including ARVs and Coartem. So, what we do when we detect any case of resistance is to fully investigate such a case because there are several reasons why someone may not respond. We have to rule out the fact that they have stopped treatment ….

Professor Lungwangwa crossed the Floor to sit.

Hon. Members: Order!

Dr Puma: … once we confirm that the patient was taking treatment according to the instructions, then, we further investigate the reason why they are not responding. We have other drugs, second level drugs that are available for use, but then we do not want to release those drugs to all the districts because then we would cause a problem where these drugs may be used as first line drugs.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, so, can we conclude from this rather growing description of the monitoring system that the number of people with TB in Zambia is falling.

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, I did not get the question correctly.

The Deputy Chairman: Is the number of TB cases going down arising from your statement.

Dr Puma: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. What it is in the TB treatment is that, sometime back in the 1970s on intensified treatment of TB, the number of cases started going down, but then later on in the 1980s when the issue of HIV came on the scene, HIV is reducing the immunity of our population. This means that any bacteria are able to go in and attack the body of such a person.
So, we have observed that with the advent of HIV, TB cases have been on the increase, but at the same time, what we have observed is that even if someone is HIV positive and if TB is detected early, then the TB can still be cured although the chances that they may have a relapse or suffer from TB again, are very high. What we have done is to make sure that we detect the cases very early whether someone is HIV positive or not so that they are treated early.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Can the hon. Minister itemise the second line drugs available for TB.

Mr Puma: Mr Speaker, that is a new question.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I may not be a specialist in health affairs, but this morning on news, there was an item that the drugs being given to pregnant mothers to prevent babies from contracting HIV/AIDS can actually make them more vulnerable. Is the hon. Minister going to assure this House that you are going to detect the people who have been given these drugs and to find out the extent of the damage ?.

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, that item was on foreign news and it was clinical trials that were being done. So, it is as well that the shortfalls are being found and, therefore, we cannot get into it.

I thank you, Sir.


179. Dr Chishimba asked the Minister of Health what measures the Government had taken to revive preventive medicine in all catchment areas or health zones in Zambia.

Mr Puma: Mr Speaker, the following are the measures the Government of the Republic of Zambia has taken to revive preventive medicine in all catchment areas and health zones in Zambia:

(i) The Government has decentralised focus of power from the Ministry of Health headquarters to the districts. Health delivery plans begin at grassroot level. Funding is channeled to the districts from where it filters through to the communities. As I mentioned yesterday, the lowest district gets K40.4 million every month as operational grant as that level. The highest district gets K540.59 million every month for operations at that level.

In addition, in order to improve the operations at district and hospital level, the ministry has come up with guidelines that are referred to as Performance Assessment Tools. These are the guidelines that assist various levels to learn and know whether the funds that are sent to the districts are being utilised for the intended purpose.

On this, I would like to urge the hon. Members of Parliament that if you find small problems occurring in the districts, do not run to Parliament. Go to the District Management Teams who can solve these problems because over K40 million is released every month to the lowest district and K540 million every month to the biggest district, for operations.

(ii) The above has resulted in strengthening capacities of communities to take control of their health and be able to take control of the determinacy of health in their environment. Specifically, this is done through several avenues such as creation of Neighbourhood Health Committees in all health centres of all the districts in the country.

(iii) The Government has stepped up efforts in disease control. Decisive activities have been put in place, among others, of major public importance, are Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS. In malaria, notable interventions have been:

1. Indoor residual spraying which as at now stands at 84 per cent of targeted households. In other words, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, we are spraying homes. As at now, in all the targeted areas, we are at least reaching 84 per cent of the targeted homes. So far, as at 2005, we had 235,000 households that were sprayed.

2. As regards Insecticide Treated Nets, at least 44 per cent of people in Zambia had Insecticide Treated Nets by 2005. The only challenge we have is to ensure that the community uses these nets. Sometimes, even for hon. Members of Parliament here, it is not unusual to have bednets but they hang the whole night without being used.

3. Correct, prompt and effective treatment - The Government in 2003 adopted the use of artemisinin based combination therapy. This is the use of coartem. The new medication has replaced chloroquine that has acquired an acceptable high resistance levels. This has resulted in excellent cure rates.

(iv) Improvement has been recorded in TB case treatment. At the end of 2005 about 54,000 patients were successfully treated via the DOTS strategy.

(v) In HIV/AIDS, Antiretroviral Therapy and Home Based Care and Counselling services have been intensified. In home-based care, all the seventy-two districts have counseling sites and trained counsellors. At national level, 10,000 counsellors have been trained. In all, we have 641 sites designated throughout the country for counseling.

On this, I would like to mention that the ministry, in collaboration with partners have done very well in terms of disseminating the information related to HIV/AIDS and also ensuring that ARVs are available in all the provinces and almost all districts.

(vi) Publicity and health promotion activities are being pursued. Notable among these, is the vibrant Immunisation Programme, which has seen Zambia achieving high immunisation coverage for all antigens, i.e, Measles, DPT, Polio and BCG. Routine immunisation coupled with the National Immunisation Day campaigns have led to Zambia being declared a polio free country.

(vii) Extensive use of electronic and print media has been put in place and has proved to be effective means in the dissemination of information in disease control among the communities. Health workers have been encouraged to use local radio stations where they exist to disseminate information on some of the major disease, i.e., TB, Malaria and HIV/AIDS.

(viii) Water supply and sanitation are major issues in the process of reviving preventive medicine. The Government and cooperating partners have been working hand in hand in terms of water installation in many parts of the country. Some of these water sources, i.e, boreholes and protected deep wells, serve health facilities and surrounding rural communities.

Besides this, rural communities are being encouraged to construct the ventilated improved pit latrines in order to prevent diseases transmitted through oral faecal routes like cholera, dysentery and typhoid and so on; and

(ix) improvement of health facilities in both rural and urban zones has been an on-going process. This includes upgrading of health promoting infrastructure in health facilities, such as, ante-natal, maternity wings and laboratory facilities.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr. Chishimba (Kasama): Mr Speaker, in view of the continued increase of communicable diseases like cholera, can the hon. Minister confirm that there is a renders failure in terms of ensuring that preventive measures or mechanisms are put into place to protect the population? If the hon. Minister acknowledges that particular failure, is she considering resigning to concentrate on the N’cwala Ceremony?

Dr. Puma: Mr Speaker, it should be noted that the problem of cholera is a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral one and we need conceited efforts to ensure this problem is prevented. The problem of cholera starts at individual level. It involves keeping our homes and surroundings clean. We must make sure that the water that we drink is clean. We must boil the water for drinking. We do not expect Government to be boiling water for everybody. These are the basic things that we need to do at personal level. At a higher level, it involves provision of good quality water to the community. The hon. Member should take note that the Government has put in measures to ensure that the outbreaks that we have been having are put under control.

Hon. Government Member: He is a male nurse.

Dr. Puma: Mr Speaker, outbreaks in Kapiri Mposhi, Sinazongwe and Chilubi have been put under control. The only outbreak which we are trying to put under control is in Lusaka. So, you can see that all the outbreaks that we have had have been put under control. Therefore, it is important that the hon. Member should appreciate the effort that the Government is putting.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health is doing a lot by giving us funds every month end. However, why is it that the implementers are not giving us the beddings and other things required in the hospitals? It is very sad when you go to the hospitals not to find beddings.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, what is evident is that Government has filled its obligation to make available the funds for these centres and posts to work. If hon. Members have been to these posts and spoken to the people running them, they would be assured that the money is made available. What needs to change is the work attitude in the country so that we are able to do should be done in these centres. This is a war that we have as leaders to provide to our people so that we change the entire work attitude in the country.

While on the Floor, Mr Speaker, I take great exception to the hon. Member for Kasama to start trivialising matters of work by wanting to include traditional ceremonies that have not been discussed here.

I thank you, Sir.


180. Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) whether there are any plans to upgrade Nawinda and Kaywala Rural Health centres in Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency to 30-bed admission status; and

(b) when the stalled building at Sejamba Rural Health Centre in the Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency will be completed.

Dr. Puma: Mr Speaker, according to our national guidelines, health posts and hospitals are graded or established based on the population they serve. A health post should have at least 500 households or 3,500 people in a rural setting whereas in urban setting, there should be 1,000 households or 7,000 people. For a health centre, there should be at least 10,000 people in rural setting whereas in urban setting, there should be 30,000 to 50,000 people. The 1st Level hospital should have at least 80,000 to 200,000 people. The 2nd Level hospital should have 200,000 to 800,000 people and the 3rd Level hospital should have at least more than 800,000 people.

Mr Speaker, Nawinda Rural Health Centre has a population of 5,139 and a bed capacity of four while Kaywala has a population of 1,834 and a bed capacity of four.

Hon. Government Member: Is it in Zambia?

Dr. Puma: Both health centres have less than 10,000 people and with limited resources, there are no immediate plans to upgrade these centres. By population, Kaywala Rural Health Centre falls in the category of a health post though we have designated it as a health centre. However, both centres are in a category known as D-type with limited facilities for maternal/child health and counselling services.

The hon. Member further wanted to know when the stalled building at Sejamba Rural Health Centre in the Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency will be completed. In response, Sejamba Rural Health Centre was a self-help project that was stalled in the 1980s. In 2000, with the support from the Micro Projects Unit, the works at the centre were resumed, but the workmanship was poor and works stalled. In 2005, Government allocated K36 million in addition to the Constituency Development Fund to build ventilated improved pit latrines and redo the wall plate, timber works and roofing.

I thank you, Sir.


181. Mr Mabenga asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development whether the ministry has any plans to undertake mineral explorations in Western Province and in the following areas in the Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency:

(i) Mulobezi;
(ii) Namuzingu;
(iii) Samembo;
(iv) Sanchembe; and
(v) Kwemba-Maalo.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development has no immediate plans to undertake mineral explorations in the Western Province due to limited resources. Available information, however, indicates that the area has potential for diamond mining and the ministry will in future, when funds are available, carry out exploration works to confirm the said potential. However, we have plans to under take oil and gas exploration in Western Province in 2007, but the exploration work will not cover Mulobezi, Namuzingu, Samembo, Sanchembe and Kwemba-Maalo because these areas from the available information do not have the potential for oil and gas discovery.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer that Government has no immediate plans for exploration for minerals in these areas because of lack of funds,

can the hon. Minister tell us whether in view of it having no funds, it would let private individuals who are interest in doing mineral exploration in these areas and other areas in Zambia to do so and whether the Government would encourage them to do so?

Dr K. Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the policy is that the Government must first of all, make initial assessment on the potential of the area before private capital can go and confirm those findings.

We would be going to those areas, and hopefully, next year to confirm places of diamonds. Thereafter, other private capital could go and confirm and start mining.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwangala (Senanga): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that in 1999, there was a company from South Africa that undertook exploration and prospecting in Shangombo, Senanga and Sesheke Districts. Since the exploration exercise was started, we are now waiting to hear information as to whether the minerals were found in these three districts. Could the hon. Minister clarify?

Dr K. Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the answer was very clear that funds permitting, we would go and do further work there. It is true that there was a presence of diamonds as was indicated by the earlier work, but we have to go there probably, next year to confirm.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister stated that within 2007, they would start oil exploration in certain parts of Western Province. When the announcement was made on the discovery of oil in North Western Province, no area of Western Province was mentioned. Could the hon. Minister, please, state the specific areas where they are going to start the oil exploration in Western Province?

Dr K. Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we are going to the Zambezi Valley and the area known as the Barotse Plain.

I thank you, Sir.


182. Dr Scott (Lusaka Central) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) what the current level of water was in Lake Kariba;

(b) how high above the turbine intakes the level of water was;

(c) how fast the water level was falling;

(d) what factors were causing the fall of the water level;

(e) whether it was expected that the generation of electricity would be curtailed at some point in the next twelve (12) months; and

(f) what the consequences of such a curtailment were.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, in answer to the question raised by Hon. Dr Guy Scott, I wish to state that the level of water in Lake Kariba currently as at 21st December, 2006 was 497.9 metres above sea level. The water level above the turbine intake is 95 metres.

On average, the water level falls at a rate of 2 cubic metres per day. However, the rate is likely to reduce to zero and later the rate level will start rising considering that the inflows into the lake have started increasing due to the effect of the rains.

The rise or new falls are expected to continue going up until May up to June before they start coming down. The Kariba Dam has a large storage capacity of 64 billion cubic metres. The reservoir receives an average of 40 billion cubic metres of water from the Zambezi River.

With these volumes of water, the dam can sustain normal power generation at both power stations, Kariba North and Kariba South Banks for at least two years. In general, the water level in the reservoir is lower following rails of lean rainfall and higher following years of good rainfall. For instance, in 1996, the rainfall was below normal and the Kariba Dam water levels were consequently low.

On the other hand, in 2000, the country received above normal rainfall and the Kariba Dam was filled to capacity.

The factors are use of water for generation, evaporation reducing more hydraulics due to global warming. It is projected that at some point in the next twelve months, power generation will be curtailed because one generation machine of 150 mega watts capacity at the Kariba North Bank will be shut down for rehabilitation from February, 2007 to the end of 2007. This implies that the capacity of the station will be reduced from 660 mega watts to 450 mega watts.

The consequences of such curtailment will be a corresponding reduction in the national electricity generation, increased load shedding as regional importation such as Congo DR and South Africa are also facing the same challenges of constraint generation capacity due to increased demands.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell us whether in view of the stable rainfall conditions that are anticipated due to global warming which he mentioned and in view of the fact that the water levels have been dropping for some years recently, is he happy and confident that the contractual terms of this joint ascent that we are in together with Zimbabwe, there would be no problem arising from foreign exchange generation of one part or the other using more than 70 or 80 per cent capacity of the water, in other words?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, there will be no problems as all the legal framework has been done and all has been agreed and taken care of.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L.J Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that in the reservoir areas we are experiencing low voltage and if he is, what is his ministry doing to ensure that we do not end up in facing many problems?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I hope the hon. Member of Parliament will be very attentive, as I will answer technically.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, low voltage and power distribution that we are doing when carrying out this maintenance in major hydro power stations are totally different.

When there is a low voltage it means that there is a fault somewhere and we are not supplying enough electricity to meet the voltage that we are supposed to. What the hon. Member of Parliament is talking about is the current load shedding that is going on. I must also request the nation to appreciate the maintenance works going on. Soon or later, at the end of 2008, we will all appreciate because all these major hydro power stations will be upgraded and we will not experience much of what is going on now.

For, instance if we upgrade Kariba from 600 mega watts to 720 mega watts and Kafue Gorge from 900 mega watts to about 960 mega watts this must be appreciated. So, it is not the low voltage that we are experiencing. It is the loading shedding that is going on because of the maintenance works.

I thank you.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that there will be rehabilitation towards the end of this year. Now, that dam was built in the 1950s. I would like to know the life span of the dam. Does it still have some long life?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, in simple terms, even a pair of trousers, if it gets torn and you leave it like that, it would go to waste. So, what this Government is doing is to put life to it so that its life is elongated. That is why we are even upgrading it. The moment you work on the turbines, you are upgrading the dam. If you were producing 600 mega watts and you work on the turbines, you will have it upgraded and will start producing more mega watts than before.


183. Mr Kambwili (Roan) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what decisions were taken regarding the many computers that the Anglo-American Corporation left at Konkola, Nchanga, Nkana and Nampundwe Mines; and

(b) where the scrapper machines left by ZCCM at Konkola Copper Mines Plc were taken to.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M Mwale): Mr Speaker, the computers left by Anglo-American Corporation were part of the assets acquired by Konkola Copper Mines Plc and are still in use at Konkola Mines. No computers have been sold. What was sold were some fax machines and photocopiers. It was felt that there were more fax machines and photocopiers than necessary and so the excess were sold to employees.

The scrapper machines which ZCCM left were bought by Anglo-American Corporation as part of the package of Konkola Copper Mines. As the policy of the Anglo-American Corporation then was to downsize and eventually close the Nchanga Open Pit, the company declared the machines as scrap and sold them to one of the suppliers. Anglo-American Corporation sold those scrappers.

 I thank you.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, it makes me sad to note that whenever this Government stands up, I wonder whether they research …


Mr Kambwili: …for the hon. Minister to come up …

The Deputy Chairman: Order, can you ask your question?

Mr Kambwili: Yes, I am going to ask the question and I thank you for the guidance.

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the new computers that were brought by Anglo-American Corporation and were part of the assets that the new owners of KCM acquired have been packed in boxes ready to go to India? If he is aware, what is his Government doing about it? These are our assets which have been capitalised …

The Deputy Chairman of Committee: You have asked your question Hon. Kambwili …

Mr Kambwili: Secondly, is the hon. Minister aware that these scrappers were sold to senior management officials at US$4,000 each and the same machines are now being re-supplied at Kansanshi Mine at a cost of US$3.5 million?

Mr M Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for providing us with that information. I would also like to request the hon. Member that whenever he has such information, he is very free to inform the ministry.

Hon. Opposition Members: Mwafilwa!

Mr M Mwale: Mr Speaker, anything that borders on economic sabotage should be handled collectively as a nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M Mwale: Mr Speaker, in my answer, I clearly stated that what was sold to the employees were faxes and photocopiers. We are all aware that we are connected to the internet and that is why they got rid of the photocopiers and the faxes.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the other issues that he has raised the ministry is not aware, but he is free to come and inform us.

I thank you.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what his ministry is doing to ensure that the materials that are leaving the mines in form of scrap are inspected and that we do not send out machines which can be brought back into the country thereby losing revenue as a nation.

Mr M Mwale: Mr Speaker, I think I answered that question. I made it very clear. If we all work as a Government, whether you are on that camp (Opposition) or on this camp (Government), we need to work together collectively. We need to sort out some of these problems. We should not leave it only to this bench to sort out these problems. Whenever it concerns economic sabotage, it is the responsibility of every Zambian to sort out this crime.

I thank you.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, now that the Government has been enlightened, what practical measure and as a matter or urgency is it going to take to ensure that the culprits are brought to book?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, it is very interesting that hon. Members ask questions they know answers to. Why ask if you know the answer? Now, that we know that something has occurred, we are going to the police and report because this appears to be a crime. So, we will move along those lines.  In fact, you will be the first witness because you seem to know a lot.



184. Mr Kambwili asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what the latest position on the sale of Mulyashi Mine in Luanshya was;

(b) how many investors bid for the mine;

(c) who was the highest bidder; and

(d) what criteria were used to pick the preferred bidder.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I wish to respond as follows:

(a) the Mulyashi Deposite and Oxide Caps were sold to Luanshya Copper Mines after the company exercised its pre-emptive right to match the highest bid at the end of the competitive biding process.

Initially, Luanshya Mine in Clause 65 (c) of the Sale and Purchase Agreement between the Government, Ramcoz and Luanshya Mine itself was granted the right to exercise the option to purchase Mulyashi Deposits for the purpose of developing and managing the same at the option price of US$4 million. When Luanshya Mine decided to exercise its option, the Government sought a third party buyer to acquire and develop the deposit. Through competitive and transparent tender process, ten bids were received. Three of which were short-listed. The most competitive bidder (Afrinco) offered the highest amount to a value of US$32.5 million.

On 23 November 2005, Luanshya Copper Mines were asked to match the bid. In 2006, J&W, on behalf of Luanshya Copper Mines confirmed an intention to match and improved by offering US$33.55 million.

Ten investors bid and they are as follows:

1. Association for the Welfare of Former Miners in Zambia.

2. Afrinco Limited represented by Lion Mining Finance Limited.

3. African Mining Consultants Limited.

4. ARM (Z) Limited.

5. Bwana Mkubwa Mining Limited.

6. Copperhead Limited.

7. Galaxy Resources Incorporated.

8. MBS (Bulgaria/Trans Lingua-Europe Limited.

9. Puku Minerals Limited.

10. Zambezi Resources Limited.

Sir, the highest bidder was Afrinco Limited represented by Lion Finance Limited. The bid was US$32.5 million.

Sir, the selection of the highest bidder was based on:

1. The cash payment that was being offered and terms of payment.

2. The Proposed Development Plan.

3. The proposed social and environmental responsibility.

4. Local Business Development Plan.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, arising from the answer that has been given by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, I would like to find out whether the Government takes serious evaluation of the mining assets that we are selling. The hon. Minister has indicated that Luanshya Copper Mines who is J&W offered US$4 million and all of a sudden, because of the highest bid, they take it to US$33.5 million. Is that not tantamount to defrauding Government?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, prior to the contrary, I said that Luanshya Copper Mines wanted to offer the asset at US$4 million, but we refused because we thought it was too low. When the bids were opened, the highest bid was US$32.5 million. Luanshya Copper Mines were asked to match that bid and in fact, they provided US$1.5 million over and above the US$32.5 million which was the highest bid. So, that was neither fraud nor theft. We got the best value for that asset.

I thank you, Sir.


185. Mr Chimbaka (Bahati) asked the Minister of Education when construction of science laboratories in rural basic schools would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Mr Speaker, the ministry has plans to construct laboratories in all the rural basic schools. Currently, in Central Province, we have Kalilwe Basic School in Mumbwa where we are constructing laboratories. We also have Moomba Basic School in Chibombo, Lukanda Basic School in Kapiri Mposhi District and Kabulamwanda in Namwala.

Sir, the process of constructing laboratories is on going. As for the eighteen schools that were built under JICA in Lusaka, these were provided with special rooms where the teaching of science is done. At the moment, the ministry is enhancing the teaching of science through provision of science kits to all the basic schools. These science kits have basic equipment and chemicals. Basically, we are saying that the construction of laboratories is continuous and we shall construct in the long term, when resources are available.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Rev. Bredt (Chawama): Mr Speaker, what criteria has been used to pick these schools because they seem to be concentrating in one area.

 Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, if I got the hon. Member correctly, she says the construction of science laboratories is concentrated in one region…

Mr Deputy Chairman: Yes, that is what she said.

Professor Lungwangwa: It is not quiet correct because the construction programme is wide spread and the answer that has been given is just a sample of what is happening. So, we are covering the whole country in the process of making science laboratories available to all our children.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, we are aware that the idea of constructing laboratories in rural areas will greatly help our children to acquire the modern skills. May I learn the idea the hon. Minister of Education is going to put in place in terms of putting electricity in these areas? Are they going to use hydro-electricity or solar energy so as to enhance the operation of the laboratories?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to clarify to the House the Government policy on power supply to our educational institutions. The policy is based on cost effective provision. All educational institutions that are accessible to the powerlines, of course, efforts are being made to make them corrected. In some rural parts of the country, the policy is to apply solar energy as a source of power to our schools. In some areas, we use diesel driven generators to supply power. Therefore, the Government policy is cost effectiveness in power provision to our educational institutions.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, while we appreciate the ministry’s provision of the so-called science kits in basic schools, I would like to know from the hon. Minister’s understanding if these kits are acquainted to laboratories and what short, medium and long time term solutions the ministry has put in place to ensure science teaching especially that science education is key to the development of this country. Industrialisation will not take place….

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Could the hon. Member put up a question?

Mr Chimbaka: My question is that what are the short, medium and long term measures is the ministry taking into consideration to realise effective qualitative teaching of science subjects in basic schools not only rural areas this time around, even on the Copperbelt and Lusaka.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the science kits which are currently provided are the short term measures of ensuring science is effectively taught in our schools.

The reason why the ministry has taken steps not to up grade basic schools to high schools is precisely because we want to provide education institutions that are adequately provided with all the required educational provisions like laboratories.

Mr Speaker, let me make it clear in this House that as a ministry and as a Government we have taken a policy stance not to up grade basic schools because we want to provide the essential and necessary educational provisions like laboratories which are necessary and needed in the training of science in our schools.

Therefore, the short term measure are the science kits and medium and the long term measures are the construction of appropriate learning provisions like laboratories in our schools.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer, I think it is bringing a lot of serious concern because in my area, there is a secondary school called Pamodzi Girls High School which has now been transformed into a High Secondary School and there are no laboratories.

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Could the hon. Member ask his question?

Mr Mukanga: I am asking the question.

The Deputy Chairman: No! That is not a question and do not answer back like that.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why we have a situation where students at various high schools are learning from other high schools because they do not have science laboratories in their schools. Why should you tolerate that, hon. Minister?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, that seems to be an assertion because as a ministry we need those facts so that we are able to address the situation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


186. Mr Hamir asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what measures the Government had taken to improve Zambia’s agriculture marketing in policy 2007.

The Deputy Minister o Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this House that the Government will put in place an agricultural marketing Act to replace the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOAD) Act of 1969 annulled in 1989 with the dissolution of Namboard. The new Act will provide for legislation and regulation of agricultural marketing in order to promote fair participation of all players in the market.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how these measures will work in places like Northern Province where in all the districts officers do not have transport to sensitise farmers on the useful methods that they are trying to put in place. I will cite an example of Nakonde or Isoka. You would find that there is not even a single water pipe and farmers do not know what is happening. May I know when the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operative will provide Transport to most of the districts in Northern Province so that the officers can be mobile?

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operative (Mr Kapita): Mr Speaker, I want to say that the hon. Member who raised the question is very right in saying that we are very much short of transport. Just last month, I was in Nakonde and Isoka. Coming back here, I am very much aware about that and we have included it in our Budget. Hopefully, when things are approved, we can begin buying transport.

Having reached the HIPC Completion Point, things should begin to take a different turn. Therefore, transport will begin to be available. As for Chilubi and Luapula Constituencies, we shall look at that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister what the Government is doing to stabalise the price of mealie meal this year since farmers have been using very expensive fuel to till their land.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, last week, I did some consultations with millers when they started increasing the price of meal meal. The same millers have written to me asking to be allowed to export their maize because there is no market in Zambia. Commercial farmers have also written to me asking me to allow me to export maize. They are saying that there is too much maize and they are unable to make money because the price is very low.

 Therefore, as far as I am concerned, I have said how can you have so much maize and you cannot sell it, but the price of mealie meal is rising? I want them to reconcile the two. Therefore, what I am saying is that for the current maize, I do not see the price rising very much. Yes, as for next year and since they have used the new price of fuel, that might be different. The current price of fuel came after planting was already done. Therefore, it should not affect the harvest at all.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, in trying to improve the marketing system this year, has the Government thought of applying the warehouse receipt system, if they do understand it, to assist farmers as suppliers of maize into the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) sheds, so that they could use the warehouse receipts to borrow money from financial institutions using that receipt in order to mop up the maize that may be in the rural areas so that they are not caught up by the next farming season?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for that question …

Mr Sichilima: Hammer minister hammer!


Mr Kapita: … because the Agriculture Marketing Act which has been referred to is going to have the warehouse receipts as one of the major components of that Act, to ensure that farmers are able to use what they put in warehouses in terms of crops as collateral for their borrowing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, at the beginning of the Tenth Session, the Hon. Minister on this Floor committed himself by announcing the producer price of maize for the 2006/2007 marketing season. When is he going to do that? Seeing that we farmers have already ploughed, planted and fertilised our maize and yet we do not know how much we are going to sell it at.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am very much aware and I do remember what I said on this Floor. I said that there are two types of floor prices. There is a pre-planting price which gives an indication to the farmer how much he or she will expect after harvesting the maize. There is a price that we give as an indicator price or a floor price just before the marketing season begins. Last year we used the latter. We gave the price in May which gave us an indication as to what exactly the cost of fuel and harvest machinery would be. Therefore, we have taken the latter as we did last year to give a price close to the opening of markets. That is what we are going to do.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-Tezhi): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the Hon. Minister which was not specific on transport, I would like to find out from him what measures the Government is putting in place in terms of providing transport in districts which have never received motor vehicles. What has the Government done to ensure that the department of agriculture around the country will be viable?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, a while ago I indicated that having attained the HIPC completion point, which was against the inclusion in the budget of the motor vehicles and capital equipment. This time around, things will now take a different turn and will improve. So, we shall progressively provide transport in terms of vehicles, motor bikes and bicycles at camp level to our officers. There is going to be an improvement during this year.

Dr Machungwa: And boats!

Mr Kapita: The hon. Member of Parliament continues to insist on boats or ubwato …

Dr Machungwa: Yes!

Mr Kapita: … it will be done.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I distinctly heard in the very brief response of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operative that the new Agriculture Marketing Act is going to be fair to all players. Are we to understand that producers of cassava are going to be subsidised to grow and have their crops bought especially during election years and producers of finger millet, bulrush millet and sweet potatoes in all province are going to have their traditional crops bought or is this just another maize marketing act?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central for that important question. We have no intention of making maize the cornerstone of the Agricultural Marketing Act. The actual Act is going to talk about the agricultural marketing, which means that we are going to cater for maize, cassava, groundnuts, rice, soya beans, ordinary beans, …

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: … it is going to take care of sun flower, cotton and tobacco.

Mr Speaker, just yesterday, I was in Chawamba area in Lilongwe looking at what how our friends are doing with their tobacco. I had a meeting with the Tobacco Control Commission in Lilongwe, looking at how they are making their tobacco. I had a further meeting with a board responsible for the marketing of cotton and I learnt a lot. So, the new Agriculture Marketing Act is going to take every crop that you can think of on board. And so, it will be an agriculture marketing act and not a maize marketing act.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, does he understand how painful it is to produce food and you cannot sell it and does the Hon. Minister understand that three quarters of our people are farmers? Does the Hon. Minister understand that for the last twenty years we have been going through the same marketing problems? Why?


The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Minister, you can answer one of those questions but, if you feel you can take them all, then you can go ahead.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, it is a pity that hon. Members of Parliament do not follow events as they happen. There has been great improvement in the marketing of major crops in this country.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: With the new FRA Act, we are not only marketing maize, but we are also marketing and buying cassava. In fact, from now onwards, we are giving cassava a very high profile. We are also marketing rice from Chavuma, Zambezi, Chama in the Eastern Province, Kaputa in the Northern Province and Mongu in Western Province. We are looking at rice in all provinces. We are also looking at soya beans and sun flower. In fact we are even establishing more out grower schemes to take of all the cash crops.

So, I would like to say that there have been tremendous improvements. The worst period was between 1991 and 2001 when we had a Government that had no idea about agriculture.

I thank you.



187. Mr Misapa (Mporokoso) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether the Government will consider sending large quantities of unsubsidised fertilisers to rural areas in order to satisfy the needs of farmers with big farms.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, the Government has no intention of getting into direct distribution and marketing of fertilizers beyond the fertilizer support programme mandate. Marketing and distribution of agricultural inputs should be left to the private sector in line with the tenets of market liberalisation while the role of Government in this regard, is that of creating an enabling environment for all market players. However, Government has been urging private agricultural input suppliers to play a more active role in the delivery of agricultural inputs to various districts of the country.

I thank you.


188. Ms Chitika (Kawambwa) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development when ZESCO would improve the low electricity voltage currently being experienced in Kawambwa District.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, this question keeps coming every year in a different manner.

Kawambwa District is supplied with electricity from the Pensulo 330/66kv substation in Serenje over a distance of more than 500 kilometres. Since the electricity network was constructed over 10 years ago, the Northern and Luapula regions have experienced substantial load growth though there has not been any corresponding increment in the generation and transmission capacity for the areas. This has been the major causes for the low voltages in the two provinces.

To find a solution to this problem, ZESCO carried out technical studies which recommended a short term solution of installing voltage compensation equipment such as capacitor banks at particular ZESCO substations. So far, ZESCO has installed and commissioned capacitor banks at Mpika sub-station which have improved the voltages in the two provinces.

This is however, a short-term solution. The long-term solutions include the following:

(1) Construction of new transmission lines at higher voltages into the provinces (Luapula and Northern);

(2) Building of new power stations in the provinces, where possible, and connecting them to the grid; and

(3) Rehabilitation of the existing small hydropower stations and synchronising them to the grid.

Mr Speaker, in line with the above, the Ministry is developing the Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Power Inter connector and the Kalungwishi Hydropower Projects which will solve the voltage problems in the two provinces in addition to contributing to the national power balance.

I thank you.

Ms Chitika: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Minister if he is aware that all our electrical equipment, especially fridges have been damaged because of the low electricity voltage and constant power cuts.

I also want to find out what they are doing through ZESCO to compensate us because we need to replace the damaged equipment.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, in the first place, the Ministry is not aware. Sir, I want to correct the impression of power cuts. The answer I gave was on the low voltage being experienced. The power cuts can arise to none payment of bills or some technical faults and these are explained to the people before they are done.

Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the damage caused to fridges and other electrical appliances in homes. Sir, I would like to take advantage of this question to warn the people in that area and the nation at large that they should not do shortcuts when they are connecting appliances in homes because this can cause damage to their equipment.

I thank you.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Minister if he has any plans in his Ministry to compel ZESCO to come up with a schedule of power cuts which is popularly known as load shedding as opposed to now when the system is done haphazardly, hence inconveniencing the customer and putting property at risk.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, the load shedding which they are referring to as power cuts is not intentional. In most cases, and I am sure hon. Members will agree with me that it usually happens at pick hours when everybody has knocked off from work and they want to do this and that with their electrical appliances. The reason would be that we are not generating enough, hence the experience and I wish to apologise for this although it is not intentional.

I thank you.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, in his reply, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that the solution to this would involve developing new power stations like Kalungwishi and also working on the inter connector. Will the hon. Minister be in the position to tell us what has happened to the project at Kalungwishi where the Lunsemfya Hydro power and probably ZESCO has put means to try and develop a power station there and how far have we gone with the inter connector because these eventually will improve the power situation in the two provinces at issue.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, we did receive the bids for Kalungwishi Hydro development. At the moment we are evaluating and within the next few days we are going to commence negotiations with the preferred bidder.

With regard to the Zambia/Tanzania inter connector, we have reached a point where the transaction advisor is going to present to the three Ministers of Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia next month the final paper for the development of the inter connector.

I thank you.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware that power-cuts and low voltage does not only affect Luapula Province, even in the Western Province we have power cuts almost everyday. Is he aware of that and if he is, what measures are being taken to correct the situation.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, in the case of Western Province, we had a problem in that the line that takes power into Western Province was rated at 66 kv. We have since …

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Members, by way of guidance and advice. I think it is proper that when the Speaker is coming into the Chamber there should be order in the House.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I was indicating that the voltage problem for Western Province, particularly, was as a result of the 66 KV line which is not able to carry sufficient power to deal with the voltage in the province. What we have done, Mr Speaker, is that we have constructed a 220 KV line up to Katimamulilo. This line will soon be commissioned and the issue of voltage in Western Province will be a thing of the past.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, in one of the answers that the hon. Minister gave concerning load shedding indicated that it was not planned. To my understanding, load shedding is a planned division of which areas use power, what kind of power and at what time. Therefore, people need to be warned that this area is going to be cut off. If they do not tell us then they cannot even tell us …

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Can the hon. Member ask the question?

Ms Imbwae: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your guidance. What measures is the ministry putting in place to inform people which areas will be affected by the load shedding so that people can switch off their appliances before load shedding takes place?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, load shedding as correctly put is a planned process and would normally occur between 17:30 hours and 21:30 hours on a daily basis because of capacity limitation in the power supply. If we have not in the past communicated to the people in the areas were load shedding took place, then, we are going to improve upon this.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister that the problem in Western Province was because of the 66 KV line and that they have now decided to put a 220 KV line up to Katimamulilo. There is still a 66 KV line going to the bigger area of Western Province. How do they hope to correct the situation when the line only ends at Katimamulilo? Was this line constructed for the purpose of exporting electricity to Namibia?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the 220 KV line was constructed for two purposes: The purpose of exporting power into Namibia and stabilising the power supply in Western Province. We are also building a sub-station at Katimamulilo, and if, he understands voltage, there will be transformation of power at Katimamulilo that is going to stabilise the voltage levels in Western Province because we have also put capacitors as well.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, hon. Member for Kawambwa Constituency when she raised this question on low voltage was not answered. ZESCO or any utility, Mr Speaker, is obliged to supply power within plus or minus 10 per cent of a critical voltage. Is ZESCO going to be made to pay compensation to people who lose their electrical appliances as a result of them not supplying power within stipulated limits?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the current position is no.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Minister of Energy and Water Development whether it is prudent for management to continue exporting power to other countries when there is a very serious shortage of power in the country.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the consumption of power has to be understood within a 24 hour cycle. Within that cycle there is peak demand which is between 17:30 hours and 21:30 in the evening and 06:30-09:00 hours in the morning. During those periods, ZESCO does import power to deal with the peak. For the rest of the hours ZESCO is in a net surplus. So, during that time when ZESCO is in a net surplus, it is prudent and commercially sensible for ZESCO to export the surplus.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister explain to me what I want to call the new ZESCO billing, where you find for four months they do not read your metre, at the end of four months they send you a bill of K5 million.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we have put in a new billing system which has greatly improved the quality of the bill that ZESCO is rendering to customers. We also know that we still have bottlenecks and headaches in terms of sometimes of correctness of the bill. The metre does work on a continuous basis. So, even if there is a delay in reading the metre for a month or two months, the cumulative total that the metre will register will certainly be correct. So, the K5 million would probably represent what you have consumed in four months.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}



(Debate resumed)

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, when we adjourned yesterday, I was trying to recap on some points that cholera was a water-borne disease which was obviously caused by various causes. Those related to my ministry was the contaminated water supply, poor sanitation or lack of proper sanitation, contaminated food as a result of buying food from the street vendors, personal hygiene, issues of waste management, unplanned settlements, etc. these are settlements without relevant services.

What were the measures, which Government had put in place to try and curb this disease long term? I stopped at the point where I was saying that as a long-term measure, the Government had developed the Make Zambia Clean and Health Programme, which is expected to be launched early this year. This programme targets all stakeholders including Government ministries, local authorities, private sector, communities and individuals in a campaign to clean the environment and practice higher levels of hygiene. This is a comprehensive programme, which will require leaders and individuals to demonstrate through cleaning of public places, three times in a year. The programme is aimed at making our cities, towns and villages cleaner in order to improve the health standards of our people.

Mr Speaker, for some years now, our communities have experienced constant outbreaks of cholera, dysentery and indeed, other communicable diseases. As I said, this is mainly due to inadequate safe water supply and sanitation, inappropriate personal hygiene and eating habits combined with low levels of knowledge on basic health and hygiene matters. This programme is a Government led multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary campaign programmes where local authorities, traditional authorities, statutory bodies and other public institutions, public sector institutions, cooperating partners, church organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, community based organisations, individuals and the general public at large are encouraged to actively participate in the implementation of a wide range of related activities covering such areas as promotional personal hygiene, garbage collection, provision of clean and safe water and sanitation, general cleanness of premises, houses, vehicles and communities, etc.

Sir, we have come up with a Concept Paper. This paper articulates the various activities. These are generic activities, which we expect all stakeholders to use as a guide in participating in this programme. This programme is intended to help change the mindset of our people so that the issue of cleanness, garbage collection and general hygiene must be part of us as it used to be before when Zambia was Zambia.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Now, we need to regain our lost glory as a clean people and we are hoping that through this programme, we will see a change. This programme is proposed that in each year, it will be three times. The proposed months are April, August and December. The President is expected to launch the programme to provide the national leadership for the Week Long Sensitization and Clean up Programme. This is expected to be launched in the second week of April, 2007.

Mr Speaker, this programme shall afford an opportunity to all the people and our citizens in this country to participate whether in their homes, communities, schools, workplaces, churches, markets, bus stations, restaurants or elsewhere, in meaningful activities that shall impact positively on their lives and contribute to restoring a level of cleanliness and environmental good health for which Zambia was once renowned. It is hoped that through this programme, we will regain and institutionalise a culture of cleanness and good health, which will be practiced by all the people so as to contribute to personal and national well being. Remember that there is an adage, which says “Cleanness is next to Godliness.”

Sir, this concept paper that we have developed shall be distributed to all institutions, private and the general public. We are hoping that the institutions will bring this programme to the attention of their employees, pupils, etc. In short, these generic activities are just a guide for implementing this Make Zambia Clean and Health Programme. These generic activities, as I have earlier indicated, will target towards the following:

· Personal hygiene

· Food hygiene

· General cleaning of houses and other premises, including vehicles

· Prevention of unplanned settlements

· Provision of clean and safe water

· Provision of safe sanitation systems

· Garbage collection activities

· Drainage systems activities

· Spraying of houses against deadly insects

· Physical exercise itself is an activity that promotes good health

· Community and health education and information

· Environmental preservation. Issues like tree planting will be encouraged when implementing such programmes.

· Enforcement of laws is important. This is important because we have several peaces of legislation, which are not being implemented. People have no more respect for law and order but we want people to have respect. We think that the enforcement agencies, during those periods of time, can move to do some work.

Mr Speaker, I just want to say that these are some of the measures that the Government has put in place which are long-term but will indeed institutionalize issues of good hygiene and indeed, water supply and sanitation because the issue of water supply cannot be left to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing alone. We think that those people when they are constructing houses, they have to take into account that these services are available instead of just constructing and say that the Government must provide when you are settling in a place which have not been provided.

There was also an issue, which was raised by hon. Members on issues of payments of water bills. I want to appeal to my colleagues here that it is necessary that we encourage our communities to pay for services that are provided. I know that sometimes we have vulnerable people that the Government must consider but we cannot make that as a general rule because providing water costs. The issue of chlorine is very expensive. Of course, we have members of staff working for these utility companies and so, it is important that we assist our local utilities in their various communities to ensure that the communities pay. Obviously, I take in account that in every situation, there are exceptions and we shall be dealing with exceptions as a Government but that should not be the general rule.

Lastly, I would like to thank the move of this motion and I hope that when the Budget comes here, they will be able to support us and ensure that more resources are provided. In this year’s budget, we have put a provision for this programme under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and there is a meager figure of K300 million for the launch of this programme but we are hoping that other sector ministries and indeed the private sector and private companies out there will also begin to budget for these activities so that once we have that programme launched, we can see shops in Kamwala being painted, garbage being collected by respective individual, saloons being cleaned up because we want to clean towels in saloons and not the ones which have turned brown. All these are issues of personal hygiene. I think Zambia is going to become clean again.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, let me start by thanking the mover and the seconder of the motion and all other contributors. I wish to pay tribute to Hon. Sinyangwe, Hon. Mwansa, Hon. Chishimba, Hon. Kambwili and the rest of the family for the knowledge they exhibited over this issue. I hope this is an indication for change in attitudes.

The country so far has recorded about 433 cases of cholera, sixteen deaths, three brought in dead (BIDs) as at this morning and this is from the time that cholera broke out which was about 12th October, 2006.

Mr Speaker, listening to the previous speakers that have debated the issue, it is clear that all of us have resolved to finding a lasting solution to the problem of cholera. I wish to inform this august House that Government is determined to work with all stakeholders to resolve this historical problem dating back as far as the 1980s. As a Government, we take full ownership of the issues at hand we endeavour to spearhead the crusade for eliminating the epidemic.

Mr Speaker, I wish to emphasise that the control and prevention of cholera largely depends on the provision of adequate sanitary conditions coupled with clean and safe drinking water for the population. It is, therefore, gratifying that we have recognised the importance of water and sanitation as a nation in the development process.

Mr Speaker, the focus of the Ministry of Health is that the Fifth National Development Plan is the Basic Health Trap Package (BHTP) which is a set of carefully selected high impact interventions that will be offered through the public health system. Among the ten priority areas identified for health services, hygiene, sanitation and safe water can not be over-emphasised. Therefore, in line with the Fifth National Development Plan, the Ministry of Health will endeavour to accelerate the provision of health care services to the people of Zambia. The ministry is resolved to improve public health surveillance and control of epidemics which include cholera. It is necessary that the systems that have been developed over a period of time should not be interrupted if service deliver is to be achieved, meaning I expect the support of my family across over the budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, it is Government policy to support private and public partnerships in health services delivery and the Fifth National Development Plan period shall strive to enhance this. I am glad to inform this august House that the Ministry of Health has put the following measures in place.

(i) a national epidemic preparedness prevention control and management committee that meets every fortnight  to provide national response in the control of outbreaks;

(ii) all health institutions in the country have been put on alert and requested to reinforce preventive measures and reactivate district epidemic preparedness committee meetings;

(iii) a series of our awareness prevention programmes started on both national radio and television including community radio stations;

(iv) community awareness prevention campaigns using public address systems targeting markets and drinking places;

(v) provision of free domestic chlorine to affected areas;

(vi) limiting of pit latrines in the affected areas;

(vii) cholera treatment centres open in the affected areas;

(viii) all necessary logistics, drugs and medical supplies mobilised for affected districts;

(ix) staff mobilised to attend to patients;

(x) all health inspectors and environmental health staff mobilised to strengthen inspection of eating and drinking places, bars, taverns, restaurants and general dealer shops, schools and so on, and those not meeting public health standards, notice of closures are being issued immediately; and

(xi) apart from environmental health staff conducting contact tracing, community-based health workers are being mobilised to ensure that all patients and contacts are traced and their homes thoroughly disinfected.

Mr Speaker, the health of each and every member of society matters.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Members: Quality.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to commend the House for supporting the motion, especially our two female hon. Ministers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I am glad that the hon. Ministers have outlined adequately what we are supposed to do in this time. At the same time, I will not forget the fact that we have a disaster on our hands in Matero. We need to move in quickly and try to prevent the scourge before we lose more lives. If there is anything we can do now, I am even reiterating that to give people free water in this time, I would appreciate.

I would want to pledge my support for the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing for her programme, just like other hon. Members on the Opposition, because we believe this is a developmental issue and we will put in our best and we will support you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: However, I would like to refer to some of the discussions we had yesterday. I would like to remind this august House that the motion I raised was non-political and non-controversial and, as such, I expected a non-controversial answer and a non-political answer. I would like to say that I did not come here to gain political mileage as my brother in law, Hon. Sichilima, claimed yesterday. It is a pity, he is not here. I came here to represent my people from Matero and I have to bring issues for us to discuss. It is saddening, however, to see that the people who have been here longer, the veteran hon. Members, are not giving a good example in handling serious issues. This is a serious issue which Hon. Sichilima should have handled well. I did not ask when I presented…

The Deputy Chairman: Order! I think in the interest of your motion which is everybody’s motion, the Chair advises that you go towards winding up because you are going to open the debate.

Continue, please.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to say that it is good that we have agreed and we are all moving in, like I said, regardless of political parties and whatever so that we find a lasting solution to this problem. I hope that this is the last time this motion will be moved. I am glad that it has been supported.

Thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.



The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1900 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 2nd February, 2007.