Debates- Wednesday, 31st January, 2007

Printer Friendly and PDF


Wednesday, 31st January, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Ms Namugala): Mr Speaker, I wish to make a Ministerial Statement on the Government’s plan to deal with the problem of street children in our country. As you may be aware, we have had the problem of street children for some time now and it has been of great concern to all of us. Some quarters have likened it to a time bomb waiting to explode. However, I would like to assure the nation that the Government has put in place measures to address this problem.

In my statement, I will begin by giving you a background to this issue, the situational analysis and its causes. Thereafter, I will discuss the measures that my ministry, in particular, has put in place to deal with this problem.

Mr Speaker, from the onset, I need to define what a street child is. A street child is any child who spends a significant amount of their time on the streets and to whom the street or unoccupied dwelling has become his or her habitual place of aboard with no care and protection. A street child is vulnerable since their faculties have not yet adequately developed to enable him or her look after themselves.

Mr Speaker, the problem of street children became pronounced in the early 1990s. By 1996, it was estimated that there were about 75,000 children on the street. A study conducted in 2006, under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services indicated that there were about 13,200 street children countrywide, most of whom were concentrated in urban districts, particularly Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe. The Government considers this figure high, hence the concern.

The study identifies two broad categories of street children. Full time street children are those without contact with their family and spend day and night on the street and actually view the street as their home. Part time or day time street children are simply those children working on the streets, but living in a home. These are school drop outs, sex workers and those selling on the streets.

The existence of street children is directly related to social problems. These include poverty, urbanisation, the HIV/Aids pandemic, lack of basic education and life skills, the breakdown of extended families as well as side effects of social and economic reforms. The majority of street children therefore, come from families living in difficult circumstances. As a result, they find themselves on the streets to look for means of survival.

Mr Speaker, the recent study also indicated that children on the street are at risk of diseases such as HIV/Aids and sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies for girls as well as drug abuse. It is quite clear that the girl child is the most disadvantaged in the risks above.

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that the Government does not have a specific policy on children on the streets, but is guided by a number of policies and pieces of legislation in dealing with this issue. One of the policies guiding the Government’s response to the issue of street children is the National Child Policy whose overall aim is to improve the standard of living in general and the quality of life for the Zambian child in particular. Therefore, the Government views the problem of street children as a temporary phenomenon which could be dealt with.

Mr Speaker, the main object of the plans is to rehabilitate and integrate children back into their families and communities. Among others, the specific objectives include:

(a) removing children from the streets and placing them in transit centres in order to empower them with life skills and education.

(b) establishing a model centre and strengthening the existing ones in order to enhance efficiency and effective delivery of services.

(c) raising awareness of members of the public on issues affecting street children in order to encourage community participation.

Mr Speaker, amongst the proposed interventions, there is an ambitious programme to withdraw and rehabilitate all street children starting with Lusaka. This will be the starting point aimed at achieving the objectives outlined above. This exercise will be guided by a strategy described as prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration.

In preventing children from going onto the streets, the Government believes that the households and the communities where these children come from and the general public have a crucial role to play. Consequently, the Government will:

(a) sensitise parents and guardians in taking responsibility over children in their custody and not view the streets as an income-earning source. This will be done through radio and television discussions, articles in newspapers and bill boards.

Mr Speaker, on bill boards, it has been noticed that earlier interventions to remove children from the street failed because of the alms that the children receive on the streets. The Government hopes to discourage members of the public from giving money, clothes and food to street children because this encourages them to remain on the street. Therefore, bill boards will be placed in strategic places to discourage this trend.

(b)   sensitise law enforcement officers, relevant service providers, the children themselves and the general public on the dangers of streetism and the role they can play in preventing it;

(c) enhance enforcement of the law regarding child labour, neglect and loitering;

(d) empower the families from which these children are coming through programmes such as the public welfare assistance scheme and micro-finance.

Mr Speaker, in rehabilitating street children, the Government believes that there should be proper diagnosis of the proper diagnosis of the problem, devising programmes of action for imparting skills to the children and maintenance of contact of the children with their communities and these activities will include:

(a) rounding up street children and placing them in homes or daily programmes, schools and reformatories and ensuring that minimum standards of care are effected in all these places;

(b) build capacity in the institutions providing care and support to street children so as to enable them provide effective rehabilitation and reintegration;

(c) facilitating the establishment of institutions which can be run in partnership with the private sector;

(d) facilitation of the establishment of networking and collaborating mechanisms for the effective rehabilitation of street children.

Mr Speaker, to integrate street children into the community, the Government expects to address the problem that led to the children going to the street in the first place. The following are the activities to be carried out:

(a) Empowerment of Families

Besides rehabilitating street children, the Government through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, will also endeavour to empower the families of street children to take care of their children. In doing so, the ministry will provide small grants to the identified families;

(b) Monitor and Evaluate Street Children Programmes

The programme of removing street children from the street will begin this year and is an initial targeting 6,000 children over the next three years.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I wish to appeal to the hon. Members of this august House to support the Government’s effort in ensuring that the problem of street children is contained by creating awareness in their communities about the dangers of allowing children on the street and also ensuring that they assist in supervising institutions that provide care for vulnerable children by reporting any shortcomings to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

Further, hon. Members of Parliament should endeavour to know the institutions in their respective constituencies.

Finally, the Government would like to see a situation where there are no children on the streets because children do not belong to the street.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Hon. Members may now ask questions on points of clarification on the statement which has been made by the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services.

Mr Kanyanyamina (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that one of the contributing factors to the problem of street children is the Government’s failure to pay the retirees and repatriate the blind to their respective places of origin.  Further, what measures has the Government put in place to pay retirees so that they can go back to their places of origin with their children?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, as I alluded to in my statement, it is clear that children on the street are coming from families that are living under difficult circumstances. On the issue of non-payment of retirees’ terminal benefits, the Government is doing everything possible within its means to ensure that as many as retirees as possible are paid.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, we had bill boards put up before to discourage alms and I think there are still on the streets now, but we still have beggars in Zambia. What mechanism is the ministry going to use to ensure that the children or the public appreciate the message on the bill boards that you are going to put up on the street?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, dealing with this problem requires that all members of the public, especially hon. Members of Parliament understand that giving alms to children on the street keeps them on the street.  I hope hon. Members will assist the Government in sensitising the community on the dangers of giving alms to street children.

I thank You, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, as usual, I am grateful. Does the Government have any national policy setting out the salient issues that have brought about the problem of street children?

Mr Speaker, other than the problem of retirees which my hon. Colleague has referred to, there is also another problem relating to widows who are stranded in our townships. Equally, the blind ended tunnel of the youth service that, in the initial stages, was intended to look after the youth, but now the fear is that the Zambia National Service  who matured from the youth service are a militarised section, but sometimes used to house children. What is the Government’s policy on this so that if a Member of Parliament stands up to help, they know the clear problems that bring about this situation?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the Government has never denied the fact that we have economic problems as a nation. In terms of stranded households, my ministry has under the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme, a provision to repatriate families to where they came from. I would like to ask the hon. Member who posed that question to identify people within his constituency who may qualify for this assistance.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Njobvu (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, from the statement given by the Hon. Minister regarding the removal of 6,000 street children from the streets and the fact that we know that HIV/AIDS has now affected villages, leaving children without support. I would like to know whether the programme of removing children from the streets will also cover children in villages?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I believe that every village is under a district and we have District Social Welfare Officers in every district. Therefore, I would like to encourage the hon. Member to ensure that vulnerable children are reported to the District Social Welfare Officers in his respective district.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mschili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, in her ministerial statement, the Hon. Minister alluded to the fact that the Government was looking at the possibility of empowering children on the streets. Does the Government not see the implication of this once others hear that the Government is empowering children on the streets and that people will start sending children to the streets so that they can benefit from the funds that the Government will provide?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we have identified most of the children on the streets and the idea is to trace where they come from, identify the needs of their family and deal with that particular need. For instance, if the father in that household is a carpenter and requires equipment in order for him to sustain the family, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services which already gives grants where a need arises, will come in and give assistance. So, we are not going to the streets to give money to the children, but to trace where they come from and identify the needs of their families.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Singombe (Dundumwenzi): Mr Speaker, is the Hon. Minister aware that street children inhale a certain substance? Further, have studies been carried out to establish the substance they inhale and what effect it has on them?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, yes, we are aware that children on the streets abuse drugs that have been identified by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). Street children take different types of drugs and substances. For instance, apart from what they call ‘bostic’ or ‘sticker’, they have gone to the extent of inhaling faecal matter. When you interview them regarding this matter, they tell you that inhaling this keeps them warm even when it is raining and cold.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, I am grateful to the Hon. Minister for the ministerial statement. However, I would like to find out what has become of the street children who were rounded up by the Zambia National Service. Have they been integrated into the community? If so, I would like to know which communities these are.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, in my statement at the beginning of this Sitting, I indicated that for management purposes, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development was dealing with children below the age of fifteen. The ministry has continued with the exercise of taking children to Zambia National Service camps to teach them skills.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Government for coming up with a timely statement on this time bomb. It is quite clear that rapid urbanisation coupled with diminishing employment opportunities has contributed greatly to this problem. To what extent therefore, is the Government willing to reverse rural/urban migration by improving the living standards and the production capacity in the rural areas and by coming up with conditions to create employment and economic activities generally in the country?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, one of the ways that the Government is ensuring that people in rural areas are productive is by providing significant subsidy on fertiliser. Currently, the Government has provided a 60 per cent subsidy on fertiliser.

Furthermore, the hon. Member is talking about employment creation. As Zambians, we must realise that the Government will not create parastatal companies anymore and we must each do what we can to create employment for those who may depend on us. Sir, the private sector, especially small and medium-scale companies, is an effective tool in reducing poverty. I would therefore, like to encourage Members of Parliament to go into private business when they retire.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister which form the microfinance she alluded to in her statement is going to come. Will it come in the form of a grant or indeed a loan?

With your permission, Sir, I did not hear the hon. Minister giving specific reference to the girl child or street child for lack of a better term. Is there anything the Government is doing, particularly for a girl child on the street?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, under the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme, the Government gives small grants and food rations to people in need. It is under this scheme that we hope to give small grants to families in need.

As for the girl child, Sir, I indicated that the girl child on the streets is most vulnerable. We have also seen girl children getting pregnant on the streets. They are street children, but are now producing other street children on the streets, hence the concern.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chishimba (Kasama): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister itemised HIV/AIDS as one of the causes of the high number of children on the streets. Is the hon. Minister aware that with the prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS estimated at 16 per cent by the official statistics and the range is still 13.5 per cent to 20 percent, we expect the number of children who are going to be on the streets when the parents or guardians die to increase? What measures has the Government put in place or intends to put in place to ensure that the rights of children are guaranteed probably by way of enacting a law which will guarantee the gist of breach on the part of the Government; a breach for instance, of delivery of services to the children so that they are integrated within the normal community structures.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, it is true that the HIV prevalence rate is high and it is also true that to reverse this trend, there is a need for a social campaign. Men make a difference. How much is each one of us doing to reverse the trend on the spread of HIV/AIDS? What are we doing as a nation to reduce the number of children we have in the face of HIV/AIDS?

Mr Speaker, the Government can only operate within its means. Yes, the number of children may go up, but the Government will do its best to ensure that it provides for children who may be vulnerable as a result of HIV/AIDS.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, Zambia was declared a Christian nation sometime back and the Bible teaches us that children are our direct responsibility. When either a man or woman remarries, they tend to neglect their children. What policy is the Government coming up with to compel all those mothers and fathers who remarry to look after their offspring.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, indeed children are victims of both HIV/AIDS and divorce. Under the Penal Code, it is an offence for a parent to neglect a child. There is a provision in the law for this. What is required is better enforcement.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has outlined a good programme. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what methods he is going to use to sustain this programme. It is known that we put up very good programmes, but we do not sustain them and we have no means to monitor and make sure that the right thing is done. How are you going to monitor and sustain the programme?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the most effective way of dealing with this problem is by stopping the children from going onto the streets. In doing so, we need to sensitise communities on the dangers of having children on the streets.

Mr Speaker, in terms of sustainability, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is going to come to this House, I am sure in a very short time, to present his budget and if hon. Members feel that the provisions that will be made there are sufficient enough to start the programme, they should support it. As a Government, we are concerned about the number of children on the streets and we will do all we can to reduce the numbers and, if possible, eliminate the problem completely.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister know that the lack of recreation facilities is also a contributing factor to the problem of street children.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, yes, that is a contributing factor and I would like to ask hon. Members who are councillors to ensure that the councils go back to providing recreational facilities in their respective councils.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, I wish to begin by congratulating the hon. Minister on giving such an important statement and thinking in the right direction. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what political will exists within the Government to carry this programme through so that while the hon. Minister is pushing in this direction, other ministers, for example when the budget is presented, will not increase taxes on food and salaries and the problem of street children grows.

Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister assure us that she will get all the support for this programme to carry through.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, all I can say at this stage is that there is a lot of support from my colleagues and maybe we should wait and see what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will come up with.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, a number of questions that have been raised show the fact that there might not be a lot of thought put into this programme that the hon. Minister has announced. I am aware that the hon. Minister was working closely with other stakeholders to come up with a vigorous programme. I would like to request that she comes back to this House after she has consulted with all stakeholders, including the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development so that she presents a programme that is well thought through and that will not have loopholes such as how to close the tap. Unless that is done, we will be going in circles without solving the problem. Is she willing to make such an undertaking?

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, under my ministry, we have District Street Kids Committees that include people from the Ministry of Home Affairs; the Police, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), the Victim Support Unit and all stakeholders involved in providing care and support to vulnerable children  suffice to say that we have as a ministry consulted.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




159. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) how many police officers left the  Police Force in the period 2001 to 2006 due to the following reasons:

(i) retirement;
(ii) discharge or dismissal; and
(iii) death;

(b) how many police officers were required to adequately police the nation; and
(c) what measures the Government had taken to recruit more police officers to meet the national demand.

The Deputy Minister of Ministry of Home Affairs (Mr Musosha): Mr Speaker, the following table illustrates the number of police officers who left the Force in the period 2001 to 2006 due to the following reasons: -

Reason 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Totals
Deaths 351 364 240 124 305 272 1656
Retirement 49 89 68 58 167 36 467
Discharge 13 10 5 1 14 3 46
Dismissed 42 5 1 0 0 0 48

Mr Speaker, the Government targeted 27,000 officers to adequately police the nation by December 2006. However, there were less than 14,000 officers by the end of 2006.

Mr Speaker, to meet the national demand, the Force has been recruiting 1,500 officers per annum as and when funds are made available for logistics such as uniforms, salaries and accommodation for recruits.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether all police officers who retired from 2001 to 2006 were paid their terminal benefits.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, that is a new question. Therefore, we need to research and find out whether all the retirees have been paid, but we are aware that the large majority of the retired police officers get their retirement benefits.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I wish to ask the hon. Minister, particularly in relation to the demands for an adequately staffed Police Force in Zambia, whether, in fact, overtime, the Government has looked at the mission statement of the various sections of the Police that served specific interests, particularly before the countries surrounding us were liberated. We had specific groups that were within the Police Force. What mission statements does the ministry now have, for example, for the Mobile Unit and Paramilitary that was initially set up for different purposes other than guarding ministers?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, soon after most of the countries around us were liberated, the mission statement for the Police Force changed to look at the needs for the internal security of the country. Therefore, organs of the Police such as the Mobile Unit in Kamfinsa diverted their position to securing critical Government infrastructure and that of the nation in general. Similarly, units such as the paramilitary also had their activities re-defined in order to secure the internal security of the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mschili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Home Affairs whether it is Government policy to bar Members of Parliament from visiting police camps. I say so because during my familiarisation tour, I wrote to the Officer-in-Charge of Masala Police Station, requesting to visit the camp, but unfortunately, I got a response saying I was not supposed to visit the camp.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the Government does not have any policy that bars any national from visiting any police camp. Instead, local police officers assess whether the Member of Parliament is going to campaign during elections or not …

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: ... or indeed is going to discuss issues that pertain to the welfare of police officers. So, they make their own decisions.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bonshe (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether police officers who are recruited are adequately accommodated because we see some of them squatting in shanty compounds.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, my ministry is doing everything possible to provide accommodation to all police officers who are currently serving and those to be recruited. The budget will show our needs and requests and it is going to be debated in this House. Therefore, I ask the hon. Members of Parliament to support our budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures his ministry has put in place for the police stations that have no response vehicles because when people go to report cases they are told that they have no transport to respond immediately.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the Member of Parliament for Mandevu that the Government has given enough vehicles to most of the police stations all over the cities, including Lusaka. If there is a particular case that she wants to refer to, I would like to hear from her. Therefore, she can visit my office.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, can the Hon. Minister assurance this House that the police officers he is going to employ will have proper furniture. I will give an example of Itezhi-tezhi. From 1978, the furniture they have been using is dilapidated. They sit on benches and bricks. What assurance is the hon. Minister giving so that police officers are motivated by having decent furniture in police stations, especially in rural areas?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Itezhi-tezhi that I visited Itezhi-tezhi prior to the elections and I saw the conditions in which police officers operated and we are doing something about it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the ministry would recruit 1,500 police officers per year to meet the national demand of 27,000 police officers. Currently, there are 14,000. This means that it will take us eight and half years to have the required establishment of police officers. That is if they do not die. I would like to know what tangible measures would be put in place so that there is proper policing of the nation. With the increase in population, they will never police this nation adequately.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo that the 1,500 is the minimum figure in this instance. Recruitment is dependant upon the amount of money available, accommodation, uniforms and many other factors to increase the figures to 2,000 or 3,000 per year.

So, the eight years that you are talking about could be reduced considerably to three, four or five years. In the same vein, it is also important to look at other measures that we have spoken about in this august House. The fact that we need to improve the quality of police officers means that there will be retraining programmes that are going to take place in the Police Force in order to have high quality officers. This will also help a great deal in providing quality service to the nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! Before the hon. Members continues with business on the Order Paper, I would like to pay tribute to two hon. Members who have raised silent points of order during the course of this afternoon. One such point of order relates to the dress code in the House. Obviously, the hon. Deputy Speaker who is Chairperson of the Members’ Privileges will look into and rule on this.

The other, if proved, is extremely serious. This point of order refers to the reaction from some members of the public out there who were listening to your live debates here, yesterday. The allegation is that an hon. Member of this House, during the course of yesterday’s debates made reference to the fact that certain District Commissioners in his area were under-qualified. The hon. Member has drawn my attention to the fact that he has been threatened by one of those allegedly unqualified District Commissioners.


Mr Speaker: Now, obviously, this is coming from one side of the coin. It will, therefore, be necessary for me to request the hon. Deputy Speaker to also look into this matter and verify whether the hon. Member’s privilege and, of course, the overall privileges of this House may have, thereby, been breached. If that is the case, this borders on the law.


160. Mr Katuka asked the Minister of Health whether the Government had any plans to enhance the initiatives of Ntambu Mission Hospital by providing medical staff and drugs to the hospital.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Puma): Mr Speaker, Ntambu Hospital is a newly constructed Mission Hospital in Mwinilunga District. Currently, the hospital has one doctor, one clinical officer, one laboratory technician, one Zambia Enrolled Midwife and one Zambia Enrolled Nurse. The hospital lacks other critical health workers and requires more of the cadres indicated above for it to operate fully.

Sir, in order to address the current critical shortage of health workers which is affecting most of the health institutions, the ministry has plans to recruit 1,900 health workers as per provisional budget of K22 billion earmarked for the recruitment of health workers in 2007. Ntambu Mission Hospital will be considered in the allocation for health workers as and when they are recruited.

Mr Speaker, as far as drug supply is concerned, the hospital receives health centre drug kits for months from Mwinilunga District. Other essential drugs required by the hospital are accessed through Mwinilunga District and the requirements are included in the requirements for the district.

Sir, the Ministry of Health is also able to process urgent drug requirements requested by the district through Medical Stores Limited.

I thank you, Sir.


161. Mr Imenda (Lukulu East) asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources

(a) how much money the Government had planned to spend on the Tourism Development Credit Fund (TDCF) in 2007;

(b) how much of the amount at (a) above had been released to the ministry to date;

(c) whether the Ministry of Finance and National Planning was up to date in the release of the funds; and

(d) which provinces had benefited most from the Tourism Development Credit Fund allocations.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, in 2006, the Government had planned to spend a total of K5,425,000,000 on the Tourism Development Credit Facility. This was broken down as follows:

(a) 3,759,000,000.00 from the 2006 budgetary allocation;
(b) K1,100,000,000.00 from loan repayments; and
(c) K525,000,000.00 from the balance brought forward from the 2005 allocation.

On (b), Mr Speaker, of the K3,759 billion that was in the budget for 2006, nothing was released. As of the K1.1 billion from the loan repayments and K525 million from the balance brought forward from the 2005 allocation, these funds were surrendered back to the Treasury on 31st December, 2006.

On (c), as I have indicated, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning was not up to date in the release of these funds by the end of 2006.

On (d), the House may wish to note that Southern and Lusaka provinces have benefited the most from the Tourist Development Credit Facility since the programme started in 2003 up to 2005. So far, the total of 105 applicants have benefited from the Tourism Development Credit Facility with K13,384,226,000,000 having been paid out as follows:

Province  No. of beneficiaries   Amount(K)

(a) Southern   20    3,206,000,000.00
(b) Lusaka    16    2,230,220,000.00
(c) Copperbelt   12   1,442,500,000.00
(d) Eastern     12    1,306,622,000.00
(e) Northern   10    1,291,309,000.00 
(f) Western    10    1,184,925,000.00 
(g) Luapula    10       819,500,000.00
(h) Central     8    1,345,900,000.00 
(i) North-Western    7       521,250,000.00.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in a position to tell this august House whether the disbursed funds were all utilised for the purposes they were budgeted for?

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, it is difficult to answer that question, but I can only assume that the money was actually spent on the purpose.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Deputy Minister must be very careful when answering questions officially in this House. If that assumption is correct, he is safe. If it is not, he will have to find a way of correcting it.

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, following the first answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister, I would like to ask when the ministry will refocus the utilisation of the Tourism Development Credit Fund. To my knowledge, when that fund was requested for in 2004, the idea was to improve the level of tourism investment in this country and also to make sure that we get nationals investing in utilities of international standards. At the moment, most of the moneys that are …

Mr Speaker: Order! Will the hon. Member for Lukulu West ask her question, please?

Ms Imbwae: What is the ministry doing to refocus the disbursements into investments that will be of international standards instead of forcing us to turn our houses into lodges?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, the primary purpose for the Tourism Development Credit Fund was to assist local Zambians create tourist facilities, including the expansion of bed space. That objective has remained unchanged.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, what qualifications should one have to access the type of funds so that we can encourage our people from the constituencies to apply so that development is balanced? What projects do you accept as a ministry?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, every time we have funds available under the Tourism Development Credit Fund, these are advertised in the national press defining the criteria of access. So, I would refer the hon. Member to the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources in the event that she has not been able to see the criteria for access of the facility.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, I wonder whether the ministry takes time to check how much Zambia is advertised on the website because whilst I was out of the country during the last break, I was unable to fill in a flight booking form as Lusaka is not recognised as having an airport. It is not anywhere in the southern African region on the frequent flier. Also, a colleague of mine was unable to access Zambia. Zimbabwe is there. My colleague was unable to fill in a flight booking form to connect through Zambia.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister is free to provide a bonus answer since that question is not quite related to Question No. 161.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, thank you very much. It is actually a new question and it is very unfortunate that Zambia is not actually appearing on region frequent flier. The question is not related to what we are discussing.

Thank you, Sir.



Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when Lusaka City Council would construct a ring road around the City of Lusaka in order to decongest the city.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that with the support of the Government of Japan, the Zambian Government, through my ministry will this year prepare a master plan for the City of Lusaka. The master plan will determine the infrastructure development that is required in a modern city and will include water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, drainage and traffic management. Following the master plan, projects will be developed to address the imbalances, especially to deal with traffic congestion in the City of Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, the Lusaka City Council has embarked on the development of the road to connect Lumumba Road at the Kafue Road Traffic Lights to Kamwala by passing the Kafue Round About as a way of decongesting the city from the western and southern parts of the city.

Mr Speaker, the project has been submitted to Road Development Agency (RDA) for funding purposes and is now at tender stage.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is talking about a road that already exists. Is he in a position to tell this House how he will touch both the eastern and northern parts of Lusaka?

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I will re-emphasis what I indicated in my response that at Kamwala Traffic Lights, we intend to construct a new road to avoid Kafue Round About so as to decongest traffic from the western and southern sides of Lusaka.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister first things first. Some of the roads in my constituency, which is probably the most prosperous constituency in Zambia, are impassable. Where is the money for maintenance? If we cannot maintain what we have, why are we building new roads?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, with regard to the question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central on maintenance of existing roads, in this year’s Budget, like all budgets, monies for maintenance of roads are going to be applied. Obviously, you would want to believe that the Lusaka City Council itself should have budgeted for maintenance of roads, include those in the hon. Member of Parliament’s constituency. To that extent, there are some resources that have been put aside for maintenance both under the Lusaka City Council budget and the RDA budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I wonder whether the hon. Minister would recall that in the Budget for 2006, there was an allocation of K5 billion for a ring road running from Lilayi through Kamwala …

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Sir!

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise this very serious constitutional point of order on the Member of Parliament who was on the Floor before me.

Mr Speaker, the Constitution of Zambia states that: ‘No Member of Parliament shall be in this House if he belongs to two political parties’. The Member speaking on the Floor, in 2001, was removed from this House for associating himself with the United Party for National Development (UPND).

Mr Speaker, during the 28th September, 2006, Tripartite Elections, Hon. Lubinda published posters everywhere in Kabwata and had the opportunity to take a picture, one of them which I will lay on the Table, showing the face of Hon. Lubinda.

From afar, the advertisement reads United Liberal Party (ULP) candidate, but the ballot symbols on that same ballot paper stated: Lubinda Given, Patriotic Front, there is a boat and an ‘X’.

At the time, the only political parties that were accepted by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to have alliances were the UPND, FDD and UNIP who stood as United Democratic Alliance (UDA). Even the ballot papers stated those three political parties and their leaders.

The hon. Member of Parliament I am talking about is still the Chairperson for Information and Publicity for United Liberal Party (ULP).

Mr Speaker, the President of the Patriotic Front and the President of ULP said in the Post of Tuesday, 9th January, 2007, No. 3736 which reads as follows:


“The Patriotic Front will no longer be bound by the memorandum of understanding to decide with the ULP, Party leader Michael Sata has said, giving an insight of the political strategy to guide his party in the year 2007 and beyond. Sata said PF would now operate as a single entity. He said PF members were not impressed with ULP’s performance in the areas that we allocated to them in the September, 28th elections. Sata said we did not sign any legal agreement with ULP President Sakwiba Sikota when the two agreed to work together through the Electoral Pact and as such; there were no compelling reasons for the two parties not to operate separately.”

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to disguise himself as a Member of Parliament when his own advertisements that he put up were also stating that he is a member of ULP?

Sir, I need your serious ruling on this matter and I will lay this document on the Table.

Mr Tetamashimba laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Ama guys umwenso!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Works and Supply has raised a constitutional matter with regard to party affiliation of the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata.

Matters of a constitutional matter when raised in the House require in-depth study. Accordingly, I defer the decision on this matter until I have studied it and have established or not established a prima facie case. In other words, I shall rule on this matter at a later date.

The hon. Member for Kabwata was raising a supplementary question, may he continue.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was asking whether the hon. Minister was aware that in the 2006 Budget, there was an allocation of K5 billion meant for a ring road linking Kafue Road at Lilayi Police to run through Kamulanga, Kamwala and joining Chilimbulu Road. Another K450 million was meant for tarring the road that the hon. Deputy Minister referred to. If the hon. Minister is aware, could she inform this House why the Road Development Fund Agency has not released the money for the establishment of that ring road or whether we have to wait for the plan that the hon. Minister referred to before we can see that money being spent on the road that was already identified in the budget for 2006.

 Ms Masebo: Mr Speaker, yes, the issue of the ring road was discussed and articulated in the last Budget. Suffice to say that not all the resources were released for the same. As alluded to by my Deputy Minister, the issue is that, in fact, some works have already been done in terms of the process of tendering and the works will be done this year.

The issue of the development plan that the Deputy Minister alluded to will go beyond a particular road. It will take into account the social and economic issues in the Lusaka City boundaries and this one relates to issues of planning where other infrastructure, including roads shall be. As he maybe aware, the development plan for Lusaka has outlived its time and there is an urgent need, in accordance with the law, to come up with a new plan for the city.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


163. Mr Lubinda asked the Vice-President:

(a) how much it cost Zambia each time the Zambian Constitution was reviewed through a Constitutional Review Commission since independence;

(b) how many submissions were received by each Constitutional Review Commission;

(c) how long each Constitutional Review Commission took to submit its report; and

(d) how long the Government took to consider the recommendations.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Ms Lundwe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House as follows:

(a) the total cost of the Mung’omba Constitutional Review exercise was K36,388,920,67.00; 

As regards the cost of the three earlier review exercises, namely; the Chona, the Mvunga and the Mwanakatwe, the Government would need more time to visit the national archives were such information is safely reposted due to the passage of time.

(b) the Mung’omba Constitutional Review Commission received a total of 12,642 submissions while the Mwanakatwe Review Commission received a total of 1,515 of which 996 were oral while 519 were written. Those of the Chona and Mvunga Commission will require time to dig out from the archives;

(c) (i) the length of time each Commission took varied according to prevailing circumstances. In this respect, the Mvunga Commission could be said to have been the shortest for obvious reasons. It was setup for a specific task of guiding the country from a One-Party System to a Multi-Party one. It was constituted in October 1990 and completed its work by mid 1991 just in time for the October elections that year;

(ii) the Mwanakatwe Commission was appointed on 22nd November, 1993 and submitted its report to the President on 19th June, 1995. A technical Committee to evaluate the Report was constituted on 11th July, 1995 and a draft White Paper was presented to the President together with a Cabinet Memorandum on 29th July, 1995

(iii) the Chona Commission took approximately one year from 1972 to 1973.

(iv) the Mung’omba Commission was appointed on 17th April, 2003 and completed its work on 31st December, 2005. Its terms of reference demanded that it takes into serious account the views and recommendations of all the other previous review exercises;

(d) (i) the Government almost immediately considered the recommendations of the Chona Commission and the Mvunga Commission in order to introduce one party state and re-introduce multipartism respectively;

(v) the Mwanakatwe Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) report was released to the Government on 16th June, 1995. The Government considered the report in the same year and published Government paper No. 1 of 1995. Some of the recommendations were incorporated into the 1996 Constitution amendments;

(vi) the recommendations of the Mung’omba Commission are currently receiving active Government attention.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, this is the third time my questions have gone with answers similar to the one that I have just received today.

Sir, I am sure this is an issue of a serious nature. When we raise questions in this House, it is because we, as hon. Members of Parliament, solicit information from the Government for us to be able to make informed discussions and decisions. I would like to find out given the fact that this question was presented in October, 2006 how much time the Vice-President requires to come and give me a satisfactory answer instead of coming, four months later, to tell me that they still need time to go and research for the answer. How much time do they want us to give before they can give this House informed answers instead of giving us half-baked answers and telling us they need time to research?

Mr Speaker: Order, the phrase half-baked is unparliamentary. The hon. Member may withdraw it.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I withdraw that word.

I thank you, Sir.
The Vice-President (Mr Rupiah Banda): Mr Speaker, I regret to inform my colleague, the hon. Member for Kabwata, that I would rather he speaks for himself because I am sure that the other hon. Members maybe satisfied with the answer that we have given and may wish to ask specific question other than to say that we have not given adequate answers. These are the facts that we have been able, within the time that has been given to us, to produce before this House in answer to the hon. Members question.

I thank you, Sir.


164. Mr Lubinda asked the Vice-President which Government institutions were named after the following personalities:

(a) Dr Kenneth David Kaunda;
(b) Hellen Kaunda;
(c) Betty Kaunda;
(d) Dr Fredrick Chiluba;
(e) Vera Chiluba
(f) Regina Chiluba;
(g) Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC;
(h) Mokola Mwanawasa;
(i) Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe; and 
(j) Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula.

Ms Lundwe: Mr Speaker, there could be other Government institutions named after the mentioned personalities countrywide. However, the Government institutions that readily come to mind are schools which are named after prominent personalities and these are as follows:

Dr David Kenneth Kaunda High School in Chinsali District in Northern Province and David Kaunda National Technical High School in Lusaka District which were named after the first Republican President, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda.

Sir, Helen Kaunda High School in Kitwe District on the Copperbelt was named after Hellen Kaunda. There is also Hellen Kaunda Memorial Library in Luanshya District. Nothing was named after Betty Kaunda. The F.T.J. Chiluba Basic School in Mwense District, Luapula Province was named after the second Republican President of Zambia. The school was formerly called Koweni Basic School.

Sir, there is Vera Chiluba Basic School in Lusaka District which was named after the wife to the former second Republic President of Zambia. The school is based in Helen Kaunda compound. There were no Government institutions which were named after Regina Chiluba and His Excellency Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Mr Speaker, Miriam Mokola Basic School in Masaiti District in the Copperbelt Province was named after the mother to the third Republican President of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. The school was formerly called Muchinka Community School.

Sir, there is Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Basic School in Emmasdale Area in Lusaka District, Lusaka Province and Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Police Post, in Avondale, Lusaka Province. There is also Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula Basic School in Chunga Compound in Lusaka District, Lusaka Province.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, could I find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether there is a policy that governs the naming of Government infrastructure after people and how the policy can be accessed particularly, by Councils.

The Vice-President Mr Speaker, there is no policy on naming of schools or hospitals after individuals. As you can see from the list, these institutions were named at different times. This is something to do with the feelings of the people about that particular leader, especially, immediately after independence; I think there was a rule to name the leaders who had led the country to independence as assign of respect.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


165. Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central) asked the Minister of Health what measures the Government had taken to ensure that District Health Management Teams (DHMT) effectively delivered on the mandate of providing health care as close to the family as possible.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, the Government has taken measures to ensure that District Health Management Teams effectively deliver on the mandate of providing health care as close to the family as possible. In this regard, the following measures have been put in place:

(a) there has been capacity building for top managers in management through the District Health Management Course which was initially started at Pan- African Institute for Development for Eastern and Southern Africa (PAIDESA) and now this course is offered at National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA).

(b) there is capacity building for care providers in case management such as Anti-Retroviral Treatment, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as preventive and promoting activity strategies.

(c) there has been an increase in intake and output of basic training to improve staffing in health institutions.

(d) there is a deliberate staff retention scheme to return medical doctors in hospitals and districts.

(e) there is continuing direct disbursement of funds to District Health Management Teams. The lowest amount a district in this country is getting is K40,415,326.00 every month and the highest is getting K540,591,568.00 every month. That is why we have been saying in the past that any small problem at local level in terms of management should be sorted out at that level. So, hon. Members who may find small problems such as lack of linen on beds, this money is sent specifically to districts so that they are able to handle those issues. These funds are specifically operational funds. The funds for remuneration come from the central level through the payment system.

(f) there has been improved funding in the past years for maintenance of existing facilities, extensions and also new infrastructure in terms of health centres, health posts and hospitals to improve the quality of health care and reduce distance covered by communities to access health services.

(g) there has been strengthening of provincial health office to improve capacity building and also technical support supervision and reinforcement of national policies and guidelines. So, what we have in place is that the provincial office team visit districts every three months to make sure that they are working within the guidelines and delivering health service according to the guidelines they have been given. Similarly, the districts visit health centres in every three months to ensure that health centres are delivering the service according to the guidelines that have been given; and

(h) we also provide appropriate transport in terms of motor vehicles and motorbikes in selected areas to strengthen outreach services.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, matters of health are indeed of life and death and require truthfulness. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the extent to which health reforms have been operationalised in Zambia. I say so because some of the principles include providing leadership, transparency and accountability and also …

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member is debating. He has already asked his question.

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, there was no question. He was still debating.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! In fact, he did ask a question, but he ruined it by debating where by making it difficult for the hon. Minister to understand what he was talking about. Unfortunately, the rule does not allow second chance on follow up questions.


166. Mr Sejani (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) what the total number of Fire Tenders in the country was, town by town; and

(b) how the available number of Fire Tenders compared with the national requirements.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that there are nineteen Fire Tenders that are in a working condition around the country and are allocated as follows:

Town   Number
Lusaka  4
Kitwe   2
Ndola   1
Livingstone  2
Kabwe  1
Chipata  2
Kasama  1
Choma  1
Mazabuka  1
Mansa   1
Kafue   2
Kapiri Mposhi  1
Total   19

Mr Speaker, however, there are also fourteen fire tenders that are either outdated or need extensive rehabilitation throughout the country.

Mr Speaker, though the Government’s policy is to provide fire tenders to all seventy-two Councils in Zambia, it is difficult to purchase fire tenders for every district because of budget constraints and the cost of one fire tender is about K1.5 billion. The programme to purchase fire tenders for councils is to be phased over a period of years to meet national demands.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, there is a frightening gap between what is available and the national requirement in a country that is losing property and lives almost every day. I am not seeing any urgency on the part of the Government. The Government should look into this serious matter urgently?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the total number of fire tenders in the country is nineteen and when you add fourteen, it gives you …

Dr Scott: Thirty-three.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Guy for that. I am sure you did not fail your Mathematics.


Sir, we have seventy-two districts. Therefore, the initial thirty-three tenders were against the number of districts that were less than seventy-two at the time. You will recall that about twelve of these districts were created in the recent past. Therefore, in terms of budgeting and planning, the number that we have is not that bad. Of course, the cost of K1.5 billion against the funding that we get as a ministry cannot take on board all the seventy-two councils at once. Every year, we try to budget for fire tenders in terms of rehabilitation of the existing equipment and also purchase of new ones.

In the past, we managed to secure some fire tenders from some friendly countries. The amount of money involved in installing a fire tender is colossal because other than the K1.5 billion for purchasing it, there are other costs for ensuring that the fire station is constructed half way. So, there are other facilities required. The Government is doing its best to ensure that all the local councils and indeed, districts can get fire tenders. We are also appealing to the private sector to get into the business of fire safety because the Government alone cannot manage.

Mr Speaker, the community themselves and business houses should make sure that they take into account fire safety measures when they construct their houses so that when a fire breaks out they are able to extinguish it. In some cases, when people are constructing their properties, they are not taking this very important issue into consideration.

This year, again, we are trying to make efforts to secure more fire tenders to ensure that more districts acquire them. Apart from that, there are not enough trained people to man these fire tenders and we are working to make sure that we train more people in this area.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, it is a matter of public notoriety that insurance companies are major beneficiaries of the fire cover that is being provided by local authorities. Arising from the answer that was given by the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, I would like to find out from her whether the Government has any intentions of …

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.
Mr Speaker: Order! When business was suspended, the House was considering Question No. 166 on the Order Paper and the question was asked by the hon. Member for Mapatizya and the hon. Minister for Local Government and Housing replied to the main question and the hon. Member for Moonze was asking a Supplementary Question.

While I am on my feet, I shall at an appropriate time and when we are on our own, find time to guide some hon. Members of the House on how best to raise Supplementary Questions without debating them or without unnecessary long introductions to their Supplementary Questions. I note that these are the matters we have not paid attention to during our orientation seminars, but there are quite important.

Could the hon. Member for Monze ask his supplementary Question?

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was raising a question on the question raised by Hon. Sejani pertaining to the fire tender system in the country.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that in this country, insurance companies are major beneficiaries of the fire cover that is being provided by local authorities. If the Government is aware of that scenario, are they considering introducing legislation to compel insurance companies to contribute towards the management of the fire system in this country?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, at the moment, we are not considering coming up with new legislation, but regulations based on the current legislation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing should forgive me because I only received the Fifth National Development Plan in my pigeon hole this afternoon. Could she please let us know if the fire tenders have been included in the Fifth National Development Plan?
Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in answer to that question, allow me to give some extra information that I received from the Vice-resident during tea break concerning the issue of fire tenders.

Sir, we are going to receive an extra fifty fire tenders which have been donated by some co-operating partners through the Office of the Vice-President. Twenty of these have already arrived at the port in Cape Town. We should be receiving them very soon and the Government will allocate them according to the needs of councils. As you are aware, we have already a list of local authorities that are in more dire need than others by virtue of the economic activities that are taking place in the various districts of the country.

To get back to the question, I think I have already answered it with that additional answer.

I thank you, Sir.


167. Mr Sejani asked the Minister of Health:

(a) how many Zambians received medial treatment abroad at Government expense from 2002 to-date;

(b) which countries they sent were to; and

(c) how much money was spent on them, year by year?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, a total of 315 patients were sent abroad from 2002 up to 2007.

Year South Africa UK India Total

2002 62 2 3 67
2003 56  10 66
2004 51  9 60
2005 58 1 4 63
2006 31  21 52
2007 3  4 7

Total 261 3 51 315

The funds received from the Zambian Ministry of Health from January 2002 – January 2007:

Year   Amount (US$)
2002  520 210.82
2003  1 110 699.69
2004  697 275.91
2005  1 862 961.17
2006  1 025 741.55

I thank you, Sir.


168. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) how many councils were in salary arrears country-wide; and

(b) what plans were in place to improve the revenue collection base for councils.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that there are a total of thirty-nine councils across the country that are in salary arrears. These councils are:

Central Province (4 Councils) Luapula Province (6 Councils)

Mumbwa Mwense
Kabwe Samfya
Serenje Nchelenge
Kapiri Mposhi Kawambwa

Copperbelt (3 Councils) North-Western (5 Councils)

Mpongwe Mufumbwe
Masaiti Chavuma
Luanshya Zambezi

Eastern (4 Councils) Southern Province (3 Councils)

Nyimba Itezhi Tezhi
Chama Namwala
Chadiza Gwembe

Northern (9 Councils) Western (5 Councils)

Luwingu Kaoma
Chilubi Lukulu
Kaputa Shangombo
Mungwi Kalabo
Mporokoso Mongu

The ministry in implementing the National Decentralisation Policy (NDP), has put in place programmes to enable local councils have sustainable sources of revenue. The following measures are implemented in order to enhance the revenue base of local councils.

(a) Revenue sharing on resource extraction

Local councils ought to benefit from the economic activities being undertaken in their areas. To this effect, the ministry is working on programmes that will enable local councils benefit from activities such as mining, wildlife/tourism revenue, dry ports, waterfalls, fisheries, power transmission and communication installations, civil aviation, professional services not covered by Trades Licences Act (healthcare, surveying, financial and accounting services, legal services etc.).
(b) Taxes proposed to be shared

The ministry appreciates that the Government is devolving some of its functions of service delivery to local councils and the latter would need resources to deliver these services. It is for this reason that the ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to devise mechanisms that ensure equitable sharing of centrally collected revenues for sustainable financing of local councils for service delivery. The targeted taxes are:  fuel levy; motor vehicle licence fees; presumptive tax; game licences; tollgate fees etc.

(c) Reconfiguration of the grant system

The Government has devised a formula-based grant system that has transformed the previous adhoc-based grants into three grants: Restructuring Grant; Recurrent Grant; and Capital Grant. The key principle of these grants is that they should be equitable, transparent and predictable. The Government has already approved this proposal and it will be implemented in 2007.

(d) Devolution of functions to local councils

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

(e) Enhancing revenues from property tax

Mr Speaker, property tax or rates is the largest single source of revenue for most local councils in the country and has the potential increasingly for contributing to the financial base of service provision in the local councils. However, failure for this source of revenue to contribute significantly to local councils’ revenues has been attributed to infrequent update of the valuation rolls due to inadequate resources to hire private property valuers. The Ministry is working on a programme to update all local councils Valuation rolls so that they can capture properties developed in the last ten years which are currently not on the valuation rolls.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, where councils are in such arrears, is the hon. minister aware that her ministry is playing a major role in promoting the problem of street children? I would like to know from her the way forward.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I think the question is related to the fact that councils are not able to pay salaries to their workers who in some cases are parents of some of the street children. If my understanding is correct, that is why the Government has put in place measures to try and improve the revenue base of local councils countrywide.

The hon. Member for Nalolo is a member of the board of those councils and the councillors are supposed to ensure that councils do not come up with irresponsible decisions that affect the smooth operations of their councils vis-à-vis issues of salaries and employment.

I am sure the hon. Member is aware that currently, he is partly responsible in that he is part and parcel of the council that employs this staff.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for giving us a well articulated answer. I would like to find out from her when this decentralisation will become a practical reality in this country.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, firstly, Cabinet adopted the policy and in August 2004, His Excellency the President launched the policy. At the Official Opening of Parliament by His Excellency the President, the Member should appreciate that there was a lot that was said about the political will of His Excellency and his Administration to ensure the realisation of the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to say that the Ministry has prepared the decentralisation implementation plan that will run from 2006 to 2010 in line with the Fifth National Development Plan. With regard to budgeting, if you look at the Fifth National Development Plan and the budget in the next three years, there is a provision of resources towards implementation of the Decentralisation Plan. So I would say that it is a reality.

Mr Speaker, to shed more light, I would like to say that the intention of the Government is that in implementing the Decentralisation Plan, a lot of activities will take place in the next two years. As regards budget allocations, there will be more money towards the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy in the next two years so that we are not caught in the 2011 elections.

Mr Speaker, by the time we are getting to 2010, that will be the period for consolidating the implementation programmes that have been lined up. Later, during the course of this Sitting, I will come to the House to share details on the plan in terms of the strategies and the programmes that the Government has come up with for the next three years so that hon. Members can appreciate and come on board.

Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. minister if there is a deliberate strategy to empower councils in rural areas in fundraising for their operations and whether construction of houses to let is one of these strategies, as some of the councils have nothing in terms of infrastructure for ground rates or valuation rolls.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, there are a number of programmes that the Government will come up with to assist local authorities devise ways of expanding their revenue base. One of these relate to the updating of valuation rolls and of course, I am mindful that in some districts where there is no housing, an update of the valuation roll will not increase in terms of revenue unless in places such as Lusaka where we know that their valuation roll is outdated. The law says that every five years, valuation rolls have to be updated and for Lusaka, I think it is after ten years. This year, we are working towards ensuring that the exercise of updating begins so that the many thousands of houses that have been built over the years are included on the roll. 
Mr Speaker, we know that for Lusaka, if we did update the valuation roll, the budget will triple immediately and, therefore, we know that would be a good way of enhancing their revenue base.

However, for districts such as the hon. Member’s where there are no properties, there are other avenues of raising revenue. The Deputy Minister in response to the question that was raised, alluded to a number of other programmes in which the Government intends to share revenue and one of them is the one which we have talked about where in this year’s Budget, we have come up with some category of grants for local authorities, in particular those which are not able to generate internal resources because of either too much sand in the district, or a district has no minerals or there is oil which cannot be exploited and so on.

Mr Speaker, to that extent, the Government has come up with three structured grants; the recurrent grant is meant to assist local authorities that cannot raise enough resources to pay salaries because the area where they settled is not good in terms of economic activities.

Secondly, there is the capital grant that is from central Government to local authorities to assist them with infrastructure development. The restructuring grant deals with issues relating to staffs such as retrenchments and retirements that have been outstanding which the Government wants to assist local authorities clear and start on a new slate.

All this is in the spirit of implementing the Decentralisation Policy. Again, we have said that sector ministries will start devolving certain functions and those will not go without resources. Those will go with both financial and human resources and so we have all those issues considered and if hon. Members can take time to look at the answer that was given considering that most of you were talking while the answer was being given, they will find that we have an answer for every district, whether you are a city or a municipality.

Mr Speaker, it is also important that hon. Members become conversant with this issue because poverty reduction cannot be achieved without decentralisation. We believe that if we decentralise functions with resources that is the surest way of reducing poverty in this country because decentralisation is basically trying to give power to the people to make up their own decisions in terms of development priorities.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


169. Mr Mwangala asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Government will consider paying gratuity to councillors in local authorities after completing their term of office.

Mr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that currently, there is no provision in the Constitution for the payment of gratuity to councillors after completing their term of office.

Mr Speaker, the House may also wish to know that even though councillors do a lot of work in the wards by virtue of living in those areas they represent, their role as councillors is on a part time basis. Unlike hon. Members of Parliament who are full time, councillors are allowed to be in gainful employment and may be paid gratuity or pension upon retirement. My ministry, however, recognises the important role played by our councillors and has since directed the Local Government Association of Zambia to conduct a study in neighbouring countries to see if gratuity is paid and how that is done.

Additionally, Mr Speaker, the House may also wish to know that at the time of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) was collecting submissions from the public, very few people submitted in favour of councillors receiving gratuity after completing their term of office, while the majority of the people who submitted were against the idea of paying gratuity to councillors. It was, therefore, difficult for the CRC to recommend in the Draft Constitution payment of gratuity to councillors when the majority of the people were against it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whether she knows that in some wards, for example, where I come from a ward may be much bigger than a Constituency in Lusaka. So, for these people to visit their wards regularly there is a need at least for some transport of some kind for example a motor bike …

Hon. Government Member: A canoe.


Mr Sinyinda: All I wanted to find out was whether the ministry has plans to provide even motor bikes to our councillors because they are really in dire need of transport.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, there are two issues here; the issue of allowances and gratuity. According to our understanding in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, gratuity is given to a person who is in employment. Now, councillors, by law, are on a part time basis, and therefore, the issue of gratuity does not arise. That is the point we are trying to raise. Yesterday, there was a similar question, but this was related to sitting allowances of councillors and I want to say that in the ministry, we now appreciate that indeed some rural wards are even larger than districts.

Secondly, Mr Speaker, it is a given fact that councillors work harder than Members of Parliament …

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mrs Masebo: … because they are very close to the communities and they live in them.


Mrs Masebo: They are not like most of us here who stay in Lusaka and we do not have people knocking on our doors asking for money for funerals and for everything they want everyday for at least three months.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, …



Mrs Masebo: … councillors work very hard for this country and on our behalf as Members of Parliament whilst we are here. Therefore, they deserve something.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mrs Masebo: However, some of these issues are constitutional. This is one of the issues my Deputy Minister alluded to and the response seemed negative. As you know, in this country, each time people talk about issues of allowances or gratuity for public officers, normally, the citizens react negatively. So, as a ministry and Government we are looking at the current provisions in the local Government Act that says the minister can make such allowances available to the councillors for the works they have done. This is how we have come up with revised allowances from time to time that take into account transport. We want to use that provision in the law to reconsider especially the councillors in rural areas and see how we can improve in terms of their transport allowance because inmost cases they spend more from their pockets on transport to attend council meetings.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: So, we want to calculate how much we can pay them for their transport and accommodation when they are in need, because some of them take a day to travel to the Boma to attend a meeting.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: To that extent, Mr Speaker, we need to see how best we can make the job of our colleagues easier and also ensure that we do not politicise them as they attend to their civic duties.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


170. Mr E. C. Mwansa (Chifunabuli) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) what the full complement of teachers should be for the following:

(i) a Grade 1 primary school;
(ii) a Grade 2 primary school; and 
(iii) a Grade 3 primary school; and

(b) How many of the over fifty primary schools in Chifunabuli Parliamentary Constituency had a full complement of teachers.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Mr Speaker, the ministry has guidelines that are used to determine the number of teachers each school should have based on the number of classes, including whether a school has a double or single shift. The guidelines that provide for the number of teachers in basic schools are as follows:

(a) at lower basic school level Grade 1-4, one teacher should handle two classes;

(b) at middle basic school level Grade 5-7, there should be one teacher per class; and

(c) at upper basic school level Grade 8-9, there should be 11/2 teachers per class, including two extra teachers due to subject specialisation.

Therefore, Mr Speaker, this criteria used is applied to determine the number of teachers according to the number of classes a school has. This is in line with the guidelines on the classification of basic school status. For example,

(a) a Grade one basic school may have 6-8 streams with 42-52 classes;

(b) a Grade 2 basic school may have between 3-5 streams with 21-41 classes; and

(c) a Grade 3 basic school may have 1-2 streams with 1-20 classes.

In this regard, Mr Speaker, it may not be easy to determine the number of teachers without the exact number of classes being specified because this is dependent upon the number of streams.

Mr Speaker, most schools in the country did not have full the teacher establishment due to the inadequate number of teachers recruited last year. Out of 10,000 targeted teachers in 2006, only 7,100 were recruited, leaving a deficit of 2,900 teachers whose authority to post the ministry is still awaiting from Public Service Management Division.

Sir, to alleviate the shortage of teachers in many of our schools, including those in Chifunabuli Constituency, teacher recruitment continues to be an on-going exercise aimed at posting teachers mainly to rural basic schools.

Additionally, the ministry has plans to conduct a head count of teachers countrywide to determine how many schools have a full complement and those that have a deficit.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the answer from the hon. Minister is a clear admission that there is a serious problem in terms of teaching staff in almost all our primary schools. I would like to find out what measures the ministry is taking to ensure, as quickly as possible, that there are enough teachers in primary schools so as to stop the illiteracy that is getting worse in our country.

The Minister of Education (Prof Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, allow me to correct the hon. Member as regards the nomenclature of our school system. Since, the new policy called “Educating our Future” came into being in 1997, we adopted a different nomenclature for our school system. We no longer use the term primary schools. Instead, we have basic school as our nomenclature. So, I am hoping that the hon. Member will take that into account from now onwards and refer to our schools appropriately in terms of nomenclature.

Sir, with regard to the question that has been raised, it has been made very clear, going back to His Excellency the President’s Speech that recruitment of teachers is a higher priority for the Government. As my Deputy Minister pointed out, last year we recruited 7,100 teachers. This year, the recruitment exercise is continuing. This is an effort on the part of the Government to ensure that we have trained teachers in our schools in order to address the problem of quality education and alleviate illiteracy in our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, in view of what the hon. Minister said with regard to the nomenclature of schools which were previously referred to as primary schools and are now called basic schools, what is the situation in my constituency where I have quite a number of schools that do not go beyond Grade Seven and are still called primary schools. Are they going to become basic schools just because the name is basic? Is not true that a basic school is one that goes beyond Grade Seven to Grade Nine? Can he elaborate on that?

Prof Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I am extremely surprised that the hon. Member who has been in the educational system for a long time is not aware of the nomenclature in our system.


Prof Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, All schools, which end at Grade Seven level, are called Middle Basic Schools. All schools, which at the moment are transitional, ending at Grade Four level, are called lower basic. All schools which go up to Grade Nine are called upper basic.

So, I hope the hon. Member for Luapula will take this very seriously and address our school system accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.



171. Mr Muntanga asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what the current status of Maamba collieries was; and

(b) what measures the Government had taken to ensure a steady supply of coal.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, Maamba Collieries Limited has serious production and financial problems. In terms of equipment availability, the dragline that is used for over-burden removal is thirty-five years old. It broke down in September, 2006 and the repairs were only completed in late December, 2006.

With a limited fleet of two old face shovels and two leased damp tracks, in October, 2006 coal sales were at 2,143 tonnes whilst for November, sales were at 1,895 tonnes. These levels were both far below the cash break-even target of 15,000 tonnes per month.

Sir, in December, 2006, total liabilities for Maamba Collieries Limited stood at K160 billion, that is US$40 million. The company’s revenue could not meet pay roll and other operating expenses. However, a survival plan by Maamba Collieries Limited was presented to ZCCM Investment Holdings to avert an immediate closure.

Mr Speaker, the Government has commissioned ZCCM Investment Holdings to embark on the restructuring and recapitalisation of Maamba Collieries Limited. The commissioning involves the transfer of 100 per cent Government shares in Maamba Collieries Limited to ZCCM Investment Holdings which is also seeking to introduce an equity partner to enable a combined cash injection into Maamba Collieries Limited of around US$9 million to settle 100 per cent outstanding payments to retired staff and discounted settlement to trade creditors and Government agencies such as the Zambia Revenue Authority and National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA)

Sir, negotiations to introduce an equity partner at Maamba Collieries Limited are at an advanced stage and by December, 2006, ZCCM Investment Holdings had provided loan finance support to Maamba Collieries Limited amounting to US$1.4 million to assist in the payment of salaries and some essential repairs to the Coal Preparation Plant. ZCCM Investment Holdings will continue to provide limited financial support up to a maximum US$4.3 million that the ZCCM Investment Holdings Board has approved mainly to clear all employee liabilities.

Mr Speaker, the recapitalisation of Maamba Collieries Limited will involve the raising of around US$13 million for mobile equipment and fixed plant replacement once the restructuring of Maamba Collieries balance sheet is done. The recapitalisation of Maamba Collieries Limited will enable the company to increase production to satisfy local demand. Currently, local demand per month is 35,100 tonnes. In the meantime, the Government has allowed importation of coal to meet that demand. In the short-term, Maamba Collieries Limited is focusing on provision of contract mining to increase coal production until the recapitalisation programme by ZCCM Investment Holdings takes root.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, it is evident from the reply that the major problem in Maamba Collieries Limited is the old equipment which is over thirty-five years and that the production is 2,000 tonnes when the requirement is 35,000 tonnes. Therefore, whatever money will be provided will not help. What is the real problem on the privatisation of Maamba Collieries Limited so that the equipment is urgently repaired or replaced?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr. Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I want to begin by thanking Hon. Muntanga for raising this question. Problems of Maamba Collieries Limited are two pronged. Equipment is one problem, resulting in low production and other is financial liabilities. To solve these problems, we have identified through ZCCM Investment Holdings a partner that is negotiating with ZCCM Investment Holdings with a view to injecting capital in Maamba Collieries Limited for more production. The second thing we are doing is to allow Maamba Collieries to import coal in the meantime to bring the shortfall before coal production starts. We believe that negotiations with the strategic partner will be concluded in the shortest possible time and Maamba Collieries Limited can come back to life.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, does hon. Minister not think that sometimes it is better to walk away from a company such as Maamba Collieries Limited? It is better to let other people run and invest money in it because the equipment is so old that it will continue draining heavily on the Treasury.

Mr Shakafuswa: It has not yet been …

Mr Speaker: Order!


Dr. Mwansa: Mr Speaker, it is true we are moving away from running Maamba Collieries Limited and I can assure you that asset is going to be offloaded to private operators. Our hope is that it should be offloaded to the Zambian operators and not to foreign operators because privatisation, especially in the mining industry has been known to be offloading assets to foreigners, but we are running away from that. We think that there is enough capacity within ourselves to run Maamba Collieries and make it viable once again.

I thank you, Sir.


172. Dr. Machungwa asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning what the remuneration packages for the following officers are:

(a) the Inspector-General of Police;

(b) the Chairman of the Task Force on Corruption; and

(c) the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning (Mr Shakafuswa): Mr Speaker, the remuneration packages for the Inspector-General of Police, the Chairman of the Task Force on Corruption and the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission are determined by the Government and approved by Cabinet. Currently, the remunerations are as follows:

(a) the monthly salary and allowance for the Inspector-General of Police amounts to K6,458,597.69. In addition, the Inspector-General of Police is entitled to various monthly allowances totaling to K839,617,061. He has free electricity, water, telephone facilities and all the servants are provided by the State. At the end of the contract, he is entitled to gratuity at the rate of 100 per cent of the basic salary;

(b) the Chairman of the Task Force on Corruption receives a gross monthly salary of K25 million all inclusive. At the end of the contract, gratuity is paid at the rate of 35 per cent of the annual basic salary; and

(c) the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission receives a gross monthly salary of K8,440,638. He also draws monthly allowances totalling K14,778,765. These are broken down as follows:

(i) housing allowance – K8,840,638;
(ii) water – K300,000;
(iii) telephone – K750,000;
(iv) non-taxable constitutional – K1,688,127;
(v) non-practising statutory posts – K3 million; and
(vi) electricity – K600,000.

The sub-total is K14,778,765 and the total emolument is K23,219,403. Further, at the end of the contract, gratuity is paid at 100 per cent of the basic salary.

Mr Shakafuswa: I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Ah!

Dr. Machungwa: Mr Speaker, how are the salaries and allowances for the Inspector-General of Police, the Chairman of the Task Force on Corruption and the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission determined? Is there some kind of job evaluation to determine their responsibilities, level of supervision and the number of people they supervise to determine these wages because I see clearly a lot of disparities if we went that way?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the establishments show each position, rank, entry point and remuneration. I think the salaries and wages are determined according to the establishment. The Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission has a commission which determines the conditions of service of the person who is appointed and this actually comes to the Government for approval through Cabinet.
As for the Chairman of the Task Force, you will recall that we passed a law in this House and asked the Government to act in a particular manner to the cases that came before this House. As it was a special assignment, the Government determined what remuneration packages should go with it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker we have been told before that the Task Force falls under the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Therefore, one would assume that in terms of hierarchy, the Director-General of ACC is higher than the Task Force Chairman. Is it not an anomaly that the subordinate is getting a better package than the superior? Is the Government going to rectify this anomaly?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the Task Force was actually reporting to several institutions such as the Police, the Anti-Corruption Commission and others. We are trying to take the Task Force where it is supposed to be, that is at Anti-Corruption Commission. The officer who is appointed as Chairman has particular conditions of service which he has to take with him until the position is done away with. In the meantime, we will go according to what is on board.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to ask this question taking advantage of the hon. minister’s answer. The Police Force is the parent body and the Task Force has no policy station of its own. It belongs to the Inspector-General of Police. It also has to send its officers via the machinery that exists under the Police Force that is supervised by somebody who is under paid.

Do the hon. Ministers of Finance and National Planning and the hon. Minister of Home Affairs not consider this the right time to give the correct leader of security arm, in this case, the Inspector-General of Police, the ultimate salary, especially that the Task Force is borne from parent bodies that have the statutes governing them. The Anti-Corruption Commission has no statute body at all?

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, there are relevant bodies in the Government that look after all these issues that are being questioned. As a ministry, we just give what these bodies instruct us to pay. We hope that they are listening and we will, accordingly, go to them and put your points across so that they can be considered.

I thank you, Sir.


173 Dr Machungwa asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) what the annual consumption of petroleum fuels was in Zambia;

(b) how much of that consumption was in Lusaka and the Copperbelt and how much was in the outlying areas other than Lusaka and the Copperbelt; and

(c) what the cost of transporting petroleum to the outlying areas was.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker,

(a) The annual consumption of petroleum fuels in Zambia is as follows:

(i) Petrol 173.4 million litres;
(ii) Diesel 335.5 million litres;
(iii) Kerosene 19.1 million litres
(iv) Jet A1 35.0 million litres

(b) The annual consumption of petroleum fuels in 2005 on average has been as follows:


Provinces  Annual    Annual    Annual
Consumption  Consumption  Consumption
of Petrol   of Diesel   of Kerosene

   Litres  % Litres  % Litres  %
   (million)   (million)   (million)

LUSAKA  106.5  61 134.2  40 6.6  35
COPPERBELT  37.8  22 144.2  43 8.0  42
EASTERN  3.4  2 6.7  2 0.9  5
LUAPULA  1.7  1 6.7  2 0.4  2
NORTHERN  1.7  1 3.4  1 0.9  5
WESTERN  1.7  1 3.4  1 0.2  1
CENTRAL  8.6  5 13.4  4 1.5  8
SOUTHERN  10.3  5 20.1  6 0.4  2
NORTHWESTERN 1.7  1 3.4  1 0.2  1
Totals   173.4  100 335.5  100 19.1  100

The cost of transporting petroleum to the outlying areas is provided for in the transportation of petroleum products in the petroleum pricing formula approved by the Energy Regulation Board is approximately K104.00 per litre for products picked up from the Ndola Fuel Terminal.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, from the hon. Deputy Minister’s reply, it is clear that the bulk of consumption is on the Copperbelt and Lusaka. There is little consumption in the rural areas. Is the ministry …

Mr Chimbaka: On a point of order, Sir!

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, I have risen on a point of order that would require your learned answer.

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Learned Minister of Justice in order to have told this House in his response to Hon. Lubinda’s question who wanted to know how election petitions were recorded in 1996 and 2001, that questions of a historic nature are not allowed and he referred to a book written by Erskine May.

In my humble research in the same, I have found that Erskine May in his book, from pages 338 to 342, has highlighted eleven questions which hon. Members of Parliament could ask and could not ask of which historic questions are not included. Is the Learned hon. Minister of Justice in order, because I find his answer intimidatory in that hon. Members of Parliament may in the future fail to ask similar questions basing on the answer he gave yesterday. I would like your ruling on this matter, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Bahati is raising a point of order on a matter that was previously debated in this House. Through that point of order, I would like to encourage hon. Members of Parliament to study and research like the hon. Member has done. If you study Erskine May or any other treatises on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure, you will find that unless you are careful, you may end up reading the treatises selectively like books on religion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Sometimes if you read the words, the philosophy or the meaning maybe contradictory. So, I would encourage the hon. Member for Bahati to continue studying …


Mr Speaker: … matters of Parliamentary Procedure so that he can successfully challenge those who also quote other parts in those books …


Mr Speaker: That would be the guidance I would give him at this point.

Now, the hon. Member for Luapula was asking a supplementary question on his main question.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, before my colleague raised a point of order, I was asking whether the Ministry of Energy and Water Development could look at the issue of pricing of fuel, especially in the rural areas considering where there is only a small portion of national consumption. Is the ministry willing to look at the pricing and transportation so there is more equitable or rather fairer pricing of fuel in the rural areas to enable people benefit like those who are in the urban areas of Lusaka and the Copperbelt?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, let me take advantage of this question to inform the nation. I know that the hon. Member has asked intelligently that we need to price uniformly. My response to that is as follows and I hope he will assist us explain to our colleagues in the outlying areas.

The ministry has reached advanced stages in developing modalities for implementation of a uniform petroleum price throughout the nation by mid 2007. The first phase of consultations on the matter has been done and what is remaining is to undertake a study tour to South Africa …

Mr Matongo: South Africa!

Mr Sichilima: … during the first quarter or just about now, to go and consult the key players in the sector on how the uniform petroleum pricing mechanism can be implemented and managed.

Mr Speaker, the key issues to be addressed during the study tour and consultations include the following:

(a) how the uniform petroleum pricing mechanism and associated fund is managed in South Africa;

(b) how the monitoring and evaluation which is regulation on observance of uniform petroleum products guidelines is carried out; and

(c) how the process of verifying claims by oil marketing companies under the UPP mechanism is carried out.

It is important that these issues are addressed before implementation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The House will note that the hon. Deputy Minister, accurately, predicted that as a supplementary question and prepared a written answer for it.


Mr Speaker: That is the way it should be done.


Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the cost of transporting fuel to the outlying areas would reduce a lot of participation of various business enterprises. I would like to find out if there are any incentives to enable Zambians participate in the transportation business other than other nationals resident in Zambia, especially, the Somalians?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I thank you once again and I want to thank …


Mr Sichilima: … the hon. Member for that very nice question.

Mr Speaker, as Zambians, we need to take advantage of business opportunities. I would like to inform the nation, through this august House, that this line of business is shunned by Zambians. At the time when we had a fuel crisis, we looked for trucks to ferry fuel from Dar-es-Salaam to Zambia, but there were only nine roadworthy tankers. So, for our colleagues who have taken advantage of the enabling environment that has been provided by the MMD Government under the leadership of His Excellency President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa …

Hon. Government Members: State Counsel.

Mr Sichilima: … SC,


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: … came to our aid to do business.

So, it is high time, we sensitised our colleagues that they can also invest in this sector. I am proud to say that since the pronouncement was made, Zambians are taking up the challenge, including the hon. Member of Parliament who asked the question.


Mr Speaker: He should have declared interest. Did you declare your interest?

Mr Mukanga shook his head in disbelief.

Mr Speaker: He is denying the benefit.

Ms Imbwae: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the ministry has considered calling for that information in any other way instead of sending a delegation so that the country can save money.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult sometimes to explain. However, whether we like it or not we need to learn from our colleagues who have implemented this pricing policy. We are not saying whatever is going to be learnt from there is going to be implemented. We will look at our own problems thereafter. South Africa has its own problems, but we need to make comparisons. We will learn whatever we can from them although they may not have outlying areas such as Luapula or Bangweulu in that country. The terrain might be different form ours. For instance they may have mountains, but we need to compare the scenarios and see how we can implement ours.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, in Zambezi, the price for petrol is K10,500.00 per litre despite having oil fields there.


Mr Kakoma: I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what immediate measures his ministry will take to bring down the fuel prices in Zambezi.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to correct the hon. Member of Parliament’s assertion. The oil fields are not productive at the moment. So, they have no effect on the cost of fuel in Zambezi. Some of the measures I mentioned earlier on that the Government is taking include that of comparing with our colleagues in the region. This will definitely bring down fuel prices and we are doing everything possible.

   I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, in answer to question (c), I believe the hon. Minister stated that the cost of transporting petroleum to outlying areas is K104.00 per litre. I would like him to give us a more complete answer. Is this K104.00 per litre for each kilometre or how is this worked out because if it is per kilometre, for a distance from the Copperbelt to Livingstone which is about 800 kilometres, it would mean that the cost per litre would be K80,000. Could he be clear on this?

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, that question from the learned colleague is very educative. I want to say that in transportation, especially haulage, what is calculated per tonne is per kilometre. In this case, it is the cost per litre and per kilometre because bulk carriers are used.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm the impression created by the hon. PF Member of Parliament for Luapula that in fact, price fluctuations and increases in petroleum products have a negative impact on the majority of peri-urban populations on the Copperbelt and Lusaka Provinces for which some of our colleagues champion.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, yes, I do confirm and I want also to take this advantage to say that sometimes it is our own making, especially in the urban areas where business men take advantage of a situation and go overboard by increasing transport costs like it happened with the local transporters.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to put in place long term measures to effectively address the cholera outbreak in the country.

Mr Speaker: Is the motion seconded?

Mr E. C. Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Speaker, I raise a motion of great important which needs our immediate attention.

Sir, I wish to express my disappointment in the manner the Government has handled the cholera epidemic in Zambia. Another year has come and once again cholera has had devastating effects on the lives of people, bringing death, misery and an uncertain future to the families that have been affected.

Sir, even though I am moving this motion, I wish to remind this august House that this very motion was moved on 28 January, 2004 in this House. Three years down the line, Zambia is not yet cholera free and the Government is not showing political will to change the status quo.

Mr Speaker, the country has this year recorded 533 cholera cases, sixteen deaths and five brought in dead from 12 October to 25 January, 2007 according to the current Cholera Outbreak Report of 25 January 2007, National Assembly Report. There is cholera in Kapiri Mposhi, Kabwe, Chibombo, Sinazongwe, Chienge and Lusaka provinces.

Mr Speaker, allow me to quote from the National Assembly Report of the Sitting of 28 January, 2004 when the motion of cholera was moved by Hon. Kalumiana and seconded by the late Hon. Alex Manda and I quote,

“By 26 January, 2004, two thousand two hundred and thirty-two cholera patients had been admitted to seven cholera centres in Lusaka alone. Out of these admissions, seventy-two have since died. In addition, seventy-eight have been brought to these centres dead. Countrywide, the total number of deaths stands at one hundred and thirty-four.”

Mr Speaker, this shows that the cholera epidemic is not a new phenomenon in Zambia. This water bone disease as we all should be aware by now is brought about by drinking dirty water or eating contaminated food and living in poor sanitary conditions. People in places such as George Compound use pit latrines that are not properly managed and are sited next to shallow wells that have been dug to supplement the lack of enough drinking water.

Mr Speaker, it must be emphasised that clean drinking water is a must for the citizens of this country and there should be no discussion on how this should be provided. I wish to point out that the provision of safe clean drinking water by the Government is a basic human right according to the United National Convention on human rights of which Zambia is a signatory.

While I would like to acknowledge that the Government through the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company contracted Kageema Company to provide water for Matero residents in this case, this is far from being adequate. The communal taps that have been provided by Kageema in Matero, George and Lilanda Compounds are under lock and key and are only opened for three hours once every morning to allow residents draw six twenty litre containers for the day. This cannot suffice for cooking, drinking, washing and toilet use. To make up for this shortage of water, people have resorted to digging shallow wells and pit latrines.

Mr Speaker, it is important to point out that the residents are asked to pay K100.00 per bucket of water that they draw. I wish to quote from a recent report in the Post Newspaper of Monday, January 29, 2007 on page 5, and I quote,

‘Some residents of John Laing have called the Government to heed their demand for free and clean communal water taps. One of the residents, Esnart Phiri complained that it was expensive for many residents in the area to pay whenever they drew water. In order for us to draw enough water to wash cook and bath, we have to draw about eight containers of water which costs K100 per container, Phiri said. She complained that it was expensive for them because they ended up spending K24,000 which was unaffordable.’

Mr Speaker, it is evident that most of our people cannot afford these fees for water because they are out of employment and therefore, do not earn any money. I wish to urge the Government to ensure that they make it their obligation to provide free clean water especially during the rainy season. The Government should acknowledge that it has failed to combat cholera as effectively as would be expected. The lack of safe and clean drinking water is a case in point. Failure by the Government to have a deliberate policy to halt illegal and unplanned settlements in Lusaka and other urban areas is another big problem that has contributed to the spread not only of cholera, but also other communicable diseases.

Mr Speaker, overcrowding in these places has brought about a lot of other diseases as well. Another area of major concern which has a big impact on public health is the lack of public conveniences. Most markets in this country have no proper toilets and adequate water. How can you expect people who are handling food to be clean when there is no water?

Solid waste management should be properly handled and adequately funded. You do not need to hold meetings in order to clean garbage. Refuse bins and plastic bags should be provided in all the townships. Measures should be taken to ensure that these are picked up every three days and taken to designated dumping areas which are secured. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing should also be adequately funded to ensure that this exercise is a success.

Mr Speaker, city councils and municipal councils through their Public Health Departments have a legal obligation to keep their districts clean. The Government can stiffen the laws of the councils and municipalities to enable them prosecute people who flout the rules. Furthermore, council police should also go back to the compounds to restore law and order. They should ensure that residents do not throw litter anyhow except in designated places.

Sensitisation and health education should be on the priority list of all local councils to educate our people on clean health living and prevent the yearly re-occurrence of diseases such as cholera.

My humble appeal to the Government is that they should be seen to be proactive instead of being reactive. It is unfortunate that the Government has to wait until there is a cholera outbreak every year and demarcate the already overstretched clinics into cholera centres, thereby depriving the people of the necessary facilities and space which in the first place are not adequate. What is worse, Mr Speaker, is that men and women are bundled together in the same wards. This is obviously not acceptable because patients need their privacy.

Sir, expectant mothers who are also cholera patients are subjected to very rough conditions in these centres. So far, two births have been recorded at the cholera centre in Matero. As a woman and mother, my heart bleeds to see how the girl laboured in a makeshift labour ward where there was not much privacy. Health personnel were there offering their services without protective clothing. They did not even have gloves. This is totally unacceptable.

Mr Speaker, I wish to mention that the Government has put up makeshift cholera centres in places such as Matero that are far from being adequate to carter for the needs of the people.

Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that I wish to urge the Government to seriously consider putting up permanent cholera treatment centres in all parts of the country and these should have facilities for labour wards for expectant mothers because it is obvious that we have failed to eradicate cholera like we have done with other diseases.

Mr Speaker, while I wish to acknowledge that it is not the job of Government alone through the councils, municipalities to provide the needed services to our people, we should all play our part as parties and individuals; the Government has an obligation to lead the way. The Government should start by providing the financial resources needed to provide safe clean drinking water, the required service for cleaning up our cities and towns, provide refuse trucks to remove garbage, dig proper drainage systems, provide chlorine for drinking water and train the right personnel for carrying out the necessary functions of councils. Unless this is done, we will, as a nation, continue to lose the much needed human resource which can be used to enhance the development of our nation.

Mr Speaker, in the Post Newspaper of 30th January, 2007, it is encouraging to note that some individuals in our society such as comedian Ben Phiri have been move to offer their personal vehicle and valuable time to combat the cholera scourge. Mr Phiri is reported to have offered the use of his vehicles by the Lusaka District Health Management Team to take patients who have been discharged to their respective homes.  Mr Phiri is also involved in giving tips on keeping the surroundings clean to disinfect the toilets and water so that there is no re-occurrence of cholera.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: This is indeed very magnanimous of Mr Phiri and it is my prayer that more of our people can emulate people like Mr Phiri. If individuals like Mr Phiri can do what he has done, I do not see why the Government cannot do everything in their power to ensure that cholera is eradicated form our midst for ever.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr E. C. Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, in seconding, I want to start by saying that raising this nation is a living indication of what has for a long time been Government inability to decentralise Government despite the fact that there are laws in place that recognise the importance of local governance. This motion also speaks volumes about the failure of the Government and the local authorities to work together to prevent out breaks of diseases such as cholera.

Mr Speaker, only at the Local Government level does a Government clearly show that it is the Government of the people by the people and for the people.

Sir, at that local level, people must be allowed to be masters of their own destines. People must be empowered to serve their local problems. Anyone who has lived in this country for some time knows that during the rainy season cholera breaks. As the rains are here so is cholera. We all know that cholera is a water borne disease which thrives on dirty environments. The amazing fact is that once the epidemic breaks out, every one wakes up from the annual slumber and tries to do his or her best to prevent the escalation of the epidemic as well as treat those who are infected by cholera.

Mr Speaker, the situation has been like this for the last fifteen years or so. As is the case every year when cholera breaks out, we are now seeing makeshift tents and mortuaries in our compounds. Suddenly, money is available to combat the epidemic and there is money to buy chlorine. Money is now available to clean up areas where cholera has broken out. There is money to buy the necessary drugs to combat the disease and there is money for public health staff to carry out contact tracing and conduct surveillance exercises to monitor the outbreak.

 It is a fact that with the money we spent on the treatment of cholera, carrying out contact tracing surveillance and surveillance activities during outbreaks of cholera, the creation of centres once cholera breaks out, the paying of overtime to our health workers who are made to work around the clock to prevent the spread of the epidemic as well as to treat those infected by it, we would be able to prevent or at least drastically reduce the now annual outbreak of this disease.

The sad part is that each time there is an outbreak of cholera, and it happens every year during the rainy season, we lose human lives which honestly we need not lose. In the whole matter of cholera prevention, we as a nation know what works and we know what does not work. We also know the areas which are most prone to cholera. They are the fishing camps of our country; it is the densely populated compounds of the cities sometimes, and the shanty compounds of our towns and cities. We know these areas; we know they are congested; we know they lack clean drinking water and we know that sanitary conditions are extremely bad.

We also know that cholera thrives in dirty and contaminated environments, and yet we know also that there are huge heaps of dirt everywhere and when the rains come, the problem becomes even bigger. We all smell the stench from those heaps, but the removal of rubbish heaps goes on very slowly annually. We know also that in most of our shanties people draw drinking water from shallow wells which, in most cases, are dug very close to the pit latrine, and yet there is very little effort to at least construct communal toilets as well as communal water taps so as to ensure that our people do not use water from shallow that are with faecal matter from the shallow pit latrines.

Mr Speaker, I spent part of my life on the Copperbelt where I was born. In some of the compounds in which I lived we used communal taps and toilets. These compounds were also very congested, but outbreaks of cholera were unheard off.

The question that must be asked therefore is; what has led to our failure as a country to effectively control or indeed prevent the outbreak of this epidemic year by year?

It seems to me, Sir, that there are certain responses to that question which can be out rightly rejected. For example, we can out rightly reject the notion that we do not have enough money to make the necessary preventive measures,  because whenever and wherever there is an outbreak of this epidemic, we find money to cure the infected, we find money to do that is necessary to fight the epidemic once it breaks out.

Secondly, we reject the notion that there is no skilled manpower because the truth of the matter is that our medical personal always rise to the challenge whenever they are called upon to serve their country in the area of treatment and prevention of cholera.

Thirdly, we cannot blame the law because the law is very adequate both in prevention as well as dealing with emergencies when there is an outbreak of a contagious disease as well as for preventive purposes.

Fourthly, we can out rightly reject any kind of finger pointing. Both the Central Government and local authorities are tasked by law to prevent the outbreak of contagious diseases. The relevant laws of the Public Health Act, Chapter 295 of the Laws of Zambia and the National Health Service Act, Chapter 315 of the Laws of Zambia empower the Ministry of Health to take over responsibility of a district authority which fails to perform in cases of emergencies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. C. Mwansa: That being the case, Sir, I wish to submit that the problem of cholera prevention in Zambia can generally be attributed to only two issues. Firstly, there is a lack of political will to deal a death blow to cholera outbreaks. Secondly, and this arises from the first reason, there is a lack of adequate funding for preventive activities in our country.

Allow me, Mr Speaker, to elaborate the two points a further.

On political will, I wish to submit that for any preventive programme to succeed there is a need to take long-term and systematic measures aimed at preventing future outbreaks. What you will notice in our country, Sir, is that once the rainy season ends and cholera is contained, all preventive measures in a sense end. The advertisements in the media that warn people about the dangers of cholera cease. The makeshift tent cholera centres are folded and packed safely away until the next rainy season when they will be used again during the next cholera outbreak.

Clearly, Sir, the above is indicative of a lack of political will to deal with a health problem that presents itself annually. We seem to fear to take measures that do not yield immediate results. We generally are more comfortable with fire fighting techniques without the necessary realisation that fire fighters prepare for their work. We fail to take measures to prevent recurrences of the epidemic such as cholera.

On lack of adequate funding, Mr Speaker, I wish to state that if there is in the health sector a department which receives the least funding it is those departments which deal with preventive health activities. There is very little money from the Government that goes into preventive health activities. Most of the monies are spent on purchase of medical drugs and disposables. Understandably, the Government usually responds fast to situations which invoke the greatest outcry. Providing drugs in our hospitals is always the priority as it is always a political issue.

Mr Speaker, when I was in the Ministry of Health, I remember trying to fight to get more money for preventive measures and use advertisements such as ‘prevention is better than cure’, but it was still very difficult to access money for preventive activities. We all know that the Government will never have enough money to provide adequate drugs in hospitals to deal with the ever increasing disease burden in our country. We need to put in place measures that we know are going to reduce this particular disease burden in our country in the long run. That means local authorities which are tasked with the responsibility of public health interventions must be adequately funded to carry out their tasks.

It is totally unacceptable that Zambians should continue dying from preventable and indeed curable diseases such as cholera; not when we know what should be done and we have the necessary tools and personnel to prevent it. Governments are elected by the people. The people entrust their elected leaders with the responsibility to take all reasonable measures to protect the peoples’ interests. If the Government expects the local authorities to carry out their responsibilities effectively they must adequately fund local authorities.

I want to say, Sir, as I conclude, that the Government has not done all it can to prevent cholera and that is unacceptable. The Government must therefore, take responsibility for its failure over the years to contain cholera outbreaks in our country. To avoid future recurrences of cholera, I submit that the Government must put in place long-term measures to effectively …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr E. C. Mwansa: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was concluding my submission to the august House on this motion.

I would like to emphasise the point that the Government must take responsibility for whatever failures we have had over the years to contain cholera outbreaks. I am using the word ‘Government’ deliberately because I know that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing are constrained by inadequate funding in this area. Avoiding future occurrences of cholera is an important task which we must undertake immediately as a people and I submit that the Government must, therefore, put in place long-term as opposed to short-term measures to effectively address the outbreak of cholera in our country.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Dr Chishimba (Kasama): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this motion.

Mr Speaker, indeed, the motion moved by the hon. Member is one which invites a reflection because it involves the lives of our people. By a constitutional enactment, every person has a right to health or to life, if I may say. Of course, life cannot be sustained unless deliberate programmes are put in place to ensure that the health of our people is guaranteed. The culture of undertaking, for instance, studies or different diagnosis on the diseases affecting our people without taking an action will not help us.

Talking about cholera, for instance, it is a known fact and none arguable fact for that matter that cholera has claimed a number of people in this country and we have seen Governments only concentrating on programmes which I would call reactive instead of putting in place long-term programmes which are pro-active. In other words, there is a need for a paradigm shift from a culture of waiting for problems to occur and then we act. In this particular situation, cholera is a known public health emergency, it is a public health problem which needs investment and, of course, investment in preventing cholera in this particular case. Government needs to, for instance, ensure that there is an increase in access to clean water and sanitation among the affected people. In this particular case, the areas that are normally affected when there is an outbreak of cholera are known and so why should we wait for an outbreak for us to begin to take measures to educate the people for instance when these are supposed to be long-term programmes that must be part of the routine delivery of health services in our country. In other words, preventive medicine with a focus in this case on cholera since it is the issue before the House, need to be integrated in the mainstream health care package.

Now analysing the trends in the public health sector, one, indeed, would clearly see that the vision of the Ministry of Health of providing equity of access to cost effective quality health care services as close to the family as possible, is a pipe dream and is far fetched unless pragmatic measures are employed to ensure that preventive measures are put in place to prevent the needless deaths of the people from the known epidemic.

Mr Speaker, to me, referring to cholera as an epidemic is an under statement in the sense that cholera has become part of the population. It has become endemic in other words and it is a non emergency and it is preventable. If cholera is preventable, why should we, therefore wait for it to claim many lives or to make people actually suffer from it, before we see resources being pumped in educating the people on the dangers of the same outbreak.

Mr Speaker, as a matter of urgency, the Government must indeed ensure that practical measures are put in place, permanent for that matter to prevent further deaths from this killer disease. Otherwise, we risk having more of our people being claimed by the pandemic.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the motion. Cholera has a history in this country and we must take responsibility otherwise we will destroy this country.

Mr Speaker, we must take responsibility for whatever we do. Cholera did not start this year; it is over fifteen years old. When the MMD came into power in 1991, that was one of their campaign tools against the UNIP Government although the cholera issue came just at the end of the rein of the UNIP Government. The UNIP Government managed the situation very well. One of the campaign points by the MMD was on the eradication of cholera in this country and some of the hon. Members who are debating here were in that Government and one of them was Deputy Minister for Health.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, we need to be serious in this country. During the old MMD Government, street vendors were respected in this country. There was even a Vendor’s desk at State House, and yet this activity was unlawful. As a result, Lusaka was very dirty. We should not have short memories.

Mr Kambwili: There is no new or old MMD, it is the same.

Mr Hamududu: Shut up! You will have your time to talk.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order! This is one of the reasons the Chair has guided those who debate while seated that they have no privilege and protection of free debate in this House. In view of this, the hon. Member has used unparliamentary language …


Mr Speaker: … to reply to who was heckling him over there. The phrase ‘shut up’ is unparliamentary.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member will withdraw the phrase ‘shut up’.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I withdraw that statement.

Mr Sichilima: Quality.

Mr Hamududu: The old MMD Government never took a strong stance against the mushrooming of shanty compounds in Lusaka and that was done for political expediency. The Government then suffered from short-termism and that is why the cholera problem has perpetuated in this country.

In supporting this motion and I hope the motive has changed this time- if it is for political expediency, God forbid- Mr Speaker, I urge the New Deal Government to take long-term measures that have no motive of political expediency behind them …

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: … to wipe out cholera once and for all. For your information, during the old MMD Government, there were more cholera cases than it is today.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Lusaka is much cleaner today.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Urban drift, especially to Lusaka brought about street vending. Many people came to the city where social amenities were not enough for the growing population. I was very shocked when I came back to Lusaka after a few years and I could not walk properly in Lusaka. I did not know where all the people had come from. The promotion of street vending for political expediency has worsened the situation in Lusaka.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Wekeshapo.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I think in future people must apologise for the wrongs they have done in the past before they make any contribution in the House because we do not have short memories in this country.

Dr Chishimba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I stand on a very important point of order. Is the hon. Member who is on the Floor in order to refer to the old MMD and new MMD. I doubt the legality of what he is talking about. After all, the question before the House is about cholera. Is he in order therefore, to start politicising matters of health? What we are discussing concerns the lives of the people. Is he in order, Mr Speaker?

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member for Bweengwa please continue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. In concluding my submission, …



Mr Hamududu: … my contribution, I would like to advise the New Deal Administration to seriously take long-term measures that have no motives of political expediency to completely wipe out the cholera epidemic in this country. It is an embarrassment for us in the region to have Zambia a country with qualified manpower; a country with a history, a country with experience in exporting doctors being bothered by cholera because of such carelessness. I want to say that I am very sorry for this Government because it is inheriting a lot of bad things from the previous administration. I want to urge you colleagues from the other side to, please, serve this country for the future of our children and children’s children.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, with your guidance I will be very brief and to the point. Having served in the previous regime, I am privileged to be sent to this House by the people of Mbala. Having served in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, I do not wish to pre-empt the able bodied and serious Minister, Hon. Masebo whom I worked under. I wish to submit that this is a non controversial motion and this is the more reason we should move with time and change.

Mr Speaker, when we say some Opposition political parties cannot run the country if they can fail to run a district let alone a compound, we mean it …


Mr Sichilima: Lusaka town was mostly run by FDD councillors and now PF who promised that within ninety days …

Hon. Government Member: Hammer Minister.

Mr Sichilima: … they will change this nation. The Zambians heard them correctly, and they gave them the mandate in the name of councillors and most of the Members of Parliament in Lusaka.

Hon. Government Member: Bwekeshapo.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Lusaka …


Mr Sichilima: … Mr Speaker, …


Mr Sichilima: … I beg your pardon, Mr Speaker.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, the mover of the motion who I must declare interest in, is my sister-in-law. She is a Member of Parliament for Matero. I am on record to have toured George and Matero compounds on a bicycle at one time. Correctly, situations where there are shallow wells and pit latrines almost at the same level are real. When we said through, Hon. Masebo, that the water wells must be buried, our colleagues on the other side, the political party in this case PF, said no, they are our members so they must go and dig those wells. This includes even the issue of street vendors which hon. Member for Bweengwa has just mentioned and I take his words as my own. We said let us move the vendors to the markets in order to clean Lusaka, but the leader of a  political party, unfortunately, he is not here, the President of PF …


Mr Sichilima: … said leave my cadres alone.

Hon. Opposition Member: My investors.


Mr Sichilima: In doing so, Mr Speaker, …

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Kambwili iwe.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, we all know the standing orders of this House that nobody is supposed to discuss people who are not in the House. Could we be guided by the Chair whether the hon. Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development is in order to discuss our President who is not in the House?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Roan has raised a point of order on the aspects of the Deputy Minister’s debate referring to one of the political leaders. Indeed, he is right that the political leader he is referring to is not in the House and cannot, therefore, defend himself or even support himself. However, the hon. Deputy Minister is free to debate the principles in general without reference to outsiders who may not defend themselves.

May you continue, please.

Mr Sichilima: Thank you very much for your guidance, Mr Speaker, that is why you produced a quality debater like the one who is speaking right now.


Hon. Government Member: Kokolapo.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I was referring to leaders who are in here and the would-be leaders that we should not trivialise issues such as this. Cholera is a very serious issue.

Mr Speaker, we have lost lives. If only we had listened and supported the ruling Government in taking the measures we are talking about now, some of these problems could have been lessened. Hon. Members, including the mover of the motion should take an example of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpulungu, Mr Chibombamilimo, who rushed to the constituency when there were problems. He worked with the people and donated mealie-meal, blankets, etc. There is no cholera in Mpulungu.


Mr Sichilima: None other than Hon. Chibombamilimo.

In the statement that the mover gave, I did not even hear any contribution made by the Member of Parliament. This Government and this nation are institutions where hon. Members of Parliament, in this case, are supposed to go to. We are not supposed to wait until we bring the motion to the Floor of House and shine like we know how to speak. There is the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Ministry of Health and indeed other ministries including my ministry that can collaborate, when it comes to water. These ministries can work together and definitely, involve the area Member of Parliament. However, because we want to trivialise and politicise this issue like champions of the programmes, we will go a wrong way.

This brings me to the issue of the town centre. When we started the programme of planting flowers in the middle of Cairo Road with Hon. Masebo, everybody said that it would never work. Today, it is has turned green. I think there is only one or two places that do not have flowers. Credit goes to her.

Sir, we are on record as having fought with traders, including the investors who belong to Patriotic Front (PF) because we needed to clean the town centre. It is only us Zambians who can clean the environment.


Mr Sichilima: Now, with that pronouncement, I want to educate the councillors that they need to make a bold decision, otherwise we will continue losing lives even when we can correct issues.

It alluded to the fact that it is only in times such as these that the Government moves in to spend a lot of money. That is why there is a Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit. When such a thing happens, a caring Government such as ours, moves in. Even in constituencies where Members of Parliament whom the people entrust in fail, this Government is there because we are Government for everyone.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality! Tell them!

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the artist who is my cousin, in the name of Mr Phiri who has come up to assist our colleagues in need. This is what it ought to be. That is being a true Zambian. So, I want to urge, especially, hon. Members of Parliament on your left, in this case, the PF that they need to show leadership.


Mr Sichilima: It is high time they started talking to their investors because when Hon. Masebo told the MMD investors to move at the back of Soweto Market, they moved. However, the PF investors have not moved. You cannot drive your car along Lumumba Road after 1600 hours because PF investors, who have come in numbers, have flooded the street.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I want to concur with those who have spoken before me that that we need to team up. One hon. Member talked about communal taps. Even when they have moved such a motion like this one, they still say that they do not want people to pay for water, vamahala vinaata. Chlorine is a cost. Transporting water from the source to the point where people are drinking it, is also a cost. We have had experiences in the past where when you give free things, people do not appreciate. We know that it is difficult to find money, but to appreciate it, you need to bear part of the cost. That is why this Government said, through our co-operating partners, that there should be participation in terms of maintenance, for instance, people must take responsibility over property that is theirs.

However, we saw the party in the name of PF encouraging their members not to pay and that when they come into power within ninety days, water would be free. Most of the water, if it is not from the boreholes for which they have to pay ZESCO, comes from Kafue and this needs to be treated for people to drink, and yet they say that within ninety days, they will be getting it free of charge.

Mr Speaker, through you, they should get the message, vamahala vinaata. They should take the a leaf from other areas where people, even in rural areas- I am a rural Member of Parliament myself- have taken responsibilities over things that the New Deal has entrusted them with. Before, we saw grinding meals disappearing, but today, the situation is different. People have learnt to appreciate the fertiliser which we are subsidising, hence the bumper harvest.

Therefore, even in towns such as Lusaka, George Compound in particular, people must take responsibility and let us join hands as the hon. Minister said and bury the shallow wells.

Sir, in terms of population, my brother said that he was born on the Copperbelt and grew up there, using public toilets …


Mr Sichilima: … it was a different scenario. I was born and grew up in Mbala. I only went to work in Chililabombwe and the Copperbelt. I saw what was happening. The mining companies then took the responsibility of cleaning the toilets, but they did not just end there. They also sensitised the people. My colleague, hon. Member of Parliament for Chililabombwe, Mrs E. Banda, who is a social worker, I stand to be corrected, worked with the people very well. She understands what I am talking about. They educated the people on how to look after the toilets.

However, in the case of this constituency that belongs to the mover of the motion, George Compound, she needs to take the first step as the leader in that constituency to educate the people and stop them from digging latrines anyhow. This is a permanent solution and the only way forward.

I am a very quiet person and …


Mr Sichilima: … a man of few words, I wish to submit.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, I think the issue of life and death cannot be trivialised. It must be a serious matter. It concerns and involves everybody. If some people are pretending not be infected, then they are affected. When we stand to contribute in this House, the people out there expect us to debate to the required standard and provide reason and solutions to the desire of the people out there. We believe the people out there are able to listen to us on radio and they are able to judge who is debating sense and who is debating to the contrary.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, if people voted us to come and argue over issues that are straightforward, explicit and simple though very important, then we wonder whether they are able to continue supporting such leadership.

Mr Speaker, in this House, all of us are Government leaders. There is no segregation at all.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Chimbaka: The era is gone when there was supremacy of the party. That existed in the First Republic when the Central Committee was supreme to Parliament and everyone debated in such a way knowing that Parliament was a rubberstamp. It is not the case at all in the democratic dispensation. We must move to co-exist. If we do not move immediately, we are going to perish as a whole. There is no Indian here. All of us are Zambians. The people in Matero and Kalingalinga are Zambians. In fact, we have relatives in these compounds. So, we must be to the point when we debate. I do not want partisan politics. However, I want to emphasise how I assume and think that the game from today has a coach and the coach is to debate maturely and up to the point. If at all, there is…

Mr Chilembo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member for Bahati in order to assume the role of Mr Speaker? He seems to be guiding the House. That is the role of Mr Speaker. Can he debate the motion?


Mr Speaker: The point of order which has been raised by the hon. Member for Chama North reminds the hon. Member for Bahati not to assume the role of the Chair. He has said too much already.


Mr Speaker: However, I can say that I have been paying attention to his debate. I think he has not assumed any extraordinary powers.

Will he continue, please.

Mr Chimbaka: Mr Speaker, when the point of order was raised, I was saying that the responsibility of preserving the future of Zambia lies on our shoulders. As such, it calls for our commitment and dedication.

The issue of cholera can be traced as far back as 1980. It began from the Mpulungu Port where my brother comes from. If there is a contrary history, he right to correct me.

Now, the way forward will not lie in trying to criticise right and left of one another. No. If I may correct the records of CPC writings, it says that Parliament today has moved from its customary rule of trying to legislate and they have held Parliament in such a way that it is like we are playing. I think, Mr Speaker, alluded to that within this week. So, I have to remind ourselves that if there are people who believe that we are going back to the One-Party State, they are wrong because we shall never at all.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: Democracy has come to stay.

Where there is a problem, we all need to admit and the solution must be found.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimbaka: After all, we are all Government, hence there are provisions that we enjoy and are privileged to have because we are all one. Therefore, hon. Government Members, the urgency of cholera cannot be doubted, and what is more important is for us not seem to be dillydallying because procrastination is the evil of times. If we are to move, we must move.

I must register in this House that people out there do not see the difference between the Opposition and the Ruling Party. They are all lumping us as one people who have failed to find a solution to the problem of cholera just like my cousins in Nyimba who are perishing of the epidemic. We need to move in collectively and tell them that rights are made naturally and given by God, but stop this, as it is a responsibility and obligation of a Member of Parliament.

In support of this move, I would rather say that there is a need for the Government to expedite action because if we delay, justice delayed is justice denied and the people will perish and we shall be to blame.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the mover of the motion and the seconder as well as those who have contributed to this issue.

The issue at hand is one that is non-partisan and it would help all of us in this House if we debated this motion with the seriousness it deserves. Lives have been lost and we have a number of people out there suffering from this disease.

Mr Speaker, during my debate I will be looking at issues that have been so far raised, especially those that relate to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. The issue at hand is a crosscutting one and I expect my younger sister, Hon. Cifire, Minister of Health, to deal with the other side of the disease, the health part.

I will also try to deal with this matter in a very user-friendly language. We have been told that there are many causes of cholera, however, I will just summarise them and I think the most important causes are contaminated water supply, poor sanitation or a lack of proper toilets, contaminated food as a result of street vending, poor personal hygiene among our people, lack of effective way to manage the disease and the biggest challenge that we face in Zambia of unplanned settlements. These are settlements without the relevant infrastructure.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the causes of cholera as I have just indicated are obvious. Indeed, when you look at these causes, they are as a result of my ministry, maybe, not doing enough to address some of these causes. However, the Government, through my ministry, is mindful of all these issues that have been raised. We are doing everything possible to address all these causes.

Furthermore, the problem of cholera is beyond the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. It is an issue that affects all sectors, individuals, the private sector, civil society and every person who lives in Zambia today.

It is an embarrassment to us as Zambians, especially as leaders, to be talking about issues of cleanliness forty-two years after independence. We can be debating and sensitising our people on the importance of washing hands with soap and water, but this is embarrassing.

Mr Speaker, this is not an issue that we should blame anyone about. Instead, we should blame ourselves, especially us, who are leaders tasked with this job.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Ms Masebo: Now, I would like us to use this motion to move forward.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Masebo: Mr Speaker, with regard to unplanned settlements, as you may be aware, a number of our citizens are coming into town from all districts of Zambia in search of employment. When they come, they settle anywhere even where there is no water and sanitation, in the process causing congestion. That is one of the causes of cholera. We are trying to enforce the law to stop people from leaving their villages to come into an area which has not been planned for. We need the support of hon. Members of Parliament, political parties and the citizens out there.

So, when we say this is wrong and we must enforce the law, people should not turn round and say the hon. Minister of Local Government is talking about demolishing houses because she has no heart; she is not a mother. Where does she want these people to go? This is where the problem begins.

Mr Speaker, we are aware that there are street vendors who have left their market places in the compounds because they think it is lucrative to sell on the streets. Some have left markets because they think that it is easier to catch the customer on the streets. Some of us, as Members of Parliament, stop and buy the food which is not even covered on the streets.

Mr Mtonga: Bikiloni.

Ms Masebo: When the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, through the local authorities, try to move street vendors away from the streets, somebody stands up and makes a political statement that these are part of the Office of the President or these are members of our party, these are poor people or even suggest that we give them an alternative piece of land first.


Ms Masebo: Land does not grow. Lusaka is limited. Yes, Zambia is big, but Lusaka is small. There is no land in town. At some point, we have to agree that what is wrong is wrong. If this House makes a law, we must enforce that law. If you think the law is bad, we must come back and change it, but let us not gain political mileage over nothing.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Masebo: I think it is becoming destructive to all of us. I hope that when we begin to deal with this issue, we have the support of everybody irrespective of their political affiliation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Masebo: Mr Speaker, the ministry is dealing with the issue of water supply and sanitation and the lack of chemicals. We are trying to centralise the purchase of chlorine and chemicals so that we assist local authorities that do not have resources to improve the quality of water. We have come up with an urban, peri-urban and rural programme on water supply. We have also worked out a rural water supply and sanitation programme for the whole country and where there is a need for improvement of water supply and sanitation, we have planned for that.

The Government has set aside some resources for water and sanitation in 2007. We have also talked to co-operating partners to assist us. We hope that we shall have adequate water supply so that the problem of cholera can be addressed. However, let me inform the House about what the Government is doing as long long-term measure. The Government took note of this issue sometime last year and the then Ministers of Local Government and Housing and Health took a memo to Cabinet to come up with long-term measures. Some measures are in the form of a programme that can deal with this matter in a much deeper way and not just these one off activities and when the rain comes, we have to deal with the problem of cholera again. This is a programme we are calling ‘Make Zambia Clean and Healthy’. This programme …

Mr Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




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

The House adjourned at 1916 hours until on Thursday, 1st February, 2007.