Debates- Thursday, 25th January, 2007

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Thursday, 25th January, 2007

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mukuma): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for affording me the opportunity to present a ministerial statement on the current situation pertaining to the employment and labour sector in the country.

Mr Speaker, the levels of unemployment and poverty continue to pose a major developmental challenge to the Government. It is against this background that I am presenting a ministerial statement on the policy solutions that have been put in place to address the challenges in the employment and labour sector.

In order for the country to address the twin problems of unemployment and poverty, it is necessary to put in place measures that will register improvements in employment creation, labour productivity, skills development, working conditions and in the provision of welfare and social security measures.

Mr Speaker, the integration of the employment strategy into the National Development Plan is essential. It is, therefore, our responsibility to ensure that the evolvement of the employment and labour policy is responsive to the need to bring about economic development based on social justice. The Government, under the recently launched Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP), highlights broad-based wealth and job creation as a central theme and strategic focus on the country’s development agenda during the period 2007 to 2010.

Mr Speaker, during the period of the FNDP, the Government shall adopt a multi-dimensional approach in the implementation of interventions that will seek to create an enabling environment for job creation by targeting employment generation in both rural and urban areas. The National Employment and Labour Market Policy is seen as a major instrument through which any initiative to create employment and reduce poverty will be addressed. The focal issues under the policy are:

(a) employment creation across various sectors of the economy;
(b) review and formulation of labour policies and legislation;
(c) strengthening of social dialogue mechanism between the Government, employers and workers representatives;
(d) building on the recent Labour Force Survey, provision of up to date labour market information that would form the basis for decision making;
(e) elimination of all forms of discrimination and exploitation in employment; and
(f) strengthening the regulatory capacity of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Within the employment and labour sector, the Government has developed the following intervention measures:

Employment Creation

As a Government, we have put in place the National Employment and Labour Market Policy whose major thrust is to promote investment in productive capacities that will create jobs for the country’s labour force. According to the recently launched Labour Force Survey Report whose results were released in November, 2006, the Zambian labour force presently stands at 4,918,788. Out of this figure, 4,131,531 are employed or 84 per cent of the labour force are in employment. The employment pattern is broken down as follows:

Sir, 1,776,558 are self employed. This includes the 1.3 million small-scale farmers and those who are managing their own businesses. A total of 702,360 are paid employees. This figure includes the 498,943 in the formal sector as per the recent Central Statistical Office Inquiry Report. There is a figure of 1,569,981 representing workers employed in family and domestic activities and 82,631, though engaged in income-generating activities, did not state employment status during the survey. However, many of these jobs are in the informal economy and do not provide for any rights at work as basic forms of social protection.

Mr Speaker, our challenge, therefore, is to ensure that the partnership between the public and private sector to generate jobs that would absorb the over 131,000 young people that are entering the labour market annually. This would require programmes that ensure that all job-creating initiatives take advantage of the sectors where we enjoy comparative economic advantage, such as the agricultural and tourism sectors.

Coupled with the implementation of the Citizenship Economic Empowerment Programme, the Zambian citizens will now be able to participate more actively in the country’s social and economic activities.

As new jobs are created, we will ensure that they are decent and of quality in nature so as to uplift the livelihoods and dignity of our people.


Mr Speaker, since its rampant emergence on the Zambian labour market in recent years, casualisation continues to impact negatively on the morale of the Zambian workers. It has been observed that the majority of the employers are moving away from employing permanent workers in their establishments to casualising what are usually supposed to be permanent positions, thus creating insecurity and uncertainty among workers. Following a meeting held with various stakeholders, my ministry has established the causes of casualisation of labour and these will be addressed in the context of the existing, domestic, regional and international labour laws and codes.

It is therefore, the policy of the Government to ensure that this scourge is addressed by pursuing the following measures:

(i) amending the Employment Act to ensure that the law is streamlined in a manner that employers do not abuse the clause relating to casual employment;

(ii) casual work will only be allowed for seasonal workers in sectors such as agriculture and other sectors where project-related tasks require specialised input. The hon. Minister responsible for Labour shall, by appropriate legislation, regularly issue guidelines to govern the casual employment in various sectors of the economy;

(iii) major employers will be expected to employ workers in positions that are of a continuous nature in their organisational structures on a permanent basis;

(iv)  with regard to contractual work allocated to contractors, casual employment will only be permitted for specialised technical work of a limited duration or where justifiable, cause is shown by an employer;

(v) labour broking is illegal in Zambia and will continue to be banned. Notwithstanding the mounting pressure in support of broking, it will not have a place in our labour laws in its present form;

(vi) following the consultations held with social partners in 2006, the Government intends to review the Statutory Instruments of minimum wages with a view to ensuring that this piece of legislation is streamlined in accordance with the Government policy of encouraging local and foreign investment in the economy, by addressing the concerns that account for increased cost of undertaking business in the country.

Social Dialogue

Mr Speaker, my ministry is working very closely with our social partners, that is, employers and workers’ organizations, in promoting social dialogue in the employment and labour sector. We are also collaborating with co-operating partners namely; the International Labour Organisation and the Southern African Development Community in finalising the various components of Zambia’s decent work agenda and regional programmes in the employment and labour sector.

The ministry intends to convene a consultative meeting to discuss the co-ordination of worker representation and negotiations at the workplace in view of the increased proliferation of trade unions. We are of the view that Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise was not meant to bring about anarchy on the labour market, but enhance better participation in wealth creation. The concept of one industry, one union in terms of negotiating with the most representative unions needs to be explored.

It will be recalled that after independence, this principle appears to have worked very well. The Government, however, will continue to respect Conventions No. 87 and 98 that provides workers with the right to exercise their freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

With regard to the amendment of labour laws, the ministry has held consultations with its social partners during the tripartite consultative labour council meetings held in December, 2006. The amendment Bills, once finalised, will be brought to this august House and I look forward to receiving unflinching support from the hon. Members of this House.

Occupation Safety and Health

Mr Speaker, the capacity of the factories inspectorate is also being strengthened with a view to enhancing the efficiency and frequency of the inspections being conducted at places of work. It is imperative that we enforce occupational safety and health standards at places of work to ensure a safe and health-working environment and reduction of accidents.

Social Security

Mr Speaker, the Government in the mid-1990s instituted the first phase of Social Security Reforms that led to the rationalisation of operations in the social security sector. The National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) replaced the Zambia National Provident Fund while the Workers’ Compensation Fund and the Pneumoconiosis Board were merged in 2000 to create a single institution to manage and improve the compensation of injuries and diseases at places of work.

My ministry has begun implementing the second phase of reforms in the social security sector in order to achieve the following:

(a) develop a national social security policy that would provide for the harmonisation of all statutory pension schemes. This is expected to lead to improved management of contributions and benefits;

(b) establish sector charters that will ensure that all employers have capacity to meet their pension obligations and make timely payment of pensions to workers;

(c) create incentives that would allow pension funds to be made available on the capital market for both public and private sector investment;

(d) review and formulate investor/investment guidelines for pension schemes; and

(e) streamline the regulation of all public and private pension schemes and thereby increase accountability to their members.

Mr Speaker, I wish to conclude by assuring the House that the Government will continue to provide leadership as we make progress on the Development Agenda. We shall endeavour to provide an enabling environment by developing policy and legal instruments that are conducive to fostering effective management of the labour market. It is acknowledged that the private sector is the engine for growth and wealth creation and it is through this sector, in partnership with the public sector, that we shall be able to generate innovative employment programmes that will bring about sustainable and viable livelihoods for our people.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now given the opportunity to ask questions on points contained in the ministerial statement delivered by the Hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has rightly put it that the current labour laws are not adequate and that there is no compliance by the employers. I would like to find out how the Government is going to ensure that after the amendment, there is compliance by the employers to non-casualisation.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, as I mentioned, one of the causes of casualisation was lack of knowledge of our labour laws by some of the investors who have come in the recent past. We will ensure that the employers are sensitised and the existence of the labour laws are brought to their attention. We shall also build capacity in our ministry to ensure that inspections of the companies are intensified.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, with regard to compliance, I am sure the hon. Minister is aware of the existence of this Statutory Instrument which provides for three months redundancy pay for each year served. The issue of a Zambian in employment is that he is paid twelve months pay. In addition to the twelve months pay, he is paid one month on average as leave benefits. He is also paid three months pay if he has served in excess of ten years. Then there is the issue of gender.

Mr Speaker: Question!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, all of these put together make the Zambian work less than the average in the world. This proviso of people being given so many free days to roam around is what is causing many employers to shun permanent employment and prefer casual employment. When is the hon. Minister going to bring the legislation for amendment so that this Parliament can approve this requirement of three months redundancy pay for each year served to discourage employers from casualisation and encourage them to employ people permanently?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, as I have already stated in my statement, the tripartite consultations have been going on for some time now. We have almost reached the end of our discussions and the Bill will soon be presented to this House very soon.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I am happy that the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security has admitted that the unemployment rates are alarming. However, he has failed to tell us the plans that his ministry has to reduce the unemployment rates in the country. We would like to know how far his ministry has gone in this regard.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I tabulated clearly the measures that the Government has put in place to address unemployment. The first is that the Government has put in place the National Employment and Labour Market Policy whose main objective is to create employment. This policy has identified the major sectors with potential to generate employment and these are also adequately addressed in the FNDP. The Government will try, by all means, to channel investment in these sectors that have got employment potential.

In addition, skills training in the relevant fields that can enable our youths to get employment is also being intensified in conjunction with the Ministry of Science and Technology through their trades training schools. These are some of the measures that have already been put in place. Encouragement is also being given for the development of small-scale enterprises participation of Zambians in the economy and micro-financing agencies. It is hoped that, all these measures put together and with a good response from the private sector, employment will be generated.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government has done to stop the abuse of Zambians who work in Chinese companies, especially, the female workers. In fact, the Chinese doctors who were leaving confirmed and regretted that their fellow nationals were abusing Zambians.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I did not get the question clearly.

Hon. Opposition Members: Sit down.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, we legislate and come up with laws governing the labour force. I would like to direct my question to the minimum wage in this country. Most of the investors who are here now pay the Zambians as low as K120,000.00 per month. Therefore, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security if there is a way of reinforcing a minimum wage and making sure that the investors who come comply with the labour regulations?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, we are intensifying inspections and where we find that the employer is not obliging, we request them to oblige in accordance with the law. In addition to that, we are sensitising the employers to make sure that they know our labour laws and comply on their own without being forced by the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how much co-operation there is between the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Home Affairs with regard to issuance of work permits. I am asking because in Mazabuka, where I come from, there are people who have work permits, but whose nature of work is not specialized, and yet our Zambian colleagues are languishing in the streets without jobs.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, there is good co-operation between the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Home Affairs. In fact, there is a Work Permit Committee on which my ministry is also represented. As the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, we advise the committee on labour issues.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Phiri (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister why Government institutions are the ones that are highly casualised, especially the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) and Zambia Telecomunications Ltd. (ZAMTEL). Three quarters of the ZESCO workers are casual workers, and yet it is a parastatal organisation that knows the law, but the hon. Minister cited that the investors employ casual workers because they do not know the law. Therefore, I would like to know why ZESCO and ZAMTEL mostly employ casual workers. 

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, amongst the industries that we have, ZESCO is one of the organisations that has programmes which, in some cases, require casual workers. Looking at it from outside the organisation, you may think everybody is a casual worker, but all of us in this House are aware that when you want ZESCO to take a transformer to a particular school or clinic, the work will be for a fixed period, but thereafter, there is nothing to do. ZESCO employs casual workers for such jobs and it is not possible for them to employ permanent workers for such jobs.

However, my ministry had meetings with ZESCO on the issue of casualisation and we specifically told ZESCO that they should stop casualising permanent jobs. We even gave them a deadline, which is 31st March, 2007. My officers will go back to ensure that permanent jobs are not casualised in the company.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chimumbwa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has explained exactly what happens in the ministry. I would like to find out how many inspectors the ministry has because what seems to be the problem here is the departments of the ministry that are supposed to help enforce the law.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I think the question of me indicating how many employees I have is new.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, the misery Zambian workers are experiencing, especially in the mining industry, is due to clauses that are contained in the sale of contracts. Is it the intention of the hon. Minister’s ministry to look into these clauses so that he can harmonise most of the issues that he has talked about such as the contracts and the Employment Act.

Mr Speaker: One of the reasons the hon. Minister is failing to understand the questions is that there are so many running commentaries, especially at the back. Could we listen to the person on the Floor of the House. I hope the Minister of Labour and Social Security understood that question.

He may answer it.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, the question was not clear.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister will answer that question because it was very clear.


Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, I am ready to answer the question if you allow the hon. Member of Parliament to repeat it. I am very prepared to answer it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: In this very exceptional situation, I shall call on the hon. Member of Parliament to repeat his question.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, I was saying, the misery that all Zambian workers are going through is due to the clauses that are contained in the sale of contracts. Now, we have talked of so many amended issues and the Employment Act. Is the hon. Minister telling this House that he is going to review some of the sale of contract clauses in order to harmonise what we are talking about here?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, as a way of trying to protect our workers, the law requires that all contracts be attested to by the labour officers and in attesting them, we ensure that the rights of the workers are protected.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister was unequivocal when he stated that labour brokers are not permitted in this country. In view of that strong statement, what does he intend to do about some labour brokers that exist, especially in the mining industry and in the North Western Province.

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, immediately it was brought to our attention that there was labour broking being practiced at the Kansanshi Mine and indeed, some of the mines, my ministry started inspecting or negotiating with the mines. My Permanent Secretary had meetings with the Kansanshi Mine and I personally travelled to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Chingola and had a meeting with MOPANI and Bwanamukubwa Copper Mines and told them in no uncertain terms that the Government does not condone broking. Apart from that, we gave them a deadline on which the broking should cease from being practiced. We also had another round of meetings with the mines and all of them have assured us that they are no longer practicing broking in recruiting their staff. Following the assurance that we have received, we are yet to check again and make sure that this has been adhered to. Therefore, the measures have already been taken.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister stated that the majority of employers have, over a period of time, been moving away from employing permanent workers to employing casual workers. Could the hon. Minister tell the House whether the ministry has clearly analysed the factors that have led to this. Also, to what extent have the termination packages encouraged casualisation and held down employees’ real wages? What is the Government doing to ensure that the measures taken do not result in casual employees leaving their employment which is their only means of livelihood?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, during our consultative meetings, it became obvious that some of the causes of casualisation were actually profit motivated by the employers. They would like to maximise their profits at the expense of the workers. Another factor is that some employers have indicated that the clause of three months pay for each year completed as terminal benefits is too much and most of them have no capacity to pay honour it.

Mr Speaker, these issues are being addressed by my ministry with the social partners. I hope at the next tripartite meeting, before we conclude our negotiations, these issues will be adequately addressed. Therefore, the causes have been identified and solutions are now being worked out.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by addressing the hon. Minister on the culture whereby during elections, we say different things, when we are elected, we also say different things, when we are appointed, we say different things, when we are fired, we also say different things …

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

Could the hon. Member for Kasama Central, please, ask a question and not give a lecture.


Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, realising the fact that there is no small and medium-scale enterprise sector that represents a very important vehicle for economic diversification as well as empowering our people, what is the Government doing to ensure that the policy which seeks to empower Zambians is translated into reality instead of it being turned into some form of racism as we have seen in our country?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, there are various initiatives that the Government has taken to encourage the small-scale enterprises and business in general. Of late, we have the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) which has been set up purely to facilitate the formation and running of businesses in Zambia and create an environment suitable for the running of businesses here in Zambia. In addition to that, the Government has set up the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission whose main objective is to encourage the participation of Zambians in our economy. Apart from that, the Government is encouraging the micro-financing community, companies and other funding agencies to ensure that these activities are funded. These are the practical measures that the Government has, so far, taken.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, compliance to obligation is deemed mandatory by all responsible institutions. For example, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) metes out punitive measures to non-compliant individuals and institutions. Why can the same principle not be applied in this ministry? Instead of expecting self-compliance from the investors, why can we not mete out punitive action to the non-compliant individual investors and institutions?

Mr Mukuma: Mr Speaker, punitive actions are being taken against the companies that do not comply with the existing law. One factor that we have found out is that the punitive measures are not stiff enough. Therefore, in the law that we are to amend, we are making sure that defaulters are severely punished so that they are deterrent to those who have the tendency of going against the law.

I thank you, Sir.




84. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives when the restocking exercise to replace the animal population which has been reduced due to diseases would commence in the Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the cattle restocking exercise is taken at a district level and not at a constituency level. However, what the Government has done and, as a ministry, is include this in the FNDP. Even if the plan were to be approved today, there would still be some active cases of Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP) in the Western Province. As such, this deters the ministry from commencing the cattle restocking exercise currently. At the moment, our major concern is to contain the disease in the province.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister cite examples where this system is working?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, though I did not get the question clearly, I guess he was asking why it is that currently, in some areas, the system is working. It was a World Bank programme and there were limited resources attached to it. Therefore, only very few districts were selected at the time, hence the initiative for the Government to put it in the FNDP to make it a Government programme that is to continue as soon as it is approved.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


85. Mr Mwangala asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives what plans the Government had to prevent late delivery of agricultural inputs to both the wetlands and upper land areas of the Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency in order to promote food security.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to uplifting the standards of the people. The intention of the Government is to have the livelihoods of the rural communities uplifted by providing adequate and affordable agricultural inputs on a timely basis throughout the country. Over the years, there has been an improvement in the way the Government has been distributing the inputs using the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP). However, the Government alone, due to its limited capacity, may not manage to deliver the inputs at an appropriate time, hence the deliberate programme by the Government to invite the private sector to help in the distribution of inputs to the constituencies as well as the communities in an effort to deliver inputs to various districts of the country for both the wetlands and upper land production by this weekend.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, the ministry is finding it difficult to separate two agricultural systems in the Western Province. Is the hon. Minister going to consider the separation of the two systems so that the agricultural inputs are given to the province as two separate systems?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, the Government is aware and is already practicing that system. It is already separated. There is one system which the Government is using and another one to which the Government has given a go ahead to the private sector to use.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyinda (Senanga): Mr Speaker is the hon. Minister aware that wetlands planting in the Western Province starts in August/September?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, the Government is well aware about that. This serves as an invitation to the private sector to carry out the activities at any particular time when need arises.

I thank you, Sir.


86. Mr E. C. Mwansa (Chifunabuli) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when Old Ng’umbo Road from Lubwe to Mano in Kawambwa District would be repaired.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Tetamashimba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House as follows:

The maintenance of the Mano/Lubwe Road is included in the European Union financed programme for the periodic maintenance of trunk, main and district roads by the output and performance-based road contract for package No. 3. The contract was awarded to Messrs. Sable Transport in November, 2006, at a contract sum of K15,000,000,000. The road will be rehabilitated lightly for the first six months and thereafter, will be maintained continually for the next three and half years. The works commenced in December, 2006.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr E. C. Mwansa: Mr Speaker, taking into account the fact that this is was a link between Chifunabuli, particularly Lubwe Mission Hospital and Mansa District at one time, and knowing also that the works that have been undertaken, so far, have not come any closer to Lubwe, could the hon. Minister assure this House that the contractor working on the road is followed up and made to account for the work he has done so far?

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, in my answer, I stated that the road was going to be rehabilitated lightly for the first six months from the time we signed the contract with Sable Transport in December, 2006. The six months will elapse about May this year. I, therefore, request the hon. Member of Parliament to, after May, when he discovers that we have not done as much as the people of Chifunabuli would want, come to our offices and raise the issue that has being raised on the Floor of the House now.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, what specifications do they use on the roads when tarring the dry and wetlands near the lakes?

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, obviously, that is a new question.  The hon. Member of Parliament wants us to give specifications which I cannot give off-the-cuff, but he may wish to know that I am not like the hon. Minister who is an engineer, I am a chartered secretary. Therefore, if he can raise the question not as a supplementary question, we will give him the details as he may want them laid on the Table. For now, I do not have a specific answer to his question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Minister that one of the major constraints the contractor working on the Mansa/Lubwe Road is facing is that his vehicles always get stuck because the soil there is wet. I viewed the other works elsewhere and found out that the problem being faced in Bahati and Lubwe is the same as the one in Lufwanyama, Kasama and elsewhere.

I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether it has been recommended by engineers that roads must be worked on now, during the rainy season, as opposed to previously when works on roads were undertaken between March and July when the soils are dry. I would like to know whether this is the advice from engineers or it is just a new culture that has come in the ministry.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this particular road we are talking about is to be given light rehabilitation, which is grading, and nothing else. I made a statement that was published in the newspapers that at this time of the year, we expect contractors to pack their vehicles and carry out maintenance works on their vehicles. This was meant for the contractors who do not have the appropriate technology to work on roads during the rainy season. We received many inquiries from a number of contractors on this matter. We explained to them that we were going to reject their work, if they did not have proper technology to carryout rehabilitation of roads during the rainy season. Therefore, what the hon. Member is talking about is an instruction that has already been given.

The contractors who are working on the roads now have proof that they have the technology to carry out rehabilitation works during the rainy season otherwise we have made it publicly known that they will have to re-do the roads.

I thank you, Sir.


87. Mr Mwansa asked the Minister of Education what percentage distribution of the first year students’ acceptance to the University of Zambia for the 2005 intake was, province by province.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Mr Speaker, according to the University database, the following were the percentage distribution of the first year student’s acceptance to the University of Zambia for the 2005 intake, province by province.

Province UNZA Admission Offer 2005

Lusaka 35 per cent
Copperbelt 19 per cent
Southern  16 per cent
Central 7 per cent
Northern 7 per cent
Eastern 6 per cent
Western 5 per cent
Luapula 4 per cent
N/Western 2 per cent

Mr Speaker, this data shows that there was a relative over-representation of admission offers to candidates along the line of rail, for example, Lusaka, Copperbelt, Southern and Central Provinces. This scenario may be attributed to a number of factors, such as:

(i) concentration of selective national Government and private schools in these provinces; and

(ii) higher concentration in the four provinces of urban centres and of economically privileged families with high levels of formal education.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, education is extremely cardinal for the development of human beings in our country and also for the development of all the regions of our country. From the hon. Minister’s statement, the urban population is being educated at the expense of all the rural areas and that is an alarming scenario. What measures is the hon. Minister of Education taking to ensure equitable distribution of places for the only university of this country, built by the people from all the provinces of this country?

Ms Changwe: Mr Speaker, the ministry has set strategies to redress the inequality in the percentage distribution of students’ acceptance at the University of Zambia. One of them is that the University of Zambia senate has come up with affirmative action whereby a set portion of places is to be reserved for applicants from the rural areas. Students from rural areas with lower results are given their own selection system so that they can also access university education.

Mr Speaker, this means that despite the very competitive general requirements, the entrance requirement for the pupils from the rural areas is a bit lower, though they have to meet the general requirements. My ministry is concerned with the low number of students from the rural areas, but this affirmative action has catered for the concern that the hon. Member has raised.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister disclosed that only 2 per cent of the students enrolled at the University of Zambia came from the North-Western Province. I would like to find out what factors led to the poor performance of the students in the North-Western Province that resulted in their failure to meet the entry requirements for the university.

Ms Changwe: Mr Speaker, I said earlier that there is a high number of pupils coming from the Government and other schools along the line of rail. This means that there is a concentration of schools in urban areas and as such, the percentage of pupils leaving school at Grade 12 is high in these areas than in the other provinces where the concentration of schools is low. Therefore, we cannot expect the number of students to come from a province that has few schools to be the same as that from a province that has many schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, the Western Province between 1964 and 1980 had an average university entry of about 30 per cent. Why is there a decline from 30 per cent to 5 per cent?

Ms Changwe: Mr Speaker, the performance of students is at an individual level. If students have not performed well in a given province, it could be attributed to many factors, among them individual ability. In this case, as the hon. Member has said that there is a decline, it is probably as a result of the performance in that particular year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware of the fact that in the rural sectors of the country, the shortage of teachers as well as the quality and non-availability of teaching aids is one of the reasons the level of performance is lower in rural areas than in the urban areas and probably that is why the selection of school children to universities favours the urban areas?

Ms Changwe: Mr Speaker, I mentioned earlier that there are a number of contributory factors and as such, what the hon. Member has said is a good contribution.

I thank you, Sir.


88. Dr Scott asked the Minister of Health:

(a) what qualifications and legal requirements were needed for a foreign national to practice as a traditional healer in Zambia;

(b) how many Chinese nationals were currently practicing as healers in Zambia; and

(c) how many Kenyan nationals were currently practicing as healers in Zambia.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Puma): Mr Speaker, traditional medicine has been practiced from time immemorial and handed down from generation to generation, mostly, by word of mouth. Chiefs and headmen, including those who are in the healing practice recommend new healers to become members of the Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia (THPAZ). Currently, the THPAZ is registered under the Societies Act.

Mr Speaker, currently, there are twelve Chinese nationals who are registered with the THPAZ and there is no Kenyan national who is registered with THPAZ practicing as a healer in Zambia. However, most of those practicing in Zambia are either from Tanzania or Malawi.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I would like an answer to my question. The question was what qualifications and legal requirements are needed for a foreign national to practice as a healer in Zambia? Of course, what I am referring to is the legal and the technical requirement. I do not need a lecture or what happens locally in the Zambian traditional healing system. The other question was how many Chinese nationals are currently practicing, not how many were registered with Dr Vongo’s organisation, ...


Dr Scott: … but, how many are licensed to operate? Are all those people who call themselves Chinese doctors registered with the Medical Association of Zambia or are they registered somewhere else? That is the thrust of it. I was also, of course, enquiring about the present whereabouts of the Masai healers who were a few months ago on our streets and why they have been thrown out while others appear not to have been thrown out. Please, Mr Speaker, I am sorry to sound irritable, but I think the question could have been read by the people in the ministry.

The Minister of Health (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, the first qualification is that you should be a traditional healer, unless the Member wants to be a traditional healer.


Ms Cifire: You can start practicing after registering with THAZ. Those are the qualifications. On the Chinese, the ones that we can account for are those who are registered. So, he may know of some who are not registered, but we do not know about them.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Tell us.


Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister saying that there is no healer from Kenya, and yet, today, on radio phoenix, we were told that there is one Masai who has come back. Is he aware about that?

Dr Puma: Mr Speaker, as it has been said, we are only able to account for the traditional healers who are registered. It is very difficult for us to account for those who have just come in and are not registered with THPAZ.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister kindly explain to this nation how these medical practitioners who are registered have gone round the medicines they supply to our people that are registered or described in Chinese because all the bottles and all the things given to them are in Chinese. Have you also monitored that some of these people treated for TB outside the Government’s efforts effectively use the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) system? Do the Chinese doctors also have to comply with the DOTS system because I have learnt that they do not.

Finally, since the qualifications you have given is simple registration. How about work permits, do they have to obtain this or do they just enter this country as they like?

Hon. Opposition Member: Zoona!

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, we have registered the traditional healers as an association and not the individual healers. Therefore, the healers come under the association. Their qualifications and everything else is dealt with by Dr Vongo and the association.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that all one needs is to register with THPAZ in order to practice traditional healing, but how has the ministry managed to monitor the safety of the medicines that the healers administer on our people through the Poison and Pharmaceutical Board of this country? I am somewhat nervous because if I am going to simply register as a healer, I may administer poison to my patients. What is the monitoring system the ministry has put in place to ensure that all the medicines are in right dosages and are tested by the Poisons and Pharmaceutical Board of this country?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, what I wish to register is that the responsibility of the Government is to provide a health delivery service to the people of Zambia using Government institutions. When one chooses to go to a traditional healer, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Ms Cifire: … it is a choice they are making.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Member: Disaster.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, not too long ago, the hon. Minister of Health announced that the Government had engaged in a programme to incorporate traditional healers in the provision of health care even at the University Teaching Hospital. This means, therefore, that their therapy is recognised officially by the Government. If, indeed, it is only Dr Vongo who has been recognised by the hon. Minister who has the capacity and the responsibility for allowing traditional healers to practice, does this Government have any guidelines that Dr Vongo should follow in deciding which traditional healer to allow to practice and which one not to allow, given the fact that the function of regulation is a Government one, which cannot be delegated? Is this Government in a position to go by laid down guidelines?

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the key word is incorporating. The Government has said that it is ready to partner with other institutions. The important point is to say that we need to research on the medication that is administered by our colleagues who are in the traditional sector. To this effect, there are a number of remedies that are under research before the Government can out rightly authorise them to be accessed through Government institutions. Right now, we have said that they are partners. Therefore, the choice of where one wants to go is left to the individual.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, I would like to know if the Ministry of Health, together with the Ministry of Home Affairs, and possibly, even the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is involved in the issuance of permits to these foreign nationals. Since the requirement is only to register with Dr. Vongo, how do they go about giving them permits to stay in the country? Has the ministry got anything to say about it or is it just that once they register as traditional healers, then they are free to practice.

Ms Cifire: Mr Speaker, the much-talked-about Masai healers came under a cultural exchange. They came at that particular time and that is why they went back. There was a specific time at which they had to come. They did not come under the Ministry of Health.

I thank you, Sir.


89. Mr Muntanga asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) whether the Government had any plans to upgrade the road between Kalabo and Sesheke; and

(b) when Shangombo District would be connected to Kalabo by an all weather road.


Mr Shakafuswa: Yes, because you get money from Taiwan!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that there are plans to upgrade the road between Kalabo and Sesheke. There are plans to upgrade the Kalabo/Sesheke Road and there is need for a feasibility study. An allocation of K1 billion has been included in the 2008 Annual Work Plan for the Shangombo/Kalabo Road.

Sir, my ministry has some plans to connect Shangombo District to Kalabo by an all-weather gravel road. To this effect, my ministry made a provision of K1.590 billion for the project in the 2006 Budget, but this money was not released and we intend to include this road in Phase Two of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) Road Sector Programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I heard from the answer that there is K1 billion reserved for feasibility studies to upgrade the Sesheke/Shangombo Road. Is the hon. Minister aware that this road was actually partly tarred some years back and would only need a few patches of about 20km to rehabilitate and make it passable? Are they thinking of spending money on feasibility studies instead of rehabilitating the road?

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, let me repeat my answer on the Shangombo/Kalabo Road so that the hon. Member of Parliament can understand. The K1 billion which has been set aside for the Kalabo/Sesheke Road is for us to depict what type of material we are going to use. We do not want to have a situation where we use material that has disappointed us in the past. This is why we believe that we need to know the types of soils that are there so that when we make money available to the project, it will not give us the problems that we have had in the past.

However, I also wish to state and thank Hon. Muntanga that as hon. Members of Parliament, – I am saying this because he is not a Member of Parliament from that area – we are supposed to be in the forefront in seeing to it that projects that are taking place in our constituencies are not left to the Ministry of Works and Supply alone to supervise. As hon. Members of Parliament who are part and parcel of this Government, it is important for us that, as we tour our constituencies, since most of you go back to your constituencies, you feed us with information about how far the projects have gone in your constituencies. Whether you belong to the other groups of people in the House, you do not need to fear to come to the ministry. Our job is to serve you and, please, when you are in Lusaka, do not hesitate to come and see the hon. Minister and his staff so that we can help you perform better than you have done in the past.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, in the recent past, a number of statements similar to the ones that the hon. Deputy Minister has made that reflect that hon. Members of Parliament must get involved in supervising projects taking place in their constituencies have been made. I would like to find out whether it is the Government’s intention to make available to hon. Members of Parliament agreements and contracts that it enters into with the providers of services so that they are aware of the contents of the agreement before they are expected to supervise projects that they are not aware of. Is that the position?

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I forgot to answer the second part of the question by Hon. Muntanga. That road has never been tarred. That is the information that can be confirmed by hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province.

However, to comment on the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata, I would like to assure him that the transparency that we have been preaching about as the New Deal MMD is intended to make sure that the hon. Members of Parliament are involved in knowing which people are going to do what road, especially when it comes to tarmac. As hon. Members of Parliament, there is nothing wrong with you trusting that the people we award contracts to are up to standard. As long as you can convince the hon. Minister that that contractor is not as good as you expect him to be and he is convinced that what you are telling him is the truth, this Government will always be by your side.

Therefore, I am saying that you will be informed about the contracts that are going to awarded for the roads in your constituencies. Whether they are part of the district councils or municipal councils, the Members of Parliament will be key players so that, at the end of the day, no Member of Parliament will come before this House and say that the road is in a bad state without blaming himself for not participating in the programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister not aware that the road is the best link to Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe? If he is aware, is it not in order for the Government to gravel it instead of tarring it?

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, the New Deal Government is well aware about the status of this road and that is why we have put up a big bridge on the road going to Sesheke which was never done in the Western Province.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: So, we are aware and I can assure you that as we continue governing in the next twenty years, that is going to happen.

I thank you, Sir.



90. Mr Muntanga asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the construction of the Dundumwezi Road, passing through the Kafue National Park from Itezhi-tezhi to Kalomo, would be completed.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Norwegian Government had provided a grant of K4.35 billion in 2005 to carry out feasibility studies for the improvement of the Kalomo/Dundumwezi/Tezhi-tezhi Road. The study was completed in April, 2006. The study reviewed that it was feasible to enhance the road to either bituminous standard or Class II gravel. Depending on what kind of interventions considered, the cost to improve the road will either be US$36.6 million to bituminous standard or US$9.8 million with Class II gravel. The funds for the improvement of the road are still being sourced.

Mr Speaker, following the finalisation of the feasibility study, the Government intends to seek donor support for possible funding, but maintenance works will, for now, be undertaken in 2008.

I thank you very much, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, in the year 2005 when the feasibility study was started, there were a number of discussions in the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources indicating that it would be opened within a period of two years as a major measure of facilitating tourism via that road. Why has this not been done and why are we now looking for money?

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I have just informed the House that the road would cost, for a bituminous standard, US$36.6 million and gravel, US$9.8 million. I have also mentioned that the Norwegian Government had given us some money for a feasibility study. Now, after this confirmation, the next thing has been for us to source this money because, as Zambia, we do not have the money to put up this road to a bituminous standard. Therefore, we are still looking for a donor who is willing to help us. I can assure the hon. Member that since the Government has put tourism as one of the key sectors for development and income generation, we are going to make sure that we find a donor to help us do something about this road.

I thank you, Sir.


91. Mr Muntanga asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when the Kalomo/Chikanta Road would be upgraded; and

(b) whether the Government had any plans to tar the Kalomo/Mapatizya Road and, if so, when.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that my ministry has no immediate plans to upgrade the existing road between Kalomo and Chikanta. However, the ministry has embarked on works to improve the Kalomo/Dundumwezi Road from which the road leading to Chief Chikanta branches off.

As regards tarring of the Kalomo/Mapatizya Road, my ministry has no immediate plans to tar the Kalomo/Mapatizya Road because of its commitment to complete the on-going major projects, some of which commenced as far back as 1995. The ministry will only consider embarking on major projects involving tarring of new roads after the on-going major projects have been completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the Kalomo/Dundumwezi Road will only be worked on when they source funds and the branching off is just within the township, but is the Government going to upgrade the road? Is it not possible for them to grade the Kalomo/Chikanta Road which is a major road for agricultural production areas?

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I am sure we all know that the Government does not have enough money to go round. If we are going to start projects and in mid-stream, we start other projects, people will not see how much we are working, it will not be good. However, I would like to ask the hon. Member that when we come to our workshop, which Mr Speaker directed us to have, on Road Development (RD), we hope that the hon. Member, after seeing what is in the action plan for all the years, will be able to sit down with us and discuss whether it is possible to include another small project in his constituency, then moneys for that piece of road can be channeled to the road that is going to Chief Chikanta. The reason we want hon. Members to be involved is because we many not be the best people to know your priorities with regard to roads in your constituencies. Therefore, we hope that the hon. Member will be on the look out and see to it that something is done in respect of that piece of road going to Chief Chikanta. Not only that, sometimes the ministry could have some money which can be used, but for now, let us wait and see. The hon. Member will tell us what his priority is with regard to what we had provided in the work plan for his constituency.

I thank you, Sir.


92. Dr. Machungwa asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when the Kawambwa/Chipili Road was last worked on; and

(b) when the Kawambwa/Chipili Road would be made motorable.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the last time the ministry carried out maintenance works on the Kawambwa/Chipili Road was in the year 2000. The works for the maintenance of the Kawambwa/Chipili Road were procured late November, 2006. The maintenance of the road was awarded to Messrs. Vechmark Empire Investment Limited at a contract sum of K293.5 million. The signing of the contract will only be done after the ‘No Objection’ has been given by the National Roads Agency. Nevertheless, our ministry has included the maintenance of the Kawambwa/Chipili Road in the 2000 Annual Work Plan with a provision of K570 million.

I thank you, Sir.


93. Dr Machungwa asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Samfya/Twingi Road, including the Katansha to Mpanta portion would be worked on.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that our ministry provided an amount K200 million in the 2000 Budget for the maintenance of the Samfya/Katansha Road. The full amount provided in the 2005 Budget was released and transferred to the Luapula Province to carry out the maintenance of the project by first account by the Provincial Road Engineer in the Luapula Province. In the 2006 Budget, a provision of K800 million was made under the Fuel Levy account for the maintenance of the Samfya/Katansha Road. The funds are being held in the Road Fund by National Road Fund Agency. The funds are expected to be transferred to the Luapula Province by March, 2007 to enable the Regional Engineer continue carrying out the maintenance works of the road by first account.

I thank you, Sir

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, is it not the responsibility of the Ministry of Works and Supply to see to it that, once funds have been released to the provinces, and if nothing has happened over a period of time, they ensure that this work is done instead of funds sitting elsewhere while the work is not being done.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, I do agree that it is our responsibility to ensure that released funds are put to use. However, when we send money to the provinces, it is also the responsibility of the Member of Parliament to make sure that he knows what is happening in his constituency. Members of Parliament should not just come to ask questions here. They should first see the roads, and other infrastructure that is in their constituencies. It is the responsibility of both the representative of the people of Luapula Constituency and us.

Now, that we have informed him about these finances, it is our hope that, as we adjourn, since the Budget, which will provoke a lot of debate, will have been approved, he will go to his constituency and make sure that when this money is released, he will be there to see what is being done in his constituency so that he can continue being in the House like he has been since 1991.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! All the microphones are on, but they are not working.

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


94. Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central) asked the Minister of Health what measures the Government had employed to ensure safety in the administration of Anti-Retroviral Drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS in rural and peri-urban areas.

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, our clinical officers, nurses and other health professionals have been trained and are constantly undergoing refresher courses on handling the drugs with special reference to the side effects, signs of resistance or failure to treatment, interactions with other drugs especially Tuberculosis (TB) drugs and also on expiry dates. Most importantly, these health care workers have been instructed on correct and timely referral of cases. They have also been given guidelines that have been developed and distributed to all of them. There is a referral system that has been streamlined whereby every ARVs centre has a supervising doctor.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, does the hon. Minister take cognisance of the fact that the safety of ART does not start and end with capacity building of personnel, but also involves capacity building of institutions, for instance, ensuring that they administer the liver, and kidney function tests before commencing affected patients on treatment? Also, since Zambia is won to 1 million people who are living with HIV/AIDS today, out of which 200,000 are in critical need of ARVs, does the hon. Minister not realise that if these safety measures are not put into place, that, in itself, is going to be an impediment to ART accessibility in the country?

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Health has ensured that in each of the provinces, there is enough equipment to ensure that investigations are conducted for anyone who needs to commence ART. There is a baseline investigation that is a full blood count, including the CD4 Count. Each of the provincial centres has CD4 Count machines.

Further, I would like to enlighten the hon. Member that it is not necessary to conduct the CD4 Count for the doctor to commence the patient on ARVs. There are WHO guidelines that are in place whereby any trained personnel is able to commence ART on a patient who has almost developed AIDS or has already developed AIDS without necessarily conducting the CD4 Count.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


95. Dr Chishimba asked the Minister of Health what the Government was doing to protect the people from the herbalists who are selling herbs on the streets.

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, the regulation on herbal medicine has been a problem for a long time and the Ministry of Health and the Government have recognised this as a problem.

To address this problem, once and for all, the Ministry of Health has, on the 2007 policy agenda, the enactment of a Bill to regulate the practice of health practitioners. The Bill will introduce, among other things:

(a) the creation of the Traditional Healers Council to regulate the practice of traditional healers with whom all traditional healers will have to register before practicing;

(b) register all traditional health practitioners; and

(c) registration and licensing of traditional health  practitioners and their premises.

This means that once this Bill is enacted, the present situation, where traditional healers have to register with the Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia, (THPAZ) will change because they will be registering with the Traditional Healers Council.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Chishimba: Madam Speaker, in the face of the deadly HIV/AIDS pandemic in our country and of course realising that ART has taken the centre stage in prolonging the lives of those who are living with the virus and are on ARTs, in the event of resistance, alternative therapy becomes the only available option and in this case, elsewhere, traditional medicine is gaining ground as an alternative to ARVs. Is there a deliberate programme by the Government to undertake a study on the nomenclature of Zambian trees and their medicinal values so that those found to have medicinal value can be put on clinical trials to ensure that the findings from such studies are used to integrate in the mainstream public health care system as an alternative therapy such as traditional medicine?

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that information. Almost all the trees that are in Zambia are well documented and the books are there in botany. With regard to research, there has been some research that is being undertaken on some of the medicines that our traditional healers have proclaimed are able to assist people living with HIV/AIDS and the results will be made known at an appropriate time.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, at the beginning of 2006, there were some studies that were carried out on remedies from three traditional doctors. These are Dr Maila, Dr Sondashi and Dr Muleya. These trials were supposed to take three months which was then extended to six months, nine months and twelve months. Even though the hon. Minister has already mentioned that the results will be announced at an appropriate time, is it not taking too long for the nation that is expectant?

Dr Puma: Madam Speaker, the process of coming up with proof that a particular drug is effective takes quite some time. There are two issues that are dealt with when you are dealing with issues of HIV/AIDS. There are some drugs that are just able to assist the patient to improve in terms of general health, but the virus still remains in the blood stream and the patient remains HIV sero-positive. With some drugs, we anticipate that after taking the medicine, the patient will become HIV sero-negative. The trials have to be over a period of time so that we do not unnecessarily alarm the public that a particular drug is effective when, in the long term , it is not. Therefore, we have to be careful so that we do not unnecessarily alarm the public.

I thank you, Madam.


96. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what measures the Government had taken to ensure that privatised mines ploughed back into the community part of their profits in order to benefit indigenous people.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development has taken the following measures:

(a) the ministry is demanding from all mining companies to submit period reports on their social reasonability programmes to the ministry for scrutiny and guidance;

(b) the ministry is encouraging all mining companies to recruit local labour except in cases of specialised skills;

(c) the ministry is encouraging mining companies to procure goods and services from local suppliers except in cases where goods and services are not locally available; and

(d) the ministry is encouraging skills and professional training needed for the mining industry.

Madam Speaker, the mining industries have responded very well to these measures as the following activities wills show:

(a) the mining companies have assumed responsibility of certain hospitals and have improved the staffing and medical supplies to these hospitals. Examples are Luanshya Copper Mines Plc. which has taken over Luanshya Mine Hospital and Konkola Mines Plc. which has taken over Nchanga South Mine Hospital in Chingola and Konkola Mine Hospital in Chililabombwe. Malcolm Watson Hospital in Mufulira has been taken over by Mopani Copper Mines Plc.;

(b) the companies have participated in the Annual Roll Back Malaria Programme, thus contributing to the reduction of malaria related deaths in the local communities. For example, Konkola Copper Mines, Mopani Copper Mines and First Quantum Minerals Limited are actively participating in these programmes;

(c) the companies have taken over certain schools and crafts training institutions. For example, Luanshya Copper Mines Plc. has assumed the responsibility over Luanshya Trust School and Crafts Training College. Nkana Trust School has been taken over by Mopani Copper Mines Plc.;

(d) the companies are supporting different football clubs in the country. For example, Konkola Copper Mines Plc. sponsors Premier League Soccer of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ);

(e) some mining companies were supporting income-generating ventures among the leaders. For example, Konkola Copper Mines Plc. is implementing a co-operative scheme for widows and orphans to provide safety wear in form of overalls to the mines, in a way of generating income for these families; and

(f) Mopani Copper Mines Plc. equally supports programmes that promote local business development and is running important social facilities that include schools and hospitals. On local business development, the company supports some business operations for former employees of ZCCM and its own employees. A good example is of contracts and other works that are given to companies operated by former employees.

In the case of Mopani Copper Mines Plc., it has acquired a one thousand three hundred hectare farm in Mufulira on behalf of its employees. It has spent about K1billion to develop the farm. The farm is supervised by a qualified Farm Manager who is on the Mopani Copper Mines payroll. Plans are under way to replicate this arrangement in Kitwe and Kalulushi District on behalf of former employees.

Madam Speaker, I must say that word has come through that KCM is considering setting up a facility or funding to rehabilitate township roads in Chingola. Mopani Copper Mines also have announced that beginning this year, they are going to introduce or implement the newly introduced Profit-Sharing Scheme where 4 per cent of their net profit will be shared amongst the employees.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, of the stated measures that have been put in place by the Government, which ones compel these mining companies to sponsor sport and other forms of recreation in the various districts of their operation and also support the women’s clubs? As far as I am concerned, schools and hospitals are maintained by the community. They do not get services free of charge.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, our policy is to encourage corporate social responsibility and funding sport is part of that programme.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to be more definitive in his answer. He should tell the House whether or not these corporate social responsibilities are embedded in the development agreements or contracts that the Government has signed with these mines as terms of reference that can be referred to in the event that the miners decide not to participate in the corporate social responsibilities.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, what is contained in the development agreements is what we referred to as local business development and this is an embracing concept under which social responsibility falls.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, a day before His Honour the Vice-President visited Mufulira Mines, Mopani Copper Mines were busy patching the road from Sabina to Mufulira with ordinary soil. I would like the hon. Minister to tell me if this is what we are calling ploughing back into the community.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, I have not seen that. I think we all know what is required to construct  standard roads. I do not think they were using ordinary soil for this purpose.


Dr Mwansa: That cannot be true.


Dr Mwansa: Anyway, maybe that was the first time they used sand. I think next time, they will use stones and bitumen to surface the road.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development whether he has taken time to visit Nkana community locations and seen the deplorable state of the roads and the communal toilets that our people are using.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, we take time to visit areas of all description when we are on the Copperbelt. We were there only two days ago, but, as I said, Konkola Copper Mines have a programme to start rehabilitating city roads in Chingola. I think that will encourage other miners to do the same in other local areas.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Munaile (Malole): Madam Speaker, being a former footballer, I am very concerned about soccer. The hon. Minister has talked about the buyers of the mines ploughing back into the community, but not much has been done. During the time of ZCCM, players were looked after by ZCCM even after they had retired from playing football. Today, the moment they stop playing football, they are thrown onto the streets. In addition to that, I will give an example of Mopani …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Ask your question.

Mr Munaile: Madam, I will ask the question, but let me just try to elaborate something. I will give an example of Mopani Copper Mines that is sponsoring Nkana and Mufulira Wanderers Football Clubs which are some of the biggest teams in the country. What is the Government doing to ensure that more money is put into soccer because all of us here are soccer fans in a way? We are talking about going to the World Cup in 2010, and yet the teams that were producing good players are no longer doing that. Where are you going to get the players from?

Hon. Opposition Member: Quality!

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, we appreciate the tremendous responsibility that ZCCM took on football. The sport became popular as a result of ZCCM involvement. The only mining house that has taken that direction is KCM. They support football leagues as earlier indicated. Our view is that if this can be replicated, it can set an example for the other mining houses to emulate. For instance, we are still urging Mopani Copper Mines to assume the responsibility of sponsoring Mufulira Wanderers which was one of the strongest teams in the country, but has since gone down due to lack of support. We will urge Mopani Copper Mines to consider sponsoring Mufulira Wanderers.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development if he is aware that these mining companies which are running the hospitals on the Copperbelt do not admit emergencies even accident victims without payment. What is the Government doing to address this issue because during the ZCCM era, accident victims used to be admitted in the hospital regardless of whether they were private or not.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, what we know is that the hospitals that are being administered by mining companies take in patients, particularly family members and employees. Therefore, they take even emergency cases. We are not aware that they do not handle emergency cases. That would be very odd.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


97. Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola) asked the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development when the Government would commence mineral exploration in the Katombola Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Mangani): Madam Speaker, the Geological Survey Department, under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, is currently geologically mapping the Mwense area in the Luapula Province. On completion of the Mwense area sometime this year, the department will commence mapping the Isaki areas of the Luapula Province. The Katombola area will be mapped soon after competing the Isaki area.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


98. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Government would tar the Mansa-Luwingu Road.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the tarring of the Mansa-Luwingu-Kasama Road started in November, 2001. The ministry decided to implement the project by dividing the project road into two sections namely, the Kasama-Luwingu Road and the Mansa-Luwingu Road respectively. The first section of the project road commenced in November, 2003.

However, the ministry regrets the slow progress of the construction to bitumen standard of the Kasama-Luwingu Road. The delay in the completion of the first section of the project road is adversely affecting the commencement of the construction of bitumen standard of the Mansa-Luwingu Road which will only commence upon completion of the first contract since the Government cannot source sufficient funds to implement the construction of the respective two sections of the project road at the same time.

However, the ministry intends to continue carrying out holding maintenance of the Mansa-Luwingu Road. In 2005, the maintenance of the Mansa-Luwingu Road was awarded to Messrs Sable Transport. The full maintenance was completed in May, 2006. The Mansa-Luwingu Road is classified as a Main Territorial (M) Road, but with a gravel surface.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Works and Supply if he is aware that on the 21st July, 2005, the former hon. Minister of Works and Supply, Hon. Marina Nsingo made a commitment in this House that the road would be tarred as soon as possible. I am referring to this booklet of debates from 19th July to 19th August, 2005.

Mr D. Mwila raised the document.

Mr Simbao: Madam Speaker, the Kasama-Luwingu-Mansa Road is a concern to this Government. As I have explained, because of the length of this road, it was decided to divide it into two sections. The rehabilitation of this road is funded by the Government. There is no donor component in the funding of this road. As earlier mentioned, the works on this road were started in November, 2003 and to date, we have only done 41 KM from Kasama to Luwingu, and yet the entire length is 165km.

Madam Speaker, a normal approximate costing of tarring a road is something like K1 billion per kilometer. Right now, it means that we have something like 120km to tar. In short, we are supposed to have K120 billion to tar this road. We do not have that kind of money even in this year’s Budget. For the information of the hon. Member, the completion target was revised to December, 2007. Therefore, even to reach that target this year will be very difficult because we do not have K120 billion to give to this road right now.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


99. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) when Maamba Collieries employees would be paid their salaries and arrears; and

(b) whether the Government had any plans to sell Maamba Collieries Ltd and the Ndola Lime Company.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. Mwale): Madam Speaker, Maamba Collieries Limited employees have been paid their salary arrears. The last payment was made mid-December, 2006 when K4 billion was released by Zambia Copper Consolidated Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to Maamba Collieries Limited. ZCCM-IH will continue to pay salaries falling due while the restructuring of the company is proceeding to pave way for satisfactory recapitalisation of Maamba Collieries Limited.

Madam Speaker, on the sale of Maamba Collieries Limited and Ndola Lime, the Government has no immediate plans to entirely sell Maamba Collieries Limited, but has given ZCCM-IH the full responsibility to run Maamba Collieries Limited and look for a strategic partner to facilitate the recapitalisation of the mine.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the four months’ arrears paid to the employees are from June, July, August and September and is he aware that Maamba Collieries Limited owes employees three months salary arrears amounting to K3.6 billion for October, November and December, 2006?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, the information we have and the records verified indicated that all arrears have been paid ...

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Dr Mwansa: … and that from now on, ZCCM Investment Holdings will keep paying salaries until the mine is fully recapitalised. Then we can see what can be done after that, in terms of privitisation of Maamba Collieries.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to shed some light on the Memorandum of Understanding which was reached by the Zambia Privatisation Agency, the Government, Lusumpuko Consortium and the Budger Mining consultants on the sale of Maamba Collieries Limited.


Madam Speaker: The Hon. Minister may answer that question though it does not seem to be within the confines of the original question.

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, we are not aware of that Memorandum of Understanding. What we know is that there is a local company that has shown interest. We will respond to this question later on because Hon. Muntanga also asked about the status of Maamba Collieries Limited. I do not think there is such a Memorandum of Understanding. We are not aware of it.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out if the hon. Minister is aware that the hon. Deputy Minister stated here that the mine will be given to ZCCM-IH for ZCCM-IH to run it. Is he aware that a consortium called Maamba Katuya has been negotiating and has moved to the site to conduct feasibility studies at Maamba Collieries Limited?

Dr Mwansa: Madam Speaker, we are aware and I would like to say that this will be part of the response to Hon. Muntanga’s question on the same.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


100. Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether there were any plans to designate district status to Sichili in the Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that powers to declare an area a district are vested in the Head of State under the Provincial and District Boundaries Act (Laws, Volume 16) Cap. 286 of the Laws of Zambia. The criteria applied in considering an area for creation of a district include the following:

(a) size of the area;

(b) population of the area;

(c) economic activities in the area; and

(d) social, communication, housing and office accommodation infrastructure facilities for the Government and other institutions operating in the area etc.

Madam Speaker, the Government created twelve new districts in 1997, most of which were below the basic requirements in terms of infrastructure. The new districts are as follows:

Province Newly Created District

(a) Eastern  (i) Nyimba
  (ii) Mambwe

(b) Northern (iii) Mungwi
  (iv) Mpulungu

(c) Luapula (v)  Milenge
  (vi) Chiengi

(d) North Western (vii) Chavuma

(e) Southern (viii) Kazungula
  (ix) Itezhi-tezhi

(f) Western (x) Shangombo

(g) Copperbelt (xi) Mpongwe
  (xii) Lufwanyama

The Government policy, currently, is not to create new districts, but provide adequate infrastructure such as housing and office accommodation in the twelve newly-created districts so that they have the capacity to operate and facilitate delivery of quality services to communities in their areas of jurisdiction.

Madam Speaker, the Government has, therefore, no plans to designate district status to Sichili in the Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency until the newly created districts are capacitated in terms of provision of infrastructure which the Government has started providing in form of construction of staff and office accommodation.

On the other hand, the Local Government Act Cap. 281 has a provision which empowers the hon. Minister to create Management Boards or Township Councils whose main objective is to bring efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services to communities in the areas designated as management boards or township councils.

However, councils have not used this provision to improve the administration and delivery of services in their areas of jurisdiction.

Madam Speaker, the Government is currently consulting the relevant stakeholders with a view to proposing amendments to the current Local Government Act to vest powers in the hon. Minister to create the decentralised governance structures in vast districts where a council is not adequately covering the whole area in terms of provision of services to all the communities.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


101. Mr Mabenga asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whether the Ministry had any plans to construct dams to supply water to cattle in the drought-prone areas in the Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kalenga): Madam Speaker, every year, the Ministry provides funds for dam construction and rehabilitation in its annual work plans and budgets especially for drought prone areas. The beneficiary communities are required to contribute matching grants before these facilities are provided. Matching grants are contributions, in kind, by farmers in the form of provision of locally available materials such as sand, stones, and clearing of roads, etc.

Madam Speaker, community contribution can be up to 25 per cent of the cost of the project. Therefore, communities of Mulobezi in need of these facilities that is, dams should contact the District Agricultural Coordinator’s Office (DACO), Sesheke, for additional information and facilitation.

Madam Speaker, I also would like to advise the hon. Member to visit the constituency to provide leadership.

I thank you, Madam.



102. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives when the Food Reserve Agency would start buying maize from farmers in Lukulu District.

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is mandated to buy designated crops from farmers throughout the country. The location of buying depots and level of activity depends on the amount of produce available in an area. During this 2006/2007marketing season, the FRA commenced crop purchases in June 2006 and closed on 30th September, 2006. However, the FRA resumed purchases again in October, 2007 to buy all the unpurchased crops throughout the country before the onset of the rains.

Madam Speaker, the marketing season for 2007/2008 will start in June and we expect that at the time, the crop will be ready and the purchases will be completed by 30th September, 2007.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Imenda: Madam Speaker, the question was very specific, we are asking about Lukulu which produced 50,000 bags in excess of what they needed to consume, but has not been bought. May the hon. Minister repeat the answer, please.


Madam Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister may respond to that. I do not know whether he needs to repeat the answer because the question was answered.

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, I will just emphasise my answer for the benefit of the hon. Member and the House. Madam Speaker, I indicated that the marketing season for 2006/2007 commenced in June, 2006 and ended on 30th September, 2006. The FRA resumed purchases again in October, 2006 to buy all the unpurchased crops throughout the country and this includes Lukulu. I advised the hon. Member to visit the constituency and then report his findings to the Ministry, but he has not done that.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, after the new Act to authorise the FRA to buy crops was put in place, the FRA is supposed to buy them throughout the year. This was not just targeted at maize buying. Why did they close the buying period when the FRA is supposed to buy all agriculture crops throughout the year?

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, the FRA operates under the regulations passed in this House. Likewise its budget, which is also approved by this House. The FRA also works within the budget approved by this House.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, at some stage in this House, we were informed that this Ministry and this Government had authorised to continue buying beyond the specified time and financial limits. We did that. Now if the hon. Minister is aware, it is possible, within the provision of that authority, to have continued buying the maize and selling it. Therefore, the FRA did not have to close the buying period. Why is the hon. Minister not aware that he has those powers?

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, I am not aware that there is maize that is not bought in Lukulu, in particular, because when we had additional funds to buy all the unpurchased crops and we did not have a report from Lukulu to indicate otherwise. That is why I am emphasising that leaders should be visiting their constituencies so that they co-ordinate these activities. We closed the budget because we thought the maize had all been purchased.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, now that the hon. Minister has been made aware of the existence of this unpurchased maize, unfortunately through Parliament and not through his Ministry and his officials, can he state to this House, for the sake of the farmers in Lukulu, when they will buy this maize given the fact that the FRA has the mandate of this House to buy maize continuously until it is all purchased. Could he be more categorical on when they will buy the maize.

Mr Kalenga: Madam Speaker, my ministry has representatives in the districts and if there are any problems, they should report to the District Agricultural Coordinator’s Office for facilitation.

I thank you, Madam.


103. Mr Imenda asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the current police uniform would be replaced with a more user friendly one.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Ms Njapau): Madam Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, has no intentions of replacing the current police uniform. It is not a long time ago when the police introduced some of the current police uniforms, particularly for women officers.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to know that the Zambia Police Service not only has the best police uniform, but also rank among the best dressed police officers in the world.


Ms Njapau: Madam Speaker, may I also inform the House that police uniforms are in types depending on the duty applicable. There is combat uniform, office dress, that is general khaki and the ceremonial mess kit. I am at a loss on what user friendliness would be in terms of police uniforms. Maybe the hon. Member for Lukulu (Mr Imenda) can explain this to us.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Madam Speaker, I would like to elicit a further reply because I know that the current Inspector-General (IG) of Police is doing his best to reshape the Police Force and he has recently been talking about user-friendly uniforms. However, if the leadership in the ministry does not know his language, then the hon. Minister has surprised me. By user friendly, I heard him say, he would like officers on the beat to carry uniforms …

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

Mr Mtonga: My question is, did you clearly understand the request that was publicly made by none other than the IG himself, that he would like his officers to put away guns in patrols and use user-friendly equipment such as, buttons, – short buttons and long buttons, items that can be carried in public. Therefore, why do you not give us a clear answer, hon. Minister, on the new uniforms that the IG is asking the Government to purchase through the current budget that you are about to present here?

Madam Speaker: The hon. Member has debated his question.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, …


Mr Chanda: … I would like the hon. Minister to tell me whether we are not confusing the public, because this time you meet a police man dressed in a khaki uniform and the next time, you meet a police officer dressed in a green uniform. Which is the official uniform?


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, one of the important things is that legislation that defines the uniforms for all those in the security service arises out of this House. It is necessary for Members of Parliament to be acquainted with these uniforms since they legislate their use. The following are the uniforms used by the police officers: combat uniform that we call the green and it depends with the units they are in.

Firstly, we have the Unit in Kamfinsa that is specialised in Internal Security. They deal with the people that have a penchant for rioting.

Hon. Opposition Members: Demonstrators.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Secondly, there is the Paramilitary who are basically used for purposes of guarding internal infrastructure and security in the country. They wear the combat uniform with stripes. Then there is the general duties uniform which the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanyama is referring to. This is for police officers who are not carrying guns and walk about with buttons patrolling and are also are on the beat, this is the khaki uniform.

Thirdly, there is the ceremonial uniform that is blue. All these uniforms are for the police officers.

Madam Speaker, I would like to say that the police officers have sufficient uniforms now than ever before. They are not lacking any uniforms. All materials including boots and shoes are in stock. There are contracted tailors who are making uniforms from the materials and have also finished some parts of uniforms that are available in the stores. These tailors are here in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, recently, a number of combat uniforms was also acquired in order for police officers in the rural areas to also wear uniforms and look smart when they wear the white shirt with them.

Madam Speaker, I would like to inform the House that, in this Government, for the first time, the police are not lacking uniform and this includes shoes or combat boots.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Muntanga: Madam Speaker, while I appreciate that there is this availability of uniforms for police officers both of clothing and boots, what measures have been put in place to ensure that they are well distributed in rural areas because, at times, officers are improperly dressed and sometimes even use patapatas.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, the distribution of uniforms in the Police Service is per demand. For example, if in the Southern Province the Commanding Officer sees that his men are not well dressed, then he orders the uniforms that are distributed accordingly. If the Member of Parliament sees policemen who are not well dressed, it is necessary to co-ordinate with the local police senior officers and ensure that the uniforms are made available to the police officers in his constituency.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there is something being done, especially in relation to the ceremonial uniform which the police officers, especially the female police officers wear such as skirts. Most of the times, I have seen tight skirts. Now, looking at the nature of the job these police officers do, can they be able to run in that type of uniform because it is very tight.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, there is a saying in the Eastern Province, ‘kusiyanasiyana kwa ma office.’


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Translated, it means that all offices are different. The female officers in the Police Force can perform in their uniforms.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, could I find out from the hon. Minister, how many types of shoes are issued as uniform because not too long ago, at a pass out parade that was held at Lilayi, all the officers were in beautiful ceremonial uniforms, but had different types of shoes. How many types of shoes are given to them as uniform or are they at liberty to just wear anything?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Madam Speaker, I am surprised that the Member of Parliament for Kabwata is asking that question because he did not attend the parade …

Mr Lubinda: No, but I had people there.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: … and they were looking for him because they wanted to see their Member of Parliament. There are boots and there are also normal walking shoes that are given to them.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Sibavala vilivonse.


104. Mr Lubinda asked the Vice-President:

(a) which foreigners were awarded the honour of Freeman of the Cities of Lusaka, Ndola and Livingstone since independence; and

(b) when the foreigners were awarded these honours and under which circumstances.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Ms Lundwe): Madam Speaker, I wish to state that eleven foreign nationals were conferred with the status of Freeman of the City of Lusaka from 1956 to 2006. These are:

1. Sir Evelyn Denison Hone, the last Governor of the then Northern Rhodesia, 10th September, 1960;

2. The late Her Royal Highness the Princess of England 23rd October, 1964;

3. The late His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, 19th October, 1956;

4. The late His Excellency President Josip Broza Tito of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, 2nd February, 1970;

5. The Honourable Liden Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana, 16th September, 1970;

6. The late His Excellency President Nicolai Ceusescu of the Socialist Republic of Romania and Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Malawi, 19th January, 1975;
7. The late His Excellency Dr. Samora Machel, the President of Mozambique, 12th May, 1975.

8. Young Pioneers of Malawi, 4th May, 1988;

9. Honourable Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa, 3rd March, 1990

Mr Mandela was conferred with this status in recognition of his outstanding, long and tireless contribution and sacrifice rendered to the struggle of freedom, human dignity and social justice in the liberation of South Africa, in the African National Congress (ANC) and in appreciation of his first visit to the city of Lusaka and in realisation of the high esteem in which he is held by the people of Lusaka; and

10. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abduaziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, 3rd June, 2006. He was awarded this status in recognition of his humanitarian assistance to the under privileged across the world.

Madam, five foreign nationals were conferred with the status of Freeman of the Ndola City Council. These are:

1. Dr. Mwallimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in 1967;

2. Dr. Appolo Milton Obote of Uganda in 1969;

3. Mr Varaha Giri Venkata Giri of India in 1972;

4. William Richard Tolbert of Liberia in 1974; and

5. Dr Samora Machel of Mozambique in 1977.

The records available at the council do not indicate the reasons for conferring these men with the free status of the city.

Madam Speaker, no foreign individuals were awarded the status of Freeman of the City. However, one Zambian national, in the name of Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda was in 1995, given this status. Dr. Kaunda was given the status for his outstanding and devoted services to the Republic of Zambia.

Additionally, the Zambia National Defence Forces, Livingstone Base were conferred with Honorary Freedom of the City in 1976 to foster friendship, good relationship and understanding with the people of Livingstone.

Madam, due to the lapse of time, it is not possible to provide information on attributes under which the honorary awards were given to some of the people listed above. However, given the distinguished status of these leaders, it was partly due to their outstanding contributions to their own societies and the rest of humanity.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, quite a number of people have done important things for Zambia. One such person or institution is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It does not only support Zambia in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but also the whole of Africa.

However, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abduaziz Alsaud from Saudi Arabia was awarded the status of Freeman of the City when he came to sign a contract to buy the Intercontinental Hotel. I wonder whether the Government has any intention whatsoever to honour a person such as Melinda or Bill Gates, for the amount of support that they are rendering to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa and in Zambia.

The Vice-President (Mr Rupiah Banda): Madam Speaker, with regard to the Gates, I think it is public knowledge that they give a lot of assistance to humanitarian causes with regard to the fight against the further spread of HIV/AIDS. I think we should wait until the councils responsible give them that honour.

As regards the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abduaziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, we are part of the world now and must appreciate what people are doing even if they are not doing it in Zambia. This gentlemen runs foundations for underprivileged children in West Africa, specifically in Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, the Philippines, and most importantly, he is considering doing the same in this region.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, since His Honour the Vice-President said that it is anticipated that this Prince is going to carry out some philanthropic activities in Zambia, am I to understand that the Freedom of the City was given to this particular Prince in anticipation of things to be done in the future as opposed to the things he has done for Zambia?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, this gentleman has done a lot as stated earlier, for humanity in other parts of the world and on this continent of Africa. I think that, as part of this world and because there are countries that are very close to us, it was done in recognition of what he had already done. Of course, we anticipate that he will do the same here as well.

I thank you, Madam.{mospagebreak}


105. Mr Lubinda asked the Vice-President what the total cost of conducting the 2006 Tripartite Elections was and what constituted the cost.

Ms Lundwe: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that a total of K282,001,455,000 was spent on the 2006 Tripartite Elections broken down as follows:

(i) Publicity and Result Management – K4,301,375,000

(ii) Review of Electoral and Related Legislation – K6,051,575,000

(iii) Voters Registration Consultancy and Results Management System – K53,324,660,000

Polls Day Expenses

(i) Allowances – K91,574,256,000;

(ii) Election Materials – K45,494,654,000;

(iii) Land, Air and Water Transport – K42,240,000,000;

(iv) Electoral Equipment – K17,888,000,000;

(v) Advertising – K9,262,760,000;

(vi) Training for Electoral Staff K2, 000,000,000; and

(vii) Voter Education – K9,872,175,000.

The above were funded as follows:

(i) Government – K254,001,455,000

(ii) Donor Support – K28,000,000,000

TOTAL – K282,011,455,000

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out if there are any outstanding payments to be made towards the conduct of last year’s elections, and if so, which payments they are and what their costs are?

The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Madam Speaker, yes, there are. The reconciliation is still going on with regard to the electoral process and there are some who have not been paid such as those who assisted in the elections. As I said earlier, the reconciliation has not been completed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, when is the Electoral Commission of Zambia going to pay all the transporters whom they hired to carry ballot boxes from polling districts to the central counting stations? I am asking because there are several transporters in my constituency who used their vehicles and money for fuel to transport ballot boxes and some of them have had their engines of the vehicles break down because they went to a harsh terrain. These people cannot, to date, conduct their businesses. I would like to know the day the Vice-President is going to pay these people so that they can continue with their normal life.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, as I have already stated, reconciliation of the payments for the elections are still going on. Not only are the transporters not paid, but there are still outstanding payments to be made for a number of other categories of people who participated in the elections, such as, polling agents and assistants and so on.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Machungwa: Madam Speaker, I am aware that, in some areas of the country, the Electoral Commission of Zambia still owes money to some people for elections conducted prior to the last 2006 general elections. For example, in my constituency, before they introduced tents, they used to rent houses from villagers and some of these houses were damaged and the owners have not been paid what they were supposed to have been paid at the time. Despite correspondence by these old people who cannot come to Lusaka, they have not been paid. What is His Honour going to do to ensure that these very poor people are paid?

Madam Deputy Speaker: His Honour the Vice-President may answer if he is prepared.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, as I stated earlier, the reconciliation process for the …


The Vice-President: … recent elections have not been completed. The other question is new.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Sikota: Madam Speaker, from His Honour the Vice-President’s answer, it appears that K17 billion was spent on equipment and K53 billion on computer systems. There are certain things which pertain to equipment and other things. What is the expected life span of this equipment? Will there be a need in the next elections to incur those expenses again? In other words, will the next elections be less costly because some of the things have been obtained now, and if so, by how much?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I am sure that my learned and distinguished colleague is aware of the fact that I am not able to prophesy what is going to happen in the future. However, I think simple mathematics shows that some of what we already have will be useful in the next elections, but I cannot tell whether it will be less costly to do so at the next elections.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Madam Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President has said that reconciliations are still on going. Since the actual costs have not been given to us, what was the estimated cost of the Tripartite Elections for 2006?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I gave the figure which was estimated, but as elections proceeded, more and more expenditure was incurred. You will be satisfied with the actual figure when the reconciliations have been completed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.



106. Dr. Scott asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning when the Government would seek financial support from the World Bank or any other donor organisations for the upgrading of assets and services for the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government of the Republic of Zambia signed a Water Sector Performance Improvement Project with the World Bank on 22nd December, 2006. This is the Government’s response to the need to support the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company’s goal to improve its efficiency and financial management. This project is closely aligned with and supports Government’s objectives in improving and strengthening water supply and sanitation services and developing a sustainable and dynamic sector. The project is building on current efforts for improvements undertaken by the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company and which are supported by the Government. These improvements encompass not only physical works, but also strengthening the capacity building and advancing sector institutions. The credit with the World Bank amounts to US$23 million for the period 2007 to 2009. The total credit on rent by the Government to the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company is US$21.9 million. An amount of US$21.9 million will be extended to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing as a grant to cater for its technical assistance and capacity building requirements in the water sector programme.

Madam Speaker, the terms and conditions for the on rent amount to the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) will be ten years grace period and thirty years repayment period in two equal installments. The funds will be extended to the LWSC in US Dollars, but repayments to the Government will be in Kwacha at the ruling exchange rate.

Madam Speaker, the LWSC inherited the Africa Development Bank (ADB) loan secured in 1988 from the Lusaka City Council. The Government intends to remove the loan from the books of the LWSC in order to make the company financially viable and turn the loan into equity. The Government is currently in negotiations with the current majority shareholders, Lusaka City Council, to effect this proposal. The Government will eventually float its shares of LWSC to members of the public through the Lusaka Stock Exchange. The total loan amount outstanding to ADB is US$23.3 million. These measures will assist the company to have a positive cash flow that will, in turn, enable the company to operate viably and provide a good service to the population of Lusaka in the medium to long term. This is in line with the Government’s Water Sector Policy.

Madam Speaker, the total loan amount from IDA will be applied by LWSC as follows:

(i) US$10 million will be used for revenue generating assets;

(ii) US$10 million will be applied for capital expenditure and technical assistance; and

(iii) US$1.9 million will cover various taxes.

The Government acknowledges the fact that it has not been paying water bills to the LWSC. The company is now owed approximately K12 billion in outstanding water bills.

The Government is making efforts to pay these bills and the provision to settle these arrears has been made in the 2007Budget. All this is done to help the LWSC have a sound financial base and operate viably.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Scott: Can the hon. Minister comment on the observation that it is somewhat contrary to the spirit of decentralisation for the Central Government to hold shares in a subsidiary of a Local Government institution, the Lusaka City Council, in this case, could he not agree, Madam Chair?

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central for that question. The Government loves the people of Zambia. The money that we are talking about which is in the LWSC is held on behalf of the people of Zambia and if we are to apply it equally, Lusaka would not be given a bigger share. That is why the people of Zambia have a share through the money because these laws are administered by the Republic of Zambia and they have to pay for the service. However, we are saying that this money is going to be off-loaded so that the Zambians, instead of the Government, can buy shares in the LWSC through the Lusaka Stock Exchange. This is a good plan that should be given support.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Minister is aware that the discussion between the LWSC and the World Bank started way back in 1998 and that the discussions were stopped because the Lusaka City Council was not amenable to one of the conditions that the World Bank attached to their loan, namely; that we should introduce public partnership involving a foreign company. I would like to solicit a comment from the hon. Minister on whether indeed, this agreement that has been entered into now does not include that conditionality, and if it does, which foreign company shall participate in the shareholding in the LWSC?

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, in answering this question, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Kabwata. Members of Parliament are members of district councils. The LWSC operates in the Lusaka City Council, and some of the questions they are asking are those to which they would find answers if they went to respective councils.

Dr Scott interjected.

Mr Shakafuswa: The answers are readily available because immediately after the contract has been signed, it is accessible at the council. Therefore, I will answer your question because I know that you enjoy listening to my voice.


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, there is no foreign equity partner in this contract. I remember when signing this contract because the Ministry of Local Government and Housing asked whether the LWSC wanted to be given a condition where they could contract loans or anything without the consent of the World Bank. We, therefore, felt that we were going to transfer autonomy from this country to another entity and the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing said that she was not going to sign it if that was a condition unless it was reviewed so that the control is by ourselves, the Zambians.

I thank you, Madam.


107. Mr Mwenya (Nkana) asked the Minister of Education what the average teacher/pupil ratio in primary schools was.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Ms Changwe): Madam Speaker, in response to the question, the following is the answer.

According to the Ministry of Education’s statistical bulletin of 2005, the average teacher/pupil ratio at the basic school level is 51:421 for Grades 1 to 7 while at Grades 1 to 9 the ratio is 48:521.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mwenya: Madam Speaker, I am actually disappointed that the hon. Minister is suppressing the truth that is prevailing on the ground. In my area, Nkana, we have a teacher/pupil ratio of 100:1. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister,– in 2005, there was K48 million …

Madam Deputy Speaker: Ask your question, hon. Member.

Mr Mwenya: … put aside to employ more teachers to redress the prevailing teacher/pupil ratio. I would like to find out how many teachers we have employed.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, I said that the ratio that I have given here is according to our 2005 Statistical Bulletin. If there is an increment in terms of pupils in this year, my ministry is not aware. However, my ministry, at the moment, has embarked on reconciling the data at district, provincial and national levels so that we can avail it to the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) and seek authority to employ more teachers.

I thank you, Madam.


108. Mr Mwenya asked the Minister of Education what measures the Ministry had taken to accommodate the ever increasing demand for places in Grades 1 to 7 since primary schools were being upgraded into basic and secondary schools.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, the ministry has recognised the need for more places at the basic school level due to a number of interventions that have been put in place, namely; per year at 0.65 per cent on the principal amount, free education policy, the re-entry policy for our girls, the school feeding programme, the bursary scheme, orphans and vulnerable children, to name a few, which have resulted in the increasing demand for places at Grades 1 to 7.

Madam Speaker, a number of interventions have been put in place to address the needs such as:

(i) construction of extra classrooms and teachers’ houses in schools with a deficit;

(ii) creation of interactive radio instruction centres;

(iii) establishment of partnerships with communities in order to set up community schools in areas where schools are either far away from the community or are non-available;

(iv) allowing the private sector to set up schools in line with private sector participation in the provision of educational delivery. However, this is more feasible in urban settings than in rural areas; and

(v) using multi-grade methodology in schools to teach pupils of varying academic levels in the same classes.

Madam Speaker, secondly, the ministry has stopped the system of upgrading basic schools to high schools due to a number of problems that the system created in the process. Currently, the focus in the ministry is working towards upgrading the lower basic schools, that is, Grade 1 to 7 to upper basic level Grades 1 to 9 as opposed to upgrading basic schools to secondary schools as it was in the past.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Madam Speaker, my question was very simple. I wanted to find out from the hon. Minister of Education why we make small school going children to walk long distances to schools through this Government’s decision to upgrade primary schools into upper secondary schools without providing an alternative.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, the upgrading of middle basic schools to upper basic schools was not done everywhere. It was done in selected areas only. The issue of children walking long distances is being addressed because, at the moment, we have moved from rehabilitating schools to construction of more schools. Therefore, we are going to address such issues because we are now undertaking a survey to look at the needy areas in which we shall build these schools. The Government is aware that in certain areas, children walk long distances to reach their school. However, we have the community schools and (Interactive Radio Instruction) IRI Centres where children are able to learn through the instructions given through the electronic media. As such, I do not think it would be right to say that the Government is not taking any steps in addressing this issue because IRI is accessible everywhere in Zambia.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, I would like to recognise the policy in our education policy, of ‘Educating our Future of Partnerships.’ It is a good policy. However, are you really monitoring the many schools that are mushrooming in the country? I say this because even a house has been turned into a boarding school where there are no facilities and no playgrounds. Are you really monitoring these schools because some of them do not have toilets?

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, for any school to be set up, it has to be registered. If there are any schools that are operating in substandard levels, then the ministry is not aware. However, we, as a ministry, have monitors or standards officers in the district who actually inspect all these schools and feedback is given. Therefore, to say that we are not monitoring the mushrooming of schools is not true. Actually, my ministry has the data on all the community schools, private schools and any other schools. Since this is the beginning of the year, other people who may want to open schools will definitely come to the ministry and the officers will inspect their schools and then they will make recommendations accordingly.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Madame Speaker, the hon. Minister said her ministry has a new policy of constructing schools and not rehabilitation. I would like to find out from her who is going to carry out the rehabilitation of schools.

Ms Changwe: Madam Speaker, I think, it is just right to complete the projects that are already running and then begin other projects. We know all the schools that need rehabilitation and we know when we are going to complete these rehabilitations because we have already planned for them and then we shall move into the phase of construction of new schools.

I thank you, madam.

Madam Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1812 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 26th January, 2007.