Debates- Friday, 17th November, 2006

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Friday, 17th November, 2006

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr Mwaanga): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

Sir, on Tuesday, 21st November, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

On Wednesday, 22nd November, the business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be. After that, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address which should be concluded on that date.

Mr Speaker, all things being equal, it is my intention, on this day, to move a motion to suspend the relevant Standing Orders to enable the House adjourn Sine die.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Home Affairs (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I wish to thank you for allowing me to give this Ministerial Statement on the recent police shooting incidents which have occurred in Matero, Missisi and Ng’ombe compounds in Lusaka as well as in Lufwanyama on the Copperbelt.

Mr Speaker, my statement is in three parts. The first part is the introduction and description of each incident, the second part is the Government’s, in particular the Ministry of Home Affairs’, response and the way forward and the third part is the conclusion.

In the introduction, Sir, I want to draw the attention of this august House to the Zambia Police Act Cap. 107 of the Laws of Zambia Section 24 which provides for the principle and for the use of firearms.

Mr Speaker, under this law, the police are allowed to use firearms which have been issued to them against the following person:

(a) any person in lawful custody charged with or convicted of a serious crime or felony when such person is escaping or attempting to escape;
(b) any person who by force rescues or attempts to rescue any other person from lawful custody; and 

(c) any person who by force prevents or attempts to prevent the lawful arrest of himself or any other person.

Mr Speaker, the use of firearms against a person charged with a serious crime and escaping or attempting to escape from lawful custody will only be necessary where the officer has reasonable ground to believe that he or she cannot otherwise prevent the escape. In such an instance, the officer must warn the person that he or she is about to use such force and the warning must go unheeded. Where the officer decides to use firearms against a person who by force rescues or attempts to rescue any person from lawful custody or by force prevents or attempts to prevent a lawful arrest, such force will only be necessary when the officer has reasonable ground to believe that he or any other person is in danger of grievous bodily harm and such arrest cannot be made or rescue prevented without resorting to firearms.

Mr Speaker, in addition to the above instances where firearms may be used, the following may also justify the use of the same:

(a) when the officer is attacked and the officer’s life is in danger and there are no other means by which the officer can save his or her life; and

(b) when it is necessary to disperse a riotous mob which has been ordered to disperse or is committing or attempting to commit serious offences against life or property. The police may be justified to use firearms where a mob is committing or attempting to commit any of the following crimes:

(i) murder;

(ii) serious assault;

(iii) arson; and

(iv) breaking into or attacking a premises.

Mr Speaker, let me now attend to the Matero incident.

Sir, on 24th October, 2006, between 1700 and 1800 hours at Odys Filling Station, Reserve Constable Gift Kangaba was alleged to have shot dead Mr Masautso Mwale, aged about twenty-nine, of Chipata Compound and left another person wounded.

The facts surrounding this issue are as follows:

On that particular day some traffic officers from Lusaka Central Police, among them Constable Kabwe, Sergeant Banda, who was a rider riding a motor bike, and Constable Kaindu, who was also a rider, impounded minibuses for contravening offences. Among the impounded minibuses was a Mitsubishi Rosa registration number AAV 6009 driven by Mr Siliya Osward.

Sir, police officers ordered Mr Osward Siliya to drive the bus to Lusaka Central Police Station, but he refused and instead drove to Matero. In Matero, Constable Kabwe, who was on the bus, again, ordered the driver to drive the bus to Matero Police Station instead of Lilanda. The driver refused and, in the process, lost control of the motor vehicle hitting into the pavement and injuring a pedestrian.

Mr Speaker, thereafter, the passengers descended on the officer beating him up. In an effort to rescue their colleague, some officers from Matero Police Station rushed to the scene armed with riot guns, teargas canisters and AK47 rifles. The passengers had now joined in and the crowd had grown bigger and other members of the public had started throwing stones and charging towards the police officers. The police officers who did not have enough teargas exhausted their teargas and, indeed, all other means and ended up firing in the air using the AK47 rifles.

Mr Speaker in the process, it was found that two people had been shot at. Mr Hassau Zulu aged 30 years of house No. 1904 Matero had bullet wounds in the thigh while Masautso Mwale, aged twenty-nine, was found dead with gun shot wounds at the back of his head.

After investigations, Mr Speaker, it was found that Reserve Constable Kankangaza did the shooting. He was, thereafter, detained at Matero Police Station and charged with murder and has since appeared in court.

Mr Speaker, I need to mention here that the Reserve Constable, who operates from Matero Police Station, was not on duty on that day, but was on Government duty at the courts of law where he is a driver. He had just come to park his vehicle.

Sir, let me now turn to the Missisi Compound incident.

On 15th October, 2006, around 2200 hours, Constable Banda with two neighbourhood watch members namely: Simon Samulonga and Edwin Chisela, booked out on patrol. Whilst on patrol, they apprehended three suspects for loitering. These were; Trust Sichaimba, Mutumwa and Masautso Mulenga. On the way to the Police Post, two of the suspects ran away leaving only Masautso Mulenga.

On 16th of October 2006, early in the morning, which is the following day, the body of Masautso Mulenga was found lying behind Saint Lawrence Community School within Missisi Compound. Word had gone round that the deceased was murdered by the Police and the neighbourhood watch members. Consequently, when one of the neighbourhood watch members by the name of Daka came to the scene, people descended on him and started to throw stones at the policemen who came to his rescue. 

The officers together with the neighbourhood watch officers ran to the Police Post. Thereafter, the residents came from all directions throwing all sorts of missiles at the Police Post, during which incident some of the officers got injured, and a lot of property was damaged and lost. The total value of property damaged was K19 million.

Mr Speaker, in an effort to control the situation, the officers used tear gas smoke and ran out of it. The officers then resorted to using live ammunition by firing in the air to scare the mob. In the process, one of the protesters was shot on the left arm and the bullet got stuck in his chest. It is not clear who fired the shot as five of the officers were armed with firearms which use the same ammunition, these being AK47 rifles.

Sir, investigations are continuing to identify the one who fired the shot that caught one of the rioters. Meanwhile, Constable Banda of Kamwala South Police Post together with the two neighbourhood watch members namely: Edwin Chisela and Simon Samulonga have been detained and charged with the murder of the late Masautso Mulenga.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the Ng’ombe incident.

Sir, on 8th September, 2006, Sergeant Zimba, whilst in the company of Constable Silomba, Reserve Constable Tembo and a neighbourhood watch officer, Mr Luhanga, all of Ng’ombe Police Post, booked out on foot patrol of the area.

Whilst on foot patrol, they found a funeral taking place at House Number 14/11 which belongs to Mr Henry Gatuga. The other officers passed by, but Sergeant Zimba remained to chat to some people who were warming themselves from a brazier.

Mr Speaker, the other officers heard some gunshots and when they turned to find out what had happened, they found Sergeant Zimba attempting to shoot himself. He later changed his mind and dropped the weapon and ran away. On the 9th September, 2006, around 0700 hours, an angry mob of Ng’ombe residents came to the Police Post and threw stones at the motor vehicles that were parked at the Police Post. Eleven vehicles were burnt completely while eight others had their windscreens shattered. The Police Post was completely destroyed.

Sir, during the riot, about twenty suspects facing various charges escaped when the roof of the Police Post got damaged.
A total of forty-seven suspects were apprehended and have since appeared in court for malicious damage, arson and rioting.

Sergeant Zimba was apprehended two days later in Chunga Compound where he had been hiding. He has since been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Sir, let me now turn to the Katembula Youth Centre shooting incident in Lufwanyama.

Mr Speaker, on 7th November, 2006, around 1400 hours Constable Mukosayi of Lufwanyama Police, whilst on duty, was harassed and assaulted by three youths from Katembula Youth Centre namely: Nicholas Banda, Michael Kabanda and Melvin Kabanda.

The officer was deployed at Lufwanyama check point. Whilst on duty, the officer saw that his girl friend, Patricia (no other names given), was in the company of these three youths and so he wanted to inquire where they were going. The three youths, however, got angered and vented their anger on the officer by beating and thereby assaulting and causing him to sustain general body pains and tearing apart his uniform.

Sir, a docket for the case of assault was opened against the three youths. On the 11th November, 2006, five officers from Kalulushi Police Station who included Chief Inspector Mufaya CID Kalulushi, Chief Inspector Mboyongwa CIO, Inspector Mukompa, Sergeant Chongo and Constable Ichindi, left for Lufwanyama to pursue the same case. They managed to apprehend one suspect while the other ran away and went to inform his colleagues at the youth centre that one of their colleagues had been picked up by the Police.

The youths at the centre then mobilised themselves and went to rescue their friend. The rescue team that had grown big surrounded the police officers prompting them to start firing warning shots in the air to disperse the crowd. However, the crowd kept on increasing and surging towards the police officers.

Mr Speaker, fearing for their lives, the officers started to shoot on the ground. In the process, three youths sustained injuries. These were; Joe Kafula who sustained a cut in the right shoulder, Joe Bwalya who sustained bruises on the right armpit and Brian Chileshe who sustained a cut on his chin.

The three youths were rushed to Kitwe Central Hospital. Joe Kafula and Joe Bwalya were immediately discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment whilst Brian Chileshe is still admitted to hospital. A team has been constituted and sent to Lufwanyama for investigations so that we can know the depth of this particular issue as there are many complaints from people that live in that area about the activities of the youth.

Mr Speaker, let me now deal with the issue of the Government’s response and the way forward. The Government, through my ministry, has strongly condemned and will continue to censure all irresponsible incidents of firearms usage and any other acts of bad policing by our officers.

Sir, part of the Zambia Police Mission Statement emphasises that the Zambia Police is committed to providing high quality service. The Police Service further underscores its commitment to cultivate rapport and partnership with the community.

Mr Speaker, where acts and facts of negligence have been identified to exist by the officers using such firearms, drastic actions such as immediate arrests, suspension from duty and holding of any firearms have been taken against the offenders without exception. For example, the shootings in Ng’ombe, Missisi and the Copperbelt, to mention but a few, have been investigated and the police officers involved have been arrested, as stated earlier.

Sir, the Police Command has revised and continues to review the Police Service Standing Orders and Regulations in order to bring them in line with contemporary expectations. In an effort to improve policing of the nation, the Police High Command undertook the following drastic steps:

1. banned all police guard duties at private and individual shops; the rationale of this move was to reduce the carnage of armed robberies that had rocked the nation. Ever since the guard duties were banned, the cases of armed robberies were reduced;

2. the Officers-In-Charge of police stations are made to account for the firearms issued to their officers at their formations, particularly to police officers on patrols;

3. the Ministry of Home Affairs facilitated the purchase of 9,000 pieces of riot equipment namely; shields, helmets and long batons. The equipment is mostly used in place of firearms. The main objective of this initiative was aimed at reducing incidents of accidental or negligent use of firearms which have without any reasonable cause led to the loss of lives and injuries;

4. a further 9,000 pieces of riot equipment to enhance the capability to respond to emergencies have been ordered;

5. early this month the Commissioner of Police toured Lusaka Division and presented a paper to police officers on the use of firearms; and

6. the Inspector-General of Police undertook a tour of the Copperbelt and addressed all commanding officers, including their officers-in-charge on how to carry out their duties professionally.

Mr Speaker, the way forward is that my ministry, through the Zambia Police Command, is committed to fostering improved training and retraining of police officers. In order to enhance this objective, all the three police training institutions namely; Zambia Police Training College, Godfrey Mukuma Training Centre at Sondela and the Kamfinsa Mobile Unit Training School will conduct six months middle management training programmes for police officers in all aspects of general policing.

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, the police training institutions will continue to run the human rights course for all course participants. My ministry has recommitted the Zambia Police Service to respecting individual human and people’s rights. It further recognises the Zambian community’s expectations and obligations borne by the Police Service and shall remain committed to fulfilling these noble obligations.

Mr Speaker, in addition, the police reforms brought about the concept of community policing in which members of the public work hand in hand with police officers in their respective localities. This has been made possible by establishing police posts and neighbourhood watch schemes thereby bringing a closer co-operation in the communities.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, has also made tremendous strides in providing to the Zambia Police Service motor transport, new uniforms, accommodation and other police operational requisites.

Mr Speaker, the Fifth National Development Plan by the MMD New Deal Administration has been very favourable towards the law and order sector in that it ranks the sector high on the national priority list. For example in the first year of the plan, there is a budget of K56 billion. Overall, the Government has given priority to improving the conditions of service for our police officers.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Service having been established by Article 103 of the Constitution of Zambia is mandated under Article 104 to, inter alia, protect life and property, preserve law and order and detect and prevent crime. The Zambia Police Service recognises and respects the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of the individuals as enshrined under Part II of Chapter 1 of the Constitution of Zambia. The Zambia Police Act further establishes the rules and regulations of policing in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Act Chapter 107 of the Laws of Zambia at Section 24 provides the principles for the use of firearms. Under this law, the police are allowed to use firearms that have lawfully been issued to them.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Service re-echoes its commitment to good policing and the enhancement of democratic tenets for good governance. In order to achieve this goal, the Police Service has recommitted itself to reviewing its role of policing in order to fulfill its obligations as stipulated under Article 104 of the Constitution of Zambia. Furthermore, the Zambia Police Service is ready to change its approaches to law enforcement strategies whenever it becomes prudent and necessary in order to facilitate good governance while upholding its professional standards and ethics.

Finally, Mr Speaker, it is notable that though the incidents of police brutality under the colonial police were higher than today, the Zambia Police Service aims to preserve life at all times and protect property. This will be attained by the police officers adhering to the tenets of good policing in the democratic State of Zambia by applying the law fairly and firmly to all.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification contained in the statement given by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, on the way forward, the hon. Minister stated that the Police Service has banned the use of police officers at private premises and that this has brought a reduction in robberies. Can he confirm that the police were involved in these criminal activities?

Lieutenant General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, when police officers were allowed to guard private residences and premises, there was a likelihood of firearms going into wrong hands. I am unable to confirm that the police were involved in these acts. However, the fact that this was done as routine disciplinary control of firearms, armed robberies have reduced and we are happy with the reduction.

I thank you.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if written reports are required and demanded as a matter of routine whenever a firearm is used by a police man. Do the police hold formal or administrative hearings at which even the public are allowed to give evidence and attend whenever there has been somebody killed or injured by the police through the use of firearms and if they do, do people have access to the findings and proceedings of these public hearings?

Lieutenant General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, at every police post or station, there is what is called an occurrence report. Every occurrence that includes the discharge of a firearm is reported and recorded in the occurrence report. Where such an event happens and loss of life is involved, all the people in the community are allowed to come and give evidence and part of that evidence is put in that occurrence report and a docket is opened. The docket that is opened is available for anybody to examine and this has resulted in a number of officers appearing in court, as I said.

I thank you.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Speaker, in relation to the case in Matero where a simple traffic offence resulted in death, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Home Affairs if when mini bus drivers contravene traffic rules, the passengers are also supposed to be apprehended. In this case, the driver wanted to drop off the passengers at the bus stop before going to the police.
Lieutenant General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, indeed, it is tragic that what seemingly appeared to be a simple traffic offence resulted in loss of life. This is because the people on the ground disobeyed police instructions. The driver had been ordered to take the vehicle to the Central Police Station in town. He decided he was not going to do that. Instead he decided to go to Lilanda. He was then ordered to take the vehicle to Matero Police Station, but he refused to do that and said that he wanted to drop off his passengers in Lilanda first and then go back to the police station. The police were ordering him to discharge his passengers there and then and obey police instructions.
Mr Speaker, this is a lesson to all of us in the public that when the police give you instructions, you must obey. If they say stop, then you must stop in order for that issue to be dealt with.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, arising from the ministerial statement which we have heard from the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, one can easily conclude that some of these shootings are intentional.

Mr Speaker: Order!

You cannot conclude while asking a question. Can you ask your question.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister when his ministry intends to conduct training for the officers in the Police Force on human rights.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, four years ago the police, in liaison with the Human Rights Institute in Geneva and the local office here, started to train police officers from the Inspector-General of Police all the way down to middle management level on policing that includes human rights. This is a continuing exercise. It is going to be reintroduced, as I said in my statement this morning, in order to enhance policing with human rights.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what sort of warnings the police officers shoot in the air and how the bullets shoot people who are on the ground when they are only intended to be warning shots.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, all I can say is that anything that goes up comes down.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, arising from the ministerial statement which has just been given by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, it is evident that these shootings are rampant in Lusaka where a commanding officer who is known for his brutality is in charge. Is the Government doing anything to change the commanding officer? Who is to blame, individual police officers or this commanding officer who is known to be brutal?


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament has nothing to do with the Lusaka Commanding Officer. The onset of the problems lies elsewhere. In Matero, for example, the crowds were chanting ‘ubwato, ubwato, ubwato’?


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: The question is: was this then also being carried out by the leaders of the Patriotic Front (PF). The answer is no. Public disorder is not encouraged by every leader. All leaders ensure that there is public order.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwenzi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why when a police officer is attacked, a squad is sent immediately, but when an ordinary person is attacked, there is no transport and there are no officers to help.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for this question. First and foremost, the number of officers that are going to be sent to any location is determined by the number of officers that are deployed at that police post or police station. For example, last night, in one of the compounds, a group of thieves armed with guns and machetes attacked four homes destroying and picking up property. When the police were ordered to move in, they did so in large numbers because they were many at that police post.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the police are using live instead of rubber bullets on human beings.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, as I have indicated, my ministry has ordered a number of accessories for the police to use during riots and, indeed, such other incidents of civil disorder. Part of the items being bought are rubber bullets.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that in all of these cases, the police officers have been charged and will be facing trial. I would like to find out from him whether he does not realise that by stating, on the Floor of this House, that in all these cases the police officers did not shoot at the people, but were firing in the air he is giving evidence on behalf of the police officers who are facing trial which is prejudicial and contemptuous.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister is free to answer that question. However, I wish to rule on procedure. A matter that is being raised on the Floor of this House and has been allowed by the Chair cannot be deemed to be prejudicial.

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Speaker: However, the hon. Minister may answer the other parts of that question.

Hon. Government Members: 4-0.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I wish to hide under your cover.

I thank you, Sir.


Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, will the hon. Minister …

Hon. Government Members: You were here.

Dr Machungwa: … explain this sudden increase in shootings during the time he has been at the police. He has been at the police before and we did not have this spate of shootings. Does this, in fact, confirm that the shootings are political because he stated that in Matero, people were shouting, ‘ubwato, ubwato’, and that is why they were shot.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, the police and all of us hon. Members want a professional Police Service that is going to give quality service as per statement of fact by the police themselves. Therefore, none of the shootings have been political. Every shooting has been accidental, as I read in my statement, and was due to the fact that the police officers were under severe pressure.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just read a number of incidences where police officers have used firearms. Besides that, we have also heard of incidences where police officers have shot themselves. Has the ministry conducted a research or investigations into the actual reasons leading to the loss of life by the police themselves and that of the community? This is because it is now like there is a cold war between the impoverished people and the frustrated police officers.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, a number of researches have been carried out to see the areas of police activity as they hold firearms. A number of these researches have given us the way forward. We are able to direct our activities of training to address those areas of deficiency and the areas of equipment deficiency as well.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, policemen are public servants and I am sure a public servant must have the interest of the public at heart. I would like the hon. Minister to explain what is wrong with the driver first dropping off the passengers and then reporting himself to the police station.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I would like to give an example of a situation where on a highway in the USA, a police vehicle is driving behind another vehicle and the driver who is driving the other vehicle is asked to stop. Does that driver stop or not? The police are asking him to stop. The instructions are for him to stop and, therefore, he must obey. He cannot say, ‘I have a duty to do and you policemen must wait.’ That is the same with the police case in Matero. The police instructed the driver to go and park the vehicle at the police station, but he adamantly refused to obey police instructions.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, in the statement the hon. Minister gave, he said that these incidents were accidental. I would like to find out why the police officers are being prosecuted if the Government is convinced that the incidents were accidental.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, at the beginning of my statement, I read out how police officers who are legally allowed to carry firearms may conduct themselves. In the event that these regulations are not obeyed, the officers are prosecuted.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}


The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Mr Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central, Mr Scott, for raising the Point of Order which has given me an opportunity to clear the air over the marketing of maize for this year. I still believe that at some stage, I will be given an opportunity to make my proper maiden speech. However, today, I intend to clear the air over the marketing system.

Sir, the Government is concerned that some farmers who delivered maize to the Food Reserve Agency have not been paid. However, we are making every effort to ensure that farmers are paid in time to enable them purchase agricultural inputs for this coming season. As you are all aware, the original plan, based on the budgetary allocation of K50 billion, was for the Food Reserve Agency to purchase K80,000 metric tonnes of maize, 1,200 metric tonnes of rice, 2,400 metric tonnes of cassava, 1,200 metric tonnes of soya beans and 1,200 metric tonnes of groundnuts during the current marketing season.

Mr Speaker, this was the Budget ceiling that was provided to my ministry by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning in the 2006 National Budget, for the purchase of crops.

Sir, in view of the reported increase in maize production and other food crops, the Government instructed the Food Reserve Agency to source additional resources from the financial sector to enable it procure more maize for the strategic food reserve, thereby improving the food security position in the country. In response to these dynamics, the Government, on its part, increased its allocation from K50 billion to K140 billion.

Mr Speaker, at the first close of purchases which was the end of September, 2006, the agency procured 347,000 metric tonnes of maize valued at K263.720 billion countrywide. The Food Reserve Agency resumed purchases, again, from small-scale farmers in October, 2006, to mop-up all the unpurchased crops throughout the country before the onset of the rains. To date, the Food Reserve Agency has purchased a total of 382,000 tonnes. To this effect, the Government and the Food Reserve Agency have been mobilising international resources to pay farmers from the following sources:

(i) proceeds from the export of maize;

(ii) funding from the Government; and

(iii) commercial loans.

Mr Speaker, the process of paying farmers has been going on for a while today. As of today, 17th November, 2006, K262 billion has been paid out to farmers, leaving a balance of K27 billion which is arising from the additional purchases of 35,000 metric tonnes of maize. We have cleared the old purchases at the close of the marketing season. What is outstanding is on the new purchases.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: Sir, it is envisaged that all the farmers will be paid in the next two weeks. The arrangements for this have already been made. The agency is working hard to mobilise and distribute financial resources throughout its pay points.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, through you, urge the warehouse managers to ensure that payments to farmers are expedited and that the principle of first to deliver, first to be paid is adhered to at all times.

Sir, let me take this opportunity to emphasise that this is the largest crop that the Food Reserve Agency has ever purchased in a single season.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: Whilst we have noted the successes of putting K262 billion in the pockets of small-scale farmers throughout the country, we have equally taken note of the challenges that remain. We will endeavour to use these experiences to build an even better marketing programme for the next season and we are already doing that.

Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to ensuring that all farmers are rewarded for their efforts in a timely manner. The Government will ensure that it assists the Food Reserve Agency mobilise financial resources and pay farmers on time.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon Members may now ask questions which will enable the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives clarify some of the points he made in his ministerial statement.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, this is the only country where year in and out, Parliament allocates money in the Budget for the purchase of maize. For the last five or so years this has been done and this fund ought to be growing. Can the hon. Minister explain why there is always not sufficient money to buy maize? When you buy maize, you will, again, sell it. Therefore, why is this fund not growing to a level where it becomes self-sustaining?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, it is true that Parliament allocates money every year for the purchase of maize, but we must not forget the fact that the Government, because of its responsibility to the people, has, at times, instructed FRA to sell maize at a price lower than they bought it. For example, last year, they imported maize at a much higher price and when the maize came here, we instructed them to sell it at much less than the purchased price so as to keep, of course, the consuming public eating cheap nshima. That is the reason. So it is we the Government and this Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has accepted that they sell maize at a lower price than they import it and they always budget for its purchase. Would it not be prudent for the Government to state the actual food reserve level for a stipulated period so that instead of importing at a higher cost, we have reserves for a longer period of time? Can the Government not consider doing that?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for Kalomo Central …


Hon. Government Members: Member for Kalomo.

Mr Kapita: Oh, the hon. Member for Kalomo Central. It is true that when we import maize, it costs us more and because of that we have to sell it at a lower price to the millers. Yes, it is possible for us, as a country, and we are working on that, to ensure that we have enough maize so that we are not forced to import.

For the information of hon. Members, we have, over the last three weeks, been conducting meetings with all the stakeholders. We are working on a situation where every November, the Government will have an idea of the plantings of all the commercial farmers for maize and will have an idea of how much they will allocate to the Food Reserve Agency and commercial farmers if there is a strategy and will have an idea of how much small-scale farmers are going to produce. I have read through the Food Reserve Agency Act. We are required to produce 200,000 metric tonnes of maize and principally we are supposed to keep a three months supply of maize which is the limited time required to import the maize. Now the amount of maize that we store depends on the cost of having maize imported. You can import maize at a cheaper price than you are able to produce it. In that situation, you are better off importing. However, right now, we are looking at having sufficient reserves and we are going to produce that maize.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, I have two questions to ask the hon. Minister. The first question relates to the announcement of the producer price. Farming, whether, peasant, small-scale or commercial, is a business. It is a source of livelihood. Is the Government considering announcing the producer price for the 2006/2007 season now? The second question relates to the mainstay of the New Deal Government’s good agricultural policies and this is the Fertiliser Support Programme, especially as it relates to the rural areas. Will the hon. Minister explain why in previous seasons, this support programme was not extended to Luena Constituency? Can he also explain whether this year, he is going to extend it to Luena Constituency?

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Chair will give the hon. Minister the freedom to answer that question, if he so wishes. However, if hon. Members listen carefully to how I phrase the way you may react to ministerial statements, I usually use the phrase, ‘Points of clarification,’ referring to issues which have been raised in the ministerial statement. Obviously, we are still in learning mode. So, I shall allow the hon. Minister, if he so wishes, and if he has answers to those questions which are unrelated to the ministerial statement he made, to answer.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, yes, farmers must have an idea of a price when they are planting. This will enable them plan how much to grow knowing how much they are going to make at the end of the day. This is done annually, but, unfortunately, at times, there is another school of thought that in a free market economy, the price is supposed to determine itself. However, because we have a lot of small-scale farmers, we are bound, as a Government, to give a price. It might not be a pre-planning price because a pre-planning price means you give the price before planting time. We are actually looking at this. In the next few days, we will decide whether to announce it before or close to harvest time. The price will be given to assist the small-scale farmers make money. If we do not announce the price, people will offer anything because there is no indicator price. We shall be doing it.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, arising from the admission by the Government that they still owe some farmers money for the produce sold to the Food Reserve Agency, I would like to find out whether the Government is going to consider allowing the farmers who have not been paid to access the agricultural input subsidies and loans and have those loans deducted from the money they are owed by the Food Reserve Agency. This will enable them plant and plan for this planting season.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, the answer is a categorical no. The reason is that we have paid farmers for the first delivery and officially …

Mr Mtonga: You have not.

Mr Kapita: We have paid every farmer for the crops up to 30th September, this year, which was the close of the marketing season. This means the farmers have already been paid for their maize. These other purchases were just to help them mop up whatever was remaining. If we had not paid the farmers up to the close of the marketing season, yes, we would have thought of giving them fertiliser while awaiting payment. However, I am afraid that, at this time, we are not going to create that situation because things can become very confusing and difficult to control. Because it can be difficult to control, I am afraid it is not good to do that.

Thank you, Sir.
Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I find it very difficult to understand why for the fifteen years this Government has been in power, we have been importing maize at a high price and paying our farmers less. I understand that you, in the Government, are bad at business, but is it not good business to pay our local farmers more than the foreigners so that we encourage the production of maize grain, in particular, so that our food stocks become sufficient? Why does the hon. Minister even hesitate to take a decision to pay more for the crop being planted now than for the imported one?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, admittedly, that is a very good question, but we have to accept that every year, we pay farmers what we think is a profitable price. As a Government, we have not been pegging a price below the cost of production. We have looked at the cost of production as worked out by the Zambia National Farmers Union, which represents the farmers, and the Policy and Planning Department in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. These two institutions compare notes and arrive at the average price. This price gives a margin over and above the production cost. This means that there is a break-even point to which you add the profit. The price that we peg is actually profitable. We do not underpay them.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify something. Are we returning to the days of the National Agriculture and Marketing Board (NAMBOARD)? Is the Food Reserve Agency, which is becoming the buyer of the first resort or, in fact, the monopoly buyer of all the maize in the country and the supplier to the millers of subsidised maize the new NAMBOARD? The hon. Minister will recall, since he has been in this game for a very long time, that this House was obliged, in 1989, in passing Act No. 19 of that year, to close down NAMBOARD because it was unsustainable. This was under the UNIP Government. What magic has the New Deal Government got to make the same arrangements work when they did not work under socialism?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to answer.

The FRA is not NAMBOARD. It is there because as a responsible Government, you must have a unit that stabilises the price of the staple food. It is there to purchase crops for the strategic reserve.

Mr Speaker, when the private sector has failed to buy the crop, as is the case now, it is the duty of a responsible Government like the MMD to ensure that the crop is bought. Otherwise, there will be no production the following year. We have a two-pronged arrangement. We have the FRA, which has been given the mandate by this august House, to purchase the maize for strategic food reserves for the country. At the same time, we are facilitating and encouraging the private sector to enter into the market.

To this end, my ministry is revamping the operations of the Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZFC), the district unions and primary co-operatives so that they become part and parcel of the private sector and buy the crops. We are also assisting and encouraging in facilitating the formation of farmer-owned companies to buy the crops. We are also recognising and facilitating the operations of genuine and credible grain marketing companies. It is a double pronged approached. However, as a responsible Government, it is impossible to get out of maize marketing and leave the 800,000 small-scale farmers to fend for themselves.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Quality!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the question raised by Hon. Hachipuka requires follow up. I seek clarification from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives on this. The money that goes into maize purchasing is money that goes into a revolving fund. Granted, the hon. Minister said that there are years when the FRA is forced to import maize at higher cost than they sell it. That is only in a few incidences and not the total maize that is consumed in Zambia. This means, therefore, that the revolving fund must always have some salvage value.

Could the hon. Minister make an undertaking that when he comes to this House to request for an allocation of money for the next farming season, he shall indicate to this House how much of last year’s allocation will have still been in reserve in the revolving fund before this House allocates fresh funds for maize purchasing.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am very grateful because that question allows me to explain further. The FRA has been building up some small reserves. For this crop marketing season, we had a balance brought forward of K11 billion from the previous marketing season. The opening figure for the current marketing season brought forward by FRA is K11 billion. So, we are building up the reserves.
I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}



8. Mr Lubinda (Kabwata) asked the Minister of Education the approved hours of learning and teaching per week for basic and high schools.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Mr Speaker, according to the new Basic Education Curriculum framework, the contact hours at the lower basic level ,Grades 1-4, were increased from three and half hours to five hours. However, it has not been possible to implement the five-hour contact time in cases where there are double or triple sessions. What is obtaining at this level is three and  half hour per day as contact time, that is seventeen and half hours of contact time per week.

However, the vision of the Ministry of Education is to get to the level where the contact time is five hours per day. The ministry is working towards eliminating the double and triple shifts at the basic school level as contained in the Fifth National Development Plan, 2007-2015.

At the middle basic level, Grades 5 to 7, the contact hours are five hours per day, that is twenty-five hours per week.

At the upper basic level, that is Grades 8-9, the contact hours are six hours per day, giving a total of thirty hours per week.

The contact hours for high school namely, Grades 10-12 are six hours per day giving a total of 30 hours per week.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has disclosed that the contact hours at basic level school are only seventeen and a half instead of twenty-five. Bearing in mind that, on a daily basis, these children are obliged to undertake other school chores such as sweeping classes, can the hon. Minister state to this House what programme his ministry has put in place to ensure that they reach the target of twenty-five hours per week. Further, when will this be implemented to ensure that children get quality education at basic school level?

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I have clearly stated that the Ministry of Education is working towards raising the contact hours from three and half hours per week, in cases where we have double and triple sessions, to five hours. This is clearly stated in the Fifth National Development Plan as the goal to which we are working.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


9. Mr Lubinda asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing what the management arrangement for Lusaka Intercity Bus Station was.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that the Lusaka Intercity Bus Station is currently being run by a management team headed by a manager which reports to an ad hoc board consisting of members from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Lusaka City Council and other relevant stakeholders. I recently dissolved this board to pave way for the establishment of a Statutory Market and Bus Station Board as directed by His Excellency the President, in 2005.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that he recently dissolved the management team at Lusaka Intercity Bus Station awaiting the institution of a Bus Station Board. In the interim, who is managing the Lusaka Intercity Bus Station? Further, what problem does the hon. Minister have with handing over the management of the Intercity Bus Station to the local authority which, by law, is supposed to run such institutions?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, there is still a management running the Intercity Bus Station. Therefore, that question is not in order.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I work at that bus station. It is still being manned by a board which consists of MMD cadres. Can the hon. Minister tell me why that bus station has been turned into a hotel because people sleep there. All the criminals from town centre go and sleep there. These people are charged K2,000.00 per night. I would like to know why those criminals are allowed to go and sleep there.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in our response we stated that the ad hoc board was dissolved. Therefore, there is no board at the moment. There is only a management team headed by a manager.

I thank you, Sir.


10. Mr Mwangala (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) what measures were taken by the Government to eliminate the activities of hired killers known as the Karavinas in the Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency from 2003 to 2005; and

(b) whether the measures taken by the Government were effective in controlling the activities of the Karavinas and in maintaining law and order in the area.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Musosha): Mr Speaker, in order to eliminate the activities of hired killers known as the Karavinas in the Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency from 2003 to 2005, the following measures were taken:

(i) police patrols were intensified and the police command has been instructed to deploy more officers in such places;

(ii) community policing strategies such as involving community members in the operations of Local Crime Prevention Units and Neighbourhood Associations were introduced; and
(iii) carrying out the buy-back of firearms programme and implementing amnesty on illegal firearms.

Mr Speaker, the measures which were introduced not only in Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency, but in the whole Western Province to eradicate Karavinas, proved fruitful as can be evidenced by the reduction in the number of murder cases reported in the province during the last four years.

Year  Murder cases reported

2002  98
2003  91
2004  80
2005  67

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, has the Government ascertained that Hon. Mwangala, who is the former District Commission, was not the one hiring these Karavinas.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kalomo appears to want the Hon. Member for Nalolo to answer his question …


Mr Speaker: … which is not possible.



11. Mr Mwangala asked the Minister of Education whether there were plans to establish a high school in the densely populated area of Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the plan of the Ministry of Education is to establish high schools in all densely populated areas, including Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency by upgrading existing basic schools, which have appropriate infrastructure, into high schools. As for Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency, Moyo High School in Senanga has already been established and this is a fact the Hon. Member for Nalolo is very much aware of.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwangala: Mr Speaker, in the entire country, it is only Western Province which has got no Girls Boarding Secondary School. Could the hon. Minister tell me if he has got plans to urgently put a Girls Boarding Secondary School in Western Province.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, one of the underlining policy principles in the New Deal Education Policy is equity. Equity in relation to girls education centres on identifying different educational provision strategies which will facilitate access, participation and effective achievement of girls in education. Currently, we are exploring ways of introducing boarding secondary schools in areas of deficit so that we can expand the participation of girls in secondary education.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

12. Mr Kasongo asked the Minister of Works and Supply when construction of the Chembe Bridge on the Luapula River will be completed.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia laid a foundation stone for the Chembe Bridge on the Luapula River on 17th September, 2006, and construction commenced on 28th August, 2006, with the projected duration of eighteen months.

Therefore, the intended completion date of the project will be 28th April, 2008. At the moment, the Zambian Government is fully financing the project, but the arrangement is that Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo will co-finance the construction. The Democratic Republic of Congo shall refund half of the cost. At the moment, we are providing all the funds required for this bridge. The contract sum is K46,356, 399, 562,.00. The life span of the bridge is over 100 years. The contractor is China Henan International Group Co-operation.

Mr Speaker, the construction of Chembe Bridge will bring about economic benefits to Luapula and Copperbelt Provinces. Poverty levels will be alleviated in that agriculture produce, fuels and spare parts will need to come from the Copperbelt to Luapula Provinces and vice-versa. This will provide the Democratic Republic of Congo, Copperbelt and Luapula provinces a cheaper route to East and Central Africa. The areas through which this bridge will connect like the Copperbelt, Luapula, Luwingu, Kasama, Mpulungu and Nakonde will experience economic boom as this route gets busier.

Mr Speaker, the contractor is about to complete mobilisation and is beginning to do preliminary works.

Mr Speaker, we have started constructing this bridge without the initial funding from Congo DR because of the importance this Government gives to this bridge.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how much the Zambian, Chinese and Zairian workers will benefit out of the K46 billion which will be used to construct this bridge.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this bridge is being constructed by two countries and both countries are going to pay half of the cost. Therefore, each country will benefit from the half that is paid to the contractors who will, in turn, pay the workers.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is aware that the completion of the bridge without doing the Pedicle Road will not bring the benefits to the two countries and provinces involved. When is construction of the associated project, the Pedicle Road, going to begin?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the Pedicle Road is another project. In this year’s Budget, it has only been  allocated K2 billion for maintenance. We are still looking for funds to do this road. When we find the money, we will come here and inform the nation that we have found money for this road. At the moment, the nation should be very happy that we have started doing the Chembe Bridge after which we shall go to the Pedicle Road.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm that the actual construction of the Chembe Bridge has not started and that what is happening now is mobilisation only.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the construction of the bridge has started. The contractor is on site and that is the beginning of the construction of the bridge.
I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, this bridge has a long history. Now that they have started working on it, there is the aspect of cost sharing with the Congolese Government. The hon. Minister has informed us that they are looking for funds to upgrade the Pedicle Road. How will this be possible when we are battling to have equal shares to build the Chembe Bridge which belongs to two countries?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the construction of the Chembe Bridge and the Pedicle Road are projects that the two countries have agreed to carry out together. Therefore, no-one should worry about what will happen or how we will do this because this has been agreed upon. Our country has found the money to build the Chembe Bridge because of the importance that is attached to the project. The Democratic Republic of Congo is going to do its part once they find the money.

Equally, once we find money for the Pedicle Road, we are going to start working on it and our friends will give us the money once they find it. The reason is that these two projects are very important to our country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


13. Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives how many tonnes of D compound and urea fertiliser were sent to provinces and districts as of the end of September, 2006, for the 2006/2007 farming season.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this House that as at the end of September, 2006, a total of 14,967 metric tonnes of D compound and 30,000 metric tonnes of urea fertiliser were distributed to provinces and districts.

Mr Speaker, I am not sure on how to handle this because I have a total schedule for all the seventy-two districts and the nine provinces which, probably, I may lay on the Table.

Hon. Members: Yes!

Mr Kapita: I am seeking the Chair’s ruling.

Mr Kapita laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, according to the information made available to this House, the ministry has already delivered 30,000 metric tonnes of urea against 14,000 metric tonnes of D compound, and yet, what comes first is D Compound. How is he going make sure that farmers who have already planted are not starved?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for the question. It is true that we are supposed to have equal amounts of fertiliser; the basal dressing, which is D-compound and top dressing, which is urea. These two are supplied by different companies. The urea is imported. It is imported at the right time by Miyombo Investments and Omnia Small-Scale Fertiliser. These companies bring in fertiliser at the required time. The D-compound is produced by our own company, Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), which normally has financial problems. The D-compound was already available in total, however, the collateral managers, who are the banks, could only release, at that time, 14,000 tonnes. They have since released the full amount which is already out there in the districts and provinces because we have managed to pay something.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, the Fertiliser Support Programme from which peasant farmers access fertiliser, as the hon. Minister has announced, has serious imbalances. May I ask through you, Sir, using the rule of equity in distribution, whether it is reasonable for a caring Government to only give 160,000 peasant farmers, when we know, and this morning he has confirmed, that there are 800,000 that require this support. How does he think of redressing the food security of this country, primarily with regard to maize grain, like that? Is he joining the ‘New Deal Bad Government’ in bad planning? Can he answer that question?


Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am afraid to inform you that I have not joined a government of bad planning. I have joined a government with a vision and better planning.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I agree that there are about 800,000 small-scale farmers that require support. However, we are talking about supplying fertiliser to the vulnerable but viable people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: We have 160,000 farmers that we are supplying fertiliser with as the national resources can allow. As a responsible Government, we could have done more, but financial resources cannot allow.

Sir, we do not want to make every farmer a beggar and give a lot of handouts, so we have got to find out those who are vulnerable and viable and give them. Those who can afford, really, it is not right to continue spoon feeding them. Therefore, 160,000 is the right number of people that we are supposed to give.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, what measures has the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives put in place to ensure that the subsidised fertiliser does not find itself on the black market like in the past?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, we are aware, as a Government, that, at times, some fertilisers end up in wrong hands. As a ministry, we are doing everything possible to ensure that all those within our ministry who are found wanting and who are channelling fertiliser which is subsidised into wrong hands, are dealt with. When caught, they will be reported to the police so that the law can take its course.

I would like to ask hon. Members to assist the Government because they are answerable to the people who elected them. They should help us by ensuring that where there are cases of bribery, they are reported to the right place so that action can be taken. I am also appealing to hon. Members of Parliament from rural constituencies to assist us in ensuring that when they come across my officials who are doing the wrong things, they report them to their superiors or the Permanent Secretary so that we can take action.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, taking advantage of the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operative’s response about the imbalance between the D compound and urea distribution and the fact that NCZ is under capitalised, I want to find out when the Government is going to liquidate its debt with NCZ in order to pump in more money so that this firm can become efficient.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, we know that we are indebted to NCZ, which is a Government sponsored company. Therefore, we are reorganising it and intend to make it viable. The programme that we have begun will see NCZ becoming a viable company.

In the past, people thought of privatising it, but the current New Deal Administration recognised the importance of that plant and suspended the idea of it being privatised. Hence, we are putting in place measures to make it profitable.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kapita) that he is not joining a government of bad planners, being a commercial farmer, does he remember any time, in the history of the agricultural development of this country, when the farmers were paid in November, either by NAMBOARD, the FRA or, indeed, any of their predecessors?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I do remember very well that in the 1993/94 season, farmers were paid after twelve or eighteen months.

Hon. Opposition Members: By whom!

Mr Kapita: By the ‘Old Deal’ in the Second Republic.


Mr Kapita: I am in the New Deal Administration.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapita: At that time, I believe the minister was Hon. Dr Guy Scott …



Mr Kapita: … who gave farmers ‘I Owe Yous.’



Mr Kapita: You gave them promissory notes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: On a point of order, Sir!

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I wonder if the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives is in order to suffer from false memory syndrome.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott: I was Minister of Agriculture from 1991 to the early part of 1993. I was succeeded by Mr Zukas who was succeeded by one human sacrifice per year after that until about the present time.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Normally, it is not correct to interrupt the hon. Minister when he is clarifying issues for the nation. In this particular case, since the hon. Member for Lusaka Central (Dr Scott) had been mentioned as part of the answer, I had to allow him to raise that point of order which clarifies the matter.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives may continue with his reply.


Dr Scott: Now, speak the truth!

Mr Mtonga: Zoona!

Mr Kapita: Yes, I am speaking the truth.


Mr Kapita: In the 1993/94 season, when the market was liberalised, it took over twelve months to sell that crop. I am aware of a period when farmers were paid after November. They were paid twelve months later ...

Mr Kakoma: By the MMD Government!

Mr Kapita: … by the Government of the day in the Second Republic.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa: Third Republic!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, when will the Government that believes in good planning liquidate its indebtedness to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia? When will you pay the debt that you owe?

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


Mr Speaker: Order!

Since the question is very important, I shall assist. The hon. Member for Chasefu wants to know when the Government will liquidate its indebtedness to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia. That is the question.

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, I am afraid I cannot give a specific answer to that question. I will do so when I find out from my ministry and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Therefore, at the moment, I do not have an answer.

I thank you.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I wonder if the hon. Minister can assist us. Do you seriously believe that this scheme of giving peasant farmers cheap fertiliser will ever create medium class farmers if you do not follow the recipients by name and make sure that they graduate from the programme?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, that is an important question although it is slightly new.

Sir, the programme of the Government and my ministry is to ensure that the peasant or smallholder farmers graduate to emerging commercial farmers who should, in turn, graduate to fully-fledged commercial farmers. That is basically the programme that we have. Yes, we have put in place mechanisms to monitor the people who benefit from the Fertiliser Support Programme. The idea is not to have the same people benefit every year. New people must come on the list as the old people graduate and the programme of my ministry is to commercialise farming so that all the farmers begin to reap proper and profitable benefits from their labour.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if they are exporting maize. If they are, why do we not continue buying maize from farmers?

Mr Kapita: Mr Speaker, yes, we are exporting maize for a very important reason. It is not right for us to completely depend on the Treasury for money to pay the farmers for their produce. We have to earn money by exporting maize. Usually, we allow the FRA to export 100,000 metric tonnes and they have already committed 90,000 metric tonnes.

Mr Speaker, because the export market appears to be improving, about two weeks ago we, again, allowed the FRA to export another 100,000 metric tonnes of maize so that they have money to complete paying the farmers who we owe as we intend to finish paying all the farmers in the next two weeks.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours. {mospagebreak}


14. Mr Lubinda asked the Minister of Education whether the Government had any plans to introduce distance learning in basic and high schools.

The Minister of Education (Professor Lungwangwa): Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Education, through the Directorate of Open and Distance Education (DODE), is already offering distance learning in basic and high schools. For example, we have the alternative education programme (AEP) known as interactive radio instruction (IRI) programme or learning at Taonga Market. This is a distance-learning programme offered at lower and middle basic education level.

As for the upper basic and high schools, alternative upper basic education and alternative high school education (AHSE) are offered respectively. Learners in the alternative upper basic school and alternative high school education programmes learn using quality self-instruction materials or modules that are designed and developed by specialised teachers and lecturers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, yesterday, we were told that IRI was only K280,000 per session. We were further told that there is no intention, by the Government, to introduce IRI for upper basic and high schools. We were also told about the alternative learning for high schools. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether, indeed, the so called self-learning without a component of IRI shows that the children who are attending this alternative learning process get equal quality education as those children in high schools or whether this is just being done for the sake of recording the number of children who we purport to be learning when, in fact, they are not.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the underlining principle in our education provision is inclusiveness on the basis of access and participation by those who otherwise would have not had the opportunity to enter our schools.

The goal behind distance education is to provide alternative learning opportunities to children at the lower basic, middle basic and high school levels. Instructive Radio Instruction (IRI) is an example of a strategy to provide learning opportunities, in this case, at the lower and middle basic level. Alternative upper basic and alternative high school education programmes, again, are strategies to provide learning opportunities to children in the spirit of our educational provision being all inclusive without leaving some children outside the system. So, whether we are looking at IRI or we are looking at alternative education provisions at the upper basic and high school level, they are complementary strategies for educational provision.

I thank you, Madam.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Madam Speaker, education is expensive and if we are to offer quality education, we must be willing to pay for it. When we talk of distance education, we cannot divorce the media and other forms of transmitting our messages. The media complements and, sometimes, does what a classroom teacher or module cannot do. In this regard, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Education if there are plans to make sure that distance education is of high quality. I would also like to find out whether there are plans to have the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation give a certain percentage of its airtime to education instead of having Radio 4 playing music throughout. Then, I would like to find out if there is a policy for community radio stations to offer education when they are given licences.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Matero Constituency is very much aware that the underlining principle in Education For All, to which we are a signatory, as a country, is that we must explore alternative ways of increasing educational opportunities. The media is clearly identified as the third channel of educational provision. That is the reason the IRI programme was introduced. She was the Director of that programme.


Prof. Lungwangwa: It is part of the utilisation of the media as the third channel of educational provision.

Hon. Government Member: Hammer! Very good.

Prof. Lungwangwa: As for radio programmes on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, again, Madam Speaker, she is very much aware that, in the past, we had programmes on Radio Zambia offering educational broadcasting, but, over the years, it has proved to be very expensive to do that. We are exploring cost-effective ways of providing learning opportunities. Should programmes on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation television or radio prove to be cost-effective, they could be considered as alternative ways of providing education for all.

In relation to the issue of quality, quality in educational provision is at the centre of what we are doing in the Ministry of Education. The hon. Member for Matero Constituency listened very carefully, I believe, to the Presidential Speech which underlined quality as the cornerstone of education provisional in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: As the Ministry of Education, that is the basis upon which we are managing and providing education. Whether it be in alternative learning programmes like the IRI programme or distance learning programmes or the normal schools, we are focusing on quality because access alone is not sufficient. There must be quality which, in the end, will guarantee quality human resources for our socio-economic development.

I thank you, Sir.


15. Mr Lubinda asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing how much and on what specific components has been spent in the development and implementation of the decentralisation plan since its inception.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kazonga): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the development of the decentralisation implementation plan was completed in March this year. The funds that have been spent on the development and implementation of the decentralisation plan since inception through the Government, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), DCI and other donors are as follows:

Component Description    Amount (K)

Sensitisation and Civic Education   300,559,125

Sector Devolution    798,660,000

Fiscal Transfer Architecture  345,230,468

Total     1,444,449,593

Let me shed light on each of these components.

Sensitisation and Civic Education

Madam Speaker, under the sensitisation and civic education, the decentralisation secretariat targeted the institutions outside the secretariat and these included, sector ministries, provincial heads of department, the civil society, trade unions and media institutions. This component also included the translation of the national decentralisation policy into seven approved local languages. This was done through the Curriculum Development Centre and aimed at ensuring that all citizens understand this Government policy.

Sector Devolution

Madam Speaker, this actually involved the transfer of functions to councils. The transfer has to match the financial and human resources that are required. Therefore, there is need to look at legal framework implications in order to harmonise with the Local Government Act.

Madam Speaker, so far, the following ministries were covered under this programme:

(i) Ministry of Education

(ii) Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives

(iii) Ministry of Health

(iv) Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

(v) Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources.

(vi) Ministry of Lands

(vii) Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Fiscal Transfer Architecture

Madam Speaker, this action involves the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning coming up with a formula for the disbursement of funds to support the functions of these councils.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out when the Government will begin implementing the long awaited Decentralisation Policy.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the implementation has already started. There are various components of implementing the National Decentralisation Policy. The ones that my Deputy Minister has just read out are part of those components. We have started with three components, namely: sensitisation, devolution and fiscal transfer.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Madam Speaker, when there was centralisation, it took the Government one year to transfer the power. Why should it take ten or fifteen years to transfer the same power back to the Local Government?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, it is not correct to say that this policy is going to take ten years to implement. The implementation plan is for five years starting from 2006 to 2010 in line with the Fifth National Development Plan.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I would like to ask on two of the three components that have been highlighted. Firstly, the Sensitisation in Civic Education Programme and secondly, the Fiscal Transfer Architecture. I wonder why, in the description of the Sensitisation in Civic Education Programme in which K300 million was spent, there was no mention, whatsoever, of sensitisation of the authorities to which this power shall be devolved, the local authorities. How come they have not been involved in the sensitisation programme this far? Being a councillor for Lusaka, I am not aware of any such interventions either in writing or in the popular workshops.

Madam, I wonder whether the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is aware of the fact that your Committee on Local Government and Chiefs’ Affairs, early this year, did raise a concern with regard to the Fiscal Transfer Architecture when it was reported to your Committee.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! 
Please ask the question.

Mr Lubinda: I am raising a question, Madam.

Madam Speaker, it was presented to your Committee that in this year’s Budget, funds were allocated through District Commissioners and your Committee had to change that. I wonder whether the hon. Minister, being a second timer in that ministry and who was not there at the time when this was done, would like to continue with the idea of devolving fiscal resources to District Commissioners rather than to local authorities as is the intention of the policy.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I just want to talk to my colleagues concerning the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy. Going by the question that my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata has asked, it is clear that he is confusing issues. If you look at this year’s Budget, there is an allocation for decentralisation which is K1.2 billion and part of those resources have since been disbursed. We have started, as a Government, implementing the Decentralisation Policy. The hon. Member is talking about the legal office. This office has its own budget. The Government cannot stop disbursing resources to the District Commissioner because there is decentralisation.

Madam, there was a question asked concerning the sensitisation. He was asking why local authorities that are key stakeholders have not been covered. Looking at the list that was read out, I want to state here that my ministry started with sensitising Local Government, but at the provincial level. So, all the provincial planners and the local Government officers at the province, including other stakeholders at provincial level have already been sensitised. They are now getting down to the local authorities. As I am speaking, Lusaka City Council is being sensitised. However, even in Lusaka, they started with the District Commissioner and then they will move to the management of the council and the councillors. We had to wait for them to be installed before we could start the programme.

Madam Speaker, I just want to say that the sensitisation is on-going because decentralisation is not a one-off event. We are doing everything possible, as a Government, to ensure that it is implemented within the time frame. However, I want to remind you that even within the time frame, it will still be on-going even at the time that we reach the end of the whole process. Obviously, this is a new Parliament and the decentralisation secretariat will come to Parliament to do workshops for the new Parliamentarians so that they begin to appreciate and understand the policy since most of them are new.

I thank you, Madam.


16. Mr Kasongo asked the Minister of Education how far the Government had gone in implementing free education up to Grade 7.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, since the introduction of the Free Education Policy in 2002, the Ministry of Education has put in place the following measures:

(i) All fees and levies have been abolished in all Government schools for Grades 1 to 7.

(ii) School uniforms are not compulsory.

(iii) Education materials such as teaching and learning materials, including equipment are sent to District Education Boards who manage basic schools.

(iv) Grants are sent to basic schools through the Office of the District Education Board secretaries to purchase requisites such as exercise books, pens and chalk.

(v) Enrolment of pupils is unconditional.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kasongo: Madam Speaker is the hon. Minister aware that inspite of the measures that the ministry has put in place, pupils are still paying levies. For example, they are made to raise money to pay community teachers. They also buy their own exercise books and pencils. Since the hon. Minister is now aware, what action is he going to take to make sure that all these deficiencies which are working against the implementation of the same measures are eliminated?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, I take it that that is a comment alerting the ministry of some of the implementation bottlenecks and we shall take note of that.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, has the hon. Minister read the study by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection published about four months ago on free primary education? It basically points out that fees and certain types of levies have been replaced by new ad hoc fees and levies, such as, a contribution to the cost of a malonda, a contribution to fixing the roof and a contribution to using the computer room and so on. This study concludes that parents pay as much as K1 million a year for free primary education. Is he aware of this?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Since you are referring to a document, will you lay it on the Table?

Dr Scott: Yes, Madam Speaker, I was.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Where is the document?

Dr Scott: Madam Speaker, sorry I have slipped up. I will bring it on Tuesday.

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister of Education may, if he wishes, respond to that question.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, I have not read the document. There are so many empirical studies going on in our educational sector and one cannot be availed of every document. If the hon. Member for Kabwata, as he has promised, has the document, we would love to have it.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon Member: Hon. Member for Lusaka Central.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, this Government is implementing free education up to Grade 7. Does the Government intend to also implement compulsory education up to Grade 7? If so, what type of legislation will be put in place?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, the provision of free education from Grades 1 to 7 is a very important step in the development of our educational system and in the interest of providing educational opportunities to all our children.

Yes, Madam Speaker, compulsory education is another dimension in the quest of ensuring that every child has a right to basic education from Grades 1 to 7. At the moment, the hon. Member is very much aware that implementing compulsory education in developing countries like ours has a number of difficulties in terms of enforcement. However, that is a process which we should strive to achieve in the quest of ensuring that this human right is accessible to all.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Kalumba (Chienge): Madam Speaker, given the very strong public statement by His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, on free education up to Grade 7, I have two related questions. Through what instruments has the Ministry of Education communicated this public pronouncement by His Excellency the President to the schools? Secondly, can the hon. Minister clarify the contradictory statement by the former Vice-President that the exemption from fee paying extended to Grade 9? Can he clarify the public perception that there is a contradiction?

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, all our education board secretaries, provincial education officers and heads of schools have been clearly informed about the policy of free education from Grades 1 to 7. There are a number of seminars that have taken place since 2002 to inform and guide our educational managers on the implementation mechanisms. So, the instrument of direct information has taken place among all those that are managing our educational system, including the extension of free education through the exemption from fees from Grades 8 to 9.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Madam Speaker, the policy on free education is commendable, but the position of community schools does not sit very well with this policy of free education because, as far as I am aware, there are many community schools within our communities throughout the country. In these schools, the pupils, through their parents, have to pay for everything, including the construction of buildings such as classrooms and teachers’ houses, paying for teachers and buying teaching materials. Could the hon. Minister of Education explain to this House how he is going to harmonise the policy of free education with that of community schools.

Professor Lungwangwa: Madam Speaker, for the information of the hon. Member for Luena, we have different categories of schools in our country. We have Government schools, community schools, grant-aided schools and private schools. We have an education policy which is based on partnership which involves the Government and other partners or stakeholders who are willing to participate in the education provision.

Community schools are one of the categories among the partners in the education provision. In the past, community schools used to get funding from donors. We had a community schools secretariat through which donors were channelling resources to aid or fund community schools. The response of the community to the challenge of educational provision, of course, has been overwhelming in the past couple of years. In some cases, it is true that some community schools have been charging or levying children who are enrolled, but that is not the intention behind the establishment of community schools. The underlining policy objective in community schools is for those communities that are willing to come forward and address the plight of vulnerable children to do so so that they can access basic education free and not at a cost.

However, if there are communities that are charging that, that was not the intention of the Government, through the Ministry of Education, in allowing the communities to participate in educational provision.

I thank you Madam.


17. Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development how many stadiums the Government had planned to build in Zambia in readiness for the FIFA World Football Competition to be held in South Africa in 2010.

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Namulambe): Madam Speaker, the Government intends to construct three stadiums in the country. One in Ndola of about 70,000 seating capacity, another in Lusaka of about 50,000 seating capacity and the last one in Livingstone of about 30,000 seating capacity.

Madam Speaker, these sports complexes will host the following sports disciplines. For outdoor sports, we have football, cricket, tennis and rugby and for indoor sports we have basketball, volleyball, netball and gymnastics.

Madam Speaker, the People’s Republic of China has offered to build one sports complex in Ndola. The Government intends to make a provision in next year’s Budget to construct another stadium. I am, therefore, calling upon business houses and other co-operating partners to come on board and supplement the Government efforts in constructing the sports complex.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sikota: Madam Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development why they want to construct the smallest stadium with a seating capacity of about 30,000 in Livingstone. It would have been much better to build a larger stadium in Livingstone due to the falls that are there that would have attracted many people. They should have given Livingstone a priority in view of that.

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, this is a plan. Depending on the availability of resources, we may increase the seating capacity. We are also looking at areas like Lusaka having the sports complexes to host other people. Hence, it will reduce on the number of people that will be in Livingstone.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Madam Speaker, may I know how much it will cost the Government to build the three stadiums.

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, the stadium in Ndola is a gift from the Chinese Government. They are the ones to determine the cost. We are only going to give them information about the seating capacity and other things that we need there. As regards the costs for the stadiums in Lusaka and Livingstone, this will be given when we get there.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that when the delegation went to China, it failed to give information to the Chinese President. I would like to know how prepared that delegation was.

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, the delegation was well prepared. However, we are looking at other issues that were back home. As such, the information is going to be relayed and the Chinese Government will send a team to come and do their final assessment.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwenzi): Madam Speaker, may I know when this Government will start recruiting retired footballers to improve soccer in both primary and high schools?

Hon. Members: Munaile!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

The question is on the construction of the stadiums unless the hon. Minister wants to give a bonus answer.

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, I have no answer for that question since it is not relevant to the question on the Floor.

Mr Chella (Wusakile): Madam Speaker, when will the construction of the stadium in Ndola start and finish?

Mr Namulambe: Madam Speaker, the construction of the stadium in Ndola will commence as soon as the Chinese Government officials come to Zambia.

I thank you, Madam.



(Debate resumed)

The Minister of Lands (Reverend Nyirongo): Madam Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for according me a chance to make a contribution to the debate on His Excellency the President’s opening address during the Official Opening of the First Session of the Tenth National Assembly.

Madam Speaker, in debating the motion on the Floor of this august House, I would like to join my colleagues who have spoken before me to commend His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for delivering a very moving speech during the official opening of this House on Friday, 27th October, 2006.

Madam Speaker, let me also congratulate you and the Speaker on your election to your esteemed positions. The returning of the Speaker to his office is a clear indication of the confidence that hon. Members of Parliament have in his ability to conduct the business of the House in a firm, but fair manner.

I also wish to thank the Zambian people for giving our President a second term of office, an act to demonstrate the confidence, trust and pride they have in our beloved President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Reverend Nyirongo: Madam Speaker, your election as Deputy Speaker is an indication of the confidence this august House has in the ability of Zambian women to take up decision-making positions in our country. At the same time, it is a clear manifestation that our country is moving in line with the SADC declaration to have at least, 30 per cent of decision-making positions reserved for the women.

Madam Speaker, further, allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the re-elected and newly elected hon. Members of Parliament, who deservedly won the just ended Tripartite Elections, including myself. I thank the people of Bwacha Constituency for giving me another opportunity to serve them for the next five years. I also thank them for proudly and confidently giving our President overwhelming support in the just ended Tripartite Elections. I want to assure them that they will never be disappointed under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Reverend Nyirongo: Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President has outlined the policy direction and provided a vision which this country should strive to achieve within the course of the next five years in order to uplift the living standards of our people. The policy measures the President has put in place point to the very fact that the New Deal Government has the Zambian people’s interests at heart.

Madam Speaker, we, in the Government as well as our colleagues in the opposition, need to congratulate the President on the pronouncements he has made as these are meant to improve the welfare of the Zambian people through the creation of an enabling, political and socio-economic environment.

I wish to mention that the MMD Government has remained resolute and consistent in the manner it has been implementing its programmes as contained in the MMD manifesto.

Madam Speaker, I also wish to mention that the MMD Government has, at the same time, provided an economic blue print through which most of the economic programmes will be implemented through the formulation of the Fifth National Development Plan.

Madam Speaker, the dynamism of the MMD Government has been manifested in the manner this Government has brought about change through the introduction of a number of reforms ushered through multi-party politics in 1991 as opposed to the one-party State, which dominated the first and second republics and, hence, stifled all democratic principles required to run a dynamic country like Zambia.

Madam Speaker, this country has been moving forward as is evidenced by some of the political reforms that are currently going on. These are meant to enhance democratic principles of governance, through the creation of good governance institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Drug Enforcement Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Anti-Money Laundering Unit and the enhancement of operations of the Auditor-General’s Office and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Other measures put in place by the New Deal Government include the progress in the Electoral Reform Process.

Madam Speaker, the recognition of the role of the media as the fourth Arm of Government in disseminating information to members of the public, decentralisation of the administrative structures to the district level in order to improve service delivery to our people and the creation of the House of Chiefs, thereby making our traditional leaders participate effectively in the running of the affairs of this nation, to mention but a few, are some of the notable achievements of the New Deal Government, which even our colleagues from the opposition need to acknowledge. This Government deserves a pat on the back for its well-meaning programmes which even our colleagues from the opposition can easily trace and attest to.

Madam Speaker, the achievements of my Government in the area of economic management are quiet clear in that public accountability in the utilisation of economic resources has improved. As members of this House will agree, this country has been registering consistent economic growth through the attainment of an annual growth rate of 4.9 per cent per annum. At the same time, inflation has fallen to a single digit while budget management has improved.

Madam Speaker, this august House is also aware that we have attained the HIPC completion point which has also relieved the country of a huge debt burden. The fact that some of the country’s debts have been cancelled means that some of the resources previously used for debt servicing will go towards assisting some of the key economic sectors such as agriculture, commerce, tourism, manufacturing, transport, communications, small-scale mining and other industries. This will greatly improve the management of our economy and, therefore, improve the welfare of our people.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Reverend Nyirongo: Madam Speaker, I head one of the key economic ministries which provides a base for the growth of other sectors through the provision of land for the establishment of other economic ventures.

Madam Speaker, during the Official Opening of the First Session of the Tenth National Assembly, His Excellency alluded to the fact that my ministry will soon be finalising the land policy for the country. This, we hope to achieve in order to ensure equitable access to land and security of tenure for the sustainable social economic development of our people.

Madam Speaker, I wish to underline that once a new land policy is in place, my ministry will be introducing legislation in this House in order to review all the land related pieces of legislation so as to marry them one to the other.

My ministry has a mission statement clearly inscribed on paper, stating that the Ministry of Lands is to efficiently, effectively and equitably deliver land, maintain up to date land records and provide land information in order to contribute to socio-economic development for the benefit of the Zambian people and the country. As a ministry, we have declared war on corruption and stringent measures have been put in place.

Madam Speaker, under the prudent management and wise leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, the Ministry of Lands has put in place policy measures and guidance on zero-tolerance on corruption to restrain those that want to abuse their powers and authority over land management and alienation. The ministry shall not give out land in traditional areas unless consent has been given by the chief and express authority obtained from where land is vested.

I want to assure this august House that our land is very safe and secure under this Government. As the hon. Minister appointed to manage the affairs of land in this country, I will endeavour to deliver land efficiently, effectively, equitably and in an orderly manner to the Zambian people and the country. I, therefore, would like to thank the President for having shown confidence in me by returning me back to the same office after elections. I thank the nation for the support and co-operation given to my office in this regard. This, indeed, is a noble task.

Madam Speaker, I also wish to mention that my ministry, through support from the private sector, will promote investment, through support of the creation of land banks and multi-facility economic zones which will be strategically located for the production of goods for both domestic and export markets.

Madam Speaker, I wish to make an appeal to our traditional rulers to release part of the land in their respective chiefdoms for investment. At the same time, I wish to take this opportunity to appeal to our local authorities to follow lay down procedures as they are just agents on behalf of the Ministry of Lands.

My ministry will, however, continue to support councils open up new areas for development through the provision of the Land Development Fund. 
Madam Speaker, another issue that my ministry will follow closely during this term is the illegal allocation of land by illegal land agents. Let me warn these illegal land agents that the law will surely visit them.

Madam, Speaker, my ministry will, during this term, also give priority to the demarcation of boundaries between Chiefs in order to prevent potential conflicts between Chiefdoms in our country.

Furthermore, in order to prevent potential conflicts with neighbouring countries, my ministry shall continue to maintain international boundaries with our neighbours. I can only appeal for support, through this same august House, for the budgetary allocation.

Madam Speaker, to this effect, the Office of the Commissioner of Lands and a team of experts are working out guidelines on the conducting of a land audit in order to assess how much land can be put to economic use. The land audit will also clearly define who owns which properties and identify those that hold land under speculation. Again, to this regard, my ministry is reviewing all land related legislation on holding land.  Let me also appeal to my fellow women and other disadvantaged groups to be free to access the 30 per cent land to be made available to such categories of people as a deliberate empowerment policy by the New Deal Government.

Madam Speaker, in my concluding remarks, I want to bring to the attention of this House that the MMD Government, under the New Deal Administration, has enshrined the values of democracy, compassion and choice with responsibility. This is the reason why the composition of this House is all inclusive of those on your left. God, in his own wisdom, has allowed this Government, again, to lead and serve the Zambia people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Reverend Nyirongo: This Government, on your right, has shown true leadership, integrity and professionalism in this House. With the party’s vast experience in democratic governance, we are moving this country to even greater heights.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Revered Nyirongo: As a Government, we have together scored great achievements through hard work and sacrifice and this has given us even greater impetus to forge ahead and continue transforming our society to better the lives of all Zambians. 
Madam Speaker, the New Deal Government is committed to serving the Zambian people and shall continue to provide quality leadership aimed at empowering all Zambian citizens so that they too can fully participate and enjoy the wealth of our beloved country.

Madam Speaker, this Government demands, above all, discipline and a better work culture from all of us. This Government upholds morality in the handling of public resources, humanity in relating with one another and responsibility in exercising our freedoms.

Madam Speaker, this Government continues pursuing policies of hope and upward mobility of all citizens. Our focus in achieving this is defined by the social and economic realities facing Zambia today.

Madam Speaker, Zambians are looking for a decisive and honest leadership to provide direction on issues that confront us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Revered Nyirongo: We, in the New Deal Government are committed to these values unwavering in our resolve to provide leadership that will bring relief to our people.

Madam Speaker, our policies are anchored on values of democracy and we, therefore, cherish dialogue. Through the effective inter-face between citizens and the leadership, we have always and will continue to pursue dialogue and debate a around issues that affect the people we lead.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Reverend Nyirongo: We are always conscious of the fact that the understanding of the people’s predicament is not and cannot be the privilege of leadership. Through quality engagement with the people, we are able to understand their aspirations and develop policies and programmes that respond to the many questions raised, particularly during the just ended tripartite elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Reverend Nyirongo: Madam Speaker, this explains why our policies are popular. It is because they are people driven. Our policies are always at the core of the social contract between the leadership and the people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Reverend Nyirongo: Madam Speaker, lastly, to my fellow Parliamentarians I say, let us learn from our successes rather than from our failures.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Reverend Nyirongo: Let us have the enthusiasm for winning the elections so deeply embedded in our consciousness that this becomes a powerful urge for making things happen right in our constituencies and contribute to the development of our country.

Let us use our thoughts in this august House as powerful tools that can be translated into immeasurable riches when mixed with vision, purpose, persistence and a burning desire to deliver goods and services to our people. Therefore, let us position ourselves well to be consistent and to demonstrate leadership whilst it is called today.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister in the President’s Office (Mr Taima): Madam Speaker, allow me, like many other hon. Members that have spoken before me, to begin my debate by congratulating His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for his resounding victory in the just ended tripartite elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: The announcement of my President’s victory gave me, and I know many other Zambians, so much joy and relief as there was serious concern about what would become of our beloved country Zambia had the election result gone the other way.

Hon. Government Members: Kangwa alala!

Mr Taima: Madam Speaker, let me now move on to congratulate you, the National Assembly presiding team, starting with Mr Speaker, you, hon. Madam Deputy Speaker and the hon. Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House on being elected to your respective portfolios.

Your election is a clear indication of the confidence that this impressive and respected commonly referred to ‘august House’ has in your ability to preside over the deliberations and proceedings of the House.

Madam Speaker, I also wish to congratulate my party, the Movement for Multi Party Democracy (MMD), for winning the majority of votes in the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections, subsequently achieving continuity in governing the country, deepening democracy and delivering benefits to the people of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: While other parties were busy enticing the electorate with fallacies, my party remained focused and truthful in its quest to continue providing able leadership to the people of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: Again, to my party, I say, keep it up and stay focused.

Madam Speaker, all the players in the entire process that has seen my quest to represent the people of Solwezi East Constituency become a reality also deserve my thanks here. Among them are the following:

(a) the MMD Executive Committee (NWP);

(b) the Provincial Executive Committee;

(c) the constituency Executive Committee, Solwezi

(d) their Royal Highnesses namely:

(i) Senior Chief Kalilele

(ii) Senior chief Mujimanzobvu (Posthumously) who passed away a few days before the elections;

(iii) Chief Mulonga;

(iv) Chief Chikola;

(v) Chief Musaka; and

(vi) the electorate in Solwezi East constituency in general and, lastly, my campaign team for the splendid fight they put up to redeem Solwezi East which some old uncle of mine had dominated for ten years.

Youth Representation

Madam Speaker, allow me, at this point, to give my heartfelt appreciation to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for appointing me Deputy Minster – State House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: I am greatly humbled by the tremendous confidence that the President has bestowed upon me by appointing me to serve in an institution so very important where credibility, effectiveness and efficiency are critical tenets for not only the preservation of institutional dignity, but also better performance of the national economic and social system.

Madam Speaker, let me hasten to mention here that the appointment of many youths to various Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial positions by the New Deal Government has cheered many objective Zambian youths and for this, as youths, we say thank you to the President.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: All political parties represented in the House should also be commended for having begun to respond to the ever growing call from Zambians to have youth representation in decision-making portfolios.

For once, political parties allowed as many youths as possible to contest the elections and the result is that Parliament has recorded the biggest number ever of youthful representatives.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: It is my hope that this is, but only the beginning of bigger and even better quality representation of the youths in the governance system in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, this talk about the introduction of youths in the political limelight and the envisaged grooming of the same for possible assumption of even higher offices cannot be complete without mentioning again and, with emphasis, the role that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia has played.

President Mwanawasa has not only shared in the pioneering of this development, but also repeatedly said that he will make every effort to identify and groom as many youths as possible into leadership, so as to provide the nation with a reservoir of human resource from which to pick future leaders.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: Madam Speaker, allow me, in this vein, to make an appeal to the President, on behalf of my fellow youthful Ministers, to treat us as ones that are being developed to become better, stronger, resilient and even more mature before they become full-fledged.

Mr Mubika: Hear, hear! You mean well!

Mr Taima: This appeal, thus, is to say that since youths, like any other human beings, are not infallible, they are bound to make mistakes. When this happens, we plead, as youths (of course depending on the gravity of the mistake), that leniency be exercised in dealing with the lapse in issue.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Taima: It would help, Madam Speaker, for the erring youthful Minister to be called, cautioned and guided on the way they should go if they are to make good leaders.

This is not to say, however, that complacency and incompetence should be tolerated under the guise of being youthful leaders.

We wish to pledge to the contrary, as youthful Ministers, nothing less than total commitment and quality service, and yet seek understanding and guidance as we may be overzealous sometimes as youths.
The President’s good intentions for the youth have been shown even further through the provision of K40 billion as funds for the empowerment of Zambian youths.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: As opposed to the general talk that the money in issue was just announced as a political gimmick, the distribution of this money is going on, as we speak, through appropriate channels to constituencies. I know the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development would be better placed to say more on this.

Madam Speaker, as I turn to development and concerns in my province, allow me to join my colleagues from North-Western Province in appreciating the good work that President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa has done for the people of the province.

The list of good things done is obviously endless, but among the many developments are the following:

(i) opening up two big mines in the province;

(ii) the personal interest taken and persistence in ensuring confirmation of existence and availability of oil and gas in the province;

(iii) the continuing works on the Mutanda/Chavuma Road where very big progress has been recorded. I should mention here that it is our joint desire, as leaders from North-Western Province, that the completion of this road prevails over all our priorities in the province for now;

(iv) the quick spread of banking facilities in the province;

(v) the connection of Kasempa District to the National Grid and the provision of electricity to Chavuma District;
(vi) the works on the Solwezi/Kipushi Road which have since reached the Kipushi Border; and

(vii) the construction of a nursing school in the province.

As I said earlier, the list is endless. It goes on and on.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: Madam Speaker, may I now turn to the concerns and developments in my constituency.

Solwezi East Constituency is a vast area which lies in the eastern part of Solwezi, as the name suggests, and internationally shares borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and locally with Chililabombwe, Chingola, Lufwanyama, Kasempa, Solwezi West and Solwezi Central constituencies.

With a population of about 40,000 people, with 80 per cent being Lamba and 20 per cent Kaonde, if the composition of Chiefs in the area is anything to go by as there are four Lamba Chiefs and one Kaonde Chief, the area surely has plenty challenges and expectations for development. Among them are:

(i) the need for high schools;

(ii) serious implementation of rural electrification;

(iii) working on the so many impassable roads. Thanks to the Government, the Solwezi/Kipushi Road is receiving attention and has, in fact, reached the Kipushi Border, as earlier mentioned;
There was also specific mention by the President that the Kalulushi/Kalengwa road was earmarked for attention too. This is an indication that all the other feeder roads in the constituency will receive due attention at the appropriate time.

(iv) the need for modern markets in the area;

(v) the need to have a reasonable number of police posts in the area; and

(vi) the need to increase the number of health centres, with corresponding appropriate staffing levels in the area.

Thanks to the Government, the President, in his Opening Speech, did not only assure the nation of continuity of improvements in the health delivery system, but also said about 800 medical officers were to be employed and deployed to various medical institutions soon.

My list here may be endless too, but I know that the MMD New Deal Government is a listening and caring Government which is deeply concerned about the welfare of all its citizens. As such, it endeavours to deliver to the satisfaction of its nationals, including the Lamba and Kaonde of Solwezi East Constituency, in all areas of the economy.

The President in his Speech, for example, said very clearly that the Government is, has been and will tackle even more aggressively areas of general concern to the Zambian people which include:

(a) road infrastructure;

(b) water and sanitation;

(c) education;

(d) health;

(e) poverty reduction; and

(f) ensuring citizens’ economic empowerment and many other areas for the betterment of the future of our good country Zambia.

Madam Speaker, let me now, in the conclusion of my debate, dwell a little on State House and the public’s perception.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: State House, as I presume is a known fact, is the apex of the nation as regards all issues of governance, political or otherwise. It is just logical and natural, therefore, that the highest possible level of appreciation and reverence be accorded to it and the Head by all nationals.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: This should include those in Government, ordinary citizens and, especially, those that aspire to assume governance of the nation some day if they ever will.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: Failure to do so would amount to setting a precedent of ridicule and scorn on this most esteemed institution of our country, a thing they will not be able to reverse in the event that they got an opportunity to govern the country, and I repeat, if they ever will’

Hon. Government Members: Never!

Mr Taima: State House has many functions which can be generally split into two categories, namely; Presidential Operations and Institutional Management.

This summary talks about the functions of State House as an institution and is worth appreciating because it may help clear some of the misconceptions that people may have.

Presidential Operations

This is where the institution is expected to plan and execute:

(i) Presidential programmes and projects;

(ii) Provide leadership to the entire government; and

(iii) Effectively liaise with Parliament and the press, among many other functions.

Institutional Management

This is where State House, as an institution, focuses on the provision of internal logistical and operational support to the institution. Note here that State House also has a political face which has to be protected, preserved and positively projected.

It is, therefore, totally unfair for some people, without much appreciation, to continuously attack the President, sadly, in most cases, even in his individual capacity, when he has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he means well in all he says and does for Mother Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: These are people who have no programme for Zambia at all, except for their ceaseless hunger to amass more and more personal wealth even if this was to be done at the expense of the ordinary Zambians.

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Mr Taima: President Mwanawasa’s desire for the people of Zambia is simple and very clear. He wants the wealth of Zambia to be evenly distributed to Zambians, whether urban or rural based because Zambia is Zambia in totality and it belongs to all Zambians.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: All the wealth that Zambia is endowed with must, therefore, be enjoyed by every Zambian.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: This has not been the case in the past and could not have been if some people full of rhetoric and fantasies, building castles in the air, had emerged victorious in the just ended tripartite elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: Praise be to God, the pseudo wind of change, somewhat in protest of the ‘clear stop’ to the unexplainable and sometimes so sudden wealth accumulation by only a few individuals, blew back into their faces and they lost lamentably.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: State House, like any other ministry, has a mission statement which is in line with the strategic vision of the Government as well as the demands of State House’s own clients and the challenges in its own environment.

The President also, as the Head of the institution, has a personal mission statement over and above that of the institution which says:

‘I will provide continuity with change, in the interest of our nation Zambia and the common good, sacrificing all and expecting little in return, I wholeheartedly commit myself with God’s help and guidance to serve Zambia and Zambians to the best of my ability with loyalty, honour and integrity, with all my heart and strength, with love and justice, with consideration and compassion, with commitment and dedication and in collaboration with all stakeholders, women and men of goodwill, to give fresh hope to our people, to create opportunities for all and bring honour, dignity and prosperity to our country, through honest selfless hard work above and beyond the normal call of duty.’

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: It is important, therefore, Madam Speaker, that people appreciate State House as an institution not only housing the first family, but also as an institution whose overall responsibilities are so important and critical in as far as ensuring that there is continuous and appreciated performance of the national economic and social system of the country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: Madam Speaker, arising from the Mission Statements, and the well articulated, highly inspirational and full of hope speech delivered to this august House on 27th October, 2006, it can be seen without saying that the President who is not only the Head of the institution called State House, but of the nation, means it when he, for example, says he is totally determined to do his best for Zambia and Zambians, and so calls for national unity and reconciliation knowing very well that without unity and peace, no meaningful development can be achieved.

We still hear, unfortunately, some people questioning the genuineness of this call for unity and reconciliation. What I thought remains is for the various stakeholders, such as political parties, NGOs, the Church etc to embrace this pronouncement and begin to put it into practice by being objective in their criticism of the Government and making positive suggestions on issues of governance.

Our President’s speech surely provided very important and key policy statements, all with good intentions and giving hope to Zambians.

Madam Speaker, getting back to State House as an institution, the House may wish to appreciate the fact that State House has just been restructured and most of the positions have now been filled in accordance with the current procedures. I wish to assure this august House, therefore, that we, at State House, shall continuously endeavour to provide the best service to the Zambian people through an efficient and effective communication system and maintaining excellent State House grounds and facilities as is befitting of the institution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Taima: We seek, therefore, the support of all the Members of Parliament in our continued efforts to make State House a model of excellence.

Madam Speaker, allow me, in winding up my debate, to say that we shall not allow unnecessary, calculated and baseless attacks on the President, the Presidency and State House, all aimed at fomenting ridicule and mistrust in the Presidency and the President of the Republic of Zambia by Zambians.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mubika): Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the motion.

Madam Speaker, allow me to congratulate you and the Speaker on your election to your esteemed positions. Madam Speaker, the re-election of Mr Speaker, demonstrates the confidence we hon. Members have in his ability to conduct the business of this august House. Similarly, your election as Deputy Speaker is a reconfirmation of the confidence this august House has in the ability of women to take up decision-making positions in our country. This ability has already been exhibited by, among others, the Clerk of the National Assembly through her outstanding performance and deep sense of commitment to her duties.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear1

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, let me also congratulate the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House, Hon. Mkhondo Lungu on his re-election. I have confidence that he will continue rendering excellent and invaluable services to this august House.

Madam Speaker, further allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the re-elected Members of Parliament, including myself, and the newly elected hon. Members of Parliament who put up a hard and worthwhile fight during the just ended tripartite elections.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: My heartfelt congratulations also go to the lucky hon. Members who have been nominated among millions of Zambians to this august House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Allow me, Madam Speaker, to thank the people of Sinjembela for turning up in large numbers to exercise their democratic right to elect me as their representative in this august House. Let me also pay tribute to our citizens for voting for the MMD and the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for his second and final five year term of office of. I am greatly humbled by the confidence and trust in our MMD leadership.

Madam Speaker, Sinjembela Constituency is the entire Shangombo District. It was discovered by the former First Lady, Madam Vera Tembo Chiluba, with her Hope Foundation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank the New Deal Government for the development that they have taken to Shangombo. This Government is building a district hospital although I am not happy with the way works are going on. The work pace is very slow, I do not know whether it is the Ministry of Health or the contractor who is slow. Some of the workers have gone for several months without getting their salaries.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, I am, therefore, appealing to the Ministry of Health to speed up the completion of this hospital so that the people enjoy the benefit of voting for the New Deal Government and me.
Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank Celtel Zambia for connecting Shangombo to the whole world. The people of Shangombo are really happy and asking Celtel to connect some of the business areas in the district. Madam Speaker, Shangombo network is the best in the country and I am, therefore, appealing to MTN and CELL Z to come to Shangombo.

Madam Speaker, let me, at this juncture, appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives to urgently send maize seed to Shangombo as the 4 tonnes sent there are not enough to cater for the whole district. They should also look for transport for the DACO. Madam Speaker, let me also remind the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives to reopen Senanga State Ranch which is in Shangombo District where the Government used to keep animals for the restocking exercise.

Madam Speaker, let me also ask the Ministry of Home Affairs to send more police officers to Shangombo as we have plenty of accommodation for the officers in the area. Currently, we have less than ten officers at the BOMA. Allow me to ask the same ministry to put up some police posts at Sioma, Mutomena, Sinjembela and Kaunga-mashi and put up permanent structures at Natukoma Police Post where cattle rustlers are escaping from police cells nearly everyday because the buildings are mud and grass thatched. The police also require good 4x4 vehicles for their operations. This is because, as you may be aware, cattle rustling in the district is very high. I would also like to ask the Ministry of Justice to renovate and build more local courts in Shangombo District.

Madam Speaker, since the MMD Government came into power in 1991, a number of policies and programmes were introduced to resuscitate the run down economy. These include the liberalisation of the economy and the relaxation of the foreign exchange regulations. The privatisation process was also accelerated thereby increasing private sector participation in the economy. These measures also affected the transport and communications sector.

Madam Speaker, our vision as a ministry and Government is to have developed and well maintained quality economic infrastructure for sustainable national development by 2030 and our mission statement is to facilitate sustainable growth and development of the transport, communications and meteorological sectors in order to stimulate national development through the provision of quality, efficient, adequate, safe and environmentally friendly services for the benefit of the people of Zambia and to attain developed transport, communications and meteorological systems in order to enhance the sector’s contribution to national economic growth and an improved quality of life.

Madam Speaker, on transport policy and legal framework, I would like to say that the importance of a national policy in any sector cannot be over-emphasised. The policy document sets the focus of Government in a specific sector and directs its resources and action and provides the basis for a legal and regulatory framework.

It is for this reason that the MMD New Deal Administration has been working hard and in the transport and communications sector developed the National Transport Policy Document in 2002.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: This policy outlines the intention of the Government in making the transport sector resolve to the noble cause of wealth creation and poverty reduction, by making the cost of business transactions low.

Road Infrastructure

Since the approval of the Transport Policy in 2002, the MMD New Deal Administration revised the Road Traffic Act Cap. 464 of the laws of Zambia in 2004 and split it into three distinct Acts – The Public Roads Act, the Road Traffic Act and the Road Fund Act. Through these legal reforms, the Government established three agencies namely:

(i) Road Transport and Safety Agency;
(ii) National road Fund Agency; and 
(iii) Road Development Agency.

Furthermore, Government is still implementing the Road Sector Investment Programme Roadsip phase II, running from 2005 to 2013, in order to ensure that the road infrastructure that was mainly constructed in the sixties and seventies which is in poor state due to neglect of maintenance over the years is brought back to life. The total cost of Roadsip II is estimated at US$1.6 billion, which is expected to be spent, with 60 per cent coming from our own local resources, from Mr HIPC.

Roadsip which started in 1997 was a success story. At its completion, 59 per cent level of paved roads in good condition was reached as opposed to the 50 per cent target. The key roads were:

(i) The Great North Road;

(ii) part of the Great East Road;

(iii) Livingstone/Sesheke Road;

(iv) Chirundu Bridge; and

(v) Chisamba.

Road Transport Service

Madam Speaker, following the demise of the state owned United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ) in early 1995, the Government waived duty on imported buses and many Members of Parliament who are in this House benefited.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Road Safety

Under the New Deal Administration a road safety action plan whose implementation addresses the high rate of road traffic accidents in the country is under implementation in order to save useful lives and reduce loss to the country and grief to families that lose relatives. The Government has procured equipment such as roadside alcohol testers for drunkards, highway patrol vehicles, traffic police reflective vests and modern speed traps.

To supplement the above the following is expected to be done:

(i) Introduction of speed limiters on public service vehicles;
(ii) schedule licensing for long distance passenger bus services;
(iii) outsourcing to the private sector of road worthiness and upgrading of driver training standards;

Railway Transport

Madam Speaker, after extensive consultations among the three Governments, Zambia, Tanzania and the peoples Republic of China, the two Governments of Zambia and Tanzania have agreed to invite the Government of the Peoples Republic of China to join in the running of Tazara, either through a concession or joint venture in order to improve its performance.

This move has been necessitated by our long standing cordial relationship with the Government of the Peoples Republic of China who have continued to provide Tazara with both technical and financial assistance, which, in most instances, have not been paid back up to date. We feel, therefore, that this relationship should continue to exist for the benefit of the three Governments.

The New Railway Developments

Madam Speaker, in an effort to make Zambia a hub of economic development in the region, the Government has invited the private sector, through public private partnerships (PPP), to construct the following pieces of railways on the build operate and transfer basis (BOT):

(i) completion of the Chipata/Mchinji railway;

(ii) Chipata/Mpika railway;

(iii) Solwezi/Chingola railway;

(iv) Solwezi/Lumwana/Benguela railway; and

(v) Kafue/Lions Den railway.

Madam Speaker, of the above railway line projects, I am happy to report that the Chipata/Mchinji Railway line is under construction using our own resources from the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: This line will provide Zambia with the shortest sea route to the Indian Ocean port of Nacala in Mozambique.

Construction is expected to be completed next year, 2007.

Railway Systems of Zambia

Madam Speaker, Zambia Railways Limited was concessionaired to Railway Systems of Zambia with the objective of allowing the private sector to inject capital into the company which was not performing well.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Hon. Hachipuka knows. However, Government is in the process of negotiating with the concessionaire to determine the possibility of reviewing the concession agreement to make it responsive to the demands of the transport sector.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubika: Madam Speaker, the following projects have successfully been completed or implemented:

Lusaka International Airport

The runway at Lusaka International Airport has been rehabilitated and the buildings face lifted at a cost of 3 million euros.

Livingstone International Airport

The National Airports Corporation (NACL) has embarked on the development and expansion of the runway from the present 2.3Km to 3Km to facilitate long haul flights. The project commenced in November 2005 and is expected to be complete by February 2007.

Chipata Airport

Under the New Deal Administration, Chipata Airport has also been rehabilitated and has now been opened after being closed in 2001.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mubika: Telecommunications

Madam Speaker, the telecommunications sector is an area where the ministry has made great progress. Since the liberalisation of the sector a lot of positive improvements have been registered such as the provision of mobile telephone services and Internet facilities in almost all parts of Zambia.

The sector has continued to record an increase in revenues generated over the years. For instance, during the year 2005 a total of K1 trillion was realised as compared to K630 billion in 2004, despite the introduction of ten per cent excise duty on airtime revenues representing a 50 per cent increase in a year. This is attributed to the users in districts and provinces that have been added to the National Telecommunications infrastructure.

The benefits have not only been restricted to Government revenue, but trickled down to the users in terms of increase in value added services and lower tariffs. The Government is further committed to providing telecommunication services to areas that are unserviceable. As such, we intend to set up a fund for purposes of catalysing access to services in areas that are under serviced. The instruments to be used include, among others, deficit charges or the provision of equipment.

Mr Mubika drank water.


Mr Mubika: Maritime and Inland Waterways

Madam Speaker, Zambia has approximately 2433KMs of canals and waterways infrastructure, much of which has not been regularly and systematically maintained for a long time. This is not withstanding the critical role that maritime and inland waterways play in international trade by facilitating the transportation of people and cargo through maritime nations. Domestically, inland waterways facilitate the movement of people and cargoes to remote areas that are not serviced by other means of transport like, road, rail and air. In Zambia, such regions are plenty and have potential for economic and social growth.

The New Deal Administration is committed to and has put the rehabilitation of canals as priority in the three provinces namely: Western, Luapula and Northern provinces under the Poverty Reduction Programme in the past two years and the programme is on going.

Furthermore, the Government has procured a marine vessel for passenger transportation on Lake Mweru.

Another vessel is being procured for use on Lake Bangweulu, Hon. Kasongo.

At the international level, Zambia is in constant contact with neighbouring maritime States in order to ensure that it has unimpeded access to the sea coast for its international trade.

Madam Speaker, at this juncture, let me support the Patriotic Front Member of Parliament for Mandevu, Ms Kapata, who, last week, urged the Patriotic Front President to leave space and room for the youths to take over the party.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Mubika: As you can see, we have a rich nursery here. This Government has the youths.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Mubika: Their president said that we all die of Aids by 2011. I do not think all the youths in here will have died by 2011. Some of us can be here up to 2050. Therefore, time has run out for you. leave space for us to learn from Mr HIPC (Hon. Magande), and Hon. Mwaanga so that we can carry the country forward.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Mubika: We are here to govern you. If you do not co-operate, including Hon. Muntanga, then you will have no one but yourself to blame.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Ms Mwamba (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor of the House.

Before I deliver my Maiden Speech, I would like to pay glowing tribute to three very important people in my political career. Firstly, I pay tribute to the late UPND President, Anderson Kambela Mazoka, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: … who initiated me into politics and taught me the dynamics of politics. A great son of the soil and visionary leader whose passing away has left a void in Zambian politics.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: Secondly, I pay tribute to Hon. Sakwiba Sikota for his lesson in meekness to most political novices like myself and some veterans too. A man of high integrity whose many attributes, compassion and leadership qualities attract many while others use money to attract a following. He is a perfect gentleman.


Ms Mwamba: Thirdly, I pay tribute to my Party President, Michael Chilufya Sata, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: … for responding to the people of Zambia’s timely call for change and for making us all make the right decision to stand on the PF ticket.

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Speaker on his re-election to his Office. I would like, with all my heart, to congratulate you, Madam Deputy Speaker, on your ascending to this high office being the first woman to occupy such an office in the history of the Zambian Parliament. I also wish to congratulate the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House on his election to his position.

Madam Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank the people of Lukashya Constituency for replacing the former Vice-President, Mr Mwape, with me as their Member of Parliament. I want to assure them that they will not regret this fair and wise decision.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: I do promise them hard work and commitment.

Madam, I feel very privileged to stand in this august House to talk about issues which affect all our people in most, if not all, areas of human endeavour. I would like to mention from the outset that the focus of my speech will be about issues that immediately concern the livelihood and welfare of the ordinary citizens of this great country who have given me the honour to stand before your hon. Members and air their many concerns.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: Madam Speaker, the Government has over the past five years been boasting of economic improvements in terms of macro-economic resilience. We have been told that inflationary rates have gone down, interest rates have stabilised and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has appreciated. One would hope that this seemingly improved scenario, as claimed by our colleagues on your right, would translate into more investment, creation of more jobs for our people and better access to quality social services for all Zambians to facilitate attainment of the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. It has, however, been correctly observed by development scientists that economic growth without redistribution and improvements in the day to day lives of citizens is not worthy of the name development.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: Development thinkers have, therefore, drawn a distinct line between economic development and economic growth with the former being the relevant term for the common man since it is concerned with adequate food for all citizens, access to health care and education. Alas, Madam Speaker, all the figures of macro-economics have not been translated into food for the millions of our people still waiting for relief food and millions still wallowing in abject poverty.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: On the national trends in poverty, Madam Speaker, the President of the Republic of Zambia stated that the poverty levels in Zambia have been going down steadily. The Central Statistical Office (CSO) produced figures which contradicted even the President himself. The CSO figures indicate that poverty levels in Zambia have been going up for the past ten years. As a matter of fact, urban poverty increased from 49 per cent to 53 per cent in 2004.

While recognising that Zambia is a low income country, the poverty situation has been worsened by a marred distribution of income and wealth. A tiny proportion of citizens enjoy more than a lion’s share of this country’s wealth. I believe that wealth distribution is a duty of the Government. When economic affairs are left to run on their own, only a tiny percentage of the country’s population will afford even the luxury of sending their children to school up to Grade 12. For people in rural areas who most of us here represent, one can almost say their future is bleak.

On availability of employment, Madam Speaker, I would like to remind this Government that it is legally mandated to employ its people as well as facilitate and mastermind employment creation. From what I know, macro-economic management is about macro-economic stability and employment creation. A Government Minister who proclaims that it is not the duty of Government to provide jobs to citizens will do well to leave his comfortable office for people with more creativity and know-how.


Ms Mwamba: The Government of the Republic of Zambia is legally mandated to employ its people. It also monitors employment levels in the country. A relatively health economy should be talking about an unemployment rate of less than 10 per cent. Sadly, for this country, unemployment has been increasing for almost all the years between 1992 and 2005. The reasons for this increase in unemployment rates are not difficult to see. The monthly job losses experienced have been occasioned by the hurried privatisation programme which was carried out without proper sequencing. This Government must turn the situation round to encourage name-worthy investments and regulate the labour market to reduce labour casualisation or eliminate it completely.

Madam Speaker, the Government must play its role of investing in infrastructure development which will attract investment, both local and foreign, and, hopefully, boost employment prospects for our people.

As regards access to health services, after forty-two years of independence, there are many households which live beyond 60 kilometres from their nearest health facility making it impossible to seek care when sick. As we embark on the preparation of the budget for the year 2007, we shall be interested to see how much money will be provided for the construction of health facilities, especially in rural areas. Equally important to us, will be the equitable allocation of those funds to provinces. I feel that Northern Province is a very under developed province because it is always under-funded. I call upon all my colleagues from Northern Province to rise to this challenge and demand what is rightly ours. We are not proud to belong to a province that is so under-developed. Hon. Misapa, from Mporokoso Constituency, there are thirteen if not fourteen rivers between Kasama and Mporokoso. All around there …

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Ms Mwamba: The grass is green all around the rivers. If other provinces are getting animals, why can we not benefit in one way or another. Every citizen in this country is a taxpayer and entitled to receive social services and other related benefits that other citizens are receiving.

Madam Speaker, this Government should pay attention to reducing the number of women dying from pregnancy related illnesses. It is utterly unacceptable to have maternal mortality rates as high as 729 per 100,000 when there are countries in the world with similar per capita income, but with far lower maternity mortality rates.

Madam Speaker, another area of concern, especially for our rural population, is access to safe water and sanitation. Zambia boasts of 30 per cent of fresh water resources on the continent, minerals, vast tracts of virgin land, a youthful population and highly skilled human resource. Yet, four decades after independence, we have failed to provide safe drinking water. In rural areas, there are very few people who have access to clean and safe water. Please, let the hon. Member of Parliament for Malambo Constituency check his facts well and research into the water situation in the country.

Madam Speaker, statistics also show that about one in five households regrettably, do not have any toilet facility. This is one of the reasons this country faces perennial cholera outbreaks and why we are unable to significantly reduce the infant mortality rates.

Madam Speaker, I call upon the Government to set aside sufficient funds to support the water and sanitation programme in the country.

Madam Speaker, I would like to touch on the subject of agriculture and rural development which all of us know is an important item on the development agenda for many reasons. I believe that developing rural areas is the shortest route to reducing rural poverty which affects the majority of people in this country. This is the best way of attacking poverty and integrating rural areas into the money economy.

In this country, the agricultural sector is very important contributing well over 16 per cent to the GDP. Over 64 per cent of Zambia’s labour force are small-scale farmers in the informal sector. This goes to show that agriculture is the only sector which has a lot of potential for growth and rural development. This can be achieved if sufficient attention and resources are given to developing rural agriculture.

Agricultural growth would benefit farming and rural households directly through its increase in agricultural output and income generation and would have a further advantage in that a process of growth anchored on agriculture would be pro-poor. Growth in agriculture is also a strong determinant of rural non-farm incomes and employment, which are a source of livelihood for some of the poorest households in rural areas. Thus, rural development is likely to have a catalytic effect on the whole economy. It is known empirically that a large share of manufacturing in the early stages of development is agriculturally based.

The growth of rural agriculture, Madam Speaker, critically depends on infrastructure growing ahead of productive activities. Inadequate rural infrastructure in form of road network, bridges and storage facilities is a major barrier to rural poverty reduction because it impedes market integration even within the rural economy, limiting opportunities for wage employment and trade in essential commodities. The quantity and quality of the road network play a crucial role in facilitating trade at all levels. This network is tremendously underdeveloped and is a major cause of the very high transportation costs, high price spreads between initial agricultural producer prices and ultimate consumer prices, segmented agricultural product markets and very limited market-orientation on the part of the small farmers who produce largely for subsistence with low marketable surpluses. There is also tremendous under-investment in irrigation projects.

Madam Speaker, it is my belief that anyone with a decent level of education should appreciate that agriculture is not a sector to leave entirely driven by private initiatives. No developed country ever did that. The Government should assume its role of providing extension services, credit facilities and making facilities for our rural farmers in what way this can be done. The real New Deal Government of Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of America, resuscitated the economy of America after the Great Depression with his New Deal Agricultural Policy.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: Madam Speaker, it is time that this country came to grips with the fact that with no exception, all developing countries that were successful in achieving growth and poverty alleviation emphasised agriculture at an early stage of development. Agricultural development-led industrialisation is a development strategy that almost universally would appear to be the only means to ensure a self-sustaining process of growth with equity.

Madam Speaker, I would like to address the House, through you, on the issue of the Constitution Review Process and the adamancy and acrimony exhibited by the MMD Government, which characterised the period preceding the general elections held on 28th September, 2006.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: I must state from the outset, Madam, that it is common knowledge that a Constitution being the supreme law of the land is people driven. The final form and text of the Constitution must reflect the peoples will not an individual’s will nor the will of the minority or a clique of individuals.

Madam Speaker, in the past successive Governments, the Zambian people have been denied their constitutional right to write their own Constitution as they wish and to embed therein their will. We have been subjected to a constitution tailored by selfish men and women to suit their selfishness.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: Madam Speaker, it is not correct for the preamble of the Zambian Constitution, in its current form, to start with the words, ‘We the people of Zambia’ until we, the Zambians, can write our own constitution, which is …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwamba: …favoured by everyone. The people of Zambia, for a long time, have been crying for the amendment of the Constitution by a Constituent Assembly which is more representative of all the Zambians.

Madam Speaker, obviously, the adamancy is now very clear after the general elections. The legitimacy of any Government is synonymous with respect for the people who put you into office and with a Constitution review process favoured by the majority of the people together with respect for people’s inalienable right to participate in the Constitution review process. We want to come up with a Constitution that is acceptable to the majority of the Zambian people. I do not agree with the MMD hon. Member of Parliament who described legitimacy as winning an election.

Madam, dishonest men and women all over the world have purported to win elections and have taken over the reins of power and fraudulently so. Such regimes have no legitimacy as they do not identify with the majority of the people. I add my voice to the many Zambians who have repeatedly spoken about the need to have the people’s Constitution through a Constituent Assembly.

Madam Speaker, I wish to address the House on the rule of law. There is a very thin line between the rule of law and respect for people’s rights. Respect for the rule of law is cardinal in any democracy. When you consider the operations of police or simply policing in this country, it leaves much to be desired. The police operate in total disregard of human rights. Police brutality is employed unnecessarily even where minimum force ought to be applied. I have in mind the police being unleashed to brutalise innocent citizens, shooting at innocent children, reporters and so many other incidences that we have heard of. I ask the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha, whether it is the police training or the course content which is inadequate. The rule of law is completely eroded as there is a total disregard of human rights.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to say that it is also the preserve of this House to amend archaic laws or bad legislation which conflict with the rights of citizens.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 21st November, 2006.