Debates- Wednesday, 1st November, 2006

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Wednesday, 1st November, 2006 

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER, in the Chair]











(Debate resumed)


Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, allow me first of all to salute the people of Lusaka and the Copperbelt respectively for having cancelled the perception that the Patriotic Front (PF) was a tribal party. We shall treasure this confidence given to us by the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, allow me, also, to commend the people of Bangweulu Constituency for having given me yet, another mandate to represent them in this House. The only point of departure is that I now have a father and mother. At that time, I was just an orphan, but the people of Bangweulu stressed that if you want us to retain you, please identify a party of your choice. I am so much humbled by this show of confidence by the people of Bangweulu Constituency.


Mr Speaker, the conventional wisdom inherent in the President’s speech is that the Government of the day did not respond positively to the concerns of the people of Zambia. In that light, His Excellency, the President assured the nation through this House that all these concerns would now be addressed.

It is my sincere hope and trust that these concerns will be addressed expeditiously and this is the context in which I would like to comment briefly on the concerns that have been ably articulated in the Presidential Address.


Mr Speaker, I will begin with the importance of science and technology. As I said before, science and technology, in many countries, is used as tool to create wealth. Examples are many. China is one such example that has been able to feed its own population. Hunger has never been heard of there simply because the people have committed themselves to food production on a massive scale by using simple tools. We can also emulated this example. I am happy that our Head of State is now in China to have discussions with his counterparts and we are hoping that those who are in the Presidential delegation will come back with brilliant ideas.


Mr Speaker, if I had powers, I would have included the hon. Minister of Science and Technology in that delegation so that the ideas he was going to learn from that country would have been used as a tool to create wealth for this country.


Mr Speaker, Japan is on the world map today because it has put emphasis on the importance of science and technology. You go to any office here and you will see that the equipment being used is made in Japan. In most cases, the vehicles that most Zambians are driving today are made in Japan and so are the computers. Therefore, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, who is an intellectual, to use his ministry as a tool to develop our industries as well as agriculture. In short, he will create wealth for this country.


Mr Speaker, we have been told time and again that there is political good will in terms of development of science and technology in this country. Admittedly, there could be that political will, but it should be demonstrated by way of giving sufficient funds to the ministry responsible for science and technology. Year in, year out, we have argued in this House that the only way you can raise the profile of that ministry is to ensure that you give sufficient funds to the same ministry. I hope that when preparing our budget for next year, we will allocate a big share of our money to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.


The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is yet another important ministry with emphasis on rural television. Most of our people have no access to television, and as such, they do not know what is happening worldwide. We are glad that the hon. Minister has been given another mandate to man that ministry and implement that programme to the letter.


As of now, the only people with access to television are those at district level, and even then, the radius is just twenty-one kilometers. In other words, most Zambians do not have access to news and activities that are taking place in our respective ministries. I therefore, appeal to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to ensure that this programme is implemented to the letter. There should be no discrimination between those residing in urban and rural areas. After all, the bigger mandate for the MMD to be in power for the second time or is it third time came from the rural people.


Hon. Member: Third time!


Mr Kasongo: Thank you very much for that correction. In other words, we should reciprocate this gesture by taking television to them. The same can be said about the poor conditions of service obtaining in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. Our hard working journalists walk long distances to cover both political and economical activities. I appeal to the Hon. Minister responsible for this ministry to ensure that comfort is given to our hard working journalists. These people should be given loans to put up houses. Most of them have been in employment for over twenty years and yet, they cannot even access one ngwee to put up a house.




Mr Kasongo: Sir, this matter should be addressed as quickly as possible. I leave the question of ‘when you pay, it will show’, to the majority of Zambians so that they find out whether that concept is a reality or not. However, if you have a small population, that is benefiting from the same amount of money that you are paying every month, then the policy should be changed as quickly as possible. We would like to see a situation where, for example, the people in Lukulu will be covered so that we see what is happening there. The starvation in Shangombo should come to an end. These are issues that must be addressed.


Mr Speaker, the tax that we are paying should go back to the people in terms of benefits. These benefits should not be in the hands of a few people who are based in Lusaka. Even the news coverage sometimes becomes monotonous. News, aometimes begins with the first politician, second politician and third politicians in terms of protocol. These are issues that must be addressed. Journalist should be given sufficient latitude upon which they should make a decision in terms of what is news worthy and what is not.


Sir, this now brings me to the importance of defence and security in our country. We have always paid tribute to our officers in the defence and security forces for having maintained peace in this country for forty-two years. The only way we can reciprocate this kind of support as Zambians, is to invest heavily in these institutions. The peace that we have been enjoying has not come about by accident. It is because of the commitment of our defence and security personnel who have demonstrated to us that even when we are fast asleep, they will be able to look after us 24 hours a day. We commend them highly, but this alone is not enough. We have to make sure that we improve the conditions of service of our defence and security personnel. That is the best way of thanking these hard working people in our country.


Mr Speaker, the question of agriculture has been discussed at length. I am happy that we have a veteran politician and unionist who, in my view, will be able to transform this institution into an institution that will make Zambia a breadbasket. Gone are the days when we should be lining up for food and yet, we have been assured in this House that the Government of the day would introduce the irrigation scheme in order for us to have be self sufficient in food production. This word should now be translated into action.


Sir, I am happy that the person who was so particular about this concept, Hon. Mundia Sikatana, is still part of the Cabinet. He should be able to compare notes with his colleague who happens to be a mouth peace of those feeding us in this country. My only hope is that we will not continue talking about the importance of agriculture. We want to see immediate results. The irrigation scheme is key to food production on a massive scale. The hon. Minister responsible for agriculture and co-operatives should take up that challenge.


Sir, I am also happy to recognise the presence of the hon. Minister of Education who at one time, was privileged to man the University of Zambia as Vice-Chancellor. The challenge that you have is first of all, to transform the Kabwe College of Management into a University. A Bill was passed in this House to that effect and we were very happy. Therefore, we have been waiting for results. That concept is still in your office. We would like it to move from your office so that the next intake should take the university entrants in that institution. We are not going to tolerate this manpower wastage.


Sir, a lot of our children obtain the best grades of about six, seven and eight points because they compete for fewer places at the Copperbelt University and the University of Zambia, you will find that most of them do not even enter the university. You should ensure that that college is transformed into a university. If you are not going to do that, I can assure you that you may not get our support. You will wonder why that support is being put in the waste paper basket. This will be because you would not be able to satisfy us in either way.


Secondly, I am happy you are now an elected hon. Member of Parliament and you will be able to see the shortage of teachers in schools.


You will be surprised to find out that at one of your schools, you will only find one teacher who will be the headmaster, deputy headmaster and senior teacher. These are the challenges that you have to face. You have to make sure that those you have trained as teachers are employed. Employing 7,000 teachers is a drop in the ocean.


Sir, some primary schools have few teachers and when these teachers leave their respective schools to get their salaries, children remain on their own. You cannot expect them to perform to the expectations of their parents. Yet, all of us, including the hon. Minister of Education, got the best education. That is why you are a professor. Therefore, we would like to see these children take over from you as professors. As of now, we are producing illiterate children who cannot even read and write simply because there are no teachers to attend to them. It is a challenge hon. Minister. You should take this challenge to your Cabinet. You should also argue for additional funds so that you can employ all the teachers.


Sir, you have now come into politics, which is different from the University of Zambia where you behaved like a gentleman. In politics, you have to be a fighter. Fight for a bigger share of the cake. If you are humble, gentle and so on, you will starve.




Mr Muntanga: And you will lose weight.


Mr Kasongo: You will lose weight


Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, allow me allow me to talk about the Ministry of Health.


Sir, just like the Ministry of Education, these are the institutions that have been in tatters just because of our commitment to the HIPC Completion Point. Now that we have attained the HIPC Completion Point, there should be no excuses about shortage of drugs, doctors or nurses. Recruitment must begin now. Here is a situation where when you go to a clinic where you do not even find trained personnel. You only find people who are known as dressers administering medicine. This is very shameful when you have been independent for forty-two years. We must change for the better. The second mandate that we have been given should be used to uplift the standards of living of our people. There should be no people languishing in poverty.


Mr Speaker, somebody said:


‘The Central Statistical Office said that most Zambians cannot afford three meals a day’. End of quote.


Sir, this is a Government institution. The people of Luapula Province are also saying 82 per cent…


Mr Speaker: Order! Hon. Members’ time has expired.




Mr Speaker: Order! I just wish to remind hon. Members that you must address the Chair at all times. Avoid addressing individual Members of Parliament or individual ministers.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to address this august House this afternoon.


Sir, let me begin by congratulating you, your Deputy and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees in the House for the successful elections that saw you into your current seats. I would also like to pay tribute to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for taking us through the orientation exercise. I must say that it was very fruitful for some of us who are entering the House for the first.


Mr Speaker, let me also take this opportunity to contribute to His Excellency the President’s Speech as a follow up to the Motion of Thanks delivered by Hon. Forri Tembo.


Sir, I would like to start by saying that in his speech, His Excellency the President focuses on the call for national reconciliation. He also emphasised his call for nation unity.


Sir, on page 3 of the Speech, he made reference to his Inaugural Speech that he delivered in the grounds of the Parliament buildings on 3rd October, where he also called for reconciliation and national unity.


Mr Speaker, the President stated that his New Deal Administration was not a Government exclusive of other parties who are affiliated elsewhere and that his MMD Government is an all inclusive party. When I hear such soothing words, I get very encouraged, but in the same breath I shudder to imagine that this particular statement may have been political rhetoric. I say so because, as a nation, we need to actually ‘walk our talk’ by practicing what we preach.


Mr Speaker, as His Excellency was delivering his speech calling for national reconciliation and unity, I had a tragedy of learning that in Mazabuka where I hail from, some of my party supporters who had been discharged from police custody, having been arrested on trumped up charges called ‘Prohibition under the Electoral Code of Conduct’, had been rearrested. I found that to be contrary to what the Head of State was saying. I therefore, thought this august House needed to be reminded that as we speak, let us ‘walk the talk’ because what is happening out there is the opposite of what we are encouraged to do in this House.


Sir, in his Speech, the President said:


"His Government would seriously take into consideration the concerns raised during the elections period. Zambians spoke clearly and loudly and we will reflect seriously on the concerns with the view of implementing those that can be implemented immediately".


This is a very promising statement, but much to my chagrin, this to me was another major contradiction because the people whom I represent have been there for every one to see and have added their voice to the continuous call for a new constitution to be enacted, a constitution that would stand the test of time.


Mr Speaker, I find this a little bit difficult to believe especially after reading a caption of an article that appeared in yesterday’s Daily Mail of 31st October, 2006. In this caption, His Excellency the President is on record as having said that he condemns those agitating for the enactment of a new constitution. He further says:


‘Is this constitution going to bring clean water, is this constitution going to bring improved conditions, is this constitution going to create employment, is this constitution going to improve housing, give us space.’


I do not know what space this is about.


This to me is uninspiring, especially that the contrary views come from one person who has attained the highest status of this land. It is a major contradiction and I shudder to think that we should go on in this fashion. It is the duty of all colleagues in the Front Bench to advise His Excellency the President accordingly.


Sir, coming to the great people of Mazabuka Constituency, I would like to say that I am thankful to them for allowing me to be a part of the men and women forming the legislative body of this country. Those people are quite defined in what they want.


I have attempted twice before to come to this House under the MMD ticket, but their voice was deafening because they did not give me their vote simply on account that they believe in what they believe in. And what they believe in up to this stage are the principles, policies and the manifesto of the United Party for National Development.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it is a dream of every person that I represent in Mazabuka and I believe a dream of every Zambian, that one day this country is going to transition, like many other countries have, from the Third World category to the First World category. It may sound funny, but it is a fact that even countries like Singapore, over the last four decades, have moved away from the category of the Third World to the First World.


Sir, the fact is that whilst we yearn to achieve this status and having attained political independence forty-two years ago, we in Mazabuka, like the rest of the country, are still deep in the Third World category with all the related challenges of high and alarming poverty levels that lead to homelessness. Those of us in Lusaka do not need to be told that we have a huge time bomb in the growing numbers of street children.


Mr Speaker, I want to address the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development and the hon. Minister from the Ministry of Community Development that they have a huge task ahead of them to clean up this mess. The street kids that we see, especially in the capital city, are a time bomb that will shake this country for many years to come. If the Government does not take heed to my humble call, to take this matter seriously, we will be in trouble one day. All of us even those who drive Government vehicles with bodyguards one day shall be commoners like myself and may just fall victim of the time bomb that I am talking about.


Sir, the challenges that we face include no guarantee of clean water supply for our people, crime at all levels especially against the girl child, prostitution, excessive intake of alcoholic drinks, non observation of beer hall opening hours, extreme levels of unemployment, serious defective health service delivery system aggravated by the pandemic of HIV/AIDS, poor road network in Mazabuka and a very serious decline of the education system. I am glad to state here that through you, Sir, the hon. Minister of Education, having been my lecturer, has a huge task ahead of him to overhaul the system of education so that at least he could equate to what it was fifteen years ago. That way, we will be guaranteed of producing an educated country, which will be an oasis for a safe haven for the future.


Mr Speaker, this is an indicator that all our previous efforts for this much desired transition have been inadequate because if they were adequate, the Zambian people would have been living a more decent and dignified lifestyle considering that God has endowed us with enormous human resources and of course, the already existing intellect among our nationals.


Sir, Mazabuka is no exception from these challenges that I just read out. Why I say so is because Mazabuka, having 244,000 residents I can assure you that only a handful of them sleep with a smile on their faces as a result of the challenges that I have just outlined.


Mr Speaker, the Zambian people in general and the people of Mazabuka in particular are highly charged with determination and zeal to change the direction of our country in order to achieve this dream.


Sir, this statement is qualified by the demonstration of our citizenry on the morning of 28th September, 2006. People woke up as early as 0330 hours in the morning. Some of them went and slept at the polling stations in order to cast their votes so that their dreams may be realised.


Mr Speaker, when we conduct our individual soul searching and find the inner and most honest portion of our hearts, we will realise that in the past, a number of people who had been re-elected to this august House, had excelled to become Government officers. I am speaking about the Front Bench. And yet, we have tried in vain to uplift the living standards of our people. What we have seen is that the majority of our people who have transitioned through this House, have, at individual level, attained the First World category that I spoke about earlier while living the electorates that brought us here living in squalor and being faced with the challenges that I already mentioned above.


Mr Speaker, this country requires change of attitude. The attitude must change by hon. Members of this House today and with immediate effect.


In order to achieve some of these challenges that I have alluded to, it is my humble view that this House and Government must now attempt to focus on the following:


A very well articulated and developed democratic system of governance. This is very important because in my layman understanding there is a bondable link between political development and economic development. If we go back to our studies, we learn that President Sahatu, as a result of his failure to improve the economy of his country, his administration collapsed. So there is a definite link between politics and economics although certain people in certain quarters would like to divorce the two. I insist that we must recognise that link.


Mr Speaker, we need to ask our colleagues in Government to add substantial investment into our productive sectors, stabilise our currency, not compromise on all steps that will assist us meet the millennium development goals, place all efforts timely and implement the Fifth National Development Plan. We need to work towards reducing the local debt situation since our foreign debt has been reduced by our attainment of the HIPC Completion Point and I must congratulate the Government on being in office at the time when this completion point was attained. It is also prudent for me to under score the fact that yes, they were in office at the time of attainment, but I think this effort was for everybody. This was a collective effort because people agreed to follow certain difficult routes to attain the completion point.


Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Government through the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Magande, to work towards demolishing the local debt. Sir, most of our citizens are owed money by the Government and this to me is unacceptable and it must be addressed quickly. Mr Speaker, I also wish to remind the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that on 22nd May, 2006, in the entourage of His Excellency the President, he came to Mazabuka and assured the workers of the current Zambia’s biggest sugar producing company called Ilovo or the Zambia Sugar Company that they would be paid their gratuity.


Mr Speaker, through you, I wish to remind the hon. Minister that he needs to take all efforts available to make sure that these people are paid their money because it is truly their money and they worked for it. Sir, it is a shame in my view that we must continue procrastinating a straightforward matter such as paying gratuity to people who deserve it. I implore the hon. Minister to act accordingly on this matter.


Mr Speaker, in addressing these matters, I wish to say that we need to make a deliberate policy that to address the new monster that we call casualisation. In Mazabuka, we are victims of the casualisation of labour. It is a very sad thing because in my view, it does not give hope to our people because first of all even the casual daily employee rates are so low that people have been reduced to destitutes. We need people to be on pensionable basis so that they have something to look forward to at retirement.


Mr Speaker, I would like the relevant arm of Government to deal with that part of my problem in Mazabuka as expeditiously as possible. Mazabuka is a developing town and I must say that we have a big potential for industries. At the foot of the Munali Hills we have the Albidon Mine for nickel that has currently become active. I think that this Nickel Mine is going to employ …


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Mr A Banda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A Banda: … I will be brief in my contribution to the debate because I am a man of few words, but action oriented.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A Banda: Mr Speaker, let me also add my congratulatory message to you, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman for Committees of the whole House on your well-deserved elections.


Mr Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Serenje Central for re-electing me as their representative to this august House.


Mr Speaker, the re-election speaks volumes for the people of Serenje because it shows that the people of Serenje Central have confidence in me for which I am indebted to them.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A Banda: Mr Speaker, it is not only me, but even my beloved party the MMD.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A Banda: Not only that, but even His Excellency the President Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A Banda: Mr Speaker, this can be seen by the fact that all the three constituencies in Serenje District were scooped by our beloved party.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A Banda: And His Excellency the President Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa came out tops in all the three constituencies.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A Banda: Mr Speaker, the people of Serenje are hardworking. When you go to Serenje this time, you will find heaps and heaps of maize that was harvested last season. They have even nicknamed these heaps as Mundia Sikatana.




Mr A Banda: The reason is simple. It is because he did the work.


Mr Speaker, I know that my Government is a listening and hard working Government therefore, the people of Serenje have asked me to convey this message to this listening Government that the Nansanga Farm Block should be completed. I know that it is about to be completed and I know it will be completed by this hardworking Government because to the people of Serenje, it is an economic booster because it is going to bring a lot of economic activities. There will be job creation there and as such people are looking forward to the completion of the same.


Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, I am a man of few words …


Hon. Government Members: Continue!


Mr Sichilima: Bikenipo nefya malaiti.


Mr A Banda: On that one, I do not want to say much because signs are there. ZESCO is already doing a project there of electrifying the same Nansanga Farm Block and the progress reports that we receive from there or may I say from the Managing Director of ZESCO who sends me progress reports are very encouraging.


Mr Speaker, let me now come to the motion on the Floor of the House.




Mr Banda: Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to congratulate the President as I said earlier on …




Mr Banda: … for wining the 28th September general elections and I also congratulate his Cabinet Ministers, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Banda: … Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament and of course even the Opposition Members of Parliament.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Banda: Mr Speaker, the speech of his Excellency, the President was and is still very inspiring.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Banda: It is inspiring in the sense that when you look at the speech and also look at the MMD manifesto, you will find that you can marry the two …




Mr Shakafuswa: I have triplets.


Mr Banda: … you will even tell that this Government has a vision for this country.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Member: Not illusions like PF.




Mr Banda: There is no way, Mr Speaker, one can say this is a PF manifesto because PF was born yesterday …


Mr Sichilima: Out of MMD.


Mr Banda: … out of MMD. Therefore, I do not want to mention the leaders …




Mr Banda: … because there was not going to be FDD or PF. So, you can see that the manifesto of MMD is leading, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Banda: …so it is the one we should depend upon. I know other people dispute that it is not MMD, but PF because they have not read the manifesto of MMD.


Hon. Government Member: And they do not have it.


Mr Banda: No wonder why then, Mr Speaker, that even on the 28th September elections the MMD carried the day.


Hon. Government Members: Yes.


Mr Banda: Because they were …


Hon. Opposition Members: You rigged.


Hon. Government Members: Why did you not rig as well?


Mr Banda: … no wonder we are leading in numbers here, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Banda: … it is simply because we were dealing with issues that were in our manifesto. It was not just wild hunting. So, …


Hon. Government Member: Hammer them.


Mr Banda: … Mr Speaker, I would like again to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency the President, …




Mr Banda: … Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC …




Mr Shakafuswa: Jealous.


Mr Banda: … for having given me chance to serve in four ministries; namely; Community Development and Social Services was my first appointment as Deputy Minister, from there I was taken to Central Province, as Deputy Minister for Central Province. From the province, I served at the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. From there, I went to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. So, I thank His Excellency the President because I was exposed …




Mr Banda: … and saw what happens. I know other people are saying now, now, you know what is there.




Mr Banda: I am a Member of Parliament for Serenje Central Constituency on MMD ticket.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Banda: Let me also take this opportunity, Mr Speaker, to thank the Ministers that I served under in the Ministries that I have mentioned. I worked well with them, to them I say thank you very much.


Mr Speaker, I will be failing in my duties if I do not also thank my fellow Members of Parliament, the backbenchers because they have really accommodated me.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Banda: To them I say thank you very much.




Mr Banda: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, I am a man of few words, action oriented and I said I was going to be very brief in my contribution.


I really thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you most sincerely for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the speech by the President on his Official Opening of the first Session of the 10th National Assembly.


Hon. Opposition Member: Quality.


Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, I would further like to congratulate you, the Deputy Speaker, the Deputy Chairman of Committees on your re-election and election respectively. I would be amiss if I did not thank the people of Livingstone. During the elections many said it could not be done. Many started writing political obituaries. However, the people of Livingstone had their say and, boy was it loud!


Mr Speaker, I was given a higher vote than even the Presidential candidates in Livingstone.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: Apparently, Mr Speaker, at least in Livingstone, I am more popular than any of the other political party presidents.




Mr Sikota: Any.




Mr Sikota: I was made the first Member of Parliament to retain the Livingstone seat in the history of Zambia.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: No other person has retained Livingstone in a re-election. For that, I can only say thanks to the people of Livingstone and I promise not to let them down.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: To aspiring politicians, I say, never fear to enter a lion’s den, you may just make the lion scamper and cower in a corner.




Mr Sikota: I also want, Mr Speaker, to congratulate my colleagues in the United Liberal Party (ULP) who managed to get elected on a party ticket, which was barely two months old. No other political party in the history of Zambia has managed such a fit in such a short space of time.


Hon. Opposition Member: Show them.


Mr Sikota: Apart from the outstanding performance we are the only party in the history of this House ever since independence who have managed to reach the 33.3 per cent gender representation in the House.




Mr Sikota: No other.




Mr Sikota: SADC.




Mr Sikota: It has never been done.




Mr Sikota: Never in the history of this House has it been done.




Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair wants to hear the hon. Member for Livingstone Constituency giving the statistics.


May you continue.




Mr Sikota: I would also like, Mr Speaker, to congratulate the two other parties whose numbers have grown since the last Parliament. This is of course the MMD, they have increased their number and the PF who have shown tremendous growth.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: I would also like to congratulate hon. Ben Mwila of NDF who has maintained the steady number of representation since the last Parliament.




Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, I also wish to thank the parties who have donated some of their numbers from the last Parliament to allow us and other parties to grow.




Mr Sikota: Please, carry on with your generous spirit.




Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, most of the promises and pronouncements in the President’s Speech have not changed from his opening speech of last January. I will take the President’s Speech with caution, therefore, because of the many disappointments that the people of Zambia have been subjected to by his Government.


Sir, the experiences of the last five years have shown us that the MMD Government is only good at coming up with speeches that they have failed to follow up with efficient action or implementation.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, I hope that the President’s Speech is not just one of those carefully thought out scripts not to be followed up with good performance, as has been the case over the past five years where we have witnessed unprecedented high levels of poverty amongst the people of Zambia.


Sir, the President also called on hon. Members of Parliament to adopt a non-partisan approach when dealing with issues affecting the people of Zambia. This has been our cry all along. However, the President himself has been disappointing and a very big obstacle to hon. Members of Parliament conducting business in this august House in a non-partisan manner.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, Opposition Members of Parliament presented to this House many motions which were aimed at improving the governance of this country. Among them were ones on Pensions, Water and Sanitation, Pay As You Earn, the 50 per cent plus one and the Constituent Assembly Bill and of course, even the Bill I presented myself, the Freedom of Information Bill. Alas, all these good Bills were not allowed to see the light of day. The President was quick to call caucus meetings at State House to warn hon. Members of Parliament from his Party of expulsion or non-adoption if they dared co-operate with Opposition Members of Parliament. We hope that this time round, he means what he read in his speech. No more caucuses to stop the good and progressive work of the alternative Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, the President avoided addressing the issue of malpractices and irregularities during the just ended elections. Unless something is done to put in place an electoral system that will stop electoral malpractices, this country could easily be plunged into civil strife. There are many examples in Africa of countries which were once peaceful, but whose peace has been lost because of failure by those in authority to adhere to the wishes of the people. If this issue is not addressed quickly and adequately, the people of this country could find their own solutions of dealing with electoral malpractices as seen in the last elections. What this country needs is a good constitution and a Government that will listen and give the people what they want, not only in election time, but also in everyday life. We want a Government that will work towards strengthening institutions of governance and not rely on individuals who are easily corruptable.


Mr Speaker, we cannot rely on the President to offer this country a transparent and accountable Government. Experience has shown us that this Government is unreliable and only becomes accountable under immense pressure from civil society organisations and political parties.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: What this country needs is a constitution whose recommendations should be reviewed by a larger section of society and not Cabinet. There is need for Cabinet to start looking for a way forward because the majority of the people of Zambia decided on the way forward some years back. The way forward, according to the people of Zambia, is a Constituent Assembly. What this Government should be doing is to ensure that it provides funds for the Constituent Assembly in the 2007 National Budget. There should be no excuses. It is only a good constitution that will guarantee the people of Zambia a transparent and accountable Government and not an individual.


Mr Speaker, the Freedom and Information Bill is now gathering dust. The Government has consistently refused to enact the Freedom of Information Act. This can be evidenced in the President’s Speech were he did not make any reference to it and yet they had told us four years ago that they were doing a quick review of the same. We need to know the position of Government over this matter.


Sir, changing the name of the Film Censorship Board to the Film Classification Board will not safeguard our moral and cultural values. The change in name will not protect our children from viewing immoral publications or engaging in promiscuous activities. What we need to do is to start imposing existing legislation and ensure that we stop immoral material from coming into the country without control.


Mr Speaker, the Central Government should stop interfering with local council initiatives to raise money for their operations. Over the years, the Central Government has failed to adequately fund local councils. The Minister of Local Government and Housing should not get involved in the running of markets and bus stops because they are under the jurisdiction of local councils.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: Sir, the blame for the confusion in the running of markets is squarely on the shoulders of the MMD Government. In 2005, the President held a meeting at State House with MMD cadres and issued directives to allow MMD cadres to start collecting revenue in markets and at bus stops.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, just as much as we welcome the dissolution of the so called Market and Bus Stop Boards by the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, the responsibility of running markets and bus stops should be left in the hands of councils.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikota: Sir, the President mentioned Kitwe, Ndola and Lusaka as places where modern markets would be built. Why has an important tourist town like Livingstone been left out?


Mr Shakafuswa: We have not got an MP there!




Mr Sikota: Livingstone, as our tourist capital, requires infrastructure of international standards.


Mr Speaker, the Zambian people have been fed on a diet of figures and percentages on economic growth, macroeconomic stability and single digit inflation, which have proved meaningless to the people of Zambia as they are not translated into adequate food and provision of social services such as health, education and proper housing.


Sir, the MMD and its Mr HIPC of Chilanga …




Mr Sikota: … have proved that the people of Zambia cannot eat numbers, but require …


Mr Speaker: Order! May the hon. Member for Livingstone please explain who or what Mr HIPC of Chilanga is.




Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, going through Chilanga during the course of the elections, I came across t-shirts from one of the candidates written Mr HIPC. I recognised the face on that t-shirt. It was the face of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr Magande.




Mr Magande: And MP for Chilanga!


Mr Sikota: And MP for Chilanga.




Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, he has proved that you cannot eat numbers, but real food. This is a fact evident to all, apparently, except the MMD.


Sir, the poor people of this country have not benefited from the much talked about debt relief. Most Zambians in the countryside consider HIPC to be a four-letter dirty word. What the people want to see are results and benefits. It is a mockery to the nation for the MMD to boast of economic growth when over 80 per cent of the people are still living in absolute poverty. How can we pride ourselves in economic percentages when the majority of Zambians are starving, failing to take their children to school and dying of preventable diseases?


Mr Speaker, with regard to taxation, it is sad that the President has failed to acknowledge the alternative tax policies of political parties represented in this House, which have been calling for lower taxes and have already formulated lower tax policies. We can only hope that the proposed tax incentives to enterprises that will employ women and youths are not going to be a mere tease like the Youth Empowerment Fund. We need real initiatives that will uplift the standards of living for women and youths. The Government should also consider giving tax concessions to women and youths who are engaged in cross-border trading.


Sir, as regards the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads, I would like to state that almost half of the roads in this country are under the jurisdiction of local councils, but the biggest problem that local councils have is inadequate funding to undertake quality maintenance and road repairs. The answer to this problem is for the MMD Government to stop diverting Road Funds to unnecessary expenditure and become faithful in their remittance of funds from Fuel Levy to respective councils.


We would like to see the timely release of funds from the Ministry of finance and National Planning to the Roads Fund account. There is also need to start scrutinising the credentials of companies that will be given contracts to rehabilitate not only inter-city roads, but also district inter-district roads under the Ministry of Works and Supply.


The Mongu/Kalabo Road, for example, which has been a subject of much debate for the last 3 years, has not been something any government can be proud of. The money has been wasted on the Kalabo/Mongu Road and it still has to be paid back despite the fact that there is no road to talk about. Some sections of the Great East Road in Eastern Province have been redone on several occasions because of the shoddy works that have been done. I hope the new hon. Minister of Works and Supply will bring about change in this kind of things.


Mr Speaker, benefits from tourism earnings to the people of Zambia are minimal. The President talked about creation of employment and entrepreneur activities for the youth as a result of increased numbers of tourists coming into the country. Since the President likes to visit Livingstone, and usually stays at the Sun Hotel, he should talk to the workers for him to understand that our people are being exploited by investors in the tourism industry. The salary disparities are too high between Zambian workers and their foreign counterparts. There is no job security for the majority of Zambian workers in the tourism industry. There is a lot of casualisation of labour in the tourism industry and, therefore, we call upon the Government not to waste time begging investors to change their attitude towards Zambian workers. The ULP would tell erring investors to comply with our labour laws immediately or leave. No apologies need to be made when it comes to looking after the welfare of Zambians.


Currently, there is a large international hotel in Livingstone, which has even unilaterally halved the dues of the workers in terms of pension, death, funeral and other benefits. The MMD Government is too scared to touch or even question these investors. We want the MMD Government to start being on the side of Zambians as opposed to that of the investors.


Casualisation of labour in this country has reached alarming proportions. Every so-called investor who comes to this country is exploiting Zambian workers because the Government has no teeth to deal with them. For how long have we been hearing of Zambian workers being locked up in factories without the Government taking any serious action against erring investors. Even the workshop that has been proposed by the President will most likely be held at a top Livingstone Hotel where the participants will be served and waited upon by casuals.


Mr Speaker, apart from casualisation of labour in this country, the health and safety of workers has been neglected for a long time. Compliance levels by employers on safety and health requirements are below average. Very few companies in the country are meeting the required safety and health standards as prescribed by law. Zambian workers have continued to die at work places without proper compensation. The health of workers at the work place is also a source of concern. Most workers are exposed to harmful chemicals and other hazardous materials without proper protective clothing. The health and safety of workers should be dealt with along side casualisation of labour in Zambia.


Mr Speakr, the other section of employment and labour that has suffered at the hands of employers including Government are pensioners and retirement benefits for workers. The levels of poverty amongst pensioners and retired workers are alarmingly very high. Unless something is urgently done, we might lose a good number of pensioners who have been contributing to the well being of the nation for the last forty-two years without them even getting their pensions.


A number of factors are driving healthcare workers abroad. Pay is very important, but in most of our health institutions, payments are bad and often late. However, it is not simply about fatter pay cheques. It is time to move away from that stereotype. Sometimes what makes health workers want to leave for other countries is the freedom to do their work, working conditions, such as safety, opportunities to further education and upgrading skills and even education opportunities for their children are also important. Unless Government addresses these issues, plans to recruit all graduating health workers in 2007 will not stop the exodus of health personnel to other countries.


If the President truly recognises that persons with disabilities have the same rights, choices and needs as people without disabilities, he should have nominated someone with a disability as representative of the disadvantaged and marginalised. People with disabilities need representatives who have personally experienced the effects of discrimination of physical disability in this country.


In conclusion, Mr Speaker, there is need for this Government to move from mere political statements to implementation. Most of the pronouncements made by the President in his opening speech are not new. We hope that next time he comes to address this House, he will have something new.


I thank you, Sir.


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


Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, permit me to thank you for the opportunity to deliver to this august House my maiden speech for the Tenth National Assembly.


May I take this opportunity to congratulate you for your nomination by MMD to the same position of Speaker of National Assembly. Sir, the PF and indeed UDA and the whole House need to be congratulated for not subjecting you to a contest. I wish the good Lord to continue protecting and guiding you during this ensuing five years.


I must also congratulate Mrs Nalumango, your Deputy, to her new assignment. While I appreciate the desire for gender balancing, she was already at a high level in the previous Government as Minister of Labour and Social Security. It may not be an exact game for her or the female gender, but she deserves it.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hachipuka: And my friend, Ambassador Mukhondo Lungu, for bouncing back as Deputy Chairman of Committees. I congratulate you though if the MMD were not selfish, he should have been promoted to position of Deputy Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, at this stage, I must also thank posthumously the late Anderson Kambela Mazoka for starting the United Party National Development (UPND). At the elections of 2001, the party emerged with forty-nine seats in this House. Together with UNIP and FDD, we provided a formidable opposition to the Government of the day, that is, the MMD Government.


Mr Speaker, the failures rather than successes created a national outcry from the people of Zambia that the opposition should unite if not to remove MMD from power, but at least to provide a single voice. Mr Mazoka along with his friends, Ms Edith Nawakwi and Tilyenji Kaunda decided to heed the call. These three parties had sixty-two seats in this House during the pervious session. To return to the House in the Tenth Session with twenty-six from sixty-two, Mr Mazoka must be turning is his grave. To most Zambians, the election results of 2006 have taught us a lesson of the dynamic nature of Zambian politics.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hachipuka: May Mr Mazoka’s soul rest in peace.


To Mr Hakainde, I say thank you for stepping in Mr Mazoka’s shoes at a difficult time of mourning and heightened politics with nerves high across the country.


To Mr Hakainde Hichilema and all our Members in UPND, I want to offer us my most felt congratulations. Looking at Zambian politics today, I want to urge us to concentrate on re-organising UPND and going beyond the current membership of United Democratic Alliance (UDA). Our people in Southern Province do not want to be an island again as we were under the National African Congress until the Choma Declaration of 1972. They want to be part of the broader picture that must contribute to the advancement of our country.


Mr Speaker, I want to thank the brave people of Mbabala, UPND, UDA and the campaign team in Mbabala Constituency who caused me to win the elections. I must admit that the elections were costly and difficult. This is because there were four other independents who seemed not to want to win, but just to see me fail.




Mr Hachipuka: Whoever planned that, it did not succeed. I am back in the House. My people need water and this is a special appeal to this Government They need a Government that will pay special attention to their needs such as new or repaired schools.


Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that in some parts of my constituency there are many children registered in each class and in buildings that do not have roofs. The tarring of the Choma/Chitongo Road is a matter that has been discussed many times in this House for the people of Mbabala. I have at one time requested this Government through the Ministry of Works and Supply to, at least give me a list of how many times we have sat in this House and allocated sums to this particular road, but for last seven years nothing has changed. Grading of other trunk and feeder roads is another issue. There are certain areas if not all areas of my constituency where you can hardly drive.


Mr Speaker, my people need seed, fertiliser, employment, medicines and above all, three meals a day.




Mr Hachipuka: I am surprised that there are certain Members of Parliament who think that three meals a day is a luxury.


Mr Matongo: Like the Minister for Eastern Province, Hon. Nkata who has gained weight ever since he came to Parliament.


Mr Hachipuka: Forty-two years after independence, my people cannot afford a tablet of soap or salt or simply the basic needs of life. Most of my people with households cannot be found with even K5,000 in the entire household. A wife gets surprised when the husband turns up with a tablet of soap.


Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Hachipuka: That is a fact! Yes, that is a fact in villages!


Mr Matongo: Mabenga knows, nchaakabba CDF!


Mr Hachipuka: These murmurs surprise me because you will see as we go along that most of these Members of Parliament particularly, from your right will put on weight very shortly.




Hon. Opposition Members: Nkhata is a good example!


Mr. Hachipuka: And yet my people cannot afford a tablet of soap.




Mr Hachipuka: I want to make a special appeal to this Government now that they are in office the fourth time. We have tried as UPND and UDA in the last five years and in my case, the last seven years to raise the issues that benefit our people. If they bring any legislation that is beneficial to our people, we will support them and we have supported them because to us, the bottom line is whether the legislation is good for our people. Even when I have a subject in here in the name of Hon. Mwaanga, one of the problems that I have is that each time he takes the President to Mbabala, he takes him to his village in Macha.




Mr Hachipuka: President Chiluba was there and he took him to Macha. The Vice-President went there and was taken to Macha out of the seven wards, he only directs him to one corner in his village.




Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, we need a Government that is broad. I am concerned that even the Choma/Chitongo Road has not been mentioned in the Presidential speech amongst the roads that have been assured will be done. I would like to appeal to this Government that to be in Government, you are a Government for everybody and that is why you are sworn in and given the reigns that when you win, it means those of us who did not win must be taken care of.




Mr Hachipuka: Turning to the President’s speech, I want to thank the Republican President with a heavy heart for a reasonably balanced speech. He covered well-meaning aims and objectives of what the country must engage itself in. For example, public accountability, the existing laws are too weak to provide necessary relief required to perfect our society. Poverty levels are too high to support even those citizens with the highest moral fibre. There are times when I am at pains because our Government gets very excited. Remember, for example, the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation. What per centage of Zambians are truly Christians at heart when your inner conscious cannot even twitch when you see how your people in the rural areas are living? Even the issue of rewards in this country for those employed, due to those difficulties people cannot be rewarded adequately. How can there be any public accountability? It is not possible and there are so many things that are wrong.


It therefore, follows that no matter what we do, unless our economy improves, public accountability will be a pipe dream. The Executive must look again at what should be done in order to improve public accountability. For example is the tender system for provision of capital goods and services paid for out of public funds functional? I doubt it. How many briefcase companies and suppliers owned by members of the Tender Committee and their spouses are supplying to the Government? These are the basic problems. You can make speeches and promise yourselves a number of things, but if in those specific areas you do not pay specific attention, our welfare will not improve.


These are the real issues, which do not provide money in terms of capital goods and services procured by the common good of the public. I have my doubts as to how far we can actually improve in that area, we will continue where we were and I see a continuing Government.



Mr Speaker, I want to thank the President on economic management and focus, but as he has indicated, until these gains are translated into three meals a day for the average family, little will be appreciated by the people. They need jobs to occupy their time. Without money in one’s life in urban setting, there is little a human body can do. What makes people get out of bed in the morning, whether you are in the village or town are the aspirations for the day. If you are in town, where can you go if you have no money? Hence you see a lot of street kids and crime. You also see a lot of decadence everywhere you go.


Mr Speaker, the President referred to the issue of taxation. It is gratifying to learn of the Tax Review Report, which is undergoing study by the Government. It was not until the President spoke in this House that I learnt of such a report and yet I am a Practicing Accountant. Why do we not know about it so that we can make contributions? Why is it a secret report? Why is it not brought to this House and discussed by many? Why is this House not informed so that it does not affect the budget? If it is not brought to this House either for input or information, it will create problems when we discuss the Budget. You will find that we will come up with new approaches that we are not familiar with and yet you want this House to legislate and assist you. The problem that continues to beset our country is not lack of ideas, but our failure to implement our pronouncements. There is the secrecy, the ‘holier than thou’ and people saying, ‘I am a hon. Minister and very important. If you take that attitude, you will fail again. You need us the Opposition.




Mr Hachipuka: There are examples in abundance where our neighbours have come to Zambia for ideas, which they have implemented, but here in Zambia we never do that. My appeal is that we should open up and work together for the benefit of our mother Zambia. I should not fail to wish President Mwanawasa good health together with his Cabinet and Civil Service in steering our country and our economy forward in the next five years. God forbid that we fail this time. The President in his own Speech admitted that he has asked the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to be inclusive in the Fifth National Development Plan. If you miss this boat, I shudder to think what is going to happen.


I thank you, Sir.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, allow me to start my speech by congratulating you for your re-election to that office which is so challenging. I have no doubt that even our new colleagues from the east will easily catch up with old ones because of your wisdom in the manner you give guidance to this august House.


Sir, let me also congratulate Madam Deputy Speaker, my sister who has broken the record of being the first woman to occupy that seat in the history of Zambian Parliament ...


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe:… and not forgetting my cousin, the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the whole house who has been so instrumental in this House. Having said that, let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank the people of Nakonde Border Town for the confidence and trust bestowed on me by renewing my mandate in the just ended tripartite elections where PF candidate and other contestants vying for the same position were walloped hands down…


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: …as they wanted someone with massive experience and skill to continue representing them effectively. Through you, Sir, I want to assure them that I will do everything possible to ensure that our district becomes attractive and friendly to attract investors. Having said that, I want at this point, to highlight some of the major challenges facing the people of Nakonde, which need urgent attention from my hard working New Deal Administration.


Mr Speaker, while the people of Nakonde have appreciated greatly the efforts of the Government of sinking twenty-two boreholes in Nakonde District through JICA, these boreholes are too few in relative to the increasing population as the only dam which supply the whole Nakonde District was constructed a long time ago when the population was very small. Hence my appeal to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to consider approving our district budget for 2007 to enable us construct a bigger dam as this is priority number one in Nakonde.


Secondly, construction of modern dry port office accommodation and staff houses. Nakonde Border Post collects not less than K50 billion every month, second to Chirundu in terms of revenue collection. When His Excellency the President visited Nakonde in the recent past, he saw for himself how bad the condition was and directed the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to find money to put up the much needed structures so that our men and women at ZRA could be operating in a conducive environment. Importers also complain on daily basis in newspapers as they keep on losing property because there is no security in the customs yard.


Mr Speaker, let me now focus on the Presidential Speech which was delivered on Friday in this august House. Sir, through you, let me thank His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. for his determination and zeal to move this nation to greater prosperity.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: His Speech is inspiring and accommodating to all progressive Zambians who want our country to move forward. We need to commend him and give him all the encouragement he deserves. If you want to make a difference to the electorate and Zambia as a whole, we should at one point put aside political differences and focus on real national issues which affect our people in their daily lives. Time is now gone to continue pointing figures on who was the best speaker during the just ended tripartite elections.


Mr Speaker, I want to thank the media for the job well done who actually did a wide coverage to all political parties so that the Zambian people could decide who should lead this country.


Mr Speaker, at one point when I was in Nakonde campaigning, one of my youngest boys called me and said ‘Dad, what has been on TV is like UDA is going to carry the day because of the crowd that is there’. I told my son not to get worried because people want to go and see whether those people have new ideas other than the ideas that the New Deal Administration have.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: Therefore, the main objectives for us in this august House either from the ruling or the Opposition are to reflect on issues raised by our people before and during elections. How can we solve these problems collectively? We should come up with suggestions from either side of this august House. It does not matter where one belongs. This is the reason there is a Private Member’s Motion.




Mr Silavwe: If you come up with a viable suggestion…




Mr Speaker: Order1 Order!


Mr Silavwe: Let us analyse the suggestions and persuade our listening Government to incorporate those suggestions in our Fifth National Development Plan because our people are anxiously looking up to us. You will not be spared because you are an Opposition Member of Parliament at the end of five-year term. All of us will be accountable to what we do in the five years that we sit in Parliament.




Mr Silavwe: Let us debate as nationalists like my elder brothers Hon. Matongo, Muntanga and so many old hon. Members of Parliament. Let us teach our hon. Colleagues who have just come to this House how to tackle real national issues.


Mr Sichilima: You are doing well my brother.


Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, this is the reason why His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia is urging all of us not to frustrate his efforts which is making us redeem our country contained in His speech on page 3.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, let me move on to Local Government.


Sir, in his Speech, His Excellency the President clearly states the pivotal role that the Local Government plays and I quote:


"Mr Speaker, Local Government plays a crucial role in providing an inter-face between the people and the Central Government with regard to service delivery. However the major challenges that we face as a nation are mainly of financial nature and lack of capacity in local authorities to provide quality services".


Sir, he went on to say and I quote:


"Mr Speaker, I challenge all local authorities to which our elected hon. Members belong to seriously examine the respective systems of planning, budgeting, revenue collection and expenditure management. We need to work together to determine how best to enhance capacity in the local authorities in order to enable them make meaningful contribution to the financing of the development in the localities and thereby improve livelihood of our people".


Mr Speaker, I have worked in provinces and I have seen what we are supposed to do as hon. Members of Parliament which we are not doing. As hon. Members of Parliament, we are also councillors. What we should bear in mind is that for any development …


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was trying to emphasise on the need for us hon. Members to be attending council meetings. Having served in provinces, we need to be part of the team initiating projects in our constituencies because it will be meaningless for someone to come and stand here in Parliament and start debating and attacking the Government when you are not part of the people who are initiating the projects.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: This is free advice that I am giving because of my experience.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, councils are very important. Let us be part of them and put our officials together. If you want a dam, clean water and boreholes, let us include them in our district budgets so that the Government acts on what you have planned with your districts. The PDDC Meetings are very important because we are supposed to go there including myself to try and address the concerns of our own constituencies if we want to move this country forward, otherwise I do not know.


Mr Speaker, the New Deal Government under the able leadership of his Excellency, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa has scored in so many social and economic sectors which all of us here should be proud of.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: Sir, it is not only the Government. Whether you like it or not there are some successes that have been scored. Of course, there are failures and we admit. As far as development is concerned, you cannot finish everything at one time. If you go to the rural areas and tell the people that this Government is not doing anything in agriculture, I do not know whether you will come back for the second time.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: I am here for the second time because of what this Government has done


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: If you take a look at the mining industry, the mines were shattered and people were complaining. This time around, you can see a lot of activities on the Copperbelt.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: Some people were complaining in here that it was taking officials long to explore for oil and gas. Give it time. When time comes it comes. Therefore, let us encourage them to do their best. Maybe because of the old technology, it was difficult for them to do that.




Mr Kambwili: What about the rural areas?


Mr Silavwe: I have been all over my friend.




Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, let me now talk about tourism. For the first time in the history of Zambia, the Government has created a conducive environment in tourism.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: The Government has set aside funds for tourism credit facility …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: … to attract the foreign and local investors so that they can put up as many lodges as possible. We have so many tourist attractions in Zambia that have been idle for many years.


Before I move away from tourism, I want to quote from the Presidential Speech of last year 2005, Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Ninth National Assembly where the President directed the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources on Page 31, paragraph three. He said:


‘Mr Speaker, the year 2005 was very important to Zambia’s tourism calendar as it marked the milestone in the country’s tourism industry. The country embarked on the ‘Visit Zambia 2005’ campaign as part of the festivities to celebrate the 150 years of sighting of the Mosi-o-Tunya Falls by the missionary explorer Dr David Livingstone and 100 years of the founding of the city Livingstone.


In order to make the tourism sector work for our people, my Government will continue to open new areas wherever there is potential. In this regard, the Government will from this year focus on the development of northern circuit covering Northern and Luapula Provinces where there are numerous tourist attractions.’


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: As a country, if we want foreign tourists to stay longer periods, we need to open up many areas. The longer they stay the more they will spend and the country will benefit. I hope the big man, the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources will look into this seriously to ensure that all these tourist attractions in Northern and Luapula provinces are tapped.


Mr Sichilima: Continue! Hammer!




Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, mining and agriculture are other economic sectors where the Government has performed extremely well.




Mr Silavwe: Please, accept that fact.


Our farmers are able to produce enough and have surplus for sell. Only a few people who stay in Lusaka who do not have a lima can say that this Government has not performed well in agriculture.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: I totally disagree with that. Our farmers have appreciated the Government’s efforts.


Last Friday, the President announced the increment on the Government’s subsidy to 60 per cent. This is a booster.


Mr Kambwili: Appeasement!


Mr Silavwe: It is appeasement to you because you do not have a farm.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Silavwe: 60 per cent is a booster to small-scale farmers as it will enable them buy more inputs which will result in more food production.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Member: Two, zero!


Mr Silavwe: I know my brother who was an orphan is getting worried although later he adopted a parent who has no office. I am sorry to say that. He is my brother and I respect him.




Mr Silavwe: The youth should commend President Mwanawasa and his New Deal Administration for his vision to create funds to benefit them. I implore all the youths to take advantage of these funds by coming up with viable projects that will enable them access these funds. I also appeal to the private sector to take up the challenge to supplement …


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Mrs E. Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, I am honoured to stand before this august House as Member of Parliament for Chililabombwe Constituency to deliver my maiden speech. Thank you, for this opportunity.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs E. Banda: Sir, may I express my heartfelt gratitude to the people of Chililabombwe for their confidence in me and support in electing me as their representative to this august Assembly. May I also convey a message of good will from the people of Chililabombwe to our party President Mr Micheal Chilufya Sata …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs E. Banda: … and to this august House and all Patriotic Front members countrywide.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs E. Banda: Mr Speaker, the vision of my constituency is to improve the quality of life of the people of Chililabombwe through social, economic, cultural, spiritual and political development by 2015. In implementing this, the people of Chililabombwe seek serious favourable support from this august House and the Government of the Republic of Zambia for the 2006/2011 Chililabombwe District Strategic Development Plan.


Sir, Chililabombwe is located on the most northern part of the Copperbelt at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR). It lies on the Zambezi/Congo watershed at an altitude of 1,373 metres above sea level. The climate is typical of the tropical grasslands with hot-wet, cool-dry and hot-dry seasons. We receive enough rainfall with an average of 1,341 mm per year. Even in periods of drought we receive enough rainfall for the major crops to grow. In addition, the district has abundant natural vegetation and forest reserves of 102,000 hectors, out of which 30,000 is a forest estate.


Mr Speaker, Chililabombwe has a population of 93,000 with a growth rate of 2.7 per cent. Politically the district has only one constituency with one Member of Parliament and twenty-two councillors.


Sir, Chililabombwe contributes greatly to the economy of our country. The major economic activity in Chililabombwe is mining which takes up 70 per cent of the economy followed by trading, transport and agriculture. The lack of development in Chililabombwe makes a mockery of the fact that this town has for many years been contributing tremendously to the country’s GDP.


No visitor to Chililabombwe will believe that this town has made such a contribution to national development because of the under development and the state of despair in which the people live. Besides the Copper Ore, the mines also pump out another important resource that goes untapped. Over 300,000 cubic meters of water is churned out per day from the mines in Chililabombwe and this translates to a total of 108,600,000 cubic meters of water per year. Ironically, more than 50 percent of the people of Chililabombwe have no access to safe drinking water, yet there is so much water being pumped from under their feet and being allowed to flow along the Kafue River down into the Indian Ocean. The water from Chililabombwe is dammed for the benefit of people, other than those in Chililabombwe.


Mr Speaker, with little investment, this water can be harnessed to make Chililabombwe and neighbouring towns, the green towns that every person would be proud to be associated with.


Mr Speaker, vegetable and other irrigated crop production would easily compete with other sectors of the economy. With the current Konkola Deep Mining Development, Chililabombwe is destined to be the future of mining on the Copperbelt. However, like other urban towns on the Copperbelt, poverty levels are very high at 70 percent due to retrenchments following privatisation of the mines. From over 5,000, the mines now employ less than 3,000 people.


Hon. Patriotic Front Members: Shame!


Mrs E Banda: Mr Speaker, the major challenges and problems causing stagnant development in Chililabombwe are many.


High youth unemployment is at 70 percent. Many youths have never had a chance of getting into formal employment despite having completed school.


It is unfortunate that the mining industry employs 80 percent of people as casuals through contractors. This is the worst form of abuse and exploitation. In addition there is no job security. Zambians have been crying for pensionable jobs.


Despite the vast farmland we have in our constituency, the Government has not shown any interest to explore and support the peasant farmers at a large scale in terms of agricultural implements and programmes.


Mr Speaker, as I stated earlier …


Mrs Phiri crossed the Floor of the House.


Hon. Members: Order!


Mrs E. Banda: … Chililabombwe is being abused simply as a mining town without any industrial development and investment. The copper ore from the womb of Chililabombwe is all exported to be processed in far-flung industrialised nations, yet many mining towns in the world are the bedrock of industrialisation.


During the Second Republic when schools were being constructed in most places using funds from the copper from Chililabombwe, Chililabombwe did not benefit. As a result this has affected the constituency greatly due to population growth. Most schools have been turned into basic schools disadvantaging primary education. In addition most schools lack proper sanitation, a health hazard to school going children.


It is sad to note that the sewer lines in the mine area have been blocked for years and the Water and Sewerage Company has not done much to solve this problem. This has been a serious concern to the residents. One wonders why the people are subjected to sewerage charges.


Mr Speaker, Chililabombwe does not have a Government hospital, but only three clinics. These clinics lack basic facilities, as a result serious cases are referred to Nchanga North Hospital at the patient’s own cost. This calls for upgrading Kakoso Clinic to a level of a hospital urgently. DAPP has also constructed health posts in the peri-urban, but the Government has failed to provide staff, medicines and other facilities for these health posts to start operating. The people in the peri-urban find it very difficult to have medical attention when they are sick.


Mr Speaker, all roads in Chililabombwe are in a terrible condition. There is need to work on these urgently. One would even break a leg in these potholes. Mr Speaker the feeder roads also need attention.


Sir, HIV has been a source of concern for Chililabombwe residents and being a border town has been greatly affected. The percentage of those infected is 19 percent. You can imagine with such a problem, Chililabombwe has been denied proper medical facilities. For example, Chililabombwe has no CD4 count machine, no X-ray, no lab facilities and all in all the Government has neglected the people of Chililabombwe especially where medical service delivery is concerned.


Mr Speaker, in dealing with these problems or issues, our strategic focus as a constituency is to take advantage of our geographic proximity to the DRC, our favourable climate and the geological developments to achieve our vision. With the help of the Government and other stakeholders, we aim to do the following:


(a) expansion of area under cultivation;

(b) livestock restocking;

(c) road rehabilitation urban/peri urban;

(d) peri-urban electrification;

(e) agroforestry and environmental conservation;

(f) public private sector partnerships;

(g) rollback malaria;

(h) health infrastructure development (as priority number one);

(i) water and sanitation services to 95 percent of the people;

(j) peri-urban schools and teachers houses construction;

(k) community empowerment/youth programmes;

(l) recreation facilities rehabilitation;

(m) social welfare of orphans, vulnerable and physically challenged; and

(n) house construction and rehabilitation. Hotel and modern market construction at Kasumbalesa Border with the DR Congo. This will help the council to collect some revenue from this. Road fees from truckers should also be a source of revenue.


On cross cutting issues of gender, HIV/AIDS, Environment and Governance, Mr Speaker, the state of life of women and youths in this country is worrisome. Women are most affected by most of the vulnerabilities of Zambia. I would like to urge the Minister responsible for gender to take the issues of gender inequalities in schools, clinics, markets, the labour market, politics and in other decision making position seriously. The success of this ministry shall be seen by the number of female candidates that shall be adopted for council and Parliamentary elections in the 2011 elections. How long should Zambian women cry for their rightful place in the Zambian society?


Mr Speaker, many hon. Members who spoke before me have spoken about the need for urgent constitution reform. I will not delve into this issue just yet because I am determined to offer spirited debate on this matter at the most opportune time, when the constitutional debate shall be on the Floor of the House. For now let me just applaud the concerted efforts of the Church in propounding the need of a people driven and inspired constitution. Besides, the Church needs glowing tribute for the role in unifying us and for providing support to the vulnerable, the sick and the poor. The Church plays a major role in safe guarding the rights of the children. Nonetheless, let me appeal to the leadership of the main churches in Zambia to counsel those of the many mushrooming small churches to moderate themselves in so far as seeking political recognition is concerned.


They are the salt of the world and should not dilute themselves by selling their souls to politicians because as we have seen in the recent past some politicians are egocentric …


Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!


Mrs Banda: … and self-perpetuating.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, in my conclusion, may I state that the people of Chililabombwe are determined in unity to rise to the occasion in raising the standard of living, while continuing to contribute positively to the social and economic development of mother Zambia. Meaningful development in our lifetime is within our means and our hands. We, the people of Chililabombwe are very passionate about this and appeal to this House and the Government to help us remove mountains to achieve our clear vision.


Hon. Opposition Member: Very good.


Mrs Banda: Once again, Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to address this august Assembly.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, …


Interruptions {mospagebreak}


Mr Mabenga: … for according me this opportunity to contribute to the President’s speech to this August House. Let me in the first instance take this opportunity to pay tribute to the mover and the seconder of the motion. They did a commendable job in ensuring that we begin discussing this matter in more detail and at length.


Mr Speaker, I would like, at this juncture, to pay tribute to the people of Western, North/Western, Eastern, …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: … Central and Copperbelt rural provinces for adhering to our advice and make a serious decision to choose a Government that would look after their interests, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: … and they have, indeed, done a good job. So, we thank them very much. I do not want to forget the people of Northern Province and some parts of Luapula Province …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: … who also did a commendable job in ensuring that we got some seats from there.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I also want to say that the record that the people of this country have made in choosing this party to lead the country again for the next five is well meaning.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: I am proud that the people have chosen a party for which I am the National Chairman.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, let me at this time, take this opportunity to congratulate you most sincerely for being re-elected to your position as Speaker of this National Assembly. I do remember that when I came into this House, you were sitting somewhere here as Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives and at the same time you were actually Chief Whip for this side of the House.


Hon. Government Member: The MMD.


Mr Mabenga: You did very well, you were able to debate, answer questions, take your time and you were able to convince those that asked questions to required standards. So, I am sure that your experience must have helped and that is why this august House was able to re-elect you back into your seat. Congratulations, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: I would like to congratulate my mulamu, Hon. Nalumango for being elected to the post of Deputy Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Member: Can you explain.


Mr Mabenga: For those who do not know, Mulamu means sister or brother in-law.


Mr Speaker, the experiences that Hon. Nalumango has in this House and in the past, after leading a segment of education sector in a district is immense and has been very helpful and we should also help her in ensuring that she executes her duties to expected standards. Not forgetting of course, my big brother, Hon. Mukondo Lungu, who has vast experience and was able to lead the chairing of Committees in the last seating of Parliament.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I now want to turn to the speech of His Excellency the President.


Mr Speaker, after I read through this condensed speech I discovered that the gist of the speech was actually on national unity and reconciliation.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: I had to take a walk to the library. I went there in search of what reconciliation really means. I looked at the Concise Oxford dictionary.




Mr Mabenga: I was also able to look at the Chambers Dictionary and I also had an opportunity to look at the Oxford Reference Dictionary. Now, I would like Hon. Muntanga to listen very carefully to what I am going to say …




Mr Mabenga: … so that you can interpret these things properly when you go outside.


Mr Muntanga: That includes forgiveness.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, to reconcile means:


(i) to restore friendly relations between or to settle a quarrel;

(ii) to make or show to be co-operative;




(iii) to reconcile someone to or make someone accept a disagreeable thing; and

(iv) to make one count consistent with another, especially, by allowing for transactions begun but not yet completed.




Mr Mabenga: We are not going to talk about things that will derail the debate here. So, let us be careful with what we say, …


Hon. Government Members: Hammer them.


Mr Mabenga: … because if you are only learning to be a Member of Parliament, you will find yourself hitting against the wall. So, be careful.




Mr Mabenga: So, this is what the Concise Oxford English Dictionary says, Sir. Now, when we go to the Chambers Dictionary, it says;


(i) To reconcile is to restore or bring back friendship or union.


Hon. Opposition Member interjected.


(ii) to bring to agreement or contentment;

(iii) to pacify, to make or to prove consistent;

(iv) to admit or restore membership of a church;

(v) to adjust or compose; and

(vi) to regain or conciliate.


Then lastly, the Oxford Reference Dictionary says …


Hon. Opposition Member interjected.


Mr Mabenga: … to reconcile is to make friendly again after an estrangement or quarrel.


Mr Speaker: Order! I wish to listen to the hon. Member who is debating. If there are any Members who are not interested in listening to this debate, I call on them to maintain silence. Although I am wearing a wig, I can hear everything that you are saying and some of the interjections you are making are very offensive, indeed. Do not do it if you do not want any other hon. Member to interject offensively to what you are going to say in this House. In any case, I shall not allow it.


Hon. Member for Mulobezi Constituency may continue.


Mr Mabenga: I thank you, Mr Speaker, for your protection.


I was saying what the Oxford Reference Dictionary says about what reconciliation is. I was saying that the second definition is to accept, be submissive to a welcome fact or situation, and the third is to harmonise facts to show the compatibility of.


Sir, this discovery gave me encouragement to continue looking into the contents of His Excellency the President’s Speech at the Opening of the First Session of the Tenth National Assembly. I want to believe that national unity works hand in hand with reconciliation. Reconciliation will never work if people have hidden agendas when they discuss matters. They even talk about things that they know very little about. In the long run, these people will find themselves in more problems than they envisage. This is not going to be good for them as individuals.


Mr Speaker, I find the President’s Speech to be educative and provocative. It is provocative because it invites for evaluation of what the President is saying. It also provides for an opportunity for hon. Members to criticise. Hence, the reason that this speech has been brought to the House to be debated. Therefore, it calls for provocation, which in my view is very vital in the running of any established institution like our country, Zambia.


Sir, before we went for elections as a Party, we produced a manifesto, a guideline formulated by a Committee led by Hon. Kalombo Mwansa. It took one year to formulate and bring out different facts, which convinced the people. They understood the manifesto because it contains true issues. Hence, they were able to support our ideals and standing.


Mr Speaker, I want to look at Page 4, Paragraph 1, of the President’s Speech. His Excellency the President is saying and I quote:


‘To this effect, I would like to appeal to all hon. Members of this august House to adopt a non-partisan approach in dealing with issues affecting the welfare of our people. Hunger, poverty, ignorance and disease do not recognise any political affiliation. Thus, we shall be doing our people a disservice if we preoccupy ourselves with partisan agendas.


It is my sincere desire and hope that this Parliament will be a people’s Parliament, representing the nation’s vision and not a battle ground for political parties.’


Sir, in my view, these are serious and well-intended words by an elected national leader, President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, the results are self explanatory and it is indeed important that the President is emphasising again in his speech what the people said regarding what they want done in their various localities. Because we were able to articulate these issues to the satisfaction of the electorate in the rural areas, they came and said, "Come Levy, we will go with you." They did so.


Hon. Opposition Members: Who is Levy?


Mr Mabenga: His Excellency the President. That is his first name, if you do not know.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, another very important issue that I discovered in the Speech is about bringing the concerns of the people nearer to them. This is the provision of Parliamentary offices in constituencies. I am glad that Mulobezi was one of the first to have an office established at Sichili Mission. Although it is being rented now, a piece of land has been found for a permanent building. That office is serving the people very well. The people are able to come and discuss matters that affect them at the office, regardless of their political and religious affiliations.


Mr Kambwili: Credit to the Clerk and the Speaker, not MMD!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training come out very prominently in the President’s Speech. I want to emphasise what my brother, the hon. Member for Bangweulu, Mr Kasongo, said. He has been very positive. I know him because he was once my Permanent Secretary and we worked very well together. He is not a chameleon at all.




Mr Mabenga: Sir, it is very important that skills training is emphasised in our rural areas. I want to emphasise what His Excellency the President said in his Speech. This is why I am imploring my hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Dr Chituwo, that as we propose to have a skills training center in Sichili Mission, he should come on board and support this idea. I am very positive that he will do that.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, Mulobezi is an agricultural and timber producing area. We want, as a community, to see our produce marketed. You may, want to know, Sir, that the people in Livingstone depend on Mulobezi for their timber. The people in Livingstone, Sesheke Boma, Namibia, eat a lot of mangoes and village chickens we rear in Mulobezi. We sell our cut grass to Namibians and all these places. We have timber and agricultural products there. Sometimes, the weather becomes a problem and our farmers do not do well. It is important, therefore, for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives to construct dams for the people of Mulobezi. This will also assist animals to have adequate water for drinking. I have already talked to the hon. Minister about this issue.


It is an important sector of agriculture similar to the ones in Kaoma, Serenje, Mkushi and so on. We want that established so that our people can continue to benefit from the decisions that they made in electing the MMD into Government again.


Mr Speaker, I am concerned at the number of young girls getting into pre-marriage activities at certain times. Now, this is a very serious and retrogressive thing that happens. I want really to ask my colleagues here to work with relevant authorities wherever we are whether at council, village and area development committee levels and all other levels to ensure that people understand that HIV/AIDS is there and that it is real and must be understood because our young people think it is a playing matter. If you go to Monze, you will be told that the HIV/AIDS pandemic is very prevalent there. Not to mention Livingstone.


Mr Sikota: Even in my area.


Mr Mabenga: It is not being brought by you, my brother. No.




Mr Mabenga: It is the placement of the area. It is a border town. We should be able to emphasise and educate our young ones to ensure that they do not go for illicit sex. It is dangerous for their lives because if they do, we will not have other people sitting here. We shall have people like Edward Kasoko sitting here for ever . We want young people to come here and this is why if you look at appointments that have been done by His Excellency the President, the youth are here.


Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabenga: These have been given a responsibility to prove that the youth can also do the work for this country. So, it is really important to talk against illicit sex. It is very serious.


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to my late President, Mr Anderson Kambela Mazoka, who worked tirelessly to bring in UPND. At the time of his starting the party, he was labelled a tribalist. They only realised that he was a nationalist at his death and the people that called him a tribalist were singing that a nationalist had died. What he had started evoked everybody to realise that democracy is important for this country.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the one who took over from him. He took over through a democratic process…


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muntanga: …and it was that process that made people who are not so democratic hate the process. This is the only party that opened up democracy to the level it did.


Mr Speaker, I want to thank the people of Kalomo that voted for me to come to this House for the second time. It is not an easy thing to come to this House. There are people who have tried several times to be Members of Parliament, but they have been failing. So, this is not an easy achievement. Hon. Members, I congratulate you. It is not an easy thing to do. I also wish to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Chairman of Committees on your election.


Mr Speaker, if I do not congratulate my friend, Hon. Mpombo, for surviving the political tsunami on the Copperbelt, I would be failing in my duty.




Mr Muntanga: I must also thank all those that survived. During the last session, we mentioned in this House that some would not be here. And on your right, Sir, we had people saying they mean well and that they would come back. I keep on looking and I can not see the well-meaning.


Hon. UPND Member: Like the US dollar.




Mr Muntanga: However, I think it is a lesson to realise that the Ruling Party is not serving the people well. What does that mean?


Mr Speaker, when I read the speech of the President, I had a problem because I thought there is nothing provocative in his speech. He has said exactly what his problem is. He bemoaned most of the things, such as, no houses, roads and water. Not until my brother from Mulobezi addressed me to listen carefully, did I realise that the speech is provocative. I then thought that it is true that it is provocative. Why is it provocative?


Mr Speaker, the President did mention several times in the opening speech of the Ninth Assembly. He mentioned what should be done. We heard about the irrigation committee and task force that never took off. An amount of K40 billion for irrigation has been given. We have been told that the Government is going to support agriculture, which is the cornerstone of economic development in this country. However, the budgetary allocation for this ministry remains below 5 per cent. The protocol arrangements with SADC have advised this Government to raise the budgetary allocation to 10 per cent. The new hon. Minister who is a unionist, former Chairman of the Commercial Farmers Bureau was quick in Mazabuka to announce that the budgetary allocation will be 10 per cent. I hope the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will take this seriously. This time around, budgetary allocation for agriculture shall be 10 per cent. I only wish it was in the House because I was going to hold this Government on Government Assurance, but I know the people of Mazabuka will take this hon. Minister to task if the budget allocation for agriculture goes below 10 per cent.


We have been assured, Mr Speaker, in this speech that they will raise the support programme to 60 per cent. We are not talking about raising the total support to 60 per cent, but we are talking about the already beneficiaries paying only 40 per cent. In real terms, we remain on the same level of support. We all know that farmers supported in Zambia are only 150,000 out of a million farmers on that support programme. Now, this Government is raising the support programme to 60 per cent, but they will not increase the number of farmers benefiting. That is not the correct thing to do.


Mr Speaker, in the last 5 years, we have been talking about the number of farmers being supported by this Government. The number is small. You cannot praise yourselves if, out of 800,000 farmers, you only support 150,000 farmers. Do not praise yourselves.


We have talked about bumper harvest, Mr Speaker, what has been stated here is an excess of 160,000 metric tones of maize. If you calculate that, you will find that it is only food for two and half months. We have been challenging this Government to come out with a policy that would determine how much food reserve the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) should hold at any one time. It requires proper budgetary allocation to determine the quantities of food and the period of time that it will last, which this Government has not worked out. All we do is praise ourselves when we have a little excess of 160,000 metric tonnes, which is only for two and half months. When we have a shortage, we do not talk about the food reserve, no wonder that we always run out.


The President said that we want to have a meaningful and real food reserve in this country. I, therefore, call and remind this Government to seriously consider putting up the actual amount of food reserve for a minimum of 18 months for this country so that there is enough food to go through a drought year. In that way, you can smile and praise yourselves.


Not until you reach that level, will you impress anybody especially those areas that are agricultural like Kalomo. This is why you see this man coming here because you do not do things the way they are supposed to be done.


Mr Speaker, in other rural areas of Zambia where they helped the MMD to come back, there should be a realisation that the road infrastructure in areas like Kawambwa and Luwingu, or those old roads that you are going to talk about from Kalabo via Shangombo to Sesheke must be constructed. If we do not talk like that, in no time half or three quarters of you ladies and gentlemen on that side will be out and you will be wondering why.




Mr Muntanga: Last time we did remind you hon. Members and we will remind you again.


Mr Speaker, there has been a lot of talk about FRA that it is a failure and total disaster. The MMD Government is subjecting us to promissory notes of 1994 where people died without getting their money. They sold their maize to the FRA but were not paid and now we are having a small promissory arrangement where people have delivered food, but are not being paid. The reasons we are told is that they have to wait until the crop has been exported. What this means therefore, is that they are using farmers to borrow the maize so that if a farmer deposits maize in FRA, they have to sell that maize at a higher price in Zimbabwe or elsewhere, make a profit then that is when they come back to pay the farmer.


Mr Speaker, on one hand, this Government has been promising that there is going to be a farmer’s bank, but for five years now there has been no farmers’ bank. In this speech, we have been told that there is going to be financial assistance to farmers, I wonder on what terms and I am only worried that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is not here, but I think …


Hon. Government Members: He is here!


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I want a proper Minister of Finance and National Planning because a Deputy Minister is not a minister, as he does not sit in the Cabinet.


Mr Speaker, the advantage that we have now is that the speech by the President has been given to us in October. This is the same period that the budgetary arrangement by the ministry is happening. So, I believe that next January, we will not have differences between the President’s Speech and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s Budget Speech.


Mr Speaker, what has been happening is that if the President says one thing, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning says something else. Now, this is the very appropriate time that the President’s Speech will be addressed. He has been saying that we need these things done, and therefore the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning whom we have lent to the MMD will take note.




Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I get so worried that we have got funds for instance, the Tourism Fund and we know that the former Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources stood here and said that no Member of Parliament or Minister qualifies to borrow from this fund. We tried to protest, but to no avail.


Mr Speaker, I will now ask the Government to take note as to what will happen if a Member of Parliament or Deputy Minister benefits from the Tourism Fund. Will this Deputy Minister resign or be asked to retire all the money? I know of a former Member of Parliament who was nominated, Dr Sondashi failed to access the money because he was a Member of Parliament.


Hon. Government Member: He is not here!


Mr Muntanga: However, I am saying that if we mean what we are saying, we should take stock, who among you benefited from the Tourism Fund as Deputy Minister or Member of Parliament? If there is one, what are we going to do? As for now, we will watch, but in the next debate, we will raise names and expect you to take action.


Mr Speaker, we are worrying about storage facilities and the seconder of the motion said that for us to achieve food security we should build more storage facilities. I just want to differ with the seconder in that we do not need any more storage facilities because we already have plenty of them in this country and they are empty. You go in the rural areas, all the sheds have nothing even the one along Lumumba Road has been turned into a brick making shed and rats are breeding there. This is obtaining all over. Therefore, we do not necessarily need sheds.


Our first President Dr. Kaunda did a lot of work putting up these structures and what is required is that this Government must use these structures …


Mr Shakafuswa: Using Nkongole!


Mr Muntanga: … let us not use these structures to either make bricks or allow rats to breed.


Mr Speaker, we have talked about the mining industry and that it is a wish by this Government to contribute to the revenue of the country. I hope the hon. Minister is listening. Last time we debated, there were a lot of concessions where big mining companies were only contributing half a billion to the revenue of the Government and yet the Income Tax that the employees were contributing were over K2 trillion. We are now being told that when we privatise, the mining companies will contribute greatly to the income, but the income goes only under K500 million.


With regard to mineral royalties you are talking about, they are not benefiting the Zambian people. However, I hope there will be room after all these adjustments to consider those signed agreements, some of which are for twenty plus years, but if not, how do you go back? This is exactly what we are talking about. I am happy that the President has raised it now and gives headache to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that he will now ensure that taxation for those mining companies will indicate and show that there is enough income generated for the Zambian revenue. It is at that time that we shall expect all our employees and people that are working, the very few, to be relieved of this heavy taxation. Without those considerations to the new tax regime of taxing the big private companies to contribute greatly to the revenue of the country, we will still battle and force the little and helpless people to contribute highly to the revenue of the country.


Mr Speaker, I want to agree that perhaps now, justice will be hastened as the President has indicated in his speech. This is the first time that the hon. Minister of Justice is being given a Deputy Minister. This perhaps is a realisation that we need to effect what the President is calling for.


All along we did not have a Deputy Minister of Justice. All we had was the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. We combined everything in one man. I think the President has realised that it is important to have the Minister of Attorney General, the Minister of Justice and the Deputy Minister of Justice separated. This is a good idea and I think we are going to have work taken more seriously.


Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the Minister of Education to ensure that in the budgetary allocations, the desks are bought and delivered in schools. In my constituency, I have schools where children sit on the floor because of lack of desks. I intend to bring a video tape so that the new Minister of Education can see what is happening in these schools. I believe he will be more understand because he is a teacher.


Sir, I think he will also solve the problem of accommodation at the University of Zambia because he was the Vice-Chancellor there. He will realise that the children do not need to share rooms like the way it is now. We hope that things will be addressed properly.


Our Minister for Women Affairs is now busy formulating what to be done for gender. This lady is new in this position and she has replaced another lady who was from the east. There is now another lady from the west. I think the ladies will now be properly serviced and helped by this Hon. Minister. I want to leave the rest for others to contribute.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I wish to congratulate you for being re-elected as Speaker of the House. The congratulations are also extended to the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees on their election and re-election respectively. I also congratulate the hon. Members of Parliament who have been elected, re-elected and nominated. I would be failing in my duties if I do not thank the people of Chama North Constituency, who overwhelmingly voted for me to represent them. After many years of playing opposition politics, it was not easy. I can assure you that for many years to come, the people of Chama North will be MMD…


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo: …because after careful analysis, they came to one conclusion that the only party which can deliver is the MMD.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, it is good to be in this House. From the time I was a little boy, I looked forward to being a servant of the people. Having been elected as a Member of Parliament, this vision has become a reality. For many years as I grew up, various hon. Members of Parliament and leaders generally, gave Chama as an example to demonstrate the degrees of poverty. It was not uncommon to talk about whether that poor peasant in Chama could understand a particular situation. The only new thing that has happened over the years is that Chama has acquired a twin sister in the name of Shangombo in Western Province. Even today, people use Shangombo as an example of a place where there is extreme poverty.


Sir, I do not dispute the fact that Chama is one of the poorest districts in the country. The only question I have is why the state of affairs has over the years not changed when the poverty status of Chama North Constituency has been a matter of public knowledge. Mr Speaker, in my view, urban areas have made tremendous developmental progress over the years while my constituency has remained far behind in development. This points to the fact that the national cake has not been distributed equitably and that this is, indeed, a general problem facing the country. The urban areas have, over the years, taken the lion’s share of the national cake. In the rural areas, we have seen an explosion of scattered mud and pole houses whereas in urban areas we have witnessed the construction of bridges where there are no rivers and yet in rural areas, we have vast rivers yawning for bridges.


Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!


Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, the contradictions are numerous and I do not need to elaborate as same are obvious. During my first term of office, I intend to come back and I will be appealing to fellow Members of Parliament to give a sympathetic hearing to the problems that my people in the rural constituency are going through. After all, most of us indirectly or directly, consciously or unconsciously have a rural background through grandfather and ancestors in general. In short, we are all rural and that is where development should begin. Development starting from urban areas is like climbing a tree from the top. Let us start with the basics. A few areas need immediate attention in the next thirty (30) days to problems such as:


(a) Water


(b) Health


(c Education


(d) Road Network


(e) Mining and Electricity.


Mr Speaker, people in my Constituency generally drink water from shallow wells. They share these wells with animals such as baboons.



Mr Chilembo: I expect that those who have not been in rural areas may take this as an exaggeration. I would like to invite those who may have doubts to come with me so that they can see for themselves what I am talking about. Most of us grew up knowing and believing that water is colourless, but a child in my constituency may just as well tell you that water is brown. In some cases it may be brownish or greenish. Hon. Members of Parliament, these are real problems and not a laughing matter.


People are affected. This type of water has created various waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Such deaths are needless as they can be avoided by providing clean water through a programme of sinking boreholes in various villages. As for Chama, I would say that it is in a state of emergency and something must be done because the problem is alarming.


Mr Speaker, there is only one hospital to carter for a population of 80,000 people. Many distant places lack clinics. Where clinics exist, they are manned by untrained personnel who are even more of a danger to the helpless unsuspecting patients. In my term, I will be crying for urban areas to sacrifice a little so that these few health centres can also have trained staff.


Mr Speaker, I am grateful to the Republican President for taking steps to address this problem. In his speech, on page 42, the President said and I quote:


"I do agree that the intended plan to increase the core workers from the current 16,900 to 51,000 will go a long way in addressing the problem of shortage of staff. I have no doubt that with the intended development of infrastructure, staff will be attracted to work in rural areas such as Chama North Constituency".


Mr Speaker, education is a basic human right and I know this because I am a son of a teacher.


Sir, I am confident that in the new Constitution it will be accordingly enshrined in the bill of right. A nation that does not educate its people is lost and risks having the minds of its people colonised and therefore making it easy to be oppressed by other nations without its citizens realising that such a state of affairs is very dangerous.


Sir, the infrastructure for schools in Chama is generally in a state of collapse and dilapidation. Grass thatched community schools of substandard nature have taken centre stage as if to substitute the usual schools as we know them. Even with such efforts the classrooms are not adequate. As a result, many children do not have access to education. Marriages of under-age children is the order of the day. Those that have access to education do not get quality education due to lack of teaching staff. In the past, I witnessed a situation where one teacher was in charge of a basic school. As one hon. Member observed, this teacher was the head, deputy, senior teacher and everything.


Hon. PF Members: Why?


Mr Chilembo: Sir, the consequences of such situations are not difficult to imagine. However, I must thank the Ministry of Education for the efforts being made of late whereby a number of teachers have been posted around the country and my constituency is no exception to alleviate this problem. This gain must be consolidated and improved upon so that our children should never again experience lack of teaching staff. I therefore, wish to urge the Government to build more schools in my area where they are wanting and repair those that are about to collapse and erect new structures where old ones have collapsed.


Mr Speaker, I received the President’s Speech on education with great joy. On page 40 the President said and I quote:


"Government will embark on the expansion of infrastructure to increase access to education to all school aged children. This will be done by constructing additional classrooms". End of quote.


Mr Speaker, I have no doubt that my constituency qualifies to have such additional classrooms and the need is obvious as demonstrated. At the moment I have committed some of my income to construction of classrooms and school repairs of classrooms in general.


Hon. PF Members: That is why you won!


Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, this is a sacrifice and I am calling upon other leaders in this House to sacrifice a little for our people.


Hon. PF Members: Corruption!


Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, the road network in Chama in general and Chama North in particular is very poor. Yet, the agriculture industry in terms of tobacco and cotton growing is flourishing. There is urgent need to improve the road network in the constituency to promote these economic activities mentioned. I as a Member of Parliament am already working with the community to improve some feeder roads in the constituency as we await the Government to assist us as a matter of urgency. I believe that we can mobilise our people to do what they can. We should not always wait for the Government to clear little grass or make a little footpath leading to a clinic. In my approach as hon. Member of Parliament, I have put up programmes to work with the people on such programme so that when I approach the Government I will be able to tell them where we have started off.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo: We should not go with empty hands, hon. Members.




Mr Chilembo: Sir, the Matumbo Road and Bridge to link Chama to Northern Province require immediate funding. Material has been delivered for the construction of the Bailey bridge across the Luangwa River linking Chama to Chinsali.


Sir, the message from the people on either side of Luangwa is that they want the Government to start the work immediately. The desperation is so high that they do not believe this work will ever take place. As leaders we cannot blame them for such anxiety. Instead, we should humbly proceed to do that which the people desire. I am confident that, the MMD being a caring Government, they will do something soon.


Sir, may I take this opportunity to thank the Government for the road construction between Lundazi and Chama that is under way. We used to take four hours to drive from Lundazi to Chama, but now it only takes two hours.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo: Mr Speaker, I would therefore, like to encourage the Government to proceed and quickly tar this road.


Mr Speaker, there is a lot of hope in Chama. It is not a secret that Chama is rich in precious and semi precious stones such as emeralds. In the 1980s, there was a company called Placid Oil which attempted to do some oil prospecting. This project was abandoned. In due course, I will be asking for a Ministerial Statement on the future of the Chama Project.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo: Sir, I am aware that it is Government policy to continue prospecting for minerals and not only Chavuma, Zambezi or Kabompo, but also other areas of Zambia.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo: Therefore, Chama being a pioneer in the field of oil, will not be left out.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo: I am aware of the policy by the Government.


Mr Speaker, there are a lot of things to be done in Chama. One of them is the connection of electricity to the Malawi National Grid. This should be done with urgency because work has already started, but for some reason again, this work has stopped


Mr Speaker, I look forward to when we shall have a constitution which will enshrine the right to health, education and clean water. In other words, economic and social rights are a must in the next constitution as this the only way the Government can guarantee its people the right to life currently enshrined in our constitution. I wonder how there can be a real right to life if rights to health and clean water are not guaranteed.


Mr Speaker, the people of Chama thank the Government for the good agriculture policies. Cotton growing in my constituency would not have been possible without Government policies that have allowed the private sector to establish an out-grower Scheme.


On international aid, Sir, I would like to state that at international level we expect our cooperating partners such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue giving aid to our country. However, the new approach should have emphasis on rural development. Past programmes such as Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) brought misery as it created unemployment and families broke down. An army of street kids was born as a direct result. Time has come to correct the situation. Now is the time to invest in rural areas so that jobs are created.


In conclusion, Zambia belongs to all of us. We are all Zambians regardless of our political, religious, cultural beliefs and affiliations. All of us in this House are there for our Zambia. We are allies of the people. Whatever is good for Chama is also good for the rest of the country. If Chama prospers the whole country prospers. If Shang’ombo prospers, the whole country prospers.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilembo: Let us support Chama and its twin sister Shang’ombo.




Mr Chilembo: I look forward to debating with all of you knowing that we are all in search of a better Zambia for all. Once I see a better Zambia created during my interaction with all of you Members during my first term then my vision of being here will not have been in vain. Help me God, Help us all…




Mr Chilembo: … to exalt our people and not exhaust our people.




Mr Speaker: I do not see any indication for further debate.


(Debate adjourned)








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


Question put and agreed to.



The House adjourned at 1758 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 2nd November, 2006.