Debates- Tuesday, 31st October, 2006

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Tuesday, 31st October, 2006

The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]








The following Members took and subscribed the Oath:

(a) Ronald Chiteta Mukuma; and

(b) Albert Mulonga






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in the absence of His Honour the Vice-President who is attending to other national duties, Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, MP, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, who is also Chief Whip, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.


Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that I have received notification from His Honour the Vice-President and Leader of Government Business in the House that the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) has appointed Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, MP, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, as Chief Whip of the House.


Mr Speaker: I wish to further inform the House that I have received notification from the President of the Patriotic Front (PF) that the Party has appointed Ms Elizabeth K. Chitika, MP, as its Whip in the House.

Thank you.



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

As indicated on the Order Paper, the business of the House today will be restricted to the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address which was delivered to the House on Friday, 27th October, 2006

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 1st November, 2006 the business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. On this day, the House will also consider Private Member’s Motions, if there will be any. Then the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President.

On Thursday, 2nd November, 2006, the debate on the Motion of Thanks will continue. This, however, will be preceded by Questions, if there will be any.

On Friday, 3rd November, 2006, the business of the House will begin with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed with Questions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!





The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for allowing me to make a ministerial statement, the first in this Session of the House.


Mr Speaker, I wish to brief the House on the newly-formed Petroleum Committee and the recent work on oil and gas exploration in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, following a visit by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, to Kabompo in the North-Western Province of Zambia in 2004, their Royal Highnesses in the area mentioned that parts of Kabompo District had prolonged fires which worried the community and asked the Government to investigate this.


Considering the importance of the matter and the environmental concerns it posed, the Government sent a team of experts from the Geological Survey Department in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training to conduct preliminary investigations in Kabompo District from the 9th to 14th November, 2004.


A follow-up survey was conducted between 15th and 27th August, 2005 by a team of experts from the Geological Survey Department and the Department of Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. This survey covered more districts; namely Kabompo, Chavuma and Zambezi.


The technique of microbial prospecting for oil and gas was used. This technique has been used world wide for prospecting onshore and offshore for more than thirty-five years and has proved to be cost effective and accurate. It is based on the fact that a certain type of bacteria feeds on emissions from gas oil reserves only such that where a soil sample collected from the earth’s surface has a significant presence of bacteria, there is a likelihood of the presence of gas or oil below the surface.


In the follow-up study however, out of eleven soil samples collected and analysed, nine were positive for oil and two for gas. These results paved way for the third field study by the Geological Survey Department from the 11th to 30th July, 2006. The visit targeted Chavuma and Zambezi Districts.


During this visit, thirty-one soil samples were collected and sent to Germany for further analysis. The microbial analysis showed that twelve sites were positive for oil and six for gas. These results strongly suggest the presence of oil or gas in the sub-surface of the two districts of Chavuma and Zambezi.


It is important to note that Kabompo District showed the highest value of measure units that point to the presence of oil or gas in the sub-surface and was adequately covered in the second survey. For this reason, the third survey did not cover Kabompo District.


Although the results strongly suggest the presence of oil or gas in Kabompo, Chavuma and Zambezi Districts, there is a need to conduct further studies to determine the size of reserves and drill the sites to extract the oil and gas in order to determine the types.


Mr Speaker, to facilitate oil and gas exploration, the Government has appointed a Petroleum Committee established under Section 4 of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, Cap 440 of the Laws of Zambia. His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia has appointed a committee in accordance with Section 5 of the Act, which states that:


The Committee shall comprise the following:


(a) The Minister responsible for the mines who shall be the Chairman;


(b) four ministers, one of whom shall be designated life Chairman;


(c) the Governor of the Bank of Zambia or his deputy in his absence; and


(d) not more than three other persons who shall be appointed on such terms and conditions as the President may think fit.


Under Section 17, sub-section 2 of the same Act, no petroleum operations shall be conducted in the republic by any person other than the State unless such person has entered into a contract in accordance with the provisions of the Act.


The Petroleum Committee has an important role to play in granting these contracts. This role is spelt out in section 18 of the Act, which states as follows and I quote:


‘Subject to other provisions of the Act, the Minister may issue invitations for bids and, following approval by the Committee as to his selection of the bidders for negotiations, may conduct negotiations and enter into contract, provided that:


(a) Such contracts shall not become effective until the written approval thereto of the Committee is obtained; and


(b) the terms and conditions embodied in the Act shall not be contrary or inconsistent with the provisions of the Act.’


Generally, the Petroleum Committee is responsible for the formulation of policy and guidelines relating to petroleum and its development in Zambia in so far as petroleum operations are concerned.


The Act defines "Petroleum Operations" as operations related to exploration, development, extraction, production, field separation, transportation, storage, sale or disposal of petroleum, but does not include any transportation or other operations beyond the point of export or in the case of petroleum which is processed within Zambia, beyond the point of entry into a refinery or liquefaction or natural gas treatment plant.


It is important to stress that the Petroleum Committee will make decisions on the structure of ownership to be adopted for oil and gas facilities in Zambia, the kinds of contracts to be awarded and the role of Government in the petroleum operations. This will be done in order to safeguard the interests of the nation.


The key conditions to be attached to the contracts are spelt out is Section 26 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act. These include the following:


(a) To employ and train Zambian nationals to the fullest extent possible with the view to replacing foreign personnel as soon as may be practicable; such training and employment to be carried out in accordance with the programme approved by the Minister;


(b) to purchase Zambian goods and services, if, in terms of price, quality and availability, such goods and services are within such margins of competitiveness of imported goods and services as may be agreed in the contract; and


(c) to supply to the State out of any petroleum to which the contractor is entitled pursuant to the contract such quantity of petroleum as may be required to meet the requirements of the Republic of Zambia for internal consumption.

In accordance with Part IV of the Petroleum (Exploration and Reproduction) Act, the road map for the Committee to get to the stage of awarding contracts to exploration companies includes the following steps:


(a) The relevant parts of Zambia shall be divided into blocks according to a grid system in accordance with regulations to be prescribed by the Minister; and


(b) the Minister shall publish in the Gazette a description of the areas for which bids are to be solicited along with the procedures and rules relating to the submission of such bids.


In the process of evaluating the bids, the Petroleum Committee will benefit from the services and expertise provided by the Zambia National Tender Board.


In this regard, companies interested in participating in the exploration of oil and gas can access the survey results relating to Kabompo, Chavuma and Zambezi Districts at the Geological Survey Department at a nominal fee. It is hoped that with the establishment of the Petroleum Committee, the country will see more exploration activities for oil and gas in various parts of Zambia and the actual oil and gas extraction that would strengthen the country’s economy.


Mr Speaker, this House passed a Citizen Economic Empowerment Act last year. Accordingly, the Government would like to see Zambians team up to take up a prominent role in the exploration activities of oil and gas in Zambia which are anticipated to increase and in the subsequent ownership of oil and gas extraction facilities. Through this address to the House, I am appealing to individual Zambians and companies to brace themselves for participation in the exploration of oil and gas resources.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Honourable Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement which has just been issued by the Hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development.


Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, we have been independent for forty-two years. However, why did it have to take some chiefs to alert this Government, in a very unconventional manner and after so many years, on the availability of oil and gas in the North-Western Province? Why did the Government not employ proper methods of exploration?


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the exploration of oil and gas dates back to the 1980s. I am sure all of us are aware that there was an attempt to explore for oil and gas in Chama District in the 1980s. We still believe that Chama District has some prospects which we will follow up using the advanced technology we have today. Exploration of oil and gas is not a new phenomenon and was not initiated by the chiefs. They just encouraged us to do what we have been doing for many years.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development whether the chiefs who had originated the idea of exploring for oil have been informed about the latest developments regarding their request. I would also like to know why there are companies that are already exploring in the area when the hon. Minister is talking about the commencement of the tender process to award contracts to those who are going to explore for oil.


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member who should have declared interest is from Zambezi West and is very happy with the statement I have made today. We have informed the chiefs and they are aware of what is happening at the moment. Part of my responsibility is to visit the chiefs in the next few weeks and tell them about what we are doing and what we intend to do in the future.


Sir, we have not awarded any exploration licences to anyone yet. The work that I have talked about has been carried out by a department which is in my ministry and those of Energy and Water Development and Science, Technology and Vocational Training. Contracts will be awarded when the Committee I have mentioned begins to work. No one has been awarded a contract yet.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sejani (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, could the Hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development confirm that in fact, there has been no oil or gas discovered in Kabompo, Chavuma and Zambezi and that there is still a lot of work to be done. Therefore, the hopes of the nation must not be raised unnecessarily as has been the case in the past.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the studies that we have undertaken and the methods used are very advanced and they are specific to oil and gas. There is no doubt about the presence of these resources underground. However, we need to do more work to determine the size of the reserves and the quality of oil. When accessing water on a farm, one has to begin by surveying for water and the water engineers will determine where to sink a borehole. There cannot be any water until the borehole is sunk.


We know that we have the oil reserves, but we have not yet extracted them. The next stage is to ensure that we extract the reserves and determine their value, extent and quality.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, from a layman’s point of understanding, issues of oil have to do with energy. I would like to find out if the Government is trying to harmonise the interest of the Ministry of Energy and Water Development with that of the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development.


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, both my ministry and that of Energy and Water Development belong to the same Government and we work in harmony. Exploration of oil and extraction are referred to as extractive activities related to mining. Once we have dug out the oil and taken it to a refinery, it seizes to be our responsibility. Thus, the processing and marketing of oil is the responsibility of my colleague in the other ministry although we work together. I am the Chairman and he is the Vice-Chairman of the Committee and we work in harmony.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, what preparations is the Government making to set aside resources for loans so that when the oil is extracted, local Zambians can access them to buy drilling equipment rather than leave this to expatriates only?




Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we have provided a conducive environment for Zambians to participate in the mining industry. I am on record as having told the world and Zambia that Zambian participation in resource exploitation is very important. Zambians are coming up on their own to team up and apply for licences. Three people can team up and apply for a licence to explore and they will get it. With the economy stabilizing and interest rates coming down, people are able to borrow money and invest in the industry. People should take advantage of this opportunity.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell me why it has taken so many years for geologists to acquire equipment and come up with methods of exploring for oil. He has told the House that the samples will be exported outside the country when we have so many doctors such as himself from the University of Zambia who can test these samples.


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I said that three visits were conducted to the sites. We collected samples from the first and second visits which were analysed by our own geologists, but the technology that they used to confirm the studies was developed in Germany. That is why the samples were sent to German for further analysis, but the initial work was done by our geologists. This was very good work I must say.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, the preliminary results have obviously raised a lot of excitement in the people to an extent that some people in the North-Western Province are saying that the money must be used by the people in Zambezi. Others are planning to start getting loans to start drilling. This is all because of the preliminary results. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he considers to moderate his sentiments and those of the Government on the preliminary findings so that we do not raise expectations which will end up the same way as those for Chama which were shattered. Does he consider this worthwhile?


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the statement I have read has been very cautionary. I have said that we have to carry out some more work. We have the resource, but to extract it, we need to conduct further studies.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what criteria was used to come up with this Ministerial Committee. Did they consider whether the hon. Ministers on the Committee have technical know how in exploration of oil or not?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister sited the law in this regard. May you emphasise this point for the benefit of the hon. Member of Parliament.


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we said that the Committee is appointed in accordance with the law. We are not doing anything outside the law because the law is very clear. Section IV of the Petroleum, Exploration and Production Act specifies who the members of the Committee are. The Hon. Minister responsible for Mines shall be a member and also Chairman, four other Ministers, the Governor of the Bank of Zambia and three other individuals appointed by the President using his discretion. Therefore, we are doing everything according to law.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that the tests which were carried out were cost effective. I would to find out how much it cost Zambia to carry out the tests and how many times the team was on site.


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, four visits were undertaken to Chavuma, Zambezi and Kabompo. I am not able to give the amount that was spent on the visits, but cost effectiveness relates to the fact it is very precise. This technology has been 90 to 200 per cent successful where it has been used. Therefore, the equipment and technology used, which are based in German, is very precise and cost effective.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Mwansa received a note from the House messenger.


Mr Speaker gave the Floor to Dr Mwansa again.


Sir, I have been informed that we spent about U S $18,000.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker gave the Floor to Dr Scott.




Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I wonder whether the hon. Minister would care to stop having his cake and eating it. He has very clearly and succinctly said that these are preliminary indications. My researches and my contacts tell me that at the best scenario it might take until half the hon. Members of this House are dead before commercially feasible and viable oil extraction is commenced. I am also assured that although these tests provided sufficient samples, the numbers do not sound very convincing. They indicate the presence of hydro-carbon deposits underground ground, but did not indicate the presence of large, accessible or commercially viable hydro-carbon deposit. Could the hon. Minister tell us why he does not simply say we are conducting further research and the House will be informed so this does not become another cashew scheme, oil from grass scheme, Chama Oil Scheme or another irrigated maize scheme?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order, Order!


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, on this side of the House, we consider it our duty to inform the Government and hon. Members of Parliament about what is happening in Government. It is also part of responsibility to inform you. It is prudent at this stage that we give you what we have to avoid speculation. The thing is that at every stage of the work of the Committee, we are required to come to the House and inform you about what is taking place.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, I am interested in the unorthodox manner in which the oil exploration was initiated. Is the hon. Minister aware that Kabompo, Chavuma and Zambezi are not the only areas where prolonged fires have been reported? What measures is the Government going to take to ensure that other areas which have reported prolonged fires also have oil exploration initiated?


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, there is some information to the effect that the Luangwa Valley, mid-Zambezi, Kafue and Western Zambian basin have rocks that are typical to oil and gas extractions. Therefore, we will visit those areas to determine what is available there.


I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}








Mr F. R. Tembo (Nyimba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Thanks of this Assembly be recorded to the exposition of the public policy contained in His Excellency the President’s Address.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded.


Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Speaker, in the first instance, allow me to thank you for the honour bestowed upon me to move the Motion of Thanks on His Excellency the President’s Speech. I am deeply humbled to have been the one to open the debate not only for this Session, but for the life of this Assembly.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: Sir, let me sincerely thank the people of Nyimba for having voted for me as their Member of Parliament. I am greatly humbled by this show of confidence in me.


Sir, Nyimba has a lot of problems. I know that schools, health centres and the road network need to be worked on. People have difficulty market their agricultural produce. These are serious problems which need urgent attention.


Mr Speaker, all I can say is that as their servant, I will work tirelessly, together with the Government to address these problems.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: Sir, I congratulate His Excellency the President for delivering an all-embracing and thought-provoking speech to this august House last Friday.




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: The speech among other things, called for national unity and reconciliation in the wake of the Tripartite Elections of 28th September, 2006 and set the goals of what the Government intends to achieve in the next five years and beyond.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: His Excellency the President took into account achievements in the last five years and acknowledged the many sacrifices people made in order to realise those achievements as well as the challenges that now need attention.


The President virtually covered all areas of human endeavour …




Mr Tembo: … in his well-arranged speech. The speech covered twenty-five themes which are very cardinal to the development of this country.


In moving this Motion, I will not speak on everything contained in the President’s Speech, but will highlight some of the pertinent issues.


Mr Speaker, good governance remains a cornerstone to the social and economic development of our country. As the President stated, the people of Zambia have now fully resolved that Zambia should be governed through a process that allows for their participation as was demonstrated in the last Tripartite Elections which recorded a high voter turn out.




Mr Tembo: Therefore, the Government should continue to promote the tenets of good governance by ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs. In this regard, I am pleased to note that following the outcry from the citizens to have a new Constitution, the President reiterated that the Government was seriously considering the process of bringing about a new Constitution.




Mr Tembo: Furthermore, the President pledged Government’s commitment to the observance of human rights through an improved justice delivery system by among others opening up offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions in provincial centres.




Mr Tembo: The fight against corruption has been one of the Government’s hallmarks of good governance. Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the Government on this stance and also thank the Co-operating Partners who have offered support to the anti-corruption drive.


Hon. PF Members: Where?




Mr Tembo: The war is far from being won, but the results are quite encouraging.


Hon. PF Members: Where?




Mr Tembo: I am convinced that those entrusted with public resources are now aware that State resource are not there to be abused, but to benefit all Zambians.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, …




Mr Tembo: … the New Deal Government …


Mr Speaker: Order, Order!


Mr Tembo still standing.


Mr Speaker: May you resume your seat momentarily.


Hon. Members: Sit down!


Mr Speaker: I did not think it was necessary to remind hon. Members that all of you are considered new. Therefore, your first speech will be considered as a maiden speech. The maiden speech is not subject to interruption or interjections. This is why I wish to regret that I had to do this in order to guide you. It does not matter whether you have been here since the 1980s. After every five years, each Member of Parliament begins anew. Of course, maiden speakers are always reminded not to include controversial issues in their debate. As far as I could hear, that speech does not contain any controversial substance. Therefore, it is for the hon. Members to say their usual ‘hear, hear’ to the hon. Member’s speech since he is moving the main motion for which you are all here.


I state firmly that if each one of you wishes to be heard by the rest, please respect those who are making their maiden speeches. They too, will listen to you patiently.


May the hon. Member for Nyimba please, continue.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, the New Deal Government continues to be a listening Government. This can be attested by the fact that upon receiving complaints of unfair tax regime, the Government has taken measures to review the entire tax system as the President stated.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: I am confident that come next budget presentation for 2007, we shall see a new tax regime with lower taxes for everyone. This is as it should be. You only expect such from a government that cares for the people.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: Furthermore, we also expect to see tax incentives for investments in rural areas and a special tax consideration for those employing women and youths.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, I am very confident that after presentation of the new budget, most of our people will have more money in their pockets.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Hon. Patriotic Front Members: Now you are talking!


Mr Tembo: Sir, labour casualisation is another area of concern to the Government. The President in his speech made it very clear that the Government expected employers, particularly the mining companies to adopt labour policies that promote and safeguard the dignity of Zambian workers.

The President noted with sadness that most mining companies had not changed their attitude towards the Zambian employees. I wish to appeal to the Government to make a follow up on this directive to ensure that the "Equal Pay for Equal Work" Policy is adhered to and that there is no more casualisation of labour not only in the mines, but also in any workplace whether owned by foreign or local investors.


Mr Speaker, on agriculture, I wish to pay tribute to all farming communities in Zambia for the well-deserved bumper harvest during the 2005/2006 season.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: Among others, the success could be attributed to the good agricultural policies as well as the good weather. I will not say much on this one because I know that many hon. Members in this House are farmers and have a lot to say on this.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: My only concern, Mr Speaker, is that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) should be strengthened further so that it is able to buy whatever quantities of food farmers produce. Experiences of the 2005/2006 bumper harvest should serve as a lesson for the future farming activities. I appeal to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to look into this matter seriously.


Mr Speaker, the other areas that the President talked about are education and health which are two important social sectors. As a Member of Parliament representing a rural constituency, I am saddened to report that in this day and era, we still have schools which are manned by one teacher, handling all the classes from Grades 1 to 7 and attending to administrative matters.


Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the President announced that 8,000 new teachers will be recruited in the next sixty days, another 6,500 will be recruited in 2007 and a further 5,000 in 2008. This shows the importance the New Deal Government is attaching to the education sector. I do hope that we hon. Members from the rural constituencies shall, by the end of 2007, report with pride to you, Mr Speaker, improvements in staffing levels in our education institutions.


The same problem of low staffing levels applies to the health sector. May I also take this opportunity to congratulate the New Deal Government on its policy on HIV/AIDS in the country.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, last but not the least, I wish to commend the Government for coming out clearly to recognise people with disabilities as a special interest group. In addition to this recognition, the Government should now issue guidelines and other incentives to attract stakeholders to take an active role in addressing challenges of persons with disabilities.


Finally, Mr Speaker, as a former officer in the Zambia Army, I wish to pay tribute to our defence forces and the men and women in uniform for their efforts in defending our sovereignty and also the peace-keeping missions abroad. I can only urge them to continue serving this nation with resilience and discipline as exhibited before.


In conclusion, Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate you, Madam Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House on your respective elections as presiding officers. In the same vein, Sir, I would like to offer my congratulation to His Honour the Vice-President and all Members of this House on their electoral victories. It is my sincere hope that together, we shall deliver to the expectations of the Zambian people who have sent us here.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mrs Musokotwane: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, I am greatly honoured to second the Motion of Thanks to the speech by the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC on the Official Opening of the First Session of the Tenth National Assembly.


Mr Speaker, allow me to join His Excellency the President in congratulating you, Madam Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairperson of the Committees of the whole House for a well-deserved election, showing the confidence the House has in you.


Mr Speaker, I wish to begin by commending President Mwanawasa for outlining some of the policy measures which his Government intends to implement in his last five-year term of office.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I only hope that the President’s last term in office will not be characterised by mere rhetoric.


Sir, in my speech, I will attempt to point out specific issues which I feel need serious attention by the Government of the Movement for Multi Party Democracy (MMD).


Mr Speaker, with regard to agriculture, I expected the President to give direction to the nation specifically on what his Government intends to do especially for the rural poor. What I have in mind are the critical areas of food security, infrastructure development, food marketing and purchasing.


Food security challenges still persist in our nation especially that storage of food at national level leaves a lot to be desired. A proper food security system entails access of food by all people at all times, which I think has been lacking in Zambia for a long time now. Mr Speaker, even when we have a bumper harvest in a given season, it is surprising to note that the country has a deficit the following season and is made to use millions of tax payers’ money to import food. There is a danger even now that we may be faced with a similar situation the next season because currently, FRA has been given a go ahead to export maize.


Mr Speaker, the solution to our food insecurity lies in the rehabilitation and construction of new silos for bulk storage of food which could be used to feed the Zambian people in times of deficit.


Furthermore, Mr Speaker, we need an effective crop marketing system which should allow efficient transfer of surplus food from areas of abundance to those in need. In order for this to be a reality, the Government needs to put in place measures which will ensure supportive infrastructure development such as good road and communication systems which should allow the participation of the private sector in crop marketing.


Mr Speaker, allow me to also bemoan the manner in which the FRA handled the 2005/2006 marketing season. Paying of farmers for their crop continues to be erratic. Worse still, some farmers in certain parts of our country had their crops soaked by rain because FRA had not reached their areas to purchase their crops.

In addition, Mr Speaker, it is disheartening to note that even the crop which was bought by FRA itself is being soaked by rain in some parts of the country. What the Government should bear in mind is the fact that farmers, particularly peasant farmers, derive their livelihood from the sell of crops and they do so in order to make money for school fees, health services and other human needs.


Mr Speaker, in mining, it is gratifying to note that the Government intends to enhance its support to small-scale mining, acknowledging the fact that there is large Zambian participation in this sector. However, allow me to start by stating that increasing the mining revolving fund for small-scale farmers and monitoring the private sector-led Gemstone Exchange in Ndola is not enough to sustain the lives of the people involved in small-scale mining. What is critical in this regard is allowing enough net revenue for these people and this can only be achieved if the Government puts in place a tax system that is fair and progressive; a tax system which should not favour the large-scale miners at the expense of the small-scale miners.


I note, Sir, that the Government, in the next five years, intends to review mineral royalty in order to enhance national beneficiary from the mining industry. I can only hope and pray that the Government, this time around, and especially in the next year’s Budget, will make big mining companies contribute significantly to the Government revenue unlike the case was during the last fiscal year.


Mr Speaker, on tourism, it is good to note that the Government recognises the importance of private sector involvement in tourism development. However, the current Government policy on private sector involvement in tourism development leaves much to be desired. To begin with, tourism infrastructure is almost non-existent and it favours only our tourist capital, Livingstone. The other areas with a potential in tourism facilities have been neglected, including Katombola. There is very little budgetary allocation to promote infrastructure development.


Furthermore, the current credit facility allocation is a mockery and it is marred by inefficient procedures which hinder local people from participating even when they have the technical know-how. The Government needs to address the issues which hinder timely processing of loans from this facility.


Mr Speaker, in the housing sector, the critical shortage of suitable houses is a serious source of concern. It is saddening to note that more than four decades after independence, the Government is unable to offer decent accommodation and basic services such as clean water and sanitation.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Musokotwane: I acknowledge the Government National Housing Bonds Programme which is aimed at raising affordable long-term finance from the capital market rather than Government resources. My only concern however, Mr Speaker, is whether the majority of civil servants will be able to repay the loans taking into account the low, but highly taxed salaries that they receive. I, therefore, wish to appeal to the Government to ensure that mechanisms are put in place to enable more civil servants borrow from the National Housing Bonds Programme. Furthermore, the Government should ensure that houses that are constructed now are not of a substandard.


Mr Speaker, in his address to the House, the President alluded to the high unemployment and poverty levels in the country. I note with sadness that the Government has not put specific measures in place to create employment. Those who complete school cannot find meaningful employment. Both serving and retired workers have been reduced to slaves in their own country. Those who are in informal employment do not only earn low salaries, but also pay high taxes. Retirees take longer to access their pensions.


I, therefore, recommend immediate measures to be taken to solve these problems affecting the workers. For example, Mr Speaker, the issue of high taxes should receive serious attention in next year’s Budget.


In addition, Mr Speaker, I take note of President Mwanawasa’s directive for an immediate end to casualisation of labour in Zambia. However, giving directives to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and other stakeholders is not enough. What is required is appropriate legislation, effective monitoring and most importantly, political will to protect the workers from exploitation.


Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!


Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, even though the Government recognises the fact that sport is vital in ensuring the health of citizens and its key role as a uniting factor, sport infrastructure remains underdeveloped. If sport is to reach high levels, the Government must increase the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development for infrastructure developments.


It is encouraging to note that the Government has revised the National Youth Policy and has established the youth empowerment funds. However, the bureaucracy that characterises the accessibility of these funds should be cut down.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to appeal to the President and his Cabinet to take measures that will respond to people’s sentiments which were expressed during campaigns in order to lessen the poverty burden. Zambian citizens have suffered enough, and they need relief. As we debate the Presidential Speech, I further wish to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and his colleagues to pay particular attention to the issues being raised so that they could substantively be reflected in next year’s Budget or the other four national budgets. It is in the budget that we expect to see if the President truly meant his words in the pronouncements he made last Friday.


Mr Speaker, I beg to second.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to debate this Motion on the Floor and indeed, in the first instance, to catch your eye as we are new comers in this august House.




Mr Muyanda: Sir, allow me to congratulate you, once again because this august House has shown the unreserved confidence it has in you, the Clerk and other members of staff. May the best wishes come your way, Sir, for the next five years.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: It will be wrong, Mr Speaker, for me not to mention Madam Deputy Speaker who has worked very hard and deserved to be elected.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: The Chairman of Committees, a well experienced Member of this august House, Sir, deserves my accolade as well.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: It will be wrong, Mr Speaker, for me not to mention a veteran politician of this august House who has managed to perform what we may define, sometimes, as political miracles. He is hon. Vernon Johnston Mwaanga.




Mr Muyanda: Thank you, Sir.




Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: … SC on winning the tripartite elections and …


Hon. Government Member: Free and fair.


Mr Muyanda: Not free and fair, please.




Mr Muyanda: Let me say it the way I saw it. He won the elections, but having won these elections we would like to say congratulations to him, …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: … because he has the legitimacy.

Mr Speaker, I would further like to thank the people of Sinazongwe who did a tremendous job of showing their trust and confidence in me once again by sending me back to this august House to serve them diligently in the same manner that I did the past five years.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the President of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Mr H. H. Hichilema, for having his team select me to re-contest the elections and here I am, representing UDA.


Hon. UDA Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for addressing the critical issue of corruption.


Sir, corruption is a cancer that has eaten away the morale fibre of Zambia and is still so slowly. However, it is being addressed now and almost in good faith. For this, President Mwanawasa deserves support.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, the support that we give him in here is not hocus-pocus political rhetoric. It is proper support against the people who are walking streets the arrogantly, thinking stealing is an honour. Stealing is not an honour.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Muyanda: Do not stand proudly on the streets of Zambia for stealing.


Mr Speaker, I would like to point out this cardinal point to you that in certain Zambian Government offices, before President Mwanawasa and his Administration, a new culture and language had developed. If you did not speak that language, you were not considered a person.


Sir, his Speech was very inspirational to any democrat such as myself.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hanjika!


Mr Muyanda: Sir, the elections are over and we want this administration to perform and deliver goods and services to the people of Zambia.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: We do not expect any more promises. We expect less promises and more action in the next five years.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, as regards agriculture, the President appointed a minister from the farming community where I come from. We would like the President to see to it that the new Cabinet Minister succeeds in looking after our cattle. We believe in cattle. Without cattle, this country is finished. That is the highest source of protein.




Mr Muyanda: Sir, I wish to invite the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Mr Kapita, to take one bold decision and that is the total eradication of Food and Mouth Disease. The pride of a Tonga is in the heritage of having a good number of wives and wealthy in cattle.




Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, with due respect to the newly appointed hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, we would like him to investigate and carry out more important inquiries in the Chinese market. The Chinese market is the biggest consumer of beef. If Zambia can eradicate the Food and Mouth Disease, we shall have access to the Chinese market. A Zambian commercial, peasant or small-scale farmer who is a producer of beef, will be able to export his beef to the Chinese market and I emphasise this point. Let us not insult the Chinese market.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: We need the Chinese market.


Mr Speaker, the Chinese market is one of the biggest and which all developed societies are eyeing. At the moment, the only exporter of beef into the Chinese market is Australia and they are failing to penetrate that market. Zambia must have the same chance of exporting beef the same way as Namibia and Botswana. We can do it.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: We cannot all be miners. It is not possible. Agriculture is the mainstay of Zambia. This should never be overlooked.


Hon. Government Member interrupted.


Mr Muyanda: Wait, do not make too much noise.


Mr Speaker, I have a very important point to make on the mines. What has gone wrong with Maamba Collieries? Why has it taken more than five years to privative Maamba Collieries? I wish to request this Government to be fair and forthright with regard to the fight against corruption. There was a South African company called Benicon which went to Mamba Collieries with nothing, but left with millions of US dollars. To date, Maamba Collieries has not been privatised. What has gone wrong with the privatisation of Maamba? If you want job creation, why not privatise Maamba Collieries so that the mine becomes viable enough to supply Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) with coal. As it is, Maamba Collieries is on the verge of collapse. There is virtually nothing going on there because the Government has not paid attention to it. Please, may we have Maamba Collieries quickly privatised.


Sir, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to find the owners of Benicon Company. These are men and women who were not investors but plunderers. These are some of the cases of plunder that are in the courts. We want those cases of plunder dealt with, not selectively, but on the basis of their strengths. Some men and women who stole money from this country are still singing and dancing in golf clubs and other societies. They think stealing is a privilege, no. It is wrong to steal from the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, apart from disease control, I would like talk about sport. Five years down the line and we still do not have a National Football Academy. Countries that performed well in the World Cup have national football academies which young men and women with talent attend. They are educated in these schools. This time, it should not be a mere promise. We want to see the National Football Academy in place.


Sir, I would like to think that some of the promises that the President delivered in his speech were errors of omission and I would like to point out these errors.


Mr Speaker, the Bottom Road is one of the promised issues in the Southern Province, specifically for Sinazongwe/Siavonga to Mapatizya/Kalomo. This road is critical. We need this road whether it has been mentioned in the speech or not.


Sir, I would like to think that giving a vivid picture of how the Budget will look like provides a guideline. I wish the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was here. However, I think he is around and so are some representatives from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. We would like the Bottom Road to be taken into account this year.


Sir, the Namwala/Choma Road is an outstanding issue. That road is not supposed to be ignored. It is a strategic road for transportation of beef from Namwala which has the biggest livestock in the whole Zambia, perhaps in Southern Africa, if you did know.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muyanda: That road must be tarred.

Sir, I am saying these roads are significant because the Southern Province is an integral part of Zambia’s economy. Without the Southern Province, you can forget about Zambia’s development.


Hon. MMD Members: Aah!


Mr Muyanda: You are a new comer, just keep quiet. You do not even know where you come from. You live on monkey meat. You do not know what beef is.




Mr Muyanda: However, Mr Speaker, I would also like to mention some of the most important issues which this Government has failed to address.


Mr Speaker, there is a cancer that has set in very firmly in the Zambian Government administration, specifically the procurement departments of all Government ministries. Open your ears and eyes. The procurement officers are over invoicing what are supposed to be conventional prices and the rest is going into what is called hidden commissions. Carry out some investigations. However, this is a tip of the iceberg. Check all the ministries. There are companies which are supplying to Government ministries and are doing this. Over invoicing is a dangerous cancer. It is a hidden form of corruption. It requires an effective internal and external audit system.


With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.


Hon. UDA Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Sinazongwe delivered a text maiden speech. However, the use of the phrase, ‘hocus pocus’ is used by professional magicians. It is not part of this House. The record should show so.{mospagebreak}


Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion, which is non-controversial.


In so doing, I thank you for allowing me to make my first speech in this House for over ten years. We have come a long way since then. I have gone down in the world. You have come up in the world and in that context, Sir, I would like to congratulate you on my own behalf and on behalf of the Patriotic Front and its President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata for your unanimous election, very much in contrast to the last one, as Speaker of this House. However, you have our complete support. I would also extend congratulations to the Deputy Speaker and to the father of one of my opponents in Lusaka Central, the Deputy Chairman of Committees.




Dr. Scott: Sir, with regard to the electorate in this election just passed, I would like to congratulate all those who voted for the Patriotic Front (PF), including all those who were unable to because they could not find their names in the register and even those who would have voted for the Patriotic Front had they been able to acquire National Registration Cards and registered as voters. However, most particularly, I want to congratulate the voters of Lusaka Central Constituency, the largest of any constituency in Zambia, who have the great wisdom or perhaps just the optimism to vote for PF on all three levels and they gave me a landslide majority over a field of twelve candidates. Lusaka Central Constituency is a key constituency in which the President of the Republic of Zambia has his official residence and work place and in which …


Dr Scott: … quite by chance the two former Presidents of the Republic of Zambia also live and in which perhaps future presidents of the Republic of Zambia live in either Rhodes Park or Kabulonga since they have many assets.


Lusaka Central is a very interesting constituency to analyse from the point of view. Why is it that PF swept what it swept? Why did people vote for PF? Some of the theories I have heard will tend to suggest that PF got a tribal vote. I am not aware that Lusaka Central is a Bemba constituency or indeed a constituency dominated by any tribe. The main lingua franca is Nyanja and Tonga is widely understood as a native language in Lusaka Central. Nor is it a muzungu constituency, although I think there was perhaps one muzungu voter in the entire constituency. That was me. Some people have suggested that it was my election in Lusaka Central or the victory of the PF in Lusaka and Copperbelt and elsewhere generated by the poor, the unemployed and the desperate protesting against the lack of jobs. I know this from the door to door campaigning that I did and from the distribution of votes across the polling stations. Those polling stations where you find Mercedes Benz cars parked outside, like St Annes or at Kabulonga School, were heavily PF as the poor ones in Bauleni or Malata. So what is it that caused this real upset to the MMD? I think I could not start better than by giving an example of the composition of this House.


When His Excellency President Mwanawasa, SC, opened this House in 2002, he had the following to say. ‘According to the statistics, a Parliament like ours, women should occupy seventy-six seats and men should occupy seventy-four.’ There was laughter, because I am reading from the Hansard. ‘Clearly, this is not the situation. No. We should really challenge ourselves in the political parties and society as a whole. How can we change the situation? I leave it to the political parties, including my own party, MMD, to address themselves to this predicament.’


At the time the President was speaking in February, 2002, there were five women in the MMD field of sixty-nine. Within a short while, the crossing of the Floor by Hon. Reverend Gladys Nyirongo had raised that to six and their acquisition of the services of the hon. and beautiful Sylvia Masebo had raised it to seven. So, the MMD in the year 2002, had seven women out of the field of about seventy-one or seventy-two. And this was very clearly stated as to be unsatisfactory. The PF, of course, had only one man and it is not sufficiently a large sample to see how gender sensitive we were.


Both the MMD and PF have committed themselves to increasing the representation of women in this Parliament. How have they done? From 10 per cent, that is to say seven women, MMD has now risen to 12 per cent. By adding two women, they have nine elected. I am only talking about elected members because we have to compare like with like. The 12 per cent of women is not much more than one-third of the SADC target of 30 per cent. The PF has achieved 21 per cent …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr. Scott: … almost double or more than two-thirds of the way to the SADC target, and this connects to the reasons people voted for me and many hundreds or thousands of them, on door to door campaigns, was the reason why they wanted PF and Michael Sata to be in Government because we are, as they say in the Eastern Province idiomatic English ‘doerers’-doers. We get things done and committee ourselves to a policy, we implement.

Sir, The general feeling is that as all parties say things about gender, poverty or corruption, things do not always get done. In fact, with the existing Government or the previous Government, the feeling was that nothing was being done, we were not being led anywhere.


Hon. PF Members: Shame!


Dr Scott: This is why and how the electorate reacted. It is not sufficient and as Hon. Patel used to say when he was a Member of this House before he joined the Government, this New Deal can talk and talk, but it cannot walk the walk. However, he stopped when he joined the Government. This is where we part company or the voters saw us as parting company.


However, what have we got in this latest speech of the opening of Parliament? We have a commitment from a new government to appoint a Cabinet level ministerial position to advance the calls of women in power. Why can the MMD not do it first in its own House, especially now that it has such a competent management team comprising, for example, Hon. Vernon Mwaanga and Dr. Katele Kalumba who is in charge of party matters? Of course, it is difficult to do it. We lost seats because of this business of pushing women.


We have had rebellions and I have been up early in the morning on the phone to ensure that we have a woman as Mayor of Lusaka and a woman as Mayor of Kitwe, the two largest cities in Zambia. Of course men get together and resist, but it needs firm leadership. Therefore, it is no use coming back and say: Ooh! The dictator; Idi Amin is back to promote women.




Dr Scott: Generally, Sir, I would like to say that in my experience as a consultant and politician, this country has become a victim of the disease of workshop-itis. Every time there is a problem, objective or vision that needs to be achieved, we have a workshop where we talk and talk. The donors who fund these workshops are very happy because they think that they are teaching us to think like them and they think that they think very rationally. Of course in Zambia our leaders love it because it avoids leadership and necessity to make a decision, as decisions always hurt somebody and leave them open to criticism from the top that you have made the wrong decisions. So, we have developed a culture of indecision, which hides behind consultation. I would give an example since there is a mention of governance, transparency, accountability and zero tolerance to corruption. Who can disagree? Nobody can disagree, but the question is: Are you talking the talk or are you also walking the walk?


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, this workshop disease has also led us to mis- analyse our own problems in this country. On page 11 of His Excellency’s Speech, under the heading ‘Local Government’, it is stated that we have problems of a financial nature and a lack of capacity in local authorities and that we require to enhance our capacities in local authorities.


Mr Speaker, we have plenty of capacity in this country. If you asked me to assemble a team of local government specialists to go to the Soviet Union on a World Bank mission to teach them how to manage local government, I would have no trouble doing it with 100 per cent Zambians. The problems with local government in this country are of a political nature and we see it very clearly in the current establishment of the Lusaka City Council, from the Acting Town Clerk, Financial Head and so on and so forth. This therefore, means that it is the ministry that has been appointing these officials and not the councils. If you are looking for problems of a political nature, one need look no further than today when at about 1200 hours, a team from the Lusaka City Council together with some PF Councillors went to Chawama to conduct a survey on MMD officials giving themselves land to construct houses. This is happening throughout Lusaka.


Hon. PF Members: Shame!


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, with that degree of political interference and anarchy in the city councils, it looks like there is no capacity and if the Government acts on this by refusing to pay its grants in lieu of rates for the services that it receives from the councils, this makes life even worse.


Mr Speaker, our problem in this country is not that we need more workshops to enhance capacity for strategic planning, but that we need to stop putting politics ahead of economics and politics, ahead of people’s lives.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, on agriculture, due to time constraint, I will leave it for another occasion when we can dissect it in more detail. The new hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, who I congratulate heartily, was my co-chairman in the Lima Party from 1996 to 1998.




Dr Scott: On behalf of the villagers and farmers, we will approach you as this House proceeds. This country is too much of the city person’s country.


Mr Speaker, in mining there is a lot to be said; therefore, I do not want to say it all. However, this question of, ‘we wish to review the Mineral Royalty to enhance the national beneficiation from mining industry revenues,’ how long are we going to be reviewing this issue? I was told some eight months ago that it was heavily under review, but the interests of the people of holding workshops, seminars, insaka, indabas and pows that are the ways that we approach these kinds of problems mean that it will continue not to be tackled.


Anyhow, it is not a mineral royalty that we really want; it is a windfall tax such as the British Government imposed on banks and upon the oil companies when it was required. We want tax on excess profits due to the unforeseen windfall of high copper prices. We do not wish to tax people out of the existence in poor market conditions.


Mr Mtonga: Zoona!


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, ‘my Government has noted the concerns about casualisation,’ what is it doing about this? It is to ‘bring to the table all the relevant stakeholders,’ which is the workshop talk. There is a film called "Casablanca" a classic of the Second World War where a policeman in Casablanca said "round up the usual suspects." The Zambian version is ‘round up the usual stakeholders.’




Dr Scott: Let us have another long series of meetings, each of which will lead to another meeting …


Hon. Government Member: More money!


Dr Scott: … more money in the pocket, but through a different route from the one which in PF, we propose.


Mr Speaker, I had a long speech on petroleum, but I shall leave it out completely because the matter has been very adequately covered.


Mr Speaker, I just have one point on the competitiveness of the Zambian exports i.e. commerce, manufacturing and agriculture. I have written about this and someone has read what I wrote. The major impediment to competitiveness of any country, whether it is its own markets or in export markets, is overvaluation of its currency. While it makes a simple impediment to competitiveness like that by issuing financial instruments - the Bank of Zambia driving up the value of the Kwacha - and then finding yourself in problems with your competitiveness and then having to introduce a slew of strange protective measures, most of which are not possible to administer.

We have been in the first and second republic. We consistently had our Kwacha pegged at a level which was unrealistic in terms of its purchasing and productive power. We consistently failed to develop agriculture and domestic industry. It is only since we had a proper exchange rate that things have gone well.


Sir, allow me through you, to respond to these quite frequent pleas in His Excellency’s Speech, asking for national unity, non-partisan approaches, to be united, reconciliation and all these things. It takes two to tango. We can only reconcile between two parties if both parties behave in a reconciliatory fashion.


Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Scott: If we have MMD officials handing out land in Chawama and in the process embarrassing the PF controlled Council, I do not consider that one side of a handshake. My party cannot be expected to simply lie back and be conciliatory when it is having coffins with our President’s name dragged on to the parliament grounds.


Hon. Opposition Member: What unity?


Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, last Friday, when I got out of this Chamber, somebody found me and said, why were you all so silent during His Excellency’s Speech? I made some inquiries and found that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation was selectively not picking this side of the House (opposition) when we made our interjections, …




Dr Scott: ….which interjections form part of the official record of the proceedings of this august House to which I am so happy to return.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chishimba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, I join other hon. Members of this House in congratulating you, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees on your election to your respective positions.


Mr Speaker, the question before the House is one of an awful moment to this country and demands the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can work to arrive at the truth and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinion arising from the President’s Speech at such a time through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country and of an act of disloyalty to the majesty of heaven which I revere above all earthly kings.


Mr Speaker, it is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against the painful truth and listen to the master’s song till we get transformed into beasts.




Dr Chishimba: Sir, are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not and having ears, hear not the things which so dearly concern their salvation?


Hon. Opposition Member: Amen!


Dr Chishimba: For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; know the worst and to provide for it.


Mr Speaker, I know of no way of judging the future, but by the past. By judging the future, I wish to begin by taking a critical analysis on where we are coming from and on that basis I will make recommendations. Before I proceed, allow me to thank the people of Kasama Central Constituency who have made it possible for me to be part of this House, a legislative organ of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, in my deliberations, I have adopted a non-partisan …


Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to say that I would like to call for a culture of co-existence which was exhibited during the 5th February, 1959 Lusitu Disaster, when forty-seven people died in the floods of the Kariba Dam, in the Southern Province. To show solidarity and sympathy, the people of Kasama went on the streets to demonstrate immediately this sad news was received.


Sir, I now salute our founding fathers and mothers who fought for the political independence we enjoy today. It is sad though that our freedom fighters live under abject poverty, and yet these are the men and women who fought for the battle which made colonialists flee and leave behind a sound economy with a lot of reserves. Unfortunately, the UNIP Government used State operatives to silence many nationalists by detaining them without trial, and yet Government leaders sung, "love thy neighbour as thy lovest thy self" for twenty-seven years.


Mr Speaker, I am deeply saddened that freedom fighters by whose efforts and sacrifice this nation was created, suffer needlessly. Our heroes have joined street adults by moving aimlessly and begging. This is the curse which we have put upon ourselves as a nation and we need God to deliver us.


Mr Speaker, I recommend that the Government should identify land and set up farming blocks for former freedom fighters. The Government should create a special fund and honour all freedom fighters at a grand ceremony as opposed to the current ceremonies where just a few are recognised.


Mr Speaker, our founding fathers and mothers did not participate in making the first constitution of Zambia. In other words, we do not have constitutional autochthony in our country; that is a home grown constitution. The Independence Constitution as you are aware was an appendage to the Zambia Independence Act of 1964. After that, for other constitutions which actually followed, the Enquiries Act was used, itself being drawn from the same Independence Constitution. As a matter of urgency, the people of Zambia need a Constituent Assembly and adopt a constitution which indeed will be home grown and that way we are going to break the legal continuity which is associated with the current Constitution.

Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation by the Second President was divine. We, however, believe in diversity of religion. While respecting the freedom of worship, issues related to the latest satanic practices by some churches should not be settled by the courts alone. I propose that the Government creates the position of Minister of Religious Affairs to preside over such matters and ensure that men of God are involved in deliberating over such issues and arrive at a spirit-inspired decision so that we protect our people from some of the practices that, indeed, we have heard about.


Mr Speaker, with regard to labour and social services, I will start with civil servants. Today, a civil servant looks older than parents in the village as a result of mathematics of survival.




Mr Chishimba: Civil servants who are not good at Mathematics at school, today, have to perform some calculations in order to come up with a budget which will fit into their salaries.


Sir, the New Deal Government have been appealing to public workers to sacrifice, whereby imposing a wage freeze under the pretext of reaching the HIPC Completion Point over the past five years.

Mr Speaker, this, indeed, brought about suspicion among the civil servants because while the wage freeze was imposed and while they were sacrificing, the New Deal Government was busy increasing allowances for themselves and other workers in other sectors. This experience is like a father who imposes sacrifice on the family by suspending the purchase of cloths for the children and the wife and also suspends the purchase of meat. After imposing this sacrifice successfully, he then, graduates from kachasu drinking, to amstel drinking and redds and amarula for his concubines. This is what happened over the past five years.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, now the question is that since Zambia has reached the HIPC Completion Point, will the salaries of civil servants increase this time around? It has to be us, the leaders, to sacrifice.


Sir, I will speak passionately in this House for the Zambian worker. We have highly educated men and women in the Civil Service and some of them are PHD holders, others have Masters Degree and the majority are graduates in different fields. These men and women live in shanty compounds because the housing allowances they get are a mockery.


Hon. Pf Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chishimba: As a matter of urgency, civil servants’ salaries must be increased by far more than 100 per cent.


Mr Speaker, on housing allowances, public workers do not need these allowances. They need loans to build their own houses. The Government on the other hand must also build more institutional houses and provide decent accommodation to the workers.


Mr Speaker, workers in the private sector have been left to suffer at the hands of merciless and cruel investors who often say they have come to invest in Zambia because there is cheap labour. Our people have been casualised by the so-called investors with impunity. The working hours are dependent on the investor’s decision. If the investor opts to keep workers for hours, that will become the law or the investor’s rules become the labour law of a given company.


Mr Speaker, what we saw in the Southern Province where a Chinese Investor had subjected people to slave working arrangements cannot go without being remarked upon.


Sir, other inhuman working conditions under which workers work include poor accommodation. A good case in hand is that of African Plantations in Kateshi – Kasama, where workers are accommodated in grass thatched huts and two families are accommodated in one hut.


Mr Speaker, when you talk about occupation risks or accidents like the President put it when he opened this House, at that particular company, if a worker loses his hand or hand, he loses his job as well. The investor says you are no longer useful because you have lost your a hand or both. What kind of a country is this? This goes on without any compensation for the poor workers in this country. For health services, workers have to queue at a clinic which looks like a toilet. All mothers have to line up there for maternal child health services, and yet maternal child health is quite critical if our nation is to move forward.


Mr Speaker, if it was very easy to deduct taxes, pensions and other levies, why should it be difficult to pay retirees what is genuinely due to them? The system should change. Retirees must receive their money within seven days of their retirement so that they can settle in peace and continue to contribute towards national building through agriculture and any other ventures that they may choose to engage in.


Mr Speaker, there is no country in the world which has developed without the participation of young people. A successful youth development policy and programme of action which is adequately financed is the only strategic pragmatic and sustainable drive to national development. The current trend where the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development is under funded is a very sad one. For instance, even the Youth Provincial Development Officers have no vehicles, and yet they have to cover the entire provinces in which they serve or operate. If you want to see an old typewriter, go to the offices of these men and women. They are like museums of old type writers.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chishimba: Sir, the National Development Council is another toothless body because funding is erratic. Consequently, youth NGO leaders have lost confidence in the Government for creating structures which are not adequately funded to enhance youth development.


Mr Speaker, a youth is energetic, innovative, persistent, committed, courageous, loyal and dependable. These attributes, among others, make young people the best leaders everywhere in the world.


Sir, the First President of Zambia is a very good example of what a youth can do. In his early 30s, he became leader of UNIP and by the age of 40, he became the president of a newly reborn Republic of Zambia. He worked very hard between 1964 and 1973 when he was still youthful.


Sir, the National Development Agenda must characterise and enshrine young people’s participation and complementarity within the totality of the Zambian situation.


Mr Speaker, I therefore, call for the immediate investment in the youth and urge the New Deal Government to stop taking our young people as a group of people that forgets easily. For instance, the young people have not forgotten about the K40 billion Youth Fund. Certainly, the youth do not suffer from dementia. I want to sensitise the New Deal Government that this Parliament is finally dominated by a new crop of fresh leaders, the youth. I would, therefore, like to thank leaders of all political parties represented here, including the leader of ZRP and NDF for having given young people a chance to be hon. Members of Parliament.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, our men and women in uniform protect our nation from all kinds of invasion. In order for them to do their work diligently, there is a need to improve their working conditions of service, including the construction of more barracks or compounds for them. It is very sad that the Government has allowed a situation where our men and women in uniform live in compounds, mingling every day with civilians. Surely, how can we, as a nation, preserve the integrity of our men and women in uniform when we subject them to hash landlords? In the next five years, we expect the Government to serious address this problem.


Mr Speaker, at the core of maintaining law and order, is the police officer. The police officer is the most neglected in this country. Like service men, most of the police officers are not accommodated and receive slave salaries which only give them a headache whenever they receive them; a situation where a few police officers and prison warders who re accommodated share one dirty toilet, a small house that is inhuman and must be condemned in the strongest of terms.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, police officers have lost their integrity, and yet they face the daily challenge of fighting fierce battles with better-equipped criminals.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chishimba: The facilities used in forensics are also obsolete. Consequently, vital evidence is compromised and suspects are either wrongfully convicted or erroneously acquitted.


Mr Speaker, the escalating disease burden and declining resources in real terms are some of the important causes for the numerous problems that thee health sector is facing today. HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are some of the diseases that have drained astronomical amounts of resources in the country. Mr Speaker, today, Zambia is facing the HIV/AIDS pandemic. HIV/AIDS is indeed a development challenge.


Whilst, initially, HIV/AIDS was prioritised as a health problem, today we have to look at HIV/AIDS from a broader development perspective.


Zambia, for instance, Mr Speaker, was among those countries that witnessed the launch of the Three by Five Treatment Plan which is a UNH and the World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative. I am happy to report that, in fact, I was part of that team and that time we were met by the then Government resource person, Madam Deputy Speaker now.


When that programme was launched, Zambia committed herself to putting 100,000 people on ARVs. Today, Mr Speaker, out of the 200,000 people living with HIV/AIDS who need these ARVs, only 40,000 are on ART. This, indeed, calls for seriousness and of course, more investment in the fight against HIV/AIDS by ensuring that our people have access to critical services such as testing facilities, kidney function test and liver function test, which are very important in ensuring the safety of the drugs that we administer to people.


Mr Speaker, I know that time is not my best ally. May I end with a prayer for Zambia and the way forward for Zambia.


Sir, I will never give rest to my thoughts on the prayer for a great peaceful Zambia in which all people are proud, free and dignified.


My prayer is a Zambia in which my children and, indeed, all Zambians’ children have sustained access to food, shelter, health care, clothes, clean water and sanitation and other basic needs of life.


Sir, I pray for a Zambia in which all Zambians are respected, a Zambia where all those who aspire to leadership are men and women of integrity motivated by the desire to leave an indelible mark to be remembered as patriots who changed the country from worse to a better position.


I yearn for a Zambia in which leaders work to ameliorate the living standards of the people as opposed for working for statistical data purposes; a requirement to impress donors.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chishimba: I pray for a Zambia in which government respects and enforces the rights and freedoms of Zambians.


I pray for a Zambia in which State operatives are not used to silence or eliminate those who boldly call for change.


I pray for a Zambia in which every Zambian openly and proudly says, ‘I am a Zambian.’


In order to make this prayer for Zambia turn into a reality, Mr Speaker, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self discipline and effort.


The time for national resurrection in the next five years rests with us the youth, privileged to be in this august House and, indeed, my fellow young people out there who are on the streets because there are no jobs and all those few technocrats privileged to be in employment. We the youth have now began preparing ourselves to finish worthily the marvelous works of this nation’s founding fathers and mothers.


We shall not be intimidated by old politicians who have outlived their usefulness. I appeal to the old crop of politicians in here and out there, to peacefully retire to more dignified advisory roles as we govern this nation.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I speak these words from the deepest affection of my heart. I shall always speak my sentiments freely and without reserve.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I am afraid that this nation’s vision and my prayer may not be attained because of the amount of corruption in the nation.


Even though there is a general picture portrayed by the New Deal MMD Government that corruption is being fought, the manner in which the exercise has been conducted over the past five years raises serious concerns.


The concerns begin from the time the President made a Special Address to the First Session of the Ninth National Assembly on Thursday, 11th July 2002.


In his Address, he brought out many suspected transgressions which he said had come to his attention.


Sir, as a young Parliamentarian and speaking on behalf of my fellow young people, more than seven million of them out there, I come to this august House to stock take. The New Deal Administration must report to this House the number of cases over which suspected plunderers have been tried before the courts of laws out of the many alleged offences that were presented to this House because some of them border on national security.


If the New Deal Government were genuinely committed to the cause of fighting corruption, investigation of plunder should have begun from 1964 to 2001. Anyway, I thank the Almighty God for the power of natural law. My intuition tells me that 2011 will be a year of mass trials. We the future leaders shall investigate plunder from 1964 to 2011.




Dr Chishimba: Yes, it is coming!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, these insensitive selfish leaders will one day disappear like dust in the history of Zambia and no one will ever wish to remember them.


I know not of the course of action that might be taken against me by the State to persecute me for passionately speaking the truth, but I know what I want, liberty for which I am ready to pay the price, …




Dr Chishimba: … death by being thrown into prison or assassination. I am ready!


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Kasama did debate his views quite sufficiently. However, the word ‘selfish’ is unparliamentary.{mospagebreak}


Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, at this juncture, I would to thank you for giving me the Floor of the House to debate the Motion of Thanks.

Sir, I would be out of order good if I do not thank my brother and friend Hon. F. R. Tembo for a Motion well moved.


Mr Tembo: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: However, I have no doubt that the Motion was properly seconded by none other than Hon. Musokotwane, a very able young woman who is competent in every aspect.


Hon. UDA Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: Also because she is a nice person.


Hon. UDA Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I wish to congratulate you for the vote of no contest to your Chair. Last time it was supposed to be the same way had it not been for Hon. Tetamashimba.




Mr Matongo: I mean it.


Secondly, I wish to congratulate Madam Deputy Speaker. Whatever her performance was when she was a Cabinet Minister, I have no right to assess her. However, it is on the ground that she is a lady.


Like you, Mr Speaker, I was born in a family of three and I was between ladies and was called Mutinta. Therefore, Madam, you are a Mutinta like myself. Therefore, you are welcome.


I also wish to congratulate my friend and a long standing diplomat who is your Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole House. Sir, you know that he was a diplomat for a very long time. Therefore, we cannot have a better presiding bench than what we now have. Congratulations, Sir, and this is coming from the bottom of my heart.


Hon. UDA Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: I also wish to welcome all elected Members to the Chamber. Even those that were nominated who deserved it too, are welcome. Sometimes we may need you, but other times we may not.




Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I also want to congratulate the many hon. Members of Parliament who are new to this Chamber, including those who are a smaller percentage in here. This is a glorious House. It is a House where you stand proud, tall, short, fat and thin, but speak with authority under the guidance of Mr Speaker. You are all welcome.


Having stated that, Sir, the good news is that the Zambian business environment has been reasonably managed.




Mr Speaker, I can only speak what I know and what I do not know, I am unable to.


Mr Speaker, the London Stock Exchange has been proper on our copper prices. This would have been nothing if we did not have a reasonable and approachable international co-operation with other people. Sir, with the emerging market wanting to buy copper, China in particular, and I want to observe that one of us is on his way to China – congratulations – are buying copper in mass. That is what we need. You cannot share poverty, but you can share wealth and wealth creation is about perfect management of our mines, agriculture and tourism and natural resources and the social sectors will gain from these.


Mr Speaker, I would like to speak reality. The mining and quarrying sector has increased by 30.5 percent in production in the last five years. Congratulate yourselves.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: This is from 12.3 percent and this is something that you should part yourselves on the back for. Maamba Collieries has failed and you should congratulate yourselves again because we do not need to import coal from elsewhere like the English say, ‘coming to Zambia with coal is like taking coal to New Castle’. I congratulate you my friends in the Executive and most of you are back on the bench. My language has been very clear from day one that where you succeed, I will compliment you, where you fail I will supplement you and help you to succeed.


Mr Speaker, on Maamba Collieries, as the hon. Member for the area has stated, it needs much more than capitalisation and new capital. It is national and very important. For trained minds, when you talk of economic growth, GDP at 5.4 percent in 2004, 5.1 percent in 2005, 6 percent in 2006 and the targeted 7 percent as announced by none other than His Excellency the President Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC for next year and whom I wish to congratulate at this juncture, is a reasonable way of doing economics.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, inflation in 2004, was at 17.5 percent, 9 percent in 2005 and in 2006, at 9.5 percent- Hon. Muntanga always tells me that the people of Pemba do not eat these figures, they want food on the Table- but these are realities of life that will deliver the food on the Table.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: When we target 7 percent, I am not sure which school of economics His Excellency President Mwanawasa, SC attended, but I think he was well schooled because 7 percent is reasonable.


Mr Speaker, when inflation reduces from 17.5 percent to 15.9 percent and 9.9 percent and somebody says to me it shall be 8 percent next year, it is very reasonable. I can actually relate to this without referring to anything. This is a job well done.


On the exchange rate, I would like to say that those who do not believe say they do not eat statistics, education or health, but they actually eat the end products of that.


Mr Speaker, I would like to say that the exchange rate was at K4,975 in 2004, K3,393 in 2005, although somebody will say that this is for Hon. Magande to say, I sometimes tell him what to say because I am in the Opposition.




Mr Matongo: As of today, Sir, the exchange rate is at K3,600 and you do not need to be a businessman to understand the appreciation of the Kwacha. Somebody said it today in this House. Down the line, he changes and says the appreciation of the Kwacha is not good. Who says so? It is good for the Zambians and foreign investors like some President has been saying.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: Except he did not articulate it as much as we can here and we are going to articulate it right.


Mr Speaker, I will talk about the interest rates as of today. I will start with the base rate in the best bank and not a cantankerous bank, cantankerous as the Minister of Defence.




Mr Matongo: The base rate is at 17.5 percent, that is average and if you add the 8 percent as your profit, it is around 23 percent and 24 percent. What can be a better job than that. That is a good job. What is bad is that our friends on your right cannot take advantage of this reality. They are not able to dictate policy that will enable the Zambians live a better life out of this macro-economic stability, as you would like to call it. It is the macro ‘things’ that we need to have my young friends that will move the economy forward. To do well because of what the IMF and the World Bank are telling you is good, but translate these achievements to the breadbasket of the Zambian people. We want the prices of kapenta, mealie-meal and everything else that goes to feed our people to go down as perceived by this macro-economic stability. So the bad job you are doing is that you are not able to dictate based on facts and tell the banks your interest rates can no longer be at that level because you have no morality to make that sort of money for investors who in any case are not in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, Standard Chartered Bank, and Barclays Bank’s 11 percent shareholding is a reality. Out of the multi billion amounts of moneys getting out, surely if I were the Minister of Finance and National Planning, I would not be accused of having humanism instincts if I went and demanded that the shareholding should not be less than 11 percent and that it must be above 25 percent so that the Zambian people can own something. Who says that because I am from Pemba, I must always be told to go back to the land? I want to be here in the centre of capital markets and financial services so that I can dictate and control the money and be rich as a boy from Hamakowa. What makes anybody think that everyone of us here must be told to go back to the land? The money is here and then we send it back to the land.


Mr Speaker, I want to tell my colleagues the hon. Ministers that we mean extremely well. The bad job on your side is your incapacity to be able to interact with the people who know. Your problem is that because he is on the left of Mr Speaker, he cannot be your friend. Your incapacity is the belief that politics is about the inability to accept others. We are you and you are us.


Mr Speaker, I would like to say what I said in 2001. I am in the Opposition not for the sake of opposing what is right, but to correct what is imperfect in you the establishment. You have done extremely well to borrow from the bank. That is a perfect job. You used to get money from the Bank of Zambia to fund elections at over 300 per cent, but you do not do that anymore. You do it in a smaller way. I do not care about small figures, but worry about the big picture. Look, you have saved money and you are no longer borrowing to pay huge salaries except hon. Masebo who does not want to listen.


Hon. Muntanga: Yes, Hon. Minister of Local Government!




Mr Matongo: Even her bonds in the Ministry of Local Government will not work if she is not going to listen, because we want these capital market and financial services institutions that we moved a Motion on this Floor and that was accepted. We want all of you to listen because we want this country to move forward.


Hon. Opposition Member: We are running away.


Mr Matongo: The issue is very simple, Mr Speaker. What is it that is a bad job? A bad job is having saved all the good money that must go into the construction of roads in Pemba or Shang’ombo. They have a huge establishment, who are they scared of? Who is going to vote against you if you come up with the right institution? I have never seen such a large number of Deputy Ministers some of who do not even know what they are supposed to be doing.




Mr Matongo: Late alone, the cabinet.




Mr Matongo: We must cut costs, Mr Speaker, for institutions of production in this country to use that money. I am not jealous of anyone being minister, all I am saying is can we cut costs.


In conclusion, Mr Speaker, there cannot be a better opportunity than now for us to pressurise for a constitution because we have a minority Government and we need to have a populace Government. Please, when we say we need a new constitution it is not for selfish gains.


Mr Shakafuswa interjected.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Matongo: My young friend, we will respect you, but give us time to teach you what next because if you are not careful you will be in gonakuzingwa in no time. That is gonakuzingwa corner there, where Kavindele was. One of us my good friend loves where he is, so listen to us. We are not jokers, we are serious people.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, I implore this Government to do three things. Please, we do not believe that you should do what you cannot do within your financial means, but we are saying, have the good will to have a new constitution before the next elections. We warned you on this Floor about the Electoral Reform Act, and yet now the former Vice-President, Minister of Community Development and Social Services and former ministers, who we told that this Act is not good for them are petitioning.


Mr Muntanga: They are all gone.


Mr Matongo: What can be better than telling you reality? Why are you now petitioning against what we advised you?


Mr Muntanga: Correct.


Mr Muntanga: Why are you creating jobs for political failures when we need that money to go into development?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Matongo: What is it that you are looking forward to when you create a cabinet that is largely very friendly and nice, but very weak in delivering?




Mr Matongo: My dear friends, we mean well.


Mr Muntanga: Yes.




Mr Matongo: You had more members than you have today and I want to appeal to hon. Mwaanga that you have an opportunity to do two things. Please, let us have the Freedom of Information and Independent Broadcasting Bills brought to this House. We really want to honour you, we, who own you ...


Mr Muntanga: We mean well.


Mr Matongo: … and we mean well. We know you have the experience to do that.


As for the hon. Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, I say, you have your best friend this side do one thing. Get the constitution moving and give us a programme of action. We will agree with you when you do not have the money. For the rest of you hon. Ministers, I wish you well and please you have friends on this side. However, do not forget that there is gonakuzingwa in the corner when you disagree with us.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am greatly humbled to stand before you. In the first place, I would like to congratulate President, Levy Mwanawasa, SC on his re-election and Mr Michael Sata for attempting to be the President of Zambia. I also want to congratulate HH on attempt, which was a very good run.


Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate you, …


Mr Speaker: Order! Take your seat for the moment.


In this House, even maiden debaters are interrupted when they use wrong words. Here, we address persons the way they should be. I have heard the name HH being used before and I did not wish to interrupt. That is not correct. I believe you were referring to the President of the party jointly known as UDA. That is the way to address him. You should also address leaders of the party in the case that is being referred to, for instance, as the President of the Patriotic Front. That is the official way of referring to the leaders, as well as if need be, officially, Members of the Cabinet. Not by name, but by title. As you may recall, we have gone through this before. I do not want to expose you since you are live on radio now. I regret hon. Member for interrupting you, but it looks like the learning process is continuing.


May you continue.


Mr Mbewe: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I congratulate the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of the Committees and congratulate all hon. Members of Parliament on their election.


I am representing Chadiza Central Constituency which is located in Chadiza District in the Eastern Province. It has an estimated population of about 30,000 people of which more than half are youths. Just like some of the constituencies in the country, Chadiza Central is one of the least developed constituencies. The following are some of the areas in which the constituency is facing problems:




This problem is critical and it is affecting all the people in Chadiza urban as well as in villages. There are not enough boreholes and dams to cater for the population and most of the villages have no sources of clean water. There is an urgent need to drill more boreholes, construct new dams and rehabilitate the old ones.


Mr Muntanga: Do not complain you are MMD.


Mr Mbewe: Agricultural Marketing


95 per cent of the population are subsistence farmers. The total income is based on agriculture.

There has been an outcry because of the low prices of produce such as cotton and tobacco. The people are requesting for higher prices. They are also complaining about the long distances covered to go and sell their maize. Payments also take too long to be made.


Roads and Bridges


Mr Speaker, the road network in Chadiza is poor. Most of the roads are impassable and most of the bridges were swept away by the rains.




Mr Mbewe: There is an urgent need to habilitate the roads and construct the bridges in the constituency.


Illiterate Levels


Sir, illiterate levels in Chadiza are very high. This is due to inadequate schools and traditional beliefs in the area. Some schools are very far from people’s settlements, hence children fail to walk long distances to schools. There is a need to build schools in the affected areas and also discourage the traditional beliefs of the Chewa people.




Mr Mbewe: Health Facilities


Mr Speaker, there is no hospital in the district. People depend on St. Francis Hospital in Katete, Mwami Hospital in Chipata and Chipata General Hospital in Chipata itself. The clinics are very few and are in isolated areas, very far apart. The drugs in these clinics are inadequate. However, the construction of the district hospital will start very soon.


Lack of Food


Sir, due to excess rain, a lot of farmers lost their crops which were swept away by the rains. There was a lot of leaching and a lot of soil nutrients were washed away. As a result, the crops did not do very well. There is an urgent to send relief food in to the affected areas.


The Aged and Orphans


Mr Speaker, the number of orphans in the constituency is very high. This is due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A lot of people are either infected or infected. These orphans face a lot of problems such as failing to pay school fees, especially r those in high schools.


Lack of Employment


Sir, there are no employment-generating activities in the district other than farming. There are also no investors in the constituency to provide employment for youths.


Mr Speaker, all these problems which I have outlined are not unique. Nearly every constituency which is represented here may be facing similar problems. These problems cannot be sorted out by the MMD Government alone. It is this House which can solve all these problems.




Mr Mbewe: It is in this House were such problems are supposed to be resolved. Therefore, I am appealing to the House …




Mr Mbewe: … not practice politics, but we should practice development.




Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the people of Chadiza and the MMD for supporting me.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr K. Mwansa (Mpika): Mr Speaker, I am most grateful to you for affording me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech to this august House.


Sir, let me begin by expressing my most sincere and profound gratitude to the wonderful people of Mpika Central Parliamentary Constituency for giving me an opportunity to serve them as their elected Member of Parliament. This is a rare honour, privilege and source of inspiration for me. I, therefore, pledge to serve them to the best of my ability. They have in me, an unwavering, faithful and true servant of the people.


Mr Speaker, allow me to thank my party, the Patriotic Front for adopting me to contest the seat from among many others who had aspired to truly give themselves to the service of the people of Mpika Central Constituency. To this emerging power and beacon of hope in the Zambian politics, I pledge to remain a loyal and committed member and servant of the people.


Sir, let me now turn to my aspirations, hopes and desires for our great country in general, and Mpika Central in particular. I wish to place it on record that the people in rural Zambia have had a raw deal with regard to their share of the national cake. They have been overlooked, neglected and generally been treated as though they are not citizens of this great nation. It is a well-known fact that since independence, development has mainly benefited the people along the line of rail.


Mr Speaker, some rural parts of our country have seen no difference between colonial Northern Rhodesia and independent Zambia. Things are now as they were then. In my constituency, a number of facts attest to these assertions.




Mr Speaker, schools in my constituency are very few and far apart. Children have to walk long distances to schools which are ill-equipped and inadequately staffed. Pupils are still sitting on the floor in grass-thatched classrooms. They are taught by an overworked and demotivated teacher who is not sure whether he or she will receive his or her next housing allowance or not. This same teacher must teach literally all the grades in the school. In the meantime, thousands of qualified teachers, trained at a great expense to the tax payer, are roaming the streets without jobs. Surely, this is hardly something to be proud about. The problems in education sector must be addressed with the urgency they deserve.




Sir, it is not a secret that our health care delivery system is limping and requires an urgent remedy. In Mpika Central, the people are crying for health care facilities. They are crying out for more health posts, qualified health care givers, more medicine and equipment.

It is unfair to expect the sick and infirm to travel long distances to access medical help. Even as we prepare to send the more privileged of our citizens for medical check ups and treatment abroad, let us spare a thought for the silent majority out there in the rural areas who do not even have access to a panadol. This is a problem which we must look squarely in the face. It will not go away by ignoring it or simply pretending it does not exist.




Mr Speaker, while we have made some strides towards achieving food sustainability as a nation, a lot still remains to be done. In Mpika Central, it is a seasonal song that fertiliser and seed are delivered late and, in some parts, never at all. This must change. Marketing of produce is in disarray. There are cases where farmers are stuck with their crop until the next season. At the moment, scores of farmers are marooned with the crop they produced at such a great cost. Sometimes, the produce is delivered to the FRA, but payment is not forthcoming for weeks on end. This is unacceptable. Let the farmers enjoy the fruits of their labour without undue hiccups.




Mr Speaker, wherever I went during the campaigns, I met with a very sad picture, a picture of old men and women who had given many long years of dedicated service and loyalty to this nation. It was a picture of senior citizens who had been used, discarded and forgotten. These are old people who have seen their best days, people who can no longer afford to send their children to school or indeed, have one decent meal per day because they are owed benefits by the powers that be. People who retired many years ago are still owed benefits. Honestly, how inhuman can we be? You only have to see the look of anguish and despondency on the faces of retirees to appreciate that they are being treated most unfairly. We have a duty, a responsibility and an obligation to ensure that senior citizens and retirees are treated with the respect they deserve by honouring the payment of their money. It is their money. It is not someone’s money. They worked for it. There is no excuse for failure. Indeed, failure is not even an option.


Mr Speaker, the importance of a clean water supply cannot be underplayed. In some parts of my constituency, people drink water from the same source as wild animals. This cannot be allowed to continue in a country that prides itself in having been proud and free for the past forty-two years.


Mr Speaker, let me emphasise the importance of a good road network. Most roads in the rural areas are in a deplorable state. The feeder roads are fading into oblivion. It is no wonder that crop marketing is beset by so many pitfalls. Sometimes, I get the mistaken impression that the roads in the rural areas and those along the line of rail belong to two totally different countries. The disparity should not be so glaring.


Finally, Mr Speaker, I wish to implore all the hon. men and women assembled in this august House to make a difference during this Tenth Assembly. I throw a challenge to them that focus should now shift to those parts of Zambia that have lagged behind for too long. After all, Zambia is for all of us. It is only ourselves to take a lead in developing the rural areas of Zambia and not the donor community to come and start the crusade of the said development. I regret to say that our country is currently under tension due to many reasons. Tension will only disappear through good governance and sincere love.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwangala (Nalolo): Mr Speaker, I wish to pay particular tribute to the people of Nalolo for voting me as their representative in this august House in the just ended 28th September, 2006 Tripartite Elections.


I would also like to congratulate my party, the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, for adopting me as its candidate among other political opponents where I emerged victor with a wide margin, …


Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwangala: … a demonstration of the confidence and trust the people in the area have in me. I also wish to thank other political candidates for giving me a good challenge and I challenge them to try again in the 2011 elections.


In contributing to the speech for the First Session of the Tenth National Assembly by His Excellency the President, Mr Levy P. Mwanawasa, SC, I would like to congratulate some opposition national leaders by supporting the President’s comprehensive speech that covered a lot of interesting issues, such as campaign promises, call for reconciliation peace and love among Zambians as no development can take place when the nation is at war with itself. I thank them all. I do not want to mention their names.


Mr Speaker, my contribution will be incomplete if I fail to congratulate the labour movement for supporting Government decision to review the tax regime in order to address the people’s concerns, as high taxation has been the worker’s long standing complaint as most workers incur heavy monthly deductions and take home a salary not sufficient to address the problems that most workers face.


On agriculture, I would like to complement my Government, the New Deal Administration for the good agricultural policies. In particular, I would like to mention the Government’s intention to formulate strategies that involve the development of rural markets, provision of infrastructure and other agricultural related services, including finance, the promotion of mechanisation of farms by providing agricultural equipment, irrigation, agro-processing machinery that could help productivity and value addition to agricultural produce, like in the Southern Province.


Other most welcome initiatives are aimed at improving the efficiency of the livestock sector-driven agricultural marketing and input supply system, which at the same time maintain the role of the FRA in the marketing system.


In conclusion, I would like to earnestly appeal to my Government to quickly look into the issue of input delivery so that the gains that the New Deal Government has made are not eroded. Inputs should be delivered to the Western Province and my constituency in particular, as early as July when fields in the wetlands are cultivated.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you.


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


Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to make my maiden speech and before I go into it, I would like to congratulate you, your deputy and the Vice-Chairman of Committees on your election to your positions in the House. May I also congratulate hon. Members of Parliament on their election or re-election to Parliament. To the people of Moomba Constituency, I say thank you very much for re-electing me. To the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff, thank you for welcoming us all.


Mr Speaker, the speech by the Republican President, His Excellency Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC during the Official Opening of the First Session of the Tenth National Assembly on Friday 27th October, 2006 touched on many areas of our economy.


Mr Speaker, I would like to comment and contribute to a few of these areas namely, water, education, infrastructure and sports.


Water Supply


Mr Speaker, in paragraph 3 of page 33 of the speech, the President states that the Government will bring to this House a Bill on water resources management and development needs that will include the provision of adequate, safe and cost- effective water supply and sanitation services in both urban and rural areas.


Mr Speaker, my constituency is a rural one and one of the wards called Moomba is remote, semi arid and requires many water points for both people and their animals. During the dry season, the situation is so critical that the absence of water affects education development especially of the girl child because of ill-health and that school children spend most of their time fetching water.


The House may be interested to know that in this ward, there has never been a dam since time immemorial. What this means is that we have Zambians in Zambia who have never seen a dam before, and yet according to an article on page 9 of the Sunday Times of Zambia, dated December, 5, 2004, the number of dams stands at 17,000 in drought-prone areas as given by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives’ Report of 2003.


According to the same article, Zambia is among the three Southern African countries with relatively abundant water resources although some areas, especially in the Southern parts of the country experience water deficits due to seasonal variations of rains. However, according to the same article, a number of dams stands at 17,000 in drought-prone areas.


Mr Speaker, the development process of any country depends on the presence of a vibrant and healthy community with access to clean water and sanitation services. Therefore, it is an illusion to think that a country can progress when its members are suffering from the direct lack of safe water and sanitation.


Moomba Constituency requires 150 boreholes and, at least, six new dams of which four are urgently required in Moomba Ward. The Minister of Energy and Water Development, Hon. Mutati is aware about the same problem and I welcome him back to his ministry.




Mr Speaker, on page 40 of his speech, the Republican President said that his Government would pay particular attention to the provision of quality education services during the next five years through improved staffing, rehabilitation, upgrading and expansion of school infrastructure. This is a welcome move because as he has correctly pointed out, it is education that will unlock the many doors that we must walk through as a nation in order to achieve our goal of sustainable development.


On the issue of improved staffing in our schools, I note that 8,000, 6,500 and 5,000 teachers will be recruited in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively which will bring the total to 19,500 additional teachers by the end of 2008. These teachers, according to the President’s Speech, will be deployed to deficit areas, especially in remote areas.


Mr Speaker, simultaneously, efforts to put up new houses for these teachers should be made. This is lacking in the Presidential Speech.


Moomba Constituency is short of both houses and teachers and I do not know how the constituency will also benefit from the 19,500 teachers when it has a critical shortage of teachers’ houses. More time beyond 2008 would be required to address this issue. Money and time allowing, houses are supposed to be constructed and be ready for occupation long before teachers are deployed.


Mr Speaker, regarding upgrading and expansion of school infrastructure, I have one example, Kayola School, in Chief Chona which was constructed in 1939. The school has a one-classroom block and runs up to Grade 5 with only one teacher to date, managing about 300 school children. The nearest school that runs beyond Grade 5, up to Grade 9 is Chona Basic School and it is sixteen kilometres away. When the teacher falls sick, goes for pay or has a bereavement, everything comes to a stand still.


In addition to Kayola School, there are five schools that require urgent rehabilitation because they are in a very bad state and look like ruins. These are Chona and Sikabenga Schools in Chief China, Kasaka, Nkaba and Kalundu Schools in Chief Mwanza.

Further, Mr Speaker, there are six community schools in my Constituency that require upgrading to Government schools for the sake of our children and their children’s future. These Community schools are Kayola B, Mubuyu and Hachaanga in Chief Chona, Haamudonga, Nadongo B, Mungolo and Kaumuzya Settlement in chief Mwanza. Some of these schools are about eight kilometres away from the nearest Government school.




Mr Speaker, the Republican President in his speech acknowledges the poor state of the country’s infrastructure and the great challenge it posses to our national development effort. To correct the above, the President is banking on the statutory bodies that were established in order to set standards, regulate construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of the same.


Sir, the President is concerned about the capacity of local private contractors to fully participate in the contracts offered and that as a solution to this, there is a need to embark on further efforts to empower indigenous companies to fully participate in the infrastructure development contracts.


My contribution to this is as follows:


(a) The Government should strive to pay contractors on time so that the contractors can further plan and invest their money in capacity building;


(b) the Government should zero-rate VAT and duty on construction equipment the way they did to the transport sector (mini buses);


(c) for local contractors who may not afford to buy construction equipment at VAT and duty free, the Government should establish a scheme whereby it purchases and leases the same;


(d) partnership of local contractors with foreign contractors should be mandatory on donor-funded projects and to achieve this, the Government must have in their company, negotiators with the ability to negotiate with donors for the Zambians to benefit;


(e) there must be no political interference in the registration of contractors and awarding of contracts. The statutory bodies established to regulate the construction industry should do so without fear or favour from us politicians;


(f) Zambians, regardless of their political affiliation, should be allowed to register as contractors and participate in the development of the country as long as they meet the requirements; and


(g) appointments to the statutory bodies should be based on relevant qualifications and experience.


Mr Speaker, construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of infrastructure countrywide can create employment and reduce poverty levels in rural areas if contractors are paid on time.


Sir, I had a very bad experience in my constituency where in 2003, a contractor engaged local people (men and women) to work on four labour-based roads and to date, many of these people have not yet been paid. Some have since died before getting their money. I brought this more than twice to the attention of the then, with due respect, Emergency Drought Recovery Project Manager, Mr Ronald Mukuma, in the Vice-President’s Office, who is now with us in the Chamber as Member of Parliament for Kabompo East and Minister of Labour. The feeder roads are Bwantu, Mujika-Ntambo, Njola-Nadongo and Nampeyo and Kayola.


Sir, in addition, the roads were not completed. I leave this issue with the Vice-President to take action at his earliest convenience.


Continued use of the Independence Stadium


Mr Speaker, in paragraph 4, on page 44 of his speech, the President expressed the Government’s determination to improve the state of sport infrastructure. However, actions speak louder than words.


Sir, the Independence Stadium was closed by the Government in June last year due to its poor state, but a few months later, it was re-opened by the same Government. To date, at least three international games have been played there regardless of its alleged poor state. It has been and continues to be described as a death trap here in Zambia and abroad.


Mr Speaker, on 16th February, 2006, there were adverts in some local newspapers calling for proposals for the provision of consultancy services for the design, rehabilitation and/or modernisation of the forty-two years old grand stand which is the main issue. Since then, nothing has materialised to rectify the alleged death trap. The Government’s silence is disturbing and worrying many people both here and abroad. It seems it is not a death trap after all, because if it were, the Government would have already moved in to correct the situation.


Local and international media have picked it up and are painting a very bad picture of our sport facilities. I was at pain, at 1830 hours on the 20th October, 2006, a day before Zambia played Angola at Independence Stadium to assure the British broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that the Government would have not allowed games to be played at the stadium if it was a death trap and that such structures were meant to last much longer as long as there was maintenance. The hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development, Hon. Namulambe was also on the same programme, but could not assure the safety of the stadium and I guess that is why the reporter kept trailing me for three days.


Sir, in view of the above scenario, could the Government correct the bad picture being painted about the safety of the Independence Stadium by probably assuring everybody that for now, the stadium is safe and that the stadium will be rehabilitate and modernised as soon as funds are available.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chimumbwa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I wish to congratulate you, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees on your re-election to this House.


Sir, in my first speech, I would like to thank the people of Nchanga. My heartfelt gratitude to the President and the officials of my party who sacrificed everything, the people of Zambia, particularly the miners- bashimaini. I pay tribute to the labourer, who spends most of his productive life toiling in the hope of making Zambia a respectable nation amongst all nations. In the last seventy-seven years, since copper mining started at Nchanga Mine by the British South African Company, miners from all parts of Zambia and outside have laboured together to build our nation. Therefore, we must never forget that much of this progress is at the expense of bashimaini. Consequently, I have supported the miners’ effort to regain their dignity, the need for economic empowerment, social injustice, correction of human rights anomalies, their need to attain their cultural right and reassert their role in society, politics and development.


Sir, I have learnt throughout my childhood and the just ended political campaign that real change is generated from outside Parliament by the people’s resolve and determination. Ordinary humble people have a huge capacity to act together for the common good of the nation. Their willingness to sacrifice for this common good is not to be ignored. I have seen this resolve time and again on the picket line while doing industrial jobs.

As a result, I have total faith in ordinary people’s determination to fight for their rights and actively address community issues provided that they are given some hope and are not blocked at every turn by heartless bureaucrats. They do not need a hostile Government or legislation like that of the Employment Act that restricts how they can organise and act.


Nchanga Constituency


Mr Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to rise as an elected Member of this Parliament and I am particularly proud to have been elected as a Member for Nchanga, the economic engine of our country, Zambia. It is an electorate as ethnically diverse as Zambia itself. The majority of its residents come from all provinces of Zambia and elsewhere. Whilst the constituency is a culturally diverse community, there are many issues of common concern to the people of my constituency.


Sir, these major issues are:


(a) Planning and development;


(b) crime;


(c) unemployment;


(d) unhealthy living environment;


(e) poor roads;


(f) poor sanitation with little or no clean water and waste disposal facilities;


(g) poor education with limited vacancies; and


(h) poor health services which includes the famous HIV/AIDS concern, childhood pregnancies, poor maternal and health facilities and a desperate shortage of drugs.


Sir, added to all of these concerns is the disheartening collapsed, bloated and moribund local government systems which are currently beyond redemption. My priority as a local member will be to address these concerns to the best of my ability while working within the confines of my position.




Mr Speaker, my personal story is typical of many whose families made their homes in my constituency, the land of hard workers, the producers – bashimaini.




Mr Speaker, I believe the issue of empowering people especially those engaged in production –bashimaini is an issue we should address now rather than wait and waste more years. As their hon. Member of Parliament, I will pledge my honour and will not rest in advancing debate during this Parliamentary Term. I see my role in this Parliament first and foremost as a representative of all those struggling workers, bashimaini and as their mouth piece in this supposedly democratic dispensation.


Sir, one of the reasons, ladies and gentlemen, the Patriotic Front has struck a chord among young people is that we are not mired in the past. Surely, we take the bet of all the socialist and social democratic traditions in terms of caring for people and working co-operatively and in the provision of social services, but we go beyond the hierarchical top-down approach ingrained in much of that tradition, particularly in the delivery of services and in the realm of party organisation. We also reject the moral conservatism that still influences much of socialist and social democratic politics. Hostility from some of the older more morally conservative voters will not stop us from tackling the controversial issues such as the exposure of workers to dangerous working conditions, slave wages, unemployment, crippling poverty, disease and general disempowerment and homelessness. We will address these issues through respect and dignity and not punitive solutions.


Mr Speaker, unlike other parties, we do not take the coward’s way out and say that issues like the Constitutional Reform and shielding slave-driver employers are conscious issues. We are for fronting up to the hard issues and getting them out into the public and Parliamentary arena. We believe in a more open and democratic society that is in tune with the thinking of young and progressive Zambians, especially the producer – bashimaini on whose backs the elite ride day in day out and year in and year out. Some people, including a few in this House have not quite realised that we represent an entirely different style of politics from the traditional hierarchical somewhat conformist ‘keep the debates behind closed doors’ style of politics.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: We will be openly debating Government policies while working co-operatively with the Government to get the best possible legislation through. We believe the more that is debated in the public arena the better because that helps ordinary people become part of the debate which is vital if we are to change society. As I said before, it is the ordinary people and people’s movements that are the main driving force of change, not governments.


Mr Lubinda: Kamba futi, kamba futi!


Mr Chimumbwa: Mr Speaker, this concept of movement politics is the key and the Patriotic Front are the most attuned with it.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: Our ethos and party structures are an extension to the non-hierarchical co-operative structures of issue movements that have spread through our society, be they rank and file leaders, NGOs, private sector unions, women’s groups or the ones we have been most associated with, groups campaigning for peace and human rights internationally.


Mr Lubinda: Very good!


Mr Chimumbwa: Sir, in my opinion, the cult of the leader is a problem in Zambian politics. In our Parliamentary system, there is too much weight which is put on what certain leaders say. Consequently, as a counterpoint to some of the other maiden speeches, I will not pay tribute to those in leadership today, rather to the ones who toil every day, bashimaini.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: Mr Speaker, while we respect their experience and wisdom, we all operate in our constituencies and in our party as equals and give no person or people special powers.


Sir, in this Parliament, we will be promoting mineral taxes to slow down mineral exploitation for the sake of future generations who are our children and our grandchildren. Even if some leaders think in the very short term, get upset or parties are uncomfortable with this, the mineral tax issue is discussed in reference to cobalt and copper. What about the by-products of these minerals such as silver and gold? We have to look at not what we need for ourselves today, but rather what our children and grandchildren need in the future.


Mr Mtonga: Zoona!


Local Governance


Mr Speaker, we need a whole new approach to our towns and cities. This should include town planning which will allow for efficient and workable public transport, water and sanitation, health, welfare systems, public facilities, parks, security and markets etc. This will create a vibrant and diverse community life whereby we look out for each other’s interest as it used to be in the past. To achieve these, we need a vision – not short term pragmatic or populist thinking, no. We need to be strong as we could encounter entrenched power and privilege both at national and constituency levels, but I am not disheartened because the grassroot movement for my party is having a great impact.


Mr Lubinda: Yes mwana!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: Mr Speaker, in the 21st Century, we have to determine how to return the power to the people both in their communities and parliaments. Without that power, we will not be able to properly address the national problems of social injustice and environmental degradation, resulting in poverty that so beset us today.


Mr Lubinda: Compare that with Kazala.




The Economy


Mr Chimumbwa: Mr Speaker, I need to say to you that we cannot do anything about the problems confronting the constituency or country until we are able to end that atrocious war which takes 90 per cent of our hard earned Kwacha, that which we pay into the national coffers, but receive nothing in return especially after retirement. This is part of the reason for the disillusionment, anxiety and concerns of the poor people of my constituency, Nchanga. I hope others and that this is true, have to do with the fact that their taxed hard earned Kwacha which is being paid into the National Treasury and pension schemes is not being returned to them in terms of what they should get out of this Government …


Mr Lubinda: True mwana!


Mr Chimumbwa: … which I might add, is the Government and which is supposedly the Government of the poor people, by the poor people and the poor people to improve upon this famous quotation.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker, the disastrous performance of the economy under the current administration can be largely understood as a result of the big business orientation of this Government and its utter disregard for critical problems of the worker, the youth, the jobless and homeless. Millions of zero to low-income Zambians have deeply suffered from the administration’s callous handling of the economy and the very tragic side effects, that is increased crime, reduction of life expectancy from fifty in the 1970s to less than thirty today, and widespread despair among the poor and unemployed; …


Mr Lubinda: Wabauza mwana!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: … over the moral intentions of this administration. More and more Zambians are beginning to realise this Government’s alliance with the so-called ‘brief case’ or is it ‘new deal’ investors and how they are exploiting them and their country. The people of Nchanga clearly recall the President announcing that the Government would not intervene in price and wage discussions, and they remember very clearly when the Government calmly admitted that an increase in unemployment figures in Zambia would be necessary to reduce inflation.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: If this august House can allow me I can repeat this sentence for the sake of this House.


Mr Lubinda: Kamba!


Mr Chimumbwa: The people of Nchanga clearly recall the President announcing that the Government would not intervene in price and wage discussions, and they remember very clearly when the Government calmly admitted that an increase in unemployment in Zambia will be necessary to reduce inflation. As a result, the passive attitude towards the rich on one hand and the incomprehensible cold bloodedness towards the poor on the other hand, has led to the worst possible economic crisis.


Hon. PF Member: Waumfwa Simbao!


Mr Chimumbwa: The cost of living has risen to the worst levels under our wonderful MMD Administration. Food prices have sky rocketed, it is not possible to enjoy the security of owning a home and hospital costs have shot beyond control when one gets treatment …


Mr Shakafuswa: Fyafula iwe!




Hon. PF Members: Hammer!


Mr Chimumbwa: Children have no place in school, but rather on the streets, transportation costs are unmanageable which results in the rise of commodity prices thus creating the highest cost of living Zambia has ever experienced. This is despite the fact that copper and cobalt prices on the international markets are at their record high since the 1970s. Something is amiss here.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: The policies of this Government have caused the largest increase in unemployment since independence, increasing only in 2 per cent at independence to over 75 per cent of the labour force today. This translates, in only one out of every seven employable Zambians is in gainful employment in my constituency.


Mr Lubinda: Shame, shame mwana!


Mr Chimumbwa: We heard much during the campaign by MMD – promises of jobs and training for young people and the retrenched. One look at the records from the compounds of my constituency shows the utter emptiness of these campaign promises. Rebuilding and revitalising Nchanga Constituency after fifteen traumatic years under MMD depends more than anything else, on meaningful changes in our economic priorities and this, the current administration, by its very nature, can never really accept.


Mr Shakafuswa: Fyafula iwe!


Mr Lubinda: Go on mwana!


Mr Chimumbwa: A government so heavily dependent on a small clique of related individuals, …


Do not worry honourable. These salualas keep disturbing me when I am trying to read here.


… failed business men and women and privileged power brokers can never be seriously expected to concern itself with the day to day problems of the poor in my constituency, the working man, the unemployed, the young, the elderly pensioner, the sick and the retrenched. In other words, politicising the existence of our people. Of course, for people who have not really known what it is to be poor or for people who do not really understand the significance of the rumblings of the veritable social revolution that is going through this country, it is impossible for them to understand the outrage of the people who are saying that they are sick and tired of tokenism. They are sick and tired of ‘light at the end of the unseen tunnel’.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: However, they want their just share of that dream and pride that everybody talks about, ‘land of work and joy in unity …’ which is part of our National Anthem.


A sound warning to you, ladies and gentlemen in this august House, with the MMD, nothing is sacred, oxygen tax is coming – yes they will tax the very air that you breathe for they have taken everything away from you.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear1


Mr Chimumbwa: Social Injustice – Do you know that this country belongs to the Zambians – be they citizens or residents? To see how these people live and to realise that the latest department of Labour statistics indicate quite clearly that 75 per cent of these people do not live to see the age of forty – it is a crying shame. You could never come back here in this House and feel the same when you visit Nchanga Constituency. You go into Kapisha, Soweto, Kamiteta, Luano, Kabundi, all these names are not Chinese names for radios and other toys for children they are places where my people live, in shanty compounds.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chimumbwa: They have not seen politicians in fifteen years, and they believe that they are not important because they are poor.


Mr Lubinda: Ba Kazala!


Mr Chimumbwa: To turn this country round and to put the lives of people at the centre of development, we need men and women who are not merely academicians, theoreticians and bureaucrats drawing up blueprints for change in this country, when these people have absolutely no attunement nor sensitivity to the kinds of programmes and projects that are necessary to help Zambia.


The time has come when we can no longer be passive recipients of whatever politics or morals of a nation may decree for us as a people.




Mr Chimumbwa: However, if we have the courage of our convictions and we believe in he Judeo-Christian doctrine, and if we believe just simply in man’s humanity to man, if we believe that it is time to really save Zambia’s own children, then a lot of us will go home and reassess our own commitments and our own priorities and move in a different sense of direction to help save our country. The challenge is here for all of us. Will we merely continue just to use the powerless and the helpless as scapegoats, or using generalisations against them or about them?


Or will we now take the bull by the horns and say that we have failed in certain areas, but will come together and make the ‘One Zambia, One Nation, One Nchanga’ dream, at least in this generation, some kind of reality for our people?


Mr Sichilima: Who is the author?


Mr Chimumbwa: I did.




Mr Chimumbwa: I have the ability to write all these things.




Global Arena


Mr Chimumbwa: I could list the problems which cause people to feel cynical, angry, frustrated; problems which include a lack of integrity in government, the feeling that an individual no longer counts, the reality of material and spiritual poverty, the feeling that the Zambian experiment is or has failed.


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


Mr Mwimba (Mfuwe): Mr Speaker, thank you for affording me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech to this august House.


First and foremost, Sir, allow me to join other people who have congratulated you and Madam Deputy Speaker on your election as Speakers of the House for yet another term of office. Congratulations!


Mr Speaker, I would be failing in my duty as Member of Parliament for my constituency if I did not thank the people of Mfuwe Constituency for opting to entrust me, over the other five candidates who stood in Mfuwe Constituency, with the noble task of representing them in this House. To this effect, I would also wish to extend my gratitude to my party, the Patriotic Front, its President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata the great …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwimba: … and the rest of the party hierarchy for adopting me to carry the party ticket during the just ended Tripartite Elections. I can assure everyone mentioned above that I will carry out my duties to the best of my abilities without fear or favour.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwimba: Fellow Members of Parliament, allow me to congratulate you also on your success in the just ended elections.


On a wider scale, I would also wish to thank the Zambian people who took to the streets because they were aggrieved by what transpired in the last elections, …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwimba: … rescinding their decision when the PF President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata the great, called for peace.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwimba: Having done this, Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Mwimba: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I had started addressing the House on some worrisome matters threatening our young democracy.


Mr Speaker, to say the just ended tripartite elections were free and fair as purported by international observers cannot be far from the truth. The truth of the matter is that these elections were generally characterised by a lot of vote buying. The trend of political parties dishing out fitenges and t-shirts to the electorate prior to election time with a view to luring would-be-voters …




Mr Speaker: Order! Can the hon. Member take his seat for a moment? Normally, that kind of debate invites points of order. The other Members cannot do so because you are delivering a maiden speech. For you hon. Member for Mfuwe to debate in that manner, you will be required to lay evidence on the Table of the House. If you cannot lay evidence on the Table of the House, you may make that information available to the courts of law that will require that you substantiate what you are saying. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech or denying you such freedom of speech. There is a need that allegations must be substantiated or stay with factual debating in this House.


Will the hon. Member continue, please.


Mr Mwimba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for guiding me. I am really humbled.


Mr Speaker, allow me to take you back to the day the Republican President had his first Press Conference after being voted back into power. I wish to register my disappointment to this august House over a statement the President made concerning a PF Member of Parliament appealing to the Government to take development to his constituency. It was saddening that the Republican President, who by virtue of his position as the father of the whole nation, should laugh because a Member of Parliament from the Opposition made such a request to the Government.


Mr Shakafuswa: He was responding to your party president.


Mr Mwimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that since the State Counsel, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa was declared the winner in the September 28th elections, his Government is now responsible for taking development to all the 150 constituencies, regardless of whether these constituencies voted for his party or not. After all, Mr Speaker, is it true that a Republican President is a President for the whole country and not only for the ruling party. When the nation decided to return to multi party politics in 1991, my understanding was that we wanted every Zambian, despite his or her political inclination, to participate in the development of our nation and we all agreed to abide by this new political dispensation. From the look of things, it would appear as though some people still wish to lag behind like in the olden days when UNIP leaders stood against frogs and hyenas as opposition.


In view of this, I would like to advise the Republican President not take the Opposition as his enemy, but rather as partners in development.




Mr Mwimba: Without the Opposition, there is no democracy because democracy without checks and balances culminates into misuse of public resources. A true democrat would be thankful if he is confronted with a strong Opposition rather than bootlickers.




Mr Mwimba: Opposition would always see the policies …


Mr Speaker: Order! Would the hon. Member withdraw the word ‘bootlickers’ because it is unparliamentary.


Mr Mwimba: I withdraw the word and replace it with Parliamentary.




Mr Mwimba: Mr Speaker, allow me to comment on Zambian youths. About 60 percent of the Zambian population consists of youths. Though the future of the country lies with the youths of today, it is saddening that very little is being done to carter for the needs of this young population. Starting with the education system which is supposed to prepare youths for the challenges of tomorrow, to the tertiary level which translates the dreams of the young people into reality, it is worrying to note that in this country the needs of youths are not cared for and one wonders where the future of this nation lies. Since there are less value-based activities for youths, the resultant effects have been moral decay. They say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and as such it is little wonder that our idle youths have taken to destruction. This is evidenced from the large numbers of youths engaged in beer drinking.


As a result of the failure by leaders to seriously address the needs of jobless citizens, people have turned to beer drinking as a way of passing time. Beer drinking, especially when it is excessive and uncontrolled brings about laziness in the nation. A lazy nation is a dead nation. Unless, Sir, the Government takes measures to ensure that youths are kept busy by engaging them in worthwhile activities, the youth will continue to waste away.


In relation to beer drinking, I wish to call upon relevant authorities to revisit local the Government by-laws that stipulate that beer halls and bottle stores are to open and close their businesses at times stipulated by this law. This is one law that the Government has failed to implement through local Government.


While on the subject of youths, I wish to bring the House to the issue of the K40 billion meant for the youths that the Government has been singing about. The change this purported money has made to the welfare of the youths is yet to be seen. The Ministry responsible for youths should tell the nation how this money was spent.


Mr Speaker, I now want to comment on the issues of land and plots. Land is a critical factor in development. It forms the corner stone for the political and economical stability of the nation. When our forefathers fought for political independence, the issue of land was central to the desire to liberate Zambians from the shackles of colonial rule. As a country, however, we seem to have short memories. One look at the nation’s dailies will help demonstrate this point. The distribution of land, especially in urban and peri-urban areas has been entrusted in the hands of political cadres who seem to have taken advantage of the confusion between local authorities and the Ministry of Lands on the issue of who should be in-charge of issuing land.


Mr Mtonga: Zoona!


Mr Mwimba: This, Mr Speaker, is a recipe for civil strife. What is happening in some neighbouring countries is enough to make us see the kind of problems the nation is likely to land itself into if we do not bother to address this matter with the seriousness it deserves, because land has not always been distributed by institutions entrusted with such authority. Lusaka, the capital city, tells a sad tale because cadres are issuing plots to people wishing to build houses and other structures without the due authority of such institutions and the city is shapeless. Houses without approved plans are mushrooming everywhere and more often than not, in places without roads and other utilities necessary for human settlement.


Mr Speaker, allow me to bring to the attention of the House, the many problems people in Mfuwe Constituency are faced with on a daily basis.




Mfuwe Constituency, by any standard is not poor. A lot of revenue is collected by levying people for game hunting. From this money, there is very little that is given back to the community for development. The Government sings every day on national media about how it wishes to develop tourism in the country. Mfuwe Constituency has a huge potential for tourism, but this potential is being held back by lack of seriousness on the part of the Government. Tourism is capable of lifting a lot of people in my constituency from the shackles of poverty, but this can only be made possible if money realised from hunting levies is ploughed back into the constituency.


School Infrastructure and Standard of Education


Out of the twenty-seven public basic schools in Mfuwe Constituency, none of them can be declared ideal for learning and teaching. Most of the school infrastructure is in a state of disrepair and needs serious attention. If the country as a whole is to attain the Millennium Development Goal in education by 2015, there is a need for a serious approach to issues related to education. Education is the building block for national development. Therefore, a lack of infrastructure to support education reduces the chances of developing the nation. Most classroom blocks of these schools mentioned above, have no glass panes and iron sheets. This of course has an effect on the learning experience of learners, especially during the rainy season and cold months of the year.


Another area of concern, Mr Speaker, is a lack of desks, teaching and learning materials in schools. Desks, teaching and learning materials enhance learning opportunities. Without them these learning opportunities are lost. In this computer age, it is critical that the computer is introduced to the child at a tender age when reading skills are developing. This assists the child acquire skills easily. In order for learners in our schools to obtain basic knowledge on the use of computers across the country, every child should be accorded an opportunity to access this piece of equipment rather than the situation where only some selected schools in the urban or peri-urban schools are enabled to do so.


As if this was not enough, the constituency is equally hit with a lack of teachers. It is not uncommon to find a school with only tow to three teachers running it. It would be a great wonder to learn the type of graduates that are likely to be produced from such schools.


Mr Speaker, in my constituency, there are more community schools than basic schools. It is no secret that community schools have not done much justice to the development of our education system in the country. In rural areas, the situation is pathetic to say the least in so far as education for the child is concerned. Most community schools, especially those in rural areas are run and managed by unqualified teaching staff. More often than not, teachers in community schools are Grade 9 and sometimes Grade12 drop-outs, with no formal teacher training. These so-called teachers depend on donations of grain from parents for their survival.


Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!


Mr Mwimba: Rural Road Network


If there is one matter that cost the New Deal Government seats in parliament, it is the thorny issue of roads and bridges. This is a serious matter and the Government is aware about it. Most electorates pointed out that they could not vote MMD members of Parliament back into the House because of their failure to take these issues seriously …




Mr Mwimba: … when they were in office. Whilst I am on the subject of roads and bridges, I wish to draw the attention of the House to Mutinondo Bridge which has made the people of Chief Nabwalya suffer for a long period of time.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwimba: A constituency with no passable roads can not be expected to develop its agriculture sector. Every landmark of good farming, especially at a level capable of feeding into the farming at national level, largely depends on good a transport network. This is a topic, I am sure, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives will be an expert in and as such, I will not dwell much on the problems that are likely to be brought about as a result of a lack of infrastructure.


Health Facilities and Staffing


Mr Speaker, it is difficult for me to talk about health matters in my constituency because such facilities do not exist. Out of 365 villages, there are only six health centres and two Clinical Officers. One Clinical Officer is based in Chief Mukungule’s area and the other one is in Chief Mpumba’s area. The rest of the health centres are manned by male nurses. Chief Nabwalya has no Clinical Officer. When people are sick, they are forced to walk long distances to access treatment and other specialised attention.


Constituency Development Fund(CDF)


The idea of introducing CDF was a grand one. Unfortunately, its disbursement has been one of controversy.


Mr Mtonga: Zoona!


Mr Mwimba: It is disheartening to note that a constituency of about 6,000 people could be given a paltry amount of K60,000,000 per year as CDF to its lot by the Government. While on the other hand, the same Government will pay out almost the same amount of money monthly as parastatal chief’s salaries and allowances. Where, Mr Speaker, is the justification?


Hon. Opposition Members: Yah!


Mr Mwimba: Whilst I do not dispute the fact that the work these executives do is cardinal to the survival of the organisations they lead, it however, does not justify these huge salaries and allowances paid to them. There is a serious need to increase CDF if equitable development is to be achieved in all constituencies. Some constituencies are so vast that sixty million in a year is just a drop in the ocean. If anything, it stirs strife rather than solve problems.


Mr Speaker, the problems facing the people of Mfuwe Constituency outlined above are not unique to Mfuwe Constituency, but rather are common throughout the country. It will not be surprising when every Member of Parliament, in one way or the other, lays mention these problems in his or her address to this House.


In conclusion, I wish to ask the cardinal question, why are we, as a country failing to address these problems? Is it because we leaders are not serious in carrying out our duties? This question is posed to you fellow hon. Members of this august House, and of course, myself.


Mr Speaker, we are all aware of the difficulties that our people face in constituencies. We do not need to keep on informing ourselves about these same problems. One thing is obvious though; there is a need to change the attitude towards the way we approach issues.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Hamir (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate you and your team. I would like to say well done and wish you the Almighty God’s blessings.


Sir, it is with great honour and pleasure that I stand here before you and this august House to present my maiden speech.


Mr Speaker, allow me, firstly, to express my gratitude to the people of Chitambo Constituency who voted for me.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamir: I would also like to thank my family for their outstanding support. I would like to assure all those who supported me, in particular, my constituency that I will not betray the trust that they have in.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, let me highlight an important observation. Lusaka is not Zambia.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamir: Sir, why is it that rural areas are neglected. In fact, luxuries for some of us should be forbidden until every citizen of Zambia has three meals a day.


Mr Speaker, Chitambo Constituency is probably one of the most undeveloped constituencies in the country. The schools, clinics and hospitals need rehabilitation. In addition, we need new clinics and agricultural depots. The people in my constituency would also like to benefit from the long awaited Rural Electrification Project and the ZNBC reception.


Sir, peasant farmers are complaining that the marketing system is not efficient, and therefore, needs to be improved.




Mr Hamir: Those farmers who delivered their maize three months ago have not yet been paid. My constituency is also encountering problems of briefcase businessmen and women who are exploiting the innocent peasant farmers by buying a bag of maize at as low a price as K15,000 because the Food Reserve Agency does not come in time. This is total exploitation of man by man which must be stopped.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, contractors from other towns who are constructing schools and clinics in my constituency have disappeared. We prefer to have our local contractors who can be easily followed up.


Sir, we have a shortage of skilled man power. Some clinics are being managed by nurses, at times, even by office orderlies.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamir: Civil servants in rural areas live and work under difficult conditions. I would like to urge the Government to improve the living conditions of these men and women because they are sacrificing a lot for the nation. This will boost their morale and they will be happy to live in rural areas. Therefore, I further urge the Government to seriously analyse this situation.


Mr Speaker, many thanks go to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, and the National Executive Committee (NEC), for nominating me to stand in Chitambo Constituency. I ask my elder brothers and sisters in the Opposition to give credit where it is due. The New Deal Government has in fact, done quite well.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Hamir: So, let us work as a team. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us stop fault finding. Let us build our mother Zambia together by sharing ideas so that we succeed.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, splendid, His Excellency the President’s Speech was and, indeed, his Inauguration Speech was also fantastic. His Excellency the President has a heart for the people. He is a true humanist with a golden heart. So, I ask the implementers not to frustrate his programmes due to selfish hidden agendas. His Excellency the President cannot be everywhere. Hence, the implementers have to be serious in delivering to the people. No games, please.


Mr Speaker, I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, allow me to extend my sincere and profound gratitude to the people of Nkana Constituency for electing me as their Member of Parliament. I also wish to thank my party, the Patriotic Front and the Party President, Mr M. Sata, for his mature and exemplary leadership during and after the just ended tripartite elections.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwenya: It is with a sense of privilege and honour that I come, today, to address this august House. I do so from two stand points. Firstly, I have for a long time longed, as a citizen of a great nation, Zambia, to stand on a platform that can and have the possibility of transforming my humble words into tangible solutions for the good of this land.


Secondly, Sir, I am indebted to all those who saw it fit that I represent them in this august House. Therefore, as I think of the great city of Kitwe, I am equally thinking of those who are considered and treated as nonentities at Chisokone Market. I am thinking of all the distinguished teachers, miners and the toiling business people. The youths, women on the streets, children who have no shelter, the peasant farmers, etc, in short, I am thinking about the masses of my constituency who are hoping for a better Kitwe and a better Zambia, a Zambia that has eluded them the last forty-two years of the existence of mother Zambia.


Mr Speaker, by virtue of the decision of the people of Nkana on 28th September, 2006, I have become their mouthpiece irrespective of the fact that I am a Member of the Opposition. My humble task is to tell you what my distinguished electorate desires. It is a reminder to my brothers and sisters in the Government that the people on the Copperbelt have spoken. They want change and, indeed, change must come.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwenya: Sir, the mighty forces of change will not be stopped. The peacefulness with which we transcended the last elections is only testimony to the fact that they are determined to change and do so peacefully. I would like to urge my hon. colleagues to be forever grateful to God Almighty for enabling our land to experience peace.


Mr Speaker, allow me, at this juncture, to give you the situation as the masses of Kitwe see it and also as we, in the Patriotic Front, have heard them express their views.


My first point concerns roads. The lip service given to the provision of quality roads has but reduced. In our view, the great city status that we once knew Kitwe to have is only for the archives. We have a road network that can only be described as pathetic.


Hon. PF Members: Shame!


Mr Mwenya: In the recent past, we had roads worked on in Riverside and Ndeke and places such as, Chachacha and Luangwa which are of a very poor quality and are nothing to be proud of. The end of the coming rainy season will bear testimony to my words. I can assure the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport as well as the hon. Minister for Copperbelt Province that unless something drastic is done now, our roads, after the rainy season, shall be nothing, but streams of water and to transverse Kitwe, we all shall have no choice, but to use Ubwato.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwenya: The electorates are wondering why public money must be wasted in such a manner when those tasked with the responsibility could have taken the contractor back on site or better still made them to pay the money back that has been wasted. We are demanding accountability as clear evidence before our very faces concerning these roads of the obvious trends of plunder of national resources.


Mr Speaker, fuel levy was proposed by former Mayor William Nyirenda at district level and taken to Parliament by the late Mr Gibson Chigaga to ensure the efficient management of the road infrastructure and to ensure that sanity is brought back to the management of such infrastructure. Fuel levy needs to be decentralised from the national Government so that it is devolved from the districts. This, after all, is the level at which development makes sense. This is the level where people who need development are and not at State House or in Cabinet.


Mr Speaker, we read with interest that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) programme had been initiated and money disbursed for the same, yet we have seen no contractor employed or work started. The question every member of my constituency is asking is: where are the JICA funds for the roads? Who is at fault in accounting for these funds? My people deserve to know and it is their right. We, once upon a time, had passenger trains around the Copperbelt, but that is a thing of the past now when we should have been improving our railway line to international standards.


Mr Speaker, let me move to my second point which is with regard to markets and shopping malls. The general status of markets is nothing to write home about. Let me recollect just a few of these. Buchi/ Kamitondo has a modern structure, but this has since been demolished and the council has not yet put up any bigger market as promised. I believe a colossal amount of money was involved. Rather than demolish the existing market, the Government should have built a new market at a different site to cater for the growing population of Kitwe. Instead, this Government found it fit to demolish it in the same style as the Dag Hammarskjoeld Stadium was demolished without being replaced. Does this not look like plunder of national resources? Alternatively, those involved could have been charged with receiving money for a service and goods they did not provide.


Hon. PF Members: Shame.


Mr Mwenya: It seems to me, those tasked with such responsibilities are failing to do their work properly. The people of Nkana will proceed to constitute a taskforce to ascertain the quality of work on the markets and to curb institutionalised plunder. We hope to do this with our professionals at the Copperbelt University. My objective is to ensure that we maximise public resources so that everyone in the city benefits.


Mr Speaker, as a result of the ill-planned privatisation programme in the country, there was rampant joblessness in Kitwe. However, we recognise that Chisokone Market alone has created survival opportunities for the masses of Kitwe. Many of our women feed their children and husbands from the earnings they make at this market. Now, the hon. Minister of Local and Government and Housing has dissolved market boards in the country. However, we ask, what has the hon. Minister dissolved because no boards have existed in my constituency?


Hon. PF Members: Shame!


Mr Mwenya: What has been in place are ad hoc committees of traders themselves. There has been exploitation of the poor marketeers by sections of society, such as Zambia National Marketers Association (ZANAMA) and the city council. They are forever collecting levies which do not benefit the taxpayers, but themselves. What kind of service is this? The cartel that exists at Chisokone and other markets involving the councils and ZANAMA should be dismantled forthwith.


Solid Waste


Solid waste management, Mr Speaker, is a serious issue at Chisokone that can only be ignored at the peril of the residents of Kitwe. The council is watching the pathetic tendency where solid waste is disposed on the road and worse still in the centre of the city. Surely, the levies that they collect, if properly accounted for and prudently utilised, the situation should have been different from the one obtaining now. I humbly submit that markets, if well managed, can be a source of livelihood and revenue both to the council and traders. The people of Nkana intend to constitute a team of senior and distinguished members of our constituency to take the challenge of harmonising the levy collection at the markets to come up with measures of checks and balances. We want to produce a detailed report every six months so that the public can scrutinise the council’s operations.


Mr Speaker, we visualise an international standard market to be built at Chisokone that will include a police station, fire brigade, immigration, Zambia Revenue Authority, post office and clinic and a high-tech system to be fully operational to monitor, evaluate and report activities at the market. Of course, as you know, to fully utilise the small space that the market currently occupies, one can envision a two to three storey concrete structure that will have the base for parking space and people climbing to the higher floors to do their shopping. This approach would work well countrywide. There will be no more unwarranted fires and loss of property, security and quality of business will be guarantied once the structure is erected.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwenya: Moving to the thorny issue of the construction of shopping complex at Freedom Park by Platinum Gold, we have seen here, again, unwarranted delays. Kitwe is blessed with the presence of the Copperbelt University which offers studies and research and consultancy work in environment and civil engineering. These experts at the Copperbelt University as well as the Department of Engineering in the council will soon tell us if the drawings that were submitted by Platinum Gold have met international standards.


Granted Lusaka and Livingstone have tried to build modern shopping malls albeit they could have done better. One thing that is very clear to the people of Kitwe is that they want a shopping mall, but one of quality and not like the one built in Livingstone. My advice to the contractor is very simple. We shall not compromise on the quality of the shopping mall.


Mr third point concerns the existing hospital and clinics. In certain townships within the radius of fifteen kilometres, some people fail to access medical expertise. We have incidences now too common, of those brought in dead. People would prefer to suffer and die at home than go to the medical centres. Clearly, something must have gone wrong. What I have always thought was an ordinary campaign song, but after serious reflection, I shed tears after seeing the reality of it. The dead being transported on wheelbarrows and bicycles to their resting place, in a place regarded as a city.


Mr Speaker, allow me to state what the song says: ‘Ifwe tufwila mung’anda, Ifipatala fyabakankala,’ meaning ‘we die in homes because hospitals are for the rich’. This is a reality whether we like it or not. People have lost confidence in our health system. If others can go out of the country, then there is very little hope for those left to fend for themselves on our meagre health services.


The numbers of qualified health staff keep getting smaller by the day due to obvious reasons. Their cry is that conditions be improved and equipment and safety for medical practitioners be provided. I am aware that all the clinics do not have qualified doctors and in Kamakonde hospital personnel only visit a self-help built clinic once a month. Kitwe Central Hospital is the only referral hospital in the district with a radius of about forty to fifty kilometres. Therefore, our people are surviving by the grace of God.


However, the conditions of service are not encouraging; our hospital is faced with numerous problems beyond its ability. It is under equipped, rodents have infested the premises, and the smell in the theatre local cost wards, X-Ray rooms and Laboratories among other places leaves much to be desired. At one time, Nkana Hospital was one of the best hospitals in the country and the SADC region, but what you see today, will at best be enough to make you a candidate for shock. It is a sorry state and sight. All of us kept our ears to the ground when a group of determined Zambian doctors tendered to manage the hospital. To their surprise, they were sadly denied. No doubt that a team of determined and dedicated Zambian doctors could have run Nkana Hospital than it is being run by the current owners.


Mr Speaker, many in this august House who have been to such institutions elsewhere on the globe will have even been tempted to eat a meal from those places. However, here, unless you are paying, you get to see such deplorable conditions, yet we have forgotten that those who cannot pay consist of our electorates. Our hospital discriminates them as low and high cost. Please, I beg the Members of this House to read James Chapter 2 verses 6 and get what it says.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, I humbly submit that the inequalities seen in the provision and delivery of health services be abolished and that all Zambians be availed the best, as there is no second class Zambia. We have lost the compassion that used to prevail around such institutions. There is rampant casualisation of support staff that has led to a fermenting of a hideous form of disrespect even for the dead and the sick. No one in the current health service must comfort themselves by their good statistics. If they read them rightly, they should instead have a heart attack and be admitted in the same hospital.


The Government grants to hospitals and clinics are erratic and meagre; and to put the last nail in the coffin, the conditions for both nurses and doctors are poor. Essentially, those who work are at best demotivated and in such a pathetic situation, it is always a patient who suffers most.


We further submit that in view of the fact that the health ministry has had a fare share of both the Government budget and donor support while such services have not improved for the common man, that reputable auditors be seconded to audit our public health institutions.


Mr Speaker, it will not surprise you in all these institutions that the increased size in the fleet of passenger vehicle corresponds to those dying on a daily basis.


With regard to the mines, we were made to believe that the privatisation of the mines would create more jobs, money and good working conditions. Alas, it is the very opposite that members of my constituency are experiencing.


The levels of misery compared to the prices and production of copper do not correspond. The general situation is that both have increased, but the latter proved to be negative on the local society, thereby generating poverty. The Zambian people in my area have not benefited from the privatisation of the mines and their life styles have been turned into those of shameful begging and humiliation. The general workforce is therefore, without morale. How can we possibly expect such workers to contribute to the economy effectively?


Mr Speaker, let me end my discourse and maiden speech to this distinguished House by making a brief observation on the general infrastructure, maintenance, traffic signs and allocation of land and the general extension of the city. These are under the main operations of the city council. Our desire as citizens of Kitwe is to transform, beautify and expand these services to our people as soon as possible. We desire to see Kitwe become the hub of the Copperbelt and indeed, the great city with ultra modern facilities and infrastructure in place. What pains me most is that our tallest building in Kitwe which was sold to an individual who has disfigured it …


Mr Speaker: Member’s time has expired.



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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 1st November, 2006.