Debates- Friday, 27th October, 2006

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Friday, 27th October, 2006

The House met at 1000 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]









The following Members took and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance:

Mundia Sikatana

Celestino Kapolyo Chibamba

Ben Tetamashimba

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Mr Speaker, I beg to inform the House that the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, will be arriving at 1030 hours to declare the causes of his calling the House to meet today.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Members, I wish to advise the House that it would be expedient for His Excellency, the Republican President, to take a short break half way through his speech. Business will be suspended for fifteen minutes at that point. Hon. Members will remain seated during the break.


Business was suspended from 1020 hours until 1045 hours.


The President entered the Assembly Chamber escorted by Mr Speaker.


(Assembly resumed)






The President (Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC): Mr Speaker, allow me on this auspicious occasion to congratulate you and the Deputy Speaker on your election to your esteemed positions.


Mr Speaker, your re-election demonstrates the confidence hon. Members of Parliament have in your ability to conduct the business of the House in a firm, but fair manner.


Similarly, the election of Madam Deputy Speaker, is a confirmation of the confidence this august House has in the ability of Zambian women to take up decision-making positions in our country. This ability has already been exhibited by, among others, the Clerk of the National Assembly through her outstanding performance and deep sense of commitment to duty.


I also wish to congratulate the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole House on his re-election. I have every confidence that he will continue rendering excellent and invaluable services to this august House.


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


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The President: My heartfelt congratulations also go to hon. Members who have been nominated to this august House.




Mr Speaker, it was with great sadness that I received the news of the sudden death on 3rd October, 2006, of the hon. Member of Parliament-elect for Liuwa Constituency, Hon. David Maliwa Kashweka, who passed away hardly a week after winning his seat. His death is a big loss not only to his family and the MMD, but also to the entire nation.


Let me, therefore, request you to be upstanding to observe a minute of silence in honour of the late hon. Member.


Members of Parliament stood in silence for one minute.


The President: Thank you. May you take your seats. May his soul rest in eternal peace.




Mr Speaker, this is the first sitting of the House after the just ended tripartite elections. Allow me to commend the people of Zambia for turning up in large numbers to exercise their democratic right to elect leaders of their own choice. Indeed, let me also pay particular tribute to our citizens for voting me into my second and final five-year term of office as President of the Republic of Zambia.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


The President: I am greatly humbled by their confidence and trust in my leadership and that of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).


I thank all Zambians that despite the heated electioneering, the elections were held under a peaceful atmosphere thereby demonstrating Zambia’s determination to uphold her proud and consistent record as an oasis of peace. This signifies the maturity of our emerging democracy and our unity in diversity.


Mr Speaker, you will recall that during my inaugural speech in the grounds of Parliament on 3rd October, 2006, I called for national unity and reconciliation. I would like to reiterate that the Government of the Republic of Zambia, under the New Deal Administration, is a Government for all Zambians and not only for members of the ruling party.


Hon. Opposition Member: Question!


The President: Let me reassure the nation that my administration will not be complacent with its electoral victory, but will seriously take into consideration the concerns raised during the election period. Zambians spoke clearly and loudly and we will reflect seriously on their concerns with a view to implementing those that can be implemented immediately. Those that are feasible, but require more time due to resource and other considerations will also be implemented in due course.


To this effect, I would like to appeal to all hon. Members of this august House to adopt a non-partisan approach in dealing with issues affecting the welfare of our people. Hunger, poverty, ignorance and disease do not recognise any political affiliation. Thus, we shall be doing our people a disservice if we preoccupy ourselves with partisan agendas. It is my sincere desire and hope that this Parliament will be a people’s Parliament, representing the national vision and not a battle ground for political parties.


Mr Speaker, as I said in my inauguration speech, I would like to leave behind a legacy of the rule of law, self sufficiency in food production, increased employment, economic empowerment and stability in our social economic policies.


Consequently, my administration will continue to foster transparency and accountability in the running of public affairs. I, therefore, expect the newly appointed ministers, permanent secretaries and controlling officers to ensure that the oversight role of Parliament is upheld and facilitated by the Executive. This will include providing timely responses to Parliamentary Questions, Parliamentary Committee queries, submission of annual reports and responses to Private Members Motions. The front bench should at all times provide timely official information to enable Parliament to make informed decisions in order to improve service delivery to our people.


Parliamentary Reforms


Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the Ninth Parliament scored many achievements in the area of Parliamentary Reforms. These reforms are on-going and are aimed at taking Parliament closer to the people. As a result of these reforms, it is now much easier for our people to come to Parliament and interact with their representatives.


The media, civil society and other stakeholders are free to give their inputs to the proceedings of the House through its committees. This affords the House an opportunity to make laws in which the people have a direct input.


I am also informed that a media centre to be used as an overall information centre of public inquiries has been planned as part of the process of bringing Parliament closer to the people. It is a welcome development and a good initiative worth supporting.


As a result of these reforms, our people in most urban areas are now able to listen to and follow the live deliberations of the House on Parliament radio. I am particularly pleased that this service will be extended to all provincial centres and eventually, to all parts of the country.


The establishment of Parliamentary offices in all constituencies should be accelerated to ensure that all hon. Members of Parliament have offices where the citizens will have easy access to their elected representatives. In this regard, I call upon the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to ensure that local authorities continue to co-operate with the National Assembly in providing office space or buildings where these are available to house constituency offices. I, therefore, wish to commend you, Mr Speaker, and our co-operating partners for the forty five constituency offices which have so far been established.




Mr Speaker, the people of Zambia have demanded for transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs and prudent use of national resources. In doing this, they have reaffirmed our policy of zero-tolerance to corruption and renewed our mandate to strengthen the institutions of governance in our nation. My administration will, therefore, continue to be committed to constitutionalism, human rights, transparency and accountability. In order to demonstrate this commitment, my Government will continue to undertake reforms in these areas as well as in the administration of justice and democratisation.


Hon. Opposition Member: Questionable!


The President: Constitutionalism


Sir, the Government is aware that there is anxiety among citizens concerning the implementation of pending constitutional reforms. I wish to inform you that the Government has received the report containing the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Process Implementation Committee. Cabinet will soon consider these recommendations and as soon as a way forward is found, all stakeholders will be informed and involved in the process.


Human Rights


Mr Speaker, the observance of human rights, their protection and promotion is a very important milestone in achieving good governance.


As I stated in my inaugural speech recently, Zambia has accepted her position in the global village and will strive to conduct her affairs in accordance with international norms. My Government, therefore, will strive to domesticate international human rights treaties to which it is party and consider other appropriate treaties that will enhance the freedoms and rights of our citizens.


As expected, Zambia will continue to prepare and submit state reports on human rights treaties. In addition, the Government will pay attention to the observations of the treaty bodies so that those observations which are implementable and beneficial to individuals living in Zambia are given priority.


In the next five years, the Government will endeavour to achieve the following goals of governance:


(a) improved justice delivery system and its efficiency through continuing rehabilitation of court infrastructure, particularly subordinate courts and local courts;


(b) enhanced access to justice for our people through, inter alia, decentralising the operations of the Legal Aid Board and the Director of Public Prosecutions Chambers. In order to take justice closer to our people, five office buildings will be constructed in selected provincial centres to house the offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Legal Aid Board. This development will enable people to access these offices which, for a long time, have concentrated their activities in Lusaka, Livingstone, Kabwe, Ndola and Kitwe;


(c) promotion and protection of human rights, especially for the vulnerable women and children through strengthened legislation and specific social programmes to complement policy measures; and


(d) rehabilitation and improvement of reformatory schools so that young persons who come in conflict with the law are treated in the most befitting manner.


Public Accountability


Mr Speaker, the Government’s policy regarding the fight against corruption is undergoing further review. Once finalised, the policy will provide the guidelines in reviewing and reforming laws on corruption. My administration will continue the fight against corruption because this ensures that public resources are protected for the benefit of all Zambians.


I must emphasise, here, that prudent management of public resources continues to remain the hallmark of public accountability. In my administration, alongside all other institutions of governance, the Office of the Auditor-General will be further strengthened and will have presence in all the districts.




Mr Speaker, the role that information plays in building democracy and national development is cardinal. The just ended tripartite elections remain a testimony of how important information is to enable the public make informed decisions and choices. Therefore, the Government will continue to provide a conducive policy and legal and institutional framework for the development of the media.


As the world advances in the technology sector, Zambia, like many other African countries, faces a challenge of regulating the electronic media and controlling the inflow of viewing materials some of which may not be in conformity with our cultural values and beliefs as a Christian Nation. There has been an outcry for the Government to protect our moral and cultural values by controlling the mushrooming of illegal video houses and keeping a check on cinema houses.


The Government will, this year, review the Theatres and Cinematography Act. Under the proposed legislation, the Film Censorship Board will be reconstituted into a Film Classification Board to ensure that children are protected from unacceptable viewing materials so that we safeguard our Christian, cultural and moral values.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Local Government


Mr Speaker, local Government plays a crucial role in providing an interface between the people and central Government with regard to service delivery.

However, the main challenges that we face, as a nation, in this regard are of a financial nature and lack of capacity in local authorities to provide quality services.


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


In line with the Decentralisation Policy, the Government will devolve additional functions to local authorities once we are satisfied that these local authorities have the required capacity.{mospagebreak}


Economic Management and Focus


Mr Speaker, in my first term of office, my administration scored important successes on the economic front. Consistent economic growth was recorded averaging 4.9 per cent per annum, macroeconomic instability strengthened with inflation falling to single digit levels while budget management also improved.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question! It is only on paper!


The President: Mr Speaker, we also succeeded in obtaining substantial debt relief through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, thereby relieving the country of the previously high debt burden.


With lower inflation, there is increased stability in prices of goods and services for our people, thereby preventing an erosion of incomes. Fiscal discipline, through reduced Government borrowing, means that the private sector can now borrow more from the banking sector for further investment.


Mr Speaker, these achievements could not have been scored without the sacrifices of the Zambian people in general and focused economic management by my administration. In the next five years, my administration will continue with the implementation of prudent macroeconomic polices so as to consolidate macroeconomic stability. Our goal is to achieve higher and sustained economic growth of at least 7 per cent per annum with agriculture, tourism, mining and manufacturing continuing to be the key areas of focus.


Sir, whilst we have made important macroeconomic gains, admittedly, the standards of living of the majority of Zambians remain poor. This was clearly the message that came out from the electorate in both the rural and urban areas. The people of Zambia now want results and a translation of macroeconomic achievement into an uplifting of their standard of living.


For many of our urban people, the lack of jobs, especially among the hundreds of our youths coming out of the education system, is a major concern. Apart from the high unemployment levels, the other major cry of our urban people is the poor delivery of public services, particularly with regard to water supply and sanitation, roads in suburbs and compounds and the inadequate provision of health and education services. The poor and squalid housing conditions in our towns and cities remains a serious problem.


In the rural areas, the message is also clear that the measures we are implementing in agriculture are working. However, the delivery of social services still remains a major concern.


Mr Speaker, the focus in my second term will, therefore, be to broaden and accelerate economic growth. More importantly, we will refocus public resources and efforts towards implementation of programmes that will have a quicker and more profound impact on the lives of the majority of the Zambian people.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: Job and wealth creation will, therefore, be a major development agenda of my administration in the coming years. In addition, skills training and youth empowerment programmes will be emphasised so as to build productive capabilities among the youths. It is also imperative that we accelerate the improvement of infrastructure, especially for water supply and sanitation. In addition, roads in many of our townships and suburbs need to be upgraded.


Housing conditions for many of our citizens require immediate and effective attention. Hence, we will continue to strive to put in place a conducive private sector environment to allow for the construction of decent houses for our citizens. For the public service workers, we have already put in place a comprehensive Housing Loan Scheme.


Mr Kambwili: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: In the rural areas, we shall consolidate the gains we have achieved in agriculture by further expanding our intervention in marketing and extension services, animal disease control and livestock development. Infrastructure, especially feeder roads and irrigation facilities, have to be attended to so as to increase productivity and access to market. The other areas of focus will continue to be in the delivery of social services of health, education and water and sanitation.


Mr Speaker, the Government, in consultation with the various stakeholders countrywide, has already prepared a draft Fifth National Development Plan. The theme of the plan is ‘Broad Based Wealth and Job Creation through Citizenry Participation and Technological Advancement.’


Mr Speaker, I am aware that the plan has taken on board most of the issues of concern that the people of Zambia have presented to us. However, before the plan is launched, I have requested the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to ensure that the major concerns that were raised by the electorate have been given sufficient priority in the plan. Similarly, as we prepare the 2007 Budget, these issues will take centre stage so that we can begin to address them next year.


Sir, the successful implementation of the Fifth National Development Plan will be underpinned by effective and efficient programme implementation and fiscal discipline. In addition, a key principle of the plan is to embark on fiscal decentralisation to enable and empower the country’s seventy-two local authorities to improve programme implementation and service delivery in their respective areas.


In this regard, the first step for fiscal decentralisation will be to appropriately restructure these local authorities to warrant the assignment of additional service delivery responsibilities. Therefore, support for restructuring the local authorities is being given priority together with the strengthening of the overall planning and implementation system. It is envisaged that under such a system, all our citizens will be able to contribute effectively to national development.




Mr Speaker, almost all the stakeholders in industry, the labour movement and, indeed, the general public have been complaining about the high levels of taxation …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The President: … and the perceived unfair application of tax measures across various economic sectors.


As you will recall, in the Budget Address in 2006, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning announced that the Government would conduct an overall review of the country’s tax policy. I am pleased to report that the tax review report is now ready and undergoing study by the Government.


Our ultimate objective is that Zambia should have a transparent, broad-based and well-administered tax regime that is stable with lower tax for everyone.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The President: To this effect, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will be making new tax policy pronouncements in the 2007 Budget Address which will deal with many concerns of our people.


In addition, the hon. Minister will also announce tax incentives for investment in rural areas with special bias for agriculture and processing of agro-produce.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: Enterprises employing more women and the youth should also receive special tax treatment.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The President: Mr Speaker, the poor state of the country’s infrastructure continues to pose a great challenge to our national development effort.


In view of this, my administration is determined to enhance the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of public infrastructure. In addition, we are committed to achieving increased adherence to set standards and regulation of construction and maintenance.


Having enacted the National Council of Construction Act and the Public Roads Act, with the subsequent establishment of the statutory bodies to implement the provisions of these Acts, Government has set a framework for developing and maintaining quality social economic infrastructure for sustainable national development.


Mr Speaker, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads countrywide will continue to be high on the agenda of the Government. This will include essential bridge construction, rehabilitation and maintenance. Currently, a number of roads are undergoing rehabilitation and periodic maintenance. Among these are the Lusaka/Chirundu, Chingola/Kasumbalesa, Mongu/Kalabo, Kasama/Luwingu, Luanshya/Kafulafuta, Mwinilunga/Jimbe, Chipata/Lundazi, Lundazi/Chama, Chipata/Mfuwe, Mansa/Chembe and Chingola/Solwezi.



The President: As for bridges, work on the Chembe Bridge on Luapula River has commenced.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


The President: My administration is also determined to ensure that construction of the Kazungula Bridge on the Zambezi River, in collaboration with the governments of Botswana and Zimbabwe, commences soon.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: The capacity of local private contractors to fully participate in contracts offered is still a source of concern to the Government.


Mr Kambwili: Priority!


The President: A review of the experience gained so far shows that there is need to embark on further efforts to empower indigenous Zambian companies to fully participate in infrastructure development contracts.


Mr Speaker, development of rail infrastructure is as critical as road infrastructure in facilitating economic development. Zambia, therefore, wishes to encourage investors both local and foreign, to partner in the construction of the following rail lines: Chipata-Mpika, Nseluka-Mpulungu, Solwezi-Chingola, Solwezi-Lumwana-Benguela, Mulobezi-Namibia and Kafue Lions Den.


Mr Speaker, the running of our markets, particularly in the urban areas across the country, is a matter of great concern.


Mr Lubinda: Cadres


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Member: It’s Sata who brought them.


The President: Some of our local authorities have entered into agreements with developers of these markets which have not adequately taken into account the interest of all stakeholders, particularly the citizens of our country.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The President: I, therefore, urge the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, which oversees the operations of local authorities, to ensure that all agreements are reviewed with the prime objective of benefiting the majority of the Zambian people.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: In the same vein, I wish to pay tribute to our co-operating partners who have contributed to the development of some of the modern markets in our country.


Mr Speaker, the Government is constructing modern markets in all major urban areas, starting with Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe.


During the current sitting of Parliament, the Government will Table a Bill that should usher in an improved system of managing the markets and ensuring that the allocation of market stalls advances the calls of empowering Zambians.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: Housing


Mr Speaker, adequate and safe housing is a basic human need. Its availability is an indicator of the well being of citizens. Zambia has faced a critical shortage of suitable housing since independence. This has been compounded by the lopsided pattern of development between the rural and urban areas, resulting in high rural-urban migration which has exerted pressure on the cities and towns across the country.


In addition to other policy initiatives that I announced at the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Ninth National Assembly on 13th January, 2006, the Government has introduced the National Housing Bonds Programme which is aimed at raising affordable long term finance from the capital market rather than from Government resources.


Further the Government is committed to the preparation of integrated development plans to guide development in all our towns and cities throughout the country. In addition, the programme to upgrade unplanned urban settlements will continue so as to make these areas more habitable as well as implement strategies to curb the proliferation of unplanned settlements in urban areas. These will include the provision of basic services such as water supply and sanitation and roads and storm water drainage. A peri-urban upgrading strategy will be developed to ensure that the upgrading of squatter settlements is systematic rather than random, in line with the provisions of the Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas) Act Cap. 195 of the Laws of Zambia.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The President: Planning legislation will be reviewed and harmonised with other related legislation to bring it in line with current planning challenges.{mospagebreak}




Mr Speaker, allow me to pay tribute to our hard working farmers who have performed extremely well in the 2005/2006 Agricultural Season. Production of food and cash crops increased significantly with a surplus of 160,000 metric tonnes of maize.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: This goes to show that with the support of good agricultural policies, effective and efficient delivery of inputs and favourable weather conditions, our farmers can do well.


In the agricultural sector, my administration’s resolve is to build on the successes we have registered so far. We want to continue creating wealth for our people, especially in rural areas, and ensure that our country is food secure.


The strategy will involve the development of rural markets and the provision of infrastructure, agricultural and financial services. In this regard, small-scale farmers will continue receiving support under the Fertilizer Support Programme. For the 2006/2007 seasons, beneficiary farmers under this programme will now only be required to contribute 40 per cent of the cost of inputs while the Government will cover the remaining 60 per cent.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: This should greatly boost the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers.


Mr Speaker, the Government will not relent in its efforts to utilise the capacity of the private sector in the development of the agricultural sector. We are convinced that the private sector can do more than it is doing at the moment. As such, agribusiness will be supported in strengthening linkages with small holder farmers through private sector participation in agricultural services delivery, equipment and input supply and output marketing.


The Food Reserve Agency will continue playing a significant role in purchasing food crops from small-scale farmers throughout the country. While doing so, it is expected that the Food Reserve Agency will ensure improvement in their operations so that crop losses in their custody are minimised.


In order to achieve the desired status of the agricultural sector as a major contributor to employment generation and improving of the livelihood of the majority of our people, the Government has prioritised a number of programmes to be implemented in the coming years. Among them are:


(a) promotion of a well-regulated and profitable irrigation sub-sector that is attractive to both the public and private sector;

(b) promotion of agricultural infrastructure and land development for sustainable production and productivity;


(c) improvement of productive efficiency of the livestock sector in a sustainable manner;


(d) promotion of fisheries development by ensuring effective utilisation of fisheries resources;


(e) encouraging private sector participation in farm mechanisation through the supply of agricultural equipment, irrigation and agro-processing machinery to improve land productivity and value addition to agricultural produce;


(f) promotion of a competitive, efficient and transparent private sector driven agricultural marketing and input supply system; and


(g) promotion of effective service delivery with emphasis on agricultural research and extension.


Mr Speaker, full implementation of these programmes will promote increased and sustainable agricultural production, productivity and competitiveness.


Disaster Management and Mitigation


Mr Speaker, Disaster Management and Mitigation is a multi-sectoral responsibility that should be a concern of each one of us. In times of disasters, strong partnership among the Government, the civil society, the donor community and the private sector is necessary to overcome these calamities.


The Government, on its part, is taking measures to improve national disaster preparedness. Some of the measures include the formulation of the National Disaster Management Committee, establishment of the Emergency Operations Centre aimed at strengthening our early warning capacities, creation of a Disaster Management Operations Manual, as well as drafting the Disaster Management Bill.


Mr Speaker, the Government is currently carrying out a mapping exercise which will assist in establishing district vulnerability profiles in order to indicate which areas of our country are prone to which hazards so as to sharpen our preparedness and response to disasters.


I, therefore, call upon all stakeholders to close ranks and work closely tackling future disasters.




Mr Speaker, my Government is determined to have a Zambia in which there is equitable access to land and security of tenure for sustainable socio-economic development of our people.


During this five-year term of office, a new Land Policy to address the multitude of constraints will be developed. This august House should expect a Bill to review legislation in this area.


We will also create land banks to facilitate investment by all potential investors, both local and foreign. Within these land banks, among other investments, there shall be multi-facility economic zones which will be strategically located for the production of goods for both domestic and export markets.


Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that almost 90 per cent of the total land mass of our country is in customary areas, I wish to implore our traditional rulers to release part of the land in their respective chiefdoms for investment. It is the desire of the Government to take development to all parts of our country so that no single corner of the country lags behind in development.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: I must advise, however, that the allocation of land in customary areas above 250 hectares will require the sanction of the President who is the custodian of all land on behalf of the Zambian people.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


The President: Our traditional rulers should embrace the land resettlement programme by making available adequate land for the resettlement of those leaving employment, the youth and other groups in need of land for development.


Mr Speaker, the Government will continue funding various local authorities, especially rural-based ones, through the Land Development Fund, to enable them open up areas for development. This will expand the revenue base of the local authorities and enable them provide better social services to their communities.


Mr Speaker, the issue of boundaries between chiefs will be addressed in order to prevent potential conflicts between chiefdoms within our country. Furthermore, in order to prevent potential conflicts with our neighbouring countries, the Government will continue to maintain international boundaries.




Mr Speaker, the performance of the Government in the mining sector over the last five years clearly speaks for itself. Our country has been taking progressive strides to become the copper mining giant it once used to be. Factors that have combined to keep our mining sector a risk-free and highly attractive investment destination include the incentives being offered, the country’s fiscal regime and the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act.


The Government’s long term vision is to have a vibrant and well organised mining industry contributing in excess of 20 per cent of gross domestic product. The sector should also be able to provide significant employment and contribute to the improvement of the living standards of our people.


Mr Speaker, I must hasten to add here that this can only be achieved in an environment of conducive employment and procurement policies and practices of mining companies. In my address to this august House at the official opening of the 5th Session of the 9th National Assembly in January this year, I pleaded with mining companies to adopt labour policies that promote and safeguard the dignity of Zambian workers. I said then that any departure from this would attract corrective action from the Government. I regret to note that most mining companies in Zambia have not changed their attitudes towards their Zambian employees.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yah, yah!


The President: In most cases, mining companies have preferred to employ expatriates instead of Zambians …




The President: … and have overlooked the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’.



The President: Consequently, qualified Zambians have opted to resign their positions in frustration.


In the area of procurement, similar discriminatory practices have been applied by the new mining investors. Many Zambian companies, despite their capacity, have been denied contracts which have instead been given to foreign traders.


Let me take this opportunity to remind our development partners in the mining industry to desist from these practices. Zambian labour laws must be observed at all times. I will repeat that Zambian labour laws must be observed at all times.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The President: The Government is embarking on a ‘Buy Zambian Campaign’ and this applies to all business transactions be they goods, services or, indeed, labour. I hope this is the last time I will talk about this subject.


In the mining industry, the Government will focus on the following during the next five years:


(a) review the mineral royalty to enhance national beneficiation from mining industry revenues;


(b) implement measures to facilitate citizen economic empowerment in the mining sector. The measures will include a review of the operations of the Government holding company, Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings Plc (ZCCM), to enable individual Zambians to own shares in large scale mining companies in the country;


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: (c) enhance support to small-scale mining as there is a large Zambian participation in this sector. In this regard, efforts will be made to increase the mining revolving fund which is already operational so as to benefit more of our small-scale miners. In addition, the Government will closely monitor the operations of the private-sector led Gemstone Exchange in Ndola which begins full operation next month. This is to ensure that it succeeds in providing a reliable and efficient market for our small-scale miners;


(d) the production of more geological maps, to enable the private sector undertake more detailed exploration work and set up more mines in what are now largely rural communities. This has the potential of generating considerable employment and turning rural areas into urban communities with modern social and economic facilities;


(e) fully operationalise the mining cadastre system by the end of March 2007 to streamline the administration of mining rights and make it more efficient and more user-friendly; and


(f) enhance health and safety at both small and large-scale mines in Zambia. Beginning 2007, the Government will formulate a Mines Health and Safety Policy which will encompass the international conventions to which Zambia is a signatory.


Science and technology


Mr Speaker, as a country, we cannot afford to ignore the central role science and technology plays in creating wealth and improving the equality of life of our people. Therefore, the Government will continue to enhance the contribution of science and technology to national productivity and competitiveness.


Our focus in the next five years will be to continue developing, rehabilitating and maintaining science and technology infrastructure. Research and development activities will be in areas of national productivity. In this regard, the results of such activities will be commercialised. These efforts require the active participation of both the public and private sectors. The private sector should be able to translate the scientific discoveries into marketable products and services.


Energy and Water


Mr Speaker, an efficient energy sector is a prerequisite to sustainable economic growth and wealth creation. For this reason, the Government will continue to pay due attention to this sector and ensure that it does not slow down the performance of many other sectors that depend on it.


In order to mitigate the looming power deficit by the year 2008, the Government is fast tracking the development of the Itezhi-Tezhi and the Kafue Gorge Lower power stations. So far, negotiations with the preferred investor for the development of Itezhi-Tezhi have commenced and are progressing well.


In order to complement hydropower generation plants, the Government will continue promoting the development of mini-hydropower as well as other sources of energy such as solar, which is a suitable alternative for rural areas that cannot be connected to the national electricity grid. Work on mini-hydropower schemes has commenced with the Shiwan’gandu Plant in Chinsali being the first one. The mini-grids to be operated on a commercial basis will ensure supply of electric power to agricultural projects, schools, hospitals and residential areas.


Implementation of the rural electrification programme is progressing well. This year alone, forty-three projects drawn from across the country are under implementation at a cost of K48 billion.


Mr Speaker, the petroleum sub-sector presents various challenges to the Government

given the aged infrastructure and the ever-increasing world oil prices. The Government is responding to this challenge, firstly, by the establishment of Petroleum Strategic Reserves.


The second measure aimed at responding to the challenges posed by the petroleum sub-sector is to improve the performance of Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company.


Consequently, the Government has decided to diversify the shareholding structure of Indeni in order to facilitate its recapitalisation and investment programme, including the rehabilitation of the refinery.


Mr Speaker, on the 22nd of October, 2006 in Kabompo, I informed the nation that recent exploration work for oil and gas in North-Western Province was yielding positive results. The results so far confirm the presence of oil and gas in the sub-surface of the two districts of Chavuma and Zambezi.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: As I indicated, I have already appointed a Petroleum Committee in line with the provisions of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act Cap. 440 of the Laws of Zambia. The committee, which will start its work shortly will be responsible for formulating polices and guidelines for the issuance of licences relating to petroleum and its extraction in Zambia. The committee will also facilitate the involvement of private sector companies in the exploration work.


The initial results from the exploration do give hope for a long term solution to our long standing challenges in the petroleum sector. With more exploration activities expected in different parts of the country, Zambia is headed for major successes in national economic development.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear


Hon. Opposition Member: Until then?


The President: Mr Speaker, in order to reduce the country’s dependence on expensive imported fuel, the Government is embarking on the promotion of bio-fuels for the transport sector. To this effect, a National Bio-fuel Strategy is being developed while the National Energy Policy is being reviewed to include bio-fuels and other energy sources. The Government, therefore, wishes to encourage private sector investment in the growing of bio-fuel plants and establishment of processing capacity in the country.


Mr Speaker, in order to bring about management of water resources in a way that would make this sector more responsive to our development needs, the Government intends to table before this House a Bill on Water Resources Management. The development plans will include the provision of adequate, safe and cost-effective water supply and sanitation services in both urban and rural areas.{mospagebreak}


Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources


Mr Speaker, tourism continues to be one of the priority sectors on my Government’s economic development agenda. This is because we are convinced that if well developed and managed, tourism can contribute significantly to the socio-economic well-being of the Zambian people through the creation of employment and entrepreneurship activities for the youth. This potential is no longer theoretical as the people of Zambia have begun reaping the benefits of tourism. The sector witnessed a steady growth in tourist arrivals in the past five years with a corresponding increase in earnings.


Over the next five years, the Government will continue with its policy of private sector led tourism development with public sector facilitation. In this respect, the Government will continue with the provision of infrastructure to attract investment to outlying areas, promotion and marketing of tourism at home and abroad and encouragement of Zambians to participate in the sector.


Mr Speaker, in order to further improve the performance of the tourism sector, the Government will implement measures aimed at reducing costs of doing business in the tourism sector.


The Government will enhance and continue implementing the tourism development credit programme. This facility is aimed at empowering Zambians to own and manage tourism businesses though the provision of affordable credit finance at micro, small and medium-scale levels.


Mr Speaker, the prosperity of any society depends greatly on how well it manages the environment and its natural resources. Therefore, looking after our environment is the responsibility of every citizen.


The Government will continue to spearhead policies and programmes for the protection of the environment and sustainable management of our natural resources. In this regard, a lot of effort is required in curbing rampant deforestation, pollution of water and air, as well as improper management of waste.


Mr Speaker, the Government will ensure that a national environment policy is put in place and implemented. More and more of our local communities, especially those living in game management areas and those adjacent to forest reserves, will be encouraged to participate in the management of their natural resources and share the benefits accruing from these resources.


Mr Speaker, allow me to take some water.


The President drank some water.


Commerce, Trade and Industry


Mr Speaker, the Commercial, Trade and Industrial Sector continues to be a priority growth sector for our country. In accelerating economic development in this sector, the Government’s focus will be on developing a competitive private sector led economy. It is also aimed at attaining a diversified export led manufacturing sector and enhancing local, regional and international trade.


Therefore, the Government, in partnership with the private sector, will continue to implement the Private Sector Development Reform Programme. In the next three years of implementation of this programme, measures will be put in place specifically to improve the land delivery system, streamline immigration procedures and review labour laws and business related legislation. It will also streamline company registration and licensing procedures and promote private partnerships for infrastructure development.


In order to address the problem of unaffordable credit, the Government will establish a Citizen’s Economic Empowerment Fund.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The President: Mr Speaker, the Government will continue to improve the competitiveness of Zambian products to regional and international markets, particularly by negotiating for lower tariffs and eliminating non-tariff barriers, export subsidies and domestic market support in developed markets.


Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to safeguarding local industry from adverse effects of increased imported goods through appropriate measures.


Safeguarding of the local industry can only make sense if there is a ready market for locally produced goods. It is in this regard that the Government, in partnership with the private sector, will enhance the implementation of the ‘Buy Zambian Campaign’. This programme is aimed at improving the quality of Zambian goods and getting more Zambians interested in buying Zambian locally produced goods.


Employment and Labour


Mr Speaker, the high unemployment and poverty levels continue to be a major concern to the Government. Our labour market, today, is characterised by stagnation in employment generation leading to high levels of unemployment among Zambians in general and the youth in particular.


In this regard, my administration has given the creation of employment top priority. For this crusade of employment creation to succeed, Non-Governmental Organisations, the Church and various community-based organisations must join forces with the Government in providing requisite skills and employment opportunities, especially amongst the youths.


Mr Speaker, in the next five years, the Government will vigorously pursue policies that will promote rural employment by, among other things, allocating more resources to sectors that are predominantly rural, such as agriculture and small-scale mining.


Mr Speaker, I now wish to refer to the concerns that continue to be raised pertaining to labour casualisation, contract labour and abuse of workers’ rights. My Government has noted the concerns and I am now directing the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to immediately bring to the table all the relevant stakeholders, such as employers’ organisations and representatives of employees to discuss the proposed measures to address the issues at hand. The consultations should be concluded without any further delay. As the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is relevant to such consultation, I direct that he too should be present at such seminars.


Mr Speaker, another area of concern to the nation is the deterioration of occupational health and safety at work places. It is for this reason that the Government has made occupational health and safety a top priority. The Government is taking measures to strengthen the labour inspectorate.


I, therefore, call upon this House to support the Government’s effort in providing legislation that makes it mandatory for workplaces to develop occupational health and safety programmes.


Public Service Management


Mr Speaker, the effective and efficient management of the public sector in today’s rapidly changing environment has posed great challenges to governments.


My administration will continue with the implementation of the public sector reforms through the Public Service Management Component whose goal is to enhance effective delivery of service to the people. The focus will continue to be on rightsizing, pay reforms, service delivery improvement and payroll management and establishment control.


Due to a number of factors such as high attrition rate caused by brain drain, HIV/AIDS and comparatively unattractive salaries and conditions of service, it has been difficult to provide the necessary basic services to every Zambian. This has been compounded by inadequate resources to implement programmes.


Mr Speaker, when I complete my second term in five years time, I want to leave behind a Public Service that is efficient and effective in the provision of services to the people of Zambia.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question.


The President: Mr Speaker, in order to make service in the public sector more effective and attractive and retain highly qualified personnel, my Government is continuously reviewing conditions of service with a view to improving them.


We have also introduced HIV/AIDS work place policies and programmes in most Government institutions. This has also been done as a way of mainstreaming HIV/AIDS issues.




Mr Speaker, education provides the critical key necessary for the development of any nation. 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. My Government, therefore, will pay particular attention to the provision of quality education services during the next five years.


In order to address the issue of staffing in our schools, the Government will, by the end of this year, recruit 8,000 teachers, while an additional 6,500 teachers will be recruited in 2007 and another 5,000 in the year 2008. These teachers will be deployed in deficit areas, especially the remote areas. The training of teachers will increase from the current 4,500 to 5,000 per year. These measures will consequently lead to the elimination of double shifts and improvement of teacher-pupil ratio at the basic and high school levels.


Mr Speaker, the issue of quality education will be addressed through revision of the current teacher training curriculum and also through increased procurement and equitable distribution of learning materials.


Mr Speaker, the Government will also embark on the expansion of infrastructure to increase access to education to all children of school going age. This will be done through the construction of additional classrooms, upgrading middle-basic to upper basic schools and construction of day high schools. These measures will increase the enrolment rates at basic schools. Expansion of infrastructure will also be extended to tertiary education.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker, my Government has remained committed to implementing the health reforms aimed at providing quality health services to all Zambians.


As a result of these efforts, output indicators for most immunisable diseases have improved. Zambia was declared a polio free state in 2005 and immunisation coverage for one year olds has improved from 75 per cent in 2003 to 82 per cent in 2005.


Mr Speaker, one of the major challenges in the health sector has been the mass exodus of critical health workers, particularly doctors and nurses, to other countries. In response to this challenge, the Government has prepared the human resource plan which has identified the critical issues that need to be addressed over the next five years. Under this plan, the Government will recruit all graduating health workers into the new establishment. This will increase the core number of health workers from the current 16,900 to 51,000. Recruitment into the new establishment will commence in 2007.


Mr Speaker, in order to attract qualified medical staff to rural areas, infrastructure development will remain critical in the health sector. As alluded to earlier, my administration will endeavour to develop rural areas by providing social and economic infrastructure. In 2007, the Government intends to complete the construction of first level hospitals in Samfya, Mumbwa and Chadiza districts. In addition, the construction of five more hospitals will commence in Lufwanyama, Kaputa, Chienge, Mufumbwe and Lusaka. In order to improve accessibility to health services and reduce the distances people have to cover, the Government will construct forty health posts.


Mr Speaker, in order to address the problem of medical equipment, the Government, with support from co-operating partners, will accelerate the programme to equip hospitals and health centres across the country.


In order to facilitate bulk procurement of drugs and medical supplies, the Government has established a drug supply fund through pooling of resources from the Government and co-operating partners. The Government is also addressing the establishment of suitable storage and distribution services for drugs and capacity building in logistics management of drugs and medical supplies at all levels of the health care system.


Mr Speaker, early this year, the Government abolished medical user fees in the health facilities in rural areas. The implementation of this measure has met with certain challenges. The Government will, therefore, take measures to ensure that we address the identified challenges.




Mr Speaker, the Government recognises that all persons with disabilities ought to have the same rights, choices and needs as people without disabilities. In this regard, the focus of the Government is to enable persons with disabilities to assume more complete and meaningful responsibility as other members of society. Therefore, disability being a cross-cutting issue, I implore all stakeholders to take an active role in addressing the challenges of persons with disability.


Gender and Development


Mr Speaker, in my address during the official opening of the last session of the National Assembly, I emphasised the ever increasing commitment of the Government to the empowerment of women in order to address gender inequality and imbalances in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, in recognising the seriousness that the issues of gender require, the Government has established a cabinet-level ministerial position to ensure that gender is given adequate attention during cabinet and parliamentary debates and decision-making. It is my view that the creation of the Cabinet portfolio will greatly contribute to the implementation of the Government’s vision on gender.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: During the next five years, my administration will ensure that all aspects of gender mainstreaming are entrenched in the national development process.


Mr Speaker, with regard to the protection of women and children’s rights and in view of the increased sexual offences which the country has witnessed in the recent past, I implore the police and Judiciary to utilise the existing laws fully so as to curb the scourge.


Sport, Youth and Child Development


Mr Speaker, the Government recognises the fact that sport is vital in ensuring the health of our citizens and plays a key role as a unifying factor in our nation. It is for this reason that the Government will continue supporting sports in the nation at all levels. To this effect, my Government is determined to improve the state of sports infrastructure.


To achieve this, my Government has revised the National Sports Policy, whose vision is to increase people’s participation in sports, taking on board people with disabilities and HIV/AIDS.


Mr Speaker, the Zambian youth account for 68 per cent of the country’s population and constitute the nation’s greatest resource for national development. Their economic and social needs include access to education, training and employment.

Mr Speaker, my Government is determined to address the problems faced by the youth by providing a framework for addressing the challenges. The Government has revised the National Youth Policy.


It was in line with these policy measures, Mr Speaker, that the Government established the Youth Empowerment Fund as a permanent feature in youth development in Zambia. The fund shall provide affordable capital to the youth with viable projects. The Government is committed to laying a strong foundation for the improvement of the child. To this effect, Parliament, last year, approved the Children’s Right Bill and the Government revised the National Child Policy. The vision of the policy is to enhance child protection and development.{mospagebreak}




Mr Speaker, apart from the important role that the defence forces continue to play in defending the sovereignty of our country, they also play a part in peace-keeping efforts in other countries under the African Union and United Nations mandates. It’s participation in bringing peace to war torn regions has been greatly appreciated by the international community.


Zambia will, therefore, continue to contribute tirelessly to this process.


As a troop-contributing country to the United Nations Peace-keeping missions, Zambia was among the few countries which were chosen to review strategies for enhancing gender balance among uniformed personnel in peace-keeping missions. Our participation in this exercise underscores the significance we attach to gender balance in all sectors of the Government.


Regional Co-operation and International Relations


Mr Speaker, Zambia’s foreign policy is premised on the need to promote and maintain the country’s international relations and safeguard its sovereignty, territorial integrity, socio-economic development and other national interests. In this respect, the Government shall continue to focus its attention on foreign relations that, first and foremost, advance the country’s economic welfare in the global economy.


At the sub-regional level of Eastern and Southern Africa, Zambia intends to intensify its active participation in the activities of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the common market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). In this regard, Zambia will add impetus to the implementation of various programmes in order to accelerate regional economic integration. Zambia will host the 27th Ordinary SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in August, 2007, at which the country will assume the chairmanship of this sub-regional organisation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: Mr Speaker, Zambia is fully committed to the harmonisation of the different programmes of the existing regional economic communities while giving credence to their rationalisation as endorsed by the last African Union Summit held in Banjul, Gambia. It is in the spirit of this commitment that Zambia hosted the Conference on the Rationalisation of Regional Economic Communities in March, 2006.


Mr Speaker, Zambia is intent on co-operating closely with its partners in SADC, COMESA, the rest of Africa and beyond within either the bilateral frameworks of the joint permanent commissions or multilateral arrangements. In this respect, Zambia held several joint permanent commissions and other international meetings with our partners.


It is important to appreciate that the country derives a number of benefits from our participation in these international fora in terms of development aid and positive contribution to Zambia’s development efforts.


Mr Speaker, Zambia recognises that the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is one of the programmes aimed at the development of the African continent. Zambia whole heartedly embraced this valuable initiative and has taken necessary steps towards its operationalisation.


In order to demonstrate its political commitment to the NEPAD agenda, Zambia, on 22nd January, 2006, acceded to the African Peer Review Mechanism which requires each Member state to carry out a self-assessment of its performance with regard to adherence to political, social, economic and corporate Governance values and standards as agreed by the African Union Heads of State and Government.


Mr Speaker, I cannot conclude my address on foreign relations without urging the United Nations, through the Security Council, to demonstrate their genuine resolve to find definitive and amicable solutions to the numerous challenges that present serious potential threats to international peace and security.




In my conclusion, I would like, once again, to call for national unity in the aftermath of the just-ended peaceful tripartite elections.


My appeal extends to all of you, hon. Members of Parliament, to adopt a non-partisan approach in dealing with issues regarding the welfare of our people.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The President: We have only one country, Zambia. Let us stand united despite our religious, ethnic, political and other differences.


May the good Lord bless you!


May the good Lord bless the Republic of Zambia.


I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The President left the Assembly Chamber.


Mr Speaker took the Chair.








The Vice-President (Mr R. Banda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that at its rising today the House do adjourn until Tuesday, 31st October, 2006.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, may I start by expressing on behalf of this House and, indeed, on my own behalf, my sincere thanks to the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, for the inspiring and thought provoking speech …




The Vice-President: … that he has just delivered.



The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am sure all hon. Members will join me in congratulating the President for delivering a most uniting, all embracing and visionary address.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I have no doubt that the President has raised a number of important issues which will need to be carefully analysed and properly understood by hon. Members.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: The President’s message of national unity, reconciliation and his clear ideas on the fight against poverty, disease and corruption all deserve our serious introspection and analysis.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Consequently, I am of the view that the House should rise now so that hon. Members are allowed adequate time to digest and analyse the speech and reflect on all the points raised therein in order to make intelligent and constructive contributions during the debate on the Motion of Thanks, starting on Tuesday, 31st October, 2006.


Mr Speaker, this is a straight forward motion and I will request all hon. Members of this august House to support it.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to.




The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank the august House for the support.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1220 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 31st October, 2006.