Debates- Wednesday, 31st July, 2002

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Wednesday, 31st July, 2002

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Vice-President (Mr Kavindele): Mr Speaker, last week, on Wednesday the 24th July, 2002, based on the concerns raised by Members of this august House regarding the status of the Millennium Village in Longacres that was intended to host last year’s OAU Heads of States Summit held from 2nd to 11 July, 2001, it was requested that I come back to the House with a comprehensive statement to complement my answer to the question posed earlier by Hon. Dipak Patel. The questions are as follows: 

(i)    Who financed the construction of the OAU Village in Lusaka under the Presidential Housing Initiative and who signed and authorised the financing agreement; and
(ii)    who are the current owners of the village?

Mr Speaker, let me, at the outset, hasten to bring to the attention of the Members that the additional information I now present to the House is from both Government sources as well as from the former Chairman of the, now, abolished PHI, Mr Richard Sakala.

Mr Speaker, the position with regard to the Millennium Village whose total value today exceeds US$15 million must be placed within the context of the mandate and operations of the Presidential Housing Initiative, which was ultimately responsible for the concept, design and creation of  the Millennium Village project.

In 1998, the Government launched the Presidential Housing Initiative with the aim of ensuring an aggressive construction programme, which could produce new and affordable housing units for Zambians. Emphasis was placed on shifting housing development from Government control.

Prior to that, in 1997, the Government had introduced a housing empowerment programme with the intention of enabling as many Zambians as possible acquire shelter. This involved selling real estate property owned by local authorities and later those owned by the Government. In selling the real estates, the Government planned that the resultant proceeds would be ploughed into the creation of new housing units.

Regrettably, councils failed to build new houses from the proceeds of house sales and as a result, the Government was forced to consider alternative measures of ensuring that new housing stocks were created. In this respect, Deloitte and Touche were commissioned to study the modalities and feasibility of establishing a viable housing construction programme.

Deloitte and Touche were approached to assist Government examine the existing housing development infrastructure with the purpose of recommending the most efficient means of developing a housing development mechanism. At the end of the study, Deloitte and Touche recommended the establishment of an able institution to undertake the task. They felt that existing institutions, including the National Housing Authority were not capable of undertaking the task. They concluded that unless major amendments were made to the fundamental structure and legal configuration of the National Housing Authority to make it more private-sector driven, it would not serve as a viable delivery instrument that Government intended to establish.

Government considered the recommendations by Deloitte and Touche and decided against the establishment of a new apex institution, but decided instead to effect major amendments to the National Housing Authority Act in order to accommodate the needs of the new housing body. However, in order to meet the pressing need of starting the construction of houses without any delays, the Government decided to establish the Presidential Housing Initiative, operating within the ambit of the National Housing Authority, to spearhead the project. PHI was never meant to be a permanent structure. It was a transitory arrangement to accommodate the intended changes to the National Housing Authority Act.


The Vice President: It was further decided to appoint a Management Committee to supervise the work of  PHI.

PHI was thus expected to play a bridging role between the existing National Housing Authority and the proposed apex institution into which National Housing Authority would be translated upon the introduction of the new amendments in Parliament. On the other hand, PHI had the broad mandate of sourcing for funds both locally and otherwise for housing and related infrastructure development.

PHI was also mandated by Government to run Mulungushi Conference Centre and the Mulungushi Village. This was done through the National Hotels Development Corporation (2000). It follows, therefore, that from the commencement of the preparations for the OAU Meeting, National Hotels Development Corporation (2000) was fully involved in the preparations, especially in the provision of conference and housing facilities.

The original plan was to create new facilities for the OAU Heads of States Summit, including the building of a new village because Mulungushi Village was old and in a state of disrepair. Most of the units in the village were, at the time, occupied by long-term tenants. There was also the feeling that Government should take advantage of the Summit to create a new conference center with modern facilities. The aim was to take advantage of the OAU to create new infrastructure that would enhance the country’s potential as a conference destination.

Initially, National Housing Authority entered into negotiations with City Financiers of UK for a joint venture in the construction of a five-star hotel, a 300-seater convention centre and sixty presidential villas at the cleared site near Mulungushi International Conference Centre. City Financiers agreed to invest US$88 million in the project. A memorandum of understanding was subsequently concluded, but before an agreement could be signed, full consultations were held with the Cabinet Committee on infrastructure development.

The committee raised grave reservations on the proposal to sell Mulungushi Conference Centre to the venture in order to finance Government equity in the project. The Cabinet Committee rejected this proposal. They instead proposed that the Conference Centre be leased to the investor for a specific period of time. The financier rejected this condition as he considered Mulungushi International Conference Centre key to the arrangement. He, therefore, withdrew his support and the project collapsed.

Following the collapse of the City Financiers arrangement, National Housing Development Co-operation sought other partners for the venture. MKP of Malaysia offered to construct the 60 villas required for the conference and a convention centre at the cost of US$17 million.

To expedite the project, MKP was willing to pump in 50 per cent of the project cost as an advance on the understanding, however, that the full project cost would be paid back to them within three years. The agreement, which was between PHI/NHDC and MKP, was submitted to the Ministry of Legal Affairs for study and endorsement.

Following further discussions and consultations, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development undertook to finance the project through a loan facility that was being arranged. On the strength of these undertakings NHDC signed the agreement with MKP and work commenced on the project.

The contract was eventually expanded to include renovations of the old Mulungushi Conference Centre in order to ensure harmony of services and infrastructure. Regrettably, by the end of the year 2000, the loan agreement had fallen through, but the contractor was already on site. Attempts were made by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to raise K12 billion (US$3 million then) which MKP indicated as a minimum prerequisite for them to secure additional funding to complete the project. Sadly, Government could only raise K5 billion.

Mr Speaker, it was at this stage that the Lybian Arab African Investment Company (LAFICO) came to the rescue of the project. They offered to invest US$8.5 million in the two projects, namely: the Millennium Village and the New Convention Centre on condition that they were offered 100 per cent collateral and ownership of the Millennium Village with the proviso that the Zambian Government could buy back 50 per cent interest in the village upon payment of US$4,250,000, if this was done within the first year after the hand-over.

Thereafter, the Government would have to pay the commercial rate base on market evaluation. LAFICO preferred not to take any interest in a convention centre recognising that it was a Government installation.

In the absence of alternative funding and in view of preliminary works already commenced, Government accepted the proposal from LAFICO and an agreement was signed.

The subsequent cash injection of US$8.5 million by LAFICO and additional material and financial contribution by MKP paved way for the completion of both the Millennium Village and the New Convention Centre which would have, otherwise, been impossible.

The agreement between LAFICO and Government was signed by the Chairman of the PHI then, Mr Richard Sakala.

With funding from LAFICO and MKP, the project resumed and was finally completed rather belatedly, with the exception of the Convention Centre which was completed in time for the OAU Conference.

The New Convention Centre is expected to bring even greater benefits if the plan to twin it with the Durban Conference Centre is followed through. The intention was to have Lusaka be included in the International Conference Circuit, thereby increasing the patronage and use of the facility.

Mr Speaker, the land for the construction of the Millennium Village – take note hon. Member of Parliament for Munali, Miss Nawakwi, since this is your question. The land was obtained from the Ministry of Education on the understanding that the adjacent schools would be compensated for with new staff houses to be constructed at PHI cost. This has yet to be realized, but will, no doubt, be undertaken by the National Housing Authority which has taken over the responsibility of all the PHI projects and their administration.

Mr Speaker, in summary, the following is a sequence of events that gave rise to the “sale” of  the Millennium Village.

1.    In preparation for the OAU Summit in 2001, National Housing Development Co-operation and PHI were mandated to create new facilities, namely: the OAU Village, the New Convention Centre and to renovate the old Mulungushi Conference Centre.

2.    The contract sum for the construction of both the Millennium Village and Convention Centre was US$17 million while the renovation of the already existing Mulungushi Conference Centre was estimated at K11 billion. The Zambian Government was required to provide 50 per cent of the contract sum upon commencement of the project while the remaining 50 per cent, which MKP would advance was to be paid back to the contractor over a period of three years.

3.    Regrettably, Government failed to raise the US$8.5 million. Government was only able to provide K5 billion which was applied to the renovations of the Old Mulungushi International Conference Centre in preparation for the OAU. At the same time, PHI utilised some of its project’s funding to commence work.

When it became clear that time was running out and that Government was unlikely to arrange the finances needed to complete the project, an appeal was made to the Lybian Government for support. President Gaddaffi subsequently sent an investment team from LAFICO which offered to contribute investing, US$8.5 million, which represented our 50 per cent of the original contract sum of US$17 million on condition that they took 100 per cent ownership of the Millennium Village.

The Libyan Government through LAFICO came to the Zambian Government’s aid to complete the two projects because the Zambian Government did not have enough money for the project. There was, therefore, no sale of the Millennium Village to LAFICO because the Village as such did not exist. In fact, LAFICO and MKP support built the facility. But upon payment of the US$4.25 billion, that is, 50 per cent equity, Government will hold equal shares with LAFICO. Because of the funds invested by LAFICO and MKP, the Millennium Village was built and today it  has value in excess of the investment for its construction. 

The Libyan offer kindly facilitated by the Libyan Ambassador here in Zambia, was made with the clear understanding that the US$8.5 million would be used to complete both the Village and the Convention Center at Mulungushi while LAFICO would hold equity only in the Village and not in the Center.

The current position regarding the two OAU projects that were largely funded by MKP and LAFICO is that:

1.    Because LAFICO did not immediately fulfill the condition of the contract to  provide US$8.5 million on the handing over of the certificate of title, the one year buy back option only became effective when the entire US$8.5 million was paid;

2.    The Government of the Republic of Zambia must accordingly now pay LAFICO US$4.25 million in order to acquire 50 per cent equity in the Millennium Village;

3.    Work on the Convention Center is not yet fully completed as additional services including air conditioning, lighting and ancillary facilities are still to be installed;
4.    Once completed, a final costing will be made to assess the contribution by both the Government and MKP and arrive at the final sum payable by the Government in order for it to take over the Convention Center; and

5.    It is Government’s hope that the final cost of the project will not be beyond the original cost in spite of the material price escalation.

Mr Speaker, it is my sincere hope that hon. Members have been given sufficient information and their concerns regarding who financed the construction of the OAU Village and how it was done and who are the current owners of the Village addressed.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now given an opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification on the statement which has just been delivered by His Honor, the Vice-President

Miss Nawakwi (Munali): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank His Honor the Vice-President for the statement just made. 

Mr Speaker, could his Honor, the Vice-President clarify the point he made about Government having no money. We all are well aware that in the previous session His Honor, the Vice-President had to come to this House asking for additional funding for the construction of the so-called Millennium Village. Further, could he clarify, his statement that Government had no money when he has not imputed the value of the land that was alienated from the two schools, and he wants to compensate the two schools by constructing some houses somewhere else. Could he clarify this point because in the previous point of order, we requested Government whether it was feasible for the two primary schools to have equity in the project and yet it appears that they have pushed the request out. Could he, please, clarify these two points.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, funds sought for the OAU were not only for the construction. You will recall last week hon. Members wanted to find out the number of vehicles that had been bought for the OAU and how they were distributed. So it is possible that some of the money so allocated by supplementary funding by this House had been diverted to such ventures.

Regarding the value of land, it had been agreed that in exchange for the piece of land, Government would acquire land and build teachers’ houses for the two schools. So it is Government’s hope that the National Housing Authority will have the resources to build the houses as per agreement.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Could His honor, the Vice-President clarify the legality of Mr Sakala signing an agreement without delegated legislation from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who is the only authority allowed to sign for loans by the Law. So to what extent is the contract for a loan negotiated for and signed by Mr Richard Sakala for an entity called PHI which is illegal because it has never been registered valid? 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I have gone through all the papers regarding this arrangement and it would appear that there was authority given to the Chairman of the PHI by Cabinet to enter into whatever agreements and to subsequently sign the contract. And as it is, one of the hon. Members in the House was in Cabinet when it was so resolved.

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr C. R. Banda: Name that person!

The Vice-President: You have never been in Government. So how could it have been you?

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, Cabinet had its meeting held on 5th November, 1998 and in attendance were, of course, the following:

1.    The Chairman, Mr F. J. T. Chiluba;
2.    The Vice-President, Lieutenant-General C. S. Tembo, MP;
3.    The Minister of Defence;
4.    The Minister Without Portfolio, Mr Michael Sata, MP;
5.    The Minister of Mines, Dr. Syamujaye, MP;
6.    The Minister of Health, Professor Luo, MP;
7.    The Minister of Education; General G. G. Miyanda, MP;
8.    The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. P. D. Machungwa, MP;
9.    The Minister of Local Government and Housing, the late Mr B. H. W. Mwiinga, MP;
10.    The Minister of Tourism, Reverend A. Chipawa, MP;
11.    The Minister of Works and Supply, Mr S. M. Desai, MP;
12.    The Minister for Presidential Affairs, Mr E. S. Silwamba, MP;
13.    The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, the late Professor L. S. Nshimba, MP;
14.    The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services – the all weather – Mr N. L. Zimba, MP; …


His Honor the Vice-President: The list continues as follows:

15.    The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, the late A. S. Hambayi, MP;
16.     The Minister of Lands, the Hon. S. S. Miyanda, MP;
17.     The Attorney-General;
18.    The Ministry of Legal Affairs and Ex-Official, Mr B. C. Mutale;
19.    The Minister or Home Affairs, Dr K. Kalumba, MP;
20.     The hon. Minster of Finance and Economic Development, none other than the Hon. Edith Zewelani Nawakwi, MP;


His Honour the Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the list goes on as follows:

21.     The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. S. K. Walubita, MP; 
22.    The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Hon. D. S .Mpamba, MP; 
23.    The Minister of Communications and Transport, Hon. D .C .Saviye, MP;
24.    The Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. V. B. Malambo, MP;
25.    The Minister of Energy and Water Development, Hon. B .Y .Mwila, MP;
26.    The Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Hon. D. L Lupunga, MP;
27.    The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development, Hon. D.W.J Harrington, MP; and of course, a list of officials.


Discussing the Presidential Housing Initiative, under Cap 98/92, Cabinet considered recommendations by the President  and:

(i)    Cabinet accepted recommendations that the initial sum of K500 million reflected under resource requirements be obtained from the treasury as a start-up capital to the Presidential Housing Initiative.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Nakalonga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, may I know the arrangements the Government had entered into with the Government of Malaysia to bring in general workers at the expense of  Zambians?

His Honour the Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it appears that when the Zambian Government failed to meet their financial obligation for this construction, the Malaysian Company (MKP) that offered the financing also insisted that they bring in their own workers. So, it is based on the premise that those with money dictated the terms of who was to come and work, but I do believe that a few Zambians were also employed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General’s report indicates that the materials and money from PHI were used to construct the Presidential Villas, but we are have been told today that we do not have any share or ngwee in that project. How are we going to recover the materials from PHI that were used to construct those Villas?

His Honour the Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament should have heard what I was reading from the Cabinet Minutes. The initial start-up funding came from the Government of  Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Moonde (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour, the Vice-President to be very clear, because that village is in our country. Since we have sold it to the Libyan Government, of what benefit is it to us?

His Honour, the Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that the houses are built on Zambian soil as the hon. Member has said and as such they have added value to the Lusaka City Council.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, can His Honour, the Vice-President and Leader of Government Business in the House lay on the Table the protocol signed between Libya Jamaharya and Zambia. As it is, it seems we have no basis on which to deal with the diplomatic mission here.

His Honour, the Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I do not think I have any problems at all. As far as I am concerned, these are public documents and not only can I give the document signed by the Libyans, but I can also give you documents signed between National Hotels Development Corporation and City Financiers of US $88 million that fell through. I am also in a position to give to you another document called Appendix 2 in my bundle of documents, which is the Memorandum of Understanding between City Financiers and  the National Housing Authority.

I also have here Appendix 1, a loan agreement between the Republic of Zambian and Eagle Corporation of Spain and I could also give you, yet, another document called appendix 4. This is the memorandum of understanding between the Presidential Housing Initiative, National Hotels Development Corporation and MKP Holdings, and the Malaysians who built it.

I do not have any problems making these documents available to you.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr J C Ng’uni (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour the Vice-President to inform the House whether there was any project manager for this particular project. Why I am saying so is because there is no mention of which architect designed the project or quantity surveyor was engaged to monitor the course at the site. I am talking as a quantity surveyor and I tend to think this particular project was mismanaged. So, I would like to be advised here as to which consultants were involved in monitoring this particular project and it appears from the information brought to the House that this particular contract was not competitive, it was just given to a particular person as a gift or whatever. Was it competitive, if it was, we would like some information to be laid on the Table to examine it; and as QS I would like to find out whether this project was meaningful.


His Honour, the Vice-President: Mr Speaker, once again, I am sorry that my brother is a quantity surveyor, but did not partake in this project.


His Honour, the vice-President: The fact that you did not partake in this project does not mean that there were no quantity surveyors and in fact not only did we have quantity surveyors, we had Architectural Designers, Electrical and Mechanical Services, and Structural and Civil Services. So, some of your competitors including Landscaping, furniture, fittings and site clearance builders’ works got jobs. Everything was there Sir.

Mr Nyirenda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I seek two clarifications. First of all we were told that the PHI houses were supposed to have been constructed by  the National Housing Authority, but they had to change their Act and as a result, they gave it to PHI. In this House, we were told that PHI has now been transferred to the National Housing Authority. Can the Vice-President clarify whether the Act has now been amended to allow for this transfer?

Two, we were told …

Hon. Government Members: One!

Mr Nyirenda: …  that the aim of selling government and council houses was to enable the councils build new houses, but later we were told that there was no money for them to do so. Can the Vice-President clarify the fact that the councils failed to build new houses because, actually, council  houses were not sold, but given free from a cup of tea.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am afraid, I was not at any meeting where houses were given away freely over a cup of tea. What I have quoted is a Cabinet decision which led to the birth of PHI. As regards the councils failing to build houses, that, I think, would be the subject of a new question directed at the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Speaker, there is need for a serious clarification from His Honour, the Vice-President on the legality of the PHI. The Act only allows the Minister of Finance and National Planning to sign and this is supposed to be done through a gazette under delegated legislation. What makes the Government believe that what they did is constitutionally right?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there are many ways of starting a corporation in Zambia. One is through the Registrar of Companies in which you can come up with a limited corporation and the other is through an Act of Parliament. However, in this particular case, the PHI, truly, in the beginning, was neither. It was a concept that went ahead and built these houses, but whose legal status now has been clarified by the fact that the PHI is now part of the National Housing Authority. 

What we need to work on is not the PHI, but the National Housing Authority Act. The National Housing Authority, as a corporation, is entitled to have as many subsidiaries as it may wish to have. Indeed, from what I know, they do have such a subsidiary. There is one that imports building materials. So, this PHI too could become a subsidiary of the National Housing Authority. All these things are legal.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs R. C. Banda: Mr Speaker, we have been told by His Honour, the Vice-President that Cabinet, actually, legalised this.  I remember there was an outcry from the public that the Presidential Housing Initiative was not a legal entity and at that time the objective of the Presidential Housing Initiative was to build cheap houses for civil servants. I would like to ask His Honour, the Vice-President how many civil servants have bought those ‘cheap Houses’.

Secondly, this PHI was initiated by the former President, Dr Chiluba. If it was not legally existent, may His Honour, the Vice-President clarify whether this was not done deliberately so that it becomes an invisible company to milk the nation’s resources through Mr Sakala who took the law unto himself and just decided to cancel contracts without any compensation? 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is a combination of many new questions.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, considering that my cousin, His Honour, the Vice-President, came from the North-Western Province with only a suitcase, but has managed to become a good businessman and has put on weight, I would like ask him a very cardinal question.


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, His Honour, the Vice-President is a very successful businessman. I would like to ask his conscience a question particularly that he was Vice-President in the previous Government and he is also Vice-President in this Government. Your Honour, do you feel that, as a skilled businessman, all of these ins and outs which you have been reading here constitute good business on behalf of the Zambian people?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, Zambia was going to hold the OAU Conference, which it did, but it needed the infrastructure in place in order to hold such a mammoth conference, which, I must say, was very well attended. Therefore, since Zambia did not have the money, I see no reason and nothing wrong, as a businessman, in Zambia for one to have gone to someone else who had the money to borrow, so that one could invest in Zambia. 

So, there was nothing wrong in borrowing to invest in Zambia because as far as I know, those houses cannot be uprooted and taken to Malaysia. Those houses will be in Zambia forever. If we cannot afford to live in those houses, that is another matter, but I am sure those who have the ability to live in those houses will enjoy them. My only concern is for families with young children. As those are glass houses, they would need replace glass frequently. That is the only problem I have with those houses.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, could His Honour, the Vice-President, please, inform us whether he is aware that subsidiaries of a company also need to be legally registered. So to come to this House and say all is fine with PHI because it is a subsidiary is, in fact, flouting the Law. Is that the habit of this Government?

Secondly, could His Honour, the Vice-President, with legal advice, perhaps, from the hon. Member for Mbala (Mr Sichilima), tell this House whether there was ever any authority for Mr Richard Sakala or PHI to negotiate a loan on behalf of the Government. We are not talking about Cabinet minutes initiating PHI. We are talking about the authority given from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to negotiate. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I have a bundle of documents here. I am looking at one. I can see here the signature of the former President, which directed the Minister of Legal Affairs to ensure that when drafting the Bill, the amendment to the National Housing Authority Act be harmonised with those proposed under the PHI. So, that would be the authority.


The Vice-President: Here he is directing the Minister of Legal Affairs. So, what authority do you want then? Mr Speaker, I do also know that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can delegate an officer to sign on behalf of the Government. The President showed you documents that were signed on behalf of the Government of Zambia Mr Speaker by Mr Boniface Nonde who was just a civil servant. So, that happens all the time,

I thank you.
Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask one question but before I do that, I would like to advise the Vice-President …


Mr Speaker: Ask your question!


Mr Ntundu: I am on the Floor.

Could His Honour, the Vice-President, clearly - because he speaking in riddles -  clearly explain to the House where the authority came from. He has not answered that question. May he, please, clearly answer that question.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I stood there for fourteen minutes reading a document. I started off by stating that the document was signed by Mr Sakala and ended by quoting where Mr Sakala’s authority came from.

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

The Vice-President: Now, …


The Vice-President: … Mr Speaker, was I wasting my time reading the Cabinet minutes for him?


I thank you, Sir.

Mr Liato (Kaoma): Mr Speaker, could His Honour, the Vice-President tell this House whether Zambia will continue to import unskilled labour like we did with the Malaysians? I have said so because I think we would not…

Mr Speaker: Ask your question but do not debate it. It is not allowed.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, well in future …

The Vice-President: I thank you so much my dear brother for debating. However, for as long as we do not have our own resources, certain contracts entail that the financiers also bring in their own expertise, no matter how low; that is what poverty means.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as far as I know and with my experience in the Government, even funds given to Zambia for projects - If can give a concrete example, from the US$35 million given to us by the European Union to help small-scale miners,  US$15 million is going towards paying for the experts that they have brought. So, that is the essence of poverty. Yes, indeed. I am sorry, but …


I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Patel: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order on who? He has finished.


Mrs Masebo: I have one question for His Honour, the Vice-President. Sir, in his submission, he did mention that it is the Libyan Government that has taken over the Millennium Village. Since that is tantamount to an investment, does the company have an investment licence? Also, I would like to find out how much of PHI’s internal funds went towards the construction of the same Village to date because at the end of the day, they will have to add up the figures and see how much they will share between themselves. So, I just want to know how much of the PHI’s internal funds went towards the construction of the same.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to assist the hon. Members of Parliament who would like to get more information in addition to what I have given that the PHI …

Mr Patel: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, is His Honour, the Vice-President in order to make a racist comment and refer to me as a Mwenye in this House? I seek your ruling.


Mr Patel: Shame on you!

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Speaker: Order! {mospagebreak}

The Chair must regret that it did not pick up that alleged remark because there was so much noise going on in the Chamber. I have time and again advised and guided the House to listen to one another. 

I am now in a position where I cannot rule because I did not hear what was being exchanged. I believe both the members involved were actually seated. So, it was difficult for me to hear this. 

However, I would like to generally warn that this is not a House of tribes. This is not a House of races. This is a House of the people of Zambia. 

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: This is just a general advice to all of you hon. Members. Could His Honour, the Vice-President continue?

Mr L. L. Phiri: Thank you.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for your guidance, but in actual fact, I did not say anything to that effect.

Mr Patel: Ha!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, if hon. Members of Parliament would like to find out more, I wish to advise that there is a lot of information on the PHI in the Auditor-General’s Report. It is also encouraging to note that some of the comments you have made are also covered in the Auditor-General’s Report. 

The questions by Hon. Patel and Hon. Nawakwi: who owned and who signed for the Millennium Village were related and I have given replies to both. If you wish to get further information on the PHI, I would encourage you to read the Auditor-General’s Report. If you do not have a copy let me know. But, all I know is that we submitted these reports to Mr Speaker who may have distributed them to you all. You may call for a proper debate on PHI. However, having advised so, I would like to mention here that some of the issues raised in the PHI Auditor-General’s Report are sub judice, as you may be aware, this matter is in court. Even this morning, I am informed that the PHI case was  in court. So, apart from that, the document itself is available. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Samukonga (Chawama): Mr Speaker, I find it very difficult to comprehend the fact that the Government is supporting illegality. We have heard about the National Housing Authority Act, but that came much later. Prior to that, PHI had been established and some Government funds had been applied towards PHI.

My question, Mr Speaker, why did the whole Cabinet sitting together, find it so difficult not to abrogate the Law but instead went ahead and apply Government funding towards an illegal entity to the extent that they forgot about tender procedures in as far as sourcing for a contractor is concerned. They forgot about tender procedures in as far as floating their assets were concerned. They forgot about everything.


Mr Samukonga: Now, we are stuck with a situation whereby …

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Samukonga: I am coming to that Mr Speaker.


Mr Samukonga: The question is why did Cabinet feel comfortable to forget about all the legalities surrounding this matrix? There are too many contract MOUs that were signed and abrogated in this deal. It does not make business sense. Why did Cabinet not sit down to clean-up and come up with proper business unlike the arrangement for PHI that was an illegal entity? To begin with, they should have made sure that the entity was legalised. Why did they not do that, Mr Speaker?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that the hon. Member of Parliament for Chawama has ably debated his question and in addition he can seek a lot more clarification from the hon. Vice-President of the FDD Party (Miss Nawakwi) who seats in this House…


The Vice-President: … and who was the then Minister of Finance and who actually attended that particular meeting …

Ms Nawakwi: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Ms Nawakwi: Mr Speaker, is His Honour, the Vice-President in order to deliberately mislead this House when he is well aware that the then former Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr Malambo and the Minister of Finance then, Edith Nawakwi refused to append their signatures to the so called ‘PHI’ because it was illegal. Is he in order?


Mr Speaker: Could His Honour, the Vice-President resume answering the other subsidiary question, bearing in mind the point of order that has been raised by the hon. Member for Munali.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it does not state anywhere in the minutes, I have, that the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, then, refused to sign. Although I was minister earlier, during this particular Cabinet sitting, I had been fired by the   President in office  …


The Vice-President: … and so, I did not attend.



Mr Mwale (Chipata): Mr Speaker, from the long, complicated and confusing explanation …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mwale: … and emerging matrix regarding the sourcing of funding and the disbursement of funds for the PHI and related projects, can His Honour, the Vice-President agree that in fact that is why we are saying that international contracts - financial and otherwise must first of all be ratified by this House.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is possible to do, but I think it will require some constitutional amendments to the Law. I have no objection to that neither do I object to giving you the documents that were agreed to by the honourable and charming neighbour of yours over there.


Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, indeed the explanation was long-winded and quite confusing. However, Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Government Members: Have you been sworn in?


Mr Lubinda: … the Ministers of the Government that went ahead to construct the Millennium Village to which hon. Kavindele was Vice-President, denied last year that   the village was being built for the sake of the OAU. Today His Honour, the Vice-President is telling us the direct opposite of what his colleagues told us last year. Based on that, Mr Speaker, I would like to ask His Honour, the Vice-President on what basis he expects this House and indeed the nation, to believe the statements he is making? And further, may he, please, forthwith, place all the documents he is referring to on the Table of this House so that the Zambians can have an opportunity to study what he is telling us.

Thank you.

Mr Speaker: That question was really in form of a commentary, but His Honour, the Vice-President may wish to pick up anything that he understood from the question.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, firstly, that gentleman was not in this House last year. So when he talks about what my friends had come to tell the House, it is not in order …

Mr Kalumiana: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Government is explaining a matter of national importance.


Mr Speaker: Order!

I allowed the hon. Member for Munali to ask a point of order because she was named by His Honour, the Vice-President, but normally I would not have done so.

His Honour, the Vice-President, could you please continue, if you have anything else to add.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I did state from the outset that the Millennium Village was built to host the Presidents that were coming for the OAU. Therefore, I see no complication in the statement I made, it is straightforward. I have surrendered the document and I am going to surrender some more documents. If you so wish, please, obtain these documents and read them in your own time.

It is true that the moneys that are being talked about here are not what we would normally talk about. For instance, US$88 million or US$17 million, which are big sums of money require a lot of consultations. This is why the owners of the money brought in their own legal advisers. I would like to believe that Mr Sakala also went with his legal advisers. So what came out is what I have produced. I am a messenger of these serious documents that you asked for. If you want to know more about PHI, I will go back to what I said earlier, obtain the Auditor-General’s report and it will give you everything you want to know about PHI.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr P. G. Phiri (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, my question is already asked.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I see one, two, three and now four hon. Members indicating to take the floor.

Mr Nzowa (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, I think this is a very serious issue and we cannot afford to trivialise it. Public funds have gone missing because of this issue. Our problem is …

Hon. Government Members: Interjected.

Mr Nzowa: It does not matter we want to know the truth.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Nzowa: Our problem is that His Honour, the Vice-President, the Leader of Government Business in the House, has continued to defend wrong things. And he continues to refer to documents like the Auditor-General’s report and the presidential document that was laid on the Table, which document contradicts what he is talking about.

Mr Speaker: Could you ask your question, Please?

Mr Nzowa: The question is, why should he continue to defend wrong things?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I was asked questions by the two hon. Members of Parliament and I was given five days to come up with a comprehensive reply, which meant that I, together with my officials worked on Sunday. Whilst they were doing other activities, we were trying to find these answers, working.


The Vice-President: I do not keep cabinet papers in my office and so, I had to go to the office in order to get all the agreements pertaining to this issue for the benefit of this House. I have produced what he wanted, but he is saying I am trivialising the whole issue. That is not fair, Mr Speaker. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing these answers and I do not think it is fair to say anything like that.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kafue, have you asked any question before?
ichinga (Kafue): No, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Go ahead.

Mr Sichinga: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In view of the fact that this very House had cautioned and advised the MMD Government of the illegality of PHI in this very House, on a point raised by the person who is speaking now, can His Honour, the Vice-President confirm to us now that firstly, he is not defending the wrong-doing of the fact that Cabinet acted outside the ambit of the Laws of this House? And secondly, that the National Housing Act, which has been referred to was never brought to this House for amendment and thirdly, that in fact there was no delegation of powers to Mr Sakala to sign the agreement, despite what may have been discussed in Cabinet. Can he please confirm that the entire transaction by MMD Government was illegal? 

The Vice President: No, Mr Speaker, as far as I know, issues, an idea or a concept is developed and taken to a Committee and the Committee takes it to Cabinet, and the   Cabinet, at this point therefore, met and discussed what was needed to be done in the  usual way that the Government develops projects. Thereafter, as far as I know, the National Housing Authority was identified from the outset as the panacea for the development of the Millennium houses. However, it was discovered that the National Housing Authority, did not have the legal status or qualifications to undertake such a project. But the project was a necessity and the Government could not wait until whatever needed to be done was done.


The Vice President: From the onset, something had to be done with the view of either (a) incorporating a limited company or (b) making it a subsidiary or a department of the National Housing Authority, eventually. In fact, I am aware that a subsidiary also does need to be incorporated as a limited company. But you can also have a department  within a company.


The Vice President: There is no law, which prohibits that. A department within a company  would also need to be funded in order for it to carryout its functions.

I thank you, Sir.





85. Mr L L Phiri (Chipangali) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    how much money was released and spent on the issuance of National Registration Cards in the years 2000 and 2002, province by province; and
(b)    how many people were issued with cards, province by province.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mapushi): Mr Speaker, the following amount of money was released and spent in the issuance of National Registration Cards in the years 2000 and 2001.

Mr Speaker, the figures involved run in billions and for the sake of making it easy for Members to read and understand the figures, I will lay the document on the Table.

Mr Speaker: Order! Could the hon. Minister just summarise the figures and then later lay the document on the Table.

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, in the year 2000 a sum total for all the provinces was spent in the amount of K1,735,955,729, in the year 2001. It shot up to K3,591,867,315 and in the year 2002 the figure for all the provinces went down to K1,118,527,738.

As for the figures for each province, data is being processed in the districts and when it is fully completed, I will make it known to the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order! Please, lay the document on the Table.

Mr Mapushi laid the document on the Table.

Mr L L Phiri: Mr Speaker, from the answer given by the hon. Minister, could he confirm to this House that some provinces with very few people like Luapula and others received more money than densely populated areas like the Eastern, Southern and Lusaka Provinces. Can he confirm that the money was not equitably shared?

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, I confirm that the allocation of money was not uniform. It all depended on the places to be visited and the concentration of people in some areas. The disparity reflected distances that were supposed to be covered. For example, in Lusaka Province, the areas where most people reside is approximately within 40 kilometers, but places like Luapula, though in terms of population is smaller, it consumed more money because of the far flung places the officers were supposed to cover.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister of Home Affairs inform the House what he intends to do to correct this imbalance and allow the provinces that were not given the opportunity to register in time for the last election, be the first to be afforded the opportunity to have National Registration Cards so that they can also register as voters and participate in choosing their leadership.

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that other places did not receive equal attention. But, however, the starting point is that we are collecting data regarding which areas were not covered, just in case they were and if they were not, it is our intention to we move in with expediency.

Secondly, Sir, I intend to encourage continuous registration as a way of avoiding managing things by crisis.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga (Kafue): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister indicate to this House that in view of the repeated complaints from Members of Parliament arising from the complaints in their constituencies that he will be considering different ways and technologies to ensure that there is equitable registration throughout the country. Keeping in mind the existence of the Law that requires continuous registration, can he confirm to us whether, in fact, there are plans in his Ministry to ensure that the large number of Zambians who have no National Registration Cards will, in fact, this time be registered. 

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, with regard to other areas which were not adequately covered, for instance, Luapula Province, was not adequately covered because it has a lot of Islands, I am aware that we did a lot of injustice to such cases.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mapushi: The first thing we have done is that we have sent a total of four boats to make sure that the backlog in those Islands is attended to. So, for special areas like the Western Province where there is also need for speedboats, we have ordered some speedboats to ensure that those areas are reached. But, however, our intention as a Ministry is to continue to listen to complaints and the hon. Member for Kafue will do  well to come to my office and specifically inform me of areas where he thinks our officers need to be taken to conduct the registration exercise.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Wamulume (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I want to find out from the Minister if he is aware that in Kalabo his office is not issuing any National Registration Cards. When people want National Registration Cards, they have to travel to Mongu. If he is aware, what measures is he taking to see to it that the people in Kalabo District also benefit from this national exercise.

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, I am fully aware that from time to time, we do run into administrative hitches, but if that exercise is not going on in Liuwa, I will ensure that it is embarked on as soon as possible.

Mrs I. M. Wina: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that he wants to encourage continuous registration. I am of the view that this Government had pledged to carry out continuous registration and not only to encourage it. So, we would like to know when this programme will be started.

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, when I said ‘encourage’ I meant that though there are problems, I want to ensure that we go ahead. However, it is a legal requirement that we do it continuously. That is the position.

86. Miss Nawakwi (Munali) asked the Minister of Home Affairs: 
(a)    how many foreign nationals owned shops at Kamwala Trading Centre by 31st March, 2002;
(b)    what type of permits do they have; and
(c)    what is the nationality of each one of them.

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, a total of 159 foreign nationals owned shops at Kamwala Trading Centre by 31st March, 2002. Forty of the foreign nationals are Certificate of Status holders. Fifty-eight are on Entry Permit and sixty-one are on Self Employment permits.
The nationality of each of them is as follows:

National        Certificate         Entry        Self-Employment    Total
of Status        Permit        Permit

Indians        30            41            20        91
Chinese                    3            22        25
Pakistan        1            2            6        9
British        7            3            2        12
Lebanese                    6            6        12
Tanzanians                    3            1        4
Congolese                    2                    2
Cypriots                                1        1
South Africans                            1        1
Sierra Leone                                1        1
Greek        1                                1

I thank you, Sir.

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Speaker, it is very clear that there is confusion at Kamwala because foreigners on Entry Permits can start trading shops from windows. Could the hon. Minister of Home Affairs clarify if these people who came here as visitors are going back to their homes?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, in the first place there is no confusion. That assertion is misleading. When we give permits to people, we really take a lot into account. One of them is of necessity. Is this person going to add any value to our weak economy? Secondly, we find out whether they are on the run in terms of breaking the Law where they came from. When they meet all these requirements, I, in the Ministry of Home Affairs use my discretion to give permits.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, out of the twenty-five Chinese the hon. Minister has allowed to start businesses at Kwamwala Trading Centre, how many of these came in for the OAU village?


Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, none.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister what measures he has put in place to make sure that these people are not abusing these permits which they are given?

Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, thank you for that very good question. In the first place, each time a person applies for any permit - entry or self-employment permit - there are requirements to be met. From there we normally know whether one was given a paper earlier on or not. Secondly, of late, Sir, the ministries of Labour and Social Security, Works and Supply and Foreign Affairs, have set-up a committee. The committee  invites the participation of professional bodies, for example, accountants because they have been complaining that we are employing fake accountants from outside the country at the expense of our locally trained nationals.

So, in that field, Mr Speaker, we are not giving any permit to accountants because we have got enough of them in this country. In other words, we are vigilant on permits are given to. I think in future, I will involve more professionals to ensure that our laws are not abused.

I thank you, Sir.


87.    Mr Patel (Lusaka Central) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs: 
what is Government position on the incursion into Palestinian territory by Israel.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Miss Namugala): Mr Speaker, the situation in the Middle East has over the past 24 months experienced the highest level of unrelented violence in the history of the Arab/Israeli conflict. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have carried out armed attacks on each other, leading to huge losses of innocent civilian lives.

As a member of the international community, Zambia is concerned that neither party is at the moment exercising restraint or demonstrating any political will towards finding a negotiated solution.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has continued to follow with alarm and grave concern developments in that region. This has been manifested in separate statements issued, earlier this year, by the President of this country, His Excellency, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, in his capacity as Zambia’s Head of State and Chairman of OAU. 

In these two statements, Zambia reiterates her previously state position, calling on the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian territories and the return by both parties to the negotiating table in search of a lasting solution to the conflict.

Mr Speaker, the Zambian Government has consistently called upon the two sides to rededicate themselves to the framework of the relevant United Nations General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions, especially, 181, 237, 242 and others. Zambia has also supported the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people including the return to their homes, self-determination and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the principles of International Law.

The Government has, therefore, welcomed all possible efforts that could possibly see the Israeli Government withdraw its troops from Palestinian territories and it in the same token equally appeals to the Palestinian authority to ensure a complete halt on suicide attacks on the Israeli civilians.

Mr Speaker, Zambia’s stand is also reflected in the collective decision of the recently held Summit of the African Union in Durban, South Africa, this year. The Union supports the elected President Palestinian National Authority, the Leader of the Palestinian people, His Excellency, Yasser Arafat and has also demanded the immediate end of the Israeli siege imposed on President Arafat in Ramallah. The Assembly of the African Union also called for international efforts and assistance to rebuild Palestinian institutions destroyed by the Israeli occupation army.

Mr Speaker, the African Union has to this end decided to establish a committee of ten members to activate the peace process in the Middle East. The Chairman of the Committee of Ten is South Africa in her capacity as current Chair of the African Union. In this respect, it has also given the responsibility of nominating members of the committee in conjunction with the acting Chairperson of the Commission that was formally known as the OAU Secretariat. For further information, I wish to lay the document relating to the AU’s resolution on this subject on the Table.

I thank you, Sir.

Miss Namugala laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Patel: Could the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, please, advise this House on why we can only learn about the Government’s foreign policy through oral questions, otherwise it continues to behave as it if it is a central intelligence agency by keeping things quiet.

Miss Namugala: Mr Speaker, this is your Government, hon. Members of Parliament. If there is anything that you are not clear about, you are free to visit the offices of the Ministers here.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Is the hon. Minister serious that we should keep quiet and never take position on this issue in the face that the Israelis sponsored by the Americans are the ones who have caused this whole issue in the Middle East? Now, despite the intelligence or whatever we are getting from Israel, I think it is better that the Government makes its position on this issue known because the Americans refer to Palestinians, a people who fighting for its freedom as terrorists. And if the Government is going to support the Israelis, …

Hon. Government Members: Question.

Mr Shakafuswa: I have already asked my question. Now if the Government is going to support Israel because of money, I think it is not correct; we should be human enough to support the Palestinians.

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member has debated his question and there is no need for a reply.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Could the hon. Minister advise the House on the Government’s position on the self-claimed right of hot pursuits and also on the self-claimed right to have pre-emptied strikes, assassinations and internal deportations, all of which are happening in the Middle East.

Miss Namugala: Mr Speaker, that question is completely  new.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Shepande (Nangoma): Can the hon. Minister inform this House what the rating of Zambia is in the realm of international affairs as regards how much influence they have to resolve this Israeli/Palestinian question.

Miss Namugala: Mr Speaker, Zambia is held highly on the international platform. Zambia has been negotiating and mediating in its neighbouring countries in peace processes. And we have made our position very clear in relation to the Israeli/Arab Conflict. It is very clear that Zambia would like to see an end to the Conflict. And therefore it supports all efforts at international level to this effect.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukwakwa (Zambezi East): How effective can our foreign policy be when we are still continuing to have the agreement for the elections in the country with the NIKUV Registers of Israelis? 

Mr Speaker: That question is irrelevant.

Can we go to the next question, please?


88. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a)    how many tonnes of maize were required for consumption between 2001 and 2002, and how many tonnes were available by 31st May, 2002;
(b)    how many tonnes of winter maize are expected to be produced in 2002;
(c)    how much was loaned to commercial farmers in the Chiawa area for the 2002 winter maize crop; and
(d)    have prices for the winter maize crop been fixed.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kamwendo): Mr Speaker, according to the food balance sheet for the 2002/2001 marketing year based on the 2002/2001 crop forecast, 1,320,908 metric tonnes of maize were required for consumption between 2001/2002 season. About 20,000 metric tonnes of maize were available as imported stock by private traders by 31st May, 2002.

With regard to (b), Lendor Limited in Chiawa and Agro-Flora Limited in Sinazongwe  900 and 240 hectares of winter maize were planted between 15th and 21st May, 2002, giving a total area of 1,140 hectares. Six to eight metric tonnes per hectare is the expected production and 6,480 to 9,120 metric tonnes are expected. 

As regards (c), the winter maize production initiative has no loan facility. Therefore, no commercial farmer has received any loans for the winter maize production including those from Chiawa and Sinazongwe area. The Government has just encouraged farmers to grow winter maize in view of the shortfall. The Government has not fixed the prices for the winter maize crop.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to ask a question to the learned hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Mr Sikatana. Is it in order …


Mr Muyanda: Please, settle down. Is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives in order to misrepresent figures to this House and argue for the growing of winter maize, from which out of 20 centre pivots, only 9 are working? 

Mr Speaker: Well, maybe, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives may have understood something about that question. May he reply.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, there has not been any mention of the number of centre pivots in this House. Therefore, I did not mislead the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muyanda indicated to ask a supplementary question.

Mr Speaker: Order! We have to go back to the drawing board some day again. When a question is asked in the manner it was, only the principal questioner, so to speak, is allowed, almost automatically, a second chance to follow-up. I notice that the hon. Member of Parliament for Sinazongwe would like to ask a second question, it is never done like that. The rest have one chance of asking supplementary questions.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives when winter maize projects will be extended to North-Western Province.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, the Government, under Programme Against Malnutrition, intends to extend not only winter maize, but off-season maize under the wetlands programme. With  immediate effect. 

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives how many winter maize projects have been pre-financed in the manner that the Lendor Burton was pre-financed with K10 billion and also whether or not the expected yield from this pre-financed scheme is going to be of the value of the money.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member of Parliament for Livingstone had listened to my earlier answer, in which I categorically stated that there has been no funding by the Government, he would not have had to ask that question. Call it pre-finance or whatever, all the investment is by farmers themselves without any funding from the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, listening to the answer given by the hon. Minister, may I know how we shall know that the winter maize is actually profitable and viable if the Government, up to now, has not made out the price for the winter maize.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, we have no intention of dictating the price of maize that is being grown under the winter and off-season programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, my question is in relation to the required consumption for this season until the end of it. I have heard that there is only 20000 metric tonnes currently. Can the hon. Minister explain to the House what steps the Government is taking to ensure that there shall be enough stocks for the country?

Secondly, is he aware that the projected out-put from the winter maize project is only enough …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was putting a question to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Unfortunately, he is not in the House, so, I do not know whether I should ask the question.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Go ahead.

Mrs Masebo: I wanted to find out the number of tonnage required to meet the consumption for the whole season. What steps is the Government taking to ensure that we shall have enough maize in the country and also …


Mrs Masebo: It was related to the winter maize out-put. Is the hon. Minister aware that …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Question, please!

Mrs Masebo: What steps has the Government taken to ensure that we have enough stocks of maize to meet the required food supply?

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Kamwendo): Mr Speaker, the Government is making an effort to ensure that enough food is imported into the country to meet the difference.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm whether they are going to allow food to brought into the country which has overstayed in other countries or simply bad food, like the yellow maize which we received some five years ago, which even dogs or chickens could not eat, if it were thrown to them, simply because Zambia requires food?

Mr Kamwendo: Mr Speaker, the answer is straightforward. This Government is a responsible one and we cannot allow rotten food to be brought into our country.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, will the hon. Minister confirm that, indeed, the Government will buy all the maize to be grown through the winter maize programme. If so, at what price?

Mr Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister should answer just one part of the question.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, the farmers growing winter maize have agreed to put it on the market at US $180 per tonne, which is far below the price of imported maize and even that of local maize.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombora): Mr Speaker, the local farmers have harvested their maize now. What arrangement is the Government making to buy the maize from the farmers who are, now, busy selling the maize to the brewers instead of the millers?

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency and other agencies are already buying maize wherever it is available. There is hardly any crop left, now, and they are giving the best prices at the minimum of K40,000 per bag.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Wamulume: Mr Speaker, may I know why the Government is not utilising the Zambia National Service to supplement the winter maize that the farmers are growing. There are a lot of camps that are just idle and yet they were created to feed the nation.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, we have already started with the Zambia National Service farm at the International Airport where they have dug one of the biggest dams around and  are ready to join in the food production on all the twenty-five farms available.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalumiana: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has not given us the specific price per bag of winter maize. Could he give us a range or simply confirm that it will be affordable.


Mr Kalumiana: I was trying to find out if it was possible for the hon. Minister to give us the price range within which the consumers will be able to buy the winter maize. If you are not able to give us a specific figure, can you just tell us if will be affordable?

Mr Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister has already answered that question. 

Mr Nakalonga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware of some farmers in Mazabuka and other districts, who have maize, but are just not willing to sell to individuals except to people who want to buy in bulk? If he is aware, has he put any measures to prevent that maize from being moved from where it is grown and where people are in need of it to Lusaka where it is milled and sold to people who are brewing Chibuku?

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member is, obviously, aware, it was only last week that I was in his constituency, and so we are taking measures to ensure that the peasant farmer gets the best price and the consumer also gets a reasonable price.

Thank you, Sir.


89. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources:

(a)    what operational incentives were given to Sun International Hotels in Livingstone;

(b)    which other investor in the industry was given the same incentives; and

(c)    when other investors in the tourism sector would be given the same incentives. 

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Silavwe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the operational incentives that were given to Sun International Hotels in Livingstone by the Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, are outlined under Statutory Instrument No. 53 of 1999, that is, the customs and Excise Remissions, Sun International Zambia Limited Regulation. If we need more information, my colleagues from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning would be able to expand on it, but I will lay on the Table the Statutory Instrument.

In addition to this incentive, the Ministry of Tourism also issued a Statutory Instrument No. 42 of 2001. That is the Casino Licence Fees (Suspension) Regulation, 2001, which outlines the incentives given. Maybe, to, actually, expand a bit on the Statutory Instrument, these regulations may be cited as Customs and Excise Remissions, Sun International Zambia Limited Regulations, 1999, which say, and I quote:

‘The Commission shall remit the whole duty payable on the goods set out in the schedule to these regulations when imported by Sun International Zambia Limited upon a value of approximately US$33,365,400. The goods on which duty has been remitted under sub-regulation (1) shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of to any person or entitle them to import duty free duty except with the consent of the commission and upon payment of duty, if any, at the rate payable at the date of such disposal.’

On (b), Mr Speaker, there were no other investors in the industry that were given the same incentives as those given to the Sun International Hotels in Livingstone. This is because Sun International Hotels is the only investor who applied for such an incentive and we considered the investor who applied.

On (c) the ministry is currently consulting the tourism sector in order to come up with incentives that will be applicable to both local and foreign investors in the tourism sector. This is to avoid individual investors seeking incentives for their companies when they want to invest in the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister, please, re-clarify his statement. It is not true that no other investors had previously requested for incentives in the tourism sector. Your predecessors in this House confirmed that they were not in a position to provide incentives before they could solve the fiscal problems. Can you, please, correct what you just said because it is not true. When will you finally provide a level playing field for everyone in the tourism sector?

Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, as I said, the Sun International applied for exemption on the goods that they wanted to bring into Zambia to assist in the construction of the hotel in Livingstone. Therefore, it is on that basis that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning had to waive the duty and VAT on those items that he had requested for assistance from the Government. That is what the Ministry knows. If there are any other investors who had applied, it could be that the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources is not aware.

I thank you, Sir.

Miss Nawakwi: Could the hon. Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources clarify why Chula Lodge which applied for incentives during the same year that Sun International did was not given the same package that Sun International got?

Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Munali for bringing a new question which the ministry needs to research on.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that the playing field in the tourism industry is not equitable, in view of the benefits that were extended to Sun International, could the hon. Minister explain to this House how much revenue the hotel draws? And this revenue in fact, does not remain in Zambia. Instead it is sent to South Africa where it utilized to propagate the business in South Africa at the expense of the Zambian Tourism Industry. Could he inform us the proportion which is sent to South Africa?

Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, that is a new question and we need some more time to research.


Mr Silavwe: We will come up with the answer at a later date.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Imenda (Lukulu-East): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why Government continues to let the Sun International enjoy attractive conditions when they are ill paying Zambian workers?

Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Member has brought in yet another new question which …


Mr Silavwe: … us, as a Government, would need to research to come up with the answer. We will have to involve all the stakeholders. 

Mr Sichinga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr L. L. Phiri: New Deal ya la la.

The Deputy Speaker: A point or order is raised.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to deliberately evade answering questions that are legitimately asked as follow-up questions to the question that has been asked by Hon. Dipak Patel? Is he in order to continue doing that?

Mr Silavwe: Mr Speaker, I feel that I am in order because I need to …


Mr Silavwe: … to go and research as this is a new question that has been asked. I do not want to dream an answer. I need to give this august House a better and quality answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’uni (Chama-South): Mr Speaker, I would like the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources to indicate when they are going to embark on affirmative action to empower indigenous black Zambians in Chama-South to go into lodge investment and the like, as opposed the status quo where we have whites continuously given preferred conditions.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, firstly, the question borders on racism. It is just talking about black indigenous. That is racism.


The Vice-President: This House does not encourage racism …


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, secondly, this Government has empowered people of all races to own lodges including Zambians, the ones you call indigenous, he ...


The Vice-President: I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Speaker, surely the hon. Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources should come out in the open. Question 89 (a) calls on the operational incentives that were given to Sun International Hotels in Livingstone. What were the benefit of the Zambians and the people of Livingstone in this arrangement?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, firstly, when the original hotel was there, it did not employ as many people as Sun International does.

Secondly, Sun International have put up a world-class facility of world standard. So, those are the benefits of that investment to Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Moonde (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources what benefits we have from the lodges dotted along the Zambezi River. Is the ministry aware that there has been a lot of discrimination practiced at various lodges? If he is aware, what action is he taking to ensure that these people are restrained from practicing racism and other vices?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, firstly, we believe that the many lodges that are on the shores of the Zambezi River …

Mr Shumina: On a point of order, Sir.

The Vice-President: … mean that there are a lot of tourists coming in and secondly, Sir, we have not been informed of the racism that some of these investors are indulging in. The Government of Zambia abhors racism in any form. Therefore, once the ministry investigates these matters and finds out that there is some element of truth, the people involved shall be punished.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister indicate whether the incentives given to Livingstone could be extended to places of great importance like Mfuwe in Eastern Province which is in Malambo and Chama. These places have a lot of  animals and if such facilities are extended, they could be of great value and beneficial just like Livingstone. Could the hon. Minister confirm whether they have those plans in the near future?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hotel in Livingstone is not Government owned. That is a private investment and this Government encourages the private sector to invest in those areas where they think they will make a profit. Indeed, we do have some very serious investors in the Luangwa valley that run Club Makokola. In Mangoche, Malawians have invested in our own Luangwa. So, the Government encourages investment in tourism.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, is the Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources aware that Sun International came with their own waiters at the expense of the indigenous unemployed masses.

The Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources (Mrs Nsingo): Mr Speaker, I am not aware because there are Zambian waiters there. In fact most of the people employed there are Zambians.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale (Chipata): Mr Speaker, is the Minister aware that the same investors that you have given unlimited access to our resources are in fact practicing racism from these investments? For example, in Mfuwe, it is not possible to go in and have a beer unless you are a chief or a Member of Parliament. An ordinary Zambian is not allowed to access the facility even just for a beer. Where is racism and who is practicing it?

Mrs Nsingo: Mr Speaker, this question has been answered. That is an allegation, but if it is found to be true …

Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mrs Nsingo: Yes, we are going to investigate and come up with an answer. What I am saying is that we are not aware of such practices.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, in view of the answer given, I would like to know whether these incentives given to Sun International are perpetual, if so, when are they going to be extended to other operators in the field?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer, come here!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the incentives given to Sun International were negotiated for with the Government by Sun International. There is nothing to stop any other investor wishing to have any special conditions from negotiating with Government, but I do know that incentives are there. For instance, people who would like to invest in tourism are allowed some items duty free. So, that is an incentive, which everyone enjoys including those who would like to put up lodges in Siavonga, …

Mr Patel: Banana island!

The Vice-President: Banana island, yes.


The Vice-President: … and any other place in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.


90. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and industry:

(a)    what is the role of the Ministry in the Privatisation process; and

(b)    what is the role of the other ministries in the same exercise.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Appel): Mr Speaker, the privatisation portfolio falls under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. As such, the ministry provides policy guidance and ensures that modalities for privatisation of state-owned enterprises proposed by ZPA are in accordance with Cabinet directives or Government policy.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichilima: Quality!

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, could the Minister therefore explain why it is that we have often heard in the recent past months, statements on privatisation made by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, and the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development, indicating that there is interference in the programme? And they have made statements, which are contradictory to what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning previously stated.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Appel: Mr Speaker, Government policy is that all quasi parastatals fall under the privatisation programme and can only be changed may be through a consensus by Cabinet.

Mr Shumina: That is not the question!

Hon. Government Members: He has answered. Ikala mwandi!



91. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Legal Affairs when a constitutional review will be undertaken.

The Minister of Legal Affairs (Mr Kunda): Mr Speaker, the New Government is committed to reviewing the Constitution of Zambia so as to address any weaknesses and lacunas therein. A Cabinet Memorandum has been prepared in consultation with His Excellency the President and myself as Minister of Legal Affairs for Cabinet to decide on the method of conducting the Constitutional Review. That is to say whether it will be by way of an Ad Hoc Commission of Enquiry, Permanent Committee or Commission or by way of collating material already presented to the Government by the people of Zambia, through previous Commissions of Enquiry and analysing them.

The matter should be tabled before Cabinet, which will also decide on the time-frame for review of the Constitution. The Cabinet Memorandum on this subject is ready for inclusion on the agenda of one of the next cabinet meetings.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwest Central): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the learned Minister of Legal Affairs, whether he intends to bring in constitutional changes to Articles 46, 54 and 63, before the main constitutional changes?

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, the question of constitutional review will entail gathering submissions or reviewing submissions, which are already there, and therefore, it is not for the Minister of Legal Affairs to determine what will go into the Constitution. We shall consider all the submissions and of course, Cabinet will decide and take a position; this House will also be involved and wide consultations will be done.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukwakwa (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, it is assuring to hear from the Minister of Legal Affairs the approach the Government is taking, could he confirm that the Members of Parliament on the MMD side will not be pressurised into taking the Government position as opposed to the national position?


Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, my party does not pressurise its Members.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, not too long ago, the MMD Government undertook another constitutional review. And at the time, they were saying they wanted to come up with a constitution that would stand the test of time. Six years later they are talking about another constitutional review.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Lubinda: My question, Mr Speaker, is whether the MMD Government has taken note of the reasons why that Constitution did not stand the test of time?  Has the  Government devised ways of ensuring that this time, those shortfalls are avoided? Answer, please?

Mr Kunda: The purpose of the constitutional review is to address weaknesses and lacunas in the Constitution. If there is anything like that it will be addressed.

Thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}


92. Mr Patel asked the Vice-President when the electoral reforms will be undertaken.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mukuka): Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission of Zambia is currently undertaking consultative meetings with stakeholders on the proposed electoral reforms, the latest being the electoral reform conference organised by the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) from 25th – 26th July, 2002.

Once the consultations are concluded, the recommendations and the electoral reform recommendations previously presented to Cabinet by the Electoral Commission shall be compiled and presented to the Office of the Vice-President to prepare a Cabinet Memorandum for Cabinet consideration.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, how many consultants have been employed by the Government in order to examine the electoral reforms? And do you expect to bring the amendments to the House this year?
Mr Mukuka: Mr Speaker, the Government has been submitting before this august House that the Electoral Commission is there study all the same issues, thereafter the Government will present the completed study to Cabinet.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I hope His Honour, the Vice President will answer my question in full because so far the questions which have been asked have not been answered. He said the Government has started the process going by the last conference. We are aware that the last conference was organised by an NGO, FODEP, and the Government was just invited. My question is, what are they doing as the Executive to ensure that the electoral process is worked on resolutely?

The Vice President: Mr Speaker, my colleague has stated that the process has started. How many consultants there are now or the next time is irrelevant because you cannot pre-tell how many consultants there will be. As we hold meetings, we will invite them. They may be 100, fifty or even less. So, we cannot predetermine how many consultants we shall have, but the process has started and this matter will end up at Cabinet for its final decision.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, could we get it clearly from His Honour the Vice President whether the consultations that he is telling this House are an initiative of the Government or the NGOs or indeed, the Zambian people. My understanding is that you  were trying to hijack it as a Government.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! I think the answer has already been given.

Mr Mukwakwa: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to confirm whether there are no shivers in the electoral reform by the management in the Commission in terms of what the intentions of the Government are.

Mr Deputy Speaker: The word ‘shivers’ is unparliamentary.


Mr Deputy Speaker: You do not use that language here. Can the hon. Member rephrase the sentence.

Mr Mukwakwa: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word. Could the senior Minister confirm that ...


Mr Mukwakwa: ... could the hon. Minister confirm or deny that they are not putting Executive pressure on the management in terms of the reforms they intend to pursue.

The Vice President: I deny, Sir.

I thank you.


Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I am contemplating on the seriousness of the Government to annex an idea from a different institution and accept it as their very own. Is His Honour, the Vice President saying to this House that he will be bound by the outcome of that particular seminar which was not initiated by them, but which they would now like to claim in this House to be their own.? We would like to know whether that will now constitute official submissions which will go to Cabinet. We need a serious response to a serious question on a serious matter.

The Vice President: Mr Speaker, the process is that an idea can arise from anywhere. However, it can only be brought to this House by Members of Parliament and, in this particular case, by the Government after exhausting its own process, which will ultimately result in Cabinet discussing the issue. If the Cabinet is happy with it, then it will go to the next stage, that is, presentation to this House. If they are not happy, they have the right to throw it out of the window. That is the process. And so whether we like it or not, whether it is a personal idea or not, it is these men and women here who will bring it to this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs I. M. Wina: Mr Speaker, we are discussing changes in the electoral system and yet we are not addressing the major issue, that is, the institution itself that runs the electoral system. My question is, is His Honour, the Vice President in a position to tell us whether the composition of the Electoral Commission will be looked at as we look at other changes in the institution?

The Vice President: Mr Speaker, it is too soon for us to come up and say, at the end of it we are going to change this or that. We are not like those others who would call upon so and so to resign. We are a responsible Government and we have a process of replacing people or appointing people. So it is that process which we are going to utilise and not pressure because somebody is not happy about an individual, we do not look at individuals but at institutions.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission falls under the Office of His Honour, the Vice President. Could he confirm to this House that he is short-staffed, and it is for this reason that he has hired FODEP to do the consultative process on behalf of the Government?


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! If I can come in, hon. Members, you are the same people who cry foul when the Government does not consult. Next question.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Next question.


93. Mr Shumina asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Services:

(a)    when street kids in the country will be removed from the streets;
(b)    what economic benefit this move will derive; and
(c)    how many street kids were removed from the streets of Lusaka between January, 2002 and May, 2002.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Chola): Mr Speaker, there is no time-frame pegged to the issue of removing street kids from the streets, as there are pull and push factors which force the kids to be on the streets.

Mr Speaker, the push factors are poverty, urbanisation, that is rural-urban migration, armed conflicts in the neighbouring countries, the current AIDS pandemic, lack of basic education and life skills, and the declining strength of the extended family systems. Other factors are the changing traditional and community values and social and economic structures. The negative effects of social-economic reforms such as cost sharing measures in most social amenities, Public Service Reform Programmes and privatisation are also other factors which have created a new class of vulnerable persons.

The pull factors, Sir, are drug and alcohol abuse, juvenile delinquency, peer pressure,
high crime rates, increase in child abuse, especially child labour and child prostitution and the breakdown in community morals and values which all impinge negatively on society. 

However, in November 1999, my ministry worked together with Lusaka community based organisations in an effort to rid Lusaka off street kids. A large number of children were removed from the streets but, unfortunately, in no time at all, they were back on the streets.

Mr Speaker, once again, in October 2000, the ministry doubled its efforts and worked with other fifteen Lusaka-based street-kids-focussed Non-Governmental Organisations, and community-based organisations to establish a forum for street kids. Their main task was to examine the reasons that force kids to be on the street either as a home or survival place and to find and put in place lasting solutions to this scourge. 

Mr Speaker, further, District Street Children Committees were established by the Department of Social Welfare at all social welfare offices throughout the country.

Mr Speaker, I wish further to report that in July 2001, my ministry again combined efforts with eleven NGOs/CBOs with the support of UNICEF and the collaboration of Project Concern International on a further exercise to withdraw as many kids from the streets as possible to safe transit homes. The organisations were able to withdraw a total of 205 kids off the streets of Lusaka, of which fourteen kids returned to the streets and 191 remained in the centres.

My ministry’s support to the eleven centres for this exercise for the period June, 2001 to January 2002, included funds to cover food, clothing, supervision, and provision of health services on a monthly basis through the District Health Management Team and Kamwala Clinic and, also, funds for the empowerment of the withdrawn children in terms of skills training.

Mr Speaker, my ministry through the Department of Social Welfare assisted the NGOs/CBOs Forum to form a Task Force Committee to draw up long-term interventions on issues of street kids. Sir, some of the interventions put in place include:

(i)    In November 1999, the ministry partnered with the Lusaka based CBOs in an effort to rid Lusaka off street kids.

(ii)    In October, 2000, the ministry working with over fifteen Lusaka-based street children-focused NGOs/CBOs, established a forum on street children. The main task of this forum was to examine the reasons that force children on to the streets, either as a home or survival place. The other task was to find and put in place lasting solutions to this scourge.

(iii)    The department of Social Welfare recently strengthened the Street Children Committee at fourteen Urban District Social Welfare offices and also established new street children committees in eight districts in the country. The twenty-two district street children committees operate under the aegis of District Social Welfare offices where the problem of street kids is prevalent.

(iv)    In July 2001, the ministry, combining efforts with 11 NGOs/CBOs members of the forum with the support of UNICEF and collaboration of Project Concern International (PCI), embarked on an exercise to withdraw as many children off the streets as possible to safe transit homes in Lusaka.

(v)    In April 2001, a rapid assessment of street children in Lusaka was carried out and 1,232 children between the ages four and eighteen years were surveyed by PCI under its Africa Kidsafe and eleven Lusaka based NGOs. 

Mr Sibetta: Fyafula!


Mr Chola: The results of the rapid assessment were disseminated on 13th March 2002. The number of children interviewed in the rapid assessment may not be representative of the number of kids on the streets but it gives a picture of the number of kids on the streets of Lusaka.

Mr Sibetta Interrupted.

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, I beg to be protected from Hon. Sibetta.

The ministry will soon be hosting a national symposium on street kids. The symposium will, among other things, get consensus on the issue of street children in the country; ascertain the number of street kids in the country and what various NGOs/CBOs are doing in the provinces.

Mr Speaker, there are a number of economic benefits that will be derived from the removal of kids from the streets. These are as follows:

Firstly, the kids are a potential human resource and when removed from the street and given a skill, they will become independent and be able to participate in meaningful and productive activities which will bring income and contribute to the economic growth of the country. This will improve the welfare of the country and contribute to the production levels of the country.

Secondly, removing kids from the streets will help create a conducive environment which, will attract investors like tourists who will bring in foreign exchange which will improve the country’s economy. In the long run the sanitation of the country will be improved and the risk of outbreaks of diseases such as cholera reduced. With such an environment, the general public will be free to move in the streets.

Street kids are likely to be used as cheap labour by companies which want to avoid paying revenue to Zambia Revenue Authority and City Councils. Removing kids from the streets will reduce the use of cheap labour by various companies and instead will ensure that jobs are advertised for qualified personnel and that companies pay revenue which will contribute to the economic development of the country.

There will be crime reduction in the country when street kids are removed from the streets. They are used in organised crimes such as money laundering, drug-trafficking, armed robberies and house-breaking on the premise that these kids will not ask for a lot of money. Removing them the streets will help curb crime and reduce juvenile delinquency.

There will be a reduction in unlawful activities such as prostitution especially among street girls who are currently sexually abused. Removing the street kids from the streets will reduce the HIV/AIDs scourge and the likelihood of having more children who are capable of engaging in meaningful economic activities from being infected.

Lastly, in the long run, there will be less expenditure by the Government in sorting out the problem of street Kids. Finances which would have been used on the street kids problems would instead be channeled into other areas which will ensure the growth of the economy.

In answering part (c) of Hon. Shumina’s question, I wish to inform the House that there were no street kids removed from the streets of Lusaka between January and May 2002. Sir, this non-development is due to the fact that centres where they could be accommodated in Lusaka were full to capacity following the removal of kids from the streets between June and December 2000. The centres are now trying to reintegrate the kids into the community and only after this is successfully carried out, can they admit more kids.

During the integration process, the centres provide skills training for the street kids for them to be self-reliant. At the same time, the centres try to empower the families of the street children so that they can be able to provide for their kids and prevent other children in these families from going back to the streets. They also provide education and health care to children.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shumina: Mr Speaker, whereas we appreciate the catalogue of information given to us, may we know, bearing in mind that the approach has failed because we have more street kids than ever before, what new approach the ministry has put in place to ensure that these children of the nation are actually given basic comfort that all children require.

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, I have already said that there are no new measures being put in place because all centres are full at the moment. I would like to appeal to the hon. Member of Parliament for …
Mangango that this is a problem, which all of us must face squarely. We are to blame for sowing wild oats and for our failure to look after these children.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr P. G. Phiri (Vubwi): I would like to ask a question based particularly on urbanization. May I know from the hon. Minister what measures are being put in place to reduce the influx of the rural people into urban areas.

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, Zambia enjoys freedom of movement and there is no way that this Government is going to restrict people who want to leave their areas to come to urban areas.

Thank you, Sir.

Miss Nawa (Mandevu): Could the hon. Minister admit that the ten years of MMD governance has caused poverty in this nation, and as a result, compelled our children to go to the streets?


Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, I really do not expect that the hon. Member who was a Mayor of Lusaka and a prominent member of MMD could come-up with such a question. No.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shemena (Solwezi West): We want to know whether Government is making any effort to track down the many Non-Governmental Organisations that were registered with the objective of helping or probably supplementing Government efforts on the street kids problem, but now have changed their objectives and are instead doing other things.

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, some of these Non-Governmental Organisations are formed because they want money from donors and the Government has no ability to track them down. Only those people who fund them have got the ability to follow-up and ensure whether their money is being used for its intended purpose.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: The hon. Minister has stated very clearly that his Government recognises that poverty is one of the causes of Streetism. He also did mention that his Government has come-up with measures of supporting families into which children are integrated. Could he kindly spell-out these actual measures because to just say measures is inadequate. Could he tell this House the actual measures that his Government is undertaking? Could he also advise this nation where these families can go to access that support so that we can avoid new entrants in this street kids syndrome.

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, a family is a family. And I am sure that if anyone of us wants to make a family, he must at least for the first time look at his ability to provide for that family. 

Mr Lubinda: We want measures.

Mr Chola: At the moment, we have institutions that receive help from the ministry. Those are the institutions that the hon. Minister assists and shall continue to assist.

Thank you, Sir.


Mr Muleya (Choma): There are companies that are employing street kids cheaply. I would like to know how many have been employed by these companies and what measures Government is taking to curb this practice by companies using cheap labor by employing street kids and paying them next to nothing.

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, this is a new question that needs further research.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Situmbeko (Senanga): The phrase ‘street kids’ was unheard of in the First and Second Republics.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear    

Mr Situmbeko: This phrase came about in the Third Republic. In ten years, this Government failed to come up with a practical measure to get rid of this scourge. Now what practical measures are this Government going to put in place other than theories which my friend there has been preaching to us?

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, there are no theories being propelled in this House. What we are saying is the truth. First and foremost, as a Government, we are here to provide the leadership and if the hon. Members have a better view, we will accept their views.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Siakalima (Siavonga): What I understand from the hon. Minister is that his Government is clueless in the way they want to tackle the problem of street kids. 

Hon. Government Members: It is your Government.

Mr Siakalima: I heard the hon. Minister saying that currently they have no ways of dealing with this problem. What is your long-term view then in your quest to rid the streets of these kids?

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Member did not hear me correctly. What I stated in the statement is that we have, as a ministry, been working with community based NGOs and CBOs to tackle this issue of street children. Our effort to bring them into homes that have been prepared for them is being frustrated by the children running away from the institutions to the streets. We cannot do more than what we have done already.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalumiana: If I understood the hon. Minister well, I think he stated that one of the benefits that will be derived from moving the street kids out of the streets is that there will be no more cholera cases. Could he tell us precisely how the removal of street kids from the streets will eradicate cholera? Or how many outbreaks of cholera have been as a result of the street kids on streets?

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, I feel that question does not benefit an answer.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Speaker: Can you give an answer to that question, please? It is important.

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, I have not at any time said that these street kids cause cholera. I said that they reduce the incedences of cholera. These are street children who have no means of looking after themselves. These are children who have nowhere to go to help themselves other than in the streets and this is all we are saying. Once we take them out of the streets, it means that we shall have clean streets. Cholera is a disease which thrives on dirt and we cannot as a Government, continue to look helplessly at our city  become so dirty simply because some hon. Members want to see these children on the streets.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombora): Mr Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister what social amenities these children who are in the centres are enjoying?

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, when these children are put in these homes, they have amenities that do not exist in the streets. They have the of comfort beds, food and they are given education.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! And Skills


94. Mr L L Phiri asked the of hon. Minister of Home Affairs how many cases of baby dumping were reported between January, 2000, and June, 2002, 

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Sakeni): Mr Speaker, between January, 2000 and June, 2002, we had a total of 62 cases of baby dumping throughout the country. Topping the list by province, of course is the Capital City:

Province    No. of cases

Lusaka         29
Northern         11
Copperbelt        09
Central         09
Southern         03
North-Western    01

We had no cases in Eastern, Western and Luapula Provinces.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members after the mentioned provinces: Hear, hear!

Mr L L Phiri: Mr Speaker, from the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister about baby dumping which seems to be the most evil thing on earth, what is this Government doing to make sure that those mothers who are involved in such evil activities are seriously punished, what type of punishment is the Government planning to introduce or are they intending to bring some Bills to this House so that people can avoid such type of activities.

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, there are adequate laws dealing with these cases and the police have been arresting suspects from time to time and some are prosecuted and punished according to the Penal Code.

I thank you, sir.

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


95. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives how much of the outstanding loans owed to Food Reserve Agency (FRA) have been recovered and how much remained unpaid by 31st may, 2002.

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, I wish to withdraw question No.95 because it was asked on 25th July, and adequately answered.


96. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services when the media reforms will be implemented.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr Zimba): Mr Speaker, he would just as well have withdrawn this question because he has asked this question three times before. These reforms will not be implemented just instantly. Rather the implementation will be done gradually because the process involves the amendment and repealing of legislations that impede on press freedom. Such laws have since been identified and Cabinet Memoranda have been prepared to that effect.

Mr Speaker, for instance, the defamation Act, which I think has seen some officers appearing in our courts, ZNBC Act and Radio Communications’ Act, all require some amendments to pave way for the creation of an Independent Regulatory Body. There is need, therefore, Sir, to carefully study such pieces of legislation, which may need, in some instances, substitutions for new ones to avoid creating a vacuum as both the Press and the Public need the protection of the Law.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to state for the benefit of this hon. House that changing the Law, be it media or any other Law, is a painstaking process which demands extensive consultations. Even in Western countries (developed), where democracy has existed for centuries, it takes decades just to change a single clause in the constitution.

Sir, when I made some study of the British Law concerning the freedom of information, I discovered that it has taken them long - 58 years and they are still making consultations so that the perfect passage of laws is put in place.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister explain why it has taken so long - since 1994 to come to the session and ask for more time. Could he give us five good reasons why we should trust him and believe him now.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Give one reason if you can.

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, consultations have been the main issue. The procedures to go through in Government, demand more time such that one cannot just bring in something immediately, you table it before Cabinet and the Cabinet has to pass it. There are so many areas in which you have got to carry out certain things so that you come-up with acceptable laws.

There must be Consultations with stakeholders. The case in point, is not a matter of just giving recommendations, but one has got to go back to them.

I thank you, Sir.


97. Mr Patel asked the Vice-President what the legal status of the District Administrators is.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mukuka): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that District Administrators were appointed through a Presidential pronouncement as civil service representatives at the district. The office is being re-organised as part of the decentralization policy so that it becomes a full civil service establishment.

Since the District Administrators will be part of the civil service, they will not hold political positions. To this effect, Sir, instructions have been already issued to all the District Administrators to choose whether to be civil servants or retain their political positions.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, could His Honour, the Vice-President please clarify the position of the District Administrators? During the Budget Session, we were categorically told that they needed support from us in the Opposition because the Government intends to review the position of the District Administrators within six months, but no pronouncement has so far been made on this issue.

Secondly, we were also told that he could not fire or get rid of the District Administrators because the exercise is too costly yet, we have seen several of them being fired recently. Have you found the money?

His Honour the Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the fact that we said we could not dismiss District Administrators all at once does not mean that as we go along, those who do not meet the new high standards being set will be kept. 

Mr Speaker, we are always and continuously consulting regarding these positions and if you look at some of the new District Administrators appointed, you will see that they meet the criteria that would normally be …

The Vice-President: … in the Civil Service.

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, how genuine is the Government in making the statements that they do as though this House has no ears to hear them when, in fact, they have used the same District Administrators in political campaigns under the leadership of Ministers who are sitting in this House? The example being Lufwanyama where there were several District Administrators who participated in that campaign. Can they tell us how we should trust them and take them seriously when they behave in that manner?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I was in Lufwanyama for the campaign and I did not campaign with District Administrators, but being Vice-President and them being civil servants, they are required to be where I am, if I am in their districts.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Simenda (Mongu): Mr Speaker, when we were debating this issue during the Budget session, we were told that District Administrators would be qualified and experienced people and that they would come from the Civil Service. Is the Government not deceiving us by appointing party cadres in the recent appointments?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we have every right to employ those that we think will perform, be they from the Opposition or from the ruling party. As long as they are Zambians, they are entitled to employment opportunities in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, His Honour, the Vice-President has stated that the people who have been recently appointed now are of now high standard. My question is: what are the qualifications that were used to appoint the recent appointees and whether it is correct to have appointed people, for example, in Livingstone, from the MMD District Chairperson to become a District Administrator. This is the person who has a lot of problems with the local council and owes the local council money. Are these the qualifications he is talking about.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am not privy to people’s borrowings at all. So, I would like to believe that, in any case, if she is a businesswoman, she is using her discretion because that is how business grows through borrowing and paying back.

Secondly, if the Chairlady of our party in Livingstone has decided to retire from politics to become a District Administrator, well and good. That is the choice we gave them that they could not be both. Either they would remain politicians or they go into the Civil Service in which case we expect them to be non-partisan and I believe that is the criterion followed in Livingstone as well.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Through you, Mr Speaker, I want to find out from His Honour, the Vice-President if these District Administrators qualify to be at the level you have pegged them.

Secondly, the President said the District Administrators would sit for the Civil Service examinations. Has that been done?

The Vice-President: As far as I know, Mr Speaker, …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, please, listen to the Government’s answer.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as far as I know, those becoming civil servants will, when Cabinet Office is ready, go through the Civil Service entry process, which I am informed, may require them to sit for some aptitude tests and there is nothing wrong with that. They will and if they make it, fine, they will become permanent and pensionable. If they do not, then perhaps, something else will be looked at.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, my question arises from the earlier response by His Honour, the Vice-President when he said that the role of the District Administrators was to be with him as Vice-President. My question is: does that include when he is campaigning in a by-election they are supposed to leave their offices, as civil servants, in order to be with him?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is a traditional matter of courtesy that when you have somebody senior, for instance, His Excellency the President, visiting a district, not only is he going to be met by the District Administrator, but he will be met by other civil servants and heads of department as well. That is the tradition from time immemorial. So, we see no reason why it should now change that the President or his Vice-President can arrive in a district and their presence ignored by District Administrators just because they are former politicians. That will be wrong.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, may I know from His Honour, the Vice-President and Leader of Government Business in the House, why this Government has seen it fit not to advertise the posts of District Administrators in the same manner Civil Service entrants are recruited and why they are losing MMD candidates only. I want him to comment on why only losing MMD candidates in the Southern, Western and North-Western provinces were appointed.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is a very sweeping statement because I am aware of areas where the District Administrators who were there before the elections have continued to be District Administrators. Mr Speaker, these people are Zambians. If they fail to make it as Members of Parliament, are they, surely, not entitled to jobs that may be available? In my opinion, they are. So, there is nothing strange about that, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nakalonga: Mr Speaker, it is sad to hear from the Government that only MMD cadres do qualify to be District Administrators. We have facts, it is not a question of arguing. We can go to Mazabuka. The ones appointed today in Kalomo, Sinazongwe and Livingstone are all losing parliamentary candidates. Is it only MMD cadres who should enjoy these benefits? After all, we have civil servants who are yearning to be promoted to these positions. You are only promoting people from one section of the community. Is that fair?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, when I look at those benches, I see many former MMD office bearers who were not adopted by our party, but who went and sought opportunities in other parties.


The Vice-President: I interviewed the hon. Member who just raised a question when he wanted to stand for elections and he lost. If you want, I can start pointing fingers at each one of you.

Mr Nakalonga: So what?

The Vice-President: Now, that hon. Member of Parliament there, whom I interviewed, found him to be unsuitable to be our Parliamentary candidate, …


The Vice-President: … and was dropped because he did not meet the criteria or rather, the high standard that we set for our Parliamentary candidates. That is why he went to some small party and was adopted.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think we have discussed this efficiently and we need to move on to the next question.


98. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:
how much money was owed by the Zambia National Oil Company  to the companies below by 31st December, 2002 and how it was incurred:  
(i)    the Zambian National Commercial Bank;

(ii)    the Government; and

(iii)    foreign financial institutions.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Manjata): Mr Speaker, the money owed by the Zambia National Oil Company by 31st December 2001 …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Members, give each other chances to be heard. May the hon. Minister, please, continue?

Mr Sichinga: But he has got an air-lock.


Mr Manjata: … was as follows: 

(i)    Zambia National Commercial PLC: One hundred and ninety–two billion, two hundred and eight million, seven hundred thirty-one thousand, five hundred and two Kwacha, forty-one ngwee (K192,208,731,502.41);

(ii)    the Government of Zambia

Bank of Zambia - One hundred sixty-six billion, seven hundred eight-eight million, three hundred and ten thousand, three hundred and eighteen Kwacha, ninety-six ngwee only. (K166,788,310,318.96)

Ministry of Finance and National Planning: Thirty-six billion Kwacha (K36,000,000,000.00)

Zambia Revenue Authority

(this includes disputed interest and penalties): One hundred twenty-nine billion, six hundred eight-two million, forty-nine thousand, one hundred twenty-six Kwacha, fifty Ngwee (129,682,049,126.50).

(iii)    foreign financial institutions

The debt to the banks and the Ministry of Finance and National Planning was incurred by way of loan.

The debt to the Zambia Revenue Authority arose due to non-payment of duty, …

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister in order to come to this House and start whispering, but when he is dancing to the Makishi dance, …


Mr Shakafuswa: … he sings very loudly.


Mr Deputy Speaker: May the hon. Minister, please, continue.

Mr Manjanta: I thank you. Mr Speaker, 

… the Value Added Tax and Pay-As-You-Earn. It also included interests and penalties.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Well done!

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, I would like to have a quick addition. Sir, over K500 billion is owed by the Zambia National Oil Company. The question is, how could the Zambia National Oil Company, which had the monopoly of importing and selling the products for cash to the Oil Marketing Company incur a staggering debt of K5.9 billion?

The Minister of Energy and water Development (Mr Lembalemba): Mr Speaker, my Government knows that there are more questions than answers surrounding the operations and subsequent contracting of the debt at Zambian National Oil Company. To unveil the smoke screen, for us to have the facts, so that there could be no speculations,  is the reason why the Government, through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has appointed a forensic auditor so that he can come-up with the truth on which we can base our answers.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’uni: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development aware that, in fact, we could have pump price of fuel for as low as K1,800 per litre and this is not so because some of the plunderers of this economy are shareholders of Total, Indeni Premium where the processing of fuel is made very difficult for those who would like to bring in fuel at a cheaper price?

Mr Patel: Katebe Katoto.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, I allude to the same statement that we do not want speculations, we want to find out the truth after this forensic audit that is taking place. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, in view of the responses that have been given by the Government and confirming the figure that Hon. Patel has indicated, my figures come to K5.9 billion. Could the Government explain why then they have taken it upon themselves before they could find out by this forensic audit, to take over the debt of ZNOC. Can they explain to this august House and if they do not have the answers, could they, please, come and make a ministerial statement which will fully explain what is obtaining around ZNOC even on a preliminary basis instead of leaving it to speculation?

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, I do not think it would be a prudent thing for the Government to come to this House with half-truths about this issue. The best way for us is to conclude the audit, which is going on, so that we can come to this House with full information.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nyirenda (Kasengwa): Mr Speaker, I am a bit at a loss. I would like the Government or the hon. Minister to make a clarification. Sir, the Zambia National Commercial Bank is owed nearly K193 billion and they are about to float shares. Could the hon. Minister confirm whether this company would be able to pay this debt or not?

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Member of Parliament was not in the House when I answered this question, when it was raised by Hon. Patel. What we said was that, the Government has taken over, at a great expense, the debt which was owed by Zambia Oil Company. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shumina: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister come out clearly on what basis  the Government decided to take over the debt, when the forensic audit is yet to be completed?

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, I did explain previously that the company was put on liquidation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Solwezi-East?

Mr Kangwa (Solwezi East): I do not have a question, Sir.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when this forensic audit report will come to an end. I notice that, all the time, when they ask the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development on this matter, he always gives a quick answer about an audit report. When is it coming to an end?

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe heard me say that this audit effected by the Minister of Finance and National Planning who could be in a better position to answer. So, if he could direct it at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, he would probably get a better answer.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, after taking over the debt, and with  this forensic audit taking place in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, can the Minister tell us for how long this audit exercise will last? Is it for three or four months? He should be in a position to give us this information.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, it is only a minute ago when I said the audit had been instituted by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and not the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Patel: Hanjika!

Miss Nawakwi: Truly hanjika!

 Mr Speaker, ZNOC, a company, under the Companies Act, is liquidated and the liquidators pay the creditors. Could the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development tell us under what arrangement the Government has taken over the huge debt of K193 billion? Further, could the Minister clarify why shares are being floated in the Zambia National Commercial Bank after the debt was taken over? Will the new owners, when they take over that company, not declare profit the very next day and the Zambian people will be the ones paying a debt, which should have been paid by the liquidators? I need a very serious answer and not an evasive answer.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, there is a distinction when you are talking of assets of the Government and when you are talking of shares, that is done under the Ministry of Finance and National Development. I think I could ask my dear ba pongoshi …

Hon. Opposition Members: Answer the question!

Mr Lembalemba: … to put her question to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning then only can she get a satisfactory answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I do not think the Minister understands what it means to take over a debt. In this particular case, if you look in the Yellow Book, Sir, there is no provision, as explained by Hon. Nawakwi, under his ministry to absorb K509 billion. To take over a company under liquidation means paying its creditors. Can you explain to us how you can take over a company without paying its creditors?

Further, I want to find out whether he appreciates that the forensic audit must have been concluded for Government to take a position. What they have done is to cover-up for the K509 billion which they have understood to have been stolen. Can he, please, explain to this House and to the nation that his actions are tantamount to conniving with thieves who stole the K509 billion?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Situmbeko: Arrest them!

Mr Deputy Speaker: There are too many questions in one, just answer what you can.

Mr Hachipuka: Answer properly!

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, I did explain that the taking over or the reinforcing of this debt is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Mr Lembalemba: Now, listen! It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. What I am trying to say is that they should not mix the two ministries. If they want an answer, which is not ambiguous, I am asking the Member of Parliament to ask a further question, but directed at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member will take note of that.


99. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a)    what the total quasi-fiscal debt by March, 2002 was;

(b)    which institution incurred this debt; and

(c)    what percentage of the GDP this debt was.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Kalifungwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to state that following the demise of the Directorate of State Enterprises (DOSE), the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has established a unit, within the Department of Investments and Debt, with a mandate to manage the investment portfolio. This unit will be responsible for creating the database that will capture borrowings of quasi-Government entities such as the councils, parastatals and Government institutions.

The Government will then be able to precisely determine concrete debt upon establishing the above-mentioned database. Currently, efforts are being directed towards ensuring that the investments unit is adequately equipped in order to deliver the required output.

However, the total fiscal debt for local authorities by March 2002, is estimated at K78 billion, which is 0.5 per cent of the nominal GDP.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, I am absolutely baffled. How is it that the Government does not know what the total quasi-fiscal debt is when the memorandum preceding the letter of intent clearly indicated the percentage to be twenty per cent of the GDP? Are you playing with numbers?

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, we are not playing with numbers. The information has been provided as per question asked and data is being processed to make it adequate for us to respond to further questions with regard to the availability of this information.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichinga (Kafue): Mr Speaker, really, it goes beyond words. Is this a responsible Government that does not know what it owes on quasi-debt, and you are asking this House to approve loans as well as amounts on budgets on top of asking the international institutions to take seriously the statements you make about your letters of intent? Sir, I think, you should, on behalf of the Members of this House, demand that we receive an answer and I mean an exact answer. The hon. Minister, who has given us this response, knows, very well, the seriousness of lack of information on which we should make decisions of this House. He has been Chairman of Economic and Labour Committee of this House. 

In particular, Mr Speaker, we want information on the commitment that the Government makes on the percentage of the debt vis-a-vis the GDP. Can he, please, come forward, through you, Sir, and state the amount of quasi-debt owed by the Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Simple!

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, consolidation of all arrears is being done by the Accountant-General. I can assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue that when a fully-fledged integrated financial management information system becomes operational, all the data will be available at our fingertips.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’uni (Chama South): Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that quasi-Government institutions owe the Ministry of Finance and National Planning some money, but I would like the Minister of Finance to advise this House on how much money is owed …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Ngu’ni: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that I am aware that you are still collecting data to look at how much is owed but I am looking at the local scenario. I would like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to inform this House how much money the Ministry owes the National Roads Board which has already accrued in form of fuel levy between January and July. I am saying so because the repair of feeder roads has been extremely affected due to the delay in the release of funds to the National Roads Board.

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, questions of statistical analysis actually require a little bit of time to gather data before you present the answer to the House.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


100. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning what measures have been taken to pay the money owed to the Zambia National Commercial Bank Limited by RAMCOZ.

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, the issue to do with the payment of ZANACO by the Government over the funds owed by RAMCOZ in liquidation amounting to US$4.5 million was approved by Cabinet to be settled in full. 

Mr Speaker, the Government on 1st July, 2002 issued a bond to the Bank of Zambia to cover the liabilities of RAMCOZ. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, the question here is what measures the Government has taken to get the money back. What the hon. Deputy Minister has just said is that he issued a bond to settle the debt so that the taxpayer can pay the money. I thought you would be pursuing RAMCOZ, why are you not doing that?

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, a lot of effort is being put in to try and recover all the debts owed by RAMCOZ and I would say that it is not actually our duty to police who owes what, but we are making efforts and working together with other units to see if we can recover the moneys. 

I thank you, Sir.

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that companies like RAMCOZ and a range of other mining companies owe money locally and yet monthly, they are exporting our copper and the money is kept outside. What is he doing now to prevent a situation like that, which brought ZANACO to this situation?

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for that very intelligent question posed by hon. Nawakwi. I was Chairman of the Economic Affairs and Labour for the National Assembly and we identified those problems and weaknesses and the Government is actually aware and we are putting measures in place to seal all the loopholes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Moonde: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the indebtedness of the Government to former RAMCOZ workers and when the Government will pay the remaining amount because some of the people have died out of depression.

The Vice President: Mr Speaker, last month the Government made funds available to pay off 800 workers. These were paid in full. The Government is in the process of finding 
more money to pay other workers. It is hoped, Sir, that quite soon the Government will settle with the new owners. The Government has received some offers for the Mine and it is expected that the money that the new owners would have paid would go towards paying the workers that have remained unpaid for sometime now.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pwele: Mr Speaker, His Honour, the Vice President is misleading the House that the workers have been paid. They have not been paid. Sir, I would like to find out in what circumstances RAMCOZ got that money from ZANACO because it is a private company. How did they owe such amounts of money when they were a private company?

The Vice President: Mr Speaker, I am very surprised because here in Lusaka we had the President of the Mine Workers Union of Zambia with his colleagues and even some Ministers who travelled from here to Luanshya and made public statements that K23 billion had been made available to pay off some of the four thousand workers there, but the money that we found was only enough to pay off 800. So the number has reduced.

Mr Pwele: They have not been paid.


The Vice President: If you know the answers then keep the answers to yourselves, but I am giving you...


Mr Pwele: Those are lies; that is the problem. I am the Member of Parliament there.

The Vice President: Mr Speaker, I am giving them an answer to a very serious question. Hon. Kasonde announced the figure of K23 billion, and I was even able to watch this on television - a meeting that the hon. Minister of Mines and his colleagues had.


The Deputy Speaker: Order! I heard the hon. Member for Roan using unparliamentary language that, ‘those are lies’. Will the hon. Member withdraw the word ‘lies’ because it is unparliamentary and we do not accept it.


Mr Pwele: Mr Speaker, I am sorry if it is unparliamentary but I do not think that the word ‘lies’ is unparliamentary.


Mr Nyirenda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, first of all I would like to appeal to the Government that when they give us answers, they should not treat us as if we are children where you give a child a plastic banana and call it a banana.

Hon. Government Members: Ask your question.

Mr Nyirenda: It is coming. Mr Speaker, I would like His Honour, the Vice President to confirm or deny here if it is the order of the day that the Government will take over debts like they did for RAMCOZ where they know that money was awarded to wrong people or...

Mr Sibetta: They are shareholders.

Mr Nyirenda: For example, the debt they have taken over from ZANACO does not make sense, in view of the fact that tankers went missing from this whole company.  There is also lot of talk as to how RAMCOZ was awarded this. Is it the order of the day that any money that has been misused is covered-up the Government?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am unable to understand what my brother wants. He talked about the tankers and he is asking whether it is the order of day and RAMCOZ. What is it that he is trying to find out?

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Nzowa: Mr Speaker, arising from what His Honour, the Vice-President has just said that the workers at RAMCOZ were paid, I would like to find out if that includes the workers at MINERVA, the former Ndola Copper Refinery, which was owned by Binani as well. Can he please clarify this?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as far as I know, MINEVA is a company that is or used to be in Ndola and totally separate from RAMCOZ. This particular question concerns RAMCOZ.

In case I am misunderstood, what I said is and I emphasise that K23 billion has been released by the Government to pay off some of the 4,000 employees. 800 employees have been paid off. We still have to pay off about 3,000 employees. It is hoped that the money which will come from the new buyers of the mine will go towards paying off this debt.

Mr Speaker, the question of RAMCOZ is rather complicated. It is complicated because RAMCOZ was asked to pay US$35 million which was paid by Binani. As a Government, as you heard from the speech made by His Excellency, the President and subsequent statement I made on his behalf, we are trying to find out where that money went. That is the question.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the Vice-President why the Government has taken over the debt of RAMCOZ when there were very serious allegations that were tabled before this House by the President of the Republic of Zambia concerning this company.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, in all these things, at the end of the day, Government is in charge of everything. The people of Luanshya can neither find out where the US$35 million is nor can they find out where Binani is. However, it is the Government’s intention to look after its people. Truly, he is right, we have no obligation to bail-out a private company, but I see it everyday. If Council workers are not paid, they come to the Government. All Members of Parliament here have talked about Government intervention in various situations. 

So, the question of the Government bailing-out RAMCOZ is not meant to be a permanent issue at all. We, infact, are treating it as a loan which, hopefully, will be repaid from two sources:

(i)    When we find out where the US$35 million that was paid for the company is.

(ii)    When we sell or privatise the mine to the new people that would like to buy the asset. 

Then the Government will repay itself from that transaction.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to inform us whether there was any collateral or security attached to this loan and, if so, whether it has been crystallised and followed-up. And, also, I would like him to tell us to whom the loan that His Honour, the Vice-President is talking about is being given. To which entity is the loan he has just mentioned been given?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, firstly, when RAMCOZ borrowed money from ZANACO, they gave their assets as collateral. Hence, the reason for ZANACO sending in receivers when their loan was not being serviced. So, ZANACO is basically the owner. They hold the title to the assets. Secondly, the money or loans that the Government is making arising from the payments to the employees of RAMCOZ are, indeed, a loan to the Receiver who is looking after the assets of Luanshya mine. Upon privatisation, those loans shall be repaid to the Government.

I thank you, Sir.


101. Miss Nawakwi asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Presidential Housing Initiative site at Chainama was surveyed and, if so, how much money was spent.

Mr Chitala: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the survey of the Ben Mwiinga Site was undertaken by the Department of the National Housing Authority Consultative Division. The survey fee for the whole exercise was K138,886,175 of which half of this are mounting to K69,443,087.50 was paid leaving a balance of K69,443,087.50 to be paid.

I thank you, Sir.

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Speaker, when is the hon. Minister completing the construction of houses at the Ben Mwiinga Site. Can the hon. Minister let us know why the people in Mtendere have to walk kilometres into Ben Mwiinga Site where there are no living human beings to draw water? Why did he put-up taps there and yet in Mtendere, where there are people, there is  no water.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Mabenga): Mr Speaker, I will answer that question. The problem of water in Mtendere is being looked at and I am very sure that at one point, this question was asked here and we adequately answered it.

The people are coming into Ben Mwiinga Site but I can assure you that all those houses you see there have already been committed to people. If you went there today, you will be able to find quite a lot of those houses already occupied by people. So, we are putting services for people so that when they come, they do not begin to complain about the lack of services.

I thank you, Sir.

102. Mr Patel asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning how much bilateral debt is owed to the Russian Republic and how much was paid between 1992 and 2001.

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, I will give you a profile of the debt issues between Zambia and the Russian Federation for you to concisely understand exactly where we are coming from. 


During the First and Second Republic, Zambia obtained military equipment from the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republic totalling US$483 million on a loan basis. When the Russian Federation joined the Paris Club, it was necessary to read all the agreements of the Paris Club rules. In brief, in relation to Zambia, the cut off date was 1st January, 1983, and it is important to recognise this date in relation to all debts of Zambia. In so far as the Russian debt is concerned, debt contracted prior to 1st January, 1983, was eligible for rescheduling under the Paris Club arrangements and debts contracted after this date were not. It is also important to recognise the fact that when entering the Paris Club, Russia accepted to write off 80 per cent of all pre-cut off debt, and brought into the basket for discussion the 20 per cent of the debt not written off in addition to all the debt contracted post 1st January, 1983. It is this sort of debt that has caused problems. When Zambia reached the decision point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in December, 2000, Russia raised objections that the Zambian programme cannot go ahead because they were in arrears with them. This was true because as a consequence of an agreement Zambia had signed in Moscow in August, 2001, Zambia was supposed to have paid US$6.4 million during October, 2001, but failed to do so. After an acrimonious debate, the Executive Director responsible for Zambia at the International Monetary Fund managed to get a waiver in favour of Zambia so that HIPIC credits could be applied while the case of the Russian Federation debt with Zambia was being addressed. 

After preliminary discussions in Lusaka with the Russian Ambassador, a trip to Moscow was undertaken by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. At the commencement of the discussion in Moscow, Russia confirmed that they would block the whole economic programme for Zambia unless this issue was satisfactorily addressed. The issues were on outstanding settlements of moratorium interest on the post-cut off debt to the Russian Federation. This followed a misunderstanding which ensued form the unsettled debt that was hindering progress in our discussions with the Paris Club on the Interim Debt Relief under the Cologne terms and the IMF on the third annual arrangement of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, PRGF. The issues under consideration were the settlement of:

1.    US$30,928,909 being arrears on maratorium interest on post-cut off debt by December, 2001;
2.    US$6,158,710 being April, 2002 instalment due; and
3.    US$1,618,471 being late interest accumulated on the US$30,928,909 up to now. This brought the total outstanding debt under negotiations to US$38,706,091. 

The other important issue under consideration was the interest rate charged on the debt, which stands at 9 per cent. It was important to get the agreement because even as the team sat in Moscow negotiating, a meeting of the Paris Club was taking place in Paris. And the agenda item was amended at the request of Russia to remove Zambia’s discussion till the 11th April, 2002, so that the discussion in Moscow would come through.There was a considerable pressure in Moscow to reach an agreement with the Russians otherwise economic programmes would be jeopardized. During negotiations, the Russians presented the following terms for settlement of the debts that:

Zambia makes an immediate payment of 50 percent or US $19.35 million of the US $38 .07 million which was outstanding;

(i)    That the balance of US $19.35 million plus late interest at 10 percent as per article 8 of August, 2001 agreement be paid in three equal installments by the end of 2002; and 
(ii)    All subsequent payments should be met as scheduled.

Additionally Sir, from the outset, the Russians made it clear that they were not going to open any negotiations on the August, 2001 bilateral agreement as it will present problems with their Parliament, the Duma. This is particularly so because the Zambian Government had not made any payments on the August, 2001 bilateral agreement.

After two days of protracted negotiations and bearing in mind the need for obtaining Russia’s support at the Paris Club toward the Horizon Meeting of 10th April, 2002, which has implications for the May, 2002 scheduled IMF board meeting on Zambia’s request for assistance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) programme, Zambia offered the following terms:

to pay a total of US $13,944,492 million of which US $6,185,781being the October, 1, 2001 due payment;

US $1,618,471 being late interest on the US $30.9 million arrears; 

US $6,158,710 million being the April, 2002 schedule payments;
Postpone of payment of the balance of US $24843127 for the rest of 2002 and commence payment in the first quarter of 2003. In eight equal quarterly installments of US $3,105,390 ending in December, 2004;
Freeze the charging of late interest on the balance by suspending the application of Article 8 of the August, 2002 Agreement during the repayment period (January, 2003 to December, 2004); and
Russia supports Zambia’s request for debt relief at the Paris Club tour d’horizon meeting of 9-10 April, 2002.

Mr Speaker, in response, the Russians accepted the Zambian offer to pay US $13,944,492.46 provided this was paid not later than 10th April, 2002 and to immediately support Zambia’s case at the Paris Club meeting once Zambia demonstrated that payment instructions had been issued.
Mr Speaker, additionally the Russians accepted the request to postpone the settlement of the balance over one and half years only (January, 2003 – June, 2004) and that they will consider suspending the application of penalty interest as per Article 8 of the August 2001 Agreement. This is subject to the approval of their Parliament, and also on Zambia adhering to her obligations under these arrangements during the course of the repayment period.
Mr Speaker, bearing in mind the importance of a favourable outcome in Zambia’s favour at the Paris Club, the Bank of Zambia had to effect the payment of US $ 13,944,492.46 to the Russians by 10th April, 2002. This was done and the Russians supported Zambia at the Paris Club meeting.
Mr Speaker, over the period, 1992 –2001, the Government of the Republic of Zambia did not service any debt owed to the Russian Federation due to the failure by the two Governments to conclude bilateral debt negotiations. The Russian Government is now ready to support us under the Paris Club terms.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for a very detailed and elaborate answer. Hon. Minister, maybe, you can clarify what debt was written off by the Russian Republic as suggested by the hon. and learned Minister of Legal Affairs when he officiated at the Russian Republic national day when he said that he was happy with the Russian Government because they had forgiven debts, yet you have told us otherwise. Could you explain what the hon. and learned Minister was talking about then?

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, I have given the response to the question asked by Hon. Patel whether there was any payment that was made between 1992 and 2001 and I have given a concise response to the question which is very adequate.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Speaker, around May, 1999 in a Paris Club meeting, I think the hon. Minister is saying that we were, as a country, asked to pay US $38 million before the cut-off date. Could the hon. Minister clarify at what discount rate were Zambia and Russia allowed by the Club?


Miss Nawakwi: Hon. Members, under the Paris Club post cut-off, there is a special rate at which you are supposed to discount the money. If you are a member, under the Paris Club, before the cut-off point, you could only be allowed to pay your debt at a certain rate.

Hon. Government Members: What is your question?

Miss Nawakwi: If you do not understand economics, just listen. The question is: what was the discount rate that Zambia is allowed to service the Russian debt before cut-off and post cut-off? As far as I know, all amounts outstanding are supposed to be discounted at 11 cents to a dollar and you have given us an impression, hon. Minister, as though we are supposed to pay back the money at one dollar before cut-off.

Mr Deputy Speaker: You are now debating. Ask your question, please.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, no doubt, the hon. Member for Munali is using a privileged position in Government. Having said so, yes, she is right, 11 cents in a dollar is what we are required to pay and that is out of which the amount mentioned by my colleague was paid in the last three months in this New Deal administration.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukwakwa: Mr Speaker, the Russian Republic has been a very friendly country to Zambia. Was the difficult position of the Russians not arising from the fact that the arms which we were supposed to import did not come to Zambia, but were diverted?

Hon. Government Members: Ask your question.

Mr Mukwakwa: The question, Mr Speaker, is: can the hon. Minister confirm or deny that the difficult negotiations arose out of the diversion of the armaments which went elsewhere instead of coming to Zambia?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government of Zambia is not aware of arms being diverted anywhere else other than for use by our own people. 
You have seen some of those helicopters being used by the Zambia Air Force. They are Russian made and those are some of the items that we got on this long-term loan.

Now, when Russia was still the Soviet Union, you know they did not really mind very much about our ability to pay back or not. However, there has been a change of Government and the new Russian Government there, insists that they recover all monies learnt to whoever at a discount. That is the reason why they have insisted that we pay them at that discounted rate because now Russia has also become a member of the Paris Club. When they were the Soviet Union, they were not members of the Paris Club and, therefore, did not mind very much about this.

I thank you, Sir.




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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1906 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 1st August, 2002


Mr Muyanda: Sorry, the word is ‘aware’. Is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives aware that