Debates- Wednesday, 27th March, 2002

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Wednesday, 27th March, 2002
The House met at 1430 hours
[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]



Mr Speaker: I have an announcement to make. I have to acquaint the House with the fact that today, in the Diplomatic Gallery, we have a distinguished delegation of officers from the Nigerian War College who are on a familiarisation tour visit to the National Assembly of Zambia. We welcome them among our midst.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Later on, there may be another delegation in the Speaker’s Gallery and I will make this fact known to the Members at that time.

I have given permission to the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to make a ministerial statement. Is the hon. Minister ready?

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Lembalemba): Mr Speaker, you may recall that during the Budget Speech, when I was winding up Estimates for my ministry, I referred to what we were doing in the oil industry in our pursuit to reduce the fuel pump prices for all types of fuel, the ministry intends to put to tender future works to supply crude oil. But a stopgap measure has to be put in place and in this regard, two companies; Trans Sahara Trading Limited (TST) in conjunction with the Bank in South Africa ABSA and Indeni/Total Autre Mer have joined hands to supply one-off cargoes of 180,000 metric tons. My ministry aims at having realistic prices in order to support the varying interests of all stakeholders and more particularly, the consumers.

We have continued to discuss with various oil marketing companies who have shown interest to support Zambia in the sector. These protracted discussions are almost complete and I am glad, Sir, to come back to this House to report progress. I am pleased to inform the House that it has been agreed that Trans Sahara Trading Limited with ABSA Bank will work out an arrangement with Indeni/Total Outre Mer on the supply, transportation and refining of crude oil and on storage and sale of the finished petroleum products. This understanding is purely a stopgap measure while tender procedures are being worked out. The lead supplier in this arrangement, Trans Sahara Trading Limited and ABSA have made a commitment to reduce the fuel pump price per litre within the following range.

On diesel, there will be a reduction ranging from 18 to 20 per cent. On petrol and other products, there will be a reduction ranging from 12 to 15 per cent. These deductions, Sir, will be effected within a fortnight.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lembalemba: This will allow time to put in place all the necessary logistics for smooth implementation. I further wish to report that my ministry will soon meet all the oil marketing companies known as OMCs to urge them to support this new and positive development by uplifting their fuel requirements from the Ndola Oil Terminal instead of ordering them from outside the country.

Last but not least, Sir, my ministry is aware of the fact that international oil prices are influenced by many factors which inevitably affect the Zambian oil industry. We shall, however, continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Members may now wish to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement, which has just been issued by the hon. Minister of Energy, and Water Development.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister, please, indicate how long the 180,000 tons he intends to purchase under this arrangement will last in terms of consumption for the country?

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, this may take about three months. During that period, all the tender documents will have been completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasongo (Independent): Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development whether the said companies were selected through an open tender. If not, what criteria did he use to award the said contract to the companies he has mentioned.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, it is not correct to say that we are awarding the same company. Total Outre Mer have bought shares in Indeni. They hold 50 per cent shares in our refinery and they bought the shares from Agip some time back, not now, Sir. ABSA with TST are a company that has been negotiating with this Government for almost fifteen months now. As a stopgap measure, we saw that we could give these two companies to bring one-off cargoes before we come to tendering time. Otherwise, we could run short of fuel.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister, please, explain why he found it expedient not to follow public procurement procedures in making this contract.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, the contract with Total International came to an end on 28th February, 2002 and we have started preparing all the tender documents. Waiting a little further to go through the other arrangements of tender procedure would have meant that from February up to June we were not going to have crude oil.

Mr Mukwakwa (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm whether the process of selection he is undertaking is not in conflict with his party’s competitive liberal policy.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, I confirm.

Mr Shepande (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister, please, indicate to this House and the nation how many tons of crude oil the nation needs up to the end of this year.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, that is a new question.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister now confirm that there will be a uniform price of these products at the pumps throughout the country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

•    Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, I did indicate in my statement that we are going to have a meeting with oil marketing companies and the suppliers of crude oil to work out such a mechanism. It is the intention of my ministry to see that that is done.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, as a follow up to Hon. Patel’s question, can the hon. Minister confirm that the Government had no foresight in trying to ask for tenders before the expiry of the contract, leading to what has happened where you are now giving contracts without tenders.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, my Government has always had foresight.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!  




Mr Speaker: I am now in a position to make the second announcement I referred to a short while ago. In the Speaker’s Gallery, we have distinguished guests from the European Parliament in Brussels.

They are:
i.    Ms Marieke Saunders, MEP – Leader of the Delegation;


Mr Speaker: Order. There is no need to explain that name. It sounds similar to that of one of our hon. Members of Parliament.


ii.    Mr John Alexander Corrie, MEP;
iii.    Mr Vitaliano Gemelli, MEP; and
iv.    Ms Nellie Maes, MEP.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear.

Mr Speaker: They are accompanied by officials from the European Parliament. We would like to receive them warmly to the National Assembly of the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Legal Affairs (Mr Kunda): Mr Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia re-affirms its commitment to the implementation of the National Capacity Building Programme for Good Governance in Zambia, which was launched in March, 2000.

The objectives of the programme, in order of priority, Mr Speaker, are:

•    Promotion and protection of constitutionalism and human rights;
•    Enhancement of accountability and transparency;
•    Efficient and effective economic management; and
•    Democratisation, decentralisation and strengthening of local Government.

The main features of the programme which is co-ordinated and monitored by the Governance Development Unit of my ministry are that:

1.    It is developed by Zambians as Zambia’s vision for good governance in Zambia.
2.    The programme focuses on building institutional capacity and strengthening linkages among governance institutions in order to achieve good governance.
3.    The programme is to be implemented over a period of ten years commencing March, 2000.
4.    The overall cost of the programme is US $443,449,998.

The governance institutions that require capacity building in order to enhance their operations include:

•    The Anti-Corruption Commission;
•    The Director of Public Prosecutions;
•    The Office of the Auditor-General;
•    The Office of the Investigator-General;
•    The Drug Enforcement Commission;
•    The Permanent Human Rights Commission;
•    The Electoral Commission of Zambia;
•    The Law Development Commission;
•    The Zambia Police Service;
•    The Prisons Department;
•    The Judiciary;
•    The Ministry of Legal Affairs; and
•    The Ministry of Home Affairs.

Some of the governance activities that have been achieved so far include:

•    Establishment of the Governance Development Unit in the Ministry of Legal Affairs;
•    Amendment of the Zambia Police Act, providing for establishment of Victim Support Units at all police stations, establishment of Police Public Complaints Authority, designation of custody officers and changing of entry requirements for police training and training curriculum.

•    Training of a total of 600 police officers in human rights so as to lessen cases of police human rights violation;

•    The introduction of the judicial code of conduct for judicial officers;

•    Approval of the gender policy;

•    The preparation of the initial report as required under Article 19 of the Convention Against Torture and other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

•    Amendment of the Electoral Commission Act Chapter 17 to include civil society on the commission;

•    Accession of Zambia to the 1907 Hague Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes,

•    Introduction of mediation to reduce number of cases pending for trial and expedite settlement;

•    Enactment of the Arbitration Act No. 19 of 2000 which modernised the arbitration laws in Zambia by introducing the internationally accepted United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law and thereby, providing another alternative method of resolving disputes. This is necessary for speedy resolution of disputes and decongestion of the courts;

•    Presentation of the report by the technical committee constituted to look into the efficacy of introducing a Freedom of Information Act to the Government;

•    Introduction of a commercial list within the High Court of Zambia for speedy settlement of commercial disputes;

•    Signing of the Southern African Development Commission (SADC) Protocol against corruption;

•    Contribution to the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy paper;

•    Submission of the decentralisation policy to the Government; and 

•    Contribution to the formation and successful launch of the National Movement Against Corruption (NAMAC).

Mr Speaker, the New Deal administration hereby emphasises its commitment towards effective preservation and utilisation of public resources by strengthening the Office of the Auditor-General. A strong and efficient Auditor-General’s Office will ensure that public resources are properly accounted for. In addition, His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, has expressed concern over the abuse of public procurement procedures, especially in Government ministries and suggested a stronger presence of the Anti-Corruption Commission in Government procurement departments. 

Again in the New Deal administration, we are committed to upholding values of professionalism by enabling officers from agencies like the Anti-Corruption Commission and Auditor-General’s Office to carry out their duties professionally and without political interference.

Sir, my Government recognises the strong intrinsic linkage between good governance and poverty reduction. Sustainable human development and poverty reduction cannot be achieved in Zambia without effective good governance. Good governance is a cardinal issue in Zambia’s development as it plays a major role in the reduction of poverty. This is the reason why governance concerns have been given high priority in Zambia’s poverty reduction strategy paper.

One of the activities that my ministry, through its Governance Development Unit, intends to undertake in this year in the area of good governance is to carry out a national governance baseline survey to measure perceptions relating to corruption and the provision of public services. The idea behind the survey is to develop empirical information that can be discussed, analysed and used to help Government, civil society and the private sector formulate and implement policies and programmes to improve governance and thereby reduce corrupt practices. The survey will also be a benchmark indicator so that elements of governance and the extent of corrupt practices may be reviewed through another survey in two to three years.

My Government’s commitment to promoting good governance can be seen from the launch of the National Movement Against Corruption by the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. My Government will also render support to all institutions and organisations that are involved in the fight against corruption and promotion of good governance. 

We, therefore, wish to appeal to our co-operating partners to continue supporting us in implementing the national capacity building programme for good governance, which is being co-ordinated by the Governance Unit of my ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Mr Speaker: As before, hon. Members may ask questions which seek to enable the hon. Minister clarify the issues that he has raised in his ministerial statement.

Mr Lungu (Lundazi): Mr Speaker, while I value the role the Anti-Corruption Commission plays in ensuring that corruption is rooted out in our society, I would like to find out from the learned Minister what mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that the Anti-Corruption Commission itself does not engage in corruption.

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, that is a difficult question but we can address it through recruiting officers of integrity within the system. I think we can use incorruptible officers to deal with other corrupt officers. We are also emphasising the need for stronger linkages between governance institutions so that even if one is corrupt - like in the Judiciary - Judges may wish to defend each other, there are other institutions, which can deal with such problems, until there are adequate mechanisms for dealing with that, internally.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs I. M. Wina (Nalolo): Mr Speaker, our country is known for endorsing and formulating very wonderful policies, including the national capacity building for good governance. Sir, implementation, I think, presents the biggest challenge to the Government. Some of the items …

Hon. Members: Question!

Mrs I. M. Wina: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the national gender policy, for example, will be implemented and when some of the pronouncements made regarding protection of human rights will be implemented such as the issue of torture.

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, this is an ongoing programme. We are a new Government which is just starting …


Mr Kunda: We are just starting to implement it. We have to mobilise resources. That is the whole idea of showing commitment to the programme. Sir, all I can say is that it is one of those programmes which are covered in the programme I was talking about. We shall definitely address it as we mobilise resources both locally and from our co-operating partners.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Moonde (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I just wanted to find out if there are any plans which have been put in place to ensure that the good governance document concerns that have been raised are known by the majority of the people. The tendency has been to have this document accessed to by a few people. Because of this it is not appreciated. Is there any mechanism which is being put in place to ensure that the majority of our people can understand what is involved and contribute effectively?

Secondly, if I am allowed, Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs talked about the Anti-Corruption Commission, I wish to state that for the past two and half years now, there have been no Board and no Commissioners.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Moonde: Do you not think that it is necessary to have institutions like the Anti-Corruption Commission operating at full capacity so as to ensure justice and good governance?

Mr Kunda: The Anti-Corruption Commission will be debated in the course of dealing with the Estimates. 

The issue of dissemination of information on the governance document is an ongoing process. I know the previous administration made an effort to publicise the document. We shall continue and put in our own measures to ensure that the people of Zambia know about this document.

Mr Ng’uni (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I would like the learned Minister of Legal Affairs to issue a guarantee on immunity to those who are going to provide evidence which appears to be labeled as ‘national secret’.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, there are adequate laws dealing with the issue of immunity of that nature.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Thank you, Mr Speaker. With reference to the issue of good governance, Article 61 was abused by the out-going President on the formation of the office of District Administrator …

Hon. Government Members: Questions!

Mr Shumina: May I know…


Mr Shumina: Learn to listen. 


Mr Shumina: May I know, Mr Speaker, as an indication of good governance, whether the hon. Minister will quickly advise his Government to abolish the office of District Administrator.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The question is irrelevant.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Thank you, Mr Speaker. The hon. Minister has outlined the achievements of his Government in implementing the good governance document. May he also, in the same vein, outline the failures of his Government in implementing the good governance document?


Hon. Government Members: Only one question!

Mrs Masebo: Secondly, at the stage of compilation or coming up with the governance document, I remember that there was less consultation with everybody. However, at the end of it all, the document was supported. Now, we are concerned about the pace of implementation. Can the hon. Minister tell this House, in areas where they have failed, how fast they will be able to implement some of those concerns.

Mr Speaker: The Minister of Legal Affairs may choose one of those two questions.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, like in any other serious but excellent programme, sometimes, you are let down by problems. We have the problem of funding and lack of donor support. That is one of the areas in which we have failed. If we had resources and full donor support, we could have done much. The successes I mentioned were just some of them; there are a lot others. We would have done better with resources in many other areas. For example, our prisons still remain congested and we have problems in the judiciary such as lack of courtrooms. One of the donor agencies is trying to construct courtrooms in Lusaka. That is support which, in some areas, has been lacking.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I will take one more question.

Mr Situmbeko (Senanga): Mr Speaker, …

Dr Machungwa: Bulela!

Mr Situmbeko: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs what measures the Government has taken to deter party members not to interfere in the operations of the Government.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Legal Affairs may decide whether that is a human rights question. 

Mr Kunda: That is a very general question unless there are specifics. It is very difficult to answer such a question.


Mr Kunda: Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!



The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2002




VOTE 80/3O – (Ministry of Education –Secondary Schools – Eastern Province – K4,096,737,500).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Chairman, on sub-head 1 – Personal Emoluments, item 01, Salaries – K2,307,618,000, may I know why there is only an increment of about K6 million for the whole province. Why is it not the same like the other provinces?

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, there was no remarkable increase in the recruitment of secondary school teachers for Eastern Province for this year.

Thank you, Sir.

Vote 80/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/34 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/35 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/36 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/37 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/38 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/39 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/40 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/41 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/42 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/43 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 87/01 – (Anti-Corruption Commission – Office of the President – 


    The Chairman: His Honour the Vice-President will give a policy statement first.

The Vice-President (Mr Kavindele): Mr Chairman, it is my pleasure and privilege to present the Budget for the Anti-Corruption Commission for the fiscal year 2002.

Sir, Government recognises that corruption undermines development and can contribute to unacceptable levels of poverty and threaten the stability of a nation. The Government, therefore, remains eager to fight the scourge so that the Zambian people can enjoy acceptable levels of development and security.

Sir, our President has stated, at various for a, that in the New Deal Government, there is no room for corruption. However, the fight against corruption requires a multifaceted approach, and the thrust to combat it must start with an inculcation of a culture of zero tolerance of corruption at the citizenry level. We, therefore, call upon our fellow citizens to join us in spearheading this fight and to support the Anti-Corruption Commission in every way they can.

Mr Chairman, despite having strengthened the law against corruption by the various administrations, it is regretted that the Commission continues to operate with a lot of difficulties due to inadequate funds allocated in its previous annual budgets.

Mr Chairman, corruption is universal and needs to be fought by all. I will lay a document on the Table, which is from the Beijing Review of 28th February, 2002, and talks about the continuation of fighting corruption in China. Sir, corruption comes in many forms. It is an offence committed by two people, the giver and the receiver.

Before I go any further, I would like to take the opportunity to answer two hon. Members of Parliament who raised the issue regarding who is going to police the police. Mr Chairman, the Government intends, very soon, to appoint Commissioners to the Anti-Corruption Commission. This will be done in order to compliment the efforts of the Commissioner-General. The Government continues also to receive accusations against the Commission itself. The President and I have received unsigned – so, we do not take this to be very serious at all because people write without putting their names or signatures. So, how can we follow up cases? These are cases in which citizens have complained against the activities of the Anti-Corruption Commission. It is, important, therefore, that we appoint Commissioners. His Excellency the President is in the process of doing that.

Mr Chairman, we are also seeing many cases in which businessmen, for instance, compete for a tender. If there are ten companies competing for the tender, only one of them can get the tender. But others cry foul and say there was corruption. If there is only one tender, it is not possible for that tender to be allocated to ten different companies. At times, business rivalry is also perceived as corruption and we wish to discourage our business people from falling into that trap. Others do not just like the idea of corruption in the sense that they just hate it. So, they will not even go for Government business because of fear of being accused of being corrupt. Now, that is wrong because it retards development. 

It is our hope that those businesses that wish to keep away from competition by running to the Anti-Corruption Commission to complain of corruption are perhaps inadequate. They cannot stand the competition they perceive. Therefore, they go round and say that there is corruption. These are some of the experiences we are beginning to notice.

Mr Chairman, coming to hon. Members of Parliament who are in business, the Government does not stop you from running your businesses. What the Government is saying is that if you run a business or enter into a contract with a Government department, you should write to the Chief Justice under the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct. You are required to inform the Chief Justice of your business intentions. This will cover you from accusations of corruption because we are again seeing this at every level that business rivalry is now being regarded as corruption, which is wrong.

Mr Chairman, the Commission has recruited new officers in its endeavour to improve its effectiveness, which was adversely affected in previous years by the loss of trained and experienced officers who left to join other institutions offering better salaries and conditions of service.

Mr Chairman, the Commission, once more, expresses its gratitude for the support that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia and his Cabinet have shown in the fight against corruption which has given the Commission renewed commitment and impetus to fight. The Commission also expressed its gratitude to the general public and co-operating partners, notably, the British and Norwegian governments for supporting it financially, morally and otherwise. The Commission looks forward to greater assistance from the Government in order to enable it mobilise resources for a corrupt-free Zambia. This fight involves each and every one of us. 

It is Government’s hope that this august House will support the Vote on the Floor. I will be able to respond after the debate to those points that will be raised by hon. Members of the House.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nzowa (Kabushi): Mr Chairman, in support of this Vote, I would like to contribute as follows.

The Anti-Corruption Commission is one important arm of the Government that the people of Zambia are looking forward to. As such, we need to strengthen it so that it can deal with the challenges that it is facing.

Mr Chairman, it is very saddening to read of scandals in newspapers everyday. Zambia has been dogged or rocked by scandals. To our surprise, these scandals that have been reported in the Press involve high-profiled individuals like Government officials or former Government officials.

I think the best thing to do, as a Government, is to enable the Anti-Corruption Commission deal with these cases. If the case involved an ordinary citizen, it is pursued much faster. If it is a high-profiled individual involved, the Anti-Corruption Commission officials are threatened. We have information of Anti-Corruption Commission officials being threatened for pursuing or investigating certain cases.

Poverty in this country has reached a level where beyond that level, you just die and it cannot be adjusted any more. Yet, we are saying that we are a poor country and proud to have benefited or qualified to be classified as HIPC. We are now told everyday that billions and billions of kwacha and dollars have gone offshore. It is only fair that those people who are involved are probed so that they are cleared. If these things are not true, it is to their benefit.

So, the silence that the Government has kept on the numerous reports including on today’s The Post newspaper is saddening. What we were told by His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and even by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, in his conclusion, when he presented the Budget is that the New Deal Government wants to start on a new slate. And already the New Deal Government is enjoying goodwill, but this will be short-lived. The only way this Government can start on a new and good slate is by ensuring that the old cases are dealt with. As it is, there are very few Zambians now who trust politicians. We are not trustworthy people because once you go in politics people say, ‘Nga mwapakama mukatulaba’, meaning that when you go into politics you get rich and forget the people who voted for you. We do not want this.

We would like to deal with this scandalous climate that has dogged this country. The only way we can deal with this is by ensuring that the Anti-Corruption Commission is strengthened. Let us pass legislation that will ensure that the Anti-Corruption Commission prosecutes and deals with the culprits firmly. Let us pass legislation that will make those who are involved in scandals not deal in business in Zambia and never to hold any political office……

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nzowa: …if they are found guilty. The legislation we have now is inadequate, if you steal and hire very powerful lawyers, you will be acquitted and find yourself back in the Front Bench.

Mr Chairman, the Anti-Corruption Commission should be decentralised. Let it go to the people. The people have information as to who is corrupt. Right now, there are very few people who know where the offices of the Anti-Corruption Commission are. How do people report cases of corruption? We want the Anti-Corruption Commission to have a vigorous public relations department so that people are free to walk in and out.

The other issue which normally scares people is that when you have evidence of corruption and you go to the police to report, you are the one who will end up being arrested.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Nzowa: And the one who is corrupt will just be telephoned and informed that the culprit has brought himself and we have locked him up, what do we do with him?


Mr Nzowa: When Hon. Ng’uni was debating on the Vote on the Ministry of Legal Affairs, he asked the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs a question as to what protection people have. But, the hon. Minister casually answered this question. There is nothing casual about it. We have to be very serious. People are scared to bring information forward. The only alternative is to send some information by post to The Post or The Monitor newspapers because that information will come out. If you take the documents yourself, you will be locked up with the documents in the police cells.


Mr Nzowa: So, we are pleading that the New Deal Government should start on a new slate. Some of you, hon. Government Members, over there are clean people. In fact, most of you are clean people.

Hon. Government Members: Everybody is clean. {mospagebreak}

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Nzowa: If you allow bad things from the past to follow you, all of you will be classified to be bad and corrupt people. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning promised to make a ministerial statement on these scandals. We need a Government position. We are sick and tired of reading about these scandals. Can you inform the nation as to what the Government is doing and its position with regard to the scandals because this is going to spoil the nation. People have no confidence in the leaders.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje (Mwandi): Mr Chairman, I stand to convey best wishes from the people of Mwandi, to you, Sir, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Dr Kabanje: …and to the hon. Mr Speaker on your well-deserved re-election.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: I must also add my own deepest personal congratulations to you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: The people of Mwandi are extremely delighted that for the first time in our country, a man of law is ascended to the highest office in the land.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: With His Excellency President Mwanawasa on the throne, there is no doubt that the rule of law will be our national credo.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: Now, reflecting, Sir, on the President's Speech, I am confident that nearly all political parties today claim that their manifestos have generously been appropriated in His Excellency’s Speech. If so, heavens be praised. After all …

Hon. UPND Members started walking out one by one.

Hon. Government Members: Why are you running away?

Dr Kabanje: Any manifesto is a micro reflection of the Zambian social reality. It is not folly to suggest that in this millennium of the African Renaissance II, things are imperative. The first one is the need for constructive engagement in our politics as opposed to cut-throat antagonism of the stone-throwing era.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: The second one is power sharing as opposed to our monopoly and exclusivity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: The expectations from this format are as follows:

(i)    Reduction of poverty;
(ii)    Promotion of mutual understanding;
(iii)    Internalisation of institutionalism as opposed to personalism;
(iv)    The vote as a beacon of quality as opposed to partnership; and
(v)    Genuine decentralisation of power based on elected and accountable district and provincial governance.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: Mr Chairman, in light of the need for stability, I wish to argue that article 43 of the Constitution which provides for immunity of the President needs to be reviewed. Mind you, Sir, that under the rule of law, no one should escape from being visited by the law.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: While institutions are strong, you do not need to wait for somebody to leave office before you prosecute him or her.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: Mr Chairman, the immunity clause is a violation of the doctrine of the rule of law. It puts the President above the law; it is outdated, mischievous and extremely dangerous.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: The present scheme of things, though well intended, suggests a framework for vendettas. There is no need to wait …

The Chairman: Order! 

It is not parliamentary etiquette for all the people from the same party to be adapted by nature, and then by the call of nature, go away like this. Soon or later, we will know what is at the back of their minds.

Will the hon. Member, continue, please.


Dr Kabanje: Mr Chairman, related to this is the need for our Constitution to bar any person who has held office of President from holding any party position. In other words, upon swearing in of the new President, the former President should automatically lose any party office he might have held. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: This is the way forward for our democracy and would avoid suspicions and conflicts arising from the change of the guard. This is at the same time at the heart of the debate for Presidential benefits which first occurred in the Third Republic and which almost created anxieties in the aftermath of the birth of the New Deal administration.

Mr Chairman, as I cast my eyes here and higher in this House, I see a Parliament polarised. The upper north from the Copperbelt, Luapula and the Northern provinces, plus pockets of constituencies in the Central Province, ethnically linked to the north, are in the MMD. Linguistically, this is the Bemba-speaking group. The rest of the country is Opposition land, roughly with the exception of a few constituencies, comprising the non-Bemba speaking tribes. This is not good for our country. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: In this regard, we hon. Members, should network and engage one another across the political spectrum. We should meet everywhere as nationals. If possible, we can even meet under trees …


Dr Kabanje: … whether it is a tree of knowledge or otherwise. National unity is a sacred legacy to be bequeathed to posterity. It is often said that in a genuine parliamentary democracy, the ruling and Opposition parties need each other in the same way a healthy woman needs a healthy man. This is a creative unity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: Mr Chairman, development needs dictate that we love and criticise one another in order for us to have a higher synthesis. The aim of criticism in modern democracies is to build and perfect institutions, not to abort or subvert our institutions or endanger crisis which would lead to the economic suffering of the people or which would lead to the soldiers’ intervention in politics.

Furthermore, there has been too much hatred in our country after elections. It is my view that our collective task as a people is to learn to be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: It is imperative of our time, the quest of our nation, the desire of millions, that there be undertaken bold, innovative and imaginative constitutional engineering which will give key political players their place in the sun. The problem in the African democracies is that losers never accept defeat and do not easily relinquish office after losing to give others a chance.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: We must create a culture where those who lead should relinquish power so that their friends may continue from where they left. 

Mr Chairman, as on the road to Damascus, let us all see the light of the value of the vote. No head, no seat and no tear should be lost on account of free choice. The freedom fighter of yesterday once branded traitor, terrorist and Judas Iscariot all strived to secure the beauty and sanctity of just one person one vote. 

Mr Chairman, there is also need for inner party democracy in all our parties so that our party presidents are friends in politics not horses and masters. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: Finally, Mr Chairman, I want to say that your election has put to test the fragile nature of our democracy. The political Talibans have described us as Judas Iscariots on our rights to vote. For the way we voted, a political fault has been pronounced on us, but we are not shaken. We are not moved. I come from Mwandi in the land of a thousand stars, King Yeta’s ancestral land and the sacred resting place of Princess Nakatindi, peerless patriot, visionary, freedom fighter and mother to Hon. Princess Nakatindi Wina. Mwandi knows the hardships of political conflict more than any other part of this country. And we also live under the watchful eye of my beloved Senior Chief Inyambo. In Mwandi, we shall always do what is for the public good - fair, just and that which secures ethnic equity, peace and development. 

May God bless our President …

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

The Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Sondashi): I wish to thank you most sincerely, Mr Chairman, for this opportunity given to me to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairman, I wish to assure all hon. Members of Parliament here assembled that in the New Deal administration, there will be no person escaping after committing crimes like corruption and many others. Hon. Members may be referred back and note that the current President, His Excellency Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel, if you remember did resign from the Government in protest against corruption followed by myself. We resigned together. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: Therefore, I would like to assure you that you just have to give us a little bit of time. No one is going to escape after involving oneself in corruption. If you loot this country and you expect that the law is not going to reach you, you are wasting your time. We are going to follow up all those people who had looted this country or involved themselves in corruption until those people bring back the money to Zambia, and they are going to be imprisoned later. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: Otherwise, why should I support corruption? This is going to be done. So, Mr Chairman, hon. Members can get rest assured that we need their co-operation. We have to ensure that corruption is rooted out of this country. Having said that, Sir,……..

Mr Chairman: Order! 

I want as many people as possible to contribute to this. So, please, be brief and to the point and let us not interfere by raising points of order. I will give you the Floor.

Mr Tetamashimba: Thank you very much for allowing me to raise the point of order. Is His Honour the Vice-President, with the rest of the Front Bench, in order to let only us  praise Hon. Dr Sondashi when he is talking about corruption while they are quiet. Is that the situation that they are involved in, Mr Chairman?

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chairman: A disciplined group has only one spokesperson on their behalf, and this is why they are quiet.

Dr Sondashi: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I want, Sir, to clarify one issue of Presidential immunity. The reason why Presidential immunity is given to the Head of State is because the law does not want the President, while still holding office, to be sued so that it detracts his attention to work. Just imagine, if you had a President who could be sued everyday and he goes to appear in court, how would that be? 


Dr Sondashi: Sir, I am trying to answer my colleagues. The country cannot run properly. That is why Presidential immunity is necessary during the time when the President is holding office, but of course, I do not have any ill feeling or problem taking away Presidential immunities after someone leaves office. But when someone is holding office he must be protected. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for the President to operate. I just wanted to make this clarification so that the hon. Members can see the genesis of the introduction of Presidential immunities in the constitutional law. But after someone has left office, he should be prosecuted or taken to court.

Hon. Opposition Members: There is no problem about that. 

Mr Chairman, having said that, I just wanted to raise these few issues and, I would like to thank you very much.

Mr Sichinga (Kafue): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. Sir, I rise to support this Vote. In doing so, I wish to comment that it is very interesting that today His Honour the Vice-President was able to speak before we could all rise to talk about this policy issue. That is the way it should be. We have been asking for this as the correct manner of how we should deal with policy statement starting with the hon. Ministers first, followed by us. Now, we can be more focused in our debate. So, the New Deal administration has started today how to deal with the policy statement, we appreciate that.

    Mr Chairman, I am holding in my hands the copy of the Annual Report of the Anti-Corruption Commission for the year 2000. And I wish I could also have the Annual Report for the year 2001 so that as we debate this issue we could have where we could be reflecting on what has taken place. I wish, first of all, to commend the Anti-Corruption Commission for trying very hard under very difficult circumstances, especially that this year we have also seen evidence of the ruling party rising against the officers that are serving in the Anti-Corruption Commission, through the MMD cadres who went to parade, to go and make noise and raise acrimony and havoc at the office of the Anti-Corruption Commission. 

   Hon. Opposition Members: Shame.

Mr Sichinga: Shame on you.  I had expected that the Government would take measures to protect that office and to issue a statement here dissociating themselves from the actions of the MMD cadres, but they have not done that, Sir. They have been quiet. It leaves us to wonder whether they are serious when they talk about issues of good governance. 

   His Honour the Vice-President has made the point that he has received complaints about the Anti-Corruption Commission. We, on this side, are in favour of openness and open mindedness for any institution. Even the Auditor-General must have auditors to audit him, in the similar manner the Anti-Corruption Commission must have those that are watching over them. It is against this background that we have been asking from the Opposition side that, we want the directors of the Anti-Corruption commission to be appointed, so that they can be able to oversee the responsibilities of the Commission. So, we urge the Government and we appreciate the assurances that have been given by His Honour the Vice-President that the directors for the Anti-Corruption Commission would be appointed, and we hope it will be soon. 

   When one looks at the copy of the Anti-Corruption Commission, it is quite clear that the Anti-Corruption Commission cannot have the kind of impact it deserves when they see that within Government offices, there are people that want to protect themselves, starting from the Head of State right down to the bottom. And right now, Sir, those that have had an opportunity to read today’s paper, I think they will bare testimony that and to some extent, in as much as I appreciate senior learned counsel, Hon. Dr Sondashi, making the clarification he did, I am sorry I disagree with you, learned counsel. 

   I think that they should be no reason why a Head of State should be seeking immunities over issues of corruption. There is no need for it because, what kind of democracy do we want to practise? What kind of example do you want a Head of State to set? It is against this kind of behavior that we have provisions in our Constitution which requires that if a Head of State misbehaves, he can be impeached. And this is the attempt that Members of the Opposition tried to do last year. It was opposed by no one else other than the MMD. 

   Hon. Opposition Members: Shame.

   Mr Sichinga: Now, here we stand and we stand vindicated. I am pleased it has happened within our lifetime. But we have been vindicated, everything has been said in this House through the Public Accounts Committee and through other reports of the committees, we have been vindicated. I am looking forward, before the end of this year, to hear a lot more revealed and I hope it will be a lesson for those of us who are in senior positions, especially in Government, that we will not engage ourselves in matters of corruption. 

    I just want to quote from the Anti-Corruption Commission Report, Sir. How are the difficulties faced by this Commission?  I am referring to page 45, case number CR 115 /98 alleged abuse of office by former Minister for Luapula Province with regard to the use of Department of Roads equipment and transport on personal errands and jobs. The docket was closed and the matter was referred to the Permanent Secretary for Luapula Province for administrative action!

   Hon Opposition Members: Shame! 

   Mr Sichinga: And you can go on reading in this report, including cases where they have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. And the only thing that can happen is the Director of Public Prosecutions to submit a nolle prosequi, that is all, because he has been instructed that you do not have to take this matter any further. Otherwise, why go as far as the Department of Public Prosecutions to determine the merits of the case and tell him that there is no case to answer. Who said that? Who proved that? Who was given the opportunity to say so? And who are the Judge and Jury outside normal court proceedings? We know that there are court proceedings. 

   Hon. Opposition Member: Shame forever.

Mr Sichinga: And I wish to recommend to all of you, hon. Members, to read this document, and read it with care and with due diligence. I have in my hands the Auditor-General’s Report on procurement of goods and services in the Zambia Army and Zambia Air Force. This is an inducement and I would like to see His Honour the Vice-President take action. You know what is going on. Even as we speak right now, the abuse of public equipment in the Air Force and the Army is still going on and I am available to show you where it is taking place.


Mr Sichinga: But in here, this is the Auditor-General’s Report and not my report. We wonder why it takes years to take action if ever action is taken at all. In this report the Zambia Army procured motor vehicles last year which they cannot account for even as we speak, the same process is still going on.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Sichinga: Motor vehicles were purchased at exorbitant and inflated prices, including Zambia National Broadcasting Co-operation vehicles that are used for outside broadcast, it is the same thing, overpriced vehicles.

Mr Shepande: Shame forever!

Mr Sichinga: I challenge Government that if you want evidence, please, talk to me.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: It is important that sufficient resources are made available …


Mr Sichinga: … yes we will, I have no problem with it, but the problem that I have is that you will not take any action anyway. If you fail to take action on the Auditor-General’s Report, how are you going to take action on the statement that I am giving to you?

Mr Situmbeko: Shame upon you!

Mr Sichinga: We are saying we are sick and tired of lip service, and truly, I have the greatest respect for Members of the Government, but we are looking forward and I trust that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will be kind enough to assist us to come forward as he promised. We must change the Financial Regulations and I have no doubt that we will do that. We need to change the Financial Regulations and stop the abuse before it starts, that is what we are looking for. We cannot have a situation that every time you read about Zambia in the foreign Press it is about something negative, what kind of country are building, hon. Members?

We owe it to ourselves and to our children and the generations to come. Let us clean up this scam and have a country that we can be proud of and hold our heads high up and not where we pay lip service.

Nichekeleko every now and again until it has gone even to the voters is certainly not health. You cannot win an election now until you start bribing people around. Why should that be the case?

Mr Shepande: The crocodile is afraid.


Mr Sichinga: And we take public funds from Government offices and channel them through for some members of our country to win elections where others are put up at a disadvantage. That is corruption too. We cannot allow this and for as long as I have breath in my life, I will continue to hammer on this issue until we clean up our country because we owe it to ourselves.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda (Kapoche): Mr Chairman, I thank you, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the Vote of the Anti-Corruption Commission. I wish to state that we must assist the Anti-Corruption Commission to wield more power as they continue fighting the scourge of corruption in our country.

The point that I want to highlight on, Sir, is that although many others have already spoken, I want to look at it from the other side. In the last ten years, the Anti-Corruption Commission was used, not as a tool to clean up or bring sanity in our country, it was being used as a tool of oppression and intimidation by the ruling party on those whom they perceived to be their opponents. But as it is now, I want to say, well done, to our Republican President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, who has come out in full support of the fight against corruption. I hope that there will be a change in the operations or the use of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Let us not see a repeat of the MMD Government in your New Deal administration using the Anti-Corruption Commission as your tool of oppression to fix whoever you think is against you, that one is really very bad because it will not take us anywhere as a nation. We are going to support you as a Government if such institutions are going to be used properly and if you put them to good use, they will be for your good and for our good.

Another issue that I want to raise here is that the Anti-Corruption Commission, as they are, must treat all citizens equally. We have seen situations where our friends who are important in society are cleared within one month, they may be a statement that there is no case, or that he has not committed any offence and so forth but when it comes to an ordinary person, it might take you even five years. No one says anything to you from the Anti-Corruption Commission. You are there, always thinking maybe, they are doing you a favour by not taking you to court and yet you have got no case. So, people should be treated equally regardless of the status; Minister, Permanent Secretary, ordinary person and so forth. 

Let us be treated equally before the Anti-Corruption Commission. Through that, we shall be able to support the Anti-Corruption Commission in totality. Somebody has already explained here that people are scared to go to the Anti-Corruption Commission to give evidence because they feel that the Anti-Corruption Commission is an instrument of oppression where, by the moment you go there, it is you who is a complainant who ends up getting locked up.

The other issue here is that I wish to advise our friends, those who are in power today. Like what my colleague has already alluded to, when you have been investigated and cleared, it is far much better than when you keep carrying your cases around. We have seen some people who were very good at using the Anti-Corruption Commission against other people that when it was their turn to be investigated, they started suing the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda: That should not happen. Let them do their job, if you enjoyed seeing other people being investigated, you must also enjoy being investigated.

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

Mr C. R. Banda: There are no sacred cows in such matters. Let us all be treated as equals and I want to encourage the Anti-Corruption Commission that they have very good will from the Republican President who has so far said he is going to recruit more people to work there so that every wing of Government and sector is checked. So, let us all be equal and realise that we are all citizens before we look at the status that we have. Well done to the New Deal Government if you are going to implement whatever you have said, and let me also wish the Anti-Corruption Commission the best of luck, but they should never to be used as a tool of oppression.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Samukonga (Chawama): Mr Chairman, I rise to support this Vote on the Anti-Corruption Commission and in supporting this Vote, I wish to state that the Anti-Corruption Commission actually needs to be strengthened and well funded. They play a pivotal role in our country’s democratisation process and so, they should be supported by all of us.

Mr Chairman, I also wish to state that I heard from His Honour the Vice-President that they are going to appoint Commissioners, but those Commissioners should be ratified by this House because we want to stop a system whereby the Commissioners owe allegiance to one man as was the case in the past. 

Mr Chairman, I wish to deal with one issue, which is at hand right now. This issue concerns the corrupt practices that have taken place over the past ten years because if we do not deal with them, we are going to set a bad precedence going forward. What I mean, Sir, is that we have read several times in the newspapers, people have voiced out, society has spoken and the leadership has spoken about corrupt practices that have taken place but nothing is being done to address those issues. I will be very specific, Sir, that during the Chiluba administration, the corrupt practices reached alarming proportions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

It is very disturbing, Mr Chairman, that a poor country like Zambia could be swindled out of such huge amounts of money and then we just keep quiet. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning yesterday was literally pleading with this House to allow him an opportunity to tap some funding from fuel and other sectors here and there in order to finance his Budget and yet we know, Mr Chairman, where the money is. We know that money that belongs to Zambia has been hidden somewhere.

Mr Chairman, during the last administration, corruption was institutionalised through schemes like the illegal Presidential Housing Initiative through which a lot of money was siphoned, the Presidential slush fund and through parallel institutions like the GRZ/ZCCM negotiating team instead of Zambia Privatisation Agency itself, which was already in existence and enacted by an Act of Parliament. A separate team was set up to privatise the mines. All that was promoting corruption. Why set up a parallel institution when there is already an established institution to deal with privatisation?

 ZESCO, Mr Chairman, is another case in point. In fact, when talking about ZESCO, Mr Chairman, I wish to categorically state that management there should change hands immediately because they are not in the business of generating and selling units of electricity. Rather, they are in the business of supporting political parties in power. That is not a core business of ZESCO and this issue should be addressed very seriously and put to rest. We saw how ZESCO in Kabwata ran around electrifying the streets. When the MMD lost, they stopped suddenly.

Mr Chairman, if I may just repeat the issues that have been raised. We have heard about the K2 billion which was siphoned through the National Assembly and the Carrington maize deal involving about US$4 million to US $6 million. We have heard, Mr Chairman, about the US$90 million Meridien saga. We have heard several times from the hon. Members of this House about the dubious way in which the Challenger jet was sold. Right now, the Challenger jet that was acquired to replace the old one has some foreign numbers registered in South Africa. We need a ministerial statement explaining how this important national asset was disposed of and replaced.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Samukonga: Mr Chairman, we have heard about the US$150 million copper and cobalt scandals. Mr Chairman, we have even heard about how dubious oil deals took place. If we have to sum up all these, our Budget, right now, is K5 trillion, which amounts, roughly, to US$1 billion. If, for instance, we were serious and we sat down and said, let us trace these monies wherever they could be hidden, we could easily finance half of our Budget without our good hon. Minister, Mr Kasonde, pleading with this House to save only K41 billion from the taxes on petroleum products. 

The issue that comes up seriously when we are talking about how to trace this money is this question of immunity which Hon. Dr Sondashi talked about. The former President has said he is ready to have his immunity removed. Why do we not go further and, actually, implement that?

Mr Patel: Vera has told you where the money is.

Mr Samukonga: The hon. Members who spoke before me said that if the courts of law find that there is no case for the former President to answer, well and good. At least, he will have been cleared.

The Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Samukonga: Mr Chairman, when business was suspended, I was on the question of immunity. I was saying that the former President, Dr Chiluba, has himself said that he does not mind his immunity being lifted. So, why should we not act? There is so much evidence, Mr Chairman, pointing to former President Chiluba’s corrupt practices. There are so many indications pointing to that.

The Chairman: Order! It has been repeatedly said in this House that you do not attack individuals when you do not have the facilities for them to defend themselves. As hon. Members of Parliament, elected by the people, you represent everybody and you have to protect even those who are in weaker positions. Do not take advantage of the immunity and privileges that you are enjoying in this House to attack others. If you want boxing, you cannot box somebody whose hands are tied behind and consider yourself as Mohammed Ali. You must have a level ground.

If you have cogent evidence against the former President, Dr Chiluba, please, take that evidence to the Anti-Corruption Commission so that he can also be given a chance to defend himself. We are not going to discuss him here. Please, move on to another point.

Mr Samukonga: Thank you very much for that correction, Mr Chairman, but I wish to move further and say evidence about the corrupt practices that have taken place in the past ten years is clear. For instance, what more evidence would one want apart from evidence coming from one’s own wife?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: Order! Any further debate?

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote. I rise to support the Vote and in doing so, with your permission, Mr Chairman, I want to commend the Chairman-General and his chief officers for doing a commendable job under very difficult circumstances.

The Commissioner-General has been at the helm of that important arm of Government since its inception and the accumulated experience he has gathered is precious to this country. It is, therefore, important, Sir, that those that want to disturb his efforts such as we saw in a political protest against his office, should be settled clearly and squarely. Offenders should be punished and I would like to hear a statement to that effect from the hon. Minister responsible so that in future we do not have political leaders, who may be investigated, instigating the riffraff or hired crowds to protest on their behalf.

There has been a lot of political pressure. I want to refer to cases in the annual report where evidence seems to have been available and cases are closed. I believe these cases call for a special re-examination of what really went on. There is possibly here a conflict of roles. We are saying the Commissioner-General, whom I have referred to as the Chairman-General, is one and the same person, Sir. We are saying that the Anti-Corruption is an independent arm of the Government. 

But how independent is the Anti-Corruption Commission if their investigations and dockets of cases will be recalled by the DPP and a decision made by the issuance of nolle prosequi? The Director of Public Prosecutions is perfectly within the Constitution to do so, but I think that this House must help if we are not going to cry foul that the decisions of the Anti-Corruption Commission should not be overridden by another arm of Government that may be susceptible to political interference. 

Sir, who will take care of the caretakers? This is the central question that His Honour the Vice-President, Mr Kavindele, has tried to answer. I do not think that the appointment of Commissioners will be a safeguard against interference or against lack of caring for the caretakers. I think we need an explanation. 

Some years ago before this country established itself fully as an independent country, there were often deliberate moves to involve eminent citizens to oversee the events of certain organisations, including security organisations such as the police. In this case, why do we not have eminent people in the legal fraternity to oversee as an independent group the care taking that we seek in this regard? The same group would be helpful to make sure that decisions where cases are being recalled by the DPP are carefully examined in the best interest of this country.

Sir, lastly, as you may be aware, I am a man of few words. For sure, I would like to make an appeal, through you, Sir. I do not know how to put it very carefully without offending you. I hate to be told that I am out of order.


Mr Mtonga: Sir, I would like to state a position of serious public interest. We have a report today in a newspaper that $2.5 billion is owned by the former President (Mr Chiluba). I do not think the story can be taken as true or false at face value. However, the reason why I raise it is that it is a matter of grave public interest to this country where we should see the Government moving in immediately. 

Firstly, strengthen the decisions or whatever, of the Commissioner-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission to take care of the report from Madam Vera Chiluba. It is in an affidavit, a legal document. Secondly, the person who says so needs protection because of the vast public interest here, we need the Government to step in and protect Madam Vera Chiluba.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chola: We must first remove immunity from her.

Mr Ntonga: No that is not immunity. I think you misunderstand the language.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Protection is not immunity because even the person whose immunity you remove requires physical protection. So, I would remind – I am sorry to answer an intervention from the Floor, but I would like to remind Hon. Chola that the FBI protected even the assassin of the late J. F. Kennedy and they were fired for failing to protect him from those who killed him.

Mr Situmbeko: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: So, that is the level of protection we are talking about, not immunity.

So, please, Sir, I think that this country will hold His Honour the Vice-President and his colleagues of serious consequences if they fail to protect Madam Vera Chiluba at this point in time. If anything happens to her, this country will rise against you, Sir.

Sir, finally, my last point is that there has been so much talk about corruption at high levels. My colleagues and cousins from the Northern Province have a very wise saying - unfortunately, Hon. Judith Kapijimpanga does not tutor my Bemba very well. If she had taught me well, I would say it rightly, but the saying goes, Isabi litampila kumutwe uku bola. 


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Is that Lozi.

Mr Sibetta: Try Lozi!

Mr Mtonga: Sir, I wish to submit that it is time we put a time frame. This House, through the Government, should put a time frame on these rumours. They are snowballing, they are growing and we are talking while evidence may be interfered with. This money may be hidden further and further away and if we really want to get the truth, we ought to put a time frame.

The Anti-Corruption Commission should move in so that within one month, we have a clear position as to the position of this Government and people over stolen billions.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Patel (Lusaka-Central): Mr Chairman, I would like to share a few thoughts with His Honour the Vice-President, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and others. If you look at the last ten years, we have been docked by a phenomenon of unparalleled corruption. If you examine the Auditor-General’s Reports, you will find that every year, there is more hysteria with regard to corruption and yet, nothing has happened. No action has ever been taken.

Sir, my concern is that if you examine the level of support that we have received from our co-operating partners, on average, we have actually received about 30 –35 per cent of what has been pledged. The reason is that the issues of good governance and corruption keep coming back to the table and they continue to come to this table of the Government even this year. Now, at what stage will the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning be able to say that enough is enough, I need to govern my country and not rule? I am told to move to a better microphone.

I need to deal with this issue. I am going to be docked every year with the issue of what has happened. As Americans say, you have done the talking, but when are you going to walk. If you look at the actions, you have received tremendous good will from the Opposition and the citizens of our country, but this good will is going to fail because if you examine what you have actually done in the first seventy-nine or hundred days, the answer is very little except talk.

Hon. Ministers: No!

Mr Patel: Hear me out!

I am cautioning the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and his colleagues on the Front Bench to put away this issue of corruption with the relevant agencies. You need to say all these so-called alleged scandals have now been handed over to this institution so that you can move on with governance. Right now, you are dealing with an alleged scandal of the hunting licenses, which is affecting your donor contribution, and yet you are nodding, hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. That is your first test. How you deal with that issue in the next few days is going to be a very important perimeter about your Government’s action on these issues.

I am talking to all of us here that if we want to help this Government and the country is by them offloading this baggage of corruption on your back everyday that you govern this country. I am suggesting to His Honour the Vice-President that time has come for you to offload all these alleged scandals so that you can get on with the business of governing your country.

Those are the thoughts I wanted to share with you. If you do not do what I have said, you are going to be dogged by insistent cries, not only from Zambia, but also from our co-operating partners. When are you going to deal with this or that issue? How are we going to get the funding that we require? I thought I should leave those thoughts with you.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chairman: Hon. Nkumbula-Liebenthal are you ready? You are on the list.

Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal (Namwala): Thank you, Mr Chairman, in contributing to the debate, I would like to say that most of the points I wanted to cover have already been covered. But I would like to emphasise before I sit down …

Hon. Government Members: Sit down!

Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal: No, I will not sit down, not until I have made my point, thank you.


Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal: I would like to re-emphasise just two points, those two being that, we need, as Hon. Mtonga said, time frame. If you could let us know whether the Anti-Corruption Commission will report to Parliament or to the Executive because we all know that most of these problems of delay arise from that fact.

The other point is, could you please let us know, hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, when we are going to have that ministerial statement over this issue. As Hon. Mtonga said, we just keep on talking year in and year out and there is no development in the country. Corruption is the number one culprit on this issue. You have all the facts, please let us know when you are going to act.

Thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President (Mr Kavindele): Mr Chairman, I wish to thank hon. Members who have contributed to this debate. I had already made a policy statement before they debated, I can now only answer their concerns.

Hon. Nzowa, I wish to thank him for supporting the Vote. He talked of people in high offices who are corrupt, and he wishes that they be probed. Indeed he is right. If anyone has evidence of corruption by people in high offices, it is only fair that you write to the Commission giving your details, because the Commission may want you to clarify one or two things.

I can tell you for nothing and I mentioned this at the beginning of my statement, that even business jealousies, people are twisting them to be corruption. Corruption in high offices means there has to be a giver and a receiver. So, if you have evidence, you must give it to the Anti-Corruption Commission so that they investigate, that is what they are there for.


The Vice-President: You do not want to go to the Anti-Corruption Commission? It is extremely important.

Mr Chairman, I have seen a situation where my colleagues here in the Front Bench are not able to take certain decisions for fear of being told that they are corrupt.


The Vice-President: I have seen it happen and I can give you examples. Maybe I should not. One has to be very careful when you come up with such sweeping statements.

When we were ratifying the Supreme Court Judges, someone said he was investigated for corruption but they found nothing. In a situation like that, a man’s name is dented forever. So, if you find nothing it means there is nothing. If you allow things like that there is no one to stop anyone who dislikes you from going to the Anti-Corruption and report you so that you are investigated. Each and every case that goes to the Anti-Corruption is recorded in their report. They record all the cases that they investigate.


The Vice-President: I know what I am talking about. 

Hon. Patel when you were Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, how many cases of corruption did we have against you? They were several and were investigated but we found nothing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: What are you talking about? 

Shoprite issue came to Cabinet and you are aware of that fact. We defended you because you were being investigated.

Hon. Opposition Members: Why defend?


The Vice-President: I am just saying that what was done to you is exactly what can be done to other Ministers. When we investigated you, we found nothing.

Hon. Opposition Members Interjected.

The Vice-President: There were other issues over The Post newspaper article. Newspapers are just like that, they would like to sell and so, they like coming with eye-catching headlines. You cannot convict a man over a newspaper article. It is not fair. So, what happens then is that we have the Anti-Corruption …


The Chairman: Order, order! What is happening?


The Chairman: Order!

Will you listen to the submissions. You were given a chance to debate and now His Honour the Vice-President is answering queries that you raised. Whether you agree or not, just listen patiently, because by responding as he talks, you are just wasting your words and your breath, he is not even hearing. So, it is better you listen.

Hon. Opposition Members Interjected.

The Chairman: Well, if you do not want to listen, I will curtail his debate, if that is what you want.

Hon. Opposition Members: Go ahead!

The Chairman: Will you, please, continue.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, I do not wish to be rude, but all I am saying is that we have people who are innocent and are accused of doing wrong things. There is a body that is in place to carry out investigations. It is not right to say …

Mr Hachipuka Interjected.

The Vice-President: You were investigated at Zambia Railways. What are you talking about?

Hon. Opposition Members Interjected.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: All I am trying to say here is that it is not right just because people are in high places then they should be investigated even when there is no evidence.

In the cases I have cited, investigations were just mere accusations. That is what I am trying to say. Hon. Patel was cleared over Shoprite and if he wishes to know further …

Mr Patel: I was never investigated!


The Vice-President: .. he was cleared over Multi-Choice …


The Vice-President: I am the Vice-President with access to a lot of …

The Chairman: Order, order! 

May His Honour the Vice-President, please, sit down.

Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr. Chairman: Order! You are raising a point of order, you were in this House when I made it abundantly clear the conditions under which a point of order should be raised. His Honour the Vice-President is not debating, he is merely replying to the queries that have been raised on the Floor of the House and as such you do not raise a point of order. I hope you understand that. Let him continue replying.

Will His Honour the Vice-President, continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Sir, that is the point about the people in high places because of jealousy. There will be accusations which are not correct but they do need to be investigated and if nothing is found, I think the matter should rest there. But what I am saying is that it is not right for the person’s CV to be followed by things that did not even happen.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Dr Kabanje, as usual, is well articulated. It was in his maiden speech that he said a lot of sensible issues there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Situmbeko: That is corruption.

The Vice-President: Hon. Dr Kabanje eeh! The hon. Member for Mwandi.


The Vice-President: He passed very good messages of goodwill.


Hon. UPND Members: Take him, take him!

The Vice-President: We thank Hon. Dr Kabanje and we also wish to reciprocate that when he goes to his constituency, can he pass the fraternal greetings of this House to the people of Mwandi.


The Vice-President: Hon. Dr Sondashi talked about the law reaching everyone. Yes, indeed, that is what the law is there for. The law will reach everyone. As far as the Anti-Corruption Commission is concerned, I am aware of a letter that was written to them by His Excellency the President that there should be no sacred cows. Anyone who they believe has to be investigated, they are free to do so from top to bottom and I know that they are doing just that.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Sichinga talked about the party cadres who went to the Anti-Corruption Commission offices. I am not sure and I have no evidence that these were MMD party cadres.

Hon. Member: It is normal.

The Vice-President: No, why is it normal? You also come from political parties which has youths who tell you that…


The Vice-President: He also addressed the point of policing the police. Yes, indeed, we also believe that this is important for the officers who work at the Anti-Corruption Commission that they too have somebody they can relate to. This is because for the moment there is only the Commissioner-General at the top, but we believe that if they had a board, then at least the Commissioner-General would be assisted. This issue was also raised by another Member of Parliament. It is our hope that that will be put into effect very soon.

Mr Chairman, the other hon. Member of Parliament raised the point of ratification and that directors should be ratified by this House. Personally, I support that view but the law does state how Commissioners should be appointed. It is in the law that the Commissioner-General should have a board to support him. That is certainly supported.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Sichinga again talked of abuse of the Zambia Army and the Zambia Air Force equipment and has offered to take us to a place where the equipment is being abused. Well, we thank you very much indeed and that is what we would like to see. We would like to see someone come up and make serious accusations. 


Mr Sichinga: It is in this report - waiving a report.

The Vice President: I hope that the report has been tabled but if it has not, then it does not hold water at all.

Mr Sichinga: It was tabled in this House.

The Vice-President: Hon. Sichinga again talked of corruption even in elections, that you should have money in order to win an election. Well, the fact that he is here means that he had the money and, indeed, Nchekelako Mukafuwe.


The Vice-President: If you are accusing my colleagues here of chekelalingi people, then you too, for being in this House, you must have done something in Kafue.


The Vice-President: Because even the issues that you promised to do in Kafue, only us in the Government can re-open that factory. You, yourself cannot…


The Vice-President: So, it may be corruption also to tell people that you will come and employ them.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Charles R. Banda talked about the Anti-Corruption Commission being used as a tool for intimidation and that everyone should be treated equally. I have already told you that the President has given instructions that anyone, whenever there is anything of that sort, should be investigated and I do not believe that professional people will agree to be used to intimidate others. No, they are not intimidating anyone at all. Certainly, Mr Chairman, the Commissioner-General there is a man of integrity and, therefore, cannot be allowed to do that.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Samukonga supports the Vote and wishes that they could get more funding. Yes, indeed, hon. Member, we think that that is the right attitude that there should be more funding in order to enable them perform because without funding, they cannot go out around to the countryside. And indeed, we have talked about decentralisation. Yes, offices are being opened and I think this year Solwezi and three other provincial headquarters will have offices of the Anti-Corruption Commission to take care of my good brother and uncle, Hon. Kangwa, in his constituency. If we hear that you have been buying votes there, they will be at your doorsteps. Next time, I think they will visit you.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Samukonga talked of corruption having grown in the last administration. Well, I think people forget. The Anti-Corruption Commission was set up during the last administration. It was Dr Chiluba’s administration that set up this Commission.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!


The Vice-President: Yes.


The Vice-President: In its present form.

Hon. Member: It was created by the Central Committee of UNIP.

The Vice-President: I was a Member of the Central Committee, what are you talking about? I know more about this than you do because I was in the Central Committee.


Mr Situmbeko: This is the problem of people who have eaten with Kaunda, Chiluba and now Mwanawasa, they are full and they will not listen to anyone.

The Vice-President: Indeed. He talked about corruption having been institutionalised. Well, I have no facts myself, but it is nice to hear what you have talked about. You have talked about the PHI, ZCCM privatisation committee and other institutions. Certainly, I will be presenting to you a report on the PHI investigations by the Auditor-General. Just be a little patient , you will have facts that you will be able to talk and write home about.

He talked about managements of parastatal companies which he thinks should be changed because they support political parties. I am not very sure which political party they support but I can assure you that the MMD is not supported by any parastatal bodies..

Hon. Opposition Members: ZESCO!


The Vice-President: We support ourselves. Sir, the people in Kabwata did need electricity and we went in there to provide the service.


The Vice-President: Not everyone in the MMD lives in Kabwata. We were doing it for the people of Kabwata. So, if you have inherited our development, Hon. Lubinda, what is wrong with that? Now, you go to that bar with lights there and it is much safer. So, the people have benefited and we like that. Hon. Samukonga talked about various issues. He talked about the Challenger and I can assure hon. Members that a report is coming. One hon. Member has asked a question and there will be a substantial reply regarding the Challenger in due course.

Indeed, you have also talked about matters that are being investigated, but I believe that I should leave it there. But you have also talked about who can provide more evidence than one’s own wife? Hon. Samukonga, I must tell you that a scolded woman is a very dangerous woman.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: So, be careful how you handle women in future because once scolded, they turn round and the very things that they used to see, they use them against you. Some of them are even exaggerated. I am not defending anyone because I do not live in that house but I can assure you that since the matter is in court, the courts and the Government would want to know a lot more information than what is in the newspapers.

Hon. Mutonga talked about the political protest by party cadres. I am not very sure whether those were from UPND or FDD.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


The Vice-President: This is because I believe both parties have youth wings. UPND youths could also have been involved. I am reminded of robots in town that were damaged. I can assure you, it had nothing to do with the MMD youths.


The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, offenders should be punished, including those who damaged the traffic lights. Offenders are offenders.


The Vice-President: He talked about political pressure, leading to cases being closed. I am not aware of this but, at times, you, as a former Inspector-General of Police, can investigate a rumour and find that there is nothing. That is what should have happened. Here, there are no sacred cows at all. Anyone who did something wrong will, indeed, be investigated. So, there are no closed cases, as far as we are concerned. As you heard from Hon. Dr Sondashi, the law will follow them. So, the law will follow them because we have given them permission to do just that.

Mr Chairman, I have already answered the question about who will police the Police. He wanted to know why this particular Commission has no Board of Commissioners when the Human Rights Commission has. I can assure you that that is what we are working on. He suggested that eminent people should be appointed to the Commission. It is, indeed, our belief also that a Commission as sensitive as this, needs prominent and eminent people from, perhaps, the churches and legal fraternity who may be there to make sure that justice is not only seen but seen to be done. 

You have also talked about some figures which we read about in the newspapers as attracting public interest. We are attracted to what you also read. We believe that more information will be revealed as time goes on. You have also talked about protection of the former First Lady because of what you have read. I am sure you know what it is. Anyone who believes that his or her life is in danger has the freedom to ask for this protection and we will provide it. It is not only provided to political leaders but to anyone who feels that his or her life is in danger. 

Hon. Patel talked about hunting concessions and corruption involved. I think, either there is too much money in hunting or I do not know. This is because the problem on this issue started about three years ago. We just found it.


Hon. Opposition Members: What do you mean? You found it?

The Vice-President: It led to a situation where hunting per se was banned because the issue was not resolved. I do know what the hon. Minister has done. Not less than 200 companies applied for what we called prime concessions and these were only given to 10 companies. They sat and that document went to the Anti-Corruption Commission, to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), ZAWA, the police, etc. We got the reports but, again, you know how jealousy Zambians are. We started receiving letters saying so and so belong to the FDD or UPND. As for me, I said it does not matter. What matters is that as long as they are Zambians, if they are qualified to be in this business, let them do it. Those were the views we received. Again these went elsewhere.

The 190 companies that did not get any allocations started writing letters even to the Anti-Corruption Commission saying that there was corruption involved. This went to the extent that several applicants went and brought Chiefs from traditional areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: From Eastern Province! {mospagebreak}

The Vice-President: We saw Chiefs with some strange muzungus saying tifuna muzungu kuti tisebenze naye. We asked them to say munamuzibila kuti? They said iyai ndiye wabwino uyu. Azakonza sukulu. So, even the hon. Minister, to be honest, was totally confused because he did not know what to do because when he took the document to ZAWA and Tender Board, they came up with their own lists.

So, in the end, the ministry made the decision that they would allocate administratively. That now made heavens to fall loose. The bigger companies who were allocated these places came. If you recall, about three years ago, a Minister was almost arrested because of this hunting business.

For me, if I had my way, I would just get cameras to go and watch the animals. What do you want to go and kill animals for? What have they done to you? They live in the bush and eat grass. They do not cause you any problem. How do you go and make money on something by killing it? For me, if I had my way, that is what I would do.


The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, I thought I should answer hon. Members’ concerns regarding the Anti-Corruption Commission. All in all, I thank them all for supporting this Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 87/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 85/01 – (Ministry of Lands – Headquarters – K7,230,644,591)

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Kulibonesha, olo kuitukumuna.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Chairman, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to talk on this very important Vote.

I would like to tell some people like my cousin, His Honour the Vice-President, whose land is very far that land is the biggest asset any nation has. Land is the biggest asset any group or tribe has. We need to guard it very jealously. When we talk of land and if you look at the Zimbabwean situation, we in Zambia should learn from that situation where we need to plan for the people. When we allocate land, it is not the biggest bidder – the one who has got the money who deserves the land. We have got a lot of citizens who are below the poverty datum line. If we are going to add value to money, we should also consider that they are also entitled to the land of this country.

I will give you an example of Brazil where 85 per cent of the land is foreign- owned. What they have done is that for the land owners, when they see that there is pressure on the land from the neighbouring locals, they send in death squads to clear the population so that the population does not encroach on their land. We should check that situation. I know a lot of Zimbabweans that are coming to Zambia. Let us not be excited with their dollar and the money the British have put forward for their resettlement here. Let us first consider the land lease of the Zambians because as we go on, the population is growing and as the population grows, we need land to resettle our people.

Mr Chairman, we have to revisit the Land Act. In its present form, the Land Act empowers the President as the custodian of the land and the power is vested in him through the Commissioner of Lands.

Mr Chairman, I submit that the Commissioner of Lands has been accused of corruption and a lot of other things because he has the power of saying no or yes to the allocation of land. I feel that the Land Act has to be revisited and empower the hon. Minister to appoint an ad hoc committee which will include local representatives, district councils and other eminent people who should look at the allocation of land. The Chiefs actually have to be involved in this because they hold land on behalf of the people. So, they have to be involved in this allocation.

So, I would rather the hon. Minister of Lands is empowered to appoint an ad hoc committee involving the Chiefs, district councils and other eminent people who we feel can do a good job. The Commissioner of Lands should just act as a secretariat to put into effect the decisions which are put forward by an ad hoc committee. I think that will remove the element of finger pointing at the Ministry of Lands.

The Vice-President: Talk about Kamaila.

Mr Shakafuswa: I thank His Honour the Vice-President for being concerned about the Kamaila issue and I will come to that soon.

There should be a system in place in the processing of documents or title deeds at the ministry. At the moment, there are long delays and, maybe, some can translate the long delays to say there is nichekelako involved. I have no evidence of that. I hope the hon. Minister can bring in an efficient system which will ensure that people do not travel everyday to the Ministry of Lands and congest your offices and corridors. Let us have an efficient system which will ensure that processing and allocation of land or title deeds is done very effectively.

My cousin, His Honour the Vice-President, reminded me of the Kamaila issue. Let me comment on the Kamaila issue. I think people are aware of the Kamaila issue. This is the stand-off between my Chieftainess and the Government. I think that the Government itself brought about that stand-off.

What happened, Mr Chairman, is that the Chieftainess was approached by the then Minister of Lands through the then Member of Parliament. They brought a very good idea to say that because of the population growth in Katuba and demand for better land in the constituency, there was need to degazette the Kamaila Forest. The portion of that land would then be demarcated and distributed to the local people and other demanding persons from outside. What eventually happened was that this issue passed through the Chieftainess and she thought it was a very good idea. She gave consent. The council sat down and found the proposal to be very good and they thought it was coming from a very responsible Government. So, they degazetted the Kamaila Forest.

Thereafter, the people realised that there was beautiful land in the Lenje land. They all fell for the land with their big noses and fat wallets. What happened was that Kamaila was used as part of some of the hon. Ministers’ gratuities and some of those hon. Ministers are now sitting on our benches. They shared over 6,000 hectares of land amongst themselves. If you look at the original map, it was just hon. Ministers, hon. Ministers’ friends and President’s friends. Mr Chad Kaunda was given 400 hectares.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Shakafuswa: And me, the princess of the land was not even looked at.

Hon. Government Members: Prince, not princess.

  Mr Shakafuswa: The prince of the land was not even looked at for the allocation of that land.

Princess Nakatindi Wina: Are you a prince?

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes, I am a prince.

We had to stand up and put an injunction. I am happy that the present Minister of Lands has taken up this issue. I hope the hon. Minister will come up with an amicable solution where we have to recognise who has powers over that land.

Mr Tetamashimba: She can grab back the land from those people who got the land.

Mr Shakafuswa: The Chieftainess is entitled to that land. If the Government is still interested in the land in my area, we can consider giving the Government about one per cent of that land so that His Honour, Percy Kavindele, can find land to settle on since Kabompo is very far and he might want to settle in Katuba. I would want him to come as my subject and stay there.

I think I have learnt from Hon. Lucas Phiri. I have become a man of very few wise words.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shumina (Mangango): I would like to declare interest, Sir, when I speak about land, especially traditional land. What I have here is Ministry of Lands Annual Report for the year 2000. On page 16 of the Report, item (e), there is a sub-title and I quote:

‘Authority of Chiefs over customary land and the parameters of the Chiefs’ authority over customary land in terms of land allocation and alienation has not be practically defined.'

Mr Chairman, it is very important that if the Act is not clear and very obvious on how the traditional leaders should either allocate land or repossess it, it is in the interest of national harmony and security to make sure that the right amendments are made to this Act. The same report indicates that more than 94 per cent of the land is under customary law. So, if according to this Act, the President is in charge of the land, meanwhile more than 90 per cent of the land that is supposed to be controlled by the President is under a Chief, obviously there is a conflict of interest between the President and the traditional leaders. It is, therefore, very important that this issue is resolved in the interest of the nation. 

Furthermore, Mr Chairman, in Kaoma District, we have a serious problem. For example, I do not know the experiences in other districts. We have about four resettlement schemes, namely, Kalumwange, Lombelombe, Muswala Block, including Kehema what you call TBZ. So they are actually five. In addition, we have Mayukwayukwa Refugee Camp. And this Government wanted to take another refugee camp in the same district. 

So, one wonders whether the agenda for Government is to make sure that in Kaoma District, all the indigenous people are swallowed and compromised by these people who are settlers. And we are saying that we have kept refugees on this land from 1956 when I was six years old up to now. Unfortunately, the number is increasing. We now have more than 60,000 refugees on that land. The impact on the environment has been disastrous and the benefit to the people of Kaoma District has been very negative. It is, therefore, very important that the Ministry of Lands should also share the burden of keeping refugees on other lands apart from Kaoma District. 

The second point, Mr Chairman, is the issue of the Land Development Fund. I submit that the ministry should seriously look at the procedures and modalities of accessing this money. If a question was asked as to how many district councils and individuals have accessed this money, I think it is a very small number. One of the reasons is the red tape and the manner in which that form is designed. It is, therefore, in the interest of development for this country to ensure that that form is revisited so that it is planned in such a way that even an ordinary person can actually fill in that form and access this fund.

Finally, Mr Chairman, consultation is important when Government is interested in a piece of land. The local communities are the cardinal custodians of our land. Ministers and the President are all in Lusaka. The people who look after this land are traditional Chiefs, the Indunas and the village headmen. So, when you are interested in a piece of land, it is just in order that there is proper consultation between Government and the locals in that given area, failure to which the outcome will be unnecessary chasing between Government and citizens.

I thank you, sir.

Mr Kangwa (Solwezi East): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairman, land is a human right. Land is the best asset for every living human being. Land is more valuable than anything that you may think of. Land should be divided into two parts. There must be rural land and urban land. Urban land should be given to the Government while rural land should be given to the Chiefs and their subjects who are the custodians of the land. 

Mr Chairman, in some cases, many countries have gone to war because of land. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kangwa: Land should not be taken so lightly because it is a very valuable asset. So, to me, land should be counted as the first asset in life. 

 Mr Chairman, there are very few people who have land. Few of you have pieces of land. Most of you are squatters.


Mr Kangwa: I am so proud, Mr Chairman, because I have my own land. I am a Chief and I own a vast land that most of these people you see here will be coming to me to kneel for land.


Mr Kangwa: Mr Chairman, I am so proud that even His Honour the Vice-President applied for land in my area. I am not exposing my land to you people here for I know that most of you have no land. So, I do not want you to be following me asking for land.

Mr Chairman, the Ministry of Lands is a ministry that should consider the Chiefs. I wonder why the Government thought of separating the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. This is because the Ministry of Local Government and Housing deals with Chiefs and natural resources are in the areas of Chiefs. Why should they be separated?

Mr Tetamashimba: Cabinet material.


Mr Kangwa: Mr Chairman, they should be connected with word ‘and’. 

You will find a lot of Chiefs quarreling over land boundaries. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear,hear!

Mr Kangwa: the Government ignites such quarrels because the Government wants to get land by force because they are in power. Let me give you one example, Mr Chairman. A Chief is a permanent owner of land.

A President is an electee, that is a person who can be elected and be chased from the office. A Chief will never be chased from his chiefdom. He will continue to be a Chief until his death.

Mr Chairman, we are saying here that Chiefs should own land without interference from the Government. Let the Government be alone in urban areas. In rural areas let the land belong to the Chiefs. 

Sir, I thank you. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shemena (Solwezi West): Thank you, Mr Chairman. We believe everybody who has done economics will say that land is capital. And therefore, it is important that our Government should value the land. It is also important that in the process of empowering Zambians, it is better that the hon. Minister of Lands should educate the Zambian people on the importance of owning land. Mr Chairman, in Kaonde we say ‘Kipanga Kolwe Pombo Kilubi kaseke’.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shemena: Meaning that, what might chase the monkey today, the boboon will be laughing. The dispute in Zimbabwe between the whites and the indigenous Zimbabweans will soon be in Zambia because the Government is selling the land anyhow. 

Sir, the Government is so desperate to get the money from the investors and they forget to value the lives of their citizens. I will give an example of what happened in Mazabuka. People were moved from their own land and they were squatting in the cold just because the Government wanted money from those people and they never protected the citizens. 

Mr Chairman, I would also want to mention that the land disputes that are between Chiefs are actually detrimental to the development of this country. There are areas where you cannot take development because the disputes between Chiefs have not been settled and the potentials of such land cannot be exploited fully. I am appealing to the Ministry of Lands that it is important to look into this matter because it is not good for our development. 

Mr Chairman, I also want to mention that the Government has a tendency of giving people land without informing the people that have been traditionally living in that area for a long time. You just find a stranger coming to camp. It is also important that people that live in such localities are informed about that potential investor. You have brought enemies in some of these areas. When a Chief is giving out land there are a lot of things that are put into consideration, it is the history of that particular person. Therefore, it is important that those people living in that area should know that person who is coming to invest, about the potentials of his being brought there.

Mr Chairman, I would also want to say that in other countries, when the Government is giving out land, land is measurable and it is from such measurements where the cost accounting for whatever land is given out, but it is not so in Zambia. You give somebody land by paying for documentation and the process. You do not sell the land and you do not get the value of the actual land given out. It is also important that the Government should ensure that proper guidelines are given to these buyers of such land so that the people of Zambia should know their right to react when they go wrong.

Mr Chairman, the people of Zambia have been abused by the foreign investors because they do not know the terms of reference when the land is being sold to them. Therefore, people have been treated like foreigners in their own country……

Mr Mukwakwa: Hammer, hammer.

Mr Shemena:. …which we feel is not fair. Mr chairman, I would want us to go back to what is happening in Zimbabwe. Today, the Government is desperate to get money from the investors because they want the money from them. Tomorrow, because there is no education to encourage Zambians to get more land, the Zambians will have no land. And the same Government, because they want to be in Government, they will come back to fight the investor because the people will be saying, we want land. The two things should be done together. 

I thank you, Mr Chairman. 

Mr Shepande (Nangoma): I would like to thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution on this very important Vote. As Hon. Kangwa pointed out during his debate, land, Sir, is the most precious gift ever given to man. And revolutions, the world over, have been based on land. Therefore, it is something that we must guard very jealously. But I wish to point out with regret that the way land has been alienated in this country, will one day lead us into a very big problem.

Mr Chairman, generally speaking land in this country is divided into three major areas. You have State land, you have traditional land and you have trust land. These pieces of land must be guarded very jealously indeed by the State, by the local authorities and even by our Chiefs. The Zambian population is growing and if we have to give very large portions of land to single individuals, we will find ourselves with the problem of where to settle a lot of our young people, a lot of our old people that are retiring from Government. 

So, my appeal to the Government, to the hon. Minister of Lands is to ensure that land is given in reasonable proportions to ensure that there is enough land for alienation to the people who may need it in the future.

Mr Situmbeko: Including me.

Mr Shepande: You will always need reserve land. You do not give away all the land at once. We have seen the problem our brothers and sisters are facing in Zimbabwe. 

Mr Situmbeko: And Southern Province.

Mr Shepande: There is a problem of shortage of land in the Southern Province. There is a lot of migration.


 People from the south are going right up to the north.  Mpika right now is full of a lot of our brothers and sisters from Southern Province. 

Hon. Opposition Member: In Kasama.

Mr Shepande: So, we need to preserve our land. And I think that can only be done by having a deliberate policy of ensuring that, there is always enough land for the nation. Sir, a lot of our young people, many Zambians now wish to get titled land for development in terms of agriculture. But the ground rent, I must point out to the hon. Minister for farm land, is rather exorbitant and I would like to appeal to her and the ministry to ensure that ground rent be reduced to allow more people develop their lands. I think that is a very important point which should be quickly taken into account.

Sir, again, for one to develop one’s land effectively, you need to use it as collateral to borrow money from the banks. You cannot borrow money from the bank if your land is not leasehold in terms of title. Looking at the Survey Department in the ministry, I think that that department needs very good funding and also a lot of money for training of surveyors. As of now, there is only a very small percentage of the landmass in this country which is actually surveyed. So, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that the Survey Department is well staffed and has sufficient equipment.

 Right now, we are not able to survey a lot of our land in this country because of a shortage of survey equipment. Therefore, I would like to appeal to her to give some priority to that area.

Coming to Nangoma Constituency, there is a piece of land, Sir. Hon. Minister …

Mrs Masebo: Madam!

Mr Shepande: The ‘Sir’ was for the Chairman and the ‘Madam’ will be for the hon. Minister. Senior Chief Shakumbila wants this land alienated out of the Blue Lagoon Park. This piece of land has always been under his charge, control and domain, but of late, with these investors that are coming, who are not very well acquainted with the boundaries, in the area, this piece of land has been annexed. I will, at some later stage, be able to give the details to the hon. Minister and I do hope that she will be able to tackle this problem.

There is also another area, Sir, in Nangoma Constituency known as Kapyaanga Forestry Reserve. This piece of forestry is also in the middle of nowhere and it is not serving any purpose. Therefore, Senior Chief Shakumbila would like this piece of land surrendered to him so that he can settle many of his citizens that are, now, unemployed.

With these few remarks, Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kombe (Kantanshi): Mr Chairman, my contribution is in support of the Estimates for this ministry. I would like to start my contributions by talking about the conditions of service of employees in this ministry. Each time you visit the ministry, the employees there are quite open and would tell you all sorts of things and when you ask them why they delay in processing the title deeds and other things, they complain of the poor conditions of service such as low salaries. Therefore, I would like the hon. Minister to look into that area. I can talk on their behalf that if people are paid low salaries, they can never put in their best.

They also say they are demotivated due to lack of transport. In the Survey Department, if they have no transport, then forget about everything because this ministry works in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. So, the Survey Department needs vehicles such as Landcruisers, which can go far in the bush. They also talk about the shortage of labour due to restructuring which reduced the number of staff from 500 plus to 390. There are still some positions that are not filled. So, we would like to ask the hon. Minister to look into that so that these positions are filled as quickly as possible. 

Above all, they are complaining of night allowances that are not given to them and so are the survey fees. That is why they are not even keen to go to the Copperbelt to conduct cadastral surveys. So, in this area, I would like the hon. Minister to be very careful because we have had reports from people who bought property stolen in the Second Republic and claimed that the employees in that ministry were corrupt. Although I have got no evidence, it is important that the hon. Minister looks around, investigate the corruption aspect. We would like corrupt employees to be fired.

Talking about the Copperbelt Province, there is much land there that is being held by the mine owners. Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) has a lot of idle land and so do the Mopani and Chibuluma mines. 

This land is in the mines’ plans for expansion and a lot of exploration has been done but no minerals have been found so far. As the case is, this land must be surrendered to the State so that it is demarcated and given to people who can carry out a meaningful job on it. People on the Copperbelt are doing their farming in the caving areas, which is a dangerous scenario. A caving area is where underground tunnels are already dug out and can cave in any time. So, it is important to get this land surveyed, fenced off so that people are not allowed to have access to it. So, we want this land that is being held by the mining companies to be given to the State so that it could be used by would-be farmers.

This also brings me to the cadastral survey. People on the Copperbelt are complaining about the title deeds for the houses they bought as way back as 1997 to 2000. Up to today, they have got no title deeds at all because the cadastral survey has only been conducted in Nchanga and Chingola areas but they have not been done cadastral surveys in Mufulira, Kitwe and Luanshya. So, we want the hon. Minister to move in as quickly as possible so that the title deeds can be given to the miners.

The other area that I want to talk about is the big tracts of land that have been given to prominent people in this country. At one time, UNIP could not differentiate a metre from a foot. So, they were giving people big tracts of land covering 100 kilometres and some of this land is not utilised at all. So, there is need to move in and see that if those tracts of land are not developed, we should repossess and sub-divide them for the people who can make meaningful use of them.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala):  Mr Chairman, I notice the Government is jumping at my being allowed to speak. His Honour the Vice-President, relax.


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Chairman, in supporting this Vote, I wish to begin by reminding the Government of our responsibility to try and push people from town to rural areas. It is very important that the programme that UNIP left, particularly towards the end, that the MMD Government picks this up and begins to float some carrot so that people can go back to the land.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Chairman, a lot of things happened during those good old UNIP days. Many people, as a result of UNIP asking them to go back to the land, did actually, shifted back to the land. I can cite an example. My colleague here from Chisamba, who has not yet given his maiden speech, perhaps, I can speak on his behalf. In Chisamba, there is a forest reserve and people, Mr Chairman, have moved into this forest reserve and have been there for the last ten years. 

In fact, my farm and, indeed, that of the old man William Jangulo were the only two farms in an area around Chikonkomene and a lot of people from various parts of the country moved to that area. Year in and year out there have been threats, particularly when the MMD loses, that they would be moving these people out of that area and yet people have stayed there for, perhaps, ten years.

Mr Chairman, the point I am making is that if you look in the Yellow Book, there is only about K1 billion provided for land resettlement. I feel that K1 billion is not enough. The Government must take a deliberate decision and try and entice people to move out of towns to the rural areas. We cannot continue sponsoring children at Kulima Tower to throw stones or to go and protest when we are talking about corruption. We cannot continue to do these things. The Government must take deliberate steps to move people out of town by enticing them by offering resettlement packages. It is very important that our people are encouraged to go back to productive life.

Mr Chairman, another point I want to make, and this is from experience, is that land distribution, particularly land which is controlled by the Government, suffers a lot of corruption. With regard to the issue of rates and title deeds, I went through this, Mr Chairman, when I was desperately looking for land. I was very surprised that half of prime land in major towns is, actually, sold. You can you buy land from officers at the Ministry of Lands. They have schemes, Mr Chairman, where an outsider who, perhaps, has absolutely no resources of any kind can be allocated a piece of land and is given title deeds from the Ministry of Lands. Thereafter, all they do is to go and resell this piece of land.

My colleague, hon. Minister of Lands, I implore you to seriously look into this matter because the issuance of title deeds from your ministry is rife with corruption and it is very easy to catch them, Madam Minister. You can set them up, if they have not heard from what I am saying now, you will find out, very easily, if you employ two to four people from the public to go and get title deeds by employing nichekeleko. You will be able to catch them at your ministry.

So, it is very important that we rid your ministry of any possible corrupt practices because this country must advance and move forward by using your ministry and I know that we are going to discuss agriculture. If people do not have land, they cannot grow anything. In fact, I re-echo the points that my colleagues made. There is need, hon. Minister, through the Chair, to re-visit land distribution. There are people who have chunks of land, which they are not utilising, and yet there are people within who can utilise land, but they do not have land.

So, I would like to implore you, Madam Minister, through the Chair, that land re-distribution is a very serious issue which you must try and re-visit. Having said that, if at all you can spend some money demarcating land and resettling people, it will assist this country. Our people need assistance. They may not be able to find money to pay high rates and do many things, but one thing I can assure you, Madam Minister, is that our people have skills. The agricultural skills are not, necessarily, learnt at school. Some of us learnt these in our childhood and we can make a difference in assisting your Government to do better than it has done until now.

Thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Lands (Mrs Nsingo): Mr Chairman, I thank you for affording me this chance to make my speech. I will answer the queries that have been put to me after I have made my speech.

Mr Chairman, I would like to join my other colleagues who have spoken before me to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for delivering a production-oriented Budget, a Budget that has taken into account real issues that affect the Zambian people daily. Mr Chairman, it was not an accident for the able Minister of Finance and National Planning that he delivered a forward-looking and action-oriented Budged. He did so after carefully listening to the specific needs of various economic stakeholders. 

Mr Chairman, I call upon all the hon. Members of Parliament, both from the Opposition and from the ruling party, to examine, not only what has been promised in the Budget, but also how we are going to move ahead together in ensuring that the Budget is implemented as planned. We are one country and all of us are trying to serve the people of Zambia better.

As Minister responsible for one of the major factors of production, supporting poverty alleviation and sustainable economic development in the country, I would like to join the other hon. Ministers in the economic and social sectors, who spoke earlier than me, in providing practical solutions to numerous problems afflicting the country. As a united Parliament, we can advance innovative solutions to address new challenges to our country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nsingo: Mr Chairman, I would like to inform the House that following the approval by Cabinet, in principle, of the draft land policy, I intend to launch a green paper before June, 2002. The green paper will be publicised in both print and electronic media in order to solicit views of all key stakeholders. This exercise, Mr Chairman, will enable my ministry to formulate land policy in order to provide a framework for land administration.

The responsibility of the ministry of is to efficiently and equitably deliver land to the people of Zambia and indeed, any prospective land users. The realisation of the vision of the ministry and the people of Zambia and their own aspirations of radically reducing poverty in the country as quickly as possible could only be assured through the systematic alienation and allocation of land for productive purposes. As you are aware, about 90 per cent of the landmass are under customary tenure system. In this respect, measures have been put in place to secure more land from traditional rulers. 

The aim of the ministry is to ensure that positive outcomes of restructuring are indeed felt by the people of Zambia. For example, the ministry is in the process of streamlining issuance of title deeds so that the time taken to obtain title is shortened.

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

Mrs Nsingo: Sir, regarding issues of title deeds to former ZCCM company employees who bought company houses, I would like to assure this august House that a lot of progress has been made and about 2000 titles deeds have already been issued. The Surveyor-General completed 45,000 sketch plans that were handed over to ZCCM Investing Holding Plc in 1999. Sir, to date, ZCCM Investment Holding Plc is yet, to lodge 42,000 documents before the ministry can issue titles to former ZCCM employees who bought the company houses.

Mr Chairman, I would like to inform the House that my ministry has for some time now, recognised the need for balanced economic development countrywide. In order to help tackle economic imbalance and taking development to all corners of the country, Government through my ministry created a Land Development Fund under the Lands Act, 1995.

The Land Development Fund is available to all councils in the country. Under the Land Development Fund, councils can be assisted to access funds needed to open up new areas for development. The emphasis is on rural areas. 

The ministry is aware that holding title per se will not in itself stimulate development or increase food production, but that infrastructure development, however basic it may be is an essential component. 

The fund, therefore, aims at assisting councils to identify and survey plots, construct basic roads in some instances and provide basic infrastructure for electricity and water systems. However, the fund will not provide money for projects that can be carried out by the private sector or projects that can easily source funds from other institutions like that of constructing buildings. 

To this effect, my ministry has sent out guidelines for submission of possible projects to all councils and to some hon. Members of Parliament. Though the response was slow initially, I am pleased to note that more councils are now taking a keen interest in the fund. 

We are in the process of reviewing the operations of the Land Development Fund. For example, measures would soon be put in place to simplify the guidelines and forms for accessing funds. Those councils that comply with rules and regulations governing the disbursement should receive funding without undue delays. In that way, the ministry will continue to support balanced development countrywide through the disbursement of the funds to successful district councils. The Ministry has prepared a programme that will soon be put in place to sensitise local authorities on how to access funds from the Land Development Fund.

Mr Chairman, I wish to put this challenge to all hon. Members of Parliament, more importantly women, to take the lead in support of my ministry’s efforts in this just cause. It is an admirable and statistical fact that rural farmers, who are mostly women, contribute significantly to agricultural production for domestic food security, particularly of our staple food. 

It is my hope, therefore, that with more women holding title to land, increased agricultural productivity and food production shall be achieved to provide for better national nutrition, poverty reduction and improved rural economy where most of our people live.

Hon. Members: Hear, Hear!

Mrs Nsingo: Mr Chairman, in conformity with the Gender Policy, my ministry always sets aside 30 per cent of land advertised for allocation to women as a deliberate effort to have more women hold title on land.

Mr Chairman, my ministry is aware that in matters of land allocation and ownership, there are always disputes. In order to effectively arbitrate in land disputes and protect people’s rights to land, I intend to review provisions pertaining to the operations and functioning of the Lands Tribunal.

Sir, I wish to stress and underline the importance of international boundary survey to securing peace and security in the sub-region. I have noted that in this year’s Budget, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has not allocated any funds for this exercise. However, it would have been appreciated if funding was allocated in this year’s Budget in order to physically survey some portions of the international boundaries. The matter, Sir, borders on national sovereignty and security. Its importance, therefore, cannot be overemphasised. 

Sir, my plea, is to humbly request the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider allocating funds to this important national programme. Last year, K239 million was allocated but no funding has been provided in this year’s Budget.

In order to bring services closer to the people, my ministry has embarked on phased decentralisation of its operations to provinces, starting with Ndola regional office. In this regard, measures have been taken to rationalise and streamline the ministry’s operations by posting senior lands officers to man offices from ministry headquarters. This move, Mr Chairman, is aimed at strengthening provincial offices and enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.

Sir, allow me to comment on the points raised by some hon. Members of Parliament. I will begin with Hon. Sikafuswa …

Hon. Members: Shakafuswa!

Mrs Nsingo: Hon. Shakafuswa said that we should learn a lesson from Zimbabwe where they are fighting over land. I think most of it was just advice and we have taken note of what he has told us.

The Vice-President: The next one!

Mrs Nsingo: The nest one, …


Mrs Nsingo: … was that the ministry should revisit the Land Act because too much power was entrenched in one man. Sir, the ministry has identified this problem and will do something about it. 

Sir, as regards title deeds, some measures have already been instituted to shorten the time taken for titles to be issued.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nsingo: I think most of the contributions were for our information purposes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nsingo: As regards the Kamaila land, he said that Members of the Government wanted to use that degazetted land for gratuity. I do not want to say much about this before I talk to the Chieftainess this Saturday. I will be visiting her to talk about the same.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mrs Nsingo: Mr Chairman, when business was suspended, I was about to answer a question from Hon. Shumina who said that the Chiefs have more land and there are conflicts between the Chiefs and the Government. I wish to state here that I do not agree with that statement. Normally what happens is that anybody who wants land from traditional rulers first gets a letter from the traditional ruler to the council and the council recommends to the Ministry of Lands. So, there is no conflict.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nsingo: Hon. Shumina, said again that Government has turned a lot of land into settlements. I wish to inform him that the Ministry of Lands has no authority over this because it falls under the Office of the Vice-President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsingo: Most of Hon. Kangwa’s contribution was advisory and I thank him very much. 

On the question of educating people about owning land, I think the people of Zambia already know that land is important.

I thank Hon. Shepande for advising us to ensure that land is issued rationally. We will take that into consideration when giving out land.

On the question of ground rent, he said it is too high and we are going to look into this because we do not want to punish the people of Zambia. We would like to reduce it if possible.

Hon. Kombe put a question that civil servants are underpaid. I wish to inform him that all civil servants in all the ministries have the same conditions of service and the Ministry of Lands is not peculiar.

Mr Chairman, most of the other questions that were raised were covered in my speech.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 85/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/01 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Headquarters – K116,877,069,538)

Mr Lungu (Lundazi): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to say something on this Vote.

Indeed, as His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, in his speech during the Official Opening of Parliament, had emphasised, agriculture was now going to be the main focus of the development of our country.

Mr Chairman, in supporting this Vote, I want to emphasise the fact that the majority of our people live in the countryside, they are in the rural areas and most of them really have no gainful employment as such. It is, therefore, imperative that we really put more emphasis on developing the agricultural sector. Mr Chairman, like I stated earlier, Lundazi has a population of over 250,000 people and of that population, a great number of them are engaged in agriculture.

Mr Chairman, in the rural areas, we do not have factories and industries that can absorb the majority of our unemployed people and the only means of survival, Sir, is in the field of agriculture. Sir, you may wish to know that for a number of years, Lundazi has been actually a kind of reservoir for grain but for the past few years, this has not been the case. The main reason for this is that we have not empowered our rural population to actually engage in productive agriculture. I appeal to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives whom I know is a very hard working person to seriously look into the question of empowering our rural population to look after themselves.

I believe, Sir, that if we empower them, they will be able to look after themselves. They will be able to buy the necessary inputs that they want. They will be able to buy requirements like soap and also be able to pay for their children in school and so on. But the problem at the moment is that as much as they work hard, I am talking about, for example, the agricultural produce, in our area, one of the most difficult things is that most of the agricultural produce like maize, cotton and so on do not have good prices and as a result of that, most of the produce finds the market outside Zambia. That is quite unhealthy. 

Mr Chairman, if we ask, for example, the world community, they would believe that Zambia does not produce enough groundnuts or indeed maize because most of the produce is finding its way outside the country. I think the best way to arrest such a situation, is for us to make sure that most of this produce finds a market in this country. And with the introduction of the Crop Marketing Authority, I hope, Sir, that they will look into this particular aspect.

Mr Chairman, one of the difficulties that I have seen in my area, and I believe the same applies to most areas in this country, is that those who were able to access agricultural inputs like fertiliser, seeds and so on sometimes did so through obtaining loans from the various co-operatives or those agents that emerged and the difficulties were that some of them were not able to pay back because the prices for their produce were very low. What happened was that these agents or co-operatives, in order to recover what they had loaned to the poor peasants, went to grab herds of cattle from the villagers and, thereby, making it impossible for them to progress.

Mr Chairman, during the campaign, I always said that it was not fair for the agents to go and grab five heads of cattle for two bags of fertiliser that the farmer had borrowed. The ratio of two bags of fertiliser to five heads of cattle is really unbelievable. It is like the agents are actually stealing from the villagers and I think that the Government should step in. The Government should assist the rural population in terms of ensuring that they engage in productive agriculture.

Sir, one way we can do that is the possibility of looking into the establishment of, for lack of a better term, an agricultural bank where these poor people can have access to loans on better conditions so that they can be encouraged to produce more for the population of this country.

Mr Chairman, we talked about the importance of irrigation and the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives was very strong on this issue. Here again, I appreciate the fact that we said that we were going to dam a lot of our rivers so that we can have more dams. That is a good thing but I would like to say that in my constituency, we already have dams, they are not sufficient, we will appreciate having more, but the point is that the existing ones are not properly looked after. 

The dam at Mwase, I am not talking about Mwase Mpangwe, which is in my colleague's constituency, but just Mwase. Sir, because of the heavy rains, most of the walls were washed away and I think that it would help the people of my constituency if we assisted to repair these dams. We have one at Vuwu and another one at Mkomba and both these dams have been neglected. It would help us a great deal if the Government could assist to repair the dams.

With those few remarks, Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr  Katoka (Mwinilunga East): Mr Chairman, I rise to contribute to the debate on this important Vote.

Mr Chairman, I wish to disagree with the statement in the Economic Report of 2001 which stated that agriculture failures in Zambia were attributed to natural causes. I totally disagree with this. In the Kaunda administration, Sir, we must realise that the use of primary societies, provincial co-operative unions, ZCF and CUSA played a very big role in the improvement of agriculture in Zambia.

These, Sir, were the key contacts of the Government. At the same time, while the Government recognised the presence of co-operative unions and the primary societies, the Government also took the trouble of resurfacing the feeder roads in all the provincial centres and the rural areas which were outside the provincial centres. 

At the same time, the Kaunda administration had a vision. They opened fuel depots in the provincial centres where all Government vehicles and co-operative trucks were drawing fuel at a reduced price.

Mr Chairman, with the use of these institutions that time, agriculture in Zambia was boosted and our farmers realised the profits. With the coming in of the new culture and their liberalisation policy, they exposed our farmers to crooked businessmen. These were in various forms. I hope the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives has taken note of that. 

Mr Chairman, the first group that affected farming in Zambia was the formation of various fuel companies which were opened by, mainly, some of the Executives who were there by then. These people introduced promissory notes, and at the same time, increasing the cost of fuel at will. The increase in fuel prices affected the transporters. The transporters equally doubled the transport rates. It must be realised that for agriculture to be boosted, the Government must control the transport rates.

Sir, with the increase in transport rates, the agents who were appointed to undertake marketing, that is, Food Reserve Agency, Omnia and so many private companies, tripled the prices of inputs in rural areas.

Mr Chairman, I must emphasise a point that we, in North-Western Province, experience a very big problem because of this type of business. We are saying that we do not want to see Omnia nor the new company that will be formed which I would refer to as Food Reserve Agency. Those are crooked businessmen.


Mr Katoka: Mr Chairman, we want our North-Western Co-operative Union revived. It has the capacity. The Government of the day must set the transport rate. At the same time, the New Deal Government must not forget that profit to a farmer depends on the floor price that they actually fix. This includes the floor price for inputs and the produce.

Mr Chairman, co-operatives have been used and have proved to be the best agents of the Government in the distribution and purchase of grains. Let us not involve private companies in ordering inputs. These people tend to inflate the prices. Later on, the peasant farmers blame the Government. The system of giving these contracts to relatives must also stop.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer!

Mr Katoka: Mr Chairman, in North-Western Province, we would like our feeder roads to be resurfaced. We believe North-Western Province can do better.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kabaghe (Matero): Mr Chairman, I rise to contribute to debate on this very important Vote, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Chairman, agriculture, as was discussed during many of our maiden speeches here, is probably the only sector that has real positive multiplier effect in terms of employment generation, wealth creation and a health betterment of our society. It is, indeed, a key foreign exchange earner. We need, whether we like it or not, to give it the utmost attention.

Mr Chairman, to start with, agriculture only ticks when you have qualified people in the field to train our farmers. We are fortunate, Sir, to have three key colleges. We have the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC), Zambia College of Agriculture in Monze and the Zambia College of Agriculture in Mpika. These are very good colleges. It is just unfortunate that the infrastructure of all these colleges has completely collapsed over the past ten years.

Sir, when we talk about laboratories, they are technically non-existent. The dormitories are in a deplorable state. As for the kitchens, there is nothing to talk about. They are not there.

Mr Chairman, I am very grateful with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for having allocated K2 billion to NRDC and K1.5 billion each to Monze and Mpika colleges. I can only urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to please let this money be released to these colleges. If we are talking about increased production in agriculture, it can only be done if we have qualitative students or graduates coming out of these colleges. Fortunately, all these three colleges fall under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

Mr Chairman, the third issue which is of great importance is the seed itself which is the foundation of agriculture. We are, again, lucky to have a well-manned Seed Control and Certification Institute which is positioned in Chilanga. The officers there have done a commendable job. They are extremely hard working and qualified for their job. 

Unfortunately, we have had several cases of adulteration of the seed industry. Whenever we start having these seed shortages, you will find seed coming from all over, within and outside the region. Especially the one from within, it is really the commercial grain that comes on the market, it is colour.

Mr Chairman, I urge that the Seed Control and Certification Institute should really be supported so that there are stiff penalties for such traders who really adulterate our seed industry.

Sir, in the past five years, we have had what is called Rural Investment Fund (RIF). This institution has done a commendable job. The dams we are talking about in this country and the majority of the boreholes that have been drilled throughout the country have been done through this institution. Last year, K16.7 billion was allocated to this very critical institution but this year, it has drastically been reduced to only K6 billion. I think something may have gone wrong somewhere or, indeed, that some institution has been given that responsibility. We would like to have an explanation from the hon. Minister on that particular aspect. I am sure my colleagues will agree with me that the Rural Investment Fund has done wonders for this country during the past five years.

Mr Chairman, in my maiden speech, I talked briefly about growing maize under irrigation in winter. Maybe I was misunderstood. In this country you can grow maize, you can actually literally grow anything and at any time, but at what cost. There are periods when it is optimal to grow a particular crop and the optimal time to grow maize is summer time.

I do know, Sir, that we do have people with irrigation facilities who at this point in time are growing wheat. In actual fact, wheat has optimal growing time during winter period. If you want to grow maize under irrigation at this time, it will be competing with wheat. The price of wheat is in the region of US$280 per tonne. Meanwhile, if we make our orders now or we buy future options, we can land the maize in June/July/August at US$140 per tonne.

My advice to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is that professionals should carry out a cost-benefit analysis and see which is the best option. You can, indeed, grow maize during winter, but it is extremely expensive and the opportunity cost involved is too high. That is what I am talking about.

Mr Chairman, let me talk about the strategic grain reserve. The problems that we have now of the high price of mealie-meal are because this country never took a deliberate step to develop and create a strategic grain reserve for this country. I do know that some money has been put in the Budget. But I would like to request the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, to have a deliberate strategy to create, over a period, of say, three to four years, a strategic reserve of up to 180,000 tonnes which should always be there. We need about 60,000 tonnes per month in critical times. We need three months to import maize from within the region or outside the region. That should always be in our strategic reserves.

Mr Chairman, I did indicate in my maiden speech that I am accepting the Crop Marketing Authority with apprehension. Why I am saying this is that it is an expensive institution to implement and my advice is that if we are going to implement it, let us use the established co-operatives in the various districts …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabaghe: …and also credible individuals or companies in those areas so that the Crop Marketing Authority in terms of human resource is lean but aggressive. They should use already established systems in the outlying areas so that those are the people who should employ, supervise and fire the workers. Otherwise, as a board or Authority, it is too cumbersome to implement and by its inherent nature, it is inefficient.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Princess Nakatindi Wina (Sesheke): First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the new Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives. I know him as a lawyer.  But at the same time, he is an agriculturist. He is a constitutional, criminal and human rights lawyer.

Mr Chairman, I am not appeasing you, but as a mother, I keep on stressing ‘mother’ because all of you were born out of a woman.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Princess Nakatindi Wina: A hungry stomach knows no law. If the hon. Minister is not careful he will have the same status of riot crowds due to the high price of our staple food, maize. As much as we keep cattle where the hon. Minister and I come from, we also need maize to go with the beef.

In Western Province, ZAMBEEF slaughters 3,000 animals a month. Out of those 3,000 animals, they realise US$150,000 from the hides. Maybe some of you might not know what a hide is.


Princess Nakatindi Wina: A hide is a skin which covers the meat.

Mr Tetamashimba: It is called sikatana in Lozi.


Princess Nakatindi Wina: At the rate ZAMBEEF is going of killing 3,000 animals a month from Western Province, in another two years, we will have no cattle remaining in our area. If US$150,000 can be realised from the hides every month, then I do not see why you cannot encourage the ordinary villager to turn the hides into some tannery export or you, the ministry, to buy the hides from the villagers.

Mr Chairman, a good name is better than a thousand pounds. When we campaign, we do not just talk for the sake of talking and giving false promissory notes. According to the Zambia Daily Mail of 15th October, 2001, the incumbent President said and I quote:

    ‘Mwanawasa urges Food Reserve Agency to forgive loanees ( by George Chomba)
MMD Presidential Candidate Levy Mwanawasa has appealed to the Food Reserve Agency to defer the recovery of input loans in the last farming season because of the calamity which befell the farmers. Mr Mwanawasa said farmers who have not yet paid back their loans should be allowed to get loans this farming season to enable them grow the staple food this year. He suggested that the Food Reserve Agency should stagger the repayment of the loans. Mr Mwanawasa said this in Chongwe during the campaign meeting at which six members from Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) defected to join the MMD yesterday. The United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Forum for Democracy Development (FDD) lost sixteen members each, while five for Zambia Alliance for Progress members also resigned to join the ruling party. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) lost two members while one member defected from the National Citizen Coalition (NCC).’

Princess Nakatindi Wina laid the documents on the Table.

Princess Nakatindi Wina: I am saying so, Mr Chairman, not that all the people who owed Food Reserve Agency should not pay back the loans. The former Managing Director of Food Reserve Agency, Hon. Kabaghe is here. Most of the people who were there and are here got a directive from the former Vice-President to give our constituencies some maize and fertiliser because of the drought.

Mr Tetamashimba: To bribe voters.

Princess Nakatindi Wina: We were not bribing voters. We were just being humane that time.


Princess Nakatindi Wina: Mr Chairman, we got these commodities from the Food Reserve Agency and equally gave them to the constituents. Now, I do not know whether we should pay for that directive or not. Who will pay for this directive? It that is the case, I am prepared to go to court with the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives so that we discuss properly and stagger the repayment of the loan properly since he is a lawyer.

I have never refused to pay any loan myself because I believe in rule of law not the rule of men. When you borrow, you have to pay with interest. But if it is a political gift, I cannot see how I can pay it back.


Princess Nakatindi Wina: We have political situations. The hon. Minister could be new, but there is an amount of K30 million coming to you  which is called Constituency Development Fund (CDF). If you are not careful tomorrow, they will tell you to pay it back. Where are you going to get it? Unless you start stealing, the Anti-Corruption Commission will be on you.


Princess Nakatindi Wina: So, you have to know exactly what you tell the people, especially when you are campaigning. I am not refusing to pay what I owe. But I have refused to pay what I was directed to give the constituency. I think the hon. Minister should call the people at the Food Reserve Agency, including Hon. Kabaghe and sit down on a round table and separate the grain from the chaff since you deal with maize, and then we will know what to do. Otherwise, you will just be persecuting some of the retired or the failed hon. Members who could not win their elections so that they could pay from their meagre salaries they were going to get. We only get K700,000 today because they have started deducting for cars which we have not even ordered yet. 


Princess Nakatindi Wina: So, you see, you have to be very careful, especially when you are dealing with money. I earn a lot of money myself. It can be very attractive but when it is not there, you start crying. So, people must know exactly what they are doing, especially when they are dealing with money. 

Mr Chairman, the hon. Minister has been urging people that we should grow maize under irrigation using cow dung. I appreciate we have a lot of cattle in the Western Province. But how does an ordinary peasant farmer irrigate his maize without a pipe? Are we going to carry our water in buckets? Or how are we going to irrigate in this new venture you are trying to bring, you and our nice beloved President? How are you going to irrigate in the village? If one goes to the river, how many buckets can an old woman, like me, manage to water a five-acre plot of maize? 

Are we going to use our heads and break our already broken backs? Or what are we going to do? Are you going to give us policy on pipes or loans or are you going to give us grants? The hon. Minister must sit down and plan all these things with the relevant authorities and see how they can help the peasant farmer. I can afford a hosepipe and an irrigation pipe. But what about the ordinary villager whom you say must grow maize in winter when it is so cold, sandy and the crocodiles are waiting for you there?


Princess Nakatindi Wina: I cannot imagine how we are going to grow this New Deal maize of yours. 

So, Mr Chairman, I just wanted to remind the hon. Minister, that when they campaign, they should not over-promise because if you over-promise, you might end up in problems, or else you just oblige. I will lay this on the Table.

Thank you, Sir.

The Chairman: Order! It is not a full newspaper. So, you cannot lay it on the Table. You can make use of it yourself.

Mr Nyirenda (Kasenengwa): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, I come from a rural constituency where agriculture is the survival of everyone. First of all, I notice from the Yellow Book that K820 billion has given to agriculture for a period of three years. In my view, since agriculture has to take over the mines, this is not enough because on average this is only K267 billion and this year, only about K100 billion has been given. It is because of this that I ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that next year if we have to develop agriculture, this amount of money should be tripled. 

I have also noticed that we have been crying for co-operatives to be brought back to life if we are to sustain agriculture. But this year, only K3 billion has been given to agricultural co-operatives. Now, obviously, this amount is not enough. Apart from that, when I was giving my maiden speech I was very happy that there is K15 billion given to the out-growers schemes. And I thought that this amount of money will be given proportional to the population of this country. 

Unfortunately, the whole K15 billion has only be given to three provinces. And as if that is not enough, agricultural provinces like Eastern and Central provinces are not among those. Out of all the provinces, Copperbelt, has been given K5 billion and Eastern Province has been given nothing. This means that Eastern Province will not participate in the out-growers scheme. If what I saw in the Yellow Book is correct, this amount has only been given this year. There will be nothing next year.

Hon. Government Members: No.

Mr Nyirenda: Yes, you can check the K15 billion in there. This means that there will be nothing next year. I request that once this money is given, if we have to do justice to the country, let this important amount of money be given proportionally to all the constituencies in the country. This is the only way we can guarantee our constituencies, especially that they are under Opposition that they will benefit from this national cake. 

In the Bible, just for your own information, they say love your enemy. This has not been the case with the MMD Government. They have hated their enemies. This is why they have only three provinces now under them. And if this policy continues, of only supporting areas where they have won, I can guarantee you that you will have nothing next year. So, the best way you can attract people, especially in Eastern Province, is to invest there even though you have not won anything so that people appreciate that, after all, this Government is for us all. But the way it is, we are likely to get a very raw deal and you can be rest assured that you might not even get …

Mr Mulenga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Chairman, is the hon. Member in order to begin campaigning on the Floor of this House? I seek your guidance.

The Chairman: The point of order raised by the hon. Minister of Education is very pertinent. You are here to discuss the issue on the Floor and not elections and election results. Elections were held last year and results were announced. That is now behind you. Now, you discuss what you want in your province. These are the very people you are going to appeal to so that they give you inputs in order to boost your agricultural activities. So, forget about your elections.

Will you, continue, please.

Mr Nyirenda: What I want to say is what I said in my maiden speech. We are grateful that agriculture has been given a lot of weight. I appeal that the distribution of this should also include all of us. We, in Eastern Province, depend on agriculture. So, I ask the hon. Minister to consider us, especially when he gives subsidies on fertiliser. We have already informed the people that the Government has done very well. The Government has given K161 billion for agricultural subsidies and we hope that this amount of money will be released on time so that planning can be easy. 

If we approve the Budget, hopefully tomorrow, we expect that within the near future money for agriculture will start being released so that we plan properly. At the same time, I request the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare to design the modalities on which they will distribute those amounts of money which have been given in the Budget. 

This will enable us, as we go, to start looking for people who will be entitled to these packs for free fertiliser and maize seed as given in the Yellow Book. And also those who will be entitled to that other amount of money for people to grow at least one hectare as given in the Yellow Book of any crop that is commercially viable so that as we go, we start preparing our people that this amount of money is coming and that these are the people who qualified to get that money. This is because this is the only reason why I was elected so that I can see that people in my constituency, Kasenengwa, benefit from agriculture. People always cry for UNIP. They say UNIP did this and that for them. It was because of UNIP’s good agricultural policies. 

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nyirenda: I would also like to request the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to see to it that the Crop Marketing Authority, from next year, delivers inputs to farmers. It is extremely costly to leave Kasenengwa, which is about one hundred and fifty kilometers to go to Chipata to buy one bag of fertiliser or to sell one bag of maize or groundnuts. So, we hope that co-operatives will be opened this year so that people can buy inputs and sell their produce at their doorsteps. It will help a lot.

I also wish to remind the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives of the promise he made that they will assist to repair feeder roads well in advance for the current crop to be sold. My constituency has grown some reasonable amounts of maize, tobacco, sunflower and the like. However, the roads are so bad that if they are not graded to facilitate the transportation of these things, people will be exploited by Lusaka buyers who go there and give all sorts of excuses. For example, they will say, the road is bad, I have used my own transport, my own sacks and, therefore, I will only buy your bag of maize at K10,000. We cannot continue exploiting people like that. 

So, please I would be very grateful if these roads could be graded. The constituency of Kasenengwa can produce up to one million bags of maize per year. That is a very high proportion with regard to the requirements of this country. So, I ask the hon. Minister to assist us. I will be very grateful if by the time we go, we know the way forward on how these roads will be worked on. 

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr Chipampe (Chimbamilonga): Thank you, Mr Chairman. I have only two or three points to make about this important Vote. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives should cater for all parts of the country. Some districts have been neglected in data collection, research and development, more especially, my constituency, Chimbamilonga.  In Chimbamilonga, there is no source of data about how people should be going about farming. People of Chimbamilonga are customary farmers. Yet one third of our area or land is covered with acacia trees. 

If you consult the National Council for Scientific Research, they will explain more about this.  So, all I wanted to say is to urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives that he should find a market for the people of Chimbamilonga. They grow bananas and cassava in excess. And if you talk about irrigation, Chimbamilonga or Kaputa District has two lakes: Lake Tanganyika and Mweru-Wantipa.

Mr Chairman, I thank you. 

Mr Chitalu M. Sampa: Thank you, Sir. I would like to thank you for this favour to let me contribute on this very important subject, agriculture. 

Mr Chairman, personally, I do not have to appease my people in the constituency. But I would like to speak frankly so that people really do understand because mostly, in this House, some of the hon. Members just continue blaming the Government, time and again, that the Government has not done this or that. I think that is not …

Mr L. L. Phiri: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I stand on a very serious point of order. I did not mean to disturb my big man, but I seek your serious ruling. Is the hon. Member, who is, now, on the Floor, in order to put on the wig of the Chairman without stating his new position which he has now? I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairman.


Mr Chairman: He is exhibiting the overflow of brains. Continue, please.


Mr Chitalu M.  Sampa: Thank you, Mr Chairman, for protecting me.  It is quite a new thing that a son can blame the father in the House.

 As I was saying, it is important that we should slowly start changing and look at a broader way of how the people behave in the Republic of Zambia and elsewhere. Now, what is most important, in my view, is the attitude of the people in this country. The people’s attitude is that when they are assisted by the Government, they have no regard for that assistance. They behave in any way they want to behave. In this respect, therefore, we should not, as Parliamentarians, continue blaming the Government. We should also look at the behavior of our people and ensure that they change their attitude. 

Take, for instance, Sir, in this country, people do produce, particularly, maize. But unfortunately, they completely forget about tomorrow. They consume almost everything at once, including selling most of their produce and then they start begging. And who gets the blame? It is the Government. This is very unfortunate. Let us emphasise strongly to our people that they must produce and when they produce, they must think of tomorrow.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitalu M. Sampa: Mr Chairman, as of now, if we look at areas, say, from Livingstone to Chililabombwe, how many bags of maize go to waste, if I may ask? In areas like from Kapiri Mposhi to Kasama, or from Lusaka to Mongu, you will find people roasting maize along the road. Now, if you calculate and bring all that maize …


Mr Chitalu M. Sampa: You will find that tonnes and tonnes have been eaten without waiting for the time when this maize will be needed most. It is a serious issue that we must look into.

Mr Chairman, the attitude that I referred to earlier that in Zambia when people are given loans, they do not want to respect the agreements at all, is bad. The Government, banks or any other company emphasises on repayment. When there is a drought, to the farmers it is bonanza. They will say that they did not produce enough to enable them repay their loans and they forget about it just like that.

Mr Chairman, I remember very well that immediately after the attainment of our independence, the UNIP Government gave loans to almost the entire country and people said this was a prize for fighting for independence and I do not think anybody repaid any single ngwee, nicks. 


Mr Chitalu M. Sampa: This is the case now when people borrow money from either a bank or any organisation. Consequently, the Government and other organisations are forced to go and grab whatever belongs to them. I remember last year or the other year, when we were talking about all the people who got money from Food Reserve Agency, we debated and said every person who got such money must repay, but I do not think everybody has repaid up to this time …


Mr Chitalu M. Sampa: They have forgotten completely and those are people who owe billions …

Mr Kabaghe: You paid.

Mr Chitalu M. Sampa: Yes, I did pay.


Mr Chitalu M. Sampa: So, this attitude is really not beneficial to our country. If we want to move forward, we should respect the agreements that we enter into with the Government and other organisations.

The negligence of agriculture, Sir, started a long time ago. In fact, it started immediately after independence. I remember very well that the late Mr Simon Kapwepwe was emphasising strongly on the production of maize. What happened at that particular time was that some people started wondering and questioning where he learnt the economics to talk about maize when we had plenty of copper. That was how agriculture started going down.

Now, if we continue with that attitude, we shall not go anywhere. We are trying to talk about copper time and again when in actual fact it is nothing. Let us all emphasise on the development of agriculture and tell our people to change their attitude towards agriculture as it is the only remedy to our economic situation.

In my constituency, Sir, I do not hide. I tell the people frankly that if they do not produce enough food for consumption, they will die from hunger and that they must make sure that they produce enough to feed their families. Some people, however, say, no, I have five children and ten grandchildren. How can I feed them? But if they are …


Mr Chitalu M. Sampa: If they produce such large number of children, why can they not feed them? So, it is upon to each individual that the more children one produces, the more food one must produce. 

Finally, Sir, I think that as we go along in this country, let us think of some parts of this country where we have abundant rainfall where we can produce enough food. For instance, in North-Western Province, where there is a longer rainy season, it is better to choose such areas for serious agricultural production so that the country has enough food for consumption so that in the end Zambia avoids importing yellow maize.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Chairman, I would like to debate Vote 89/01 which is for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and I will speak primarily about my constituency. As I would like others to speak globally, I will speak and act locally.

Mr Speaker, it looks as though this year agriculture is receiving some attention and if at all it is, and if it will get the few financial Votes that we have seen in these yellow pages, I would like the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives to look specifically at what could be done in rural constituencies, in particular Pemba.

Mr Chairman, the bank for the rural peasant in Pemba is his kraal of cattle, bin of maize and groundnuts. None of these over the last ten years have been visible. They are no longer there and to borrow a word from Hon. Chitalu Sampa, they have been ‘killed’.


Mr Matongo: We would like the veterinary services to be revived and the research assistants to be posted to all agricultural productive areas in that area. We would also like to see dip tanks renovated and veterinary services provided at a cheaper price so that the few animals that have remained could be rehabilitated and, perhaps, the numbers will go up.

Mr Chairman, we have Kanchomba Farm Institute which has been turned into a police camp. That institute used to train villagers in new techniques of agriculture such as growing maize, sun hemp and all other products that are grown there, but it is, now, a police camp. Our fathers were trained as improved farmers. From there, they sprung up to buy commercial farms. Their grandchildren do not know that they can be trained on how to grow maize. Therefore, we would like that farm institute to be re-instated to the position it used to be. We would look elsewhere for a police officer’s mess.

Also in my constituency, there is Batoka Ranch. This ranch does have cattle, goats and pigs and these are grown to be sold to commercial farmers in Chingola, Ndola and here in Lusaka because of the price mechanisms that are being used which are high. Batoka Ranch should, now, produce cattle to be loaned out or sold to the local peasant farmers so that they (in Pemba) can start restocking their cattle herd which has been completely wiped out by the foot and mouth disease, which is currently being controlled.

Mr Chairman, it is our wish to see in Pemba dip tanks that are, in fact, in place but not properly repaired or attended to. We would like to be assisted, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, by receiving veterinary medicines that will help us rejuvenate our livelihood cattle. Sir, in Pemba, we have depots under the Choma Co-operative Union and the former NAMBOARD depots which have been closed for the last ten years - wasteful investment - and we are saying the skills for growing maize in that area and, indeed, in other parts of the country is there. The problem is the provision of inputs such as fertilisers and seed.

The provision may have been there, but it has been beyond the reach of the ordinary peasant farmer. We are saying, if the agrarian revolution, as being envisaged in the current Budget, has to take place, Government should assist these people by delivering inputs on time and should be sold through the Food Reserve Agency, or whatever agency that will be available at the time at lower prices. Co-operatives are there. All they need is some kind of a kick-start to move forward.

In Pemba we grow cash crops. We would like a proper marketing arrangement for our cotton and our tobacco. {mospagebreak}

I have already alluded to the fact that in Pemba we have cattle, but they are not many at the moment. We would like to bring them back to that past level. Accordingly, I wish to call upon the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, perhaps, to re-introduce the cattle financing arrangement of yesterday. Once a few animals are loaned out and they reproduce, we would like to believe that the re-stocking level for Pemba which has fallen to around 80,000 animals will go back to its original figure of about 250,000 animals. These are the figures I got from the Central Statistical Office and the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives.

On marketing, I do hope that the Government will, please, bear with us that it is not the question of changing the name of Food Reserve Agency to Crop Marketing Authority that will make it more efficient. In any event, Mr Chairman, if you are riding a bicycle from here to town and your bicycle has a puncture, you do not get a stone and break it up, you repair it and continue with your journey. This attitude of just changing names when institutions fail, should be revisited.

 We should re-articulate and give new impetus to the Food Reserve Agency to provide what NAMBOARD used to give to the peasant farmers. I do not agree that peasant farmers do not repay their loans. It is the chain of command of the collection of that money that makes the money disappear along the way. It gets stolen

I believe most peasant farmers, except for those that were given political loans in the Government of yesterday, always repaid their loans. What we do not have, Sir, are managers that are consistent, conscientious and determined to see this country move forward by doing their designated jobs.

Sir, at Ndondi, Munyona and Moyo we have houses that were for agricultural and veterinary officers. They are still standing. All they require is repair. We are saying let us repair these houses so that these services to the farmers of Pemba can be brought back. We want to feed ourselves and to make use of those former NAMBOARD depots. We want to feed those that may not be in a position to, by virtue of the nature of their soils and weather patterns, to feed themselves. 

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Chairman, I wish to thank you for allowing me to contribute and support the Vote. I want to, straightaway, go into the Department of Co-operatives that this Government has created. Mr Chairman, just like my colleagues have said, I think the problem has been that we want to change bicycles when, only one tyre has burst. Yes, bintu bikingya, in Kaonde.

Mr Chairman, I wish to say that the professionals who are going to head this Department of Co-operatives must advise this Government what co-operatives are. I have been a co-operator until last year. All hon. Members of Parliament in this House, wherever they come from, know that the founding President left the co-operatives.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: We all have storage sheds. Some of them have gone to waste. This year, Mr Chairman, we are going to have a hunger crisis. I am appealing to the hon. Minister that this is the year that he must try to consider what the founding President introduced and that is co-operatives.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: There is no time for you to start bringing the Crop Marketing Authority. As at now, there is no Bill for the Authority to become law.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona.

Mr Tetamashimba: Therefore, for you to bring the Bill, it will be only after July, that is if we are going to adjourn sine die tomorrow. Therefore, Mr Chairman, we are urging the hon. Minister that he should immediately hold a meeting with the Zambia National Farmers’ Union and the Zambia Co-operative Federation. Summon them to your office and find out how they can help you. We are grateful to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for giving Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia some K20 billion. We want that money to be released.  As soon as we approve the Budget, the first cheque which will be made, hon. Minister, should go to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: The Zambia Co-operative Federation and the Zambia National Farmers’ Union should be summoned. What we, rural Members of Parliament, want is the floor price of fertiliser to be the same everywhere. If you go to Kabompo where His Honour the Vice-President comes from, a bottle of Coca-Cola is the same as that near Government House. 

We want that system which we heard the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development was going to introduce. Let there be that costing because today people coming from Chama pay a lot for a bag of fertiliser whereas His Honour the Vice-President, who is just here, will pay very little for a bag of fertiliser. When it comes to selling the produce, those who are in town get more while the person in Chama gets less. This is the reason why people are failing to pay back their loans.  If you give these responsibilities to the co-operatives, they are going to help you, hon. Minister.

Mr Chairman, why are we saying that the co-operatives should be used? In 1989/1990, I am sure His Honour the Vice-President was a Member of the Central Committee.

Mr Mtonga: Zoona and I am a witness.

Mr Tetamashimba: The co-operative movement in Zambia, ZCF, had more than 20,000,000 by 90 kilogramme bags of maize, far above the national requirement. If you had an institution just a year before MMD took over, why do you not go back, sit down with their board and see how they can help you? In 1992 after our colleagues on the left took over, from Livingstone to Lusaka, you still found stacks and stacks of maize. I am sure the surviving Minister from Southern Province will agree with me …


Mr Tetamashimba: …that there were stacks and stacks of maize for co-operatives. So, go back and ask your professionals to help you. The Food Reserve Agency was not a bad idea except you were using it to do other things. The way I understood it, their job was to specifically keep strategic reserves, that is all. 

We are appealing to you that since this year is a crisis year, allow all the sheds and depots, which I think are under FRA, give them to the co-operatives, to the farmers’ unions so that they can keep your food. If you do not do that, you are going to have problem. 

Sir, what is most surprising is that this Government goes on changing institutions. Apart from that, they were claiming that some hon. Members of Parliament owe FRA money. Rightly so, except me. I did not get money to take to my constituency. Mr Chairman, even the Government, as I speak to you, owes the Zambia Co-operatives Federation over K50 billion …

Mr Mtonga: Shame!

Mr Tetamashimba: … which money could be given to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia or to the shareholders of Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia so that they can produce more fertiliser. You can then instruct them that you would want to see all the produce from every part of this country. 

The other problem I heard from Hon. Chitalu Sampa was about the produce being sold early. Sir, the other reason why peasant farmers do not pay back their loans is that there is no floor price. When you come to the manifesto of the UPND, the policy on this issue is very clear. I am sure that is why Hon. Kavindele wanted the manifestoes to be brought, I will lay it on the Table. 

You must have a floor price so that there is no exploitation. Please, give the floor price to all farmers across the country and then direct the co-operatives to buy for you, Bwana Minister. With the integrity you have, we have all the hope that you are going to use the co-operatives, because that is what we are all saying. The crop marketing is not going to be a problem. 

In terms of lending, there is a co-operative bank. Use it! Revive it! After all, it was created by MMD. The owner of the Co-operative Bank is ZCF Limited. Call them and find out how you can help. When I was there, with Hon. Namuyamba, I am sure you will agree with me, we even said you should put money you owe in the bank to open it. What was your problem? They did not ask for it, they just wanted you to put the money in the bank. The Kenyan Co-operative Bank promised that they were going to send a managing director to help us free of charge. 

Sir, before the time is over, let me just give His Honour the Vice-President the copies of the UPND manifesto.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: This is where most of the parts of the speeches that were before this august House emanated from. I will also give you the constitution of the UPND.

I thank you, very much.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba attempted to lay the document on the Table.

The Chairman: Order!


The Chairman: That document has nothing to do with the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. It may have some relevance to you, but it is not a pertinent document to us. If you want to pass it on to Hon. Kavindele, you can go to his office and give it him.

Mr Tetamashimba: Can I give it to him now?

The Chairman: But not to lay it on the Table, we have nothing to do with it.


Mr Tetamashimba:I thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Siakalima (Siavonga): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for according me the opportunity to debate, I almost gave up.

Sir, I am glad that agricultural colleges, according to my friend, have been allocated some monies. However, I would like to emphasise one thing to the hon. Minister that merely allocating money to an institution does not help a farmer at all if the graduates of those colleges do not contribute anything to the agricultural sector. I am saying this because in the last ten years, most of these agricultural institutions have been graduating students who find their way into tailoring, selling soap and all sorts of things.

A long time ago, Monze Agriculture College and some other colleges used to produce extension officers and I think this is where we have gone wrong in agriculture. We have not taken care of the grain. And the emperors of this world will always be the emperors of the mines. If you do not employ agricultural extension officers, no matter what you do to your subsistence farmers or peasant farmers, they are not going to be modernised. 

I want to urge you that as you pump in money in these colleges, please, make sure that when they graduate, you will employ them so that they help our peasant farmers. It will be meaningless, I would like to state, for you to graduate students who will be helpless to the sector.

Secondly, I want to re-emphasise one point which the hon. Minister for Agriculture and Co-operatives should answer me since it is in a form of a question. Southern Province has had your Government, hon. Minister, certainly not Mwanawasa’s Government, but your Government decimated the large livestock population through your ill-conceived agricultural policies. Hence our people have got no pride. When you noticed that you had decimated all our livestock population, you took K2 billion for our people to access that money for them to buy vaccines, on condition that, first of all, they buy the money. Yet, you knew very well that you could not dip bones. There were no cattle. This is where our cattle have always been used as a source food, protein, drought power …

Hon. Opposition Members: And dowry.

Mr Siakalima: … including lobola.

I want to find out from you, hon. Minister, what your programme is on restocking our decimated livestock. This is where we can only appreciate you if you bring back our pride. Our land has always been known as land of corn and wine. Day in day and out, we are importing corn. I do not know about wine. It is cattle that used to help our people have many tracks of land through ploughing. Some of our people do not have tractors. This is the only thing that you can do to help our people and help yourself.

Mr Chairman, lastly, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister and certainly to all hon. Ministers, including His Honour the Vice-President that when we talk here, we are not at war. We advise Government because we are here to build this country.

I was so frustrated this morning when I heard His Honour the Vice-President glossing over very serious national issues in the House. I am of the idea that…

The Vice-President: Such as! 

Miss Sialumba: All of them.

Mr Siakalima: … especially on corruption, but through and through, it has been that way. 

We must learn, in this country, that we have given politics a very bad name. It does not matter on our melting point, Mr Chairman, we came here to look after our people and to discuss real issues about what is destroying this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Siakalima: This country is at cross roads. This country is breeding. This country requires leaders who show that they can give hope to the people when we are in trouble.

So, for me, and I am sure for the rest, we do not come here to put His Honour the Vice-President on trial, neither do we put any Minister on trial.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Siakalima: We come here to discuss issues of national credence and of national importance because we owe it to our people. We do not come here to start putting one another on trial.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muleya (Choma): Mr Chairman, I am grateful for this opportunity. I have been looking forward to addressing this House on agriculture. 

Sir, I would like to say only a few words because most of my colleagues have already covered the areas that are very essential in agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, if he was properly quoted, did say, “Agriculture is dead”.

Mr Sibetta: Zoona!

Mr Muleya: I agree. And the reason why agriculture is dead is because after 1991, the then Government in power decided to withdraw from governance and called it “an enabling environment”. Now, this environment is such that it has put the poorer person or the peasant farmer at a great disadvantage because all the services, which were provided for him, were withdrawn or have collapsed.

There are three major sectors in agriculture. There is commercial agriculture which, like any other business responds to the various situations which are in play at that point in time. In my constituency, we have tobacco farmers as well as crop farmers and ranches, and for any of these to succeed, they need a stable price. This is where good governance comes in. It is very important that for agriculture to succeed there must be stability. And this stability must be provided in the form of prices. We need a situation where prices are stable. Prices can only be stable not by prescription but by the fact that you have inputs which are provided and are there at all times and provided at a good price. 

We need a stable market which will ensure that the participants in agriculture are able to deliver their produce knowing that they will be paid. This, over the last ten years, has been absent by a deliberate Government policy. It is this that we would like this Government to reverse so that the players in agriculture are able to go forward and ensure that agriculture can grow and achieve stability and food security.

Mr Chairman, commercial agriculture is the only area where you can have participants choose whether to go for profit or simply for national need. If we have good prices, it is possible that because of their national commitment, they will still grow food crops to ensure that we have food security, as well as grow commercial crops to ensure that we can have foreign exchange and a profitable enterprise.

On the other hand, in my constituency we have peasant farmers who have been…

Mr Sibetta: Small-scale farmers!

Mr Muleya: … who have been let down by the MMD Government.

Like has been said already, the cattle population has been completely decimated. Now, what is the way forward? In my constituency, I think that it is very important that we have a co-ordinated livestock and crop policies so that the peasant farmers are provided with inputs in time and early enough for them to source them. We are not asking for handouts but we require that the fertiliser should be on time, seed should also be on time and in place as well as marketing facilities, for instance, SPCMU sheds, which are available to which these farmers will be able to deliver produce. If this happens, with the availability of well-priced dipping chemicals, it is then possible for the peasant farmer who has only one animal or two to be able to buy his own dipping chemicals, from his harvest, so that disease control can be effected.

As of now, as my colleague has said, K2 billion was allocated to Southern Province for the farmers to pay upfront a fee before sourcing the money for purchasing dipping chemicals. For example, if you have two animals and you have to pay a thousand kwacha per week, K500 each, where do you get that K1,000 from? For the people in town, this is little money, but for my poor villagers who cannot even farm because there is no fertiliser and do not have animals to use cow dung, how then can you expect them to be able to pay that K500 or K1000 per week? 

This, Mr Chairman, is a very serious situation. A properly organised co-ordinated crop farming with livestock is very important in order for the farmers to move forward. 

We do have dilapidated dipping tanks, we do have accommodation for the extension officers, but the Government deliberately withdrew from this area of operation. And now we have no food security, this is bad governance. We know that in this country we need maize, we know that in this country there are areas in Luapula and Western provinces where they grow cassava. They have an advantage. This is a culture which they have grown into. They grow maize as a sideline or as an economic enterprise. But this Government has not taken these regional advantages in order to foster higher agricultural production.

Mr Chairman, in the Budget, there is an amount which is allocated for livestock development. Now, we know that we do have research facilities dotted round the country and we know that these research centres have identified two strains of corridor disease, but not enough is being done to bring to a halt the continued decimation of livestock. For the time being, if no proper arrangements are made, it is important and imperative that a regimented programme is put into effect which will make sure that the dipping of animals together with vaccination, is policed so that we can wipe out this corridor disease so that we can again regenerate our livestock population because this is the main stay of our economy.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Thank you, Mr Chairman, …

Mr Sichinga: Shadow cabinet!

Mr Muntanga: I have been watching and looking at the Vote of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives and I am gratified that there has been a lot of talk, and when they talk about it, there is hope that there is something going to be done. It is only unfortunate that we are looking at really no serious effort being made. 

There is only a total of K354 billion allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives which is far too little of what we expect. On the RDCs, when you add the Head totals only K116.9 billion is allocated. I am not sure what the hon. Minister means on K150 billion as Fertiliser Revolving Fund, whether he is saying he is going to allocate these funds or he is referring to the already existing fertiliser revolving funds because there were fertilisers given in the past one or two seasons. If that is the reference, then there is no money because there is no way they are going to recover anything from the past fertiliser loans. That worries me and I think that the revolving fund will not help agriculture at all.

Mr Chairman, for us to be seen to be actively doing something, we should seriously be looking at things like how you market. You cannot force a farmer to grow a type of crop. You can talk about irrigation and so on but if the crop you are forcing the farmer to grow does not pay, he will not grow it. So, it is the market price of the crop you would like the farmer to grow that matters. In Zambia we had a scheme where people wanted to grow groundnuts. It was a one-year advertisement and people grew a lot of groundnuts for the price which they had advertised.

Do you remember that the marketing agencies of this crop, maize, has been changing? At independence, we had the Grain Marketing Board, we changed to NAMBOARD and we stayed with NAMBOARD until it had its own problems and then we handed it over to ZCF. When the MMD came into power, they changed. We had an agent in between in the name of SGS and ended up with the Food Reserve Agency in 1995. When we created the FRA, we told them to be the buyer of the last resort. Why do you want to go and buy when there is nothing?

Mr Sichinga: Shame!

Mr Muntanga: Now the Crop Marketing Authority we are trying to create, the way I see it is that it is going to behave like the FRA. The hon. Member who was the Managing Director knows that he was not reserving any food at all, he was only renting sheds to people and these sheds were used to make bricks.

Hon. Members: Shame!

Mr Muntanga: He was known to be making a lot of money out of renting sheds. I heard the other speaker say that you need to store food yourself. Hon. Members, come out of this idea. You do not store food for a longer period of time because storage facilities need someone who knows how to handle them. Maize will go to waste if you do not fumigate and that is why the Government has a responsibility to hold the food stocks for the country. You cannot run away from it. If you are a Government and have no food reserve, what sort of Government are you?

Mr Chairman, if today we have a war situation in the country, already we have no food, how are we going to fight? You will not even fight because you have no food. If you had storage facilities and maize was stocked, it means that even when you have a small drought, you can start to tap on your food reserve and be able to put the food on the market. The situation now is that people in the villages have nowhere to buy food from. There is nothing and yet we had the Food Reserve Agency in place.

Mr Sichinga: Shame!

Mr Muntanga: I propose that we do not have to make this Crop Marketing Authority as a buyer of last resort. If we have to introduce this Authority, it must be the buyer of first resort. It must move and buy.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: If you want to control the marketing of maize, you must go in the villages and offer a higher price and when you see that the price is increasing, then you can buy all the crops. If you store the maize and if there is no maize on the market, then you can offload your maize from your storage. That is where you can control. How do you control when you have nothing? The best thing to do is not to introduce this Crop Marketing Authority. In Zambia, when we handed over NAMBOARD to ZCF, we were even able to produce 20 million by 90 kilogramme bags of maize and we had stored enough stocks of maize. If you go back to your records, you will see that the recovery rate of loans by ZCF was higher. They were running around 80 and 90 per cent recovery rate. Lima Bank was struggling…

The Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 2015 hours until 2030 hours.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairman, when business was suspended, I had spoken for only five minutes. Sir, I was expanding a point on the need to re-introduce and support the ZCF. I was saying that at the time when ZCF was in charge of the food reserve as well as supporting the farmers, Zambia had produced up to 20 million by 90 kilogramme bags of maize. At the time when the co-operatives were working, even Northern Province, with the Northern Province Co-operative Union, produced 700,000 by 90 kilogramme bags of maize. But now, I doubt if they even produce 100,000 bags of maize.

Mr Chairman, what we are saying is that the co-operatives, which were there, were nearer to the farmer. They existed out of the farmers’ needs. They were not co-operatives made out of a political gimmick or requirement. That was the correct mode of operation that was ensuring that the farmer receives the fertiliser in time. And I urge the Government that if they are serious in revamping agriculture, we need to revamp ZCF and all the provincial and district co-operatives.

Mr Chairman, I know that when the MMD came into power they did not want the co-operatives for one thing. They were perceived as a unit supporting UNIP and they had to wind them up. In Southern Province, a former Member of Parliament, the late Hon. Miyanda, was made General Manager of Southern Province Co-operative Union. There was no basis of making a Member of Parliament General Manager of the Southern Province Co-operative Union. It was just political. We want to see the multi-purpose co-operative unions, which we had, re-introduced. These small political co-operatives that we formed, if we have to move, have to be dissolved.

The best they have done is to bring in fertiliser – and a number of these Chairmen of these co-operatives have ended up selling the fertiliser and buying various vehicles. A compliment to the MMD is that when there was lending under Lima Bank, there was no Agriculture Credit Act to support lending but they introduced it. There is now an Agriculture Credit Act to support anybody lending in agriculture but there is no bank to do this.

Mr Sichinga: Correct.

Mr Muntanga: You introduced a good thing but you left out the support to farmers. There is no way you can farm without support from a lending institution which has concession rates or concession charges for you to survive. You do not get anything until after one year in farming. I am happy that the hon. Minister has said that there is going to be concession lending and I hope that will be implemented quickly.

Mr Chairman, I am concerned that there is only K3.9 billion for marketing under marketing and trade. What are we going to buy? We do not want to go back to promissory notes. The MMD missed the boat. In 1991 when we had a drought, they got all the support to feed the people. In 1992, we had a good season and the harvest was good. In Kalomo we had reached close to 900,000 bags. What happened, there was no money, they just gave promissory notes because the MMD did not budget for that item. Up to now, some people are not yet paid and some have died without being paid. Obviously, the following season, people went off maize, they did not want to grow it because of lack of market.

Mr Zimba: Ask Zukas.

Mr Muntanga: Zukas was MMD and he was just following the policies of the MMD. The policies of the party must change. We ask that for us to go forward we should go beyond political affiliation and move forward.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: You can dress up smartly, but if you do not eat, you are dead.

The Vice-President: And you, especially.

Mr Muntanga: That is why I am fit to be Agriculture and Co-operatives Minister. You do not have to put an Agriculture and Co-operatives Minister who is showing famine in stature.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairman, as regards livestock and the livestock population, I must state that we could not control the diseases for one thing. I urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to upgrade the department of Animal Health.

Mr Chairman, in 1974, under UNIP, the policy was changed. Instead of emphasising animal health, they changed to animal production. Therefore, everything else concerning scheduled diseases, was ignored. You should have a Government policy to control such diseases as African swine fever, rinderpest, anthrax, black quarter and all other diseases. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister to bring this back so that the livestock industry is developed. This can change the economy of this country. You upgraded the Fisheries Department. Tell me the economic impact from fisheries. Can we export fish out of Zambia?

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Muntanga: We must direct and uplift the livestock industry…… …

The Chairman: The hon. Member’s time has expired.

Opening up quarrels of the past will not provide solutions to the current agricultural problems.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: All what has been debated this afternoon by a good number of twelve people has been based on what happened in the past. No attempt whatsoever has been made to inspire the new administration into boosting the agricultural industry. I sympathise with you, new administrators.

Will the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives wind up debate.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Sikatana): Mr Chairman, I thank you very much for this opportunity that will enable me both to thank the hon. Members that have contributed so constructively, both in the House and wherever we have interacted. This will also enable me to place on record what my ministry hopes to achieve with the co-operation of the hon. Members of this House.

First of all, I shall deal with what vision we have and how we intend to achieve it. Mr Chairman, firstly, I would like to start by stating that agriculture has, once more, been recognised as a pillar of the future of this country that will defeat poverty and dependence on other countries. The President’s Speech and that of the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning have shown how serious the New Deal administration intends to fulfill its undertaking sooner than later and we say, time will soon tell.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: Mr Chairman, I will, therefore, begin by briefing this august House on the performance of the agricultural sector in the year 2001. I will also briefly highlight what the Ministry of Agricultural and Co-operatives plans to embark upon during the year 2002. 

The sector recorded increases in the production of a number of crops during the 2000 and 2001 which has, unfortunately, been overshadowed by the performance in the production of maize.

But where we excelled, was in the following, for instance, leguminous crops like beans and groundnuts increased by about six per cent from their 1999 to 2000 levels. The second cash crops like sunflower and tobacco increased by about 7.2 per cent from the previous season. I must admit that the growing of tobacco all over the world is becoming controversial where you are encouraged to grow and at the same time encouraged to warn about the danger of smoking tobacco.

However, these positive developments were indeed overshadowed by the decline in maize production. The decrease was due to poor input distribution and adverse weather conditions in some parts of the country.

Mr Chairman, my ministry has been using a number of strategies in an effort to improve agricultural sector performance. During the 2000/2001 season, participatory extension approach was entrenched in the ministry as official extension methodology. Whether it performed or not, is another matter. This approach involves the full participation of farmers themselves in identifying their problems and solutions.

In line with this adoption, efforts were made to impart skills to the staff in the ministry at district level in participatory extension methodologies in order to enable them play the role of facilitators instead of being teachers.

Mr Chairman, a total of 598 projects were funded under the Rural Investment Fund (RIF) throughout Zambia during the year 2001. In addition, a total of 317 farmer group members were trained in different aspects of utilisation and maintenance of Rural Investments Fund supported structures.

Mr Chairman, in an effort to improve the operations of the irrigation schemes, a total of six irrigation schemes were surveyed and rehabilitated in the year 2001. In addition, eight dams were rehabilitated and three new ones constructed in the country.

Mr Chairman, in the ministry’s efforts to avail farmers with efficient ox-drawn implements, an ox-drawn five tonne cultivator has been developed and introduced to farmers. The introduction of this implement and I am talking of only introduction, is expected to enable farmers to expand the area under cultivation.

Further, a total of five courses were conducted and 173 farmers were trained in basic skills in animal traction. This was done to facilitate efficient and effective use of animal traction. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives also assisted about 60 farmers to construct crop storage structures on their farms.

Mr Chairman, during the period under review, the seed sub-sector recorded remarkable achievements, especially in the establishment and development of the formal seed sub-sector line led by companies’ and Government agencies. I was only last week visiting these agencies that were most impressed.

The country’s main seed laboratory was also improved upon to conform to international standards and seed testing in Zambia received international recognition. In all, Sir, the country produced 1,530 tonnes of seeds and planting materials.

Mr Chairman, livestock diseases continued to ravage our livestock population in the major livestock areas. To tackle this problem, my ministry embarked on vaccination campaigns on cattle and vector control, particularly in Southern and Western provinces.

In an effort to manage our fisheries efficiently, the ministry continues to promote community-based management of fisheries in major fisheries areas. In addition, fish farming has continued to receive active attention.

Mr Chairman, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives would have achieved a lot if only adequate financial resources were made available and on time. As you are aware, most agricultural activities are time bound. It is, therefore, critical that funds be released on time and my Government has worked out measures, through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, that will alleviate this particular problem. This, unfortunately, was not the case in the year, 2001. This, no doubt, impacted negatively on the performance of the ministry and the agricultural sector in general.

Mr Chairman, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has also put much emphasis on the issue of stakeholder consultations at national, provincial and district levels This is mainly done through the Agricultural Consultative Forum and the District Agricultural Committees. Stakeholder consultations are encouraged to ensure the exchange of information, experiences and advice. This is in line with Government policy on transparency and good governance. Mr Chairman, our doors are open. If there are found closed, please, kick them open.

Allow me, at this stage, to state some of the plans that my ministry has for this year and beyond. As outlined by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s Budget Speech, my ministry will strive to reduce shortfalls in crop production and enhance national food security. To achieve this, my ministry will do the following:

1.    We will direct resources into the construction of dams, especially in drought- prone provinces to facilitate irrigation, while at the same time encouraging private sector investment in irrigation.

2.    We intend to contract large-scale farmers to produce maize under irrigation – I am only talking about irrigation before I touch the issue of winter irrigation of maize. This is intended to meet the impending maize shortfall this year. The drought is extending and we expect, therefore, food security to be even more insecure.

3.    We intend to develop appropriate technologies for small-scale farmers, even with irrigation as well as make them access affordable draft power and associated equipment to enable them improve efficiency and productivity and achieve food security.

Mr Chairman, agricultural marketing, as you all know, has been a problem. Following the liberalisation of the agricultural sector and the collapse of Government supported agricultural marketing institutions, the small-scale farmers in outlying areas have not been availed the market for the crops to overcome all the contingencies. To overcome this problem, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has embraced the formation of the Crop Marketing Authority (CMA) to take care of both strategic reserve and to be a buyer of last resort of designated crops. I know that we differ on the definition of buyer of last resort with Hon. Muntanga.

Mr Muntanga: Very much.

Mr Sikatana: My ministry will ensure that the agricultural sector contributes to the overall Government’s objective of poverty reduction and economic growth. To achieve this, the ministry will support a number of activities under the Poverty Reduction Programme which include the following:

1.    The production and distribution of improved seed for crops such as sorghum, millet, cassava and cow peas. These crops form the basis for household food security, particularly in rural areas.

2.    The improvement in the search and research and extension linkages in view of the proven production technologies which are available. A lot of emphasis will have to be placed on research information exchange and transfer.

3.     In order to do this, close collaboration and co-ordination between research and extension will be encouraged at various levels.

4.    Conservation farming and good land husbandry services will be done through the demarcation of potential farmlands in selected agricultural settlement schemes and farm blocks.

5.    We intend to continue to construct earth dams.

6.    We intend to go into the development of outgrower schemes in Lusaka, Copperbelt and Southern provinces in addition to what is already on the ground. Targeted crops are coffee and pineapples in Mwinilunga. We have tightened that between the out-growers, which we are planning to do, and those that we want to hook on.

Hon. Opposition Member: That is what Desai used to tell us.

Mr Sikatana: I think he sounded Asian. I do not think he sounded like me.


Mr Sikatana: I was saying that on the outgrower schemes that are already there, we target coffee, tobacco, cotton and paprika, to name but a few.

We are also encouraged by the private sectors that are doing so much and we wish to thank them most heartily, particularly the NGOs.

Mr Chairman, this august House may wish to know that the Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (ASIP) came to an end in December, 2001. As a result of this, the ministry has formulated a successor programme called the Agricultural Commercilisation Programme.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: The Agricultural Commercialisation Programme is not a mere nickname. It has been designed as the main vehicle for implementing the agricultural component of the poverty reduction programme. It will focus on increasing the generation of income from farming through improved access to marketing, trade and agro-processing opportunities, agricultural finance services for farmers, traders and processors. 

Mr Chairman, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is aware of the numerous problems affecting the livestock industry. I would like to assure this august House that positive measures have been put in place to ensure that the situation is brought under control. The ministry will this year ensure low disease incidence status as close to K14 billion has been set aside for livestock disease control and livestock credit provision.

Mr Chairman, our agricultural training colleges still remain the backbone in providing trained manpower for the public and private sector. Training colleges and institutes will continue to offer diploma and certificate courses to school leavers. Various in-service training courses will also be carried out for Government and Non-Governmental Organizations. And the effectiveness of our colleges and institutes has been seriously eroded due to inadequate funding which has led to poor training facilities. The ministry will ensure, within the limitation of available funds, that we have limitation and improvement to such critical training facilities carried out.

Mr Chairman, following the liberalisation of the agricultural sector, the ministry will continue to monitor the private sector activities, particularly in the area of input delivery for crops and livestock. The role of collection and dissemination of agricultural marketing information will be further strengthened up to the district level. Marketing extensions will also be promoted at the lower levels. The Government has recognised that co-operatives play an important role in agricultural development. 

The ministry, therefore, will continue to mobilise, register and train co-operative members in order to enhance their full participation in agricultural marketing. In order to enhance the establishment of co-operatives and marketing, the New Deal administration has created the office of the full-fledged Permanent Secretary solely in charge of co-operatives and marketing. We also intend to rely on traditional leaders that know their subjects that will be able to identify ghost from real co-operators.

In the area of fisheries, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives will continue with community-based management and training in fish processing techniques. The ministry will also promote fish farming in areas of great potential. It is necessary to remind ourselves that in order for fish farming to succeed, farmers will be trained to feed fish just as you feed yourselves; you have to feed your fish in lagoons, in fish bonds and in lakes. This will, therefore, require that the private sector be encouraged to commence industries for the production of fish feed which will encourage farmers to enter into the fish industry.

In an effort to provide information to our farmers and other stakeholders, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives will focus on the production of agricultural bulletins, radio and television programmes. This is one way of providing technical information to the farming sector. 

Mr Chairman, before I conclude my speech, I would like to emphasise to this august House the following:

1.    The need to utilise the rainy belt to the full. The rainy belt, as you are aware, covers the Copperbelt, Northern, North-Western and Luapula provinces. Although the soils of some of the areas are acidic, plans are underway to step up farming activities in these areas. The application and use of lime will be encouraged and land will be opened up for farming in these rainy belts; 
2.    The need to introduce the method of irrigation affordable for use by peasant farmers, particularly in drought prone areas;
3.    It is also important to mention that food security is not synonmous with maize. The budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has a provision for the further promotion of outgrower schemes. What do we mean by this? It is food security if somebody is employed and if they produce cotton, paprika, tobacco, coffee, cashew, which are targeted, they will be secure. The production of these crops will continue to the achievement of food security;
4.    It is important to weed out ghost co-operatives and farmers. There is a requirement in the 2002 Budget for the registration of farmers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah.

Mr Sikatana: Yes, almost every advanced country has farmers registered. 

All people who call themselves farmers need to register with our district agricultural offices. All agricultural programmes will be targeted towards these genuine farmers and not fly-by-night farmers; and 

5.    I would also like to mention that we would not relent on the issue of recovering loans owed to the Food Reserve Agency. Although the FRA will be dissolved, debts owed to the organisation must be recovered with interest. I hope the message here is clear.

Mr Chairman, the programmes and measures that I have outlined above will go a long way in ensuring that the country is self-sufficient in food or agricultural production. This will also contribute to the increase in the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and enhance the country’s export potential. I, therefore, seek the support of all you, hon. Members, in approving the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. 

Now, let me briefly respond to the constructive comments, and serious consideration will be given to everything that has been put across by hon. Members.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: You have been popularly elected. You will carry a message when you go home to your constituencies that the most serious investment of this Government, for this year, is agriculture.

I wish to thank Hon. Chitalu Sampa who has given us a warning. Let us be serious for once. The example he gave, of a parent who says he has ten children, but surely, all the ten are not babies. You have an army that you should employ on your farm. Concern has been highlighted on our animals. We will make all efforts to do the best on our deep tanks but we urge the hon. Members of Parliament, themselves, to be the messengers of this nation. There is a lot of vandalism on dip tanks. When I was visiting Central Province, I found that the rooftops were being ripped off. And wherever there was any metal, these were being removed. 


Mr Sikatana: I think that if I were serious enough, I would not bring in any politics. It is serious, there is vandalism which must be stopped. 

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Other hon. Members have highlighted the problems which the majority of people in this country, in the farming industry, face. The use of co-operatives, Mr Chairman, is deliberate. But we should examine how these co-operatives should operate. We trust that if the roads were well maintained, there would be no need for so many storages all over the country. We, therefore, attach great importance to the maintenance of feeder roads. Sir, within the limitations, we will try and work with other line ministries to work on the roads as soon as possible to enable the new crop to be harnessed.

Outgrower Schemes.

There is a complaint that these are only restricted to three provinces. With due respect, we are now a nation that has gone above regional or tribal inclinations. You will see that in the areas that are not mentioned in this year’s Budget, there are already schemes that are there, both by the Government and by the private sector.

Mr Chairman, the Crop Marketing Authority is bringing some controversy. Rightly so because the lessons that Zambians have leant from their own performance is the best teacher. The New Deal Government does not intend merely to replace the Food Reserve Agency with the Crop Marketing Authority, full stop. We seriously want to link the Crop Marketing Authority with the co-operatives. The co-operatives should not be seen to be deprived of what they were doing. Whatever they were doing must be left to the co-operatives. 

We shall bring in the third leg, the Co-operative Bank. Until we have made sure that the ghost co-operatives are weeded out, it is dangerous to immediately open the Co-operative Bank. But negotiations, and serious ones for that matter, are on the board. We hope that we will be able to make a ministerial statement on the future of the Co-operative Bank sooner than later.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: And finally, Mr Chairman, as I have said, there are several questions that have been posed. The ministry’s doors are open where we can sit and analyse the problems. As soon as the Budget session is over, we shall be coming to your constituencies. Our presence there will make us appreciate the problems much more than what we can achieve in this House. 

We will work out programmes with individual Members of Parliament so that when we sit here next time, we shall be seeing whether or not there is a New Deal. We are seriously thinking that we can achieve one thing. The target of achieving food security must start this year, and hon. Members of Parliament should show the way. Yes, both by being extremely critical; I would rather deal with a critical mind than a hypocrite.

Hon Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Sikatana: And also by being productive when there are schemes on the ground that will need your support. Not only to envy the appearance of your face on television in this august House or your voice on radio, but also by interacting with the Government whether you are in Opposition or not. Furthermore, make full use of your ministry because it is yours.

Thank you very much, Sir.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 89/28 – (Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives –Agriculture Extension – K25,032,677,235).

Mr Sichinga: Mr Chairman, on sub-head 4, item 05, sub-item 004 – Outgrower Schemes (Copperbelt, Lusaka and Southern provinces) – K15,000,000,000,

I would like the hon. Minister to clarify for me how many farmers this programme is going to support.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Chairman, that detail can only be determined after the farmers’ and ministry’s consultations. 

Hon. Opposition Members: How?

Mr Sikatana: Yes, because the question is how many farmers? Surely if the Government can benefit out of two rather than ten farmers, it cannot be determined in this Chamber.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

The Chairman: We should have moved to provincial administration but I am advised that this Vote will be tackled tomorrow. To this effect, I interrupt the proceedings and the Committee will report progress.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 2130 hours until Thursday, 28th March, 2002.