Debates- Friday, 22nd March, 2002

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Friday, 22nd March, 2002

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




The Vice-President (Mr Kavindele): Mr Speaker, I wish to give the House some of the business it will consider next week.

On Tuesday, 26th of March, 2002, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if any. After that the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads of Expenditure: Head 78    Office of the President  - Special Division; Head 80- Ministry of Education; and Head  85 - Ministry of Lands

On Wednesday, 27th March, 2002, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if any. The House will then consider private Members’ motions after which the it will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads: Head 87 - Anti-Corruption Commission; Head 89 - Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives; and
Head 08 - Cabinet Office – Office of the President

On Thursday, 28th March, 2002, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if any. After that, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads:bHead 76 - Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development; Heads 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97 and 98. All these are provinces, and lastly, Head 99 – Constitutional and Statutory Expenditure.

Mr Speaker, it is my intention on this day to move a motion to suspend the relevant standing orders so as to allow the House complete all business on the Order Paper and adjourn sine die.

I thank you, Sir.



VOTE 44/01 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Headquarters – K3,144,928,055).

(Consideration resumed)

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mrs Nalumango): Mr Chairman, before the House adjourned yesterday, I was saying that my ministry, in close consultation with the employers’ and workers’ organisations, will soon be reviewing pieces of labour legislation in order to ensure that none of the players on the labour market are disadvantaged in any way.

Mr Chairman, I also wish to say that my ministry needs to urgently build the capacity of its labour inspectorate if the prevailing situation in work establishment particularly in newly privatised firms is to be effectively addressed. The ministry, therefore, needs adequate resources to undertake this exercise.

Occupational Health and Safety

Mr Chairman, one other very important function that my ministry undertakes and is of great concern to productivity in the economy is to ensure that there are safe and healthy working environments. Sir, through the enforcement of the Factories Act Cap 441 of the Laws of Zambia, efforts are made to systematically inspect pressure vessels, construction sites and plants in general so that they adhere to the normal standards in terms of safety and health concerns. There is, however, also need to build enough capacity in the inspectorate so that it executes its functions effectively. This can only be done again if enough resources are available to my ministry.

Social Security Reforms

Mr Chairman, the Social Security Reforms that Government embarked on in order to cater for socio-economic needs of people from all walks of life in the country were well intended. The House may well be aware that the major components of the Social Security Reform programme were completed. The transformation of the Zambia National Provident Fund (ZNPF) into the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) was successfully accomplished. However, there still remains some structural re-alignments that need to be addressed. The extension of the scheme to those outside the organised sector is being considered and a study would to this end be commissioned. The scheme also intends to introduce other contingencies apart from those already existing under the current arrangement.

Mr Chairman, the other component of merging the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board and the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Board was also finalised. However, issues related to organisational structure and staff complement have to be resolved before the new scheme can be fully operational. A lot of work is already being done to speed up this exercise.

Productivity Development

Mr Chairman, in this age of international competition as a result of globalization, a country can only make it on the global market if it addresses issues of productivity seriously. Zambia, therefore, must critically and vigorously undertake this task of promoting productivity improvement through various productivity development programmes. Members of this august House may wish to know that in August 1999, Zambia participated in a SADC Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, where, a commitment to create a sustainable and cost effective National Productivity Centre was made. This centre would provide an institution framework through which all aspects related to productivity development and improvement would be addressed. Plans are therefore, underway towards achieving this particular goal. Adequate resources again, are required for this exercise.

Labour Market Information

Mr Chairman, let me now allude to the issue of availability of information, particularly labour market related information and the role that it plays in facilitating the process of policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Timely and reliable information on most socio-economic aspects in our country is scanty and sometimes virtually non-existent. Information on the labour market situation in the country is also not an exception. In this regard, my ministry is making frantic efforts to manage efficient mechanisms for collecting, processing, storing labour market data and, disseminating information to all end users. This, Mr Chairman, needs to be supported with adequate resources.

Child Labour in Zambia

Mr Chairman, the rising levels of unemployment and the HIV/AIDS pandemic are but just some of the chief actors that have sent a good number of our children on to the streets where they have no choice but to engage themselves in unhealthy life-styles. Some do odd jobs to earn a living and in some cases, even that of their families. It is also worthy to note here that the problem of child labour in Zambia is virtually an informal sector phenomenon, as there exists, to this effect legal provisions (The Employment of Young Persons and Children's Act) that prohibit employment of children under the age of fifteen years in the formal sector. I am happy to say that my ministry has succeeded in enforcing that particular piece of legislation very effectively.

Mr Chairman, the education system in the country that offloads a lot of children off schools at various at ages of the education ladder due to limited places, has exacerbated the situation. To address this problem and following the adoption in June 1999, of the ILO New Convention 182, which aims at eliminating the most intolerable forms of child labour,  My ministry, in collaboration with the International Labour Office, has embarked on a national programme that would assist alleviate the problem of abuse of children. This involves strengthening the existing monitoring systems and formulation of various programmes of action.

Implementation of such programmes has reached advanced stage, and my ministry is very committed to seeing to it that the same succeeds in attaining its’ goal.

In this regard, the Government has ratified Convention 182, on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

Regional Co-operation on Employment and Labour Matters

Mr Chairman, Zambia belongs to many international and regional organisations. On the issue of employment and labour, the country hosts the Employment and Labour Sector of the SADC region. The hosting of this sector was a commitment that our Government willingly accepted in 1995 after the SADC summit. To this effect, various programmes and projects on employment and labour matters have been developed and a number of them are already being implemented at both regional and national levels. The sector also aims at harmonising labour standards and implementing labour and employment programmes that are of a common good to all member States. So far, progress has been made in areas such as child labour, occupational health and safety, HIV/AIDS code of conduct at work places, social protection and product improvement. The hosting of the Sector Co-ordinating Unit demands the ministry’s financial commitment.

Sir, maybe, before I do that there were a few questions that came from the hon. Members of the House. Let me just say that there were a lot of people that supported better funding for this ministry. Thank you so much for that support even though I know that the Government is listening and would like to do everything possible it all depends on the resources available. We hope this state of affairs will not continue.

Most of the question that were raised, I feel and believe, have been covered in my speech I think I mentioned what hampers our efforts and sometimes even when we do our best, we seem not to get our intended goal. I must say at this point that I really thank you for all your contributions. But if you have anything specific like they were coming here, I would prefer at the ministry, we have an open policy. And hon. Members if there are such ill practices in your constituencies, you are most welcome to my office. I will not go to Hon. Lubinda to get information. Because I will not know which Member of this august House has a piece of information. So, you come to my office in the new Government Complex. We will attend to that. We are very committed as a ministry. We are not going to tolerate the things that are going on in our labour market.

Thank you very much, Sir.

Vote 44/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 44/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 44/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 44/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: Before we move on to policy debate, I would like to call upon Hon. Mudenda to deliver his maiden speech.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mudenda (Dundumwenzi): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to sincerely thank the UPND for adopting me out of the fourteen of us who initially aspired. I also want to thank the people of Dundumwenzi for electing me Member of Parliament and I am assuring them that I will avail myself to their expectations. In the same vein, Sir, allow me to join the rest of hon. Members of this august House to congratulate you and your Deputy on being re-elected to your esteemed positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of this House respectively.

Mr Speaker, the people of Dundumwenzi have the following observations to make with regard to the just ended tripartite elections that voting at polling stations did not start and end the same day; that ballot papers equivalent to the number of registered voters at some poling stations were under supplied; and that hundreds of voters still queuing by 1700 were sent away at almost every polling     station;

The Chairman: Order! What you are stating now does not constitute material for a maiden speech. In addition to that, some of the issues you have mentioned are in court through petitions. So, I would advise you to skip anything that relates to the material that is in the courts of law.

 Will you, please, continue.

Mr Mudenda: Thank you, Sir, for your guidance. I withdraw. His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., in his speech for the Official Opening of the First Session of the Ninth National Assembly was a very good piece of work.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mudenda: He articulated economic policies of the New Deal Government very well. For those of us from the UPND background it was as though the whole speech was inspired by our manifesto.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mudenda: It is for that reason that it gave hope to many Zambians.


Mr Speaker, Dundumwenzi is a very important area of the maize belt of Southern Province. During the UNIP Government when agriculture was taken seriously, people of Dundumwenzi grew surplus maize. They were able to buy tractors, motor vehicles and clothed themselves well.

When MMD Government came into power, agriculture started to die quickly in line with President Chiluba’s declaration on electronic media to the nation that he did not know anything about agriculture and to talk about it was troubling him because the only thing he new was fishing. I cannot agree more.

Mr Chairman, the once prosperous farmers in Dundumwenzi have been made destitute who cannot afford two meals per day. Their cattle have been wiped out because the MMD Government has neglected this area of agriculture.

Sir, the Dundumwenzi people are thrilled to hear from the speech of the President that agriculture shall take centre stage of Zambia’s economic development policy. These people are not asking the New Deal Government to provide them with good rainfall because that is not possible but with bore holes and dams around them, they will be able to irrigate their crops.

Sir, agriculture requires a good road network. This would enhance timely delivery of inputs such as seed, fertiliser and so on. Dundumwenzi has two main roads; one leading to Chief Chikanta’s Palace and Mabombo and the other to Ngoma Game Reserve, both from Kalomo. These roads have not been graded in a very long time.

Munyeke Bridge, Sir, has been in a state of disrepair for a long time. Returning hon. Members of Parliament present today will recall the fact that the former MMD Member of Parliament for Dundumwenzi, Mr Gilbert Chibambula, went on hunger strike because he could not get help to repair it from the MMD Government. Although he was their member, they suspected him of sympathising with UPND.  Shame!

Mr Chairman, there is need to revisit the idea of making the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia functional in order to produce fertiliser of our own. This way, Sir, the New Deal Government will be able to deliver fertiliser in good time. Marketing policies for agricultural produce should be introduced to benefit the farmers.

On education, Mr Chairman, a lot of schools in my constituency are in bad state and not easy to reach because of bad roads. In this constituency, Sir, there is only one full basic school. There is need to upgrade more schools and build, at least, one secondary school.

It is not good enough to make education free only up to Grade 7. The Government should make education free up to Grade 12 and provide bursaries for college and university education by way of loans. Recipients of these bursary loans will be made to repay the same when they are in employment.

Mr Chairman, learning curricula at all levels must be reviewed in order to shift from providing education for prestige to providing education for consumption. Practical skills should be taught so that school leavers can engage in productive projects. New curricula must make sure that pupils at Grade 4 are able to read and write. The entry age to Grade 1 should be reviewed.

On health, Mr Chairman, the health sector is one of the many areas of great concern. Our hospitals have no drugs and the general health care leaves much to be desired. In Dundumwenzi we need a siseable hospital where patients could be admitted. As of now, the few clinics we have refer serious cases to Macha Mission and Kalomo hospitals. There is need to provide free medical care because brought in dead (BID) cases have become the order of the day as patients cannot afford to pay hospital fees.

Like in education, the Ministry of Health has experienced the brain drain because conditions of service have not been commensurate with the education and experiences of these professionals. Something must be done to redress this issue.

Mr Chairman, good governance is a pre-requisite to economic development and our cry for the New Deal Government is to address this issue squarely. Mismanagement of public financial and other resources should come to an end. We want the rule of law to bite and bring culprits to book. It should not matter what the status of those culprits is. We want to see a truly independent public media. The Press must not have Government interference if they are to report accurately. The Government-owned media have not done well in the past because of this bias.

The essence of separation of power will be eroded if the appointments to independent offices such as Investigator-General, Chief Justice, Auditor-General, Anti-Corruption Commissioner and so on, shall be done by the Executive. This august House should say, no to bad governance practices and should legislate against inconsistencies. The use and funding…

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

Mr E. M. M. Musonda (Lupososhi): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to join my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to congratulate Mr Speaker and you, Sir, on your re-election to this noble and challenging responsibility, especially that the complexion of the Zambian Parliament has changed. Mr Chairman, I give my sincere gratitude to the people of Lupososhi for electing me to represent them in this august House. I pay great tribute to them for they have realised that it does not pay to vote for a person from the ruling party who cannot represent them and fails to speak on their behalf.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. M. M. Musonda: They voted for me because they have confidence that I will ably represent them.

Mr Chairman, I commend His Excellency the President, Levy P. Mwanawasa, for prescribing a delicious recipe for this country’s social, economic and political discipline. I hold the fear that the ingredients of this recipe may be wrongly mixed and will produce a sour taste.

Mr Chairman, poverty in Zambia has risen to a very high level during the past ten years of the MMD Government. Zambians have been individually and collectively incapacitated by the MMD’s insincere rule of this country, 80 per cent of our people are afflicted by poverty. This rate is too high to continue. Thanks to the New Deal Administration, measures have been put in place to start reducing poverty levels.

Mr Chairman, the attitude shown by the Deputy Minister for North-Western Province and the Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare who, in their maiden speeches, said that Zambians are poor because they are lazy casts serious doubt on the New Deal Administration to curb poverty in Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr E. M. M. Musonda: Mr Chairman, the President has resuscitated hope for the agricultural industry in Zambia. The Northern Province has very good climatic conditions conducive to supporting agriculture. This province alone, if put to maximum use, can become the granary of Zambia. Its people have never lived a life of dependency. They believe in hard work so as to be self-sufficient where food is concerned. It pains the people of the Northern Province to receive food from countries that are just recovering from civil wars, yet the province received abundant rainfall year in year out. Rice, maize and sorghum can be abundantly grown in the province.

With abundant rainfall, there is potential for livestock rearing. The UNIP Government recognised this and three State ranches were established in the province: the Mbesuma, Kalungwishi and Chishinga Ranches which cover part of the Luapula Province. These ranches performed very well since these areas are livestock diseases free.

Hon. Muntanga worked as one of the managers at these ranches and he can bear witness to this. Today, these former State ranches are in a sorry site. This is all because of uncaring rule of the MMD in the past ten years. Animals were privatised workers retrenched who by today have not received their retrenchment packages. Equipment and property has been looted and these areas are now chitemene zones for the people living around.

Sir, my appeal to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives is to consider reviving these former State ranches for breeding purposes so that small-scale farmers can benefit under the New Deal agricultural policy. Otherwise, these areas will soon be deserts due to uncontrolled chitemene system being practised.

Mr Speaker, one important programme under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives that has received little attention is the Rural Investment Fund (RIF). The RIF is the project under the Agricultural Sector Investment Progrmme which …


Mr E. M. M. Musonda: I thank you for protecting me.

Sir, one important programme under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives that has received little attention is the Rural Investment Find (RIF). The RIF is a project under the Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (ASIP) which aims at building the production capacity of small-scale farmers who, for various social economic reasons, are unable to participate in economic activities in an effective manner. The fund provides financial support to eligible farmer groups or committees on a matching grant basis.

The principal financers of the project are the World Bank who committed US$!0 million. The Netherlands Government also committed US$2.017 million to support RIF activities in Western Province for the period December 2000 to December, 2002.

Last year, the Government allocated K21 billion to this programme under the HIPC Initiative. Only K4.5 billion was released to the programme. Where the rest of the money went, we do not know, but you will realise that other programmes that benefited from HIPC got their money in full.

In this year’s budget it is very saddening to the small-scale farmers to learn that only K6 billion has been allocated and yet the New Deal administration is claiming to pay particular attention to small-scale farmers.

Sir, as regards transport, the President, in his address to the nation on the Official Opening of Parliament said and I quote

‘I would like to see priority given to all major roads linking the provinces to the capital in order to facilitate to speedy and efficient movement of people and goods’.

The famous K2 billion Mansa/Luwingu/Kasama Road which links Luapula Province to Nothern Province, there is no reason why this road cannot be tarred this time around. The former Republican President, Dr F. J. T. Chiluba kept promising that before his first term of Office expires, he would personally ensure that this road is tarred. Mr F. J. T. Chiluba ensured that during the second tenure of office this road is not even improved by allowing money meant for this road to be diverted to a sham MMD convention for the party to endorse his Third Term dream.

Mr Chairman, K7.5 billion has been reported to have been spent on the Mansa/Luwingu/Kasama Road during the year 2001. All MMD Members of Parliament for Luapula and Nothern provinces can bear witness. Can the kind of grading that was done from Kasama to Luwingu gobble K7.5 billion? In this year’s Budget only K4 billion has been allocated to this road, yet the Government has signed a contract of K106 billion with Sable Transport and Construction to tar this road for a period of twenty-four months.

The Public Investment Programme for the period 2001 to 2003 is showing that only K11 billion has been allocated. May the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning clarify where the balance of K95 billion will come from since it is not estimated for.

Mr Chairman, the people of Lupososhi have one major problem. The Lupososhi River is a major obstacle to the people of this area. The hon. Deputy Minister who was the area Member of Parliament in 1991 to 1996 knows about this problem. There have been many assurances by the Government for the past thirty-eight years to have a bridge constructed across the Lupososhi River at Kasaba. But all these have been empty promises. I appeal to the New Deal administration to seriously consider constructing a bridge at Kasaba.

Sir, the President pronouncement of free education up to Grade 7 is only ascribing the highest level of education poor Zambian will attain. Bursaries for Grade 8 and 9 for vulnerable children to cater for school requirements will not offer tangible solution. There are pupils who have been placed under bursaries in the past years who have stopped school because Government has failed to sustain them. The best solution is free education from Grades 1 to 12 and bursaries for the vulnerable at college and university levels.

Sir, Constituency Development Fund has been greatly abused by the MMD in the past ten years, and has been treated like party money. In January this year the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing released K30 million to Lupososhi Constituency. The District Administrator, the Council Chairman, Council Secretary, MMD Lupososhi Constituency cadres held a meeting and decided to share this money without the knowledge of the area Member of Parliament who is me.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr E. M. M. Musonda: The CDF guidelines as per circular from the Secretary to the Cabinet are clear. Money was paid to a supplier by the name of Kalebwe purporting that goods were supplied but in actual fact not.

The purported supplier cashed cheques amounting to K20 million to the former area Member of Parliament of Lupososhi and MMD cadres. The District Administrator obtained K3million for the purposes of repairing unknown vehicle.

Mr Chairman, the New Deal Government has emphasised on accountability and transparency and yet party cadres continue to embezzle public funds and are left scot- free. Mr Chairman, I would like to know from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing where the District Administrator for Luwingu, Council Secretary and Council Chairman, MMD Lupososhi cadres and former area Member of Parliament drew the authority to access funds for personal gain.

Lastly, Sir, I would like to urge President Mwanawasa not to spend time studying for a doctorate at State House at the expense of delivering services to the Zambians. The two former Presidents did this and Zambia become poorer as each of them obtained a doctorate.


Mr E. M. M. Musonda: At the end of their tenure of office, each had a reason to advance for him to continue ruling. The first former President claimed he was the only one experienced to rule because he had a wamuya ya ya doctorate. The second former President also claimed he had unfinished programmes doctored and required a further term to rule Zambia. This should not be so with the current President. The President should leave when time is due.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda (Kapoche): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on the Vote of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare.

Sir, I stand to support the Vote and add that community development like we deliberated the Ministry of Labour and Social Security yesterday is a ministry that has been relegated almost to the rear. It is like most of us have not seen the importance of this ministry. I would like to put it on record that the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare is as important as other ministries that we have been targeting to be big ministries. Why do I say so?

I think all of us come from different social settings that are called communities and within which we have people of different backgrounds. It is those backgrounds that together form a community and a people. It is out of that that we are able to say that we are servicing the people in this or that manner. This is where our Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare comes in.

I am very much amused with the word ‘development’.

How do we develop our own communities? I think this is where we are all supposed to come in and support the efforts of this ministry. I realise that there are components of culture, social welfare and social security.

In the five years that I have been a loafer, from 1996 to the time I came to Parliament, I had been one of those who worked very closely with the community in the area of health. And that is why I have come to understand what community is. Community is the people. Community is actually what forms Zambia. Therefore, there is need to help develop our own communities.

I want to look into the area of culture, culture in the sense of performing acts.

Mr Sichilima interjected.

Mr C. R. Banda: Well whatever you want to call it. If you want the “L” to be heard, that is Mbala English.


Mr Sibetta: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda: In the area of performing artists, we are looking at musicians, traditional performances, traditional ceremonies in rural areas and we are also looking at the same items here in town.

We heard it from our founding President, Dr Kaunda when he was still in State House, he said, “A nation without culture is a dead nation”.

Hon. UNIP Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda: This is where we must lay a lot of emphasise in supporting the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare.

For example, artists have not been serviced fully. This is so because there has not been a deliberate policy to protect their talent. Look at our musicians in Zambia today. Our musicians are beggars and we do not even want to associate with them. We want to watch them from afar because when they become too close to you, everyday they will be coming begging or asking you to help them in this or that way. And yet they have got abundant talent that they can sell if there was a deliberate policy to allow them trade in their talent.

The same goes to our friends who are performing artists. And I am one of those who have been on the stage from 1965 when I was a boy. I have always performed…

Mr Sichilima: You are still a boy!

Mr C. R. Banda: It depends on how old you are. I might be a boy or you might be my colleague or I might even be older than you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Or you could be the father!

Mr C. R. Banda: I might even be a friend of your father.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda: I have been an artist on stage for some time and I am one of those who have helped to build drama on radio and television. But what I have seen is that our artists receive a raw deal. There has not been any attention paid to them. One of them is here, Hon. Given Lubinda, he is a very good and promising artist but there is nothing that he has gained out of it. Where as, if there were a deliberate policy, I am pretty sure that our musicians would have been very proud people. Music abroad is a business because governments support it.

In my time as a loafer, I was a bit lucky that I traveled to Cameroon where I found that the Government there has a deliberate policy to support local talents. If you go to Cameroon today, they have got their own music, which they have developed, called Mbikusi. Whether you like it or not on television and radio you are forced to listen and love that music. It is their music that they want to promote and they want to sell it.

I was lucky that I was in Tanzania and it is the same there. I made a collection from there. I was in Sudan, I was lucky to collect their music and that is the music that their Government is supporting. It is the same in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The same applies to drama. For example, the film called Neria. Everybody here in Zambia wants to buy that tape, why can you produce your own Neria?

Hon. Government Members: Kabanana!

Mr C. R. Banda: Not that!


Mr C. R. Banda: That has just come in today. Where have you sold your Kabanana?


Mr C. R. Banda: Where did you sell it? And yet everybody wants to own a Neria tape or Sarafina tape. Everybody wants to own Nigerian films here. You have been to South Africa, how many people have told you that want to buy Kabanana tapes?


Mr C. R. Banda: You put money aside and develop…

Mr Sichilima: Face the Chair!

Mr C. R. Banda: … culture so that people should be able to envy our culture, for instance, our production in music and the film industry.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda: We need that!

Mr Chairman, we want to appeal to the “New Deal” Government that they should not copy from the “New Culture” administration, which did nothing. If you want to succeed, start now.

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

Mr C. R. Banda: Charity begins at home and that charity will begin with community development, especially in the area of culture. That is the only way you will be identified when you go out as a Zambian. They will know you because of your good music or your good art, like we envy the Nigerians, Zimbabweans or South Africans. That can be done. For the “New Deal’ Government to succeed, let us see that we are doing these things. We must be practical and help. Avoid just lending the word but we must be action-oriented. I am pleading on behalf of our musicians because they are born and die very poor. The hon. Minister here is asking me to remind the House that he is one of the musicians who have not gained in that area, Dr Katele Kalumba.


Mr C. R. Banda: He has not been supported. He is one of the musicians. And since you are in that Government, help so that we can develop our culture. Our musicians should benefit from their talents. Our performing artists should also benefit from their talents.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: Order!

I beg you to be brief and to the point. That way, a lot of you will contribute and we shall achieve a lot.

Mr L. L. Phiri: No repeating!

Mr Nakalonga (Chikankata): Thank you, Mr Chairman, this is indeed a very wide ministry. I believe the hon. Minister herself will have to do a lot to understand what is involved in there. However, with constraint of time, I am trying to go to certain areas, which I have picked. The first one is that of farmer support.

Last year there was K32 billion, and I am glad the hon. Minister who started this programme is here, Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba. This programme was a very exciting programme but the way vulnerable but viable farmers were picked, was not transparent enough. I believe this time around, although the money has been reduced so much to only K10 billion, but I feel that this is a very important programme in terms of poverty reduction. So, Madam Minister, you have got to revisit this and you have got to see the people who are going to be picked this time around.

I know that last year there was a lot of political interference because the MMD that time being in campaign gear wanted to win the support from the people, but this was not the intention. This was loan money, borrowed from outside to the tune of US$8 million, and the payment will be by all Zambians. So, it should not be partisan in terms of who should benefit.

On the NGO policy, I have not much to say since it is catered for and we hope you are going to follow it up.

Then on the point of the disabled, I have seen three related codes, there is money for Zambia Agency for the Disabled – K1.8 billion, there is National Trust Centre – K46 million, and there is National Trust Fund for Disabled – K369 million. When you look at this and when we look at how many disabled people are roaming the streets, I believe a lot can be achieved.

Madam Minister, we have got so many people mainly concentrated in Lusaka. Let us have tangible programes where these people can be taught skills that can help them earn a living instead of them begging around the streets. It is a programme that should be taken seriously and I believe more money should have been given on this one. It will help decongest our streets of beggars.

There are micro banks trust MBT, Sir. This is another way of reducing poverty in the country. Sir, this K52 million is nothing, there are many micro institutions now in the country but money is not easy to come by. At times you find these organisations after the first circle of lending they fold up because of the poor recovery rates.

Mr. Chairman, I believe that there should be enough training and then MBT helping to reach out and not give money only here in Lusaka. Let them go out in the rural areas where the majority of the people are. There are a lot of macro lending institutions here in Lusaka, please, do not give money to those who are in Lusaka. Let them go rural.

Mr. Chairman, then there is this PUSH programme, money has been given, something like K38 million. Again this programme is concentrated in Lusaka. Please, let us go out to other provinces as well. I admit this has been of great help here because we have a concentration of people who are out of employment. All those people who are being off loaded from the privatisation programme have nothing to do while waiting for their money and as such they tend to be involved in this one where you find women looking after their families because their husbands are out of employment. I give credit to those women. So, this programme should be spread throughout the country.

We have money tocare for the aged – K75 million. I feel that this money is not enough. We have a lot of old unemployed people in the country now. I am appealing to the Ministry allocate to more money next year. There is a lot of suffering for the aged, we do not have a lot of centres. I only know of Livingstone, Ndola and perhaps, the one in Matero and Chawama. Please, let these centres be opened throughout the country to help the aged. We have a lot of aged people who are destitutes because as they have no one to look after them due to the pandemic of HIV/AIDS. Please, let us have more money and let this money spread throughout the country.

Mr. Chairman, we have the Matero After Care – K32 million. Sir, this money is nothing. We have the International Year for the Family that we have given K27 million against of K32 million. This other money will be used to look after people as the International Year of the Family is for celebration. I know what happens. If there is a way, let us move this money to where the mouth is instead of using it for celebrations.

Mr. Chairman, we have street kids, there is nothing tangible happening in the country to help look after these people. The number is swelling and the amount of K208 million is nothing. I think we need more money as this is a serious problem which Zambians should tackle with the seriousness it deserves. Mr. Chairman, I will end here to give chance to other hon. Members to contribute to this debate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr. Kabaghe (Matero): Mr. Chairman, I rise to contribute to the debate on this very important Vote.

This Ministry is just as important as any other Ministry and, in fact, if you put them together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, the two are the engine of development of this country. I realise that, in fact, my colleague the hon. Member for Chikankata had mentioned that last year, that had they embarked on a very ambitious and progressive programme to support farmers both in peri-urban and rural areas. This was in the tune of K32 billion. In conjunction with the programme against malnutrition PAM, they did a commendable job throughout the country. And they targeted themselves to small vulnerable farmers, especially in rural areas.

Mr. Chairman, they secured seed and fertilizer timely and distributed the same to the best of their ability.

Hon. Member: That should have been in Matero only.

Mr. Kabaghe: I commend them for a job well done.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr. Kabaghe: I really would have thought that this programme should, in fact, have been expanded. Unfortunately instead of increasing support to this programme, it has now been reduced from K32 billion to K10 billion. I am sure the Minister will have to give us reasons for that reduction. Maybe part of that will be included in the CMA, that is the crop marketing authority.

Mr. Chairman, this programme also emphasised crop diversification. For the first time in our rural areas, there was emphasis on growing cassava, sweet potatoes, millet and sorghum. I think this is the beginning for us to do the right things in agriculture and I really would like to see this programme revitalised. If there is a way of supporting this programme, I urge this Houseto do so.

Having said that, Sir, I am also concerned. I do know that the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is the custodian of our cultural heritage, more so when it comes to traditional ceremonies because this is the most significant thing that we have in rural areas and, indeed, in urban areas too. But K116 million for all traditional ceremonies in this country is a mockery. This is what is in the Budget. Last year, it was a K100 million. I happened to be a serious member of my own traditional ceremony and last year we got K500,000 for this particular programme and I do know that some other traditional ceremonies do not get anything at all. So I urge that there should be a lot of emphasis in the area of traditional ceremonies because this is all we can show the international world that we Zambians are proud of.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to end by, indeed, thanking the Minister of Finance and National Planning for having allocated although small, K32 million to my Constituency and that is the Matero After Care Centre. I also recognise the sentiments raised by the hon. Member for Chikankata who said that the amount is small but I think it is better than nothing at all. So, I thank the Minister of Finance for having put in this Budget K32 million for my constituency.

I thank you.

Mr. Sichilima (Mbala): Mr. Chairman, I thank you for affording me this chance to contribute to the debate on the Vote. Sir, I promise that I will be very brief.

Mr. Chairman, most of the points I wanted to raise have already been by my colleagues who spoke before me. I will just offer some solutions because most hon. Members who spoke before me were just busy condemning the Government instead of offering solutions.


Mr. Sichilima: Mr. Chairman, this is the problem. When I am debating, you do not want to listen. Some of you have been repeating the same things that I am talking about here. Sir, I would like to support this Vote. Sir, first of all I would like to look at the welfare of musicians. Sir, year in year out, we have been talking about musicians welfare but we have not offered solutions on how they can keep up.

Mr. Chairman, I want to suggest to the hon. Minister here that, perhaps, we can have a deliberate policy that we identify managers because this is a career and we are talking of employing people. This is a career through talent. So, the hon. Minister should identify managers because this is what these people are lacking. Our colleagues in developed countries, for instance, in the United Kingdom, are well managed so much that in case somebody retires

from singing, he will still live a comfortable life on money from his music. I would like to urge the hon. Minister to look at this and see what can be done. Some of our musicians do not even own a house but every evening, they are busy singing and making money. If the hon. Minister moved in, the managers would look at even contracts which some of us musicians are involved in. The singers are just so desperate such that they go to sing for peanuts when their talent is so expensive.

Mr Chairman, art is another aspect that need management. Zambian artist are so gifted. I want to appeal to the hon. Minister to go to the Ministry of Lands and find land somewhere where we can have galleries so that these people can take their products for exhibition year in and out instead of them advertising their products at a particular time. We must be seeing these products everyday so that we see what they are producing. Then we will be able to market them properly.

Sir, on Kacholo (culture) …


Hon. Opposition Members: Quality! Hammer!

Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairman, I want to remind my colleagues here that we have a very big role to play. Let us not just blame the Government. I am saying this in relation to street children.

Sir, we have heard and seen on television and other media about this problem. Elsewhere, this problem is much bigger than us The contributing factor here is the loss of direction in terms of culture. Extended families have been damaged. So, I am sure, as hon. Members of Parliament, we need to go out in our constituencies. If you ask the names of some of these street children we are seeing here, they will tell you that they are Banda, Mwale, etc.


Mr Sichilima: We have these street children who have at least extended members of the family who can look after them. Some of these children are beautiful and energetic. They can be productive. It is only us that need to go back to our constituencies and remind our people that they can do something by picking one or two children. Most of these children were not even probably born in Lusaka, for instance, where it seems more alarming.

Mr Chairman, with regard to ceremonies, I think the hon. Minister needs to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and see if we can do something. Out of ceremonies, we can even earn the much needed foreign exchange if we market it properly.

Sir, I will for instance, talk about Kuomboka. I was so disappointed at one time when I was in Europe. A white man asked me about Kuomboka and I did not know anything about it.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Sichilima: So, I think we need a deliberate policy to start having holidays when these ceremonies are taking place. People should be allowed to go and see how Zambians live because they might be in similar boots like I was. I was very embarrassed. There are many ceremonies like, to mention a few, Umutomboko, Ukusefya pa Ng’wena, Nchwala and the Mutomolo which is so rich. I am inviting all of you to come to Mbala. We are having Mutomolo. You should come and see how the Mambwe and Lungu people live.

Mr Chairman, I therefore urge the hon. Minister to do a lot of advertisement. I am sure we can earn a lot of money.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Chairman, I thank you very much for according me this opportunity to contribute on this very important Vote.

I would like to narrow down my contribution to the issue of street kids. They are an embarrassment to this nation. It is an embarrassment in the sense that we currently do not have a straightforward policy designed by Government to sort out this problem. We would be most grateful to hear from the hon. Minister that she will come out with tangible solutions towards the street kids. We have the money allocated to the tune of K208 million but money is nothing without a clear-cut policy.

The other issue that is an embarrassment to the nation is the issue of beggars in the streets. They are an eye sore to our streets. They are not doing so deliberately. It is because the Government is not interested in their problems. These beggars have been roaming the streets in the last ten years. To date, we have not heard a clear-cut policy being put forward to the nation with the view of solving the problems of beggars.

We, therefore, would like to know whether the hon. Minister will come out with very clear policy regarding the beggars.

Sir, I would also like to touch on the issue of traditional ceremonies. We are very surprised that much as ceremonies bring foreign exchange to this country, we have only K100 million allocated to traditional ceremonies. And we have not received any allocation from the Government for this year’s Kuomboka ceremony that will be held on Thursday, 28th March 2002.

Hon. Government Member: Approve the Budget first!

Mr Imenda: We are struggling by scratching our pockets to make the ceremony a success because we have not received any allocation for it.

Mr Chairman, we would like to know from the hon. Minister how the monies that are made for these ceremonies are shared, ceremony by ceremony.

Sir, I also want to dwell on the issue of the provision of hammer mills to the needy. Much as we would love to avoid and perpetuate a policy of handouts, we would also like to solve the problem by providing hammer mills to the people that deserves to be helped. In that way, we will reduce the rate of giving handouts to whoever is involved.

I would also like to add one word or two on the issue of promotion of Zambian talents. Mr Chairman, Zambians have got massive talents in the area of music and other arts. They need to be assisted in this area. Unlike other countries, say - Congo, Mobutu Seseseko made a deliberate policy on promoting rhumba music by reducing the importation rate of music equipment country without slapping on duty. As a result, the rhumba music was promoted to international standards and has risen to levels where people are comfortable with the music from Congo.

Mr Chairman, we will also love to see a situation where the Zambian tradition, music and talent is promoted beyond our boundaries.

Thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga): Mr Chairman, I am grateful for the contributions that have been put forward by fellow hon. Members. Most of the answers are covered in my policy statement and I have noticed that emphasis has been on the street kids and culture.

Mr Chairman, I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to wind up debate on the Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare for the year, 2002.

Sir, there are a number of ongoing programmes aimed at poverty reduction and empowerment of the poor in the country whose impact has not been felt because of various factors, including poor funding and poor targeting of beneficiaries. It is my sincere hope, therefore, that the Highly Indebted Poor Initiative Countries (HIPC) will continue to avail resources for my ministry to successfully implement its programmes this year.

Mr Chairman, some of the programmes that my ministry supports which require sufficient resources to make greater impact on the target group include the following: the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS). This is a major safety net that mitigates the adverse effects of the economic reforms and impact of HIV/AIDS. This programme targets 2 per cent of the national population that is roughly 200,000 vulnerable persons. From the month of August, 2002, the programme received additional funding under the HIPC Initiative amounting to K2,060,000,000 which improved the release of K2,560,102,382 from the 2001 Budget provision. With increased funding, more persons will be reached under this programme, particularly with the implementation of the redesigned PWAS that places the responsibility of identifying beneficiaries to Community Welfare Assistance Committees.

Another safety net is the Food Management Scheme which focuses on enhanced food security, free food for work and human development by supplementary feeding of malnourished children, expectant mothers and other vulnerable groups both in urban and isolated rural areas. The continued inadequate funds for these programmes will have an effect on implementation of the GRZ/World Food Programme world wide.

On the African Housing Fund that helps communities to improve the quality of their houses, the ministry has made efforts to increase its contribution to the Fund compared to the year 2001. It is hoped that many more houses will be constructed during the course of the year. In addition, through this programme, beneficiaries engage in income generation activities for more household asset creation.

We have a non-formal educational skills training programme which aims at reducing the level of illiteracy in the country. There are a number of literacy providers, but my ministry continues to lead and facilitate this process. Funding to pay the literacy instructors and to produce adequate teaching and learning materials is critical to the success of this programme.

The Government supports cultural industries and associations through the National Arts Council. To this effect, may I inform this august House that we are sourcing funds to erect a cultural centre directly opposite the National Assembly Members’ Motel. Actually, for those who live around there, I think you have seen that we have started clearing.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: The funding to the National Arts Council is inadequate to support the growing number of cultural associations and artistes in this country.


Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: Mr Chairman, please, save me from the noise from the hon. Member for Chipangali.


Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: It is also envisioned that the additional resources will improve the performance of this programme.

The National Trust for the Disabled and Micro Bankers Trust provides micro-credit to vulnerable groups like women and the disabled. The programme is aimed at empowering women and persons with disabilities through provision of micro-credit. The demand for micro-credit is overwhelming and yet funding to the trust, like many other programmes, has been inadequate. With the establishment of forty-five district technical committees to spearhead the monitoring of the loanees, the repayment rates are likely to improve. May I say thank you to Hon. Kabaghe for supporting the increase in funding.

The Micro Bankers Trust has also been restructured to enable it to directly reach the vulnerable but viably poor. Previously, the trust operated slowly through financial intermediaries. The trust has targeted 9,000 clients to benefit during the year 2002. The targeted food security programme for poor but viable farmers is being implemented through the Programme Against Malnutrition in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. A total number of 200,000 poor and vulnerable farmers benefitted from the food trust programme countrywide in 2001. The packs they received were in form of fertilisers and seed grown in the clients’ respective areas. The intention of the Government is to see that 600,000 vulnerable people graduate from dependence. We have a problem where people want to be dependent on the ministry throughout their lives and we are trying to make them self-reliant.

The Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities is also another safety net looking after the disabled people. The Government supports the activities of persons with disabilities in the country through this agency. The funding to the agency improved with K700 million received from the HIPC funds for this programme. It is anticipated that funding from HIPC will allow it commercialise its institution and support all the 29 legally registered associations of persons with disabilities with their poverty reduction programmes.

The Women development programmes whose aim is to empower women through participation in poverty reduction activities and Peri-Urban Self Help Programme (PUSH) will assist to improve the living conditions of the peri-urban poor through provision of temporary employment, training and improved sustainable basic services such as road network and drainage. A good example in Lusaka is Mandevu and …


Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: This programme has also improved effectively in creating communal assets at community level in addition to building capacities of communities to promote their own development and, therefore, promote poverty reduction. The programme has proved very effective in reducing diseases related to poor sanitary conditions in the areas where it is implemented, like cholera.

Mr Chairman, formulation of the poverty reduction strategy paper within the framework of the national poverty reduction action plan will assist the Government to mobilise the external resources for financing poverty reduction initiative. My ministry is actively participating in this process which has reached a very advanced stage.

Mr Chairman, it is gratifying to note that the Government, with the support of civil society and the citizenry in general, managed to lobby the international community for debt cancellation. It is the intention of the Government to spend funds freed by debt relief on poverty reduction programmes since poor funding has been identified as one of the major limitations to poverty reduction.

Mr Chairman, in conclusion, may I thank the hon. Members of this House who contributed to the debate on the Estimates of Expenditure for my ministry. I wish to say that I have taken note of their observations. But before I sit down, may I answer some of the queries.

With regard to the Macro-Bankers’ Trust, this statutory body has been restructured to target rural vulnerable communities. The former support programmes target vulnerable families as well. The reduction in the allocation is due to the limitation of the budget in terms of revenue. Orphans and vulnerable children, and street kids policy is in my office. The national consultation has been completed. May I also inform hon. Members that with street kids, it is not a very easy task to take them off the streets. In most cases, we have actually tried like just over the weekend about four or five girls were picked up and taken to the Matero Care Centre. After they had their meal, they decided to climb over the wall and ran back to the streets. Sometimes, when they become hard-core street kids, it is difficult to get them acclamatise to the normal family framework.

With regard to the Kuomboka Ceremony, it will be receiving funding through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Hon. Opposition Member: When are you funding them?

Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: We finance as and when a ceremony comes because I am sure there would be misappropriation if we released funds in advance.


Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: As a ministry, we have also released K1.4 million as a grant from the ministry towards the successful holding of the ceremony. But the Ministry of Finance and National Planning has also set aside some money for that ceremony as well.

Hon. Opposition Member: What about roads?

Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: Mr Chairman, will you remind the hon. Member that I am talking about community development and not roads.

In areas of performing arts, there has been a deliberate policy to support musicians. The National Arts Council was established in 1994 in order to provide quality leadership for artistic development in the visual, performing and literary arts. This ministry is committed to enhancing capacity in the National Arts Council in order to meet Government expectations. We will soon institute a new board to lead the National Arts Council to greater heights.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 45/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 4/01 – (Ministry of Health – Headquarters – K569,616,684,181).

Mr Samukonga (Chawama): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman, for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Ministry of Health.

Mr Chairman, my contribution will be mainly on the state of the hospitals in our country, especially the University Teaching Hospital. I deplore the conditions obtaining in our hospital especially, the University Teaching Hospital. I noticed from this year’s allocation that the Ministry of Health is one of those ministries that have received a lot of money amounting to K757 billion, making the sector probably the second largest allocation in this year’s Budget. However, even as Government continues to contribute a lot of money to this sector, the functional, operational aspects of our hospitals have not been addressed.

Mr Chairman, what I am trying to say is that the University Teaching Hospital, for instance, is one of the largest hospitals in the world. And yet there are no systems put in place to ensure that efficiency is attained. That hospital, Sir, needs to be computerised for it to operate effectively as a modern hospital.

Mr Chairman, we have heard about so much money being allocated to purchase of drugs, for instance, and the former Head of State (Dr Chiluba), for instance, is on record having accused nurses and other hospital staff, year in and year out of stealing of drugs. Yet we forget about investment in certain system that will make the operations of that hospital a lot efficient, because you cannot dispense drugs manually, Sir. It is very difficult. Mr Chairman, as that happens several other things are left unattended to. For instance, even the morgue at the University Teaching Hospital, the stench there is something that anyone can never stand.

Mr Chairman, what could have happened in the computerisation process that I am alluding to is that, a proper system or least system to address total solution of the functionality of the Hospital should have been put place. I offered, Sir, in my own private capacity as a patriot on one of my private visits to Cape Town, when I visited a patient who is a friend of mine there and we went to find out in which ward he was. By a stroke of button, we were told in which ward he was. By stroke of a button on the computer again, we were told that at that time he was to receive an injection and so, we could not disturb him. Then we were told that the doctor who was attending to him was in such an office. They gave us an office number and his name and then we were even told at what time we could be able to visit him.

Sir, I took interest and went round the hospital to try and actually verify how that system worked. I discovered that, it could show the number of doctors on duty at a particular time, it could show the amount of medicines, different medicines in each department at a particular time. It could also show the number of deaths that occured at a certain time. It could show literally everything. As a great patriot to my country and hence brought in these people and introduced them the Minister of Health. We were very well received at that time and at our own expense, we actually invited the Director of UTH and his  I T experts to tour the hospitals in Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg to see how this system works. The report was given to that effect and the pilot project was then installed at the filter clinic at UTH. The necessary approvals were done. But when we started fighting the Third Term debate, they heard that I was involved and they cancelled the whole thing.


What a shame, Mr Chairman.

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame! {mospagebreak}

Mr Samukonga: Because I would have thought that we had used our own initiative as Zambians. I had introduced a very good system which could have worked for the UTH and save a lot of lives. Investing in that system, Sir, would have meant efficiency on the part of the operations of ……

Business was suspended from 1615 hours to 1630 hours

Mr Samukonga: Thank you, once again. Mr Chairman to cut my speech short, what I was trying to say is that we need to invest in our hospitals in terms of system. These days in E-commerce, E-business, we cannot afford to remain behind and use stone age sort of system in order to manage our hospitals, that cannot work, especially at UTH. This has to be applicable to all the major hospitals in the country, Sir. The system that I alluded to would  have cost this Government only $1.5 million. Yet the benefits that could have accrued are immense because the deficiency that could have been put in place could have cut down tremendously on operational costs.

Mr Chairman, you may wish to know that these people were actually ready to source financing for themselves. All they needed was Government guarantee, and then they could have been paid over a five-year period of time. That opportunity was lost because of politicking, because of looking at sides, this one belongs to that side, this one belongs to this side at the expense of our own country.

Mr Chairman, the second point I want to make is about the sending of patients to South Africa for the so-called specialised treatment. Sir, I wish the Government to explore this in more detail and come up with alternative way of attending to our patients, especially those who are terminally ill. This system of sending patients to South Africa has become so fashionable. In fact, it has been turned into something like a holiday for Ministers and their relatives. What happens many a time is that somebody, maybe, has flue, and recommended because that somebody is close to the permanent Secretary, they recommend that this person be flown to South Africa for specialist treatment. Those of us who go down there, you find them just shopping in the moles there and they are not even attending to the patient At times three, four people could accompany one patient at a very great cost to the Zambian Government. That must stop.

Sir, what we need to do is to invest in modern hospitals ourselves. A lot of our co- operating partners are willing to join ranks with us and invest here in Zambia. We have a lot of land. We could come up with specialised hospitals in cancerous diseases and other diseases like HIV/AIDS and leprosy. But we have forgone that sort of vision and investment and just doing short-term quick fixed measurement of sending patients to South Africa. This in the long-term, Sir, is very costly to us.

So, I am available to talk to the Minister of Heath if he wishes to pursue this project further and I can give him some ideas how to go about it.

In conclusion, Sir, this business of sending patients to South Africa has become rather too corrupt.

What criteria, for instance, is used to send people to South Africa? You have to be a relative to a Minister or someone in high standing of society. I know one of my colleagues in the Opposition had his child sent to South Africa for specialist treatment but during the run up to the elections last year, they curtailed the funding to that child who almost died. He had to run around to fundraise here and there in order to keep that child in the hospital. We also heard that some Permanent Secretaries had even opened agencies to supply quotations for those going for specialist treatment to South Africa and those quotations, I would not be surprised if they were inflated.

So, the whole system now has become corrupt and we would like to put in place a criteria to govern how one qualifies to go for the specialist treatment to South Africa. While at the same time, investing in our own specialized hospitals as a long- term measure so that eventually this system of sending people to South Africa stops. They are laughing at us, Sir, and asking us whether we have no hospitals in our country. Yet we have got, only that we have not invested in them.

So, Sir, I wish to thank you and that is my humble contribution to this Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lungu (Lundazi): Mr Chairman, I note with appreciation the fact that the provision under the Ministry of Health of over K575 billion seems to be quite adequate and, Sir, this is one ministry where if it were possible, we would have advocated for even more funds.

Mr Chairman, I want to zero in on the problems that we in Lundazi face. Sir, you may wish to know that Lundazi has a total population of about 250,000 people and all these are serviced from the Lundazi District Hospital. Some two years back, there was an attempt to make an extension to the hospital. This extension has not been completed, it has remained uncompleted for the past two or three years and since I arrived, I have been inundated with a lot of calls saying, ‘Please help us to bring the plight of this hospital to the attention of the authorities”. So, I hope hon. Minister, you can assist us in finding a workable solution as there is an extension already and the reason is that the current building cannot contain the influx of patients. If you visit the male, female and children’s wards, you will find that on each bed, you have about five or four children and the same happens in the male and female wards. Others are put on the floor only to show that actually the workload at the hospital is very heavy.

So, I appeal to you hon. Minister and the Government in general to do something about this. The people at the hospitals, the doctors, nurses and other support staff are doing their best under these difficult circumstances. I am sure that if you armed them adequately, helped them with the input they require in discharging their responsibilities, they would do much greater work.

Mr Chairman, we have two other clinics within the district; Kapichila and Mwase clinics but the problems we have in these areas is that they lack radio communication with the District Hospital. So, when you have people who are sick, it is very difficult to take them to the hospital, in particular that they also lack ambulances. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister, again, to look into the possibility of making ambulances available at these clinics, even at the district hospital itself, it is very difficult to take patients to the hospital.

I wish at this point, Sir, to commend the hospital staff for the greater efforts they are putting in assisting these patients in the district.

With those few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: (Katuba): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to say a few words on this Vote.

I will start by saying that a nation needs health and a healthy nation is a nation which can withstand all types of challenges. The Ministry of Health has to be supported and I am proud to say that we have got a vibrant Minister who is good at ideas. A Minister who we feel, with a lot of support, is going to help this nation move forward.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! New Deal!

Mr Shakafuswa: I give credit to the New Deal Government but let us not forget, hon. Members, that when you fight your doctors or when you do not have a listening ear to your medical personnel, then you are saying that you do not want a healthy nation. What happens when doctors ask for medicines, equipment, they were almost put into prisons, sent home while others even crossed the borders to go into neighbouring countries which is very embarrassing.

The nation, out of the meager resources, had gone to great pains to train doctors so that they can save lives of our citizens. But when they say that they want equipment or medicines to look after the nation, we should think that they are trying to fight us or think that they are being political. The number of Zambians who died at the height of the impasse between the doctors and Government has to be accountable.

Someone has to account for those deaths because they could have been saved and you cannot use the health or lives of the people as bait to your political ends. We need a political will. We have got certain diseases which are manageable, look at malaria. It is a killer disease more than what we are talking about, AIDS. We are putting most of our resources into HIV/AIDS programmes than looking at what is killing most of our people, malaria. And this disease can be prevented and the prevention course of malaria is very cheap. chloroquine costs K1000 and fancida maybe, about K2000 but we have got our citizens who, because of the economic situations have been put in an open space.

They cannot even afford K1000, is the life of our citizens worth that money? Why can we not have a deliberate policy whereby we can do away with Malaria? We can use a cheaper method by spraying the areas the are vulnerable to malaria or put up prevention programmes. The type of malaria coming from East Africa is chloroquine resistant and we all know that the only way we can conquer it is by using fanscida as the first course. We know all this, but if you look at, especially us poor guys from rural areas and if you happen to go to the rural area for a funeral where someone died due to malaria because he could not afford to buy the medicine, you would be amazed to find that instead he had gone to a witchdoctor. Maybe, it is Levy Mumba to bewitch that person.


Mr Shakafuswa: No, it is not fair and we have got examples of people who have had a political will. Cuba started off as an underdeveloped country and since they had a political will, Cuba is one the healthiest nation in the world and more than the developed nations in the world. Why? It is because they had a political will. They had their people at heart. What they did, they had a deliberate investment into health and looked into the health problems their country was facing and at the end of the day, they invested into those programmes and today Cuba is one of the healthiest countries.

A doctorate course in Zambia takes seven years. They cut their courses short. Today Cuba is exporting doctors. We have Cuban doctors here and Angola has Cuban doctors. We spend seven years at great expenses, but after spending all those years, we cannot look after our doctors.

Mr Chairman, if you look after your teacher, your policeman and your doctor, you have a nation moving forward. It is better you do not even look after your politicians because at the end of the day, they just talk, but there are people who are working to keep the nation alive, informed and policed. We ought to have values and I hope the New Deal Government is going to come up with measures that are going to help our nation forge forward.

Mr Chairman, there is an administrative problem. The procurement of drugs. We know of permanent secretaries who have become dollar millionaires because of dubious deals. Look at the allocation the Ministry of Health has received! It is second to none, but at the end of the day, drugs go into private clinics. That problem is administrative. Are we saying that we should privatise the University Teaching Hospital and the Central Board of Health? No. I urge the hon. Minister and I know, with his military background, he knows how to discipline and put people straight. Let us have an administrative system that is going to ensure that the drugs the nation is paying for, at great cost, are accounted for. Let us have a system that will ensure that the drugs we buy for our nation go to our nationals so that we help them come out of the suffering they are facing now.

It is shameful, you go to a hospital, you pay a fee but there is no doctor and there is no medicine, you die. When your relatives come to get your body, they have to pay mortuary fees. Would it not have been better if they had just kept you at home to avoid costs. They take you to a hospital hoping that they are going to save a life. At the end of the day, they incur a cost to pay the mortuary attendant and to bring the body back to your village. What service are we paying for? Let us not politicise health because you might be a Minister or Jonas Shakafuswa, Member of Parliament for Katuba, but at the end of the day, we have our people and our country, Zambia, to look after. So, hon. Minister, you have a mammoth task. Let us ensure that we do not concentrate health institutions in urban areas. In my area, in about twenty kilometre radius, we do not have a hospital. People have to travel about thirty to forty kilometres to come to Chingwele Clinic. They are Zambians and I do not have to come and kneel down to you or to anyone or to appease anyone politically to show them that those people are Zambians. We should know that we have a country and if we have the country’s interests at heart, let us do something. We do not need a Member of Parliament to come to this House and say there is no clinic or anything else in my area because we have statistics. That is why so much money is going to census so that at the end of the day, they would tell us what facilities our people have and what the population is.

So, it does not need a Member of Parliament to come to this House and say, ‘my people do not have this’, no. That is why you are a Minister. That is why I am walking and you have a ministerial vehicle. You have an office, use that so that at the end of the day, we can say, ‘Oh, because of the vehicle he has, the Government fuel he is using and the office he is using, he is working. Let us look after our people and at the end of the day, you will go in the annals of history as people who helped the nation forge ahead, than people who just went there to milk.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Situmbeko (Senanga): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Ministry of Health.

Mr Chairman, the Ministry of Health is a strategic ministry. It requires leaders who are committed, dedicated and humble, like the hon. Minister who has been placed there. I have been observing him since he came here and his behaviour is that of a Minister, not of a cadre.


Mr Situmbeko: Those are the people we want to run this country. Mr Chairman, any government that comes, should ensure that health centres are left out of politics. There is no need to bring politics to undermine the lives of the people. That ministry must be so dedicated because it looks after your lives there and us here, including myself. So, to politicise it, is fighting against God’s wishes who brought us unto this earth.

So, Mr Chairman, political interference from the MMD cadres, whether they are constituency or district chairmen, should be out in this New Deal Government. Hon. Minister, write a letter forbidding these cadres from frustrating your workers in health institutions, let them be free because if a person who is working at the ministry is frustrated and you bring him to administer an injection, he will do it vice-versa. Instead of putting the needle, he will put a syringe.

Mr Chairman, I am requesting the hon. Minister to give guidelines to the directors of his boards. The Government is spending a lot of money educating our young boys and girls to undertake medical courses, but when these young boys and girls graduate, even those who graduated in 2000 and 2001, have not yet been employed. What is the use of wasting Government resources and yet in hospitals and clinics, there are shortages of manpower? Hon. Minister, make sure that  the directors of your boards in the Ministry of Health should have an administrative vision of recruiting both male and female nurses six months before they complete their courses so that we no longer have a shortage of nurses in hospitals.

Mr Chairman, we have a scenario whereby there is an acute shortage of medicines and nurses in clinics. The Government is making efforts to provide this ministry with enough money, as it has done this time, and the ministry acquires medicine which is sent to all clinics. Because of this disease called corruption, get rich quickly, this medicine finds itself in private surgeries. Why should this continue like when we have a Government? This should be the work of the Office of the President to investigate any institution where they are placed to find out the culprits who are selling medicines to private surgeries. Their job is not to run elections, no. Their job is to investigate malpractices that are going on to frustrate Government efforts in looking after its people. This should be the work of the Office of the President.

Mr Chairman, this country is faced with a lot of corruption in the sense that we are even bringing corruption in the lives of our people. Hon. Ministers should not make empty promises about salary increments of 100 per cent without getting the support from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. If a Minister pronounces that nurses have been given a100 per cent increase in salary and that is not fulfilled - where is that Minister going to get the money if the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has not sanctioned the increase of that salary?

What I know is that the Minister of Labour should be the one to announce any salary increments after consultations with Cabinet have been approved by the President and authorised by hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. It is not for the hon. Minister to just woke up and tell people he has increased the salary of nurses. What do you thing about other ministries? Are they going to sit idle and wait for nurses to be awarded a salary increase of 100 per cent? No, they will also demand to be awarded the same. But where are you going to get the money?

This is the scenario that brought that strike that took one month. That Minister, if I was in that position of President, should have been sacked and would never have come back to Parliament.


Mr Situmbeko: … because he has really dishonoured the presidency and the people of Zambia. That strike saw a lot of lives lost. Many pregnant women lost their children. Some aborted because there was no one to attend to them. Now, why keep such a kind of Minister in the Government? You even promote him.


Mr Situmbeko: What is that for?

Mr Chairman, time has come and I think and agree with the President who said that he is going to delink State House from the Judicial, Legislature and from all the arms of the Government. Let these arms function on their own. If State House is not delinked from these functionaries, they will never function because they will fear that it is an employing agent for those people.

So, I pray and ask the hon. Minister to be firm. No medicine should be taken from the clinics and hospitals to private surgeries or else ban all these private surgeries which take these medicine. You will see that this country will have enough medicine to cater for these people.

I thank you, Sir.

The Chairman: I advise that we should be brief and to the point so that many of you can contribute. Right now all of you are talking and you know that time is not with us. I am sorry, I am calling upon the hon. Minister of Health to windup debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Mr Chairman, I would like to thank all hon. Members of this august House who have so far contributed to the performance of my ministry. I take their comments and observations seriously. I do have some answers because some of these questions arise out of lack of information.

Sir, before I comment specifically on the issues raised on the Floor in light of what I have said, I will start as follows.

Mr Chairman, Zambia unfortunately, has a high burden of diseases. The challenge faced by my ministry is the vicious cycle of poverty and ill health. The increase of burden of disease in the country has been attributed mainly to diseases of poverty which are diarrhoea, malnutrition, anemia, malaria, as has been mentioned, tuberculosis and HIVAIDS. These diseases have contributed to a high death rate.

The second issue is one of the financing gap in our resources. Admittedly, in this budget the Ministry of Health has a handsome allocation from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. That as it may appear, Mr Chairman, still leaves a gap in our financing in the health sector. In the past, therefore, there has been a discrepancy between what it would take us to provide an acceptable basic health care package and availability of human and financial resources.

Thirdly, Mr Chairman, on the much talked about shortage of drugs and other medical supplies, it is true, that we have had persistent shortage of drugs and other surgical supplies. The problem has further been compounded by, as I have mentioned. an increased disease burden such that we have more and more sick people – adults and children.

Furthermore, there is an issue that is rarely talked about and that is the diagnostic services. Due to poor diagnostic services such as X-ray and laboratory facilities, doctors are forced to practice what we call poly-pharmacy. Meaning that they will make the best possible diagnosis. So, because they have not had the help of investigations they will prescribe two, three or four drugs. This has compounded further to the shortage of drugs in our health institutions.

Sir, as has been stated, there is definitely a shortage of health workers. First of all this was made worse by the voluntary separation. Our nurses were not sure of their future so they opted to voluntarily retire so that they could get a package to better their lives. Secondly, as Zambia is not an island, our health workers continue to migrate to greener pastures.

This has contributed to low staff morale. We have to be honest with ourselves. There has been a high attrition of health workers through the dreaded HIV/AIDS disease. We live in the same community and, therefore, are affected equally.

Sir, there has also been the question of quality of care. When one considers what I have stated above, it cannot, therefore, be a surprise that the quality of care in our health institutions is not to the expectations. I talked about the financial gap that what we consider as the basic requirement for our patients, is not met because it is either, there is a shortage of staff or we do not have the financial resources to buy the necessary drugs.

We have also noticed that we have an ineffective referral system due to poor transport and radio communication system where, for instance, a correct diagnosis has been made the patient requires further treatment at higher levels, transport, in many cases, is not available.

Sir, thirdly, there are instances were we do no have sufficient skills at various levels to look after the sick.

Mr Chairman, as if this is not enough, it is very clear that we have a very poor infrastructure. Most of our rural health centres have been dilapidated and require urgent repairs.

These are issues that are of major concern to the Ministry of Health. And I would like to promise this august House that we should do our very best. A solution to a problem, Mr Chairman, starts with analysing that problem. The question, therefore, is what measures have we put in place to respond to these challenges? Measures to the increase of disease burden in light of persistent drug shortages.

Having analysed the increased disease burden, we, last year, floated tenders for TB drugs, anti-malarial, sexually transmitted diseases, infections and other essential drugs, financed by a World Bank loan and the Government of the Republic of Zambia Budget. These drugs have started arriving in the country. In fact, they started arriving by the end of last month.

The other aspect has been the provision of rural health and community health kits. The rural health centre kits and community health kits, I must say, have been a success in our story of health reforms. We largely continue to have difficulties in hospitals, the situation in rural health centres and community health posts has not been as bad. Tenders too, Mr Chairman, have been placed to have these drugs to supplement what Government has put in the budget.

To go further, Mr Chairman, on the framework of good funding mechanism, specifically, for the procurement of drugs, we shall have what we call a ‘drug basket’. A basket into which funds will be put in order to procure essential drugs. This provision has been made for the year 2002 to 2005.

Mr Chairman, my address would not be complete if I did not mention something about pilferage. It is true, Mr Chairman, that when we do have drugs, some of these drugs do find themselves in unauthorised outlets. However, there are instances in our health institutions when there is nothing to pilfer. If you do not have any drugs, there is no way you can steal anything. So, it is unfair to wholesomely condemn and state that health workers are stealing these drugs. I think it is most unfair. I am the first one to admit that there are instances in some institutions where this is happening.

We have mechanisms to monitor the pharmaceutical industry and really our role is to account for the drugs that are given to our institutions. We have the Drug Enforcement Commission; this really should be their role. What my Deputy Minister of Health started is really as a catalyst so that statutory bodies that are empowered to look after the proper usage of drugs start working.

There is a question of motivation of health workers. It is true, Mr Chairman, that our health workers are motivated, particularly doctors and nurses. The Ministry of Health has put in place a plan to provide car loans, Mr Chairman, because I believe that transport for a doctor is not a luxury. They work awkward hours and, therefore, we have put a mechanism where this year we will work very hard in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to provide car loans to medical doctors.

There was a question of increase in salaries. Mr Chairman, it is true that last year we put in a mechanism for salary increment ranging from thirteen per cent to 100 per cent. In fact, in some cases over 100 per cent. I must admit, Sir, that there were anomalies in the awarding of these salaries and the ministry is working to rectify these.

The second phase, as you will see, in order to improve the morale of health workers, is what has been provided for in the budget; the construction of accommodation for medical and health workers in rural areas. There is a budgetary allocation of K18 billion towards this project.

The Ministry of Health has developed conditions of service for health board employees, subject to delinkage of our staff from the civil service arrangement. We cannot have two systems, in the same industry until this is done we shall continue to have problems in remuneration and conditions of service.

In terms of shortage of medical personnel, we have produced a ten-year plan; Human Resource Development Plan, and we hope this, in the long run, will improve the availability of health workers in our institutions.

With regard to infrastructure development, it is clear, as it can be seen from the budget, there is a provision for upgrading of rural health centres. Any rural health centre that has a population of 10,000 is entitled to have a rural health centre that has a ten-bed capacity. Now, hon. Members, it is not feasible to have a hospital in each constituency, it is practically impossible. The best we can do is to upgrade those rural health centres to be able to treat the most common diseases effectively and efficiently.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: The question of transportation and communication in general is a real one. The Ministry of Health has on order seventy-two utility vehicles to cater for each district in the country. There are seventy-two health districts in the country and we hope that soon these will help the district health directors.

There is a provision, too, Mr Chairman, in the budget for acquisition of ambulances and these will be procured soon. However, it is not every rural health centre that will be entitled to an ambulance. Our policy is to have an ambulance stationed at a first referral hospital so that it has a catchment area to serve the various rural health centres. However, if the hon. Member of Parliament is very innovative, we shall support the efforts in the acquisition of an ambulance for even the smallest rural health centre.

Radio communication, Mr Chairman, has been an on-going exercise and has been very successful in Western Province, to some extent. At least, health workers are able to communicate with higher institution to seek advice on how to manage the patients. This is an issue on which I can encourage hon. Members of Parliament to liaise with their district directors of health. The facilities are available from the Zambia Flying Doctor Service.

Mr Chairman, there has been the question of access to health care. On treatment abroad, the procedures are as follows: patients come from all over the country and are referred to University Teaching Hospital where we have a concentration of specialists. There is what we call an ad hoc Committee whose sole purpose is to review patients referred to that committee by its specialists. It is upon the recommendation of the ad hoc Committee to the Ministry of Health that patients are considered for treatment abroad.

It is a purely professional matter. If, in the past, there have been other criteria for referring patients abroad, I can assure you, Sir, that that will be a thing of the past. We have seen most patients referred abroad are those suffering from various cancers and also heart diseases.

Mr. Chairman, it is a temporal measure to continue sending patients to South Africa. I must take this opportunity to announce that we have signed a memorandum of understanding and funds have been sourced from OPEC for the construction of a Radiotherapy Centre in the grounds of the University Teaching Hospital.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Dr Chituwo: Secondly, Sir, plans are under way to ship into the country machines called mammographs. These are machines that are used to screen and detect cancer of the breast in ladies.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Mr. Chairman, when we have these two, I promise that the number of referrals as far as cancer is concerned to South Africa will drastically reduce. And we plan that in 18 months time, the Radiotherapy Centre should be functional.

Lastly, Sir, I wish to emphasise that Zambia has one of the best health reform systems. However, reforms are not one end, it is a journey. What we have not done very well is to see the implementation stage. We have carried out reforms for the patients or would be patients. The next target in the Ministry of Health is to see the visible at patient level and not at system level and this is our pre-occupation this year. I would like to believe that in a year or so, the hon. Members of Parliament will see a real change.

Mr. Chairman, I therefore, wish to assure this august House that we are determined to provide quality service to the people of Zambia so that we can improve the health set up of our nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 46/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 46/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 51/01 – (Ministry of Communications and Transport – Headquarters -K8,225,550,760).

Mr. Sichinga: Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for affording me this opportunity to support this Vote.

Mr. Chairman, in supporting the Vote, I would like to mention a couple of issues which have been of general concern which I would like to request the Minister when he comes to respond and wind up to, please, allude to. In particular, I want to make reference to the issue that had been stated in this House by the former President some two years ago when he talked about the issue of use of new technologies. And more specifically a submission was made about the use of satellite technology. I notice, Sir, that that seems to have died a natural death.

Mr. Chairman, presumably this must have gone with the wind of the 2001 Third Term debates. I think that it is very important for us to emphasise the point that, Zambia, because of its vastness, cannot afford to ignore the issue of satellite technologies in reaching out to the people. May I just say that today many developing countries and developed countries are using satellite technology to transmit radio communication and television to many parts of their countries. Given the raggedness of our environment, it would be very expensive to continue to expect that microwave links that have served us well so far can continue to be the mainstay of communication. I, therefore, wish to make an earnest appeal to the Minister and the ministry in general to look at this issue very carefully.

Mr. Chairman, I want to move on and look at other areas of communication. One of the areas that have been of great concern is the way resources have been used through the National Roads Board. Members of Parliament, who have been here before, will recall that this has been a major source of concern of the previous Parliament. There seems to be a problem of communication between the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the Ministry of Communication and Transport in that resources that are obtained through the fuel levy which are supposed to be transmitted to the ministry were not always finding their way to this ministry. Instead, they were retained at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and not all of them were being transmitted hence not all projects were implemented.

Mr. Chairman, I want to make a suggestion that we need some level of equitable distribution of this resource to the districts and to the provinces because at the moment, this does not seem to be the case. I think that hon. Members will not even be aware of the criterion that is used for allocating resources.

It is very important that this matter be looked at very quickly so that a modus operandi is determined where there is equity so that as hon. Members rise to talk about their constituencies, there is a better understanding of how these resources are allocated to various areas.

I also wish, Sir, to mention here that - I am thankful that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply the other day, issued a ministerial statement to talk about the separation of responsibilities between his ministry and this particular ministry. There were areas which were quite blurred.

At this point in time, I wish to say that it is a bit clearer to us. It is important that internally within Government, there are still areas of overlap which, I think, would be very useful if subsequently, the hon. Minister for Communications and Transport, can revert back to this House and clarify the components that his particular ministry is particularly responsible for.

So, it is essential for us to have an even clearer understanding of the separation of responsibilities so that we can direct our queries to the right ministry.

Lastly, but not least in importance, is the performance of the Road Traffic Commission. I note, Sir, that in this year’s submission, some provision has been made for the computerisation of the vehicle registration system. This has remained in this particular state for a long time. This programme has been talked about and I think it is very important that its implementation should be forthcoming in a much more positive manner now. I think we are getting very concerned with statements that get made and then two or three years down the road, nothing has really happens.

So, I wish just to urge the hon. Minister to re-examine this particular component and inform us just how they will interact with each other.

Lastly, but not least in importance, is the issue of the waterways. Two provinces in particular, stand out. That is Western and Luapula provinces. I think that within the ministries, there is need to start re-examining the amount of resource that is being provided to water transport. Zambia has failed to utilise its water resource for the benefit of  our people. Hon. Members of this House, Zambia has 40 per cent of the water resource in the Southern African hemisphere. This water is important to be harnessed so that we can avoid a situation like we have now of drought.

So, there is an interface here between the agricultural sector and the maritine and inland water components of the Ministry of Communications and Transport. I think we would like to see a much greater level of liaison between these ministries so that you can see how we can better utilise these particular resources.

Just to digress a little bit, Mr Chairman, you can look at the whole of the Luapula River, there is not a single dam there, which we can use to generate electricity. This water goes out to waste into the Congo and out to the Pacific Ocean. Similarly, if you look at the Zambezi, we have talked about this matter and we will talk about it again in agriculture, the water resource there is not being fully utilised for inland transportation. It is important that we start to look at this from a strategic point of view, how we can utilise these water resources from the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Sir, I know that the Bangweulu Water Transport has been provided with K80 million; the Mweru Water Transport has been provided with K70 million. Is this enough? This year, the Zambezi River has got nothing. Yet, as you know from North-Western Province right through Southern Province, the Zambezi River can be used very effectively for the purposes of transportation, an efficient and effective means of transportation it has been for centuries at end.

I, therefore, want to make an appeal to the Government in general, and to the two ministries in particular, to re-examine the policies and see whether this can be harnessed for the purpose of enhancing water transport in our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nyirenda (Kasenengwa): Mr Chairman, while I support this Vote, I have two points to make.

Mr Chairman, firstly, it is the issue concerning the telecommunication system in Eastern Province. We have noticed that Eastern Province has got the most outdated telephone equipment. This is the discarded equipment given to them from Lusaka. The Chinese have got telephone equipment that is just lying around in Chipata. Can the hon. Minister see to it that this is installed because Eastern Province is part of Zambia?

Secondly, I want to say something on traffic charges. I believe this is under the Ministry of Communications and Transport. Charges for traffic offences in this country are extremely high. These are the ones which were imposed last year. As a result, there is a lot of corruption on roadblocks because they are too high. For example, if a bulb or indicator blows, you have to pay K65,000 immediately, if you fail they will confiscate your keys. To avoid that, people are forced to part away with K20,000 as a bribe because they are rushing for a funeral or something.

Therefore, I am requesting the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport to revisit these charges and reduce them. It is pointless to pay K60,000 for a bulb that has blown while driving when you bought it at K5,000. If one fails to pay for a bulb, it is ridiculous to ask him to pay K60,000. I would like to know the traffic rules in this country.

Mr Chairman, in South Africa, if you commit a traffic offence, you will be given 48 hours to pay even if you are a foreigner. Here, the inconvenience is too much. The traffic officers will immediately crab your keys and they will do all sorts of things. We would like to know what the traffic rules are today so that our traffic officers can learn and start implementing them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katoka (Mwinilunga East): Mr Chairman, I stand to contribute on a very important strategic department in the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Mr Chairman, I say strategic department because the Road Traffic Commission in Zambia holds the lives of citizens. I am saying so because the Road Traffic Commission in Zambia is charged to issue documents like road service licenses on buses, driving licenses, fitness certificates and change of ownership certificates to various vehicles.

Mr Chairman, we have experienced, in the past, accidents on our roads or rather in Zambia on our roads. The main reason for this is poor emoluments for the workers in these departments. As a result, these workers engage themselves in corrupt practices. They issue road service licenses to bus operators whose buses are unroad-unworthy. They issue driving licenses to inexperienced drivers. As a result, in Zambia today, we have lost a lot of lives.

Sir, all this is caused by poor funding of this department. Can the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport reduce the rate of accidents by fairly funding the workers in these departments? This is because the poor workers are forced to mount roadblocks and issue various documents which are so important to Zambians. These documents are also given to people who are not supposed to handle them simply because the workers are forced to look for money in exchange for the documents.
As a result, we experience a lot of problems and we keep on blaming drives for accidents. The blame in this case, Sir, must go to the department or the Road Traffic Commission because they are responsible for these documents. The issue of such a document must be ascertained as to whether a driver is really qualified to drive a vehicle and whether a particular driver is really experienced.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs R. C. Banda (Milanzi): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to debate on this very important Vote.

I would like to speak for the rural people and for those who have got the rural constituencies, they will realise that our people have no means of transport. I would like to take you back historically that during the Second Republic, the buses used to reach the remotest parts of this country. But, now there is no transport whatsoever in these rural areas.

Instead, we have got written-off vans and bicycles. I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport to see to it that minibuses that were introduced by the former President, Dr F. J. T. Chiluba, in urban areas can also be introduced in the rural parts of this country.

The rural parts of this country would also want to benefit from the minibuses. People in rural areas walk long distances. When they are sick, it is very difficult for them to be taken to the hospitals because of lack of transport. For example, there was someone who was pregnant, she wanted to deliver but there was no transport. Fortunately, I was in that area and I helped her with transport to the clinic. When we reached the clinic, the nurse was not in uniform, a few minutes later that nurse left the clinic and went home. The pregnant woman was transferred to another clinic. Again, there was no transport to take the patient to the clinic or main hospital.

So, transport is really a problem in rural areas. This question must be revisited so that we can have transport in the remotest parts of the country. In my constituency, transport is a very big problem. They are very happy when their area Member of Parliament visits them. But, can a Member of Parliament afford with the volume of land in our constituencies where you have to provide transport to everybody. This must be a policy that transport must reach our people by deliberately working out a mechanism of investing in these buses to also reach the remotest areas. This will be in conjunction with the Ministry of …

Mr Mukwakwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mukwakwa: Mr Chairman, I seek your clarification. Is it in order that the hon. Nominated Member of Parliament (Mr Chitala), who is not a Cabinet Minister to sit in the Front Bench?


The Chairman: He is waiting for his boss for consultation.


The Chairman: Will the hon. Member on the Floor, please, continue.

Mrs R. C. Banda: You can see that these Ministers from Mbala do not even know where to sit. They have even interrupted my debate.

With regards to transport fares, Sir, transport fares are the same even when fuel has been reduced in the country. When you go to the rural areas, a vanatte is more expensive than the bus from Lusaka to Chipata or Katete. Can the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport, please, help the rural people to regulate transport fares. People charge fares they want. Recently when diesel was reduced, the cost of transport was still the same. What is the ministry doing about it? Let us help the people in the villages, they have no money. How do you expect a pregnant woman to have K15,000 when she does not work. The fare for the shortest distance in the villages is K15,000. Let us try to work out policies that will benefit the rural population.

Thank you, Sir.

The Chairman: May I just correct the hon. Member for Milanzi. The Ministry of Communications and Transport does not deal with ambulances. That is the issue you should have raised when we were debating the Ministry of Health. Again, the Ministry of Communications and Transport does not deal with diesel, petrol and so on. That is the question you should have raised with the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Captain Moono (Chilanga): Thank you, Sir, for giving me this chance to debate on this very important Vote. I would first of all like to look at our company, Zambia Telecommunications Limited (ZAMTEL) under this ministry.

ZAMTEL is a parastatal company and we have heard of vandalism that has been taking place there. I believe the management at ZAMTEL should take necessary and deliberate steps to run away from the colonial methods of communication by using cables. Technology in telecommunication is advanced now. Some are talking of satellite communication and there are so many methods of communications. I am not very conversant with this, but I know that using cables to communicate is quite backward. As a result, ZAMTEL is having overheads to guard these cables which are being stolen whereas if they invested in cableless communication, this could easily be done away with.

I would like also to emphasise that ZAMTEL, as a parastatal company, like ZESCO should have policies that are community-based to benefit, especially the farmers. Farmers are risk. Sometimes, they can be attacked. You know farms are isolated. You cannot grow potatoes in Cairo Road. So, we expect ZAMTEL to make it possible for all farmers to be able to afford radio and telephones. But what they done is they have pegged the installation of this equipment at a very high cost. Even when you buy it, it takes about one year to be installed at your farm.

Now, a farmer needs to communicate with people in town where the market is. Farming is a business. A farmer can only do his business if he has access to communication, and if he has latest information, for example, of how much tomatoes are at Soweto Market. We can only do this if we have radio and phones in these areas. The cell phone radius is quite very short. We have farms that cannot be accessed unless we have the radio and phones. Sometimes when you get these radio and phones, you will find that you are connected to Southern Province, and yet you are here in Lusaka. This is mediocricy. It should not be allowed to continue.

I would also like to remind the hon. Minister that Mwembeshi Earth Station is about 50 kilometres from Lusaka. Despite the investment the Government has made, up to now, not even a single building or house has been built at Mwembeshi Earth Station. There is a bus each morning that has to be dispatched from Lusaka to take workers to Mwembeshi, bring them back for lunch and take them after lunch, and again bring them back to Lusaka when they knock off. I think this is being extravagant. We need this money to be invested in other needy areas. We cannot afford to have luxury. Let ZAMTEL build houses for those personnel there and improve my constituency because I need civilisation and development. You cannot deny me development by driving up and down.

Mr Chairman, I am told ZAMTEL is being bundled but it has lost an opportunity when they could have developed and made firm its capital and infrastructure. They are such lavish spenders such that they do not even respond to community needs. For instance, those living near the Mwembeshi Satellite Station, our television reception is obstructed because when they receive signs through satellite, they have to send to Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and then back to Mwembeshi Station. As a result, the domestic wave that we rely on from ZNBC is much weaker than what they are sending to Lusaka. Our waves are disturbed even if you put an outside antenna, You have to put it maybe in the sky because our television sets are disturbed

They are not moving in any direction to help the reception in Mwembeshi. I think when these companies come to invest in our communities, it should be to the benefit of the community and the community disadvantages should be taken care of. Otherwise that is why there is a lot of vandalism. You are community unfriendly. As I said yesterday, all mediocre kind of services will be uprooted from my constituency. My people have suffered for a long time. Even when you talk to ZAMTEL to contribute to community, they will not even help you build a school. So what is their relevancy in my constituency? They are just subjecting us to radio active waves and as a result we are being sick. If you do not want to assist my community, take your satellite somewhere else.

Thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mwape): Mr Chairman, Sir, I am most grateful for the opportunity afforded to me to wind up the debate on the estimates of my ministry for the year, 2002.

Allow me, Mr Chairman, in the first instance, to recognise and congratulate my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, for the efficient and eloquent manner in which he has presented the 2002 Budget under able and skilled manner in which he has handled the process. This budget clearly states the stages for our development process, not only for this year but also for the next 10 years. The hon. Minister has clearly recognised the key role of the agriculture sector in stimulating productive activities in our rural areas as a means of poverty reduction and a creation of wealth. He has also identified the need to promote tourism in an effort to globally and fully exploit our abundant natural resources for the benefit of our people on sustainable basis. The role that mining sector will continue to play in our economy and the need to rejuvenate our manufacturing industry has also been clearly presented.

Mr Chairman, my role and that of my ministry in this great scheme of things outlined by my colleague is to ensure accessibility and mobility to all players in this economic and social problem. In other words, it is our role to open up our rural areas through roads, rail and water  ways to ensure that agriculture inputs reach their intended destination, and that their products from these areas reach their markets. Tourists both Foreign and domestic must be able to reach and enjoy the beauty of our natural environment by air and any other means. The supplies of fuel and spare parts must reach our mining and industrialised belts while the mineral and industrial products, both heavy and light, must move efficiently to domestic and international markets using the most efficient and cost effective modes of transport.

Mr Chairman, as an investment and tourist destination of choice and as a centre of economic activity, we must also deploy at the disposal of all our visitors. Investors and other economic agents, a wide network of communication facility in postal and courier services, telephone, mobile, satellite and land lines, fax mail, electronic mail and other state of facilities. This allows information to move with the right speed and cost for better and timely decision making for business, economic and social purposes. I hope that answers Captain Moono’s concern.

Mr Chairman, Sir, in summary, the mission of the Ministry of Communications and Transport is to facilitate sustainable growth and development of the transport, communications and meteorology sectors to ensure our provision of efficient safe gender and environmental friendly, quality and adequate services for the benefit of our people. In this regard, my ministry is responsible for formulating appropriate policies that guide and foster development in the communication and transport sector, initiates and updates laws and regulations. This is done principally through the following departments: Road Department, Civil Aviation Department, Meteorology Department, Maritime and Inland Waterways Department, National Road Safety Council Department, Communication Authority Board and the National Roads Board.

In order to address its mandate and to promote economic growth, my ministry is concentrating on the rehabilitation of infrastructure and acquisition of vital equipment for various departments and institutions using donor support, private sector participation and intervention from the national treasury.

Mr Chairman, Sir, road transport is probably the most pervasive form of transport form which the state can raise substantial revenue and improve all overall transport and regional planning. It is, therefore, crucial to strengthen regulation and oversight in this sub-sector to update the law and modernise traffic law enforcement.

The Department of Road Transport and its provincial offices need to be computerised in order to improve the revenue collections hitherto abused. The exercise will quicken the processing of revenue collection, eliminate the mannual system which is cumbersome and inefficient and prone to abuse and leakage. The system will also generate information that will also assist in curbing motor vehicle thefts and other traffic related road violations. With this exercise, we expect to revolutionise the management of the road and traffic sector.

The functions of the Department of Road Transport are going to be performed through a computer electronic system called the National Traffic Information Management system. This will modernise and tighten motor vehicles registration, licensing and certification as well as driver. It will also step up compliance and ease law enforcement.

As this system is put in place, I have also stepped up monitoring and surveillance of all our road traffic offices through internal audit operations to curtail any incidences of fraud. Already some cases are in court.

Mr Chairman, in the road infrastructure we have worked hard and we have now an improved road network. The 10-year road sector investment programme phase 1 (ROADSIP 1) which was launched in 1997 has been a great success. At the beginning of phase one, which spans over five  (5 years from 1997 to 2002, we had less than 10 per cent of paved roads in good condition. Our target for phase one was to improve at least up to 50 per cent of the paved road network in the country to good condition. We have already attained a45 per cent mark

As we move to the second phase, I would like to ensure that we have an integrated approach to the management of our resources and execution to the management f our roads programme. This is the only way we can achieve sustainability of our road infrastructure. Accordingly, I intend to finalise and launch the transport policy this year to clearly outline our strategy in roads and road transport and, indeed, the sector as a whole.

Mr Chairman, please allow me to touch on the National Roads Safety Council. The Council was created in 1995 through an act of Parliament. The function of the Council is to do such things as are necessary to protect the lives of all road users through the implementation of appropriate road safety measures.

Road traffic accidents rank among the highest causes of deaths in Zambia. There is a massive loss of life, property and an immensity of economic and social costs that we have to bear as a country. This carnage cannot be allowed to continue. We have to put a stop to it, by all means.

In order to address this situation, my ministry has designed a road safety action plan whose implementation this year will address the above highlighted situation. The action plan among other things, include, the introduction of road safety education in schools, road safety publicity campaigns and random re-examination of drivers. This will have the effect of saving lives and reduce loss to the country.

Mr Chairman, I will now move to Civil Aviation. The department of Civil Aviation is in charge of airports and aerodromes that are spread across the country. Quite evidently, facilities and equipment have declined. It is our intention to upgrade and improve these facilities and ensure regular programmes of maintenance and vegetation control is firmly put in place. This has been one of the areas where we have not done very well in maintenance aspect.

Sir, my ministry is currently in the process of rehabilitating Livingstone and Chipata airport. Chipata airport was closed due to deferred maintenance for three solid years. Similarly, Sir, upgrading and maintenance work is intended to be carried out at other provincial aerodromes as technical studies are undertaken and completed.

Generally, Sir, in the air transport sector, we will continue the programme of liberalisation with our regional and international partners. We shall also promote in association with the private sector, the idea of a national flag carrier, while encouraging other private sector operators. It is a matter of life and death, we have to do it

Mr Chairman, as regards the meteorological sector, the overall essence of this department of metrology is to contribute to the safety of air transport operations in accordance with the regulations of the world meteorological organisation (WMO) and the International Civil Aviviation Orgnisation(ICAO). The department also provides baseline metrology and climate information in support of agriculture and other social and economic pursuits dependent on weather and climate.

However, Sir, the department has been unable to carry out these functions effectively due to outdated metrology equipment in weather stations throughout the country.

Despite the foregoing the department continues disseminating the seasonal and daily weather forecasts and other metrology products to various sectors of the economy such as agriculture, civil aviation and the general public.

We are working with our cooperating partners to update our equipment, and liasing closely with the world metorologyl organization (WMO) and our regional partners to strenghthen our facilities and improve information dissemination.

Mr Chairman, the department of inland waterways was setup to foster the development of inland water transport in the country. The department is charged with the responsibility of development and maintenance of the canals and inland waterways transportation in the country.

Last year, Sir, a considerable number of canals and waterways were dredged in Luapula and Western provinces. In addition, weed control was also carried out on Kafue river and some of the equipment was deployed to clear the kafubu weed in Ndola.

The programme on dredging will continue this year, and innovative and far- reaching measures will be considered to deal with weeds and environment problems that they present. It is also necessary at this stage, Sir, to review the overall structure of the canal system and develop a master plan that responds, more closely to the need of affected communities. Studies to this effect are underway in my ministry.

Following the successful concessioning of the Mpulungu harbour in 2000, it is our intention to explore how this model can be applied to other smaller harbours, such as Siavonga, in an effort to rejuvenate them through private sector participation.

Mr Chairman, within the railway sub-sector, we are making significant changes to the operations of the key sector in our economic growth through the introduction of private sector participation, improved regulation and monitoring for safety.

The concessionning of Zambia railways has reached an advanced stage, with negotiations taking place between the Zambia Privatization Agency and the preferred bidder .Let me clear the impression. Spoonate has not won the tender as it was reported in the paper a few days ago. It is a preferred bidder. There are other competitors like Karnack on stand by. In event of Spoonate failing to meet with our conditionalities other competitors will take lead. This should transform the operation of the rail sector and

This should transform the operation of the rail sector and set the stage for the reform of other operators such as TAZARA and commuter rail traffic in the cities and towns. We are also studying how the private sector can contribute to infrastructure development such as Chipata/Mchinji Rail and its extension, the Kasama/Mpulungu, Livingstone/Kazungula and others to mention but a few.

Mr Chairman, with respect to communication, I wish to state that due to the liberalisation policy, which was passed in 1994, there are more players in the communications sector providing telephone services, Internet and other facilities. The opportunities are open to all those who are ready to participate in the private sector driven, highly competitive and efficient entrepreneurial environment.

The prospects of the telecommunications sub-sector look bright. In my view, with the expected entry into the market of the fourth mobile phone provider, the expected entry of two extra players in the Internet service market, and more players in the fixed public pay phone service, tele-centres and other value added services is expected to grow by, at least, 5 per cent.

In addition, Zamtel, is also modernising its infrastructure that had microwave link and exchanges on the Copperbelt and Eastern provinces. Later this year, Zamtel should migrate to the GSM system and enhance service provision in the mobile phone area. I wish to state that Zamtel is currently sealing a contract with ZTE for the provision of GSM.

Hon. Members, I wish, therefore, to appeal to you to support my estimates in order for us to accomplish our programmes in transport and communication for the greater good of our people and the nation. I wish to reiterate that well-developed transport and communication infrastructure is the vital link to our sectors to succeed in agriculture, tourism, mining and manufacturing as we strive to reduce poverty and great wealth for our people.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Vote 51/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 51/4 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

The Chairman: Since there is no quorum, I suspend business for a few minutes.

Business was suspended from 1830 hours until 1833 hours.

Vote 51/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 64/01 – (Ministry of Works and Supply – K359,288,196,078).

Mr Ng’uni (Chama South): I would like to thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me an opportunity to participate in supporting this Vote for the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Forgive me, Mr Chairman, if I keep reminding hon. Members about history, but I tend to think that history always guides people. I would like to share with you the thinking of UNIP when they created the Ministry of Works and Supply. As you realise, we do not have a ministry of construction on its own. So, the construction setup is absolutely controlled by the Ministry of Works and Supply. The construction industry, from my own practical knowledge and experience, is perceived as the economic indicator of any country in the world. If you do not see any serious construction activities in a country, you need to get worried.

In our country, for some reason, we have noticed a lot of quasi-construction activities and yet the economy is not vibrant. Those that learnt construction science can tell that there should be something very wrong. What we do not have in this country is the construction policy. If it does exist, we have picked it up and thrown it in some junk yard.

I would, therefore, suggest to the hon. Minister of Works and Supply that he should consider his ministry as a very strategic ministry and as such, we should come up with a construction policy that should regulate activities in the industry. For example, the University of Zambia, School of Architecture and Planning, was built with a view to provide local qualified labour because the country was spending so much money on sending people abroad. These people have been going into the industry but their presence is not felt because we have allowed people to go into the industry without any regulations at all. So, I am suggesting to the ministry that there should be a very stringent policy. I would like to admire the stance taken by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry that there are certain areas that should be the preserve of the indigenous people. Certain businesses should be for indigenous people and I would like to propose to this House, through you, Mr Chairman, that the construction activities, be they architecture, construction, quantity surveying, structural and service engineering and all sorts of construction activities, should be a preserve of the indigenous people. Why am I saying that? It is not that I am segregating against outsiders. Sir, if you gave a contract to an indigenous contractor, eleven out of ten chances, the contractor will spend the moneys within the country and his expenditure behaviour will be regulated by his historical upbringing. So, at the end of the day, it will have a trickle down effect in the industry.

What has been happening is that we bring in contractors wearing shorts, looking like they are very serious, but if you look at their construction background, they are, basically, tea boys at a construction site where they have come from.

They come here appearing like they are very knowledgeable and yet, there are indigenous Zambians who are qualified. I can justify that statement. A lot of Zambians have gone to neighbouring countries to run those construction industries.

So, my request to the hon. Minister is that, we must, as Zambians, come up with a deliberate policy. I am told that Tender Board falls under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Well, Tender Board caters for so many activities, but I would suggest to the hon. Minister of Works and Supply that all contracts pertaining to construction must have a big say from the Ministry of Works and Supply. This should be at all levels, that is, provincial, district, national, district and constituency levels. Why have I said this? We will be avoiding abuse of office.

Sir, recently, HIPC money meant for road works were being misused by party cadres. I am talking about Eastern Province where a senior official there, a Permanent Secretary took it as personal money and started giving it out to party cadres. If there was a serious regulatory system, I do not think that man would have taken a big chunk of money and given it to people. There are people who were given advance monies and yet they never went to the site. I am not trying to talk ‘kachepa’, but you can constitute a little commission of enquiry to go to Eastern Province. Sir, you will find out that there was money deposited in someone’s account under the guise of wanting to be a nice contractor.

So, my request to the learned Minister of Works and Supply who is a lawyer, and I like his stance so far, should be to come hard. However, you may not come hard on your own, but I think we need to institute a legal framework here.

Sir, National Housing Authority, from my own understanding is supposed to be a housing engine room for the country. I do not think that –Is it as a corporate or an institution, is performing the role it should have performed under the dreams of UNIP. There is no problem in going back to our drawing board. After all, this is our country and we only have this one country. Let us go back to the drawing board and look at the intentions of the creation of the National Housing Authority.

The policy of the Government to sell out housing units from the council was a very good idea in my view, because we were going to deliberately triger off economic activities by way of replenishing those houses. The obvious set up that could have done that particular noble job was National Housing Authority. If you go to National Housing Authority today, you will find that the Government owes it so much money. So, we create certain things and go back, and destabilise them and yet, we still want these people to sustain life. It is not possible. They built a lot of houses and these houses were given out to people.

For example, there was some army-housing compound that was in Nyumba Yanga. Those houses were sold to Zambian Army in whatever form for staff as a housing policy for them. However, money has not been paid to National Housing Authority. So, how will National Housing Authority continue building houses all over the country?

National Housing Authority should be given the mandate to undertake Government projects like you have done in these new councils. I know that there is a separation between the Ministry of Works and Supply and the Ministry of Communications and Transport. I would like to request the Ministry of Works and Supply to come hard on supervision of feeder roads so that, for once, we create permanent roads and bridges all over the country in all the constituencies. I would have loved to share more personal experiences on this subject but time is not with us.

Sir, World Bank conditions for projects that we would like to be financed by them should be revisited. It does not make sense for someone to say that you should have US$2 million to qualify to build a classroom block. I mean, educated and qualified people will build a classroom block even without any resources, as long as you go to the bank and access funds. So these condition imposed on us by people who would like to fund certain capital projects must be revisited very strictly. No outsiders must take our wealth away.

I thank you, very much, Sir.

Mr Shepande (Nangoma): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution on this Vote. As I do that, I wish to congratulate the Hon. Dr Ludwig Sondashi for having been nominated to this House and for his subsequent appointment as Minister of Works and Supply.

I have known him to be a man of action, few words and more action. So, I would like to address him on the road that runs between Lusaka, through Mumbwa, Kaoma up to Mongu.

Sir, I have traveled from Lusaka to Livingstone. I have traveled from Lusaka to Kasama. I have also traveled from Lusaka to Chipata. I have never come across a so dilapidating road in a manner, as is the Lusaka/Mongu road.

Mr Situmbeko: Yes!

Hon. Government Members: Why were you travelling?

Mr Shepande: Well, I have been traveling around the country. I do know that the Mpika/Kasama road is equally in bad shape. So, I know this country very well hon. Members.

Sir, our appeal from those of us, who come from Lusaka Province, Central Province and Western Province including Southern Province, because part of this road passes thorough Southern Province, our appeal is that, for once, let us have a good road.

Mr Situmbeko: Yes, not patching!


Mr Shepande: Sir, our vehicles are in a bad shape, transporters are not able travel to those parts of country because of the nature of this road.

Sir, my second appeal to the hon. Minister of ‘Works and Supply and I hope that he is taking notes, is the road known as D53. This is the road which runs from Lusaka through Nampundwe in Mwembeshi Constituency, through Keezwa in Nangoma Constituency and through Muunga in the Southern Province, Itezhi-tezhi and through Nambala of Mumbwa Constituency. This road runs through four constituencies.

There is heavy traffic there and yet, this road has never seen a grader in the last fifteen years. It was last graded when I was a Member of Parliament for Mumbwa East. For once, hon. Members of the Government, can we have this road graded? I am happy, Sir, that the hon. Minister of Tourism is also in the House because this is the road that leads to a lot of tourist attractions along the Kafue Flats to the Blue Lagoon.

Sir, infrastructure development is the catalyst of all development. It is therefore, incumbent upon the Government to ensure that these roads are in a sound state of affairs.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for affording me the opportunity to debate on Vote 64. Sir, allow me to use the Namwala/Choma Road as a basis for my debate. If you recall, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply had provided an answer that I raised in my maiden speech.

In my maiden speech I had bemoaned the fact that no activity had taken place on the Niko to Choma section. I had indicated in my maiden speech that in the year 2000, K6.25 billion had been spent and yet not even an inch of that road had actually moved. I had also indicated that in the year 2001, an amount of K5 billion had been voted for and also spent, bringing the total to a figure in access of K11 billion.

If you recall, Mr Chairman, the hon. Minister replied later on and said that this K11 billion had been paid to the contractor. Now, I ask, are we coming to this House to vote this year for K4 billion on the Namwala/Choma Road? I think the hon. Minister should tell us quite plainly in here that the people of Choma, Mbabala, Namwala, Bweengwa constituencies will not benefit this year because the K4 billion is going to be paid to the contractor. This also is extended to other roads. I think the hon. Minister must come and make a statement as to how many roads we have to vote for this year and what amounts are going towards arrears so that we go to our constituents and tell them not to expect any grading or construction of roads.

Mr Chairman, I have experience and knowledge to this effect that, when a contract is signed with a contractor, if performance by the Government is not on time, there are penalty clauses in these contracts. More or so to do with roads or major construction works. To me it sounds as if the Namwala/Choma Road will not be completed because each year that passes without the Ministry of Finance releasing the money and each year passes without the Ministry of Works and Supply paying the contractor. The sum total outstanding to the contractor continues to go up. So, to me it is as if I should go back home and tell my people that the road will not be constructed in their life time because the debt owing by the contractor for the work he did between Namwala and Chitongo is so huge that this contractor can sit and eat for the rest of his life. This is because the interest is added on to the capital.

Mr Chairman, I think it is necessary that the hon. Minister comes forward and gives us a ministerial statement, clearly indicating how many contractors has his ministry got itself into trouble with, so that the Members of Parliament here can go back and not continue to expect roads to be concluded.

I would also like to state that between those four constituencies, if we cannot be provided with a completed road to Choma, at least let us have an all-weather road from Chitongo to Monze. The road is in pretty bad shape. Each time there is rainfall or at the end of each rainfall, the road between Monze and Chitongo is impassible. We can approach Choma, Mbabala, Namwala, and Bweengwa constituencies on the road from Monze to Chitongo. Though I am using that example, I am speaking for my colleagues because they are looking at the figures in the Yellow Book, which are misleading.

I also want to add here, Mr Chairman, that in this Ministry of Works and Supply Report of 2000, there is a statement, which I can quote. Under 3411, Namwala/Chitongo Road – it shows clearly that the money that was voted for was actually used to construct the road and yet, I have stated that it did not. So, I cannot understand why a ministerial report can be reporting something that is not happening on the ground. I do not want to make allegations, but in my constituency, and I would like this to be recorded, people feel very strongly that the K11 billion that had been released over two years, had been misappropriated. If it has not been…

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Hachipuka: Yes, it has been siphoned because there can be no contradiction. This is a Government report. The Government report is saying that the road was being constructed and being tarred in 2001. I am aware that in the Yellow Book it is saying that the money was released, and in this report it is saying that the roads were being constructed. How can two documents from the same Government say the same thing and the hon. Minister tells me that the payments were towards the contractor? Mr Chairman, we should respect our people. We cannot tell them one thing, and they expect something different.

I would like to appeal very strongly that this New Deal Government must be a Government of integrity for a change, please. I hope so and I would like to see that happen, because I cannot keep on going back to my people to tell them something that you are telling me now. Do you want me to go to my people and tell them that you have given me K4 billion for the road, and yet outside the hon. Minister is telling me that the road will not be constructed because he is going to pay his friend, the contractor? I cannot go back and do this. We cannot go on doing that to our people.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi Central): Mr Chairman, thank you for allowing me to debate.

First and foremost, I wish to congratulate the old man, who used to stay somewhere here with us in the National Party. I also wish to thank those who recognised him as an elderly man who cannot be involved in campaigns but wanted to utilise his intelligence and wise counsel. We just hope they are going to utilise him properly, especially his traditional cousin, His Honour the Vice-President.

I also know that the combination of the hon. Minister of Works and Supply and his professionals, the Permanent Secretaries and the directors, I see a situation where now what we are going to approve in the Budget is going to be realised. I think at this time, Mr Chairman, we now need to support the professionals.

While on that, Mr Chairman, I made some calculations and found that there was more than K600 billion in terms of road estimates throughout the country, if I am not mistaken, and that is where I want to debate. The estimation there includes the component of diesel and it is my hope that since the professionals in the Ministry of Works and Supply know how much we could have spent, they will find out how much they paid, and how much they are going to pay with the first decrease of fifteen per cent. So, that K41 billion that is making us postpone could be recovered from the fuel bill. We are really looking forward to our hon. Minister of Works and Supply to sit down with his professionals to start calculating so that we may not have this K41 billion deficit that is threatening this House.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment on the road from Chingola to Solwezi. Last year, the former Minister and his Permanent Secretary addressed the nation on television and said this road, especially the piece that was in Chingola had been worked on and that the road was good and people could drive. But a month after the works, the Vice President requested to fly to Kabompo instead of using the road because it is too bad. I am sure our Minister together with his professionals will make sure that His Honour drives so that many people will see who the Vice President is as he passes through Solwezi.

Mr. Chairman, we would like the road from Kasempa into Kaoma to be graded. There is also a road from Chief Mushima going into Mufumbwe, I am sure the Minister of Works and Supply knows what I am talking about. The road from Kasempa turn off and we are grateful the Government tarred it from Simutanda to Kasempa and I must say that all those constituencies, Solwezi West where I was and Kasempa the National Party Constituency, at least we delivered by bringing the tarmac to Kasempa. We would like the Minister to try as much as possible to take the tarmac into Chavuma.

Mr. Chairman, we would have liked, as people from North Western Province, that the unfortunate decisions that were made in the past was reversed to take the tarmac to the provincial capital. Ours was the nearest to Chingola and I do not think that we had the same kilometre aid compared to other provinces and we lost out. We would like a tarmac to Chavuma. Our wish in that province is that the tarmac starts in Chavuma coming back to Kasempa. That is what we would like to see and not starting from where you have ended in Chavuma. We would like the contractors to be in Chavuma. If we are going to have three contractors, then put one in Zambezi, the other in Kabompo and then they can start to join the tarmac.

Mr. Chairman, we know that you know the roads. If you do not put the tarmac during the coming five years, then you are saying bye bye to His Honour the Vice President. He will not come back to the House. He promised the people of Kabompo that he was going to take television there and within a week, television came in although, I know that it was hon. Kalenga who had organised that. He also promised that he was going to tar the road and that is why the Members of Parliament from Kasempa, Mufumbwe up to where he was benefitted by the vote of saying that there was going to be a tarmac.

So, if you do not put the tarmac, then you do not want your traditional cousin to remain where he is. He is definitely not going to be here after five years. Sir, we want tarmac in that area. Mr. Chairman, I know that the Minister is the owner of all buildings in the country and as I said, he has a good crop of professionals in the Ministry. You see, they are your buildings which are at a place called TIKA which is Technical Kalumbila Associates. We are grateful, as people from that province that the Government had put in the National Service to look after those buildings. It is our hope hon. Minister that those buildings now will be given to the people of Solwezi so that we can create what you hon. Minister when we were together in Solwezi Council, your were crying that the people in that area should have their own council. So, really those are some of the things that we would like the Government to do.

Mr. Chairman, there are many buildings and in very good condition as compared to those that have been built in the last ten years. So, really we would like those to be given to the council so that the National Service can move out and then we can create the Mwembeji District Council. Sir, when we were campaigning we had it very easy, all we said was that these people do not want to give you these houses to make your district and the people said thank you very much and so we would like to have those buildings. Just like in Mushindamo, you are holding on to some buildings, kindly, hon. Minister help us.

I thank you.

Mr. Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for recognising me after a long struggle and I appreciate it.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to make very serious observations regarding the quality of workmanship on the Zambian road contractors. It has been a total disaster. Most of the roads that have been constructed by either South African or any other foreign contractor, the roads have not lasted. Why have they not lasted, it is because there has been a lot of self awarding contracts or awarding contracts to friends, hence shoddy work has taken place on most of the roads.

Mr. Chairman, I can site the Kafue Road which is a road which has not even served for ten years. It was constructed during your MMD time now the road is finished. It is full of portholes, some of them are even wells. Shame upon MMD.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Mr. Muyanda: Mr. Speaker, some of the contractors have been reported in the press for running away, running away from the construction site after chewing the money. This trend hon. Minister should be reversed so that we can compare ourselves to the quality of workmanship. Zimbabwe has a wonderful road infrastructure, are they different Africans from us, no. We attained Independence much earlier than Zimbabwe and yet they have a super road network.

Mr. Chairman, in this Yellow Book, there is one technical word which has been highly used and this word is – just a minute, it slipped of. Anyway, I will proceed. I have already made a point that the preventative maintenance is the cardinal point. We have in this country developed a culture of redoing or rebuilding all our institutions, houses, government institutions and the word is rehabilitation. There is no preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance is like our own human bodies because if we maintain our bodies, we should be able to maintain our properties in the same manner.

Mr. Chairman, it is a pity that in Zambia we break old structures instead of maintaining them bit by bit so that they can have a long life span.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to throw you back to my constituency. My constituency has a road that I know the hon. Minister of Finance assured this House will be done. But I would like to reiterate that the road has never seen any road sign. Surely a road sign does not cost a lot of money and today the whole road is finished and yet it is leading to Zambia’s strategic industries. Coal is mined in Sinazongwe District

Where is the road works department? We are lucky that we did not have severe rains this year. Had the rains been heavy Maebya Bridge would have collapsed. The PWD system which used to be there has now vanished. The MMD Government broke it into pieces and threw it somewhere else. Where is the PWD system? This was a brilliant system. Not everything UNIP used to do was wrong. Let us be objective.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Some professional principles that existed in the past of maintaining our institutions should be returned with dignity. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to take my word seriously.

Mr Chairman, I would also like to make a very strong emphasis on a point of dubious contractors. I hope that is Parliamentary, Sir. In this country, we have professional briefcase companies. When it comes to construction, these professional briefcase companies have been awarded or have had this contract given to them for unexplained reasons. Sooner or later, these men have vanished in thin air. When will Zambia be a country of dignity and self respect, where men and women can see where their money is going? I do hope that the hon. Minister will take my advice very seriously.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Kasama): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this chance to add my support to the Vote on Ministry of Works and Supply. I have noted that allocations have been given for the construction of the bridge at Mbesuma and also at Safwa across the Chambeshi River.

Mr Chairman, for your information it has been raining heavily in Northern Province and every year about this time, the province is cut in two. You cannot travel from Kasama to Isoka because there is no bridge and the pontoon is closed. You cannot go to Chinsali because the pontoon is closed at Safwa.

So, if you are a head of department and you want to go and inspect schools or hospitals, in Isoka, you take your journey from Kasama via Mpika and then get on the Great North Road to Isoka or you go via Mbala to Nakonde.

Now, Sir, imagine if you have been referred from Isoka Hospital to Kasama Hospital. Most likely, your patient will die on the way. It is very expensive for the Government in terms of fuel and time if you have to take this route. On the western side, the situation is equally bad. The road from Kaputa to Kasama is almost impassable.

Mr Chairman, another problem is that we do not have banks in Luwingu, Chilubi, Mporokoso and Kaputa. Therefore, Government workers, especially, in the Ministry of Education and District Education Officers have to travel to Kasama every month to collect salaries for their teachers in Kaputa, Mporokoso and Luwingu using these bad roads.

I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to give us road contractors who can do a good job on these roads. I wonder why maize transporters are being sent from Chipangali to come and do the roads in Northern Province.

Sir, the K4 billion that has been allocated for the rehabilitation of Mansa/Kasama Road is not adequate. Very soon, this company from Chipangali will go back without rehabilitating the road.

Mr Chairman, these are not provincial roads for Northern Province but national roads. If well done, will shorten the route for exporters from the Copperbelt to Mpulungu which is the only port for SADC or COMESA region.

Mr Situmbeko: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: I am happy that this facility is being extended and we need good roads so that these land trains bringing cement and taking sugar to Rwanda, Burundi, will not destroy our roads.

If the Ministry of Works and Supply will be in charge of rehabilitation Nseluka/Mpulungu road as the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport has alluded to, we would like the Tazara branch to get to Mpulungu as soon as possible so that we get more tonnage exported. In that way, our domestic and international trade would be enhanced. Infact, we also want comfort for the people and patients as they travel from all the districts.

I thank you, Sir.

Major-General Zulu (Lumezi): Mr Chairman, I am a man of few words.


Major-General Zulu: Very practical.

Mr Chairman, first of all, I stand here to support the motion in total. I notice that the Government has given some funds for Lundazi/Chipata Road. I appreciate that on behalf of my fellow Member of Parliament for Lundazi.

Sir, I strongly appeal against awarding contract to brief case businesses. These are there to steal money from the Government. It is important that the contractors we engage be proper contractors who can do a proper job on Lundazi/Chipata Road.

Mr Chiti M. Sampa Sable!

Major-General Zulu: Not Sable.


Major-General Zulu: Sable is not a proper contractor. We want contractors who can do a good job.

Mr Chairman, apart from that, when I delivered the maiden speech, I mention some of the roads like Lundazi/Mwanya Road, Lundazi/Chitungulu Road and Lundazi/Kazembe Road.

These roads can be worked on by the Zambia National Service. The Government has spent a lot of money to purchase equipment for the Zambia National Service and they have got the equipment. Why can we not give contracts to do such roads to Zambia National Service? The ZNS are capable to carry out such jobs. Some of these contractors, Sir, who are contracted, just do shoddy jobs.

Mr Chairman, I wish to appeal, once more, that the contractors should be looked into. Earlier on, I said that I was a man of few words.

The Vice-President: What about Mwansempangwe?

Major-General Zulu: Mr Chairman, I will talk about Mwansempangwe later on.


Major-General Zulu: I am talking about electricity at Mwansempangwe. Mr Chairman, we have an agriculture resettlement scheme at Mwansempangwe. I thank His Honour the Vice-President for reminding me of Mwansempangwe. I am still waiting for an answer from the Government to give Mwansempangwe some electricity.

Thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}

Mr Kazala-Laski (Nchanga): Mr Chairman, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Works and Supply on having reshuffled the Provincial Road Engineers. This was long over due.

Mr Chairman, if you carry a blind man from Kitwe to Chingola, the moment you enter Chingola, he will know that you have arrived. Government, through the Ministry of Works and Supply, has contracted a company to work on the road between Chingola and Solwezi which is about 40 kilometres. Then, there is another contractor who has been contracted to work on the road between Chingola and Kasumbalesa. But, there is one international road that they have left out, as you enter Chingola, at Lima all the way as you go to the under bridge through the abattoir. That is an international road and they have left it out. It is not a local government road.

Remember, Sir, a good town with good roads attracts investors.

Thank you, Sir.

Princess Nakatindi Wina (Sesheke): Sir, I stand here to speak on behalf of all the people from Western-cum Barotse Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Princess Nakatindi Wina: Sir, some of these things have been said before. We call this House Parliament, an august House. We come here to debate, make laws and even talk a bit of politics because if we are not politicians, we would have not been here. We would have been in church as reverends. We are here to talk about politics. Mr Chairman, you were also a politician and a Member of Parliament.

Mr Chairman, if you remember, when we came into power and I was a Minister in the previous Government, we promised the people of Barotseland heaven on earth. But, what did we get? Nothing at all. Politics being whatthey are, most of the Western Province people gave a protest vote to the Government of the day, vis-à-vis MMD because of the way we were not looked after, in terms of roads. It does not mean that anything going to the West is wasted. Lusaka/Mongu Road, as my hon. friend here, said is impassable. If His Honour the Vice-President will be privileged to go and attend the Kuomboka Ceremony, he should go by road and not by helicopter so that when he comes back, he will feel what it is like to sleep on a Gadaffi bed.


Princess Nakatindi Wina: Mr Chairman, the new hon. Minister responsible is a listening Minister and being a crocodile, I am sure he will give us a listening ear.

The road from Livingstone to Sesheke-cum Nakatindi Road is a sorry sight. Even if I had put in fifteen crocodiles, a car would just drive on top of those crocodiles without even seeing that there is a crocodile in the ditch. They are not even trenches. They are something else and I do not even know which phrase to use from the dictionary to use to describe them. They are not even potholes because you can avoid potholes. On that  road, you cannot avoid anything. It is either your car or your back breaks or both.

So, we really have to be serious when we share the national cake. It is not only for a section of people. We have to share the national cake equally. We are all Zambians and citizens of Zambia. We own Zambia together. So, we should share equally.

Mr Chairman, I cannot say much about this ministry. It carries a lot of scandals with it and there is no way I can blame my new Minister because that is a closed chapter. That will come up under the appropriate Vote. But, my plea to the hon. Minister is that he should look at the West. He should not just look at the East where the three wise men came from. There are even three or six wise men from the West. We are very wise there because we eat fish and you know how the fish’s brain works.

So, for goodness sake, the hon. Minister should try to think about the Western Province. We are your Mbuyes. He should not be selfish or frightened. We also need roads. We cannot even go to bury our relatives because it takes us four days to go to Mongu - a trip we used to make in eight hours when Dr Kaunda was President.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Princess Nakatindi Wina: What has happened? We have suffered for the past ten years. We were promised that all the roads would be repaired. I do not even know how I won my seat in Sesheke because when I went on the platform, they said, ‘This is the same woman who said she is going to have our road repaired next year, so what do you want here?’ I said, I have come under a new flag, …


Princess Nakatindi Wina: …maybe, something will be done. Unfortunately, my party could not win. So, since the MMD won, please, try to do something. Maybe, next time we will vote for you.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Chairman, I stand here to debate on the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Without wasting any time, I would like to say that compliments and statements made to the extent that His Honour the Vice-President is not a running mate to the current President should be discarded because he is a running mate to the current President. Therefore, he will be here with us for a long time.


Mr Matongo: Secondly, I would like to state that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply should consider that Pemba is a rural constituency. The roads that were there twenty years ago are no longer there, for instance, from Chisekesi via Kanchomba through Ndondi on to Muzoka – there was a road whereby you would drive and get there. We want a bridge on the Magoye River.

Secondly, Mr Chairman, I would like to speak on a more technical situation. The technical situation is this, Sir. Every GRZ vehicle you see today,
is of a different make. I would like to suggest to the hon. Minister to standardise service vehicles. I really do not mind myself if we have 1, 2, 3 or 4 vehicles of a standard nature to operate as vehicles for the State. They can be open for competition. They will open up branches here for spare parts procurement and repair kits will be much easier to obtain. Now, if you walk to any Government ministry, every type of vehicle is there parked because they are lacking minor parts. I would like to urge the hon. Minister to standardise vehicles that are meant for State use. We need to have for Ministers a certain class of vehicle. We need operational vehicles to be different.

I find it totally incredible for a person of a district administrator status in Kalabo, Mongu, Gwembe, Pemba in particular, and in Choma driving a Mitsubishi four-wheeled drive from Japan instead of an ordinary basic Land-Rover. Surely, we need to standardise the sort of vehicles that people in agriculture and works and supply can use in rural areas. Everybody, now, wants a VX, GX, or a Mercedes Benz. We are saying no because we are a poor country. Why not look back and get a vehicle that is good for Western Province? Let us get a vehicle that is good for the rural areas in Southern Province, a vehicle that will easily be used there. So should be the case in Eastern, Central and elsewhere. I call for a concerted effort to standardise vehicles that ought to be used by Government departments. I am of the view that if we do that, companies that come to compete for tenders in this regard will also open up maintenance depots in all rural areas of Zambia and create jobs.

Mr Sichilima: Gin and tonic.

Mr Matongo: Mr Chairman, when we are here, it is not merely to compliment ourselves. We are here to state facts.

It costs US$23,000 for a basic Land Rover and it does cost close to US$56,000 for a VX. Let us make a choice. The choice is let us go and buy a vehicle that is of an operational nature. Where it is necessary to have a bicycle, let us provide a bicycle. Where it is necessary to have a motor cycle, let us have a motor cycle instead of a Mitsubishi, GX and so on. Where we need a vehicle, let us have a basic operational vehicle. In fact, your ministry has been used as a draining point for national resources which could have been used for education, health, agriculture and elsewhere in terms of building, vehicles and everything you do as the supply ministry of this Government. I have no doubt in your personal integrity and listening ability. I have my serious doubts about your being a crocodile. Be it as it may, we would like you to listen to us because we will help you to get the ministry moving forward.

Mr Chairman, talking about Pemba again, we are of the view that it is overdue for Pemba to be a district. We need our own hospital. By the flight of a bird, it takes 60 to 70 kilometres to reach Choma Hospital from Pemba. It takes another 50 kilometres to reach Monze Hospital. We have no hospital in Pemba and the reasons are various and so many.

Mr Chairman, we would like you to look at us in Pemba as people who like to bring about development through agriculture, cattle rearing and all other things that require development in this country. We believe you should repair all roads, such as Muzoka, Ndondi and those in Chief Mooyo’s area. You should also repair the road from Chisekesi/Kanchomba to Habanyuka, and also the deviation to Mayasani. The onward connection to the Bottom Road in the valley should be repaired. If you do this, you will do a lot to develop Pemba and the valley. There is production in that area. We are not looking for handouts. We are all set for development. Give us those things that we require to sell our produce and that is the roads that I have talked about.

Mr Chairman, finally, we would like to see national development as opposed to development of an insidious nature. We want development that causes every Zambian to be proud to be a Zambian wherever he is. When I talk of Pemba, I think I am speaking for the various other constituencies throughout the country.

Mr Chairman, with these few words, I wish to ask the hon. Minister to look at the issues that I have raised.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr P. G. Phiri (Vubwi): I thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, I hear we have to discuss matters pertaining to the areas where we come from. I can safely say that people elected me. Instead of all the people in Vubwi to come here and tell the Government what problems there are there, they have elected me to come and tell the Government on their behalf.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr P. G. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I stand here to support the Vote that is on the Floor. In English, they say that charity begins at home. We have in Chipata, that is the headquarters of Eastern Province, Government Buildings Departments. We have a ministry that looks after buildings. But I want to say that the buildings are too dirty inward and outward. Vubwi Constituency is in Chadiza District. If you went to Vubwi, you would find that it is the worst.


Mr P. G. Phiri: In Nyanja, we say, ‘Nchenzi imayambila pakhomo kusenga meaning charity begins at home. Repairing of buildings and other infrastructures should first start with Government offices go on until you reach the point. In this case, I am very sorry to see that the police officers who really work to help us in Vubwi, in all areas, are living in houses like that. I hope my dog would appreciate to sleep in there, the houses are too dirty. Glasses were broken some time back when we had Renamo banditry action from Mozambique when the houses were showered with bullets. And from that time until now, did we not have this ministry to look into affairs of that? I would like to point out that, in fact, when I was in ZCTU I learnt that a worker with problems can never do any programme at all, and can never work because he will always be thinking of the problems. So, our police officers, agricultural officers and all Government officers in Vubwi, are in terrible situation. I am here to talk on their behalf because they are in my constituency.

Mr Chairman, as regards the roads, there is a school called Mbande School. This school is in between the two rivers. It becomes very difficult for the children to cross during the rainy season. I beg, Sir, that the two bridges be constructed on Mbange and Mbulukwa.

Hon Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr P. G. Phiri: Sir, I have the road from Chadiza, Tafera Nsoni to Nkumbudzi. This road, Sir, at the time of Super KK, was time and again maintained, because it is the road that passes through the boundaries of Mozambique and Zambia.


Mr P. G. Phiri: No, no! It is this way. Sindamisale is on the other side, Sir. Thank you very much for knowing the area. This road, Sir, as I said, was a good road, this time it is a gully. In fact, we have mushrooms growing all over that you cannot even see that there was a road. Unfortunately, there is a clinic there. The clinic I am talking about, Sir, if one can use any charm to fly there and see how that clinic looks like, it looks like a cemetery, something within somewhere. I do not understand that we have got the Ministry of Works and Supply which, of course, is supposed to maintain these roads. The ministry should make us feel that we are in Zambia.

Mr Chairman, I have come back to say, I am a man of points and intellectuals do not talk too much.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushala (Mufumbwe): Sir, I thank you and I know, Sir, that this is a very important Vote, because everything that we do hinges on the Ministry of Works and Supply. And I know and I have no doubt that we have a man who is capable of leading this ministry. And it is only imperative even to the other people with opposing views to respect him and understand him. Once we do that, this country will move forward.

Sir, let me not commend the Minister who is there at the moment or today. But what this Government is trying to do is for the benefit of Zambia. We should not have divided interests in what we do for mother Zambia. Mr Chairman, in supporting the Vote, I want to be very clear that, it is imperative that we, as Zambians, must bear in mind that the money that is allocated to any Vote, the people in that particular constituency or district must be accountable on the usage of those funds.

What is happening is that you find a contractor, and some of these contractors, Sir, at times, could even be honourable Members of Parliament who will do a very shoddy job, which is very bad. Let the Zambian people know and have respect in themselves that they are the only people who can actually contribute to the development of this country. No one else will develop this country apart from them. When you talk about agriculture, education, whatever, all hinge, Sir, on the development and how this ministry works. Let us take to task the workers in Government. They must be answerable. We, as Government are saying, we have sent people everywhere. And the Members of Parliament must educate their people. They must call on the ministry to ask them what programme they have for the year. When people understand the programme for the year, we will not have the problem. The biggest problem…

Hon. Opposition Member: problom

Mr Mushala: Problom


Mr Mushala: Mr Chairman, there are relatives or brothers and sisters who do not understand that every Government worker is there to serve them. Let them understand that these people are workers and they are paid, and the contract that they have with Zambia is to ensure that they do their job and, this job, Sir, is to make sure that the roads are being done. There is a lot of money that has been put in this Vote, but if the contractors cannot do a good job the only supervisors on the ground are the villagers themselves. Let the villagers, when their roads are worked on, try to look at them very seriously.

Sir, when we have got a Government office, when we have Government property, let the residents of that area look after it. The biggest and the worst culture that we have in Zambia is that people do not want to take what they own to be theirs. Things like roads, belong to Zambians. It is your road. Things like the Boma offices, I know Boma stands for British Overseas Military Administration but we should not be ruled now in the same thinking like in the past, we should change our minds. We are no longer under the British Overseas Military Administration. And that is why I am saying you should support the Minister, support this New Deal Government and support the MMD.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushala: We have laid a foundation where we want every Zambian to enjoy. We want every Zambian to develop.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer.

Mr Mushala: Mr Chairman, I wanted to digress a bit from the topic. But I think what I want to say to my brother from Chipangali, even when you are on the borderline with another country, you should know how to protect your road. In the olden days you even used to sweep your villages. If you go to some of these villages today, look at the house the people put up in their villages. Surely do you believe you are Zambians? Do you believe you are human beings? You know we have to move.

Mr Chairman, as much as much as I have a lot of water to drink, I want to educate some of our people …

Mr Chairman: Order!

Mr Mushala: Our people, Sir, do not understand how to live on earth. We never came here to live as pauppers.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.


Mr Chairman: Order!


Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Chairman, I rise to support this Vote and to congratulate the hon. Minister for Works and Supply. I do note that there is provision to finish the Monze/Zimba Road Project and the work done so far looks like it is good work and we shall see whether work will last the required number of years, but prima facie, it looks like a good job.

My only complaint is that when you look at the road network from Lusaka to Livingstone, there was no reason why the project should have ended in Zimba, a mere sixty kilometers away from Livingstone. Anybody who has traveled on that road knows how bad the Zimba/Livingstone stretch is. The road is filled with potholes, cracking up and certainly, the people of Livingstone are afraid that this last sixty kilometers of the road is going to be forgotten and yet there is no need for it to be forgotten. This road leads to an important commercial and tourist destination in Zambia and something should be done.

A few months ago, we got excited when we saw workmen coming to Zimba/Livingstone Road and we saw them putting up permanent road signs, but we were disappointed when we got close and read what those road signs were. The road signs read “potholes”


Mr Sikota: Instead of fixing the road, and by putting up these permanent road signs, not make-shift road signs, but permanent signs reading “potholes” is a declaration that the Government does not intend to do anything about that potholed road.

Mr Sibetta: And they are not in the book.

Mr Sikota: Mr Chairman, I do not say this in jest, anybody travelling along the road will see those permanent road signs reading “potholes”. My appeal is that those road signs should be taken away and that road should be worked on.

Mr Chairman, there is a very important road as well which has been neglected in Livingstone which should have been made part of the general project of updating and uplifting the Livingstone Airport. That is the road that goes to the airport. It is a national road and should not be looked upon as a municipal road due to its importance in terms of what it services and I hope that that will be taken into account and the Livingstone Airport Road will be dealt with.

The next point I would like to raise is the issue of the works which were done at Mulungushi International Conference Centre and at the Millennium Village, there is no doubt that these works were extremely shoddy. There are leakages at Mulungushi International Conference Centre at the new building, which was built by the Malaysians. I would like to see a situation where the people who did that building are sued so that they rectify the faults. And the persons who were in charge of granting contracts for the Millennium Village and for the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, should all be brought to book since accountability is something that this Government claims to be one of its hallmarks.

Mr Situmbeko: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Lastly Mr Chairman, I wish that the Vote for airports could fall under the Ministry of Works and Supply in which case I would have been able to talk about the Airport Phase II for Livingstone. It has been totally neglected and makes the whole project not worthy for bringing in the number of tourists required. As I said I wished it was in their Vote, I would have expended on that. Should the hon. Minister of Works and Supply deem looks into some of these issues that I have raised, I can assure him that when the Vote for tourism comes up, I shall stand to apply that the hon. Minister of Tourism declare that all crocodiles are protected species.

I thank you, sir.


The Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Sondashi): Mr Chairman, I wish to thank you for allowing me to address this august House as I present some policy issues before I come to answering the individual questions. I will be able to answer all your questions, which you have asked after the policy issues.

Mr Chairman, by engaging the support of the civil societies in public work programmes, Government will aim at improving agriculture, social, education and health facilities. Sir, my ministry developed its mission statement in line with 2001 to 2005 strategic plans comprising ten long-term objectives. The mission of my ministry is to effectively facilitate the construction and maintenance of Government infrastructure, procurement and management of Government property and provision of quality printing services in order to streamline social economic development.

In presenting my address, I wish to outline some of the projects being undertaken within the ministry in line with the MMD Government’s social and economic policies and objectives.

Further, I would attempt to indicate successes and major problems that are hindering the successful implementation of the programmes.

Construction industry policy

Mr Chairman, first of all, on the policy of liberalization of the economy in which the private sector plays a key role in the provision of goods and services, my ministry has continued to engage the private sector in construction ranging from small to international recognized contractors and consultants.

Let me be quick to mention though that most small contractors have found it difficult to win contracts under my ministry because of the nature of works contracted requiring big plants and equipment. The small contractors may not afford.

Mr Chairman, I am working on the measures to implement a deliberate policy to empower upcoming small contractors

to get loans for procurement of such plant and equipment. This could be recovered over time as small and medium contractors are given to them to offset such loans. The level of economic activity in any country is, generally, reflected by the performance of the construction industry. In Zambia the construction industry has contributed positively towards the economy over the last five years, unlike in the 1980s.

Mr Chairman, although the Government and donors have invested huge sums of money in the construction and rehabilitation works, a lot still needs to be done. The major constraint to the construction sector has been that financing is not commensurate to the demand on the ground. Most infrastructures in buildings, roads and bridges, I agree, are in a deplorable state of repair.

May I hasten, Sir, to say that at domestic level, the Government remains the major client in the provision of financing towards the sector while at the global level, the donor community has continued to provide support towards the construction sector. My ministry put in place a national policy on the construction industry, in fact, it is there, specifying the objectives and strategies to be pursued consistently with the Road Sector Investment Programme, along side the Public Sector Investment Programme. Subsequently, my ministry has identified sub-sectors actively involved in the industry, some of which are the construction, consultancy, contractors and manufacturers of construction and building materials.

In the 2001 Budget, the building and construction sector took cognisance of Government’s objectives of attaining a 5 per cent growth in real gross domestic product. In this regard, the main objective was to facilitate designs, monitoring and guiding the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of fiscal infrastructure. These included buildings, roads, bridges and airports which have potential to lead to growth in the main sectors of the economy such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism.

Mr Chairman, the aim of the National Council for Construction is to promote the Zambian construction industry. In order to do this, some objectives were set to unify the construction industry so as to contribute to the reconstruction, rehabilitation and development of Zambia. As well as the uplifting of living standards for the Zambian people, to promote, encourage, support or oppose any legislation or measures affecting the industry, to address macro issues affecting the industry.

The National Council for Construction is a registered body under the Registrar of Societies. Mr Chairman, from its inception in 1998, the National Council for Construction has successfully played its role of advisor to Government and its related agencies on all matters pertaining to the construction industry. It is now my ministry’s intention that the National Council for Construction is transformed into a statutory body with legal powers to monitor and implement Government policies on the sector.

Mr Chairman, the National Council for Construction is very, very, important, as one or two hon. Members advanced the reasons for its importance. We would not like to see in Zambia construction that is haphazard. If you were to go to West Africa, Mr Chairman, you would see what we are talking about. You cannot see planning. You will find shanty structures even in town centres and this is what we would like to discourage. We are lucky we adopted the policy of construction from the British, which is a very good policy and we would like to maintain that and even improve upon that standard.

Mr Chairman, with this new development, my ministry expects that stories of construction consultants and contractors failing to perform to clients’ expectations will be a thing of the past, as the council will be expected to act on such cases and deter their recurrence. My ministry further expects that the council will effectively promote the business activities of our local construction companies and in so doing, monitor their activities and the mushrooming of foreign construction companies at the expense of our own companies.

On the road sector, Mr Chairman, my ministry is responsible for the management, construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of trunk, main and district roads. Our major responsibility here is to design, monitor and guide the construction and maintenance of the above stated roads, bridges, management of hand operated pontoons and way bridges to check on access roads in order to ensure adherence to set standards. Mr Chairman, I am studying the question of access roads. Most of our roads are being damaged because we do not control the weight that should be allowed on the roads and this is why we have found that our roads are damaged. It is not mainly because of poor construction, but because there has been no deliberate policy to stop vehicles carrying heavy loads to travel on our roads. This is a very serious matter and I am taking a keen interest to see that I bring legislation to control this. However, Mr Chairman, the task now and ahead of my ministry is to embark on a well planned national Budget on road programmes that is sustainable with regard to resources availability.

Mr Chairman, overloading of heavy vehicles has an immediate adverse economic impact in terms of road maintenance because there is urgent need to tackle the problem of overloading access and gross vehicle masses. I am, therefore, glad that an access road control programme for Zambia is being developed to come up with a practical plan to curb the overloading of heavy vehicles on Zambian roads. It is, therefore, hoped that a practical organisation and legal framework to implement this programme will be put to monitor access road limits with the help of NORAD and other co-operating partners.

Mr Chairman, as a ministry I have four major programmes across the country to carry out on trunk, main and district roads and bridges designed as T, M and D and these are routine maintenance, periodic maintenance, rehabilitation, reconstruction, pontoons and other programmes. The activities for this year have been distributed according to provinces as follows. Routine maintenance of roads and bridges, Lusaka, Kafue Hook Bridge. These are the roads which we are going to do this year. I may not mention the figures because I do not want to delay you, hon. Members. Copperbelt Province; Chingola/Kasumbalesa Road and Chingola/Solwezi Road, Northern Province, Great North Road emergency repairs, Mbala/Nakonde and Chitipa. Western Province, Lusaka/Mongu, Kaoma/Mongu. Periodical maintenance will be carried out in Central Province, Mumbwa/Kaindu, Mumbwa/Landless Corner and Mkushi/Masansa. Eastern Province, Msoro/Katete, Chipata/Lundazi, Chipata/Mfuwe and Lundazi/Chama.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: Lusaka Province, Luangwa Boma road, Chirundu/Chiyaba road, Chongwe/Mulalika road, Northern Province Kasama/Mporokoso/Kawambwa, Mporokoso/Bulaya/Kaputa/Mununga, Isoka/Muyombe up to Chama.

In North-Western Province, Kasempa/Mumbwa. In Southern Province Monze/Nilo/Itezhi-tezhi, Victoria Falls bridge and Siavonga road.

Western Province, Kaoma/Lukulu/Watopa, Limulunga/Mongu/Senanga/Luampa Mission road. Katunda/Lukulu/Mumbzhi Road, Nalusanga/Mongu/Senanga road and Shitoti/Shang’ombo. You can see that I like Western Province because there are more roads, which we will do there

So I am sure this should please, Hon. Princes Nakatindi Wina.

Sir, as regards rehabilitation, Central province, Kabwe/Kapiri-Mposhi and Chisamba road. Lusaka Province, Lusaka/Luangwa bridge, Southern Province, Livingstone/Sesheke/Katimamulilo and Mongu/Zimba.

In the Copperbelt, we are going to contract Luanshya Mpongwe and Lwansobe road. Luapula Province, Kashikishi/Luchinda/Kalungwishi Bridge and Samfya bridge which the hon. Member mentioned earlier on.

Northern Province, Kasama/Luwingu/Mansa/Mbesuma bridge, North-Western Province, Kasempa Turn Off to Kabompo, Mutanda/Kasempa Turn Off.

Southern Province, Choma/Namwala/New ChirunduBridge

Western Province, Mongu/Kalabo/Katimamulilo bridge,

Sir, it has come to my knowledge that in the last five years, the demand towards road rehabilitation superceded the resource base. This in fact, has led to a huge amount of arrears attracting interest that my ministry owes contractors and consultants. 

I, therefore, beg from hon. Members to realistically support this years budget by reallocating budgetary provision towards that to avoid further domestic debt creation and achieve significant progress of development in the economy. The following is the break down of arears and their budget provision province by province..

Copperbelt Province: Luanshya Mpongwe to Lwansobe, the areas is K11.9 Billion. The budgetary provision for this year is only K6 million. So you can see that the K6 billion will just go into payment of areas.

Eastern Province: Lundazi/Chama we owe K2.29 billion, the provision for this year is K2.09 billion. Chama/Muyombe K5.79 billion in areas.

Luapula Province: Kashikishi/Luchinda K23.38 billion in areas. This year we have only budgeted for K5 billion. Kalungwishi Bridge K1.59 billion in areas and K3.18 are the budgetary provisions.

Lusaka Province: Lusaka/Luangwa K12.17 billion areas and K4 billion is the year’s provision.

Northern Province: Isoka/Muyombe K11.88 billion areas and this year’s provision is K3 billion. Kasama/Luwingu, K10.96 billion areas and we have only been given K4 billion. Mbesuma bridge …

The Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 2015 hours until 2030 hours.

Dr Sondashi: Sir, when we broke for tea, I was discussing Northern Province showing the arears which we owe contractors and what we have in the estimates for this year.

The next road is Mbesuma Bridge. We owe the contractors K2.07 billion and the estimated cost is K1 billion. The Great North Road we owe contractors K6.96 billion in areas and the estimated cost is t K2 billion. Mbala/Nakonde we owe the contractors K6.46 billion and the estimated cost is K2.50 billion. Kapiri Mposhi/Nakonde road study we owe the contractors K.33 billion estimated cost is K.29. North-Western Mutanda/Kasempa we owe the contractor K24.29 billion the estimated is K3 billion.

Southern Province: Choma/Namwala we owe the contractor K22.15 billion, the year’s estimate is K4 billion. Victoria Falls, we owe the contractor K.08, this year’s budget estimate is K.37. Kaoma/Mongu we owe the contractor K4.40 billion and this year’s estimated cost is K2.59 billion. Sitoti/Shang’mbo we owe the contractor K.38 billion and this year’s budget estimate is K5.0 billion.

Sir, the total amount for money owed for all the roads which we are doing in Zambia is K147.78 billion. That is what we owe and the estimates for this year are only K43.52 billion. So, this is a very critical situation. If you do not see anything happening, you will know that the money is just going towards paying the areas. Therefore, we need to do something about this.

Sir, road net work is the lifeline of any economy in view of dependence on it by all sectors. There is recognition by the Government and the general public that infrastructure is in bad shape. This, therefore, should be given number one priority status in the social and economic development programmes. Mr Chairman, I am glad to inform this august House that the Luanshya/Mpongwe and the Mutanda/Kasempa roads have finally been completed with extension to Lwansobe and Mukinge Mission Hospital being worked on. Earthworks on the Kasempa Turn-Off to Kabombo have already started. However, the amounts allocated in this year’s budget provision is small as we notice that any significant progress if no supplementary allocations will be considered by this House will be very small. These roads have huge amounts of arears already seen ranging from K10 billion to K25 billion per road as stated above.

Dr Sondashi: Sir, when we broke for tea, I was discussing Northern Province showing the arears which we owe contractors and what we have in the estimates for this year.

The next road is Mbesuma Bridge. We owe the contractors K2.07 billion and the estimated cost is K1 billion. The Great North Road we owe contractors K6.96 billion in areas and the estimated cost is t K2 billion. Mbala/Nakonde we owe the contractors K6.46 billion and the estimated cost is K2.50 billion. Kapiri Mposhi/Nakonde road study we owe the contractors K.33 billion estimated cost is K.29. North-Western Mutanda/Kasempa we owe the contractor K24.29 billion the estimated is K3 billion.

Southern Province: Choma/Namwala we owe the contractor K22.15 billion, the year’s estimate is K4 billion. Victoria Falls, we owe the contractor K.08, this year’s budget estimate is K.37. Kaoma/Mongu we owe the contractor K4.40 billion and this year’s estimated cost is K2.59 billion. Sitoti/Shang’mbo we owe the contractor K.38 billion and this year’s budget estimate is K5.0 billion.

Sir, the total amount for money owed for all the roads which we are doing in Zambia is K147.78 billion. That is what we owe and the estimates for this year are only K43.52 billion. So, this is a very critical situation. If you do not see anything happening, you will know that the money is just going towards paying the areas. Therefore, we need to do something about this.

Sir, road net work is the lifeline of any economy in view of dependence on it by all sectors. There is recognition by the Government and the general public that infrastructure is in bad shape. This, therefore, should be given number one priority status in the social and economic development programmes. Mr Chairman, I am glad to inform this august House that the Luanshya/Mpongwe and the Mutanda/Kasempa roads have finally been completed with extension to Lwansobe and Mukinge Mission Hospital being worked on. Earthworks on the Kasempa Turn-Off to Kabombo have already started. However, the amounts allocated in this year’s budget provision is small as we notice that any significant progress if no supplementary allocations will be considered by this House will be very small. These roads have huge amounts of arears already seen ranging from K10 billion to K25 billion per road as stated above.

The Choma/Namwala Road has one section from Namwala to Chitongo completed, whilst works on the Chitongo to Choma section were suspended due to outstanding payments towards certified works on the Namwala to Chitongo section. All these three roads are being constructed, by contract, to bituminous standard. However, progress has been slow due to the problem of inadequate funding. It is hoped the funding to this project will improve this year so that significant progress can be made.

The construction of the Mongu/Kalabo Road will commence this year. It is also expected that plans to construct the Senanga/Kalongola Road, including the bridge at Kalongola shall be under way as surveys and designs shall be carried out this year. A reinforced bridge at Matebele Plains to replace the Bait Bridge shall be constructed this year.

Mr Chairman, currently, maintenance works are being carried out by Phoenix Contractors to rehabilitate the Lusaka/Mongu Road. The rehabilitation costs shall be done through a grant from DANIDA, depending on the outcome of the transport policy.

Mr Chairman, the initial budget by my ministry towards road works, most of which were either finished or on-going, was K752.3 billion, meant to take care of outstanding arrears and continue with on-going works. Out of that amount, K214.5 billion was from external financing. The ministry’s plan was reduced to K293.3 billion comprising K214.5 billion from donors and K80 billion from domestic resources.

Mr Chairman, the amount allocated to the road sector in my ministry is far too inadequate and this will make the execution of works difficult. This, of course, is due to budgetary constraints. Sir, this estimate is not adequate to respond to the demands from the hon. Members of Parliament who may need the roads, bridges and pontoons in their constituencies worked out immediately. In this regard, therefore, no major new projects are to be undertaken this year. Efforts will only be concentrated to ensuring that on-going projects are paid.

Mr Chairman, I wish to stress that road maintenance and rehabilitation is a very costly venture. The budgetary provisions, over the years, have not been adequate for the ministry to be able to properly maintain the core road network in the country  that requires between US$80 billion and US$100 billion per year. I am hoping that there will be an improvement in the allocation to the road sector in the future as we go on getting more money in the country.

On the question of the new Chirundu Bridge, my Government undertook to construct a new bridge at Chirundu Border Post in order to increase capacity for incoming and outgoing traffic at normal highway speed. Kajima Construction firm is constructing the bridge under a Japanese grant. The works on the bridge that were to be completed in February 2003 have since been planned for completion by October this year ahead of schedule. Mr Chairman once completed, there will be increased economic activity on either side of the bridge and we anticipate a lot of revenue coming in through this bridge.

Mr Chairman, through this august House, I wish to thank the international community on behalf of the Government for their valuable support to the road sector programme. Their support, indeed, has been enviable. Without them, very little would have been achieved. It is in this vein that Government is determined to see the transport policy put in place to normalise the operations in the sector.

Mr Chairman, my ministry is managing hand operated pontoons and gives support to the Engineering Services Corporation Limited (ESCO) who operate the mechanically propelled pontoons in forms of grants because of the important economic nature of these pontoons. Manually operated pontoons are:

1.    Lubungu on Kafue River;
2.    Machiya on Kafue River;
3.    Mufuchani on Kafue River;
4.    Ngabwe on Kafue River;
5.    Lunga on Lunga River; and
6.    Lunsenfwa on Lunsenfwa River.

Mr Chairman, all these pontoons are twelve tonne capacity and the busiest pontoon is the Mufuchani Pontoon in Kitwe, which serves passengers, followed by Machiya.

Motor run pontoons are the Katima Mulilo and Kalongola Pontoons, and are more than twenty years old whilst the Kazungura Pontoons are eight years old. Their efficiency and reliability have degenerated as reconditioning has been carried out more than once.

The total number of pontoons ESCO is operating is, now, seven namely:

1.    Kazungura on Zambezi River in Kazungura;
2.    Chembe on Luapula River in Mansa;
3.    Kalongola/Senanga on Zambezi River in Senanga;
4.    Katima Mulilo on Zambezi River in Sesheke;
5.    Baanga on Kafue River in Namwala;
6.    Zambezi on Zambezi River in Zambezi; and
7.    Chavuma on Zambezi River in Chavuma.

I would like to inform hon. Members that my men are working on Chavuma Pontoon and I think by next week it will be completed.

Mr Chairman, my ministry is quite aware of government limit of financial resources. In trying to get away from the dependency on the constant breakdowns on the Kazungura Pontoon, the Government commissioned feasibility studies for design of a permanent bridge at Kazungura. This is the same plan for the Katima Mulilo Pontoon where Government, with assistance from the German government, will put up a permanent bridge at Katima Mulilo connecting to Namibia.

Mr Chairman, my ministry will be more than ready to welcome donors who would be ready to finance the rehabilitation of some of these pontoons and procurement of spare parts in the interim before permanent structures are constructed.

The operations of ESCO have not been the same since the withdrawal of servicing and repairing of Government vehicles. This has been coupled with under capitalisation of ESCO, from inception, which has adversely affected its operations.

The corporation offers service on repair and service of motor vehicles hire or mobile equipment operations and maintenance of pontoons servicing and repairs.

Mr Chairman, the Kazungura Pontoon are eight years old and they offer 80 per cent of ESCO’s income, 20 per cent comes from Chembe, 15 per cent Kalongola, and Katima Mulilo 5 per cent. There is need to urgently replace the engines and propulsion units on Kazungura Pontoon at a cost of 400 British Pounds.

Mr Chairman, my ministry is also responsible for designing, monitoring and guiding the construction and maintenance of buildings in order to ensure adherence to set standards. Mr Chairman, the maintenance of Government buildings and residential properties, that is VIP houses has continued over the years. There is need, therefore, to continue in promoting the serviceability of these properties to avoid further dilapidation. However, the ministry will continue reviewing its policy on the maintenance of Government buildings.

Sir, the MMD Government in 1991 took over the former UNIP Headquarters building that was under construction. The Government decided that the building could be used to offset Government office accommodation for most institutions are in rented offices. Since the Chinese had the initial designs of the buildings, they offered to continue giving a grant to work on exterior works while Government could work on interior works and fittings.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China signed an agreement on 30th January 2002 to among other things, continue with the construction of the main building of an area of 25,000 square metres with 16 storreys. The project involves undertaking of interior decorations, finishes, ventilation system, water supply and sewerage, electrical works and elevators.

Mr. Chairman, the Government will be required to provide elevators, electricity, generators, telephones and equipment and installation of the same. The K3 billion in the Budget will be utilised towards these works.

Mr. Chairman, my ministry is charged with the responsibility of controlling the use of all Government transport,  testing and ascertaining the suitability of new models, registration and storage of records of all vehicles, plant and equipment as well as testing drivers of Government vehicles for their competence and issuing certificates of competence to successful drivers. The ministry is also charged with conducting censuses and inspection of vehicles, plant and equipment to ascertain vehicle, plant and equipment population and assess some for repair and boarding purposes; to promote model standardisation for effective maintenance and spare parts compatibility.

Mr. Chairman, the control of Government transport has been frustrated due to a number of factors. It is my ministry’s intention to introduce a Bill in Parliament soon that will enforce regulations and control of the use of the Government vehicles. My ministry has observed, with great concern, the colossal sums of money being wasted on fuel on unauthorised and unofficial trips by Government officials. Once this Bill is passed, my ministry will save some millions of kwacha recorded on fuel countrywide due to misuse of Government vehicles. I am, therefore, appealing to Government workers in general to co-operate with controllers of Government transport in their effort to eradicate misuse of Government transport.

Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, I would like to mention that for real development to be realised in our economy, as anticipated by my counterpart in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, and, indeed, the Government, all social and economic sectors should be activated through increased works on infrastructure by a steady flow of funds to our contractors and construction consultants. This, Sir, will enable my officials to successfully implement and accomplish the ten main objectives in the ministry’s five-year strategic plan. The various contracts increase the employment of skilled and unskilled labour alike, leading to poverty reduction and dignity of individuals at household level, which is the policy of the Government.

Mr. Chairman, allow me to refer to a few remarks which hon. Members made although some have already been covered in my address.

Mr. Chairman, Hon. Ng’uni talked about the need to have a construction policy. I think I have referred to this that the construction policy is there but the only thing I will do is to bring legislation to make sure that this construction policy is enforced. This one I will be bringing very shortly. I agree that the construction industry should be the preserve of the indigenous people. On this, in fact, I had a meeting last week where we had members of the construction industry and we mapped out on how we could help the Zambian indigenous people to be assisted so that they can have funds.

Mr. Chairman, the most pragmatic thing about the Zambian contractors is that they do not have sufficient capital and this is what we want to address. The ministry should take a controlling role in tender awarding. I agree that we shall be a little bit serious when tenders take place even in the provinces. I have directed my provincial road engineers and I will also be calling a meeting for provincial building engineers so that they take active control. I will be going in the provinces to discuss with Permanent Secretaries and the Ministers responsible for provinces so that they can help to enforce compliance to regulations and ensure that the Permanent Secretaries do not misuse the money as was stated here.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Dr. Sondashi: On HIPC funding supervision, it is not only Eastern Province, as a matter of fact, we have found that many provinces misuse the HIPC funding and this will not be tolerated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: Mr. Chairman, Hon. Shepande congratulated me and I appreciate this and would like to thank him very much. He talked about the Lusaka/Mumbwa/Kaoma/Mongu Road being in a dilapidated situation and mentioned D53, which is Lusaka/Nampundwe/Munga/Nambala Road and that this road has not seen a grader. I will be looking into this matter. As regards Lusaka/Mumbwa/Kaoma and Mongu Road, I think I have answered that. We are taking keen interest. In fact, apart from routine maintenance on this road, we have also sourced money from the donor agencies to do the resealing. So, this road will be attended to very effectively.

Mr. Chairman, Hon. Hachipuka talked about the Namwala Road. I think I have answered that. It is true that about K11.5 billion from the year 2000 to 2001 was allocated to this road but this money, as I said, was paid to the contractor because we were owing him with arrears. He said that he could not do anything until everything was paid. So, that is the problem we have about this road.

Mr. Chairman, I have answered his query that the Minister must come out with a ministerial statement to clarify the accumulation of arrears. I think I have done that one quite well here.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank Hon. Tetamashimba for his congratulatory message and he talked about the Government renegotiating the contract due to the diesel that will be reduced. Unfortunately, I do not think that this is possible. Although the price of diesel will be reduced, it is a very small amount of diesel that goes into road repair or construction, when you consider other materials. Most of the expensive materials that go there like bitumen, gravel and other things are the ones which are more expensive.

Mr. Chairman, on the Kasempa turn off to Chavuma, if we begin from Chavuma, it will be very expensive. So, that is why the contractors prefer to go from the base. He also asked for the Technical Kalumbila Associates (TIKA) to be given to the people of Solwezi. I am not very sure whether the TIKA buildings belong to my ministry. I will check that. I was of the view that those buildings belonged to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.

Hon. Muyanda talked about the quality of workmanship on the Zambian side. Roads have not lasted because there have been a lot of personal interests involved. If there is personal interest involved, I will ensure that we eliminate corruption. You know that I do not like corruption by nature. Therefore, I will not allow it to take place in a ministry where I am administering.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: If there is anyone who thinks that he will be corrupt, let him do it when I leave that ministry.

I have already answered the appointment of dubious contractors. Hon. Bwalya talked about Samfya Pontoon. This was closed because of high levels of water and we have made provision for the payment for the pontoon to be open.

Hon. Major-General Zulu mentioned the Lundazi/Chipata Road funding and that we should not give contracts to briefcase contractors. We shall certainly ensure that we do not do this. Not only briefcase contractors, but the foreign contractors as well. There are too many foreigners who are getting jobs at the expense of our own indigenous people.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: Hon. Kazala-Laski thanked me for reshuffling the road engineers. He also talked about Chingola Road. I will study it and see who is responsible for the road that you mentioned. If it is my ministry, we shall see what we can do about it.

Hon. Nakatindi Wina complained about the Lusaka/Mongu Road that it is impassable. I have already answered that. I have also answered about the Livingstone/Sesheke Road but I would like to assure you that there is money which will be used for this road. She also asked me to look at Western Province more. Well, I will look at every province. Not only Western Province because I am a national leader.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: Hon. Matongo talked about Chisekese via Kanchomba and Muzoka Road. I am not very sure about this road but I will consult my officials to tell me whether or not these roads belong to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. I cannot agree with him anymore about standardizing of service vehicles, not only service vehicles but all the vehicles as a matter of fact should be standardized. I will institute a deliberate policy to ensure that there is standardisation in this country. I will be getting authority from Cabinet to make sure that the directive is implemented.

Right now as I am talking all the hon. Ministers do not have vehicles. The reason being that they had bought Volvos which have no spare parts. I do not know whether someone was interested in this or not. This has got to come to an end. I am not going to allow this to continue. From now onwards, I would like to see that the purchase of vehicles is done by my ministry only.

Hon. P. J. Phiri said that Government buildings and the police officers’ houses in Chipata are too dirty. What I can say is that, although admittedly, my office has also neglected certain buildings, some buildings you see are institutional, like the police officers’ houses that you are referring to. They are supposed to be maintained and painted by the ministries concerned. So, you should know which buildings are institutional or not so that you can direct that complaint to the ministry concerned.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Mushala asked hon. Members to support me and I thank him very much. I surely need the support. One thing which he pointed out and which I agree with him is that people of Zambia must be vigilant. When a project is being undertaken in your constituencies like roads and bridges, please take personal interest to see that you assist in the supervision.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: It does not require an expert to know that the road is being constructed well or not. You can see just by looking at it. You can easily tell that this is shoddy work. So, please, you assist and when you spot that, let me know so that I can inform my officers to rectify the problem.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Thank you.

Dr Sondashi: Hon. Sikota said that the job done on the Monze/Zimba Road is good. I agree, the road was properly done. You wished that this work should have extended to Livingstone. What I can say is that this is an on-going exercise. We are not ending there. As time goes on, you will find that even other portions will be covered when we have the money. I will look into the case of potholes road signs. Even if we do not have money, we have little money for maintenance purposes. We are supposed to maintain them. I do not want to see potholes on roads. It is a shame. As you stated, if you go abroad, you will find that the roads are good. At least we should be able to patch up potholes. What is supposed to trouble us is construction and re-sealing because that costs a lot of money.

On the question of the airport in Livingstone, I can answer on behalf of my colleague, the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport. It will be attended to. There is money set aside for this.

Mr Chairman, allow me to thank all hon. Members for their attention and contributions and for supporting my New Deal Government under President Levy Mwanawasa. I can assure you, hon. Members, that your support will not be in vain. President Mwanawasa is serious about running a Government of laws and not of men.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: We have in the past, supported a teacher and trade unionist for Presidency. This is the time to support a lawyer for President. From world records, hon. Members, you can agree with me that you have seen Presidents who are lawyers, like Bill Clinton, Tonny Blaire and Nelson Mandela, doing very well.

So, we hope and it is my belief that President Mwanawasa will equally do well. As for me and for hon. Members of Parliament who are lawyers, I am sure we would like to see Mwanawasa succeed.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: Personally, I would like to see him succeed because I was the first person to support him when NEC nominated him. I am sure I will give him all the support to see that he succeeds in my little contribution as Minister of Works and Supply.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 64/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 65/01 – (Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training – Headquarters – 39,346,987,534)

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Mulela): I rise to support the Vote on the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

Sir, training is very important in every country. This ministry is a clearing house for school dropouts and school leavers who we should prepare to have skills to give them an opportunity for their future prosperity.

Mr Chairman, I am happy to see that in all these trade schools, there is at least an increment in the allocation from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Sir, the National Institute for Scientific Research (formerly National Council for Scientific Research) has been completely run down for the past years. I am happy to see that there is an allocation of K8 billion in this Budget. Mr Chairman, proper working environment is very important. You can train people, but you need them to have proper working environment with good equipment and technological advancement in whatever they are doing.

I am happy to see that most of the institutes here like Zambia Air Service Training Institute which has trained most of our pilots in this country for years and most of them are operating in developed countries, has also been upgraded now with equipment. This is an indication that we should value these institutions that we have put in this country on which we spend a lot of money in the previous years.

Mr Chairman, may I come to Remote Sensing Institute. It is a vital institute that is being developed in this country. It cuts across several ministries. For example, in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, we use landslide imagery to carry out explorations and mapping. It is also used by the Defence Force, agriculture, land use planning and also to be used to medicate disaster management and other education matters.

The institute will be, as we are sitting here, is taking pictures of the earth. We used to buy these landslides imagery to study them in this country from abroad. Through this equipment, the institute that we are putting in place in Zambia now, we will be able to see the whole Zambia from the office. You can plan everything in your own office without any problems. I hope that with this institute now, it should be properly used by all stakeholders in different ministries like Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. We are able to plan to see declaration in the environment using the landslide imagery that will be pictured from the station.

In Africa before, we used to get this from Kenya, an institute that was put up by UNDP. South Africa, being an advanced country, had its own station.

We are happy that we are trying to catch up in technology with other countries in the sub-region. I just hope that we shall be able to sustain this Institute to catch up with the technological advancement in the modern developed countries. It is not easy to catch up but through human resource development and provision of spares, we hope that it will be sustainable and improve our planning.
Hon. Members, if you imagine that you want to plan a road from here to another place which you do not know, this equipment will give us the latest status of the area which you have not even seen before. You can plan the road to its destination by looking at that thing before you even go there. It reduces the impact of spending a lot of resources in surveying because we are able to see up front. We can also see the flooding. If there is any disaster, you easily get a picture and see the flooding before you even go there. During these wars now in the sub-region, they are able to trace where the refugees are gathering and send people to rescue them. That is what the remote sensing does for human kind.
Mr Chairman, I would not like to waste much time on this, but I will appreciate if most of these ministries could ensure that this facility, coming to Zambia for the first time, is properly utilised. I also hope that the wavelength of this will cover everybody because we shall be getting different pictures for different uses. What I will be looking for in the mineral exploration will not be the same that my colleagues in agriculture and forestry will be looking for because we are using infrared. What looks green will look red on the picture. But, I hope this Institute will take care of all of us by putting all the requirements that our technocrats will be looking for. At the same time, I hope it will be accessible to everybody hopefully not at an exorbitant price because we have been buying these things from abroad at US$500 each. One can cover only a few degrees sheets, coverage of part of Zambia. But having this thing in the country will enable us look at the latest development. Where there is deforestation, you will be able to easily see on the photography that will be picked everyday as the satellite once passes over the country of Zambia.
Thank you, Sir.
Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for affording me this opportunity to make my brief remarks regarding the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.
Mr Chairman, the hon. Minister will agree with me that developed countries have made head ways in terms of economic development because they have always put emphasis on research. But in this country, I think what we have been able to see is the opposite. That is why our economy has stagnated for a long time. And I take it that this is a conventional wisdom inherenting the creation of the industrial National Institute for Industrial Research. I think the underlining assumption of that is if we created a body like this one, we will be able to stimulate the economy in that the same organisation will put more emphasis on itself. We have had to import even small spare parts for our bicycles not knowing that, in fact, we are enriching those countries from where we are importing all these spare parts. Not only that, if for example, we think of establishing a manufacturing industry we will be able to assemble all parts that will be imported. For  example, Chipata bicycle plant. We are importing almost everything. The only thing we do is assembling parts. In other words, this Institute has been dormant for a long time. And it must be given marching orders. For how long are you going to continue importing even simple spare parts? We are spending a lot of money unnecessarily.

The Institute must begin to think of creating import substitution industry in order to serve money. We are enriching countries like South Africa and Botswana because we are importing a lot of things from these countries.

I do not know whether, some of us have come across any research  results.  I do not know. I think I have to be a student to learn from the hon Minister about researches that have been conducted by the same Institute. I have never come across one, and yet we are spending a lot of money on paying all the managers of the Institute. Drive along our beautiful roads for example Kabwe to Ndola. You will see our hard working women selling tomatoes, selling anything that you can think of. Yet in other countries these tomatoes, this sweet potatoes can be converted into something like butter. That is the role that is supposed to be played by the institute. All these tomatoes are just getting rotten.

So, the institute must be given marching orders. If it is the question of management, the hon Minister must be seen to reactivate the firm. I do not agree with the hon Minister of Mines and Mineral Development that in fact we have made progress in terms of the equipment that we are making, no! We are importing almost everything, hon Minister. The records are there for everybody to see. Even in our ministries, we are importing almost every thing. Even vehicles, if for example we are talking about buying vehicle for our Government Ministers, we spend a lot of money by importing the same vehicle from Japan. Yet these things are supposed to be made here. For how long are you going to be importing the same? Right now we have a number of Members of Parlianment who have made submissions about vehicles which are supposed to be bought. They are going to be imported.

Mr Situmbeko: Interjected.

Mr Kasongo: All hon Ministers who have been appointed are looking forward to receiving their vehicles. All these vehicles are going to be imported from Japan and other countries. For how long are you going to be doing the same? Even simple equipment like computers, are all imported. So, the Government…

Mr Muntanga: even petrol mulibe.

Mr Kasonga:... to save money by manufacturing these things locally.

Hon Opposition Member: Sosa

Mr Muntaga: In fact, you are creating market for other countries.

Mr Situmbeko: Yaa!

Mr Kasongo: We just have to go to Shoprite. Everything there is imported. Even in Game shop, it is the same arrangement that is going to greet you.

Mr Sitombeko: Tomato.

Mr Kasongo: Everything. So, in other words Sir, if it means maybe insufficient funding for the Institute, but, I think there is something wrong with management. You have to sit down and at least allow managers to be more focused. You have lost a lot of money. Think of these industries that are mushrooming. Even companies like ZESCO are  importing spanners. If talking about  clothes, which are supposed to be given to our own workers, police officers and so on, we also import them.

Our industrial basis is weak because the institute has been dormant. It is high time we shifted away from being an import-oriented country to a country that will be able to export to other countries.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Sikatana): Mr Chairman, I rise to support the estimates for this ministry. The vote is well intended and I wished we could give them more because any country that ignores research and development is in reverse gear and will never ever advance. Particularly for this country, we have metals and minerals that we have seen being taken out by the so-called investors that take them not for consumption as nshima, but to produce finished products.

Copper is not eaten as copper in England. They produce goods out of it and export them back to Africa (Zambia). For instance, the research at the Scientific Research Institute could be focused on how to make better use of our metals. I will give you examples. There was a time when it was so easy to make money out of this country. I would go to Kabwe to buy zinc and go across to Kafue and bought sulphuric acid. I would dilute sulphuric acid, drop in the zinc and then the following morning, I have zinc Sulphate acid. Thereafter, I would sell it to the farmers and yet the producers of zinc in Kabwe never attempted to produce anything out of it.

It is easy to produce Zinc Chloride although the Scientific Research is not being supported to make sure that the mining industries are not allowed to take away our metals instead, they should oblige to produce finished products here.

I will give further examples, in research and development, Sir. If you look at ZAMEFA today, the production of brass is out of copper and zinc. If you melt both and put them together, you have brass that is adding value such that you can never satisfy the market for brass in India but they will only allow the export of copper and zinc so that they can produce brass.

I will give two more examples, Mr Chairman. I went up and down the country looking for China clay. They call it China clay because it was first used in China. When we went to Lundazi, Nyimba, Choma and Mansa, we brought samples. I was physically involved. The hon. Minister for Science, Technology and Vocational Training was then running Moore Pottery and during our interaction we made sure that the Government banned the importation of China clay because we had better clay in Zambia and this was through this institute.

Hon. Member: It was the Republic.

Mr Sikatana: I was not a republic.


Mr Sikatana: Mr Chairman, we went into the research of indigenous vegetable oils with this institute. What you call mubula, mupundu and we were able to prove with this institute that the mupundu was superior to soya beans in oil and protein content and so was the mungongo. It was only because you have institutes like the NISA today that were engaged in research and development. To achieve these results, you need a lot of funding. My own project, Mr Chairman, in the mungongo and mubula cost us US$93,000. When we came up with the report of 118 pages, we had to depend on this institute. I, therefore, urge this august House to ensure that in future we invest more in this institute.

Mr Sibetta: Ten years of decay.

Mr Sikatana: Fortunately, my research has not resulted in any decay.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukwakwa (Zambezi East): Mr Chairman, I respect your ruling to the effect that speeches should be brief to enable other hon. Members to contribute. Mr Chairman, I stand here opposed to the Vote in the manner it has been brought to the House. The reason, Mr Chairman, is that I do not subscribe to this ministry standing as a stand-alone ministry. Why do I say that? If you look at the portfolio of this ministry, you have the headquarters. That is a duplication of costs. The work that is done by men and women in this unit can be done elsewhere in other ministries.

You look at the Directorate of Planning and Development, the Department of Science and Technology, Technical Education and Vocational Training. These can easily be fused into other ministries already existing in the portfolio of the Government. This ministry does not have to be a stand-alone. Even ZASTI can also be looked at critically and fused into some of the existing ministries like, for example, the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Mr Chairman, the relevance of technology to an economy is for purposes of development. In the early days, people in many countries were using axes and hoes to cultivate.

As technology came in, we ended up with tractors and also increased the hectrage. So, the need for the existence of these departments is to increase productivity, efficiency to the economy and, therefore, what we need is the application and the transfer of those technologies into the economy. We need to have a focus, Mr Chairman. Japan was flattened during the war. They did not give up. They had a focus of how their country was going to be developed.

Sir, we have had economic problems, economic mismanagement, but that does not mean that we cannot come out of these problems if we have a focus. Just having a bunch of ministries without focusing on what we want to achieve as a country, cannot take us anywhere.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this Vote.

Sir, science, technology and research are a generation of knowledge that is there to benefit mankind. Hence, the importance of this Vote cannot be overemphasised. This ministry is very important. It has offered a wind of opportunities for people who have failed to progress in their education. Sir, even those who drop at Grade 9 and 12 have found something to do at the end of the day, contributing to the well being our country.

Mr Chairman, we would not have been talking about Times of Zambia, ZNBC, and other places, had it not been for Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce which has been offering courses in that regard. The same applies to institutions like ZESCO and Zamtel. Sir, because of technicians who have been trained in our country, as a country, we are where we are. Hence, the importance of this ministry, indeed, cannot be overemphasised.

Mr Chairman, there is need for us to expand the training institutes that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training offers. When you go to rural districts, there are only few trade institutes. We need these institutes in rural areas because most of youths in the rural areas are unemployed. Those who have dropped at Grade 9 and 12 and since they cannot proceed to the University of Zambia need something to do. Hence, my appeal to the hon. Minister that they should look at expanding their area of operation.

Mr Chairman, I equally want to submit that the Government should not just leave the operations of these trade institutes and other higher institutions excluding universities to management boards. Because at the end of the day, institutions like the North Technical College in Ndola and Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce has just become a preserve for rich people. Sir, last year and, the year before last, fees were increased by over 300 per cent, making people who are poor but intelligent enough to proceed with their education unable to access the required technological skills at these institutions.

Sir, looking at the Public Investment Programme on page 55, allow me to quote, paragraph 5 and it reads:

“The major problem affecting the sector, meaning Science and Technology are as follows; a run down institution infrastructure, archaic and non-serviceable technical training and scientific research equipment. An exodus of technical and professional staff due to poor conditions of service, unserviced institutional equipment, and inadequate training materials and scientific research requisites”.

To me, it shows clearly that Government is very good at knowing the disease but is very much poor in terms of offering the medicines. My appeal to Government is that you have highlighted the problems and so, there is urgent need that Government looks at this and they have to address these problems that are there in this ministry.

Mr Chairman, in conclusion, I would like to submit that, having a multiple of learning institutions that are not specialised would not be adequate enough. We need advanced polytechnic learning institutions. For instance, there was a time when I went to South Africa, and having checked in the daily newspapers there, I discovered that they were looking for graduates from Zambia to go and work in their mines and car industry. But they had put a specification saying, “We need somebody who was at Copperbelt University but he should be a ZIT graduate’, meaning Zambia Institute of Technology. So, there is need that we have such institutions that are going to be really specialised. Some people might not have the talent to be experts in all fields but they could have the talent to do these jobs which are by nature more practical.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Chairman, it is a known fact that the nation’s most important asset is its people. Sir, others, who spoke before me on this Vote, talked about science and research. I would like to add my voice to vocational training.

Mr Chairman, I would like to submit to this House that the K12 billion that has been allocated to the forty-three training institutions under that Vote is inadequate. Inadequate, Mr Chairman, given also the ministerial statement laid on the Table of this House by the hon. Minister of Education which shows clearly that the level of performance of our children in basic education is declining. This, therefore, calls, Mr Chairman, for increased investment in this area of study. The Budget does not show at all any allocation for investing in new trades training schools, and yet we know for a fact that as at last year, more than one million youths in this country were out of…

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 mislead the House by telling this House that Grade 9 or basic education results and indeed the quality of education is diminishing.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr L. L. Phiri: That is his opinion!


The Chairman: Order, order! Will you please continue and take care of that point of order in mind.

Mr Lubinda: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.

Two days ago we got a ministerial statement and it is up to the people to determine what it contained. Therefore, I will stay away from that.

However, Mr Chairman, back to what I was saying, it is very clear also that the formal sector does not have jobs for people in this country.

The jobs exist in the none formal sector and yet what we have allocated in this Budget is on average basically K300,000,000 per trades training centre and the range is from K25 million for the whole year. For example the Ndola Polytechnic, to the highest figure of K1 billion for a large institution such as the Evelyn Home College, the rest is a range. From the K300 million per year, one wonders if the Government is really serious about developing it’s human resource in technology and science.

Mr. Chairman, I am also seriously perturbed to see that in this Budget, last year’s Budget had an allocation K2.7 billion in this particular Ministry to go to support skills training and this year it shows a nil figure. Where has that money gone? What has happened to the importance of skills training in this country? Mr. Chairman, the K300 million per school is supposed to cover also emoluments according to the note that was passed to me from the Minister responsible for that Ministry. K300 million should go to pay salaries and all recurrent costs and yet the state of these schools leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of them are on their knees begging for rehabilitation.

Mr. Chairman, the equipment that the youths are using in these training schools is old, archaic and obsolete. They do not have transport to take their pupils and students for industrial attachment and yet we are hoping that we can train the human resource to run our industry. Where is our seriousness? Looking at the names that appear here, I do not see any that I did not know ten or eleven years ago. What happened in the last ten years? How come we did not invest in increasing the possibilities and opportunities for the children of Zambia.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that besides the lack of facilities in these trades training schools, there is also no seriousness in this Vote to show that this Government is, indeed, in a hurry to catch up with the advancement in technology taking place in the whole world. There is none of these institutions that is capable of providing any computerised training and yet we all know that the computer age has left us behind. When, Sir, shall we show seriousness with our training?

Mr. Chairman, I would like to urge the Minister to take a serious visit to these schools, let him go and visit each one of them and look at the conditions in which those teachers are working. Let him go and see the conditions under which those students are learning so that next year, hopefully, if they do continue, he might lobby His Honour the Vice-President and the Minister of Finance and National Planning for an increased allocation to this very important Ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mwape): Mr. Chairman, I rise to support the Vote.

Mr. Chairman, capacity building is a key factor in the economic development of any nation. Science, technology and vocational training are key components in the preparation for industrial take over.
Somebody referred to the Ministry of Communications and Transport as being ministry where this ministry could fused in. That could have been very misdirected because communications does not answer all scientific inquiries. Communications does not answer all technological inquiries nor vocational requirements of an economic industry.

Therefore, suggesting that such an important ministry like Science, Technology and Vocational Training could be fused into another ministry is a fallacy. It should be understood very clearly that for any nation to boast of any meaningful development, emphasis is on research and development. Research is a province of scientific inquiry. It is arising from scientific inquiry that we will come up with technological advancement. Therefore, I am worried to hear hon. Members saying that this ministry is like any other. It is a key ministry in the turning around of the economy of this nation. We should not mislead ourselves.

Mr Chairman, I buy the idea that Hon. Lubinda was trying to get at. We need to expand the services in this ministry to encompass all school leaving children from Grade 7 up to Grade 12. This is because the fallacy of UNIP was that at Grade 7, 250,000 in a year were going out of the school system without vocational training. At Grade 9 level, we used to have about 50,000 children going out of the school system without vocational training.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mwape: Hold your fire.

At Grade 12, we used to have about 20,000 going out of the school system without vocational training. If you do your arithmetic very well, you will find that at an average of about 250,000, we were going to have a million in every four years without survival skills being given to such kind of individuals.

In twenty years time, we had a school of five million unprepared adults. That was very serious. You have not been looking at it very critically. You did not understand because at that time they were young. These are problems that our Government came to take over.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Question!

Mr Mwape: Yes. Bo Sibetta. You were there as Minister of State in UNIP.


The Chairman: Order!

Mr Mwape: When we took over, they were multiplying every year. Today, we have to look for a panacea to the problem. We have to expand the vocational training intake. If we do not expand, we are still going to be wallowing in the same situation of saying we need more school places. We need to expand our college system and trades training institutes to take care of all of our children. All of them need training skills.

Therefore, if we have to speak of meaningful development, we have to come around and expand our existing trades training institutes, colleges and even encompass research and development. For example, a school in Singapore of ZASTI standing is capable of producing an aircraft.


The Chairman: Order!

Mr Mwape: I do understand that some of our colleagues have never been vocational trainers. I have been a Principal Inspector in Vocation Training and I know what I am talking about.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mwape: Yes, some of you have just been failing.

The Chairman: Order!

Mr Mwape: A school of ZASTI equivalent in Singapore is capable of producing an aircraft and we have not given it a thought and we think that is a luxury. It is not a luxury. It is deliberate decision we have to take and we to invest into it. But, one wind does not make a summer.

So, in as far as I know…

The Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)    
The House adjourned at 2157 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 26th March, 2002.