Debates- Thursday, 14th March, 2002

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Thursday, 14th March, 2002

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: In accordance with the provisions of our Standing Orders, I have nominated the following Members to constitute the House Keeping Committees.

1.    Standing Orders Committee (8)

The Hon. Mr Speaker (Chairman)
His Honour E.P. Kavindele, MP
The Vice-President
The Hon. N.L. Zimba, MP, Minister of Information & Broadcasting Services, Chief Whip
The Hon. E. G. Kasonde, Minister of Finance and National Planning
Mr K.M. Shepande, MP
Reverend, G. Z. Nyirongo, MP
Mr M. W. Mwale, MP
Mr D. M. Lungu.

2.    Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services (8)

The Hon. Mr Deputy Speaker (Chairman)
The Hon. N.L. Zimba, MP, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Chief Whip
The Hon. G. Kunda, MP, Minister of Legal Affairs
Dr S. Kabanje, MP
Mr N. Nzowa, MP
Mr C. L. Kabaghe, MP
Miss B. H. Jere, MP
Mr G. K. Nang’omba, MP

3.    Reforms and Modernisation Committee (10)

The Hon. E. G. Kasonde, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning
The Hon. G. Kunda, MP, Minister of Legal Affairs
The Hon. Dr. L. S. Sondashi, MP, Minister of Works and Supply
Princes Nakatindi Wina, MP
Mr P. C. Katema, MP
Mr A. J. D. M. Chungu, MP
Mr C. L. Kabaghe, MP
Mr. T. K. Nyirenda, MP
Mrs S. T. Masebo, MP


4.    Committee on Government Assurances (8)

    Colonel B. K. Makumba, MP
    Mr L. Shemena, MP
    Mr E. Z. Mwanza, MP
    Mr C. M. Shumina, MP
    Mr M. B. Mwaba, MP
    Miss. B. H. Jere, MP
    Mr J. Shakafuswa, MP
    Mr K. H. Sinkala, MP

5.    Committee on Delegated Legislation (8)

Mr J. J. Mwiimbu, MP
    Mrs R. Banda, MP
    Mr B. Tetamashimba, MP
    Mr R. C. Banda, MP
    Dr. P. D. Machungwa, MP
    Mr R. Muyanda, MP
    Mrs S. T. Tembo, MP
    Mr J. Katoka, MP

6    Committee on Estimates (9)

Mr A.O. C. Kalunga, MP
Mr R. J. Banda, MP
Mr M. S. Mulanda, MP
Mr T. K. Nyirenda, MP
Miss P. N. Nawa, MP
Mr D. Matongo, MP
Mr E. M. Hachipuka, MP
Mr R. K. Chulumanda, MP
Mr G. Lubinda, MP


Mr  Speaker: I have to inform the House that I have received communication to the effect that the following hon. Members of Parliament have been appointed as Whips of their respective parties in the House: Mr K. M. Shepande, MP, for the United Party for National Development, (UPND); and Mr D. K. A. Patel, MP, for the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD)

I still have to be advised by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) as to who has been appointed as Whip for that party.

I also wish to inform the House that the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) have appointed the newly nominated Member of Parliament and Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. N. L. Zimba, MP, as the Chief Whip of the House.

I appeal to the party Whips to work closely with the Government Chief Whip to ensure that the House carries out its functions smoothly and efficiently.

Thank you.




The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Bill, before the House seeks to amend the Customs and Excise Act so as to revise the customs tariff to bring it in line with international standards and practices of the harmonised commodity description and coding system. The Bill, also seeks to revise the rates downwards on certain inputs used in the manufacturing industry.

Mr Speaker, this Bill, also seeks to reduce Excise Duty payable on diesel from sixty per cent to forty-five per cent. Diesel is a critical input in the production throughout the economy in the agricultural sector. Diesel is a critical input for achieving increased production. Similarly, the mining sector is dependant on high consumption of diesel.

In view of the need to lower the high cost of production, and to improve the competitiveness of our industries, it is recommended that the above proposed changes be effected. Sir, in addition, the Bill, also seeks to reduce Excise Duty on electricity from seven to five per cent and Excise Duty on clear beer from eighty-five to seventy-five per cent. Both these changes are made to reduce production costs. However, I need to stress that projected revenues from the clear beer industry, is guaranteed despite these reductions.

Mr Speaker, another proposed change to the Bill, is meant to remove duty on fabrics used in the manufacturing of mosquito nets. This measure is aimed at reducing the incidences of malaria, a killer disease in our country. In order to mitigate revenue losses arising from concessions afforded to our industry, the Bill proposes to introduce five per cent Excise Duty on motor vehicles imported into the country. It also seeks to introduce twenty per cent Excise Duty on cosmetics and perfumes.

Finally, Mr Speaker, the other changes to the Bill only seek to up date the Act in order to bring it in line with the introduction of asquida plus, plus and to strengthen tax revenue collection. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for these cosmetic changes.

Mr Speaker, fuel in this country has a graduated price scale. It is cheaper to buy fuel in Ndola than in Livingstone or your home town Kalabo, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair must be left out of these debates. The job of the Chair includes presiding impartially on the affairs of the House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member of Parliament may avoid involving the Chair in those debates. 

May you continue, please.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, my remark on the Chair is withdrawn.

Mr Speaker, food production is not done in Ndola where fuel is cheap. Food production is done in Chisamba, Magoye, Zimba, Chipata, Kasama and Mongu. In these places, fuel is very expensive because as I have said, there is a graduated price scale. The further you are from Ndola, the more expensive it is to buy fuel. The majority of us here come from rural areas where the price of fuel is very expensive as compared to our brothers and sisters on the Copperbelt where fuel is cheap. So, these are cosmetic changes.

It is very expensive to buy fuel in Kasama or Mongu. It was K4,180 per litre and it is very difficult for hon. Members to go to their constituencies. It is very difficult for farmers to produce food, no wonder we have shortage of food. There are so many prices built up in the prices of our fuel.

This six per cent reduction is going to favour people in Ndola and Kitwe and not us people from the rural areas where food is produced. These are mere cosmetic changes and they have nothing to do with the reduction of our cost of production. The Government has got to see that we pay the same price. We are producing food for Lusaka and Ndola. It is cheaper to buy maize in the rural areas than to buy it from Lusaka or Ndola. The price of mealie meal here and the price of maize is very cheap. All the time we are made to carry the brand of the economic hardship of this country. The people in rural areas need to be given an opportunity to participate in this New Deal.

We need to have the same price standard because the beef we produce in Western Produce, the fish we produce in Luapula and the maize produced in Chipata, when it comes here in Lusaka, in fact, we are subsidising consumption here. So, these changes the hon. Minster is proposing on fuel are mere cosmetics. 

He must also tell us what happened to the missing 668 tankers of fuel that was ordered from outside the country. They have gone nowhere. 600 tankers, Mr Speaker, is equivalent to fifty trains. Each train carrying thirty wagons. There is a lot of fuel that has gone missing and that is why the price of fuel is so expensive. We are trying to get the oil company pay for missing oil. What has taken this oil? Why is the ordinary man being given a full load to pay for corruption?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Lay it on the Table.

Mr Sibetta: The hon. Minister must find out what happened to that fuel.


Mr Sibetta: I am speaking very authoritatively. I was a member of the Energy Committee. I do not want to pre-empt what the Speaker’s arrangements on Committee is. I know what has been happening in the energy sector. I have been seconding motions on the Floor of this House on Energy, so I know that Zambian people are over burdened by mismanagement. So, we need to have a meaningful percentage than the six per cent on fuel.

Sir, as regards beer, I think we are promoting a nation of drunkards. Why reduce the price on beer. There are so many accidents on the road because people are driving under the influence of beer. You are reducing beer from eighty-five per cent to seventy-five per cent. You are going to have more people drinking. All you need is to be a parent and go to Avondale Shopping Centre in the afternoon and see the number of young people crowding that place to drink. It is pathetic. That is why there has been a lot of unexplained crime where young people have been killed in places like in Avondale. Ordinary people in rural areas do not drink this beer. Very few do.


Mr Sibetta: One per cent of the people in Luena drink beer.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: We make our own beer known as seven days.


Mr Sibetta: And it is less toxic than this highly intoxicating beer. We have been brewing our own beer even before the white men came.

Dr Sondashi: Interjected.

Mr Sibetta: I am not talking about lutuku from your area there.


Mr Sibetta: There is no need to reduce on beer. The hon. Minister should take the reduction on beer and put it on diesel and we should have a uniform price everywhere.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I understand there are very few maiden speakers.

Mr Nzowa (Kabushi): Thank you, Mr Speaker, I rise to comment on this Bill. 

In support of the Bill I would like to make some observations, especially on the 20 per cent exercise duty on cosmetics.

I am coming from Ndola where the industry is completely dead. And the few industries we have that are remaining and employing a few people are engaged in the manufacturing of these cosmetics. In support of this Bill, I would like to propose and ask the hon. Minister of Finance that those who are manufacturing cosmetics locally should be exempted from the 20 per cent exercise duty. Only those that are imported should attract the 20 per cent exercise duty. 

Why am I saying so? We should now start protecting our own industries. We have killed every industry. Therefore, it is time we turned around this economy of this country. A lot of those companies engaged in manufacturing of cosmetics have cried foul. And in my area we have quite a number of them who have cried foul. And they have said that they are not going to compete with these subsidised imports of cosmetics. When are we going to have our own industry that will be manufacturing some of these things? We are just next to Congo DR here, but the Congolese pass through Zambia to go to South Africa to import the very things that they can buy from here. 

So, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to explain and be as clear as possible on the 20 per cent exercise duty on cosmetics. The local industries that are engaged in this business should be exempted and let those who are importing this pay 20 per cent exercise duty.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chitalu M.  Sampa (Kalulushi): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the introduction of this Bill by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, because the contents of this Bill are very crucial and indeed aim at developing Zambia. The only problem is that if we cannot support this Bill in totality, we will have problems.

It is very unfortunate that my colleague on the other side, HisEexcellency, the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena…


Mr Chitalu M.  Sampa: … described this Bill as ‘cosmetic’. It is very unfortunate. In my view, this is a special and proper beginning of revamping our economy in the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitalu M.  Sampa: Therefore, the reduction of six per cent will go a long way to see that the development of Zambia is actually attained. 

More importantly, Mr Speaker is that agriculture in this country is the most important development so that all of us stick to so that in the near future we can see that the diversification of economy is actually bearing fruit. For this reduction, it will encourage people like farmers to grow more and to move from place to place where there is need for them to make the agriculture a viable development. 

Mr Speaker, Sir, to comment on beer, it may sound very well, but I think on this one, I should support my colleagues that truly speaking, giving beer and reduce the price from 85 per  cent to 70 per cent. It will give now a wholesale drinking throughout the country. And I wonder as to whether we will even be able to control the AIDS pandemic because drinking bear by our young generation will increase because they will not  care what happens because they have drunk beer and will forget all about it.

So, Mr Speaker, although we are going to support this, I think there are some of the things which must be seriously looked into.

Talking about Ndola, I think we shall have proper explanation from the hon. Minister of Finance because last year, we were talking about tax fee zones, which include Ndola, Luanshya and Kabwe. The tax free zones will encourage the businessmen to invest in this country without them paying tax. Unless, perhaps, it is properly explained by the hon. Minister so that we are all aware and what it means by tax free zones.

So, Mr Speaker, I wanted to briefly comment on these issues and congratulate the hon. Minister once again for introducing these amendments.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Imenda (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Bill which is being discussed at the moment and I would also like to dwell on the impact the reduction being put before us will have on the agricultural sector and the industry.

I rise to support the argument put before the House by the hon. Member for Luena that the reduction is cosmetic in the sense that the impact the reduction will have on the agricultural industry is minimal, especially taking into consideration the fact that for many years we have seen the increase of fuel and for the first time, we are having a reduction though so minimal. We have to look at a lot of factors and, perhaps look at other countries that seem to be doing well.

You may agree with me, Mr Speaker, that fuel is very cheap in neighbouring countries and it is very difficult to understand why the same is not applicable in our own country. Mr. Speaker, we also have to look hard at the way fuel is sold to this country. We have heard a lot of anomalies by the Zambia National Oil Company and how it includes to the price of fuel, which is hitting hard the Zambian population, the agricultural sector and the industry which is at the moment at rock bottom.

Mr. Speaker, we have to look at these factors to understand why our economy is at a stand still. So, to stand up here and talk about the beginning being good when we are not told how the analysis is made to the effect that it will increase our industries or benefit us as individuals and the agricultural sector, that is neither here nor there. So, I would like to support the Bill but with a lot of changes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr. Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the hon. Minister of Finance and Planning has tremendous problems in trying to balance between Revenue and Expenditure. And one of his main sources other than tax is the sources of income that he derives from customs duty. However, my experience in the past ten years, four of which I spent in Cabinet, is that no matter how the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry lobbies with his colleague at the Ministry of Finance, he would reason to believe that his views are falling on deaf ears.

Mr. Speaker, I nonetheless, sympathise with the hon. Minister, particularly knowing that the current fiscal position is in dire straits. Having said that, however, I find that unless the Government seriously and once and for all deals with the fiscal problems of our country, we are never ever, at least, in my life time going to see a situation where we will be able to protect the local industry on a long-term basis because on one side the Minister has to have certain revenue, and on the other, tremendous losses. For example, in parastatal organisations, Bank of Zambia or over-expenditure in the Government. Until the hon. Minister decides to bite the bullet and take the bull by the horns, we are not going to see this equity that is required in our country and our industrial base.

Mr. Speaker, we also as a country need to be a little more vigilant about our trading relationships with our neighbouring countries, through SADC, PTA, FTA and, indeed, the WTO covenants we have agreed. I had the privilege, Sir, to sign the World Trade Agreement on behalf of our Government in the early 1990’s in Morocco. 

However, I want to take a recent example. You see what is happening in the USA where the American Government wants to protect the steel industry and they have imposed severe penalties on imports and that is because not only an election place by President Bush but he wanted to protect certain jobs. Now, we seem to have a laissez-faire attitude. I, for one when I was a Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry refused to sign the SADC Trade Protocol until such time that the South African Government gave us access to the BLS countries and those are Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa.

Mr. Speaker, what instead happened was when my predecessor went and signed this trade agreement, it is costing us a tremendous amount in terms of our local capacities in manufacturing and our trading aspects. Therefore we have to look again at certain aspects of these trade agreements hon. Minister of Finance and Planning. In addition, hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, we have inequitable practice in trading, so we need to be at the forefront in ensuring that anti-dumping legislation or penalties are put in place. Until we do that, our industries will not be promoted.

Mr. Speaker, Hon. Sampa talked about tax free zones and I agree with the concept of tax free zones. But honestly the tax free zones should be really for value added products. Now, what are the products that we can put value on in our country. These are wood- based products and copper-based products. We should not just export copper, we only have one ZAMEFA in our country, why do we not have four or five. For instance, I know for a fact that in South Africa, they have a cartel with regard to copper wire industry and I know that the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is aware of that. Now, these are the areas where we need to promote. Sir, leather products is another area where we expect value added.

Mr. Speaker, I do hope that in our effort to promote tax free zones, it is not simply going to be blinded, of course, by the fact that we have ghost towns and, therefore, we create tax free zones where we will not get real benefits out of manufacturing.

Mr. Speaker, another phenomenon that we have had in the last two to three years is this concept of providing exclusive incentives to particular investors. Take, for example, the incentives that were provided either to the Customs and Excise Bill or to the Income Tax Bill which is coming later for debate to Sun International in Livingstone. You will find that a foreign investor who wanted to invest in Livingstone was given specific and special incentives. The rest of the country, including all the Zambians who want to invest in a particular sector like tourism were denied that. 

The same thing happened with the Anglo American Corporation which were given exclusive incentives at the cost of the others and you find that today later on in other Bills, the Government is leveling the playing field for the other mining corporations.

Mr. Speaker, I think this phenomenon of exclusivity of one or two particular investors, we should refrain from that. I just want to again emphasise, Sir, that the hon. Minister of Finance and Planning at some point must evaluate to a critical or forensic study as to what industries are viable in Zambia. Take for example, the textile industry…

Reverend Nyirongo crossed the Floor.

Hon. Members: Order, order!

Mr Patel: … it is no use trying to protect the entire textile industry because we grow cotton in our country but the type of cotton we grow is known as short staple cotton which produces products like T-shirts and some cheaper or the lower end of cotton products. But it is no use saying that let us have a textile mill which produces polyester suits because we do not produce the yarn which is derived from a petroleum product. It is, therefore, better for the consumer to import the yarn for that particular industry but protect the cotton industry. So, unless we take this forensic study and I think many such studies have been undertaken at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry previously.

Mr. Speaker, I think that one of the problems we have had over the past ten years is that every time there is a new minister or a new administration, you find that in their enthusiasm, a whole lot of new studies are undertaken to re-evaluate what has previously been evaluated twenty or thirty times before. I think we need to pay attention to studies that are already on the shelves and examine what we need to do.

Mr Speaker, until we have that equity, understanding and appreciation by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, that we need to protect our industries but only protect those that give value added, I think we are supposed to be moving from the last ten years on the tariff barrier of say, 25 per cent for finished products, 15 per cent for intermediate goods and 5 per cent for raw materials that have been processed with local raw material.

Now, at some point, we must get away from the irrational but erratic movements in the way we deal with tariffs. Ten years ago, we said that we want to move to three or four levels of our tariff. Hon. Kasonde, you will recall this, when you were Minister of Finance in the early 90s. We have still not got there.

So, what I see this year, Mr Speaker, is that I think the entire house has given a tremendous benefit of doubt to the Government. I hope that the corrections will be made during the course of this year. If we proceed the way we are, we are always one step forward and two steps backwards.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kabaghe (Matero): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to make my maiden speech so that I have the opportunity to contribute effectively to various issues that will be debated in this House.

Mr Speaker, let me also add my voice by congratulating you and your deputy on your election to your key position in this House. I realise that it is now becoming rhetoric to congratulate you, but you deserve it. You, therefore, need to be congratulated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabaghe: The election procedure which was finally implemented or adopted in this House in electing you to the Office of Speaker was, indeed, a giant step and barometer of the kind of true democracy that we will see in this House and in Zambia in general for now and the future.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabaghe: I would also like to thank all hon. Members of this House for their election to the noble House. The Zambian electorate, acting singularly and severally, made a very wise choice and in unison, balanced this Parliament.

This status quo is good for the tenets of democracy and evolvement of our beloved country, Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I would further like to thank the people of Zambia for having refused vehemently to the adulteration of the Republican Constitution of Zambia to allow former President, Frederick Chiluba, to go for a third term bid.

My special thanks go to the courageous twenty-two former members of the MMD who championed the campaign against it and, indeed, said enough was enough. They are, indeed, great sons and daughters of this great country, Zambia.

Mr Speaker, just imagine and visualise where this country would have been had the uncouth third term bid succeed. Really, it would have been disastrous for this country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Kabaghe: Mr Speaker, I would like to give unreserved special thanks to my electorate in Matero who gave my candidature as their Member of Parliament unprecedented and enviable support. I value their support. In turn, I promise to represent them in and outside this House with absolute excellence.

Mr Speaker, I would like also to congratulate the people of Matero further for their positive aggressiveness and unity of purpose which have consequently rewarded them with a Councillor, Colonel Kabungo, who is, now, the Mayor of the City of Lusaka. I say, job-well-done.

Mr Speaker, meanwhile, Matero is engulfed in untold and unbearable degree of poverty. They need desperately and urgently a prescription and medication to emancipate them from their economic and social woes.

Mr Speaker, in terms of the road network in Matero, for some of you who have been there, really, you can liken Matero to Afghanistan. It is like a bombarded constituency. Today, we do not use small cars, but four by four vehicle and coach-carts to traverse the area. All roads are in a deplorable state, to say the least. They need immediate graveling and eventually, tar them so that they are brought to the standard that human beings can use them.

Sir, on unemployment, like any other peri-urban constituency, Matero has an unemployment rate of over 90 per cent and yet it is in the centre of the main industrial area of Lusaka. The constituency has a dark cloud of poverty hovering over it. It is, now, a constituency, technically speaking, of beggars. There is not a single home that you go to that has no economic or social problems. Every home you go around to has a serious economic problem.

Mr Speaker, there is indeed, an urgent need to create employment for the people of Matero Constituency.

I will put together issues of water, sanitation and street lighting. Sir, there is no water available in Matero. If it is there, it only comes twice or three days in a week. The sanitation is extremely poor. There is actually non-availability of drugs in most clinics in Matero.

I am sure the hon. Minister of Health is here. Thank you very much that he was given the opportunity to visit all the clinics so that he can fully assess the position of drugs in all clinics in my constituency.

Mr Speaker, when you take all these things into consideration, one starts to understand why the MMD, as a party, failed completely at all levels of elections in Matero. This is because there is absolutely no development in that constituency. But I am confident that the New Deal Government will address these issues seriously and make a difference in Matero.

Mr Speaker, let me, now, address myself to His Excellency the President’s Speech to the House which was delivered on 22nd February, 2002. The speech was positive, all encompassing and, indeed, gave hope to the majority of Zambians who are currently wallowing in abject poverty. One can liken the speech by the President to that of the famous Soviet Union Perestoika, which was introduced by President Gorbachev and gave hope to the communist block for an economic boom. I hope it will be implemented and the hope we are talking about will be realised.

Sir, as the President talked, I developed butterflies in my stomach. I was worried about how the Minister of Finance and National Planning would balance his current Budget and indeed, future budgets. This is because the present speech concentrated more on creating structures, institutions, concession, etc. Little was contained or spoken in the sense of innovative ways of generating income and resources to support the envisaged carried and future Government expenditure.

We already have a deficit budget and I can foresee a heavy budget deficit to come in future if the income and expenditure equation is not properly addressed. I have no doubt in my mind, Sir, that next year when we come here to discuss the Budget, we will be talking of a deficit budget which will be in trillions of kwacha.

Hon. Members’ maiden speeches have touched on many areas and issues of national concern. This has not only been from this side of the House (Opposition), but also from that other side of the House (Government). I, indeed, share their well-articulated concerns and views. I cannot go in those details because they have already been discussed.

As regards the Budget Speech, in particular, I wish to commend the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for reintroduction of the Planning Directorate in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. Mr Speaker, it is inconceivable to think that a country can be run based on annual budgets. The absence of medium and long term plans for the country has been one of the contributing factors for the dismal performance of our economy. Individuals at institutions operating in any given country can only chart their actions based on the forecast national plans. To say the least, the running of the country has been ad hoc and haphazard. I commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for addressing the issue conclusively.

Let me, Mr Speaker, turn to issues where I am competent and that are very central to my heart. These are issues that deal with agriculture. Let me, first of all, speak about the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Mr Speaker, first of all, I think it is erroneous and absolutely hazard to say that the Food Reserve Agency failed to execute its statutory functions as buyer of last resort. This statement is contained in both His Excellency the President’s Speech on page 35, Section 49 and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning’s Budget Speech on page 12, Section 80.

Mr Speaker, crop marketing has never been a marketed function of the Food Reserve Agency. The Food Reserve Act of 1995 is clear on the matter. There is need, Sir, for the Executive to fully understand and familiarise itself with the Acts before they are passed in this House.

Let me just give a bit of the background of the Food Reserve Agency. The agency was created specifically to address two issues. The first one was to manage and administer a National Food Strategic Reserve for Zambia. That was the key responsibility of the Food Reserve Agency. The second one was to lease and manage Government’s owned storage facilities which are all over the country. Because of these basic functions that were given to Food Reserve Agency, the institution consists of only 27 workers throughout the country.

This team is highly qualified and comprises experienced professionals who have done and continue to do a commendable job for this country. It also has, Sir, a very competent Board of qualified and principled individuals.

The issue of input supply was imposed on this very lean institution with minimum support from the former Government. To date, Mr Speaker, the Agency has only one worker who covers the Copperbelt, North Western and Luapula Province and yet, they expect that one worker to do wonders and serve all the farmers in that area.

It is unfortunate, Mr Speaker, that the former MMD Executive never really understood what the FRA was really all about. They thought the Agency was mandated to answer the problems of a farmer in terms of crop marketing and input supply. Meanwhile, FRA as it was being given all these added responsibilities, submitted several proposals to the Executive on how best it could be expanded and handle the issue of crop marketing and input supply. But all this was in vein. It is not FRA that failed the farmer but the Government.

I am confident, again, and hope that the New Deal Government will not also fall prey to shifting the blame on innocent hardworking institutional workers when they have failed to do the job.

Today, Mr Speaker, we are talking about poor management in councils. Council workers are not being paid. The fault is not of the council management. It is the fault of the Government. When you exhausted all income generating assets from the council, you still wanted them to be able to pay two thousand workers, if you talk in terms of Lusaka City Council. I think it is not right to blame our colleagues who are in these institutions when it is the Government who are to blame. I hope the New Deal Government will make sure that if they are to blame themselves, they should accept the blame.

Mr Speaker, let me, now, turn to the National Food Strategic Reserve. This is a must for any country in the world. Especially countries like ours where rainfall is erratic. It varies from place to place. The National Food Strategic Reserve is like equiping yourself for a war. Suppose you are invaded, do you have strategic reserve to feed the soldiers? In case of drought, do you have a strategic reserve that can run to subsidise the maize in the country?

Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the former Executive never really understood and appreciated the vital role that a strategic food reserve could play in an economy like ours. I do not want to speak from without. Let me give you some data on the funding to Food Reserve Agency, which was meant to build strategic reserves for this country. The whole of last year 2001 to 2002, this House approved a budget allocation of K12 billion for the Food Reserve Agency to buy strategic reserves. No kwacha was released. In 2000 to 2001, K10.1 billion was approved by this House – nothing was released. In 1999 to 2000, K12 billion was approved– nothing was released. In 1998 to 1999, K12.125 billion was approved - K1 billion was released to Food Reserve Agency.

Mr Speaker, how else does the Executive expect the Food Reserve Agency to create and develop strategic reserves? The problem we are having, now, of hunger is because we were shortsighted. Had there been money four years ago, we would be proud to talk of a strategic reserve. If we are talking about crop marketing and the money is not released to the Crop Marketing Authority, they should forget.

We talked of Credit Organisation of Zambia, Land Bank, Agriculture Development Bank, Lima Bank, AFC, ZCF Finance Services, Food Reserve Agency and if the money is not released, it will not be done. If we are going to depend on foreign money to build strategic reserves and it is not in the Budget, we should forget about it. It has to be our own money that we get from our own revenues.

Mr Speaker, whilst this was happening, the District Administrators were being funded heavily.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame.

Mr Kabaghe: That is what hurts the people of Zambia. They are going hungry yet they should have maize coming from the strategic reserves. This House approves a budget and nothing to the FRA to create the strategic reserve.

Let me come to the Crop Marketing Authority. Mr Speaker, I have received the creation of the Crop Marketing Authority with a lot of apprehension. I realise that the authority will have a positive multiplier effect in the economy. But I hope the hon. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is in this House. We have had before boards or institutions of this kind.

We should have introspected ourselves first and foremost what has gone wrong with this institution before we create another meagre institution. A board of this kind is a very expensive venture and extremely difficult to manage countrywide. Because of the very structural nature as a national cake, because this operated is a national cake, it entails from the start application of heavy subsidies that realistically at this point in time this country can ill afford. Politicisation of the authority like in case of all boards in Africa is the order of the day.

I do not know what powers the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives will have because we will have a manager in Isoka, Shangombo and all over the country. They will be employing and supervising these people. They will be pilfering and there will be thefts, mention it. But I hope there will be a system of re-appraising all these people so that there is no wastage.

I am, Mr Speaker, scared stiff because whilst our friends in Malawi have what is called ADMAC, they are breaking it into pieces. You are talking about Zimbabwe marketing boards, but it is being broken into pieces. In South Africa, what was remaining was called a Maize Board. Two years ago, they abolished it. Here we are recreating a heavy burden subsidy company called Crop Marketing Authority.

It is Namboard. It is just the name. It is Namboard that is coming back. This board is inherently, inefficient and cumbersome to administer. Whatever super chief executive and staff we will employ in this authority, they will be condemned and will not succeed. I can assure this House that before the end of our in term in this House, we will back here talking about how best we can dismantle the Crop Marketing Authority. 

Maize which is whether we like or not a prescribed crop, Mr Speaker, grows uneconomically 90 per cent in most parts of this country. The measures that have been put in the budget if implemented this year, we were going to have a bumper harvest, God willing, with the measures if implemented that are in this budget. Having done that, the authority has to buy all this maize because it is a buyer of last resorts. It is buying it uneconomically. This budget we are talking about should reflect that difference throughout the country and should be incorporated in the budget. That will be a subsidy. 

Once again, Mr Speaker, maize will start being produced in areas where it has absolutely no comparative advantage. We should be talking about diversification. Now we want maize to be grown all over the country where it has no comparative advantage at all. At the end of the day, it this country that is going to lose. The mathematician is sitting there. He understands what I am talking about. 

Mr Speaker, crop diversification is the way forward for Zambia. Budgetary intervention we are talking about here should promote the growth of crops where they have a comparative at budget. My appeal to this House really is that before the Crop Marketing Authority is implemented, we need through the office of the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, to revisit for implementation.

We need a very competent team of professional agro-economists and officials of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning because otherwise it will be a total disaster. I would like us here to devise ways of promoting co-operatives union wherever they are and also individuals in provinces and districts, preferably in the genius companies of agro-companies. Let us strengthen those. Let them be the people who are going to employ, supervise and fire people rather than somebody sitting in Lusaka as a Crop Marketing Board or Authority. It will be inefficient and it will be disaster for this country.

Let me address another issue that I know everyone thinks is a good idea. We grow maize under irrigation immediately, Mr Speaker, we are reacting to impacts of the moment. It is extremely expensive to grow maize during winter. Planning has to be done next month. It is cold in June/July. The photosynthesis is retarded. The growth is reduced. The crop grows over a period of five months before we start harvesting but this is under irrigation.

The pump is working every minute then the crop does not realise its full potential. Meanwhile the only people with irrigation capacity must forego the growing of wheat because it is an opportunity cost whose price on the open market now is between US$240 and US$280 per tonne. So for a farmer to forego the growing of wheat, he would to make sure that he is on contract indicating that he  will only grow maize at US$280 per ton. 

Mr Speaker, I do not know which farmer will grow maize only to be ready in September. Meanwhile on the Futures Market, SAFEX, in South Africa, you can place your order for maize to land in Lusaka, July, August, September, between US$240 and US$260. So our reaction is what is happening now and we are making this drastic move. I think that, that also should be revisited before it is implemented and before we go into an agreement. If they are growing maize seed, it makes sense.

Mr Speaker, while on this same issue, the deficit that we are talking about now is not an unusual deficit for this country. For the six years that the Food Reserve Agency has been in existed, it has had more serious deficits of maize than the one we are experiencing now. But somehow it was controlled. Somehow we knew we are eating foreign maize but nobody knew.

If the executive had been serious, before my chief executive Food Reserve agency left in March last year, to date, there is no chief executive at Food Reserve Agency. And it is the institution for strategic food. This is one of the reasons because I think things should have been addressed. We knew about this problem. And the maize only started coming in December/January when prices on the market were sky-rocketing. I think it has been an administrative missile in the whole system. So, let us not react to the impasse at the moment. We need to think through it thoroughly. Are we making the right decision for the future? 
Sir, I was talking about wheat. We may use those facilities to grow the maize but as the time comes towards the end of the year, we will be importing a lot of wheat in the country. So, the same forex they think they will be saving, we will be sending it on the other side. 

Let me come to the loans, to leaders, Agriculture loans. Mr Speaker, this is a sad development. This country is owed billions of kwachas. Sir, proper and dully signed commercial agreements were made. And these properly and dully signed contracts have always been signed since the Land Bank. But it is the attitude of the leadership, it is the attitude really in this case of us, Zambians.

We really do not know how to pay back agricultural loans. But, we do not pay back. It is because we leaders ourselves do not show by example by paying first, before we go and disturb small farmers. Sir, here I am not talking about only Politicians as leaders. There are other leaders who are not in this House who also owe billions to the Food Reserve Agency. There are also individual farmers, big farmers, who owe a lot of money to the Food Reserve Agency, so are agri-businesses. Sir, I support the Minister of Finance and National Planning and I support the President that these loans should be recovered in total.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabaghe: Now this recovery should not only be on principle sum, owes it should also be on the interest that was agreed upon. And this should not only be for the monies that was accrued by the Food Reserve Agency, no! We should go backwards from FFC and then come to the agricultural credit Management Marketing Programme where we had SGS and Cavmont. All those, should be put together and, indeed, some people what they have done Sir, is that they have liquidated their companies but they continue surviving. as individuals. I would like the lawyers we that have here, as well as the Minister of Legal Affairs to take it up. Let whatever action be taken on the company plus the principal directors involved. Those should go together. 

Hon Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Kabaghe: No one should escape the net. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you, and I thank the House for being so attentive on this issue of national importance. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr Speaker: It is evident that it has been a great deal of debate on this particular item on the Order Paper. It is possible that the next contributor should address the Bill. And if that is understood I will ask for one more contributor, but to address the Bill so that we may give the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning an opportunity to answer the many issues that have been raised here before we decide on this matter. The hon Member for Pemba should under take to address the Bill.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I rise to debate the Customs and Excise Bill, with a view that in fact competition is created if not now, sometime in the future. 

Mr Speaker, the buzzword is competition in the region. The buzzword is competition in Africa. The buzzword is for Zambia to compete on the international market. And if we would like to do that, we have to deny ourselves something. And it is at this point, Sir, that I request if not for now, in the immediate future for successive Ministers of Finance and National Planning to learn to deny the country something in order to create resources to build, manufacture, create something we can send across to other countries. Otherwise, we shall always complain about unfair competition when we, ourselves, are not being competitive. 

Sir, I commend the hon Minister of Finance and National Planning. Primarily, that is not my duty, but, where a job well done is registered, please, do pat somebody on the back. However, I would like him to understand that if he will like our agriculture, our commerce, our industry, if he will like our minerals, finished product, copper products, if he would like this country to compete favourably in communication and transport, he just has to start addressing all that in a more aggressive manner. In the same way he taxes the Zambian individual, in the manner he taxes the corporate persons of this country, the way he taxes all of us. 

Sir, The pump prices of diesel, fuel in dollar terms, is actually 86c per litre. That is about K3,870.00. Now, you see, that, sir, actually includes import duty. I am not unmindful of the fact that Indeni is exempt from this duty, but it is the duty nonetheless. Road levy 15 per cent excise duty at 45 per cent as before the budget, VAT 17.per cent. Now this raises the duties in this regard to 60 per cent of which the Minister has reduced marginally.

I urge him to please appreciate that when we compare these duties in the SADC region, we are on the apex of these taxes. Our manufacturers, our businessmen need to be backed up by reduction of taxes. I will lead you until this passes, hon Minister, in a very constructive manner and only for the future, if your budget cannot reverse on this Floor as I have been advised. It will be very useful, extremely useful, if duty and taxes on diesel were actually reduced by about 50 per cent.

That will just make you compete with Malawi. Anyway, what competition is there between Zambia and Malawi? That is the question I put across to you. It will put you at the disadvantage with Zimbabwe. Do not worry about their political problems, they will solve them. 

Secondly, I would urge the hon. Minister to please look at fixing these taxes averaging between 10 to 50 per cent. There are various and I cannot have the time to go item by item. You will see our manufacturers, you will see our traders, you will see our agriculture, actually being spared. I would suggest that VAT, Sir, use for farming purposes to be revisited. The National Roads Board too, should be allowed to collect levy at source and directly as long as we set up systems to monitor them.

In terms of manufacturing, Sir, you cannot talk of trying to revise Ndola and Luanshya or whatever, by simply declaring them some zones of some kind. You have no infrastructure and even if they were there, they are gone. Electricity is high and it is being reduced to 2 %. On a very serious note, if the hon. Minister would like a rejuvenation of the economy, I would say that the reduction on electricity from 7 % to 5 % is too meager. 

I recognize you need the money, but hon. Minister, when your establishment can actually import 60 X-class Benz cars to be used by Heads of State only visiting us for two or three days then you want to claim that you are poor,  you have to do a lot of explaining to convince Zambian people that you are poor. In any event, where are those 60 vehicles?  Why do you not sell at least 40 of them and solve part of your budget.


Mr Matongo: Sell them. Sir, I am saying 60% or 45 % reduction, as Excise Duty is not good for every product including those others that are seen not to be essential to parts of our community. One man’s food is another man’s poison.

Mr Speaker, Customs Duty on agricultural equipment if the hon. Minister would like to believe, we must have out of season crops waved on items such as hand pumps for bore holes, pumps themselves e.t.c. It is not enough to imagine that big farmers in Mkushi, Mazabuka and around Lusaka because they already have electricity and have already invested. Boom! Come July, they will plant maize and in November, we will harvest. December – January we eat, and that is false thinking. We simply have to do a bit more than that on our small-scale farmers.

Mr Speaker, it is not my intention to debate beyond this point except to implore upon the people who deal with taxes to please, try and extend these taxes. I like to believe that some of the market people without offices on the streets make more money than a permanent secretary. Day in day out, on this Floor, we shout at our Controlling Officers with meagre salaries and then you start saying they are corrupt. Do something about it by reducing their taxes and move forward.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Luena mentioned a number of points about the fuel. He felt that we had not gone far enough and that we should go further. It is a question of affordability. Really, the prices in Zambia are still high. I am the first to confirm that they are high but we cannot do it by price alone, we cannot reduce the pump price simply by removing duty alone

 What my colleague in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and I am sure he will elaborate is that we would like to look at the system of purchasing crude oil into this country. We feel that large savings could be made if crude oil in Indeni was purchased on commercial basis. We felt that some of the contracts that were allowed were uneconomical and I think that we could make some savings by purchasing better. 

He also mentioned about the 660 tankers missing. On this one, I think the hon. Minister responsible when we come to discuss the Ministry of Energy and Water Development will answer that question much more ably than I can. What I know from what I have seen in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is simply that some misreporting, at least to some extent, was there. Consignments were sent from South Africa to Ndola by one decision and the consequent and latter decision felt that there was no sense in sending fuel from South Africa through Livingstone/Choma/Lusaka to the Copperbelt and then tracking it back all the way down to Livingstone for distribution. 

So, a latter decision was made to divert tankers from South Africa. Those destined for Livingstone were off-loaded in Livingstone while those for Choma were off-loaded in Choma and those destined in Lusaka were off-loaded in Lusaka and as a result, the original consignment meant for Ndola had been reduced by that intervention.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, so, some people who wanted to misreport, did as they wanted it. 

Mr Speaker, the Bill we are talking about seeks to reduce Excise Duty on petroleum products at the point of production at Indeni. It is not talking about Excise Duty in Kalabo, Kasama or some other place, but at the point of production. The question of distribution of fuel is quite a different matter. Indeed, this question can be addressed differently and I would like my colleague in the ministry responsible to address this particular question. I, myself, share some of the sentiments raised by the hon. Member for Luena that the state of the rural constituencies are disadvantaged because they bear the costs at the highest level of the fuel delivered to those areas. But this is not the subject of the Bill before the House.

Mr Speaker, a question was raised as whether local manufacturing of cosmetics was exempted. No! Definitely not, this Bill does affect local manufacturing of cosmetics just as much as any other. The question was also raised about beer and I think this question by hon. Member for Kalulushi, whom I respect infinitely, should take into account the two very important possibilities. The plant in Lusaka of the breweries can produce all the beer that Zambia needs, that is one fact.

Now, if you really wanted to keep the costs at 85%, then we could close Ndola and lose some 400 or 500 jobs in Ndola. I think it is a better decision particularly, with a confirmation that we shall lose no revenue if we can keep the Ndola plant running and reduce the duty to 70 %. So, I feel that that is a much better and wiser decision bearing in mind the interests of our people in Ndola and at the same time, reducing the unit cost. So, it is very important that this decision be made now.

With regard to the question of tax zones, I am very conscious of the decisions and the laws passed by this House, but what we do not want to do is implement a half measure that people can misuse, what we want to do is to be very precise and re-enforce the ideal of zones and to make sure we pre-calculate the benefit for Zambian economy for specific goods like the hon. Member for Lusaka Central has mentioned.

It cannot be general, it has to be very specific and we have to calculate precisely what benefit for the Zambian economy will drive out of the zones. Hence, the need to be careful and to take time so that when we implement it, we do not fail. A number of countries that have implemented zones have, after a couple of years, cancelled them. We do not want to take that route. We would like to take a route, which will make it possible for us to be able to continue with the benefits under this arrangement for a long time to come.

The hon. Member for Lusaka Central did allude to some of many parastatals making losses and he even mentioned the Bank of Zambia. I was a board member of the Bank of Zambia for the last couple of years and we, certainly, stopped making a loss at the bank in 1997. I think the annual accounts of the bank are tabled before this House and, I think, the hon. Member should know that we do not cook books at the Bank of Zambia. We provide correct accounts and if you look at the accounts for the last couple of years tabled before this House, they, in fact, made a profit.

He also mentioned the question of laissez faire in the attitude in relation to import. I agree with the hon. Member for Lusaka Central. Zambia has not perfected a system of protecting its own. We do not have such a system. So, I would like colleagues in the ministry responsible for commerce to be able to create an institution, which can protect the Zambian industry if they come under heavy and unreasonable competition, dumping and things like that.

There should be a standing organization, which can react, in consultation, with the Zambia Revenue Authority to protect our industries, particularly in countries which are outside COMESA. With COMESA, it is a little more difficult because we have an agreement, but even under that agreement, there are provisions where to protect the Zambian industry, we could resort to those provisions until we put our house in order and then open for competition. So, I think this is an important point the hon. Member for Lusaka Central made. 

Hon. Kabaghe was making general points. He was not contributing to the Bill, but I agree with him only to this sentiment. Our duty as leaders of this country should be to give hope to the Zambians, to prepare the economy in a sensible way so that the future protection of our society is assured. Our political office is meaningless unless we can assure the people of Zambia a better quality of life. We must start and that is important.

The hon. Member of Parliament for Pemba mentioned the question of competition. The thinking in this Budget is only a first step. The thinking in this Budget is that we should gradually change the way the economy in Zambia is run so that Zambian industries become competitive. We cannot do that overnight because we have obligations also to raise the resources for running this economy. So, we cannot make all the changes that we know can make an impact at once in one Budget, it is not possible because we have to protect the resources for running the State. 

So, it is important that we accept the criticism that the steps we have taken are nothing, but the first step. We cannot be comprehensive, we have to be gradual and, therefore, the tax reduction has to be systematic. I agree, again, with Hon. Patel that we started with taxes in this country of over 50 per cent. We came to 45 per cent, then came to 35 per cent and we are now largely at 30 per cent. The journey is not complete. When we broaden the tax base and refer to those people who are outside the tax base, it should be possible for us to have tax rates lower than 20 per cent.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Friday, 15th March, 2002.

THE VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2002

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.
Mr Speaker, the Bill before the House seeks to amend the Value Added Tax Act so as to, firstly, provide for input tax not to be deducted or credited after a period of one year from the date of the relevant tax invoice. Sir, currently, the Act allows VAT input tax to be claimed within a period of three years after a transaction has occurred. This opens up opportunities for fraudulent claims on import VAT. In order to mitigate the risk and protect the Government revenue, the amendment is necessary.

Secondly, Mr Speaker, the Bill seeks to amend Section 20 of the Act so as to remove provision which made interest on any tax due and owing able to attract further interests. This is unfair and not necessary. The Bill is straightforward and I commend it to the House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for recognising me, after a long struggle to deliver my maiden speech. First and foremost, let me also congratulate you and the Deputy Speaker on your election to the Chair. I am very confident that you will perform your duties without fear or favour.

Mr Speaker, allow me also to extend my congratulations to hon. Members on their election to this House. Mr Speaker, it is my sincere hope and I will pray to Almighty God to give all of us guidance to drive this nation in one direction. Mr Speaker, may I also thank the people of Gwembe for electing me to this Parliament. I, therefore, promise to promote their interests and perform to the best of my ability.

Mr Speaker, let me also say something on the President’s Speech. I cannot deny the fact that the Speech was composed in the most acceptable manner and I have no doubt that, like the two former Presidents, this Speech should earn His Excellency President Mwanawasa a title of doctor in English Literature before he leaves State House.

Mr Speaker, Gwembe has been very unfortunate in the last ten years. There has been no development at all, despite Members of Parliament coming from the ruling party. 

Both MMD Members of Parliament who had represented Gwembe in this House in the last ten years, none of them uttered a sentence of English in this House. Mr Speaker, the Government of the day did not taken care of Gwembe Constituency over all those  years. 

Gwembe has been neglected as a whole. There are no industrial activities and, therefore, people of Gwembe rely on farming, rearing goats and fishing as a means of survival. Farming, however, is not done on a commercial basis. This is due to none availability of agricultural inputs and the geographical status of the land. What has worsened the situation this year is the drought that hit the area. There is no rain at all. The poverty levels have risen tremendously. The hunger situation has worsened and has so far claimed twelve lives in the past two weeks. I, therefore, appeal to the Government to come to the aid of the people of Gwembe before the situation gets out of hand.

Transportation of goods from where it is available to Gwembe is not easy at all. The road to the civic headquarters is in a very bad shape. This also discourages investors who might what to settle along the banks of the lake.

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, the district headquarters has been shifted from Gwembe to Munyumbwe and this place has no telecommunications facilities. The road net work is poor and there is no accommodation for Government workers, no proper offices and no banking facilities. Mr Speaker, Gwembe District Council has no source of revenue. Initially, Gwembe District included Siavonga and Sinazonwe. The district has been divided leaving Gwembe District with no source of revenue. The revenue was coming from the detached areas. The council does not even have a single vehicle moving. The council secretary is currently using a bicycle. Can you imagine!

Gwembe District depends mostly on its sister district Monze for most of its services. I strongly appeal to the Government to come to the aid of Gwembe District before it shuts down completely.

Mr Speaker, as I have already outlined, there are bad terrains, rocky mountains and erratic rainfall make the people of Gwembe grow very little food since agricultural activities are almost impossible. Sir, as a result, the people of Gwembe are unable to contribute towards building of community schools in the area. Most of the schools are grass thatched with poles and mud.

There is a lot of absenteeism with school pupils because they have to leave school to go and fetch food in the bush. Most children are unable to go to school because to get to a nearest school, a child has to cover a distance of about twenty to twenty-five kilometres.

Mr Speaker, education authorities are unable to visit most schools due to bad roads and washed away bridges. The Government’s negligence of this district has resulted in the district having very few educated and productive people. For instance, Gwembe has only one secondary school. This school is only for boys. How is this going to improve retention, participation and performance for the girl child in education? 

The teaching environment for teachers is very poor. It is indeed, frustrating to see a teacher walking several kilometres on foot to their pay points. Some teachers leave in thatched houses without flooring. Their motivation is very low. The district is supposed to have 262 teachers in all, but only about 182 are available. Inadequate funding also makes it difficult for educational authorities to visit schools regularly. This leads to none of monitoring of schools. The district has no ZAMSIF or any other bursary to assist the poor or vulnerable children. 

Mr Speaker, Gwembe District has some tourism potential like Siavonga District. Gwembe District enjoys the presence of Lake Kariba, if only the Government could develope it, it would earn the Government some foreign exchange.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended I was advancing a point on Home Affiars. 

Mr Speaker, Gwembe Police Station has been running without transport for so many years that the police find it difficult to execute their duties. There are so many cases that need to be followed. So I urge the Government to look at these issues seriously.

Mr Speaker, it is my sincere hope that this New Deal arrangement will look into the plights of the people of Gwembe Constituency. 

Sir, allow me to say something on taxation, especially on Value Added Tax (VAT). I do agree that the introduction of the VAT in 1995 has greatly assisted the Government to raise revenue. But, on the other hand, the high percentage rate on the VAT has also contributed to the discouragement of investors. This has, therefore, contributed to the loss of revenue by the Government especially in the private sector. The poor method of tax collection has also diversely contributed to the loss of revenue by the Government and a decline to the economy.

Mr Speaker, the Government has looked at VAT as only a source of raising revenue. It has not looked at VAT as a measure to assist to balance the economy. This is because of the way VAT is implemented. It is not actually the way VAT should operate. The percentage rate is too high. In neighbouring countries like South Africa, the percentage rate is as low as twelve and a half percent and in this country the VAT is still stack at twelve and half per cent which is too high. I am, therefore, appealing to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to revisit his approach to the VAT.

Sir, looking at the number of corrupt activities and misappropriation of public funds by some ministers in the previous Government, I am appealing to all hon. Members of Parliament to introduce a Public Finance Act that will carry stiff penalties to deal with ministers who were involved in these practices other than waiting for the President to deal with them.

Mr Sampa: It is not just ministers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Go ahead!.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, it is indicated in the document of the Public Investment Programme, year 2001 to 2003, Volume 1 page 37 that Gwembe Chipepo Road was allocated K500 million in the year 2001 for road rehabilitation.

Now I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport where the money went because the road was not rehabilitated at all.

Mr Speaker, I seriously appeal to the Government that they should look at the plights of the people of Gwembe and …

Hon. Government  Member: On a point of order.

Mr Ntundu: A point of order when I am delivering my maiden speech.

Hon. Opposition Members: You go ahead!{mospagebreak}

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I appeal to the Government to look at the plights of the people of Gwembe.


Mr Sibetta: Go ahead. Read!

Mr Ntundu: Sir, it is my sincere hope that what I have said in my speech will be taken note of seriously.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalumiana (Nalikwanda): Thank you, Mr Speaker, …


Mr Kalumiana: I am happy that at last I have been able to catch your eye.


Mr Kalumiana: Mr Speaker, I wish to begin by thanking the people of Nalikwanda Constituency for electing me as their Member of Parliament in the last General Election. I will ensure that their interests, desires and aspirations are represented in this House, in accordance with the mandate they have given me. 

Let me also take this opportunity, Mr Speaker, to express my sincere gratitude to my party, that is the President, and the entire UPND top hierarchy up to the constituency level.

Mr Tetamashimba: Hear, hear, including the Secretary-General!

Mr Kalumiana: Yes, including the Secretary-General.


Mr Kalumiana: … for having affording me this opportunity to stand as their candidate in the last elections. To them all I say, a big thank you.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to join the other Members of Parliament who have spoken before me, in congratulating you and your Deputy for your re-election to your respective positions. I have no doubt that under your very able leadership and guidance we will make a difference. Sir, the diversity in composition of this Parliament, the first of its kind I believe, will indeed enrich our democratisation process. To my fellow Members of Parliament, I say congratulations for making it to this House.

Mr Situmbeko: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalumiana: To all the nominated Members of Parliament, I give you my special tribute for your nomination to this House. And subsequently your appointments as full Cabinet Ministers.

Mr G. Chulumanda: What about Deputy Ministers?

Mr Kalumiana: I am coming to that.


Mr Kalumiana: This has gone down in the history of Zambian politics of this Parliament, as this is the first time to my knowledge that all nominees have been given full cabinet portfolios. This is not by coincidence, but it tells a story which will unfold as we proceed. 


Mr Situmbeko: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalumiana: This is a great challenge to you all and I wish you well.

Mr Speaker, the President’s Speech, indeed sounded very good and assuring, that is perhaps, the reason why it is being well received in some circles. As for me, Mr Speaker, I believe it is too early to give my full compliments to the President’s Address. I will anxiously be waiting to see the strategies and interventions that the Government will formulate in order to realise or transform this seemingly assuring speech into action.

Mr Speaker, the speech as it stands now is a mere declaration of intent. Though His Excellency President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel, was very assuring and showed strong will-power during the presentation of his speech. Will-power alone by the President is not sufficient, what I and the people of Nalikwanda, whom I represent, want is for the Government also to possess this will-power and to show total commitment to the transformation process. 

The formulation of appropriate strategies and interventions, which will transform the President’s good intentions into action must be started by Government as a matter of urgency before the process is derailed. Only then, Mr Speaker, when I see the strategies and interventions shall I pay my full or remaining compliments to the President on his speech.

Sir, our people out there want food, employment, good schools, health services, roads and all those basic essentials that will uplift them from their present state of despair and hopelessness in which they have found themselves not by choice, but as a result of the bad and inappropriate policies applied by the pervious MMD new culture Government of our former President, Dr Fredrick Titus Jacob Chiluba.

Mr Speaker, the experiences of the last decade were extremely harsh and unbearable to most Zambians, as shown by the high poverty levels, massive closures of companies, leading to higher unemployment levels, corruption, higher disease burdens, increasing number of street children and prostitution, leading to the high rate of HIV/AIDS. We saw the increase in the crime rate as well. There were inequities in the sharing of top jobs or positions and the national cake based on unexplained considerations. This led to some areas like my constituency wondering why they were being deliberately marginalised.

Mr Speaker, as the New Deal Government strives to correct these imbalances by putting in place a more humane centred development process in which the Zambian citizen is both the end and means of development – that is, to use the President’s own words, my humble appeal to the New Deal Government is that, their starting point must be well defined in advance and different from those of the previous Governments. Indeed, there is need to get down to the causes of the mess that we now find ourselves in.

Mr Speaker, to a larger extent the mess that Zambia now finds herself in is not necessarily as a result of some unforeseen misfortune. It is a manifestation of our own making by our application of misguided economic policies, corruption, the application of political gymnastics, manipulation and mismanagement.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalumiana: Mr Speaker, I also humbly wish to add my voice to those who have called on the Government to extend free education beyond Grade 7. After all, most of us seated here are a product of free education provided by our founding father, our former President and indeed statesman, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalumiana: I thank him most sincerely for his good policies on free education, otherwise, I would not be sitting in this House today. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalumiana: And through you, Mr Speaker, I wish to request Hon. Lucas Phiri, I think he is there, to convey my message to the old man. I thank him most sincerely.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalumiana: Secondly, Mr Speaker, I want to suggest to Government that, it is time we started looking at the type of education we have been providing over the years. We need to look beyond the two challenges of access and quality that the President talked about – there is need, as I have just stated, to look at the type and appropriateness of our education system in relation to our desired developmental process. The introduction of skills learning along side formal learning at an early stage would contribute greatly in preparing our children who may have the misfortune of being unable to enter into formal employment to go into self-employment.

Mr Speaker, Sir, this would be very appropriate considering the number of pupils who do not make it to Grade 8 and Grade 10.

Thirdly, Mr Speaker, the Government should consider policies that will enhance and equate the education standards and quality in rural areas to that in urban areas. I know there is some mention in the Budget. The application of the policies outlined in the President’s Speech must be biased towards the more disadvantaged schools like those found in my constituency which is rural. I will expect to see more attention given to the rural schools.

Mr. Speaker, let me now, move to health. I am aware that the Government has been implementing the famous Health Reforms through a decentralised system of health care delivery for over seven years, or so through a contractual arrangement between the Ministry of Health as a facilitator and what is called the Central Board of Health as the implementer of the programme using the primary health care as a vehicle.

Mr. Speaker, the revision of the reforms was to provide equity of access to cause effective quality health care as close to the family as possible. In view of this, Sir, the reforms, although well-intended, have failed to yield the expected results as indicated by the increasing disease burden, the mushrooming of private drug stores, clinics and pharmacies and by the complaints coming from all of us here and the general public, some of which are valid over drugs. This goes to show that there is something in our reforms that we need to change in line with the President’s aspirations as outlined in his speech.

Mr. Speaker, the quality of care in our major health facilities has continued to decline and yet the vision has continued to send the same message as when it was originally coined. Is it not time, Sir, that Government started thinking of changing the goal post in line with the demands and expectations of our people?

The contractual arrangement between the Ministry of Health and Central Board of Health has certainly not worked well and needs to be reviewed as a matter of urgency. For me, I am convinced that we can well afford to do away with the Central Board of Health. The contracts could be entered into, directly between the Ministry of Health and the various district and hospital boards to improve efficiency and timely response to the health demands and desires of the people. The provincial health offices should be strengthened in order to carryout their supervisory role.

Mr. Speaker, the core business of the Ministry of Health is to fight the ever increasing disease burden, which has been compounded by the emergence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These problems are prevalent at the community level, at health centre level and at hospital level because that is where the action is. This is where support must be targeted to strengthen these institutions that are at the battle front by way of strengthening their capacities, equipping them, making them mobile and many other strategies to support their efforts adequately.

The other areas that need to be reviewed in the light of the high poverty levels in the rural areas within the health system are the cost sharing arrangement which was debated here, the issue of medical fees or whatever. I think, if you look at the Health Act, it gives a lot of power to the Minister of Health to approve or disapprove and so that one must be reviewed as well.

The other one is the improvement in the drug procurement system. You will notice that at the other levels, the district and the health centres benefit from what is called the essential drug kit programme, which is not there at the higher levels. So, I would like to suggest that, perhaps, hospitals, according to their categories, must also have that drug kit system started.

Mr. Speaker, the other concerns are over the health workers. The health reforms put more emphasis on the quality of care but it is very silent on the caregivers. Here, I am talking about the doctors and the other category.

Mr. Speaker, the position of Western Province, which is classified by the Government as having the highest poverty levels needs to be looked at as a special case. Some hon. Members here have been talking about tax free zones or something like that. I think that must also be given to Western Province. Sir, the Mongu/Lusaka Road also needs much more attention than what is contained in this year’s Budget. The interventions that are put there are not sufficient. You cannot seal or patch. When a pair of trousers is old, it is old. When you patch here, it will tear somewhere else.

Mr. Speaker, I, now, want to talk about the Lewanika Hospital. It is a cross cutting issue because it is our only second referral hospital and I am glad that the Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning whom I met in Mongu visited that place. The story is pathetic. That place needs a facelift in terms of space for the patients and the personnel. It is a second level hospital that has only seven doctors, that includes the Executive Director. You cannot run a second level hospital like that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Kalumiana: Mr. Speaker, equally important is the issue of equipment. The equipment which is there is old. Hon. Mabenga will remember when we were quarreling over the mortuary unit. We were given a used X-ray machine from some place and dumped it in Western Province. We cannot be recipients of obsolete equipment.

Mr. Situmbeko: Salaula.

Mr. Kalumiana: Mr. Speaker, may I, now, talk on the issue of Nalikwanda which most hon. Members here have referred to. Sir, we also need attention, I am grateful to the first President that there were programmes that were initiated in Nalikwanda those days on communication, transport, road construction and our agro-forests were protected. For the first time we had a bus during the time of Dr Kaunda which was servicing Nalikwanda almost twice a week. We do not know where that bus went and the road is terribly bad and beyond description.

Mr. Situmbeko: It was eaten by the MMD.

Mr. Kalumiana: What is in the Budget this year is only to mend some bridges there. Even if you put up a nice bridge but there is no road passing over that bridge, you are not doing anything.

Mr. Speaker, on the postal services, which hon. Members talked about in this House when we were discussing the issue of pensions, our pensioners are in the villages and Nalikwanda has no postal office. That was the only point where they could go and draw those K1,500 and the K15,000 that they get every month. But now for a pensioner who is in Namengo or Sibongo where I come from to walk for seventy kilometres since now there is no United Bus of Zambia to go to Mongu to receive K15,000, it does not make sense at all.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Kalumiana: Mr. Speaker, I am asking the Government to pay attention. Sir, the situation obtaining in Nalikwanda is pathetic and unacceptable. We want change and not continuity with change. We do not want words at all. We no longer want to see and experience a continuation of the previous selective development where development was taken to certain areas, I do not know what consideration they were using. This was in the last ten years of the New Culture Government of Dr Chiluba.

We would like to see a Government that will feed us on goods and services and not on – this word that I cannot pronounce very well – rhetoric and political slogans.


Mr. Kalumiana: In conclusion, Sir, I would like to emphasise that the Budget has very little for us as people of Nalikwanda. I am earnestly appealing to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to revisit the Budget with a view to coming up with specific programmes that are in Nalikwanda and addressing them.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Kazala-Laski (Nchanga): Mr. Speaker,


Mr. Kazala-Laski: Mr. Speaker, I wish to acknowledge the privilege accorded to me and the people of Nchanga Constituency on this occasion of standing before this august House to deliver my maiden speech.

Hon. Members: Volume!

Mr. Kazala-Laski: The volume is on the microphone and not me.


Mr Kazala-Laski: Mr Speaker, I take this rare opportunity to congratulate His Excellency Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, on his election as President of the Republic of Zambia and for delivering a thought-provoking speech in this House, which has brought hope and self-esteem to the nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazala-Laski: I also acknowledge …

Hon. Opposition Member interrupted.


Mr Kazala-Laski: … the warmth and personal touch that His Excellency the President has brought to the formal office of President of the Republic of Zambia. I wish him well as he embarks on a long and difficult journey of bringing economic prosperity to our country. Mazoka bombasa yapona. Mwipikileni porridge bombasa ikate. Try next time. Learn more from the man of the people.


Mr Kazala-Laski: Mr Speaker, I congratulate you too on your election to the most honourable Office of Speaker of the House. I know that your experience, sincerity and understanding will enable you to ensure that the business of the House is conducted in an orderly and responsible manner. I am sure that all hon. Members, especially on the opposition side of the House welcome your election and have confidence in your judgement and impartiality.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazala-Laski: Sir, I also extend similar congratulations to the hon. Mr Deputy Speaker on his election.

Mr Speaker, …


Mr Kazala-Laski: Ng’ombe iledes, please, be quiet!

Sir, allow me also to thank the people of Nchanga Constituency for listening to the cries of the youth of Zambia by electing me, a vibrant youth …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. L. Phiri: You are a party cadre!


Mr Kazala-Laski: … as their representative. The youth who are the future leaders in the country represent more than half of the population of Zambia. It is gratifying, therefore, that the voice in this deliberative and legislative body is heard loud and clear. I thank them too for electing quality councillors for our local authority in Chingola.

I advise my youth in Eastern Province to vote for quality youth and not people like Mr Lucas Phiri who cannot even represent them effectively.


Mr Kazala-Laski: Sir, I have read a selection of previous maiden speeches and I have noticed that, generally, hon. Members have followed a similar format and have given a broad, wide-ranging issues and concerns that together motivated them to seek election to Parliament. Mr speaker, rather than presenting such a coverage, I have decided to concentrate on one issue. This is an issue that I believe adversely affects the majority of the people in my constituency.

Mr Speaker, for the first time since the attainment of our political independence in 1964, Zambia has, in the first ten years, witnessed a major restructuring exercise in key sectors, namely: the parastatal, mining, public service and local Government. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazala-Laski: A significant number of Zambia’s work force has been retrenched as part of the down-sizing in these sectors. As a matter of elucidation, the House will recall that in 1998, miners on the Copperbelt were retrenched enmass by the ZCCM Limited. Four years after the retrenchment exercise, the retrenched miners have to date not been paid their dues. I am also aware that retrenched employees from Government ministries, such as health, agriculture and co-operatives that were re-orgnised recently, have not received their repatriation packages.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Who wrote that for you?

Mr Kazala-Laski: I am the author. Some of you cannot pronounce words. You need to go back to school.


Mr Kazala-Laski: Sir, what is of particular concern to me is that the majority of those who have been retrenched are able-bodied Zambians. The educated, technocrats and the skilled labour force this country educated and trained at great expense. This development is unfortunate and regrettable.

Mr Speaker, the strength of any country depends, to a large extent, on its human resource which has to be enhanced as an important pre-requisite to economic development. However, the reality in Zambia is that our active labour force is being declared redundant prematurely. Sadly, Mr Speaker, this productive labour force is not being absorbed by both the private and informal sectors because the two sectors are currently undergoing severe constraints. In fact, to be declared redundant in Zambia means to be thrown into the street where one’s fate is predictable.

Mr Speaker, I commend the New Deal for providing K80 billion to pay off retrenchees, particularly in Nchanga. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazala-Laski: These retired miners did a lot to ensure that that cow does not enter State House. Please, ensure that they are paid.

Hon. Opposition Members: Which cow?

Mr Kazala-Laski: Your symbol!


Mr Kazala-Laski: Mr Speaker, any Government policy should have a human face. It is inconceivable that the Government can retrench its nationals without ensuring that funds are made available to meet the costs of repatriation. In future, the Government should not embark on any retrenchment programme unless it has the ability to pay employees their terminal benefits.

I, therefore, take this opportunity to caution the Government against its decision to re-organise the Ministry of Education. A number of stakeholders have expressed their apprehension in the manner the ministry is being re-orgnised. It is important the Government listens to the fears being expressed by the stakeholders. In a democracy, the Government should listen to public opinion. The Ministry of Education plays a pivotal role in directing policy on education which is fundamental to the socio-economic fabric of the nation. Any re-organisation of the ministry should be done cautiously and systematically to avoid costly mistakes which have been made in the past.

In the light of the foregoing and to avoid mistakes which impact adversely on workers, I appeal to the Government not to retrench employees from the Ministry of Education without paying them their retrenchment packages.

Hon. Opposition Member: Finally!

Mr Kazala-Laski: Finally, …


Mr Kazala-Laski: Tupac, please, listen.


Mr Kazala-Laski: Finally, Mr Speaker, I believe that I will be able to make a contribution to this Parliament and to enhance the chances of achieving a just society. In so doing, provide structures that will enable Zambians to re-attain the standard of living that was formally more commonly enjoyed. I am looking forward to working in this Parliament and for the Government of laws and not of men.

Mr Speaker, I also pledge to represent the people of my constituency energetically, responsibly and with the commitment that will enable me to do so with distinction.

I thank you, sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I rise to answer some of the questions raised by hon. Members of the House concerning some points on the Value Added Tax Act that is before the House.

Sir, let me initially answer the hon. Member for Gwembe who said that VAT, since it started in 1995, has been a high tax. May I remind him that it started at 20 per cent and came down to 17.5 per cent. I personally studied the possibility of bringing it down to approximately 15 per cent and then I discovered that the loss in revenue would be in the region of K70 billion to K80 billion. So, I just found that it was impossible at this point to afford such a high loss.

Secondly, Mr Speaker, businesses are really unfair in complaining of VAT as a tax because business itself does not pay. It is merely a collecting agent.

It is the end user and consumer who pays that tax. But, I am also aware that some fraudulent businesses do charge the tax and do not pass it on to ZRA. That is a criminal act that draws penalty once discovered.

Mr Speaker, I should also say that the rate of 17.5 per cent is not unreasonable. If we have to compare to surrounding countries like Tanzania, it is 20 per cent. In Kenya, it is 18 per cent. In Uganda, it is 17 per cent and in Zimbabwe, it is actually sales tax, which is not claimable and it is still the same rate as Zambia of 17.5 per cent. In Malawi, some rates go up to 23 per cent, but it is lower in South Africa. So, I do not think that 17.5 per cent is unreasonable. It is itself reasonable.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Nalikwanda mentioned a number of important points and I listened very carefully. He has given the new Government qualified support. I would like to thank him for that qualified support. But certainly, action speaks louder. So, I share his concern looking at recent history and perhaps, we have not been as forthright as it could have been. But I do not think that it is all rhetoric. I think that there is value in the debates that have gone on in this earlier and there is value in the ideas that have gone on in this House before.

I have said before on the Floor of this House that it is important that officials listen to what hon. Members of Parliament say. This is because the Budget is an evolving document. It is enriched by what hon. Members of Parliament say. It is enriched by the ideas emanating from the Floor. Those ideas are not lost, but they are taken into account in drawing the next document.

Thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Friday, 15th March, 2002.

THE INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2002

Mr E. G. Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Bill before the House seeks to legislate a number of proposed budget measures as contained in my Budget Speech I presented to this House. Among these measures are those meant to provide relief to the working individuals, persons with disabilities, those leaving employment and businesses.

In particular, Sir, the provisions relating to share auction schemes are being proposed and these are intended not only to empower the individual worker, but also to improve his welfare.

Sir, other changes to the Income Tax Act are aimed at leveling the playing field in the mining sector. There is currently over lift because we have different tax resumes within the mining sector. Our ultimate objective is to remove the present discrimination and have one policy towards the sector.

Mr Speaker, changes the income tax flows are necessary to remove the tax exemption on interest and from Government bonds, education passages and mortgage interest. As I mentioned earlier, the amendments will not only raise extra cash for the Treasury, but will also abolish some level of discrimination and ineffectiveness.

Mr Speaker, the Bill also legislates for the on-going process of updating and strengthening the provisions of the Income Tax Act by removing anomalies, inconsistencies and ambiguities that might arise with changing time.

The other proposed changes are necessary in view of the own going computerisation programme in the Zambia Revenue Authority. This computerisation programme is envisaged to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the collection of tax revenues.

Mr Speaker, allow me to briefly explain one key change to this legislation and this is with regard to Pay As You Earn. As I proposed to remove the tax credit, but at the same time, increase the tax free income threshold for individuals to one million and eight hundred thousand kwacha per annum.

In addition, I have proposed that the income above tax threshold be taxed at the rate of 30 per cent. Sir, this proposed changes do not make the workers or individuals as worse of, but better of.

However, I am agreeable that this measure does not provide enough release to individuals. At least we can make a fresh start from here and the little that has been given is better than nothing. All that I can promise hon. Members is that this issue will be vigorously revisited again.

Mr Speaker, the Bill is straightforward. I, therefore, commend it to the House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr I. M. Phiri (Malambo): Thank you, Sir, for allowing me to contribute. Let me, first of all, congratulate His Excellency, the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel, on his victory.

I would also like to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, and your Deputy. Your re-election to this House is nothing other than the confidence that hon. Members have got in you. Mr Speaker, I will be unfair if I do not thank the people of Malambo for electing me.

The President gave a most wonderful speech to the nation. It was the speech meant to rebuild Zambia. We must now rebuild Zambia for the benefit of all provinces.

Eastern Province, for example has been neglected for a long time. When we look at some of the provinces, they are fairly developed. I am looking forward now to the New Deal to make a name in terms of development.

Mr Speaker, let me go straight to the issues that affect Malambo Constituency. As you know Malambo Constituency is a tourism area. The only economic action that is happening in Malambo is tourism. But what is hindering the progress of tourism in Malambo is the road infrastructure. The road is in a very bad state. Tourism is offering employment to our young women and men in form of scouts, cooks and drivers in Lodges and Camps that are in the national parks.

Therefore, I am urging the hon. Minister of Tourism to make an effort so that our road is tarred. If it is tarred, tourism in Malambo will be meaningful to the country. We are looking at national development and not as a constituency development.

Mr Speaker, the Chipata/Mfuwe Road, if you go there this time is in very bad state. I happen to have a house just along the road to Mfuwe. At one time, three tourists confronted me. They complained about the state of the road. They complained that the Government of Zambia borrows money from their countries to repair roads but it appears our Government is not putting attention to the tourist roads that are in the country. I politely ask the hon. Minister to look into this matter seriously.

Mr Speaker, on agriculture, most of the hon. Members in this House have given very good speeches over the Presidential Speech and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning Speech over what he has given to agriculture. But I only urge the hon. Minister to revamp the co-operatives. The co-operatives are the only way the Crop Marketing Authority can achieve what incentives to give it. 

The other thing I want in terms of agriculture in my constituency is that the Government must introduce donkeys. There are tsetse flies in my constituency and as a result cattle cannot live. What I want are donkeys because they are a little bit resistant to diseases other than the cattle that other provinces have.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr I. M. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I also want the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to bring more tractors to my constituency. Other provinces are enjoying mechanised tractor units. But my constituency has completely nothing. 

Mr Speaker, for the loans that the Food Reserve Agency has, I urge the hon. Minister to make sure that all the loans that were given to the ministers in the former Government are paid back through the bailiffs. That is the only way the money can be given back to the farmers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr I. M. Phiri: Mr Speaker, the selling of Malambo Milling Company was a blow to the people of Malambo. The people there are not enjoying anything from the maize that the Government is buying from outside just because there is no established miller. In fact, the people of Malambo are buying a 25kg bag of mealie meal at K55,000 which is very exorbitant for them. Most of them do not work.

Mr Speaker, let me, at this point in time, thank the Vice-President for sending two trucks of relief maize to my constituency even it is not enough. 

Mr Speaker, my constituency has only one health centre. I now want the hon. Minister to upgrade Masumba Rural Health Centre into a hospital. The European Union recently rehabilitated the hospital and they brought laboratory and mortuary equipment. So, the clinic should be upgraded. In addition to this, I would like also an ambulance for this clinic. The hon. Minister should also upgrade St. Luke’s Health Centre. It must be upgraded to a hospital.

Mr Speaker, malaria is also another problem in Malambo. It appears the mosquito nets that are being given by the Government are being sold at an exorbitant price. That is why the people cannot afford them. I, therefore, ask the hon. Minister to reduce the price of mosquito nets that are being sold by the ministry.

On education, Mr Speaker, there are only three secondary schools. But Mambwe High School has a very big debt of K25 million from the suppliers of foodstuffs. Transport is also a problem at this school. I, therefore, ask for a truck from the hon. Minister of Education to assist the school to ferry food from Chipata to Malambo.

Gender also is a concern in Malambo. Most of our women are in Malambo because they have seen that they are not properly represented because the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing cannot assist the women. 

I would also like the House of Chiefs to be re-introduced to make sure that the women are also empowered.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr I. M. Phiri: Lastly, Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing also to give my chief, Chief Nsefu, one of the legals. I also want the Office of the Vice-President to give Mushroom Lodge to Malambo District Council. 

Mr Speaker, Sir, the people of Malambo also like more schools to be rehabilitated. Mfuwe Airport should also be rehabilitated since some lights have not been working properly.

Thank you, Sir.


Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, just going back to the Bill in front of us, hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, I do support the Bill because particularly the section that I want to debate on because I believe that the hon. Minister has had no choice. I am very particularly concerned about the incentives that have been given to all the mining houses. 

Mr Speaker, I think it was last year, when there were only about nineteen or twenty Members in the Opposition and there was an uproar when the Government brought specific exclusive legislation to provide for incentives to the Anglo-American Corporation. I recall I said that from the burial site in Matopos where Cecil Rhodes was buried, his ghost had come to haunt us at Manda Hill. And I said that because when you look at the history of Cecil Rhodes and Anglo-American Corporation. 

And I said that when you look at the history of Cecil Rhodes and Anglo-American Corporation, it is so obvious that even the first concession he got from Queen Victoria, he did better with the Zambian Government last year. Now, we find here that the mining companies have gone round in circles in a kraal and they are insisting that they too need the incentives or they close down. 

It is the type of legislation that was preceded by the previous legislation that has brought us the problems we are in today. I hope, hon. Minister, that there shall never be a repetition of such exclusive incentives given on one specific agreement because we are being held at ransom and that is the cost we are paying today.

Hon Minister, it is generally unheard of that in an Income Tax Act, you provide special concessions in the name of a particular company because laws are generally made for everyone and all companies. So, we have got ourselves into a serious mess here. I wonder, as I have been reading the public media and some pronouncement from the Minister of Tourism, that Sun International received similar incentives, which were exclusive Sir, to one particular company at the cost of the entire country and the entire sector of tourism which were not provided. 

Hon Minister, let me remind you of a letter that I wrote to your predecessor, Hon Katele Kalumba, some time last year. In that letter, I said that I was a Zambian trying to invest in Siavonga and that I would like him to consider incentives. He said he could not. So, I wrote another letter and said to him that my name was Dipak Botha, with an address of Pretoria, and asked him for the same incentives. I said that with a cunning cheek because it appears, hon Minister, that, incentives are only being provided to foreigners at the cost of local investment.

The other issue is the appendix to this Act, Sir, which talks about Approved Share Option schemes. Now, the Minister did not talk about it when he presented the Bill. I support this idea and I would have thought that he would have gone a step further maybe he may wish to consider it during the course of the year or next year. And that is to take this idea of the approved share option scheme with the view of affirmative action. And the reason is this, Sir; in many countries, south Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and including our own country, you find that minorities appear or seen or are controlling the wealth of each country to some extent and in some countries absolutely. 

And we have also seen the concept of affirmative action in South Africa in order to have empower the indigenous people of the country. And I think it is very important. One of the concepts that was thrown was the idea of Management buy out option during the privatisation programme. Regretably, it has not worked. But, there are special consequences if this issue is avoided for the past thirty years that we have had because this will be a social problem at some point. We may not have a learning problem but we do have the problem where wealth is controlled. And I thought I would like to bring this out to see if he can focus on the future and see how he can incomplete decisions of affirmative action.

I thank you.

Mr R. J. N. Banda (Petauke): Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate your and your Deputy on your election to your positions in this House. 

Mr Speaker, I say congratulations!

First and foremost I would like to thank the people of Petauke Central and the Heritage Party for electing me as their Member of Parliament. Without their support I would not have been in this House today.

I also extend my congratulations to all Hon Members of Parliament on their well deserved election to Parliament. As for Nominated Members of Parliament, I say try your luck next time by standing for elections do not wait to be hand picked. I know we are equal.

Sir, to be elected to Parliament is a great honour to an individual. This can be illustrated by the number of honourable Members of Parliament who are in this august House who were previously holding senior positions either in Government or parastatal organisations as Permanent Secretaries, Managing Directors, Senior Managers, etc. There is prestige in being a Member of Parliament.

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda If this was not the case we would not have been petitioning each other in our courts. 


As an elected servant of the people of Petauke, My tasks are many and involve a number of responsibilities. My prime task is the development of Petauke District in partnership with the Government. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: Sir, there is no individual Member of Parliament in this House who can claim that he can bring development to his without the support of the Government.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: Individual Members of Parliament do not have sufficient resources on their own to bring development.

Mr Speaker, Petauke District is 400 Kilometres away from Lusaka. The prime occupation of the people of Petauke is farming. There is no single industry in the District, roads are in bad shape and have been turned into footpaths because of non-maintenance by government. Money or grants from the National Roads Board have not been received by the council since 1997. As for Mumbi-Mwanjawantu road, trenches and gullies have developed on the road. The T4 Road funds were allocated in 1998 but they have not been released to allow a contractor to work on the road. I hope those funds are still there.

Life and economic activity in Petauke depends on maize production. Sir, the Presidential Speech on agriculture was good. However, in order to realise our aspirations of making agriculture the center-stage of our economic development, I am of the opinion that we should go further and take a revolutionary step by giving a Tax break to the farming industry.

There will be no loss to the Treasury. I will be able to illustrate this point later in debate. Sir, I come from a revenue collection background. I joined the then Tax Department in 1968 in Ndola as a Trainee Tax officer rising to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Taxes.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr T. J. N. Banda: I was involved in the establishment or creation of Zambia Revenue Authority and I was its’ first Senior Zambian officer as Deputy Commissioner of Taxes Direct Taxes Division.

Sir, the language that I have spoken for twenty-nine years is revenue collection. Sir, Farming is a business, but a high risk business. Our tax regime provides this industry with a number of Tax incentives in order to attract our people to go into farming. Some of these incentives are:

(a)    farming income is taxed at a reduced of 15% compared to other business which have higher rates
(b)    Farm improvements are Tax deductible at the rate of 100% 
(c)    Expenditure on land clearing is also tax deductible to the extent of 100% 
(d)    Capital Expenditure is written off at the rate of 50% over a period of two years.

Mr Speaker, these incentives have been in existence for a long time. They have not been able to change the face of agriculture in this country nor attract a large number of our people into agriculture. There has been no improvement in farming. There has been no significant growth in farming. There has been no massive investment in the farming industry.

If the industry has to be the engine of economic development, I propose that we give a tax break to farmers for a period of five years.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr T. J. N. Banda: A few years back when public transport was inadequate and the sector was performing badly, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning removed duty to enable people import min-buses and we have all seen the results. I think that we can take a similar measure in the farming industry.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: The loss to the Treasury will be minimal and this sector does not generate sufficient revenues for the Government anyway. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning can easily recoup the loss if any,  by none allocation of salaries to District Administrators and by limiting the reduction of Excise Duty to 75 % on clear beer.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: The measure would enable a number of our people to go farming and thereby create employment that would lead to food security.

Mr Speaker, a tax break is an easy measure to implement compared to dams, which would take time to construct. All that is required is an announcement by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that there is no more tax on farming incomes.


Mr Speaker, hospitals are our healing institutions when we are ill. Government should be seen to be spending substantial amounts of money on such important institutions in order to keep them in a reasonable condition so that they operate efficiently and effectively.

Hon. Members of Parliament, for you to appreciate what I am saying, you just have to fall ill.


Mr R. J. N. Banda: Government should improve conditions of service for our medical personnel so that they do not leave the country for greener pastures. Sir, I would like to die in here rather than be flown to South Africa at a great cost. Government should create its own Good morning Clinic in Zambia so that we stop the ferrying of Ministers to South Africa. They should die here at our own Good morning Clinic.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate my young cousin, Hon. Chulumanda, Deputy Minister of Health for his timely visits to pharmaceutical businesses, that were stocking expired drugs and threatened them with closure …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: … I say well-done Minister. However, I would like to know what action the hon. Minister will take on those MMD candidates who were going round the country distributing medical kits to illiterate and untrained party chairmen …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: It is an offence to administer medicine if one is not a trained person.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: A party Chairman does not have knowledge on the dosage to give, they cannot read whether or not they are administering panadol or fancida. We ought  to simply persuade voters to vote for us without giving life-threatening inducements to our people, which could endanger their lives.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: By the way, hon. Minister, where did you get those drugs? We would like to know.
Hon. Opposition Members: He has run away!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: … he has his boss here, the Minister of Health. Mr Speaker, it is time the hon. Minister of Health started thinking of a Health Care Insurance Scheme …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: … the scheme could be a Compulsory Contributor Scheme whether one is sick or not.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: The funds generated could assist in the running of our hospitals such as buying medicine, equipment etc.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr R. J. N. Banda: Last but not the least, Petauke Hospital has no doctor, hon. Minister of Health. Therefore, I am urging you to send a doctor there tonight.


Mr R. J. N. Banda: Please hon. Minister do that. We need a doctor urgently, patients with serious diseases are being referred to Katete Hospital, 100km from Petauke. The nearby hospital, Minga has no doctor either. It is a terrible situation. The ‘New Deal ‘Administration, please, do something. I want an explanation from the hon. Minister of Health as to why the two institutions have no doctors.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga (Kafue): Mr Speaker, my contribution to this debate is very brief. It is in connection with the Income Tax Bill that the hon. Minister has introduced and I wish to say that although the hon. Minister did say it was straight forward, it is not quite straight forward, though what he proposes to do as a house keeping exercise is acceptable.

 I need not repeat the issues he touched on. However, I think it is important that as the development of the tax system evolves, we need to be mindful of the fact that many of the applications should not be discriminatory to some extent as the hon. Member for Lusaka Central has infact indicated.

We want to mention Sir, that in so far as the tax-payers’ identity numbers are concerned, this has been on the cut for a long time and the hon. Minister will remember that I was one of the founding Directors of the Zambia Revenue Authority and to that extent, I can speak with some level of authority. I wish also to mention Sir, that there are not only these laws that need cleaning up. There are several other pieces of legislation pertaining to tax that need to be cleaned up.

I would like to encourage the hon. Minister that these should be brought forward so that they can be aligned. What could be helpful is to simplify the tax system to a manner where we can all understand it more easily without necessarily involving the profession of accountancy from which I come where we can make a little bit of money because people are ignorant. I would like to appeal to him that the whole tax regime needs to be reviewed and I think it is timely that we re-examine the tax regime.

 Generally speaking, Zambia is regarded as a high tax investment destination. This to some extent does put off investments. Hence, the suggestions that have been made by the hon. Member for Petauke are stating that in fact, he would like to see a situation where tax break are provided. I think that those are some of the measures that can be applied. At the moment, there is confusion in the areas that have been declared as tax free zones and how this tax would be applied. Hon. Minister, I would like to urge you that we quickly get on to this and advise potential investors what we really mean when we say these are tax free zones. What does that entail? Does that mean that the Zambia Revenue Authority will not be demanding Income Tax, Value Added Tax and Customs Duties on materials that are destined to those locations? 

We need to clarify this matter, explain and simplify it so that all of us including Hon. Dipak Patel who wants to make an investment in Siavonga can understand clearly that he is entitled to some incentives as any other investor from outside. And I think that the discrimination between local and external investors really, should to be cleaned up.

Zambia will not accept people from outside as experience over the last ten years as shown. In fact, the KCM saga is a case that some of us that have been in this House before were making …

Mr Sibetta: Oh, yes!

Mr Sichinga: You cannot make tax laws that favour a particular company. Surely, hon. Minister, that is unacceptable and you know it as well as I do. We want that to be cleaned up and we want this regime to be re-examined so that such anomalies and discriminations are ironed out.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mukuka): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to make my maiden speech in this august House. Allow me, Sir, to join my colleagues in congratulating you and the Deputy Speaker on your deserved re-election to that prestigious and onerous Chair. Your long experience and fair-minded leadership in this House has yet spoken for itself.

Allow me, Mr Speaker, to also take this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel, on his election and ascending to the Presidency. Although some are saying that his leadership in the New Deal administration is yet to be seen in practice, his opening speech to this House is, but a glimpse of better things to come. Mr Speaker, he means well for this country and I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of Parliament to give him the necessary support and encouragement he deserves.

While on this matter, Mr Speaker, I wish to sincerely thank him for according me the opportunity to serve, not only the people in my constituency, Wusakile, but all the Zambian people by entrusting me with the position of Deputy Minister in his second office, Office of the Vice-President.

Mr Kazala: Quality!

Mr Mukuka: I thank you. Mr Speaker, I also wish to pay tribute to the people of my constituency for electing me to this House. To both the people in Wusakile and our President, I wish to pledge to work, to serve them to the utmost of my ability. Mr Speaker, I will not fail them.

Last, but not the least, I wish to congratulate the 150 elected Members of Parliament in this House and the eight nominated members, including the Chief Whip who has recently been appointed to this House. As the President has wisely advised, we should all work together to promote the common good of the larger constituency of mother Zambia, as we bring the many development bottlenecks in our respective areas before you, Mr Speaker.

 Sir, I wish to appeal to my dear colleagues assembled here that our people are expecting nothing less than positive change in their lives. We can only deliver if we work as a team and as one family. The development, which our colleagues on the other side seek for our people, is the same development we have committed ourselves to deliver as evidenced by both His Excellency’s Speech and the recent Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr Kasonde. 

I, therefore, wish to appeal to my colleagues, on the other side, to support policies aimed at bringing development to the whole Zambia, not the Eastern Province alone, Hon. L. L. Phiri. The spirit of ownership of the Presidential Speech as well as the Budget Address that you have continued to show should continue and be translated into concrete action in your various constituencies. After all, a good project in any area will be appreciated by all. Hence, let us work together and like the President said, let us not dwell too much on the past, lest we lose opportunities which the present New Deal have presented before you, hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, let me now turn to the President’s Opening Speech and just put on record my salutation for this marvelous vision for our country. Let me just add that since the Speech has inspired all of us, we should all dedicate ourselves to implementing the measures therein as a team and ensure that we bring hope to our electorate in our respective constituencies. Let us not stand akimbo and say it is their programmes, Hon. L. L. Phiri, you may be thinking like that and say, let them do it. No, let us all do it together, hon. Member for Chipangali.


Mr Mukuka: Similarly, the very progressive Budget measures that Hon. Kasonde has brought before this august House, the nation will also require our united stand to succeed. Hon. Members of Parliament, go out there and educate our people to support these measures. In areas where school children have been kept at home in the Eastern Province, tell them to go back to their schools. Let the parents know of the good news.

When our people are being exploited through exorbitant mealie-meal prices, let us be vigilant and report these people to the authorities, the police. That is what we should do and work together. This Government is ready to assist in all human endeavours and it is a Government that cares in the New Deal administration.

It is in this regard, Mr Speaker, that I must thank our colleagues on the other side for the overwhelming support they have continued to exhibit in calling for additional funding to the Office of the Vice-President. That should be the spirit. We can only successfully tackle the famine across our country with this type of unity of purpose we are seeing. That is what we require as a Government. I hope and trust too that this unity of purpose will go a long way in our day-to-day deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I have a number of problems in my area, but I have no doubt that my Government will address all these problems. As Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, I am confident that the problems will be addressed in due course because both the Republican President and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning have many plans for this country.

I will, therefore, confidently bring these problems to my fellow leaders in Government for action. In our New Deal approach and administration, we are fully committed to solving these problems and with the support of the Opposition,  as demonstrated here, we will not fail.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to the former President, Dr F. J. T. Chiluba, for bringing plural politics in Zambia. Today, Hon. L. L. Phiri can even speak because yesterday, their Members of the Central Committee were refusing to bring plural politics in the country. I salute him for bringing democracy and we can now sit together with the Opposition and debate as a family.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I rise to pay tribute and thanks to all Members of Parliament who were lucky enough to catch the eye of Mr Speaker. Those who failed to catch the eye of Mr Speaker, I still thank them for showing interest in contributing to the debate on this Bill.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Malambo, who comes from a very good area, mentioned a road. This road which he mentioned to Mfuwe is not, really, a constituency road. It is a national road because it leads to one of the national assets, Mfuwe South. So, I think that we should all assist him in making sure that, that road is brought to international standards as early as we can possibly make it.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: He also mentioned another point which touches my heart, that of co-operatives.

We are aware that we do not wish to re-event the wheel. In many parts of the country, co-operatives are intact or would require very little effort from my colleague in the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives to re-activate them. The institutions are there and I think we should do our best to utilise the institutions that are there in implementing the agricultural programmes that the Mwanawasa administration wishes to implement.

I also agree about the recovery of loans. This point, I have made on several occasions. The loans are not only outstanding from former Ministers, but they are also outstanding from a large number of former hon. Members of Parliament. So, I think that it will be necessary for us to approach them. However, let us be firm but also be fair.

People should be given time to pay and should be accorded the respect that they deserve. We should not chase them like criminals, but we should address these issues by talking to them in a nice way and make sure that we give them enough time to pay. I think that is a sensible way of doing things.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Malambo also talked dilapidated schools and hospitals. I am sure that he has read the Budget and seen the allocation that we have provided for the renovation of schools and hospitals. We have considerable amounts of money there and I will not bore hon. Members of the House with tedious repetitions. This point is covered.

The hon. Member for Lusaka Central (Mr Patel) talked about the incentives that were given to KCM and Mopani and I do agree with him. It is all the laws that are specific to individuals, are at best bad laws. What we want to do is to provide for laws that are general, but I can also see the pressure under which the previous administration was labouring.

This Government was losing close to a million dollars a day and with each day that past, we were loosing a million dollars and Zambia is a poor country. This is money best used for roads, education and health and that money was being spent on propping up the structure. I think that, in my own personal feeling and without committing my fellow Cabinet Ministers, we have to really look at the whole scenario of the mining legislation and then look at it in total to try and find an accommodating general law so that everyone is treated alike whether they are Zambians or non Zambians, national or international investors.

I think that, that should be the criteria for progress forward. But, this is a high policy and it must be approved by the whole cabinet so that we speak with the same language wherever we are. That is what a joint responsibility of Cabinet actually means.

With regard to the point made by the hon. Member for Lusaka Central about approved share option schemes, this is a good way of encouraging Zambians to own shares and to be part owners of companies within Zambia. We are encouraging them to do this and we are also giving them tax exemptions on those shares. So, I think that is a good thing and should be encouraged by all. This is Zambia. This is our State and Zambians must have a discernable stake in the ownership of the means of production in this country.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Petauke mentioned about a number of aspirations. I think that farming incentives are difficult to franchise in the same manner as we franchise other tax incentives. All Zambians can be farmers and all the rural dwellers are, in fact, farmers. So, it would be difficult to provide for that kind of tax benefit in our tax system. He also mentioned another point, which I think touched me seriously, it is about treatment in South Africa. 

I think, the hon. Minister of Health will deal with this seriously when we come to discussing the Vote on the Ministry of Health. But, what I know and as a Member of the Cabinet is that, the policy on specialist treatment is not reserved for hon. Ministers and their wives or children. Specialist treatment that is not available in Zambia, to whatever affordable levels can be applied to any Zambian. In the past, records are there to show that many ordinary simple Zambians have gone to South Africa and got the treatment, but unfortunately, our Press friends over there, always publicise the deaths of Ministers and do not publicise deaths of other people. So, I think that is the advantage of sitting on the Front Bench. 

The policy is fair and the records are there. If you wish to ask him, he can actually come up with numbers of people sent abroad over the last years or so. I think that can justify the policy. It is important that the policy continues. This country has got no facilities that South Africa has and to a certain extent, certain diseases can only be treated in the regional area. We are better off having South Africa rather than sending people to Europe.

The hon. Member for Kafue, who is my good friend asked about the tax identification. It is true this has been on the cards. We have actually been using it informally. We are legislating about it now, in fact, it has been in practice for a long time. The advantage of this is very large. As we progress in tax administration, as the development of tax administration unfolds, it will be easier to identify particular importers by their number, particular tax payers by that number and particular returns by that number. And by the touch on the computer board, we will actually and trace things right through to the end.

It makes it much easier to administer and to collect public revenues. So, I think this system is extremely good and is extremely high. With regard to tax free zones which the hon. touched on, I had earlier explained that we are working on details. We had foreseen some flaws, proceeding as we did. I did mention earlier, that- I think the hon. Member was out of the House that, in fact, we are progressing very fast on this.

We cannot implement this law. Some countries that hastily implemented tax free zones had, in fact, to retrace their steps and cancel the system because of the loopholes it created in the tax system. And people took unfair advantage. We would like to avoid such a step and that is the reason why we are taking time to implement this. I think the Commissioner-General would be issuing a general statement a little bit later and then we will be coming to the House should need be, to firm up the way forward.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committee on Friday, 15th March, 2002.


Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time

Mr Speaker, the Bill before the House seeks to amend the Property Transfer Tax Act so as to update the provisions of the Act by deleting all provisions that make reference to the Department of Taxes and the Commissioner of Taxes, and to replace the same with the Zambia Revenue Authority and Commissioner-General. 

The Bill is straightforward, Mr Speaker, and I commend it to the House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Speaker: Any further debate? I see need for further debate on this Bill.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, I am glad that at long last, I am given this opportunity to give my maiden speech. Parliament must reform itself by encouraging new Members to give their maiden speeches first unlike the present practice, because it frustrates a lot of new Members as they are not able to catch the eye of the Speaker tactfully.


Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, the President delivered to this august House the human centre development process. Our benchmarks in the New Deal will be measured in terms of the welfare of the people we are here to represent.

Sir, may I take this opportunity to congratulate Mr A. K. Mazoka, President of UPND …


Mr Kazala-Laski: For losing!

Mr Muyanda: … and the national management committee for having adopted me as a candidate for Sinazongwe Constituency where I won the elections.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank Chief Sinazongwe, Chief Mweemba of Sinazongwe Constituency and the people of Sinazongwe for having elected me to this august House. I wish to thank my campaign team that managed my election campaign very competently, indeed. 

In my opinion, what would make the New Deal and the Budget successful in their approach is being responsive to the people’s appeal such as removal of Article 43 which provides immunity to the immediate past President, whom we all know very well. This is for the economic crimes committed during his term of office and this must be done unconditionally. 

The New Deal and the Budget are intertwined in approach, Mr Speaker. Mr Anderson Mazoka, President of UPND, survived three or four attempted assassinations. What type of democracy is this?

Hon. Government Members: Order! Sit down!

Mr Speaker: Order! Order! The hon. Member must not give the House an opportunity to interrupt his speech by making controversial statements. That matter, even if it were just an allegation is for the police to establish. May you skip matters which lie outside this House and debate only those which lie within this House. You have the Floor.

Mr Muyanda: I withdraw that, Sir.

Mr Speaker, may I congratulate The Post newspaper, Radio Phoenix and members of staff for their gallant fight against Press oppression in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Especially during the election period. Both The Times of Zambia and Daily Mail, government propaganda papers, assigned to crush opposition political parties. Where is the New Deal?

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them! Shame!

Mr Muyanda: The two propaganda newspapers must reform and begin to report impartially. 

Corruption in the Government circles, financial scandals, closures of public companies and murder of political opponents and organised white-collar crime, drug dealing, has become a new culture of Zambia. Take cases of Baldwin Nkumbula, late, Ronald Penza, late, just to mention a few. Where is the New Deal at work? Those are humans we have lost in the cause of good political order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, in 1991, we promised the people of Zambia an economic boom, but they experienced economic hell and doom.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Will the New Deal not be the same song as this Budget is very sweet toned and promising heaven and yet, hell is looming?

On agriculture and damming of rivers in Southern Province, Sir, may I comment on Item 67 of the Presidential Speech delivered to this august House. Southern Province has Kariba Dam, which provides billions of deciliters of water passing through Kariba Flood Gates.

If the New Deal is serious, Sinazongwe District and Gwembe Valley, as a whole, provides the already made dam. Why do we have to have canned ideas without tin openers? Southern Province has the biggest man-made dam, which can feed the whole country.

If the New Deal is serious, in Sinazongwe District and the constituency as it is, the infrastructure is already in place. They were created by the UNIP government but destroyed by MMD. A case in point is Namalima Irrigation Scheme, which is based in Sinazongwe.  This scheme was well founded and well intentioned and should be feeding the people of Zambia, in as far as its prime objectives are concerned, but today, we are talking of putting up new dams. What type of dams are we going to make?

Kariba Dam on the upper plateau of Zambia is only seventy kilometres away from the main lake, why can we not just install the pipes within the radius of seventy-five kilometres and be able to supply water up to the plateau and irrigate? Mr Speaker, canned ideas will not feed this country. The people of Zambia have starved enough. We have had enough of ten years of empty promises. This is not the moment of empty promises, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: … men and women are dying.

The infrastructure is in place, Mr Speaker, this can produce more than enough food for the people of Zambia. My advice to MMD government is to initiate a pilot scheme in Sinazongwe where the biggest man-made lake is. 

Mr Speaker, may I inform the august House that if the New Deal is serious, it must start working in Sinazongwe, now, because the whole land from Sinazongwe to Siavonga is arable. Canals are already in place. All the government has to do is send the bull-dozers to lower down the valley and be able to do the irrigation, which, right now, is given to a Southern African company running a small farm called Buchi and yet, the whole of the valley is left yawning. 

Mr Speaker, we have the capacity to make and produce our own food. The weather and temperature of this country are so wonderful, especially in the valley if we can provide this irrigation system. 

The terrain in the valley is very ideal. There are land and canals, and abundant natural streams are all in place by God’s work. Hon. Members of Parliament, may I tell the august House that if the New Deal is serious, hunger is a matter we can manage. How did Israel make it? Israelis are in the desert but we are not in a desert. We have the brains, the engineers, doctors from our universities, why should we not be able to do it just because ten years of continuous lying has been the way of governing this country? This must stop.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, may I mention something on the roads. There is a road between Batoka and Maamba Mine, this road does not even have a single signpost. It is a road where bridges’ culverts have all been washed out. Sooner or later, the bridge at Mwezya Mine will be completely gone and there would be no …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr. Speaker: Before the hon. Member continues contributing to the debate, the Chair would like to remind him that he used three unparliamentary words in his speech. These were ‘hell’, ‘doom’ and ‘lies’. Had it not been for the fact that he was delivering his maiden speech, the Chair would have interrupted him. I trust that there are no more unparliamentary words in his speech, if they are, he should eliminate them as he speaks.

Mr. Muyanda: Mr. Speaker, I wish to apologise for the use of unparliamentary language, which I think, emanates from ignorance. But as we learn, we will be able to leave out some of these words. I thank you for your correction.

Mr. Speaker, on roads, I would like to state that the road from Batoka to Maamba has no single road sign. Bridges have been washed away and extensively damaged. Sooner or later, there will be no road and the strategic bridge at Mwezia will completely collapse and cause an extensive loss of business for Maamba Coal Mine and indeed other industries that rely on coal from Maamba Mine.

Mr. Speaker, on health, much has been said but I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Health to provide a resident doctor, a mortuary and operating theatre in Sinazongwe District Hospital. The hospital has been operating for over ten years without a resident medical doctor and this is totally pathetic. 

The nearest medical doctor is at Maamba Mine, a distance of about 30 kilometres away and this is too far for a sick or injured person to seek medical treatment. The people of Sinazongwe are living in squalor and are constant victims of cholera due to high levels of poverty which should not have been had their co-operatives not been vandalised and razed down by the MMD Government.

Mr. Speaker, I hope the New Deal will stop sending Ministers and Members of Parliament of MMD to South Africa for medical treatment. I wish to suggest that each Minister should take a life policy which can save millions of dollars and, indeed, an embarrassment to the people of Zambia who have been independent for the past 30 years but have failed to prepare and construct their own specialised clinics. 

Let us create our own medical facilities of equal standards as those in the countries where we run to when we are suffering from simple headache. It is a shame, Sir, that Zambia was one of the richest African country as at 1964, at the time of Independence. Surely, today, it is a disgrace that our leaders should jump on aeroplanes going to Pretoria and Johannesburg in search for medical treatment, which we could have already constructed in this country.

Mr. Kazala-Laski: It is because of Kaunda.


Mr. Hachipuka: You cadre, do not talk about honourable men.

Mr. Muyanda: Mr. Speaker, on tourism, I would like to comment on the plunder of our natural resources by the wildlife safari companies. Sir, Zambia is the only country in Africa where unconventional methods of hunting and capturing animals have been used. Foreign companies have, for instance, used choppers and snares to an extent that some of our animals are on the verge of extermination. For example, the Sable Antelope is almost gone in this country. It is a shame among those who perpetuate the extermination of our only last natural resources. The copper ore is gone.

Mr. Speaker, may I propose to the august House to halt all hunting activities centred on destruction of wildlife by these merciless mercenaries from other countries. Mr. Speaker, I have never heard of a Zambian travelling to European countries or Asia for safari hunting. Why are we not ashamed when these men and women come over here to destroy our wildlife. 

What are we going to keep for our children. There is nothing left for our children. The wildlife is our only wealth that is left at the moment. The destruction of this poor lion facing us in this House, poor leopard and other animals is a pity.

Mr. Speaker, crocodiles have wreaked havoc in Sinazongwe area or Lake Kariba. Mr. crocodile somewhere must be aware in the river…


Hon. Member: He is not paying attention.

Mr. Muyanda: … that the destruction of humans is totally unacceptable. The MMD Government has not cropped the crocodiles in Lake Kariba ever since we achieved Independence. It was only done in 1960. Crocodiles have multiplied in very large numbers such that they are a continuous threat to human life.

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that, through you, hon. Members will encourage the Government to crop the crocodiles as soon as possible and I am sure that the exercise will generate good revenue for the Government in order to raise the foreign exchange which we are in desperate need of. That is the best conventional method of getting or realising it.

Mr. Speaker, I wonder why the MMD Government continues to license plunderers of our wealth. Sir, on commerce and industry, it is sad to report to this House that our industries and companies were privatised by conmen and con-artists, including our manufacturing companies.


Mr. Speaker: Order! It is quite clear that the hon. Member’s speech may be interrupted now. The words ‘conmen’ or ‘con-artists’ are unparliamentary and so, the Chair is forced to ask the hon. Member to withdraw those words. The hon. Member can use better words.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr. Muyanda: Mr. Speaker, I humbly wish to withdraw the words ‘conmen’ and ‘con-artists’.


Mr. Muyanda: Mr. Speaker, manufacturing companies have, now, been turned into warehouses. Companies like Lenco are salient examples of the organised and systematic destruction of our own industries and there is no sign, not even a little fragment of truth in that they were privatised in good faith.

Mr Speaker, this has now swelled a list of diseases, aggravated hunger, HIV, etc, has found fertile in a situation where hunger is dominating the people of Zambia.

Sir, may I comment on ZRA. Very shortly, I saw ZRA tossing a golf tournament at Lusaka Golf Club. It is a pity that the money raised from the poor people, collapsing companies, ZRA can shamelessly give the money to the rich to play golf and enjoy themselves. Why not use that money for contingent planning by providing food to the desperate and hungry people, starving in our villages, all over the whole country and dying babies?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, may I comment on electricity. In the valley, in Sinazongwe along Lake Kariba, where I come from, electricity is generated in Sinazongwe. Without electricity been generated, this august House would not be in this state. It was constructed by the use of mechanisation and electronic systems. But today, the people of Sinazongwe are the poorest of the poor. Shame upon the MMD Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda: Mr Speaker, we were promised a bottom road. Time and again, as elections were approaching, the people of Sinazongwe and the valley as a whole, were being told that there is a bottom road coming. That road has never been seen. I hope this time round, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply will take note of this because the people of the valley would like to have adequate compensation for being translocated from wetlands to dry lands. We do hope to see this bottom road kick off this year as it is partially contained in PIP.

Mr Speaker, may I say that electricity has been a total disaster in Sinazongwe. I, therefore, urge the Minister of Energy and Water Development to fire Mr Mwansa. He has failed to deliver the goods and serve the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank hon. Members of the House for the contribution to this motion which is, as I said, non-controversial.

The funds provided for construction of dams is not only for new dams. There will be a number of new dams constructed. Infact, it covers the rehabilitation of dams such as Namulima, which the Member of Parliament mentioned. Also, the road to Batoka is a very important road because the products of the mine cannot be transported if that bridge collapses. There are two places on that road which are dangerous to ordinary motorists. I think that my colleague in the ministry responsible will see to it that something, immediately, is done on the road Batoka to Mamba Mine.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Friday, 15th March, 2002.


Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the bill before the House seek to amend the Mines and Minerals Act so as to reduce the rate of mineral loyalty from 2 per cent to 0.6 per cent. The objective is to expend the concession offered to Konkola and Mopani Copper Mines to other ZCCM companies.

The amendment is meant to level the playing fields. In the copper mining industry, there are at the moment, two types of taxation applicable. At the moment, this Bill is meant to apply the same type of concession to different types of mines.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to present my maiden speech after a long struggle.

With all sincere gratitude and humility, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice and that of the people of Sinda Constituency to the Presidential and Budget Speech to this House. Equally, this being my first contribution to this House, I want to congratulate you and your Deputy for having been elected into that most honourable position, at least, through an open vote. An open vote has given you and your deputy unmatched credibility.

Mr Speaker, I would equally like to thank the people of Sinda for having fore-sight, wisdom and knowledge and for having made the most important decision of their lives by voting for me as their Member of Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Ngoma: I am here to represent Sinda with brevity without fear or favour, later on, offer my best for the sake of Sinda.

Mr Speaker, whenever there is a new born baby, a gift in any home, there is always jubilation and happiness. Only when the baby is born under mysterious circumstances, will there be sadness and uncertainty. Today, following the tripartite elections, Zambia has been blessed with a gift more of the baby in the name of our President, His Excellency, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Ngoma: However, no jubilation and joy accompany this gift. God knows why.


Mr L. J. Ngoma: God has a solution.

Mr Speaker, Sinda is situated in Eastern Province. It is predominantly a rural constituency. In my constituency, there are rather four major problems. These being hunger, poverty, disease and illiteracy.

Mr Speaker, the people of Sinda have not been spared by hunger following the floods which were there during the last season. My people are suffering.

The mangoes that they were feeding on have run out. The roots that they were feeding on in the forest have run out. When the asked for relief food from His Honour, the Vice-President, he only sent 200 bags for the entire district of Katete. I do not see any logic there.

Agriculture in Sinda Constituency has crumbled due to the past mismanaged policies in agriculture of the last Government. As a result of the crumbling agriculture, the people of Sinda Constituency live in entire poverty. For them to have three meals per day is unheard of.

With regard to health, Sinda Constituency has got only four clinics. With a population of over hundred thousand people and nine wards, I do not see any logic for Sinda Constituency just to have four clinics. In some wards, there are no clinics at all. Some people have been born without knowing what a health centre is. I would, therefore, to appeal to the hon. Minister of Health to consider increasing the number of health centres in Sinda Constituency.

On the issue of illiteracy, Sir, the situation is pathetic. With only about 23 schools which most of them go up to Grade 4. The illiteracy level is very bad. I, therefore, would like to make an appeal to the hon. Minister of Education to look into this issue seriously.

Allow me, Sir, to thank the President for his well thought out speech in certain areas, such as the economy, science and technology, telecommunications, tourism, energy, above all, partly agriculture. To me, Sir, the President’s Speech is in two parts. In the first part, the President’s Speech was an excellency show piece with good intentions and promises. Of which intentions and promises, if fully made, would see a Zambia heading towards development. The President said and I quote:

    “The agricultural sector has to replace mining as the engine of economic development employment generation and poverty eradication.”

The President went further to say and I quote:

    “It is also true that most of our agricultural crisis were man made intentional and there are people who deliberately created management hiccups so that they can thrive on chaos.”

I am happy that the Head of State has acknowledged the mistake and he has immediately embarked on corrective measures. As an Opposition Member of Parliament, I would like to join those of my colleagues who have offered total support to the Government to end hunger. I, too, fully subscribe to the cause of supporting Government only and only if they are good policies being implemented in a none destructive manner.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Ngoma: I believe hunger knows no political boundaries.

Mr Speaker, it was equally gratifying that in his Address, the President did not mention cow-dung. It is unfortunate, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives is not here. However, I will proceed.

In that regard, I do not want to take it for granted that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives has stopped talking about cow-dung. I would like to remind the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives that there is no room for cow-dung based agriculture in this country – corridor disease, foot and mouth disease and poor agricultural policies have wiped out a lot of cattle. Then, where does the hon. Minister expect farmers to get cattle to produce cow dung?

My humble, but maturely advice to the hon. Minister is that, time delivery of inputs such as fertiliser, seed and chemicals, a sound marketing arranged, improved feeder roads, training of more agricultural extension officers are, but some of the answers and cure to the agricultural system in this country.

Mr Speaker, the other area which was impressive is that of governance. However, I would like to say that having the Police, Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug-Enforcement Commission and the Auditor-General all being appointed by the President might not be adequate to improve these institutions of good governance. Hence, my appeal is to all hon. Members of this House to seriously to pass a legislation that would really see these institutions of good governance being independent so as to provide proper checks and balances to all the three arms of Government.

Another good area which I observed was that having offices in our various Constituencies. However, having offices without resources is not enough. We should have offices in these places so that we interact with our people. But we should be empowered logistically. The notion of having K30 million as Constituency Development Fund is not good. Allow me, although I would have given out his name, it is not allowed, but one hon. minister did say that it is not the intention of Government to increase the allocation of Constituency Development Funds because if they do, it would be impossible for them to boot each one of us here. What is important is to alleviate the suffering of the people or just to make sure that each time, you have got new faces in Parliament? To me having improved conditions of living for the people is very important.

Mr Speaker, as I earlier pointed out, to me the second fold of the Presidential Speech was look worm. It was neither cold nor hot. Rather it was very bare as far as youth, education, health and partly agricultural development. They appear to be little if there is no hope for development at all.

Mr Speaker, the youth are the backbone of any nation. They are supposed to be a reservoir of economics, social, political and spiritual leadership. However, Sir, this is what we are seeing in this nation. For a long time now, youths have been used as political pons and hooligans to champion selfish political agendas of unprincipled old politicians. As though that is not enough. Youths are worst heat as far as unemployment is concerned. Youths are unable to get jobs, more so with the rampant corruption that deprives even those with the skills and qualifications to get jobs.

Mr Speaker, Zambian news lack sufficient, social and recreation facilities. This has seen an increase in crime, prostitution, HIV/AIDS and other social vices that the youths are engaged in. Despite all this background, Sir, the Government seems to be unconcerned as has already been reflected in the Presidential and Budgetary Addresses to this House. In those addresses, there appear to be no policy and no strategy or any consideration whatsoever to address the flight of the youths.

Even the meager resources, like the K2.6 billion that has been allocated to this cause is not enough. That is the reason I am saying the Addresses were bare. The Government seems unconcerned and left the responsibility to do with the youth to the NGOs alone. What type of Government is this? He who feels it, knows it. What I have said, I feel it and I know it.

Therefore, I throw a challenge to the Government to come up with meaningful youth policy, strategy and programme to address the concerns and problems of the youths in this country. Failure to which Zambia is headed for disaster. If you are able to say that 68 per cent of Zambia’s population is the youths, and then in your Budget, you want to allocate less than 5 per cent. I do not see the logic there.

With regard to education, the President said there will be free education up to Grade 7 and bursaries up to Grade 9. I would like to remind the President that bursaries were there even in the previous Government, but were abused by the same system. Poor people still could not access the bursaries, instead those with the capacity to pay took up most of the bursaries. Mr Speaker, free education up to Grade 12 should be non negotiable.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J.  Ngoma: Mr Speaker, imagine a scenario where Zambia is full of Grade 7s and Grade 9s, what would happen? Definitely, no development would be seen. I equally would like to remind President Mwanawasa again that he would not have been State Counsel today, let alone, President of this country if there had been no free education. Free education up to Grade 12 is not negotiable. 


Mr Speaker, universities are the pride of any nation. Yet Zambian universities have been eroded of this status. The infrastructure has been turned into ghettoes with Copperbelt University and University of Zambia looking like piggeries more so with the politically engineered closures. 

Mr Speaker, the President talked about averting closures. I want to submit that the previous administration, that is the previous Government, appointed the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry to look into this. To date, the good recommendations that the Commission came up with after spending billions of tax payers’ money are still gathering dust at Cabinet Office and the Ministry headquarters. The major and biggest problem facing our universities today is funding. In the last decade, funding has been most erratic. Even this year’s budget has not provided adequate resources to the universities. 

Zambian lecturers are the lowest paid in the region. Zambian students are paid K120,000 meal allowance. This means that students survive on 90 cents per day. When you visit the Copperbelt University and the University of Zambia, you will discover that students live and sleep in squalor conditions.

The solution to the closures lie in giving conditions of service to the lecturers and also recognising Zambia’s cream, the students by paying them reasonable allowances. Today, students receive K75,000 as book allowance for one semester. For medical students, what type of a book can one buy from that amount?

Mr Patel: Humanism Part IV


Mr L. J. Ngoma: It is shame. These closures, as I have said, are politically engineered. I was a remarkable student leader just a few years ago. Any time you complain the Government comes to suppress and intimidate you. What I would like to tell the hon. Minister of Education is that intimidation, suppression and oppression always breeds resistance that leads to uproar. It is high time we realised that students are mature people, to be respected and given that is due.

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

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, as far as universities are concerned, there is urgent need for Government to start implementing what the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry recommended. When that is done, I would like to submit that closures would be a thing of the past.

The idea, Mr Speaker, of building a third university is brilliant. Oh, yes, it is a brilliant idea. However, what logic is there in having a third university when Government has lamentably failed to fund the existing two universities? My appeal to Government is that before they build a third university, let them raise the standards of Copperbelt and University of Zambia, not to mention all colleges in the country. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the New Deal is preaching about the rule of law and not that of men. In the last decade, Zambia was ruled by the rule of the jungle where only the fittest and most crooked survived. The rule of the jungle saw billions of ta payers’ money stolen and plundered. I remember the K2 billion stolen from this National Assembly, the Carrington saga …

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them.

Mr Speaker: Order! I have yet again to remind the House that we were here for nearly a week on our own learning how to debate and the kind of language that should be used in this House. One of the issues we tackled dealt with the convention of a sub judice. When a matter is before the courts of law, that matter should not be referred to in the debate. If it is a matter for legislation in general, that is different. 

So hon. Member, I had to interrupt your debate to remind you that, that matter is before the courts of law. Any other matter before any court of law should not be referred to in this House until it is properly resolved in the courts of law.

May you continue and move to the next point, please.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: My apologies, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Speaker, not only was there rampant stealing of public resources but also …


Mr L. J. Ngoma: My apologies, Mr Speaker. 

I wrote the speech myself. But also the killing and assassination of prominent men and women of our land …

Hon. Government Members: Ah.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: I am talking of mysterious deaths of people like Ronald Penza, Baldwin Nkumbula, Major Wezi Kaunda, Cuthbert Ng’uni, Richard Ngenda to mention but a few. I am very much afraid that if these deaths go unabated, many of us might disappear. Next time, it might be you.

Therefore, there is great and urgent need for the Government of laws and not men to look into this by way of instituting investigations where there have been no investigations. They must also produce reports where investigations have already been done so that the evil people who did this can be brought to book.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Ngoma: I am afraid that if this is not done, then the evil people who did this will continue living amongst our community and are bound to strike again.

Mr Speaker, as already pointed out by many of my colleagues, the Presidential Speech on agriculture was good. However, the President said that the Crop Marketing Authority would be a buyer of the last resort. The question is, who will be the buyer of the first resort? The answer is simple and that is to say the private sector. It is a shame. The private sector has already dealt with the Zambian peasant farmer. 

In the last decade, the private sector failed to buy produce from farmers. Where it succeeded, it only did so by exploiting farmers by giving them a raw deal. This should not be allowed to continue. What Zambians need is a Crop Marketing Authority that will buy and stock farm produce immediately it is harvested.  Mr Speaker, I could go on and on. 

Mr Kazala-Laski: Sit down.


Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, when I went to my constituency, fortunate enough, I am a regular visitor to my constituency not like some of you. When I went to my constituency just over the long weekend, upon entering four clinics, I discovered that most of the beds were empty. The question that came to my mind was whether people are not as sick anymore. 

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: No, you are wrong. The answer is that people are very sick but they are unable to visit these health institutions because they do not have money to pay for the services.

They do not have the money to pay medical fees. You have killed agriculture. There is no marketing. Farmers do not have the money. Where do you expect them to get the K1,500 which the health institutions are demanding. So, people are dying in large numbers. People will say in the UNIP Government, there were long queues, queuing up for salad, queuing up for soap. Now, I want to tell you that today those queues have turned up to be queues going to the graveyard.


Mr L. J. Ngoma: With due respect and humility, I want to thank you, once again, Sir, for having accorded me this opportunity to have presented my maiden speech, making me a free man to contribute effectively to the motions that will be coming before the Floor of the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The Chair would now love to hear from the  hon. Contributor on the Bill. 

Mr Ng'uni (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Bill that is before the House, regarding mining. I sometimes feel extremely lost in this country. I feel like I have gone to another country. When I was a little boy, growing up in the village, I remember very well stories about mining industry and the hope that mining industry provided. And I think it was a deliberate policy by this country to do what they did. There was abundant opportunity for those that were highly trained at the university to gain practical experience in metallurgy and staff like that. 

We  were told by the wise men and apparently they did not come from the east. If they had come from the east, I would have appreciated that they were genuine wise people who advised our country that we needed to liberalise the economy. And what did we do? We opened up Pandora’s box where people that knew what they came to extort from our country were left to come and mislead all over us here. Unfortunately, they used local people to find their way to very high authority. 

Sir, Copper was perceived as a mineral that did not have value on the world market. But for some reason, Sir, we have been making a lot of trips outside the country as a nation, as Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and any other portion of the Government. What has been the complication in us at one point in the past, for example, to go to Chile? Chile is my name, but there is a country that produces copper. And they have managed to continue producing copper and they have lived on copper. 

What has been the complication? What did we do? We let go the Mines because we were told that as the Government we were unable to run the mines. So, we gave it to the private hands. What have the private hands done? They have actually failed to steer development and hope. What has been the result? People have been declared jobless. Others have gone to the neighbouring countries, like South Africa where there are renowned metallurgists. 

For some reason, we have failed to make use of our own labour resources that we trained at very high cost. So, my suggestion is that we have noticed that privatisation of the mining industry has not taken us anywhere. There are still raw mines that could be created in this country. For example, Sir, there was a very well intended Bill that was moved pertaining to capitalisation of Nitrogen Chemicals in Kafue. But Nitrogen Chemicals will need certain raw materials, which could be obtained from within the country. 

I think this business of absolute liberasation is not right. I would still like the Government to participate in creating certain opportunities, which indigenous Zambia can be convinced that they are money-generating activities. For example, the sulphate in Petauke; is it because it is in Eastern Province? If there is no private investor, Sir, to go and start mining sulphate which would be used in the production of fertilizer at Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia. Then the Government should initiate this programme and later on invite indigenous Zambians to participate because what you have done is to create wealth through a lot of sweating. 

And foreigners have just come to pinch it and take it away and leave us in dire poverty, meaning we have turned our country into a workshop where people will go and produce high quality technology and take it away and leave the workshop unattended to. We have so much opportunity from God. For example, in Chama, I come from Chama and Chama is endowed with a lot of mineral resources, for example oil, alright!


Mr Ng'uni: Placid Oil Company was invited, it is an American mining company, whatever. They came here to misinform us and misguide us. They went to Chama and raised so much hope in Chama. I am saying this because it affects me and the people of Chama very deeply. They came to Chama and misled all of us into believing that they came to bring an oil mine because oil has been a big problem in African countries, Zambia in particular where we are spending so much money on importing oil. 

So, they came and misinformed us and took off. We have not seen those people again. They agreed there is oil  coming out of the ground. But someone tells me that there is no oil in Chama. Is it because Chama is perceived as a forgotten place? I would like the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to take a deliberate policy to conclude the exploration of oil in Chama. In Chama there is graphite. Nobody will appreciate the value of graphite, but for some reason if the Government went there and started mining it, I think people will learn that there is enough to do. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a few comments on the debate by hon. Members of Parliament in this important sector of mining. I think the hon. Member for Sinda commented on the role the Crop Marketing Agency will play in relation to the private buyers. I think it is a good policy to try and create our own private sector in this country. No one starts by being big the first day. But some of the people who started participating in the purchasing of crops have made it and are now middle-sized companies. 

So, I do not think that all of them, I think it is not a fair statement to say that all the people who participated in crop marketing are crooks, they went out there to crock our people. Yes, I know that some of them try to purchase the crops at wrong bottom prices and then turn out and sell those crops at high prices. But those in business, you always find that people will conduct business with integrity and some people will conduct business on false premises. We would not know who will develop into a responsible business partner and who want to cheat honest members of the public.

With regard to the point made by the hon. Member for Chama South, I have read the report of the placid oil cooperation. The report actually does not say that there is no oil in Chama. It says the oil is there in uneconomic quantities at the present price of oil. That is all the report says. It means that if, perhaps, the price of oil in the world moves from US$18 or US $19 and became US $40, it could be profitable to mine oil in Chama and I think that is the way we should look at it.

It will be unfair to inform the Zambian nation that placid oil came here to cheat the people of Chama and in particular, the people of Zambia. The reports are there for anyone who is interested to find the truth to read such reports.

With regard to the let down of the Anglo-American Corporation on Konkola, let us not draw false conclusions from that unfortunate chapter. The fact that you get a divorce because your wife is difficult does not necessarily mean that there is nobody in the whole world who would live happily with you. Perhaps, the fault is on your side. Therefore, it is important for us to learn and draw proper conclusions.

At this stage, we are still in the middle of discussions and the House will be informed of the resolutions from the discussions and I promise that together with my colleagues in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, we will come to the House and inform you of the conclusions that will be reached before the House rises.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



VOTE 13/01 – (Ministry of Energy and Water Development – K35,901,205,720)

(Consideration resumed)

Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal: Mr Chairman, as I was saying yesterday, it is heart breaking and depressing to see women in 2002 still carrying buckets of water and firewood on their heads with babies on their backs. If boreholes were close to the homes and if there was electricity in the rural areas, these women would be more involved with income generating activities.

Zambia’s dependency on firewood for energy will lead to the depletion of the forestry, which will have a major negative impact on environment. It is, therefore, prudent to hasten rural electrification. I know this is expensive but it is the right thing to do. Where there is political will to move Zambia forward, there is a way.

In conclusion, Sir, I ask all hon. Members to seriously think about today and this Budget when we next see the woman that I have talked about, while driving in our XV comfortable automobile. Zambia needs to move forward and we need to empower women and to do so, we need to ensure that they do not spend a day fetching water or carrying firewood on their heads. So, Mr Chairman, when we are talking about energy and water, let us remember the rural woman because that is where development is going to come from.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Chairman: I think we have had enough of maiden speeches, let us just make progress on the estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): Mr Chairman, I have some observations with regard to the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. It seems to be a ministry with two policies. On the one hand, when it comes to fuel such as diesel and petrol, there is a graduated rate at which people pay according to the distance they are from where the energy is produced.

However, when it comes to electrical energy, that policy seems to be turned upside down in that areas such as Livingstone where we do not generate electricity do not benefit from that policy of reduced rates. I would like, perhaps, a statement as whether or not this duo policy will continue.

Mr Chairman, there is also the issue of 56 people who went to Miami and I do not know how they went since there is no provision for it. Therefore, I would like to know how they managed to have such a large delegation going off to Miami to look at ZESCO.

Mr Tetamashimba: The ZESCO Miami.

Mr Sikota: ZESCO Miami trip, which had a big entourage of 56 members. Sir, the question is how did they manage to get the funding and not whether they went by broomstick or other means.


Mr Sikota: Mr Chairman, the area I come from, Livingstone, requires incentives in order for it to be competitive as a tax free zone or an export zone. One of the areas in which we could become more competitive is in the area of fuel and energy costs. I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to look into that, as they look into the new proposals that he alluded to earlier this afternoon that, that be something to be seriously considered.

Mr Chairman, I believe that I am brief and so I leave it here.

Major-General  Zulu (Lumezi): Mr Chairman, first of all, I would like to thank hon. Members who have contributed constructively on electricity. My worry is that we tend to talk too much without seeing the results at all. I am very sure that those Members who were here last time debated on electricity to rural areas. To day, we are still discussing electricity without any answer at all.


Major-General  Zulu: We are talking too much. At 0600 hours, we are talking, at mid day up to 1800 hours. When are we going to have results? Mr Chairman, the people of Zambia do not need talking. They want to see the results. We want action. It is time now to take action, not talking. For example, in Lumezi Constituency we need electricity from Lundazi to Mwase Mphangwe. The Government should take the line from Lundazi to Mwase Mphangwe so that the people in Mwase Mphangwe can have electricity. 

We have so many retirees who have settled there. They have big farms and beautiful permanent houses, but they have no electricity. They cannot develop their farms without electricity. Between Lundazi and Mwase Mphangwe, we have so many schools and at the same time, we have a mission hospital which has over 200 beds. We need electricity there. The people in rural areas also want to enjoy electricity just as we are enjoying here in town.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major-General  Zulu: We have been talking about development. We …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Mr Chairman.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairman, is it in order for the hon. Member to debate the way he is doing, when he has already said we are talking too much, and he is already talking too much himself?


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

Major-General Zulu: Thank you very much. Mr Chairman, I was talking about electricity to rural areas. 

That is very important because if those people were given electricity, they would be able to develop those areas. This time they are not able to develop because they have no electricity. They have failed to develop large land irrigation farming because there is no electricity and no dams at all. 

So, in order for us to reduce hunger in this country, we have got to look at people in rural areas so that they can also have electricity and dams. If we do not build dams, their animals will die especially areas such as Southern Province where our friends have animals everywhere. Sir, the same applies to Eastern Province. We have a lot of animals and, therefore, we need dams and electricity so that we can practice irrigation farming. If that is done, Mr Chairman, then hunger will be a thing of the past and we shall be able to produce food all year round.

Mr Chairman, I am, therefore, appealing to the Government to extend the line of electricity from Lundazi to Mwasemphangwe. What is the use, Mr Chairman? We have electricity from Malawi and I thank the Government for giving us electricity at Lundazi. Sir, it is about 100 kilometres from Malawi to Lundazi and this power ends at the Boma. What is the use of just having electricity for domestic purposes only? We want that electricity to be extended so that we can use it for farming. ZESCO can be able to benefit if that line is extended to commercial farmers in Mwasemphangwe because in between, we have businessmen, shops and other important buildings that require electricity. 

In short, Mr Chairman, I want to ask the Government of today, to tap electricity from Ludanzi to Mwasemphangwe.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: Who has not spoken? Hon. Chulumamda.

Mr Kombe (Kantanshi): Mr Chairman, for according me this chance to contribute on this Vote. My contribution to this important Vote is simple and straightforward. You would recall that during the presentation of my maiden speech I did allude to the fact that nearly all investors who purchased ZCCM units on the Copperbelt have been complaining of the high electricity tariffs.

I, therefore, wish to remind the hon. Minister and in particular, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to draw his attention to the fact that Mophan Coppermines and KCM wrote to ZCCM Investment Holding last year, so that tariffs could be revealed downwards.

In the case of KCM, Sir, they wanted a zero rated electricity tariff to be effected for pumping water from the wettest mine in the whole world. And, in particular from KDMP which is very deep and quite costly. In fact this was one of the major reasons why KCM wanted to pull out.

Mopani Copper Mines have also indicated that they are using a lot of electricity in their electric furnace. So, what is the ministry doing about it? Mr Minister, this concession must be looked into very quickly.  We may talk about diversification from farming to mining or from mining to farming, but once upon a time, a wise man said, “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush”.  

The Government must not even talk about nationalisationing the mines because we have no money and we are a poor nation. My appeal, therefore, is to ask KCM and Mopani to stay on. If possible, let us look for investors who are very serious to take over these mines. On our own, we have got no money and that is why we failed to run the mines as ZCCM in the past.

The other warning to the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development is that the billing system is still pathetic, to say the least. Members of the public are still subjected to fictitious bills. ZESCO workers do not go round to read from metre boxes but ZESCO prints bills with imaginary figures. And a lot of businesses have collapsed and folded up because of fictitious billing.

My last query, …

Mr Chairman, protect me from the Chief Whip.


Mr Kombe: He is looking at me dangerously.


Mr Kombe: Mr Chairman, what is the Government’s stand on ZESCO? Will it be privatised or go into partnership?

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Inonge Wina (Nalolo): Thank you, Mr Chairman, I feel that the allocation to the water sector is totally inadequate. Water is a basic right. It is also an economic, health and developmental factor. Perhaps, the hon. Minister of Finance will tell us that, under HIPC, there will be more resources channeled to this sector. 

Sir, I hope that in the next five-year plan, the planners will include gender sensitive persons. I say this because as my colleague honourable behind me has said, when we plan for water we do not take into consideration the needs of those people in our population that use water the most. The planners forget to include the people who draw the water, cook with the water, wash with the water and who know the proximity to where they draw the water. And as a result, water, particularly boreholes, are given a low priority.

Mr Chairman, our schools, particularly in rural areas need clean drinking water. This will help to decongest clinics where children with diarrhoea are taken to. And this will also minimise the expenditure in the health sector on children with diarrhoea diseases. So, the issue of boreholes really is a necessity. Therefore, Government should look into this very seriously, particularly for the peri-urban and rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.

The Chairman: It would appear we are just repeating ourselves. Preference must be given to those hon. Members who have not spoken often.


Mr. P G. Phiri (Vubwi): Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for giving me this chance to contribute to the debate on the Vote.

Mr. Chairman, this is a very interesting subject and as such I would like to inform you that I have just arrived from my constituency and these are some of the problems we have been discussing. Sir, on the question of electricity, I think I made it clear in my maiden speech that we have renovated the tobacco shed into a secondary school that is doing very well and it has grades 8 to 12.

Mr. Chairman, as we discuss the Budget in this House, if we concentrate on rural projects, the rural areas will be attractive. For example, the school I have just talked about would shape up if only we can put electricity. This school is only 50 kilometres away from Mwami Hospital where we have electricity. It is just a question of extending the power lines to the school I am talking about Vubwi Secondary School. The pupils and teachers at this school should also be given a chance to enjoy the facilities that other children in towns are enjoying.

Mr. Chairman, I, now, want to discuss the issue of water. Sir, at one time I was trying to calculate how many people draw water from one source, for example a well. I discovered that we have a thousand people drawing water from a very small well and yet here we are talking of development. I concur with the sentiments raised by. Major-General Zulu who said that we talk and talk but no action.

Mr. Chairman, Vubwi Constituency needs a lot of boreholes so that the people can have clean water because we border with Malawi and Mozambique where we can get a lot of diseases.


Mr. P. G. Phiri: The people of Vubwi need clean water. We need a borehole for about 200 people. Sir, I think all hon. Members here know that water is life and without water we cannot live. If we look at the rainfall pattern, it is already a problem. When we talk of hunger, we should also talk of good clean water.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr. Chairman, …

Mr. L. L. Phiri: Mr. K2 billion.

Dr Machungwa: Yes, you can come and get some, if you are broke.


Dr Machungwa: I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for giving me an opportunity to contribute briefly to the debate. Sir, in supporting the Vote…

Mr Mukwakwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr. Mukwakwa: Mr. Chairman, this is an august House. Is it in order for Dr Machungwa to say that some people can go and get K2 billion from him?

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

The Chairman: I know very well that in this House, we are in various groups of cousinship. When I gave the Floor to hon. Dr Machungwa, the word K2 billion came from Hon. Lucas Phiri and it would appear that Hon. Dr Machungwa was responding to Hon. Lucas Phiri’s pronouncement.


The Chairman: In matters of cousinship, South and West, North and East, the Chair does not involve itself. 

Will the hon. Member, please, continue.

Dr Machungwa: The hon. Member of Parliament may refer to the debate that I made during the debate on the President’s address to this House where I explained that the K2 billion that is talked about all the time went to Parliament. He is free to go and check with the Accounts Department. They will confirm that.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairman, in supporting this Vote, I wish to briefly make some observations on ZESCO. Sir, ZESCO is an important institution in our country. They have been trying, for some years now, to increase the coverage, that is, in terms of providing electricity to the citizens of this country.

Presently, ZESCO supplies electricity to about 20 per cent of all Zambian households. Now, this may sound small but when you look at what the situation was only about ten years ago, you will see that tremendous improvement has been made.


Dr Machungwa: As I am talking right now, programmes have been there to electrify Matero. Other townships in Ndola, Chifubu, Twapia, etc, have been electrified. This is an on-going programme. These are things that we see.

Mr Situmbeko: We are talking about rural areas. Is that rural?

Dr Machungwa: Hon. Situmbeko, when you want to talk about rural areas, there are many projects that have been going on for several years. You may not be aware but perhaps, let me mention some of these projects. About twenty five projects have just been completed in various parts in the country.

Let me name some of these: Chama Boma, Chibuye Health Centre in Eastern Province, Ilondola, Muchinshi Health Centre, Senga Hill in Northern Province, Kalusha Basic School, Chief’s Palace in North Western, Kasenga Girls Senior Secondary School, Musoka, Mukuni Village, Simango Village - Kalomo in Southern Province, Libonda Village, Muyoyo Village, Muyoyo Village in Western Province, Lumba Village and Lisutu Basic, Musangu Village  in Luapula, Mbasansa in Central Province.

These are projects that vary in terms of expenditure from K30 million to K730 million spent on these projects. There are even bigger projects that have been completed recently. Five important projects in different parts of the country, for example, Jinsa Boma, Manyinga Sub-Boma, Chieftainess Chiawa and surrounding area. Chief Ishindi, Ndungu’s Palace, Chilubi Island, etc. Some of these projects costs in billions. There are many other projects and another thirty-eight projects that are still going on. These are all in rural areas of Zambia.

Mr Chairman, it will really help when hon. Members debate if you have facts. The facts are here.


Dr Machungwa: I have not been given here. You can go and get if you want.


The Chairman: Order!

Dr Machungwa: The point I am making is that projects are going on all over the country. The amounts of money that are spent vary, as I said, from K30 million to as much as K19 billion.


The Chairman: Order! What is happening? He is giving you information. If you dispute it, you just show up and I will give you the Floor to dispute.

Will the hon. Member, please, continue.

Dr Machungwa: There are many projects that have been going on. These projects are continuing. The important point I wish to stress here is that there has been some talk now of concessioning ZESCO or even privatising it. I am not sure if a private investor who is guided by purely profit motive will be interested in trying to bring …

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

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I rise on a very serious point of order on the hon. Member who is debating now. Is he in order to mislead this august House …

The Chairman: Order!

Hon. Members were indicating to leave the House before the Speaker took the Chair.

The Chairman: Hon. Members, we are in a Committee. In a Committee, you can only break for tea and not adjourn the House. I explained yesterday that now, we are moving from this Committee, we are going into the full House and then we are going to report to the House and after that, the Speaker will close the business of the day.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress Reported)

The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 15th March, 2002.