Debates- Thursday, 7th March, 2002

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Thursday, 7th March, 2002

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





(Debate resumed)

Mr C. R. Banda (Kapoche): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to continue the debate.

Mr Speaker, as I had quoted yesterday from two ancient Greek philosophers, Aristotle and Plato who said that, and I quote: 

‘The lives of virtue is rewarding for the virtuous as well as beneficial for the community.’

Our task, as elected Members of Parliament is, by and large, one such virtue from which not only us must be rewarded but that the community must benefit. This is where I wish to begin wholeheartedly to praise His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel, for delivering a well-written speech to the nation through this House on 22nd February, 2002. I have great administration for the humility and honest that the research in composing that speech, subjected itself to, especially by adopting the manifestos from the Opposition parties.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda: To Mr President, I wish to say, well done. There is no doubt that our input will be supported. However, it is one thing to say and another thing to do. From1991 to 2001, it was very fashionable for the MMD leadership to present very well decorated speeches in this august House and to behave completely in a strange manner when it came to implementation. The examples are numerous:
1.    The collapse of the agricultural sector;
2.    The collapse of the manufacturing sector;
3.    The collapse of the industrial sector in total;
4.    The collapse of the education sector; and
5.    The collapse of the health sector.

We could not see hope, Mr Speaker, and this is the more reason why most of us would not stomach the Third Term issue when Dr Chiluba was trying his luck to bag an unconstitutional Third Term in office. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. R. Banda: Mr Speaker, I read from the speech by President Mwanawasa in respect of agriculture and I quote: 

‘The current situation of importing food is an unacceptable. We have the resources and the will to turn things around. Through agricultural development, we want to achieve food security in both rural and urban areas.’

Mr Speaker, these are very encouraging words and should they turn into action, then Zambian would be on its way to revival. But let me remind the New Deal Government here that poverty in Zambia, especially in the rural areas has risen to very high proportions due to the failure of agriculture. This is very unfortunate because agriculture has the potential to contribute to employment and sustainable livelihood. If agriculture is to be one of the tools to arrest poverty, then more resources should be spent to provide for the inputs, especially for the rural areas.

Mr Speaker, I come from a rural constituency where hunger has not spared anybody. People in Chiefs Nyanje and Mwanjawanthu areas were surviving on mangoes. There are no more mangoes now. Most of these mangoes were eaten when they were still green. They were not given chance to ripen. That just goes to show how serious the issue of hunger is. People started digging up roots to eat and they have dug up all the roots that can be eaten. All sorts of fruits have been consumed. Unfortunately, there is not enough food being provided for from the Office of the Vice-President as relief food to my area. 

However, I want to commend the efforts being made by the Office of the Vice-President where I had gone to visit and we presented this problem about lack of food in our areas. We were given only 200 bags of 25 kg each of mealie-meal for Petauke District to share. Now, you are talking of more than 150,000 people to share 200 bags of mealie-meal. That was very inadequate. However, I am saying, thank you, for the effort. But next time, do more, your Honour, Sir.

Due to the poor agricultural policies of the Chiluba Government or administration, people in my constituency have turned into beggars who still go to Mozambique to search for food. If you know the history of Zambia, referring to my colleagues, we used to keep our colleagues from Mozambique as refugees. We fed them here in Zambia. We were their masters. Today, we are the people who go to beg for food in Mozambique and it is very embarrassing.

Let me advise too that the New Deal Government should put in place adequate measures to deal with natural calamities to guarantee food security. And even when this food has been taken as relief food to our areas, it does not reach the intended people. I would like to beg the New Deal Government, through this august House that those friends of ours, the District Administrators whom you have put in our districts are destructive and very selective in the distribution of that food. They look at faces and sometimes they even ask for cards. If you do not have an MMD card, no relief food will be given.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Shame.

Mr C. R. Banda: I think this has brought about a lot of misery among the people…

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr C. R. Banda:…. which I think has brought about a lot of bulling among the people. Hunger does not segregate, it attacks  everyone. So, I am appealing that they must be fairness in the distribution of relief food.


Mr Speaker, the President announced that Government would provide free education only up to Grade 7. I find this pronouncement to be very saddening. Mr. Speaker, studies have shown that there is statistical evidence that three quarters of pupils in Grade 6 were functionary illiterate and that there is a clear decline in the quality of primary education. This then goes to show that one needs to be helped beyond Grade 7 if education has to 
have any meaning to our children. Mr Speaker, I would like to propose to the New Deal Government to revisit this matter so as to allow for free education up to the university as it was during our time. I am a very proud citizen right now, Sir, being in Parliament here speaking the little English that you are hearing from me because of the free education provided by the Kaunda Government.

  Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

  Mr. C. R.  Banda: It is not too late. In fact, this is very true for all us. We enjoyed a lot of facilities, for your own information. But I am not saying that His Honour the Vice-President should lobby for what I am going to say now. I have even got a picture of His Honour  the Vice-President for 1965, enjoying social amenities in Mufulira when he was wrestling. So, we need to provide these for our children. Furthermore, if he wants he can get it from a book called Horizon for 1965. 

   Sir, I would like to inform the hon. Minister of Education that there is great need to put in place a deliberate programme of action to rehabilitate the old schools in rural areas.  In Kapoche, we still have schools that have got no roofs. I was campaigning at one school where they asked me to roof the school first before they could vote for me. I told them that I had no money. If they wanted anyone to do that, the former Member of Parliament was supposed to have done it because she is the one who was in Government, not Rev. Ben Zulu at all. We also have schools in Kapoche, Sir, whose walls have cracks and are definitely death traps. We have got schools without desks and blackboards.

  Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

   Mr C. R. Banda: It is very threatening to know that we shall be going into recess and we will go back to the villages to face those same people because they think that Parliament has given me money to start roofing schools. They will think Parliament has given me money to repair those roads.  So, I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Education, through this august House, to come to our aid. Our people in the villages fear to send children to schools because of high fees. So, that is why we are lobbying for free education. We have a lot of intelligent children in our villages and all they need is the opportunity to attend free schools.


Sir, it is a well-known fact that economic growth can only be sustained by healthy and productive population. The introduction of medical fees in hospitals and heath centres and clinics has caused a lot of misery to the Zambian people, especially in the rural areas. Our people in the villages fear to go to hospitals and clinics because they have no money to pay for registration and consultation and later to go and buy drugs. The result is that most of them are dying in their homes. I would like to request the New Deal Government  to look into this matter seriously and remove all the charges on medical services in Government health institutions.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. R. Banda: The people of Kapoche have only one hospital at Nyanje and five clinics  which are also poorly stocked. I have seen that you have got a very energetic and very serious Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Health. I am inviting him to come to Kapoche together with me so that I can show him the problems we have.  Maybe, I can be assisted.

So, we have only five clinics to access for an area of 35 kilometres by 172 kilometres. This is surely very inadequate and I call upon the New Deal administration to come in and assist in the completion of self-help projects in order to increase the number of clinics. There are four such projects that have not received any attention from the Government despite having had an MMD Member of Parliament in the just ended term.

Road network

Mr Speaker, communication by way of road network is very important. My constituency is in dire straits in as far as road network is concerned. Mwanjawanthu area is completely cut off from the Boma due to the fact that the only surviving road in the area is now a long stretch whose bridge was swept away long ago. Similarly, many areas in the constituency cannot be reached because roads are impassable.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I come from journalism background. I noticed that the President thanked the journalists when he spoke here. It is one thing to thank people for the job well done and another to look after the people. I worked in broadcasting for close to 20 years. The last Government had no respect for public media personnel, including those in the private media. They were being persecuted even for no apparent reason. I am one of those who lost employment on flimsy grounds just because the media were being controlled by the chief journalist who is not even properly trained, but was based at State House. 


Mr C. R.  Banda: This should change in Mwanawasa’s  Government.  I would like the New Deal to look after journalists in the public media and also to stop this idea of persecuting journalists in the private media. Right now if you go to ZNBC, Sir, we have a lot of journalists who have been shunted from the newsroom into commercial section where they have got no experience or knowledge just because they wrote a story about the Opposition party or they wrote a story praising an Opposition member.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame, Shame!

Mr C. R. Banda: This must come to an end. Mr speaker, through you, I would like to ask the New Deal Government to respect journalists. Those are conveyer belts in development. Without information, you are done, you are doomed because information is power. Let us try to cultivate a culture that is going to respect these people. Maybe, as already suggested, if both public media can be answerable to Parliament, they may work more freely and in a more conducive manner. On conditions of service also, most of our young men…

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota (Livingstone): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording me this opportunity to speak on this debate. I have noticed that it has been very lively and that I will be able to live up to the liveliness of the debate.

For those of my friends who have come into the House, I would like to extend congratulations to them all. I know that it was a very tough campaign. A lot of them went out to campaign for a few weeks. Speaking for myself, as from October to December 27th I went to a holiday resort in Zambia called Livingstone and enjoyed myself thoroughly. However, the holiday is over and I would assure my constituents in Livingstone that as from that date, I have been and will continue working flat out for them. There will be no more holidays for me.

One of the areas which was left out in the Presidential Speech was the issue of the Constitution. The question of the Constitution and constitutionalism is a matter of great concern for this country. It is one of the areas where Mr Mwanawasa did not even attempt to give vision and direction in his speech.

We cannot build our country on a Constitution shrouded in controversy. This is because a Constitution is a power-map that will normally define the boundaries of how we conduct ourselves. It should be an authoritative guide and affirmation of our social, moral, economic, political or indeed cultural existence, at least, at a particular period in time.

I am gratified to hear the learned hon. Minister of Legal Affairs in his maiden speech affirm that he will be tabling before Cabinet proposals for constitutional review. I wish to remind the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs that in 1995, he and I made joint submissions to the Mwanakatwe Commission on behalf of the Law Association of Zambia that we were privileged to lead, as Deputy Chairman and Chairman, respectively at that time. I refer to this in order to remind the hon. Minister that we expect him to adopt those submissions that he and I made to Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Being a man of integrity, I am sure that he will not be making any un-expected U-turns over those submissions.

Hon. Oppositions Members: Hear, hear!

The New Deal 

Mr Sikota: On the New Deal, Sir, the theme of the speech we are debating was “Continuity with change:  ‘The New Deal’”. We are told that there will be continuity with change but with the over bearing presence of some lingering faces from the past, we seem to be seeing more continuity than change. This is in spite of the fact that over 70 per cent of the Zambians voted for change and not continuity.


Mr Sikota: The People of Zambia do not want the Government to continue with the practices of District Administrators; partisan distribution of food and relief aids; cash budget as defined by the MMD as the casual withdrawal of amounts of money up to K2 billion over the counter by Ministers.


Mr Sikota: And unnecessary trips with large delegations abroad. 

Mr Speaker, I am informed that only this week, a delegation of not less than fifty-six people left for Miami, USA, in order to look for people to run ZESCO. I would like to know what the role of ZPA is when you have fifty-six people going to Miami in order to privatize ZESCO.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Sikota: The people of Zambia do not want the Government to continue with the practice of corruption at high levels and lack of accountability for public funds.

The people of Zambia want the Government to change the following: the old faces from the past; downward trend of more social indicators; perpetual decline of the strength of the kwacha; attitude that areas which did not vote for MMD should not see any development; state of our roads; squalor in which the majority of Zambians live; sorry state of our hospitals; the practices in our institutions like Parliament and courts also are being asked to be changed; and the inertial in Government is another area the people would like to see some change.

Mr Speaker, in order to ensure that the Government of laws and not of men succeeds, the new Government needs to be serious with the following: follow recommendations of properly and legally constituted commissions of enquiry; ensure that power is not concentrated in the hands of one individual; never propose a Presidential discretionary fund again to run in the manner it was run by the immediate former President; at the next Presidential Elections, never to give lifts to Presidential candidates in the Presidential jet;


Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, scrap the positions of the District Administrators who, apart from having no obvious skills and knowledge, are a mere drain upon the State coffers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, institute comprehensive review of the Constitution; ensure that international agreements are brought to this House for ratification; apart from the Auditor-General’s Report being dealt with in a timely fashion, the Auditor-General should be given powers that go beyond being able to merely recommend. Recommendations, Sir, leave room for the rule of man to rear its ugly head in relation to the work of the Auditor-General’s work;

Whistleblowers must be encouraged as a form and important check and balance. There is no need to intimidate whistleblowers in the manner that the Secretary to the Cabinet attempted to do recently. Were it not for the whistleblowers, a good number of scandals would be swept under the carpet. The whistleblower ensures that those who want the rule of man are quickly caught up with by the rule of law.


On the economy, Mr Mwanawasa stated with the use of very pretty and fanciful words, that GDP grew by 5 per cent. What was not stated was the brutal and ugly truth that, in fact, poverty has, during the MMD’s lost and wasted decade shot through the 90 per cent barrier. This situation of gross poverty has been brought about by the deeds of those who have been in Government.

After looking at the President’s Speech, it is clear that he was reading something which had been very well crafted. It was well crafted through ‘aggressive accounting’ practices. ‘Aggressive accounting’ has led the President to say that the economy has done well in the last decade. This too, was repeated by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. For those who may not know, ‘aggressive accounting’ practices led to the fall of Enron in the United States. This is a phenomenon where proforma invoices are put into the accounts to make the company look more profitable. In this particular case, we are putting proforma invoices into the Zambian Budget Account.


Mr Sikota: Because of aggressive accounting and playing around with statistics as the MMD have done in the successive budgets, we are now told by Mr Mwanawasa and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that there has been 5 per cent annual growth in the economy …

Mr Speaker: Order! I sincerely regret interrupting the speech of the hon. Member for Livingstone. He is making a maiden speech which should not be interrupted, but I just want to draw his attention to the fact that there was no such entity as Mr Mwanawasa who came here. It was his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, President Mwanawasa …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hold on! And I might also take advantage of this by pointing out that Zambia has had two former Presidents. Each shall be referred to in this House as former President Kaunda or former President Chiluba. It is necessary to respect our leaders. May you continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: … most obliged, Sir, as I was stating, because of aggressive accounting and playing around with statistics as the MMD has done in the successive budgets, we are now told by His Excellency President Mwanawasa that there has been 5 per cent annual growth in the economy whilst the reality on the ground is that of increased poverty.

In another show of ‘aggressive accounting’, the Yellow Book has left out details with regards to what will be given to the District Administrator’s office at the provinces in the 2002 Estimates.

Mr Sibetta: Point!

Mr Sikota: Details have been left out, but instead there is merely a total of what will be given. A transparent and accountable Government should not have to resort to Enron type ‘aggressive accounting’ in presenting budgetary documents.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, on commerce and trade incentives for investors should be across the board and not only for the foreign investor. It is important that we encourage the local investor in the same way that we encourage the foreign investor. Export processing zones are things that need to have well spelt out incentives that will make them competitive. It is a fact that transportation costs are an important component of a successful export trade. 

We need to get our raw materials into the zone for processing and we thereafter need to get the finished product to the world export market. Are we sure that we can compete effectively against other regional export zones such as Walvis Bay which is by the sea, Sir.

Transport costs are traditionally by water, rail, road and air in increasing order. What is the comparative advantage in the areas where we wish to have the export processing zones? I will be looking, with much interest, to see what the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry will put up as a package of incentives for Livingstone. My constituents and I will be looking out for actual completion of the Livingstone/Sesheke (Nakatindi) Road. 

I also wish to see the route through Botswana and Kazungula/Katima Road and bridge being, not only reflected, but also implemented in this year’s Budget. These will be signs as to Government’s commitment to the export-processing zone proposed for Livingstone. Without proper communication facilities, the proposed export-processing zone will never be of any use.

On tourism, Mr Speaker, the New Deal Government stated that they wanted new investment and revival in tourism. However, on the ground we see the opposite happening. The licensing fees are over-burdening. These are the fees from ZAWA, National Heritage, Zambia National Tourist Board and the Hotels Board and others. ZAWA does not let local people benefit as was stated in the speech, but instead we see hunting licence concessions floated on the Internet for foreign companies.

President Mwanawasa stated that tourism should be for the benefit of the Zambians and yet in tourism, at the moment, our Chiefs are very unhappy. The message I carry from the Chiefs in both Western and Southern provinces is that they are unhappy with the manner in which it is proposed to give away rights to their wildlife and natural resources for periods of up to ten years, with no obvious advantage to the local communities. The ZAWA Act is not benefiting the local people. We should try pilot projects to see how best to benefit the local communities before giving away our birth rights to foreign hunting concession companies and other plunderers.

Mr Speaker, to show that they are, actually, not making policies for the local people, we can see from the manner in which most licensing fees from the likes of the Zambia National Tourist Board, ZAWA have been quoted in dollars. The intention of the Government is, therefore, clear. This is business for the foreigner and not the local people.

The roads in Livingstone have not been done in a very long time. One wonders where the fuel levy goes. Livingstone demands that the National Roads Board should justify what happens to the levies raised in Livingstone or else they should stop levying us in Livingstone such fuel levies. If we have a Government of laws and not of men, there should be equitable distribution of such levies and taxes.

On energy, Mr Speaker, in Livingstone energy is expensive, whether it is fossil fuel or electricity. I can understand why fossil fuels like petrol and diesel would be more expensive. What I do not understand is why the people of Livingstone should not get cheaper electricity. We generate electricity in Livingstone and we must have some kind of benefit from this. It would also help to make the whole concept of Livingstone becoming an export processing zone more viable if input costs such as these were less than in other areas.

On poverty, Mr Speaker, in this country, we, sometimes, tend to economise on the truth when talking about poverty by simply talking about it as though it is a passing phase. We hope the Budget addresses this problem. Street kids are a time bomb. Street kids are not a menace to society unless ignored, and these kids will, certainly, not forgive us for having not helped secure their future. Again, this is one issue that we do not need to gloss over. In these areas we need to devote resources to increasing the human potential through education to the poor, and this is not only up to Grade 7 but up to Grade 12, at the very least. Strengthen social safety nets to protect the vulnerable and engage in positive discrimination in favour of the most disadvantaged provinces with the highest poverty levels.

On HIV/AIDS, Mr Speaker, my constituency, unfortunately, has one of the highest infection rates of HIV. It is important that we tackle this issue aggressively. We must declare it a national disaster. This is contained in the UPND manifesto and I do not know how His Excellency President Mwanawasa missed this point when he was gleaning ideas from our manifesto.

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

Mr Sikota: Mr Speaker, a good number of my colleagues have said that, perhaps, I should say a word or two about copyright laws and whether we should look at how they relate to manifestos, but I will leave that for another day.


Mr Sikota: On corruption, Mr Speaker, the New Deal Government is said to be against corruption. Being a State Counsel, I am sure His Excellency the President is aware and knows the significance of the adage, ‘justice must not only be done but also be seen to be done’. In terms of corruption and the fight against it, we must act in a manner which suggests that we are truly against corruption. Are all appointees to Government without a past connection or association with a scandal? If we appoint them, will we be seen to be fighting corruption?

Drug dealing, Mr Speaker, is closely connected with corruption. It corrupts the minds of the young and …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikota: … of poorly paid public officers. I only hope that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services will mount a vigorous publicity campaign against this abhorrent practice of drug dealing.


Mr Sikota: I am sure that when His Excellency the President was talking about the New Deal, he did not mean drug deals and I stand to be advised by the Chief Government Spokesman. Drug dealers are, therefore, corrupt. If we appoint drug dealers, past or present, are we not condoning corruption?

On the question of transparency and openness, Mr Speaker, what of the commissions of enquiry, are we transparent when it comes to them? We have had the Commission on Gabon Disaster, when will its report be released? The Human Rights Commission on torture that suggested compensation for those who were tortured and the dismissal of those who perpetrated the torture in 1996, what has been done to these, Mr Speaker? The Nkumbula Report, what about the shooting of Dr Kaunda and Dr Rodger Chongwe? If this is a Government of laws and not men, they should release these and other reports in timely fashion.

On the same question of corruption and transparency, I seek guidance from the Chair as to when it is mere politicking and when it is permissible to bring up an issue where there is apparent corruption. From the hon. Minister of Finance National Planning, I would like to find out if it is permissible for any Government ministry or department to make large cash withdrawals and if this is what is meant by the term, ‘cash budget’?


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

Mr Sichinga (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to make a contribution to the motion on the Floor of the House. Having made my maiden speech, I will concentrate my contribution on the issue of the Budget and I must say that given the brevity of time, I do not think we are doing justice to this Budget, and especially that Members of this House do not participate in preparing the Budget. Therefore, I will make some suggestions to the hon. Minister just to remind him that the last Parliament did make recommendations which were accepted by this House that hon. Members, through their committees, need to participate in the preparation of the Budget.

Mr Speaker, it is important to recognise that we are no longer going to rubber-stamp Government Budgets. We are not going to do that. We want to scrutinise these Budgets because only on the basis of these Budgets, values and amounts can we expect implementation of programmes and schemes in our country.

I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the hon. Minister for a very well delivered Budget Speech. I have the greatest respect for him. He knows that had it not been for the fact he was out of the Government, this afternoon, I will be drawing his attention to the fact that we have had extremely good Budget speeches in the past, that have not lived up to their expectations. 

I am willing, therefore, in today’s debate, to give the benefit of doubt to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who has kindly made a contribution to some of the programmes and problems that are facing an important area like Kafue and I will touch on that a little later on.

However, the issues are that the MMD Government has gotten us to where we are today. I have got a copy of the report, Mr Speaker, which I would like to lay on the Table of the House, if necessary, the Zambian Human Development Report and I will be relating this Budget to what it does for human development. 

Mr Speaker, the theme of the Budget this year was, ‘Food Production and Job Creation’. I know that the hon. Minister meant well. The further statements that were made were that, there was a willingness on the part of the MMD Government, this time around, to work together and to provide unwavering commitment to act in the best interests of all the people of Zambia.

It is for this reason, Mr Speaker, that I am expecting that there will be no partial development only in areas which have got Members of Parliament coming from the ruling party. We will not permit that. If that happens, we will bring back these issues to the Floor of this House. We have seen that in the past ten years, a lost decade under the MMD leadership, a situation where development has been restricted and has only come about just before elections. This is no longer acceptable.

The Gross Domestic Product was targeted at four per cent. The hon. Minister went on to give us information that the GDP in the past years has been at five per cent. Mr Speaker, I would like to submit to this House that you can use statistics either to justify your situation, or you can use them to condemn yourself. The truth of the matter is that I do not agree with this kind of statistics which show growth which none of the Members of this House on both sides can see in their constituencies. I, therefore, ask the question, where was this five per cent? However, I acknowledge the fact that he is targeting four per cent given the fact that we have been in a negative growth situation, four per cent is a conservative figure. One would have expected that measures would have been, now, put in place to see a very high growth rate in order to catch up on the lost ground. 

Inflation rate has been given in this House for the previous years as 18 per cent. Everyone in this House that is involved with Economics, knows that it was not at 18 per cent. It was much higher than that. We told the previous Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Dr Kalumba) and he refused that message in this House. The truth of the matter is that the percentage of inflation was much higher than 18 per cent. It was more towards 28 or 30 per cent as opposed to the figures that have been given to us.

Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, there was no real growth in the last decade. There was a decline. This growth that has been targeted at four per cent, assumes that there would be recovery in the agricultural sector. We have continued to hammer on this issue. I am pleased, however, to note that the emphasis is now shifting to agriculture as it should have been over the last ten years. One would have hoped that by now, we would have been in the different situation all together. 

However, I wish to emphasise that the growth must be spread evenly. While there is going to be production in the agricultural sector, we must also get production in the manufacturing sector in order to be consumers of the input from those areas so that we can see growth being converted through value adding which cannot only provide employment, but also value to our country. This country is a member of the Free Trade Area in the SADC region or the COMESA region.

Now, what we have got is a situation where Zambia does not have any production to put onto that market. So, we become net importers and with net importation, there is no way we can raise sufficient foreign currency with which to realise the benefits of employment as covered costs that we have talked about. I would, therefore, encourage the hon. Minister to start looking very seriously on the manufacturing sector. 

In this vein, Mr Speaker, I wish to say that a number of areas lend themselves to quick manufacturing development. Livingstone has been stated to be one of them. Ndola is another one. Kabwe is the third one, and, indeed, without exception and hesitation on my part, Kafue lends itself as a ready estate for development. I, therefore, appreciate what the hon. Minister has done by providing K20 billion for the revamping of the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). I would also like to make an appeal to him that next door to NCZ is Kafue Textiles of Zambia (KTZ) that has got a fully functioning and operational plants for textiles. 

I would like to recommend to him that part of the programme that is indicated under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry I am talking about, development zones should be applied to these areas I have talked about, including that of Kafue so that our people who are out of employment but who are skilled, can work at NCZ and KTZ to produce value added manufacturing so that we can send that into our Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) market and take advantage of the situation and relationship we have with the American market. 

I would also like to make an appeal, and I can see that the hon. Minister of Tourism is missing from the House, but I am sure that the Leader of the House can take note of this; that this is another area which can give very quick payback to the country. But you need to sort out the roads. If you wanted to go to Kafue Game Park through Mumbwa, you know that the road is almost impassable at this point in time.

Mr Speaker, how can we have tourism under those circumstances. Similarly, if you have got to go to Luangwa, we have got a very similar situation. The roads there are almost impassable. If you want to go to Nyika Plateau, the roads are equally impassable. It is for this reason, Mr Speaker, that I was expecting that there would be further monies put into this area so that we can have a quickening of the tourism sector. 

I notice from the figures by the hon. Minister that there was an increase in the tourist statistics last year. In fact, some other statistics shown to me show that there was, in fact, a decline both in terms of the number of people that came as well as the monies that were earned. However, due to the eclipse of the sun, yes, there was an increase during that period, of the number of visitors. Therefore, we need to have a strategic and sustained campaign to bring tourism to Zambia.

Sir, let me move on to discussing the issues of limiting the Government's borrowing which the hon. Minister has ably talked about. I have some difficulties in appreciating that. I do know that right now, the Government has a very high level of treasury bill stocks. Now, that stock rolls over every year. I have not seen in the Budget how that is going to be addressed. Where the money is going to come from to liquidate the existing treasury bills so that it can free those monies for private industries. 

So, I would like that when the hon. Minister comes to respond to give an indication, but more importantly, Mr Speaker, is the wastage that we have seen in the Government. In this particular event, I wish to say that we need to see that this House is involved in the preparation of the Budget to ensure that every constituency where we come from there is a minimum threshold of development. We are going to make sure that every constituency has a hospital, secondary and minimum level of road so that we can see development in our own constituencies.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: This, Mr Speaker, is what everybody here speaking, making their maiden speeches, and repeating their speeches, is talking about both in the Opposition as well as in the ruling party. We want to see visible development in the areas which we represent. The role of the Member of the Parliament is not only to legislate, but also to be a development agent. This is why we want to be involved in the preparation of the Budget so that we can now start to see the hon. Minister, that with computers, we can see budgets for individual constituencies. I, as a Member of Parliament, would like to see a budget for Kafue so that when I talk to my electorate, I can say for us in Kafue Constituency, this will be the development for this year. 

This, Mr Speaker, must be a categorical agenda for the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to overhaul the whole budget preparation system, which is not relying on repeating what was happening last year.  We would like to see prudent management of financial resources in the Government. 

It is against this background, Mr Speaker, that I want to say that we have seen a good example of how the misuse of public resources has been done in the MMD Government in the last ten years. It is against this background that the Office of the President, Special Division has been spending much more than what has been budgeted for. This is why we are raising questions pertaining to this. In fact, Mr Speaker, this House should welcome information on why we are raising this. I have noticed that from the Office of the President, Special Division, they have a budget for drugs. Since when did they get involved in drugs?


Mr Sichinga: You also repeatedly see that they also budget every year. You just get the Yellow Book and have a look at it. Due to lack of time, I could have taken that point and led you through it. 

Last year there was supplementary expenditure for the Office of the President, which is also buying motor vehicles. Since when did they become the Ministry of Works and Supply? We cannot accept this. Therefore, Mr Speaker, I am calling for a special investigation into the operations of the Office of the President in the way they use financial resources of this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: This situation, Mr Speaker, is long overdue. We have seen abuse of office in that office. We cannot allow this to go on. We are going to call for that and we expect that the Government, if it is serious about accountability, will accede to this particular request.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: We want to point out, Sir, that when we see the President go to buy himself a new aircraft at a price of US$46 million and trading an old aircraft at US$4 million and goes and registers the aircraft belonging to Zambia in South Africa, we have to ask the question of accountability.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Sir, we are saying that these issues must be investigated. We are not talking about the secret operations of the Zambia Intelligence Services, but we are talking about the use of public resources against a background where we do not have drugs in hospitals.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: We are talking about this when we have poverty in the country. We are talking against a background where the education system has collapsed. We are talking against a background where there is no food reserve in this country. 

Mr Speaker, we must also call in question even the manner of accounting. The financing that is appearing in the Yellow Book and the financial reports are not accurate and we all know that. 

The Office of the District Administrator has been removed from the Vote in which they appeared last year and have been put in provincial administration. That will not fool us. You can literally see that and check the percentages and you will be able to see that there has been simply a shift in order to conceal it. We are saying, Mr Minister, that we are not going to allow the Office District Administrator to continue and we are not going to give you clearance on that budget. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: We will not do that. 

We are asking, Mr Speaker, that if His Excellency President Mwanawasa comes to this House and talks about devolution of power, at what stage does devolution of power start? Surely it must start at the district level. And if you are going to put another representative from Central Government in the name of a District Administrator, where does that leave the district councils? Where does that leave the Members of Parliament and the Chiefs? We want to see an implementation of what you say. Put your money were your mouths are. That is what we want to see in this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sichinga: Sir, what we are looking for is the development of local raw materials. Minister, in as much as I welcome the allocation to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), what I want to see is the development of the phosphate deposits in Petauke, Mumbwa and Isoka so that the phosphate deposits can come to NCZ in Kafue for production to add value to our country. That is what I am looking for.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Sir, I want to touch on a few issues and these issues are very pertinent to the Budget. We must agree that because of the time it takes between the Budget and its implementation, we want to see, hon. Minister, the implementation of recommendations of the Budget Committee or the Estimates Committee that have already been made in this House. We want to see the Budget presented and cleared by the time we come to the end of November, in order that when we start the year January, the moneys will be released in time and can be used for the purposes for which they are intended for throughout the year. 

We do not want to have a situation like we are doing right now, in March, we are debating the matters pertaining to the current year, and so, the implementation of the Budget does not start until April and May. Towards the end of the year, ministries will be rushing to try and use that money and will end up spending it on unaccountable items which have not been budgeted for.

Therefore, we would like to see, hon. Minister, quarterly reviews so that this House, every time it sits, can be kept updated on what is taking place on the financial framework. For that reason, Mr Speaker, I wish to urge the hon. Minister to ensure that the financial report that is presented for the Government should, at least, arrive in this House by 30th of June. We do not have to change the Constitution for that, because with computers now, there is no reason why this should not be done.

Secondly, we want to ensure that the Auditor-General’s Report comes to this House before August so that we are in a position where committees can be able to use it in order to maintain a check on what the Government is doing.

Mr Speaker, we also want a distinction between the Budget Office and the Accountant-General’s Office. The job of releasing money should not be for the Budget Office. That should be a job for the Accountant-General’s Office because it is the Accountant-General that accounts for the money that is expended. And we appreciate, hon. Minister, your statement that you are improving that situation, and I have seen the advertisements in the papers. I say to you, well done. But we need to get on to the job and we need to change the financial regulations and controls that the Government has been applying which were last enacted in 1968. They are long overdue for review.

Mr Speaker, we want to ensure that the money that was designated for the District Administrators now goes to the constituencies. Hon. Members, last year, the total budget for DAs was K10.1 billion alone. And we are saying that amount of money which ranges between K1 billion and K1.5 billion per province, needs to be made available to the constituencies so that we can be able to develop the constituencies………

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga:….. and increase the Constituency Development Fund accordingly. However, we do not want the CDF becoming a party fund. We want it to be a constituency fund. No MMD cadres, no UPND cadres, no FDD cadres will claim it, but we want it for development.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Situmbeko: All of them must go!


Mr Sichilima: Get annoyed!

Mr Sichinga: We want to say that given the mis-accounting, misallocation, misapplication and misuse they have to be checked and it makes it very difficult to follow these figures. I want to tell you that last year; the special discretion fund for the President was hidden in a Statutory budget, Vote 99. Hon. Minister, we want to see that there is accountability. We want to see where the profits of the privatised companies are. They should be in Account No. 529. If you go through that Bank of Zambia account you will not find money there. The question is: where does the money go?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: So, let us make sure that while we Members of Parliament pay back our loans both at FRA and elsewhere, there is also accountability elsewhere that we are all accounting for it to make sure that Zambia can go forward.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I wish to say that there are many issues that I intend raising in the sectorial debates, but we must say, hon. Minister, had you not …

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

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me the opportunity to give my maiden speech this afternoon.

Sir, allow me to pay glowing tribute to the people of Monze who overwhelmingly endorsed my membership to this august House. I also wish to sincerely express my gratitude to the President of the UPND, Mr Anderson Mazoka, and the entire leadership of UPND for adopting me as their candidate for Monze.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I wish to assure the people of Monze that I shall defend their rights at whatever cost. Sir, the untold misery the people of Monze are undergoing was orchestrated with a view to subjudicate them.

Development institutions that provided the much-needed financial and marketing needs were looted during the last ten years. The poor peasant farmers were left at the mercy of crop-marketing mercenaries who thrive on stealing from the poor.

Mr Speaker, I am proud to say that the people of Monze are more resolute now than they were yesterday. They are yearning to better their livelihood through hard work and dedication.

Monze Constituency, Sir, used to be the hub of agriculture in Zambia. The advent of the MMD Government with its lopsided agricultural policies in 1991 destroyed the fabrics of the lives of the people in that constituency. The people of Monze used to thrive on cattle rearing and farming. The MMD Government, Mr Speaker, systematically destroyed agriculture by failing to provide veterinary medicines, a good marketing framework for agricultural produce and the required farming inputs.

Mr Speaker, poverty levels in Monze Constituency have reached unprecedented levels. The once proud people of Monze have been dehumanised. They have been reduced to beggars who cannot afford to feed themselves, educate their children and send their sick relatives to hospitals because of the unaffordable fees.

Mr Speaker, the so-called free education and the health policy pronounced by the President will not benefit the poverty-stricken people of Monze. It has to be noted that over 80 per cent of the people live below the poverty datum line and the President has alluded to this fact. It, therefore, follows that 80 per cent of the people in Monze cannot afford hospital and school fees. In my understanding, Sir, if the majority of the people cannot afford to send their children to school and their relatives to hospital, it therefore, follows that you must offer free services to these people. There is no need to start considering issues of bursary when everyone cannot afford. In my view, it does not make any sense.

Mr Speaker, the unprecedented hunger situation in Southern Province and Monze District in particular demands the declaration of that area as a national disaster. Prudent measures must be taken to redress the situation. Cosmetic supplies of relief food from the Office of the Vice-President shall not help the nation in its endeavours to reconcile. Sir, statements that are being made by the most senior MMD Government leaders to the effect that they will assist the people of Southern Province even if they did not vote for them is malicious and I condemn the same in the strongest terms possible.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the people of Southern Province do not need favours from the Government, they demand their rights.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: If the Government is not willing to take relief food, let it say so. Mr Speaker, I am alarmed to hear from other Members of Parliament where the MMD won the elections they have adequate relief food whereas in other areas, there is completely no food provided. Let us not play politics over relief food. 

I would like to emphasise the point made earlier on in my debate that the unprecedented hunger situation in Southern Province and Monze District in particular demands the declaration of the same as a national disaster. Prudent measures must be taken to redress the situation. Cosmetic supplies of relief food from the Office of the Vice-President shall not help the nation in its endeavour to reconcile. To drive my point home, once more, statements that are being made by the most senior MMD Government leaders to the effect that they shall assist the people of Southern Province even if they did not vote for them is malicious and I condemn the same in the strongest terms possible.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: As I have already said the people of Southern Province do not need favours from the Government, they demand their rights. If the Government is not willing to take relief food, let it be so. I am alarmed to hear from other Members of Parliament where the MMD won the elections that they have adequate relief food whereas in other areas, there is completely no food provided and the people are starving. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Mwiimbu: Let me repeat again that, please, let us not play politics over relief food.

Mr Speaker, most of the infrastructure in the constituency has not been repaired during the period of more than ten years MMD Government has been in power. The scenario obtaining is that of a war zone but there has never been any war fought in Monze.

The road infrastructure is not worth mentioning. In nearly all the wards of Monze Constituency, roads and bridges have not been rehabilitated in the last ten years. Bridges that were washed away by heavy rains have not been repaired, making communication impossible.

Health and education infrastructure are inadequate and that those that are in existence need extensive repair. Manpower levels at the existing hospital and health centres are inadequate. There is an urgent need to provide well-trained personnel to manage health institutions in Monze.

Mr Speaker, the Monze Hospital mortuary is in a deplorable state. Human bodies have been rotting in the mortuary due to the dysfunctional refrigeration system. Our dead relatives need decent care from ourselves. I implore the hon. Minister of Health to urgently provide the requisite mortuary units to enable the mortuary function properly.

Mr Speaker, the people of Monze have not benefited from the Rural Electrification Fund despite being contributors to the same. The various Ministers in charge of energy have told us that the electrification fund has benefited a lot of people in this country but the people of Monze have not benefited in any way. Consequently, thereof, there is rampant deforestation in the area due to the energy needs of the communities.

Mr Speaker, I am also informed that all Chiefs in the country were afforded grants to rehabilitate their palaces. I request the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to table before this House the list of Chiefs in Monze who were granted such amounts.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Chiefs in Monze have not been accorded the opportunity to get grants. The palaces in Monze are in a deplorable state.

Mr Speaker, the President, in his speech alluded to the rule of law to obtain under his governance. It is cardinal to note that some of the most vicious dictators used laws to oppress their citizens. It is my humble submission that oppressive laws be amended to conform to the acceptable rule of law. Further, there is need to embark on a comprehensive review of all the oppressive laws and archaic Standing Orders and traditions obtaining in Parliament. It is prudent to have a transparent parliamentary legal system to enable members execute their duties diligently.

Mr Speaker, on local Government, the President glossed over the local government system in Zambia. It is trite to state that councils are agents of development on behalf of the Central Government. Unfortunately, the MMD Government has lamentably failed to manage the local government system in this country. The once vibrant local government system is a shadow of itself. Financing of the local government system should be enhanced and streamlined. In the period prior to the MMD Government, there was a well-defined policy of funding councils. There were grants, the share of sales tax and beer sales tax.

Mr Speaker, it has become an adage of the MMD Government that councils should finance all their needs without assistance from the Central Government. I wish to state that the aforesaid thinking is utopian. There is no single council in the world that does not receive financial support from the Central Government. In democratic countries, Mr. Speaker, legislation has been made to provide the sharing of national resources between Central Government and local government.

Mr Kazala-Laski: You are lying.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I know that some have just been squatting at bus stops, that is why they cannot understand local government.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr. Speaker, I propose that this House pass legislation on the equitable sharing of income between the local government and Central Government. It is surprising to note the general condemnation of local authorities from the Cabinet and Members of Parliament. It is important to note that we are all councillors except for nine delegates in this House. The failures of local authorities are our failures.

Mr Speaker, the continuation of District Administrators in the country is an affront to every right thinking citizen of this country. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Members of the public have condemned the existence of this arm of the MMD party. It is against the decentralisation policy that is being floated by the MMD Government.

Mr Speaker, I seek the indulgence of this august House to advise on the best way of tendering evidence on issues of corruption, theft and abuse of office. It is my considered view that an offending party shall not authorise the submission of documents against itself. In our legal system, illegally obtained evidence is admissible.

Finally, Sir, I wish to state that regionalist sentiments are a danger to this nation and should not be allowed to be expressed in the House. There are no regions that are superior to others as advocated by some hon. Members of this House. It is not in the interest of this nation.

Mr Speaker, I humbly submit.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Members should strive to avoid using unparliamentary words. Words such as stealing, looting, etc. are unparliamentary. 

It looks like the whole House wants to speak again. 

The hon. Member for Luena.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, I thank you for catching your eye.


Mr Sibetta: I have been silent and I have received more than thirty requests from the House on the Government’s side in here that I catch your eye and debate.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, I feel that you have a very difficult task. You have 90 per cent of this House who are new who have to break the ground by their maiden speeches. I felt that I should give you the opportunity to administer your field as you like. That is why I did not want to interfere. But now that you have recognised me,…


Mr Sibetta: … I am very grateful.

Mr Speaker, my contribution is first and foremost, to thank my party and all the Opposition parties for putting a gallant fight on an unleveled ground.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, you know very well that we were only eighteen hon. Members on the Opposition side. We took the MMD to task for five years and the country heard us. We could be supported by the churches, the Law Association of Zambia, NGOs, etc. Eventually, we formed the Oasis organisation that stopped the Third Term. His Excellence the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC is a product of the Third Term.

He came here to address us as the President of this country but the MMD party had no succession programme. He had to be slotted in, …


Mr Sibetta: … violating the rules and constitution of their party.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Shame!


Mr Sibetta: Nevertheless, the country was on the side of the eighteen gallant men and women and we were able to beat them to the game.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Shame!

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, I can promise you that this is the last time you will see these gentlemen (pointing at the Government Members) as they are. In the next round, we will wipe them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sibetta: They are going. Hon. Sondashi will be welcome to cross back here as he does. He is very good at that.


Mr Sibetta: You can cross back as you do.


Mr Speaker, we saw the President. We were disappointed and embarrassed in the beginning that the MMD put up a cry that we were going to walk out and embarrassed the President when he came to open the House. This was a programme of a splinter group within the MMD before the President came.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sibetta: The MMD is split into camps. There is a Mwanawasa Camp and Chiluba Camp among these gentlemen (pointing at the Government Members).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: Half of the Ministers report to the former President, Dr Chiluba, the other half report to President Mwanawasa. This party is split.


Mr Speaker: Order! The older hon. Members will recall that what is happening now is as though there has been no change with regard to how the hon. Member for Luena is debating. He is delivering a maiden speech, at least for now. Later on, he may debate in the manner he is doing; but for now, could you be as maiden as you can.


Mr Speaker: Finally, the Chair would like the hon. Member to withdraw the phrases “Mwanawasa camp and Chiluba camp.” Those two things do not exist here. May he withdraw those camps.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the words.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, the MMD, indeed is finding it very difficult to contain with the situation where there are more hon. Members in the House in the Opposition side than them. Sir, our biggest cry to you is that during the past ten years, since the grant agreement was signed between the Government of Zambia and the Government of America to reform strategic institutions of Government, the Judiciary, Government ministries and departments and indeed, Parliament, very little has moved on our side.

Mr Speaker, you constituted a committee to study and put recommendations to the House. The House met on several occasions. We approved seventy areas of reforms. Up to now, we have not moved an inch on any of these reforms. Sir, even when we debate the Budget of the country, brought by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, we are at a loss as a Parliament and your Opposition on how we are going to control this Government on spending public funds without those reforms.

Mr Speaker, in 1999, in the Cabinet account, when it came to the Presidential Fund, there was only K1 indicated in the Estimates. By the time the books closed, the Government had overshot by K39 billion on that account.

Hon. Members: Shame!

Mr Sibetta: There was no control whatsoever. Even now on the Presidential Fund, it is silent. Everybody is waiting to see whether President Mwanawasa is going to imitate his mentor, the former President, Dr Chiluba, on how he is going to handle Presidential Funds.

Mr Speaker, Presidential Fund is responsible for the biggest misuse of our funds. We look up to you, Sir, to help the Opposition in Parliament to control the Government on public expenditure. The people of this country are looking to Parliament to control this Government. It has been a very reckless Government in terms of spending public funds.

Hon. Members: Shame!

Mr Sibetta: Without Parliamentary Reforms, we are not going to succeed.

Mr Speaker, as I have said, these reforms have got to be implemented quickly so that we should actually authority expenditure. Coming to us asking for approval of excess expenditure is not the best way to run a country. When you look at Presidential Funds in Cabinet Office, money has been spent on trips to Democratic Republic of Congo.

Hon. Government Members: What is in Congo?

Mr Sibetta: Some of you are dual citizens of Congo.


Mr Speaker: Order! Yet, again, the hon. Member for Luena is making a maiden speech. There are no dual citizens in this House, whatsoever.

May he, continue. The people of Luena would like to hear about what you are going to do for them.

Will the hon. Member for Luena, please, continue.

Mr Sibetta: I thank you for your guidance. I know the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. You will excuse hon. Members of the House if they keep on giving you wrong titles because your title has been changing at every Budget.


Mr Sibetta: Your title has been changing at every Budget. Since you came in, you are Minister of Finance and National Planning. Only three months ago, you were Minister of Finance and Economic Development. You are confusing Zambian people.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, when you look at the public investment document which my elder brother, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has circulated, on environment sector and natural resources, page 27, there is an item, K120 million for Luena wetland feasibility study. I have been fighting this Government for a long time. Whereas you know that there is Luena Constituency in Mongu District, they are trying to create another Luena somewhere in Luapula Province.


Mr Sibetta: Where the old sugar scheme was to go to Luena in Western Province, it had been moved by the former President to Luapula Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Sibetta: It is very near Mwense where the former President comes from.


Mr Sibetta: So, I need assurance by the Leader of the House and my good friend, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to confirm that this is Luena in Luena Constituency, not the Luena – a little stream somewhere in Luapula because even our feeder roads’ money for Luena was moved to that place last year. So, we will need confirmation on this. It is very important. We never got anything. That is why we were able to organise the rest of the province to rebel against MMD.


Mr Sibetta: We need your confirmation. On page 27, there is Luena wetland feasibility study. We have a great wetland and I need my elder brother, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning who knows me very well because my nephew is married to his daughter.


Mr Sibetta: I need you to confirm this. If not, we will send back your daughter, …


Mr Sibetta: …and we already have some children with your daughter.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, it is very important. It I take you to page 36, there is an item, Rehabilitation of Limulunga/Mongu/Senanga Road. This road was put up in the Second Republic. It was a very good road which is now tearing to pieces. There is no road now. According to these figures, there was a provision last year for K732 million. We never
saw this money and this year, the hon. Minister is proposing K487 million.

At the end of this project, we are supposed to get K4,683,000,000. It is not there in the Yellow Book, but it is in the Public Investment Book. You have been very kind to arm me and show me these figures. This is a road on which the Litunga and all those who go for Kuomboka travel. This is the road that goes to Senanga where you have annual fishing safari for the rest of the country. It needs to be indicated.

Mr Speaker, we need feeder roads in Western Province. Without regravelling the Kalahari sands, these feeder roads are useless and mere tracks. In fact, it is better to follow foot tracks when you are using a vehicle. So, we need these roads, not only the trunk road, but even the feeder roads.

Furthermore, teachers in Western Province are in disarray. The hon. Minister of Education should take minutes when I am speaking.


Mr Sibetta: There is a study to look at the primary schools and most of the primary schools are headed by one teacher, sometimes by untrained teacher. You now want to introduce a new scheme and many teachers are worried that they are going to lose their jobs. They feel that you are betraying them because they did not vote for you in that area, that is why you are stabbing them in the back. So, I am going to write to the hon. Minister of Education and I am going to give him this copy of the letter from Western Province and I would like to have assurance from him. In Western Province, teachers are worried because you are putting this scheme immediately after the elections. They feel they are being punished because you feel they did not help the MMD to win in that area.

With regard to the hospital, Sir, Lewanika Hospital in Mongu, the uncompleted foundation left by Dr Kaunda has not been taken up by MMD. There is also no district hospital in Kaoma. The former President Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba …


Mr Sibetta: …promised the people of Kaoma a hospital. It is the only district that has no hospital as well as Lukulu District. The appointment for the hon. Minister of Education is very welcome as well as the dynamic young Deputy Minister of Education who is concentrating on the Copperbelt Province, frightening those who did not subscribed to MMD fund-raising during the campaign.


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

Mr Katema (Bwana Mkubwa): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for affording me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech.

Mr Speaker, may I begin by congratulating you for your re-election victory together with your Deputy Speaker. May I also take this opportunity to comment on the speech by His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, and the Budget Address by Hon. Emmanuel Kasonde, Minister of Finance and National Planning. I must say that both speeches are well meant and bent on improving the living standards of the people of Zambia. Let me also pay special tribute to the people of Bwana Mkubwa Constituency for electing me as their Member of Parliament. 

In reference to the President’s Speech, I would like to quote a passage that has appealed to my heart, and I quote: 

‘We intend in the New Deal to have a more human-centred development process in which the Zambian citizen is both the end and means of development. Our benchmarks in the New Deal will be measured in terms of the welfare of the people and the overall human development. What is desired is that the majority of ordinary Zambians should be able to access goods and services to satisfy basic needs. We should work towards bringing development in all areas of human activity, create opportunities for all to participate in accordance with their means, skills and abilities. These opportunities should enable our citizens to develop their potentialities to the full with a view to attaining the desired development of the country.’

Mr Speaker, I am touched by this kind of development process because it encompasses the whole spectrum of the Zambian people. Zambia can only attain meaningful development, be it economic or otherwise when all its citizens become players. Wealth in the hands of foreigners alone is no wealth at all.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katema: An approach such as this one will also help to bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katema: Mr Speaker, let me now dwell on my constituency, Bwana Mkubwa. My constituency is situated in Ndola, the second largest city in Zambia, a city that not so long ago was the giant in terms of commerce and industry. Currently, the city is experiencing a severe decline in the economic activity. Companies have either closed down or relocated to other Copperbelt towns where the actual mining activities are taking place, leading to job losses. 

This trend has impacted negatively on the people of Ndola because it has increased the poverty levels. The introduction of export processing zones as a measure to re-activate industry is most welcome but the speed at which the implementation process is moving is quite worrying. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry should move in quickly and work out detailed modalities of implementing the Act as advised by Hon. Kasonde in his Budget Address.

Bwana Mkubwa Constituency is partly urban and partly peri-urban and the needs of the people vary. Let me, at this juncture, catalogue some of the needs.


Mr Speaker, I have chosen to start with agriculture since under the New Deal Government, agriculture would become the centre stage of our economic development policy. In Bwana Mkubwa, we have both commercial and peasant farmers. Some of the small-scale farmers have been allocated land but it is taking too long to issue them with title deeds. Some have for so many years been squatting and yet their livelihood and that of their families is dependent on farming. It would do a lot of good to our people if we could issue title deeds to those who have been allocated land but they have no title deeds and if we could regularise the settlement of the squatters so that they can also obtain title deeds. This will enable even the poorest among the farming community to access loans from lending institutions. 

We also need to create land for the people of my constituency who are so determined to become farmers and help the country achieve food security. There are many large farms in my constituency held under title by absentee landlords and this tends to create artificial land shortage. The Government should move in and repossess the land so that it can be redistributed in smaller hectarages to enable the majority of our people benefit.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katema: Mr Speaker, people who are still in formal employment should be encouraged to own land in the outskirts of their towns to prevent them from becoming destitute when they retire as they would already have had some experience of some farming prior to their retirement. And I have a good number of them in my constituency. Counselling should be offered to people while they are still in formal employment so that when they retire, they will be psychologically prepared to enter the informal sector with confidence. Prompt payment of benefits to retrenchees and retirees is crucial in ensuring proper and effective planning on how they are going to settle with their families. In fact, people should not be retired if the separation package is not ready.

It is, however, gratifying to hear that it is the wish of the New Deal Government to ensure that agricultural inputs are available all the time and not just some of the time at reduced costs. The graduation of peasants and small-scale farmers to commence commercial farming should become a must. 

Road network

During the last three years, Ndola has had some of the roads, especially in the town centre rehabilitated. But most of the key roads leading to the townships of Bwana Mkubwa are impassable. This includes the roads leading to the farming areas. The worst hit is Mushili Township that is highly populated and yet does not have a single paved road. As a result of this, mini buses do not pass through Mushili, thus creating hardships for the residents, especially the sick and those rushing for work. It is however, pleasing to note that under the poverty reduction programme, money has bee allocated for feeder roads. 

Health Facilities

The people of Bwana Mkubwa would appreciate if they could have health facilities nearer their homes. Mini hospitals like the ones built in the townships of Lusaka and other townships of Ndola will go a long way in reducing the hardships the people face in accessing health facilities, especially maternity wings. Mushili and Ndeke townships and indeed other areas of Bwana Mkubwa lack such facilities.


The decentralisation system of administration as contained in the President’s Speech is a welcome move since as he said, it will enable the people of Zambia to participate in decision-making on issues that affect their lives. However, for this system to be effective, it should also involve fiscal decentralisation because that will strengthen the local authorities that in turn will provide the necessary services to the people. Devolution of power from Central Government to the local level can only work when backed up by adequate funding.


Programmes aimed at engaging our youths in gainful and meaningful activities should be encouraged because the future of this nation depends on how well you prepare the youths of today to come and take over tomorrow. 

I am happy that concern has been raised towards the plight of our disabled brothers and sisters. Indeed offering them jobs through companies can go a long way in alleviating some of their problems. But I would like to say that special attention should be paid to production centres such as Kang’onga in Bwana Mkubwa Constituency. This centre was created to train disabled people to make chairs, brooms, baskets and so on. The people of Kang’onga Production Centre would appreciate if Government could find markets for the things they make so that the centre could be more viable than it is now. It takes too long for these people to be paid their meagre wages because the centre depends on Government grants, which are erratic. This causes hardship because they have no other means of livelihood.

Since Kang’onga is in a farming bock, the people of Kang'onga have suggested that they be allocated a big piece of land so that they can actively participate in agriculture. The needs are many. But I have chosen the critical ones which also include the rural electrification programme which I feel should benefit the rural part of my constituency and also the provision of clean water by sinking boreholes in most parts of my area.

Finally, Sir, I would like to thank His Excellency the President and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for their well thought out speeches.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya (Kasama): Mr Speaker I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make my brief maiden speech in this august House.

Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate you and your deputy on having been re-elected to your respective positions. I also want to thank the organs of my party, MMD, beginning from the branch, the constituency, district, the provincial executive committee and, indeed, the National Executive Committee for having adopted and supported me in the just ended tripartite elections.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Quality.

Mr Bwalya: Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Zambians for their political maturity and love for peace. I should also commend all the political parties for running incident-free campaigns and accepting the election results, which have been declared, free and fair.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Bwalya: I, therefore, urge our leaders to work together for the sake of mother Zambia.

Sir, I, now, wish to contribute on the following issues covered by His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in his Budget Speech.

Sir, the role of Government in the education sector as outlined in the education policy document 'Educating our Future' and in the public investment programme for the year 2001 to 2003 is to guide stakeholders and provide education services by ensuring that:

(a)    Every child has access to seven years of basic education;
(b)    more Grade 7 pupils proceed to Grades 8 and 9;
(c)    half of the pupils completing Grade 9 and enrolled in Grade 10 and progress to complete Grade 12;
(d)    successful students at Grade 12 proceed to acquire relevant professional and technical education at college and university; and
(e)    quality education at all levels is improved through the supply of motivated teachers as well as provision of teaching and learning materials that conform to stipulated curriculum. 

Mr Speaker, the above objectives cannot be achieved by the Government alone. There is need to work with other stakeholders through building partnerships and encouraging communities to participate in the provision of education.

However, the improved funding to the education sector encourages me. For example, in the year 2001, Government released K38.6 billion or 20.7 per cent of the HIPC resources as indicated in the economic report of 2001. 

Mr  Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has also allocated more money to education in this year’s Budget. This development is very encouraging in view of the difficult economic situation the country has been going through. Mr Speaker, I am happy that the ministry has finally been restructured and decentralised. For example, recruitment and distribution of teachers will be done at district level. Districts and high schools and colleges will receive direct funding. The teachers’ payroll was decentralised some time back. 
Mr Speaker, I hope the procurement of learning and teaching materials will also be decentralised to minimise delays. The teachers should select books to be purchased by their schools. In this regard, there is need to work closely with stakeholders like the book publishers and book sellers associations.
Sir, the objective is to have in schools, at least, one book for every two pupils in each subject area. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has also indicated in his speech that he has allocated money for construction of new secondary schools. While this is commendable because it is only through expansion of the school system that the pupil's progression rate from Grade 9 to 10 will improve, I have a suggestion to make. 
Since all provinces have secondary schools, which were abandoned by the World Bank, the Government should complete these schools before going to new sites or starting new ones. I have in mind schools like Chilubi Secondary School and Kaputa Secondary School in Northern Province. In their present state, they are not useful to the local community. The new secondary schools should be of medium size with maximum intake of 500 pupils. This should be strategically located. I am sure this will be easy to run and more cost effective.
I have gone through Southern Province, there are more of these medium size secondary schools and children are getting better education there as compared to these mammoth secondary schools. I am confident the measures taken by the ministry will go a long way in motivating our teachers.

Mr Speaker, one area where we can motivate our teachers is through the payment of hardship allowances. Although this has been there, my problem is that you have a teacher who is 20 kilometres from the Boma receiving the same inducement allowance as one who is in Chief Nabwalya, almost 300 kilometres from the Boma. In my view, those people who are nearer to urban facilities should get less allowances of, maybe, 15 per cent while those in far-flung places should get more.

The other way of motivating teachers is to allow them to own houses just like the council workers who are now landlords and landladies, but the teachers living in institutional houses, when they retire, will not have this opportunity to own houses. So, I urge Government to find a way of assisting the teachers to own houses.

Mr Sibetta: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I also want to touch on tourism. Sir, the potential of the tourism sector in Zambia has yet to be exploited. It is pleasing to note that as a country, we are, now, realising that employment and wealth can be created, in fact, cheaply if we promote the tourism sector. I agree with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning when he said in his Budget Speech, and I quote:

‘The tourism sector has in recent years experienced a renaissance with increased tourist arrivals and earnings.’

I have checked the digest of tourism statistics for the year 2000. It is true that the sector is doing well. The revenue generated by the tourism industry has been on the increase from US$74,695,500 in 1998 to US $85,243,676 in 1999 and US$110,778,457.32 in 2000. The contribution to the country’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) was 25.9 per cent in the year 2000.

Mr Speaker, there are many investment opportunities in tourism such as the following: accommodation and conference amenities; infrastructure and transport services; organised tour excursions; adventure enterprises; outdoor sports development; cultural heritage exploitation and tourist products; and natural heritage.

Mr Speaker, the Government introduced a national policy called Administrative Management Design for Game Management Areas (ADMADE), which was introduced in Malambo Valley but the concept has, now, spread to all parts of Zambia. It offers economic solutions to conservation. Low-income households, that are villagers learn to overcome poverty by managing their wildlife resources wisely and wildlife populations are, now, better managed than before.

Mr Speaker, I have taken the trouble to travel around Zambia. In June, I was in Malambo, Mfuwe, where Hon. Mdzidya Phiri comes from, and you can see he is well fed.


Mr Bwalya: I have been to Chief Nabwalya’s area and all these areas are in south Luangwa National Park. I have been to Chiundaponde, Luvushi Manda National Park in Mpika District and I can assure you, Sir, that this approach is working.

Mr Speaker, I want to commend the Government on their decision to open a regional tourism office in Kasama for Luapula and Northern provinces. I am also happy that a National Heritage Office has been opened in Kasama. For a long time, tourism development in Zambia has traditionally been concentrated in only a few places like the tourist capital, Livingstone, South Luangwa National Park, Lusaka, Lower Zambezi Park and Kafue National Park. Other parts of the country such as Northern and Luapula provinces that have tremendous tourist resources to rival or even better than the rest of the country has been left untapped.

Mr Speaker, the two provinces rely heavily on agriculture and fishing as major providers of employment. There are no manufacturing industries to talk about. Tourism promotion, therefore, holds the key to poverty alleviation.

Mr Sibetta: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, let me come to Kasama Constituency and highlight some of the issues or areas of concern in my constituency. 

Kasama is one of the fastest growing towns in the country. It accounts for 12.8 per cent of the population of Northern Province, about 1,407,088 people, according to the 2000 census of population and housing preliminary report. As a result, the Municipal Council has been unable to provide adequate water supply to all the residential areas. The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing should assist us to improve water reticulation in Kasama. People in New Town, Chambeshi location, Chikumanino and Mulenga Hills experience a lot of difficulties in fetching water.

For the information of the House, a lot of miners have come back to the Northern Province. So, we have a lot of experienced and skilled people there.

I have poor roads, the roads in and around Kasama Town are damaged and there is need for complete rehabilitation. Therefore, my appeal to authorities is that, please, send competent road contractors who can do better work. A lot of money has been lost due to shoddy work. The road from town to the General Hospital requires quick attention. 

Mr Speaker, as I went round campaigning, mixing with the marketers, I discovered that they also wanted better facilities. Therefore, two new markets should be constructed at Chikumanino and Chambeshi locations. The people of Kasama have been voting for the MMD for a long time without Government reciprocating. They are, now, demanding for the …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: … New Deal Government to do something. The bottom line is improved quality of living.

Mr Speaker, Kasama General Hospital is a referral hospital catering for all the twelve districts in the province. I am sad to say the hospital has no capacity to handle all the cases due to shortage of equipment, doctors and nurses. The hospital’s new wing has never been completed. Some of the structures are still at slab level. Therefore, I appeal to the new hon. Minister of Health to assist the people of Northern Province in solving some of the problems affecting our people in the field of health services.

Mr Speaker, the present location of the police camp in Kasama poses a health hazard. The place is water-logged in the rainy season and all efforts to have a drainage and sewerage system constructed in the camp have failed. The Ministry of Home Affairs should consider re-locating the camp somewhere else, preferably on the road to the Kasama Airport.

On the renovation of Kasama Airport, Mr Speaker, Kasama is roughly 900 kilometres from Lusaka. It takes not less than ten hours of driving to reach Kasama. The fastest way to get to Kasama is by air. Unfortunately, Kasama Airport, though one of the biggest in the country, has been neglected. I wonder what the national leaders think when they land at Kasama Airport. Apart from the control tower, there are no structures to write home about. If we want to develop tourism in this part of Zambia, which is very closer to the Great Lakes, …

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

This, indeed, has been a very actively debated motion and I notice that more and more Members would like to participate. Indeed, they should, except for the Chair to point out that the moment appears to have arrived when the Executive, who have been very patiently listening to the points you are raising, should now be ready to come in and comment on the interim basis on what the House has been raising in their debates. However, as the Executive get ready, I believe I can take two or three more contributors.

Miss Nawakwi (Munali): Mr Speaker, this House does not allow repetitions. So, I shall not continue to emphasise one point that has echoed through the House. That is of congratulating you for sitting in that Chair democratically. 

However, Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for helping us to stop the need and want by our former President to go for a Third Term. If, at the time that the Executive was putting so much pressure on you, you bowed to that pressure and agreed with them to evict us from our respective seats - I recall then I was Member of Parliament for Nakonde - I am sure, that the Third Term debate and its implementation today would have been a reality. 

Mr Speaker, you stood firm by your Members of Parliament and refused that you would not have them out of this House on simply a trivial issue that they had differed with their party then. For me, I want to place it on record that, that was a moment which must have been very trying for you, as Speaker, to get a request from the Executive to evict twenty-two of your Members on a flimsy point because they did not support one man’s quest for continued rule of this country. I wish to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on that account.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: Indeed, their plan was that they wanted to evict us eight at a time and conduct by-elections. That failed and, therefore, that was the beginning of the downfall of the need and quest to go for continued and perpetuity of running this country through the back door.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: I do trust that this House, through you, Mr Speaker, will continue to be guided, that you will not allow the Executive, now or in future, to arm-twist the Chair so that it suits the time and moment. On that score, Mr Speaker, I, therefore, place my thanks and emphasise that the congratulations that have been showered on you are not in vain. They are real. We are grateful that you helped us stop the Third Term.

I wish to congratulate your deputy and the whole House on coming back here. Secondly, I wish to pay my special thanks to the people of Munali. I think, in the whole country, the hottest debate was in Munali and they stood by me and, indeed, brought me back to this House. I am eternally indebted to them. I think that those who left Lusaka to go to Kabompo West must emulate me who is a national leader who can move from Nakonde, from my tribe, parents and mothers, to Munali, a cosmopolitan place, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: …and manage, Mr Speaker, against all odds, to come second to none. I think my constituency, if all of you agree with me, is only next to the Presidential Election.

Mr Speaker, in echoing President Mwanawasa’s Speech, may I take this opportunity to invite the House to look at Page 7 of the President’s Speech. He says, and I quote:

‘Do we have a programme of how we can deliver in each of the 150 constituencies represented here?’

Somehow, he did not answer that question. Therefore, when I listen to my colleagues saying, well done, good speech, I sit here and wonder how, as Member of Parliament for Munali, I am going to deliver water to Mtendere because the Presidential Speech does not offer me a formula for delivering water to Mtendere.

Mr Speaker, this Budget is said to be a Budget, which will create employment. There is one critical sector, the largest creator of employment, which is local government and housing. If the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning with his Budget, which, I believe, has been borrowed from FDD manifesto, had come to this House with a Budget which could have answered the President’s Speech, I would have been a very happy Member of Parliament. When I flip through the Budget and the President’s Speech, the President devotes one line to local government and housing and yet if all of us sit here and want to reduce poverty and create employment, the only viable vehicle is local government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: Local government is an institution that is found in each and every constituency. Unless, hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, you change your budgeting strategy, to start allocating resources district by district, so that one day you will stand in this House, hon. Minister, and say, Nakonde District, K2 billion, Chama, K5 billion, it is only then, Mr Speaker, that the hon. Minister and the Executive can come to this House and tell us that they will reduce poverty. Otherwise, if you look at real income and go to your economic report, you will see that as income in local government is dwindling, poverty is increasing. If the people on the street are not collecting garbage, it means they are unemployed. If the people are not slashing grass, it means they are unemployed. And, if you do not allocate money to local government, hon. Minister, your story, your wish of creating employment shall only remain a wish leaf as presented by the President in this speech.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Speaker, many have spoken in this House, but I would like to remind the hon. Minister that our former President said he would retire when he feels like. That is what he said. I want to tell the hon. Minister that this House will give him benefits when we feel like.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: Therefore, I am urging the hon. Minister that before we go to Head by Head to discuss the Yellow Book, to issue a corrigenda and remove monies worth K500 million allocated to some institution called Former Retired President II to allocate it to Mtendere for water supply. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: We are tired, in Mtendere, of walking to PHI to collect water. The PHI has many taps and yet, in Mtendere, there is none. I would like to see a situation, hon. Minister where we have a proper programme for urban renewal. Lusaka townships and Copperbelt townships are mushrooming and pregnant with unauthorised structures. You will only create employment, hon. Minister, if you start a viable programme in Kamanga for providing housing. Kalikiliki people live in Lusaka and yet, when they arrive at the city centre they get on the bus and when they arrive in Kalikiliki, one wonders whether they are in Lusaka. 

We would like a programme of urban renewal and that programme can create employment through making blocks and providing water. That is the only way, hon. Minister, you can provide employment and reduce poverty.

Mr Speaker, I am worried about the announcements from the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. We have been told that ZESCO is for concessioning and if we read what the Permanent Secretary has said, they will lease the assets at a fee and get that fee and the person will lease them back. I never thought in economics of energy that you can lease a going concern like ZESCO. You can lease a virgin plant and an open site like Kafue Gorge Stage III, but I hope and trust that you will not lease out Kariba North Bank, Kafue Gorge Stage I and II. It is not possible. It is not like a railway line. It is a viable concern. If you have problems, hon. Minister, we are here to offer you free consultancy services …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: … on how you can manage your company.

Mr Speaker, as we come to respective answers from the hon. Ministers, we expect answers on several issues. For example, just to pick one item, KAGEM was sold last year in May. The only company which makes money in this country, 42 per cent shares are given on a silver platter to Hagura. We want to know how much we earn and why it became convenient for Government to sell KAGEM shares which were clearly tacked away in the hands of Government and we could seat back and get a profit.

The gem industry, hon. Minister, in this country has a capacity to earn us close to US$300 million. If you can give away an investment like KAGEM, hon. Minister, I would like to know how this would be done. I think that time has come to realise that agriculture is a cornerstone of this country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: The word ‘potential’ has been abused and misused.


Miss Nawakwi: We have heard from the Presidential Speech …

Hon. Opposition Members: Drink some water.

Miss Nawakwi drank some water.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: … that we are going to change the name from Food Reserve Agency to Crop Marketing Authority. I wonder if my hon. Colleague, nominated Member of Parliament, has exercised his mind as to how many times this country has changed the names of agricultural authorities. 

We started as a Land Bank in the 1960s after independence, then we went to Crop Credit Organisation of Zambia (COZ), Cattle Finance Company, NAMBOARD, AFC, Credit Organisation and ZCF Finance Service and, lately, we had the Food Reserve Agency. 

Now, from the President’s Speech he says, and I quote

‘We are going to change from Food Reserve Agency to Crop Marketing Authority.’

To me, it appears that, it is simply a matter of changing names. Hon. Minister, names have been changed many times before. If this, too, is simply a change of name or like change of a dress, you are still walking in the same dangerous footpath that your predecessors have walked through.


Miss Nawakwi: Let me tell you, hon. Ministers, from the right side of Mr Speaker, one of the reasons for failure of the agricultural sector in the last ten years, is that, in ten years, there were ten Ministers of Agriculture.

Hon. Oppostion Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: The instability of the master and captain of the ship was one of the critical reasons for failures of the agricultural sector.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: Certainly, seven seasons, seven Ministers. 


Miss Nawakwi: It takes nine months for a cow to go into gestation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: … before a cow even starts gestation period the Ministers change.


Miss Nawakwi: That was one of the critical failures. Inconsistencies and inabilities of people to understand that you need a stable agricultural policy, you need stability and a stable Government. You need to be focused. You need to understand that you cannot feed 10 million Zambians by rolling wagons of mealie-meal and maize into this country. You need to go back to Namushakende and plant there. That is the only way you will be able to feed people in Western Province.

Mr Speaker, we shall support you, hon. Minister, and if you want consultancy, I want you to know that we are available.


Miss Nawakwi: Mr Speaker, youth unemployment in this country is a problem. We do not have youth unemployment simply because people have no jobs. We have youth unemployment because of the contraction of employment and job sector. It is important that the Government takes a deliberate effort to alleviate youth unemployment. I have seen only K2.6 billion for the youths. I feel that in this time and urge and when almost 60 per cent of this country’s population is that of young people, we need a better allocation for that Vote. I suggest that part of the money we will save from squashing one Vote, I suggested earlier on, be re-allocated to the youth and the women in this country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you, very much for the time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Miss Chisupa): Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Government Members: Quality!


Mr Situmbeko: We will find out!

Miss Chisupa: … thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to deliver my maiden speech. I know I am here as Deputy Minister for Sport, Youth and Child Development but above all, I am a Member of Parliament for the people of Chilubi who brought me here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair clearly remembers saying that the moment was at hand. It is now here for the Executive to speak as the Government not as Members of constituencies. So, if there are such speeches, please put them aside and speak as Government.


Mr Speaker: Does the hon. Deputy Minister wish to speak as Government? If not I will move on to the next Member of the Executive.

Miss Chisupa: Mr Speaker, in giving my thanks to His Excellency the President, I would like to congratulate him sincerely for his election to the most lofty position in the land. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Chisupa: The people of Chilubi, through me, wish to express their solidarity to the President by giving him their majority vote. He got the majority vote in all twenty wards of Chilubi Constituency, what other manifestation of solidarity can there be? At the same time, I wish to thank them for voting for me. They will not regret it because I intend to give them and the people of Zambia the best that I am capable of and that is a lot I can assure you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Chisupa: Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to repeat what …

Hon. Members: You do not repeat! You emphasise!

Miss Chisupa: … to emphasise the congratulations that have been showered on you and the Deputy Speaker for your re-election. Congratulations, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Chisupa: The hon. Members of Parliament are also congratulated for their victories.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Thank you!

Miss Chisupa: I would be amiss for not congratulating the most brilliant nominated Ministers on our side. Congratulations gentlemen!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!


Miss Chisupa: In the interest of brevity I will only comment on a few points of both the President’s Speech and the hon. Minister’s Budget Address.

Mr Speaker, the President emphasised the need for unity in achieving better standards for the people of this country. At the same time, the well thought-out budget presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, has to be supported. The hon. Minister has to be commended for his vision.

Mr Speaker, this august House must have no room for divisive politics. Those with vision will need to work with the Government so that we deliver what we were elected for and that is development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Chisupa: We shall not achieve anything by finger-pointing and dwelling on the misdeeds of yesteryear. I know we shall need to be accountable but this shall not be our preoccupation to the exclusion of moving forward and deliver food to the tables of our electorate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Miss Chisupa: Mr Speaker, the importance on agriculture cannot be overemphasised. To this end, we need to make major adjustments at national and constituency levels, in Zambia’s agricultural and macro-economic policies in order to create conditions for sustainable agricultural and rural development. 

Sir, areas like Chilubi are veritable bread- baskets and these should be fully equipped in their effort to increase production in a sustainable way to enhance food security.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell us!

Miss Chisupa: Wait, we shall tell you!


Miss Chisupa: This will involve education initiatives, development of infrastructure and appropriate technologies.

Sir, we need to ensure that sustainable supplies of nutritionally adequate food for those vulnerable groups and production on a commercial scale for markets, employment and income generation to alleviate poverty. Once sustainable roads are made, Mr Speaker, investors would come to tap the potential in our areas.

However, we in Government will take the lead in opening up areas like Chilubi to reach their full potential.

Hon. Opposition  Members: Are you a Zambian?

Miss Chisupa: I said areas like Chilubi.


Hon. Opposition Members: We do not understand!

Miss Chisupa: I am sure that with a proactive Government like this one promises to be, we shall achieve all these.

Mr Muntanga: Show leadership!

Miss Chisupa: There is leadership here, just wait!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Remind them!

Miss Chisupa: Mr Speaker, during the campaign, we promised the electorate that we would be able to lobby those in Government so that transport ills in our areas are addressed and we are doing just that. We want to do away with the history when a journey of forty-five kilometres took the whole day.

Hon. Government Members: Remind them!

Hon. Opposition Members: What about Dag Hammersjoeld?


Miss Chisupa: The same goes for education, Mr Speaker, we need early childhood development. Schools that have been neglected will be rehabilitated.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah, Government assurance!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Chisupa: At the same time we need to make partnership with businesses, which will help us provide funds for our schools. 

Sir, in order for us to undertake good rehabilitation programmes, for example, through donations of materials, furniture, food and free education tours for children; when these are taken separately like each individual donation from businessmen or parents, they seem small. One brick, one small table but when taken together, this could form a significant source of funding. By the same token, youth school projects will be addressed through the enhancement of skills training in our youth centres.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Chisupa: The same goes for women’s programmes to ensure that those maginalised citizens of our population are catered for.

For sports, we will need to entrench this, starting from the grassroots, so that even as our children grow, they will appreciate sport as part of their life and not just as a way of earning a living.

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

Miss Chisupa: In this way, we shall have sports women and men rather than mercenaries. At the same time, we should acknowledge the need for sport as a career.

Mr Speaker, on communication, we realise that this is the key to development. Due to lack of communication in certain areas of Zambia, including Chilubi, people have felt as isolated as if they were living on planet Mars.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Miss Chisupa: We are addressing this as New Deal Government, okay!


Miss Chisupa: We have improved communication and we think this thing will be a thing of the past. Mr Speaker, with electrification in place, existence of opportunities for telephones, television and other forms of communication, people of Zambia living in isolated areas will be able to feel like Zambians. 

Mr Speaker, I need to address the question of orphans and child-aided households. Sir, this new phenomenon has emerged in the wake of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. I cannot imagine the pain these young people go through in shouldering the burden of caring for their younger siblings when they themselves need care and nurturing.

Mr Speaker, we need to resuscitate our traditional values that have been put to sleep by poverty dating back to the past twenty years.


Miss Chisupa: Mr Speaker, having come from a multi-cultural environment, I cannot overemphasise the need for transparency in the leadership among ourselves. The way we conduct ourselves is the yardstick by which we shall be judged. Therefore, Sir, we are going to put in place, I hope, transparent systems that will show the public at a glance how we take care of public resources entrusted on us.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Chisupa: Mr Speaker, as the President said, those who are unable to show transparency have no part in the New Deal Government.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mwape): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the motion.

Mr Speaker, before I tackle the question of my ministry, allow me to make some general observations in the manner the debate on the motion on the Floor of the House has been taken. I speak as a natural scientist and not a financial specialist. I am neither an economist nor a banker.

Mr Speaker, the Budget has been accepted by those who are qualified in the field of Budget analysis. When I speak, I have evidence to refer to. This afternoon, I received Budget bulletin dated Zambia 2002, which was prepared by Finance Bank in conjunction with Price Waterhouse Coopers. If allowed, Sir, I may quote.

Mr Speaker, in this bulletin, the experts have said, the Minister has done well. It is not I making a comment but the analysts. It says, ‘The Minister has done well, he has a diverse constituent to please and there is something there for everyone.’

Mr Speaker, this is what the experts have said, it is not this bench talking.


Mr Mwape: This is what is coming from experts. I know the hon. Member for Mangango is an English specialist. I am a Bemba specialist and so, he does not understand the mechanics of financial management. And even when they make this analysis, it may be at variance with his professional understanding.


Mr Mwape: Mr Speaker, hon. Members have been making comments in relation to communication and transport facilities in the country. It is a fact and I did allude to it in my maiden speech that for any economic ministry to thrive, there is need to have properly defined policies for communication and transportation. And, therefore, for me to be seen to be performing as Minister, a number of projects have been lined up to fulfil the expectations and aspirations of the Zambian people.

Mr Speaker, when the hon. Member for Livingstone (Mr Sikota) rose this afternoon, he specifically pointed out Kazungula/Livingstone Railway line. It is a fact that the Government is on the ground. On 6th October last year, I took a trip to Botswana where I conferred with a colleague in that country and we resolved that the Livingstone/Kazungula Road – Hon. Member for Chipangali, please pay attention. I know you have been a vigilante before.


Mr Mwape: Mr Speaker, it was resolved at that meeting that we should move very expeditiously to have the Kazungula Road, rail and bridges constructed. I am glad to report that my colleague has made substantial progress to that effect. Consulted and also commissioned in as far as trying to realise feasibility studies for the construction of the Garborone/Kasane Railway Line commenced. I am reliably told that in two weeks’ time, they will be receiving a feasibility study report to that effect, and therefore, the Government is in motion.

I did say that Mwape and Mwanawasa mean development and so, we are moving.


Mr Mwape: Mr Speaker, when I am replying, I am not targeting one constituency. I am a Minister for the nation. There is Kalabo/Mongu Road which had received K29 billion. Check the Yellow Book for last year. Sir, the conditions leading not to having started the Mongu/Kalabo Road is because of the time frame. There are stages that need to be followed in order for a contractual project to be started. I am glad to report that the report has again been accepted. I am convinced that the Mongu/Kalabo Road will be started.

Mr Speaker, that project, in fact, falls under the Ministry of Works and Supply and my colleague will ably comment on it later. When it comes to other communication infrastructure under study and review, concessioning of Zambia Railways is a project that was started some time before I resumed work as Minister of Communications and Transport. I am glad to report to the House, once more, that the concessioning process is in an advanced stage. The concessionaire has been found and contractual conditions are under discussion. That is progress.

Mr Speaker, regarding the question of Kasama Airport, last year when I was a back- bencher somewhere there, there was a question of the Chipata Airport and that airport was closed for three years but today, we are remaining with about two weeks to complete work at Chipata Airport and it will soon re-open to flights.

Mr Speaker, that done, our intention was to move to Kasama Airport, which is ranked second heavily used provincial airport. Therefore, it is a question of time, we will be in Kasama working. We are moving, being a very sensitive and cautious Government.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and Planning for bringing to this House a commendable piece of information. I think this has been one of the best Budgets we have had in the country and we should stand to support it.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mapushi): Mr Speaker, you will forgive me, I have a few words to say about my constituency. I will say a few words in singular but I will also leave …


Mr Mapushi: Mr Speaker, allow me to express my congratulations to His Excellency the President for having assumed the Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Zambia. Allow me again, Sir, to humbly express my utmost and eternal gratitude to the President for appointing me to this very daunting and challenging portfolio of the Minister of Home Affairs.

Mr Speaker, my ministry will be committed to ensuring the observance of the rule of law in the maintenance of law and order. The ministry’s vision is to contribute towards the creation of conducive environment which will assure the people of Zambia the enjoyment of basic human rights, good governance and sustained economic development for poverty reduction.

To attain this vision, my law enforcement agencies will be restructured in such a way that they provide efficient and effective service delivery to the people of Zambia.

Each law enforcement officer will have to know that his or her fundamental duty is to serve the community, safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent and weak against deception, oppression or intimidation, the peaceful against violence or disorder and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.

In the New Deal Government, each law enforcement officer is expected to ensure that the officer keeps both his public and private life unsullied by corruption. Officers are expected to maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule and to ensure that they do not permit personal feelings, animosities or friendships to influence their work.

Mr Speaker, in the New Deal Government, law-abiding citizens are assured of protection. My officers will enforce the law firmly, courteously and appropriately without fear or favour and without the use of unnecessary force. However, I am aware and the nation should be aware that there exists in the country, agents of disorder and anarchy whose pathological pleasure is violence and vandalism. These agents specialise in locating points or sources of irritation, frustration and dissatisfaction in our social political environment. They then focus public attention on them, crystallise latent dissatisfaction and convert them into practical, radical and violent action using unemployed youths whose only motivation is economic gain. The loser in this case, is the innocent by-stander who is injured or whose property is damaged.

Mr Speaker, all law-abiding citizens should condemn such violent-minded people. The Government will adopt pro-active means to ensure that these inciters of violence are deterred from commencing the acts of death and injury to persons and property.

Mr Speaker, these acts of terror and incitement on innocent young people are the main causes of genocide and other crimes against humanity in other countries. Genocide is a criminal offence in international law. The principal offenders include inciters to genocide and this has been indicted at all international tribunals that set up, investigate and prosecute cases of genocide or other crimes against humanity. 

It is in this respect that I urge all responsible persons to desist from any explicit or implicit acts of incitement or provocation which could tie them to crimes of genocide and other crimes against humanity in future. There is no collective responsibility for such crimes. There is only individual responsibility. In other countries, the leaders of such genocide are still hiding from justice.

Mr Speaker, during my tenure of office, I will seek to improve the conditions of service for my law enforcement officers and the state of their residential houses as well as roads within police camps. 

I look forward to the restructuring of my ministry. It is my hope that the restructuring will rationalise the operations of my departments and improve conditions of service for better service delivery.

The buildings in police and prison camps are in a state of extreme dilapidation. Urgent measures need to be taken to remedy the situation. Such remedial measures will go a long way in raising the morale of our security officers who are presently doing a commendable job of contributing to the security of our country. I salute them for this sacrifice.

Mr Speaker, we have, on our hands, a serious problem of refugee influx and administration. It will be my task to look at these problems and find solutions to them in conjunction with our co-operating partners.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Lands (Mrs Nsingo): Mr Speaker, it is a great honour and privilege for me to be accorded this opportunity to contribute to the President’s Official Opening Speech of Parliament.

Mr Sibetta: Ministerial material!

Mrs Nsingo: Mr Speaker, since I am making my maiden speech, please allow me to convey to you, Sir, and the hon. Mr Deputy Speaker, my sincere congratulations on your well deserved re-election as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

In his opening Speech, His Excellency the President stressed and underlined the importance of agriculture in social economic development of this country by stating that agriculture would become the centre stage of our economic development policy. It is, therefore, hoped that this will go along way to achieve food security in both rural and urban areas.

Mr Speaker, I am also pleased to echo the announcement by the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC. when he proposed ground breaking and innovative interventions to stimulate agricultural productivity and growth. My ministry’s contribution in this regard is very cardinal and critical.

Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that land is recognised as a major factor in the development of other sectors of the economy. In this regard, deliberate efforts will be made to enhance the capacity of the ministry in the areas of land alienation and efficient procedures will be enhanced in order to make the process of land acquisition shorter and less costly.

Mr Speaker, to enhance proper utilisation of land, my ministry will strictly enforce the development of the clause of lease of land to ensure that land is developed for the purposes it is acquired and with specified periods of time. This will require working in close collaboration with other stakeholders involved in the land alienation process, mainly, councils and planning authorities. In this regard, my ministry will establish links and communication channels with councils and planning authorities through an Act.

The mission statement of my ministry is to ensure equitable and efficient allocation of land to the people of Zambia and, indeed, any serious investor in the country. I wish to underline that it is also through this ministry that the Government will ultimately realise its vision of reducing poverty in the country through systematic alienation and allocation of land for productive purposes.

Mr Speaker, it is through my ministry that Government approved the Land Development Fund for disbursement to councils, particularly, those in rural areas to enable them open up more land for residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural development. At the end of the year 2001, my ministry received a number of funding requests from various councils.

Since the land development fund was created in Parliament, it has not approved funds in accordance with the Act.

Mr Speaker, let me, therefore, appeal to this august House to start appropriating funds in accordance with the 1995 Land Act towards the Land Development Fund so that more councils can benefit from this provision. It is gratifying, therefore, that His Excellency the President has at the very beginning noticed the need to strengthen the Land Development Fund.

The Ministry of Lands, through Survey Department, has the capacity to determine dam catchment areas, the volume and quantities of water that can be stored behind a particular dam wall, and can advise on alternative dam sites. The proposal of damming rivers in the Southern Province as advanced by His Excellency the President can ably be facilitated by my ministry to ease the work for the Ministry of Energy and Water Development in the provision of dams country-wide.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nsingo: Furthermore, topographical mapping can greatly facilitate positioning and construction of the necessary infrastructure that will be needed to boost the agricultural industry. The determination of shortest and most economic routes across the hinterland is only possible with up-to-date national maps. Feeder roads, canals, bridges and storage sheds and dip tanks can be optimally planned and located to derive maximum benefits with the use of maps.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President alluded to the Government respecting title deeds rights. I am glad to inform this august House that my ministry, through the Department of Lands and Deeds, has decentralised its functions of processing and issuing title deeds initially to Ndola to serve Copperbelt, Northern, North-Western and Luapula provinces. The farmers no longer have to travel to Lusaka for their title deeds and can now obtain title deeds much quicker than before. Mr Speaker, as the august House may be aware of the importance of title deeds, which can be used as collateral to secure bank loans to purchase farm inputs and develop their farm holdings to improve their standard of living. Plans are underway to establish other regional lands and deeds’ registers in the country in future.

Mr Speaker, my contribution in this House would also not be complete if I did not make mention of the fact that in matters of land allocation, land disputes have from time to time surfaced throughout the country. My ministry acknowledged the fact that land, which is subject to dispute, can neither be productive nor developed within the stipulated period. To this effect, the Land Tribunal was created as an alternative land dispute resolution institution. However, the operations of the Land Tribunal have not been to the expected levels, due to mainly not having clear operational guidelines and terms of reference. It is, therefore, my ministry’s intention to review the Act governing the Land Tribunal and come up with guidelines, which will guide the operations of the tribunal and make it cost effective.

Mr Speaker, my ministry recognises the important role our traditional rulers play in the administration of land. My ministry will develop and institutionalise mechanisms for negotiating with traditional rulers in the acquisition of more land for allocation to bring much of our rural land under productive agricultural use for enhanced food production.

In conclusion, I am greatly indebted to His Excellency, the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel for the confidence he has in me by appointing me as Minister, the first time I was elected Member of Parliament for Masaiti Constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nsingo: In the same vein, I would like to thank the people of Masaiti Constituency for giving me a landslide victory and for their trust in me. Theirs was a right choice and I promise not to disappoint them.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Legal Affairs (Mr Kunda): Sir, I wish to comment on some issues raised concerning my ministry.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: The hon. Member for Chipangali talked about the Judiciary. He said there is need to have an effective Judiciary in the country. Indeed, I agree with that observation. We need an effective and impartial Judiciary which is also independent. This can only be achieved by strengthening the Judiciary through financial support.

The legal framework is there for an independent and impartial Judiciary, which is also autonomous. However, we shall strive to strengthen the Judiciary in the same way we shall strengthen the institutions, which contribute to good governance like the Anti-Corruption Commission. If we strengthen the Judiciary, we are assured of advancing the rule of law and the rights and liberties of individuals. After all, we all go to the Judiciary to settle even political disputes. But, on how we shall strengthen the Judiciary, I will come and give some more details when I wind up Estimates of Expenditure for the Judiciary. 

There was an issue raised by the learned hon. Member of Parliament for Livingstone concerning constitutional review. Constitutional review, as I said, is a matter which I will table before Cabinet. That, of course, implies or brings in the issue of collective responsibility. Whatever was discussing in the Law Association of Zambia will be discussed now within the purview of collective responsibility. But, whatever issues will be raised by the people of Zambia, the Opposition or Government will be considered at an appropriate stage.

There was an issue raised by the learned hon. Member of Parliament for Monze concerning oppressive laws. This was a general suggestion made. All I can say is that the doors of my ministry are open. We need specific suggestions on laws which are allegedly oppressive. Let us have constructive and much more detailed suggestions where hon. Members of Parliament need to improve the laws of this country. Those are some of the issues which were raised. Otherwise, some more policy statements will be covered when I wind up the Estimates of Expenditure for my ministry.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training (Mr Chambeshi): Thank you, Sir, for giving me this chance of contributing to the debate on the Floor of this House.

First, I would like to congratulate His Excellency, President Mwanawasa on his election to the important position of President of Zambia and for the excellent speech he gave at the opening of the First Session of the Ninth National Assembly.

I would also like to join other hon. Members in congratulating you, Mr Speaker and your deputy on your re-election to the leadership of this august House. In line with our party’s motto of  ‘continuity with change’, I would say that you deserved to win.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chambeshi: Everybody seems to agree that the just-ended electoral battles were hard fought and for some the battleground is, now, littered with imaginary corpses while for others it is littered with broken dreams.


Mr Chambeshi: Sir, from sentiments expressed by almost all hon. Members who have spoken before me, it is quite clear that we all recognise that there are yet several battles still to be fought and won. The battles remaining are certainly bigger and these battles relate to hunger or the challenge of increasing our food production. Other big battles still to be fought relate to the spectre of rising unemployment, widespread illiteracy and perhaps even the smell of death, death from disease.

Last week, I heard on one radio station that Malawi had declared a state of national disaster concerning the hunger situation in that country. The radio broadcast also said that Zimbabwe was also on the brink of a similar disaster. Now, even though Zambia was not mentioned, we all know that we are also in the same pot. If the food crisis is so great in the neighbouring countries that have historically grown more food than Zambia, you can imagine what it is likely to be in war-torn countries like Congo and Angola.

Mr Speaker, these are dangerous times and, in times such as these, it is usually a blessing if a country chooses to peacefully change leadership and devise new policies to cope with the threatening situation. This is what we, in Zambia, did recently, and our President’s Speech to this Assembly is another example of Zambian pragmatism.

Sir, I know that after all the nice speeches have been made and recorded, the acid test of our resolve and the relevance of our new slogans will be whether they are put into practice. This is what many hon. Members have suggested here. Sir, I would like to state here that we, on the Government side, have listened attentively and will continue to listen to good advice. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chambeshi: We are ready to swing into action. In fact, Sir, if the cow dung slogan is anything to go by, …


Mr Chambeshi: … it is the first warning shot indicating that our hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives has already swung into action.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chambeshi: Mr Speaker, let us not take lightly the reference to cow dung as a possible solution to some of our most pressing problems. To me, the notion of cow dung brings to mind a whole host of other related remedies, even in the field of science and technology. First, it represents a call to go back to basics, a call for us to start looking at some approaches which previously we thought were too pedestrian; it also implies criticism of our tendency to employ foreign experts even where local ones are available and idling and so on.

In the field of science and technology, we have heard of organically grown crops fetching higher prices in the European markets as compared to genetically modified seeds grown with the help of chemical manure. Of course, the answer may lie in having a sensible balance between these two options. I want to emphasise the point that one should first look at his or her own backyard for answers to pressing needs instead of looking elsewhere, especially when you are in a situation where you may soon be struggling to find enough foreign exchange with which to import certain products.

The situation in which Anglo-American Corporation has left us does provide an opportunity for us, as Zambians, to bundle together, more than ever before, regardless of tribe or party affiliation, in our search for a way forward.

Mr Speaker, although we can analyse the past and try to apportion blame for previous mistakes, let us not devote too much of our planning and action time to such an activity. After all, Sir, to some extent we all live in glass houses, so, let us be careful in the way we throw our stones. I feel that we should focus on the future; it is more challenging and more promising.

At a later time, Mr Speaker, when presenting the Vote for my ministry, I hope to explain to the House, in more detail, how my ministry plans to contribute to the economic growth of this country. As President Mwanawasa intimated in his opening address, science and technology can be a catalyst in the exploitation of available resources.

Within the field of science and technology, there are many areas that hold out a lot of promise. One such area is the drive to enhance the status of indigenous technologies.

Another area is the employment of space or satellite technology in analysing and quantifying our natural resources, especially in the fields of mining, forecasting of agricultural yields, and so on. The other area is the establishment of a training centre where our youngsters can learn how to identify gemstones, how to cut them, polish them and mount them in special architecture to make them more attractive before they are sold.

Mr Speaker, the President touched on all these aspects in his speech, and I shall go into a little more detail when I present the Vote for my ministry. At the moment, I wish to assure this House that my ministry is, now, better placed to tackle the problems in technical education than we were in the past, especially that we have managed to secure a soft loan from the World Bank amounting to some US$50 million.

We are also working on streamlining the science and technology side of our ministerial function in order to meet the challenge posed by diversifying away from copper mining.

Sir, in concluding my contribution, I wish to suggest to all Zambians that time has come for us to look critically at how we may mobilise savings. This is the most sustainable way in which we may finance the critical areas of economic activity. It does not matter if, currently, the level of our individual disposable incomes is low. What matters is to cultivate the habit of making savings.

I am sure that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning would be willing to work out a package of incentives to any group of people, especially farmers, who come up with genuine savings schemes.

To borrow from the famous words of Mother Teresa, "Let us save until it hurts". Sir, in that way, we may provide for a firm and better future for our children. 

Thank you, very much.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Appel): Can I speak from that microphone, this one is too low – I am too tall.


Mr Appel: Sir, may I take this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., on his victorious election to the Presidency of the Republic of Zambia. I have always admired his quality of fair play, courage and democratic principles and I have no doubt in my mind that he will lead the country in an honest and efficient manner. I believe he is the most experienced and right man for the enormous task ahead of us.

Mr Speaker, I am grateful to you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to make my first maiden speech. I consider it a great privilege and honour for me to have been given the opportunity to represent the nation through this House. Sir, my deep and sincere gratitude goes to my party, MMD, for having nominated me as their candidate in the recent tripartite elections and more so to my voters in Kwacha Constituency for having put their trust and faith in me by giving me this mandate to represent them in this august House.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Appel: I can assure my constituency that I will work tirelessly and with integrity to fulfill their dreams of a prosperous Zambia with a decent standard of living. 

Having expressed gratitude for the people who sent me here, may I, now, congratulate you, Sir, and your Deputy Speaker on your election into your respective hot seats. To me your election is a clear demonstration of the confidence the Members have in your experience and professionalism. We are confident that you will guide us through the turbulent times that we may encounter during our term of office.

Sir, as a new Member of Parliament, I must admit that I was horrified by the incidence when some of our Members of Parliament started firing lethal missiles at each other during our induction. 

Sir, at this point, I thought our democracy was under siege. I am, however, greatly relieved to see that the spirit of democracy has virtually prevailed and this is being demonstrated by the mature conduct of the Members of this august House who are now showing real leadership qualities. I now understand why they were elected by their constituencies to represent them in this august House.

I would like to make a passionate appeal to all party leaders to use this opportunity to allow their respective Members of Parliament to sincerely and diligently carry out the will of the people by employing their free conscience in all parliamentary deliberations.

Hon. Member: Yes, yes.

Mr Appel: I am very glad to note that some Opposition Members are already demonstrating this as evidenced in the non- partisan acceptance of the President's positive address during the opening of this session, which reflects the seriousness they are attaching to the growth and development of this nation. 

Mr Speaker, we must recognise the fact that we have been appointed by our constituencies to serve our people by contributing to the development of the nation. That, in turn, would reduce the high mortality rates caused by the HIV/AIDS, malaria and other poverty-related epidemics like dysentery which have afflicted this nation.

Sir, I, therefore, look forward to a very candid exchange of ideas with our brothers and sisters in the Opposition to focus purely on the needs of the electorate by not indulging in any obstructive and unproductive gestures. Now that I have dispensed with the niceties, I would like to focus on real issues facing our nation.

Sir, first and foremost, I would like to dispel the myth that we are a poor country. That is absolutely untrue. Just by simply making a close observation of our geographical, geological, meteorological and human resources, it is obvious that we are a privileged country. What is lacking, however, is the resolve to get rid of the dependency syndrome. From my personal experience, I have a firm belief that every able Zambian has the capacity to overcome poverty by taking advantage of the many opportunities that are available. We have millions of educated and trained, and unemployed people who could become productive if we allocated land to them under title.

We have some of the best climate conditions in the world for crop growing and tourism. We have never experience any serious national disasters such as earthquakes or cyclones. We probably have the largest water supply per capita in the world, including perennial rivers. And what is more, we have the nicest people in the world. But niceness alone, Mr Speaker, will not bring us prosperity unless we are disciplined, hard working, patriotic and maintain high standards of integrity.

What is causing poverty in our society is that we have the propensity to consume what we do not produce. For example, the average person, even at the poorest level will spend his money on an electric stove, TV, radio, imported household goods and perhaps a car, but certainly not a bicycle, imported clothes and even a cell phone and yet he does not ask himself/herself where the foreign exchange came from to buy all these goods. He/she is happy as long as the goods are available.

That clearly demonstrates that unless we take production seriously, we will continue to be economically and financially poor, whilst the prudent ones get richer. This situation is even more threatening when we realise that the goose that laid the golden egg (mining industry) is no longer the backbone of the economy of this country. The time to work up is now. There should be less talking and more action.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Appel: Our industries have been experiencing serious disruptions since 1973 when oil prices shot up from US$4.5 to US$56.5 per barrel.

The industrialised countries, in the short-term, reaped surplus revenues out of the oil crisis and resources to lend out to the Third World countries which are, now, failing to pay back because of the continued depression in the world economy. Sir, the crisis exposed us terribly, leaving us in a very vulnerable situation and unfortunately not all our Arab brothers came to our rescue, possibly for political reasons and they have continued to ignore the plight of Africa.

At the time of our independence, our currency was 75 ngwee to a dollar, but it has now depreciated by more than 5000 per cent, which is a clear indicator for measuring the level of poverty in this country.

Mr Speaker, at the time of independence, a tone of copper could purchase a triple ‘S’ Datsun costing about 700 pounds sterling. Today, the same car is costing 20 times more. Whilst the price of copper has decreased considerably, copper still remains one of the most vital elements in the industries of developing world. Is this a sure indication that someone is probably ‘hoodwinking’ us somewhere?

If the prices of copper were fairly adjusted with the rising cost of everything else in the world, the price of copper at inflation rate of 5 per cent per annum would have been US $3,000 and US$ 4,000 per tone. Zambia should therefore, have had more than US$5 billion in reserve instead of a deficit of US$7 billion. Unfortunately for us, copper is a product that can easily be stockpiled by multinationals, which have the financial muscle and can dictate the price. This was not so easy to do with the oil, which is cumbersome to stock, hence, the prices of oil remain very high.

During the past six years, Sir, we have seen the gradual decline of our industry; and in some cases, there is total collapse.

These situations have arisen because of unfavourable prevailing economic circumstances, coupled with unfair trading practices by our trading partners. Whilst our trading partners are advanced and employ scientific management production, we are still using archaic methods.

Mr Speaker, it is virtually impossible for Zambian industries to compete against some of our trading partners who are paying less than 20 per cent interest on their working and investment capital as compared to 50 per cent compound interest, while simultaneously being subjected to open market policies.

Admittedly, if interest was reduced arbitrarily, it could trigger off inflation, as there will be too much money chasing too few goods. We have to take a serious look at the disparities between the borrowing and lending rates.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to note that the President, in his speech during the official opening of Parliament has promised to decisively deal with the tendency in this country of people who abuse funds sourced by the Government for developing the economy.

Lastly, Sir, we intend to put measures in place to support infant industries. We need to provide safeguards against the injury that our economy has suffered as a result of the wholesale opening up of our borders. 

Mr L. L. Phiri Interjected.

Mr Appel: Yes, we know.


Mr Appel: Of course Sir, the broad policy framework shall always be that of liberalisation but in so doing, we shall henceforth ensure that the interests of our country and people are fully safeguarded.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Appel: Mr Speaker, we must also appreciate the fact that we are party to various multinational trade agreements and our actions are bound by these agreements. Some of the agreements pose a serious challenge for us to face up to global competition.

Mr Speaker, I come from a business background and I am very proud of that fact. I am confident that the vast experience I have accumulated, both in public and private sectors, spanning over a period of more than thirty-five years, will help to propel the New Deal Government vision to greater heights.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Appel: Mr Speaker, I pledged before my constituency that I will work extra hard to bring meaningful development to this nation. I conclude on this note, Sir. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Hon. Opposition Members: Zero!

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (Mr Mumba): Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Future Vice-President!

Mr  Mumba: … I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution to the motion on the Floor. Let me extend my congratulations as I join those others who have paid glowing tribute to you and your deputy, following your well-deserved re-election to these converted offices.

Mr Speaker, the results of our elections, for you, Hon. Mr Speaker, and your deputy, are clear testimony of our confidence in your ability to preside over the business of the House with absolute impartiality, honour and dignity. It is also my belief that under your leadership, Zambia will work to sustain and strengthen parliamentary democracy.

Let me also extend my congratulations to all hon. Members of Parliament, old and new. You all fought a good fight …

Mr Patel: Survivor!


Mr  Mumba: Mr Speaker, it is impossible to postpone a word of thanks to the people of Msanzala Constituency with whom I have had an almost personal covenant for three terms.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr  Mumba: As a newly elected Member of Parliament for the fourth term, I can only transmit my renewed commitments to my constituents. 

Mr Speaker, the speech of His Excellency, President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC, to this august House was both timely and relevant. Our task, as Government, will be to relentlessly study the President’s Address in order to realise the vision embodied in that speech.

Mr Speaker, it is also my honour to contribute to the motion moved by Hon. Emmanuel Kasonde, MP, Minister of Finance and National Planning on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for year 2002. I wish, therefore, to congratulate the hon. Minister for his very focused Budget. I am convinced that the Budget sets important benchmarks whose achievement will no doubt contribute to the revitalization of Zambian economy.

Mr Patel: Government assurance!

Mr   Mumba: Let me also observe that the Budget has been well tailored to suit the vision of the New Deal administration …

Mr Patel: Survivor!

Mr Mumba: … this vision that will unveil and as clearly expounded by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel, at the time of opening this august House.

Mr Speaker, allow me to restrict my contribution to how my ministry – the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources is positioning itself to make a significant contribution to the vision of the New Deal administration in the areas of tourism, wildlife management, forestry, environment and natural resources.

I will start by stating that Zambia is endowed with a rich base of natural resources. The country has nineteen national parks and thirty-four game management areas covering 30 per cent of the country. There are four bird sanctuaries and these are home to a variety of wildlife species. 60 per cent of the country is under forestry cover. The major forest type is the Miombo Woodland. The timber resource for Zambia is of high value. Zambia has 2,936 heritage sites. These heritage sites are of tourist value such as the Victoria Falls. The tourism, wildlife and forestry sectors, if well managed, can play a big role in the economic revival of our country.

As the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning submitted …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Mumba: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

A yellow light was shown.

Mr Mumba: How can I have a yellow light?


Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, I believe that the yellow light was essentially directed at Members of the Opposition.


Mr Mumba: When business was suspended, I had begun explaining that tourism, wildlife and forestry sectors, if well managed, could play a big role in the economic revival of our country. I went further to say that as the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning had submitted to this House, tourism was among the key contributors to the high growth in Gross Domestic Product registered in 2001.

Needless to say, these sectors are capable of making even more significant contribution to foreign exchange earnings, economic growth and poverty reduction. The creation of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources by the New Deal administration is, therefore, part of the effort to rationalise the administration of these key sectors in order to optimise their contributions.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources was created after the merger of the former Ministry of Tourism as well as the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. The ministry is responsible for the wildlife, tourism, forestry and environment sectors. In short, the new Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources has taken over all the previous functions of the two former ministries.

Mr Speaker, it is our intention to spend less time on the administrative matters of merging so that the ministry can quickly get down to work. Accordingly, measures have since been undertaken to this effect and I wish to report to this august House that work on the merger is now at an advanced stage. A committee comprising of officials from the two former ministries is working closely with the Management Development Division at Cabinet Office to ensure that the merger succeeds in rationalising the use of financial, human and material resources and ensure the effective delivery of service to the ministry’s clients. The work of this committee has so far made headways in the following areas. A new mission statement has had to be formulated which reads in part, and I quote:

‘To provide a policy framework, monitor, evaluate and co-ordinate its implementation to ensure protection of the environment and sustainable development, management and utilisation of natural resources for the benefit of the present and future generations.’

The strategic objectives to support this mission of the ministry have equally been re-defined, some of those include:

1.    To formulate appropriate and review existing legal frameworks on tourism development, diversification and environmental and natural resources management for sustainable socio economic development;

2.    to effectively co-ordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of tourism, environmental and natural resources policies and legislation in order to ensure compliance and attainment of policy objectives; and

3.    to facilitate and promote research and development in tourism, environment, natural resources, natural heritage in order to increase knowledge and its utilisation.

I will be able to share with the House about these objectives in much more greater detail at an appropriate time, as I shall be winding up debate of my ministry’s Estimates.

Mr Speaker, in order to achieve the above stated mission statement and strategic objectives as I have referred to, the ministry has elaborated related programmes and activities which we will be undertaking. These, too, will be shared with this august House.

Obviously, inadequate financial, human and material resources are likely to be the major constraints to face the ministry. These factors, if not addressed, can have a negative impact on the performance of the ministry and ultimately on Government operations. It is my ministry’s intention to collaborate with the donor community to supplement the efforts of my Government in order to ensure that the vision embodied in His Excellency’s Speech is realised.

Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude my contribution by calling upon all hon. Members of Parliament to assist my ministry by encouraging the people they represent to work hand in hand with my staff. There is no doubt that subject matters under my ministry are close to the hearts of many of us in this House. Environment and natural resources management affect people all over the country, whether in urban or rural constituencies. We, therefore, cannot talk of success in my ministry without the involvement of the people who live with the wildlife and forests we are working on conserving and who are affected mostly by degradation of the environment as well as depletion of the natural resources.

To my ministry, community participation is a conditionality for success. It is for this reason that all the major legislation, including the Zambia Wildlife Act as well as the Forests Act, includes important and dynamic provisions for community participation. My ministry wishes to assure this august House of our commitment to ensure the full compliance with the provisions of the law regarding community participation. To this effect, we will prioritise our operations, programmes and work that seek to build the capacity of communities to participate effectively in our activities.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I thank you, for your kind favour to allow me to participate in the debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Health (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, I would like to add my voice to the congratulatory messages from hon. Members here present. 

I think it would be incomplete of me to avoid repetition. In so doing, Mr Speaker, I expect to enjoy the privileges of this House like anybody else. 

Secondly, Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, on assuming a very important post in the land for a battle well fought. I would, further, congratulate my colleagues who were elected to this august House. And, perhaps, to just remind a few that, my nomination and other Members of Parliament, was absolutely constitutional and legal. Therefore, there was no back door. 


Dr Chituwo: In so saying, Mr Speaker, our constituency starts within the House. Each and every Member of this House is a Member of our constituency. As part of the Executive, we shall serve the people of Zambia with humility, fairness and firmness.

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, it is a rare honour and privilege to be nominated Member of Parliament then appointed to Cabinet. I will cherish this for the rest of my life. In so doing, I will show this by committing myself to hard work in the New Deal administration team. I promise, Mr Speaker, that we shall deliver.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: However, I am also mindful of the fact that, nature being what it is, our colleagues on your left, Mr Speaker, have reason to doubt. Change does not come readily acceptable.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President’s Speech to this august House was a road map for development. It was fatherly, original, brilliant and set for us, as an Executive, the way forward. We, if I may repeat, we will certainly abide by the objectives set by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, set out to deliver the goods and services that our people have been waiting for, for so long.

Mr Speaker, as regards the Ministry of Health in particular, there was a comment by His Excellency the President with regard to HIV/AIDS. Sir, HIV/AIDS is a reality and I would like to emphasise that the leadership starts with the hon. Members of Parliament in each and every one of their constituencies. Being leaders, the most important factor, in reducing HIV/AIDS incidences and prevalence is in prevention.

Mr Speaker, I would not, out of mistrust or lack of confidence, realise, that you will shortly be according us to have very nice vehicles. It is a reminder from the Minister of Health, therefore, that there will be so many temptations from the various constituencies to ride in these vehicles. So, the hon. Members of Parliament have to lead by example.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: Yes, they can give lifts, but it should just end there.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, there were many questions relating to rehabilitation of health centres. This has been an ongoing exercise and I will contribute more specifically, when winding up the Estimates of expenditure of my ministry.

Mr Speaker, I must comment on the policy on agriculture. So far, all the hon. Colleagues seem to emphasise on agriculture as the provision of food. In health, Mr Speaker, food is medicine. The agricultural policy will contribute significantly to the health status by improving the nutrition of our people, particularly the under fives and expectant mothers. In so doing, Mr Speaker, we would find that our drug bill would come down. I have no doubt, therefore, that the question and worries about shortage of drugs should diminish. So, really the agricultural policy is in the right direction because not only are we talking about food per se, we are also talking about promoting the health status of our people. 

Mr Speaker, there is a question of shortage of staff. I must share with this august House that the migration of medical and nursing profession is worldwide. We are not an island. This phenomenon has been a subject of discussion at SADC Health Ministers Conference at the World Health Assembly. We are advocating that developed countries should actually reimburse the developing countries for the funds spent on training because by and large, they get our staff already trained and we remain impoverished.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chituwo: So, this is an ongoing exercise, Mr Speaker.

I now wish to comment on the question of user fees, Mr Speaker, in our tradition, without exception, when a traditional healer is consulted, there is a token that is given to a traditional healer.


Dr Chituwo: I would like to say that notwithstanding the fact that there is high poverty in our country, there are various ways in which user fees can be contributed. For instance, when our people are healthy they can contribute to this scheme by cleaning the surroundings of health centres, doing certain chores at the health centres as a contribution to that scheme. 

When they fall ill, admittedly, not everybody has money but illness comes at a time when one is unprepared. In this way, there will be added value to the medicine that we are talking about. User fees ought to be viewed in context of our culture. 

In the urban areas, there is a safety net administered by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. Since it is not very widely known it is our duty to publicise to patients who are not able to contribute, to have a recourse to this safety net fund. Really, it is in two ways, we know from experience that things given freely are not valued. This, I believe, should be the spirit in which we discuss user fees in one form or another. It is, Mr Speaker, the policy of the Ministry of Health never to turn away any patient on account of having no money. This message has been explained to everybody.

Mr Speaker, there are a lot of health workers scattered allover the country, and one cannot expect 100 per cent compliance. It is an education process which we shall continue.

Mr Speaker, I would briefly turn to the question of prevention, I would like to emphasise that with the three major diseases, HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, prevention must be our cornerstone. At the time of winding up the debate on the expenditure, I will, Mr Speaker, in more detail, explain to the House what plans we have and what help we are getting from our co-operating partners.

Lastly, when I present a Bill, on the establishment of the National HIV/AIDS/STI, TB Council, as this is national and crucial, I shall expect full support from all hon. Members of Parliament because it is the only way forward.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: In case of doubt, I would like to reiterate what my predecessors and I have said many times before. This is that, under the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, there is no distinction, whatsoever, between an elected and a nominated Member of Parliament. You are all treated equally and you all equally enjoy the privileges and immunities that are prescribed under the law. 

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Service (Mr Mwaanga): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to participate in this important debate.

May I begin, Sir, by congratulating you on your re-election to the important position of Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia. May I also congratulate the Deputy Speaker on his re-election to the important position of Deputy Speaker. 

Your re-election, Sir, presented us with many challenges, but it also offered us opportunities in terms of the future. Setting new precedents is not always a good thing because some of them can be extremely dangerous. By doing what we did on that material day, we broke precedent of fifty-four years, which had stood the taste of time in this House. 

I would like to congratulate my colleagues on this side of the House for the support, which they gave to this process …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: … and I also want to congratulate my colleagues on the other side for making the point, which they did, in such a negative fashion.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate all those Members of Parliament who were elected to this House. You gave the MMD a good fight, and we do enjoy good fights from time to time because we accomplish fights. But the whole outlook of the House has changed as result of the complex mandate, which the people of Zambia gave us. 

We on this side of the House recognise that we did not get what we wanted, we also recognise that on the other side they did not get what they wanted, but the people prescribed perimeters within which we must work. We accept that verdict and we will work within the perimeters that the people of Zambia have defined for all of us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: I have also noted, Mr Speaker, that the quality of Members elected on the other side and the quality of debate has been high.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: And as a long and experienced Parliamentarian, I have to acknowledge that point.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: But I must also acknowledge the fact that the quality on this side has been even higher.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Mwaanga: I have no doubt that we will have a very good and even high contest in this House on many issues of national interest.

Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President for his inspiring speech delivered at the Ceremonial State Opening of Parliament, which outlined the priorities of the MMD Government from the year 2002 and much beyond. It set out a mission and a vision for the future. I am sure that it is a vision, which we, as Parliamentarians, will be able to embrace for the common good of all the people of Zambia regardless of their political affiliations.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: I am aware, Sir, that apart from UNIP, all the other parties are break- away parties from the MMD.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: And our policies and our manifestos cannot possibly be substantially different because some of the people who drafted the other manifestos are the ones who drafted ours as well.


Mr Mwaanga: So, the manifestos cannot substantially differ, except that of UNIP of which I am a founder Member …

Hon. UNIP Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: … which is substantially different from the manifestos of the rest of us.

Mr L. L. Phiri: MCC material!

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I know that a number of views have been expressed by Members relating to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services and no doubt when we discuss Estimates of Expenditure under this ministry I will be able to go into a lot more details in terms of some of the programmes which we have outlined in our vision and mission for the future. 

Suffice to say, Sir, that we are committed to continue our programme of rural television throughout Zambia. And that programme has been provided for, thankfully, by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in this year’s Budget will be continued in the years to come.

Miss Nawakwi: CASAT!

Mr Mwaanga: Whether CASAT or any other competitor that offer us the service, we will be interested so that our outreach, not only in terms of television, but also radio can be increased from the level were we found it in 1991. And we intend to take it in terms of the future.

Hon. Members have mentioned the issue of the Freedom of the Information Bill. As you are aware, Mr Speaker, we circulated a public document through the Press to all the stakeholders and asked them to comment on the Bill, and offer constructive suggestions as to how best it can be implemented, bearing in mind the experience which has been gathered in other parts of the world. 

I am deeply disappointed to observe that notwithstanding all the talk that has gone on and all the loud pronouncements, which have been made by many of the stakeholders, we have responses from only two institutions. We have sent them reminders, Mr Speaker, asking them to make submissions so that this Freedom of Information Bill can come to Parliament to enable Parliamentarians to have their input and also to see whether this is the kind of Bill which is going to benefit the people of Zambia, and particularly those who are in the field of information, technology and information management.

Mr Speaker, this year’s Budget is a poor man’s Budget. It addresses many concerns of those who are in the lower income brackets. It also addresses those who have been affected before as a result of various taxes which have either been varied or substantially reduced.

I am the first one to agree that there is no Minister of Finance and National Planning who is as wise as Hon. Kasonde, who is going to exhaust all his options, which are available to him in one Budget. No budget satisfies all needs anywhere in the world, including countries where they have wealth and huge economies.

When the hon. Member for Munali (Miss Nawakwi) was Minister of Finance and Economic Development, she never exhausted her options. She tried, but she failed.


Mr Mwaanga: Because there is nowhere in the world where a Minister of Finance exhausts all his or her options in one Budget. The issue of free education has been mentioned. We all want to see free education but the question is, can we afford it?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Mwaanga: The answer is that at the moment we cannot, unless you want more taxes, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to tax the already overtaxed population. We have made a beginning and we will build on the beginning that we have made in the years to come.


Mr Mwaanga: We will build on that beginning. It is a beginning, but we will build on the beginning, which we have made.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, we come to this House as Members of Parliament with the sense of realism in terms of what we want and what is possible to achieve, given the environment that exists and we must always draw that distinction. If we do not draw that distinction, we will raise the people’s hopes so high that when the next elections come, the people will begin asking for the promises that a lot of us made during the election campaigns. I only hope that you will be able to fulfil the promises that you made because at the end of the day there is only one national cake to be shared. It is not a large cake and it is shared amongst many competing and equally deserving interests.

Hon. Member: Talk about the creation of wealth.

Mr Mwaanga: The creation of wealth, yes, that is an issue, which the Budget addresses. We must produce more so that there is more to share. We cannot share poverty and mere manifestos or words of mouth cannot eliminate poverty, Sir. You have to create and put in place programmes and find resources to be able to fight poverty. It cannot be eliminated by words of mouth alone. Let us not take a romantic view about this issue of poverty. It is a complex issue and it will take time before the issue is resolved.

It will be reduced and that is why I started by talking about poverty reduction and moving gradually towards the next levels. It is exceptionally important, Sir, that this point be understood by all of us because if we do not understand that point, we will mislead ourselves and in the process, mislead the people that we represent.

Mr Speaker, I know that expectations out there with regard to the New Deal administration are very high. Expectations with regard to our policy of continuity with change which His Excellency the President very ably outlined have created excitement in the country. People are expecting a lot from this New Deal administartion. But they also know that this is a new Government. It is the same party but it is a new Government, which must build on the gains, which were made by the previous Government.


Mr Mwaanga: This is the continuity that we are going to provide and I am sure that this House which is so full of precedents and realities, at the end of the day, it will dawn on all of us in terms of what is possible to achieve, given our present set of circumstances in the country.

Mr Speaker, I wish to state that we have come here as representatives of the people. I know that all of us are mature men and women who look at national issues, and that we will be able to place national interests above partisan interests. We are here to serve the people and we cannot serve the people along party lines.

Hon. Opposition Members: That is what you are doing.

Mr Mwaanga: We can only serve the people as they are, given the complex nature of the society in which we live.


Mr Mwaanga: We will keep away as long as you keep yours as well and that you keep your promises as well.


Mr Mwaanga: We have been renown for keeping our promises.


Mr Mwaanga: And this time around it will be no different. Hon. Nawakwi is a Third Termer herself.

Miss Nawakwi: No way.

Mr Mwaanga: This is the third time you are coming to Parliament.


Mr Mwaanga: You are a Third Termer.


Mr Mwaanga: Hon. Sichinga is a Third Termer as well. There is nothing wrong with the Third Term provided you come in a proper way with the Third Term like Hon. Nawakwi has done. As a Third Termer, no doubt she provides this House with experience and also she provides the bridge between continuity and change. That bridge is very ably represented by the hon. Member for Munali who ran away from her constituency in Nakonde to come and seek refuge here in Lusaka.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, she is not the only Member who did that. There are other Members but for now, we will let sleeping dogs lie.


Mr Mwaanga: Mr Speaker, I did not run away from my constituency.


Mr Mwaanga: I announced on the 19th November 1996 that I would not seek re-election. I have kept my word, …


Mr Mwaanga: … unlike some hon. Members who shall remain nameless for purposes of this debate.

Mr Speaker, I hope that my successor, Hon. Pwele, the hon. Member for Roan Constituency will be able to deliver on the promises, which I heard him making when I was in Roan because at the end of the day, the only side which is able to deliver with the co-operation of the other side is the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaanga: For now, whether they like it or not, we are the Government and you will have to deal with us. And for now, whether we like it or not, you are a very substantial Opposition, we cannot ignore you even if we wanted to. It would be folly to do that. We intend to engage you in constructive dialogue to discuss national issues and to find answers to the problems facing our country. You will not find us wanting in this regard. You will find us available and willing to sit down with you and discuss national issues.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Mr Kasonde): Mr. Speaker, allow me to add my simple words to the many rich tributes that have been paid on your re-election and the re-election of your deputy. Sir, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Zambia for giving us an able President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, a number of Members of Parliament on both sides of the House raised important points and it is my duty to answer those points as best as I can. Before I do that, let me assure them that I am a nationalist to the core. My responsibility in executing this job is to every child, mother and father in Zambia, regardless of where they are. It is my duty to deliver.

Mr Speaker, I am not saying this just to impress people. Those who are doubting can check my Public Service records when I was heading the Treasury, Zambia was growing at 10 per cent per annum between 1966 and 1971. It is there.

Mr Speaker, not only that, when I returned to Government and the former President, Dr Chiluba, was good enough to make me Minister of Finance and Economic Development then, I delivered. I think records are there to show Zambia, actually, abolishing poverty between 1991 and 1993. It is there. So, those young people who went to the schools with round roofs which are throughout Zambia, in every district, I negotiated those with the World Bank in 1967. Many of you who went to those schools can go back and check.

So, please, I ask you not to doubt me on having capacity to deliver. I have delivered in the past, I will deliver in the future.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Chipangali, Mr L. L. Phiri, questioned the releases of funds. Definitely, this has been erratic. I want to assure the hon. Member for Chipangali that so long as I run the Treasury, releases of finance will be done in a timely manner: We will advise ministries what we hope to distribute within the following months. Then on a monthly basis, I will release the funds according to that. There will be no question of guessing. I think that is what we will do, but I will also expect the ministries, in return, to advise the Treasury on what they have done with those funds.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: This is an important point the hon. Member for Chipangali made. He made another very important point though he is not an economist.


Mr Kasonde: He said that the stop/start reforms do not work. I agree with him. If you have an economic programme, stick to it. The best point of achieving success in economic well-being is to be consistent. If you are not consistent and not predictable, you will fail.

The hon. Member for Lukulu East also said a few words which touched me. He said words, words, words, and no action. I think the hon. Member for Lukulu East should check what we should do on teachers’ houses and medical staff in your own constituency. I want to stand here next year and make sure you say we have done something in those areas.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: I would like to assure hon. Members of the House that we shall definitely do that in all the constituencies of Zambia.

The hon. Member for Lukulu East also asked some questions about teachers. I think this is a very difficult question for the hon. Minister of Education to answer totally because we are losing a lot of teachers on account of AIDS. Even with the best plans in the world, we are not training sufficient teachers to replace totally, all the teachers that we are losing on that account. So, the ministry is doing its best. It is training very many teachers but we are losing upwards of 1,500 teachers per annum. It is a very big loss. It is extremely difficult for training colleges to fill that gap.

I would like also to answer some points the hon. Member for Mazabuka, Hon. Nang’omba, MP, mentioned about irrigation dams. In fact, when we talk about irrigation here, we are really talking largely about irrigation dams in the Southern Province. There will be some dams in other provinces but largely, these dams will be built in the Southern Province because we know that my friends and cousins there are good farmers but we must provide them with water for them to farm effectively.

The hon. Member for Kantanshi, Mr Kombe, asked about the retirees and their payments. I think I did say in the Budget Speech that we are providing K80 billion and any additional revenue will go toward bridging the gap between K80 billion, which is what we have provided in the Budget and the actual bill of retirees and pensioners which is K118.8 billion.

Mr Speaker, he also touched on unemployment. This is a national issue, which I think, I will talk about when I come to tackle points which affect all regions.

The hon. Member for Lumezi, Major-General Zulu, talked about regional roads and black market fertiliser. Really, this question of roads has been well covered. When I talk about crosscutting issues, I will return to the roads and give specific figures.

I listened very carefully to the hon. Member for Kabwata, Mr Lubinda, when he talked about constitutional amendments. My able colleague, the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs, has alluded to this question. We are not shying away from constitutional amendments. We want to do it the correct way and I think the hon. Minister will come back to this point again.

Sir, Hon. Lubinda criticised the beer prices reduction. Really, if you look at it scientifically, it is not such a bad thing. What has happened is that when ordinary clear beer was expensive, people turned to kachasu and the other brews of ‘kill me quickly’. If we can get the assurance from the clear beer industry that we retain the same amount of revenue even if we reduce the excise duty, then I think we are doing a good thing in our society. We are preventing people from killing themselves by drinking brews with very high alcoholic content.

Mr Speaker, the Independent Member, Hon. Kasongo, mentioned large-scale nationalisation and where the funds for large-scale nationalisation are. I will return to the House with a ministerial statement so that I can set out in detail what has been nationalised, what has been realised, what has been paid to the workers, what has been paid to the creditors and where the balance is. I will return to the House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: I think it is important that this question is answered because the people are entitled to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I think it is important that the hon. Member for Lusaka Central asked a few pertinent questions and went through a number of my figures. I respect the hon. Member for Lusaka Central as a thinker, maybe, a rabble rouser …


Mr Kasonde: … but I think that the debates in this House would be quite dull if we did not have people of Hon. Dipak Patel’s calibre. I will urge you to continue discussing issues of public interest without shying away. It is important.

The hon. Member for Lusaka Central was chairing a Parliamentary Committee on Reforms. In fact, he did not own up. I also gave evidence to that committee. Not only that, I wrote a document and submitted it so that in a very large way, I am also a participant and believer of what that committee recommended. We must do things properly. What we want to do is that that document has to be looked at by the Mwanawasa Cabinet. It has to issue a White Paper on it and then Reforms will be implemented. 

There are very good reforms that are recommended in it. Not everything will be accepted, but that is the trade of powers between the Executive and the Legislature. I think we must accept that each one of these two institutions will retain its independence, but we will respect fully what each does in their own special field. So, I thank the hon. Member for Lusaka Central for bringing that point.

The second point he mentioned was the large cash withdrawals. I think there was a period when we were under surge in the western part of the country and on the border with the Congo, indeed, all the way up to Mpwento in Luapula. We had to send a lot of our own security people there. It was necessary and normal to take abnormal amounts of cash because there are no banks in Shang’ombo and Mpwento. So, sometimes it was necessary. But as your representative at the Treasury, I would wish to vet and make sure that people actually signed for that money. I want to make sure that people signed for that money and that it was not misused.

I think that is important, but I think hon. Members of the House should know that it may be possible from time to time to take large amounts of cash from commercial banks in Lusaka to the borders of Zambia and you all know what is happening there.

So, I think it is very important that we do that and we do not suspect each other that Kasonde is taking these large amounts of money. In any case, I would not do it personally.

There is a question of foreign travel. Foreign travel is, indeed, very expensive. I must confide in the House that President Mwanawasa himself has complained that some of the delegations are too large. He wants to cut them down himself. So, we will all be assisting him if we are making these complaints that these things are too much. Sometimes, old habits die hard. It is for us who are his Lieutenants to try and assist him to make sure that these things are implemented.

With regard to the points made by the hon. Member for Siavonga on the distribution of projects that every constituency must have projects. I would completely concur with the hon. Member on things like education and health. But there are national projects as well. They cannot be in every constituency. The priorities are different. I think if we want to abolish poverty, I agree with the hon. Member for Siavonga. We must try and show activity at least to some extent in every constituency. I think that is very important. 

Also for credibility of hon. Members of Parliament because your electorate sees you drive in and out with these big motokas and their life styles do not change, they can start suspecting that you are not doing your job properly and that you went to Lusaka just to enrich yourself. So, it is very important that in executing my job on your behalf, I will try and make sure that at least some programmes of some sort go on in every constituency. As I said, there are national projects that cannot be in every constituency.

With regard to the hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga (Mr Situmbeko), he said that there were too many changes in education. I think the hon. Minister of Education will answer that when we come to the general debate just before we examine the details of the Ministry of Education. But I think he has got a point there. I think the change that the Curriculum Development Centre should have is a level of stability because if we really change every year, I think we will properly get lost ourselves in the changes. I think the hon. Minister will deal with that when it comes to elaborating the policy on education.

The hon. Member of Parliament for Mpika should have no complaint. I thought that Hon. Sata did a very good job.


Mr Kasonde: The roads in Mpika are some of the best. I have not even seen good roads in Lusaka townships. The Agricultural College in Mpika is doing very well. So, the hon. Member for Mpika should count his blessings.

The hon. Member for Katombora talked about the new Boma having no buildings and only having Grade 4 to show for education while HIV was ravaging the constituency. The hon. Member for Katombora made a very important point. We have announced a number of new Bomas, but we have not followed it up with budgetary provisions to ensure that minimum accommodation for those Bomas is available. I promise the House that next year, I will do better. But we are too poor this year to really face this problem. 

Construction is very expensive. Construction must be planned and must be phased. I think that this year, we can use it for planning and as hon. Members of Parliament for those areas where new Bomas have been announced, you should push your ministries for plans. Let them prepare plan documents so that next year, after Budget, we just go forward to tender. I think that is very important that we go ahead and do that. I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombora for mentioning that very important point.

The hon. Member Chama North talked about maintenance. Maintenance is a very important point. Really even good buildings go very rapidly down if you do not maintain them. What I have seen of public properties is that they are very good in the first year and second year and then they deteriorate. What has been missing in our ministries is capacity to maintain them. They should just be a little bit of money given to the Headmaster, Principal, Hospital Matron or whatever they are called these days for maintenance. It is very necessary that when cracks appear, they are mended. When the paint starts pealing off they are painted. You do not have to wait until the building is actually collapsing. This is because it is extremely expensive to repair.

The hon. Member for Katuba who actually walks from Lusaka to his constituency is a lucky man because I have to drive ten hours to go and see my mother. It is extremely tedious. We talked of clean water, wells and so on. There is money under this Budget. There is money at ZAMSIF. There is money under HIPIC. There is money under small projects. So, hon. Members of Parliament should not have problems with things like wells. We can dig wells anywhere and at any time now. We are properly financed for that. There are institutions, which are meant just for this kind of work. I think we should not allow our people to suffer the indignity of drinking brown water any more.

The hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa talked about farmers who need guaranteed prices, and councillors’ allowances. I agree with him on councillors. I think my colleague in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has to look at this. But what we are actually seeing is that local government finances - this point has been made by a number of hon. Members - are really very bad at the moment and what we are doing is to assist them. I do not want to hear of all these repossessions of council property all over the country. 

What we would like to do at the same time is to sit down and have a proper financial budget for councils. We must have proper financial sources, making sure that we place them in a position where they can raise money on their own so that at least they have a reasonable income. So, what the hon. Minister is looking at and what I will assist him in doing is ensuring that councils, not only the big ones, across the country are properly financed. But one of the things that we have to do is that - there is over-employment in some of these councils. What we have to do is to …

Hon. Opposition Members: Party cadres should go.

Mr Kasonde: Yes, I think party cadres must go. I think it is very important that we have a council financed to such an extent that it can afford to pay people at the end of the month.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: What we are going to do ourselves in Lusaka is to try and face the battle of the arrears. I can try and do that in the course of this year. But really what we want to do is to place them on a basis where they can stand on their own feet apart from the large grants we will give them for developing new housing estates. That is how the Central Government should come in. But for the normal salaries that pertain, they should have income based on which they should be able to survive.

With regard to the hon. Member for Chikankata, well, he has ten kilometres of tarmac and twenty kilometers of dust. But I have been on that road. It is not a bad road. I think the hon. Member for Chikankata should count his blessings. You have ten kilometres of good road. But I think we shall see when next time we have a large contractor in the Southern Province, somewhere, we shall try and see if the patients having a ride to that very important institution could have a smoother ride. I feel for the patients. I do not feel for the Member of Parliament. He drives a big car. So, he does not feel the potholes.

The hon. Member for Luangeni mentioned an important point that again I have to work on. This is the fuel price being average throughout the country. This point, hon. Members, is important in this regard that rural constituencies – those who are far-flung from Lusaka are very disadvantaged in development because to get there costs a lot. And to take inputs there costs a lot. For them to bring inputs into consumption areas costs a lot and, therefore, they cannot be competitive. 

So, this question has to be thought through more carefully with oil companies. It has to be thought more carefully with farming enterprises. It has to be thought more carefully so that we can find a system that does not totally disadvantage far-flung places throughout Zambia. This is important and I think even the former hon. Member for Nakonde should agree.

Miss Nawakwi: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I think I have answered the question which the hon. Member for Roan, Mr Pwele, mentioned about privatisation funds. I think he should wait for a ministerial statement which will be more researched and better informed instead of me just giving you an off-the-cuff answer.

With regard to the hon. Member for Kalabo, I think I have also mentioned much about the problems of water and boreholes in there, the maintenance of primary schools and the marketing of rice. Rice actually grown in the Western Province – it is not that my daughter is married there – tastes better. It is a good product and it can bear premium price. My colleague in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry must look at this import of very cheap rice from non-COMESA sources in the Far East. There, our ability to act is much more free. So, I think that we cannot put tax on those products from the East but not to such an extent that we encourage incompetence and inefficiency here.

Rice from Eastern Province in Chama, Northern Province in Chambeshi, Western Province have a good market provided some of the cheaper and subsidised rice is not allowed as duty or almost duty free on the Zambian market.

With regard to the points made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabushi, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs, has ably answered the idea concerning the Constitution. I think we all believe that the present Constitution that we have is inadequate in a number of ways and we all want to apply ourselves to providing a Constitution that we can all be happy with, both sides of the House can be happy with.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: So, I discussed this very question with the President and I think it is important he did encourage me, he has encouraged the hon. Minister to think along this line but we will move forward on the constitutional question. And the hon. Member was also a little bit, with a tongue in his chick, said, ‘Did you inherit empty coffers?’ I can assure the hon. Member for Kabushi that the coffers were not full but were half full.


Mr Kasonde: Hon. Member for Mporokoso paid tribute for having Kalungwishi Bridge. I have been on that bridge, it is a good bridge. It is has been made. But while I am on this, I think, I would also like to thank the hon. Minister for holding discussions on the bridge which we dearly need on the Zambezi at Kazungula, we shall need another bridge later up stream there and I think we need a few more bridges and we have a few Bailey bridges which are in Zambia which we can utilise better. And I think it is important for Members of Parliament who have rivers to contact the hon. Minister, because I think there are some bridges which are in storage which are not being utilised. 

But I was touched very much by the hon. Member for Zambezi West about the bridge on the Zambezi River. As Chairman of ZRA I went there and I crossed on to the other side and in spite of the dangers I said, if Zambians live there, I am going there myself. I went there and really they need that bridge to cross the Zambezi River, it will open up a very fertile area west of the Zambezi River and I think it is important. I must tell my friends in the box there who are working with me that this is the importance of sitting here in the House. You should listen to the debates by Members of Parliament when they raise important points.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: And you put them in the next Budget. The Minister is not an angel, he cannot remember everything, okay. So, it is very important that things like this Zambezi West Bridge, I think we must address it. It is a very important point.

With regard to Miss Sialumba, Mapatizya Member. She mentioned a very important point again, which is again general here. I will return to that point when I mention the question of hunger and what does Zambia do about it. I think I will return to that point later on to see what we have provided. All I can say at this stage is that what we have provided is insufficient to address the problem. So, where do we go from here?

The hon. Member for Mongu mentioned about the congested hospital. I have been to Lewanika General Hospital, it is congested and the hon. Member of Parliament is addressing the point. We have a little bit of money for hospital maintenance and I think if it is K27 or K28 billion in this budget, I think we can allocate some of that money to Lewanika General Hospital. We want to support that because our colleagues there do not have another hospital within a stone throw. So, Lewanika General Hospital has to be a good hospital and I think my colleague, the hon. Minister of Health is listening and listening carefully.

With regard to ZAMBEEF having a monopoly to buy cattle in Western Province, I think they are a little bit lucky to have at least, such a big buyer. At least, they have one buyer, while in some areas they do not even have buyers and to say that they buy at K2,000.00 per kilogram and sell at K10,000 per kilogram, this is a question of economics. I cannot go in it like that because I do not know whether they are talking about K2,000 per kilogram live weight which dresses up to 50 per cent live weight which is transported about 400 kilometres to the market, processed and then sold at K10,000 per kilogram. That K8,000.00 per kilogram can evaporate and you can actually make a loss if you are not careful.

So, I do not know the economics of that and I think it has to be looked into carefully. But the general point the hon. Member of Parliament made is sustainable that it is important to interest more than one buyer if you want to get better prices and I think that that point which he made is very important and it is the job of all us to try and interest some other buyers to go west and pick up some of their products for the markets on the line of rail.

The next question is for the hon. Member for Choma, Mr Muleya, who mentioned the question of irrigation and that I was only talking about new farmers and I had forgotten about old farmers. It is not true, Hon. Muleya. In fact, the existing project about irrigation of maize for supplementing this year’s crop is totally about old farmers. 

The support which is in the Budget, yes, it is tilted largely towards new farmers but old farmers are not excluded and, in fact, it is on their land that you are going to build most of the dams and that is where you are going to have the big projects that I am talking to the World Bank about. So, Hon. Muleya, you should tell your constituents that you are moving and your Government is moving; and you will not let your classmate go to sleep because we are going to work day and night.

The hon. Member for Bahati, Mr E. K. Chungu, mentioned Mansa Batteries. That is an important point. We want to see how we can resuscitate Mansa Batteries so that it can supply other industries, now importing their raw materials, which they used to get from Mansa. But this is a question of economics. It is not a question of political wishes. Therefore, what we ought to do is to make sure that this thing is done economically.

The hon. Member for Sesheke mentioned the brain-drain. It is also another important question which Members of the House should be concerned very much about. We are training people like doctors, nurses and teachers, and only to lose them to neighbouring and other developed countries. What we ought to do here is not only appealing to nationalistic instinct. What we ought to recognize is that certain skills have a world-wide market and if we want to retain them in Zambia, we have to pay something closer to world-wide prices …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: … that is the only way you can retain people. You cannot appeal to them on nationalistic grounds alone. I agree with what the hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke has said on UK visas. 

I am very much vexed by the sitting in the queue applying for a visa to enter the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is almost our second home and I think we ought to exit and enter, as we wish. I think some of our younger people are making our lives difficult. I think our young people and the drug enforcement people are the ones who have caused these problems. 

Without those people, the British, really, have a soft spot for Zambia and I do not think that these visas would have come in had it not been for these drugs. I only wish that the encouraged Drug Enforcement Commission would work double and that when this scourge is down, we can go and talk to our British colleagues about the visa requirements. But, I think, we should, first of all, put our house in order before we can ask other people to respond positively.

With regard to the points made by the hon. Member for Zambezi West, Mr C. W. Kakoma, I think I have covered those. I listened carefully and the bridge will be there sooner than later. With regard to the hon. Member for Chawama on sanitation, I have been to Chawama many times and I know what is, really, required is a drainage system to be designed in a proper engineering way. 

When I first came to Lusaka to attend school at Munali, there were only three secondary schools in the country at that time, I came to Lusaka and we used to cross over from Munali on foot. The whole place where the university and Kalingalinga are used to be flooded, it used to be a lake. We, in fact, took off our shorts and carried them on our heads and we waded through water, but we made sure there were no women around.


Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, so, what Chawama needs is proper drainage. Lusaka was a very wet place. The whole of Kamwala used to be submerged in water for nearly three months in a year, but there are big trenches. If you look down on the side of Burma Road, there is a big trench, which crosses the whole town, and if you look at Cairo Road itself, in between the trees, there is an eight-metre deep trench which crosses the town. That is what takes the water away from Lusaka. Lusaka used to be flooded. 

So, I think, Chawama can benefit from engineering survey. Hon. Member for Chawama, you have a job, do not complain to us, go and see an engineer. Once you have seen an engineer, go and see Hon. Dr Sondashi, perhaps, something can be done about Chawama sanitation. The water can be taken away and Chawama can be a healthy place.

I think the point made by the hon. Member for Kapoche about journalists is very valid. I think that democracy is dwarfed, unless people can report faithfully, truthfully, openly and without fear. I, certainly, have no worries. I like to talk to the Press, I like them to visit my office, at least, once per week so that they can get some information. It is their information, I am only a foreman and I think it is important that they get the public properly informed on how we are running their finances.

 It is not our finances, it is not a private company, and it is not Century Holdings. These are public funds and they should be able to ask questions and they will not find me wanting in answering those questions. I would advise my colleagues in the ministerial group that they should, really, open their doors and allow free flow of information. The hon. Minister responsible for information did mention the Act and I think that we will, once we have gone through the mission, …

Mr L. L. Phiri: Question!

Mr Kasonde: We will, no, no. I think you should trust your Ministers. The hon. Member for Kafue mentioned about this House being a rubber stamp. In any case, I did not think that was parliamentary language.

I think that we respect the integrity, independence and freedom of our National Assembly and will do everything possible to answer and respect their views as the Executive. As the next arm of Government, we will only disregard the views expressed on the Floor of this House at our peril. So, we feel that you should feel free, at liberty to talk to Ministers, to express your views openly and freely at all times.

Hon. Member for Kafue also talked about the question of Auditor-General’s Report, I think that we have enhanced the budget for the Auditor-General’s Office and we hope that he can produce his reports on timely basis. He was constrained on account of funding before he could produce some reports. I think now he will report on a timely basis to this House.

This is with regard to the point made by hon. Member for Luena Constituency, Mr Sibetta, I think he has escaped. But, I will still answer the question, it is important that the point he made on page 27 applies to his constituency and not Luapula Province. If he wants to use it in Luapula Province, we would be very grateful.

Hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa, Mr Katema, mentioned about the Kang’onga Centre where the blind are housed. I have been there and I have, in fact, some of their chairs at my house. They do a perfect job. I think that the ministry responsible for agriculture can see to it that they have a market for their products. They make beautiful products, chairs, baskets and so on and can compete with any sited person very well and I like them.

As regards the hon. Member for Lukashya (Mr Mwape), I thank him for promising us an airport because the dust which we always go through when landing in a jet is actually not easy because the pebble run into the engines and reduce the life of an aircraft. So, if you go to Kasama too often with a jet, you may not make it one of these days. So, it is important that the hon. Minister should do something about that. I will encourage him to move forward and provide for it, at least, in the next year’s Budget.

The hon. Member for Munali (Miss Nawakwi), complained about water. She must visit ZAMSIF, Mtendere is within Lusaka. She must visit Japanese Aid. There is even another US$ 700,000 which I signed the other day. She must visit just for this kind of project. So, you do not have to deprive some other people of their income in order to give it to Mtendere.


Mr Kasonde: She also raised issues concerning local government and housing financing and I have already talked about it. So, I think that is water under the bridge.

Hon. Chisupa, Member of Parliament for Chilubi, spoke like a Minister of Labour, but I have to report to the House that electricity has actually arrived on Chilubi Island this year, for the first time since God created earth.


Mr Kasonde: So, we congratulate you for providing electricity. But I thought what people needed most was a dragger. People need a dragger because they face a lot of problems travelling around.

Mr Speaker, I have a few items which are of national interest. As regards health, we will provide K21 billion so that we can rehabilitate as many health institutions as possible.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonde: We will provide K161 billion for the roads, K27 billion basically for feeder roads and a few trunk roads. So, we feel that, that is sufficiently catered for. We also feel that the food crisis we are in will be covered by K50 billion that we have provided and there is also an emergency fund of K28 billion which can go to food should we require it.

With regard to treasury bonds, we have provided K500 billion and we feel that, that is more sufficient to start rolling back to the Treasury. This point has been raised by two hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: We shall support you, you are the only one.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Not ba VJ awe!

Mr  Speaker: Order! The House will now resolve into Committee. However, in order for the hon. Minister to prepare for Committee work, the House will resolve into Committee tomorrow.



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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 8th March, 2002