Debates- Thursday, 28 th February, 2002

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Thursday, 28th February, 2002

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: Before we proceed with the items on the Order Paper, I would like to remind hon. Members to search their pockets, in the case of Lady Members, their handbags, and remove cellular phones and deposit them with our security personnel at the Chamber reception. I am hauling too many of them and I have run out of space in my office.


Mr Chisala rose from his seat while Mr Speaker was on his feet.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Will you resume your seat. You may not leave while the Speaker is on his feet.



The Vice-President (Mr Kavindele): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that Standing Orders 16 and 17 be suspended to enable the House to sit from 1415 hours to 1800 on Friday, 1st March, 2002, if business is not concluded before that hour.

Mr Speaker, this motion is straightforward. On that day, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will present the Budget for 2002. Sir, hon. Members are aware that Standing Orders 16 and 17 of this House provide that on Friday the Assembly shall meet at 0900 and adjourn at 1300 hours. Because of the above provision, Sir, it is inevitable that I move this motion to suspend the two standing orders to enable the House to meet in the afternoon on Friday, 1st March, 2002. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that in terms of Article 44 (2e) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, this House approve the abolition and the establishment of the Government ministries and departments established by the President as appended here to.

Mr Speaker, under Article 44 paragraph (e) of Clause 2, the President is empowered by the Constitution to establish and dissolve such Government ministries and departments as he sees fit subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

Mr Speaker and hon. Members, in the exercise of these powers, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., on Monday, 7th January, 2002, during his announcement of the new Cabinet at State House, abolished the following ministries: Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

Mr Speaker, the President has established the following new ministries: Ministry of Finance and National Planning; Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives; and Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources.

The functions and subject portfolios are appended hereto. 

Mr Speaker, for operational purposes, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has been placed under my office while the element of planning has been incorporated in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning in order to institutionalise the aspect of long term planning.

Sir, in this regard, I wish to request this august House to favourably consider these measures taken by His Excellency the President. These measures will not result in job losses as qualified serving officers in these institutions will remain in Government service. 

Sir, as this is a normal re-organisation of functions within the Government, and as these changes are intended to promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government administration, I beg that this House do approve these changes.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Speaker: Before I call for further debate, may His Honour the Vice-President, when he winds up debate, confirm that the Ministry Without Portfolio is one of the ministries that have been abolished.

Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, whilst I was not prepared for this particular debate, I thought it is important to make a few remarks. 

Whilst I commend the President for having reduced, by a small percentage, the number of ministries, I am still very concerned that we continue to have twenty Cabinet Ministers and thirty-three Deputy Ministers. I say so, Mr Speaker, because when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning announces the Budget tomorrow, we will find, as we have found in the last ten years, that almost half of our revenues go to personal emoluments which is extremely a high figure. The President should have gone much further in reducing the number of ministries.

The Public Sector Reform Programme which was begun eight or nine years ago essentially dealt with the restructuring of ministries, that is streamlining various portfolios within ministries. What it did not do regrettably is that it did not suggest or make proposals to the Executive as to what would be an optimum number of ministries in our society. I personally believe that that number should be fifteen or below. I say this because we cannot afford to have a top-heavy Executive. I see the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning nodding in agreement, so, I do hope he will make some reference to that tomorrow.

The second thing is: is it possible to tribally balance within Cabinet in the context of fifteen ministries, if you take into account the nine provinces and the minorities like myself?

So, I do hope that there will be bold measures coming forth very soon because if we continue to work on a top-heavy administration, then we are not going to deal with a fundamental problem of revenues going towards consumption instead of production.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Patel: With those few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, I rise to seek clarification from His Honour the Vice-President and Leader of the House. I find it very strange that the ministry so important as the ministry in charge of agriculture, a ministry on which the emphasis of the President’s Speech was hitched is being reduced to a department. This is a very strange arrangement and it is going to affect the delivery of policy to the country and we will be seeing inputs not being delivered in good time because there will be two Ministers fighting to make a decision. I think we should advise our new President to rethink about this arrangement of two Ministers looking after one ministry or department.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kafue, are you in the right position?

Mr Sichinga: Yes, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hold on. You may debate; we shall sort out the sitting arrangement later.

Mr Sichinga:  Until now, I thought I was in the right place, Sir. I do confirm that I am Member of Parliament for Kafue.


Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, we, obviously, want to acknowledge what the President has done in terms of trying to reduce the size of our Cabinet and the Ministers involved. I wish to draw the attention of the House to the fact that in the last administration, there were a total of sixty-four Ministers, constituting more than a third of the elected House. Yes, an effort has been made and I think, now, we are looking at fifty-five, if my count is correct. 

I wish to add my voice to the point that has just been made by Hon. Patel, Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central, that we look forward to a further reduction in order to minimise the cost of administration.

The concerns that we have, Sir, includes the fact that despite the assurance that has been given by the Government on the Floor of this House that the Central Statistical Office would be severed off and be an independent wing which would have become a statutory body, it still remains in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. I think this needs to be looked at because the Government has already given an assurance to this House.

The other point that one wishes to bring to the attention of the House, and we think that the leadership needs to review this, is the fact that there continues to be a number of boards being shown under individual ministries which, quite frankly, in the new deal and dispensation, one would have expected would have been hived-off in order for them to operate in a more independent manner. I am particularly thinking here, Mr Speaker, of the office of the Accountant-General, for example.

We have debated in this House on several occasions and drawn this to the attention of the House that in order to improve accountability and controls, it is necessary that in the same manner the Zambia Revenue Authority was hived-off from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, we should have seen this in the case of the Accountant-General’s Office in order to improve efficiency, enhance accountability and ensure that there is a greater level of planning and control throughout the Government. That does not seem to have happened. 

Sir, it is important that this point be noted and I am sure that the Minister of Finance and National Planning will agree with me that having been Chairman of the Zambia Revenue Authority, he has seen the changes that have taken place since this was a department of the ministry. So, I would like to urge the Government to review this particular situation. 

I have my notes here, Sir. You correctly pointed out that His Honour the Vice-President did not mention the issue of the Minister Without Portfolio, whether this was treated as a ministry on its own or not. I think we would like to have clarification on this particular matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Silwamba (Ndola Central): Mr. Speaker, I thank you. I support the motion and would like to congratulate His Honour the Vice-President and Leader of Government Business for bringing it to the House.

Mr Speaker, the raison d être for Article 44(2e) was to provide for the requisite checks and balances so that the locus of power between the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary is maintained. Now, Sir, if one gives anxious consideration to the wording of that clause, it is couched in some very troublesome tenor depending on which canon of interpretation one is invoking. If you invoke the strict and literal sense, ministries are not supposed to start functioning until this House has rendered the approval. But, of course, there is also what is called reasonableness in interpretation.

All I am trying to say is that it is an area which His Honour the Vice-President must address so that this House is not perceived as a rubber stamp so that motions do not come to us ex-post facto and, therefore, put us in a fait compli.

I thought I would put on record that a tidy way be devised. A Government which comes on a platform of laws and not men should ensure that lapses such as these do not recur.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: That is proper leadership, Eric.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Sondashi): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for affording me the opportunity to contribute on this motion.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to support the motion. In supporting this motion, I wish to answer the concerns which have been raised by the hon. Member for Ndola Central. I do not think that the Government has broken any laws. The question which arises in this matter is: when do you expect the President to present his proposed ministries for ratification when he is expected to form his Government before Parliament starts sitting?

This is where the problem is. So, I do not think that there is a problem here …


Dr Sondashi: … unless you say that Parliament should sit without a Cabinet in place. That cannot be done, it will be absurd for this House to sit without a Front Bench. Practically speaking, that is the way it can work but it is not possible. What is possible is what is happening now, that the President appoints his Ministers to form his Cabinet and then later this motion is brought to the House. There is no other way around it. If there was another way, I would have been happy to get suggestions of how practical …

Mr. Tetamashimba: You are not the President.

Dr Sondashi: … it could be and how he expects the President to do it.

Mr Sibetta: Ratification first.

Dr Sondashi: Listen, if you are not following, you will continue making noises when you just came here yesterday. We are trying to resolve a problem here. This is a big problem.


DrSondashi: So, the point which I am making is that …


M. Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister is making his maiden speech. So, please, listen.

Will the hon. Minister continue, please.


Dr Sondashi: I thank you, Sir, for your protection.{mospagebreak}

There is no other way around this situation. This is one of the things where Parliament should be content by accepting the situation as it is and, of course, Parliament can make suggestions which the President can look at for the future. Maybe, as time goes on, the President could, if the House has properly made observations which the President might accept, reduce ministries in a reshuffle or as he likes. Otherwise, there is no way around this, Sir.

This is the point I wanted to make and I hope that hon. Members of Parliament can see the logic behind this action.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi Central): Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to contribute on the motion before us, which I support in toto. I also wish to state that I would like to adopt the comments of the hon. Member for Lusaka Central (Mr Patel) as my very own.

Sir, from what we can see, there are only two ministries which have been abolished in the real sense. Maybe, the last speaker did not take into consideration what the hon. Member for Ndola Central meant. We would have expected that the President would have gone ahead appointing the same people who are on the Front Bench but meanwhile leave out the Minister Without Portfolio. As it normally happens, there are hon. Ministers here who are being assigned to act in other ministries. So, definitely we would not have had a Minister Without Portfolio until after the motion was brought to the House and we have ratified the decision. I think that was the essence of the contribution by the hon. Member for Ndola Central, Mr Silwamba.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tetamashimba: The same goes for the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. The current hon. Minister for this ministry who, I think, is the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources would have been asked to act as Minister of Environment and Natural Resources. So, this is what we mean. There was nothing wrong with what the President did. He appointed the Cabinet, which would have been sworn in, except he would have left out those ministries which he knew he would abolish. I hope I have clarified the issues that the hon. Minister raised.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! I notice that the hon. Member for Chongwe wishes to take the Floor. Without reading her mind, if she wishes to deliver her maiden speech, now, that is if she has already not done so, she may be out of topic. If she speaks, now, she will lose her opportunity to deliver her maiden speech and may not have a chance to deliver the usual words of gratitude to the people of Chongwe. I, therefore, guide her to wait.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank hon. Members who have contributed to this debate. Sir, I wish to confirm that the Ministry Without Portfolio is one of those ministries that have been abolished.

Mr Speaker, the reduction of Ministers and ministerial responsibilities is solely the function of His Excellency the President. 

In this particular case, His Excellency the President has deemed it fit to have the number of hon. Ministers that he has in order to run Government efficiently.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives has one hon. Minister. The rationale behind the whole thing is that this administration places a lot of emphasis on agriculture. The way the Government works is that at times, the hon. Minister may not make a decision until he takes it to Cabinet. The Office of the Vice-President has almost unlimited powers to make any decision that needs to be made there and then. It was, therefore, considered that the ministry should be elevated to the status where decisions can be made on the spot.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Sichinga wants the Office of the Accountant-General hived-off from the Civil Service. This, certainly, has been and is still being considered given that certain functions of the Government should be independent of the main line ministries and this is one such office that we are considering.

I think the hon. Minister of Works and Supply has ably answered the hon. Member for Ndola Central. Mr Speaker, Cabinet was appointed on 2nd January, 2001, and Parliament only started sitting three days ago. So, what it would have meant was that these ministries would have had no Ministers in place. For instance, the Minister of Finance and National Planning is required to present the Budget. He would have only been appointed after this House had met in order for him to start working and present the Budget.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

The Vice-President: So, he would only have had a few hours before presenting his Budget. That is the implication of that observation.

Miss Nawakwi: Government of laws made simple.

The Vice-President: Yes, indeed. This is why the Government of laws also has to be efficient. I do not think that the hon. Minister would have been able to prepare his Budget within ten hours. That is not possible.

All the same, I thank hon. Members for their observations.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate resumed)

The Minister for Central Province (Mr Chola): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to continue with my maiden speech.

Mr Speaker, I begin with the saying that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. It is apparent, Sir, from various speeches, that many hon. Members have forgotten their track records. Some in the back bench were Ministers or leaders not too long ago but because of changing parties last May, they have forgotten that they contributed to the lack of development in the nation. Some were in charge of agriculture, yet others commerce or finance but all have forgotten their dismal performance and, now, blame their colleagues who are still in Government.

Further, many were members of the Central Committee under UNIP. Sadly, they cannot remember that they were a part to stillborn inventions such as making of diesel from grass. Even with massive investment, the oil is still underground in Chama and iron remains unexploited at Tika in North-Western Province nor does anyone want to be credited with the futile K400 million Food Production Schemes, one lima, agrarian revolutions, Namboard, and so on.

Mr Tetamashimba: Do not be controversial!

Mr Chola: I am trying to bring out the truth.

All failed during the Second Republic. Mr Speaker, I will add that in this House are former security chiefs behind the formation of the dreaded flying squads. Crime was rampant long before this Government came into being and so was corruption …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chola: … which compelled the UNIP regime to create the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Hon. Government Members: Hammer! Tell them!


Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair must protect the hon. Deputy Minister for Central Province. He is delivering his maiden speech. When some of you delivered your maiden speeches, he was quietly listening to you. Now that it is his chance to deliver his, the Chair would like to request the House to give him a hearing. May we listen to what he has to say. So far as the Chair is concerned, what he is saying is really not controversial. It is historical. That is all it is.

Will you continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, I am grateful.

Mr Speaker, the answer does not lie in apportioning blame but in uniting in finding solutions to various problems such as distribution of inputs, better pay for workers and bringing back professionals, now, washing dishes in Europe and America. We need to unite to flush out bogus co-operatives which are being used to enrich racketeers and depriving genuine members of inputs. We need to support Government efforts to make fertilisers available throughout the year so that farming, not only of maize, can take place in the whole year.

If this is not done, we might as well bid farewell to the Crop Marketing Authority in its infancy. This administration’s desire is to run away from creating crises. These have sponsored crooks and all manner of unscrupulous dealers, cashing in on panicky situations.

Mr Speaker, President Mwanawasa has challenged all Zambians to look anew and examine the roles we have played in developing this country. Some hon. Members fled their 1996 original constituencies, frightened by the constituents who asked them to justify their performance over the last five years. Their new constituencies will suffer similar fate.

There are cries of hunger presently. Mr Speaker, these rumbling stomachs can only be filled when people start serious cultivation. It is the duty of all hon. Members to encourage their members to grow more food. There must be a limit to how much the Government can provide relief food. The areas that were renowned for farming are, now, crying for food. Is it because of lack of inputs? Or lack of rain or that the syndrome of relief food has gripped the nation?

Recently, one hon. Member criticised the concept of registering farmers. Mr Speaker, I beg to disagree. The principle, if adhered to, would eliminate cheats from exploiting the people. At the moment, unscrupulous dealers are cashing in by presenting lists of ghost co-operators. The availability of verifiable lists would ensure that inputs are received by genuine members and distributed by genuinely registered dealers. Through this method, hon. Members would be afforded an opportunity to follow up distribution of inputs and be able to determine production estimates. Further, buyers would know what to expect. There is no honour in perpetual begging.

Allow me, Mr Speaker, to invite hon. Members to visit Chief Chitambo in my constituency, of course, at their own expense. Chief Chitambo’s motto is three meals a day. Unfortunately, this season, there was a problem caused by floods. So, many areas have not produced enough. With normal rainfall, the people of Chief Chitambo will not cry for relief food. They are assured of three meals a day. Let us unite to defeat hunger.

I wish to appeal to hon. Members to get acquainted with financial institutions set up by the State such as RIF, ZAMSIF, BESSIP and HIPC, to name a few, which are meant for development and renovations of schools, clinics, buildings, bridges and so forth. Instead of taking politics to civil servants and public workers, utilise their expertise to explain how these funds could be accessed, applied for and used. Politics will not develop this country neither is the craze for plot one. There is joy in victory as hon. Members from the East would attest to coming in from the cold of the 1996 elections boycott.


Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, I am beginning to enjoy being on the Floor. Now, I understand why the hon. Member for Luena has become wamuyayaya.


Mr Chola: Needless to say, I am appealing to my colleagues from Southern Province not to run to divination as suggested recently by one traditionalist, but look at conservation farming. The reckless cutting of trees for the sake of farming has changed the weather pattern in the area. No sacrifices, no matter how much mealie-meal, if there is any, or libation offered to ancestors, would bring rain. Reforest and rain will come.

Finally, Mr Speaker, to borrow a Nordic adage, no one will learn from experience unless he is already wise.

Mr Speaker, we have experienced a lot in the last thirty-seven years to make a difference now. No amount of frenetic reviews will change the situation. They will remain as they are, rhetoric.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The whole House wants to speak at the same time. We have taken note that the whole House still wants to speak. We will do all we can to accommodate you.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the debate and to second the motion of thanks to the President’s statement to the nation.

But before that, Mr Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to extend my very sincere gratitude to the people of Chongwe, in particular, and the people of Zambia, in general, for the opportunity they have given me to serve them and my country through this august House.

Mr Speaker, I stand before you in the presence of my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to make a pledge of commitment to serve my people and our nation faithfully and honourably.

Equally, Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate you and your Deputy on your re-election to your high offices, and all hon. Members on their election to this House.

On behalf of Senior Chiftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II of the Soli people of Lusaka Province, I wish to welcome you all, Members of Parliament, to Lusaka and to remind you not to forget to pay homage on Her Highness whenever the occasion arises.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: By the way, Her Royal Highness intends to exercise her traditional powers as part of the New Deal. So, Members are reminded to ensure that they do not support Bills which tend to undermine her authority, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … like renaming institutions such as the Lusaka International Airport and the University of Zambia.

Let me, now, turn to the President’s Speech given on Friday, 22nd February, 2002, on the occasion of the Official Opening of the First Session of the Ninth National Assembly.

My understanding, Mr Speaker, is that the President meant only to set an agenda and an objective for the nation. I must say that both the tone and the content of the statement set a clear agenda and what appears to be a new vision for Zambia. I congratulate the President.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: It has been said, Mr Speaker, that it is neither the agenda nor the vision nor the tone of the President’s statement which is important. But rather the implementation and realisation of this objective. It is the end product that, in fact, is important.

Mr Speaker, I agree with this observation. The implementation and realisation of the President’s agenda for the nation depends not only on the political will of the President but also on the overall contribution and participation by the hon. Members of Parliament.

If, indeed, the President’s statement in setting the agenda for the nation is that laudable as heard in this House, then we, as Members of this people’s Assembly owe it to the nation to render our fullest support in ensuring that the agenda is fully implemented and realised. It would be rather meaningless and clearly hypocritical for the House to praise the President’s statement as it has done yet render no support to its implementation.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: The burden is even much more on the opposition Members of the House in ensuring that what has been stated by the President, which we all appear to like, is, in fact, realised. Equally, I wish to give or serve notice to the Government that we shall not support or accept anything which departs from the agenda unless the departure is based on consensus from all the stakeholders. The President’s Speech is the contract that should not be broken.

On the policy issues of the statement, Mr Speaker, yes, we shall support parliamentary reforms as stated by the President. But more than that, Mr Speaker, we shall implement these and more reforms. We are the Parliament and the policy statement on parliamentary reforms concerns us. We need to build an institution that responds to the needs of our people.

May I suggest, without even waiting for initiative of the Executive or the President, that this House, through you, Mr Speaker, immediately sets in motion the implementation of these reforms. If we fail here, we shall not succeed anywhere else.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has had difficulties in committing itself to implementing good governance policies. In fact, it is a matter of record and notorious fact that the previous MMD administration deliberately frustrated this exercise and instead promoted corruption, violation of laws, including indiscipline in Government and suppression and denial of our people’s rights and freedoms. They promoted a questionable electoral process and lost Government’s moral obligation of providing for its people.

Mr Speaker, we shall support constitutional reforms to address and implement good governance for our nation, but more than that we shall insist on complete reforms and the reconstruction of our Republican Constitution. Half measures of expedience have not taken us anywhere. In fact, they have been extremely injurious on our people and to our nation. Good governance is a matter of the Constitution and we must get to the Constitution itself.

Mr Speaker, I get the feeling that previous policy statements on gender have tended to reflect sympathy for women and mothers. The statement by the President in his address on this issue is not different. Women and mothers do not seek sympathy. They seek participation as equal partners as a matter of right. We shall not leave this matter to the political parties as the President is suggesting. We shall instead make laws that address this issue once and for all.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, to achieve a social goal, we must achieve an economic goal. There cannot be sustainable social development without sustainable economic development. We do not need poverty alleviation policies. We need economic development, wealth creation, economic production and job creation policies. This is poverty alleviation. This is the thrust of the ZRP Manifesto. After all, what is poverty, really? Poverty is merely the absence of wealth. Should not a nation rather pre-occupy itself with wealth creation as the only sustainable means of providing for its people and alleviating poverty? Our people are poor not because they lack free social services but because they lack jobs and economic means to provide for themselves. A poor nation, therefore, cannot look after its people.

Presumably, all governments are created to look after and provide for their people qualitatively and affordably, a cost which can only be managed by wealth creation. Governments that have succeeded in qualitative and affordable social development focused on sustainable economic development as a preamble. Therefore, while we support the Government’s policy on free education as we would on free health services, we should remind ourselves and the Government that this is only achievable and sustainable if we also, and as a matter of priority, implement economic development policies. We shall insist on policies that create wealth for our people and our nation as a way of promoting quality, affordable and, where necessary, free social services.

Mr Speaker, the prominence of agricultural policy in the President’s statement is encouraging, especially for hon. Members from rural constituencies like Chongwe Constituency. For most Zambians, agriculture is the only industry. If we truly focused on developing this industry, we could create a paradise for ourselves.

We shall support Government measures which promote the development of agriculture both at rural and commercial levels to bring not only food to our people but to create wealth for them and promote rural development in general. We are hopeful that this year’s Budget will direct its emphasis to the development of agriculture. The President’s statement on agriculture will remain meaningless if it is not supported by adequate financial investment. If the investment were adequate, policies clear and the institutional framework transparent and practical, the return on this investment would be massive and rewarding.

I am mindful, Mr Speaker, of the anxiety in the other hon. Members to contribute to this debate. In any event, there will come a time to discuss the detail of the President’s agenda as we look forward to the Budget presentation tomorrow.

For a long time, our country and our people always appeared to have been served with what appeared to be a big beef sandwich. Each time they took a bite and chewed the sandwich, there was no taste of beef in the sandwich. But they hoped that the next bite would provide the beef. Again, there was no test of beef until the sandwich finished. 


Mrs Masebo: Then they asked, but where is the beef? Yes, let us set policies, let us criticise and debate these policies. But above all, let us implement these resolutions for the common good of our nation.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the speech by the President on the auspicious official opening of the First Session of the Ninth National Assembly.

I thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me this opportunity to present my maiden speech in this House. May I begin by congratulating you, Sir, and your deputy on your successful re-election to your respective positions. May I also congratulate all hon. Members of Parliament on both sides of the House for their successful victories during the December tripartite elections. It is my hope that this National Assembly will work in harmony and enhance national development of this country, an opportunity we have lost for a decade now.

On issues of national development, hon. Members of the House will find in me a dependable colleague. I am not used to complaining. I believe in offering viable alternatives to failed programmes.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the people of Pemba Constituency, most profusely, for voting en mass for me as their representative in this House. I also wish to thank them for voting for the UPND President, Mr Anderson Mazoka, massively.

Mr Speaker, I wish to commiserate with the several parties that contested the tripartite elections in Pemba and thank them for their participation and also for escorting us to victory.


Mr Matongo: My advice to them is that there is always the next time but it has to be worked for. Hopefully, in the new budget we will see constructive capital investment in terms of dilapidated schools, hospitals, roads and various Government infrastructure in most of our constituencies. In Pemba, there is nothing to talk about except for a stretch of a road from Pemba West of about 10 kilometres that was graded during the December 27th Elections. It is our hope that the budget will provide finance for the repair of these infrastructural developments and other things that were ignored by the previous Government. The people of Pemba, who number under a hundred thousand, Sir, were self-sufficient a few years ago in terms of food. They had their cattle roaming all over the hills, valleys and rivers of Pemba. They are all gone and the people of Pemba are, now, hunger-stricken.

Mr. Speaker, it is not with the divine authority of the creator that they are hungry. It is because of policies of the Government of yesterday due to its laissez- faire attitude.

Mr. Speaker, the people of Pemba would like a replenishment of their cattle through cattle finance. They would like to see fertiliser delivered in time. They would like to look after themselves like they did in the late 50s and early 60s.

Mr Speaker, may I further acknowledge the vibrant and well articulated speech which His Excellency the President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., presented at the Official Opening of this House.

However, Sir, he left out two most cardinal issues, in my opinion. Sir, the President gave us a warm-hearted and spirited direction as to which way he wants this country to move in agriculture, commerce, trade and everything that he spoke about. But I suppose he conspicuously left out and, perhaps, deliberately, the important role of a partner in development, that is the role of the media, be it print or electronic. He also ignored the inhibiting tax regime in Zambia.

Mr. Speaker, the MMD Government must show commitment to media reforms. In 1992, the then Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Dipak Patel, initiated very vigorous media reforms and appointed a committee of respectable professionals to handle that issue. Those recommendations were made by the committee to the Government. To date, a decade later, they are gathering dust in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. Unless, Sir, I hear to the contrary from the ebullient, versatile and one and the only one, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Mwaanga, I will hold this view.

Mr. Speaker, there is need to promote a fair press in Zambia. It is very discouraging that a country like ours that claims to be a democracy does not have a freedom of information Act to assist our journalists and members of the public to have access to Government files and information. Information is power, Mr Speaker. This has been done in several countries, including South Africa which only became free and democratic in 1994. We need to have a special amendment to our Constitution that shall provide and guarantee the fundamental freedom of the child, the press and the woman. I know there would be legal debate as to when, why and how this would be done. The time is now.

The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation needs to be transformed into a truly national and public broadcaster which should be answerable to Parliament and not to a Minister who is a political appointee and, I would like to believe, nominated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Matongo: Today, that broadcasting house is truly a propaganda machine for the ruling party and Government. This has to change and change now. Equally, Sir, the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail should be freed from Government control and be commercialised .before being privatised. Our journalists and their respective editorial boards need a break from Government clutches so that their full potential can be realised.

Mr. Speaker, the mouthpiece for Government, through His Honour the Vice-President, should be the Zambia Information Services and such vernacular newspapers as Lukanga, Ngoma, Tsopano, Imbila, Intanda and Liseli that guarantee you sufficient media control which we wish you to use constructively.

Mr. Speaker, once we develop a free press, it will act as a watchdog not only for Government but also for us in the opposition. The press will help institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement Commission in exposing dirty vices in our society without fear or favour.

May I take this opportunity to thank the private media, radio stations and papers led by The Post, The Monitor and many other newspapers for having worked extremely hard to reveal corruption, several scandals and, indeed, lumpen behaviour among our leadership.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them.

Mr. Matongo: Sir, it is this private media that has, in fact, proved the dysfunctionality of the MMD Government for well over ten years now.

Mr Patel: Hanjika.{mospagebreak}

Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, there is also need to make institutions like the Accountant-General’s Office, - and I hope the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is listening - the Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission, Human Rights Commission and the Electoral Commission of Zambia, the Auditor-General’s Office, the Police and Prisons Service Commission accountable to this august House. We need to counter check their work to reduce their abuse by the Government.

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, there is too much concentration of power in the Executive branch of the State as opposed to other organs such as the Legislature and the Judiciary. This defeats the purpose of the much talked about separation of powers which our founding fathers embodied in our original 1964 Constitution. We have separation of powers because our Constitution says so, as amended over the years. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Executive branch, in fact, exercises more powers. These are formal powers enshrined, read and spoken about. But where are they? Are they substantive?


Mr Matongo: Mr Speaker, it is absolutely necessary to deal with this matter and I will not be threatened by comments. Mr. Speaker, may I ask the learned Minister of Legal Affairs to take pro-active action, engage the civil society and review the Constitution. I know, Sir, that reading may be a luxury for most people. Please, refer to the Chona, Mvunga and Mwanakatwe Constitution commissions; and of late, I read Ph. D., theses of Dr. Sondashi where he summarised how best to review this Constitution without harm to anybody. I am merely saying, good job.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matongo: I, therefore, endorse the proposal by many hon. Members of Parliament that hon. Ministers should be appointed from outside Parliament and ratified by this Parliament if only for us, Sir, to stop thinking that they are bootlickers. Further, during elections, vice-presidential candidates, including the current Leader of the House should be made to run as running mates rather than be appointed by the winning presidential candidate. The position of Vice-President must be elective.

Mr Sibetta: Waamba kabotu.


Mr Matongo: This will ensure continuity in future in the governing process of this country and people who like chancing will be prevented from taking power when those who have worked for it, in fact, are being sidelined. I mean no malice, I am merely stating a fact.

Now, Sir, I turn to devolution of power. Devolution of power will increase grassroots participation in the affairs of our country. Today, many people, especially in rural areas have no say in the running of Government. This is why some of us have been proposing that Members of Parliament should be made party to the actual formulation of the national budget before it is actually presented to the House because we are the people’s representatives and are slightly better informed than the people we represent. That fact was acknowledged by the President himself when he said our electors may not have ties and jackets but they know what they want in their constituencies.

Therefore, it becomes important, if not tomorrow, some day in the future, that we get involved in the actual formulation of the budget.

Mr Patel: Next year.

Mr Matongo: I hasten to say that the Government should devolve power to the wards, constituencies, districts and provinces, but without district administrators. Let us not be shy but revert to the district and provincial commissioners who will be appointed by the Public Service Commission and shall be full time civil servants. I have nothing personal against any particular district administrator, it is the way they were appointed; the Third Term bid.

Mr Speaker, in order to achieve this, a revisit of the Constitution with a view to restructuring the power relationships among the three arms of the State becomes urgent and necessary. I believe power must be shared between the Legislature and Judiciary. I notice, Sir, that I am running out of time, but I think I will skip through a few things.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning tomorrow is presenting his budget, and I want to give notice to him that if he does not remove import duties on raw materials, plant and equipment, does not reduce energy costs and if he does not review the various taxes, he will have to contend with a lot of Private Member’s Motions. This country must develop and it can only do so if we forgo some of the taxes that you levy us today. There are taxes such as Direct, Indirect, Insurance, Brokerage, Corporate and many more taxes. We shall give you specifics on this Floor and arguments that will prove why, for instance, you should not continue charging Value Added Tax (VAT) at 17.5 per cent because it is being destructive to the good intentions and ideas of development which you are trying to promote.

Mr Speaker, finally, on the budget, I wish to say that there will be active debate during the budget debate …


Mr Matongo: Please, note, I have a lot of valuable material, particularly for you, Government Members, which I thought I should have brought up but will be brought up in due course.

Finally, Sir, I wish to observe that budgets in Zambia are being balanced in seeking to stabilise the economy at the expense of human development and social production.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Liato (Kaoma): Mr Speaker, first, I wish to join many other speakers who have spoken before me in congratulating you, Sir, and your deputy on your re-election to your respective positions. May I take this opportunity to show appreciation at the good tone of the President’s Speech during the Official Opening of the first Session of the ninth National Assembly.

It is my wish, Sir, that the relevant Government ministries and agencies shall work hard to implement the various contents of the Presidential Speech. It is the first non-partisan speech I have heard in the last ten years. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: For this reason, Mr speaker, I wish to thank the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency President Levy Partrick Mwanawasa, SC., for this new approach to national issues. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank the people of Kaoma Constituency for having elected me, Sir, to this House to represent them. I have no doubt that they made the right choice and I promise to serve them to the best of my ability.

Mr Speaker, I stand here today as a happy man and I thank God to have survived the misery of the last ten years. A decade with a leadership of trickery and vindictiveness characterised by abuse of power …

Mr Speaker: Order!

We, outside the peeping of the public, sat here and dealt with issues, including what is parliamentary and what is unparliamentary language. Words such as ‘trickery’ and ‘vindictiveness’ are not parliamentary.


Mr Speaker: There are less harmless synonyms if the hon. Member wishes to use palatable words. It was not the wish of the Chair to interrupt the hon. Member’s maiden speech but to assist him with the benefit of learning. I hope that, as he proceeds, he will edit words like that in his speech.

Will you continue, please.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, you may pardon me. I come from a trade union background.


Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I am also a sad man that the last ten years have been years of economic and political suffering for the people of Zambia. I want to think that the future will be bright and that the speech to this House by the President means there shall, certainly, be light at the end of the tunnel for many Zambians.

Today, as I speak, there are more questions than answers. For example, one wants to ask about many things we hear and many others. For instance, what is the truth about the K150 million cobalt deal? What is the truth about the US$90 million Meridian saga? Who knows about the sale of ZCCM? Where are the proceeds from the privatisation programme? These and many other questions, Mr Speaker, remain unanswered. Mr Speaker, Members of this House would like these questions answered in due course.

Mr Sichilima: Including Zesco.


Mr Liato: The President spoke very well on agriculture and many other issues pertaining to the welfare of this nation, but I have to comment on two issues. These are education and health. 

On education, Mr Speaker, I wish to add my voice to those who have called for education to be free up to Grade 12 and, thereafter, consider funding those who qualify to the university by way of introducing education schemes or finance programmes to assist the many students who qualify to schools of higher learning but cannot afford the fees so long Government comes up with workable solutions to fund these students and bond them up to the time they have fully repaid the loans.

On health, Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that never in the history of this nation have people lost jobs like in the last ten years. How are these jobless Zambians expected to pay for their medication in hospitals? Will this Government, Mr Speaker, enjoy squeezing money from Zambians who have no incomes at all? A way must be found to help those who cannot fend for themselves. There are those who have attained the age of fifty-five, Mr Speaker, there are also those who fall in the category of miners. These people are either took weak or too tired to gain meaningful employment. It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that it takes care of citizens who cannot take care of themselves. I wish to propose, Mr Speaker, that the Government should work out a clear criterion of meeting expenses of Zambians who are either above retirement age or are miners in order that they are not left to die because they cannot pay for medication.

It is also the responsibility of this Government to take care of certain classes of society like orphans and widows. All these, Mr Speaker, cannot be expected to fend for themselves. Even in the Bible, we are told that orphans and widows were taken care of in the old days. Why then should this country today fail to address the issue of the weak members of its society?

Mr Speaker, the President in his speech has a vision to realise a Zambian dream. On page 9 of his speech, he says, and I quote:

‘The men and women elected to this House have a great and solemn responsibility to facilitate the achievement of the Zambian dream. A dream where every Zambian has a decent living – free of all hardships, poverty, crime and ill-health.’

This dream, Mr Speaker, will not come true if we do not do away with careless forms of expenditure such as the infamous and much hated slush fund. Mr Speaker, slush fund is not a good system and I would like to propose that it be thrown to the political archives of this country and it should never be remembered again. It creates a culture synonymous with that of the late African president in the neighbourhood, Mobutu of Zaire, that only one man has pockets full of money and can give who ever he pleases at any time. 


Mr Liato: This is, surely, not the right way to manage national affairs. 

Allow me now, Mr Speaker, to comment on the issue of district administrators. The office of district administrator was created by one man. The former President, Dr Chiluba, not for the good of this nation, but simply to perpetrate his appetite for an endless stay in power via the third term. Members of this House are aware how this country was taken to a very unnecessary debate, almost to a point of amending the Constitution only to allow one man to continue being in office, but we know that the debate is over. It has, therefore, become irrelevant to have these offices which were created for a specific purpose when the purpose has flopped. There would be no point to continue maintaining these offices. They are nothing but an area of financial drain.

Mr Speaker, the office of district administrator is a political one. Unfortunately, in our case, it has taken a political role which is partisan. I can give an example of a person who is a district administrator and is also holding office as Copperbelt MMD Provincial Youth Chairman. There are many other examples we can give but for purposes of my speech, Mr Speaker, this office of district administrator has expenses which could be channeled to other productive areas of our economy or the social sector like education and health. I wish to urge the President to scrap this position of district administrator and channel resources to education and health.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: In any case, they add no economic value to this country. 

Mr Speaker, under the topic ‘governance’, in the President’s Address to this House, I was glad to hear his commitment that the New Deal administration was anxious to act on various reports by the Auditor-General. The President said on page 18, and I quote:

‘Why have an Auditor-General if his reports are, in the main, ignored? This inertia, Mr Speaker, has the unfortunate effect of encouraging theft, corruption and abuse of office in the Public Service. This phenomenon has no room in the New Deal.’

Mr Sichilima: Tell us about Zesco.

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I am in possession of the Auditor-General’s report on Zesco.

Mr Speaker, the last ten years have witnessed an increase in the number of unpaid retirees from all walks of life. The current Government has a duty to provide a reliable social security scheme capable of paying retirement benefits on time as well as meaningful monthly earnings to former permanent and pensionable employees who should not find themselves in destitution soon after retirement.

Mr Speaker, the employment policy of the former regime has subjected many Zambian workers, both in the Government and the private sector, to untold misery. I recommend that the New Deal administration introduces a new employment policy which will seek to eliminate the current slave wages and salaries the Zambian workers have been receiving and introduce normal working hours as approved by the International Labour Organisations (ILO). There are some private investors, Mr Speaker, who are subjecting many Zambians to long working hours contravening the International Labour Organisation regulations on numbers of working hours. The Government should widen the tax base so that there should be relief on the few workers in the formal sector. 

Mr Speaker, today, the Zambian workers in the formal sector are just in the range of well over 250,000 but they are being taxed to take care of the social service requirements of over ten million people. I think that it is the responsibility of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to come up with a system which spreads this tax to many other classes of Zambian citizens. This would give relief to workers in the formal sector. 

Mr Speaker, we must stop the abuse of workers by employers such as those who engage in stripping of workers naked at the time of knocking off to catch those who are suspected to have stolen from their shops. This, Mr Speaker, is very inhuman treatment and our laws must check on these kinds of investors. There is need to harmonise the rights and obligations of both investors and Zambian employees in the interest of our country.

Last but not the least, I would like to add my voice to many others who have spoken before me to call for the amendment of the Zambian Constitution. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, I call for a complete repeal of the Zambian Constitution and not by way of review commissions but by assembling stakeholders in the nation such as the church, civil society, members of political parties, lawyers, business community, trade unions and many other persons and groups of persons. I would like us to exhaust ways possible for this House to allow for a formation of a constituent assembly for this purpose, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: … so that Zambians are given an opportunity to write a new Constitution that would stand the test of time.

Mr Speaker, I come from Kaoma Central Constituency. I would like to end by quickly elaborating the various problems my constituency is experiencing. The first of them all is hunger. The people of Kaoma are hungry amidst vast soils with potential for agriculture and good rain. In Kaoma, people are hungry because Kaoma as a district has been neglected. The first problem you find is the road from Lusaka to Western Province which is impassable. You will spend eight to nine hours to reach Kaoma when one can reach Kaoma within three and half hours. There is a distance of 76 kilometres between Kaoma and Kalumwange. That distance takes not less than four and half hours because of its bad state. The people who live there are cut off from the main boma. 

Kaoma is still on thermal-driven electricity. Mr Speaker, I would like to urge that Kaoma be connected to the national grid to enhance agriculture in the area. Kaoma has no banking facility because the environment is not conducive for business to take place. No one will go and invest in a place, Mr Speaker, which has not banking facility.

Finally, I would like to thank the independent newspapers, The Post, the Monitor, Today Newspaper and many others for having stood very firm and for being there for Zambia when Zambia was under ten years of a defacto one-party State. They have done us pride. 

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Before I call on the next contributor, I would like to appeal to the House to listen very carefully to what the hon. Members who have spoken before them have said to avoid repeating what has already been said. There is a standing order against tedious repetitions. One example of such repetitions is the issue of ‘district administrators’. I believe that the Government has taken note of this and they will follow it up since a number of you have spoken about it.

There has been a great deal of contributions on the amendments to the Constitution. That, I believe, has registered quite well and the Government will comment accordingly. Note the use of the word ‘regime’. Although in its Latin derivation it is actually a good word, its current political usage has become bad.


Mr Speaker: It refers to an illegitimate Government. I believe all of you who are active politicians agree that this is not the case in Zambia. The Chair does not wish to enter into your debate but just to guide. The correct words to use are either ‘Government’ or ‘administration’. 

Mr Chitalu Malama Sampa (Kalulushi): Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on your election as Speaker of this august House together with your deputy. This is a job well done by the hon. Members of this august House.

Secondly, I would like to congratulate and thank the President for his wonderful speech delivered to this House. I think the contents of that speech will be respected. The policy statements in the speech should be implemented and supported by all of us. Mr Speaker, if in this House we simply support the speech by saying good words without supporting it physically when the ideas are being implemented, then the compliments and, indeed, the appreciation of the speech will have come to nothing.

I, therefore, appeal to all hon. Members of this House to support the implementation of the wonderful suggestions and ideas in the President’s Speech.

Thirdly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues in Kalulushi Constituency who voted for me and the President and, indeed, the councillors overwhelmingly. I can assure you that the support for the President and MMD in Kalulushi is fantastic.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Silwamba: No other party!

Mr Chitalu Malama Sampa: I would, therefore, through this House, extend my sincere thanks to the district committee, constituency and the branch officials and more importantly to the voters themselves because they came in big numbers to vote for the President, the councillors and myself.

Mr Speaker, one of the most important subjects which the President raised was agriculture. We must realise that we shall continue discussing agriculture because it is the cornerstone of our development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitalu Malama Sampa: If we cannot do that, I think, we will be misled into making mistakes and will continue to cry for subsidies from the Government. It is not the intention of the people to receive subsidies. It is shameful that we are asking for handouts from the Government. This is a terrible situation. As Zambians, we must produce and feed ourselves and give chance to commercial farmers to produce something that can be sold outside the country. But for local consumption, it is us who are supposed to produce food for our families.

Mr Speaker, I listened very carefully when some of my colleagues on the other side talked about borrowing the contents of their manifestos and that the President used their language. It is not true. The MMD manifesto includes all that the President said. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitalu Malama Sampa: He talked about agriculture which is one of the most important tools in our manifesto, as I have already explained. Education and many other things are in our manifesto. After all, some of the opposition political parties in this House have no manifestos. Those who have just borrowed ideas from the MMD Manifesto.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, a number of colleagues from the opposition have been complaining about the poor management of the MMD and that there is hunger in the country because of MMD’s bad policies. I think that they should understand and evaluate situations. We all understand that for more than ten to fifteen years, this country has suffered tremendously because of too much rainfall and droughts.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah, no!

Hon. Government Members: Yes, point!

Mr Chitalu Malama Sampa: Do not forget so easily. When we have more than enough rainfall in the country, the crops are completely washed away …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Chitalu Malama Sampa: When business was suspended, I was trying to advance a point on rainfall patterns and droughts in our country. Sir, I was saying that when these unfortunate situations occur, they bring a lot of problems to the people of Zambia. For this reason, I hope that some means will be found immediately so that when there is such a situation, we are able to sustain the lives of the people in our country. People must be reminded that when there is too much rain, crops are washed away. The Government has no control over natural phenomenon. 

All the blame is heaped on the MMD Government under former President Chiluba. Having been one of the Ministers in that Government, I am obliged to reply to some of the issues. I am positively sure that my colleagues in the Front Bench will also come to the rescue of the former President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitalu Malama Sampa: Mr Speaker, despite droughts, the people of Kalulushi have sent me to this House to report that they do not want handouts but demarcation of land in their area. Most of the land in Kalulushi is full of trees and plantations. People are living in plantations where they cannot produce as much food as they can to feed their families. Therefore, I am asking the Government of the Republic of Zambia to …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitalu Malama Sampa: It is important to demarcate land so that people are given title deeds to the pieces of land they own so that they will be assured of staying there for longer periods. They agree that they can produce but they are not sure whether they will stay there forever. Some years back, when people settled in protected areas, the police and forest rangers used to disperse them and even went to the extent of imprisoning them. The people do not know whether they should continue producing in the places which they say they have occupied illegally. Therefore, it is important for the Government to look into this matter seriously.

Mr. Speaker, I have already pointed out that I was one of the Ministers in the Chiluba Government which is being hammered left and right. Words like ‘notorious Government’ and other similar words are being used to describe the Chiluba Government. This is very unfortunate and disappointing.


Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: Sir, I would like to appeal to this House that such kind of contributions will antagonise the two groups; that is, the opposition and the ruling party.


Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: Hon. Patel, listen. What is important is for us to narrow the gap which is at the moment wide. If we do so, we shall be one of the most important and strongest Parliaments in the SADC Region. Levelling accusations at each other will not get us anywhere. Many things have been said that the Government has failed and that in the ten years we were in power there is nothing that was done. This is a sweeping statement which, of course, cannot be accepted by the people of Zambia because they saw what happened.

I remember, very well, in 1992 when we had a terrible drought, particularly in the Southern Province. I went to tour the province and saw exactly what was happening. It was a very sad story. When I came back, I reported to the authority and the Ministers who were there at that time did all they could and the Government started sinking boreholes in Southern Province and I think up to this time, there are many borehores there than in any part of Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: The reason is that the Government of the day was concerned about the lives and plight of the people. Today, people are saying that there is absolutely nothing that the Chiluba Government did in ten years. It is unfortunate.

The situation in 1990 and before was pathetic. Roads had completely gone, schools terribly managed, there was not even panadol in hospitals and there was nothing in shops. It is only this time that we are talking about markets. There were no bus company but only one that was called United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ) to service the whole country. Only one bus was operating. But, Sir, today, there is abundance of transport.

Mr. Sikatana: Double-deckers.

Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: Yes, there were double-deckers. My colleague has just reminded me.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: The buses you see today are operating in the country. If they go outside, they are hired specifically for a certain group of people. Our people are travelling comfortably and can board any bus they like and at any time.

On promises, Sir, it is important to remind each other that when we are campaigning, we do not have to tell people that if you elect me to Parliament, I will make a road, bridge and other things, those are false promises. Sir, when we come here, we say the Government must do that and yet when we were campaigning we said, I will bring bridges.


Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: Why do you ask the Minister of Works and Supply? It must be you to go back and say, ‘I have, now, come back to build the bridge, as I promised’.


Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: Mr. Speaker, there are so many private papers which can write anything against anybody because of the efforts of the MMD to bring press freedom.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: Mr. Speaker, in 1964, when we attained independence, nobody was free, the country was under a state of emergency and this went on up to 1990 and 1991 when the MMD took power. This is a fact; nobody was talking as you are doing now.


Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: All we used to say was ‘Your Excellency the father of the nation, we are going to do everything’, and this included managers.


Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: That was the language those people used.


Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: Today, we have freedom yet we are saying the MMD did nothing. We have to be fair, dear colleagues. Finally, I would like to say that even when we differ, we should not destroy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. L L Phiri: Like was the case in the last ten years.

Mr. Chitalu Malama Sampa: Mr. Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Speaker: Order!

Well, the hon. Member for Kalulushi has set the tone. It is clear to the Chair that the House, now, needs to hear answers to the many issues that have been raised since Tuesday. I am aware that there are so many hon. Members who would like to contribute but they should not despair. Hold on to the draft maiden speeches. There will still be an opportunity to make your speeches following the Budget Address. At this point, unless the Executive members are not ready, we would like to hear what they have to offer in terms of interim answers to the issues that have been raised so far.

I will call on one or two more Members to contribute while the Government bench is preparing itself.

Miss Nawa (Mandevu): Mr. Speaker, let me take this opportunity to congratulate you and the Deputy Speaker on your re-election as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of this unique House to deliberate on the issues that affect the people of Zambia.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President, Mr. Levy Mwanawasa, SC., on his speech. 

His speech depicts him as a true son of Zambia who is concerned with the lives of the Zambians. I pray that all that he articulated in the speech will be implemented so as to make Zambia prosperous.

Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate all Members of Parliament on successfully winning the elections. I wish them the best as they serve the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I wish to pay special tribute to the church and the people of Mandevu Parliamentary Constituency who worked hard and sacrificed much in order to get me to this august House. I would like to assure them of my unswerving commitment to work together with them in order for us to accomplish our vision and goals to make Mandevu a better place to live in.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawa: Mr Speaker, let me address myself to the following topics raised by the President. He said that his administration would endeavour to promote the rule of law in which citizens are governed by laws and not by the whims of men. I believe this will start with MMD cadres who have occupied markets and bus stations, harassing women who operate in these facilities and depriving our councils of revenues which are supposed to assist them. 

I also hope that this will reduce beer drinking in our markets and residential areas. Night clubs operate within the middle of compounds without caring about effects on children living around such places.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Members: You were mayor!

Miss Nawa: Attempts by the councils to stop the trend has lamentably failed because these night club owners have big shots behind them. Liquor licences are indiscriminately given without checking on the premises. Officers have stopped caring about the lives of the people.

Mr Speaker, it is shameful that in this country people get drunk as early as 0600 hours and you wonder what time they work. This has impacted badly on our children and the youth who start drinking at a very early age.

Mr Speaker, the Government spent huge sums of money to rehabilitate the Inter-City Bus Station to modern standards. The Lusaka City Council’s efforts to close illegal bus stations have been met with injunctions which are languishing in the courts without being attended to, while bus owners enjoy operating at the cost of the council rendering it ineffective.

Mr Speaker, I believe the rule of law will go a long way to address many issues that are affecting our country so as to bring back sanity to our nation. 

I appreciate the President’s concern for Members of Parliament to have offices. At the moment, we are like briefcase businessmen walking around looking for where to sit and draft letters or write our maiden speeches.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawa: Many useful materials which we collect from Parliament which could be shared with the electorate are left lying around in our homes because of lack of offices.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawa: Sir, on decentralised administration, budgeting contributions coming from the people by using the bottom-up system should be taken into account. The Budget should be a people’s budget. Meaning it should have an input from our people. This will allow people to speak on development and say what they want in their areas.

Mr Speaker, Central Government without strong local governance will not succeed. Local authorities serve all the categories of people from the poorest to the richest. Hence, they should be well-funded for them to be able to deliver services that they are required to do.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawa: Local authorities are responsible for water and sanitation, roads, solid waste management, disease prevention, recreation and many more other matters which are close to the lives of people.

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the New Deal Government to make the work of councils effective by sufficiently funding them to help them pay off the retrenchees The other alternative is to take over their debts and give them a new beginning in the New Deal Government.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawa: At the same time, the Government should strengthen them by employing professionals and providing them with strong monitoring systems and, also, by subjecting them to audits by the Auditor-General.

Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the President for appointing all the MMD women who won the elections as Cabinet and Deputy Ministers.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawa: It is true that women make 50.7 per cent of the population but we have not been given equal opportunities in the decision-making positions even during the time of elections. Men are always assisted by the public while women are not. Women are always called all sorts of names and labels by men who stand against them. Women lack resources like transport which are needed for campaigns.

Mr Speaker, I have a strong belief that if more women came to Parliament and were put in decision-making positions to work side by side with male counterparts, there would be great change in our country. Cases of corruption would be reduced. I urge the New Deal Government to come up with a deliberate policy on increasing the number of women in Parliament like their counterparts in Tanzania where a specific number of seats is reserved for women in Parliament.

Mr Speaker, poverty is a great enemy of the people, now, and the Government must do all it can to address this. Many people go without food, clothing, clean water, education and medicines because they cannot afford. Mr Speaker, this is very serious. Some of our people are told to go for a chest x-ray costing about K5,000 and they simply cannot afford it. They just sit and wait for their death.

It is disheartening to see people die because they have no food. Sometimes, you wonder: where is our Government? Corruption has caused so much pain to our people because few people have made themselves rich with national resources at the expense of Zambians. I urge the New Deal Government to declare hunger a national disaster.

Mr Speaker, I have seen HIPC money used to repair roads and the people deployed to repair these roads are unprofessional. Again, another waste of money. I appreciate our Zambian contractors but I would like to appeal to the Government to allow the Roads Department or councils to supervise contractors so that the repair of roads is professionally done in order to appreciate the value of HIPC money. Otherwise, it is not worth it.

Mr Speaker, I commend the policies which have been put in place for agriculture but I would like to urge the Government to encourage people in towns and cities to own small holdings so that during the rainy seasons, they can go and farm and only come back after harvest. This will enable them to have enough food to feed on and this, in turn, will reduce the price of mealie-meal and increase food security.

Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Lands to avail small-holdings to the people who live in towns and cities. Sir, we should not force people to go back to the land but to encourage them to own farming land so as to allow them to be productive. Most of the people in towns are not working. Help them to do farming instead of spending time drinking and chatting.

Mr Speaker, ways and means of producing organic manure must be encouraged and exploited. More research should be done into farming methods. Chemical fertiliser has proved destructive to the soil if it is often used. Today, we cannot export vegetables grown with chemical fertiliser because they are not healthy.

Mr Speaker, I urge the Government to move with the world and look into issues of improving our agriculture by using the latest methods. Sir, I would, also, like to appeal to the Government to look into the plight of farmers who lost their cattle through cattle diseases. Financing schemes must be introduced to help farmers replenish their cattle so as to enhance the beef industry.

Mr Speaker, I wish to say that the Government should introduce income-generating projects in order to improve the lives of the Zambians by increasing Constituency Funds for people to do micro-projects.

With regard to health, I totally agree with the doctors who went on strike in 2001 because of lack of medicines and equipment. It is not fair for a doctor to watch patients die because of lack of medicines and equipment. Many of our resources have been spent on sending Ministers abroad at the cost of buying medicines and equipment for our hospitals. If Ministers and other people shun away from our hospitals, it means that there is something wrong. I think it is a wise thing to correct the situation so that none of us fly away for treatment abroad. Zambia has highly qualified doctors who can handle any medical case. That is why they have been accepted internationally.

Mr Speaker, the Government should come up with special clinics for women and children in order to fight many diseases that attack women such as cancer of the cervix, breast cancer, and so on. In other words, we need a cancer centre for regular checking instead of waiting to be tested when the disease has spread.

Mr Speaker, we have also children who are born with deformity and these lack special treatment and are left to be cared for by Cheshire Homes. I would like to pay special tribute to the Catholic Sisters who are doing this noble job and they need to be assisted by the Government by building hospitals and homes for these children.

Mr Speaker, I would like to quote from the Bible, Hosea 4:6 which says: ‘My people are perishing because of lack of knowledge.’ Education is very important in our society. I would like to state that to give a child education up to Grade 7 does not solve our problem of fighting illiteracy. A child of Grade 7 is only, in some cases, 12 to13 years old and left without school is disastrous. The Government should come up with free education up to Grade 12. At that time, he or she would be 17 or 18 years and can either go to university or college or join the informal sector. It is not true to say all our children qualify to go to secondary school. Let the Government do away with Grade 7 Examinations and give bursaries to children going to secondary school up to Grade 12. Sir, the President should review the policy on education.

Mr Speaker, the President did not touch on the plight of the youth of this country. Youth have been left out in the cold without employment. Trades training institutes have not increased. Companies and industries where they can be employed have been closed and recreation centres for our youths and children have been totally destroyed. Pieces of land which were left by councils for recreation and schools have been illegally occupied. This has left our youths with no alternative but to indulge themselves in beer drinking and the use of illicit drugs. Obviously, the result of this are HIV/AIDS and crime which have had severe consequences on our youths.

Mr Speaker, we need future leaders and these leaders should come from our youths. I urge the New Deal Government to address the plight of our youths without discrimination.

Mr Speaker, HIV/AIDS has been a problem for most of our people who have lost their beloved ones to this epidemic. It is not strange in our societies to see old people looking after their grandchildren. Hence, the problem of street children.

Mr Speaker, it is not necessary to build orphanages and street children camps in our midst. Zambians are very well known for their goodwill and extended families but what has hindered this is the poor economy of our nation which has left households with nothing thus rendering parents to fail even to look after their own children.

Mr Speaker, I want to urge the New Deal Government to conduct surveys and see how extended families can be encouraged, especially those looking after orphans, by subsiding them. This will help orphans to grow in a good environment rather than subjecting them to camps. The Ministry of Community Development Social Welfare would monitor the upbringing of the orphans who are living wit extended families.

Mr Speaker, cheap medicines should be provided to all AIDS patients and all home-based care should be supported financially and materially. All institutions and NGOs that are involved in AIDS programmes must be fully supported by Government. The Government must not tire in carrying out campaigns against AIDS. We all understand the economic effects of HIV/AIDS in our nation. Mr Speaker, I would like to urge all Members of Parliament to join the Government in the fight against HIV/AIDS by leading exemplary lives.

Sir, before I conclude, I would like to commend and thank our men and women in uniform for their hard work in protecting our nation under very difficult conditions.

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge all the people of Zambia to rally behind His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawa: …in fighting corruption which has ravaged our economy rendering our beloved country Zambia classified as a Highly Indebted Poor Country, in short, HIPC. We are ashamed of this status.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is adorned and richly blessed by God’s good hand with land, minerals, water and natural resources. All we lacked were leaders with hearts of flesh. Leaders with hearts of stones did not care about Zambians. In this New Deal Government, we need leaders who love and recognise Zambia as their only home and put Zambia first in all their endeavours.

Mr Speaker, I am glad that His Excellency the President said in his speech, and I quote:

‘In the New Deal we shall be committed to protect and promote Zambian national interests.’

I pray that he will live by his pledge to the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haakaloba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for recognising my presence in the House. I would like to take this opportunity, Sir, to join my colleagues who have spoken before me in congratulating you and your deputy on your deserved re-election to your positions of high responsibility and honour as you continue to guide this august House with impartiality throughout our debates and, indeed, the entire legislative procedure.

Mr Speaker, the election to Parliament of all Members of this august House was a colossus to most of us in monetary and other terms. To all my colleagues gathered here from all political parties, including the independent Member, I offer my sincere and heartfelt congratulations on their well-earned victory.

My most profound gratitude, however, goes to the people of Magoye Parliamentary Constituency who, so graciously, offered me this rare opportunity of representing them in Parliament, given that there were six of us vying for the same position. To them, my message is that though we, as UPND, are not in Government today as they would have wished, I will stand on the same principles which we promised. That is, to serve the people on the basis of the UPND national development vision for Zambia. This vision is centred around creating a united and prosperous Zambia with equal opportunities across ethnic, tribal, religious and gender consideration with all citizens living together in harmony and contributing freely to the sustainable development of their country until Zambians can, once again, walk with their heads high.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haakaloba: Mr Speaker, in the President’s Speech, during the Official Opening of the First Session of the Ninth National Assembly, the Republican President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., on 22nd February, 2002, asked among other questions:

(a)    Whether we remembered what we promised the people during our election campaigns;
(b)    Whether we have the mechanisms in place to deliver on those promises; and
(c)    Whether we have strategies and mechanisms in place of how we would go back to the people in our constituencies to report on progress being made or difficulties we are encountering in delivering on our promises.

Mr Speaker, the President provided answers to the above questions. He promised his administration unwavering commitment to the promotion and advancement of the interests of Zambia and its citizens in all aspects of our national life. My problem with such promises arises from the fact that what leaders say today is usually the exact opposite of what they do tomorrow. We all remember the beautifully worded promises of the new culture administration. Did the new culture administration not take the people of Zambia backwards as soon as their poverty met with cash? Did the new culture administration not fail to distinguish between personal and public property and resources despite being called doctors of something and engineers of something else? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Haakaloba: Did their propensity for money not cause great misery to many of the Zambian people through closures of public, financial and other institutions?

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Haakaloba: Oh yes, they did. We all are alive to the fact that the proceeds of the national privatisation programme remain unaccounted for to date.

Mr Speaker, I dare challenge the New Deal administration of President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa to show that they will not fall in the same trap as their forerunner administration. The theme: ‘continuity with change’ should not entail continuity in plundering of public resources.

Mr Speaker, instead of President Mwanawasa criticising the dress code of this House by discouraging the wearing of jackets and neck ties, he should be less petty and address more serious issues like reducing his motorcade and stop the politics of appeasement as manifested in the large number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers whose emoluments will gobble a huge chunk of the national Budget at the expense of the poor Zambians. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haakaloba: These are not issues one can take lightly.

Furthermore, I know that a blackout on administrators will not affect me since we are traditional cousins. Let me mention that district administrators are not in the interest of most of the Zambians as has been stated by my colleagues. It is common knowledge that the Office of District Administrator was meant to facilitate the Third Term scheme. If this scheme is not being pursued by the New Deal administration on behalf of its party President, then that position must go forthwith. 

Qualified district chief officers are capable of delivering quality services to the people of Zambia without the interference of such irrelevant operators as district administrators. The Executive cannot stop the brain drain and failure to attract and retain trained personnel if on the other hand they insist on paying untrained district administrators better remuneration than qualified section heads of Government departments who are employed in the Civil Service proper. In most cases, the district administrators turn out to be saboteurs whose high positions are only used to intimidate genuine workers and exploit innocent citizens.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer.

Mr Haakaloba: Examples abound where district administrators are exploiting the shortage of mealie-meal by buying all the mealie-meal and reselling it later at a higher price.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame.{mospagebreak}

Mr Haakaloba: Mr Speaker, let me, now, turn to the issue of agriculture in Magoye. Magoye is one of the three constituencies in Mazabuka District. May I add, the sweetest District in Zambia. It is traditionally agricultural. The keeping of cattle is one of the main pre-occupations. If you went to Magoye today, you would either shed tears or drop to the ground when you see the situation on the ground. 

My colleague who spoke earlier talked about having drilled so many bore holes in Magoye. In Magoye today, you still have people drawing unclear and unclean water from the Magoye River. The people in Chivuna still draw water from the sands of Kanvule River. If these situations are ideal in certain areas, they are unacceptable in Magoye.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haakaloba: The deliberate creation of crisis management in agriculture by the MMD has made Zambia a mealie meal Republic. Pamela used to be a girl’s name before. Today, it means a small pack of maize meal. 


Mr Haakaloba: This is shameful given the fact that prior to the MMD new culture administration, Magoye was the source of much of Zambia’s grain. Maize collection depots existed in many villages from Mwanachingwala, Kalama, Munenga, Ngwezi Resettlement Scheme, Chivuna, Nkonkola, Haanzala, Namaila and Meezi. The Crop Marketing Authority being established by the kulibonesha ta administration should ensure that crop collection centres …

Mr Speaker: Order! Will the hon. Member use the terms which the whole House will understand. Will he explain what that phrase means.


Mr Haakaloba: I am sorry, Mr Speaker, but the phrase kulibonesha ta means showing off.


Mr Haakaloba: I do not want to go beyond that explanation.

Sir, allow me to continue by urging the New Deal administration to ensure that crop collection centres are re-activated, especially that the peasant farmer has, now, been promised an all round supply of agricultural inputs. 

Sir, the people of Zambia are not lazy. They will produce their own food as they have done in the past, especially with Government support. On the whole, the President ‘s Speech if followed by serious implementation strategies on the part of the Executive and with the support of all us in the opposition, will bring to the Zambian people their expected and their overdue dream of national development.

Owing to the fact that my colleagues have talked about the same subjects in their constituencies, allow me, Mr. Speaker, to only dwell on the need for a road in Magoye constituency. I am saying a road because it is only one road. The road in Magoye Constituency, Sir, runs from Magoye town to Chivuna through Nkonkola to Hanzala up to Chikankata Constituency. The need for this road, Sir, is crucial given the fact that Chikankata is the only hospital that the people in my constituency can count on, especially, now, with the deadly HIV/AIDS. I know that if the Minister of Health were to travel with me to Namaila today, he would see that the clinic is not only closed, it has been permanently locked for the past 7 years. Is that not a shame?

Hon opposition Members: Shame!

Mr. Haakaloba: If the people of Magoye Constituency are to contribute to national development, then I have the second part of the road, Sir, which runs from Chimwaikila through Itebe to Mwanachingwala turn-off on the main road, that is Livingstone/Lusaka Road. Magoye Constituency, Sir, only has that one road but, up to today, whenever it rains, you still get stuck on the road. I would like to appeal to the New Deal Government to seriously look at the possibility of making this road an all weather road.

Thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Legal Affairs (Mr Kunda): Mr Speaker, let me begin by congratulating you and your deputy on your deserved re-elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, your re-election came about in a democratic and transparent manner …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: … and in accordance with the Standing Orders of this august House. There is no doubt, Sir, that this House will benefit from your experience and impartial discharge of duties. New Members like ourselves will benefit a lot from your wide experience.

Mr Speaker, I also take this opportunity to sincerely thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., for nominating me, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: …, yes, for validly and properly nominating me and appointing me as Minister of Legal Affairs. I feel privileged to be given the honour to contribute to the process of law making, particularly in view of my profession as a legal practitioner.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, in contributing to the Motion of Thanks, I will start by emphasising what appears to be the consensus in this House that the President’s Speech contained ideas, programmes and policies which have rekindled people’s hopes. Thus, almost every hon. Member, properly directing him/herself, has welcomed the speech as a progressive step in the right direction.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: However, the salient features of the speech which are closer to my heart are those issues touching on the rule of law and law reform.

The new administration is committed to the advancement of the rule of law and law reform. Sir, the theme of the New Deal administration is continuity with change and it is this change which will guide us in the new administration. What about law reform? In the area of law reform, I might acknowledge that successes were also scored by the previous administration …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: … in the last ten years and a lot of new pieces of legislation were passed during this period and this is on record. Indeed, some of the hon. Members, now, in the opposition were part of these successes.

Of course, there are some pieces of legislation which have been criticised and mistakes could have been made. However, good laws were also enacted. Mr Speaker, the new administration views the process of law reform as a continuing process. The new administration will continue with the law reform process from where the previous administration left and apply the term of continuity with change.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Currently, there are proposals in my ministry from various stakeholders for reforms. We shall continue to attend to this on a continuous basis. Mr. Speaker, it is gratifying to note that our reform-minded President, His Excellency, Mr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, in his speech, specifically pronounced the following areas as requiring law reform or new legislation, that is replacing the Food Reserve Agency constituted under the Food Reserve Act chapter 225 with the Crop Marketing Authority and review of the investment laws to provide for better incentives for both Zambian and foreign investors. The emphasis in the new legislation will be on empowering Zambians. We also intend to review and reform aviation laws in order to revamp the aviation industry so as to meet the challenges of the liberalised industry. Further, we will enact new legislation to establish the HIV/AID/STD/TB council to deal with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. More law reform will be required in the cause of implementing the various ideas and programmes contained in the speech.

Mr Speaker, the current composition of this House is very fertile for cross-pollination of ideas and, therefore, ideal for the process of law reforms. Indeed, hon. Members of this august House continue to make suggestions and recommendations for law reforms. That is how it should be. You should continue to make suggestions and recommendations to your Government.

Hon Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Constructive suggestions which may lead to the enactment of laws that will stand the test of time are welcome. After all, it is the wish of every hon. Member to pass good laws.

However, a word of caution. We should not oppose intended or existing laws just because we are in the opposition. We should support a law if it is good not withstanding that it is proposed or was enacted by the Government.

Zambia being a young nation, hon. Members of this House, naturally, have to make wide ranging suggestions for law reform and my Government will consider them. What about the famous subject of constitutional review? Mr Speaker, this is a very important subject. A lot has been said and continue to be said about this particular subject, but I must emphasise that Zambia is not short of materials on this subject. We have had constitutional review commissions set before and I can mention the Chona, Mvunga and Mwanakatwe Commissions. These commissions were set up at great cost to the nation and their recommendations are still there.

In addition, people still continue to make suggestions on various aspects of the Constitution. Democracy in Zambia is in its process of development hence, the people have a lot of suggestions and imaginations on how they would like their Constitution to be.

Hon. Members of this august House have also made various suggestions for constitutional review. Sir, my Government will take the initiative on the issue of constitutional review. In this regard, I will, in due course, table this issue before Cabinet ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: … for them to decide on what form the constitutional review should take.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, mind you, this is a New Deal Government. There is the issue of recovery of debt owed to the Government and the President, in his speech, did touch on this important subject. This task falls under my ministry. The debt collection department in my ministry will be tasked to recover the debts owed to FRA.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kunda: However, the efforts of my department, which is currently understaffed, will be augmented by private law firms in the recovery effort.

Finally, we should work together for the development of our common constituency, Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Communications and Transport (Mr Mwape): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the rare honour and privilege for me to stand before this august House to contribute to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Speech delivered to this august House by His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., on Friday, 22nd February, 2002.

By way of this maiden speech, permit me, Sir, to embrace the thundering voices of congratulations, good will, well wishes and encouragement being conveyed by this august House in recognition of yours and your deputy’s victorious ascension to your positions of distinctive honour and privilege.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwape: Your election, Sir, was, indeed, an election of excellence and deserved distinction free of corruption and rigging.

Hon. Opposition Members: There was.

Mr Mwape: This can be witnessed to by both doubting Zambians and Gentile nations. As I reflected on your election, Sir, I feared for the kind of psychological ordeal and anguish you were subjected to as a result of the tough campaign language normally used by the people with dissenting political views so as to make their ever weak positions sound strong and convincing. Fortunately, I took counsel and refugee in the fact that when the goings get tough, toughies get going. Toughies got going indeed! Witnessed by all in this august House without exception. I am sure this also happened to the hon. Members sitting on the opposite side during their election campaigns. It is a truism, Sir, that we were all subjected to a real run for our money during our campaign trails.

Mr Speaker, this is as it should be if quality leadership is to eventually dawn in our society. Mr Speaker, one cannot help but feel let down when day in, day out we bemoan the quality of service delivery which, in my view, is a direct consequence of mediocre leadership in the management of resources since the dawn of political independence in 1964, …

Mr Sibetta: Were you there?

Mr Mwape:  Yes I was there.

This, unfortunately, brought out a new and confused culture of blame apportioning amongst interest political stakeholders, thereby deliberately creating a fallacious impression in the minds of the unsuspecting public that any one who is opposing is better than the Government, even when such dissenting views are coming from the people who, just recently, were themselves yielding power which they are still yearning for and are directly responsible for the much talked about social rot in society, that is corruption, maladministration, inept management and leadership and drug trafficking. These become …

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

Mr Mwape: … heroes/heroines and angels immediately upon crossing the Floor of this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them.

Mr Mwape: Mr Speaker, let me submit that sin is sin whether committed by an angel or the most hated satan! 

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them.

Mr Mwape: If it is corruption for those of us in the Executive or ruling party to use Government resources, it is equally ungodly to lobby for funding from external forces for non-existent NGO projects ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear1

Mr Mwape: … so that it can be used for the purpose of fostering dissent in the nation thereby creating unnecessary political divisions and boundaries in the country.

Mr Speaker, this is not genuine democracy, this is anarchy at its best and hypocrisy at its worst.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwape: Those who are party to it shall be held accountable as accountability is not for those in the Executive wing alone but rather for all of us in positions of leadership and management.

Allow me, Mr Speaker, to remind my compatriots throughout Zambia that the sweets we eat in darkness are the true sour grapes of daylight.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwape: That said, Mr Speaker, let me, quickly, indicate to all and sundry that MMD is ‘Mwanawasa Means Development’.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwape: This is why, Mr Speaker, when those pregnant with malice and factional hate were busy insulting and misinforming the nation about our past and present Presidents’ traits/qualities of leadership, we, with inspirational powers, chose to stand fast and faithful in the fact that the men were simply statesmen.

Mr Deputy Speaker offered Mr Mwape a glass of water.


Mr Mwape: I thank the hon. Deputy Speaker.

Mr Speaker, this has been exemplified in the manner these true sons of Zambia have managed to hold themselves in the face of disgusting and distasteful scorn poured on them by unthankful hearts. Mr Speaker, if I may ask, given the ethnicity and diversity that this august House enjoys, who would stand up and all roundly be praised as Mr or Madam Clean today? Mr Speaker, there is none. Given all the ethnicity and diversity, Madam Nawakwi, if you stood up today, you would be popular in one section only. Mind you, even Jesus was crucified by his own people. So, let us live and bestow honour and dignity, where the same are due, with diligence and resilience. 

By way of conclusion, Mr Speaker, I know my younger sister, Hon. Nawakwi, would want me to conclude because she knows I am going to touch on her. I am not coming to you, madam. Let me hasten to acknowledge before this august House that as I was preparing and arming myself with the necessary arsenal for the destruction of deceit that was being spread in my constituency, the mighty Lukashya Constituency, the land of abundance, knowledge, wisdom, management, leadership and natural and artificial resources, I anonymously received a wonderful gift from overseas which inspired and convinced me to go all out for His Excellency, the President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa’s presidential candidature campaign. This gift was in form of a T-shirt. I have a T-shirt, Mr Speaker, if allowed, I can lay it on the Table, but I know time is not on our side. Mr Speaker, the words on the T-shirt shows what the excellent gentleman stands for. Firstly, he stands for MMD, that is, Mwanawasa Means Development and this is why …


Mr Mwape: …the President’s Speech to this august House has been hard to be condemned by all well-meaning people except for what the English would call malcontents.

Mr Speaker, having made my maiden speech, let me make a comment on some issues raised pertaining to my ministry - Communications and Transport. There was a comment on the Chipata/Mchinji Railway. The construction of the Chipata/Mchinji is receiving serious attention. We have already received a consultancy report and it is being studied. I am convinced that this year works will start on Chipata/Mchinji Railway.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwape: Hon. Members, you cannot talk of agriculture if you do not give good support and apportion a reasonable amount of resources to the Ministry of Communications and Transport. We shall not get anywhere. Most of us come from very disjointed rural constituencies because of the perennial rivers and trenches. We need to put in resources to have beit bridges built in these constituencies. You need communications to thrive. We have to link up these disjointed lands if agriculture has to take off.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mrs Nalumango): Mr Speaker, it is an honour and pleasure for me to stand before this august House and contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the inspiring speech by the Republican President, His Excellency, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Before I proceed, allow me to congratulate the President on having emerged victorious in the December tripartite elections. I also wish to extend my congratulations to you, Mr Speaker, and the Deputy Speaker, for having been re-elected to your positions to serve the people of Zambia through this august House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: May I also congratulate all of you, hon. Members of Parliament, for having won elections in your respective constituencies.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank God Almighty for giving me this chance to be elected as Member of Parliament. I would be failing in my duties if I did not thank the people of Kaputa for electing me as their Member of Parliament. Allow me to take advantage of this opportunity to thank His Excellency the President for appointing me Minister in his Cabinet …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: …in charge of Labour and Social Security. 

Going by the sentiments expressed by a good number of Members of this House, it is my shared view that through his speech to this truly democratic House, the President succeeded in putting his progressive vision for this country on a clear platform where every woman and man of objectivity can easily see it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: In my opinion, his speech has evoked hope and will forever remain a cape of good hope to the daughters and sons of our mother Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the speech by His Excellency the President serves as a very timely and crucial reminder of one of the greatest challenges confronting all of us here as Members of Parliament. This is the challenge of translating our campaign promises into goods and services that will, in turn, liberate our people from the shackles of poverty, hunger and disease which are a major affront to human development.

Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: Mr Speaker, as hon. Minister responsible for labour and social security, I have a duty to develop human capacity which is essential in realising economical and social development in our country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: Labour is a key factor in the production process. It is for this reason that my Government, under the existing social economic environment, will ensure that a free, effective and efficient labour market prevails for peaceful and harmonious industrial relations so as to enhance productivity and raise the standard of living of the people.

My Government will support efforts to further expand the establishment of vocational training centres in order to accommodate diverse local needs. Also more important in this regard, and in order to bridge the digital divide, we must place emphasis on information technology in our future efforts to promote human resource development in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: The creation of gainful employment can only be realised and sustained in an atmosphere that is free of legal impediments to the free operations of the labour markets and where there are good policies. In this regard, I would like to request my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to rise above party affiliations and put in place the policies and pieces of legislation that will safeguard the interest of the Zambian working population on the labour market.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: Under the New Deal administration, emphasis is being put on good governance and the labour market is one such area. I wish to pledge to this august House that the Government will strengthen the capacity of institutions charged with the responsibility of enforcing labour laws so as to promote workers' rights and ensure high levels of productivity in the economy. In trying to protect workers, my ministry will investigate all cases of workers' abuse by the employers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Very good!

Mr Tetamashimba: You will be the Vice-President in the Fourth Republic.


Mrs Nalumango: As we enforce labour laws, great attention will be attached to the plight of workers, issues of child labour and the interests of the disabled because these are the most vulnerable to all sorts of abuse.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mrs Nalumango: Mr Speaker, a trend has emerged in Zambia today, especially among the new investors preferring to employ casual labour on contract terms. The employees engaged in this manner are disadvantaged in that their contracts do not usually provide for attractive social security packages on separation.

My ministry’s role is to give both the employers and the employee a fair atmosphere where productivity can be the end result.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: Correct!

Hon. Government Members: Quality!

Mrs Nalumango: I wish, once again, to call upon this august House to support legislative measures aimed at curbing the scourge. My ministry, therefore, will present laws to this House for enactment for the benefit of workers. Let me add, here, that my ministry believes in a tripartite existence, that is, the involvement of workers and employers together with the Government. We believe in consultations and this is going on even at this time.

Mr Tetamashimba: You are starting very well.

Mrs Nalumango: Mr Speaker, on the question of conditions of service in the Civil Service, His Excellency the President, in his speech, indicated the need to motivate civil servants through improved conditions of service. With the Public Service Reform Programme in place, the New Deal Government, with the support of this House, will work out a suitable package for our civil servants. This is a long-term situation. It is not tomorrow. 

Job creation in the private sector cannot be achieved with a divided Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Mrs Nalumango: What do I mean by divided Government?

The State is made up of three main wings, that is, the Executive, the Judiciary and this august House. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: Therefore, when I talk about a divided Government, I do not mean the Executive only, but all the wings including this House.

Mr Chisala: Quality!

Mr Situmbeko: Yes, it is quality.

Mrs Nalumango: As hon. Members of this august House, we are held in very high esteem by the people that brought us here and, therefore, whatever we say becomes gospel truth to the people that elected us.

Mr Hachipuka: Yes, very good!

Mrs Nalumango: This is why I would, Mr Speaker, say that we should be careful with some of the utterances that we make. When we speak too negatively about our own economic performance, we are scaring away would-be investors.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: Mr Speaker, there is need, therefore, for us to have unity of purpose ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mrs Nalumango: … without which we cannot attain attractive investment into our country.

Mr Sibetta: Correct!

Mr Situmbeko: Very good.

Mrs Nalumango: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge my fellow Members of Parliament to desist from misleading the nation. One hon. Member of Parliament, yesterday, gave misleading figures on employment levels.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Samukonga: Give us the correct levels.

Mrs Nalumango: I have statistics that I will probably give at a later time.

Hon. Opposition Members: No, just now.

Mrs Nalumango: Whilst acknowledging that the levels of employment dwindled from the time the Government embarked on measures to restructure the economy, the situation has since shown signs of stabilisation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: Hon. Sibetta, the Government will, with the help of this august House, take advantage of the stable environment to promote growth and productivity in the employment sector. We will do that through what was pronounced in this House. When the President talked about agriculture, he did not only talk about it in terms of food, he added that it was a source of employment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: When the President talked of tourism, it was not just about bringing in forex but  also creation of employment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: So, the hopes, dreams and beliefs of this august House are that unemployment levels will come down.


Mrs Nalumango: Allow me, Mr Speaker, to digress a bit from my, probably, core business which is employment, let me talk about the issue of HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS has affected the labour market adversely because the productive age groups are most affected. HIV/AIDS will be given first priority by my ministry. Members of this august House should also face the realities of the HIV pandemic. 

In my own personal opinion, Mr Speaker, we have taken AIDS from a very difficult and sensitive perspective. AIDS is here with us. When this House tackles the HIV/AIDS openly, we will go a long way. Our main difficulty, Sir, is that when one suffers from hypertension, it is easy to talk about it. But when somebody is HIV positive, it is attributed to something else, including witchcraft. This is the trend that we should run away from. Let us face it head-on. If Nalumango was HIV positive, why not admit instead of giving excuses at the funeral?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nalumango: Mr Speaker, allow me to end my Vote of Thanks to the President’s Speech by quoting the words of one labour leader from the International Labour Organisation …

Mr Patel: Chairman Mao!


Mrs Nalumango: No, from the labour movement Director-General John Somavire. In his last speech to the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries held in Brussels, Belgium, in May last year, and I quote:

‘Employment is the first step out of poverty for every man and woman everywhere.’

With these words, Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order! Just like all hon. Members in this House, the Executive Members are also making their maiden speeches. May we listen without interruption.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Sikatana): Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate you and your deputy on your elections to your esteemed positions. We are confident that you will carry out your duties as best as you can for mother Zambia to sustain her democracy as a shining star proud of the peaceful co-existence of so many tribes.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: Both elections were unique in that the events, Sir, attracted the attention of not only Zambia, but several countries around. This House overcame the tension magnanimously. What is even more gratifying, Mr Speaker, was that even after the tension, there has been no discussion. It is a House of national leaders, united to serve the people of mother Zambia. We are all convinced that your leadership qualities will go a long way in creating an environment that will retrench parliamentary democracy in Zambia.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: Let me thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to address the House on the occasion of my maiden speech. I do remember when I was at school in the 1940s, …


Mr Sikatana: … whenever you were a senior student, you took delight in what we called mocking the juniors. We shall accept the seniors that will lead us in this House in our conduct and we will take delight in taking the debates of this House seriously.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, my membership of both this House and the Cabinet is an honour. I undertake to serve the nation with diligence and without fear or favour.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: I join the Members of this House who have made their contributions following the Official Opening of the Ninth National Assembly by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia. I must admit, however, that in the majority of cases, hon. Members of this House show how concerned they are about the problems facing this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta interjected.


Mr Sikatana: It is our duty, all of us, to work as a team.

Hon. Opposition Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: On my part, I can only assure you, Sir, and the House, through you, that I shall apply myself to continue to fight for the observance of human rights. I shall offer myself to fight against bad governance and …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: … corruption, at whatever level, …

Hon. Opposition Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: … and be counted among those patriots that will be prepared to die for mother Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: It is most pleasing, Mr Speaker, to see the uniqueness of this House in that the President’s Speech has managed to convert the opposition into MMD.


Mr Sikatana: If, as this progressive party is proposing, debates are relayed on radio, it will be hard for listener to know who belongs to which party.

You would think it is a one-party State.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear

Mr. Sikatana: Mr. Speaker, the speech by the President is a challenge to us all. Let us forget our differences. There is no need for political affiliations, we use the same roads and we have the same mothers …

Mrs Musokotwane: But different fathers.


Mr. Sikatana: Mr. Speaker, I did not refer to any specific fathers.


Mr. Sikatana: Sir, seriously, we have many problems to solve. We have the means to overcome them. Let us put our priorities right. God cannot give us more than we have today. We have more peace than we deserve today.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: We have resources we fail to exploit. We starve because we want to be spoon-fed.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: In the majority of cases, we suffer because of lack of fearless leadership and genuine and sincere followers.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: Mr. Speaker, let me be fair. When I talk of leadership, you straight run for political leadership, there is leadership in church. The mushrooming churches that do not produce anything other than more dancing than prayers …


Mr. Sikatana: … will not assist the leadership of this country in our quest to produce a vibrant population. 

Mr. Patel: Alleluia!

Mr. Sikatana: I did not know, Sir, that even Muslims use the word ‘Alleluia’.


Mr. Sikatana: On our part, as your Government, comprising both elected and nominated Members, we want to assure the opposition Members that what they are telling the nation about this Government is true.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: It is tulu!


Mr. Sikatana: We are ready to perform.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: We will listen.

Hon. Opposition Members: Quality, quality!

Mr. Sikatana: We have our priorities clear. Our resolve to accomplish these priorities will not be compromised.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: We place integrity, hard work and good planning at the top of our agenda.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: Mr. Speaker, I will not bore you because I will have an opportunity to address the House after my elder brother has delivered the Budget. That is the time I will have to place on record the needs of my ministry. However, …

Mr. L L Phiri: Where were you all this time?

Mr. Sikatana: I was vetted.


The Vice-President: By Kaunda.


Mr. Sikatana: Mr. Speaker, I wish to remind His Honour the Vice President that in 1998, I stood against the then Prime Minister and qualified at primary elections but was vetted.


Mr. Sikatana: I also agree that I lost to my young brother, Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika but then there was no way I could have won when my own party was against me. At the airport in Mongu, while welcoming the new President, the Deputy Minister for the Western Province pronounced me a patient that would be dead in three months time.


Mr. Sikatana: I have said, Sir, that our priorities are well-set. Our side of the House, which, now, appears to be sounding the same as across, attaches great importance to education. Knowledge is power.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: There is, indeed, nothing more powerful than power itself.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: In his speech, the President stated that this Government is re-introducing free education.


Mr. Sikatana: Mr. Speaker, this is a stride in the right direction. Resources are so limited and we have to start feeding the whole nation. Otherwise, in the near future, free education will be extended beyond Grade 7.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr. Sikatana: Surely, even this is a commendable step. We, however, appeal to those who graduate out of our institutions to invest their knowledge here at home. It is shameful to continue to lose professionals to other countries under the pretext that they are looking for greener pastures. Those greener pastures were grown by other people. You must remain at home and grow your own pastures.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr. Sikatana: We also appeal to those who manage our institutions to look after them properly. We need to protect public property and educational institutions rank highest. This Government is set to tackle poverty head on.

Poverty, in some cases, is a state of mind. I will illustrate. If you asked a man to make bricks for you, he would make them because you will pay him. If you asked him to make bricks for himself, he would say he is poor. Yet, it is the same bricks from the same clay. I, therefore, urge hon. Members …

Mr. Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, before break, I was explaining how the dilapidated countryside calling itself poor has only itself to blame in many cases. Poverty, I said, is a state of mind in some people and I gave the illustration of one that can make bricks for a payment but not for his own house.

It is in this regard, Sir, that I commend, very highly, the people of Luapula Province whose structures in the villages are commendable.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: I only wish to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament to embark …

Mr Sibetta interrupted.


Mr Sikatana: Mr Speaker, I am talking about Luapula, even under the one party State.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Sikatana: Yes. In fact, most times, when I drove around there, I would mistake a village for a PWD Compound …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: … because their houses are constructed out of burnt bricks except their roofing is not as good as the Lozis’.


Mr Sikatana: I, therefore, appeal to all hon. Members of this august House to ensure that they embark on the reconstruction of their villages to permanent material.

Mr Speaker, the MMD under the New Deal has undertaken to lead by example. We are serious when we say agriculture will take the lead. Firstly, because we have failed to utilise our mineral resources, we have allowed persons that are unwanted where they come from to come to this country to exploit our mineral wealth.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: I, therefore, appeal to hon. Members of this House to ensure that in Chama, the ones that you allow to get away with this, are stopped. You should assist your own Government to ensure that those that go into mining will account for what they are mining. You cannot go into Botswana today and start looking for diamonds. They will show you the way out.


Mr Lubinda: A!

Mr Sikatana: We undertake not to make agriculture a seasonal industry. We will irrigate with you, hon. Members of Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: The health of the people is paramount. I will dwell on agriculture when I come to my speech after the Budget.

Mr Speaker, with regard to employment, this country is so rich that if we cared to use our natural resources we would have to import labour and bring people to come and join us but it is the other way round.

Mr Speaker, when you have a neighbour like DRC that does not want to grow what it wants to eat but is able to buy, that is a business opportunity to us. We want to produce more to sell to DRC, Malawi and Angola. 

The MMD finally says this: do not lose the opportunity you have. Peace taken for granted knocks through your fingers. There are those of us that will still stand firm under whatever circumstance. It does not matter how short-lived my stay will be in Cabinet, I will make sure that I deliver.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikatana: As the saying goes, those of you that have never lived under a military rule will think it is anything to try. I have lived under a military rule and I have seen a firing squad in Nigeria …

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


The Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to join other hon. Members of this House who have already expressed appreciation over the President’s inspiring and very challenging speech.

I wish to congratulate you and the Deputy Speaker on your re-election to this House. I bring with you good tidings from the good people of Kanchibiya Constituency, the home of the black lechwe.

Mr Speaker, may I echo the President’s advice against undue dependence on the State and his call for hardwork as the way to success and well being. Sir, our task is to promote and cultivate individual and collective capacities for sustainable development, especially at local level.

Mr Speaker, the question is how to realise adequate and appropriate capacities necessary for sustainable development at the community level.

Mr Speaker, my ministry has realised that charity has never been an effective strategy for poverty reduction. It may help with poverty alleviation but certainly, not with wealth creation or elimination of poverty. Poverty can only be reduced through productivity.

The role of Government, therefore, is to provide the appropriate framework for growth and productivity. For this reason, the Government, through my ministry, has and will continue to maximise, giving out grants to community-based groups and individuals in an effort to reduce and eventually, eliminate dependence on the State.

There has been an echo from hon. Members of this House that Government is responsible for poverty-stricken villages. It is due to their unproductivity.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: In this regard, the ministry has encouraged micro-credit financing for vulnerable groups to engage in wealth-creation activities. However, the dependency on the State among many Zambians has manifested itself in a number of ways such as non-repayment of loans. This culture, Mr Speaker, frustrates Government efforts and commitment to sustainable development. I, therefore, challenge the hon. Member of this august House to take this opportunity to sensitise our respective constituents on the importance of loan repayments.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: Mr Speaker, the MMD Government has created an unprecedented environment in which people can lead decent lives and excel if they work hard. My ministry will, therefore, take the President’s words seriously and encourage people to work hard. To this effect, we are intensifying entrepreneur development activities, especially among women and youths. My ministry has, over the last ten years, contributed to the empowerment of women most of whom are in rural and peri-urban areas with finances and material for development activities such as hammer mills as well as with technical advice and skills training.

Mr Speaker, my ministry is of the strong view that the empowerment of women is central to the reduction of poverty and is, therefore, working with a total of 2,602 women development groups across the country regardless of their political affiliation, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: …with an average of 337 groups per province. My ministry continues to register more groups so that development can spread to all parts of the country. Allow me, Mr Speaker, to urge hon. Members of this august House that as they work with women in developmental activities in their constituencies, consideration should be made to strengthen the existing and established groups as well as to encourage new ones where they are non-existent 

Sir, in implementing the constitutional provision of ensuring that Zambian women and men have equal access to land and its utility, the MMD Government, through my ministry, has embarked on the resettlement of people with disabilities thereby enabling them to own land and engage in agricultural activities.

Mr Speaker, creation and implementation of social safety nets such as Public Welfare Assistance Scheme, National Trust for People with Disabilities, Micro Bankers Trust, People Living with HIV/AIDS Credit Facility and the Hammer Mill Programme have availed the Zambian people, regardless of their gender or physical status, an opportunity and freedom to exploit their full potential so long as they are willing to work hard.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: Sir, as the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives said that knowledge is power, my ministry will continue to promote literacy programmes for our women and men so that they have increased access to knowledge. This will, in turn, enhance utilisation of their resources. These, in the long run, will not only alleviate their own poverty but will contribute to the overall poverty reduction and lead to national development.

Mr Speaker, external debt has contributed to pervasive poverty in this country. Poverty, as we know it, is a major human rights abuser, today, as it limits the rights of our people to live and enjoy full lives. I, therefore, commend our President and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning as well as other stakeholders for working hard to qualify this country to HIPC so that the burden of debt can be lessened and the money freed invested in poverty-reducing sectors for the benefit of our people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kangoma-Kapijimpanga: The President’s pledge to strengthen and decentralise the Auditor-General’s Office to ensure accountability and transparency could not have come at a better time. HIPC resources need to reach the poor and not end up benefiting a few people.

Sir, my ministry has learnt a lot from the people we work with. These are the disabled, blind and street kids. Given resources, both human and material, Zambians can do a lot to improve their lot and make it easy for the Government to run core areas. I, therefore, agree with the President that community-based strategies are more effective and efficient in poverty reduction. The involvement of the community through community-based organisations and other local organisations should be encouraged to foster development at the grassroots level. Local people know their problems and situations better and are, therefore, best suited to find solutions. 

What the communities need from the Government, Sir, are technical resources that may not be locally available. Participation of communities in issues that affect them is not only good for sustainability but provides a voice which should serve as an input into Government policies and, in turn, enhance the quality and relevance of such policies

Before I finalise my speech, Sir, there is need, as earlier alluded to by the President, to improve community capacities to undertake development activities. The capacities of those who deliver services to these communities also need to be strengthened so as to ensure efficiency and equitable provision of such services.

May I, now, inform the hon. Member of Parliament for Mandevu (Miss Nawa) that she is welcome to come and visit us at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare and see what we have done at the grassroots level. The ministry is, currently, addressing the issue of orphans by supporting them. Families that have taken orphans into their care have been supported financially through provision of school requisites thereby discouraging the mushrooming of orphanages.

May I, at this juncture, thank the people of Kanchibiya for electing me as their representative in this House.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Mabenga): Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate you together with your deputy on being elected to your portfolios.

May I, also, wholeheartedly, congratulate all hon. Members of this House that were elected, excluding a few from the Southern Province.


Mr Mabenga: I would like, at the same time, Sir, to take this opportunity to thank the people of Mulobezi Constituency who wisely voted for me for the second time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: They know what we did together in that constituency for the past five years and they know, too, that they are going to see more things in the next five years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Thief!

Mr Mabenga: Well, those are things that go by the waves.

Hon. Government Member: Go ahead.

Mr Mabenga: I would like to thank the constituency, district, province as well as the MMD National Executive (NEC) for adopting me to be the candidate in the last elections. I pay tribute to my party.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Let me, at this point in time, Sir, join His Excellency the President who paid tribute to the former Republican President for the contribution that he made to the development of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Sir, the speech by the President was moving. It was one that enriches the mind. I am glad that the opposition Members have agreed to the many progressive ideas that the President put forward.

Therefore, we hope that they are going to continue to work with us in order to see that this country develops. Hon. Muntanga must understand what we are talking about here. Stop eating too much.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I further want to mention that the complimentary remarks that we have received from the other side are very welcome and this should be able to see us forge together as a nation in unison. 

In the same vein, I would like to turn to the concerns that my colleagues on the other side and this side have put forward regarding local Government. First and foremost, there was concern about the House of Chiefs. I will be making a progressive statement, very soon, to end the speculations that have been going on about the House of Chiefs. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Kanyama talked about markets and bus stations. Markets and bus stations are termed as social infrastructures intended to provide public services within our country. The local authorities have been mandated by the Central Government, in this direction, to provide all public services within their areas of jurisdiction. To this effect, local authorities, especially the towns and cities, have constructed markets and bus stations over the years. 

Let me come to specifics, now, about the markets and bus stations. Let me, for the sake of Hon. Haakaloba, define what a market is.

Hon. Opposition Member: A market!

Mr Mabenga: Yes, I want him to know what a market is. A market is defined as a place where buyers and sellers must interact and exchange goods, services and information. The Local Government Act Cap. 281 gives powers to local authorities to construct, operate and administer markets. The Act further specifies that the council shall be responsible for storage, market and preservation of agricultural produce. Consequently, local authorities have a department of social services charged with markets. 

Mr Speaker, in order to assist the councils and allow participation of traders, local authorities are allowed to set up market advisory committees at individual markets to ensure that markets are viable. Such committees are there to assist and not take over the markets from the councils. In pursuit of the definition of markets, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing would like to see an improvement in trading conditions, proper sanitation and correct legislation put in place. In order to do this, the ministry has created a budget line through which it has been assisting local authorities to develop, that is undertake rehabilitation and construction of markets. 

The ministry has also formulated a market development programme that has started in city markets. Under the new markets model, all markets will be run by market managers and not local authorities’ managers at all. Under funding from the European Union, for example, Lusaka markets are being improved upon starting with three markets, that is, Libala, Chilenje and Nyumba Yanga. The programme will be extended to other markets in the city and on the Copperbelt in Kitwe and Ndola. We would like to encourage the involvement and partnership and public involvement level with our councils so that the private sector can benefit as well as the public sector.

Bus stations are public transport modes that allow for temporal parking of buses or min-buses where passengers can board to various destinations. Now, as the authority responsible for roads and highways, councils are also responsible for construction, maintenance and administration of bus stations. Now, bus stations are public facilities that should provide passengers with rest rooms and ablution blocks to ensure sanitary conditions. Traditionally, and by law, the local authorities are responsible for the establishment of public services as embodied in the Local Government Act. Hon. Hachipuka should listen carefully.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, however, in recent years, due to councils having inadequate resources to manage these stations, they resorted to leasing them out to private operators such as UTTA and other operators. The system has had its own difficulties, of course, whereby lease fees are not settled in time and, sometimes, there are misunderstandings between councils and the lesees or public transport operators and the leasees. This development seems to have encouraged the setting up of private bus stations.

However, the private stations are supposed to be licensed by the Ministry of Communications and Transport after authorisation from our local authorities. Now, the Government recognises the disadvantages of these unauthorised stations and is, now, reviewing the system because the commuters are heavily inconvenienced.

There was a concern about rehabilitation of our chiefs’ palaces. I am surprised, Mr Speaker, to receive a report like this because last year, monies were disbursed to all our chiefs’ palaces in the country. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Campaign!

Mr Mabenga: Never mind that, the money has worked. So, it is okay.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mabenga: What I am saying, Mr Speaker, is that monies were disbursed and sent to all provincial headquarters for onward transmission to our chiefs’ palaces. The least amount that was sent was between K5 million and K10 million. So, if there are hon. Members of Parliament who this money did not reach, let us know so that we can take appropriate action against the erring officers.

There was also another concern about night clubs being built in highly densely populated areas. All of us, Members of Parliament, are councillors who sit in councils. On top of that, we belong to certain committees, in certain cases, where we approve or disapprove applications. So, we are the ones who sit down and recommend to the ministry headquarters to give or not give licences for bars in various areas. Now, it beats me because councillors know their areas better than I. They can recommend that, for example, in Kabulonga a bar can be built but with no loud music. I have never seen a bar where music is low. In most bars there is loud music. The reason is to be able to attract customers. So, you will be doing a very good job, my colleagues, if, as you go back to you constituencies, especially those of you who come from urban constituencies, you can advise where bars can be put up and so on. I can tell you that, just yesterday, I had to return a number of recommendations and I told my officers that I wanted a map of where these bars were because I wanted to go and visit the sites.

Mr.Sibetta: Mule.

Mr Mabenga: No, Mule is in Mongu, not here.


Mr Mabenga: So, we will be very comfortable, Mr. Speaker, if my colleagues, can go and educate our colleagues so that our councillors can approve certificates only for properly located buildings.

There were also concerns about budgeting for local councils. I am very glad that the hon. Member of Parliament is concerned about the allocation that is given to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. As you know, we have a lot of problems on our plate as local authorities. Therefore, it will be appreciated if you support my Bills aimed at empowering our councils.


Mr. Mabenga: I do not speak to Vice-Presidents, unfortunately, Mr. Speaker.


Mr. Mabenga: I always say your Honour. So, your Honour, Hon. Nawakwi, your Honour …


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, we are in the process of suggesting and proposing such pieces of legislation. These will come here for passing. I do not expect Hon. Sibetta to speak. I expect Hon. Haakaloba to speak.


Mr. Mabenga: Well, we will be here until the end of five years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: You and I are councillors. So, we must work for the betterment of our councils 

Mr. Speaker, Constituency Development Funds (CDF) will be made available when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning releases the money. It is as simple as that. So, Sir, I thank you, most sincerely, for giving me this opportunity.

Thank you very much.

Minister of Works and Supply (Dr. Sondashi): I wish to thank you, most sincerely, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity given to me to contribute on this very important motion 

Mr. Speaker, kindly allow me to congratulate the President of the Republic of Zambia on his ‘Zambia’s Blueprint for Good Governance’ speech which the President delivered in this House. I also want to congratulate the President on having won the 27th December elections convincingly.

Mr. Speaker, the President won elections convincingly because of differences in the opposition camp. If all the opposition political parties came together, as we did when we were forming the MMD in 1990, I am sure they would have done better than what they did. But they do not know. You can see that they still do not know why they lost.


Dr Sondashi: They thought it was due to rigging. There cannot be rigging in Zambia. 


Dr Sondashi: If there was rigging, indeed, then there were also rigging in Southern Province, Western Province, North-Western Province, Eastern Province …


Dr Sondashi : ... and Lusaka Province. Mr. Speaker, in Kaonde they say that a person who does not kill animals blames his gun.


Dr. Sondashi: This is what is happening, today.{mospagebreak}

Mr. Speaker, may I also extend my congratulations to you and to the Deputy Speaker upon your re-election. Sir, after one term of office, you are confident and have experience to preside over us and guide us. Why should we educate you and then, after one term, abandon you?

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr. Sondashi: I do not think that is the right way of doing things.

Hon. Members: Hear, Hear!

Dr. Sondashi: Mr. Speaker let me congratulate all hon. Members of Parliament, assembled here, for winning elections which were not rigged.


Dr. Sondashi: Having said that, I would like to congratulate hon. Members of Parliament who were nominated …


Dr. Sondashi: ... by the President. The nominations, Mr. Speaker, speak louder than words. It has been demonstrated that nominated Members of Parliament can deliver.


Dr Sondashi: This is the first time I have seen the Speaker laugh. The Speaker does not laugh through the act of a nominated Member …


Dr. Sondashi: ... when the Member is talking.


Dr Sondashi: So, nominated Members mean business. We are not here to waste time. We are going to deliver. Mr. Speaker, some hon. Members of Parliament have complained about the poor state of roads in their constituencies. That is the trend in all constituencies, especially in the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa’s constituency (Hon. Wamulume).


Dr Sondashi: I promise to tour her constituency very shortly.


Dr Sondashi: Mr Speaker, I will be making a ministerial statement shortly to apprise the Members of Parliament of what Government is doing with regard to the road network.

For now, I intend to answer the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala (Mr Hachipuka) who complained that K10 billion was taken back to Livingstone and not used for the Choma/Namwala Road.

Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is that there was no money that was taken back. What happened was that, in the year 2000, K4 billion was allocated for this road and in the year 2001, K5 billion was allocated for the same road. Both these sums were actually given to the contractor but the reason the hon. Member did not see the contractor do any job is because we owe him a lot of money. The contractor did more work than the Government paid him for. At present, we owe the contractor K23 billion …

Hon. Opposition Members: How?

Dr Sondashi: … in principal as well as interest. So, you can see, this little money which is being allocated, due to scarcity of funds, is simply being swallowed up by the debt.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Sichinga complained about the performance of the Electoral Commission and urged this Government to do something about it. Sir, the only thing my Government can do about this is if hon. Members of Parliament are suggesting that there is need to amend the law regarding the Electoral Commission.


Dr Sondashi: However, if they talk about the performance of the Electoral Commission, I would like to remind them that they themselves have been saying that the Electoral Commission is autonomous …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Sondashi: … and there must be no political interference. If we start directing the commission on what it should do, the same hon. Members of Parliament, who are talking, will accuse us of interfering in the operations of the Electorate Commission.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: So, we are not going to direct the Electoral Commission on how to do its job.


Dr Sondashi: If there are any mistakes, go and blame the Electoral Commission and not the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: Mr Speaker, the other point I would like to talk about is the introduction of free education which a few hon. Members say was copied from the UPND Manifesto.

UPND Members: Of course!

Dr Sondashi: I want to inform the hon.. Members of Parliament that that was not from UPND or whatever party manifesto …

Mr Hachipuka: What was that?

Dr Sondashi: I am referring to the MMD Manifesto …

Hon. Opposition Members: What page?

Dr Sondashi: … on page 21 which reads as follows …


Dr Sondashi: If hon. Members can listen to me because I want to …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Just to remind the House once again. The Executive members are, now, replying but, in the process, they are also delivering their maiden speeches. May we pay attention. The hon. Minister wants to quote from a document that should answer the concerns of some Members of this House.

May the hon. Minister of Works and Supply please, continue.

Dr Sondashi: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the protection. It states, ‘The foundation for all human development whether it be at individual, family, community, national or global level is education. Only through education can Zambia maintain and sustain the leap into the 21st century and beyond.’
Therefore, the MMD Government has, since coming into power in 1991, given priority to investing in the future of our educational system and it states, ‘In the past ten years, the MMD Government has extended bursaries to primary school children that had up to 1999 been limited to university students.’ The President talked about extending bursaries from Grade 1 to Grade 8. This is within the MMD Manifesto and this is the point I wanted to make.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Sondashi:  So, it is not a UPND idea, UPND stole it from MMD.

UPND Members: No!

Dr Sondashi: Mr Speaker, on the question of agriculture, it was claimed that our policy was a copy-cat of opposition party manifestos. I would like to tell them that that is not true …

Mr Sibetta: Why were you hiding?

Dr Sondashi: … and I would like to quote the MMD Manifesto on page 9. I am quoting from the MMD Manifesto, even the former President’s portrait (Dr Chiluba) is here.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Sondashi:  It states that ‘Zambia has a number of factors which favour and satisfy development of its agricultural potential as a necessary catalyst for its economic development. The MMD policy, therefore, aims to make agriculture the cornerstone of the economy’. What the President was doing here was making agriculture the cornerstone of the economy …

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Dr Sondashi: This is the MMD Manifesto.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: I am telling you about the MMD Manifesto because I helped to write it in 1990 when we started the party although the document has been modified.


Dr Sondashi: Of course, some hon. Members like Nawakwi were with me when we were doing this.


Dr Sondashi: Mr Speaker, I would like to comment on the concerns of hon. Members of Parliament about graft in Government. The question of graft in Government is a thing of the past now. I am saying so, Sir, because, maybe, hon. Members of Parliament do not know that the President has, in fact, given instruments to security agencies of Government that from now onwards, the Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission, the police and all other agencies should carry out their work without thinking that anybody will stop them from doing so. Anyone caught up in corruption or even drug trafficking will not be protected by the Government. He has given directives. If you have not heard or the newspapers have not caught this, I am, now, telling you that no one is going to be protected. He has even told Ministers so.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Sondashi: So, there is no need for you to start worrying about corruption. There will be no corruption in the New Deal. Of course, if someone stole money previously, he will be caught. This is the policy.

I want to clarify one point about the use of council offices, Mr Speaker. This is a good development but I would like to warn Members of Parliament that when we go to these offices, let us not start dictating that ‘I want the office of the town clerk …’. Councils must be allowed to allocate these offices to us, so, do not go there and cause confusion. Mr Speaker, ensure that these people do not cause confusion in the councils, otherwise, they will start bulldozing councils. This is likely to happen.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President (Mr Kavindele): Mr Speaker, I am very grateful to all hon. Members of this august House who have debated. I must admit that the quality of debate is very high, Mr Speaker, from both sides.

Mr Speaker, both Government and the opposition live in the same environment. So, our manifestoes are bound to be identical because we represent the same people and we know their needs. As we went campaigning, these are the things that our people told us they wanted. For my part, I look forward to the day one of you will give me a copy of your manifesto. I have never seen one, but I look forward to seeing one. So, please, if you do have a spare copy, Hon. Nawakwi, I will be delighted to look at it.

Mr Speaker, major issues have been talked about by Members of the House. The very worrying and most significant one is the hunger situation in the country. Mr Speaker, without doubt, this is a very serious problem. We went through a spell in 1991 when we came into power. There was not enough rainfall at all. Two years ago, we had floods and fertilisers and all inputs were washed away. This year, we have a drought and this does not only affect Zambia, Mr Speaker. It affects the whole region. For those who listen to the radio like I do, on the BBC last night there was an item that Malawi had declared the hunger situation a national disaster. Not only that, but they also reported of parents who were, actually, now selling their own children because they were not able to look after them.

So, when you blame MMD, I know God listens to all of us and we do talk to God, but this particular time, do not blame the MMD. There is a calamity in the whole region.

Mr Speaker, the weather pattern is such that we are not too sure whether there will be any improvement. It is, therefore, important that we look for alternative crops which thrive even when there is drought and cassava is one such crop. The new varieties mature within a year, Mr Speaker, and we do not need any fertiliser or expensive inputs.

Last week, we wanted to send some maize to an area in the North-Western Province that is also facing hunger, but the people refused and said, ‘No, please, can you give maize to our brothers elsewhere, we are all right here because we have cassava’. So, there is concern even among villagers for the other villagers.

Mr Speaker, we are doing our best as Government. We have brought in relief maize which we are delivering, but relief maize can never be enough. The needs are many. Even in an area where we delivered last week, I heard the hon. Member of Parliament complain and yet he is very much aware that the constituency received maize, except it was not enough.

The Government continues to import maize which is being subsidised and given to certain appointed millers, but to our disgust, those millers have continued to sell at very high prices and this has worried Government and the Government, now, believes that they should be punished for having received Government money on false pretences. I believe my colleagues are already looking at that.

Mr Speaker, it is our wish that fertiliser and inputs remain available throughout the year because what has happened in the past is that fertilisers and any other inputs have been delivered when it was, perhaps too late, when the roads were already washed away and things like that. So, I can assure the House that it is the wish of the Government that fertiliser be made available throughout the year and this we will do by putting some investment in the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia plant. We have been approached by several private sector people who would like to invest in the plant and the Government is looking at that actively.

Mr Speaker, one other issue that came up is that of district administrators. I, really, do not understand. District administrators, Mr Speaker, are a link between the Government and the districts.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

The Vice-President: District administrators have come in various forms. In the colonial days they were known as district commissioners, in the Second Republic they were district governors and, now, they are called district administrators. In my opinion, Mr Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament should be the last people to condemn district administrators.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

The Vice-President: This is because whilst you are here, you are not too sure what is happening in your constituencies. I will give you an example. Yesterday, I needed certain information on a project going on in Itezhi-tezhi. The hon. Member of Parliament for Itezhi-tezhi is a Minister here in Lusaka. So, in order to get that information, I had to send for the district administrator who arrived late last night and the Government got the information that we wanted. 

The same thing happened in Lundazi, as one of our hon. Members may be ware. A Chief needed to be brought to Lusaka. I had to get in touch with the DA and the DA drove to the palace. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Your Honour, may you take your seat provisionally.

I do not understand exactly what hon. Members are doing. Some of you raised the issue of the district administrators and I said that this matter had been repeated too many times and the Government had listened and would reply. The Government is answering. You may disagree but His Honour the Vice-President is answering. If you have better ideas, debate them. Shouting ‘no, no’ on the Floor is not the way to do things. 

There may be a better way of making alternative suggestions to the Government. Hon. Members may agree or disagree, but let us give the Government a chance to answer your concerns. Continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

The Vice-President: So, in fact, it is in the interest of those hon. Members of Parliament some of whom have even abandoned their constituencies. I am aware that some of you have not been to your constituencies since the time you were elected. Remember that as you are here, others are busy digging you out. I have been in this House since 1985. I have seen people come and go because when they come to Lusaka. they forget about their constituencies. 

Now, if you have good working rapport with the district administrator, those are the people you can use to brief you on what is happening back home.

Hon. Opposition Members: Chingola.

The Vice-President: Why Chingola?


The Vice-President: Chingola is in the hands of MMD. I went home in order to defeat that UPND candidate you put there because I knew that you were going to play some tricks. So, it needed me to go there and defeat him.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it important that hon. Members of Parliament improve on their relationships with district administrators.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

The Vice-President: You will need them. Well, you will tell me.

Mr Speaker, the other issue raised is that of corruption. Indeed, as hon. Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Sondashi) said, the President has written letters to all heads of the security wings saying no one will be protected. Anyone who is going to be involved in mischievous dealings is bound to be answerable to the law. The law will visit him.

Having said so, Mr Speaker, I have noticed something in Government. Even senior officials are reluctant to work, at times, for fear of being labeled corrupt. I, personally, spoke to the President of Tanzania (President Mkapa) to authorise Zambia to import maize from Tanzania for the Northern Province. The contract was approved on 30th January, 2002, and until two days ago, officials had not signed the contract and yet, we need the maize. Their fears are that if they signed a contract without a committee, they could be accused of being corrupt.

So, this is the other side of putting too much emphasis on this issue because people believe that whatever they do, they will be accused of corruption. So, they are reluctant to make critical decisions. That is the sad side of it.

Mr Speaker, during this period, our colleagues who have come from outside Lusaka will realise that in Lusaka alone, over 300 people are buried as a result of HIV/AIDS. It is very serious, just as in other parts of the country. The Government is failing to cope with this. That is why we say if one is not infected, they are affected. There is no single family that is not affected. The number of orphans that this dreadful disease is leaving behind is unimaginable. Therefore, it is important that this House supports a Bill we are going to bring to Parliament which we shall call the National HIV/AIDS Bill which will be meant to assist the Government to fight the scourge of AIDS. That will enable the Government to give, perhaps, even free of charge, some anti-retrovirals, medicines to infected people.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: We cannot do so, now, until this House passes that law.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Once that bill is passed, it will assist the Government in mobilising resources. Many donors have come up and promised resources but they are not able to disburse them because we do not have that Act in place. We hope that we will be supported because it affects all of us.

The issue raised by my young friend there of Dr Kaunda not getting his benefits, I would say that is not correct and it is very misleading. Among the five vehicles that were ordered by the Government for officials, one went to Dr Kaunda. If you see GRZ/FP (First President), that is a new vehicle given to the former President. I talk to former President Kaunda, maybe, twice a month or so, because the benefits and his other entitlements are done at Cabinet Office. We do a lot for him. All he needs to do is just pick up the phone and we oblige.

Mr L. L. Phiri: What about the house?

The Vice-President: I have been to see Dr Kaunda and we have talked about the house that he is living in. He likes the area but the house is rather old. The Government, with its architects, have sat down and designed a new house for him. He wants it to be on the same premises. Therefore, we are making arrangements with him if he can move out temporarily to another place as we build him a new house befitting a Former President.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: I think that will be done. As you know, I am a former MCC. So, I have to ...


The Vice-President: So, it is our wish to start a culture of respecting former leaders. I hope that this House will support retirement benefits for Vice-Presidents.


The Vice-President: It is very important that retiring Vice-Presidents be given benefits so that they can go quietly. Those who were before me and had no retirement benefits went and set up political parties.


The Vice-President: They want to be presidents in order to come back and qualify for the benefits.


The Vice-President: I hope you will be able to support such a Bill when I bring it.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this Government’s policy is to empower its people. We shall do everything possible to create businessmen out of our people.

Miss Nawakwi: What about women?

The Vice-President: Business people, including yourself.

It is hoped and true that the country can only be developed by its own people. Therefore, the Government wishes to support all of you, business people. We do not mean that you create wealth by destroying those who have made it. No, you should support those who have not made it to be like those who have already made it. That is how it should be.


The Vice-President: However, there is a lot of envy, jealousy and so on. I brought in US$44 million when I was Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry. Yesterday, I asked for that report, I discovered that almost all the money that is available had just gone to expatriates, because each time one of you wants to access those funds, there is a lot of envy and jealousy.

We get a lot of anonymous letters talking about other people. You will not develop …

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them.

The Vice-President: You will not develop that way. The idea is to develop people. Anyone who makes money should support a lot more other people. So, as far as we are concerned, we believe that our people should be empowered. There is no fear of ZRA coming. If you put in your papers nicely, ZRA will, I think, assess you as to how much you owe. If you are not happy with ZRA, there is a court to challenge ZRA and this is called the Tax Appeals Court. You can go there and appeal. So far as we are concerned, if you are succeeding, it is our joy, we are happy that during our reign, we made so many people millionaires and billionaires.

Mr. Speaker, the person who owns this company, which deals in cellular phones, Telecel, is from Rwanda. The other one with the company called Celtel is from Ethiopia and they go in all these countries. The Government here brought you an investor who wanted a group of Zambians to invest with. Now, it is our job to bring in investors if you businessmen cannot do so. You are busy fighting each other, being used by the Ethiopians and Rwandese to fight your own people here.


The Vice-President: What sort of people are these?


The Vice-President: When there is a little opportunity, you start fighting each other.


The Vice-President: ZRA comes to all of us. Hon. Members, if you are not happy with ZRA, you go to the Tax Appeal Court. Each one of us, of course, is obliged to pay tax. Even from our salaries at Parliament here, we pay a little and if you are not happy, you appeal.

Mr. Sibetta: Endani Kumalilo ku Angola.


The Vice-President: Therefore, do not condemn the ZRA. ZRA collects money for our own benefit. 

Mr. Speaker, there are running commentaries from those who believe that they have suffered at ZRA hands. I am saying that the hon. Minister of Finance is here and if you do not know where ZRA is, perhaps, he will assist you to go and lodge your complaint.


Mr. Sibetta: Simunalile malilo, malilo.


The Vice-President: Mr. Speaker, we also believe that each one of us must have a farm of some sort, like is the case in Kenya. In Kenya, all Members of Parliament, every Friday, go to their little shambas and come back on Monday. That is what we want to do and that is what we want to see done here. Not jealousies. It is only you with transport who can take medicines to your farm and assist other people who are there. We would like to see that everyone is involved.

Mr. Speaker, I am aware that as we went campaigning, hon. Members said many things to the people. They promised a lot to the people and have to turn those promises into reality if they want to come back next time.

I have some advice for them. With your permission, Mr Speaker, perhaps, we shall have a meeting where they can access ZAMSIF funds. We have various funds in Government meant for development. Those schools, bridges, katengamalilo, clinics, etc. you promised the people, the Government has money for things like that but you just have to know how to access it if you want to be here five years from now. Otherwise, whilst you are here, the people in your constituencies are digging you out and you will be gone.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I heard of one who promised a big airport in Matero …


The Vice-President: Now, with that one, we may not be able to assist but the one who promised a big popcorn machine, …


The Vice-President: … we have funds for that.

Five years is a very short time in politics, I can assure you. I speak as the third longest serving Member of Parliament here. So, I do know that you need to do something in your villages, my dear friends, if you wish to come back.

Mr Speaker, I thought those were the points that needed my responses. Otherwise, we are always available. We are at your service to assist you get established and carry on with your work. Your success is our success more so that we are, now, almost working in tandem. We have not seen too many differences for various reasons because a good number of you were office bearers in the MMD.


The Vice-President: I know all of you. We thank you for that. You cannot be far away from where you came from. So, as far as I am concerned, my office is open to all of you. I do know that it is the same with my colleagues. Their offices are open. So, if you have a subject you wish to discuss with the Government, please, feel free. We are always at your service.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!


Mr Speaker: Order! Although the job for the hon. Member for Luanshya has been substantially done, he is still required to wind up debate. 

May he wind up debate on the motion for us, please.

Mr R. Chulumanda (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, in summarising and thanking all hon. Members of Parliament, I would best describe the situation and the process of debate as an all-weather road to unity. This is the beginning of good things.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Question put and agreed to.


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 1949 hours until 1415 hours on Friday, 1st March, 2002.