Debates- Wednesday 27th February, 2002

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Wednesday, 27th February, 2002

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER  in the Chair]





(Debate resumed)

Mr Speaker: Before I call for any further debate, I would like to advise the House that time is at a premium. Yesterday we lost a little over two hours by adjourning the House at about 1750 hours instead of 1955 hours. We have today and tomorrow, as you were advised yesterday by His Honour the Vice-President, who is the Leader of Government business in the House, to complete debate on this motion. 

Hon. Members may wish to know that this is the most opportune time to debate maiden speeches because the time for speech making is longer than you will discover later.

Any further debate?

The Deputy Minister for North-Western Province (Mr Mushala): Mr Speaker, let me start by congratulating you and the Deputy Speaker for being re-elected as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of this House. Allow me also to congratulate all the hon. Members of this House. I also thank you for giving me this opportune time to contribute to the debate on the President’s Address.

Mr Speaker, the President gave a very good address to the nation through this House and going by the debate in this House yesterday, it is very clear that no one is refusing what the President said in his address. I would not labour on what he spoke because his speech was well detailed. However, Mr Speaker, allow me to comment that for us to achieve what the President said in his inaugural address, first and foremost, we will need to look at the behaviour and change of attitude among Zambians. I want us to look at ourselves. What is wrong? I think our behaviour and attitude, Mr Speaker, is not up to date.

Mr Speaker, we have found ourselves crying everyday that we are poor, but what we have forgotten is that our behaviour, I think, needs some adjustment. We believe so much in being spoon-fed. We have been used for so long just to be given free things. As a result, we are spoiled children. Even our children, Mr Speaker, will laugh at us because we are adults and Members of Parliament. I think the change must start from us and then get down even to the young ones that are in schools. We need to start trying to change their attitude that Zambia is theirs and that we need to develop it and that we are not poor.

Having said so, Mr Speaker, I would like to look at what Government is because everyday, Mr Speaker, you hear every Zambian saying the people in Government have let us down. The question is: what is Government? I think the biggest problem we have is that we always want to run away from the wrongs that we do and we want to blame them on this animal called Government.

Everyone assembled here, as Members of Parliament, is part and parcel of the Zambian Government. What is our role then since we are the Government? It is not only us, I would say every worker in Zambia, more importantly, the civil servant, they form the larger portion of what forms Government, but the Zambians themselves are the majority. 

When you look at the statistics, Mr Speaker, very few of us may be in formal employment, but the rest are in informal employment and those are the majority and that is the larger portion of Government. When we always keep on blaming ourselves that it is the Government that has let us down, I think it is important that we change our attitude. We should point at ourselves that we are the Government. I am saying this, Mr Speaker, because as at today, I know there are no capital projects that have been funded throughout the country. I think we have so much money that the Government has put at the disposal of Zambians which they are supposed to be using even before we approve the Budget.

This funding, Mr Speaker, comes, for example, through Zambia Social Investment Fund  (ZAMSIF) and micro-projects unit. But the problem we have is that our schools are collapsing and the roads are bad, but we have the money under Zambia Social Investment Fund. The people are waiting that we shall start work when the Budget has been approved, but they forget that there is a lot of money there. They do not even need to wait until the Budget has been approved. We may take six months or even one year without approving the Budget, but there is a lot of money in this country. Their cry everyday, Mr Speaker, is that we are poor, we have no money and we cannot work on the bridges. That is why I was saying, Mr Speaker, we have to look at ourselves, as Members of Parliament. I think our important role is to go and educate every Zambian that they are the Government.

They would see a contractor who has been employed to work on a road doing a very bad job. All they would do, Mr Speaker, is to keep quiet and say it is Government money. Later, we find that we have spent so much money and yet there is no development. If we educated every Zambian and they were all aware that that money is not for the Government because we are the Government, we would monitor to ensure that work is properly done. The bridges, the roads and the schools have been rehabilitated using these funds that are always available from time to time.

If you went to most of the constituencies, Mr Speaker, you would find that, for sure it is true the schools are really in a bad shape. But who is to blame? We have ourselves to blame. It is the Zambians out there who are to blame because they are failing to even acquire some of these funds under projects like micro-projects unit.

Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about poverty. Poverty is one big disease that we have in Zambia. It is even more dangerous that the famous HIV/AIDS. What should we do to try and get ride of this disease called poverty? It also goes back, Mr Speaker, to the same attitude of a Zambian. The mistake that is in us, is that you will find a young man at the age of twenty before deciding to marry, will be ploughing one hectare. He will be able to produce almost enough food, sell a few bags and feed himself. If he gets married that means the house has increased to two grown-ups and they will continue growing on one hectare. They will have nine children and will continue growing food on the same one hectare. You cannot feed nine people from one hectare the way you used to feed yourself when you were still single. So, it is again the same attitude. We need to work hard.

Mr Speaker, what we have done when you look at the poverty levels in this country, is that at times, we even stop thinking about what to do next to feed a family. How do I feed for my family? What we need is somebody else to come and look after our children. In that vein, Mr Speaker, you find that poverty levels will never come to an end. It is, therefore, important for Zambians to work hard.

Mr Speaker, today, I was listening to the 1300 hours news and if I heard correctly, His Excellency, President Mwanawasa, was saying that the millers who have not reduced the mealie-meal prices should be arrested. When I listened to that I thought about it and said, why is the President saying this? But I think he was also trying us, as Members of Parliament. Do we need the Government to check those prices? You are the Government. You are saying that we brought in cheap maize meal and we are supposed to try and sell it at affordable prices. Why can we not us, as Members of Parliament mobilise ourselves in groups of tens or fives to go and check on what is happening at the milling plants. Why are they still selling the mealie-meal at such exorbitant prices.

I think that is a challenge. But  all we do as Members of Parliament is to forget and rush here instead of checking. Should we go and arrest millers? Why are they still selling the maize meal at those exorbitant prices?


Mr Mushala: Mr Speaker, it is the role of the Members of Parliament.


Mr Mushala:  You have been talking about checks and balances. The Government has said that we have brought in enough maize, which can be milled at a cheaper price. Now where are the checks and balances if these hon. Members of Parliament cannot go and check what is happening at the milling plants. Then there are no checks and balances. I think it is important that we go and check.


Mr Mushala: I am calling all hon. Members of Parliament to go and check what is wrong with the milling companies.

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

Mr Mushala: That is the checks and balances you are here for.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Mushala: Mr Speaker, I just started talking about the change of behaviour and attitude. You can see the behaviour and the attitude. We do not want to go and check. All we want is to complain.

Hon. Government Members: Tell them!

Mr Mushala: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Minister for the North-Western Province is making his maiden speech. May we, listen to him. If we have anything to disagree about what he is saying, we should stand up and debate or counter debate to the issues he is raising. May he, continue. Let us, please, give him a chance.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushala: Mr Speaker, I thank you so much for allowing me to continue with my maiden speech.


Mr Mushala: My brothers and sisters take it easy, you will have your chance to make your maiden speeches.

I was coming to this point because I know that we have problems in various constituencies. I spoke about the bridges and the roads that are not properly done. And if we, as Members of Parliament, will not go and check what has been done by the contractors or Government, we shall keep on complaining every time that the work that has been done is bad. This also goes with the prices of mealie-meal. That is why I am saying that it is incumbent upon us, as Members of Parliament, to go and check. Why are they selling at these expensive prices? That is our job. We are supposed to provide the checks and balances to the Government. The President has said the mealie-meal must be cheap like APG mealie-meal which is selling at K27,000 per bag. Why are the other companies not selling at such a cheaper price?

Mr Speaker, I would also like to say something that, when we talk about the Government, all we look at, maybe, are the top leaders in Government like the Ministers and start admiring the positions of Vice-President and President. But we forget is that the biggest problem starts from the civil servants. Is their performance up to date? The answer is, no. We need to check on them. 

Hon. Members, even in your constituencies or districts, if you do not provide the checks and balances on the civil servants or workers in your districts, you will not see development. You need to be on them from time to time. Some of them are so lazy that they sit in their offices, Mr Speaker, and do literally nothing because they are waiting for money to come from Lusaka. Meanwhile they are able to create the money within their offices. But if you go to them and find out what funds are available in their ministries, you will find that they have a lot of funds.

They are failing to educate the people in the villagers. They are the majority on the ground, who are in contact with the villagers or our brothers and sisters in the villages on daily basis. They are supposed to go and explain to the villagers where they can find the money and improve their living standards. This should be counterchecked by us as Members of Parliament because our people have this bad attitude that when a district agricultural officer convenes a meeting, they do not go there. When a Member of Parliament calls for a meeting, they go there en mass because they want to get some money from their Member of Parliament. But when the district agricultural officer calls for a meeting, they refuse to go there, Mr Speaker. 

You see the attitude I am talking about. They will always be rushing to see you, Members of Parliament, because they want you to give them some K10,000 or K5,000 or they will even say, thank you, for a K1,000, which is very shameful, Mr Speaker. When a person goes to teach them about agriculture or education, they will not even attend that meeting. They do not even know that when they run schools as PTA, they have the power to try and bring in new fees or abolish some of the fees. They will say, it is the Government and also say, you see, this Government has even increased prices. That is not so. I think this attitude must be corrected. It must start with the lower civil servants.

Mr Speaker, being my maiden speech, I will contribute more at a much later stage. 

Thank you very much, Sir.

Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, I would like to sincerely thank you for according me this chance to make my maiden speech in this august House of the ninth Parliament. 

Sir, as you may know, when one person out of many survives in a road accident, he or she becomes overexcited because of having gone through heavily contested three in one election, first of its kind in Zambia’s history, heavily funded in some quarters and being elected a third time in the same constituency. I request your indulgence and indeed, the indulgence of this august House.

As I make my wise maiden speech, should I stumble or step on places where I am not supposed to, it should be understood that it is because of over-excitement that I am one of the few counted Zambians.

Mr Speaker, as a senior Parliamentarian, I will avoid provocative situations. Under your leadership, I have learnt a lot of good manners, Sir.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I would like to comment on a few matters that are currently topical and of great importance to our nation from the Presidential Speech.

 I would like to sincerely thank the electorate in Chipangali Constituency for having elected me for a third time as their hard working, trusted and well principled leader.


Mr L. L. Phiri: I say, a job well done to the Chipangali electorate.

May I also thank the people of Zambia for having voted wisely by electing more Opposition Members of Parliament, for checks and balances for a New Deal Government to work properly. 

I congratulate you all here in the ninth Parliament. May I also congratulate you, Sir, and the Speaker for your re-election.

Before I go further, Sir, may I warn and advise some Members of Parliament to go back to their constituencies and pay back credit they got during election time. I have seen that most of them are now scared of going back to their constituencies, especially the Bemba.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Sir, this will cost them their job because the people you got money from will start petitioning you to be kicked out from this House. So, I advise all Bembas to go back. I have been seeing them around ever since we came for registration each time I come back from my constituency.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hunger situation in Chipangali Constituency is real and bad because it is, now, claiming lives of people, the old and the young. No one should politicise and joke about the situation. I came on Wednesday, 20th February, 2002, and while there, I was confronted by more than 300 solemn people, women, children and men. I attended seven burials in different villages. People died because of having no food in their homes for more than a month. 

These villages where I attended burials are Padambo Village, one man by the name of Jaulani Banda and a child died; at Kamsambo Village, we buried two children who ate a bitter root of Katapa tree; one lady at Kamchiliko Village in Chief Chanje’s area died; and two old men who ate a bitter wild root of mpama which is cooked for more than eight hours to clear the bitterness, that was in Chief Munyukwa’s area also died.

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Mr L. L. Phiri: I have mentioned these villages for the Government to go and prove it because no one can exaggerate the death or the loss of people’s lives. There are many more dying now. I come from there and I stay there and so, I am the only one who can   
give you a true picture of the situation in that area.

The latest I have received, Sir, is that yesterday, I rang the people of Chipata to confirm what I heard as kachepa at first. Yes, it is true and I am confirming as area Member of Parliament that in Chief Chanje’s area, in Chikuni Village, one man who had gone for two weeks without food was caught stealing green maize from someone’s field and he had his head chopped off. So, that is how bad the situation is, Sir. People are dying. 

Last year, we told the Government to declare this situation as a national disaster because this poverty is everywhere. We were told by the then Vice-President that I was exaggerating, but now you are agreeing what we were telling you. 

I am, therefore, appealing to the Government, which has come with a New Deal, to send any edible things to save people in Chipangali. Be it mealie-meal or rice or bags of maize. The Government will be to blame if the situation is left unattended to.

Mr Speaker, the hunger situation in Chipangali is not a sign that people are lazy there, no! A big no, I emphasise. History bears testimony to the fact that Chipangali, which is in Chipata north, is a productive area. The main cause of the hunger situation is as a result of bad agricultural policies since 1991.

Farmers are left without markets. Briefcase men buy the crops cheaply in five litre tins. Hence, causing small-scale farmers to have no money in their homes. Inputs are expensive for peasant farmers, worse still, inputs come late and co-operatives are formed on political lines, causing most of the fertiliser to be sold outside the country. We share borders with Malawi. There, things are left unchecked. Prolonged rains are sometimes responsible for hunger.

Mr Speaker, may I first and foremost sincerely thank His Excellency the President for a timely and excellent speech, which he delivered on 22nd February, 2002.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Cross over!

Mr L. L. Phiri: Sir, what mostly interested me and made me support him were the good policies he outlined which were all from the UNIP manifesto. I want to see them implemented without anybody delaying him or failing him. The UNIP manifesto is the best in this land …


Mr L. L. Phiri: Under UNIP there was free education, the country had inputs all year round, there were co-operatives with no political interference. I will make sure that we support the President so that he does not fail.

The President sounded more as a true national leader and not a leader for one political party.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. L. Phiri: For this, he wins my support to make sure that he achieves his intended goals.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, the speech of His Excellency the President on agricultural policy is welcome and it will be supported and monitored very closely in order for the New Deal Government to succeed. But the Government should ensure that no political co-operatives are formed or perpetuated. Let the Government bring back the Co-operative Bank and other lending institutions, which were serving the farmers on time. Let the Government fund our own Kafue Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia which was supplying inputs the whole year, but now, we have to wait for the inputs to come from outside the country. This is what has seen Zambia getting inputs in February when maize has already been spoilt.

Sir, the Government would improve the agricultural policy if they work also on feeder roads and bridges, which are completely washed away in Chipangali Constituency. I have seven bridges, which were washed away, by heavy rains last year and this year.  These bridges are necessary for communication to important farming areas. I have ten key roads, which have not been maintained for the past ten years MMD has been in Government. These are very important roads which go to the farming areas and settlement scheme, Madzi-a-Atuwa.

Mr Speaker, may I thank the Government for having started working on the Great East Road. The distance done so far from Lusaka to Nyimba is excellent. But I strongly appeal to the Government to finish the remaining part of the road from Nyimba to Mwami Boarder as planned. If the road is not completed, the people of Eastern Province will feel offended and segregated. Also the road from Chipata to Lundazi should be completed.

Mr Speaker, may I also thank the Government for a job well done for renovating all the clinics in my constituency and for supplying them with beddings and radio communication equipment at four centres out of the eight clinics. I appeal to the Government to equip the rest. The people of Chipangali are also appealing to the Government to scrap off medical fees regardless of one’s age because the people cannot afford to pay due to poor agricultural policies MMD brought during the ten years they were in Government. This has left rural people in serious poverty levels and turned them into beggars. Sir, I also appeal to the Government to urgently open Kasenga Clinic before people vandalise the buildings. Construction is complete; what is remaining are medical personnel and medicines.

Mr Speaker, empowering Zambian investors is welcome. Sir, the Government should go further and start checking on bad treatment of our Zambian personnel by some foreign companies. Some are fired anyhow without any reasons. They pay our Zambian people low wages and salaries and engage local personnel on contract. The Government should ensure that such investors are not allowed to continue operating in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, some foreign investors have been involved in bad activities like having pornographic material but they are let free, some are working in Chipata. Some of those people are still managers of companies and busy frustrating Zambian personnel. I strongly appeal to the New Deal Government to urgently depot such investors. They should never do any business in Zambia. Our Zambian personnel should be employed on permanent and pensionable conditions of service other than the contracts that they are subjected to now.

Mr Speaker, on good governance, I would like to say that it is not about calling Opposition Members enemies and irrelevant. We in Opposition mean well in this country because we are the watchdogs of the people. Our interest is to ensure that the nation promotes good policies and to see that the Government follows and respects the rule of law. Praising the Government for a job well done should not excite our Republican President. Good governance is about accepting to work with, listen to and accommodate views of the Opposition. Those who see the Opposition as enemies are political failures and have always got more enemies than friends. When they are out of power, they go into hiding. Sir, we, in the Opposition are united in support of the Government with good policies and matters of national interest. Opposing does not mean criticising anyhow.

Mr Speaker, good governance is about sharing the national cake equally. Do not deny Opposition Members of Parliament Constituency Development Fund, which was the case last year in December and November where only MMD constituencies benefited. The Opposition constituencies did not receive those funds. Sir, it is in this vein that we would like to know how the money was used and when the remaining constituencies will receive the money. This is what we are here for. We are here to check on accountability and ensure that there is equal sharing of the national cake.

Mr Speaker, I, now, want to talk about a fundamental issue, which should be considered by the Government. Let all former Presidents be treated equally. Why has Dr Kaunda, our founding father, been treated badly and sidelined since leaving active politics as the cry was at that time? He only has two bodyguards who have gone without their dues for more than two years now. His office has not been funded up to now. If you go to his house in Kabulonga, you will find that the house is almost collapsing.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, the house is leaking – stop murmuring, I am from there now. I am the leader of this UNIP group here.


Mr L. L. Phiri: I went to Kabulonga to check and I found that the roof was leaking. Sir, the roof and the wall fence were painted five years ago. Dr Chiluba has fifteen bodyguards. His food is still coming from State House. If you check where Dr Chiluba stays, you will find a lot of workers working on the lawns while where Dr Kaunda stays, it is grass all over. Why should it be so?

Mr Kazala-Laski: He is lazy.

Mr L. L. Phiri: I implore the Government of the day to treat Dr Kaunda as a clean man with the respect that he deserves. I would like to see that what goes to Dr Chiluba should also go to Dr Kaunda. After all, Dr Chiluba is being paid benefits when he is still in active politics. In 1995 and 1996, I was in this House when we were fighting for Dr Kaunda to be given his benefits but the same Government said that Dr Kaunda had not retired from active politics by being party President, but now it is the same case with Dr Chiluba but he is being paid his benefits. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mind you, the world is watching you and the people of Zambia are watching you. We would like you people to be judged by your record and so, be fair. So, Mr President, …


Mr L. L. Phiri: …sorry, Mr Speaker, …


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I thought I was at Freedom House since I am talking about the President.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the so-called New Deal Government that after scrapping off some ministries, it would like to be seen as a Government which is not extravagant. I would like to say that the people of Zambia will not respect them on whatever they say for as long as they keep the District Administrators. Keeping District Administrators is not a cost saving measure in this country. We are saying that Zambia is poor and as such we should reduce on ministerial positions and ministries. Even those ministries which are remaining are going without money, even when we approve the Budget here, Sir, the District Administrators will always have money.

Sir, where is our sincerity in accountability? So, I would like to say that District Administrators are supervising nothing in districts apart from some of them just misusing the money and singing wamuyaya. That is the job they were put there for. The Third Term is gone and so, all those people should be phased out if the men in Government are to be called men of integrity and accountable. Zambia will be a poor nation if District Administrators continue to be there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, before I sit down, I would like to thank the President for his speech when he said that from Grades 1 to 7, education would be free. Mr Speaker, I am a guardian and I keep a lot of children. What is on the ground is that we are managing the fees from Grades 1 to 7 but from Grades 8 to 12 and higher it is a problem for parents or guardians. So, the Government would do better if they announced that with effect from tomorrow or today, from Grades 1 to 12 and higher education will be free. A nation without educated people is denied development.

Mr Speaker, with these very few, wise and free words, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for affording me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech. I bring you, Sir, the hon. Deputy Speaker and all hon. Members of this august House, fraternal greetings from the friendly people of Milanzi Constituency.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: They wish you all continued good health. Mr Speaker, the people of Milanzi, though ravaged by hunger, can still spare a smile on their faces at the thought that for the first time since independence they have brought to this House one of their daughters as Member of Parliament.

Dr Machungwa: And who is that one?

Mrs Banda: That is Rose Banda.


Mrs Banda: There were eight of us who contested this seat, five women and three men who included the sitting Member of Parliament. So, you can see that the people of Milanzi have chosen the best candidate from the man-centred party, the United National Independence Party (UNIP). 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, allow me to add my voice to those who have spoken before me, to congratulate you and the Deputy Speaker on your re-election to preside over the affairs of this House. I have no doubt that you will discharge your duties to the total satisfaction of the people of Zambia. The people of Zambia expect nothing less from you and, indeed, all of us gathered in this august House, than the best.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the prevailing hunger situation, it is common knowledge that Zambia was, last year, blessed with one of the best rain seasons. It was so good that everybody expected a very good harvest. The peasant farmers did their best but were let down by the Government which did not play its part. Inputs such as fertiliser were not available. Consequently, we now have a hunger situation.

As a result of this, people in my constituency have been forced to feed on mangoes and whatever wild fruits they can find. Now that the mango season is over, I shudder to imagine what will become of us. Mr Speaker, I am very disappointment with the distribution of relief food by the Office of the Vice-President which is not as efficient as it should be.

Sir, I wish to strongly urge the Government to treat the question of relief food as a very serious matter which requires serious attention. There is no need to politicise this matter because it is a question of life and death for our people.

Mr Speaker, as regards agriculture, the solution to hunger in my area lies in how the Government approaches the whole question of agriculture. The cow-dung approach is not viable because there are not enough cows to produce that much dung to make this type of farming viable.

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, let the distribution of inputs such as fertiliser and seed be done in time and on non-partisan lines as opposed to what we have been experiencing over the past ten years. The MMD, as their campaign tactic, would secretly send their cadres around my constituency to identify their would-be voters and promise them inputs. These are the people who were later given the fertiliser.

Unfortunately, this fertiliser either came too late or was a wrong type. After a while, rumours would start circulating that some people were being given fertiliser by the hon. Member of Parliament. When other people approached that source, regardless of their party affiliations, they were told that the fertiliser was only for those who registered because those are the only people who can eat.

Mr Speaker, to add insult to injury, the fertiliser was half mixed with sand. Naturally, this did not benefit the recipients of this commodity either. This is how MMD has run agriculture in the past ten years. You can, therefore, see that the food crisis that we are currently facing is not by accident but as a direct result of what the Government has failed to do.

Mr Speaker, the MMD Government needs to critically evaluate their policies in agriculture if Zambia has to produce enough food to feed ourselves again. It is not true, as some people are saying that the MMD has laid a sound foundation on which agriculture can flourish.

In their hurry to prove that they were in power, they destroyed all the good things that the United National Independence Party (UNIP) had put in place to develop agriculture in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: UNIP had in place a very viable co-operative movement and a marketing system which benefited the farmers. For the sake of our people, those good practices and institutions from the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era should be re-visited shamelessly.

As a matter of fact, Mr Speaker, Milanzi Constituency was fairing very well with other constituencies in the district in livestock farming. Regrettably, the demise of veterinary services in the past ten years has seen unprecedented depletion of livestock population due to what were previously controllable livestock diseases. It is important, therefore, that the Government comes up with a concrete programme to eradicate these diseases in order to revamp the livestock industry.

Mr Speaker, let me now briefly touch on the road network in my constituency. You will agree with me that for meaningful development to take place, there is need to have good road network. This is to facilitate the movement of people, goods and services.

Sir, I am sad to report that in my constituency, we have now something equivalent to animal tracks of what used to be feeder roads. These feeder roads have been neglected for a long time and bridges have been washed away. I strongly wish to appeal to the relevant authorities to resuscitate the road network in my constituency.

Mr Speaker, let me say a word on education. Allow me to start with a saying which says,  ‘If you think education is expensive, please try ignorance.’

The question of quality education for our children needs no emphasis. Unfortunately, the schools that are in Milanzi are all run down, ill equipped and understaffed. Sir, what kind of results would you expect from a school that is manned by one teacher?

Mr Speaker, these issues need immediate remedies because we feel we are not getting a fair share of the national cake. The questions of run-down and understaffed schools are not only our concern in Milanzi. Katete, as one of the oldest districts, has no single Government secondary school. Now, in trying to address this situation, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) government in the late 80s had started building a secondary school at Kafumbwe in my constituency. Unfortunately, with the coming to power of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government in 1991, work on the project was abandoned.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mrs Banda: Up to now, nothing is happening on this project. I wish to urge the Ministry of Education to resume work on this school without any further delays. 

Mr Speaker, the issue of health is suffering the same fate as education. As earlier said, Katete is one of the oldest districts in Zambia but strangely enough it has never enjoyed the privilege of having a Government hospital. People have been surviving by the grace of the Anglican and Catholic churches who jointly run St. Francis Hospital. 

This hospital is not only small, but far away from the people of Milanzi. People have to trek over seventy kilometres to get there. However, at the moment, there are three clinics in my constituency which are operational but understaffed and poorly equipped. We are requesting the hon. Minister of Health that one of these clinics be upgraded to hospital status so that St. Francis Hospital can be decongested and used for referral cases only.


Since my constituency is in a very remote area, it is unlikely that ZESCO will get there soon. However, since solar and biogas technology are now available on the market, I am calling upon the Government to extend incentives to those who provide these services so that they are readily available and at affordable cost.


Mr Speaker, the question of environmental degradation is another issue of concern in my area. As a result of this, people are not getting the best from the soil and water resources. Rivers are either silting or drying up. There is need, therefore, for the Government to embark on a reforestation programme and other measures like construction of dams that may assist in reversing the trend. Coupled with this are a number of broken down wells and boreholes which, if repaired, would go a long way in supplementing the water resources. There were a number of areas which still need to be serviced with wells and boreholes so that people can have access to clean and safe water.

Community Services

Mr Speaker, I do recall that in 1991, just before UNIP was voted out of power, the Government did acquire a number of hammer mills and Yenga Press for community services. The MMD Government that took over that time did the distribution and Milanzi Constituency was no exception.

However, my concern is that there is no trace of these items in the constituency. Nonetheless, there is now an outcry for the same. I am, in this regard, requesting the re-introduction of these community-based equipment, while other colleagues and I investigate what happened to those previous ones.


Finally, Sir, my constituency is one of those that share borders with Mozambique. It is common knowledge that during Mozambique’s liberation war, people of my constituency played host to freedom fighters on one hand and also bore the brunt of that liberation war on the other hand, but they did not relent until Mozambique got its independence. Immediately after independence, Mozambique was engulfed in a vicious civil war. 

Again, the people of Milanzi were hosts to Mozambican refugees on one hand, while they paid a very heavy price from the rebels for that hospitality on the other hand. They did not relent until peace came back to that country. It is now pleasing to see there reciprocal gesture by the people of Mozambique in that through the initiative of our traditional rulers, they have allowed our people to source food from there since we are a hungry nation.

In this regard, I wish to put on record my appreciation of good work that our traditional rulers are doing both from the Zambian and Mozambican side. Our Government should do everything possible to ensure that this peaceful co-existence continues.

Mr L. L.  Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: I also call upon the MMD Government to re-introduce the House of Chiefs which they have been promising for a long time now because this is the only way that the work of our traditional rulers is going to be properly co-ordinated.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima (Mbala): I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to present my maiden speech.

To start with, I would like to congratulate you on your being re-elected as well as your Deputy Speaker, Sir. I bring warm greetings from the wise people of Mbala District, former Abercon District.

Hon. Opposition Member: Mbala mafias!

Mr Sichilima: Sir, Mbala has been let down on a few issues by some of our colleagues today who are seated on that side of the House of which if they had worked hard enough, Mbala would not have been what it is. I would like to take this opportunity that the orientation was concluded without taking some my colleagues from Chipata around Lusaka and some ministries.

I would like to thank the Mbala people for electing me as their Member of Parliament to this House, to come and meet energetic, brilliant and hard working ladies and gentlemen from this side.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I would like to bring this to your attention that this attitude should change that once we are in Lusaka, we should bury ourselves at National Assembly Motel. We should learn to interact. This behaviour has attributed to what Mbala is today. Mbala has no roads to talk about and yet we had a Member of Parliament who was here. If he had known where the Ministry of Works and Supply was, we could have probably had a road tarred.

Hon.Government Member: What party was he?

Mr Sichilima: He was UNIP.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: I would like again to take this opportunity to say that Mbala people are really hard working people. All they needed, which I feel and trust after the President’s Speech, which was so brilliant, was to turn around agriculture. All the Mbala needed was agricultural inputs and good roads. These requirements did not need to take somebody to bury himself at National Assembly Motel. All it needed was to go to the ministries responsible, which I am going to do.

I heard from the other side talking about us having worse situation than it is now. If there will be laziness, especially from this House, then it will be worse and then there will be hunger. If Government is ready as the President indicated in his speech, the Government is ready to work and provide the agricultural inputs. Hon. Members need to go to relevant ministries to get fertiliser, tractors and all agricultural inputs and also hammering on the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, who is so energetic to give us good roads. He knows some of the provinces very well. Mbala needs the two roads which are international to be tarred connecting Tanzanian borders at Kasasha and Kawimbe, the famous Stevenson Road.

Mr Speaker, with regards to agriculture again, I would like to take this opportunity to probably introduce the tours. I would like to take some our colleagues like Hon. Kabaghe there to go and see how people work in Mbala. Then he is going to deliver agricultural inputs in his constituency.

With regard to tourism, this Government has actually introduced a very good system and it is ready to work. We are not just going to concentrate on one part of the country in tourism. We have again the energetic Minister of Tourism (Hon. Mumba) who is, so far, working very hard. Mbala is one area where tourism has not been tapped and yet, it is on record that there is a lot of potential. To mention a few, we have Kalambo Falls, Lake Tanganyika, Motomoto Museum and Chisha in Senga Hill. If we took hon. Members of Parliament to Mbala, they would definitely appreciate what I am talking about. So, tourism should really move to Mbala and next year, as people are talking about hunger, we can have a lot of revenue for this Government.

Mr Speaker, I was talking about hon. Members of Parliament from the other side. The attitude of moving from this side to that side and speak the loudest after you destroyed when you were given an opportunity to build the country, is not good. I will talk about Zambia Railways. We have the hon. Member seated there. You had all the opportunity to develop Zambia Railways. Zambia Railways could bring this country to tick but today, it is something else. Hon. Hachipuka even failed to advise us …

Mr Speaker: Order! We held at least two seminars outside the purview of the public on a number of issues including how to address ourselves in this House, and that, even though we are making maiden speeches, we do not debate ourselves in this House. Will the hon. Member, please, remember that he has come here to discuss issues, not people. 

May he, continue and address other Members of the House as hon. Members and avoid debating them on what they did in the past because that is not what is on the Order Paper today. 

May he, continue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the correction. I withdraw the statement. You are saved.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I will now quickly move to something different. I would like to thank His Honour the Vice-President and the Government for having quickly delivered relief maize to Mbala. I bring many thanks from Mbala to you, Sir. This actually shows that this is the New Deal Government that ensures that things are really working at the right time.

With regard to electricity, again it is unfortunate that I have been corrected. Some villages in my constituency are only seeing cables flying over their roofs. They have no electricity in their houses. In some places, it is just about six kilometres from Mbala, but I know that my Government is going to do something. In Mambwe, we say,’ chiswela sitazya manyika, achilakulya’, meaning the duiker may not say thanks to the grass when it is still eating.


Mr Sichilima: One of the contributing factors that Mbala is what it is again, to allude to what the hon. Minister for North-Western Province, is the attitude of Zambians. I want to inform this House that Mbala people, as I said earlier, are hard working people. Already they are geared to actually participate in community work. Already as I went round to campaign, in some places they have even organised material close to about 75 per cent. All it needs is this good Government to move in and then we will have good clinics and schools. 

Mr Speaker, let me also thank the hon. Minister of Health for having put clinics and equip them with radios for easy communication. All I am asking the ministry today is to provide just two more ambulances. We will then be comfortable. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichilima: We will need a radio station where we can, at least, inform our people within the constituency and I am sure that the other three constituencies also, namely, Mpulungu, Senga Hill and Mbala can benefit. They will benefit because we will be able to speak our Mambwe on that radio station.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, thank you  very much for affording me this chance to deliver my very first maiden speech in this august House.

Mr Speaker, I congratulate you, Mr Speaker, and your Deputy Speaker for being re-elected in your positions. I wish also to congratulate all of you, hon. Members, for your being elected in your various constituencies.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: May I take this opportunity to thank my constituents in Kalomo for having elected me and given me the chance to represent them in this august House. 

Mr Speaker, in my preparation to debate the President’s Speech delivered on 22nd February, 2002 at the Official Opening of the First Session of Zambia’s Ninth Parliament, I had time to reflect on the speech itself. What President Mwanawasa spoke in his address requires the support of every one of us who are desperately looking for ways and means of helping redeem Zambia from this poverty that we have landed ourselves in.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I was gratified to note that President Mwanawasa’s Speech included a number of items spelt out in the UPND Manifesto.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: It is for this reason that I applaud his speech and praise him without any malice whatsoever. When we in the Opposition make certain praises, we mean well and should be construed as such. There is a saying, ‘up and running’, which would also apply to the running of the country. In order to be able to run, one needs two legs. In Zambia, we have two main legs, namely, mining and agriculture. Since independence, we have shot ourselves in both legs. 

First by nationalising the copper mines, when we realised the mistake under the New Culture Government, we tried to correct this by privatisation. Unfortunately, we ended up performing very badly. We all know that the mines were held unitary under ZCCM so that the uneconomic ones were maintained and kept alive by the profitable ones. But the New Culture Government, through the special constituted committee, went about selling them off as single units or worse still, individual assets were sold, thus exposing the weak ones to closure and leaving out workers without jobs. Redundancies and retrenchments became the order of the day, resulting in massive suffering of our people. We need to keep these mines together as one unit to guarantee, safeguard and protect our workers at the mines so that the weak mines are kept running.

Mr Speaker, under the new culture Government, we shot ourselves in the second leg by not paying attention to agriculture. This was done under the name of capitalism and that everybody had to look after himself without any interference from Government. This is not working and it does not work that way in the first world. In Europe or America, governments are making certain that their people get fed without having to rely on outside help and that their farmers stay on the land. This is done by support pricing, subsidy of certain essential production inputs and Government buying any surpluses and maintaining emergency stocks. 

In our country, our people in rural areas are sleeping hungry everyday while those in towns are struggling to buy the expensive mealie-meal available. The bottom line is that the country has no emergency food stocks held by the Food Reserve Agency. The beautiful storage facilities all over the country, especially in my constituency in Kalomo where they have become homes of ban owls and rats while the ones in Lusaka have been turned into brick-making sheds. Mr Speaker, the present situation in agriculture and food supplies places our country on the level of a country at war. The question of declaring the hunger situation in our country, at least in my constituency, as a national disaster, cannot be overemphasised. Everyday, we have stories of people getting hungry and we are waiting for action. 

Sir, after thirty-seven years of independence, can we still put blame on other people that we cannot feed ourselves? Maybe the time has come to help ourselves and practise some forward planning. The hope of survival comes through President Mwanawasa’s Speech. Mr Speaker. Allow me to quote from President Mwanawasa’s Speech when he said, and I quote:

“Agricultural crises were man-made and intentional. There are people who deliberately created management hiccups so that they could thrive on chaos.”

I feel very, very, sad being a farmer myself and representing the majority rural people who have to suffer because of a very few selfish and uncaring people. God help me, what name should I give them? The persons…


 …who thrive on chaos, deliberately caused by them. Mr. Speaker, in 1990 my constituency in Kalomo had produced 135,000 metric tones of maize (or simply 1.5 million 90kg bags of maize) and used to do that every other good season during the Second Republic, but has failed to do this throughout the New Culture Government. We have now reached the level of begging for food.

Mr Speaker, did anybody ever thought that one day we could ask for food from Uganda, a country that had just come out of a civil war, while in Zambia we praise ourselves of peace, democracy and all sorts of jargon, that we cannot eat and our people go hungry and die of starvation?

Mr Speaker, I am delighted when I read an assurance from President Mwanawasa’s Speech that, ‘we shall move away from the tendency to deliberately create crisis situations in agriculture.’ I hope the Front Bench is listening that they should move away from deliberately causing crises.


Mr Muntanga: This gives me a lot of hope that what is contained in his speech will be implemented. I am further delighted that this New Deal Government is promising to protect the locally produced agricultural products. We need to think of our country first.

The Republic of South Africa is giving premiums to farmers to export their produce. Zimbabwe makes it extremely impossible to export to that country any agricultural produce unless it cannot be produced locally while we, in Zambia, let everybody and everyone bring their goods into the country to the detriment of our farmers. Even the beautiful hotel in Livingstone, all the food that is supplied there is coming from outside, and yet our farmers are not helped.

Mr Speaker, we need a long-term vision for our farming industry. We are importing maize again and we have to do so next year as well. Since we tied up our transporters with bringing in the maize and, therefore, have not been able to bring in all the fertilisers for the next crop. So, we better prepare, we want to see the Front Bench import more maize from Uganda.

Mr Speaker, the agricultural departments like Veterinary and Soil Conservation, Wildlife and Fisheries, do exist but are not effective due to lack of transport. In my constituency, we have lost nearly all our cattle herds due to corridor disease, which can easily be prevented by dipping cattle on a regular basis, but this needs education and enforcement as well as cheaply priced drugs and chemicals. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to appeal to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives to accept that there is no substitute in eradicating ticks that cause the corridor disease in cattle. There should be an introduction of compulsory cattle dipping in the rural areas.

Mr Speaker, in fact, I should further say that there should be a change of policy to put emphasis on animal health as was the case prior to 1974 when the policy was changed to put emphasis on animal husbandry practices. That is what causes the escalating of corridor disease. I hope he is listening.

Mr Speaker, when the New Deal Agriculture Minister came on the scene and declared that he would revamp agriculture by introducing cow dung manure. I had written him off as being a joker and I called him “Mr Cow dung Minister” because I know that there are no more cattle in Southern Province or particularly in my constituency to produce that amount of cow dung required. But hope was restored when President Mwanawasa indicated that the Government would support livestock re-stocking. Then, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives cow dung statement will definitely be workable as long as the cattle are restocked in the country since that was the way we used to farm by use of kraal manure before independence. Mr Speaker, without land, you cannot farm. 

Therefore, the land issue in my constituency needs to be addressed. We have a number of our small-scale farmers placed under the resettlement schemes who had been promised title deeds for their farm plots for more than ten years without any success. I do pray that the New Deal Government will quickly address this problem, especially that the New Deal President would like to see small-scale farmers graduate into big commercial farmers. Without land, without title deeds, you cannot secure loans from commercial banks.

Mr Speaker, the question of pricing security is very important in agriculture as most farmers depend on the rain to grow their crops. They have to borrow for their fertilizers. They have to feed their families, send their children to school and pay for medical fees, as this is not free. They pay for any transport cost and or other expenses they incur as a family in order to survive and yet they get no guarantee that they will be paid a reasonable price for their produce after twelve months of hard work. The present situation is such that due to lack of buyers, our small-scale farmers in rural areas sell off their produce at ludicrously low prices for huge losses.

Mr Speaker: Order! The Hon. Member may not cut across the line of vision between the debater and the Speaker. He may not do that and he has interfered with the flow of thought of the Hon. Member for Kalomo.

May you, continue, please.

Mr Muntanga: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The present situation is such that due to lack of buyers, our small-scale farmers in rural areas sell off their produce at very low prices for huge losses.

Then, others wonder why farmers are unable to pay off fertiliser loans. Mr Speaker, I do not think that these honourable Members of Parliament and especially the ones in the Front Bench as they are the implementers of policy would accept to sit in here in Parliament, perform their Government duties under the same conditions as the people that put us here to be paid at the end of our term without any guarantees of being reasonably paid at all. I doubt if anyone will accept that. Yet this is what we had placed on our people for ten years. Our people had to even put up with the promissory notes system of payment for their produce.

Mr Speaker, I appeal that this new Crop Marketing Authority should not be a buyer of last resort. Otherwise it will be exactly the same as the Food Reserve Agency. This New Deal CMA should go out and buy from small-scale farmers and offer the lacking marketing facility. CMA should take the lead and not allow the private sector in crop marketing continue subjecting our small-scale farmers to inhuman price structures of take it or leave it under the survival of the fittest syndrome.

Mr Speaker, I wish and implore that the New Deal Government will take note. Sir, since the New Deal Government has decided to stop subsidising imported maize and then support local farmers with cheap basic inputs, I wish to appeal that the New Deal Government should not just end at stopping subsidizing consumption, but go all out to subsidizing production. I am aware they do not like the word, ‘subsidy’ they subside but they should accept it now. The anticipated competition in the fertilizer industry in order to reduce the cost of fertilizer will not produce the intended reduction of cost of basic agricultural inputs since these same persons in the fertilizer industry normally operate as cartels. The Government must take the lead like all other governments do.

Mr Speaker, our country, especially in my constituency in Kalomo is losing millions of tons of topsoil with huge gullies forming throughout farming areas. Farmers find it difficult to get the conservation officers on the farming areas to do the required contouring. It is sad that these contour ridging was last performed in the early stages of our independence. It is my prayer that the New Deal Government will address this problem. It is important to perform contour ridging in villages so that we serve the topsoils of our agricultural land.

Mr Speaker, my constituency in Kalomo District has sent me to inform the New Deal Government to completely change from the New Culture Government of ten years. We need Rural Electrification to be undertaken in real terms. The political milking cow, ZESCO, has enough funds to serve the rural communities for a change. My constituents are asking for the very basic needs of properly stocked hospitals and schools. The only supposedly district hospital is merely some small health centre with no medicine. A number of health centres built by the communities within the constituency cannot operate due to lack of drugs. I have, in my constituency, such rural health centres as the ones in Masempela, Kalonda, Nantale, Dimbwe, Sipatunyana and Chifusa, are failing to operate because they have not drugs.

Mr Speaker, although the support of free education up to Grade 7 is very low, we look forward to getting assistance to improving the pole and dung structures in the constituency so that the free education is provided to every child born. We have hundreds of children in our constituencies who cannot go to school due to long distances to be covered of up to more than 10 kilometres between schools.

Mr Speaker, our people who also pay the K100 per litre of fuel for road rehabilitation are tired of waiting to see the money so raised go towards rehabilitation of secondary roads. The Roads Board should assist councils with the raised funds to attend to the secondary roads in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, communication in my constituency, in these computer age such as telephone postal services are ancient and completely out of date and we appeal to this New Deal Government that as they proceed in this computer age, they should also look at the rural areas so that we are computerized at the same time.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Luapula Province (Mr Chama): Mr Speaker, allow me to start by congratulating you on being re-elected into that Chair of authority. I personally and confidently consider you to be the right man in the right position and at the right time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chama: Zambians and particularly the hon. Members of this august House need a man of your calibre and integrity to lead them in the right direction. I have no doubt that even the new comers like the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipangali ( Mr Lucas Phiri) and Kanyama Member of Parliament (Mr Mtonga) will enjoy and benefit a lot from your enormous experience.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chama: I also wish to extend my similar feelings to your Deputy Speaker and the supporting staff in your office.

Secondly, Sir, I am extremely overwhelmed to be accorded this opportunity of congratulating our beloved President, His Excellency, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC on having victoriously been elected into his office.

The acceptance of Mr Mwanawasa to the throne from the Almighty Father in heaven was demonstrated by the two doves which flew on top of the High Court building when His Excellency the President was being sworn in as the Third Republican President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chama: I would also like to congratulate him for having bravely delivered a speech which I personally consider to be non-political. The speech was straightforward, simple to understand, but very meaningful. The prophets of doom were again ashamed of the outcome because Zambians have been and are still displaying high level of political maturity and are not prepared to be misled by disgruntled politicians.

Mr Speaker, as we soldier on to develop our country, I would rightfully like to join all Zambians in reclaiming that whatever victories and successes we would like to attain for our country can only come through gracious support of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom we have dedicated our country.

Mr Patel: Hallelujah !

Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, peace in this country must prevail at all times because without peace, all what we are discussing in this august House will not bear any fruits at all. Let us bury the past and forge ahead with ideas under the spirit of reconciliation. My main concern, Sir, is that Eastern Province has flooded this House with a lot of school leavers who may not appreciate the spirit of reconciliation for the betterment of our country now and in future.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the hope that the President gave to Zambians during the Official Opening of this Parliament will prove to be hopeless if we, the policy makers, bury our intentions under the blanket of selfishness and greed.

Mr Speaker, when the MMD Government came into power in 1991, new economic reforms were put in place and these are already bearing fruits. A wind of true democracy dawned, resulting in freedom of speech, which has already been abused by various Opposition leaders and their followers. Mr Speaker, these people have even gone to the extent of using abusive language against the President, but since there is pure democracy, nothing has been done to them.

Mr Speaker, I respect some of these people’s integrity, but I doubt whether they hold the nation at heart since their speeches are always directed at fermenting trouble. Mr Speaker, the birth of true democracy in Zambia brought a lot of light even to the sick people who had suffered from verbal diarrhea during the Second Republic, but they had nowhere to vomit for fear of being victimised. But now the same people are free to say anything both in papers and on anthills.

Mr Speaker, though the return in Zambia to multi-party politics has been slow and particularly in the change of behaviour of people to know that while political and policy orientation may differ, the destiny in the country’s development is the same. Once this is clearly understood that the battle is not them against us or us against them, but them and us against the problem of poverty and under development, a lot will be achieved.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, multi-party politics should be welcomed and viewed as a way of increasing political participation and brain storming of ideas and solution to the Zambian problems.

The challenge and final ends of our political parties should be to achieve economic and social development for this country. Political oppositions should be meaningful, constructive and contributory to the aim of national development.

Mr Speaker, education is the bench-mark of any successful human resource development. I, therefore, commend His Excellency the President for introducing free education from Grades 1 to Grade 7. Hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala (Mr Hachipuka), even where money grows on trees, people do not expect miracles from the Government. In my local language we say ‘Amenshi bapima no bunga’ we cannot start a thing which we cannot sustain. We have to start from somewhere in order to be systematic and work according to the strength of our economy.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank people of Pambashe Constituency for giving me yet another chance to come and represent them in this august House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale (Chipata): Mr Speaker, let me join the long list of hon. Members of Parliament to congratulate you and the Deputy Speaker on being re-elected to these very important positions that have pivotal bearing on the destiny of this great country. May I also congratulate the 150 elected Members of Parliament and also the eight nominated Members. To both categories I say, congratulations. It was not an easy win. Many had aspired to this august House before, but in vain.

Mr Speaker, my name is Mathew Mwale. I stand before you as a representative of the people of Chipata Constituency in the Eastern Province. I am a messenger and a carrier of a message of hope from my electorate following the Republican President’s Speech to this House on the occasion of the Official Opening of the 1st Session of the 9th National Assembly on 22nd February, 2002. The speech puts a silver lining to our expectations and that now, perhaps, living together in diversity is not just an ideal, but a foreseeable possibility. Hats off to the New Deal.

Mr Speaker, in line with all this, the people of Chipata Constituency have asked me to echo their views in this House on the following areas: agriculture, transport and communications, urban development, vocational training, HIV/AIDS, hunger and the eradication of poverty, PHI and the Tender Board, the morale and motivation of the civil service and finally, infrastructure maintenance. I will now go one by one to try and look at those areas.

On agriculture, it has always been not just a source of income, but a way of life for the people of my constituency. It is embodied in their habits and traditions. This is the mining that they understand. So, while now the whole focus is so much on the Anglo- American Corporation’s pull out from the Copperbelt, the people of Chipata Constituency are appealing that equal concern be attached to agriculture, not just in Chipata, but across the whole country. 

For the past ten years, every year the Government had always recognised and stated that agriculture will become the centre stage of our economic development policy, this has only ended up in disastrous and ill-conceived experiments with party cadres instead taking a centre stage, leading to a confused marketing scenario where everybody became a speculator. This has killed agriculture. What we see now is a countryside in dilapidation. 

We in the FDD are convinced that the return of primary and secondary societies will be the answer to agriculture and we are also saying in that line that let us follow the old adage that you can only give guns to people that understand war. In that line, let us give agriculture to farmers because they are the people that understand it. These party cadres should be completely left out to go on doing their politicking. If we do that, we will have taken the first step towards recovery.

The President in His Speech on agriculture, on page 34, also referred to capacity, and I quote:

‘My Government, therefore, proposes a managed transition that builds on private sector capacity while ensuring that services to farmers do not suffer in the process.’

In Chipata and, indeed, in the Eastern Province, we have personnel retired or retrenched practising farming who are on record as having run the most successful co-operative movements, not only in Zambia, but in the sub-region as a whole. This is the resource that we ask the Government to fall back on together with the numerous professionals in the concerned ministries in trying to chart a new course for agriculture in our great country. We are convinced that this is not the time for experiments. This is the time for practical result-oriented action.

On transport and communications, in his address and on notes 111, 112 and 114, the President said, and I quote:

‘We will also continue with the road maintenance initiative and build capacity of local authorities to enable them oversee programmes funded through the National Roads Board. No part of Zambia should feel isolated from the rest of the country. I, therefore, would like to see priority given to all major roads linking the provinces to the capital city in order to facilitate speedy and efficient movement of people and goods. In the recent past, however, there has been a downward slide of rail transportation due to lack of investment in the rail sub-sector in the areas of maintenance and replacement of the rolling stock and the rail track. As a result, the railways have not contributed significantly to bulk transportation.’

Mr Speaker, the foregoing quotes bring to mind with aggressive significance two important infrastructures that are not just important in Chipata Constituency or Eastern Province, but to Zambia and the sub-region as a whole, namely the Great East Road and the Chipata/Mchinji Railway. The Great East Road was built somewhere in 1968 after Independence and was maintained throughout by the Roads Department with road camps along the whole of the stretch.

1991 saw the dismantling of the road camps and the end of the maintenance of this very important road. In the last ten years of MMD rule, the Great East Road has only been resurfaced and maintained up to Nyimba District, the entry point to the Eastern Province. So many lives have been lost, so much agricultural produce have been vandalised due to the poor state of the road. This is in contrast to the maintenance of other provincial roads around the country over the same period.

In a province which is pro-agriculture, a perfect road network is necessary. As the House is aware, roads are arteries to development. In the last tenth of this ten years’ rule, only a paltry seven kilometres of road at the centre of Chipata town was rehabilitated and resurfaced. This is a mockery of the whole situation and has seen the loss of lives due to excited driving on that small stretch as against the devastated and pot-holed state of roads elsewhere. We ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, vis-a-vis, the Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Works and Supply to allocate enough money for the rehabilitation of this necessary artery to national development. This is in line with the President’s plea to prioritise on major roads.

Mr Speaker, allow me now to dwell on the Chipata/Mchinji Railway. In fact, to say Chipata/Mchinji Railway is an understatement of the geographical stretch of this project. I would rather we call it the Chipata/Mchinji/Nakala Railway. Mchinji is in Malawi, Nakala is a port on the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. This is the shortest route to the sea for Zambia and offers wide possibilities to our economy and the growth triangle. 

By 1991 the Malawian Government had built the railway line right up to Chipata stopping at Chimalo Village at Mwami Border Post. By the same date, the Zambian Government had built the dock yards, the warehouses, the offices, canteens and had laid some five or so kilometres of slippers at Namuseche in Chipata. Only fourteen kilometres between Namuseche and Chimalo Village now remains to be completed and we will then be connected to the sea. For ten years there has been talk and talk upon talk of this fourteen kilometre stretch, but nothing has been done. To date, these fourteen kilometres are still gaping.

At an appropriate time in the near future, I shall seek the indulgence of the Speaker to allow me to present to this House maps and quantitative data on this matter to justify my cause. Suffice to mention, however, that the economic and social benefits and the turn around effects that the completion of this railway would have on the Zambian economy are too attractive and compelling.  We are told in some books of economics that the reduction of cost is the surest way of  maximising profits and increasing economies of scale.

Being the shortest route to the sea, its completion would have a telling effect on the whole cost structure of this economy. The benefits are enormous and include increased traffic, timely delivery of inputs and spares, increase in bulk transportation and a definitive and positive role in the creation and establishment of the much talked about growth triangle. Above everything else, this would also provide employment to our displaced and redundant workmen all over the countryside.

The people of Chipata are appealing to the Government to come up with a definite programme for the completion of this important railway link in this year’s Budget.

On urban development, Mr Speaker, I have lived all my life in Chipata. In fact, I am a native of Mteleza Village in Chief Mpezeni in the Eastern Province.

My childhood memories of my surroundings are of green flowery mountains, running water fountains, straight and graded roads. In the evenings we went out and played around streetlights and these are lovely and poetic memories. As I grew up, I vowed that when my time comes, I would have to endeavour to maintain this greenery and this peace.

Every year immediately after the rains, we saw a grader man run around grading our roads. Within weeks, we were able to speed and cruise in these graded roads in our wire-cars. But what do we see today? Desolate and dilapidated structures, unplanned and uncontrolled development in settlements and disappearance of township streets. The whole scenario is hopeless. 

Mr Speaker, until a sensible and equitable formula for the distribution of resources is discovered, this spectre is bound to continue. In this view, we demand and plead with the Government that they should adopt a direct injection method in the sharing of resources. That is to say, that development funds be channeled directly to the districts and the constituencies. This way, and this way alone, do I hope that an I can see the greenery of my childhood again.

While the President has covered education generally, vocational training seems to have been left out. Education will become meaningful if it is complemented with skill. In Chipata and indeed, the Eastern Province, our cry is the completion of the Chipata Trades School. The House may wish to know that, in fact, we are the only province without a trades school. 

By 1991, a site for the school had been sited and gazetted on the Malawi Road, four staff houses were built and electricity installed. To date, that is all there is to it. This is sad. A few courses, however, are being carried out running side by side on squatting arrangement with Katopola Farm Institute. However, I am against the displacement of the agricultural college in order to accommodate a trades school. Not only do we need the agricultural college so vital to the industry, but also the very arrangement inhibits the number and quality of courses offered. Can the Government provide enough funding for the completion of the trade school and bring us on equal footing with rest of the country.

Poverty and hunger have been talked about by, literally, everybody in this House. But I will still go over it again. The levels of hunger have reached unprecedented levels. Every day, people are dying due to adult malnutrition. The wild fruits and tubers that they were eating are no longer there. At his inauguration, the mother to the President spoke words of wisdom to the effect that he should know that he is the President of every Zambian and every region of this country. These are words of wisdom that need to be translated into action.

Recently, the Government had released maize on to the market to cushion prices of maize meal. None of this maize has found its way into our mills in Chipata. We wonder why. Meanwhile, our people have been left at the mercy of the profiteering traders. One can only hope that this is a genuine oversight and not a reprisal.

On morale and motivation in the Civil Service, Mr Speaker, allow me to divert a bit. I come from the Civil Service background. In fact, I was a civil servant until about three months before the elections. The morale and motivation in the Civil Service in Chipata is terribly low and in fact, dangerously low and needs immediate attention. This is mainly due not to the already poor conditions of services or salaries that the civil servant is undergoing. But it is because of one big civil servant in the name of the Permanent Secretary who is both a civil servant and a politician.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Mr Mwale: His utterances in both the electronic and print media bear testimony to this. In that regard, he has labeled every civil servant anti-Government and has waged an intimidatory war together with his soldiers, District Administrators across the province. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: He has messed up the Eastern Province Tender Board. He has personalised PHI funds by personal awards of contracts to questionable and substandard contractors at the expense of development. This House must know and remember that an intimidated workforce is a very unproductive workforce. Can the Government come to the aid of the civil servants and make them predictable by finding a place for this Controlling Officer and, of course, his District Administrators who are openly a partisan office.

Let me, now, come to the maintenance of infrastructure. The talk about resuscitating agriculture cannot go without maintenance of infrastructure.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Mwale: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

At the suspension of business, I was dwelling on the request by the people of Chipata Constituency requesting that Government move in and help the civil servants to be motivated again by the transfer of the provincial Permanent Secretary who has intimidated them so much, and, also to carry out investigations into the awarding of contracts under the PHI-related funds.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: In talking about the Civil Service alone, I think I would be unfair to the private sector if I do not mention one area in Chipata Constituency that caused quite a lot of controversy and concern. The hon. Members may have read about Clark Cotton in Chipata. This is an issue at which I am calling upon the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry and also the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to carry out investigations on what is going on at Clark Cotton in the Eastern Province.

Our people have to undergo a lot of problems. They have to work under slavery and racialist conditions of service. And of a recent and very important event, one of the directors of that company was caught using our girls and workers in the name of poverty to go to bed with dogs. And this is a police case, but for some reason, like the hon. Member for Chipangali (Mr L. L. Phiri) said, this man is left scot-free and is running around. Can the Government move in?

Mr Speaker, I am now moving on to the maintenance of infrastructure. I am saying that to talk about the resuscitation of the agricultural industry cannot go without reference to the maintenance of the infrastructure. By infrastructure, I mean the storage sheds and the feeder roads.

The countryside is full of abandoned and unmaintained storage sheds and unattended to feeder roads. Most of these sheds have been turned into one of these three things. It is either they have been turned into churches, brothels or indeed, hiding playgrounds for thieves. For the agricultural crusade to take off, the Government must come up with clear-cut policy and provisions for the maintenance of these structures.

Finally, Mr Speaker, if my address to this august House does not touch lightly on matters of health, it will not be complete. While I appreciating that the President has given far-reaching policy guidelines on the issue of health, I think that the staffing needs of hospitals need special attention. It is unimaginable, for instance, that a hospital as large as Chipata General Hospital can only have eight qualified doctors. Whatever wonderful ideas we have about the eradication of HIV/AIDS and diseases in general, these would be futile if we cannot address the staffing problems in our hospitals.

Mr Speaker, as I now wish to sit down, I would like to commit the House to God Almighty for taking us there. May he continue to guide us richly so that we may be able to represent our people with fortitude honesty and integrity.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal (Namwala): Mr Speaker, first of all, let me thank the people of Namwala for electing me to represent them in this august House. May I associate myself with other hon. Members who have congratulated the President on his speech, which came very close to what we, on this side of the House, have been advocating for some time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal: The last thirty years in Zambia have seen the triumph of politics of personal gain over development and sound economic management.

In 1980, Zambia’s per capita income was US$630. By 2000, it had declined to US$300. With HIV/AIDS prevalence at more than twenty per cent, most social indicators in our country have deteriorated with life expectancy falling from fifty-one years in 1980 to only thirty-eight years in 2000. Much of this reflected poor copper prices, followed by the venality of the Chiluba era. At times it seemed as if Zambia was in some kind of competition to be the worst managed economy in the world, with the most precipitous declining living standards and an unenviable position in the bottom one third of transparency international’s corruption index.

Mr Speaker, to add to our woes is the KCM crisis. Some observers have described the withdrawal of the Anglo-American Corporation from KCM as the worst crisis confronting our nation since UDI in 1965. Yet we have very few facts on this situation, not least the impact on the Budget, foreign exchange, employment, growth, and so on. The President has told us that a task force has been established to advise on the crisis, but little information has been shared with this House. I hope that this situation will soon be rectified through a ministerial statement by the Government to the House. I hope we can look forward to up-to-date reports from the same Government.

Mr Speaker, I wish, now, to address the issue of good governance. It was encouraging to hear the President of the Republic speak about the importance of good economic management and a sound anti-corruption programme. He will have the support of all of us if he is prepared to take actions to support these objectives. It is entirely within his hands to bring about the required improvement and I would like to start by suggesting some concrete steps to help the Executive follow through on their intentions.

1.    The Presidential discretionary fund should be abolished. It serves no purpose other than to offer bribes and spend money without accountability.

2.    The Office of the President, Special Division, should become accountable like all other Government departments with a clear definition of its function and submitting to the budgetary authority of Parliament.

3.    The selection process for the key appointments to important positions, such as Inspector-Generals of Police, Commanders of Armed Forces, the Chief Justice and the Electoral Commission of Zambia Chairman, needs to be revised. The President selects or removes some of the appointees without reference to Parliament. This allows a situation where the President ensures that anyone in a position of power is beholden to him to secure employment.

4.    Institutions such as the Human Rights Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement Commission need to be given greater powers of investigation and be legally obliged to report to Parliament rather than to the Executive. That way, the Executive will have less opportunity to prevent action on cases of corruption in the hope of gaining political leverage.

5.    The Government should be compelled to follow up and prosecute well-known cases of suspected corruption and diversion of public funds some of which have already been the subject of judicial inquiry and specific recommendations. Is it not time for the Meridien Bank bailout, and the cobalt scandal to face full public investigation? Mr Speaker, without action on these notorious cases, the Government’s intentions sound like the ‘Old Deal’ in new clothes.

6.    In the New Deal, surely, there is no room for the State-owned and Government-controlled media, as it continues to be a propaganda machine for the party in power. I wish the hon. Minister were in the House. The public media have to be independent in order to educate and disseminate information. Government’s role should be restricted to that of the appointment of a regulatory authority approved by Parliament.

Let me, now, address the issue of constitutional and Parliamentary Reforms. Mr Speaker, the ease with which corruption has gained hold in Zambia is part of a deeper problem of lack of accountability and imbalance between the Legislature and the Executive. It is necessary to change from a President’s Parliament to a people’s Parliament. Legislative change should be by consent and not decree. I suggest it is time to establish a constitutional court to address the numerous issues that have arisen since the first multi-party Constitution in 1991.

There are several areas requiring attention starting with an excessively casual attitude towards the introduction of legislation.

1.    We should be accorded more time to consider proposed new laws. Members cannot be expected to vote responsibly on a Bill on the same day as it is laid before the House, as happened in the last Parliament. This applies particularly to the Budget Bill which requires careful and detailed scrutiny.

2.    The modification of laws by statutory instruments issued by Ministers and then gazetted without being put before Parliament flagrantly undermines the powers of Parliament and cannot be allowed to go unchecked.

3.    Every year, parliamentary committees, such as the Public Accounts Committee, make recommendations to the Executive, based on the Auditor-General’s Reports, which then gather dust on the shelves. Motions of censure should be enforceable.

4.    There should be changes in the manner in which parliamentary sessions are convened. The House should have an enforceable right to convene a session of Parliament on the basis of a petition by a quorum of Members of Parliament so that a further check on excessive Executive power exists.

5.    The gazetting of a fixed election date will prevent the fiasco of the last elections. The Electoral Commission of Zambia will not have to guess and will have ample time to prepare for elections. It allows for better planning by all stakeholders.

6.    The right of the President to nominate Members of Parliament should be removed. At the same time, the President needs to be able to draw upon the best talent available to constitute his Cabinet, but if he appoints Ministers from outside this House, they should be answerable to Parliament as Ex-officio Members who do not have the right to vote.

Yes, why should they vote? Whom do they represent?

7.    Parliamentary committees should be strengthened with resources to undertake their own independent research and adequate time to consider important issues.

8.    The manner in which Presidential Elections are held has its shortcomings. The simple majority constitutional requirement lacks popular support and has seen the ushering in of a minority Government. To check the number of aspiring Presidential candidates, we need a run-off system.

9.    Changes need to be made to the Electoral Act as well. The Commission structure and composition should be reconstituted to reflect the interest of all stakeholders. The Electoral Commission of Zambia should be accountable to Parliament.

10.    Loyalty should be to upholding the Constitution which even the President should abide to. The Oath of Allegiance should be sworn to uphold the Constitution and the President as the custodian of the Constitution, thereby enshrining the supremacy of the Constitution above all other institutions in the land. This change in oath should apply to all other public officers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal: Mr Speaker, I now want to address the issue of the District Administrators. A particularly important area in which politics has interfered in development is in the Office of the District Administrator. The introduction of this instrument of Presidential control has misdirected developmental resources. It should, therefore, be scrapped, as it is a product of political engineering where patronage seems to be the only criterion for appointment. Not only do the District Administrators absorb scarce public funds, they have undermined the development of democracy at the district level by usurping the rights of district councils.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Nkumbula-Liebenthal: I would like to commend the President’s proposal to have offices at constituency level for Members of Parliament to be able to stay in touch with the people. I would add the point that a budgetary parliamentary allocation should be made available to enable us, Members of Parliament, to employ one or more support staff.

On women and children, the maginalisation of women, children and youths is another area of grave concern. They make up the majority of the population but their needs are not addressed. Our mothers look after our children and tend the fields. Having educated, healthy, self-sufficient women will only improve living conditions. Too often, discrimination against women who bear the brunt of poverty has been hidden behind traditional cultural claims. To prevent this abuse, there is need for amendments to existing laws. The promotion of girl-child education is a step in the right direction. The empowerment of women can only alleviate suffering.

Mr Speaker, I now want to turn to Namwala Constituency. Mr Speaker, Namwala District, in common with most other areas of the country, has about 80 per cent of the population who are poor and there are many only just above the poverty line. Infant mortality is high. We do not even have reliable data on the HIV/AIDS infection rate in the district since there are no testing kits in any of our health centres.

Health services should be available and affordable to all. Namwala has a population of about 90,000 with one hospital and one doctor. The hospital has no generator to service the life-saving equipment in times of power failure. Its only ambulance is old and does not function most of the time. There is lack of facilities at the hospital, resulting in the referral of patients to Macha Mission Hospital for surgical services. There are clinics in every ward, but few are in good condition. There are short-staffed partly because of inadequate staff accommodation and partly because conditions of service in the rural areas are not sufficiently attractive. Sanitation is poor with the result that there are many infections from water-borne diseases. A safe water supply is needed in many more communities.

Poverty cannot be reduced without health, education, safe water and sanitation. In Namwala District, the major health challenge is malaria, the incidence of which has been increasing. At the same time, the Namwala health team deserves congratulations on having achieved a nearly 100 per cent immunisation rate for the main child health interventions. But I mentioned earlier that HIV/AIDS, despite its importance is not even accurately recorded at this time.

HIV/AIDS presents all of us as leaders with one of our greatest challenges, since we know that only with behavioural change on a substantial scale will we turn this around. Let us be blunt about it. So long as men believe that they can have multiple sexual partners, and so long as condom use is not supported by our health services, our society will continue to be ravaged by this epidemic. I hope that the Head of State and all of us in this House will speak about this scourge to our constituents.

This year we face a catastrophe in Namwala due to a poor harvest last year and a failure in this year's rains. Mealie-meal prices are already at record high levels as we approach the end of the growing season and the need for relief is desperate. The district undoubtedly has tremendous potential. While the cattle population is reported to have declined to some 94,000 heads over the years because of disease, the district officially recorded sales of over 6,000 heads of cattle in 2001 with a value conservatively estimated at K2 billion. Official sales of fish totaled K30 million and the district is usually a net exporter of maize, cotton and sunflower.

I ask myself why a district with such potential is still so poor. I do understand that Government money is very tight, not least because of the manifest corruption and incompetence of the previous MMD Government, which cost the country US$30 million per month while it criminally delayed in privatising the mine. I have supporting evidence to this effect.

Mr. Speaker, at the national level, we hear about the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), which is a condition of our access to debt relief through HIPC. But it has not been brought before this House and I would earnestly suggest that time be set aside for a debate on the PRSP in the context of the Budget debate or ministerial statement to the House. Without a good understanding of the causes of poverty at the national and district levels and a clear practical strategy for reducing poverty, we will all be missing the point.

Mr Speaker, we know that the rains fail about once every five to ten year in Zambia and neighbouring countries. Why then do we not have systems in place to deal with this? I would like to suggest a more effective early warning system which goes beyond the long-range weather forecast to set in motion plans to store or acquire food reserves at or near the point of consumption.

Mr Speaker, on agriculture, the reforms in agriculture need modification. Inputs such as seed and fertiliser should be available on time. There should be greater assurance of produce marketing than has occurred with an unregulated private sector approach. There is an outcry to restore co-operatives because farmers knew where to go and what prices to expect. We may not be able to cushion farmers from uncertainty but we should create a business-oriented support system for farmers. Possibly the single most important measure to reduce poverty in Namwala District would be to improve feeder roads. Many of these have not been graded since the Kaunda era with the exception of the November/December period prior to the elections.

On education, Sir, basic education is the right of every Zambian. It should be available, accessible and free up to Grade 12 and not Grade 7 as was retrogressively suggested by the President. Education and literacy are key to national development.

Mr Speaker, I was privileged to stand alongside my late father, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula amongst other independence leaders, when the Zambian flag first flew on 24th October, 1964 at Independence Stadium. Mr. Speaker, we have witnessed the evolution of Zambian politics from Chilenje to State House, from the Legislative Council to Manda Hill and still remember the vision and commitment of the founding fathers and it is attainable by us gathered in this august House. 

If we sincerely aspire for a greater Zambia, a Zambia without poverty, a Zambia with adequate health and educational facilities and a Zambia where once again people can walk tall and proud, then truly our aspirations are noble and must be followed up with deed. Should we not, the elected Members of Parliament, as the people’s choice, direct the legislation in this nation instead of being a rubber stamp?

Mr. Speaker, I feel honoured and privileged to…

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

Mr Deputy Speaker: That maiden speech contains some issues which require a bit of research and be replied to by some of you hon. Ministers tomorrow. I hope you have taken note of the points.

Any further debate?

The Minister for Northern Province (Mr Filamba): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for according me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech to this august House.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by congratulating you and the Speaker, though you are the one in the Chair now, for being re-elected to those positions. In the same vein, let me congratulate our beloved President for being elected President of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President raised a number of important issues covering all areas of human endeavour. It is against this background that we, hon. Members of Parliament here, need to put our heads together and come up with workable legislation, which will be in the interest of the nation.

Sir, this kind of finger-pointing, accusation after accusation, will not benefit our electorates who sent us here.

Mr Speaker, before I thank all hon. Members here, I would like to congratulate all of you for having been elected in your respective constituencies. I also wish to thank my people in Shiwang’andu Constituency for electing me to this august House. I thank hon. Traditional Chiefs in Northern Province for having supported our President throughout our campaign up to the last day.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Filamba: Mr Speaker, lastly, I urge all of us to work together and find solutions to the problems that our people are encountering.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister for Copperbelt Province (Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the opening Speech by the President.
Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on your re-election as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, for this Parliament. Your re-election is a true and clear manifestation of the trust that the people of Zambia have in you. I would like, also, to pay tribute to His Excellency the President for a wonderful speech which has given us a lot of thought, particularly as we enter a new era. I would also like to pay tribute to the people of Kasempa for realising that voting for the Opposition does not pay.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: They have realised that for the past five years, there has been no progress and development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: They have realised that if you vote for the Government, you get development. Well done, Kasempa!

Mr Speaker, I would like to briefly talk about the last elections we had. They were well intended. Unfortunately, some leaders were threatening the citizens of this country. This is a dangerous precedent which if we allow it to continue in this country, we shall have anarchy. It is not good to warn your fellow citizens by saying that “you will see. You will be kneeling before us” and that “you will see our province will be a no go area” and you even specify the provinces. I think this is shameful.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: In fact, what went on before the elections will have a repercussion in the years to come. We shall see who will win in the next elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: The MMD has nothing to fear. We are not threatening anybody because we know that we are all Zambians. Unfortunately, there are a few leaders in our own country who have shown their true colours and we shall never forget.

Mr Speaker, on agriculture, I am suggesting to various councils and the people of Zambia to concentrate on agriculture in high rainfall areas. These are Copperbelt, Northern, Luapula and North-Western provinces. The councils must make it easy for people to own land and encourage them to grow more food. Southern, Eastern and Central Provinces have problems but we need to assist them in promoting irrigation as much as possible.

Mr Speaker, with regard to our relations with our neighbours, Zambia is a landlocked country but the only way we can improve our communication with the outside world to reduce costs, especially, costs for transportation of goods, we need to have railway lines connecting with most of our neighbours. For example, we need a railway line connecting us to Namibia and Angola.

Mr Shumina: Whom are you telling that?

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: Wait a minute.


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: It is the people in those areas, …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: … especially in Eastern Province. You must push so that …

Mr Shumina: He is thinking aloud.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Minister for Copperbelt, you are a member of the Executive. You are supposed to stand here and tell us what you, as Government, are planning to do to improve all those things that you are talking about.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Do not speak like a back-bencher. Leave that type of language to back-benchers. 

Will you, please, continue.

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: Mr Speaker, I think it was the English language which was misunderstood.


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: Sir, regarding our economy, my Governemnt …


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: …intends to empower Zambians economically. It is the only way we can ensure that we drive our economy to the right direction. The recent or current mealie-meal shortage is a clear sign that there are very few Zambians that are participating in the milling industry. So, what we intend to do is to ensure that Zambians are given soft loans so that they participate fully in the industry which at one time was run by the Government, but then we had to abandon that policy mainly because of pressure from the World Bank and IMF. Now, the people who took over are mainly foreigners because they have the economic power. This is what we intend to change.

I would like to subscribe again that the people’s attitude towards the economy must change. Instead of relying on Government, they must plan what to do. This is why it is necessary and we are going to do it. We are going on a campaign for high performance programmes so that at least, if our attitudes change, definitely, the country will improve. We have seen many countries in the Far East that were on the same level as us in 1964, but because of the positive attitude, they are doing better than ourselves. What has caused us to think the way we are thinking is mainly socialism brought by the UNIP Government where they had to provide mealie-meal coupons. And now, we want to change all that.

With regard to mining, it is regrettable that the situation is like this, particularly, regarding Konkola Mine. We are being intimidated by Anglo-American Corporation, …

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: …led by one of the leaders of one of these political parties.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: Can it be a coincidence?


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: We have seen a lot of trucks carrying copper to South Africa. In fact, a lot of copper is going for export and for a company to come and say that they are making a loss, it is up to them. We have friends and they are ready to fill the vacuum. So, we are not going to be threatened or intimidated.

Mr Speaker, there is a thinking that the price of copper is always controlled by certain companies. We should be thinking of forming cartels for copper.


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: Major producers, for example oil, coffee, gold, diamonds form cartels so that they maintain the prices.

Mr Speaker, I will now talk about District Administrators. I am a believer in District Administrators.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: I am not ashamed to do so. District Administrators used to be called District Commissioners.

Hon. Opposition Members: No, no!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: You need leadership at district level and you, hon. Members of Parliament, should be the first ones to agree. If we have made a mistake, it is the type of people we have in those positions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: District Administrators are very essential to the hon. Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament. What we may have to do is to select or elect them, but we need District Administrators. When we discuss the Budget, we must support them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: Mr Speaker, I will now talk about the Press. First of all, I would like to commend the journalists, especially of the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and Television of Zambia for their gallant fights against those forces that have been trying to destabilize our country, well done!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: There are people who seem to be champions of good governance and are being controlled by western imperialists who want to colonise our country. They do not know that the western Press, whether it is the Economist, the Times of London,  BBC, Voice of America or Reuters are all globalised and controlled by a few powerful men and women. Unfortunately, some of our newspapers are too ignorant. They cannot see beyond their noses.


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: Mr Speaker, before, I wind up, I would like to talk briefly about sports, especially, football. We did not perform well at the Africa Cup of Nations. We failed to score.


Lieutenant-Colonel Kafumukache: …mainly because FAZ has not had a good programme in the provinces, especially among secondary schools. The Football Association of Zambia should from now on start having ambitious plans so that during the next games, we are there and determined to win.

We are going to look at the infrastructure so that at least we can host some international games that will give us experience in international competitions.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lungu (Lundazi): I thank you for giving me the opportunity to rise and add my comments to the various issues already so ably raised by the President of the Republic of Zambia. At this point, allow me, Sir, to congratulate the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker for their re-election to their respective positions. I hope and believe, having been one of the contestants that if I won, I am referring particularly to the Deputy Speaker, I want to believe that he would have had the opportunity also to congratulate me. But in this case, I congratulate you.


Mr Lungu: Mr Speaker, it is quite clear to all of us that we have come to this august House not in our own right but as representatives, representing not only the needs of our constituencies and parties that have sent us here, but the collective will, concerns and needs of the Republic. We must first and foremost highlight particular concerns of our local areas. But in doing so, we must never lose sight of the fact that most local problems are the same or of a similar nature throughout the country. The collective concerns and needs should, therefore, be primarily to bring long-term solutions towards national development. 

Mr Speaker, we have come to this session of the National Assembly at a time of great crisis. There is on one hand the frightful hunger situation ravaging the country and on the other hand, there is the impending pullout of Anglo-American Corporation from the Nkokola Copper Mine (KCM). The KCM problem has been mentioned already in the Presidential Ceremonial Address, assuring the House that steps are being taken to avert the potential calamity. I nevertheless mention it only to keep the issue alive and constantly on our minds for active consideration. This is so because I realise that the economy, political and social consequences are too disastrous to imagine if this development is carelessly managed. It has the single most potential to derail just about everything we may plan and legislate. 

Mr Speaker, the hunger situation has already claimed many lives. This problem is of great magnitude and emergency. It should not be taken lightly and an immediate and comprehensive response is required. In Lundazi, even the mangoes that have in the past sustained people during such crisis have long finished. A hopeless situation has developed to such an extent that it would not be overstatement to point out that people are dying on a daily basis as a result of hunger. Malnutrition in children has reached unprecedented levels. There are dangerous levels of desperation throughout the communities. There is great need for emergency food supply. 

Relief maize should be dispatched forthwith and an effective way of distribution devised so that time is not lost. I suggest that among other methods, the church network may be of great assistance in this project. Due to erratic rainfall and in some cases actual drought, the hunger situation is likely to continue throughout the year. We must, therefore, brace for the full weight of the crisis. The Budget should, therefore, be reflective in its Expenditure Estimates for the entire year regarding emergency food relief. This is a matter of recurrent expenditure now and not a matter of supplementary allocation to be considered later in the year.

The need for Rural Development

Mr Speaker, to avoid this type of crisis from re-occurring, great emphasis must be placed on rural development. This should be aimed at improving the standard of living for the rural citizen as well as to attract the urban poor, the educated and skilled manpower to relocate. We must create in the minds of our people, young and old, educated and uneducated, that the way of life that is dignified, enjoyable and meaningful can be lived in the rural areas. Development must not always be seen to have its hub at the urban centre. Indeed, development as it has been done in many parts of the world can occur having as its hub in rural towns. Growth can occur outwards from the rural centre towards the urban areas. I would like to encourage that this perspective be taken on as a crusade by this 9th Session of the National Assembly.


Mr Speaker, rural development can best be achieved through an agricultural revolution with the aim of food self-sufficiency in the country. I am very delighted that the President has identified agriculture as a replacement for mining as the engine of economic development, employment generation and poverty reduction. These intentions must, however, be serious and implemented so as to avoid rhetorical excitement only. I am overjoyed that the MMD has finally recognised the firm policy stance of the United National Independence Party on agricultural policy. 

It is satisfying to note that the pendulum has swung back to embrace the agricultural approach that UNIP has kept alive during the entire ten years in the Opposition. The ideas highlighted in the Presidential Speech in terms of agriculture are excellent ones. There is a Chinese saying that says – I hope the Government side is listening – that if you want to know the quality of the road ahead of you, ask those who are coming back. The new NAMBOARD entitled Crop Marketing Authority should be supported by everyone. However, it is important to pull out the files of the old NAMBOARD,  study and analyse them to avoid the mistakes of an earlier generation. 

Mr Speaker, if the Crop Marketing Authority is to be a success story we all want it to be, mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that not only does the farmer have easy access to markets but also that his or her rate of retain reflects the actual value of the produce. That good price be offered by the businessman or buyer and if need be the Crop Marketing Authority must help to regulate the price. It is important that the farmer is not exploited by hoarders and unscrupulous middlemen seeking a quick kill because of the desperation of the farmer. It is important that the farmer is left with enough investment capital after his essential needs like education fees for children and health costs for the family have been taken care of.

Mr Speaker, in Lundazi, as a result of poor prices obtaining in the district, about 60 per cent of maize, tobacco, cotton and groundnuts produced find their way to neighbouring Malawi where higher prices are offered for the produce. Indeed this development may not entirely be a bad one since it promotes regional trade and good neighbourliness. However, the desirable position should be that of produce finding better markets and prices within the country. Food security is indeed a matter for national security. 

Mr Speaker, for agriculture to become an alternative mainstay of the economy, a number of concerns must be addressed. Among these are the availability of cheap credit, regular provision of extension services and rehabilitation and expansion of the feeder road network which have long been reclaimed by nature. For some areas, even the main road network needs urgent attention. For example, the Lundazi/Chipata Road has been in a terrible condition for over 20 years now. This road is the gateway to development in Lundazi District. There can be little or no further development without this road being resurfaced comprehensively. The state of the bridge on the Lundazi Road is bad. You will agree with me, Mr Speaker, that this situation presents obstacles towards development in the area.

Mr Speaker, as regards the social sector, if we are to make rural life more attractive, as an outlet for young teachers and doctors, we must ensure that the environment for their work and facilities for their families are up to standard. Many school children in Chiefs Kapichila, Mwansa and Mpamba have no desks or chairs to write on. Many schools have no windows, doors or even blackboards for effective teaching. While on this point, Sir, allow me to say something. I recognise the presence in the House of His Honour the Vice-President, and I want to take the advantage to say one thing.

I have talked about three Chiefs in my constituency, Kapichila, Mwase and Mpamba. In Chief Mpamba the chieftaincy is there, Mr Speaker, but for over four years now we have had a problems and I come from Chief Mpamba’s village. Up to now, the people do not know who Chief Mpamba is in terms of the person. This case has been going on for a long time. His Honour the Vice-President will bear with me. A commission was set up but up to now, we do not know how far the issue is. I have been here for two weeks, if the decision has been made, I will be glad to know about it and I intend to see His Honour the Vice- president in a few days’ time. 

Mr Speaker, in the health sector there are several structures that have remained uncompleted for several years such as the rural health clinic project at Mucheleka School in Lundazi District. It is projects like this one that one wishes to complete with the assistance of Government and help from the donor community.

 In addition, there is great need for adequate provision of clean water. Many boreholes which were so useful in the past have become disused, concerted effort must be put in place for a great national project for borehole maintenance and digging of new wells. Here again, we need the assistance of the Government as well as our co-operating partners.

Concluding Remarks

Mr Speaker, in my concluding remarks, let me bring to the attention of this august House the needs of the important institution of Chiefs. Our traditional rulers play an important part in rural life. Since they are the mirrors of our society, it is important to consider their concern. The houses of Chiefs in Lundazi …


I am talking about the dwelling places, palaces, not the House Chiefs, I am talking about houses in which Chiefs live. Houses of Chiefs in Lundazi are in terrible state. Their conditions definitely need to be upgraded.

Other necessary facilities to enable the Chiefs perform their functions adequately needs to be looked at. The Government must make great efforts to improve the general living standards of our traditional rulers. Mr Speaker, when I look around in this House I feel proud. I see a number of Hon. Members of Parliament, wearing descent suits and so on. But if you go to areas where I live, by the way I stay in the village eight kilometres from the Boma. If you go to these Chiefs’ palaces, you will find the conditions under which our Chiefs live, it is really pathetic. Really the Government must do something. We cannot be priding ourselves, and yet deny our Chiefs the respect they deserve. The Chiefs are suffering. So, I urge those people in authority to look at these issues seriously. 

Mr Speaker, the President also spoke about the devolution of power. This is the powerful concept which needs support. But in order for effective devolution to take place the district councils and its office bearers must be adequately budgeted for. In this regard, I bring attention to the poor conditions under which our councillors operate. Their sitting allowances are not even enough to provide for transport and accommodation needs for them to attend meetings of the councils. Indeed, the conditions of district councils and councillors need improvement. Only then can power be devolved.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I agree entirely with suggestions made by the President that the district councils should establish offices to be used by local Members of Parliament at which grievances of the people can be received. This suggestion should receive active and immediate consideration. It will make Members of parliament to be more accountable to those whom they represent.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Nalolo, you are not ready. Hon. Member for Luapula.

Dr Machungwa: I thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important motion on the Floor. That is the thanks of the House to be recorded to His Excellency the President on the speech delivered to the House last Friday.

To begin with, I wish to thank and commend the people of Luapula Province in the Bangweulu Swamps for bringing me again to this House.


Dr Machungwa: They travelled, persevered and went in their canoes and voted in numbers and ensured that the MMD was returned to power.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Secondly, I wish to congratulate you and Mr Speaker on a hard earned and very well deserved victory. The House demanded an open voting system in line with the Standing Orders and we had that done. It was a test of democracy and it worked out well. 

In future, Sir, we may, in this House, wish to take a look at our procedures for electing the Speaker. I think we should look at the tenets of our Constitution which espouses secret ballot and look at other trends in other Commonwealth Parliaments. We may wish, in future, to look at how we elect the Speaker. That is, we may wish to consider electing the Speaker by secret ballot.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, I wish to congratulate all hon. Members for emerging victorious in their constituencies in what was the most heavily contested election in our nation. I say congratulations to you all. You fought hard.

Sir, only 30 per cent of Members from the Eighth Parliament retained their seats. I congratulate these, specially.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Further scrutiny of the record shows that only six Members, which represents four per cent of the House, have come back to the House, representing the same constituencies for the third term. These are Hon. Norman Chibamba, Member of Parliament for Mwense Constituency, Hon. Steven Manjata, Member of Parliament for Luampa Constituency, Hon. Dipak Patel, Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central, who is famously know as Chief Baulani.


Dr Machungwa: Hon. Eric Silwamba, Member of Parliament for Ndola, Hon. Dalton Sonkontwe, Member of Parliament for Chembe and lastly but not least, Hon. Dr Peter Machungwa, Member of Parliament for Luapula Constituency.

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

Dr Machungwa: whatever it is that the six hon. Members of Parliament might be doing in their constituencies, the people there like it, and I think they should continue.

Mr Speaker, I wish to congratulate His Excellency the President on a well-delivered address. He covered many areas concerning the social and economic situation in our country. He further outlined the way forward. 

In my short address and in supporting the President’s Address, I will restrict my remarks to only a few areas. Firstly, I wish to begin by reading from his speech at paragraph 5 where he says and I quote: ‘We are all of us in this Parliament today because of the will of the people who voted for us in the recent elections. You all fought a good fight, you won the confidence and trust of the people who elected you and they expect you to deliver to promote their interests and welfare.’ 

Elsewhere at paragraph 11, the President  continues, ‘All Zambians should know that this House is not a battlefront or battleground. The men and women elected to this House have a great and solemn responsibility to facilitate the achievement of the Zambian dream’.

Mr Speaker, I fully agree with the sentiments expressed by His Excellency the President. In other words, Sir, I agree that this is not the centre for creating acrimony and bitterness through making unsubstantiated allegations and innuendoes or even insulting others. Our job here is to ameliorate or improve on the quality of life of those who sent us here. It is incumbent on each one of us individually and severally to do our best. 

Let us debate with facts. I must say, Sir, as Members of Parliament, we are well placed and privileged to be able to demand information from the Executive, Government bureaucracy, Ministers or even from the Head of State through questions which are answered on the Floor of the House or, in fact, through the ministerial statements so that we can get to the facts and be able to speak truthfully and decide on what to do in the future.

What I would like to say is that we are going to meet a lot of problems in our constituencies and in this House. My plea and approach is that whatever problems we encounter, we must try …

Hon. Members: Order, order! As Hon. Nsingo passed in front of the Hon. Member (Dr Machungwa) who was on the Floor. 

Dr Machungwa: … what I was saying, Sir, was that whatever problems we encounter, we must turn these problems into opportunities for achieving what we can achieve for our people. If we move that way, we will probably be able to come back to this House again and again.

Another important issue which was raised by the President at paragraph 17, is that one of governance, and I am happy to note that quite a number of hon. Members who have debated have commented on this. Tied to the issue of governance is accountability and integrity.


Dr Machungwa: What is important here, hon. Members, is the need for the people to know the truth.


Dr Machungwa: Integrity, Sir, is the uncompromising adherence to a code of moral values, total sincerity, honesty, candour …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Machungwa: … the absence of deception or expediency artificiality or avoiding shallowness.

Mr Speaker, when we speak in this House, we must at all costs speak with facts, otherwise, we may hit the headlines, but we may not achieve much. I know when I am speaking and talking about integrity, I am getting some comments from others and I am even hearing others talking about K2 billion …

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, I am constrained to talk about this issue as most hon. Members know, this is still in the courts and it is subjudice. However, suffice it for me to say that the K2 billion that most hon. Members want to talk about went to Parliament and if you have read and scrutinised all records and you do not want to rely on just rumour, you know that that K2 billion went to Parliament and Parliament spent it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Machungwa: However, if you wish to continue with innuendo and debate without integrity and not based on facts, you may wish to continue, but we pity you because you may not achieve much.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, the President at paragraphs 29 to 31 stressed the importance of gender balancing, that is ensuring that our women in this country get their proportionate representation in Government, Parliament and in all spheres of life. This is extremely important and it must be supported. In fact, we should, from this House strive to encourage the scrapping of all discriminatory practices and procedures which make it difficult for women to get their fair share of the national cake.

When we come here in the afternoons  each time, the Hon. Mr Speaker reads a prayer and then we sing the national anthem.. Let me try to quote the chorus of the national anthem. 

Hon. Sichinga: We sing the national anthem first.

Dr Machungwa: We sing the national anthem first then we get the prayer. Thank you, Hon. Sichinga.

The chorus goes like this: ‘Praise be to God, Praise be, Praise be, Free men we stand under the flag of our land’. I think that when they wrote this national anthem when independence was nearing, perhaps we were not not so conscience of all these gender issues. In 1962, when the elections were held, they were thirty-one Members of Parliament in the LEGCO. The thirty-one Members were all men and in 1963, they were forty-eight Members of Parliament and were all men. In 1964, they were seventy-eight Members of Parliament and five were women. From then, of course, the number of women has increased and we hope that the number will continue to increase. 

In my view, Sir, hon. Members, I believe issues and statements like that phrase which is in the national anthem should be looked at. When I sing the national anthem myself, when others say, ‘Free men we stand, I say, freely we stand’ because there even women stand. When we are at some place or function and my wife is there, I cannot say ‘ Free men’ because my wife is not a man.

Mr Speaker, at paragraph 38, the President stressed the importance of debt reduction. Foreign debt is very high and our programmes of development are constrained by what we have to pay to meet the debt service obligations. Since the mid 1970s, the foreign debt has been increasing until 1991 when it had reached US$ 7.3 billion. We have since been grappling with this debt as Government and we shall continue, but I am happy to say that in the year 2000, the debt had fallen from US$ 7.3 billion to US$ 6.3 billion.

Hon. Opposition Members: How?

Dr Machungwa: In 2001, I believe that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, when he delivers his address this Friday, may even report that we have even made more progress on this. Now, this is something that is worth commending. Hon. Members, when I was talking about debating with integrity, you need to have facts which I am giving you. You are free to check these facts with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, they are there for you to see and confirm.


Dr Machungwa: At paragraphs 42 and 73, His Excellency the President devoted a lot of time to the issue of agriculture. This shows, in fact, the importance that our Government attaches to agriculture. I commend the President for the measures that he had suggested and outlined to try to address the issue of agriculture, but I want to mention a few important issues that pertain to us as Members and leaders of this House. Of course, it is important that fertilisers or inputs are delivered and credits made available, but as Members of Parliament, it is critical when we chat with our constituency to deal with issues of our constituents selling all their crop even in good times when the harvest is good. You will find that all the crop has been sold and towards the end of the year, the constituents now begin to look for money to buy crop at a higher price because the prices have been increased.

In some parts of the country, you find that our people sell the inputs that have been provided to them. I am happy, especially for my brothers and sisters in the Eastern Province, that Hon. Mtonga, who is former Inspector-General of Police, has been elected to ensure that no more fertiliser goes to Sinda Misale, no more smuggling. 

These are important issues because no matter how hard the Government tries to provide inputs to our people, if they are going to go into neighbouring countries or are going to be sold somewhere on the street, then we will achieve very little. On the issue of trying to convince our people to pay back the loans, about two years ago, an enterprising young Zambian went and gave credit to peasant farmers in one part of the country. It was agreed that they would pay him back through some of their maize harvests.  When it came to collect and this young entrepreneur went to get the produce, all the peasant farmers disappeared. They moved out of the villages. 

Hon. Member:  To Zaire.

Dr Machungwa: No, they went to the Eastern Province and to Malawi. When he went to see the Chief, the Chief told the entrepreneur, ‘I am sorry, you will not find these people. They have all moved out when they heard that you were coming’. The result was that this man collapsed in terms of his business operations.

Unless we can prevail on our people to try to support these efforts in our own areas, agricultural credit cannot work. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives may not be able to get to all the constituencies. I am doubtful if he will be able to get to my area, I doubt it if he can even get into one of those canoes, some of which might be leaking, but at least, I get there and I can talk to the people. 

Finally, Mr Speaker, let me point out an issue which seems to be prevalent in this country and elsewhere over a long period. When the colonialists came to this country, they tended to ignore and downgraded the achievements of the people as if they meant nothing, and yet when they began ruling the country, they were able to do so because they benefited from the advances the people had made. When the colonialists left and our fathers and grandfathers took over independence, we tended to downgrade or even ignore the achievements that the colonialists had made, their rail lines, mines, schools and so forth. They left us quite a lot of foreign reserves. 

When we took over from UNIP, again, you find that this tendency tended to be repeated, to downgrade and overlook even what UNIP had achieved. Now that the MMD is here, you, our brothers on that side, are saying that we have not achieved anything. I am talking about debt reduction, empowerment to buy houses, programmes in agriculture, these things are still there. Maybe, after you have left this House, that is when you will appreciate what we have done.

Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Sichinga: Interjected.

Dr Machungwa: You will see that on Friday, Hon. Sichinga. being an accountant, you should be able to follow figures. Mr Speaker, I wish to thank all hon. Members for listening to me and I thank you for recognising me and allowing me to make my maiden speech which I have been able to make within the time allotted.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs  Wina (Nalolo): Mr Speaker, in contributing to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Speech, I wish to congratulate the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker on your re-election. Mr Speaker, let me add my voice to the many who have paid tribute to the President’s Speech. As a gender activist, I was encouraged to hear that the President is affirmatively addressing the issue of gender equity in Government.

I want to state here, Mr Speaker, that I offered myself to stand as a Member of Parliament for Nalolo Constituency because I believe that I could contribute to positive change to give hope, dignity and confidence to the poor people of Nalolo and other parts of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: As I stand here, I want to draw hon. Members’ attention to one of the signs of decay and destruction in our society. In the last election, the majority of the people of Nalolo were disenfranchised and robbed of their constitutional right to vote through a flawed electoral system and process. Sir, out of 13,000 eligible registered voters, only 5,000 were able to vote. This disenfranchisement was perpetrated through the infamous political engineering, through gender insensitivity, through corruption, which, I am glad, the New Deal Government is doing something about, through commercialisation of politics and, of course, an unrealistic timing of the election date.

Mr Speaker, for the sake of our beloved country and for the sake of peace and unity, I propose that an all stakeholders’ post-election indaba, insaka or katengo be held immediately. Its objective should be to carry out a comprehensive national review of the December 27th 2001, elections to stop and avoid an acrimonious situation like this one and to take a bold move to chart a course for ourselves for future democratic elections that are free and fair to all.

I represent people who are living in most wretched conditions through no fault of theirs.  The people of Nalolo have been reduced to being among the poorest of the poor because they have been denied their rightful and fair share of the national cake. The people of Nalolo, therefore, have said enough is enough. We want and deserve positive development and an equitable share of opportunities, resources and challenges. In view of the above, they have sent me here to articulate their concerns, aspirations, hopes, plans and strategies. In that vein, Mr Speaker, I am hereby giving notice that I will reject and will not append my name to any piece of legislation, budget or any other aspect of parliamentary work that directly or indirectly perpetuates the levels and extents of poverty in the country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: On the other hand, I will, indeed, positively support any aspect of parliamentary work that promotes poverty reduction and wealth creation for the women and men of this country.

The poverty causes in Zambia are well known. Some were well articulated in the President’s Speech. The major ones include the failure of the Government to plan for sustainable, regionally equitable and growth-oriented development; corruption, theft and misuse of national resources by a few people; neglect and misplacement of Zambia’s professional human resource base, leading to a serious brain drain; failure to grasp the economic and social cost of gender discrimination; favouritism; and the allocation of resources without regard to the comparative advantage of a particular region or group of people. I could go on, Mr Speaker, but all of us here are familiar with the reasons.

Mr Speaker, I am saying all this merely to illustrate the connection between national policies and priorities of the past 10 years and under-development in the country and in my constituency, in particular. It is hard to believe that people living in Nalolo have been part of this independent Zambia for the last 40 years. Every single area of human endeavour is in dire straits.

In Nalolo, 90 per cent of the schools are temporal structures built of pole and mud, and most of these schools have only one teacher from Grade 1 up to Grade 7. There are no roads to talk about. There is no bridge in Nalolo Constituency in spite of the fact that the Zambezi River cuts across the constituency for 75 kilometres.

I would like to dwell on Parliament. Our country has been in crises for over 10 years. This multi-party Parliament must make a difference and tangible changes. The elected 150 leaders must, now, perform a major role in development, especially at the local level. Since development starts at the village, constituency and district levels, Members of Parliament, I feel, must take a lead in poverty reduction through participation in the planning and monitoring of developmental programmes at the constituency level.

As regards provincial and district development committees, I propose that Members of Parliament be formal and active members of district and provincial development committees, which should have clear terms of reference. The Members of Parliament will then be able to participate in and contribute to monitoring budgetary allocations at the local level. The role of the Members of Parliament will thus be enhanced to monitor and deal with the developmental issues locally and nationally. 

In addition to other requirements, all development committees should be required to be composed of 50 per cent women at all levels. These are, Mr Speaker, routine provisions in a number of SADC countries and is in lime with the SADC Declaration on Gender in Development signed by all Heads of State of the SADC countries, including Zambia, in 1997, and I believe more in line with President Mwanawasa’s vision on promoting gender equality as indicated in his speech.

The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has not been seen, up today, by the people of Nalolo who are still wondering as to what happened to their allocation of K30 million which was given to them some time in December last year and yet, no one in Nalolo has seen this money.

The CDF should not be under the charge of the District Administrators or other such people who are not accountable to the people but to the appointing authority. If there is to be a change in the original design of the constituency funds, it is this Parliament that should discuss and agree on changes. I propose that the CDF be increased from the current K30 million to K200 million or more, if the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is able to allocate these amounts of money.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: I believe that the Constituency Development Fund should play an economic catalyst role at constituency level and not to be seen as pocket money for party cadres. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, 50 per cent of this increase should be directed to women’s programmes because it is a well established fact that women bear a heavy burden of poverty and their work benefits the whole family. It is also indisputable that resources in the hands of women end up supporting children and men in the family. I also feel that particular attention has to be paid to gender realities, needs of orphans, people with disabilities and those charged with looking after orphans in the distribution of food relief.

However, Mr Speaker, I wish to also propose as an emergency poverty reduction programme, the introduction of seed relief to villages, we must start with the most deprived people of Nalolo and other poor constituencies. I am talking about relief seed as opposed to relief maize. Instead of seeing relief food as a solution to the shortages of food, I propose a more sustainable alternative of relief seed to go hand in hand with relief food for a period of time and also for food production at community level. This approach was used with tremendous success in Zimbabwe during the drought of 1992. The people were given both food and seed so that they had the energy to cultivate and do not end up eating the seed.

Mr Speaker the people of Nalolo believe that cattle is their wealth but disease has decimated their cattle due to Government neglect. Sustainable and tangible development, which empowers the people will only take place if it ties to the areas of strength of each province and each district. Budget and capital development will have to follow this. I hope the New Deal administration with its policy emphasis on agriculture will address this issue urgently. 

There is a lot of accurate data which was generated by the former provincial and district planning units on the strength of each area in the country. For Western Province and other livestock areas, a cattle and livestock development fund should be set up if it is not there already. Other areas of strength like cassava, timber, fish, crafts and rice production need development along similar lines.

In other provinces too, we should have development strategies. Botswana is a major exporter of beef to the European Union countries because the Government of that country has given tangible support to its farmers. To further help poverty reduction and wealth creation, the marketing and investment systems and structures need to be revamped. Internal trade and investment need to be promoted and actively supported.

I, therefore, propose that the Investment Centre opens offices in each province to identify and promote internal and external investment opportunities. This would also help provincial and district developments for trade internally and with neighbouring countries. This is the only way each part of Zambia can participate in and benefit from the SADC and COMESA treaties.

Mr Speaker, I cannot end my speech without referring to gender equity and equality. It is said that a bird needs both wings in order to balance, to stay airborne and to propel itself further. Unfortunately, Zambia has been trying to fly with one wing and the result has largely been untold poverty for the people. The Zambian Government realised the marginalisation of women in all spheres of life and adopted a policy to address this in March 2000. 

The National Gender Policy (NGP) sets out broad parameters on mainstreaming gender into national development at all levels, but is yet to be implemented. There is a need, however, for this particular policy to be simplified, translated into local languages and its popular versions of it reproduced. The policy is of no use if it is known by only a handful of people in Government and NGO circles. Very few copies were produced and were being sold at a high price. Even most of the people in the Government have not seen this National Gender Policy.

I also propose that to effect this National Gender Policy, we need to put in place a Gender Equality Commission which, actually, the National Gender Policy is providing in writing. This should be instituted with the active participation of this Parliament. And a yearly report on progress in implementation should come to Parliament. A system of a gender audit be established for all public and private institutions to have a clear tab on what and how much is going into gender and development. 

Zambia, Mr Speaker, has ratified several international and regional conventions that commit the Government and all institutions to promote and protect the rights of women and children and to take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sex. Domesticating or making provisions of the universally accepted international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) should now be done. {mospagebreak}

Yes, Mr Speaker, I am aware that conventions and laws alone will not be a panacea for all the problems women in this country face, but they lay a firm foundation upon which to build administrative, executive, judicial and legislative decisions and actions. They are also stepping stones to change attitudes and behaviours.

Malawi took a decisive action on this within four months of a new democratic government by providing, in the Constitution, that all instruments ratified by Malawi automatically become part of domestic law.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, the hon. Member’s time has expired!

May I remind you again, hon. Members, that when one Member is on the Floor, please, do not cross the Floor between the Chair and the Member who is on the Floor.

Mrs Wamulume (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to speak. I wish also to take this opportunity to congratulate the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker on your re-election to the Chair. 

I wish to thank my party, UPND for adopting me as a candidate for Liuwa Constituency, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wamulume: … and in a special way, I want to thank the people of Liuwa for voting for me to represent them in this House.

Sir, also allow me to congratulate all hon. Members for winning a very tough battle. 
Special thanks go to our Head of State, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Mwanawasa, for allocating offices to all Members of this House in their constituencies for easy communication with the people.

Mr Speaker, as we sit in this House, the people of Zambia are starving due to poverty and diseases which are now at an alarming rate and we hope the New Deal Government will address the problems of this country as indicated in the President’s Speech. As actions speak louder than words, we need more action than talking.

We appeal for job creation because most of the people are out of employment due to retrenchment. Some are educated but have been denied an opportunity to work. 

Sir, in 1991, when MMD came to power, we had a total number of 400,000 people in formal employment but today the whole country has a total labour force of less than 200,000 in formal employment.

Hon. Government Members: Aah, tell us!

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Sibetta: Because you are redundant!


Mrs Wamulume: I have brought a message from Liuwa for you and the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The problems of Liuwa are as follows: - 

There is a high level of poverty in the constituency. People are starving due to lack of food. In this regard, we are appealing for relief food. To do this end, the Government will have to organise air transport since Liuwa has been cut off from Kalabo Boma and other areas.

The MMD losing candidate who was also Minister for the province had withdrawn the canoes people were using to cross the Zambezi and the Luanginga River …

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Mrs Wamulume: … to seek health services, basic needs, and ferrying school children to school. It is important to note that canoes were not bought from personal resources but from the Constituency Development Fund.

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Mrs Wamulume: So, the Government should ensure that those responsible for their withdrawal are made to return them to the people, the true owners.

The security situation in Liuwa is very bad due to Angolan nationals who have continued to cross the Zambezi into Zambia, particularly those who come to commit crimes of various degrees like raping women, shooting and killing innocent villagers.


Mrs Wamulume: In view of this, most of the people have left their villages in fear for their lives. Hardly a week passes without a person being shot, the latest shooting being of game guards in Liuwa National Park where one was killed on the spot while others are still admitted in the Italian Hospital here in Lusaka. Therefore, we call for permanent security military camps at the border areas to enable our security forces bring about a greater sense of security among our people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Roads and communication infrastructure

Mrs Wamulume: On roads and communication infrastructure …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mrs Wamulume: Mr. Speaker, when business was suspended, I was advancing a point on roads and communication infrastructure. Liuwa Constituency has no single road and to move in the constituency is very difficult because you have to make your own way to travel from one area to another. In fact, this is a reflection of the state of roads in Western Province which are very bad. There is no road in the whole province. The Lusaka/Mongu, Kaoma/Lukulu, Livingstone/Senanga, Mongu/Kalabo, Limulunga/Senanga and Mongu Road to the palace Lealui, all these roads are just there by name only. I am, therefore, appealing to the New Deal administration to maintain the roads in Western Province.


Mr. Speaker, on education, I would like to say that education in Liuwa is completely forgotten. Most of the existing dilapidated structures were left by the UNIP Government while the MMD Government has nothing to show…

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear! Long live UNIP.

Mrs Wamulume: …that they tried to better the situation. Some schools have totally collapsed and school children have been told not to report for classes because there are no classrooms, for example, at Namweti Primary School in Libonda Ward and Lukoko Primary School in Likundundu Ward. Most schools have only one teacher teaching from Grades 1 to 7. We therefore, appeal to the New Deal administration to send teachers to the affected schools since there are a lot of trained teachers who are not being utilised. I am also appealing for classrooms and teachers houses to be belt immediately.


Mr. Speaker, on health, I would like to say that Liuwa Constituency has no medical facilities. People have to walk for eight to twelve hours when they are sick for them to get medical treatment at Kalabo District Hospital or Kaluwe Rural Health Centre in Sikongo Constituency and they need to cross the Luanginga River on their way to and from these centres. This is impossible as I said earlier that there are no canoes at the moment. The constituency is too vast as it accommodates the whole national park. So, the three rural health centres at Libonda, Kuli and Lukena cannot cater for the 12,000 people living in the constituency. 

The centres have most times not even panadols to give to patients. In Sishekanu and Likundudu Wards, people are made to travel the whole day to Kalabo and Kaluwe for treatment but only to be told that there is no medicine. Most of the people in Liuwa die in homes, especially those with severe illnesses because there is no means of transport apart from walking. Therefore, it is important that the Government provides us with three basic clinics and some community health centres to save the lives of the people.

Chiefs’ palaces

Mr Speaker, on the rehabilitation of the Chiefs’ palaces, our palace at the Libonda Royal Establishment needs rehabilitation. Our Chieftainess, Her Royal Highness Mukwae Ngulamboanjikana has never received any allocation. I am talking about the K10 million which was distributed to all Chiefs in Zambia by the previous administration.

Mr Speaker, the people of Liuwa would like to know why our Chieftainess was not given the same amount of money for the rehabilitation of the palace. The Mukena and Kashandi need immediate attention. It is also a taboo, according to our tradition for the Royal Establishment to have no Kashandi because this puts everything to a standstill since the palace cannot function without a Kashandi. We, therefore, call upon the Government to look after our Royal Establishment by providing better shelter and all the basic requirements in the palace.


Mr Speaker, on agriculture, the people of Liuwa are determined to help themselves through agriculture but they are poor with no means of getting agricultural inputs. We appeal to the Government to fulfill their promises in the speech by the President by giving some subsidies on farming inputs to the poor people in the rural areas like Liuwa so that they can grow their own food. Sir, at the moment, the inputs are too expensive for a common man to afford them.

Mr Speaker, on the police I would like to say that the police post at the Libonda Royal Establishment in the palace needs better accommodation for the police officers and a telephone for easy communication. The policemen further need a vehicle to cater for patrols against cattle theft which has reached a very high level. Hardly a day passes without anybody reporting to the police about cattle theft.


Mr Speaker, on Tourism, the tourism investor in the Liuwa Game Park has been harassing the community for no apparent reasons. The park is in the middle of the community in all the four corners but this so-called investor does not allow the people to pass through the park from one area to another. He claims that it is his land and nobody should pass in the park. There is no other way which people can use apart from the park.

Mr Speaker, since independence, the people have been using the same route and it is strange that the new investor stops people from moving freely in the game park. The people in the area live in grass-thatched houses but this same investor does not allow them to get grass for thatching houses.

Mr Speaker, the people of Liuwa own cattle and that includes those who live in the park but the investor does not allow the cattle to feed where they have been feeding since the pre-colonial days claiming that it is all his land. The Royal Establishment has not approved this kind of harassment to their subjects. The Litunga Lubosi Imwiko III had chased this same investor last year but the investor is still found at the Kalabo Boma and goes to Liuwa any time he feels like doing so, claiming that although he was chased by the Litunga, the Government still allows his stay. So, the people of Liuwa would like to hear the side of story from the Government.

Mr Speaker, on the pontoon, I would like to state that the people of Liuwa need an engine on the pontoon, which is at Libonda crossing point. The pontoon was functioning during he UNIP Government but has had no engine for the past ten years. The engine was just being used by the former Minister for Western Province when visiting his home village or when he had something to do in Liuwa Constituency. And he removed it each time he left. 

Even recently, he removed it after the General Elections and this has inconvenienced our Chieftainess and the people of Liuwa, in general, since they cannot travel to Mongu or Lusaka or anywhere without crossing the Zambezi River. Mr. Speaker, the pontoon is in good condition but only requires an engine and so, we are appealing to the Government to provide us with an engine for a pontoon to work efficiently. 

Mr Speaker, I am finally appealing for free education up to Grade 12 level and free medical services since most Zambians cannot afford because they have no means of income. It is our sincere hope that there will be a provision in the Budget for 2002 for most, if not all our essential needs. If not, there will be no deal.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak and subscribe to what hon. Members have already done. I, therefore, rise to join other hon. Members to congratulate President Mwanawasa on his wise opening speech last Friday.

Mr Speaker, the policy framework he set forth was relevant, well thought, truly national both in style and in content. However, it was and is still shocking for me to hear in a Christian nation from a former President that praise from the Opposition should be suspected.

It was and is still shocking for me to hear in a Christian nation, from a former President that praise from the Opposition should be suspected and rejected as coming from an enemy. Since last night I have been asking myself where then does such a leader place the Biblical verse which reads, and I quote:

Mr Sibetta: He is a divorcee!

Mr Mtonga:     ‘Whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think of on these things.’

This is found in Philippians 4:8.

Hon. Patel: Hallelujah!

Mr Mtonga: President Mwanawasa should not listen to a negative and failed leadership within his own party. Some of us know him to have really gone to school. By his education and standing, President Mwanawasa should understand that praise is a reflection of virtue and praise makes a good man better. Besides, there is something sweeter than receiving praise. The feeling of having deserved it, President Mwanawasa deserved the praise of this House for ably declaring to it, reasons for calling it.

I wish also to congratulate you, Mr Deputy Speaker and the Speaker himself on your re-election to those important positions. That majority of hon. Members from the Opposition did not vote for you was not only a legitimate exercise of their democratic right, but our action should really be viewed as a serious invitation nay, but a cry to you, Sir, to truly embrace the changes that the 72 per cent of Zambians voted for in the last tripartite elections.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: This House, indeed, the whole nation, truly and urgently need your experience and collective wisdom in the New Deal policy framework if it is to be translated into reality as opposed to the mere rhetoric and empty political posturing that characterised the last ten years of deceit, decay, crime and corruption.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to briefly refer to the cornerstone of the New Deal framework announced to this House by the President. This is the rule of law and not of men which I consider to be the cornerstone. Good governance will not be attained unless the rule of law is truly accepted and practised by the Government and all of us.

Mr Speaker, I only hope that all hon. Members, especially those in the leadership of the ruling party realise the New Deal concept, places a serious responsibility on them. The conduct of these hon. Men and Women can quite easily give the lie to the New Deal policy. There is need for a clean start in order to dispel the suspicion that the New Deal is simply a new catch phrase to cover up wrong doing as was the case when the so-called New Culture was introduced by the Chiluba Government. For example, hon. Ministers responsible for line ministries should not wait to draw up relevant measures so that the long-standing issues in the nation are dealt with and cleared.

Mr Speaker, what easily come to mind are outstanding allegations of crime, such as theft of public funds and corruption. As precedent has shown already when the Chiluba Government searched, investigated and even detained Dr Kaunda, there is no need to wait for the so-called immunity of the second former President to be removed before investigations are carried out, and prima facie positions established in all the cases.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: We can help. By ‘we’ I refer to the Opposition. We can help you establish competent and impartial persons to pursue these issues professionally with a view to prosecuting the culprits and recover people’s money.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: Mr Speaker, please do not allow the Government to appoint conmen to investigate such issues. The suspects should not also be allowed to choose and pick which public scandals should be investigated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtonga: The Ministry of Local Government and Housing should be one of the first ones to rise to the challenge of the rule of law and not of men.

Mr Speaker, it is well known that bus stations, public parks and all markets in this country ought to be run to the advantage of all Zambians and local authorities. These are places of business and pleasure for Zambians and no single political party has the legal duty of collecting fees or levy contrary to the Marketing Act of Zambia and market by-laws of various councils. The Minister responsible is quite aware of this and yet he has done nothing up to this point in time. I challenge him to come out clearly and state his policy in the face of the New Deal which insists on the rule of law and not of men.

The cash strapped councils badly need these resources which MMD cadres have been collecting and pocketing in all these places. Moreover, the hon. Minister must cause an audit of money collected in these places. I am aware that in some markets, they collect as much as K85 million per month but this money does not go to the City Council or the Central Government. Where has it been going in the past ten years if not in the pockets of a few selfish individuals?

Mr Speaker, it is in my constituency of Kanyama where a poor old man could not afford to take his sick son to hospital. The son suffered a long time and died at home. The old man could not afford to take the body to the mortuary. He could not afford a coffin or the hire of a wheelbarrow. So, he decided to bury his son at night on the small yard of his house.

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Mr Mtonga: Shame, indeed.

These cases are many. In my view, such cases make a statement that the poorest of the poor are never met and helped by their Government. They ask questions like, where has Katenga Malilo gone to help the poor? Did the Chiluba Government privatise even this service?

I appeal to the hon. Ministers of Community Development and Social Welfare and Local Government and Housing, in particular, to define and clear the programmes to help the poorest of the poor so that measures drawn can help our people. Welfare for the destitute and infirm should be in place and easily accessible.

The rule of law and not of men is even larger for the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. The Police Service must be freed from the fear of victimisation when they act professionally and impartially.

Too many arbitrary actions have been taken by Government against those who stood their professional ground. That is why police officers are paralysed and have failed to take action against MMD cadres who break the law. This poses a danger because as Americans say, ‘Better no law, than laws not enforced’. This is how serious the matter can be. In Kanyama Constituency, for example, there is one MMD Constituency Chairperson whom the police have failed to arrest and prosecute for over ten serious criminal offences.

Hon. Opposition Members: Manjata Junior.

Mr Mtonga: As a law abiding citizen, I have personally appealed to the constitutional office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who has in turn, instructed the police to act. That is over three months ago, but up to this date, police have done nothing.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Mtonga: What are your police, hon. Minister of Home Affairs, expected to do in the face of the New Deal? I challenge you to empower the police to act without fear or favour, if you really believe and subscribe to the rule of law and not of men.

Finally, Sir, the rule of law and not of men means that Government must be open and willing to revisit the supreme law of the land, the Zambian Constitution. I would like to appeal to President Mwanawasa and his hon. Ministers to be open to civil society groups and use them to gauge the general will of the people. President Mwanawasa will do well to discard leaders who are frightened of the truth, especially when it comes from those who appear to oppose the status quo. 

The President and his hon. Ministers will lead well and long if you are open, patient and long suffering for the total good of all Zambians. The hon. Minister of Legal Affairs would do well to realise and consider the legislative programmes required to legally support the New Deal. I wish to appeal to him to legitimate enliven the hopes of all Zambians through this House by giving a time frame within which to revisit the Constitution.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalunga (Muchinga): I thank you, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to present my maiden speech.

Mr Speaker, in the first instance, I would like to thank you both for coming up victorious in the recent held elections. Sir, it was not ease, but with the spirit of good will, everything was made possible. I also thank the MMD National Executive Committee for adopting me as a candidate. I promise to remain accountable to the nation, party and the constituency.

Mr Speaker, Muchinga Constituency is agricultural, precious stone mining and tourist- oriented part of the country. To mention some of the problems needing early attention are as follows:

1.    Agricultural input delivery is poor and it needs to be looked into.

2.    The liberalisation of agricultural marketing policy has done more harm than good to the people. The marketing has been characterised by the exchange of second hand clothes with the produce. This is uncalled for.

3.    The Western African precious stone traders have exploited the local people as has been no tangible Government intervention.

4.    The tourism centres, such as Nkundalila Falls, Sancha Hill and the famous Muchinga Escapement are characterised by very poor road network.

5.    The shortage of teachers.

Mr Speaker, in the New Deal Government, I am expecting the Executive to carry out their duties on a more practical basis.

Sir, in the previous system, there have been too many answers which did not help such as, ‘When funds are made available’. Such answers, Sir, are not going to assist us.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalunga: My appeal to the Executive is that the little funds made available have to be prioritised. 

At this juncture, I would like to congratulate the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel, who presented a very nice speech. I congratulate him for the job well done.

In the same vein, I would like to congratulate, once again, the MMD National Executive Committee for doing a nice job of electing the President.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalunga: Sir, just his name made work easier in the campaign which was so tough.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalunga: Mr Speaker, before I go to the specifics on agriculture as stipulated by the President, I would like to make two clarifications. The President talked of the registration of farmers and to some people it was misunderstood. Let me defend my fellow farmers. At any stage in any institution or organisation, registration is important, even in the mining industry.  When we started forming co-operatives, registration as well started. After the formation of co-operatives, the President is calling for steps whereby farmers have to graduate from peasant or small-scale farmers to commercial farmers. A person only becomes a commercial farmer after registration.

Hon. Members: It is true.


Mr Kalunga: There is no way one can just graduate to become a commercial farmer. A person should have title of land. If you are just a farmer like myself, who has no title of land, you will remain an ordinary farmer. That is about registration.


Mr Kalunga: Mr Speaker, I would, again, like to say something in defence of what Hon. Lieutenant Colonel Kafumukache, the hon. Minister for Copperbelt talked about. He mentioned something to do with agriculture. He said farming should be taken to areas of high rainfall areas, which is the North-Western, Copperbelt, Luapula and Northern provinces.

In agriculture, there are a lot of factors that make certain crops grow well. For the colonialists, at one stage to identify an area from Livingstone to Mkushi now Serenje, which they regarded as a maize belt, they had looked at a lot of factors. Now for us, to simply run away because of the fact of rain, I do not think it is going to assist us. 

Mr Speaker, I now come to the specifics presented by the President in his speech on agriculture. 

1.    The President talked about replacing mining with agriculture;
2.    He talked about doing away with a tendency to create crisis situations in agriculture;
3.    He then talked about market liberalisation through a private-driven economy with regard to capacity building;
4.    The Food Reserve Agency to be replaced by the Crop Marketing Authority;
5.    The President talked about the ghost farmer and ghost trader;
6.    The President talked about ensuring peasant and small-scale farmers graduate into commercial farmers;
7.    The President talked about agriculture being a business and has to remain so for farmers to remain in the business of farming and that they need to make a profit;
8.    He talked about local farmers being supported with cheaper fertiliser;
9.    The President talked about improvements of rural infrastructure to facilitate commercialisation;
10.    He talked about irrigation being the future of agriculture; and
11.    He talked about Government to support improved management and commercialisation of livestock, fisheries sub-sectors in zones with high potential.

Mr Speaker, coming to point number five where the President talked about a ghost farmer and a ghost trader, this comes in a situation whereby an intelligent farmer, mainly an educated farmer who is able to grow his crop as what used to happen when Government used to go into marketing. This farmer, because of his education could connive maybe with a depot clerk and negotiate. In the process, this farmer used to earn money minus the actual produce and in the end the Government had to make losses.

Again, we had the district co-operative officers who used to run the district co-operative unions. These people also could, at least, take advantage of the money coming from the Central Government for crop marketing. They used also to raise cheques in their names. In the process, Government was losing its revenue. Now when it came to actual balancing, it was shame to the system. Now, the question is: are we, the farmers, indeed prepared to change for the better? The President has given us the challenge. He has told us that in his administration, it is agriculture that is going to replace mining. We, as  farmers or traders, have to change our attitude in order to take up the challenge.

Mr Speaker, the eleven points carry the direction in which agriculture is going to replace mining if well assessed. Mr Speaker, since the President has a team prepared to perform, I do not see us again betraying the Zambian farmer. This is a plea of Mr President to the powerful team. A question to my fellow Zambians, once again, is that how prepared are we?

Mr Speaker, mining takes much investment and for agriculture to replace mining, the Government; the donors; the local investors; the qualified personnel in agriculture; ministries like Community Development and Social Welfare; Lands; Finance and National Planning; Commerce, Trade and Industry; Sport, Youth and Child Development; Health; Education; Agriculture and Co-operatives; and us Members of Parliament all need to make agriculture in the New Deal our slogan if we are to achieve the objective.

Mr Speaker, I have an appeal to make. The earnings in this country, which we used to get out of the sale of copper are long gone. Sir, this calls for a total change in our attitude as Zambians. The white-collar mentality should, now, be done away with. Lastly, for the slogan on agriculture to work, funds should be made available at any given time.

Mr Speaker, I now come to tourism. The President talked about a situation where we are witnessing a lot of interest in the tourism industry but low levels of Zambian participation. The question is, Sir, how does a Zambian view tourism? Has he the capacity to participate? Take myself, for instance, it is sad. I could even finish a year without having the capacity to take my wife and children around, not even to the Victoria Falls.

Mr Speaker, the poverty levels around and other factors need to be looked into. My appeal to my Government is that we should let the Ministry of Tourism, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, come up with some awareness programmes to educate  Zambians on what tourism is all about. A lot of advertisement and sensitisation should be done. If we look at the general attitude of a Zambian on anything to do with tourism, immediately a Zambian in a rural setup sees a rabbit passing, the first thing they do is to chase it.


Mr Kalunga: Mr Speaker, this is something which might look simple, but soon it will be difficult for even the upcoming generation to know or to see anything in our game parks. There will be no animals.

Mr Speaker, on education, the President did mention that the greatest asset of any country is its people. Indeed, I agree with him, hence education should be free from Grades 1 to 7. I know a lot of hon. Members have said that the best would have been free education up to Grade 9. Mr Speaker, it is better to have a beginning than nothing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalunga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the gesture provided. In addition, Sir, it is very difficult for development to take place in a society with illiterate people. Sir, during our campaigns, when you go to an area or institution where you know that you will find a lot of learned people, you will definitely know that it will be easy for them to gauge you, unlike when you go to areas where very few people are educate. It was so difficult because you had to do a lot of things for them to get what you were talking about or, perhaps, how a manifesto would be of benefit to them.

In conclusion Sir, the President talked about HIV/AIDS and street kids. Thus in his speech, he encouraged research in traditional and other medicines. As a result of this killer disease, a lot of people are dying while at the same time people are still marrying.


Mr Kalunga: Meanwhile, Sir, we all know that AIDS kills and such a scenario is calling for total behavioural change and our marrying culture needs to be looked into. In my own view, Sir, if a national disaster was going to be declared, it was going to be on HIV/AIDS. Sir, this is a sad development and I concur with the President’s Speech and let us hope my suggestions will be taken heed of.

May God Bless Zambia.

Sir, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister for Central Province (Mr Chola): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this chance to first congratulate you and the Speaker for retaining your seats and ably directing the House in the ninth Session of the National Assembly.

I also extend my sincere congratulations to my fellow Members of Parliament who  worked so hard to win their seats to come to this august House. Mr Speaker, your victory was victory for democracy and dignity of the House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chola: Similarly, I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words to thank His Excellency the President, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa on such an uplifting speech giving hope to millions of Zambians at the Opening of the National Assembly last Friday.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chola: Mr Speaker, the speech has been heard throughout Zambia. Presentations of both sides of the House say so and the people of Chitambo see a glare of light after so many years of depravity, lack of development and backwardness due to weak representation in the past. I say due to weak representation in past …

Hon. Member: UNIP!

Mr Chola: … my appeal, Sir, is to the hon. Members not to rock the boat in their eagerness to emerge champions at oratory.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chola: The future of the country is not deterministic. Even with a five-year plan, there are still obstacles on the way; lack of funding, drought and so forth which could prove harmful to well meaning intentions. It is apparent, Sir, from various speeches that many hon. Members have forgotten their track records. Some hon.  Members in the back bench were Ministers or leaders not too long ago.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!



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 1915 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 28th February, 2002.