Debates- Tuesday 6th March, 2001

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Tuesday, 6th March, 2001

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




Mr Speaker: I have two announcements for the august House. Hon. Members, I have to acquaint the House with the fact that, today, in the Speaker’s Gallery, we are privileged to have the distinguished Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa, MP.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: He is accompanied by three members of staff from the Parliament of Zimbabwe. Our distinguished visitors arrived yesterday, 5th March, 2001, and will depart Zambia on Friday, 9th March, 2001. We welcome the hon. Mr Speaker and his delegation and we are happy to have them in our midst.

The second announcement is as follows: hon. Members may have observed that some digging has been going on from the Committee Block along the road leading to the main gate and down to the Mulungushi International Conference Centre where the National Assembly borehole is located. The National Assembly main buildings are supplied with water from this source. 

The asbestos pipes which run from the main borehole at Mulungushi Conference Centre were laid over thirty years ago and have outlived their useful life. This has now resulted in numerous bursts along the pipeline. 

Following the advice from the Ministry of Works and Supply, it has been decided to replace all the asbestos pipes with the galvanised pipes. These works are expected to last for about three weeks. 

I wish to assure the House that necessary arrangements have been made to receive water supply from the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company main line during this period.

I thank you.



76. Mr Mweni (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Mansa/Luwingu/Kasama Road will be tarred.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mululu): Mr Speaker the tarring of the 340 kilometre Mansa/Luwingu/Kasama Road to class 1 bitumen standard starts this year, 2001 shortly after the rainy season ends.

The design and tender documentation has been fully completed. The estimated cost for the construction is U$70 million. And so far the Government has sourced K5 billion for the project to get started.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweni: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that Mansa/Luwingu/Kasama Road is impassable at the moment.


Mr Mweni: Is he aware that the road has got furrows which make it impassable to the travellers who use this road.

Mr Mululu: Mr Speaker, I think all roads in the country, due to heavy rains and obviously the passage of time, have experienced problems and we are experiencing problems. But, I think this is the reason why I am saying that as soon as the rains subside, we intend to start the project.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister of Works and Supply explain why it has become a habit that roads cannot be worked on during the rainy season. When, in fact, within the same region, there are countries where it rains throughout the year and roads are being worked on. Why is it that our engineers here can only work on roads during the dry season.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mululu: Mr Speaker, I do not know which region the hon. Member of Parliament for Mangango is referring to, but I think general engineering standards are such that you cannot undertake heavy construction work during rainy season, and not as heavy as rain has been this season. Unless he intends to put oxen to pull the type of equipment he may use ...


Mr Mululu: ... but if it is the heavy equipment, it is practically impossible. It never happens anywhere in the world. Maybe, the world in the west (Western Province).


Mr Chiinda (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, may I know the number and the names of donor agencies which have pledged to tar roads in Zambia and which roads in particular.

Mr Mululu: Mr Speaker, I think the important thing here is to understand that the project has started. I am afraid he is running away.

Mr Chiinda walked out of the Chamber.

Mr Mululu: He has asked me a question but he cannot listen.


Mr Mululu: The important thing is that the project is starting as soon as the rains subside. Who is giving us money should not be the concern of the hon. Member of Parliament. I think we are doing that on behalf of the nation.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Bupe (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I want to find out why it is taking so long to find a contractor for Nchelenge/Chiengi Road.

Mr Mululu: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the anxiety of the young hon. Member of Parliament for Kaputa, but I will attempt to shade light. It is not true that it is taking long to find a contractor. In fact, if he saw the Government Gazette of last week, and indeed the newspaper, it has been done. So, his anxiety has been taken care of. The contractor is almost there, hon. Member of Parliament for Kaputa and you can sleep soundly, now that the project has started.

Thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}


77. Mr Hamir (Serenje) asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether there were any plans to build a police station in Serenje District.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mateyo): Mr Speaker, Serenje District has already got a police station which is situated at the Boma. There is construction of a separate building which has since been hampered by inadequate funding. As soon as funds are available, Sir, this will be done.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, I am not happy with the answer given by the hon. Minister. I have been in this House for ten years and we are still renting a small office as a police station from the council. It is time that we erected a building as he is promising. But he has always been promising because even last year I raised the same question. We just want to know how long it is going to take to build that police station.

Mr Mateyo: Mr Speaker, the police station is already in place. Maybe what he is talking about is expanding and that is exactly what I have already answered. And in any case, it is being commanded by an assistant superintendent, which makes it a very senior police station.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapangalwendo (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, may I know why the police training college which was being constructed has been abandoned completely by the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

Hon. Members: Where!

Mr Kapangalwendo: This is in Chinsali, the Mulakupikwa Police Training College.

The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, we are talking about Serenje here and not Chinsali.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, can His Honour the Vice-President confirm what the hon. Member of Parliament for Serenje is saying that they are renting an office as a police station and it was not built by the ministry as His Honour the Vice-President has indicated. Are they renting or is it an office which they built? Can he confirm, please.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, in the first place, the hon. Minister does not rent or construct any offices. That is the duty of Central Government as a whole. And secondly, what does it matter whether you are in a rented building or not? All you want are police services provided to the people of Serenje. That is what is important.

Thank you, Sir.


78. Mr Chiinda asked the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries what the total number, country-wide, of the following as at 31st December, 2000.

(i)    agricultural camps;

(ii)    agricultural blocks; and

(iii)    agricultural district offices were

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Lieutenant-Colonel Ngulube): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the total number of camps, blocks and district offices as at 31st December, 200 were as follows: agricultural camps - 1,873; agricultural blocks - 342; and agricultural district offices - 73.

I thank you, Sir.

Miss R. Phiri (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries confirm to this House, whether all agricultural camps have transport to enable them reach the farmers.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I can confirm to the House that the majority of the camp and block officers have some form of transport, particularly bicycles. But we still require some more bicycles as some of our officers still do not have.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Muloji (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister when they intend to construct district agricultural offices in Chavuma.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ngulube: Mr Speaker, we will construct the offices as soon as funds are available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndhlovu: On a point of order, Sir.



79. Mr Chiinda asked the Minister of Health how many people had contributed to the Medical Insurance Scheme at Chikankata Mission Hospital since its introduction in 1999.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, in response to the question by ...

Mr Ndhlovu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Ndhlovu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order in which I seek your ruling. This is my maiden point of order and I am very proud of it and I am very happy to raise it.

I am holding National Mirror Newspaper No. 874, covering the period 3rd to 9th March, 2001. I must say that I am very impressed with some of the articles which are contained in this newspaper but ...

Hon. Members: Point of order!

Mr Ndhlovu: ... my main concern emanates from page 6 of the National Mirror, where there is an article by the Paulist entitled ‘Racism in the MMD.’ I am raising this point of order, Mr Speaker, because racism is a very big problem in the world and my understanding of racism throughout the world, it is the black people ...

Hon. Members: Point of order!

Mrs Chisala: Just make your point of order!

Mr Ndhlovu: .... it is the black people who are victims of racism. I can give several references to support that. But is it in order that the newspaper of the integrity of the National Mirror should carry an article which is inflammatory and insinuates that black people are racists, when over the centuries it is the black people who have been subjected to racial discrimination.

Hon. Members: Quote!

Mr Ndhlovu: I want your very serious ruling, considering that we have had remarks from certain quarters within our country that there is tension in the nation. Why should a newspaper carry such an inflammatory and insinuating article about the ruling party.

Mr Ndhlovu laid the paper on the Table.


Mr Speaker: The point of order which has just been raised by Hon. Ndhlovu, Nominated Member, has two main faults. The first is that, contrary to your guidelines on etiquette, Hon. Ndhlovu’s intention to quote from a newspaper in the House when raising his ‘maiden point of order,’ was not previously raised with the presiding officers of this House. The second fault is that the hon. Member did not quote substantially or even partially from the newspaper he says alleges discrimination. The Chair, therefore, has no ruling to make on that point of order.

Finally, hon. Members have previously been advised that, when a Government Minister is answering a question which is of benefit, not only to this House but to the nation at large, no points of order should be raised unless the House is not interested to listen to the answer that the Government is giving.

Now, since the hon. Members said that, that was his ‘maiden point of order,’ I will still allow the hon. Deputy Minister of Health to continue with his answer.

May the hon. Minister, please, continue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I am most obliged. I wish to inform the House that the medical insurance scheme called Chifuna Bantu has twenty five members at Chikankata Mission Hospital since its introduction in 1999. This scheme, Sir, is optional and is being promoted by ten headmen appointed by the Chief while the hospital provides technical information.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chiinda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that villagers are being requested to pay in kind, maize or animals and they do not have animals at the moment due to the Denkete disease.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, as I have said, this is an optional arrangement by the villagers themselves. If they are unhappy with the arrangement, they are free to say no but if they agree, they are free to pay either in kind or cash.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Luhila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I would like to know what proper accountability measures have been put in place to check on the payments made in kind.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, as I have said, this is a scheme by the hon. Members within the area and they are the ones who have made the parameters within which to operate. The Ministry is certainly reluctant to intervene, unless there is a complaint that there is misuse of the resources that are being collected.

I thank you, Sir.


80. Mr Hamir asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    how many cases of corruption were reported to law enforcement agencies country-wide, in 2000; and

(b)    what measures the Government had taken to reduce corruption in the country.

Mr Mateyo: Mr Speaker, cases involving corruption are handled by the Anti Corruption Commission an independent agency which reports through annual reports to Parliament and to their commission. Hon. Members may consult these reports tabled before this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, how many of these are hon. Ministers.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I did not catch his question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalifungwa (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, as per the report of the Anti-Corruption Commission, which was recently tabled, corrupt practices have been embedded in most ministries and it has affected the integrity and corporate governance of our Government. Now the question is, why does the Government maintain these officers, who are alleged to be corrupt in offices while they are being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there are procedures to be followed. You cannot dismiss officers even before their investigations are concluded. I think that would be unfair ...

Mr Sibetta: Send them on forced leave.

The Vice-President: ... but, perhaps, what they should be asking is that we should speed up the process of investigations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Chisala (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how many people in leadership, hon. Ministers, hon. Deputy Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament were investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would advise the hon. Member to go back a few weeks and she will find that I gave a comprehensive answer to that question.

I thank you.

Mr Sichinga (Isoka East): Mr Speaker, it is evident from the answer that the Leader of the House has given that there is a serious problem here and I would like to know from him what extraordinary measures are being taken to deal with the scourge of corruption throughout the country.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think I have already answered that question. Measures taken are on-going and certainly where necessary people have been disciplined but we cannot discipline people until we have completed investigations and what we should be doing now is to speed up these investigations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Luhila: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether this anomaly in the sale of Cobalt is one of the cases of corruption which were reported to his office.

The Vice-President: Sir, that is being investigated by a special committee. In any case if we are going to give it to the Anti-Corruption Commission, they may not have the resources to go and interview people whom we would like interviewed outside the country. So, as much as I appreciate his concern, I think, we should let the technical committee deal with that.

I thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}



The Vice President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do place on record its deepest regret at the death of Hon. Christopher Tadeo Chilipapa Chawinga, Nominated Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development, together with its appreciation of his distinguished and patriotic services to this country and the people of Zambia and that the deepest sympathies and condolences of the National Assembly be conveyed to his family.

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me time to move this motion and say a few words about our colleague, the late Hon. Christopher Tadeo Chilipapa Chawinga, MP, Nominated Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development, whose death is a great loss to this House and the nation as a whole.

As the House is already aware, the late Hon. Chawinga, MP, died on Tuesday, 27th February, 2001, at Lusaka Trust Hospital in Lusaka. He was buried at the Old Leopards Hill Cemetery, in Lusaka, on Friday, 2nd March, 2001.

The late Hon. Member was born on 5th February, 1943 at Nkozo Village in Chief Kabombo’s area, Chama District in the Eastern Province. He began his primary education at Kitwe lower and moved to Chasefu where he completed his Standard Six Upper Primary Education. From then on, he embarked on private studies which saw him do his Form Two and attain Three ‘O’ Levels.

From 1964 to 1966, he served in the Zambia Police Force as a Constable. Later in 1976, he joined the Zambia Airforce, where he served and rose to the highest rank among the Non Commissioned Officers of Warrant Officer Class ‘I’.

Mr Speaker, the late Hon. Chawinga began his political career in 1991 when he joined the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) and was elected branch Chairman. During the same year, he was elected Kabwata Constituency Publicity Secretary and was further elected later as District Vice-Publicity Secretary. From 1993, he served as Lusaka Provincial Chairman until 1996. The late Hon. Chawinga was instrumental in organising the Party both at local and national levels. He was a very articulate debater and contributed greatly to the work of Parliament through his candid debates. All of us will remember him as being very energetic, enigmatic, vibrant and a disciplinarian. He brooked no nonsense from any quarter because of his high principles.

The late Hon. Chawinga’s leadership qualities were rewarded when he was appointed by the Republican President, Dr F. J. T. Chiluba, on 22nd March, 1999 to the position of Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Sport, Youth ad Child Development. He held this position until his untimely death, on 27th February, 2001.

His death is a loss not only to his family, relatives and friends, but also to the nation as a whole.

May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

The Minister of Lands (Mr Chambeshi): Mr Speaker, I rise to render my support and to contribute to the motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, at the time I was Minister for Youth, Sport and Child Development, I had the privilege of working with the late hon. Colleague from March, 1999 to March, 2000. At the beginning of this twelve-month period, I had some apprehensions about working with a man who had allegedly managed the Lusaka Province Provincial Executive Committee with an iron fist. Fortunately, Sir, it turned out that the hon. Deputy Minister, when handled as a colleague and with due consideration, was very supportive and behaved in the best traditions of military discipline.

All those who knew him will agree with me when I say that the deceased colleague was very public spirited and had the best interests of Zambia at heart. Part of the proof of this, Mr Speaker, was in the fact that he risked his life to support the struggle for the over-throw of the One Party State. As a result of that support, he was fired from the Airforce and subsequently detained.

I would like to thank President Chiluba for having recognised Hon. Chawinga’s contributions and self-less dedication to the rebirth of democracy in Zambia by appointing him to the position of Deputy Minister.

May His Soul Rest in Peace.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. Ngulube (Lundazi): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, the Party and nation will miss Hon. Chawinga, MP. He was a man who would associate with everybody, especially those of us who were new in Parliament. We used to get a lot of pieces of advice from him. We also used to mix with him and took him as brother.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Chawinga was a level headed man in the manner that he contributed and handled the affairs of this country. He never chose. He took all as brothers and sisters.

Sir, we will always remember him because of the good things that he did for this country.

Lastly, I wish to thank the Government for honouring him and declaring the day of his burial a national mourning day and for the contributions by the Government.

May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Major Kamanga (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, we will remember Hon. Chawinga as a gentleman. I know that people like Hon. Michael Sata and Hon. Sonny Mulenga will remember him from the campaign time, how he displayed the good heart after he lost elections and he went back to help organising the party and worked with the people who felt that there was something wrong with him. Hon. Chawinga was a man who never chose people to work with. He enjoyed working with, even those who were digging his grave.

Mr Speaker, it is a pity that we are saying all these good things about this man when he is gone. I hope that the Government and, indeed, Parliament will look into how to honour such people in material terms. As national heroes, they should not only be honoured by word of mouth. We have seen many come and go.

I wish to request the Government that there should be a special place to put those declared heroes to rest.

Mr Speaker, may his soul rest in peace.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr C. T. A. Banda (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to say a few words on the late Hon. Christopher Chawinga, Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development.

Sir, in the late Hon. Christopher Chawinga, Zambia has lost a unique model with a rare combination of a soldier, administrator and politician with limitless capacities. As a soldier, Sir, Hon. Chawinga was loyal and seriously took orders from his superiors which he obeyed without question. Indeed, he enjoyed taking those orders and implementing them.

As a politician, he was a patriotic leader and this country lost. He was tactful, but to a large extent, shrewd in the way he handled his assignments. He was committed to duty and never wanted to fail to complete his assignment. Zambia, today, is mourning a man of this kind of quality. Indeed, we will all miss him. The Eastern Province that he frequented of late will, indeed, miss this man.

May his soul rest in peace.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Indeed, this is a very solemn occasion. We have lost a fellow Nominated Member of this House. He was a truly good politician. He was in the Government and we saw him from the Opposition side as a relentless campaigner. If I remember very clearly, during the last but one provincial elections of the ruling Party he stood against the outgoing Chairman of the Lusaka MMD Party, Hon. Sonny Mulenga, whom I am privileged to know very well.

Mr Speaker, the position of Nominated Members of Parliament should be made very clear. When the Government nominates a Member of Parliament, I think we should have a mechanism in the Constitution that they are scrutinised and found to be citizens of this country. During the last elections, the MMD in their overzealous ways of doing things commissioned a group of pressmen, who went to Malawi to dig in the past of the fallen brother. They shot a film to malign as a Malawian. They saw this video.

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Mr Sibetta: And in this information, they have not completely given us his full names. Even to say he went to school in Kitwe is not enough. There are so many schools in Kitwe. Which school in Kitwe did he go to because the video the MMD showed us ...

Mr Speaker: Order! The Chair has to guide the hon. Member for Luena by pointing out that he is debating out of line. The motion before this House is quite clear and it was circulated in advance to all the hon. Members to follow. This is not the time to go into that sort of background which this House is completely unaware of.

So, may the hon. Member for Luena, please, look at the motion and stay with the motion.

May he continue, please.

Mr Sibetta: I am very thankful to you, Mr Speaker. It is a pity. I should have amended this motion on the Floor in good time. But, as the Speaker rules, this is not the time, perhaps, of digging in the past. But truly, we should have amended this motion and given the House the true picture which is the MMD are hiding. They are fond of hiding valuable information.

Thank you, Sir.


Mr Luhila (Lukulu East): I stand here to join other hon. Members in registering my deepest sympathy to the family and all the friends of the fallen colleague.

Mr Speaker, I was privileged to serve with the late hon. Minister when he was still on the back bench in the Committee on Government Assurances.

In that Committee, Sir, I had the privilege of travelling with the late Hon. Chawinga to Chipata, Siavonga and other trips together. I found that the late colleague was a friend and a friend indeed. 

Mr Speaker, even when Hon. Chawinga was elevated to the position of Deputy Minister, his office was open even to us hon. Members of Parliament on the Opposition. And I found this kind of rare politics. Such people are very rare among us, Zambian politicians. So we are going to miss him just as his family is going to miss him. Certainly, the politics of this country and the history of this country are not going to be complete without the name of Chawinga being recorded in the history of this country. 

Mr Speaker, this raises again the topic that in this country we still continue burying our heroes all over the country. It is high time this country found a final resting place for our fallen heroes in all sectors of life. 

May his soul rest in peace.

Thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister for Lusaka Province (Mr S. P. Mulenga): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this chance to say a few words on my late good friend.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that the major contribution which my colleague gave to this country which must not be forgotten was to dislodge UNIP. I think he played a very decisive and pivotal role at a very critical time. I would like that to be recorded. 

Hon. Chawinga was a very good friend of mine. When I won the elections against him, people thought we were going to be enemies. To the contrary, we hugged each other here in the House. He took his defeat as I have taken mine.

Mr Sibetta: The recent one.

Mr S. P. Mulenga: The recent one. Mr Speaker, the only difference is that the elections held in 1996 and the elections which were being held this time were two different elections. But I would like to say that he was a very kind, considerate and understanding person. We worked together after I won the provincial chairmanship. He gave me a lot of support which is very rare.


Mr S. P. Mulenga: Excuse me, please. 

Mr Speaker, there is one quality which came out very prominently in my late friend. He was very dedicated and committed to the party. He was working twenty-four hours a day. He respected his elders and the party President. He gave us all the support in the Party. I have no further words to add.

May his soul rest in peace.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichinsambwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, late Chawinga had the national development programmes at his heart. I knew Hon. Chawinga when he came to Mbala as a patron of the Women Health Association of Zambia. Hon. Chawinga sympathised with the women when he found that they had been chased away from a hotel. He came to me and asked if we could keep these women at the District Administrator’s offices. Together we controlled the youth and I arranged a place for the women. 


Mr Sichinsambwe: We shall really mourn Hon. Chawinga. He was a true politician. He was a lover of everyone. He loved the Government, both these benches, the ruling and the Opposition. He was friendly to me and everyone.

May his soul rest in peace.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Before I met Hon. Chawinga, I had difficulties in understanding him until I had the privilege of meeting him. He was a wonderful man. He was very kind. He was very soft and he fought for what he believed in. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Was he soft?


Mr Hachipuka: He took serious identification. He identified himself with the cause of what the MMD stood for, whatever the cause was but at least he fought his way through. He contributed a lot to this country. 

The other point I want to make is that the Government must recognise and organise themselves and be sure of what they intend to do in rewarding a man at his demise. In many circles, there was confusion as to whether Hon. Chawinga had been given a State funeral or an official funeral. I think it is important for the people of Zambia that when funerals are announced by the State, there should be clarity.

May his soul rest in peace.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Chilombo): Mr Speaker, may I join my colleagues in adding a few words to the memory of our colleague on his contribution as he lived in this world.

I thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity because I knew and got closer to Mr Chawinga as a very good friend of mine. I joked with him as a cousin to an extent where sometimes I wrote to his Honour the Vice-President that Mr Chawinga be fined some crates of beer because of what he was doing. We used to call each other driver. Sometimes I would ask him why he was using diprosone and the man would not get annoyed. We became very close to each other. 

Mr Speaker, I came to understood Hon. Chawinga as a very serious fighter. He was a man who wanted to achieve his mission. Whatever he thought was wrong, he fought it. I admired late Hon. Chawinga's loyalty. His loyalty was such that I could call it today blind loyalty. There are very few people who have such attributes. 

Mr Speaker, we have lost a man, a party cadre, and a man who, in his humble contribution, made a difference.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Dr Kalumba): Mr Speaker, I am thankful that I have been given an opportunity to say a few words on a man that I knew very closely as a friend. More importantly, as a political ally.

I have heard attributes of the late Hon. Chawinga as a soft man, but I never knew him as a soft man, he was a very tough political cadre, a strong militant who never minced his words. If there was a call for battle, he went out for it. Not very educated but a very principled man. I recall my first acquaintance with him when he was running the first time as Provincial Chairman for Lusaka and I think Hon. Patel remembers because we worked together on trying to get him a seat as Provincial Chairman for Lusaka. He spoke hard and if you got him on the wrong side, you would regret ever knowing Christopher Chawinga, that is the material for politics, Sir.

We have lost a political institution in Lusaka because he was a phenomenon as far as Lusaka politics is concerned. I knew him as a kind person who assisted a lot of up coming politicians especially the natives of the East who were just learning to hold on to the ropes.


Dr Kalumba: He was very kind, helped, moulded, supported and even for the bigger natives, he helped a lot. Chawinga was generous in his political career.

Sir, I can only say, may his soul rest in peace.

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Madyenkuku): Mr Speaker, first of all, in contributing to the Motion, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who came to the late Hon. Chawinga’s bed side during the time we nursed him in hospital. They gave us a lot of encouragement and hope. We were still hopeful even up to the last day that a miracle could happen and we would see him recover. I would like to thank all the hon. Members for their very kind words this afternoon Sir.

When I was appointed Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development, I was at that time in the company of Hon. S.S. Miyanda, MP and Minister of Environment and Natural Resources. Since I knew that Hon. S.S. Miyanda had served at one time as District Chairman during the reign of late Hon. Chawinga’s Provincial Chairman, I ceased the occasion to find out exactly what kind of person I was to work with as my Deputy Minister and Hon. S.S. Miyanda gave me a catalogue of events that suggested to me that I was going to work with a man who was going to make it possible for me to fit into my new role.

The subsequent meeting with him and the period that followed, did not prove Hon. S.S. Miyanda wrong. I found the late hon. Deputy Minister exceedingly polite and humble, always willing to find out what my position on any issue was before he took a decision even when the issue appeared to be straight forward. That is how much he never took anything for granted.

The late Deputy Minister was a patron of a number of sports associations that are going to miss his services. My officials and I in the ministry started missing him during the time he was hospitalised and we continue to miss him today.

May I cease this opportunity Sir, to thank all sports associations in various disciplines who have sent to me messages of condolences, which I have dutifully conveyed to the family. They have shown us that we are indeed one. I know that so many good things are usually said about people when they are no more, but I am convinced that I am not exaggerating in saying that Hon. Chawinga was my idol and my hero. and I know that this is the feeling of most of the hon. Members and people out there. 

We are still in a state of mourning and in such circumstances it is difficult to say many things. Suffice to say that, we shall forever remember the wonderful things he did.

May his soul rest in peace.

I thank you, sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, a Motion of this nature is never wound up. So, I shall not call on His Honour the Vice-President to wind up the Motion. Such a Motion is also never put, and I shall, therefore, not put it to the House.

Motion carried nemine contradicente.

Members of Parliament stood in silence for one minute. {mospagebreak}



THE INCOME TAX (Amendment ) BILL 2001

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Dr Kalumba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

(Debate arising)

Mr Speaker, the Bill before the House seeks to legislate for the proposed measures that will provide relief to the individuals, businesses and co-operatives. The Bill also seeks to legislate for the on-going process of updating and strengthen the provisions of the Income Tax Act by removing anomalies, inconstancies and ambiguities that might arise within time.

Mr Speaker, allow me to briefly explain the major clauses of the Bill.

Clause two provides for an amendment to section four of the Principle Act so as to strengthen the resident stay by the insertion of the word ‘central’ immediately before the word ’management’

Clause 3 provides an amendment to section 7 of the principle act so as to empower the Commissioner-General to award any of his functions under the Income Tax Act to any person who shall perform those functions under the direction of the Commissioner-General.

Clause 4 provides an amendment to the section 37 of the principle Act by the deletion in paragraph (a) of the words ‘Zambia National Provident Fund’ and the substitution thereof the word ‘National Pension Scheme Authority’.

It also provides for the deletion of the word ‘one hundred and twenty thousand Kwacha’ and the substitution thereof the word ‘one hundred and eighty thousand kwacha’; and 

Sub-paragraph two of paragraph (c), (d) and (e) in sub-section 3 of paragraph (b) and sub-section four will provide for the increase of the allowable deduction for pension contributions from the sum of one hundred and twenty thousand to one hundred and eighty thousand kwacha.

Clause 5 provides an amendment to sub-section 2 of section 43 (a) of the Principle Act by the deletion of the words ‘part of all’ immediately after the word ‘year’ and the substitution therefore of the words ‘part or all’.

This is meant to correct the drafting error that occurred. Clause 6 provides for an amendment to Section 46A of the Principal Act by repealing the sub-section that provides for the limit of twenty-eight days in which a revised provision of tax return should be substituted as enforcement of the subsection is not practicable and is difficult to administer. It also amends the basis on which penalties are charged in cases where tax payers understate the provisional tax which is supposed to be paid in four equal installments.

Clause 7, Sir, provides for an amendment to Section 78 of the principal Act to make the whole section effective and improve compliance. clause 8 provides for an amendment to Section 81B of the principal Act so as to remove the requirement for tax clearance certificates for trading licences, manufacturing licences, liquor licences, bar, restaurant and canteen licences, practising certificates, taxi, bus or mini-bus operator licences. The requirement for tax clearance certificates has hampered rather than encouraged compliance by tax payers.

Clause 9 provides for an amendment to Section 82A of the principal Act by deleting the provisions in sub-section 9 and the proviso to paragraph (c) because they have become obsolete.

Section 10 provides for an amendment to Section 97A of the principal Act so as to strengthen the provisions that deal with thin capitalisation. Clause 11 provides for an amendment to Section 97A of the principal Act by the insertion of a new Section 97AA immediately after Section 97A so as to strengthen and broaden the provisions that deal with thin capitalisation. The amendment is meant to protect the Zambian tax base in view of the liberalisation of the economy.

Clause 12 provides for an amendment to the Second Schedule to the principal Act in order to review the formula at which income earned by co-operatives starts by increasing the limit from K800 to K3.6 million as the current limit is no longer realistic. The amendment further provides for the exemption from tax of lump sum payments made to an employee upon loss of employment on medical grounds. 

Section 13 provides for an amendment of the Third Schedule to the principal Act so as to strengthen the provisions dealing with insurance income by providing that any excess of management expenses of an insurance company’s investment income to be treated as a loss.

Clause 14 provides for an amendment of the Fifth Schedule to the principal Act so as to strengthen the provisions dealing with capital allowances so that only assets which are proved to be directly and exclusively used in farming, tourism, manufacturing and leasing qualify for increased rate of wear and tear allowance.

Clause 15 provides for the amendment to the Charging Schedule to the principal Act so as to increase the tax credit from the current K120,000 to K144,000 so that a person earning K120,000 per month or less will not pay tax. The amendment also provides for the adjustment of the tax bands to take into account effects of inflation. 

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

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Kalifungwa (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, in supporting the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, I wish to commend the Zambia Revenue Authority, the collecting wing of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for the efforts they are making to meet the targets that are being set by the ministry. In this regard, I wish to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development that when the funds are made available, they must be directed to the economic sectors of our economy for development.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwanza (Petauke): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Zambia Revenue Authority for doing a commendable job in collecting revenues for the Government. Mr Speaker, I just want to make a small observation. While they are doing a commendable job, it appears that they are also spending too much money. I believe they can institute some cost-saving measures to reduce their expenditures.

The other issue is that their organisational structure appears to be top-heavy. You have so many commissioners, deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners. I believe they can streamline their organisational structure and reduce the heavy costs that they incur.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I support the Bill.

Mr Kapangalwendo (Chinsali): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording me this rare chance. I rise to support the Bill in total, but I would like to urge the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to look at Section (c) of the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill which says it intends to increase the allowable deductions for pension contributions from K120,000 to K180,000. I am of the view, Mr Speaker, that the fact that most civil servants get a minimum wage of about K200,000 and taking into account that the kwacha has considerably been devalued, I would suggest that we raise this up to K200,000 because it has been announced that it is the minimum wage which a civil servant should take home. 

My last point, Mr Speaker, is about mini-bus licence operators. I would like this to be restricted to only indigenous Zambians. It is only in this country where you find foreigners operating mini-buses. They are, actually, depriving the indigenous Zambians, especially those with little capital to operate. Let these people, who have large amounts of money, invest it into bigger enterprises and companies.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Luhila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I would like to commend my brother-in law, the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development. He is very capable, indeed, ...

Mr Patel: But he is letting us down these days.

Mr Luhila: ... for bringing in this Bill. Mr Speaker, in supporting this Bill, I would like to say one or two words. This is lack of supervision by ZRA of the revenue collecting departments. 

Mr Speaker, I have in mind, for example, the Ministry of Communications and Transport which is collecting a lot of money on behalf of Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the Treasury. In most cases ZRA is not represented there to account for this money. This department is represented in very far rural areas. You will find that the officers who are in charge of collecting these revenues are not supervised. They neither know nor ever seen a ZRA official. 

I think it is high time that ZRA is represented in almost all the departments who are charged with the responsibility of collecting revenue on behalf of the Treasury.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs E. J. Tembo (Kapoche): I thank you for the opportunity which you have given me to convey my maiden speech.

I must, first of all, say that I feel at home since I know a good number of hon. Members Parliament personally both in the ruling party and the Opposition. 

Mr Speaker, at this juncture I would like to thank the Leader of the House, His Honour the Vice-President, yourself, Mr Speaker, the hon. Chief Whip and all hon. Members of Parliament for the warm welcome to this august House. Secondly, I would like to thank my Party, MMD, for affording me the opportunity to be their candidate in the just ended Kapoche Parliamentary Constituency by-elections.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs E. J. Tembo: Sir, Kapoche was considered to be one of the most difficult constituencies for one to win for the reasons well known. However, let me commend the team that campaigned vigorously and tirelessly to win back the sit. It was a well organised campaign and I convey congratulations to all the people who participated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs E. J. Tembo: Mr Speaker, I also wish to convey my heartfelt and sincere gratitude to the President, my country President, my Party President for acknowledging and endorsing my name to run for the Kapoche sit on behalf of MMD.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs E. J. Tembo: This is a great privilege and honour to me, Mr Speaker. To the people Kapoche, my electorate, I say many, many and sincere thanks for entrusting me with powers and responsibility to speak on their behalf in this august House. All I can promise is that I shall endeavour to do my best and work hard to achieve some of their aspirations.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs E. J. Tembo: Mr Speaker, Kapoche shares the border with Mozambique. In fact, it is envisaged that some Zambians who live on the Mozambican side cross over during election to cast their votes. Therefore, it would not be surprising to hear that these could be the people who use their dead relatives’ National Registration Cards (NRC) to vote. Mr Speaker, I beg that this be checked.

Sir, Kapoche is one of the largest constituencies in the Eastern Province fit for delimitation if possible, but I must hasten also to say that, it is one of the most underdeveloped constituencies in Zambia. During the campaign I had a chance to tour all the areas which needed development, road infrastructure, hospitals, schools, clinics, bridges, teachers’ houses and dams. These areas of development lag behind.

The roads and bridges have not been attended to most probably since independence, especially in Chief Mwanjawanthu’s area. During the campaign in Chief Mwanjawanthu’s area, it was a big problem to drive around freely. Several times vehicles got stuck in the mud compelling people to spend nights on the road. Children rarely attend classes because of the flooding streams which have no bridges. The poor state of roads hampers progress for those who wish to provide transport services to the area.

Mr Speaker, schools are in a deplorable state. Most of them are hardly maintained. In fact, some need to be demolished altogether and new structures built. All of them are ill equipped with no furniture, no blackboards and desks. The senior schools have no libraries, no laboratories and no electricity at all. Pupils have to use candles to study.

Mr Speaker, I, however, thank the MMD Government for electrifying Nyanje Day Secondary School. The problems are worsened by lack of teachers and teachers’ houses. Teachers cannot have the morale to teach when they have to walk 12 kilometres to school every day. Sir, I appeal to the Ministry of Education to correct this situation with utmost urgency. The provision of clean water to schools and communities is in progress, but has a long way to go. A few bore-holes have been provided and there is need to maintain them as some are already defunct. The whole constituency need concerted efforts to provide clean water. 

Hospitals and clinics have their stories to tell. All clinics visited had drugs but the Ministry of Health could do better than the case is now. Some people walk long distances to reach health centres. Nyanje Hospital needs rehabilitation. This is an old hospital which has been in existence for more than fifty years. Some wards have closed due to falling ceiling and termites which have destroyed the wards. This needs urgent attention before other wards are affected. I am, therefore, appealing to the Ministry of Health again to attend to this matter through the hon. Minister for Eastern Province, who is already aware of the problem.

Mr Speaker, my constituency has two Chiefs, there is need for rehabilitation of the Chiefs’ palaces, especially that of Chief Mwanjawanthu. I am happy that Chief Nyanje will soon be enjoying a modern facility of electricity at the palace. Mr Speaker, I once again thank the MMD Government for this facility to my Chief.

Mr Speaker, the people of Kapoche are not lazy, they desire to improve their standard of living through farming and other income generating ventures. The women work extra hard as usual. I am glad the Budget Speech spelt out the need to assist female-headed homes. Logistics need to be put in place to identify these households to avoid resources ending up in wrong hands. This programme, Mr Speaker, should not end on paper. It should be implemented without fail because poverty is our waste enemy, especially in the rural areas where even to build a descent home to most villagers is a nightmare, especially female villagers. 

In this vain, I wish to suggest that the Africa Housing Fund be enhanced to improve shelter for the rural poor since the mission is to reduce poverty by supplementing Government efforts through integrated self-help initiatives. The majority of the poorest people are mostly found in the rural areas and Government often overlooks the plight of these Zambians living in the rural areas. The Presidential Housing Initiative is concentrated in urban areas constructing high and low cost houses for those without their own houses.

Therefore, Mr Speaker, it would be prudent that the Africa Housing Fund Programme under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing should start and concentrate on assisting poor people in the villages to own decent accommodation and make village life attractive. Programmes under the same project like provision of bore-holes and micro-credit e t c., should be left to others ministries so that all monies allocated to this programme go into assisting rural people to own better houses through this Fund.

Sir, I want to take this opportunity to warn the Government that there is looming hunger in my constituency owing to possible poor harvest. The heavy rains that have been experienced this season have destroyed much of the crop. Furthermore, in Chief Manjawanthu’s area, there are reports of an infestation of snails which have attacked the maize crop. I, therefore, appeal to the Government to start preparing to distribute relief food in Kapoche Constituency this year.

Mr Speaker, Sir, allow me to add my voice to those of my fellow women Parliamentarians of the need to increase women representation in this House and in all positions of responsibility in our country.

Hon. Female Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs E. J. Tembo: I am sometimes worried that we are not doing enough to achieve the thirty per cent representation of women in all decision-making positions. Even here, in this House, we are still very far from achieving this target.

Sir, perhaps the only way for the House is to introduce legislation to ensure that all the eight nominated Members of Parliament should be women.

Hon. Female Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs E. J. Tembo: I further want to challenge all potential parties, if there are any, to put in place affirmative action strategies to ensure that as many women Parliamentarians as possible are elected. We should be seen to start moving beyond mere rhetoric, towards action.

Mr Speaker, let me now address the issue of national development and poverty alleviation in connection with informal, micro, small and medium enterprise sectors. Sir, the Government acknowledges that small enterprise development is one way of creating employment for the multitudes of Zambians without jobs. Government has, again, acknowledged that small-scale industry development is the engine of growth.

Mr Speaker, Sir, Section 3(i) of the MMD manifesto on micro and small enterprises, outlines the policy the Government wishes to pursue in the development of the sector. Sir, most of what is outlined in this document has not yet been achieved for some reason.

Mr Speaker, I wish to emphasise to Government that small industries in Zambia need a boost if poverty has to be fought relentlessly and it is through supporting the institutions like Small Enterprise Development Board (SEDB), that have already established wings for development throughout this country, that we can fight this enemy called poverty. Sir, the micro, small and medium industries would go a long way in assisting Government to create employment.

Currently, looking at the state of affairs in the micro, small and medium business sector, one sees a lot of potential and hope in the individual entrepreneurs. But this hope is diminished by the failure to access the resources that are necessary for the sector to grow and expand.

Lack of project finance presently appears to be on top of the list in terms of critical needs in the sector. Generally, affordable finance for the small and medium business sector is seriously lacking in the economy and this is a major constraint in development and growth of the business in the sector. The result is very slow and no real vital growth in this vital sector of our economy. There is, therefore, need for long-term financing for the micro, small and medium business sector.

Mr Speaker, the small-scale industries development is the only answer to poverty alleviation. The Small Enterprises Development Board, as a Government institution should be the main focus of development for the sector, and the need is for it to be seriously supported by Government since private promoters of the sector get their support privately and cover only small proportions of the country. SEDB, therefore, needs support in:

(i)    Capacity building, infrastructural development, i.e, industrial parks or estates, common facility centres and industrial clustering;

(ii)    credit funds for revolving loans funds, venture capital funds and leasing funds;

(iii)    targeted programmes based on factor endowment-rural industrialisation, agro-processing and sericulture development. I am glad this was mentioned for support in the Budget Speech, as well as skin and hides; 

(iv)    market development, in connection with export market quality assurance facilities and training. There is also need for Government to take some affirmative action by deliberately allocating ten per cent of its local procurement budget to the of the business associations. The Tender Board of Zambia should offer thirty per cent of its tenders to small and medium enterprises. This would greatly help, once again to provide the sector with capital for expansion. The introduction of COMESA Free Trade Area (FTA) gives good opportunity for market expansion too; 

(v)    I also propose that the Small Enterprises Development Fund proposed in the Small Enterprises Development Act, 1996, be implemented, and National Savings and Credit Bank be recapitalised to enable it service the micro and small business sector adequately. We have been talking about doing this for too long without any tangible action; and

(vi)    Government should also encourage financial institutions to lend to the micro, small and medium businesses by extending incentives to them such as lower corporate tax rates on profits.

Sir, my last appeal on the small-scale sector is to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and is on the Japanese Non-Project Grant Aid Support for the sector. Mr Speaker, while I appreciate the advertisements in the press for people to apply for the funds, I strongly propose that the applications go through institutions that target small-scale entrepreneurs, namely, SEDB to ensure that the funds service the right people, worse still, the rural entrepreneurs have no access to newspapers.
I am more than convinced that the real small-scaller does not benefit from these funds. Last year, even SEDB itself was denied access to the funds. Mr Speaker, SEDB has now a Board in place, therefore, there is no need for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to hire a private consultant to manage the fund. The small-scaller, in this country, has suffered for too long without proper Government support. Many industries have gone under some are barely surviving with trimmed man power, meaning that people continue to lose jobs even in this sector, where we are supposed to maintain and increase them.

Mr Speaker, if only the above outlined were adhered to, I am sure this country would see a turn of events in economic development and a good fight fought against poverty.

Sir, let me finish my maiden speech by suggesting to the Electoral Commission that, the use of ink during casting of votes, should be the last exercise. I say so because I noticed that most rejected ballot papers are rejected on the basis of having finger prints. This only means the ink on the thumb spoils the ballot papers. We need every vote cast, Mr Speaker.

Lastly, I wish to congratulate the MMD Government for the changed face of Government offices. Mr Speaker, they look fantastic and business like.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, I thank my colleagues who have made submissions on the Bill. In particular I would like to assure Hon. Kalifungwa that the revenue collected by ZRA is used on the priorities defined in the Budget.

Mr Speaker, to Hon. Mwanza, with respect to ZRA spending habits, I would like to assure you that there is no gravy train at the top of ZRA. It is a very streamed situation there, we do not have a gravy train at the top of ZRA.

Hon. Kapangalwendo, we have no hyphenated Zambians. All Zambians are just that and they are free to do business. Hon. Luhila, we work very closely with our colleagues at the Ministry of Communications and Transport and we will continue to do so, to improve revenue collection in that area. To my big sister Hon. Tembo, may I just say that we will study her maiden speech very closely and very intensely. In respect to hunger in the Eastern Province, let us just bear in mind that there are a lot of groundnuts grown in Eastern Province right now and that assures us good production in terms of mice.

I beg to move.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

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

Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 7th March, 2001.


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

Mr Speaker, the Bill before the House seeks to amend the Customs and Excise Act so as to re-categorise certain products in the first schedule and to reduce excise duty on beer. The Bill further seeks to harmonise and simplify customs procedures and bring them in line with current internationally accepted trade practices.

Mr Speaker, the re-categorisation of certain products involves upward or downward adjustments in the customs tariff rates. The reductions in customs duty rates is mainly on those products used as inputs in industries or manufacturing processes. This is meant to support and promote local industries as this will contribute to the reduction of production costs and improve the liability of our manufacturing industry.

Inputs are made less expensive thereby enabling our local industries compete fairly. An increase in customs duty rates is being proposed on saloon cars and selected commercial vehicles in order to prevent dumping from the developed nations and also as a source of revenue to our Treasury.

Mr Speaker, in order to reduce the cost of basic Malaria prevention, it is proposed to reduce duty on Mosquito Nets so that a greater number of our people have access to them for their prevention.

Sir, as I mentioned in my Budget Speech, excise duty rates have been reduced on clear beer after careful review of the industry, its linkages in our economy and the potential benefit we stand to rip from the upturn in the fortunes of this industry. I have also proposed to reduce excise duty on opaque beer by removing the Surtax. This is to address concerns of the opaque beer producers and improve compliance in the industry.

Sir, other proposed changes to the Customs and Excise Act are meant to update, clarify and strengthen the Act for better and effective administration.

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

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Luhila: Mr Speaker, in supporting this wonderful Bill, I would like to make one or two suggestions to the hon. Minister and this is in respect of the Japanese Grant acquired equipment.

Mr Speaker, the Japanese Government found it fit to help Zambian up coming businesses with this famous Japanese Non Project Grant.

Mr Simasiku: Japanese Non Project Grant.

Mr Luhila: Thank you very much hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development. 

Now, the problem that we are facing is that when the one benefiting imports equipment to install here in this country. Upon arrival into this country, this equipment attracts heavy duty thus making it almost impossible for the new Zambian investors to prosper because any other little capital which they have accumulated, have got to be now raised to pay for the customs duty on such equipment. This goes on for the Enterprise Development Fund, a facility by the World Bank. 

All the equipment imported by this facility is attracting customs duty, making it very difficult for the young businessmen to acquire it and venture into new businesses. 

So, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development that, when he is negotiating for these new facilities he should help Zambian businessmen by considering also reducing custom duty on this kind of imported equipment.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kakungu (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, and I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to give my maiden speech.

Mr Speaker, firstly, allow me to thank the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr F. J. T. Chiluba and my Party, the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD), for adopting me as their candidate in September, 2000, by-election.

I also wish to acknowledge the tremendous support and hard work that I got from the campaign committee headed by the dynamic hon. Deputy Chief Whip and Deputy Minister of Lands, Hon. Nkole, MP. The provincial leadership too, did a commendable job. Let me recognise the efforts of the following hon. Members of Parliament; Hon. Professor Nkandu Luo, MP, who made the campaign more spiced and entertaining; hon. Deputy Minister for Northern Province, (Mr Kapapa); hon. Deputy Minister for Energy and Water Development (Mr Chibamba); Hon. C. C. Mwansa; Hon. Mweni; Hon. Mwape and Hon. Bupe.

Mr Speaker, I will make my maiden speech short because I am aware that my Government is a listening Government. Therefore, even if I do not say a lot, they will listen and grasp what I need.

Mr Speaker, Kaputa District lacks a secondary school. The World Bank abandoned this project at window level. So, I would like to appeal to the Government through the Minister of Education, Hon. Brigadier-General Miyanda. We have cried enough.

Sir, with regard to health, as we all know Hon. Kavindele is a hardworking man and a man of action, we are requesting for a hospital but before this is done, we would like you to send us a medical doctor. At the moment, all our medical staff are at clinical officer’s level.

Mr Speaker, coming to electricity, we are thankful for the generator which serves the Boma area though it is not adequate to supply the town at once. There are three areas which need electricity once a day. However, what will be ideal is the connection of Kaputa to the National Grid. In this way, places like Kasongole, Kaleulu, Kalaba, Nsumbu, Chishela, Nsama, Kampinda, Munwa and Mikose can benefit. Electrical energy will improve tourism along lakes Tanganyika and Mweru shores where there is tremendous potential.

Mr Speaker, the road from Mporokoso to Mununga through Kaputa Boma has not been worked upon since 1983. The deterioration of this very important infrastructure is so immense that it will now be cheaper to construct a new road. So, I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development to give us more than the K500 million he has pledged for road in the Yellow Book. This road is 365 kilometres long and the estimated cost is K12 billion.

Sir, with regard to Local Government, at the moment we have a sub-Boma at Nsama, in Kaputa District. What the people of Chimbamilonga are asking for, with the support of their colleagues in Kaputa Constituency, is that Nsama Boma becomes a district on its own. The present boundaries are unmanageable due to terrain and geography. In the same vein, we are requesting the Electoral Commission to help us redesign wards. The present wards in Kaputa are too large to be administered by one councillor.

I would like to inform His Honour the Vice-President, through you, Sir, that Mukubwe Bridge has brought a lot of confusion amongst my people. When are you going to construct it under the Office of the Vice-President Disaster Management?

Finally, Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all hon. Members of Parliament who lent me their ears whilst I was on the Floor.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I thought I should just comment briefly on the Customs and Excise Bill which is on the Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker, the customs bond requirements for Zambians is a bit too high. It only favours the international or multilateral co-operators. Zambians cannot afford the amount of money required for customs bonds. Please, revise the figure downwards so that we help build new companies. We are having problems with the clearing companies to meet the requirements as stated by law.

My other point, Sir, is that the licensing committee has to be looked into as well. There is a bit of favouritism. Some companies are simply not getting any licenses even after the requirements are met. It takes quite a long time. This is because once they sit in December, the next time they will sit is in June. We have new companies and some old ones which have applied for new licenses. They have to wait until June. Now, business is not like that. You cannot prosper. They should sit periodically, for example, every month or two so that the issuance of clearing licenses is sped up.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the contributions of hon. Members. I just like to make comment on one issue. This is on the point raised by Hon. Luhila in respect to the Japanese Non-Project Grant. 

There are arrangements for investors to enter into time-to-pay arrangements with the Zambia Revenue Authority. Hon. Luhila may wish to note that most of the equipment is duty free or five per cent while most of them are now under the VAT deferment scheme which was reintroduced this year.

With respect to hon. Member of Parliament for Chimbamilonga, I welcome his maiden speech. I will study that closely and on Hon. Shimonde, our colleagues will look at the submission on customs. We hope to respond to you in due course.

Thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President: I thought I should just clarify one point about the Mokubwe Bridge which was brought up by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chimbamilonga. I hope he is listening.

Sir, shortly, I will be going to his constituency to launch this particular bridge and I can only appeal to him and his relatives there to use this bridge for the intention that it is intended, not to be carrying monkey meat on it.

Thank you, Sir.


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

Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 7th March, 2001

THE VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2001

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

Mr Speaker, the Bill before the House seeks to amend the Value Added Tax Act so as to allow participating commercial banks to receipt taxes as a result of the direct payment by the taxpayer to the participating commercial banks. This is aimed at streamlining the revenue collection process, increase security, eliminate undue delays in the crediting of cash deposits and cheques and possible revenue loss.

Direct banking by the taxpayers into the participating commercial banks and the subsequent transfer of these revenues to the Central Bank will ensure that the Treasury receives tax revenues quicker than is the case now. It will also eliminate the exposure to bad Cheques by having the participating commercial banks do the credit checking as these have the capacity and professional expertise to validate sound Cheques unlike the Zambia Revenue Authority.

Mr Speaker, the measure will allow the handling and processing of money to specialised institutions and eliminate the need for Zambia Revenue Authority to handle money physically and allow the Zambia Revenue Authority to concentrate on accurate accounting for revenue collected. This will inevitably eliminate the risk associated with the keeping of money in Zambia Revenue Authority premises, especially for deposits received over the weekend and reduce the opportunity for corruption.

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

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Sichinga (Isoka East): I rise to support the Bill.

In doing so, Sir, I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister a number of issues associated with the mechanisms of using banks in this particular manner.

I wish to make declaration to this House that I have an interest to serve as having been a Board Member of Zambia Revenue Authority when it started. A number of issues were seen to have created problems for ZRA.

The use of banks means that there must time allowance to enable the banks remit the monies to the Central Bank. Now, one of the problems that tends to create problems, even with the current collections at various customs points, is that the time factor is such that the Zambia Revenue Authority does not always receive the collection on the timely basis.

I would like to submit, Sir, that while this is a good move, the hon. Minister needs to examine what has been problematic right now, in that some of the banks have tended to use the collections intended for ZRA. In fact, they use it as monies with which they buy treasury bills using a system, which in accounting terms we call, teaming and lending. They will hold on to that money for as long as they can. Under the present arrangements, the banks are allowed to hold on to that money and remit it within four days. They have tended to take longer than that.

Therefore, while this approach is a reasonable way to handle collections, I am concerned that there will be delays in remitting that money to the account of ZRA. I do not know what mechanism, the hon. Minister can tell this House, he will use to ensure that the remittances that are being made to the Central Bank are done on a timely basis.

The Committees of Public Accounts and Estimates, in fact, have raised this particular point and we have not had satisfactory answers to the submissions of these. Therefore, I am concerned that unless those issues are resolved, this will also suffer from the same shortcomings. For example, the monies are not reaching Zambia Revenue Authority’s accounts at the Central Bank on a timely basis.

So, I would like to request the hon. Minister, when he comes to wind up that, he should clarify these particular issues in ensuring that these amounts the banks will be collecting are not being utilised for any other purposes. And that there is a tight regime which will ensure that the monies do reach ZRA, not in four days, but immediately they are received, they are credited, particularly, with the issue of electronic clearing of Cheques. I think that should be able to help the hon. Minister to administer this system properly.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde: Thank you, Sir, for the opportunity.

My main concern, Mr Speaker, is the delay of refunding the VAT element. It takes a long time before the VAT is refunded when you pay.

The other point is that, I do not know whether the ministry can consider reducing the VAT element from 17.5 per cent to 16 per cent because this will help. Fuel and other essential commodities prices should also be reduced. Zambia has the highest VAT rate of 17.5 per cent. It is too high. If it can come down, it will help boost our economy and even the upcoming entrepreneurs will actually be helped to produce competitive products. The VAT element is too high. It should come down.

Thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}

Colonel Makumba (Sikongo): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to present my maiden speech.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Colonel Makumba: Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude to the National Management Committee of the United Party for National Development (UPND) for having endorsed my name to contest the Sikongo Parliamentary Constituency by-elections. I also wish to thank all members of the UPND for the tremendous support rendered to me both before and after the campaign period, which resulted in my being elected to this august House.

Above all, Sir, I would like to thank all the electorates of Sikongo Constituency, regardless of their political affiliation, who overwhelmingly voted for me under UPND to represent them in this august House. I will forever remain indebted to them and I will faithfully work for betterment of the constituency.

I wish to call upon all the people of Sikongo Constituency to forget about political differences, which characterises by-elections, and forge ahead to bring development to the area.

Through you, Sir, I would like to pay glowing tribute to my predecessor, the late Mr Goodson Liandu, who was the Member of Parliament for Sikongo Constituency from 1996 until his untimely death. He was selfless and served this nation diligently and with devotion to duty, firstly, as a civil servant and, later, as a Member of Parliament. In his own right and under the circumstances, he gave his best to the nation. I am aware that even in this House, he left a lot of friends some of whom worked very closely with him. I will endeavour to continue from where he left. I pray that the good Lord grants him eternal rest.

Mr Speaker, in 1991, the people of Zambia made a landmark decision to bring democracy into this country through the re-introduction of multi-party politics as opposed to the one-party system. That decision earned this nation and its people a great deal of international respect and admiration.

In 1996, after extensive consultations and a wide public debate, the Republican Constitution was amended with a view to standing the test of time. There is general debate in the country which borders on amending the Republican Constitution. Are we saying that the constitution has already stood the test of time to warrant amendment barely five years after it was passed by this House? My humble appeal to all Zambians is that we should learn to respect our own decisions no matter what it takes.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Colonel Makumba: Mr Speaker, governance is the business of dealing with the welfare of the people throughout the country. It is very saddening to note that at the moment in Zambia, there is no equitable distribution of resources. As a result, there is a very big gap between rural and urban areas. This has been exercebated by poverty which has afflicted rural areas far more than urban areas. This has resulted in a lot of people migrating into urban areas in the hope of a better life. The issue of development is cardinal to the well being of any society and should not to be lopsided, especially in a unitary state like ours. 

Sir, for us in Western Province, our development has so far only been in form of promises. During the run up to the by-elections in Sikongo, the people of Western Province were promised the construction of an all weather road from Mongu to Kalabo. This promise is not new to the people of Western Province. I hope this time around the Government will keep its word. I will keep reminding the Government to fulfil this promise in this House. Otherwise, people should not be taken for granted.

Mr Speaker, turning to my constituency, Sikongo, the general situation is that of despair and hopelessness. A number of primary schools have been closed some for as long as three years and in some cases, the entire school only has one teacher to teach all the classes from Grade One to Seven. It is very sad to note that this is happening in Zambia thirty-seven years after gaining independence. I wish to appeal to the hon. Minister of Education to redress this sad state of affairs. I am sure this sad scenario is not confined to my constituency alone but to many other rural places in Zambia. 

In addition, school and clinic projects which were left uncompleted in 1991 by the UNIP Government are still untouched. Most local courts operate under trees due to lack of infrastructure. The situation is already bad and it should not be allowed to deteriorate. The Government of the day must deliver all the promises of 1991 and 1996 and more recently during the by-election campaign trail. All citizens have a right to development. It is high time we learnt to share the national wealth equitably no matter how limited the resources are. We should all benefit either directly or indirectly in one way or the other for that is the essence of having government in place.

Finally, Sir, I would like to express my gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, hon. Members of this House, the Clerk of the National Assembly and staff of Parliament for the fraternal welcome extended to me and my colleagues, the new hon. Members of Parliament, upon our coming to Parliament. I am sure the warm reception enabled us to quickly settle down.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: hear, hear!

Dr. Kalumba: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues who have spoken including the hon. Member for Sikongo for his maiden speech. 

Sir, I would like to state briefly, in response to Hon. Sichinga, who expressed concern about the time lapse, that we have developed a new system by the Zambia Revenue Authority which links on a daily basis with the banks to be participating in the revenue collection, particularly Zambia National Commercial Bank and Finance Bank Zambia Limited. So that will give the opportunity to reduce the time factor that Hon. Sichinga was concerned about. I appreciate the point. I think it was a valid point. But some measures have been put in place to address that. 

Hon. Shimonde, I think raised, questions about the Value Added Tax rate reduction. I would like to state that Zambia has an average rate in the region. Just for comparison, Tanzania has twenty per cent on VAT, Kenya has eighteen per cent and sometimes twenty-three per cent in some areas, Namibia has twenty-three per cent and Zimbabwe has 17. 5 per cent. So our rate is quite consistent with the average in the region.

On VAT refunds, I think Hon. Shimonde will recall that I made an announcement in the budget with respect to the deferment scheme. With that in place, we will reduce the pressure on refund and we will minimise the delays that have been the case in the past. We hope to achieve the target of thirty days time limit on refunds.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Before I put the question, I would like to call on the Acting Chief Whip to ensure that the hon. Member for Lusaka Central complies with the earlier ruling of the Chair on the Green Ribbons.

Mr Patel removed the Green Ribbon.

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

Committed to a committee of the whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 7th March, 2001.



VOTE 90/01 - (Office of the President - Lusaka Province - Headquarters - K1,307,595,089).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Thank you very, Mr Chairman.

Sir, it is important to have the need to know because when we know and understand fully, then we act in a more mature and progressive way. It is against this background that I deliberately brought to the attention of this House the reason we had Barotseland, which is now Western Province.

Mr Chairman, looking at Western Province now, it is actually a very sad story because it was one of the richest provinces in this country. We had a lot of potential in the cattle industry and fed the towns of this country. But Sir, you may wish to know that for almost seven years now, no animals have been transported from Western Province to the line of rail. This problem of cattle disease in Western Province reached its climax when we met the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries at that time and hon. Members of Parliament from Western Province were present. Now, I am talking about four years ago, todate, nothing has been done.

Mr Sibetta: Shame!

Mr Shumina: The impact of this deliberate silence by Government, visa-viz Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries has brought a terrible negative impact in terms of the finance of the people of Western Province. Most of our relatives in the province are unable to send their children to school and most of them have become beggars when they actually have the capacity to do business. We urge Government to consider this issue seriously because we shall not sit down and allow our own Government fail to help people of Western Province when they are in dire need. It is against this background that sometime last year, there was a serious problem between ZamBeef and the people of Western Province. We do not want this crisis to continue. 

If the Government gave K280 million to a province that has less than fifty per cent of the animals that we have in Western Province. I hope Hon. Keembe is listening, I wonder why they cannot give more to Western Province that has a bigger heard of cattle. This is not a small problem and should not be taken lightly.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: No Mazokaitas  there.

Mr Shumina: The second point Sir, is the issue of timber industry. We have seen a lot of exploitation of natural resources in Western Province and we do not see any value in this destruction when our environment is being turned into a desert and it is our submission Sir, that Government should ban the unnecessary destruction of trees in Western Province because we get poor by the day and our natural resources are being destroyed by the day. There are no returns whatsoever to the people of Western Province in this industry. We want Government to consider giving concessions to our traditional leaders, especially our chiefs because they have looked after these resources since time immemorial. They have been better custodians of our environment and natural resources, therefore, they would actually control the destruction of trees in Western Province.

The third point Sir, is the question of agriculture. In Western Province, we have Kaoma District which is referred to as the Grain Basket. Government saw it fit to put up agricultural resettlement scheme; Kalumwange, T B Z, Mushwala and many others. But the sad part about this project is that it looks like Government just wanted to find a way of heaping people in Kaoma District because as the situation stands now, there is no vehicle which can reach these farming areas no matter how strong it is.

Even the fertiliser you are talking about is a non starter because people cannot transport agro-inputs to their farming areas. We, therefore, urge Government, especially that they have said they can only work on roads after the rain season (April), to improve the roads leading to settlement schemes. The issue of agricultural resettlement schemes is not just a notion of sending people to areas without consulting the traditional leadership, the custodians of the land. This has brought unnecessary conflicts between the settlers and the people they have found in those areas. We, therefore, urge Government once more to ensure that there is proper collaboration between the custodians of the land and those people that are being sent to those resettlement schemes.

Mr Chairman, may I now move to the social welfare of Western Province. For those of us in this House who had the interest to go and campaign in Western Province in the last three by-elections that we had, it was actually a disgrace, especially on us who are in the ruling party because in Sikongo Constituency for example, almost all schools have collapsed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shumina: And there are no teachers, the ratio is almost 1:200, which makes learning difficult. We request Government again that, in spite of the problems that we have in normalising the situation, let us have teachers in these rural areas.

Finally, Sir, I can see a yellow card there, I would like to look at the roads in the province and this House may wish to know that we have only one tarred road in Western Province, the Lusaka/Mongu/Senanga Road. There is no other tarred road in the entire province. If you drive to Livingstone today hon. Minister, you will find that the road is cut off and this shows that the hon. Minister is not even in touch with Western Province ...

Mr Mululu: I am in touch.

Mr Shumina: ... so, Sir, we want our roads worked on after the rains because it is yet another Government assurance. Before I sit down, I would want to remind Government of the assurances made on the Floor of the House between 1991 and 2001.

Mr Chibambula (Dundumwezi): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the Vote.

Mr Chairman, first of all, I want to welcome my younger brother seated next to me (Mr Sejani). You will realise that I breed bulls and I have got one bull here.

Mr Chairman, I was born and bred in Dundumwezi, ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chibambula: ... in Kalomo District and in the capital of Southern Province, Livingstone. I spent my working life on the Copperbelt, Lusaka and Central provinces. So, I am not sure how I will discuss the issue because I have been able to cover these areas adequately.

Mr Chairman, since this is a national issue, I would like to ask for special permission to discuss as a national leader in the sense that I could, possibly, be  looked at as a presidential candidate in the year 2005.


Mr Chibambula: So, I should be discussing these matters broadly with a view of getting there in five years’ time. Mr Chairman, Zambia is endowed with natural resources. The potential for agriculture, particularly in the Southern Province, cannot be over-emphasised. The province was able to feed literally half of this country, if not the entire country, but today we are nowhere nearer to where we started from. The three provinces namely; Central, Lusaka and Southern, were able to feed half of this sub-region, but today we are nowhere nearer.

Mr Chairman, I am sure Zambia could have been able to feed the entire of Africa, but we are not able to. Mr Chairman, year in year out, we have seen South Africa produce more than enough to even export to our neighbouring countries but we have never taken the chance. I want to re-iterate the point that Zambia’s potential to feed itself, first of all, and, indeed, the entire sub-region is enormous, but I put the question to you, Sir: Are we serious about managing ourselves? What is our national symbol? Who takes pride in a country that survives on begging when we can produce our own food, improve on manufacturing and our investments? Why are we perpetual beggars? The planning somewhere is wrong. 

Mr Chairman, we are gathered here debating a Budget with very little meaning, hope, means and very little political will to revive our great country. This great country was once an agricultural and industrial giant in Central Africa. We only used to fear South Africa, I suppose, but today we have a problem. Even countries which we never thought of can now boast about being richer than Zambia.

Mr Chairman, the agricultural and industrial revolution in Europe started just about the Second World War and I thought those who have gone to school and who were involved in 1991 changes could have made it possible to start a revolution based on agricultural, commercial and industrial route, to get this country out of this malaise. We should have started soon after 1991, after the one party state rule on a course which we should have by now been able to look back and would have been able to tell our young people what we would have done. Mr Chairman, my question is: where did we go wrong? We have the best manifesto.

Mr Tetamashimba: Ah!

Mr Musakabantu: Yes, no question about it.

Mr Chibambula: We have read it, but are we saying, maybe, we do not understand it or we copied it from somewhere? I believe we all understand our manifesto, and if we understand it, we must be able to read it and be able to understand it.

Mr Chairman, we need a collective responsibility, as national leaders, to be able to forge ahead. Let us not leave one man to do everything. Let us all be involved and not blame anybody. By so doing, we will be able to move out of these problems. Therefore, Mr Chairman, our total commitment to the national cause and to economic and agricultural development in this country should be seriously looked into, especially that all provinces in Zambia have potential to produce enough food for each province. We should create an area of competition amongst the provinces. We cannot afford, Mr Chairman, that only two or three provinces produce the food that is required in Zambia. We should be able, as a Government, to encourage every province to have some kind of production that we need to meet the aspirations of our people.

Mr Chairman, our ills and our deeds should be confined to ourselves. Therefore, our immediate approach to life should be produce, sell and feed yourself. It should be production first and consumption later. 

Having said so, I now want to talk about the famous Munyeke Bridge, which has not been repaired for twelve months. I have seen other areas where bridges had been destroyed, they have been rehabilitated. My bridge has not been repaired and I wish to state, Mr Chairman, that with effect from midnight tonight I am going on a hunger strike.


Mr Chibambula: Mr Chairman, every dark cloud has a silver lining and the darkest hour comes before dawn.

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

Mr L.L. Phiri (Chipangali): Mr Chairman, I, really, thank you to have afforded me this opportunity to say some few wise words and observations on this important Vote of provincial administration.

Mr Chairman, you have completed the true democratic circle. I, being the only man in Opposition from the Eastern Province, that I should say what is not supposed to be done in the province. As you are aware, Mr Chairman, the national cake should be shared equally without political strings being attached to national development. That is when Zambia will see its fruitful achievements.

Mr Chairman, it is painful that while other ministries have put up very clear policies like in the education sector, others have not. When they talk about distributing desks, it is done in all provinces without looking at any political differences.

Mr Chairman, look at how CDF is conducted itself when it started in 1995/1996, through your able leadership. I was in this august House where hon. Members of Parliament were in the forefront of seeing to it that the money meant to be used for national development did not go into party cadres’ pockets. Even now, I am a proud leader, that I am be able to show what we did with that money in 1995/1996 without any political ambitions. Sir, what is happening now will not be blamed on anyone, not even the Opposition of misleading the people. It will be as a result of the deeds of the Government of the day which has put political interest first other than national development.

Mr Chairman, I would like to see the CDF being put to good use. I would like to see the committees controlling the CDF not to be left to party cadres or branch officials. This is what has damaged the reputation of our province. The Government can do nothing to develop Eastern Province because of provincial administrators. They have no vision, and they have no love for the nation. Their interest should be how best they can develop the province. Whenever they retire from active politics, they should be proud people to point at what they achieved when they were in office. This is how all the people should behave today when they are put in leadership positions. This is why our song today is that the development of Zambia should be shared equally.

Mr Chairman, I would like to encourage my elder brother the hon. Minister of Education (Brigadier-General Miyanda) that his programmes are being felt by everybody in Zambia and that his leadership will never be forgotten. I would, therefore, encourage him and assure him that we are behind him. We are also jealousy of anybody who is going to jeopardise his programmes of maintaining, giving the desks to and rehabilitating the schools.

Mr Chairman, the only thing I would like to remind him, which he has not done, is the decentralisation of payment of allowances for double classes, leave pay, hardship allowances, etc. I think, he has not gone back to check what Provincial Educational Officers are doing. Are they giving that money to all teachers who are supposed to get it? Already there is a lot of corruption going-on in all ...

Hon. Members: Your province.

Mr L. L. Phiri: ... provinces. The Provincial Educational Officers are not giving that money to teachers who are supposed to benefit. Teachers are crying foul, especially in Chipangali Constituency. They have not benefited from it. It is good that they have decentralised payment from Lusaka to the provinces. So, we would like him to check on Eastern Province and see how teachers are benefiting from that money. Files are piling up but teachers are not benefiting from that fund. 

All teachers who retired from 1997/1998  in my constituency have not been repatriated. Those teachers have inconvenienced the new teachers who are supposed to take over from them. The new teachers are sleep in classroom blocks. Mr Chairman, at this hour, no teacher who has gone through training and is getting low salaries with which they cannot buy anything, should be tortured by having to sleep in a classroom. That, I think, should be discouraged.

Mr Chairman, I would like to dwell on councils in the Eastern Province. Sir, we have heard that other councils are being given money through this slash fund. It is unfortunate that it is the same provinces that are benefiting from that. 

Mr Zimba interjected. {mospagebreak}

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hon. Zimba, I am your brother and I am talking on your behalf. So, you keep quiet. We shall now say that you are not an Easterner if you continue disturbing me. We may employ people to investigate exactly where you come from


Mr L. L. Phiri: If you cannot get worried.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, what I am saying here is that let the councils in Eastern Province be funded the way councils in other provinces are being funded. Where workers have staged strikes, they have been paid there and then. But, for Eastern Province, Chipata Municipal Council - nothing! People who retired five years ago have died and their children do not go to school. These people have not been paid their dues. It is very unfortunate to treat some provinces in this way. Zambia is for all of us. 

No province or tribe should take precedence over the other, just because we come from this side then everything should be taken to one province. We would not like to see that. Mr Chairman, that is what will make Zambia to have a regional type of election if this continues this year. You will come and prove me right and I want it to be put on record that if things are not shared equally, you will find that - already in Barotseland, they are saying that they are ignored, the same is being said by people of Southern Province and Eastern Province. Come what may, I am assuring this nation that it still belongs to the flame (UNIP symbol).


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I would like to talk about Chiefs’ palaces. Chiefs in Eastern Province are now asked to support whatever they want to support. But, go to their palaces, it is a shame. I do not think any reasonable Chief in Eastern Province would stand up to say things are well looked after. Their palaces are dilapidated. The roads leading to their palaces are not there. In Chief Munukwa’s area, last week, Lunkuswe Bridge was washed away. In Chief Chinunda, Mpawa Bridge is not there. 

Mr Chairman, the courts in all the Chiefs’ courts have had their roofs blown off for example Chief Mafuta’s and Chief Munukwa’s courts. I think, His Honour the Vice-President will, before April, honour his promise to see to it that Chief Munukwa’s court is worked on.

Mr Chairman, looking at the Chiefs in the Eastern Province, I think, it is unfair to treat them the way they have been treated. They have renovated  palaces in other provinces. Now that they have done what they wanted, they are saying it is up to the subjects to work and assist their own Chiefs.

Mr Chairman, I would like to end by saying that the forests which are in Chiefs’ areas are overdue.


Mr L. L. Phiri: We need to re-demarcate them. We do not need such forests in the Chiefs’ areas. Mr Chairman, ...

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

Mr Patel (Lusaka-Central): Mr Chairman, one of the very good things that the MMD did in 1991 was ...

Mr Luhila: Third term mwana.

Mr Patel: ... that they got rid of the ‘PIG’, meaning party and its Government, where people were funded by the public Treasury for doing political work, the MMD Government got rid of that in 1991. But, somehow, the ugly head has emerged again in the name of District Administrator. 

In Lusaka Province an allocation of K771 million has been given for the Office of the District Administrator while eighty per cent of the people are poor. In the Copperbelt Province the District Administrator’s Office has K1.3 billion allocation while your constituency suffers from inadequate facilities like schools and hospitals. Now, I want some very clear and simple explanation from His Honour the Vice-President. Is the District Administrator a civil servant or is he not and if he is a civil servant, is he then guided by the rules and regulations pertaining in the Civil Service?

Mr Chairman, it is obvious to me and everybody else in this House and the country at large that the District Administrator is not behaving like a civil servant when he is supposed to be one. Now, under ordinary circumstances, he would have been fired or dismissed. Obviously the Secretary to Cabinet is unable to take action on this and if he is unable to do so, he should be a gentleman enough and step down and resign.

Mr Sibetta: They are employed to assault Ministers who do not tow the party line.

Mr Patel: Mr Chairman, if there are different rules for civil servants, then we must be told so. So, I do hope that His Honour the Vice-President will be very categorical because there is gross abuse of this privilege of being a civil servant by the District Administrators. They are at the fore-front of sycophancy in this country at the moment. They are at the fore-front of violence. They were at the fore-front of clobbering my good friend, Hon. Desai...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: And Malambo mwana kwesu.

Mr Patel: ... and yet these District Administrators still keep their jobs. They simply have tremendous influence, more than Ministers and more than any other civil servant and they are funded by the public Treasury, a tax-payer is paying their bills. Why should we be doing that. Sir, I want specific clarification on that from His Honour the Vice-President.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushala (Mufumbwe): Mr Chairman, going by the contribution to the debate before us, one would realise that the problems in the provinces are the same. The major complaints are on poor schools, hospitals and bad road network. This is the scenario in every province.

Mr Chairman, something should be done and this is to sit down and look at our priorities. What do we need to do for Zambia. We have come a long way but we still have the same problems and so, the issue should be how are we going to find the answers to the problems in every province of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Chairman, I will begin with my district and I want to find out from the hon. Minister or the Government the position of the Musonaji Bridge. This bridge had its equipment delivered sometime early last year but up to now it is lying in Solwezi and the people are still stranded. At the moment they are not even able to cross to get to the nearest hammer mill or clinic. Sir, I would like to know when this bridge is going to be installed. 

In the same vein, I would also like to find out what the Government is doing. I have two schools which collapsed last year and this is the second year running, what measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that the children in those areas are not affected. Sir, the two years they are going to be behind will be very unfair to them. Their colleagues will have advance a lot.

Mr Chairman, I would like to know what will happen to Kashima East School and Shungulu Basic School which collapsed in 1999 and late last year, respectively. I would like the Government to let us know.

Mr Chairman, I now want to look at the province in general. You told us to try and restrict our debates to our provinces and I will try to say something on North-Western Province. Sir, last Friday we were told by the hon. Minister of Tourism that Zambia is going to make an estimated US$15 million from the eclipse of the sun and the district where this will be very prominent will be Chavuma. 

I would like to find out what measures the Government has put in place to make sure that the Zambezi Airstrip which has been run down is rehabilitated so that many tourists will be able to fly to Zambezi, which is about  eighty kilometres from Chavuma. We only have about three months before this eclipse happens. We should look at all the airports in provincial headquarters. I know that in North-Western Province, we do have one in Solwezi and another in Zambezi but I am concerned with the Zambezi Airport.

Mr Chairman, when you go there and look at the buildings which are there, you would even shade some tears because the buildings are beautiful but the place has been neglected. How much money is the Government going to pump in before June 21st, 2001. In the same vein, I would also like to look at the road network. The Government has done very well, they have tarred about one hundred kilometres from Mutanda to Kasempa turn-off but we still have a long way to go between Kasempa turn-off and Chavuma. In the past three years, some funds have been allocated to tar roads but there has been no maintenance funds released to maintain the M8 that is from Kasempa turn-off to Chavuma and the main trunk road is a sorry sight. It is unbearable to drive on that road. 

Mr Chairman, when these tourists come in, not all of them will fly to Zambezi because we will not even be able to repair the airport, some of them will travel by road. But which road are they going to use? How are we going to market our country this busy period so that when the tourist come they have something nice to talk about this country? Sir, the state of the road to Chavuma is really embarrassing.

Mr Chairman, while still on the road network, I always get surprised on why major roads like the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road has not been worked on because that is the shortest distance from the capital of Zambia, Lusaka to get into North-Western Province. Sir, up to now, we are being subjected to going round covering about 1,000 kilometres to get into Solwezi before we get into Kasempa, when we can cover one third of that distance by going through the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road. What is the Government doing about that?

Mr Chairman, we have seen these figures in the Yellow Book several times and that is why you have heard these complaints coming from every province and all the time you have nothing to tell the people. Sir, for five years we have been in this House and we have no answer to a lot of problems in our constituencies. We have nothing to point at and say we have done this as hon. Members of Parliament in the five years we have been in Parliament. There is no hon. Member in this House who will tell me that they have done something in their constituency in the past five years. The roads, schools, hospitals are all in bad shape. What are we going to say and do as hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Chairman, the people from Western Province have to travel about 2,000 kilometres and we are being told by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development that Mwinilunga has potential in terms of emeralds and other minerals. From Mongu, Sir, to Mwinilunga it is almost about 2,500 kilometres through Lusaka and the Copperbelt. But, Sir, it is a very short distance if we moved from Kaoma through Kasempa into Mwinilunga, it would be one-third, which is only about 600 kilometres. Mr Chairman, the Kaoma/Kasempa Road up to now since they uprooted the trees about half the distance but the trees have grown again. Sir, that was sheer waste of money and what type of planning is that? Sir, as Government we should be serious with what we are doing. Sir, buses used to move on Kaoma/Kasempa Road from Western Province to the Copperbelt because it is the shortest distance and we are doing nothing and this is very embarrassing. 

Mr Chairman, two or four years ago when Hon. Kavindele was Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry he told us, in this House, that the Government had, on the drawing board, a plan to put up a railway line which would eventually connect Zambia to the Port of Lobito in Angola. Sir, that was about four years ago. Where are we, Sir, up to now? The purpose is to try and open up a province which has potential and is large. We should encourage the building of the railway lines which can get to far corners of this country. It will become cheaper for the citizens of Zambia to transport their goods. Even when there is war in Angola it will help. Our people can enjoy the cheap mode of transport for their goods.

Mr Chairman, on electricity, I was reading in the newspaper yesterday or today that Tanzania will very shortly be getting electricity from Zambia. They will be connected to the National grid. It is embarrassing that some areas in Zambia are not connected to the National Grid when other countries are connected.

Sir, we have a hospital in Kasempa called Mukinge Hospital. There was almost a fight there because the missionaries are refusing to use a generator because power is always on and off and many people are losing their lives. Now we want to connect the neighbouring countries to the National Grid when we have failed to do so for our rural areas. That is very shameful.

Mr Chairman, I know this will be a terrible year because of too much rain. There will be hunger. What has the Government put in place? No Government official is moving around to see how our people are suffering but tomorrow...

The Chairman: Order! 

(Debate adjourned)


(MR SPEAKER in the Chair)

(Progress reported

The House adjourned at 1749 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 7th March, 2001.