Debates- Thursday, 1st March, 2001

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Thursday, 1st March, 2001

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Dr Kalumba): Mr Speaker, recent press reports and analyses in the local and international media on the April, 1998 to December, 1999 cobalt sales require that hon. Members of the House be informed accordingly.

The matter of cobalt sales was alluded to by the hon. Member of Parliament for Isoka East (Mr Sichinga) on the 8th February, 2001 during the debate on Estimates of Expenditure for Vote 14/01 - Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development - Geological Survey, and presented to the House by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Syamujaye).

Mr Speaker, Members may also recall that on the 20th February, 2001, the hon. Member for Mongu Central (Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika) based on the previous day’s The Post newspaper report that Government attempted to cover up a US$150 million on cobalt scam by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), raised a point of order on whether Government was in order to continue asking for loans on behalf of the nation, when it helps so much in the disappearance of millions of dollars.

I wish to give a background to this issue, Sir, but before I address specific consideration on the cobalt sale audit, I seek the indulgence of the hon. Members of the House to give an historical background to the matter of the audit of April, 1998 to December, 1999 sales of cobalt.

Under Cap. 366 of the Laws of Zambia, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is mandated to mobilise and manage financial resources on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

One such avenue of mobilising resources is through direct Government investment in the economy locally, and/or abroad. In pursuant of this provision, the Government of the Republic of Zambia established the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines to invest in the mining sector. Among the activities of the ZCCM investment portfolio in the mining sector was the production of cobalt and the product’s subsequent sale. In the period April, 1998 to December, 1999, ZCCM produced and sold cobalt.

Sir, it came to the notice of the Government that in selling cobalt produced in the April, 1998 to December, 1999, ZCCM realised less income than would have otherwise been expected. It is for that reason that the Government was concerned and sought to engage the services of an independent auditing institution to conduct an audit in the background of the action on the April, 1998 to December, 1999 cobalt sales by the management of ZCCM.

Mr Speaker, in the interest of the people represented by the Members of the House, the Government drew the objective of the audit to investigate the rationale behind the action by ZCCM to sell the cobalt at prices lower than those obtaining on the international market while the discrepancy between the realised prices and international market prices for cobalt and cobalt concentrates provided reason for concern about the prudent management and governance at ZCCM, particularly the marketing of ZCCM products.

In realising the objectives, the Government expects a comprehensive report, full documentation of world market prices and ZCCM realised prices, including details on ZCCM’s sales arrangements. Furthermore, the audit is expected to provide a full explanation for the discrepancies in prices, including most importantly, an independent assessment of whether the ZCCM pricing policy was consistent with Government policy resource mobilisation and justified on economic grounds.

With the assistance of the European Union, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development sought to engage the services of a local auditing firm. De Chazal Du Mee, (DCM) a local based international consulting agency was engaged to undertake the audit. In selecting this firm, careful criteria were designed and the selected firm was required to possess qualifications to conduct audit and financial business in Zambia and be conversant with public sector finance and accounting procedures.

The audit firm was required to be conversant with consultancy and accounting guidelines of the European Union who assisted us with the funding. Previous work on the European Union project was classified as an advantage but not a necessity.

Mr Speaker, DCM was requested to report to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Timing and Duration

My ministry, on behalf of the Government, in 1999, commissioned the audit and DCM was requested to produce the final audit report within eight weeks of the audit’s commissioning.

After a restricted consultation process with the national authorising officer for the selection of the audit firm, DCM, the selected audit firm was required to enter into a contract with my ministry.

The terms of reference, Sir, after carefully considering the matter and taking into account the constitutional mandate of my ministry as set out in Cap. 366 of the Laws of Zambia, and the need to ensure that the greatest interest was served for the people of Zambia and their Government, the following terms of reference were drawn, that the audit firm:

    (i)    ascertains the price of cobalt and cobalt concentrates, which prevailed on the international market in the period April, 1998 to December, 1999, and the price which cobalt and cobalt concentrates were sold by ZCCM during the same period;

    (ii)    ascertains the tonnage sold;

    (iii)    obtains information as to the procedure that prevailed on the international market on the sale of cobalt and cobalt concentrates; and whether appropriate procedure was followed;

    (iv)    ascertains whether the ZCCM Board of Directors had authorised management to sell cobalt and cobalt concentrates at the price levels that the metal was sold,

    (v)    provides explanations for the price discrepancies, if any;

    (vi)    provides independent evidence other than that from ZCCM and its trading partners, for the explanations that would be provided for selling cobalt and cobalt concentrates at the relevant discount;

    (vii)    identifies possible financial impropriety involved in the sales and the decisions that resulted in such impropriety; and

    (viii)    obtains any other information with the transaction of ZCCM’s cobalt that would assist the Government understand the background to the transaction of the cobalt and cobalt concentrates as they relate to the period April, 1998 to December, 1999.

Mr Speaker, the sale of the cobalt in question was done by ZCCM through Metal Resources Group (MRG), a Bahamas based trading company. The draft audit report was prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in November, 2000. The Government expressed displeasure to both the European Union and De Chazal Du Mee (DCM) when it was discovered that the draft audit report was distributed to parties that were not initiators, let alone, commissioners of the audit, before the Government received it.

Therefore, it was not surprising that given such a state of affairs, a number of foreign missions received the draft report. The British media received the draft report too. Precisely at the time that the IMF was negotiating with the Zambian Government in Washington on the 2001 economic programme, the British Financial Times published their analysis of the draft audit report and referred to the US$3.8 billion debt relief programme advanced to Zambia by the IMF and the World Bank under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

Mr Speaker, among the issues of concern raised in the draft report, the Government noted that the audit firm could not reach a firm conclusion on the material issues of their audit because of difficulties in accessing relevant information. The Government immediately proceeded to avail the auditors with information hitherto unavailable from significant players in the cobalt sales issue and the auditors were encouraged to thoroughly examine all data available to them.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members of the House may also wish to know that because of the need to diligently represent the interest of Government in her efforts of resource mobilisation, my ministry, in consultation with other relevant institutions and through the Office of the Attorney-General, initiated legal proceedings against Metal Resources Group in efforts to recover the money. These legal proceedings are carefully being pursued by the Office of the Attorney-General.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members may also wish to know that the Government, through my ministry, indicated in a letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund dated 30th June, 2000, that the audit of the cobalt arrangement would be launched and it was, indeed, launched.

The Government, as is the IMF, is extremely interested in seeing the final results of the audit when it is completed later this year and hon. Members may have been availed information through the public media of the IMF’s response to the Financial Times report.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, in the spirit of rule-bound governance and basic principles of natural justice, the Government, which has given De Chazal Du Mee access to all information sources relevant to the audit, believes that the auditors should not be interfered with or be influenced in any manner, by anyone or any other institution, local or foreign.

Hon. Members, it is the wish of my ministry to ensure that the auditors are continuously availed the conscience to operate in a suitable environment so that a thorough and well documented final report is produced for consideration by the Government, which herself commissioned the audit in the true spirit of accountability and transparency. We have no desire to establish kangaroo courts, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members, the Government finds no compelling reason why anyone should short-circuit professional auditing procedure and draw conclusions of venality against any entity or person. This Government believes that civilised governments anywhere would do what Zambia has done and that the Zambian Government will continue to uphold the principles of transparency and good governance.

Mr Speaker, the Government commends the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other co-operating partners who support Zambia’s economic programmes. We commend all our partners who supported the commissioning of the cobalt sales audit on behalf of Zambia and its people.

Civility, Sir, requires that Government is allowed opportunity by those who wish Zambia well to govern in accordance with the tenets of a sovereign Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may, now, raise questions on points of clarification on the statement which has just been made by the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Speaker, the beginning of this problem is as a result of articles which appeared in the foreign Press. I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether there has been any communication between his ministry and the Financial Times to ensure that in future the newspaper does not publish such negative reports.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, we do not control the foreign media, but we have made our case known to them with respect to the procedure that we have taken in order to undertake this audit. We have also complained about the way the report was mishandled by them and a fund which is our partner in our economic programme also wrote to them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mponda (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, the information given to this House by the hon. Minister is that there was an interim audit report, which means that the audit has not been completed. May I know on what basis the Attorney-General has taken action to recover the under-sales of cobalt from MRG.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, I think the information was available to the Attorney-General’s Office before the commissioning of this particular audit and the interim report was also availed to the Attorney-General as well.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, the audit report from DCM clearly states that Government wings did not co-operate with the auditors appointed by the State. Can the hon. Minister assure this country that after his statement, the auditors are going to get all the information they deserve so that at the next sitting, we can have that report.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, I just mentioned that all relevant information was provided to the auditors.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, we have the Auditor-General in this Republic. I want to know what role he is going to play or has played in this arrangement.

Dr Kalumba: The Auditor-General, Sir, was asked, in the first instance, to conduct this audit, but he declined and recommended to us that it was important to have an independent auditor outside Government.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulongoti (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, considering that ZCCM falls under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, can the hon. Minister let us know what the role of the supervising ministry was in this saga.

Dr Kalumba: Sir, I cannot answer on behalf of the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development. 

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Sondashi (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, it was alleged that the Attorney-General undertook to settle this matter out of court. Can the hon. Minister dispel the allegation that it is not correct and that the Attorney-General will ensure that this matter is brought to its final conclusion.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, if there is any impropriety, the Attorney-General’s Office has powers to pursue the case to its reasonable conclusion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalifungwa (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that there was discrepancy in the disposal of cobalt. Could the hon. Minister tell us what they exactly did to immediately sort out the management of ZCCM at the time.

Dr Kalumba: Sir, I am not sure whether I got the question correctly, but ZCCM is no longer there and I do not know what the hon. Member is asking us to do. We have conducted the audit on the part of former ZCCM and are awaiting the audit report to be finalised. After we have been advised of the conclusion, the Government will take appropriate action.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether this will not affect our qualification to the HIPC initiative.

Dr Kalumba: No, Sir.

Thank you, Sir.



66. Mr Chiinda (Chikankata) asked the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries:

    (a)    what the names of the primary co-operative societies that were involved in crop marketing in Mazabuka District in the 1999/2000 season were; and 

    (b)    how much money was loaned to each society for the exercise.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Lieutenant-Colonel Ngulube): Mr Speaker, the primary societies that were involved in crop marketing in Mazabuka District in the 1999/2000 marketing season were Nadomba and Nabulungu Primary Co-operatives.

In answer to the second part of the question, a total sum of K14.6 million was loaned to the two co-operative societies by (GTZ) German Technical Co-operation in Zambia as follows: K5.3 million to Nadomba Primary Co-operative Society and K9.3 million to Nabulungu Primary Co-operative Society for crop marketing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chiinda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that it is the marketing aspect of agriculture which discourages Zambians to go into farming? What is he doing about increasing the number of co-operatives that are involved in marketing?

Lieutenant-Colonel Ngulube: Mr. Speaker, the issue of marketing should be handled by the primary co-operatives themselves. It is not the responsibility of the Government. However, we do create a conducive environment in which these co-operatives operate. For example, the loans that they got from GTZ were as a result of Government efforts.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Nondo (Katombora): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out when the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is going to collect maize which was a form of paying back loans the co-operative societies in my constituency got.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ngulube: Mr Speaker, the ministry does not collect maize, but if the hon. Member can give me the locations where the maize is, I would be glad to take it up with the Food Reserve Agency.

I thank you, Sir.


67. Mr Mweni (Lupososhi) to ask the Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development:

    (a)    what measures were put in place to ensure the improvement of sport in the rural areas; and 

    (b)    what incentives are in place to encourage private sector participation in the promotion of sport in the country in the year 2001.

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Madyenkuku): Mr Speaker, my ministry is committed to the development of sport in rural areas and measures that have been taken to realise that objective include the following: the recruitment of Provincial Sports Officers and strengthening their capacities. My ministry has also identified traditional leaders as well as hon. Members as major stakeholders in the development of sport in the rural areas. That is why, for instance, my ministry sponsors sports tournaments during traditional ceremonies.

My ministry is also involved in sponsoring coaching clinics in rural areas in conjunction with hon. Members of Parliament in those constituencies where such interest is  expressed. My ministry is involved in making donations for sports equipment in various parts of the country mainly in the rural areas. 

With regard to the second question, efforts are being made and will continue to be made, to encourage private sector participation towards the promotion of sport in the country. This is done mainly through the provision of tax exemption for all sports wear and equipment that are ordered through the National Sports Council of Zambia in relation to the National Sports Council of Zambia Act. 

In light of the current liberalised environment, Sir, we encourage private individuals and business houses to take advantage of the stock exchange market. We have clubs like Mufulira Wanderers, Nchanga Rangers and Power Dynamos who have floated their shares on the stock exchange and we encourage many individuals as well as business houses to take part in such ventures. Not just for entities that are on the line of rail, but also all over the country, including rural areas.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweni: Mr Speaker, what is the reason the Government of the day has stopped providing some jerseys in all the secondary and primary schools, especially in Luwingu District?

Mr Madyenkuku: Mr Chairman, although this is a difficult question, I will attempt to answer it. I think the history that the hon. Member has in mind is where the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development accommodated the Sports Department. Those facilities were co-ordinated centrally by the line ministry. 

However, the scenario is not different because the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development is in charge of the sports portfolio and is also responsible for policy formulation. The implementation of sports programmes in schools, whether they are secondary or primary schools, remains the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and K1.5 billion has been made available for that purpose in this year’s Budget.

However, may I take advantage, Mr Speaker, to add that the ministry’s policy will not go towards benevolent gestures at all times. We will continue to provide technical support through coaching clinics and other avenues that are available to us such as the Constituency Development Fund through which we were directed by hon. Members to order sports equipment. May I say that by Wednesday, next week, the outstanding netballs and footballs will have been made available and hon. Members will be invited to purchase them. We took note of their observations regarding the quality of the previous dispatches. We hope to address that one in the second and last allocations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister is going to increase the K10 million Youth Development Fund so that we can also use part of that money to acquire jerseys on our own.

Mr Madyenkuku: Definitely not, Mr Speaker, because the budget for this year has already been made and we are not the ultimate authority to decide on the figures. We, however, continue to communicate this desire to Cabinet on behalf of hon. Members. It is our hope that like many other cases we have presented before Cabinet for consideration, when this case is tabled, there may be an increase in the amount.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, the Zambian people agree with the sentiments of our hero Kalusha Bwalya. Just before the former chairman of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), Mr Teddy Mulonga, was removed, the current president of FAZ, Mr Evaristo Kasunga, went round the country and claimed that the Government was supporting him and if he became president of FAZ, the Government would give him all the resources. Can we hear from the hon. Minister why he has not given support to this man so that he can do what he promised.

Mr Madyenkuku: Mr Speaker, the Government does not support individuals but programmes. In so far as the programmes pertaining to the Football Association of Zambia are concerned, my ministry has supported these programmes. I do not need to remind hon. Members, for instance, that the Government last year procured a brand-new minibus for use by the Zambia National Football Team. We have also been involved in the sponsoring of all the team’s matches. All matters pertaining to financial obligations have been met by the Zambian Government, when, in fact, the Football Association of Zambia and Government must cost share.

So, as far as supporting Mr Kasunga is concerned, if that relates to the carrying out of the functions under his charge, Government has done so. I do not want to delve so much into this matter, Sir, as it is also a matter well known to all of us that there is an investigation team to probe all the issues pertaining to Zambia’s poor performance in football. The report by the team will come out shortly and we hope to be guided by it.

Thank you, Sir.


68. Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali) asked the Minister of Defence the retirement age for workers in the:

    (i)    Zambia Army;

    (ii)    Zambia National Service; and

    (iii)    Zambia Air Force.

The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, the retirement age for workers in Zambia Army and Zambia Air Force is forty-five years as optional or early retirement and fifty-five years as mandatory retirement age.

In the Zambia National Service retirement is as per public circular Public Service Pensions Act No. 35 of 1996 which is fifty-five years.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, does the ministry have any plans of reducing the retirement age from forty-five or fifty-five to twenty or twenty-five as he is aware that people are dying before that age and are not enjoying their benefits?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that people are dying at the age of twenty-five.

Thank you, Sir.


69. Mr Hamir (Serenje) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development why filling stations have not made any adjustments in the fuel prices since the announcement of the ten per cent reduction.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Major Chibamba): Mr Speaker, the Zambia National Oil Company (ZNOC) announced a ten per cent reduction of the wholesale price of fuel on 29th December 2000. However, Mr Speaker, the price reduction could not be effected on the market immediately because private oil marketing companies were still selling processed fuel stocks they had imported earlier at a higher price than what Zambia National Oil Company had announced. On the announcement date, the oil marketing companies still had seven to fourteen days of imported petroleum products and they only began uplifting from the Zambia National Oil Company upon exhausting those stocks.

Mr Speaker, I wish to confirm that the price reductions have since been effected by all oil marketing companies. The attached schedules show the price levels in Lusaka for respective oil marketing companies. Prices for the rest of the country have also been reduced accordingly, taking into account the distance and transport costs.

Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would like to lay the document on the Table for possible use by the hon. Members of Parliament.

Thank you, Sir.

Major Chibamba laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Ngulube (Lundazi): Mr Speaker, is the Energy Regulating Board there for the common and poor citizens or what?

Major Chibamba: Mr Speaker, Government does not create institutions to serve its own interests.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mponda (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, the Government encourages competition in every sector of the economy. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether the Energy Regulating Board does fix prices for petroleum products.

Major Chibamba: Mr Speaker, the question is not very clear but I will attempt to answer in the manner in which I have understood it. The MMD Government policy is to liberalise the economy. Once the economy has been liberalised, it simply means that all competitors in the sector are allowed to fix their prices according to the cost of providing that service.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, I want a very clear answer, otherwise, I will not sleep well. The question to the Minister is that when you announced a ten per cent reduction, the whole nation smiled and said the Government was doing well. Unfortunately, it took three to four months to reduce the price. However, when the price of petroleum products was increased, every filling station immediately adjusted the prices upward. Is the Minister in order to exploit this nation?

Major Chibamba: Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to assure Hon. Hamir that he should go and have sound sleep tonight and forget about the worries that he seems to have. Yes, it is true that when prices of petroleum products are raised for one reason or the other, all players in the market rush to increase prices almost immediately. This is one area where my ministry has intervened to try and bring sanity to the market.

It is also true, Mr speaker, that it has taken so much time for the oil marketing companies to adjust the prices downwards, but it is untrue to say that it has taken three months. We are talking about only two months from December to February, 2000. Sir, I appreciate and sympathise with Hon. Hamir but like I said, he needs not to worry but take his usual drink so that he can sleep well.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Shimonde: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Energy Regulation Board or any other wing of his ministry do regularly check these metres to make sure that the fuel we get is worth the money we pay.

Major Chibamba: Mr Speaker, the Energy Regulation Board does that.

I thank you, Sir.


70. Mr Matubulani (Kalomo) (on behalf of Mr Chiinda) asked the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries:

    (a)    how many bags of basal and top dressing fertiliser were loaned to primary societies in the Southern Province in the 2000/2001 agricultural season; and

    (b)    what the names of societies in the Chikankata Parliamentary Constituency that got the fertiliser are.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ngulube: Mr Speaker, a total of 75,040 by 50 kilogramme bags of top dressing fertiliser and 55,500 bags by 50 kilogramme bags of basal fertiliser were loaned to primary societies in the Southern Province in the 2000/2001 agricultural season.

Mr Speaker, a total of forty-eight societies in the Chikankata Constituency benefited from the fertiliser loans. The actual names of the co-operative societies that obtained fertiliser loans are: Butala, Chakanza, Chaloma, Cheeba, Chibote, Chingwele, Chikankata, Chikankata Disabled, Chikondola, Chikumba, Chilala, Chileka, Chishiyamenda, Chisubilo, Choolwe, Domwe, Dundu, Dundu Women, Hamefa, Hamatumbu, Handamana, Kabamba, Kakole, Kanyandavu 1, Kanyandavu 2, Kanyeele, Kasiwe, Kaunga, Kayona, Kupenga, Lusumpuko, Malabo, Mukwela, Mwale, Nabulungu, Nabuuka, Nadumba, Nakanzonzonzo, Naluama, Nanduli, Nanzele, Ngangula, Nguzumali, Simutwe, Standard, Tulombe, Upper Kaleya and Diimbwe.

I thank you, Sir.



Dr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Select Committee which was appointed to scrutinise the appointments of the members of the Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA) Board laid on the Table of the House on 27th February, 2001.

Mr Speaker: Is the motion seconded.

Mr Chisanga (Bwacha): I second the motion, Sir.

Dr Chipungu: In line with Section (5) (1) of the Privatisation Act No. 21 of 1992, Cap. 386 of the Laws of Zambia, your Committee scrutinised the following appointees by the Republican President, Dr F. J. T. Chiluba, to serve as members of the Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA) Board:

    (i)    Bishop John Hardy Mambo - to represent the Churches in Zambia;

    (ii)    Mr Larry Feston Kalala - to represent the Bankers’ Association of Zambia;

    (iii)    Mr Joe Mwansa Chisanga - to represent the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants;

    (iv)    Mr Gaudenzio Massimino Rossi - to represent the Zambia Federation of Employers;

    (v)    Dr Frank Patson Tailoka - to represent the School of Business Studies, Copperbelt University; and

    (vi)    Mr Luke Chenjelani Mbewe - to represent farmers.

Mr Speaker, in carrying out their task, your Committee had requested the sponsoring associations and/or institutions associated with the appointees and the security wings of Government to provide information on the suitability of the appointees to serve on the ZPA Board.

After a thorough examination of the information that was provided by various witnesses, including the appointees themselves, your Committee are satisfied that the appointees do possess the necessary qualities and experience to serve on the ZPA Board and, therefore, recommend that the House do ratify the appointments.

However, Mr Speaker, in recommending the ratifications, your Committee wish to make a few observations on the Zambia Privatisation Act. 

The first observation is that of ambiguity in the representations on the Board. Mr Speaker, in its present form, the ZPA Act is subject to different interpretations by different interest groups. For instance, on the appointment of a representative of farmers, the Act does not spell out whether or not the representative should be nominated by all stakeholders in the farming community.

While some people argue that it is necessary for the farming community to have a say in the appointment of their representative, others argue that it is enough for the appointing authority to use their discretion to appoint anyone from the farming community with or without consultations. It is, therefore, in this vein that your Committee recommend to Government to revisit the ZPA Act to make it more clear.

The second observation, Sir, is on the representation from the Copperbelt University. Currently, this representation is restricted to the School of Business Studies. Your Committee think that it should be opened up to other schools so as to promote quality representation.

The third issue is that of gender balancing. Your Committee observe that among the current appointees, there is no woman. Your Committee are cognisant of the fact that the other members to serve on the Board have not yet been appointed and, therefore, hope the Government will take into account gender balancing in future appointments.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, your Committee are greatly indebted to you for allowing them to serve on this important Committee. They are also grateful for the assistance and other services rendered to them by the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly.

Finally, your Committee would like to thank all the witnesses who appeared before them for their co-operation when undertaking this very important national duty.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Chisanga: Mr Speaker, I beg to second the motion moved by Dr Chipungu, Member of Parliament for Rufunsa Constituency.

Sir, these appointments are timely. The appointing authority should be commended for appointing the new Board. The six nominees’ records are clean, they do not pause any security risk to the country. Therefore, I have no doubt that the six men will contribute towards national development.

Mr Speaker, to allow these men monitor the post privatisation in Zambia effectively, the ZPA Act should seal all the loop-holes, like the stripping and reallocating of machinery to other countries. These must be checked.

I further urge the Government, Mr Speaker, to ensure that the sale of public companies by ZPA be carefully handled. I appeal to the House to ratify these appointments.

I beg to second the motion, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, my main worry about the ZPA Board is that on the last Board, there were some members who gave themselves powers to run Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia, Mpulungu Harbour and another institution. We want people who can serve this nation properly. ZPA Board is a very important institution. We need committed Zambians to look at the post privatisation process. 

We have just gone through a phase where we have sold our mines, which have been the backbone of this nation, to investors. It is the ZPA Board that should look at the Zambian on the street to see that the remaining assets of this country are properly sold and money accounted for. The former ZPA Board engaged some consultants, international and local firms to sell these assets. There were a lot of malpractices at home and abroad. Money was not accounted for properly. I hope this new Board will ensure that all contracts signed with the Government are put to good use and the Attorney-General’s Office is involved in the signing. The hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development should be the final authority.

Mr Speaker, what Dr Chipungu said about the sponsoring agency or organisation is true. One of the officers from the farming community, who was put on the Board of ZPA, was in good standing at the time but things changed. They had a problem of retrieving him from the Board. This brought quite a lot of problems for ZPA to operate in that they did not know whether the farming community had the right to remove their nominee or not. So, it is in this vein that the Government should make sure that they clean up the Act so that when they nominate somebody, he or she must stay on the Board until the contract comes to an end.

Mr Speaker, I hope the Board members will serve us well. We have companies like LENCO which were sold and machinery is out of Zambia while the workshop is, now, a warehouse. The Government has lost a lot of property in this manner. I hope the Board will institute investigations to see how some of the assets were stripped.

Mr Speaker, non-core assets of the mines are another eye sore. I urge the new Board to go out there and look at the problems of non-core assets which were sold, especially in England. RAMCOZ is another problem which the Board should not forget to look at.

Mr Speaker, I am all out to support you as long as you put our House in order by making sure that the Board performs to people’s expectations. On the former Board, we had officers who were selfish. One member was running more than three companies.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr T. J. C. Phiri (Milanzi): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the chance to contribute on this motion. First of all, I want to thank the mover and the seconder of the motion who have ably presented the motion in a very short and precise way.

Mr Speaker, I have one observation and I seek clarification from the mover of the motion or the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry. The report on page 2, paragraph 12, on the nomination of Bishop Mambo, says and I quote:

    ‘The Executive Director of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia submitted that Bishop Mambo belonged to the Church of God which was affiliated to the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia.

    Your Committee, however, heard that Bishop Mambo had not been nominated by the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia to serve on the ZPA Board. He added that the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia was, however, of the view that Bishop Mambo was already serving on too many boards like the Lusaka Province Human Rights Committee and the Programme Against Malnutrition.

Mr Speaker, on page 3, paragraph 17, there is a submission from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry which says, and I quote:

    ‘The Acting Permanent Secretary informed your Committee that in the process of identifying appointees for appointment to the Zambia Privatisation Agency Board, the ministry was guided by the Privatisation Act Chapter 386 of the Laws of Zambia. On the actual process of coming up with appointees for the appointing authority, the Permanent Secretary submitted that his ministry write to specific sponsors asking for nominations. These names are then forwarded to the State security agency for security and criminal clearance after which the names are sent to the appointing authority.’

Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that the sponsors of Bishop Mambo declined to recommend him, was it in order for your Committee to put in a recommendation for this House to ratify?

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulongoti (Lufwanyama): Thank you, Sir, for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to this report.

Sir, it is common knowledge that this Board has never had a full complement of membership. We are, now, going towards the end of the privatisation programme. What are we trying to achieve? There are so many people in the streets who have been retrenched and need to be paid by the Zambia Privatisation Agency. By bringing in more Board members, we are increasing costs. Why are we doing it, now, when we did not do it all along?

Mr Speaker, I am worried ...

Mr Simasiku: It is a new Board.

Mr Mulongoti: It is a new Board. What is it going to do when you have privatised everything already? Why are you trying to clean the house after everything is gone?

Mr Speaker, I would have thought that now that we are going towards the post privatisation programme, the people that we bring on this Board must be people with a track record in industry. Surely, I would have loved to see a situation where we have people with track records who can monitor what has happened. With due respect, the farmers and Christian associations would like to have an input, but what are we going to achieve? Are we trying to look at transparency or should we arrest the drift that has taken place in the privatisation programme?

Mr Speaker, I am not very comfortable, I have nothing against the appointees and the sponsoring organisations, but I do not see what we are going to achieve. This is too late. Let us spare the little resources that are there so that we can pay those retrenchees who have been waiting for ZPA to pay them. Some of them have been waiting for years and others have even died.

Thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Sir, I wanted to clarify a point raised by Hon. T. J. C. Phiri concerning Bishop Mambo. The Committee pointed out that he is serving on the Board of PAM but the Board of PAM falls under my office and I know that already there are moves to dissolve the Board. So, I think that Bishop Mambo will not have as heavy responsibilities as he is made out to be, unless, of course, I decide to re-appoint him, which is a different issue. So, I think the impression which was created is not correct.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Chipungu: Sir, I am grateful for the hon. Members’ support. The debates were by Hon. Chisanga, Hon. Shimonde, Hon. T. J. C. Phiri and Hon. Mulongoti. The clarification made by His Honour the Vice-President is very welcome because people serve on these Boards for specific periods and every two to three years, the service comes to an end and people take up new appointments. That is the situation with Bishop Mambo.

Thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.



VOTE 89/01- (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries - Headquarters - K107,486,651,760).

(Consideration resumed)

The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Mr Desai): Mr Chairman, yesterday, I explained that my ministry will continue to promote private sector participation, input acquisition and distribution in line with our liberalisation policies.

The Government is aware of the inadequate capacity in the private sector to service all areas and we will, therefore, be involved in both inputs and output marketing as a transitional measure until the private sector develops and begins to take the lead.

My ministry will also continue to promote the production and distribution of improved seed for crops such as sorghum, millet and cow peas which have been neglected by commercial seed producers. It is a well known fact that such crops form the basis of household food security in rural areas. My ministry will, therefore, continue to support the programme for multiplying improved seeds in rural areas by small scale farmers. The liberalisation of the seed sub-sector has, indeed, attracted many commercial participants and this is a positive development. It is, therefore, inevitable that in order to ensure fair play, the Government continues to play a regulatory role and put in place strong monitoring mechanisms so as to curb the sale of poor quality seed on the market by unscrupulous traders.

Mr Chairman, for sometime now, there has been an outcry for the Government to have a well articulated national agricultural policy.

In this regard, I am pleased to inform the House that the National Agricultural Policy covering the period 2001 to 2010 will be released in the course of this year after final consultations with various stakeholders have been concluded.

This policy is going to spell out the vision for the agricultural sector which is to develop an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector which ensures increased incomes and food security and contribute to the overall economic growth. 

Another important assignment that my ministry has embarked on is that of preparing a successor programme to the Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (ASIP). As you may all know, the current ASIP which my ministry has been implementing since 1996 comes to an end in December, 2001. ASIP has made some major achievements during the past five years, but has not adequately dealt with the constraints faced by most small scale farmers.

My ministry will, therefore, ensure that the ASIP successor programme or ASIP2 will have more such programmes that focus on dealing with the constraints faced by small scale farmers. Priority will be given to the following areas, that is: promotion of conservation farming; post harvest technology; animal draught power; as well as rural finance and input and output marketing to name but a few. I am sure that the agricultural sector contributes to the overall Government objective of poverty reduction and economic growth.

Mr Chairman, I would like to assure this august House that my ministry will continue to take measures to bring the problem of livestock diseases under control. This will include the contracting out of the provisions of animal production and health services to the private sector whenever capacity is assured. It will also take stringent measures to control the outbreak and spread of diseases of national importance and to monitor and control disease transmission across our borders.

Our agricultural training colleges and institutes will still remain the backbone of providing trained manpower for the sector by offering diploma and certificate courses to school levers. Various in-service-training courses will be carried out among ministry staff, agro-related industries and farmers. The effectiveness of our colleges and training institutes has been seriously eroded due to inadequate funding which has led to poor training facilities and dilapidation. My ministry will endeavour to rehabilitate and improve these training facilities within the limits of funds made available to my ministry.

Mr Chairman, it is well known that our small scale farmers are handicapped when it comes to land preparation. Many find it very difficult to expand the area under cultivation due to insufficient animal draught power. My ministry has embarked on a programme to introduce donkeys in some areas as an alternative source of draught power. I am happy to inform this House that the demand for donkeys is increasing, and under the ASIP successor programme, my ministry will have a strong component for the importation and distribution of donkeys as well as training farmers in the area of utilisation and management.

The need to efficiently manage our agricultural resource base is one of the key objectives of my ministry. To this effect, my ministry will continue to promote sustainable farming practices such as conservation farming. These techniques are critical to increasing productivity and production, especially among our small scale farmers. 

With the reasonably adequate rainfall that our country receives, there will be need to harness water and promote irrigation through constructing and rehabilitating communal dams. Efforts will also be directed at promoting appropriate and cost effective irrigation technologies at small scale farmer level.

Following the liberalisation of the agricultural sector, a private sector driven marketing system in Zambia is beginning to emerge. My ministry will continue to encourage the private sector to take the lead in input distribution and crop marketing but where there is a vacuum, Government will come in. 

I am happy to note that in this year’s Budget, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Dr Kalumba), has set aside K10 billion for crop marketing by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). However, this is a very small amount compared to the total requirement of the sector. Therefore, the funds will be carefully used in areas where there is market failure due to inadequate private sector presence.

I am happy to note that with the K32 billion in this year’s Budget meant for a commercial credit programme to small scale farmers, the FRA will deliver the agricultural inputs on commercial terms to small scale farmers organised in carefully selected primary agricultural co-operatives in time. 

The Government has recognised that co-operatives can play an important role in agricultural development, hence, the need to continue to mobilise, register and train co-operative members in order to enhance the full participation in the growth of the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairman, my ministry is concerned about the way the fishery resources are being utilised, especially in natural water bodies. If not checked, the situation could lead to depletion of our fisheries stock. In order to promote sustainable utilisation of fisheries resources, my ministry will carry out fish stock assessment and will encourage increased propagation of fish seed. Further, conservation measures and promotion of appropriate fishing practices will be encouraged.

Moreover, participatory community fisheries management and training in fish processing techniques will be promoted. Efforts will also be directed at promoting fish farming in areas of high potential. Members of Parliament may wish to note that sometime this year, I will be bringing to this august House a new Fisheries Bill which will provide for community based management of fisheries resources and also provide a legal framework for the development of aqua culture.

Sir, the programmes and measures that I have outlined above will go a long way in ensuring that the country is self-sufficient in food and continues to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of this country. Since agriculture plays such an important role in the livelihood of many Zambians, and, indeed, in the economy, I seek the support of all stakeholders, including all hon. Members of Parliament as my ministry implements its programmes for this year.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 89/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Voter 89/27 ordered to Stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 89/28 ordered to Stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 90/01 - (Lusaka Province - Headquarters - K8,400,723,189).

The Chairman: We, now, move to Office of the President, Provincial Administration. Every hon. Member, given the Floor, should restrict his/her remarks to his/her province. If you come from Eastern Province, you should not discuss problems besetting Southern Province. Talk about Eastern Province problems. Your constituency is in your province.


The Chairman: Listen, please, do not just grumble for the sake of grumbling. 

At the end, each Provincial Minister will be given time to wind up debate. It is advised and encouraged that in your winding up, it will work out to your credit if you can also highlight whatever projects you have initiated as an individual in the province and how far you have gone with such projects.

Any general and policy debate on Provincial Administration.

Mr Ngulube (Lundazi): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to talk about problems in the Eastern Province.

Mr Chairman, this year, it is very clear that there will be hunger in Eastern Province. Therefore, I wish to urge the Government to be ready to assist the people of Eastern Province with relief food. It is obvious that most of the areas in the province have been affected by floods and food production will not be as expected. 

Mr Chairman, I wish to talk about the bridges, most importantly, the Lundazi Bridge and other smaller bridges which have been swept away between Chipata and Lundazi. Lundazi District has been cut off completely from the rest of this country. I wish to urge my Government and the Ministry of Works and Supply, the Office of the Vice-President, in conjunction with the Zambia Army, to quickly rebuild this bridge. They should assist because this is a national disaster.

Mr Chairman, as regards the feeder roads, the entire province has been a sorry sight. The roads have been damaged beyond imagination. I wish to urge my Government to consider Eastern Province for very quick action so that as soon as the rains stop, they can start working on these feeder roads. 

Mr Chairman, I wish to talk about the Chipata/Muchinji Railway Line which is a very important Government programme. We have been talking about this railway line for a very long time. This railway line is very important because it will connect us to Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. Our SADC arrangement will be made much easier because of this line. I, therefore, urge my Government to fund this project so that it does not just remain on paper.

Mr Chairman, all the districts in the Eastern Province need good television and radio reception. It is not only the people of Lusaka and Copperbelt who should enjoy this amenity. We also need it in rural areas. Therefore, I urge my Government to look, very seriously, into the installation of television transmitters and ensure good radio reception.

Mr Chairman, loans should be given to small scale businessmen and women since the agriculture policy has failed to take off. We are looking forward to some small scale businessmen and women to, at least, contribute to the economy of this country.

With these very few remarks, Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr Mwitwa (Mansa): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity ...


Mr Mwitwa: I am not a fighter, hon. Member.


Mr Mwitwa: In the first instance, Mr Chairman, allow me to extend my sincere gratitude to our President for his continuous crusade in trying to find peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

I say so, Mr Chairman, because most of developmental projects in the Luapula Province have been affected by the war in the DRC. I have in mind projects like the Pedicle Road and the bridge across the Luapula River. It was just a week ago when the hon. Minister of Works and Supply gave us a reply that construction of the bridge has been delayed because of the war in the Congo DR. So, Mr Chairman, immediately the war is concluded, the people of Luapula will be assured of this project taking off.

Mr Chairman, I would like to talk about the construction of the road from Nchelenge to Chiengi. Sir, I want to thank the Government for having approved this project, but our worry as people of Luapula is that we are normally given contractors who cannot do a proper job and as a result, although these projects are paid for, Mr Chairman, we do not get value for money. We, therefore, would want to urge the Government to give us contractors who have done these jobs before so that when the road is done, it is done for good, at least, for some time we will not be crying for the same project to be redone.

Mr Chairman, in the same vein, I wish to also talk about the Mansa/Luwingu/Kasama Road. We have had a lot of promises in here by the Government and yet we are yet to see any progress. The people of our two great provinces, Luapula and Northern, are still waiting to be connected.

Mr Chairman, I want to thank the Government for its quick action in the repatriation of the refugees who had besieged our province at the time when the Congo DR war was escalating and we had an influx of soldiers into our province. Sir, I urge the Government to consider establishing an army base in Chiengi District because this is a problem area where we have most of these people entering our country. For security reasons we need a base there.

Mr Chairman, I also want to talk about our Army Regional Commander who has no house and only squats in the mess. We would like the house to be redone because the house which is there is dilapidated and he has never occupied it. Sir, I hope the Government will come to our aid so that we have our man accommodated properly.

Mr Chairman, I want to talk about investment in our province. Luapula, with its abundant natural resources, also requires investors to venture into fish industry and the rubber and sugar plantations. Of course, I would not like to forget about tourism. Mr Chairman, if we were helped in this direction, we could see that our province can really venture into a lot of activities and we can also contribute to the Gross Domestic Product and improve the living standards of our people.

Finally, Mr Chairman, I would like to urge the Government to ensure that the Mansa General Hospital is completed. Sir, this hospital is a referral hospital of the province and we would, therefore, like it to be completed so that our people can enjoy the facilities of a bigger hospital.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Chairman, thank you for affording me an opportunity to contribute to the Vote as indicated in the Yellow Book for the Western Province.

Mr Chairman, I have read, seen and digested what is in the Yellow Book, but I find that certain departments really have not been ...

The Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairman, when business was suspended, I was expressing my concern at the low level of funding that has been given to some departments in the Western Province and I was looking at the Zambia Information Services (ZIS) which gets K103 million for the whole year. I was also looking at ZANA getting K32 million for the whole year for the whole province. Now, these are departments within the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services which are supposed to disseminate information. I do not see how Zambia Information Services can go to the remotest parts of the Western Province with K103 million as their allocation more so in an election year. 

Sir, Zambia Information Services as well as the Zambia News Agency are departments which are supposed to be mobile and mobility means money and transport. 

The Zambia Information Services provincial office in Mongu has no vehicle at all. That provincial information officer walks throughout and all the district telephones are disconnected. So, I do not even know how he communicates with his district offices. For them to send information even for pieces of news to come to Lusaka, they have to go and ask other offices to help them. How long are they going to continue to beg for services from other departments? This is so because the money allocated to them is far too little to meet the services that they require to meet for the betterment of the service they are supposed to offer to the people in that province. 

So, I want to urge the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to consider this very seriously. We want to come back to this House and, so, require this department to go and disseminate information on what we are doing as a Government. Otherwise, Hon. Hachipuka will take all the lies that he can manufacture and then we will be disadvantaged.


Mr Mabenga: So, Sir, the hon. Minister should consider Supplementary Estimates to be allocated to these departments. The Forestry Department is another concern that I would like to talk about. This department looks after our natural resources in that province. Needless to say, the province is rich in timber and grass. We see grass and timber being transported to Lusaka.

Mr Chairman, the officers in this department should be able to monitor ‘investors’ so that we have only the right type of people to exploit properly and positively the resources there so that the province can get something from their resources. At the moment, there are fake investors but the officers cannot reach them because they are handicapped. So, they do things that are contrary to what is laid down in the laws.

Mr Chairman, the same goes for the casual workers that these people employ. The slave conditions that the casual workers get from these so-called investors must be checked. The Department of Labour and Factories is supposed to ensure that casual workers or workers of whatever category are given the right conditions of service so that they work according to the stipulated statutory instructions. Unfortunately, because the labour officer only has K33 million for the whole year, it is not possible for her/him  to travel to districts. How does he travel from Mongu to Namushakende? Sir, K33 million is very little for this department and, so, once again, I urge the hon. Minister to consider this very seriously so that we are able to move ahead.

Mr Chairman, the Youth Department was set up in order to find ways and means of promoting youth skills of all types. Now, I do not know, neither do I understand how K40 million can be enough for the whole year to cater for the various services these youths are supposed to get.

Mr Chairman, you may be interested to learn that the Youth Department does not even have a vehicle, motor cycle or even a bicycle. So, Sir, I do not see how they can disseminate information and see what can be given to the youths.

The Department of Resettlement is cardinal and when you allocate K10 million for demarcation of plots and this officer is supposed to come from Mongu to Kalumwange in Kaoma and he is supposed to be paid his night allowance and he is not alone but with other officers and all these officers have to be paid, Sir, the money is not enough.

Mr Chairman, furthermore, K55 million allocated for water improvement is peanuts for these areas. Sir, today a hand pump costs about K17 million. Now, if it costs that much, how many boreholes can come out of this amount? Really, there is very little coming out in this Budget.

Finally, I would like to speak about sports. The Sports Department is supposed to begin to prepare our young ones who will be able to play in the national team but how many of the players in the national team come from Kalabo, Lukulu, Sesheke and Mulobezi? Not even one. Sir, I do not think that the national team is supposed to be a team of players from the Copperbelt Province. It is supposed to be national, meaning that it must consist of players from all over the country. With only K52 million, I do not think this department can tick. So, I would like to urge the Department of Sports, Football Association of Zambia and the National Sports Council to come together and make the national team more national for the benefit of this country.

Mr Chairman, I hope that the hon. Minister is taking note of what I am saying. Sir, I would also like to say that hunger is looming in the Western Province and terribly so because of the rise in the water levels and also the drought in Sesheke District. Sir, unless something is done, very quickly, people will be in a lot of problems. 

Mr Chairman, the mode of transport from Livingstone to Sesheke is the Mulobezi Railway Line and this railway line is in a deplorable state ...


The Chairman: Order! The hon. Members’ time has expired.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Mr Chairman, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the Vote.

Mr Chairman, my cousin does not look in front to see what is actually happening. Sir, first and foremost, I must say that as I speak to you, the great North-Western Province is cut-off from the rest of Zambia by the fact that Mushindamo Bridge has been swept away. I know that the Government will soon send our colleagues from Mufulira since it is nearer than Kabwe ...

Mr Mandandi: Can you control the rains?

Mr Tetamashimba: Of course, I do not control the rains and I do not think the hon. Minister of Works and Supply controls the rains.

Mr Mandandi: No.

Mr Tetamashimba: So, what is your problem? Mr Chairman, North Western Province has been described and rightly so by our colleagues on the Front Bench that it is the next Copperbelt. But really before you consider a rich province like ours to be the next Copperbelt, we would request the Government to start thinking of a rail line into North Western Province.

Mr Chairman, the Government, including the hon. Deputy Minister for the Copperbelt Province, less than two months ago, told the nation that the road from Chingola to Solwezi was in very good shape. I am sure our colleagues who went to Solwezi to elect a new MMD Chairman will agree with me that the road is worse than it was.

Mr Nkabika: They went by helicopter.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Chairman, the contractor, Ajante, who was given a contract to do that job, did nothing. Whatever he did has been washed away already. I wonder why the Government is spending so much money on bad contractors. I just hope that it will try to recover the money. Otherwise, we shall consider that as one of the ways in which Government is throwing away money into dust bins.

Mr Chairman, I will not stop talking about Kansanshi Mine. This Government has been praising itself on privatisation. Today, Ministers from the province, and this is not a joke, got to Solwezi at night and move away very early in the morning because people are very annoyed about the distraction of Kansanshi. We would like to know when you are going to do what is expected of you. I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is going to do something since those are his relatives. Really, we want to hear something, otherwise, the hon. Ministers from there will continue hiding. They will be coming at 2000 hours and by 0600 hours, they are out of Solwezi. It will be unfortunate for my brother, the Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office who comes from there. It will be difficult to run away because his village is just next to he buildings that were demolished.

Mr Chairman, with regard to Solwezi General Hospital, I do not really know the priorities of our colleagues in Government. We hear of a certain Minister donating an ambulance to his clinic. Hardly three months, another one within the same constituency. Another one will say I am going to Magoye to donate an ambulance but a big hospital like Solwezi General has no ambulance. For the past five years, there has been no ambulance at Solwezi General Hospital which is a referral hospital but some constituencies have more than one.

The Chairman: Order!

When hon. Members are debating and bring up issues in a particular province and the Minister of the ministry concerned has the answer, he/she should kindly write a note to the Provincial Deputy Minister so that he can be assisted to answer that query.

Will you, please continue.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Chairman, obviously, whether you stand or not this November, you will be Deputy Speaker of this House.

Mr Chairman, I was talking about Solwezi General Hospital and we would like to hear answers from the hon. Minister. Hon. Mateyo has been contributing his money to try and clean that place up. So, when we say that the hospital is in bad state, it is in bad state. Those who went to campaign during elections will agree with me. It is the worst general hospital in the country as at now. I have been to the rest of the hospitals. 

Mr Chairman, when we talk of oxygen masks, the hon. Ministers from our province know that there is just a small one. Some two years ago, there was an elderly person who was gasping for oxygen and then a child was brought in and needed oxygen also. I must say that there was professionalism in the medical staff because what they did was that they got the mask from the old person and gave it to the child. Sir, that was great. Of course, the young boy survived but you know what happened to the old person. Do we really have to have such situations in hospitals?

Mr Chairman, I am very sad about the District Administrators and when we comment about them, we mean well. As I speak to you, Sir, the council in Kasempa has been dissolved by the DA there.


Mr Tetamashimba: I can see that hon. Members are surprised. I will go to the next stage and you will find out.

Hon. Members: Carry on. Give us more information.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Chairman, what I am saying is that the council in Kasempa has been dissolved by the DA.


Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Chairman, we would also like to hear from the hon. Ministers about the plans that they have for Tika Mine. The people of Solwezi and North-Western Province have been asking this Government to consider Mumbeji as a district. Sir, those who have been to Mwinilunga will agree with me that none of the places that were recognised as districts in the last three years has more infrastructure than Tika. Mr Chairman, when developing, you have to look at population.

We would like to inform the Government and even future governments that the best thing to do in order to decongest towns is to develop the rural areas. That is the bottom line. That is why, sometimes, we get surprised when people are talking of cutting down the number of constituencies. Instead of looking at the size of the area, they want to find out what the population is.

Mr Chairman, let me also make a comment on the stadium which is in Solwezi. Again, I do not know why this province is at the bottom of the list. When we look at the stadia in all the provinces, the stadium in Solwezi is the least. Really, we do not know whether it is the politicians who govern that area and fail to do their duties or we are just neglected.

Hon. Member: You are neglected.

Mr Tetamashimba: I think we are just neglected. Someone wanted to know the hon. Member of Parliament for the area where the hospital is. The responsibility of looking after our hospitals does not lie with the Member of Parliament but the Government. If the Government can fail like it has failed lamentably in Solwezi, be assured that come November, no MMD Member of Parliament will go through.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweni (Lupososhi): Mr Chairman, there are just two major problems which I want to debate in this august House.

Sir, we are always singing one song in this House as people from Northern and Luapula provinces. Mr Chairman, when my colleague, Hon. Mwitwa was debating, he mentioned the problems they are facing in Luapula Province. I want to emphasise one point which he raised. This is about the road which starts from Mansa via Luwingu to Kasama.

Mr Chairman, as I am talking now, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is aware about what has happened between Mansa and Luwingu. For the past three days, Luwingu District has no electricity and no operations can be carried out at Luwingu District Hospital. The cause for this is at the Lufubu River. The Mansa Zesco management was informed to transfer a transformer from Mansa to Luwingu, but they cannot do that because of the bad state of the road. It is a shame to our Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweni: At the same time, Sir, there is a river called Lubansenshi. Vehicles coming from Kasama cannot reach Luwingu because of water which comes from underneath the road. We always talk about this road. What have the people of Northern and Luapula provinces done? What is the Government going to do about this road? It is a shame, Mr Chairman. How many times shall we talk about this problem? I really trust the MMD Government. It is a listening Government, but why can it not help the people of Northern and Luapula provinces?

Mr Chairman, there is also a road which comes from Samfya via Kasaba to Mutondo up to Luwingu. We have talked about this road also, but to our surprise, there is nothing that has been done. There is only a small portion where we need the Government to construct a bridge and this is between Kasaba/Mutondo course way. It has been a song in this House, but we do not know what has happened to our Government. All the hon. Members of Parliament from those provinces have been complaining year in, year out, even you, Mr Chairman, when you were an hon. Member of Parliament for Lupososhi Constituency,  emphasised the same points.

We need the Chair to assist over this problem.


Mr Mweni: Mr Chairman, ...

Mr Shumina: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shumina: I am very concerned. It is not normal to disturb brothers-in-laws. Is my brother-in-law in order to, now, become so angry over the problems where my wife comes from as to go to the extent of wanting the Chair to instruct the Government?


The Chairman: If you have seen the trend of those who have already spoken on this issue, the beauty of it is that this is a Vote that makes everyone of you in this House sing with one tone. There is no political affiliation. Everybody is crying for development. So, he is very much in order. Let us listen to him.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Mweni: Thank you for your support, Mr Chairman.

Hon. Members: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Mweni: Last but not the least, Mr Chairman, I would like to talk about lack of transport at Luwingu District Hospital.

Mr Chairman, I stand here to confirm to this Government that our district hospital in Luwingu has no ambulance and there is no any other transport apart from maybe, asking the doctors to assist with their own personal vehicles to go and get a patient from a distance of 15 to 20 kilometres away from the hospital.

Hon. Member: What about you?

Mr Mweni: I am here in Lusaka. I am not in Luwingu.

Hon. Member: Go ahead.

Mr Mweni: Mr Chairman, it is for this reason that I strongly urge our Government ...

Hon. Member: Through the Chair!

Mr Mweni: No.


Mr Mweni: ... to, at least, give us an ambulance at our district hospital. People are dying in our district because there is no ambulance which can ferry sick people from their respective villages to the district hospital. We cannot allow such a situation to continue. That situation has been prevailing within our district for some years now. It is for this reason, Sir, I am emphasising and ask the hon. Minister of Health (Mr Kavindele), who I trust very much, to do something.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Keembe (Bweengwa): Mr Chairman, let me start with a very peculiar issue in Southern Province and this is the issue of cattle disease.

Mr Chairman, the province is ravaged by foot and mouth disease, corridor disease and our animals are almost wiped out. Southern Province was a province that was self dependent. It was a province that gave no problem at all to our Government. However, because of negligence, now, our people are beggars.

Mr Chairman, the President gave us some money in 1998. It is about three to four years ago since this Fund was set up. The issue is that this fund has not been utilised by our farmers because the facility is expensive. We are asking the Government to reconsider removing the cost of vaccine per animal. If we have to save the few animals remaining in Southern Province, it is very important that we take drastic steps to ensure that our farmers are helped with free vaccines.

Mr Chairman, you will agree with me that K10 thousand per animal is quite high for our farmers. We need our farmers to be helped and I believe and hope that our Government will understand so that this fund can be utilised by our farmers. There is no need to have a facility that cannot be accessed by our farmers. In fact, the hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Mr Chikamba) went round and heard complaints about this Fund.

We have also not seen the other K500 million meant for the same purpose. So, I am asking my dear friend, Hon. Kavindele, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, to release it to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

One other serious issue, Sir, is that I do not see how this will work. How do you control the funds meant for Southern Province in Lusaka? These people are seated in Mulungushi and they have no animals, they do not know how to look after animals but want to control our funds for Southern Province. We will not accept that.

Dr Kabanje: Shame!

Mr Keembe: We want this fund to be controlled by the Office of the Provincial Minister, we want it to be released and taken to Southern Province ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Not crocodile farming.

Mr Luhila: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Keembe: Can you sit down!


The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Luhila: Mr Chairman, I am getting worried at the way the ...

Mr Shumina: Giant killer!

Mr Luhila: Indeed, the giant killer.


Mr Luhila: ... hon. Member for Bweengwa is debating. He is misleading this House that people who are not farmers are seated in Mulungushi House when he knows very well that the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is Chief Haamudebwe ...

Mr Shumina: Crocodile farmer.

Mr Luhila: ... and also a farmer and Member of Parliament for Monze and his neighbour. Is he in order to mislead this House that the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries does not visit his constituency?

The Chairman: You have educated him. Will you, please, continue.


Mr Keembe: Mr Chairman, I think I will excuse him because he does not understand what is involved in this whole issue. What I am saying is that the funds are being managed by the directorate in Lusaka and the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is briefed here, which is wrong. We need the funds to be managed within the province and the hon. Minister should be getting the briefings from the people who are on the ground.

Sir, I want to thank the Government for the improvements in Livingstone. We were very grateful for some of the investor conditions that attracted Sun International Hotels, there is some improvement taking place in Livingstone, but I want to urge the Government that - for those who have been to Livingstone., surely, the town itself is quite dilapidated and dead. We want our Government to keep pace with that high standard. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Keembe: We have pot-holes within the town, the roads are very bad, that includes the road to the hon. Minister’s house and I do not even know how he moves in his Camry. We need Livingstone to be properly done so that it matches with the developments that are taking place.

We thank you so much for the rehabilitation of the airport in Livingstone, but tourists that come to Livingstone will also want to touch other tourist attraction centres in the province. Therefore, we want also to ensure that roads leading to other tourist places, hon. Minister of Works and Supply, are properly done, places like Lochnivar National Park in my constituency, Ngoma Lodge in Siavonga and many others. 

We also want to have small air strips in these lodges so that international tourists who come to Sun International Hotel can have a chance to fly to Siavonga and look at the other places that we have in the country. 

I know the hon. Minister of Works and Supply has assured me of good progress on some of the roads in the province, but the period that it has taken to finish the Choma/Namwala Road is no longer acceptable, Mr Minister. We thank Government for the efforts it is making. Sir, there is no need to engage a contractor and then you leave him because it has been almost half a year, now, and the contractor has even moved out of site. We also want the road from Nicholas/Namwala which is the short cut to Lusaka to be done. People there also want to come to the capital and not to the bush. We want our people from Namwala and Bweengwa to use that short cut. Right now, it is impassable, the bridges there have been completely washed away.

Mr Luhila: And the Bottom Road?

Mr Keembe: We also want to ask Government to look at the bridges along the Maamba Road. Right now, Sinazongwe District is cut off. Please, help us and ensure that these bridges are properly done.

Mr Luhila: Chiimbwe Wamvwa!

Mr Keembe: The other issue, Sir, is of video cameras in the provinces. We were told that it is very costly to have video cameras, but I think it is not fair to have only video cameras for Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces.

Mr Shumina: Only Members of Parliament in Lusaka are watching television.

Mr Keembe: We also want our problems to be highlighted on television. After all, we also have television sets in the villages. We want to ensure that our people hear their problems in the provinces. We need to share these things, at least, one camera per province will not be a bad idea.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Keembe: So, we do not want a situation where other provinces seem to be more important than other provinces.

Mr Shumina: Mwana, more than Western Province.

Mr Keembe: The dilapidated state of our clinics and schools is worrying. Right now, because of heavy rains, we have had a lot of clinics and schools damaged. So, we need the Government to undertake regular maintenance of these buildings, we do not have to complain every now and then in order to ensure that our Government comes to our aid. Inspectorates must ensure that they inspect these schools and clinics and take necessary measures in order to avoid very costly maintenance due to delays in carrying out maintenance works.

While all of you have been proud of rains, Southern Province has been hit by drought. It is just now that rains have come. Therefore, you should know that we need safe drinking water for our people and the only way we can get it is through underground water. We would like to ask the ministry concerned to help us in putting up more boreholes in the province for our people to have safe drinking water.

Mr Chairman, let me end by requesting the Government to also consider Pemba, Batoka and Zimba for district status. These are very big towns. It is very important that our people have access to these developments so that our province can, once again, come back to life other than the way it is now.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Dr Kamata (Nchanga): Mr Chairman, thank you for giving me a chance to say a few words about this Vote.

Mr Chairman, the Copperbelt Province is an area of high concentration of population and consequently, we have a high concentration of school drop-outs, street kids, unemployed people, unskilled people, HIV/AIDS patients and a lot of sophisticated criminals.

Mr Ngulube: Sure!

Mr Matutu: No!

Dr Kamata: Yes, it is the province where you will find a high concentration of all the tribes of Zambia. This is the province which has taught the country the concept of One Zambia, One Nation. It is because of the experiences in the Copperbelt that I am able to sit and sleep side by side with Ngoni warriors and be quite confident that tomorrow, I will wake up.

In this area of high concentration of population of unemployed people, especially young people with good education, a lot of chronically ill people, where all the tribes are represented, security is of utmost importance, Mr Chairman, because a lot of movements and ideas have started from that province before they went to other parts of the country. Maintenance of law and order, therefore, in this highly concentrated place is of great importance and must be maintained at all costs. It is because of this, Mr Chairman, that I urge my Government to consider that our security wings in that province be properly equipped, particularly in this very important year of elections.

Our security wings, Mr Chairman, should be provided with adequate transport to be able to do their job properly and I wonder, in this era of technology, Mr Chairman, why our police officers, for example, have not been afforded an opportunity to use mobile telephones for better communication.

Mr Chairman, mention has already been made in this House of the fact that in this country, thirty-six years after independence, our expatriate colleagues still continue to enjoy undue advantage in the manner of salaries and conditions of service. This is most manifest on the Copperbelt, Sir, where, as I said earlier, there is a high concentration of skilled labour. For continued industrial peace in this country, Mr Chairman, I would urge my Government to take measures to re-dress this imbalance because, as you know, there is high concentration of these people and if trouble starts in this area, it would be the Copperbelt where it is likely to start from.

Sir, the MMD Government has empowered a lot of people with the sale of houses and for us on the Copperbelt, the mines had the highest number of houses. When houses were sold to miners, there were not enough houses to go round all the miners. As a result, there are miners who have been sold houses which were occupied by sitting tenants who have refused to move out because they have nowhere else to go. This problem has been a thorn in the flesh of the Copperbelt residents. We have talked and written about it, we mention it at every opportunity, but there does not seem to be any solution in sight and it is a worrying thing for us in this year of elections that, perhaps, this problem might spill into the election time. Once again, I urge the Government to take steps before some disgruntled elements and parties take advantage.

Sir, the roads in all Copperbelt towns are in a deplorable condition. Because of the high concentration of population and vehicles like mini buses, roads wear out very quickly and it is a terrible sight to see roads in Luanshya, Kalulushi, Mufulira, Chingola and Chililabombwe. We, people from the Copperbelt really fail to understand why there has been so much concentration on the roads in Lusaka alone. We cannot understand as if it is the only area of importance. The next area of attention in this respect, Mr Chairman, should be all the towns on the Copperbelt, which I mentioned earlier.

Mr Chairman, I would like to echo the sentiments of my colleague, the hon. Member for Mansa, who commended the Zambian Government, and particularly our President in his efforts to bring peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr Chairman, of late we have seen signs that, perhaps, there is hope that at long last there will be lasting peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For us, Mr Chairman, on the Copperbelt, it is not just a question of security, but the Democratic Republic of Congo for us on the Copperbelt is a natural market. We sell a lot of things like eggs, chickens, tomatoes and when the Democratic Republic of Congo is at peace, the Copperbelt is booming. So, we urge our Government and our President to continue with their efforts until lasting peace reigns in Congo DR.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Chairman: When Ministers from provinces begin winding up, there will be no time limit and to this effect, I am asking all of you to have patience. I am giving you time off so that Provincial Ministers can tonight prepare their summaries because I want to finish off the Yellow Book tomorrow. Hon. Members from provinces, I am also giving you time off so that you can go and prepare your debates for tomorrow. We must finish the provinces tomorrow and then go to the Constitutional Vote and also finish it the same day. To this effect, I am asking the hon. Mr Speaker to come in and adjourn the debate. 

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)



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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1724 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 2nd March, 2001.