Debates- Tuesday 27th February, 2001

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Tuesday, 27th February, 2001

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






56. Mr Sichinsambwe (Mbala) (on behalf of Mr L. L. Phiri) (Chipangali) asked the Minister of Health:

    (a)    how many doctors and nurses were working in Zambia as at         December, 2000; and

    (b)    what is the staff establishment for doctors and nurses at the         University Teaching Hospital.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the number of doctors and nurses who were working in Zambia as at December, 2000, were as follows:

Title    No.

Doctors    1,174

Nurses    8,603

Secondly, the establishment for doctors and nurses at the University Teaching Hospital is as follows:

    Establishment    Actual No.

Doctors    375    246

Nurses    1,345    740

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalifungwa (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, we do believe that some operating theatres at the University Teaching Hospital are closed due to lack of specialist doctors. Could the hon. Minister comment and elaborate on that.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the question is slightly different. I would need to find out the truth.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapangalwendo (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that we have trained a number of doctors in this country, could the hon. Minister tell us whether these doctors are bonded so that we stop them from looking for green pastures in other countries.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, in previous years, there was no serious arrangement for bonding graduate doctors to work for the country for a number of years but my ministry has been working on that, taking into account that there is a period in which doctors are supposed to be under tutorship of senior doctors. We are trying to look at possibilities of using that period to get our doctors to work in rural areas as part of their training.

I thank you, Sir.


57. Mr Sichinsambwe (on behalf of Mr L. L. Phiri) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the ministry has any plans to financially cushion all councils against inflation.

The Deputy Minster of Local Government and Housing (Mr Musonda): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has worked out measures to bail out councils from financial difficulties they are experiencing. These included the following:

(i)    The ministry has liaised with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on council indebtedness and has since provided comprehensive information of councils’ indebtedness with a view of securing extra funding for easing the problem of finances in these institutions. The House may wish to know that, at the moment, the total indebtedness of councils to various creditors is approximately K84 billion.

(ii)    The ministry has submitted to Cabinet for consideration resolutions passed at a symposium held in 2000 which discussed the Plan of Action on Financing Local authorities in Zambia. This plan recommends measures aimed at enhancing council finances.

Thank you, Sir.


58. Mr Simwinji (Nalikwanda) (on behalf of Mr Mweni) (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Health what the position regarding the stock of medical drugs was in the following hospitals at 30th November, 2000:

    (i)    Kasama General Hospital;

    (ii)    Luwingu District Hospital;

    (iii)    Kasaba Mission Hospital;

    (iv)    Mansa General Hospital; and

    (v)    Mbala General Hospital.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I wish to state that the stock position of drugs in the following hospitals as at 30th November, 2000, were as follows:

Kasama General Hospital

    70 per cent of the drugs were available which included most of the essential drugs like antibiotics, antimalaria drugs, intravenous fluids and some pain killers.

Luwingu District Hospital

    64 per cent of the drugs were available which included most essential drugs to treat the most common diseases. Oral antibiotics and antimalaria drugs were in large supplies.

Kasaba Mission Hospital

    45 per cent of the drugs were available. Most of the essential drugs, including oral and injectable antibiotics were in short supply.

Mansa General Hospital

    80 per cent of the drugs were available at Mansa General Hospital.

Mbala General Hospital

    About 40 per cent of the drugs were available. Only a few essential drugs like antibiotics and pain killers were in stock. Oral antimalaria medicines were in good supply and the levels of antimalaria injectables were quite low.

Consequently, Sir, the erratic supply of drugs was due to delay in delivery of the World Bank tender for 1997.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalifungwa: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm to us the level of pilferage in these rural hospitals compared to UTH.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I do not know what the levels of pilferage are in comparatives terms although we may have problems limited to institutional availability of drugs.

I thank you, Sir.


59. Mr Simwinji (on behalf of Mr Mweni) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services why there is no television signal in the following places:

    (i)    Luwingu;

    (ii)    Kaputa; and

    (iii)    Mporokoso.

Mr Mando: Mr Speaker, the non-availability of Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation television signal in Kaputa, Luwingu and Mporokoso has largely been due to lack of infrastructure which is mainly the TV transmitters to provide the necessary signals.

Television has, now, been restricted to the cities and towns along the line of rail at provincial centres where TV transmitter equipment has been installed. Efforts to cover the rest of Zambia with good quality television signals include the establishment of a satellite based television network in Zambia and this is currently under serious consideration and once implemented, this will make it possible for all districts without exception, including Luwingu to receive television signals.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Banda (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the movement of the television dish which is on the lower part of the Kanjara Hill to the top of the hill will ensure that a wider area, including Katete, Sinda as well as Petauke are covered.

Mr Mando: Mr Speaker, although this question is a diversion from the original question, I will endeavour to give more information specifically to his request so that we can establish what will be the advantages and limitations of doing that exercise.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapangalwendo (Chinsali): The hon. Minister promised us that the Chinese will be setting up satellite dishes and television transmitters countrywide. May I know what has happened to these. Up to now, in Chinsali, we have not received one. We could have used our initiative.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mando: Mr Speaker, first of all, I want to dispel the falsehoods in that statement. We did not at any one time insinuate that the Chinese would be responsible for this project, nor did we mention the Chinese because we already have the transmitters which are on course. However, we are addressing the problem this year in the budget. Some indicative amounts have already been given and we have already passed them here in Parliament. So, the programme is on course. We would ask the hon. Member to exercise a little bit more patience.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza (Petauke): Sir, can the Minister indicate to the House when precisely this satellite link television will be introduced because we have been talking about it for the last two years.

Mr Mando: Mr Speaker, I can understand the anxiety by the hon. Members. But I did allude to the programme in my earlier reply. I will just ask him to keep it cool. His needs will be met.

Thank you, Sir.


60. Mr Sichinsambwe (on behalf of Mr L. L. Phiri) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many serving doctors and nurses died between January, 1996 and December, 2002; and

(b)    how many have been paid their full benefits.

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, four serving doctors and 224 nurses died between January, 1996 and December, 2000. All the four doctors’ and 156 nurses’ benefits have been paid. Payments for the remaining number of the deceased nurses are being processed by the ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Sondashi (Solwezi Central): Sir, what are the major causes of death of these doctors, especially?

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the major causes of death are diseases.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




VOTE 80/05 - (Ministry of Education - K616,827,577,685).

(Consideration resumed)

Vote 80/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/21 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

The Chairman: Order! Will you follow the figures. You are approving the figures, if you disagree with them, you throw them away, that is why you are here. Do not just talk.

Vote 80/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 80/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Mr Nkabika (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Chairman, on sub head 2 item 04 - Training Expenses - K859,060,000. Who is to be trained, Sir?

The Minister for Luapula Province (Mr Chama): Is it supposed to be considered, Sir?

The Chairman: Yes, that is why you are supposed to follow this when it comes to your province, give the answer.

Mr Chama: I have given the answer, Sir.

The Chairman: Who?

Hon. Members: Teachers.

Vote 80/34 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/35 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/36 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/37 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/38 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/39 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/40 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/41 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/42 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80/43 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 85/01 - (Ministry of Lands - Headquarters - K1,365,469,220).

Mr Mwanza (Petauke): Mr Chairman, I just want to, first of all, congratulate the new hon. Minister of Lands who, I hope, will give more impetus to the ministry and improve on the allocation of plots.

Mr Chairman, I am just worried about one point. In rural areas, all pool houses are built on one plot and this has caused considerable problems to would-be buyers of Government houses. The procedure currently in force is so difficult and cumbersome for our lowly paid civil servants. What they are required to do, as of now, is that those who want to get offers must travel to the provincial capital and buy what they call a site plan for K25,000. From there they must travel to the Ministry of Lands where the plot will then be allocated with a number and then they will get an offer made to them.

Mr Chairman, the people cannot afford the expenses involved for them to get offer letters for pool houses. May I, please, suggest to the hon. Minister that his Department of Lands should undertake this task of sub-dividing these block areas where you have pool houses for the junior civil servants. Mr Chairman, people have, really, implored me to raise this very important point.

Mr Chairman, ...

Major Kamanga: On a point of order, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mwanza: ...I would like also to make a small point on the small holdings which are being allocated to various people within the Lusaka area. 

Major Kamanga: On a point of order, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairman, these areas do not have any services.

The Chairman: Order! The Chair is responsible for ensuring that progress on the Estimates is made. If the Chair sees that some points of order are not warranted, the Chair is entitled to ignore them and

when I do not answer you back, just kindly keep quiet and let me do the job.

Will the hon. Member on the Floor, please, continue.

Mr Mwanza: I thank you, Mr Chairman.

I was just referring to small holdings which are being allocated without appropriate services. Sir, for these plots to develop, people need some services, at least basic services such as roads, water and electricity. Although the plots have been allocated, people cannot develop them because they cannot afford to put in the services themselves.

So, I appeal to the Ministry of Lands to consider providing essential services in the small-scale holdings in order to encourage agricultural development.

With these few words, Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr Sichinsambwe (Mbala): Thank you, Sir. I would like to give two or three comments on these Government small farms. People occupying small farms in rural areas are heavily taxed. The cost per hectare is about K29,000. If the Ministry of Lands would, perhaps, reduce the price for people living in rural areas, maybe, they might encourage them to cultivate more food.

Sir, this is just another observation on surveyors. Sir, surveyors are very expensive in rural areas when they are asked to survey places like small farms. If the Ministry of Lands could get involved and, perhaps, pay part of it. At times, when these people are called, they ask the people concerned to pay. This is very unfair. At times, Mr Chairman, they fail to pay.

Mr Chairman, in villages, again, there are places which are offered to people retiring in some areas. These people have failed to develop this land which they were given by the Government. Could the Government, please, repossess this land because the people have completely failed to develop the land.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muloji (Chavuma): I thank you, Mr Chairman. I would like to comment briefly on the Ministry of Lands.

Mr Chairman, I believe there is a development fund called the Lands Development Fund in the Ministry of Lands. I would like to know how these forms are filled in because we were given some forms and it is difficult to fill in these forms. I believe that of my fellow hon. Members who collected these forms, nobody has been able to access these funds and the Minister of Lands should come up with a simplified version so that the money that has been lying in that fund could be accessed by the needy rural councils to have their work done.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this very important ministry.

First of all, I have an investor in my area, Mwembeshi Parliamentary Constituency. This investor was given 2000 hectares of land on the confluence of the Mwembeshi and Kafue rivers. Now, we have, on the one hand, State Land and on the other hand, traditional land but the boundaries have been violated. This has brought an uproar within the people in the constituency. 

The land, Mr Chairman, is used for cattle grazing.

Mr Mushala: Cattle!

Mr Shimonde: Of course ,it is cattle grazing. Did I say ng’ombe?

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Mr Shimonde: This land is for cattle grazing which is our main livelihood but this investor has taken all the land putting our people in disarray. They do not know where to take the animals for grazing. Of course, on the same confluence, that is where the animals used to drink water from in the dry season when our streams dry up. I would like the Ministry of Lands to investigate as to how this land of 2000 hectares was allocated to a foreign local investor.

Mr Chairman, the other point I would like to put across is about the allocation of land to the foreigners. There are a lot of foreigners who have got large pieces of land in this country and when you go to the Ministry of Lands and apply for a piece land, it takes months or years without acquiring a piece of land. But, they come in and get land. I do not know what system is in that ministry which enables them to be given land without hesitation. If you look at these land allocations, some of them had been given to them a long time ago but the ministry has not repossessed the land from those who have failed to develop the land.

Mr Chairman, I would like to mention that in Lusaka, here, we have a lot of areas which are not developed. The ministry has not repossessed the undeveloped land but, when you apply for the piece of land, you are told that there is no land available. When we move around, we see that there is a lot of undeveloped land. I do not know who they are keeping that land for. We would like to build proper infrastructure and develop the land but if the ministry do not move in, together with the council, then, we will remain behind and we shall always live in ramshackles. It is time the ministry moved in. If two or three years elapse and there is no development on a piece of land, it should repossess the land and allocate it to people who are interested and can afford it. I thought I should make those few remarks.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr A. M. Mwila (Kalulushi): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for according the chance to add my voice to the Vote on the Floor.

Hon. Members: Say, 'thank you, daddy.'

Mr A. M. Mwila: Mr Chairman what ...


Hon. Members: Say, 'thank you, daddy.'

Mr Shimonde: I will raise a point of order!

Mr A. M. Mwila: Mr Chairman ...

Mr Nyundu: Continue!

Mr A. M. Mwila: ... the Government needs to come up with a land utilisation policy. Why do I say so? Sir, if we do not have a land utilisation policy, we will keep on saying that Zambia has got vast land which we do not know how to use. As earlier hon. Members have alluded to, you will go the Ministry of Lands and they will tell you that there is no land to give and yet, in other areas, there is excess land. That is why it is important that a utilisation policy is put in place. We need to know our short term plans for five years, how much land would be demarcated for farming, how much land would be available in Luapula Province and Northern Province. Each district needs to know how much land would be available for various activities ...

Mr Pule: Hear, hear!

Mr A. M. Mwila: ... so that even when we are planning for agriculture or commerce, we will know what is available in each district instead of all of us rushing to Lusaka to see the hon. Minister of Lands for a piece of land. He might end up giving the same land to two hon. Members and, in the end, it would be disastrous.

When it comes to land for farming, Mr Chairman, the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and that of Lands, need to work out a policy as one, so that we can plan this. So, that when it comes to say that this land cannot be demarcated because it is a forest reserve, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources knows that. But now what is happening is that you have to run from Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, they tell you, “We cannot give you that piece of land because it is a forest reserve”. Then you run back to the Ministry of Lands who would say, “Go and talk to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources”. By the time you come back you find that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has given it to a chairman. So, unless the three of them sit together ...

Mr J. T. Phiri: Not this Chair!

Mr A. M. Mwila: No, not that Chairman.


Mr A. M. Mwila: It is sad that there is only K27 million for Luapula Province for the alienation of land for agricultural purposes. I hope when the Minister comes to make his remarks, he will tell us what plans he has got for Copperbelt, Kalulushi in particular.

The other issue, Mr Chairman, is the issue of title deeds. It is now taking more than six months, even going close to two years for those people who bought houses on the Copperbelt to get their title deeds.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr A. M. Mwila: This has become an issue in my constituency where every time you go back, people want to know the fate. They have already paid the money, but I do not know what is happening to the title deeds. I also hope that when the Minister comes to make his reply, he is got a favourable answer for us.

With those few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: Are you debating, Mr Nkabika?

Mr Nkabika: No, I want to raise a point of order.

The Chairman: Are you raising a point of order?

Mr Nkabika: Yes, Sir.

The Chairman: What is your point of order, now there is no debate on?

Mr Chipili (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairman, thank you very much, I wish to support the Vote on the Ministry of Lands. 

Mr Chairman, when we talk of land that is Zambia itself. Like most hon. Members have alluded to, we need to harmonise our policy especially on usage. What I am talking about is the case of too many squatters throughout Zambia. It does not augur well that people who were independent from 1964 to date and we still have people from the other side ...

Mr Nkabika: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkabika: Mr Chairman, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the Government in order to fail to maintain law and order in the country especially on instances which have been instigated by Presidential appointees. For example, Kitwe District Administrator, Joshua Mutisa assaulted a Cabinet Minister and the police have not made any arrest as reported in the Zambia Daily Mail of Monday, 26th February, 2001 with the headline ‘Fight Rocks Southern Province MMD Conference’, and I quote:

    “Violence yesterday rocked the Southern Province MMD Conference     in Monze were a Cabinet Minister was punched in the stomach while a     local party cadre was stabbed with a knife near the right eye. 

    Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister, Suresh Desai, was punched     by youth led by Kitwe District Administrator Joshua Mutisa at the     venue of the conference at Zambia College of Agriculture. And Mr     Desai confirmed that he was manhandled by youths led by Mr     Mutisa”.

Why have the police not arrested the assailance to the Cabinet Minister. Are Ministers going to discharge their duties freely if the so-called Presidential appointees can beat them at will? Mr Chairman, is the Government in order to fail to maintain law and order in the country?

The Chairman: That point of order actually taxes by mind. As a man who is in charge of the deliberations of Parliament, the big question I have got to answer myself is; Has Parliament got the authority to decide on party activities? The answer is no. What happened in Monze also happened in Mpika in the presence of Ministers appointed by the President and in the presence of people who were elected five years ago to look after the operations of MMD as the ruling party. And for that, I find myself not fitting in any way in the organisation of MMD as a Chairman of this Committee now, which you and I are, to make a decision which is of purely party nature. This should be handled, in my humble opinion, by the Chairman of MMD, by the Vice-President of MMD, by the Party Spokesman our Chief Whip and others. The National Secretary is not here, the Trustee is here and other Members of NEC. I throw this to them to clean up the mess. As far as you and I are concerned, let us concentrate on the job that is given to us in Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: Will you please, continue.

Mr Chipili: Mr Chairman, before that point of order was raised, I was making a point that we have vast land in this country, therefore we need to create a policy were we are certain on what portions of land belong to who. Some of this land the power is vested in the Chiefs, of course the final powers rests with the President. It is therefore, puzzling that each time I travel from Chililabombwe to Livingstone, there are so many squatters in between and these people have not been resettled since 1964 for one reason or the other. It is either they are in forestry reserve or a customary land which belongs to some absent landlord. This needs to be harmonised immediately because we cannot have a situation where land owners are squatters and absentee land lords own vast tracks of land when there is a Ministry of Lands in place, and we do have lawyers who can advise when a re-entry can be done. 

In some cases, I think a policy to turn over this land, especially when you talk of the land from the Airport to about Kabwe, it belongs to only two people. This is totally unacceptable. In a country where you have your own people as squatters but one Israeli and another chap own a vast track almost half of the two towns. It cannot be right. There must be something wrong and we need to move in with policy and correct this anomaly. 

 Furthermore, I have a large population which is right now considered as squatters in land which we are not sure whether it belongs to the Ministry of Environment or to the Ministry of Lands. You talk to the Ministry of Environment like the previous speaker said, you are referred back to the Ministry of Lands. At the Ministry of Lands you will be told that it is the Chief responsible. Who owns the land is a big jigsaw puzzle. We need this puzzle sorted out so that we can resettle our people because they are independent and this is their land they have no other land to go to.

Mr Chairman, the other point I would like to make is the Land Development Fund. Typical of everything we want to do these days, we make the forms very complicated for councils which have no capacity to develop a project proposal, when you look at the land development form which you are required to fill in order to access this money, they talk of a person producing an audited account and this and that. How many councils can produce that because the last time they paid their employees was a long time ago. Some are in arrears of three years and this means that they do not even have an account. These forms must be simplified to make it possible for the remotest councils to apply and benefit from this land development fund because money is stuck in the bank and no wonder nobody is accessing it because of the format to access it.

Mr Chairman, I would appreciate if, when the hon. Minister comes to wind up to try and give us an idea on how best this can be harmonised but as far as we are concerned right now, I think the requirements are far too fetching for a rural council because some councils like the Kitwe City Council have failed to make the same proposal. I have been trying for the last two years but I have vast resettlement areas which require development.

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

Mr Wina (Chililabombwe): Mr Chairman, first of all I would like to congratulate the young Minister (Mr Chambeshi) who has taken over this very important Ministry. We hope that he will bring to it the same energy that he exhibited at his previous Ministry of Science and Technology. 

Mr Chairman, I stand to make a serious observation. I think in every nation, there are certain areas of the land which are really taken as prime areas which have to be guarded and protected for future generations. But in this country somehow, we do not seem to have an evaluation scale as to who purchases what piece of land and where and what price and what amount of investment he is putting in. Mr Chairman, I am particularly referring to the entire banks of the Zambezi River from Livingstone up to Senanga and going on to Mongu. I think it is an extremely sad situation. The whole, or most of that river or the banks of that river are taken over by South African investors who are putting up small little Safari Camps.

Sir, when you go to find out the amount of investment that is there, there are just about five tents and that is all and the so called investor has taken title to that land. And on top of that he has fenced the area and refusing the Zambian people who are the owners of that land and water to come and drink from the river or to bring their cattle to come and drink from the river because it is fenced up and he claims ownership. Sir, we can take these policies rather too far - this liberal economy of ours which we keep talking about. It can go too far. If any person with three tents can come and buy a piece of land on the banks of the Zambezi River and keep it for 99 years...

Mr Nyundu: Shame!

Mr Wina: We are really betraying the future generations to come. Anywhere else on the banks of Ryne, Thames and on this and that, investors there are scrutinised that they actually are investing sufficient money to be able to keep the prestige of that particular area along. But here the way we have taken the South Africans, any South African who comes in short trousers and sees somebody they simply agree and say, ‘I will give you a piece of land’.


Mr Wina: And here we are seated and our people keep asking us ‘kanti king’i amulumeleza batu kuno ezanga cwana’. Why are you allowing these people take this land. And you cannot answer them because you do not know whether it is the council, the chief or whether the Ministry of Lands or the Ministry of Tourism involved. We do not know because this thing is up for grabs, if I may say so. So, Sir, it makes my heart bleed because as a young boy I used to go on that river myself from Mongu up to Sesheke with my father when he was Prime Minister of Barotseland. It used to take us fourteen days to enjoy the beauty of that land. Today all that is gone. And the investment there when you ask some of the people, they say these Europeans only puts on some gear and dives in the river every night.

Mr Nyundu: That is witchcraft.


Mr Wina: And comes out with fish and so forth. There is no game there. Now we understand, of course, that it is diamond from the Tiger Fish and so forth which they are after. I do not know how true that is because I have not seen diamonds from tiger fish. But that is what our people say because they say that that person every night goes down the river and comes out and they do not know what he does.

Sir, I appeal to the Minister of Lands to have a re-look at the investment along the river banks or it could, perhaps, be other rivers. It might not only be the Zambezi River where investors must be rushing to because they know that it has a sense of value for tomorrow. We take it for granted ourselves that it has always been there.

Mr Chairman, with that brief contribution to the debate, I would like to thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje (Mwandi): Mr Chairman, I rise just to remind this august House that when God made man, he continued making man up to today so that the population of the world today numbers in billions. So after making Adam and Eve, God continued on a valiant mission to make more children but God decided to go on rest in one respect. God is no longer producing any land anywhere.


Dr Kabanje: Mr Chairman, we socialists say, land is the highest means of production known to man. Any other means of production can be extended, revisited, degraded, subtracted but with land, land means the people, land is the history of the people. But today with the so called liberalisation advent in town, we have even liberalised land, we have liberalised our future. We have destroyed that which makes us Zambians.

Mr Chairman, what is happening in Zimbabwe would happen here in Zambia. As long as you have an indigenous population of poor people and a small minority of rich people, the poor will sell their land to the rich and many years later there will be a serious class struggle. The poor people will rise against the people who have expropriated their land. I am asking this Government, a Government which comprise socialists who were in the working class movement, the Labour Movement to reconsider the struggle of their lives. It was a struggle to emancipate the people. And the most important form of emancipating a human being is to secure him in land. 

That is why in English law, everything is personal property except land. Land is the only aspect an English man calls real property. With the coming of the Free Trade Area in the Southern African community implies one important thing. This is the right of any citizen to reside in any place of his choice. What this means, Mr Chairman, is that the Boers who had historic advantage of having more money would come here, they will be a new grand trek and I am very concerned. 

Mr Chairman, we know that in Europe, the European Union was resisted by small countries like Greece because Greece has beautiful Mediterranean climate. It was a small population. It was being swamped by the other big countries. If we do not take measures and corrective policies, we shall remain poor. 

Mr Chairman, our Chiefs are equally poor. That is why they wanted to participate in politics in order to redeem themselves from poverty. So, they are easily manipulated by the so-called investors. The majority of these investors are sham. They only think they are welcomed as investors because their skin is much lighter than our skin but in terms of capacity to deliver, most of them have nothing.

Mr Chairman, to add on to what Hon. Sikota Wina said, coming from that particular area, we have seen a lot of so-called investors around the banks of the Zambezi River. What they have done eventually, is to make the people prohibited from enjoying the best part of their land.

Sir, I am appealing to this Government to reconsider the land policy. If we are not careful, the people will revert to the past slogan where the colonial powers said, “Although the land is yours, the money is ours” but now, it will be the opposite. Those who have money will be able to get the best piece of land and this will call for a serious situation.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

Minister of Lands (Mr Chambeshi): Mr Chairman, it is a great honour and privilege to me to be accorded this opportunity to deliver a ministerial statement on Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Lands. 

Mr Chairman, I would like to point out from the outset that the importance of this ministry lies in the fact that it is the custodian of all land in Zambia on behalf of the President of the Republic of Zambia for the people of Zambia.

Mr Chairman, I really do not wish to bore hon. Members of Parliament with a long statement on the importance of land to any nation or indeed to any group of people, suffice to say that the contributions that have so far been made, in fact, allude to this importance of land, suffice also for me to remind the House of some important, historical and economic facts which also some hon. Members of Parliament have touched on already.

Firstly, that we should never forget that most of the wars that have been fought in the history of human kind, were fought over issues of land and I am happy that that statement has been echoed in the contributions so far made.

Secondly, Mr Chairman, in addition to other factors of production such as labour or technological skill, land is the most important asset in any economic activity. I am sure that in the post-privatisation era which Zambia is now entering, issues of land will assume central stage when one is talking about tourism or poverty alleviation or communications or regional economic integration or whether one is discussing and empowering budget like the one we are debating just now. 

I was, therefore, happy Mr Chairman, that even the mission statement of this ministry talks about ensuring equitable and efficient allocation of land to the people of Zambia and to serious foreign investors. We should thank God that in Zambia, we are not talking of land re-allocation but simply land allocation. We are, indeed, fortunate in this country that at an average population density of about thirteen persons per each square kilometre, ...

Mr Hatembo walked into the House.

Mr Chambeshi: ... Zambia is still considered to be virgin or relatively unoccupied. 

However, in being virgin, we the Zambians carry great responsibilities to ensure that our environment is adequately protected and that in spite of our poverty, we should ensure that we stick to only the best forms of land use practices. We should ensure that investments on the land are not only measured in terms of financial returns but that we also look at the long term effects of uncontrolled use of chemical fertilisers, uncontrolled human settlements, uncontrolled industrial effluence, the proliferation of unused and unfilled open pit mines and indeed, of uncontrolled allocations of land as between nationals and foreigners which you have alluded to or between indigenous minorities and other settlers. All these responsibilities require good management. A management that is both sensitive, understanding and above all, knowledgeable.

I am, therefore, pleased to inform this august House, Sir, that the restructuring of my ministry has now been completed. Most of the new staff have been recruited and are already in place. I want to express the hope that we will soon obtain the support of the Treasury in meeting the separation packages of about 120 retrenchees so that the ministry does not find itself paying double salaries for one single position.

Mr Chairman, the other aim of the ministry is to ensure that the positive outcomings of restructuring are felt by the people of Zambia. For example, when clients apply for title deeds, our aim is that all paper work should be processed in less than three weeks and that titles should be issued within this same period.

I am, therefore, pleased, Sir, to echo and applaud the announcement by the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr. F. J. T. Chiluba that the Cabinet has approved, in principle, the draft land policy document. What now remains to be done, is to publish the document as a green paper so that the Government can initiate a public debate by convening workshops and seminars to solicit the views of the Zambian people on the acceptability of this document. The ministry envisages that this consultative process will commence by the end of next month, March.

Mr Chairman, in further justifying the expenditure levels proposed for my ministry, let also point out some of the salient issues that I feel need to be addressed. It was through the ministry that Government approved the establishment of the Land Development Fund for disbursement of money primarily to district councils to enable them open up additional land for residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural development.

Mr Chairman, as of December, 2000, the ministry had received a total of 27 funding requests from various councils. Out of these requests, I am sorry to say that only 3 councils have been funded. These councils are Mporokoso which received K51 million out of the K280 million that had been approved. The other one was Kazungula District Council which was allocated K213 million and the third one was Chinsali District Council which received K203 million.

Since December last year, another 5 requests have been received from councils and these requests have been approved in principle only pending receipt of further information which has been requested of the applicants.

So, all in all, Mr Chairman, I would like to say that I am not happy with the pace at which the Land Development Fund has been releasing funds to councils. The entire system requires urgent overhaul.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chambeshi: My ministry would, therefore, like to work jointly with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and other stakeholders to ensure that the capacity of councils to access and correctly utilise these funds is improved.

We will be looking at the possibility of revising the structure and management of the fund as well as the training of the relevant officers of councils on the correct preparation of funding requests and utilisation of the fund money.

We are also aware, Mr Chairman, that they are councils who may not be aware of the existence of this fund and how to access it. So, for this reason, I wish to make use of this opportunity to urge all hon. Members of Parliament to quickly disseminate information on the availability of this fund to their fellow councillors and to their constituents so that councils waste no time in taking advantage of this facility.

The Land Development Fund could in future also be used to empower retrenchees and other nationals who wish to make a livelihood upon the land.

Sir, the MMD has already introduced empowerment policies with regard to house ownership. Before that this Government also introduced the idea of liberalisation to free up people’s energies so that they may apply those energies in their chosen fields of economic endeavour. So, in order to conclude the triple heritage of empowerment under the MMD Government, my ministry plans to work out measures to empower every Zambian in the matter of land ownership.

I agree, Sir, that land is the greatest gift God gave to Zambia. So, improvements in the speed and manner in which the Government allocates land to its nationals is bound to trigger off all round economic development well into the next century. We are aware, Sir, that abundance of land in Zambia is the envy of many foreigners. But, the benefits, thereof, should start to be felt by the nationals. My ministry, therefore, is aware that in the past, there has been so difficulties in making information available to hon. Members of Parliament and other land developers with regard to availability of plots, stands and farms for development.

Now, part of the reason for this has been that the ministry lacked the means for consolidating all the bits and pieces of information on the availability of these opportunities.  The data was scattered in various sections of the departments of the ministry as well as the various sections and departments of our councils. This data is required to be collected and stored into a modern land management information system or data bank from where it can be quickly accessed or retrieved whenever it is needed.

Unfortunately, the ministry is still far from launching a proper land management information system. To achieve this objective, the ministry needs additional funds for the purchase of additional computer hardware as well as software.

I also wish to explain that it is still within the ministry’s work plans to link the Ndola regional office through a ZAMTEL line so that the existing data bank at headquarters can be accessible to the regional offices. In addition, Sir, the ministry intends to link district councils to the lands data bank at the headquarters in order to facilitate electronic or ease access to useful information. In this way, we hope to further enhance the level of collaboration between my ministry and the local authorities.

Mr Chairman, information is indeed, power, especially where it may lead to land empowerment. There are, however, many problems which hamper the delivery of services to our people. I would like to spend some time to explain these difficulties to this august House. I would like to do so, so that hon. Members may understand that the absence of efficient service in the past was not entirely due to any deliberate action on the part of my staff.

I am aware, Sir, that there have been a few cases of improper and unprofessional conduct involving some staff. But, as a result of the recent restructuring, many such staff have been retrenched. In addition, my ministry has worked out a programme of sensitisation workshops for the remaining staff. These workshops are already been conducted with the assistance and co-operation of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mr Chairman, my ministry has four main departments. The primary one being the Department of Survey. As hon. Members may be aware, no land may ordinarily be allocated to a developer unless, it has been surveyed and numbered. The rate at which land is surveyed and allocated for specific use is one of the indicators of the country’s economic development. Unfortunately, Sir, the rate of land registration as compared to the rate at which we are receiving applications for land allocation has been quite slow. 

We have had problems producing an adequate supply of maps including tourist and election maps. Indeed, the survey services or geological section of the ministry which is the backbone of all survey mapping activities in the country has been almost dormant for the past eight  to ten years. This was due to the non-availability of funds with which to purchase new survey equipment or replace obsolete and unserviceable equipment.

In contrast, Sir, there has been over the same period a dramatic increase in demand

for up to date maps and demand for cadastral surveys, especially with the advent of privatisation, sale of council houses, GRZ pool houses and ZCCM mine houses.

For instance, one matter that needs to be addressed urgently is the need to carry out cadastral survey of all the Copperbelt towns in order to facilitate issuance of title deeds to about 45,000 house owners and to the new owners of the other social assets which previously belonged to ZCCM. Unless this can be done swiftly and within the next three months, Government will continue to lose millions of kwacha in revenue which revenue would otherwise be rolling in from rates, levies and other fees. Within the next few days, therefore, I shall be seeking a meeting with the Treasury authorities for them to make available resources required for this purpose. My colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development may be interested to hear that we are estimating that for every kwacha Government spends on this exercise, the revenue that would accrue would be three times more during this year alone. 

Mr Chairman, another aspect of the department’s operations we shall need to make an observation on is the issue of physical demarcation of the international boundary and the verification of sections of the boundary with neighbouring countries. Since the ministry is currently carrying out work on the Zambia/Malawi and other borders, this activity should be financially supported. The ministry requires substantial resources for this activity, particularly for the purchase of survey equipment, purchase of transport and other accessories. 

Sir, the need to clearly demarcate these international boundaries is very important. In the case of our boundary with Malawi, we are currently liaising with our peace loving brothers in Malawi so that we can arrange a date for the meeting that is to formalise and agree on the findings of a team of experts that had already worked on the first segment of the 800 kilometre long common border. We have already received reports of a few contentious land allocations along the common border initiated by nationals of both countries. My worry is that soon, foreign investors may be involved making the task even more complicated. Such reversals if left too late become too difficult to accomplish. This, therefore, makes the ongoing survey exercise very important and makes the funding of the exercise absolutely necessary.

Mr Chairman, although a major portion of all map activities depends on the availability of new aerial photography, the last aerial photography was undertaken six years ago and, in fact, only over a small portion of our country. So, to arrest the negative trends I have highlighted above, the department will need to implement several new measures such as seminars to re-orient staff to new work culture, particularly a culture that promotes team work and which discourages pilfering.

I would like to emphasise, Sir, that the Survey Department will require increased funding and some of these funds will have to come from increased prices of the full cost recovery for cadastral surveys and for maps. The department is also working on a new ten-year strategic plan which can also be used to solicit donor funding. It is our aim to ensure that the Department of Survey continues to work tirelessly to ensure that the present difficulties our people are experiencing in acquiring survey services are substantially reduced.

The other department within the ministry which has regular contact with members of the public, which is crucial to economic development of Zambia, is the Lands Department.

The Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Chambeshi: Mr Chairman, when business was suspended, I was just about to explain the operations of the Department of Lands which is one of the two key departments of the ministry. I was saying that this department has regular interface with the members of the public and is crucial to the economic development of Zambia and that this department previously was quite large but has, now, been halved. So, we have the Department of Lands, separate from the Department of Lands and Deeds. 

The Lands Department, Mr Chairman, is headed by the Commissioner of Lands who, according to the Lands Act, has the mandate for alienating and allocating all State lands and all trust lands below 250 hectares. The Commissioner of Lands is also responsible for the collection of ground rent and lease charges. 

This important department has also in the past grappled with the problems of the critical shortage of office space. Hon. Members may wish to know that the shortage of working space, particularly storage space is partly responsible for the loss of files and other valuable documents that sometimes are experienced. To overcome 

this, we will need to build additional office space.

Other inconveniences members of the public have been complaining of relate to or have been due to inadequate computer hardware, and delays in effecting postage again due to inadequate funding.

Mr Chairman, I am proud to inform hon. Members of Parliament that for the year ended December, 2000, the Land Department collected more revenue than was budgeted for. However, it is useful to note also that the department could have collected even more revenue, if only it had been afforded additional vehicles for use in the field, and enough funds for fuel and tour allowances.

At the moment, the manning of some of the provincial offices is unsatisfactory. This is because of the gaps that have been left by the recent restructuring exercise. In any case, new staff have been recruited and are undergoing orientation training at the headquarters, before relocating to their field postings.

Some hon. Members have complained about the ineffectiveness of the Agricultural Lands Board. It is true, Sir, that the Agricultural Lands Board has not been functioning because Board members have not been appointed since 1991. This matter is, however, receiving our very urgent attention.

Sir, my contribution to this motion will not be complete if I do not make mention of the fact that in matters of land allocation, dispute arise from time to time and, I am sure, will continue to be encountered in the future 

To address this situation, the Government established the Lands Tribunal, which is, now, part of the ministry. Through this Assembly, Sir, it may be prudent to review the functioning of the Lands Tribunal to make it more efficient in its arbitration role.

In particular, the funding of the tribunal will need to be increased, if the principles of justice and equity are to become the pillars of the every life of our people.

Sir, I, now, wish to turn to some specific questions and concerns which have been raised by hon. Members of the House on this Vote.

Hon. Mwanza, I thank you for the good wishes you have extended to me and I take note of the difficulties that people in the rural areas are encountering. For instance, people who have succeeded in purchasing Government pool houses but aspire to secure tittle, especially 99 year leases and I realise also that most of these accommodation in rural areas appears on block leases. So, the difficulties that they are encountering of coming to Lusaka to lodge their documents, diagrams and what have you in order to initiate process of obtaining the title, I am afraid, there is no short cut answer to this one. I am also aware that the service of the surveyors is expensive, especially that they seem to be concentrated in towns. For them to travel for a specific job in rural areas, they have to recover whatever they are spending on fuel and other motor vehicle costs.

Hon. Sichinsambwe, I think you made the same point that the surveyors required to survey small farm holdings are very expensive and that small scale developers are finding it very difficult to afford the service. I know that it is useful to have 99 year lease, for example, because it helps when you are negotiating with banks for a loan. At least, one has a choice because there is a cheaper tittle, for example, a fourteen year lease which one can acquire without having to go through the rigours of survey and beckoning to get a 99 year lease. My good friend and predecessor, Hon. Miyanda, did mention to me sometime back that up until three years ago, we had an establishment of eleven surveyors since independence.

Now the situation is changing. As of now, I am informed that the number of licence surveyors has increased to somewhere between twenty and thirty though I cannot remember the exact number but it has certainly doubled ...

Dr Pule: 38.

Mr Chambeshi: Thank you for that.

Hon. Muloji complained that the Land Development Fund Forms are difficult to fill in and are not properly understood by council members of staff. As I have said in my statement, I have not been happy with the way this fund has been managed and the very slow pace at which applicants have drawn money from this fund. Now, this is a matter that is under study and I hope that before long, the situation will improve. Certainly, we have identified this to be a problem and we are applying our energies to resolving it.

Hon. Shimonde ...

Mr Shimonde: Sir!


Mr Chambeshi: ... complained about foreign investors who have acquired 2000 hectares in an area where traditional cattle have been drinking water and that this matter has caused some friction and you would like the ministry to investigate. Sir, I am not really sure about the details pertaining to the allocation of this very large tract of land to this foreign investor. The only thing I can say to comfort my brother, Hon. Shimonde, is that my ministry will look into this matter to see how best we can cater for the needs of our people.

I also take note of your comment that the ministry may not have re-entered on many empty plots ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chambeshi: ... and that there are a lot of people who would want to apply and own some of these plots that have not been developed.

My ministry is, as a matter of routine, going round to take note of all these plots or vacant land that has remained undeveloped for long periods of time with a view to repossessing or re-entering so that this land can be re-allocated. However, I would like to point out, at the same time, that the ministry’s departments and staff have been incapacitated by lack of vehicles.

Mr Shimonde: I have one.

Mr Chambeshi: This has hampered their work in the field. This is one matter I have already highlighted in my ministerial statement.

Hon. A. M. Mwila, I take note of your comment about land utilisation policy. Again, I would like to encourage you to make your contributions to the debate that will be forthcoming on the Green Paper that I mentioned in my Ministerial Statement. It is our wish that before the Government finally adopts this new land policy, the matter is extensively discussed and debated by all stakeholders, all our people because we all understand how important land is to every one of us. So, I would like to urge you, hon. Members of Parliament, to watch out for this debate that will be opened so that we can benefit from your experience and your views. 

I cannot really say much about the complaint that we are kicking you like football between the Ministries of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and Lands when you come to make inquiries about new land acquisitions. All I can say is that each and every ministry in this game has its role to play. The Ministry of Tourism, for example, is in charge of land that is in the game parks and in the game management areas. If you aspire to acquire land in those areas, then, definitely, we will want to see the comments from the Ministry of Tourism. The same goes for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

With regard to the question of title deeds being made available to those who purchased ZCCM houses, I would like to say that this is an on-going exercise. Some of the house owners have since being allocated these houses and obtained title. ZCCM paid my ministry money for issuance of fourteen year leases and we are about ready to get into action to make out these leases available to the new house owners. I am very, very hopeful, in fact, that by the end of the next four or five months, all the people that purchased these houses from ZCCM will have their titles.

Hon. Chipili, complained about too many squatters and would like to see policy defined to explain more clearly what land belongs to who. He also made mention of some absentee land-lords who hold large tracts of land which is not being development. Well, on the absentee land-lords, again, we have the Land Acquisition Act which empowers my ministry to re-enter or re-possess land that has not been developed within the requisite time. The delays that have been experienced have been due, in part, to the lack of mobility of staff, who need to move around to identify this land. 

I would also like to say, Mr Chairman, that in the case of nationals, the ministry has exercised a lot of restraint in re-entering or re-possessing land knowing that a lot of our people have not had means to develop the land that they have been allocated. However, for that land that is, for example, close to cities like Lusaka where the demand for land is far greater, my ministry has been moving in and re-possessing this land and re-allocating it. Maybe, this has not been publicised too much, but it has been happening. On the Land Development Fund forms, that they are complicated, I think I have referred to that one already. 

Hon. Sikota Wina, you have complained about the land, especially along these large river basins, which has been allocated to foreign investors, some of whom are not developing it, but at the same time preventing our nationals from having access to the water, especially for their animals. I cannot say much, really, about those that have been buying this land for purposes of diving into the water to catch tiger fish or whatever may be lying in the belly of the tiger fish, but once somebody has purchased land, I think one has a right to use the land as he wishes. However, this land is being allocated under certain conditions and it is up to our ministry and Government to ensure the enforcement of those conditions under which the allocations have been made.

I would like to appeal, therefore, to all hon. Members of Parliament to bring all these cases where the Government can take action, to the attention of my ministry and we will do the needful.

Hon. Kabanje, you have stated that the poor tend to sell their land to the rich and that deprivation will lead them to rise later to re-claim what they sold. Well, first of all, I would like to say that all of us here, hon. Members of Parliament, are members of district councils and normally the issuance of title to any property is a process which starts right at the bottom or in our districts, so, you do have an opportunity to make your objections when these applications come up for consideration by the district councils. Also, I know we do have a responsibility to sensitise our Chiefs so that they act with restraint in the way they give consent to certain allocations of land, especially big chunks of land. My ministry will do, especially when this debate starts on the Green Paper, all it can to ensure that all key players are sensitised of the need to be careful in the allocation of land and in conserving our heritage. 

In conclusion, Mr Chairman, I wish to emphasise that my ministry has tremendous potential for assisting the treasury and other arms of Government in raising the revenue required to strengthen the national revenue base.

As regards the accusations of corruption and other mal-practices, I wish to assure all hon. Members and the nation that the recent restructuring exercise as well as the ongoing seminars and workshops for staff mounted by the Anti-Corruption Commission are already having a positive impact.

We know that more needs to be done to find measures that will improve the efficiency of our work and to remove the perceptions of corruption that have stigmatised the operations of my ministry in the eyes of the general public.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 85/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 87/01 - (Anti-Corruption Commission - Headquarters - K2,469,196,137)

The Chairman: There are just  same people wanting to debate all the time.

Mr Patel: They do not want to talk.

The Chairman: They do not want to talk.

Mr Patel: Yes!

The Chairman: Even ministers at all levels, are free to debate, not only answering questions and delivering ministerial statements. They are also free to debate.

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Dr Sondashi (Solwezi-Central): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for according me the chance to contribute on this Vote.

Mr Chairman, Anti-Corruption Commission was created with a view to cleaning up the nation from corruption, which is eating the entire fabric of the nation. Corruption is a cancer which distorts the economy of a country, if left unchecked. It is surprising that since the Anti-Corruption Commission was created, we appear not to be achieving the purpose or the main objectives for which this department was created.

First of all, I would like the hon. Minister- I do not know whether it is His Honour the Vice-President who is responsible of informing the House why it has taken so long to transfer the supervision of this Commission to Parliament because the President himself said so. He stated that he, would like to see that this body is transferred so that it is superintended by the National Assembly. I am surprised why it has taken so long. It is not only the President who said this, in fact, this was in our manifesto when we started MMD. You will notice that if you refer to the first manifesto.

It is necessary that this body is transferred to Parliament so that it is administered by Parliament. This is because you cannot expect the President, who is very busy and who also appoints these officers to be able to administer this body properly. When he appoints people, he should not again, be the judge. So, it is important that this undertaking should be implemented, if we have to achieve the object for which this body was created.

I would, therefore, like to demonstrate to you, how the decisions of this body have not been implemented. I will refer you to the annual report for 1999, just as an example. If you turn to page forty-three, of this annual report, you will notice that under Appendix (g), are high profile cases. There are a number of cases, I do not know how many there are but, there are so many which have been pending and nothing appears to be taking place. 

For instance, I will give you the example of Case No. 210, 1999, case of an alleged abuse of office against an acting secretary at the provincial administration in the manner he purchased a council flat and Government house. The status is that investigations proved that the acting secretary purchased the council flat although he was not a sitting tenant and the house in which he was a sitting tenant. Just that. Nothing has been done and no action was taken against the culprit. 

Again, there is another case, Case No. 215, 1998, of alleged corruption against a minister in the manner he facilitated some unknown South African investor to purchase one of the Zambian mines. The status is that investigations are on-going. This is a 1998 case. Investigations are on-going. What does that mean? How can investigations be on-going since 1998? Please, forgive me, I do not know the minister. I am just debating because this Report was given to us by Parliament. I am not against anybody but what I am against is corruption. As you know that I am against corruption very much. Wherever I have been you will never smell anything about corruption regarding myself.


Dr Sondashi: Yes, I can say that with pride and I am sure you know what I am talking about.

I will give you another example of alleged corruption and abuse of office against a minister in the manner he disbursed the 1996 Constituency Development Funds. The status is that investigations are on-going and this is a 1996 case.

Another case is of alleged abuse of office against a permanent secretary, Ministry of Health, in the manner he appropriated two motor vehicles meant for a project and irregular awarding of a tender to supply motor vehicles to a company. The status is that investigations still on-going and this is a 1998 case also. 

There are so many cases. I think there are twenty or thirty cases like that. When are these going to be concluded? And no action is being taken. There are so many of them.

The other one is of alleged abuse of office against an Energy Regulation Board Chairman relating to the flouting of employment procedures when recruiting the Financial Accountant. Investigations confirmed some irregularities. The matter is with the Legal and Prosecutions Department and it ends there. And this is a 1998 case. I can go on mentioning these cases. This does not make good reading and you cannot expect that you can take off with such corruption taking place everyday. 

This is why you find that even when we get money from the donors and use it, the officials who are responsible for administering these projects and running the Government are taking the money away. What is the point of appointing the Anti-Corruption Commission if you cannot implement what they are recommending? So, there is something seriously wrong, here, unless we take steps especially for people who have been found guilty. We cannot just leave them like this. It is pointless. It is even better not to have the Anti-Corruption Commission. I fail to understand that when we are in power, we fail to take action. Who is responsible for taking action, if I may ask? Is it not you, Mr Vice-President or is it Cabinet? Something must be done. There must be somebody who should volunteer to take action when something goes wrong. This is why I am saying that try to remind the President. He is very busy and he might have forgotten about this undertaking, that it is better to transfer this department to Parliament because here we can deal with anybody. As long as we are Parliamentarians, we can deal with anybody. I am sure with this leadership, I am fit to be president of your party.


Dr Pule: You do not qualify!

Dr Sondashi: So, let us take this action, Mr Vice-President.

Mr Chikwakwa: Come back!

Dr Sondashi: I cannot see ourselves continuing in this manner.

The second point which I want to make on the Anti-Corruption Commission is that if you look at the budgetary provision, the money that is voted for this department is very little. I would have thought that you would have raised the money. Even in this report, the Anti-Corruption Commission have stated that they were unable to undertake most of their projects and they are losing staff because of funding. So, in future we should look into the funding of this organ because it is a very important organ.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichinga (Isoka East): Mr Chairman, thank you very much, indeed. I appreciate the opportunity to make a contribution on the Anti-Corruption Commission and to share with this gathering that outside in my other capacity as Chairman of Integrity Foundation, I dare say that our record as a country is not one to be proud of.

Mr Chairman, the Anti-Corruption Commission, as hon. Dr Sondashi has indicated, was created in order to address a problem that had been identified - the problem of corruption. I am not too sure that many hon. Members have read the annual report for 1999. If we have, it is a useful guide to helping us to understand whether the Anti-Corruption Commission is performing the duty for which it was created. 

I wish to share with this House the Mission Statement of this organisation. Allow me a few seconds, Mr Chairman, to just indicate their review and also to indicate how they feel that they have faired. In the report on page 30, the Mission Statement of the Anti-Corruption Commission is given, and that is:

“To effectively combat corruption in order to attain a corruption free environment for good governance and development in Zambia. In pursuance of the Mission Statement the Anti-Corruption Commission has adopted the following statement of Common Purposes and Values and hereby, promulgates a code of ethical behaviour for its officers.”

The Statement of Common Purposes and Values says:

“The purposes of the Anti-Corruption Commission are to enforce the law on corruption by acting both proactively as well as reactively to prevent, detect and bring to justice those who break the law and to sensitise the community to the adverse effects of corrupt practices on society.”

Mr Chairman, in this report are given detailed statistics showing the number of complaints which they have received and what they have done about them. Unfortunately, those programmes that are supposed to be initiated by the Anti-Corruption Commission, themselves, show that there has been little that the Commission has done on its own account.

However, it says, there is a whole category but let me just pick a few that would be of particular interest to this House. And it shows an indication of the number of cases that are being handled. The highest complaint seems to come from the Zambia Police, private citizens and companies. This is showing a continually increasing number. For example, Zambia Police raised in 1996, 103 cases; in 1997, 128 cases; and in 1998, 125 cases. 

Sir, there is a whole list of cases of high profile, some of them, the Hon. Dr Sondashi has alluded to. Those are of major concern, not because the allegations have been made but because little seems to have been done and the only statement that the Anti-Corruption Commission has made were that inquiries are on-going, whatever that means.

Mr Chairman, I will quote one case that is of particular interest. It says there were allegations of abuse of office. This is case Number CR387/98 on page No. 49. It says there were 

‘allegations of abuse of office against the Chairman of ZCCM/ GRZ Negotiating Team in the manner he presided over the privatisation of ZCCM, Ndola Lime Company to Socomore of Belgium without declaring interest. Although the Chairman did not formally declare his interest prior to the commencement of the negotiations, he was nonetheless found to have stepped aside and left the Chairmanship of the Technical Director. The case has been closed’.

Mr Chairman, let us look at another one. This is of 

‘allegations of corruption and abuse of office against the former Health Minister, Permanent Secretary and the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the manner they acquired expensive property believed to be above their past and present official emoluments. Inquiries are on-going.’

‘Alleged a Copperbelt Permanent Secretary in regard to protecting an erring officer. Inquiries are on-going’.

‘Alleged asset stripping and contravention of tender procedures by senior management of Eastern Province Cooperative Union Board. Investigations confirmed asset stripping. The matter was in court and one suspect was acquitted.'

'Alleged abuse of office by Deputy Permanent Secretary for Eastern Province. Investigations are on-going’. 

In Section 37, there are inquiries involving the Chief Executive of the Food Reserve Agency and investigations are on-going. And you can go on and on up to page 52.

Mr Chairman, this becomes a major source of worry. The question that we really need to answer is, how are we dealing with political corruption? How are we dealing with commercial corruption? For example, the issues we are talking about in the Government are equally prevalent in the banking sector. White collar crime, how is that being dealt with? Have we garnered sufficient political will to address this problem? For example, the issue of the Money Laundering Bill had to be put off last year and we were promised that something was going to be done last year and I am thankful to the Leader of the House that this matter is being looked at at the moment.

Mr Chairman, the issue of procurement of crude oil, for those hon. Members who may have been here long enough, it clearly shows that the volume of crude oil purchased for Zambia has not considerably changed and at the time that prices of crude oil were going down, our own Bill rose from US$16 million per annum to US$26 million per annum. What happened to the difference of US$10 million? Why has the Government not investigated this? Why do we have to wait until some newspaper overseas publishes some adverse comments for us to react and give a statement?

Mr Chairman, these matters should be of concern to us first especially in this august House because what is stolen and used by individuals, means that it has been taken away from the general commonwealth of the nation. I plead through you, Sir, to the Government to garner sufficient political will to address these problems. Corruption is, indeed, a cancer. Left unattended, it will eat up the whole body. Surely we should not wait to get to a stage where some other countries have gotten to. Many of us have access now to the Internet. We have access to world-wide television and you have seen what has happened to other countries, including African countries, how much wealth has been taken away from the people and even the people that take it do not even have the time or even, indeed, the capacity to use up that kind of resource.

Mr Nkabika: They just die of Aids.

Mr Sichinga: In the end, the countries concerned lose out because these moneys sometimes are kept in Swiss accounts, numbered accounts which cannot be accessed.

Mr Chairman, I sincerely hope that if we could be more prudent in the manner we utilise our resources, I do believe that a lot more resources could be made available to our country. If we cannot be good custodians over the little, how can we be good custodians to even more that will be made available. And now comes HIPC with its funds along. I sincerely hope that measures will be taken by our Government to ensure that there is full accountability at various levels of our system and of our society to ensure that there is adequate accountability and hon. Members in this House will be aware of how much, for example, the Constituency Development Fund has been abused in our individual constituencies.

Mr Chairman, we cannot allow this to go on unchecked. I plead through you, Sir, to the Leader of the House and other colleagues in the Front Bench to help us in this particular regard and especially the hon. Minister responsible for good governance, the Learned hon. Minister, my good friend and I know you are strong in the fight against corruption. But what we need are also practical steps at a lower level. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, too, can help us by strengthening the Financial Regulations and make them practical so that they can be effective in ensuring that we do not continue receiving the Public Accounts Report that comes to this House, year in year out repeating similar problems.

Mr Chairman, how much more can I plead?

I thank you for giving me the chance, Mr Chairman.

Mr T. J. C. Phiri (Milanzi): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairman, first of all I want to thank the Government for having come up with the Anti-Corruption Commission. This just shows that the Government, itself, is very serious and concerned about the danger of corruption in the country and, indeed, I agree with the last speaker who said that corruption is a cancer and if not contained, it can destroy a country.

Mr Chairman, what seems to be the position as we read the reports from the Anti-Corruption Commission is that the Anti-Corruption Commission, itself, has limited powers in which to pursue certain cases. I feel that the Government should revisit the law pertaining to the Anti-Corruption Commission, perhaps, giving it more powers and more teeth to bite when cases of corruption are reported. Sir, it is no secret when you read these reports and, indeed, the 

Auditor-General’s Report and many others pertaining to abuse of office which the Anti-Corruption Commission has in my view, effectively got wind-of but at the end of it, it is action that is needed. This is because mere reporting in an annual report and leaving things like that, does not help the matter.

Mr Harrington: Why?!

Mr T. J. C. Phiri: Well, the reason is that people have done something wrong, if I may answer you hon. Minister, and no action has been taken. If you do not take action against someone who has done something wrong, then another person will take advantage and the whole thing will spread.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr T. J. C. Phiri: So, my appeal to the Government is that they must look into the powers, perhaps giving powers to the Anti-Corruption Commission to prosecute independently without going through the Public Prosecutor.

I thank you, Mr Chairman

Mr Nyundu: Corruption has got no teeth.


The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Chairman, it is my pleasure and privilege once again to be able to present the Budget for the Anti-Corruption Commission for the fiscal year starting January and ending 31st December, 2001.

The Government recognises the adverse effects that corruption can have on an economy and good governance generally and also recognises that reducing corruption is an integral part of the development framework to eradicate poverty. The Government, therefore, remains eager to fight the scourge and hence, the reason why this House in 1996 enacted the Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 42 of 1996, which strengthens the laws against corruption and transformed the Anti-Corruption Commission into an autonomous institution.

Mr Chairman, the fight against corruption requires a multi-fastigiate approach and a thrust to combat it should start with an inculcation of a culture of a zealot for corruption at the citizenry level. Therefore, let us all support the Commission and increase our commitment to fighting corruption.

Inspite of the strengthening of the law against corruption, it is regretted that the Commission continued last year to operate with a lot of difficulties due to inadequate funds allocated in its annual budget as in previous years as has been brought out by hon. Members on the Floor of the House.

The Budget allocation for this year is K2.4 billion as against K4.7 billion that the Commission had budgeted for. Obviously, the Commission cannot be expected to perform its core-functions to a degree that will meet the legislative expectations of our people.

Mr Chairman, as one of the institutions identified towards maintenance of the integrity of Government and the Rule of Law under the National Capacity Building Programme for good governance, this hon. House should, therefore, show practical support for the Commission’s work by supporting the allocation of sufficient funds to enable it to fulfil its mandate.

However, I should mention that during the last quarter of last year, Government through an operations fund improved the situation to strengthen the operations of the institution and it is hoped that the Government will continue to assist the institution on similar lines this year.

Mr Chairman, the working expenses of the Commission are provided by the Government and Estimates of Expenditure, both Capital and Recurrent for each financial year as approved by Parliament. It is, however, important to inform this House that due to economic hardships the country is facing, coupled with the cash budget, it has not been possible to provide the Commission with adequate funds to enable it function to full capacity.

Mr Chairman, the coverage of the Commission’s work must be national-wide but given the limited resources, the Commission has up to date not completed its decentralisation programme to the three provinces namely; Solwezi, Mongu and Mansa. 

The Commission has also continued to suffer loss of trained and experienced officers who have left to join other institutions offering better salaries and conditions of service. This has adversely affected the effectiveness of the institution.

Mr Chairman, the Commission once more expresses its gratitude to the President of the Republic of Zambia and to the general public and co-operating partners, notably; the British, American, Norwegian, Australian and Finish Governments for supporting it financially and otherwise. The Commission, Sir, looks forward to greater assistance from Government for its succeeds in its difficult mission namely; to combat corruption in order to attain a corruption-free environment for the good governance and development in Zambia.

There were only a few points raised on this Vote. The first one was from Hon. Sondashi. I think that having been a member of the Cabinet, he knows that making a pronouncement in one place, does not automatically mean that the law will be changed. What is required is for Cabinet to sit down and look at his proposal. I am afraid that as at now, this has not been done but we can follow it up. Thank you for reminding us.

There are, of course, cases which have been reported in the Report. I want to say that a few weeks ago, I came here and answered a question on the status of the Report on corruption. I did give a breakdown of how many were political cases and how many were economic cases and how many were from the public at large. Our information is that, first of all, most of those cases have been worked on.

Secondly, the notion we used to have that politicians are the worst offender is not true. From the figures which Hon. Sondashi or Hon. Sichinga read out, it is obvious that there are other departments and other areas of the country where corruption is much more prevalent than amongst politicians. So, I think that it should not be blamed unduly or feel sorry for yourselves because really, I think as politicians, you have done extremely well.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: I thank Hon. Sichinga for his contributions and I want to assure him that there will be sufficient political will to ensure that this is implemented. 

Mr Chairman, the contributions by Hon. T. J. C. Phiri were along the same lines that I have already answered.

I would like to thank hon. Members for supporting this Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 87/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 33/01 - (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry - Headquarters - K1,172,123,576)

Mr Mulongoti (Lufwanyama): My contribution will be brief on this Vote.

Firstly, my worry is that we have offices abroad representing the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, but nothing seems to be happening in these offices which are also under utilised. I do hope that the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry can use these offices because in this global market economy, we need to utilise people that have been sent abroad for that purpose. There is no need to send officers from time to time if the existing officers are not utilised. And I also do hope that you have taken care of the emoluments because experience is that they have been suffering for a long time.

The other issue, Mr Chairman, is that with the advent of the free trade area, we stand a danger as a country if we do not take measures to try and protect our local producers, particularly, the farmers. We have a lot of wheat coming into the country when we have a lot of wheat being produced locally.

I do hope that the people who are in charge of this area check that the wheat that is coming here is not being damped. The effect of damping in our economy is that the farmers are discouraged. They cannot continue to grow wheat because the bakeries that produce the bread will end up preferring the imported wheat. And there is no guarantee that for wheat that comes into the country, they pay the correct duty.

I will give an example, the domestic price for wheat in our neighbour, Zimbabwe is around 300 dollars per tonne, but they are able to bring that wheat here in Zambia at 260 dollars per tonne. How is that possible? It is only possible if their Government is removing the duty element. They are subsiding the wheat there so that the flour can be brought here more cheaply. Let us do one examination to find out how it is possible for the wheat landing here at 260 dollars while in their domestic market, it is around 300 dollars. The request, I think is that we should consider either removing duty on wheat floor or zero rating altogether so that the benefit can be passed on to this industry.

It is one thing to accept that we are in the PTA or COMESA. I think our prime objective is to ensure that our people are protected. If we allow this wheat coming in, it means that the farmers who are employing our Zambians on these farmers will end up losing employment and our friends in the south will have their citizens in employment. The effect also will be on our milling industries. What are we going to lose? After all, people pay VAT at the end of the day. So, if you zero rate, you still recover from the bread. In the past, bread was a luxury, now it is not a luxury anymore. It is part of the staple food in this country and we should accept that. I do hope that the hon. Minister can look into this matter.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Nyundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Muloji (Chavuma): Mr Chairman, I would like to make a brief contribution. Because of the overlapping of responsibilities, my contribution will sound as if it is under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

I would first of all, like to congratulate hon. Jazzman Chikwakwa for inspecting, closing inhuman and inhabitable cafes and other structures. In the same vein, I would like him to extend these visits to the Manda Hill Shopping Mall. Reports are that some of these shops are treating their workers almost on slave conditions. They work seven days a week. They have no lunch breaks. Some of them are not even allowed to receive phone calls. If they have to make money, human beings must be treated with dignity. So, hon. Jazzman should extend his visits to Manda Hill Shopping Mall.

The second point is that some years back, this House had EDF which was so difficult to most of the Zambians because of the conditions attached to them. I do not know whether anybody knows of any person who has accessed these funds. The conditions are made for people who are already rich so much so that we do not even know who are the participating banks at the moment.

I would like the hon. Minister to tell this nation whether there have been any changes to make these funds available to the ordinary Zambian who would like to venture into business. 

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikombe (Isoka West): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this very important Vote on the floor of the House today.

The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Mr Chairman, is a ministry which is at the helm of facilitating both informal and formal employment opportunities for our citizens. But this can only be done or achieved by the same ministry formulating good policies providing a favourable and enabling environment for the local population and foreign investors.

Since the open door policy simply called liberalisation, a number of our manifesting companies have had to fold up. We have seen an influx of investors coming into the country as traders. These trades have come to import food stuffs which are semi cooked for the purpose of only putting in the microw wave-oven or chip fryer to such an extent that our own Zambian people are not even able to fry chips. To begin with, they are supposed to peal, cut and fry the chips - that is employment. If you look at the process I am talking about of the chips, those are three processes. If you are running a big restaurant, that will require three persons to do that particular job.

The statistical figures, Mr Chairman, provided in all the books that we have from Bank of Zambia, Investment Centre and elsewhere are not handsome enough to indicate meaningful improvement in the economy of our country.

Mr Chairman, I have to say that the number of people in this country who are unemployed on the Copperbelt, in particular, are many. But when you go to Ndola, the number is even ugly. It is not surprising that today on the Copperbelt, you have many people going to church every Sunday, in fact, everyday to seek solace from the church hoping that one day or another, they will find employment through the Almighty God by praying everyday. 

Mr Chairman, Ndola is an industrial area which is not any more today. There are just a handful of companies engaged in manufacturing. The rest of these companies have been closed. I want to talk about the Copperbelt because when you talk about formal and informal employment, you are talking about the places, the urban areas where our people in the rural areas come from and go to the urban areas seeking employment because the living standards are better than the rural areas. And if we are to commercialise our country, we are not going to put up factories in Isoka because the investor will not know how to start. The enabling environment must start from the urbanised areas. And, therefore, Mr Chairman, we would like to offer free of charge a suggestion as a consultant in business administration that Ndola industrial area ...


Mr Sikombe: It is not a laughing matter. Those of you that have actually moved onto ministerial positions as Ministers, including those of you who are Deputy Ministers in certain ministries, in particular, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is not a laughing matter. It is serious.

When you go out as a Deputy Minister, you are expected to sell your country and these are the areas which you must be looking at, not to protect programmes which are non-starter.

Mr Nkabika: Like third term.

Mr Sikombe: Yes, indeed like third term, of course.

Mr Patel: Wamuyaya.


Mr Sikombe: Mr Chairman, today the Ndola heavy industrial area is a nightmare and I am sure that those of you that come from the Copperbelt or elsewhere when you pass through the Copperbelt, you will find that there are only a few companies in Ndola that are operating. The only company that is doing well is in the manufacturing of fabrics, not even clothes. They have stopped making shirts and trousers and anything else. This is the textile industry. They have found it cheaper to do that. It is not a laughing matter. 

Mr Patel: They do not even know what is happening that side.

Mr Sikombe: Most of the areas, Mr Chairman, are closed. I am, therefore, offering an olive leaf which we have heard of recently. Now, we must exchange amongst ourselves, not to come and pretend. Ndola industrial area is one area which must be declared  an economic development zone. 

The Investment Centre in conjunction with ...


Mr Sikombe: Mr Chairman, excuse me. I do not think I would like to be derailed because if I am derailed, I will derail everybody that is here in the House including yourself, Hon. Ng'uni.

Mr Ng'uni: Do you have the capacity?

Mr Sikombe: I have the capacity for that. 

That place ...

The Chairman: Order! The hon. Member on the Floor should stick the remarks to the issue on the Floor and ignore what other hon. Ministers are saying. If you are not happy about what they are saying, sit down and raise a point of order. We will correct the situation. But, so far, I have not heard anything contagious to make you upset. If anything, they are provoking you to speak more because they like you to debate more about Ndola. And he has also intimated that after Ndola, you shift to Mpika so that you can also talk about it.

Will he, continue, please.


Mr Sikombe: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I have previously spoken strongly about Mpika and other areas and none of them has stood up here as a national leader to speak about Isoka. And I want to show you how national I am. I care for everybody in Zambia. I came to Parliament not to represent the people of Isoka only but when I saw an oath of allegiance there, I came to represent the interests of the people of Zambia and the Constitution of Zambia as well and defend it

Mr Nkabika: No wamuyaya.. No third term.

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Mr Sikombe: Mr Chairman, I know I have opened a Pandora box which is actually open in the public. 

Mr Chairman, I would like to suggest that this particular area in Ndola - I will emphasise, this is serious issue - has been abandoned and I think the hon. Minister has the capacity as a Government to go back to the owners of those abandoned areas, talk to them and repossess the areas. If you repossess them, then declare them a community development zone. Why? Because the road, water, electricity and telecommunications infrastructures are there and the plots are properly demarcated, including the shelters that have been left idle by those investors that run away from us. Those that have run away from us can be forgotten and bring in the new ones. What we should be doing in Zambia now is to create employment. We must entice all these companies like Sony, Panasonic, sharp and so on to come and actually assemble or even manufacture certain items of electronic instruments in Ndola. That way, we will create employment.

Mr Nkabika: Not kwachamania.

Mr Sikombe: Not only that, but we can go beyond that and even entice them to actually come and manufacture light and heavy duty or supplementary equipment for the mines instead of having equipment coming in and all the accessories imported into the country. We have the capacity in as far as land is concerned.

Mr Chairman, only a few minutes ago, we were debating the issue of land. How best can we make use of our land in the country if we cannot sell our land ourselves? In fact, we are not selling it and lend it to the people to come and make money but meanwhile there will be an issue of transfer of technology immediately and seconded by offer of employment to our people. We are now instead promoting situations whereby giving licences to the people to come and trade. It is not right. Zambians can make chips. But if you go in every corner, you find a foreigner making chips and cutting meat or chicken. Sooner or later they will be selling rats as well because they think that we eat rats. They have nothing new to offer. 

What we need in this ministry is that the funding of this ministry must at the end of the year be equated to what we have done in as far as employment opportunities and investment are concerned so that the GDP of all these sectors in the manufacturing sector are real and positive. At the moment, the way I look at it, we are sinking lower by allowing every Jim and Jack to come into the country and trade. We are supposed to emphasise on manufacturing, especially that we are now under the COMESA Free Trade Area which should be on our toes, not smiling, not shaking our heads. 

I thank you, Sir.

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

I just want to focus on one item. It is strange in this country that the citizens of Zambia seem not to be given an obvious and deliberate understanding to empower them. In the entire SADC region, Sir, governments have made a deliberate policy to empower their own citizens.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shumina: We know of countries in SADC who even certain contracts are only given to the citizens of those countries and in some countries certain businesses cannot be done by expatriates. Such businesses are a preserve of the citizens of that country. In the same region ...

Mr Ng’uni: Shook his head.

Mr Shumina: ... yes, I have travelled on my own, Sir. Now, I do not know why someone is shaking his head. We know of some countries where citizens have been given a ceiling within the banking borrowing system and if you go there as a foreigner and you want to borrow, they will tell you that this business is done only by the locals, but in this country we have allowed expatriates even to sell vegetables. If you allow a foreigner to go and sell vegetables in Mpika, what will the Bisas be selling in that district? So, I feel, Sir, that it is very important for Government to come up with a deliberate policy of local empowerment because we have a problem of foreign exchange.

One of the reasons is that you have brought in so many foreigners from every walks of life. Some have come even to sell fritters and they have no confidence and interest of this country apart from making money. Every kwacha that they get, they have to convert it into a dollar and send this money out. It is very important that Government should do something about this anomaly because there is no one who has Zambia at hand more than the Zambians themselves.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear.

Mr Shumina: The second point is possibly when the hon. Minister replies to our queries, I would want him to explain. Why is it that all the good companies which were doing very well in this country have left Zambia, for example, Kingstons, Johnson & Johnson, Dunlop and many others are no longer here. When you go to Ndola industrial area, it looks like a grave yard. Why is it that these companies have left? Since you are talking about COMESA and SADC Protocols, what have you put in place to bring these companies so that they can actually go into manufacturing in this country.

Mr C. Ngulube: And not Manda Hill.

Mr Shumina:  I think it is very important that we should know why they are living and what are we doing as a country to invite serious investors.

There is also a habit, Sir, of renovating the buildings that we built as a way of bringing in investment. If you tour the SADC region, almost everywhere in South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Botswana, when these people go in these countries you will find them putting up big buildings, but here when they come the first thing they want to do is to rent a warehouse such as former Zambia National Wholesale. What is it that you are putting in place to encourage them to go into construction because Lusaka is not growing, they are still squeezing themselves in small places that were built many years ago.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shumina: So, I thought, Sir, possibly, the hon. Minister will be in a better position to explain what is happening.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister in the President’s Office (Mr Chishala): Mr Chairman, I did not indicate, I was just coming in.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Chairman, I rise to support the Vote because of its importance to the development of our country and I wish, in doing so, Sir, to make some comments which I trust my colleague in the true sense of the word, my fellow accountant, I am sure will understand why I am saying so ...

Mr Muloji: He is your fellow Member of Parliament not accountant.

Mr Sichinga: Well, because the issues I am talking about here will affect him as an accountant besides being an hon. Minister. Sir, I want to say that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is supposed to save as a counter-balance to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, to provide the tangible products that contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and I want to commend the ministry for the efforts they are making and I know my good friend Hon. Jazzman Chikwakwa has been out there checking on things, that is wonderful. I would like to see Hon. Chibamba do the same to ensure that the production in manufacturing sector can enhance and I am sure if they can be able to put their resources together, we can see an improvement in the situation.

I am particularly pleased that this year, in the Budget, there is a provision for some very important areas. There is a provision of K1.34 billion which is to be used for export processing zones, very well done, hon. Minister and this is what we were talking about last year. Now that the provision is made, we want to see the practical implementation of this and I would like to suggest to you a number of areas where you can implement this.

No. 1, you already have locations which have got the infrastructure, the roads, buildings, water resource and these places can be very useful starting points for the export processing zones and these are Ndola industrial area, Skyways, and Hon. Sikombe made reference to that. Kabwe which has been rated a dying town, already has infrastructure and a rail connection which you can be able to use, and I am giving you free consultancy advice.


Mr Sichinga: You go to Kafue, you will do the same. K1.34 billion is a good starting point and I would liked to see more because this will pay you back handsomely.

Sir, I am also equally pleased for the provision of K2 billion for the Zambia Bureau of Standards, very well done. You cannot export without having the standards to go with it and the Zambia Bureau of Standards has been searching for a home and I hope that you will be able to settle them down and get on with the work of increasing and improving the quality of our products in this country.

This ministry, Sir, deserves to be commended for this effort and I trust that you will be able to talk to your next door neighbour, Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba, to release this money so that you can get on with the job of creating this environment.

Mr Chairman, Sir, it is also pleasing to know that there has been some efforts made to ensure that there are funds for export promotion. My only complaint to the two hon. Ministers is that K125 million may not be enough. I will tell you why this is important, hon. Members and Mr Chairman. You have gone into the Free Trade Area, this simply means that your neighbours can be able to send products to you and you will not be able to utilise the facility of duties unless you decide that you are going to create a negative list.

Now, you have told this House that you are a completely liberalised economy and your bedroom door is completely open, anyone can walk in ...

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Sichinga: ... that is what you have told this House. If you do that, make sure that your bed is clean.


Mr Sichinga: I am suggesting to you, hon. Colleagues, through the Chair that we have homework to do on ensuring that Zambia

is competitive in the Free Trade Area. We have to do that. We have not done that homework and it needs to be done. Hon. Members, I want to say this much to you, that there is no country that can now, at this stage, be allowing local operators to import potato chips from South Africa and if the chips have not come, then there will be no potato chips. Then what is the purpose of our local farmers producing their potatoes? What is the point, what is the incentive to do that? 

Mr Chairman, promotion of local industries should not be misunderstood to be protectionism. Protection is different from promotion of local industries. I can tell you this much and I have said this again and I will say it one more time in order to make my point. Even if Zambia was competitive in every other respect, purely because of the interest rates which are at around 50 per cent, you cannot compete in the FTA, you just will not be able to compete. 

The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development need to work together in this particular regard to ensure that Zambia can attain a level of competitiveness because examples abound. Dunlop Industries left Ndola and went and re-located in another FTA country. Johnson and Johnson did the same. Now, we are being told that Lever Brothers, who bought ROP in Ndola, are doing the same. They are moving to Zimbabwe and they will use this as a warehouse. Amanita that bought the former Lenco are moving out and they are saying it is uncompetitive here. Deetex Factory on Kabwe Road is, now, a warehouse for motor vehicles. In Livingstone where there was an assembly of motor vehicles, it is now a dead and closed issue. Colleagues, through the Chair, it is important that we deal with production and manufacturing because these are value adding. So, it is important, Sir, that we attend to these particular issues. 

Equally important is the issue of tariff rates for electricity. If our colleagues are using the same electricity and they are charged lower and we are having to fund Anglo-American on the Copperbelt as ordinary producers and citizens, then it cannot work. I also want to say that VAT at 17.5 per cent, and VAT is what we call an up-stream tax, ...


Mr Sichinga: Yes, I know. I am referring to the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development. In other words, you pay for it when you import the material and there is only a claw-back downstream. What do I mean by that? You can only claw back if you are exporting. If you are not exporting, there is no claw back. In other words, it is a sticking tax. You cannot promote exports or export replacements in this particular manner.

Mr Chairman, I am pleased to see that there has been some provision made for a tannery in Mongu. That is wonderful, that is the way we should be proceeding. In other words, using local raw materials and tanning that into finished products. Not just a tannery, we should ensure that there are shoe factories here, there are skin companies here that are operating and those are the people you should be ensuring that the Enterprises Development Fund attends to, not at 20 per cent, but at competitive rates. For example, in a place like Japan, interest rates are below 1 per cent. That is why Japan is able to export the number of motor vehicles that they do because they can afford to make the investment. You know, it does not happen by accident, it is strategy. You have to be more enterprising.

You will go to Mongu and ensure that the cashew nuts are handled properly. You will go to Isoka East and make sure that the skins are processed properly. You will go to my birth place in Kawambwa and ensure that we have a lot of fish out there that are processed for export, fresh water fish. Friends, how much more can we continue to import even things that we can produce locally and value add? I trust that the road that is going to Chiengi is because we want to ensure that the fish is going to come from there, properly processed in refrigerated trucks, hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development. I also want to urge the ministry to start looking at industries that are going to process dry fruits for export. If this has not convinced you that you should hire me as your consultant, I do not know what else should do that.


Mr Sichinga: I am saying, Mr Chairman, that the fault lies not in our stars in Heaven, the fault lies in our minds because we are closed to new ideas and ensuring that we put Zambia’s interests first and I hope, my dear brothers, the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, if you really have to prove to us that you obtained your degrees properly, show to us by proof that you can produce here locally.


Mr Sichinga: I thank you, Mr Chairman.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism (Mr Mulando): Mr Chairman, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Floor. I have risen to support the Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Chairman, industrial and economic development can be best described by the people themselves forming ideas to come up and develop small-scale industries. Our colleagues have bemoaned the fact that some of the major companies like Dunlop, Johnson and Johnsons have re-located to other areas. In a free enterprise situation, you find companies re-locating where they find it is suitable to operate and this will become a reality as we face the COMESA Free Trade Area where some companies will, obviously, be able to re-locate within the trade area.

Sir, what matters most is for the Government to come up with favourable conditions which can attract new investments and I think that what hon. Members of Parliament should be doing is to come up with ideas on how we can attract new investment in our country that will provide competitive trade and business within the region. 

I want to appeal to my dear colleague, the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, on the issue of the export of raw hides. Sir, during my travel in rural Zambia, I have found quite a lot of hides that are being purchased by various individuals and organisations and they are being exported out of the country. This, obviously, is affecting the leather industry a great deal and it is my sincere hope that as he settles down in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the new Minister will look at this issue so that, at least, a ban can be effected on the export of raw hides so that we can encourage small-scale industries to process these hides, at least, up to wet blue levels so that we can add some value to the leather industry.

Sir, I support the Estimates.

Thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mpamba): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman, for giving me this chance to discuss the Estimates of Expenditure of my ministry for the year 2001.

Mr Chairman, I want to thank all the hon. Members of this House for their support, at least, those that have spoken. I am very grateful for the constructive criticisms and advice that my colleagues have given to my ministry. I thank them all for this.

The Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

The Chairman: Order! 

Business was suspended from 1830 hours until 1832 hours. 

Mr Mpamba: I thank you once again, Mr Chairman. Before we went for beak, I had just finished thanking the hon. Members of Parliament for their support of my ministry.

Mr Chairman, allow me, at this juncture to upprise the hon. Members of Parliament and the nation at large on the intentions of my ministry for the year. 

Mr Chairman, the liberalisation of trade, the formation of regional groupings and the introduction of WTO rules, has brought about increased competition in the supply of goods and services, both in the domestic, regional and international markers. Mr Chairman, producing quality goods and services at the right price is what determines end products competitiveness. These development in the world trading arena make it even more urgent for Zambia to strengthen our Zambian Bureau of Standards to equip it with the means and tools to ensure that products produced in Zambia as well as products sold on the Zambian market and those exported meet the required the national and international standards as specified under the organisation.

In this regard, Mr Chairman, my ministry has been allocated K2 billion to purchase premises for the Zambia Bureau of Standards that will house testing and laboratory offices as well as administrative offices. Mr Chairman, finding suitable premises for the bureau, in order for it to carry out its functions effectively is a matter of urgency if the bureau is to more effective in assisting Zambian companies to be more competitive. It is also envisaged that damping of substandard goods on the Zambian market would be stemmed.

 In addition, Mr Chairman, the Zambia Bureau of Standards in close consultation with my ministry and the stakeholders will be introducing, in this Parliament, the Standards and Labelling Act for food products in order to ensure that all food products sold on market are appropriately labelled indicating the proportion of nutrients in the food as well as the expiry dates. Labeling will have to be English and not in any other foreign language. This will protect the consumer against purchasing the goods that are harmful to health. 

Mr Chairman, in order to stimulate investment industry and export, my ministry will this year actively work on registration on export processing zones. As you are aware, Mr Chairman, we have depressed areas in Zambia which have abundant resources, as we have heard from the hon. Members on the Floor, which need to be tapped. By devicing tax free incentives, it is hoped that investment and increase in employment will be achieved. 

You may wish to know that consultants completed the report on the export processing zones in 1998, in which it was recommended that these zones be established as was rightly said by Hon. Sichinga, in Kabwe, Ndola and Livingstone. Kafue is another good site and I do agree with that. However, the Government has not yet made a decision on the areas where these zones will be located. The modalities on the implementation of these zones will be studied by my ministry this year.

As a means to stimulate investment in the country, the UNDP kindly initiated a study to identify gross potential in border areas of Zambia. As a result of the study, the Zambia/Mozambique/Malawi growth triangle has been established. Agricultural goods as well as agro-processing industries will be established in Eastern Province and deliberate support from Zambia’s cooperative partners will be given to this area. 

In terms of infrastructure support, we expect to be supported by the donors. While this Government will provide advisory services and source donor funding for the project. The ministry intends to replicate this project in other border areas of Zambia. In this connection, my ministry will collect data on the resources available, infrastructure, qualified man power and support services available etc.

Mr Chairman, hon. Members, Zambia Investment Centre has already embarked on a national wide investment identification programme, as outlined in its strategic direction for the period 2001 to 2003. This predicates the establishment of district investment profiles throughout a national wide investment identification programme.

The programme will be accomplished through investment identification workshops to be conducted in all the seventy-two districts of our country. It is, therefore, of critical importance that all hon. Members of Parliament be part and parcel of this process in their respective districts and constituencies.

The major objectives of this programme is to develop a national investment plan and eventually prepare a national investment programme for more focused and target investment promotion activities that will result in meaningful contribution to sustainable economic development. 

The Zambia Investment Centre works closely with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to assist every district to formulate district based profiles on existing and potential investment opportunities so that resources can be channelled to all districts. 

A pilot programme, Mr Chairman, which was recently executed with two workshops conducted in Ndola and Kitwe drew overwhelming response from participants who included the respective District Administrators, Mayors, Councillors, Town Clerks, Chief Officers, representative of Local Chambers Commerce and Industries, local business communities and other stakeholders. Through the two workshops so far conducted, over fifty existing and potential investment opportunities were identified. 

In view of the result of the pilot programme, it has been concluded that the proposed programme is feasible, pragmatic, essential and timely. There is, therefore, need to ascertain the existing and potential investment opportunities in all the districts and determine the nature and characteristics of packaging appropriate to these investment opportunities to facilitate national development oriented, focused and targeted investment promotions. 

The national investment plan is expected, Mr Chairman, to be in place by September this year.

Review of the Investment Act.

Mr Chairman, there have been complaints of petty traders, petty investors. We would want, this year, to revisit the Investment Act so as to provide the following:

1.    Incentives for investors in strategic alliance or partnership with Zambians. We want to give incentives so that we can encourage these partnerships.

2.    We want to provide for the efficient operation of a one stop centre so that when an investor comes into Zambia, he does not have to run all over the place. He has to get all the information in one place.

3.    We want to provide incentives to attract large scale, strategic or target investments in rural areas where infrastructure is poor. We have been talking about the investment in Mongu for a tannery. This is what we want to do.

4.    We also want to provide penal provisions for non-compliance with the Act. This needs to be included in the Act. 

You may see Hon. Chikwakwa going out inspecting these areas where they flout investment conditions but there is no power at the moment to enforce the Act. We want to bring those provisions to enforce the Act.

5.    We want to register for investors under the Investments Act. Every investor should be registered under the investment Act.

6.    As you have rightly demanded, when we revisit the Investment Act, we want to make provisions for certain sectors of our economy to be closed to foreign investments which you have been crying for.

7.    We also want to provide for a minimum level of investment required in order to discourage proliferation of petty investments. 

We have been hearing from Hon. Wina that a man just goes and dives in the Zambezi and we do not know what he is doing. We want to avoid that.

8.    We want to restrict the number of shareholders who can be accorded immigration status for an investment of a given magnitude. You find that a small investor will come and get a work permit and bring a limited number of people he wants. We want to limit that.

9.    We shall also provide for the registration of technology transfer agreement. We have to do this.

10.    We shall redefine also, as per your demands, the ‘investor’ and ‘investment’. We shall redefine these two terms because you have been complaining to say people who sell tomatoes are called investors. We shall redefine this.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpamba: Mr Chairman, allow me also to apprise this House on the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI).

Sir, between the 19th and 20th February this year in Nairobi, Kenya, the first General Assembly of the Trade Insurance Agency was held. The six initial participants of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) are; Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

At this meeting, Mr Chairman, Zambia was elected Vice Chairman through our Minister of Finance and Economic Development, while Kenya was elected Chairman and Burundi was elected as Secretary. Kenya was chosen to host the ATI secretariat.

Mr Chairman, the African Trade Insurance Agency started through the Regional Trade Facilitation Project (RTFP) through COMESA.

As you may be aware, hon. Members, there is a perception in Africa of high political risk in trade. This perception is a serious impediment to private sector-led growth and export diversification. This perception of political risk has resulted in high financing costs, you were complaining of cost of capital. It is also responsible for lack of commercial financing for private sector transactions. They view Africa as a risky area and so, we have to provide insurance to our traders.

In this regard, the ATI will make available insurance against political risks, covering both imports into and exports from participating countries.

I wish to inform this House, Mr Chairman, that credit negotiations with the World Bank were held from the 21st to 22nd February, 2001, which resulted in four draft agreements to be considered by ATI member states.

Lastly, Mr Chairman, the initial credit from the World Bank to ATI member states is US $110 million and Zambia has been given US 15 million to be disbursed in four instalments of 20 per cent each.

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was passed by the Government of the United States of America in the year 2000 to open up its market to eligible Sub-Saharan African Countries. Zambia is a designated beneficiary of AGOA.

In essence, this means that Zambian goods on the AGOA list can enter the US market on preferential terms on a non-reciprocal basis.

Mr Chairman, AGOA is an instrument that seeks to improve the US Africa trade and investment relations. In additions AGOA will go to improve access to US technical expertise and credit. At this point in time, three Zambian customs officers have undergone training in the implementation of AGOA. My Ministry in collaboration with the Zambia Revenue Authority is currently developing a visa system for Texas and Apparel which should be operational at the end of March, 2001.

Mr Chairman, so far, only two African countries out of a total 36 countries benefiting from AGOA acceded to this and these are Mauritius and Kenya. We hope to be among the top five. 

Privatisation programme; Zambia’s privatisation programme continues to be one of the key elements of the country’s economic reform programme. In the year 2000, the Government finalised the privatisation of the remaining major assets of ZCCM. As at 31st December, 2000 a total of 248 companies were privatised out of a total working portfolio of 280 units.

Mr Chairman, the Government is still committed to the policy of privatisation. For the year 2001, the Government wants to revisit the modalities of privatising of the remaining units. The Government also hopes to embark on a serious post privatisation monitoring programme to ensure that the investors who bought the companies are honouring their pledged and complying with the terms of the sale agreements.

Mr Chairman, restructuring of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry; As hon. Members may already be aware, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is one of the Ministries that have undergone the restructuring process. Part of the restructuring programme has entailed the hiving-off of two departments into autonomous commercial institutions. So far the Registry of Companies, currently known as the Patents and Companies Registration office (PACRO) has been fully commercialised. The Assize Department is in the process of being commercialised.

Mr Chairman, a commercialisation study of the Assize Department was undertaken by Cavmont Merchant Bank in 1997. The study recommended for the transformation of the Department into an operational autonomous body so as to reduce dependence on the National Budget since the Department was found to have potential to generate sufficient revenues to finance its own operations fully and in the long term, contribute to the national Treasury. In addition the commercialisation of the Department is expected to enhance its efficiency in its provision of services to the business sector.

The restructuring of the Assize Department has reached an advanced stage. All administrative procedures have been undertaken. A cabinet memorandum has been circulated and comments have been received. What is remaining now is the tabling of the memo before full cabinet.

Mr Chairman, allow me now to consider some of the individual Members concerns. Hon. Mulongoti if he is in the House complained of many trade offices all over the world. I just want to confirm to this House that we do not have that many offices. In fact, we have only three offices in the whole world...

Mr Mulongoti: Which are ineffective.

Mr Mpamba: ... that is in Brussels, Geneva and Windhoek. So I just want to just correct the statement that we have many trade offices.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Muloji, unfortunately raised issues that concern the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. I hope the hon. Minister was then present. I know the treatment of workers at work places does not come under my ambit but what does is the violation of the Investment Act and for this Hon. Chikwakwa and Hon. Norman Chibamba will continue visiting these places of trade to ensure that they stick to the conditions of the Investment Act. But when it comes to the harassment of workers, these concerns should be channeled to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Minister is very capable in handling these.

Mr Chairman, on ED Funds, the matter when I went back to the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Industry, I found that out of K40 million, only K4.5 had been disbursed but I am informed that K8.5 million has been disbursed to the people who are interested in the funds. I must add that this money is a bit expensive because of the risk element in it. Whoever handles this money, has to put in place the risk element of collecting his money back. That is why we are using all the commercial banks that are accessible and all of them are accessible. If you want more information, you can come to our Ministry and we will assist you.

Mr Chairman, the hon. Member for Isoka West (Mr Sikombe). I know you raised your concerns that need revisitation of the Investment Act. When we put those concerns under the Investment Act, we shall not have those pet traders, we shall correct most of those complaints you have been making. You have complained of Ndola which is our target, it will be one of those export processing zones as highlighted and all we want is Cabinet decision to say, ‘yes, it is Ndola now’. Mr Chairman, we have already gone to Ndola with the Investment Centre and we have talked to people there and they have given us more than 50 investment scenarios under which they can promote Ndola. The problem you see in Ndola is temporal because that started when we were privatising the mines. The situation will come back to normal with these measure we are putting in place.

The hon. Member for Mangango (Mr Shumina) talked of preserved sectors for our people. I have said that when we revisit the Investment Act, we shall provide no go areas for foreign investors, a thing you have been complaining about and this is coming this year. We shall include that when we amend the Investment Act.

Companies are relocating. Yes, it is true and this is a serious matter. If you are at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry everyday you get a million reasons why people are relocating. But you must also understand that some go and others come in. It is a trade of, the jump from the frying pan into the fire but the next day they will be coming back. This is a process we are undergoing. It was happening at the time when our economy was at the lowest but now we have started to pick up. We have finalised the selling of the mines.

Mr Nyundu: It is your personal economy which has picked up.

Mr Mpamba: The conditions will be proper for these people to remain and they will start coming back. It is a difficult situation because each investor will come in with his reasons. I have also been informed that most of these companies you have mentioned were not even creating value. Of course, they were just assembling plants, they were not creating raw materials to finish value added products. This, I have been informed. So in terms of value added, the loss is minimum because they were just assembling factories.

Mr Chairman, with regard to Hon. Sichinga’s contributions, all I have to do is to thank him for his foresight and concern about Zambia’s economy and, in fact, all the things which he said, we have already focused on them. We need that guidance, we appreciate. Export process zones are coming. Relocation of industry is a problem, but we are working at it very hard at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. On Value Added Tax, we need to add this because we do not want to export our raw materials. If we are to be a rich country, we have to add value to our raw materials because exporting raw materials will just drag us deeper and deeper into poverty. We agree with you.

Mr Chairman, I thank Hon. Mulando for his support. 

Sir, I think I had only six speakers and I hope I have answered their concerns.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 33/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 33/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 33/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 33/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 33/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 37/01 - (Ministry of Finance and Economic Development - Headquarters - K155,706,518,655)

Mr C. Ngulube (Lundazi): Mr Chairman, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, year in and year out, have been releasing funds to other ministries very late. This year, we do not want to see the ministry releasing these funds very late to other ministries.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Ngulube: They are making the other ministries very weak by not implementing whatsoever has been arranged in various ministries. So, I wish to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development to make sure that the funds are released in time.

The second point I wish to make is that most of our civil servants get their salaries very late and yet this is a routine. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development know very well that by 30th of a month, our civil servants require to get their dues. The ministry is encouraging our civil servants to borrow and by the time they get their salaries, they are forced to pay back where they got the credits from and remain with nothing. I also want to urge the hon. Minister to make sure that our civil servants are well-looked after and that they get their money in time.

The third point I wish to make, Mr Chairman, is that the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development should not be the first ones to start using the money at the ministry. They should first of all give other ministries so that there is development.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Ngulube: Where are we going Hon. Dr Katele?


Mr C. Ngulube: And what is happening? Projects delay and some are half-baked because of late release of these funds. So, I want to urge my hon. Minister and my Government to make sure that this year, these funds are released much earlier.

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

Mr Chipili (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairman, I would like to support this Vote for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. This is an important ministry which is mandated to mobilise and disburse funds and plan for the economic development of this country.

In doing so, I would like to make a few observations. I will begin with the way these banks are being operated today. We have had several banks going under in the past and I believe this is a responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development through the Bank of Zambia to ensure that there is stability in the money market or banking sector.

Now, in this case, we recently had a closure of a bank and we are still awaiting a statement from Government but since it is time for this debate here, I would like to make my few observations. The indigenous bank closures send completely wrong signals to first of all the people that bank with those banks. The fact is that we have had legislation which empowers the Central Bank to supervise comical banks on a regular basis and have access to documents. It is, therefore, not understandable how a bank could be allowed to deteriorate until its closure disadvantaging the small depositor, Government workers and business men who are supposed to be the cornerstone of this economy. We are talking about economic development and this cannot happen without banks in these modern days. Stability of banks is a must towards the economic development of any economy, the world over.

It is important that in future, the Bank of Zambia becomes a little bit more pragmatic and professional. They should have seen it miles away that this bank was going under. If there is internal borrowing, crisis and external interference, be it political or not, they should have seen it because rumours had it that the Directors of the bank knew that the bank was about to go under. So, it means that somebody somewhere knew that this was going to happen. Why did we not put in remedial measures before the bank closed? This does not augur well and I am appealing to the Government to ensure that small and even bigger depositors get their money back because as matters stand, that bank will never open again. If it opens tomorrow, there will be a run on this bank.

The closure has put these other banks like the Zambia National Commercial Bank, Indo-Zambia and others at disadvantage because we have even allowed the situation where the foreign banks are dictating that they can only operate on Manager’s cheque. This has never happened anywhere in the world. We still have the Bank of Zambia there waiting for the Zambia National Commercial Bank to fall because that is what it implies. I do not know of any bank that can transact on cash basis. You do not ask your customers to go and get a bank cheque in order to come and bank in your bank. In other words, they are cutting off the indigenous banks deliberately to make them go under and we are watching. We sometime react too late or show very little concern which is quite dangerous. We are playing in the hands of international bankers who have all sorts of tricks under the sun to torpedo this economy.

I, therefore, ask the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to find out what has gone wrong with our Central Bank. There must be something wrong. You cannot have situations like this going on and off. It cannot work like that.

Mr Nyundu: The owners are stealing the money.

Mr Chipili: If the owners want to close the doors, they must close them after the people have collected their money out of those banks.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipili: The other point I want to allude to, Mr Chairman, is the plight of the food suppliers. One of the prisons in my area, Kamfinsa Prison, is experiencing starvation. These suppliers have refused to supply because of non-payment. Some of these payments are two to three years old and are given in bits and pieces, yet we know that those small suppliers as we call them, who are probably not even counted, keep these institutions running. So, why can we not, for a change, pay them in time so that we avoid this kind of problems?

Mr Muloji: And in full!

Mr Chipili: And in full, for a change.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipili: It is very important that we pay them because these small suppliers have employees and families. Time and again, they have to literally come and kneel down. This is not acceptable. This is business and when people supply, they must simply be paid. 

There must be a little bit more of planning on our part. I am sure that is why we debate this Budget, to put in figures. We know what these prisons consume and what amounts of money we need to repair Government buildings. When signing contracts, everybody is aware that these things must be paid for. Now, what the hell goes on?


Hon. Member: Get annoyed! 

Mr Chipili: This has to be controlled. Suffering of the people cannot be by design so that the people start suffering. It is not the way to run these things. The scenario is that we have emphasis on big offices and computer offices. These are the only businesses that are respected and those that come from outside are paid promptly, yet they have the advantage because if we do not pay them, they can charge interest. The poor man out there, that is the small supplier, does not add any interest.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Mr Chipili: He is just liquidated slowly. This, Mr Chairman, must be controlled.

Mr Chairman, the other point is on the Tender Board. The Tender Board is supposed to approve or disapprove on given ethics but it has, now, become fashionable that when you send papers to the Tender Board, they will be there for four months without a feedback. Now, we have problems in trying to do our projects because each time we ask, we are told that the papers are still with Tender Board. 

The procurement officers dispatched into the ministries by the Board are too old fashioned. They require retraining in modern techniques of procurement. It is no longer fashionable just to keep papers in the offices without doing anything about them because this delays development. Once development is delayed, people will not point at anybody else but at the Government and call the Members of Parliament ‘useless’ because nothing is moving and yet it is one officer in some office who is keeping these papers.

Mr Chairman, their continued stay must also be reviewed from time to time because you cannot second a person for sixteen years whether this person is working or not. He is very far away from the people that seconded him, there is nobody to supervise him but only the committee on which he sits. Once he sits on that committee, he starts wielding more power than anybody in that ministry. Sometimes, wielding more powers than the hon. Ministers themselves. This is a person that was seconded to do a job.

Sir, at the Micro-Projects Unit, there is still a problem. We had a seminar in which ...

we were told that the problem is in the districts. Now there is also a problem at where they actually do the approvals because we were asked to take all the papers of outstanding projects to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in transit to the Macro Project Unit. That was three months ago. We still have no feed back. Now they are even asking for more contributions from the communities. Like in our case, we applied for two schools. We are dissatisfied with the percentage that was originally required. 

When they came to re-evaluate, they said that they were going to spend more money on the schools. So they asked the parents to top up. How many times are we going to ask for contributions from the parents? It is becoming difficult for us to fund them through the Constituency Development Fund and finish the boundary wall. In fact, later on we are asked again to get more money. Please, hon. Minister look at this unit again. If they can relax this cycle of procedures a bit so that they become more responsible to development, we would appreciate it very much.

With these few remarks, I would like to thank you, Sir.

Major Kamanga (Lumezi): Thank you, Mr Chairman. I will be very brief.

As I stand to support this Vote, I wish to remind the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development and his juniors in his ministry ...


Mr Kalingeme: His ministry.

Major Kamanga: No, juniors. 

... that people who do not experience any hunger do not know what hunger is. Read the paper that was written by the late Mr Angela Sibetta, who was a lecturer at the Livingstone Teachers Training College, 'Seasons and Reasons of Change'. It says that when those who are at the top come to the bottom, they will be able to tell the story.


Major Kamanga: Going by what has been happening in the past, you have been very insensitive to the other ministries. One day, it will just be one day, you will be there. You will see what the sufferings of the people are. You have forgotten where you came from. I am reminding you that you should know where you came from.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musakabantu (Nominated): I have a few points to raise in supporting the Vote. 

First and foremost, Mr Chairman, this is the ministry in charge of the Central Statistics Office, which last year undertook the census of this country. Now this was a very important exercise and we are hoping that before it is too late, they will avail the nation of the data, which was collated. We should be able to lay our fingers on the age groups of the people of this country. We should be able to know regions that are densely populated because it is the population which in the end demands social services. When we need more clinics, schools, roads and so on, we will have to go by the population. It is the population that will give us indication of where we must invest in order to keep people in employment. So I would suggest that this information be made available, especially at the offices of provincial Ministers and further down the districts so that people know who is where. And it is also important to know that it is this information which will be very useful in the next exercise of delimitation of wards and constituencies, at least from the point of view of population late alone the geographical information.

It is also the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development which, I think, is responsible of the funding of the Development Bank of Zambia and the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia. I am aware of an old loan or is it a guarantee that was given to NCZ to release fertilisers so that the Ministry of Finance and Economic and Development could eventually pay. This is an old debt from the UNIP Government, I think, towards the dying moments of the UNIP Government. But as long as that debt is not paid, we have crippled NCZ. I have a weak spot for that institution because once it is supported the generation of employment. But, please, hon. Minister, I would like to make a request through the Chair that you study the position of funding to DBZ and NCZ with a view to seeing what can be done to help these institutions.

Mr Chairman, the point made by the hon. Member for Lundazi with regard to funding is extremely important. I think I will make an unusual request to the hon. Minister. Once a budget is approved by this House, by and large, the civil servants are in charge of releasing money and all that after, of course, you append your signature, hon. Minister. But Zambia Revenue Authority are doing a wonderful job. If you give them a target of K100 billion to collect just in a month and even get excess. Then why should it be difficult to release money to councils, ministries or to suppliers? And there are so many people that depend on your ministry, hon. Minister. I think it is embarrassing this country to get retired apart from being tired. You are retired and condemned and there is no appreciation for the services you have rendered to society. It is this ministry that must aid retirees. These are the local investors. These are the only people who can handle several thousands of dollars or kwacha if you want investment. Apart from these, we have no money in the economy.

Mr Chairman, I would also want to ask the hon. Minster to comment on this issue. There has been a lot of talk about the existence of funds at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for poverty alleviation. We have heard of these various words. Now I would like to ask the hon. Minister to comment on this. If there are funds intended to alleviate poverty in this country or to create growth in the economy, can these be made available. Can we can know how these funds can be accessed. I think it is no use keeping money there for a long time. The Japanese Non-Grant Aid issue is quite embarrassing. We have even allowed a situation where an hon. Deputy Minister and above cannot borrow. The institutions that borrow from there are board corporates or companies. Surely, why should an hon. Minister be discriminated? Is it because he is merely in politics where he gets nothing other than being honourable? No, I think it is unfair. I think something must be done.

Sir, I would also want to ask the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic and Development to carry out an audit of economic aid to this country of a long period, particularly in the agriculture sector. We have been getting a lot of aid. But the impression I get is that most of this money goes back through paying the so-called experts. I think it is no use getting US$50,000 or US$1 billion when 95 per cent of this money goes back to buying machinery from the home country and to pay the experts. It is repatriated. I think this cannot help us improve in our country.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Chilombo): Mr Chairman, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to say few words. My contribution will very brief.

Firstly, I would like to propose to the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development that banks that are supporting our rural businesses and infrastructures are very important to our development. And I would like to encourage the hon. Minister to support banks like the National Credit and Savings Bank, who out of their mission are able to ...


Mr Chilombo: Hon. Nkole, can you give me a chance, please. 

Mr Nkole: I am the Chief Whip here.

Mr Chilombo: I want to build my 

Government and that is why I am speaking the way I am speaking.

Hon. Members: Continue!

Mr Chilombo: Mr Chairman, our Government will improve by supporting banks like National Credit Bank because our aim is to improve the economy of this country and, consequently, I would urge the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development that the National Credit Bank has a good mission. This can be seen from their brochure and I am convinced that they will be able to contribute to the growth of our economy.

Secondly, Sir, the unstable foreign exchange has an adverse effect on the performance of the economy. It is important that we look at this aspect of financial management in our economy so that even as we export, we do not export things that will be very expensive for us to sell outside. Consequently, it is important to ensure that our kwacha to dollar rate is stable. In fact, the more unstable the kwacha is to a dollar, the more it will be difficult even to pay our commitments outside to our banks or donors who are able to assist us.

With those few words, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this very important Vote.

Sir, I want to prefix my submission by congratulating the Republican President who I am very clear of his powers in the Constitution. He has successfully usurped power and he has not been able to delegate to his hon. Ministers including the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development. I am saying so, Sir, because first of all, in 1991/2 we lost the Planning unit which was fairly independent. Initially, it was to be part of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and this never existed. As we speak now, the MMD Government has not got any planning unit where you can write your mother home about except the Budget.

So, we are gropping in the dark and all we have is this Budget in terms of where the country is going. That is a very sad and unprogressive strategy. Recently, I have also been informed that the Tender Board has moved away from its previous buildings and now is controlled from the top. This worries me, Sir, because what is the function of these hon. Ministers sitting in the Front Bench? I can underscore that, Sir, by stating that year in, year out, even the little plan that we have, the one year Budget, allocations between ministries are usually terribly inadequate and if you look at every ministry that we have debated here apart from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the allocations for the year 2001 are a percentage of last year’s allocations. They had a bigger Vote with a 61 per cent.

The allocations are small and worse still, Sir, I want to emphasise this point that even with the lower allocations in the Budget and planning stage, the actual cash released from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will be extremely low. I would be worrying if I was in Cabinet and making noise with the President and the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development as to why we have planned to do this and if I am given K100 million, why am I only given K25 million? This, I would be worrying about my fellow hon. Members of Parliament. I do not want to call them cowards, it might be unparliamentary, but what do you do?


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Chairman, even with inadequate budgets, as I said, we also have inadequate allocations and with inadequate allocations, I sometimes wonder, we all sit here knowing very well that the allocations were inadequate and we also sit here knowing that the actual releases of cash are inadequate and yet when the supplementaries are brought here, the Legislature endorses that. So, we are part of the problem because we should be throwing them back. So, there is connivance, Mr Chairman. We are all failing in the process to run forward. The Executive fails us, the Legislature fails us because we endorse what is brought here even with those inadequacies. We will even endorse any supplementary on ministries that do not project or help us with our development programmes and examples are in abundance in the Yellow Book. So, really, it is from that background that I feel that, really, this country is run by one person because all of us are sitting doing absolutely nothing about it.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Mr Ng’uni): Mr Chairman, I would like to throw some light on one of the issues that have been raised, especially by Hon. Chipili.

Sir, I hope that the hon. Members of Parliament, once the hon. Minister approves the modalities for operations of ZAMSIF and Micro Projects proper as we agreed last year in the meeting that we had, they will not do the same thing as some of them have done over the roads. I think it has become fashionable for hon. Members of Parliament, sometimes, to complain even where their contribution is lacking. Last week, Sir, we sent two of our officials to take the projects which we had asked hon. Members to contribute to. I am sorry to say some hon. Members, even now are asking me if they can bring their roads to be included in the projects. This, I think, is not fair to us. Sir, we do not, in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, reject projects. ZAMSIF applications, field appraisal and even desk appraisal are done in the districts and the composition of the district teams has no membership from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

I would like to explain this so that every hon. Member, particularly those who did not attend last year’s meeting, knows this very well. When the community identifies a project, it may be a school, a road, a rural heath centre or clinic, whatever it is, they have to fill in a form that goes to the district. At the district, there is a person called the desk officer. That person is not from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. They review the project, they go and talk to the community to see what their contribution is. Right now, Sir, the contribution has been reduced from 25 per cent to 15 per cent. They are the ones at the district. These are drawn from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Ministry of Health and so on, to constitute the desk team. These are the ones who either approve or reject the project that is forwarded to the ministry for financing and not the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

As we are seated here, Sir, we are conducting workshops on Zamseed on how best to deliver district investment funds and community investment funds. 

When applications are made ...

Mr Sikombe: On a point of order!

Mr Ng’uni: ... the local communities are supposed to indicate what their contribution is going to be. 

Sir, the people who put stones as a contribution by the communities are those ...

The Chairman: Order! the hon. Minister is giving you variable information and you are disrupting that.

Mr Sikombe: It is a point of order on ...

The Chairman: No, no, please, I am here to make sure that the message is flowing freely without anything. If you have got something else, you wait until he finishes. Will you, please, continue!

Mr Ng’uni: Sir, when communities make an application, they indicate what type of contributions they are going to make. It maybe bricks, sand, money or whatever is within their environment. The people who put stones where they know that people have no stones are the same people at the district and there is no official from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. 

What I am saying, is that it is important that we deal with the district officials. And if they have got specific complaints, perhaps in Kitwe, let them bring those specific complaints so that we can deal with them. Otherwise, the only function we are performing now is to checking on costings. Those hon. Members of Parliament who attended the meeting last year were informed that we are moving all the financing from applications right through the approval and the funding to the districts and the workshops that are taking place are doing exactly that.

So, I would rather we dealt with specific complaints where these are happening and not the blanketing saying that, they are making applications and coming to the ministry but, we are not funding them. That, Sir, is unprocedural as per the current arrangement and it is not correct.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simasiku: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti (Lufwanyama): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me an opportunity again. I would like to quickly request the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development to shed some light on the speculation that the kwacha is again sliding. The speculation is that, by the year end, the exchange rate would reach about K10,000.00 per dollar.

Dr Kalumba: Ha!


Mr Mulongoti: Please, shed some light. I hope your intervention was not short term. Let us not leave it until it reaches a level where all of us will have nothing in our pockets.

The other issue, hon. Minister, is that please, check for unbudgeted spending. This is where there are distortions in the budget, unless we control unbudgeted spending, hon. Minister, you will have difficulties in this very, very critical year.

I also noticed in the Yellow Book that there are many areas where the budget has just a provision of K1 or K2. That is a blank cheque hon. Minister. Let us have figures in those areas. A K1 means that you have opened an account and you can take millions in that account. Please, please, I think it will be fare in future that every ngwee that we are going to spend, must come through this House so that we know what we are budgeting for.

I would also request the hon. Minister not to feel shy to intervene in the economy. Micro policies are for the Government. They do not come from anywhere else. So, when you feel it is appropriate to intervene in the economy, feel free. That is the only way you can guide the development of this economy.

Further more, hon. Minister, please help to cement- I think try and develop the institutional memory in the ministry. Many times when you are there, you find that the letter is missing and you are asked to submit another letter. So, try to improve on that. Institutional memory is very important for that key ministry because there could be double payments which is possible.

Your acting permanent secretary has already started warning us that with what is going on around it is possible that projects are going to suffer this year. He is warning already. If you remember when we were responding to your budget speech, we did tell you to be cautious, already your permanent secretary is warning us. If there is anything you can do to arrest the situation, let us be honest with ourselves.

Mr Chairman, the last thing I would like to mention is the role of the ministry in as far as the importation of fertiliser is concerned. What is the role of the ministry? Let us know. This has become such a pain to everybody. It is a circus. 

Mr Nyundu: A pain in the neck!

Mr Mulongoti: Tomorrow no agriculture, the other day no finance, the other day the banks, no, hon. Minister we only know one source of money and that is your ministry. Whatever money that is collected from ZRA comes to your office.


Mr Mulongoti: I want you to tell us what role you play in this issue. We do not want to be told about the bank or any other. You must tell us. Sometimes we feel that there could be some people who are playing tricks.

Mr Nyundu: Chewing the money!

Mr Mulongoti: It is not possible that you budget then later on you start telling us that our friends have not released the funds. No, we do not want to know those friends or Omnia or those banks you deal with. It is you we know.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: So, every year, we want you to come up with a figure in the budget to say for fertiliser this is K20 billion and we will approve it. Not that you should refer to others. These excuses have been going on for a long time. Hon. Minister you are a very clever man, please ...


Mr Mulongoti: ... help us. This year, hon. Minister, they are warning us that there will be hunger because fertiliser went late, surely that is not fair. 

I forgot, Mr Chairman, to welcome the two hon. Members who have come to join me.


Mr Mulongoti: I would like to welcome them. Hon. Sejani, I do not know where he is, and Hon. Hatembo. The back-bench is not as bad as you are imagining.


Mr Mulongoti: There is a lot of room for dialogue here ...


Mr Mulongoti: ... and there are very few rules to follow here.


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje (Mwandi): Mr Chairman, I also rise to support this Vote, in so saying, I would like to start by saying that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is a very big disappointment to all of us because it is a ministry without an economic strategy. Every ministry of finance in the world is about financial strategy. Although we also know that from historic perspectives, many ministers of finances either had long beards or they were bald men but one thing in common the aim was that they were able to involve a financial strategy. Why I am saying so? I am saying so, in fact, I am consistent with what the Chairman of the MMD Economic Committee once said when he was in the back bench before he became a minister. He said, that the problem in this country is that people do not understand how capitalist wealth is created. It is created by an enabling credited environment system. In this country, Mr Chairman, if you did not borrow colonial money, you are in trouble. The laws are very interesting episodes. 

In one African country all farmers were collapsing and only one farmer was managing and he bought out all the others around. He was asked, “What is your secret?” He said, “My secret is very simple, I do not borrow from indigenous banks I would also collapse”. Now, Mr Chairman, this is extremely sad because when we talk about a capitalist economy, we are talking about a credit based economy. A credit based economy means that you are able to get cheap money, invest, produce, sell and make profit.

In this country, unless you are a magician you are not likely to make it. When you borrow money at fifty per cent interest rate you are sure likely to face an economic disaster and that is why many of our compatriots, countrymen and country women are seeing their property being seized by the banks and the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is doing nothing about it. 

They are so many hard working Zambians who have tried their best but because you have no economic and financial strategy, you have no financial thinkers, no economic thinkers, you are unable to relate what is going on. Your thinkers are from the World Bank and IMF and today all over the world people are admitting that the IMF has failed. It represents international capitalism.

Mr Chairman, having said that, I want to come down to the basics. First of all, can the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development tell us what economic strategy he has for us to bring down the interest rates. Sir, if the interest rates are not down, if they are not within the playing field, you cannot invest and that is the whole basis of economic development.

Secondly, Sir, I would like to know when the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is going to demonetise the kwacha because all of us are boasting here that we are millionaires. We are not millionaires, we have just inflated the figures by adding many zeros. And in all countries which have resurrected themselves from the economic abyss, one of the things they did was to come out with a reasonable denomination. We are the only country in the SADC where they are no coins and you call yourselves millionaires, you are not. You are pauper millionaires. Mr Chairman, this is fundamentally important to an economic strategy.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: hear, hear!

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Chairman, I just have one short item. The first one is ...

Hon. Members: Mine is a short one.


Mr Shumina:... The first one is the confidence that the people have in us. We are here and they allowed us to come here because they believed that when we are here, we shall look after their interests very well. Unfortunately, what is happening now is totally the contrary. Why do I say so. Sir, looking at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Government, through the ministry has brought a Bill here in this House which we passed. It was called the Bankers Act, I am not sure of the name. 

Mr Chairman, what is happening is this that when a Zambian or any other person borrows from a bank, even a poor farmer who gets one bag of fertiliser is followed up to his grave. That is what you do, but when the tycoons borrow internally from the same banks and use the money to buy very expensive cars, they are respected everywhere.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Shumina: Mr Chairman, here I have in mind the closure of Union Bank. Union Bank is closed because of internal borrowing and not external borrowing. Kaoma has come to a standstill, people are dying in hospitals, children are not going to school, babies at the orphanage are dying but up to now, the Government is not talking about it. So, Sir, I want to emphasise the point...

The Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



(MR SPEAKER in the Chair)

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 28th February, 2001.