Debates- Tuesday 20th February, 2001

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Tuesday, 20th February, 2001

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: In accordance with the provisions of Standing Orders, I have nominated Mr M. Mulongoti, MP, to be a Member of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism to replace Hon. S. C. Chilombo, MP, who was appointed Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have to acquaint the House with the fact that, today, in the Speaker’s Gallery, we are privileged to have three distinguished Members of the Malawi Parliamentary Service Commission:

These are:
    Hon. S. Mpasu, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly of Malawi     and Chairman of the SADC Parliamentary Forum;

    Hon. E. F. Kwanjana, Member of Parliament; and

    Mr R. L. Gondwe, Clerk of National Assembly.

Our distinguished visitors arrived on Friday, 16th February, 2001 and will depart Zambia on Thursday, 22nd February, 2001. We welcome them and we are happy to have them in our midst.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



36. Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali) asked the Minister of Education:

    (a)    how many pupils or students were caught with leaked             examination papers from 1996 to 2000;

    (b)    how many were in Grades 7, 9, 12, at the             University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University;

    (c)    how many were prosecuted; and

    (d)    how many teachers and Examinations Council staff were             implicated in the same offence.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Mmembe): Mr Speaker, I wish to ask for your indulgence to lay the answer on the Table because it is rather long and the figures are too many to be read out.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mmembe: laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I just want to find out what measures the hon. Minister has put in place to stop these vices.

Mr Mmembe: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Member of Parliament to go back to the discussions that we have had in this Parliament because the answer has been given in a ministerial statement by the hon. Minister several times before.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.


37. Miss Malama (Chipata) asked the Minister of Education how many school desks were allocated to the following schools in Chipata Parliamentary Constituency between January, 1994 and October, 2000:

    (i)    Chipata Day Secondary school; and

    (ii)    Chizongwe Technical Secondary School.

Mr Mmembe: Mr Speaker, there were no desks allocated to Chizongwe Technical Secondary School and Chipata Day Secondary School in Chipata Parliamentary Constituency between January, 1994 and October, 2000.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Miss Malama: Mr Speaker, what measures has the hon. Minister put in place to ensure that children will be using desks when writing.

Mr Mmembe: Mr Speaker, first of all, the distribution of desks by the Ministry of Education is based on need and, therefore, schools that needed desks most got an allocation. These two schools were not in particular need at the time and, therefore, we did not give them any desks, but having said that, there is a programme this year on the distribution of desks to schools.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


38. Mr L. L. Phiri asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

    (a)    how many teachers had benefited from the Presidential         Housing Initiative (PHI) in:

        (i)    rural areas; and

        (ii)    urban areas; and

    (b)    whether the Government had any plans to ensure that             teachers in rural areas benefit from the housing                 empowerment scheme.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Miss Kalenga): Mr Speaker, the Presidential Housing Unit is yet to start constructing houses in rural areas. Zambezi will be the first to benefit from the project. Therefore, it is expected that some teachers and other workers will benefit once the project spreads to rural areas. Four teachers have benefited from the Presidential Housing Initiative, Bennie Mwiinga Housing Project, in Lusaka. 

The Presidential Housing Initiative is yet to sell its houses at Twapia site in Ndola. The Government has plans to ensure that teachers in rural areas benefit from the housing empowerment through the construction of more houses and through offering housing loans to teachers and other workers to enable them purchase these houses.

I thank you.


39. Mr Mweni (Lupososhi): asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare:

    (a)    how much money was spent on community self-help             projects in rural areas in 2000 and what these                 projects were;

    (b)    how much of this money was spent in Luwingu District;

    (c)    which project benefited from the money in (b) above.

The Deputy Minister of Community and Social Welfare (Miss Chikwata): Mr Speaker, the ministry did not spend any funds on community self-help projects ...

Mr Mabenga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order. Sir, we know that red ribbon stands for anti-AIDS campaign, but today, we have seen people that are wearing green ribbons which are pro AIDS. Is it in order, Sir, for Hon. Tetamashimba to come to this House to promote AIDS in this country?


Hon. Opposition Members: This is anti Third Term.

Mr Speaker: Following that point of order, the Chair has been briefed that the symbol stands for a political position, the political party that Hon. Tetamashimba represents and wishes to promote.

Since I am confident that my brief is correct, I would like to direct the hon. Member to take off that ribbon now.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The same goes for anyone else who is wearing that symbol around the Chamber.

Hon. Government Members: Dipak!

Mr Tetamashimba removed the ribbon.

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Mr Patel: We do not want Third Term.

Mr Speaker: That is a directive.

Will the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare continue.

Miss Chikwata: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the ministry did not spend any funds on community self-help activities in the country, in the year 2000. No funds were spent in Luwingu District. Therefore, there were no projects which Luwingu District benefited from.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweni: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if she is aware that most of the items and money which is being sent to our districts is being used by the officers working within the same ministry.

Miss Chikwata: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, that is a rumour and news to us. So, we cannot act on anything that we have just heard for the first time. We have not proved it.

I thank you, Sir.


40 Mr Mwitwa (Mansa) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

    (a)    how much money was allocated to the following feeder             roads in the year 2000:

        (i)    Chembe/Chipeta/Matanda; and 

        (ii)    Kabalika/Nsonga/Totolo;

    (b)    who was contracted to construct the roads; and 

    (c)    when construction will commence.

Mr Sibetta: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Members: On who?

Miss Kalenga: Mr Speaker, in the year 2000 the Chembe/Chipeta/Matanda feeder road was not allocated any funds as it was ...

Mr Sibetta: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, I raise on a profound and important point of order. Is it in order for Hon. Harrington and others to come to this House with MMD badges on their lapel? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Patel: Yes!

Mr Speaker: That point of order requires the Chair to request the hon. Chief Whip to examine the meaning of ...


Mr Speaker: ... the badge on the lapel of the hon. Minister...

Hon. Opposition Members: It is MMD!


Mr Speaker: ... and on similar lapels, if it is true that those pins, or whatever they are, stand for business other than which we are in the House for. May the hon. Chief Whip go into action.


Miss Kalenga: Thank you, Mr Speaker, I was saying that no funds were allocated in the year 2000. The Chembe/Chipeta/Matanda feeder road was not allocated any funds as it was scheduled to be worked on under the Emergency Feeder Roads Programme for 2001, where it will be allocated some funds for maintenance and upgrading.

Under the 2000 programme the Kabalika/Nsonga/Totolo feeder roads were allocated K90 million for maintenance. No contractor was contracted to construct the road as the civil works were deferred to 2001. The construction of the roads will commence this year soon after the rains.

I thank you, Sir.




VOTE 45/01- (Ministry of Development and Social Welfare - Headquarters - (K84,552,203,742)

(Consideration resumed)

Mr C. T. A Banda (Mkaika):I thank you, Mr Chairman ...

Mr Walubita: On a point of order!

Mr Chairman: Mr C. T. A. Banda has not made a statement and a point of order is raised!


Mr Chairman: Mr C. T. A. Banda, please, continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. T. A. Banda: I thank you again for asking me to continue my debate. When the House adjourned last Friday, 16th February, 2001, I was to give the House three or so, names of some organisations that have been given considerably huge ...

Mr Walubita: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Walubita: Mr Chairman, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena in order to continue wearing a badge that has been prohibited in this House? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Patel: He has got a problem with his eyes and ears!


The Chairman: I would have loved to make a ruling on that point of order, but as you realise I have just taken the seat today. I do not know what has been happening in the country. I hope somebody will be kind enough to tell me the meaning of those badges which are being worn and for what purpose. So, for the time being, please, forgive me. Until I get to the root of the matter, I am unable to make a ruling on that point of order.

Will Mr Banda, please, continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Long live the Chair. We missed you!

Mr C. T. A. Banda: Mr Chairman, I was just giving three names or so, of organisations that have been allocated grants under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. These are among them; National Trust Fund for the Disabled received a grant of K4,640,699,001, against a grant of K150,110,000 last year. 

There is also Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities which has been given a grant of K4,271,000,000 against last year’s grant of K850,230,600. The third one is Children’s Homes with the grant of K90,000,000 against a grant of K61,400,000. Then Street Children have a grant of K536,000,000 against nil grant in the previous year. Mr Chairman, these are very impressive figures and I do hope that their impact on the vulnerable groups will make a difference this year.

However, I would like the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare to help this House appreciate the difference between the two organisations namely; National Trust Fund for the Disabled and Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities. This is so because there are two words that are being used, ‘disabled’ and ‘persons with disabilities’. I do not know whether the two are not one and the same organisation.

Mr Chairman, I would also be glad to know from the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare how he would expend the K536,000,000 grant that has gone to street kids. And in this regard, I would like him, also, to indicate whether any portion of this money has gone to an NGO that was launched in 1998, to which I had earlier made reference, called Zambia Child for Christ.

My last point, Mr Chairman, is on the Poverty Reduction Strategic Paper for Zambia. I am aware, Sir, that in 1998, there was a Poverty Reduction Strategic Programme that was spearheaded by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. I would like to know whether there is a difference between the two, the one that was a programme and the other one which is a paper for Zambia. I think the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare would do better, perhaps, to explain that because now I know that the latter is under the portfolio of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. I wonder whether there is any difference between the two.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Chairman, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, one among the many tasks it has, is to look after the less privileged in our society. And looking at the number of the blind people on the streets and the number of street kids that we see roaming the streets, we find that this sector of our society is really affected. 

Sir, I was looking at the allocations of the Headquarters of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, under National Training Centre for the Disabled and I am glad to note with satisfaction, Sir, that we have a college of this nature in the country that is preparing skills for the less privileged in this country. But looking at the amount of money which it has been allocated, which amounts only to K30,000,000, I discover that this is not enough to cater for the many disabled and less privileged people in our country. Therefore, I would suggest that we have more of these institutions set up. I understand this one institution is only found on the Copperbelt and yet we have the less privileged in Southern Province, Chilubi, Kalabo, Chavuma, Kayombo and so on and so forth.

Mr Nkabika: Shangombo!

Mr Mabenga: And Shangombo. And many other places. So, it would be of benefit to our people if this service was extended to the very rural of our rural areas so that they too, can get the services of skills training which may be able to earn them a living as they go about their lives.

Sir, on the question of the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities, I am very glad that it has been allocated K4.2 billion. I just do hope that this money will be put to maximum use for the benefit of our people. Like my colleagues, I do not understand the difference between the disabled and persons with disabilities. It puts me in an awkward position because I do not know what persons with disabilities he is talking about, and the disabled people he is talking about. All the same, it is a very high figure and I hope that this money will be given to the people for the betterment of our society. 

Mr Chairman, I am also looking at the Cheshire Homes. I have experience, Sir, in the operations of the Cheshire Homes because I was a Board member, for a long time, of the Cheshire Homes in Mongu and I know the many difficulties these homes go through.

Mr Sibetta: Are you an orphan?

Mr Mabenga: I have my father, the MMD, in power.


Mr Mabenga: That is my father and I will remain with my father, the MMD.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairman, the Cheshire Homes are a very important institute. It is not an orphanage. An orphanage is different from the Cheshire Home. This is the problem with the people on the other side. They do not know how to define these things.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairman, I was saying that the Cheshire Home is a very important institution. I have served on the Cheshire Homes, Mongu Board of Management for a very long time and I have seen the many problems the Cheshire Homes go through. Most of the finances and equipment, apart from the little donation given by the local people and few fund-raising ventures like walks and dinners which really do not generate a lot of money, most of the amounts come from well wishers overseas. 

Mr Chairman, I know that this ministry has been trying to send some money but the money that is sent is not enough. I can see the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare in an awkward position because looking at the allocated amount which is K70,000,000, and if you look at the Cheshire Homes around the country, there are various operations and in my view, this money is not enough to sustain the operations.

Mr Chairman, once more, I would like to request the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to seriously think of adding more funding to the ministry.

Mr Chairman, I am glad to look at what has been allocated to juvenile welfare. This is under the Social Welfare Department. Now, we have a lot of juveniles around our streets and many parts of our country. I would like to see this money, K574 million, put to the type of use which should be able to cut down on juvenile delinquency that seems to be growing in this country.

Mr Chairman, I think we need to move away from setting up institutions along the line of rail and be able to go into the rural areas because sometimes when the children are taken away from the street lights that we see, from the various amenities that we see around, they will be able to get changed, somehow. I think the key thing to do is to change their attitude towards their lives. And to make them change, they must change the environment and I believe that if their environment is changed from the town situation to the rural situation, they should be able to change and finally they will be able to use the skills that they acquire from this scheme.

Mr Chairman, I just wanted to comment on these few points and also to mention that the Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, I rise on a very serious point of order with due respect to the hon. Member of Parliament who is now enjoying the back bench and speaks quite often. Is the Government in order to continue to ask for loans on our behalf when they help so much of millions of US dollars to disappear? Sir, my point of order is based on yesterday's report in The Post Newspaper which says, ‘Government attempts to cover US$150m ZCCM Cobalt Scam.'

Mr Patel: Shame!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Sir, this point of order is based on what I am going to quote and I quote:

‘According to the draft audit report of ZCCM cobalt sales dated November 2000 obtained by the Post, the scam involved the sale of $95 million worth of cobalt ‘resulting in a loss of US $150 million. ’

Mr Chairman, I need your serious ruling. Is the Government in order to continue to put us in debt, we and our children, and our children’s children, while they are making this money disappear. Are they in order, Sir?

Mr Sibetta: Long live the Chair!


The Chairman: We all understand the point of order. It is over the alleged US$150 million which apparently has gone into oblivion and nobody is there to talk about it.

Mr Patel: Long live the Chair!

The Chairman: My immediate reaction in making a ruling is to pose a question: are all Members of Parliament elected and seated here given the tag of becoming investigating officers...

Mr Sichinga: That is part of our job.

The Chairman: ... or are we changing this House into an investigative body?


The Chairman: You are not here, as you have said, to discuss speculations. You are here to discuss issues...

Miss Mwansa: Long live the Chair!


The Chairman:...with an ultimate aim of making a decision. If you are interested in the welfare of the Zambian people whom you are representing through your constituencies, when you come across such an issue, it is important not to bring it here so that it attracts mass media and public attention, but to take it to relevant authorities to start investigating the issue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Long live the Chair.


The Chairman: By raising a point of order, I do not have the machinery to investigate that issue and so what I will do is to simply throw it to the Office of the Vice-President and Leader of the House to carry out the investigations.

Mr Patel: Hear, hear! Welcome back.

The Chairman: Will the hon. Member, continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairman, before the point of order was raised, I was commenting on the Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia. This body, in my view, is very important and I am happy that the Government recognises this association. In harnessing this association the Government should now be able to find a way of enticing them even more by giving them as much financial assistance as possible, but when we look at K10 million that has been allocated for this association, I find that this is very little and I want to urge the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to look at this very seriously so that it can function to expected standards and in conformity with what is expected as laid down by Government.

Finally, looking at traditional ceremonies, there are many of them in our country. All of them require to be promoted and supported, but when we look at the amount of money allocated to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare for supporting traditional ceremonies, it is only K100 million. If we really want to promote our traditional heritage, through traditional ceremonies, I ...

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

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear! Well spoken. You are in the wrong party.

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Miss C. C. Mwansa (Mfuwe): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the Vote on the Floor.

Mr Chairman, I rise out of my personal concern over the deteriorating standards in the social services in the country. This arises out of the meagre support that the Government is giving to this ministry. This is a key ministry which needs a lot of support. I know that social services and community development are next to health.

Mr Chairman, my serious concerns arise out of the many children that have found their way to the streets at the moment. I would like to quote from the Act in particular, the Juveniles Act, Section 50, which states and I quote:

    “If any person causes or procures any child or having the custody charge or care of such child, allows him to be in the streets, premises or place for the purpose of begging or receiving alms or of inducing the giving of alms, whether or not there is any pretence of singing, playing, performing, offering anything for sale or otherwise, he shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 750 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both.” End of quote.

Mr Chairman, I submit that we have sufficient laws on our hands, but I do not know whether we have implemented them. We have not even bothered to carry out a research whether these children who are on the streets need to be there. There are sufficient laws here to charge the people whose custody these children are in to appear before the courts of law and answer as to whether these children should be on the streets. What have we done about it? We come here and make the laws which we do not use. I do not think that the laws are made to be in the books and left at that. I think they are there to be implemented.

Mr Chairman, I would also like to refer this august House to Section 46 of the same Juveniles Act, which says and I quote:

    “If any person who has attained the age of sixteen years and has the custody, charge or care of any juvenile, wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes him, or causes or procures him to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health, including injury to or loss of sight or hearing or limb or organ of the body and any mental suffering, that person shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 600,000 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.” End of quote.

Mr Chairman, again, this is an adequate law which we need to use because those children on the streets are being neglected. Have we found out whether the parents are indeed, in a position not to provide necessities?

Mr Chairman, this Government cannot take up the responsibility of looking after each and every child. Parents have got a moral obligation to look after their children.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss C. C. Mwansa: If parents are able to look after their children, then they better do so. This Government’s responsibility is to make sure that each person who brings a child into this world, has the right and obligation to look after that child.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Miss C. C. Mwansa: I think, Mr Chairman, we are asking the Government for too much by requesting it to look after each and every child. That is not the responsibility of the Government.

Mr Chairman, in the same vein, this Juveniles Act talks about a child being the child under the age of sixteen. This is another problem that we have because of the varieties in the ages. When it comes to the Juveniles Act, it defines a child as one who has not attained the age of sixteen. When it comes to voting, the child is defined as a child who is under eighteen years.

So, Mr Chairman, there is need to synchronise the ages so that we know when we talk about a child, what we mean. Under different laws, we have different definitions for a child and I think it is about time that the age of the child is once and for all given uniformity so that we know what we are talking about.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

The Chairman: The hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Lamba bull!

Mr Patel: What is your position about the Third Term?

The Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Mr Lupunga): I have got no ears. I have not heard of such a thing in Zambia.


Mr Lupunga: Mr Chairman, I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to wind up debate on the Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare for the year 2001. I am glad that the theme of the year 2001 Budget is ‘Empowering People for Prosperity’.

Mr Chairman, there are a number of on-going programmes aimed at poverty reduction and empowerment of the poor in the country, whose impact has not been felt because of various factors, including poor funding, poor targeting of beneficiaries. It is my sincere hope that the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative will be a reality to accord enough resources for my ministry to successfully implement its programmes this year.

Mr Chairman, some of the programmes that my ministry supports which require sufficient resources to make greater impact on the target group, include the following: the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) for us and a major safety net which mitigates the adverse effects of the economic reforms. The programme targets 2 per cent of the national population which is roughly about 200,000 vulnerable persons. The preliminary indicators for the year 2000 show an increase from 1999, the figure of 66,690. That means that with the increased funding, more persons would be reached under the programme, particularly with implementations of the redesigned PWAS which places the responsibility of identifications and beneficiaries to community using community welfare committees.

I know someone talked about K32 billion which is going to be accorded to my ministry which is going to be disbursed to poor people in all the provinces throughout the country.

I would like to inform hon. Ministers how it is going to be disbursed. Disbursement of funds or identifying these people who want to get loans will start from the wards. I am encouraging hon. Ministers that as you go back to your constituencies, you should get involved in your wards through Chiefs, village headmen, Non-Governmental Organisations, agricultural co-ordinators, community development assistants and other local leaders in constituencies because those people in the constituencies are the ones who know who is poor.

Mr Sibetta: Is it only for the hon. Ministers?

Mr Lupunga: It is for all hon. Members of Parliament, regardless of any political affiliation. When the President announced this issue in this House, he did not say that it is only for MMD. The K32 billion is for all Zambian poor people. We would like this money to reach poor communities in all districts throughout the country.

There will also be community development officers at district levels who will be assisted by churches leaders in that particular area. The people from ministries of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Community Development and Social Welfare, all the churches and Non-Governmental Organisations will have to be on that committee. This committee will ensure that they give us the right people who are poor and should benefit from this K32 billion. 

So, I hope I have made it clear. It is not for one particular race. The qualification that I am talking about is that someone has to be poor. This exercise will take between two and three years. When the poor people do well in farming, then we will go to another scheme where they will borrow money from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. My colleague, the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will come and explain. He has got K32 billion as well to be utilised by the same people.

The Food Management Programme is another safety net for focusing on enhanced food security through food for work and human development by supplementary feeding of malnutritioned children, expectant mothers and other vulnerable groups in both urban and isolated rural areas. The continued inadequate funds for the programme will have an effect on the implementation of the Government and WFP programme.

The African Housing Fund helps the communities to improve the quality of their houses. The ministry has made efforts to increase its contribution to the fund compared to the year 2000. It is hoped that many more houses will be constructed during the course of the year in addition to programmes which involves beneficiaries income generating activities for more households as asset creation.

Under the adult literacy programme, Government had planned to reduce literacy levels from 44 per cent to 12.5 per cent by the year 2000. These levels were only reduced by 2.5 per cent by the end of 1999 which can be reduced further with increased funding to pay literacy instructors and produce adequate teaching learning materials.

With regard to cultural industry - the Government supports cultural industries and associations through the National Arts Council. The funding of this council is inadequate to support the growing number of cultural association and artists in the country. It is also hoped that HIPC resources will improve the performance of this programme.

With regard to the National Trust Fund for disabled and Macro-Bankers’ Trust which will provide macro-credit to vulnerable groups like women and the disabled is a fund for people who have got disabilities. We have got roughly about a thousand who can borrow money from that institution. They put in applications and they get funds in order to empower them. The Macro-Bankers Trust provides macro-credits. Previously, it used to go through other small committees or Non-Governmental Organisations in any district wherever they wanted funds. The programmes aim at empowering women and persons with disabilities through provision of macro-credit. The demand for macro-credit is over-whelming and yet, for the funding to the Trust like in many programmes has been inadequate.

In 2000, the Trust gave out loans to about 353 disabled persons who are yet to start paying back. Repayment rates are likely to improve with the establishment of 45 district technical committees to spearhead the monitoring of loanees.

Mr Chairman, I would like to urge hon. Members to go and encourage or sensitise or help those people who get loans. Hon. Members must make it very clear to them that loans are not grants. Loans are sums of money that has to be paid back.

On persons with disabilities, through the agency, the funding is likely to improve from the HIPC funds to enable it commercialise its instructions and services of all the associations of persons with disabilities.

The aim of the Women’s Development Programme is to empower women through participation in poverty reduction activities. Peri-urban Self Help (PUSH) programmes assist to improve the living conditions of the peri-urban poor through provision of temporary employment, training and improved sustainable basic services such as road networks and drainage.

Mr Chairman, Government is working with the IMF, World Bank and other developmental partners including the civil society organisations in the country.

Mr Chairman, you might have heard about the security food pack. This K32 billion will be spent on the food security pack for vulnerable but viable farmers. Hon. Members will recall my intimation when I wound up debate on my ministry's 2000 Estimates on the need to assist the vulnerable and poor people to work on the land as a strategy for poverty reduction. I am pleased to inform the House that in the 2001 Budget, my ministry has made a budgetary provision of K32 billion for support to vulnerable but viable farmers in order to promote food security amongst the vulnerable in a more sustainable manner. 

It is hoped that those who receive support under this programme will become viable enough to qualify for credit support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. This programme will be executed in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and will be implemented by the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) and other Non-Governmental Organisations ...

Mr Sibetta: Finally, ...


Mr Lupunga: ... to formulate a policy through International Centre for Bantu Civilisation (CISBA) with the framework on the national poverty reduction action plan. These people will assist the Government to mobilise the external resources of financing poverty reduction initiative. My ministry is actively participating in this process.

Mr Nyundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Lupunga: Mr Chairman, it is gratifying to note that the Government, with the support of the civil society and CISBA in general, managed to lobby the international community for debt cancellation. It is the intention of the Government to spend funds made available through debt relief on poverty reduction programmes since poor funding has been identified as one of the major limitation to poverty reduction.

Mr Chairman, in conclusion, may I thank the hon. Members of this House who contributed to the debate on the Estimates for my ministry. But I have one or two points to mention. While one was speaking, he did not know what the International Centre for Bantu Civilisation, CISBA. This is an organisation that is based in Libreville, it was started in 1983. Hon. Members may wish to know that Zambia is one of the founding members of the International Centre for Bantu Civilisation which came into being in Libreville, Gabon.

The main aim of CISBA is to assess the Bantu culture of the African people south of the Sahara. Since 1991, Zambia has benefited from her participation in CISBA. For example, CISBA has introduced a macro-station at the Institute of Economic Research and Social Development, UNZA, for the purposes of collecting and disseminating of data on culture. This is with a view of establishing a cultural data bank in Zambia for the SADC region. 

Zambia is a beneficiary of an EC CISBA regional cultural project in which the following programmes have been carried out, that is: restoration and box making for the National Arts of Zambia; data collection on who is who in culture in Zambia; oral traditions reservation and publication; ceremonies, dances and document of ceremonial dances; collection and recording of traditional instruments; development of visual arts creation and acquisition of arts materials, paints and tools; community-based theatre public performance in the communities on awareness of the various aspects of the society under the popular theatre alliance; National Arts collections, purchase of art works to beef up the national collection; and rock art presentation and documentation of all rock sites under the National Heritage Commission.

Hon. Members may wish to know that from the time CISBA was established, Zambia has had three of her nationals employed by the Secretariat in Libreville. At present, there is only one Zambian employed at CISBA. 

Whilst one hon. Member was contributing, one did not know how much we support or give to these organisations. There are over fifty traditional ceremonies in the country. At the present moment, Paramount Chiefs get K1.3 million, Senior Chiefs get K1.2 million and ordinary Chiefs get about K1.1 million.

Now, Hon. Charity Mwansa, my cousin ...

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Lupunga: ... talked about street children. A year or two years ago, she might have been in Mpika when my ministry rounded up all the street children and they were put in one place where they were screened. It was found that some of them had no fathers, some of them had no mothers, and some of them came from the Copperbelt just to come and beg. And recently I advised my Permanent Secretary to form a committee of all stakeholders, including the police, Non-governmental Organisations and other stakeholders so that they can sit down to see how we can sort out this problem because you know, as hon. Members, that you cannot, in a free democratic country, arrest or false anyone.

Hon. Sibetta: Aah!

Mr Lupunga: Yes, I have been trying as Minister responsible for this problem. I have gone to the extent of discussing it with donors. I have been told if we start a programme for street children, they will assist us as long as children are not forced to go into that organisation. It is there. If you want to know more about it, you come to my office and I will tell you more. It is not the duty of the Government to look after all the kids. It is the duty of hon. Members and people at large to make sure that all the children produced ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Those who are produced before the Third Term.

Mr Lupunga: ... yes, we are all ready and when you talk about the Third Term, I can see that we are all coming back because we are in majority.


Mr Lupunga: What I am trying to say is that, let us look after our own kids, if they have to be looked after properly. And I am aware that you, hon. Members of Parliament, have got places where you came from. Therefore, I would like to advise you that when the Third Term comes, those of you who will lose your jobs, you better go back to your original areas together with your children, do not leave them in towns. Take them to a place where there is big land for them to work on. There is no one who is going to control this movement of young children or street children if we do not encourage them to stay at home ourselves.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear! Presidential material.

Mr Lupunga: My ministry has got to contribute a lot on poverty eradication by each and everyone by going to work on a piece of land and not just by drinking at all ...

Mr L. L. Phiri Interjected.

Mr Lupunga: ... and also by sustainable human development, formulating appropriate policies, providing and facilitating access to social support services, creating opportunities for social and economic empowerment of the people and vulnerable people in our society by facilitating the integration of our culture into the main stream.

My advice to you, brothers and sisters, hon. Members of Parliament, is that as we are talking about this, the amount will be about K60 billion to be put into agriculture and this is the time you should advise the people who are in town here doing nothing that they should go and prepare where they are going to stay if they want to benefit from this fund.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lupunga: This money is not meant for Hon. Phiri’s young brothers who are street kids.


Mr Lupunga: It is meant for people who really want to raise their standards of living and I did advertise some time back by encouraging those people who wanted to go back to the land and be assisted. The idea was that if you want to go back to your respective places, you must go back on your own and when you reach there, register with the Office of the D. A ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Why D. A?

Mr Lupunga: ... or community development officers so that they can tell when you are there and the idea was to assist you. If you go to Katete District today, you report to the Community Development Officer there and if I went to a certain organisation there I would give them your name so that you are assisted until the next harvest, but I do not know how many hon. Members of Parliament have encouraged their people to go back home, it appears that all of them want to stay in urban areas.


Mr Lupunga: There is room for that. So, advise your people to go back to their respective homes and when they go there, they must report to the community development officers or community development social welfare officers. Those people will be in a position to assist them.

Mr Patel: Fyafula.

Mr Lupunga: Mr Chairman, I thank you very much for having availed me this time to advise my colleagues who would like to be along the line of rail so that during the Third Term ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! 

Mr Lupunga: ... those who will flop can go back to their homes.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 45/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 45/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 45/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 45/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 46/01 - (Ministry of Health  - Headquarters - K501,403,153,489).

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika (Mongu): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote of the Ministry of Health. I have very few points to make, Mr Chairman. I would like to start by giving my congratulations. In fact, today, Mr Chairman, I am full of congratulations.

First of all, I would like to congratulate this Government which has made us famous on this continent and the whole world and has instilled fear in all the people of changing governments in case they change for the worst.

Mr Chairman, I also want to thank and congratulate this Government on maintaining the status quo and at times doing even worse. Mr Chairman, in Mongu, for most of the ten years MMD has been in power, we have had no ambulance. Well done, keep up the good work!


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, in my constituency we have a few citizens who have personal vehicles. Those are the ambulances that the people have been using for the past ten years, that is in urban Mongu. Some of these people do not even sleep. People who walk from remote areas come and camp at their houses, there are knocks at midnight and any time these poor citizens’ personal vehicles become ambulances.

Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Mr Chairman.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairman, I rarely stand on points of order.

Is the hon. Member for Mongu, who is my sister-in-law, who is talking so well, in order to start misleading this House that there are people in Mongu who do not sleep? I have never seen a person who does not sleep. Is she in order to mislead us that there are people who do not sleep in Mongu? I seek your serious ruling, Mr Chairman.

The Chairman: She is making a very good point. She is in order. Will she, please, continue.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: I thank you, Mr Chairman. The well-to-do patients in my constituency and neighbouring areas use wheelbarrows which are made by the people themselves, which is very good because we are learning how to cope in these difficult circumstances. We are even learning how to make our own wheelbarrows.

Mr Chairman, outside the boma line, sick people are put on make shift machile, scotch carts, those are the ambulances. So, the Government is doing better than in 1991. So, let them go ahead and keep up the good work. In 1991, there were serious shortages of medicine, Sir, and this Government has improved upon that. Now, the patients buy syringes, they even buy surgical gloves. So, that means Zambians, now, have to learn medicine. 

They even know the sizes of the surgical gloves because when they go to the hospitals, they are told to go and buy their own surgical gloves. Sometimes, they buy the wrong ones and they are told to go and buy the right sizes. So, our people are learning medicine. So, we congratulate the Government on that. It is also not common that whereas in 1991 there was no medicine anywhere, these days the hospitals and clinics can be in critical shortages while the chemists are full of the same medicines. 

Mr Chairman, we want also to thank the Government for making our lives shorter on this earth and we need to prepare for eternal life because in Zambia we are going to live extremely short lives. As you know, Sir, in our country the life expectancy has gone down drastically. Most of us who are forty years are living miracles. We should have died two years ago. Those who are sixty-two years old should have died some years ago. Those who are seventy and eighty, it is just amazing. The scientists better look at how they can survive this past decade.

Mr Chairman, the infant mortality rate has escalated in the past decade. Malnutrition has increased, stunted growth has increased. At this rate, most of us are going to be short people.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, when I was growing up, we had giants in Lealui. My father was six feet tall, but there were people who were even taller than that. Mr Chairman, we do not see such people and at this rate, this nation is going to break the record of producing dwarfs.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, we would like to congratulate the few people in this country who have made it economically. Some of them, we know in 1991 only had one pair of shoes. Today, they have seventy-five pairs and they no longer buy from some countries, they only buy from certain countries. We know in our country some people had no vehicles, today, they have fleets. We congratulate those for doing very well, those who have risen in their economic status. 

We are also leading, Sir, in death rates. In funerals, we are scaling up. When burial grounds are opened, no sooner than they are opened, they are full and we do not even particularly keep them clean. It is like dump sites. So, this is why I say we must get ready for eternal life because even when you say bye to this earth, you are just dumped somewhere in some shallow grave.

Mr Chairman, I would also like to congratulate the Government on discouraging people from helping themselves through programmes like primary health care and community based health care. I also want to congratulate them on clean hospitals, where a few of those who have made it economically can afford to go. These are nice and clean hospitals which are under-utilised while many people cannot even dare to go to.

Mr Chairman, at the rate the life expectancy is dropping, very soon, we shall have no Zambians and this will give the opportunity to the Government to use the land for ranches and give it to investors so that they can rear animals in our State.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: In conclusion, Mr Chairman, I know that this Government is great and it knows everything and it has answers to everything and it is not famous for being humble. I will not congratulate them for their arrogance, but may I just put in a submission and a suggestion ...

Mr L. L. Phiri: A free one.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: ... a free one because it does not cost any money. It will not cost those who have had economic miracles anything, they can continue to loosen their belts while the rest of the nation are tightening their belts to skeleton level. May I just suggest, Sir, that we make this country a non-smoking zone, at least. We know that more of our people are dying very rapidly, but can we just help them so that we declare our nation a non-smoking zone, for example, in public places and in the airports, for the animals that will survive.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.


Mr Chiinda (Chikankata): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this very important Vote.

Mr Chairman, I rise to support the Vote of the Ministry of Health. Health is, indeed, life. Without health facilities, Mr Chairman, this country would not be what it is today. It is, therefore, very important that health facilities be put within the reach of every individual.

Mr Chairman, what is obtaining on the ground in some places, like in my constituency, is quite different. In my constituency, health facilities are sparsely distributed. Mr Chairman, one has to travel for hundred kilometres to get to the next clinic. What this means, Mr Chairman, is that a number of people are not accessed to health facilities as one would have required. 

Mr Chairman, another issue I have in my constituency is the problem of drugs. Sir, if one goes to Chikankata Hospital, one will find that the prescriptions are given to a number of patients to go and purchase medicine from the next pharmacy or better still, to far away places like Mazabuka. What this means is that a number of people or particularly those who cannot afford to go to long distances, go back to their homes without medicines and resort to, perhaps, digging roots from the bush. So, they survive by way of taking bush medicines. 

So, this issue is actually quite strong and felt all over the area. My request, therefore, to the hon. Minister of Health is to make available the much required drugs in all clinics and hospitals in the country.

Mr Chairman, the other issue that besets my constituency, in particular, about the two big hospitals, Kafue Gorge Hospital and also Chikankata Hospital is that of ambulances. Many times, Mr Chairman, when one goes to Chikankata Hospital, one will find that patients are carried to hospitals on hammocks or on ox-cats. What this means is that there are no ambulances and, therefore, some patients have to be carried on hammocks and those who cannot afford ox-cats are left dying in the villages.

Therefore, my request, Mr Chairman, to the Government that loves its people, is to make available ambulances to these hospitals so that at least patients can be taken to hospitals whenever they are sick. 

Mr Chairman, with these brief remarks, I thank you.

Mr Sinyangwe (Chifubu): Mr Chairman, in supporting this life-serving Vote of the Ministry of Health, I would like to say that when I was going through the Yellow Book, Mr Chairman, I noticed that last year, Ndola Central Hospital was allocated K3 billion and this year it has been allocated the same amount.

Sir, taking into consideration the inflation which has hit this country, this amount, Mr Chairman, should have been doubled for this year. The same amount which was allocated last year cannot purchase the same items which it purchased last year because the amount is not enough for this institution.

Mr Chairman, I would like to comment on my constituency which has got two mini hospitals which are manned by a clinical officer. I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Health to station a Resident Doctor there who will man the two mini hospitals there so that people have more confidence in attending to these mini hospitals.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Chisala (Kankoyo): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for allowing me to say a few words on this Vote on the Floor of the House and I support the Vote.

Sir, I wish to appreciate the Government’s commitment to deal with the AIDS pandemic as expressed in this year’s Budget. Mr Chairman, I think that one of the reasons that AIDS is so rampant in Zambia, is that there is a lot of drunkardness in this country.

Hon. Members: Sure!

Mrs Chisala: I feel that, when a person is under a strong influence of alcohol ...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear, sosa!

Mrs Chisala: ... he will forget all precautions given everyday through AIDS campaigns, radio, television and through billboards. As much as I appreciate the economic benefits of tax incentives for the brewing industry, I hope that this will not have an adverse effect on the problem of AIDS in the  country.

Mr Chairman, I wish to suggest that as we collect revenue from the promotions of the brewing industry, we should not forget our moral responsibility of channelling more of these funds into fighting the AIDS pandemic. This will ensure that our economic growth will not carry with it the side effects of decaying moral fibre and the increase of AIDS in the nation.

Mr Chairman, in nations like Britain, for example, which have much lower levels of AIDS medication is provided free and yet, in our much poorer country, the cost of medication is much higher. One of the ways the retains from the brewing industry can be used is to devise a way of providing medication for free.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chisala: One way of doing this would be to manufacture these drugs locally. I am reliably informed, Mr Chairman, that the raw materials for the manufacture of these drugs are actually available locally.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: At K150 billion.

Mrs Chisala: Mr Chairman, I suggest that we seriously consider promoting local industries in this area. I am confident that the advantages of establishing a strong pharmaceutical industry in Zambia would be more beneficial to the nation than the short-term benefits of promoting the beer industry.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Well done, walasa!

Mr Muasa (Kasempa): Mr Chairman, I would like to support this Vote which is very important. But first of all, I pity the hon. Minister of Health (Mr Kavindele) for having been pushed to a skeleton ministry. It is a skeleton ...

Hon. Members: How?

Mr Muasa: ... in the sense that wherever you go or in any Government hospital or rural health centre you go to, you will find shortage of staff, drugs and medical equipment. Hence, he has inherited a skeleton ministry.

Mr Chairman, looking at the allocation, I think this has been the biggest sum of money that has been allocated to the Ministry of Health ever since, but when you look at the problems that are affecting the Ministry of Health, you will notice that this amount is not sufficient.

Mr Chairman, I would like to refer to the medical fees, first of all. Although you call them user fees- I do not know why- medical fees have created a lot of suffering among our people. We have a situation whereby some pregnant women have given birth in the corridors of hospitals. They have given birth in corridors of rural health centres. This is because they cannot afford the money to pay for the health services. This, in itself, Mr Chairman, is very inhuman for a human being to be treated in such a way. 

I, therefore, wish to ask our listening Government to look into the medical fees to be abolished. Now, I would like to thank the Hon. Minister of Education who has done a lot to, at least, abolish the fees in schools from Grade 1 up to Grade 7. That is in the schools. Now, in the health sector, this should also come to an end as quickly as possible, hon. Minister, Sir.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Mr Muasa: No medical fees.

Mr Chairman, on the question of HIV/AIDS campaign, I am really puzzled by the decision that because Zambia is a Christian nation, therefore, the campaign against AIDS must be stopped or there must be modifications to the campaign. AIDS is a disease, Mr Chairman, which knows no Christian, Muslim, Hindu or pagan. So, it is a situation whereby we cannot play around. We need proper and continuous advertisement of the use of condoms. Condoms have done a commendable job ...

Mr J. T. Phiri: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr J. T. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I rarely stand on points of order, but is Hon. Muasa, wise a man as he looks, ...


Mr J. T. Phiri: ... an elderly person as he looks, in order to come into this House and state that there are no trained medical officers in most of our hospitals and yet he is a trained male nurse and has contributed to the shortfall. Is he in order to come to this House and talk about shortfall of staff in our hospitals?


Mr J. T. Phiri: I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairman.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: I know you are also very happy to see that Hon. Muasa is expressing the sentiments on the issues that are also existing in your own constituency. He is bringing this to the attention of the Government and it is for the Government to answer and correct the situation. He is very much in order.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: Will you, please, continue.

Mr Muasa: Mr Chairman, the use of condoms has prevented the spread of not only HIV/AIDS but also gonorrhoea, syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister to continue advertising the use of condoms.

Mr Chairman, on the training of our doctors and nurses in this Republic, I started earlier by pointing out that we have either no or very few doctors, nurses, clinical officers and cleaners in our hospitals. So, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister that since we train our doctors and nurses under these adverse situations in our hospitals or rural health centres, will these people be recognised in other countries? ...

Hon. Members: They are!

Mr Muasa:  ... because of adverse conditions under which we are training our nurses and doctors ...

Mr Sata: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah, just go on!

Mr Muasa: Mr Chairman, Sir, ...

Mr Sata: On a point of order. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Dr Sondashi: Sit down!

The Chairman: Can you, carry on. Will the hon. Minister, please sit down.

Mr Sata: No, Sir, but it is a point of order.

Hon. Oppositions Members: Aah, no!


Mr Muasa: Mr Chairman, Sir, ...

Mr Sata: Point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: I always take points of order reluctantly, especially from Ministers. If they find something not correct in the debate by an hon. Members, it is better they take note of it so that at the end they answer back.

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Muasa: Mr Chairman, when business was suspended, I was advancing a point that we have got a shortage of staff, drugs, medical equipment and I was wondering how our doctors and nurses, especially registered nurses are being trained under these conditions. And I was wondering whether they can be recognised throughout the world or not. 

Mr Chairman, I would have talked much, but I will end my contribution by referring to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). At this institution, Sir, there has been a problem of rats and cockroaches. These rats and cockroaches have caused a lot of havoc among the staff at UTH. And so, this has attracted a lot of attention throughout the country, in newspaper, on radio, television and so forth. These rats have even gone to the extent of eating corpses in the mortuary.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Well done!

Mr Muasa: What is the cause of rats? Rats are attracted to a place like UTH because there is a lot of dirt around. The place is very dirty resulting in a lot cockroaches and rats. Despite this, the hospital staff went to the extent of accusing innocent visitors of introducing rats and cockroaches into the hospital. That is not acceptable, hon. Minister. None of the visitors brought rats and cockroaches to UTH. These came because of dirt. You may remember that during the voluntary separation, most cleaners were laid off. And, so, most of our hospitals are without cleaners and hence, the rats and cockroaches.

With these few remarks, Sir, I thank you.

Mr Kapangalwendo (Chinsali): Mr Chairman, thank you very much for affording me this rare chance. In the first place, I support the Estimates for the Ministry of Health.

Mr Chairman, I would like to go straight to sub-item 021 - Control of Aids. Last year, K12 billion was allocated to this particular Vote, but I wonder why this year it has been allocated only K3 billion. This makes some people believe that in this country, we have already eradicated AIDS and that is why they have drastically reduced the amount.

I need some clarification from the hon. Minister. Sir, another point of concern is that in this country, health policies have been slightly abandoned. I will give three categories where health services and policy have not been properly observed.

Mr Chairman, the first category is the preventive policy. Sir, immediately after independence, people settled anywhere and forgot about their health care. Sir, this is a section where we have not pumped in a lot of money. Sir, I would like to emphasise this policy. The preventive policy is very important and we have to look at it carefully, if we have to control diseases. We have a tendency of allocating a lot of money on drugs than on prevention. Sir, markets and bars are the sources of disease and if we do not allocate or pay much attention to these sections, then UTH will continue to be full of patients and cholera will never end. Mr Chairman, we have to look at preventive measures carefully.

Previously, all the councils used to collect refuse throughout the townships but now even dogs are left to rot after they have been hit by vehicles. This is a health hazard. The other concern is the promotion of good health which is of paramount importance. You remember when we had District Commissioners and not Governors, I was very young at that time, they used to inspect every house. This used to help in the prevention of diseases. It is said, Sir, that prevention is better than cure. We are spending a lot of money on buying drugs but we are not spending enough money on preventive measures.

Mr Chairman, a good health policy rests on how the surroundings are kept and so, these two important points must be looked at and if possible the ministry should allocate a lot of money on this particular policy. These are very important as far as Zambia is concerned. It is these diseases which have caused the life expectancy of a Zambian to reduce drastically. If we take the preventive measures seriously, we will prevent all these diseases. Sir, the fewer people in the hospitals, the more drugs we shall save.

Mr Chairman, sanitation is another area of primary importance and if funded properly, we shall have a health nation. By sanitation, I mean clean water, clean markets and collection of refuse all over. A clean environment in this country is the only answer to prevention of diseases. We have pumped in a lot of money on curative measures rather than preventive measures. We always go to Nchelenge to find out whether there is cholera when we had forgotten to prevent cholera there before it broke out. This way we spend a lot of money and time on curative measures.

Mr Chairman, I now want to talk about the health boards. Sir, ever since we introduced the health boards, they have had a lot of repercussions on the members of staff, especially on the doctors. Sir, promotions are not there, discipline is not there and some incentives have disappeared. Sir, the reason for this is that they are just answerable to that board unlike previously when the doctors were answerable to the Ministry of Health Headquarters.

Mr Chairman, I now want to talk about Mission hospitals. Sir, these hospitals are of great concern and I propose that the Government takes serious steps. These Mission hospitals get their money through the headquarters. In most cases, hospitals like Chitambo and Mulilansolo pay workers slave wages and in most cases these workers are overworked...

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

The Minister Without Portfolio (Mr Sata): Mr Chairman, I would like to compliment my colleague, the hon. Minister of Health for being very dedicated and professional. But the problem we have in this House is that when Ministers are answering, we do not pay much attention. 

For example when Hon. Professor Nkandu Luo was Minister of Health she told this House that she was not responsible for the prevention of cholera. The ministry was not responsible for the prevention of cholera but when there is cholera, you blame the Ministry of Health. She also told this House what was being put in place in training, but unfortunately the people who are being harmful to this ministry are those who worked in the primary organs or in very lower levels of the ministry at the clinical officers’ level who are supposed to understand better.


Mr Sata: Sir, for example, let me pick one point which my brother mentioned. If all the Zambian doctors who are in Botswana pulled out today, their health service would collapse. In South Africa, the majority of doctors are from Zambia. Now, even in Britain, we have Zambian doctors and nurses. The exodus is from here. For a Zambian and a person who was trained in Zambia to say that the people we are training are not going to be recognised, is being less grateful. One would expect those who worked in the Ministry of Health to sympathise with this ministry because they understand the constraints. 

For a person who worked in the Ministry of Health, either as a clinical officer or as a paramedical, he or she should understand. He cannot compare the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Health. Examination fees are not paid everyday. They are periodical. From Grade 1, we sit for examinations in Grade 7. From Grade 8, we sit for examinations in Grade 9 and from Grade 10 we sit for examinations in Grade 12. So, for one to say that we abolish the user fees or support, like the Ministry of Education did, shows lack of consideration and understanding of this ministry.

Sir, the Ministry of Health is like a tummy in front of us. We eat everyday. And because we eat everyday, we, therefore, need mgaiwa or mealie-meal. In the same vein, we have malaria cases in hospitals everyday and for us to procure medicine for malaria cure, we need money. Let us not simplify issues. 

Mr Chairman, how can we start talking about condoms when school children are here in the galleries? Those condoms lead people to ending up in Westwood Police Station. What we need is to assist this ministry sensitise the people. For example, if we had to go to a ng'anga, ask Hon. Kangwa, before you speak to him, you pay something, be it a goat, chicken or any other thing.

Hon. Opposition Member: Talk about the Ministry of Health!

Mr Sata: That is part of the Ministry of Health.

If we are going to mislead the people by saying that the hon. Minister should abolish some little fees, then we are killing ourselves. 

Mr Chairman, I remember Hon. Professor Luo making a statement in this House and told us the relationship between the Churches Medical Association of Zambia and the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Before a Member comes to this House to try and speak about these things, he should go to the ministry and get the correct information, interaction and the relationship between these bodies. Let us not speak to the gallery because once we do that ...

Mr Hachipuka: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Chairman, is the hon. Minister Without Portfolio in order to teach this House each time he comes rather than debating the subject on the Floor? He has become a teacher to teach us like school children in this House. I seek your serious ruling.


The Chairman: Hon. Members, when you are given the Floor and you produce some material for discussion in this House, it is incumbent upon the hon. Ministers to answer back. He is not replying but he is just debating like anybody else. He is answering, in one way or the other, the issues that were raised by Hon. Muasa. If you disagree with him, I will also give you a chance so that you cannot also debate. That is the essence of debate. The only person you cannot query is the hon. Minister of Health when I give him the Floor to answer your queries. Hon. Sata is now debating like anybody else. If you do not agree with what he saying, just take note of what you disagree with and indicate so that I give you a chance and then throw punches on him.

Will Hon. Sata, please, continue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: Sir, it is very nice that my hon. bakulu banandi understood what I was saying.

Sir, all social services ministries are very complicated. They need more money but produce very little money. Therefore, hon. Members of Parliament should not come here just to go on a wanton attack of what people are saying. It is not the Board which makes the doctor not to be promoted. If the doctor does not fill in those forms every year, it means they are not going to be promoted. That particular board in Chinsali is not final. On top of it, there is Central Board of Health, CBOH, and if that doctor does not complete those forms which will end up at CBOH, he is not going to be promoted. In fact, promotion does not come on a silver platter. It is on merit.

My hon. Niece, Professor Luo, visited Chinsali and Mpika and found some of the staff sleeping on duty. Do you expect such people to get promoted? That is out of question. My appeal to hon. Members is that they advise the hon. Minister who is a dedicated and patriotic businessman. If we give him good advice, he will assist us to make our hospitals very attractive.

Mr Chairman, it is surprising to see what people who are sick do. They first go in the bush to look for trees as African medicine like imimpulumpumpi, imisafwa and everything. When they fail, they go to a private doctor. After running out of money, they end up at UTH. At UTH, they say there is nothing there. It is too late. I have been to several hospitals in the region. We have inadequacies and it is surprising for someone to come and talk about rats. I stayed in one English hospital and there was a cockroach ...

Dr Mbikusita Lewanika: So what?

Mr Sata: Why talk about rats? In fact, there are more rats in Mongu General Hospital than the rats we are talking about here.


Mr Sata: The Ministry of Health is working under very difficult conditions. We need to give them a pat on the back and give them more effective criticism rather than to go and ...

Mr Muasa interrupted.

Mr Sata: Well, one might have not been promoted but decided to resign and become a Member of Parliament. This is because you were not efficient. That is why you could not have been promoted to be a Chief Clinical Officer but that should not bring somebody here to come and humiliate the Ministry of Health. Without this ministry some of us in here could have died a long time ago, especially Hon. Sibetta.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sichinsambwe (Mbala): Mr Chairman, let me start with the hon. Minister Without Portfolio. He was once Minister of Health and was very mobile. He moved from place to place. When Hon. Professor Nkandu Luo was Minister of the same ministry, she also used to move from place to place. They did their best and I want to commend them for that.

Mr Chairman, there was one thing which was wrong with the hon. Minister Without Portfolio when he was Minister of Health. He was very harsh and could dismiss doctors who made mistakes there and then.


Mr Sichinsambwe: I remember when he came to Mbala, he withdrew vehicles from doctors just at a public meeting.


Mr Hamir: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Sichinsambwe: Aah! Let me tell him.

Hon. Members: Continue!

Mr Sichinsambwe: Mr Chairman, I would like to ask the ...

Mr Hamir: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamir: I always admired Hon. Sata when he was Minister of Health. He cared for all the hospitals and clinics throughout the country and we are very grateful for that. So, is it in order to insult or accuse him? I would be very grateful if he went back to the Ministry of Health than looking after the political life.

Thank you, Sir.


The Chairman: The point of order raised by Hon. Hamir is reminding the hon. Member on the Floor that when you are debating the issue like this one, you should restrict yourself to issues or operations of the ministry. You should not attack individuals or party. You are not competent to assess personal attitudes and mandated to do that. So, you should leave that aside. If you have got complaints, there are channels which can handle that adequately. But, as of now, you should discuss the operations of the Ministry of Health and if you want to praise or criticise him, just mention where he failed as Minister, not as an individual.

Will the hon. Member, please, continue.

Mr Sichinsambwe: Mr Chairman, I wanted to tell the new Minister of Health that if he wants to work well, he should, perhaps, go for an orientation course. Hon. Sata and Hon. Professor Luo did their best in this field. So, if the current Minister wants to work hard, he should consult these two doctors.


Hon. Members: Are they doctors?

Mr Sichinsambwe: Yes, they are doctors because they were in the field of medicine. Hon. Sata worked as a doctor perfectly well.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinsambwe: The ministry has been allocated with a lot of money this year. I hope more things will be done and more medicine and drugs will be ordered.

Hon. Member: It is the same thing.

Mr Sichinsambwe: It is not the same thing.

We shall be grateful if the hon. Minister discourages doctors from writing prescription notes to patients. As more money has been allocated to the Vote which I am supporting now, I hope salaries, wages and hardship allowances for doctors will be increased. I hope training of doctors will be enhanced because more money has been allocated.

Mr Chairman, not UTH alone should be rehabilitated. All clinics in villages and hospitals in provinces as well should be rehabilitated. As more money has been allocated, Sir, blood donors and other associations should be given more funds, not like the funds that they were given last year. All health institutions and staff houses should be equally rehabilitated.

Mr Walubita: Interjected.

Mr Sichinsambwe: Listen carefully, hon. Minister.

The National Food and Nutrition Commission should also be given more funds than the funds they were given last year. Mission hospitals should also be treated the same as Government hospitals. The SDA Hospital we have in Mbala should also be treated the same as a Government hospital. We must be fair and not be one sided. Drugs and vaccines to control tropical diseases must be ordered in bulk.

Mr Miti: The voice of the former Headmaster!

Mr Sichinsambwe: Yes, I was a Headmaster for many years and many of you were taught by me. I have three hon. Members I taught in this House.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear! Well done.

Mr Sichinsambwe: Buying of medicines from the streets by patients must be discouraged.

Mr Walubita: Interjected.

Mr Sichinsambwe: Listen carefully from me. Listen, hon. Minister.


Mr Sichinsambwe: We have Mbala General Hospital which has an ambulance and we thank the Government very much for that ambulance, but the hospital requires a big truck for transporting drugs and other utilities. We cannot depend on the ambulance to be transporting these utilities. So, we are urging the hon. Minister to help the needy by providing utility transport using this fund which has been allocated in here.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): I thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the Estimates of this ministry. In the first place, I would like to support the Vote.

Mr Chairman, allow me to welcome the young Minister, Hon. Enock Kavindele, who has been in the wilderness ...

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Mr Sibetta: ...for two years and he has been brought back to give support to the current issues or debates in his party. He should realise that he is the fourth Minister in that ministry in four years and it is not an easy job. So, the hon. Minister has our blessings and support.

Now, to start with, I would like to bring the hon. Minister’s attention to the expenditure of K2 billion which the Government is putting aside for expatriates’ salaries for Chinese and Cuban doctors. Besides that, there is another K800,000,000 which is likely to be incurred this year. This is what was incurred last year, although in this year’s Estimates, the Government is only putting in a nominal figure of K30,000,000. But last year, we went up to K800,000,000. These are repatriation travel charges for foreign doctors.

Mr Chairman, this country does not need foreign doctors of the calibre of the Chinese and Cubans who are currently here and they do not even speak any Nyanja or Bemba or Lozi or English to our people in the hospitals. We have a highly qualified cadre of Zambian doctors. As the hon. Minister Without Portfolio pointed out, if the Zambian doctors were to be pulled out of Botswana, the health system in that country would collapse. He also authoritatively said that if the Zambian doctors in South Africa were to be pulled out, the situation in that country would be very difficult. He even went further by saying that even United Kingdom is enjoying the support of the well trained Zambian doctors. 

For a developing country like ours and, I always believe, Mr Chairman, that charity begins at home, we should have endeavoured like in the Second Republic to look after the doctors well, pay them well and give them travel benefits to and from work. But instead we are doing this to foreign doctors and neglecting our own people. And we prefer to threaten that if we withdraw their services the health services will collapse. Surely, the amount of K3 billion is being spent on foreign ill-equipped and ill-trained doctors instead of spending on our wonderful doctors. 

It would have gone a long way to improve the health facilities in this country. I hope the hon. Minister will immediately look into these matters and begin to cut down on recruitment of Cuban and Chinese doctors. We do not need them and I trust you and I know very well. I can rely on your business skills which have been very carefully described by the hon. Minister Without Portfolio. During his time, there were no Chinese and Cuban doctors. 

Mr Chairman, the issue of nutrition of this country is very serious. The majority of our children are going through slow death, kwarshiokor and malnutrition. In these Estimates, the National Food and Nutrition Commission has been given K3 billion. The same goes for the Survival Project for Children which has been given K31 billion. I think the Government as a whole should revise their Structural Adjustment Programme policies. These are the policies that are making it difficult for social ministries like the Ministry of Health to provide adequate services for our people because you have been laying off too many people and not paying their pensions. Consequently, there is a lot of malnutrition and starvation in many homes whose people could have received millions of kwacha. 

If the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs is not aware, K54 billion in this Budget is being put aside to pay to the Pensions Board money owed over a period of five years by this Government. Now these are funds that have been denied to families and consequently, we have malnutrition. We are the highest in the sub-region with kwarshiokor and malnutrition cases. Sir, 60 per cent of our people are experiencing malnutrition, even adults like the hon. Minister Without Portfolio who has just left needs to be looked at. It is one of the areas I would ask you to have him examined.


Mr Sibetta: I am not a doctor, but he looks like a case that needs to be looked at on the issue of kwarshiokor.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I see that the ministry is ordering aircrafts as it did last year. The ministry was able to bring in aircrafts. This is really a commendable job for the ministry. We have far outlying places like Shangombo and many other places where medical facilities, especially for specialist doctors cannot be easily accessed and the need for a well equipped Zambia Doctor Flying Service on the model of the Second Republic would be advisable.

Mr Chairman, before I leave, I would like to advise the hon. Minister that the internal tendering system in his ministry needs to be put right. There are times when the internal tendering system, not the Central Tender Board, has been trying to bring in things four times more expensive than on the local markets. 

There is the issue of a catscan. The ministry has been promising this country that we will have a catscan established. It is now two years and a catscan has not been put in place and we are aware that a catscan of eight generations, very very old, was to be put in place, brought in at US$1.4 million instead of a new one at US$253,000...

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

Mr Miti (Vubwi): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to say a few words on this Vote.

Mr Chairman, I have very high respect for my elder brother, Hon. Sibetta, but to rule out and request Government to forget about foreign doctors, it is something that I personally do not accept because these doctors are brought here for specialist cases. And I think we must admit this. It is not proper to just condemn them like that. 

The other point which was brought in, Mr Chairman, is about trying to urge the Government ...

Mr Sibetta left the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Miti: Why is he walking out when I am talking about him?

Mr Sibetta: Because there is nothing you are talking about.

Mr Miti: ... to pay our doctors. But there is something he was supposed to have emphasised. I am aware that a lot has been said about HIV/AIDS but very little has been talked about malaria. Malaria is a dangerous killer disease. I understand the efforts that are being put in place by the Government. But I think there is need for more intensive research in the problem of malaria in this country. 

It is a fact that the control of HIV/AIDS depends on the morality more than anything else. While the control of malaria depends largely on the eradication of the mosquito that carries malaria, we should, in my view, look at the research very seriously. We should get rid of the malaria and mosquito. But when you look in the Yellow Book, on page 201, you will note that what has been given to the control of malaria is, perhaps, a third or a quarter of what has been given to HIV/AIDS control. In my view, malaria must be investigated very seriously.

Mr Chairman, there is also some allocation on the Federation of Hospital Boards. I wonder, first of all, the existence and operations of this Federation of the Hospital Boards. I do not understand. If they are there, then they need to do a little bit more because I think very little is being done, looking at what is happening in the district boards.

I would like to mention that in the rural areas, as and until now, we are aware that people are walking long distances to go to clinics. The creation of health posts must be looked into by the Ministry of Health because we need them and I think the whole process of creating them - I know there is community involvement, but we need the ministry to put in place a deliberate policy to ensure that we have got more health posts because they go a long way in trying to ease the movements of our patients, especially in the rural areas.

Sir, for a long time, I have not heard personally as to what is happening to the research on traditional medicine ...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr Miti: What is it that is happening in the research for traditional medicine? The hon. Minister Without Portfolio did mention that, first a person will go to the traditional healers and later on, when money finishes that is when he decides to go to the hospital or clinic, but in the real sense, I believe that the Government has put in place a mechanism of recognising the presence and performance of traditional medicines. The traditional healers must be given an opportunity by finding a way, through Government, to see how this can be accommodated. I think the research, if it has been done, the nation, as of now, Sir, does not know what it is with the traditional medicine and the position of traditional healers. We have about two associations looking into this one. I urge the hon. Minister, perhaps, to clarify this issue as he comes to respond on what the position is regarding traditional medicine.

I would also like to mention something about child survival programmes. Sir, the children are our future leaders and I believe efforts are being made but to a certain extent, a lot needs to be done to ensure that the child is given the health he/she requires to grow into a health adult at the end of the day because if we cannot care for the child today, it will be a big problem as we are going to have a nation that will have children who will grow up with different ailments that might be very difficult to cure.

Finally, Sir, Chadiza is one district that has no hospital and for a long time, we have been crying with my colleague ...

Hon. Members: Cry!

Mr Miti: ... we would like - no, this is serious crying actually. 

Hon. Members: You are not crying.

Mr Miti: Can it be made clear, Sir, as to when Chadiza is going to have a district hospital. We need that hospital very urgently because the nearest referral hospitals are St. Francis and Mwami Mission hospitals which are very far. May I request the hon. Minister, to give us a positive reply with regard to Chadiza Hospital.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms R. Phiri: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Walubita): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this very important Vote before us this afternoon.

Firstly, Sir, I wish to join my colleagues in congratulating the new Minister of Health (Mr Kavindele). He is a person in a profession I have known for many years and I have no doubt in my mind, Sir, that he will deliver the much needed services to the people of Zambia.

Hon. Muasa, Sir, referred to the Ministry of Health as a skeleton. I do not share this idea with him and I want to confirm to him that despite the fact the he is now on the Front Bench of the Opposition, what he has left behind is a strong Ministry of Health of which we are very proud of.

A number of suggestions have been made with regard to foreign doctors. Sir, I want to confirm that Zambia and Cuba have enjoyed a very warm and cordial relationship for many years and the Cubans have come to our assistance even under very difficult conditions. I, therefore, would not like to subscribe to any idea of condemning what we receive from the Cuban Republic in form of doctors.

Mr Sibetta: They do not speak local languages.

Mr Walubita: These Doctors are doing a commendable job. Hon. Sibetta is saying that most of them do not speak local languages. That is not true. Many of them have adapted themselves to the local environment of their working places and these are few doctors who are prepared to serve in any part of Zambia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with our colleagues in the Ministry of Health, are proud of the contributions the Cuban doctors are rendering to Zambia.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: What about Zambian doctors?

Mr Walubita: ... in the same vein, disregarding all the interventions from my grandmother who, at times, should be sympathetic to the young ones when they are debating ...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr Walubita: .. I want to assure her that the Chinese have also done a commendable job in this country. Zambia should never attempt to live in isolation. The Chinese have always been with us even during pre-independence days. No one can now doubt the contributions from the Chinese. 

Those of us who have friends in the West, you remember we were told that it was not possible to put up a railway line all the way from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi, but the Chinese Government came to our assistance and even now, we enjoy warm and cordial relations with the People’s Republic of China and we should show appreciation where it is due. I have no doubt that the participation of the Chinese people in our investment and restructuring of our economy will bring benefits to the people of Zambia.

The Chinese doctors are contributing to this welfare in a very noble and professional way and I have no doubt and will not subscribe to any hon. Member of Parliament who would stand up in this august House condemning the contributions of the Chinese Government or doctors, they are doing a noble job and those of us who are close to Nkana Hospital in Kitwe, I am sure we are beginning to benefit from the professionalism the Chinese doctors are now exhibiting.

Let us give commendation where it is due. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sir, is working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health even to introduce anti-malaria technic, the Cubans are willing and have already drawn up the proposed protocols with my colleagues in the Ministry of Health. We stand to benefit from these expertise, the Cubans and I, want all of us here to appreciate what our friends are doing for us.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Walubita: Mr Chairman, I want to commend the hon. Minister of Health in one aspect. I heard one Member of Parliament saying that drugs must begin to be manufactured here. We inherited Medical Stores which was merely being used as a warehouse for the distribution of medicines. I want to say one thing that this Government, today, is very proud because we have transformed Medical Stores into a manufacturing plant and I want this National Assembly, perhaps, one of these coming days to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Health and arrange a visit by hon. Members of this House to Medical Stores to go and see for themselves what Medical Stores and the able leadership of MMD is now doing.

They are now manufacturing such drugs like chloroquin and antibiotics. I think this is a commendable job and we expect the Opposition to be bold enough to stand up, not to throw scorn on this Government, but to commend and congratulate us. I am very happy to see my own brother-in-law, Hon. Sikombe, nodding his head in appreciation. My brother-in-law, this is what ought to be done.


Mr Walubita: Mr Chairman, I was a bit worried when Hon. Sibetta referred to issues of kwashiorkor and malnutrition and even saying that the figures for Zambia are the highest in the region. I am the contact person for SADC activities in this region and I had wished Hon. Sibetta could bring to this House comparative statistics that would prove his argument. Otherwise, it is a debate that should never be taken seriously and it is very unfair for Hon. Sibetta to think that these figures of kwashiorkor would be the highest in Zambia. I have travelled around the region and I know, to a greater extent, what the situation looks like. Let us come to this House with facts, for that matter, comparative statistics that can prove our argument. Otherwise, I do not agree with what has been said this afternoon.

Obviously, the question, Mr Chairman, would be, in appreciating the contributions of foreign doctors, we, as a Government are very determined not to forget the contributions of our own local experts and that is why, for example, we in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia are working hand in hand with the International Organisation of Migration which is encouraging experts. Those of us who have decided to work elsewhere, we are encouraging them to come back to Zambia and serve their own people. This is what we are doing.

In conclusion, Mr Chairman, let me wish my colleague, the hon. Minister of Health, the best in his portfolio. I want to assure him of my support despite the fact that Hon. Muasa stood up condemning him rather than congratulating him. I want to plead with Hon. Muasa that you should congratulate your colleagues. These are temporary positions. At any given time, only one of us would be Minister of Foreign Affairs while the rest wait. It is always a turn for one person.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Minister of Health (Mr Kavindele): Mr Chairman, I would like to thank all hon. Members of this House who have debated both negatively and positively on the performance of this ministry. The debate should be taken as a counsel to all health workers to encourage them to improve their performance in service delivery.

Mr Chairman, before I comment on the specific important issues raised on the Floor by various hon. Members of this House, let me share with you the context under which the ministry functions. Due to the high incidences of poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, all general health indicators declined. For instance, life expectancy at birth has declined drastically, both the infant and under five mortality rates have gone up. The maternal mortality ratio has equally gone up. 

A decade ago Zambia’s disease burden was significantly different from the picture presented today. The impact of HIV/AIDS on households and communities is now of major significance and consequence. The number of households experiencing chronic illnesses and death has risen significantly. At the same time, the burden of disease due to malaria, diarrhoea, cholera included and infections, remain unacceptably high. Further, malnutrition continues to be a serious problem in the country.

The greatest challenge faced by the health sector is the vicious circle of poverty and ill health. The wealth of the poor is their health, simply stated, health is wealth. The high burden of disease in the country is due to diseases of poverty such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB. These attribute to the high rate of morbidity and mortality which have further contributed to high incidence of poverty in the country. Other equally important challenges faced by my ministry include low staff morale of health workers due to unfavourable conditions at places of work and inadequate remuneration package. 

This has caused the brain drain which led to the critical shortage of skilled personnel such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists, clinical officers and laboratory staff etc. Inadequate medical supplies and equipment, consistent shortages of essential drugs and the poor state of infrastructure has led to the poor quality of health services being offered by the public health delivery system.

The unsustainable high level of debt has also contributed to the general poor performance of the ministry. The debt is composed of three elements, namely; the accrued amounts owed to staff and amounts owed for utility charges such as electricity, telephones, water, house rentals and unsettled pharmaceutical bills. The numerous problems faced by the health sector are principally caused by the double burden of insufficient resources in the face of an escalating disease burden. Despite sustained increase in the allocation of financial resources by the Government, the health sector, in real terms, is declining progressively.

The achievements, despite the numerous challenges cited above, the health sector has made modest progress in the implementation of health reforms vision which is the provision of equity of access to cost-effective quality health care as close to the family as possible. Some of the achievements, Sir, are improved conditions of service for health workers working in rural health boards. This will go a long way in re-activating the low morale of staff working in the health management boards and the establishment of an HIV/AIDS, STD, TB Council and Transitional Team in response to the multi-sectoral response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Mr Chairman, the shortages of essential drugs in our institutions, specifically in urban health centres and hospitals, has, to a large extent, been eliminated. There are adequate supplies at Medical Stores and additional supplies procured by the World Bank are expected to arrive in Zambia in a few months’ time. As I speak, Mr Chairman, I would like to assure the House that we have sufficient drugs in Medical Stores. 

We do have, however, a very serious problem of pilferages. Almost all our health centres could be allocated with the drugs that we have at Medical Stores today and there will still be many more drugs left at Medical Stores, but when these drugs are allocated to health institutions, something happens in between that we do not know, but we are doing our best and, indeed, many people have been arrested lately because of some of the measures that we have put into effect.

We have had, of course, a strange relationship with our co-operating partners who consequently withdrew their support, but right now I think we have sorted it out. They are now coming back to support us.

We are working on staff motivation in order to retain our staff. With the help of hon. Members in this House, and if these Estimates are approved, I believe that in a few days’ time, we could be making an announcement that will satisfy the cries of most of our health workers.

Mr Sata: Well done!

Mr Kavindele: The HIV/AIDS pandemic is being tackled effectively. We have set up the National HIV/AIDS STD TB Council, which will be the highest policy making body as we fight this scourge. This scourge has been referred to by many of you, hon. Members. My appeal to you all, is that we should support, we should talk about these things openly, if only we are to be able to contain the pandemic. 

Mr Sata: Not condom iwe!

Mr Kavindele: In the 1970s and the early 1980s, when AIDS first appeared, we were told that AIDS only attacked homosexuals and drug pushers. And since we are not homosexuals nor are we drug pushers, we ignored the signals, only to our peril. Now, there is no society, nor a single family in this country that has been spared by this pandemic in one way or the other. So, the more we talk about it, the better. There should be no single person who should die out of ignorance, they should know what we are all going into.

The 2001 Budget, is certainly pro-poor as it aims at improving access to health services by the poor and those in hard-to-reach areas of the country. As you are aware, reproductive health is largely free. Under five children can get free medicines. The over sixty-five year old persons are also entitled to free medical care. TB treatment is free and chronically ill or ailments are also free. So, we are doing something to ameliorate the plight of the poor.

The Government, indeed, has also, apart from the fact that we have sufficient drugs in Medical Stores, the Budget here has increased our allocation for the purchase of drugs as we can see from the Yellow Book to K63 billion. So, we have K63 billion with which to buy more drugs. This is a significant improvement and it represents a 191 per cent increase from the previous allocations.

The total Ministry of Health budget for 2001 has increased by 75.8 per cent in nominal terms when compared to that of last year. I am thankful to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for this favourable consideration to my ministry.

We do also have access to HIPC funds and this have been targeted to district basket funding, drugs, drugs for HIV/AIDS and K19 billion has been allocated so that we can try to assist the problems being faced by our people who are afflicted with this problem. 

Indeed, I am also grateful that we do have K4 billion with which to buy ambulances. Most of you, hon. Members, have come to see me or I have heard your contributions here as regards the need of ambulances. I do hope that the money would be made available to us in order to acquire these ambulances that you so badly need.

We also have a Vote, Support Home Based Care for HIV/AIDS. What is happening now is that most hospital beds are taken up by people suffering from HIV/AIDS and we believe that families themselves should be involved. So, the Government has made an allocation of K13 billion to assist those households which face these problems. I am aware, that most of the people are keeping those of their relations who are terminally ill in their homes. So, the Government is, in fact, providing K13 billion to be able to assist those in such situations.

Mr Sata: Very good.

Mr Kavindele: As regards malaria, as the hon. Member of Parliament for Vubwi has stated, indeed, it is a killer disease and you can see that K11 billion has been allocated to try to fight that number one killer disease.

Before tackling the specific issues you raised, Hon. Muasa had raised the point on UTH. Yes, we do have K6 billion which has been allocated to enable us reorganise UTH. At the ministry and at the headquarters, we believe that UTH, in its present form, is too massive or too huge to manage. Therefore, something is being done to make it manageable and we have got that K6 billion for that purpose.

I can assure you, Hon. Muasa that I go to UTH quite often. At times even the people that are there do not know that I am there. I go there at midnight, 0400 hours and at all sorts of awkward hours.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Well done

Mr Kavindele: We do have some problems there, but I would not think that the cockroaches that are in UTH are any more than those you find in private homes, not at all.

I think quite a lot is being done there. The lady in charge is doing a commendable job under difficult conditions. But I think with our support, we should get together and, indeed, achieve the results that you want us to achieve.

Perhaps, if you can allow me, Mr Chairman, I may just go to the individual points raised by hon. Members at this stage. My sister, Hon. Dr Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, never stops fascinating me. Her intellect is above average, she knows where I put her. But at times she does get carried way because if only she knew what we were doing in Mongu now, she would have been commending us. There is so much that we have started doing in Mongu.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Thank you.

Mr Kavindele: We have already sent a contractor there. Next time you are in Mongu, just go to the hospital and see what is happening there.

Mr Kavindele: Three houses are being constructed, we are now looking at the kitchen. We have transferred a theatre from Kitwe to Mongu at Lewanika Hospital. 

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: So, we are moving. 

Mr Sata: You spend most of the time in Wusakile, do not worry.

Mr Kavindele: Of course, it is being said here that you spend more time in Wusakile than in Mongu, but that is alright. 

As regards the question of an ambulance, my sister, as has been stated, we have K4 billion and indeed, it is my hope that we shall acquire some ambulances and Mongu, no doubt, will have one ambulance, should these funds be made available. We must get away from transporting our patients on wheelbarrows.

Hon. Dr Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika raised a point on hospitals being empty and chemists being full of medicines. That, I must admit. It is a very big problem. But all hon. Members should take an interest in the medical supplies. We are delivering quite a lot, I can assure you that, but medicines that would go to Mongu, today, give us three weeks, they will have shifted from the hospital pharmacy to ‘Kantemba’ or to some little shop.

And now we have started a scheme of marking them GRZ and some of them that are being sold are being marked GRZ. And you as a Member of Parliament will just pass by and not even question the source of those drugs. Those drugs would have been the same drugs we would have given to the poor people who cannot afford to buy from the chemists. That is the challenge to all of you, hon. Members of Parliament, to assist us. In two cases where we have been assisted, we have been able to apprehend people that have been found with our medicines. 

Declaring Zambia a non-smoking zone might be a little bit difficult, unless only in certain areas. For instance, we do not smoke in the Chamber and I know that there are some smokers here who go outside to smoke.

Mr Sibetta pointing at Mr Sata.

Mr Sata: That is abuse of human rights!


Mr Kavindele: Hon. Chiinda raised a point on the shortage of drugs and I have just answered that. On the need for an ambulance for Kafue Gorge, yes, the doctor there has written to us asking for an ambulance and it is our hope that we will be able to do something.

Hon. Sinyangwe, I will be in Ndola next week, and we expect that the other mini hospitals or clinics that surround Ndola Central Hospital will be opened and we hope that most of our people can then avoid taking the long trips by mini buses to Ndola Central Hospital to attend the clinics that are on the periphery. I know that there is a shortage of doctors there, but if we could find doctors and put them into those clinics, people then will have the confidence that where they are going, they will not only be attended to by junior doctors or clinical officers, but by doctors. So, we expect that the K3 billion, perhaps, this time will go a long way because it will be supported by these mini hospitals.

My good sister, from Mufulira, Hon. Chisala, talked about HIV/AIDS being caused by drunkenness and moral irresponsibility. Certainly, we would like to believe so. With the disease of ebola, which is in Uganda and kills quite a lot of people, all it takes is a fly flying from the defecation of somebody who has that disease onto your food. Or if you touch or shake hands with a person who has ebola, that is it, you are gone forever, dead. 

On the other hand, from the word go, we know what is involved in HIV and that is why we are saying that no one should die out of ignorance. We all know what causes HIV/AIDS.


Mr Kavindele: Yes, indeed. So, when you leave your place to go for things like that, then you know that, perhaps, you will be touching a live wire. And as you know there is no cure. 

The medicines that we try to provide, which my sister is asking to be given free of charge, are meant to ameliorate the suffering and are very expensive. They cost K2.5 million per month just to keep a person alive. So, the best thing is never to get into that problem. Many issues have been raised, abstinence is one of them and it is the most effective. For those who cannot abstain, we are saying that the use of condoms is about 97 per cent safe. But you know that it is certainly something that does not come anyhow, but you willingly go into these things knowing fully well what would happen.

Mr Sata interjected.

Mr Kavindele: Well, those who may not like the idea of condoms, then the best alternative is abstinence. Keeping away from these things.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: Hon. Chisala further went on to say that these medicines are expensive in Zambia but in the UK they are given free of charge. Certainly, in the UK they are able to do that because they can afford it. Here we cannot afford it because we have to buy these drugs from somewhere else and it is our hope that in due course, the cost of these drugs will reduce. In fact, next Monday, we will have visitors from a company that makes these drugs to come and see us and, perhaps, talk about affordable prices because we will be buying in bulk and hopefully they can reduce the prices.

Hon. Muasa talked about this ministry being a skeleton ministry. Yes, I can assure you that it is a very problematic ministry with a lot of challenges. But we are not running away from those challenges, we are tackling them. Indeed, the first thing we have tackled so far, and successfully so, has been the availability of drugs. With the drugs that are here and the provision of US$8 million from the World Bank, we are just in the process of placing the orders, and with the K63 billion that you have given us, we should really be able to have drugs in this country. There should never be a shortage of anything at all. But, again, I ask you, once more, to assist us in making sure that these drugs are not sold by your unscrupulous people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear, good!

Mr Kavindele: The shortage of staff is quite a big problem, but we have introduced a scheme whereby, for instance, at UTH, we are, now, doubling the intake of trainee nurses. And also, I am about to sign a commencement order to a law that we passed here to make it possible for those who may wish to have their own nursing homes. Retired nurses can start their businesses by owning nursing homes.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: That will assist. Not only are we ending up there, we are also saying that just as you have people who have opened private schools, we want also those retired nurses, some of them who were teachers, to start private colleges.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: The Government will support them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: I have some funding from the African Development Bank and that funding is intended to bring those people who would like to go into these businesses so that they acquire some courses on how to run a business and thereafter, assist some of them. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: So, just as we saw a proliferation of secondary schools, we also want to see a proliferation of nurses’ training colleges. I am looking forward to seeing some of those people who have this experience come forward to Government and seek our assistance and we will help them.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: Also, we have some money meant to improve Chipata, Kasama, Kabwe and Livingstone nurses’ training schools. We are going to rehabilitate those training schools and buy new equipment.

Mr Sibetta: Do not forget kwahaye!

Mr Kavindele: Eni nikataha kwahaye!

So, this is what we want to do. We want to rehabilitate and equip those. Again, funds have been provided for this.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Presidential material.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!


Mr Kavindele: I have already talked about the other issues which Hon. Muasa raised on abolishing medical fees, saying that certain categories of our people should get free medical services in any case. We thank you for supporting the advertisements that are on television. I agree that some of them were too explicit, but we have, now, edited them to acceptable standards.

Of course, our Zambian doctors are very qualified and that is why they are able to get jobs in the UK, Canada and everywhere else. Only two weeks ago, we lost some nurses who went to work in Australia. So, that is how high our training standards are here. Our people are well respected.

My elder brother, Hon. Kapangalwendo raised the point of reduced allocation to HIV/AIDS pandemic, we do not think so because the National AIDS Council has had pledges of about US$120 million from donors to support our fight against this pandemic. So, we believe that some of that money will come and with what the Government has put in, that should enable us start putting up the fight that we so much need.

Of course, prevention in these matters is always better than cure. I agree with Hon. Kapangalwendo that cleaner surroundings will help us eliminate some of the diseases and sanitation is extremely important. We support him and thank him very much for realising that.

He raised another issue, of course, of Mission hospitals paying very low wages. It is not only in Mission hospitals, the morale of all health workers is low because the remuneration packages have been too low for quite a while but we are looking at that and with your support, if you approve these Estimates, we could be making the announcements and start paying our people very well in order to retain them here and even to attract those who may have gone to work outside Zambia.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Sata is certainly a former Minister of Health himself and he understands the problems that we face there and I draw a lot of support from him as you know I am not afraid of asking questions. So, Hon. Sichinsambwe, indeed, Hon. Sata, Hon. Professor Nkandu Luo and Hon. Dr Kalumba have all been very successful Ministers at the Ministry of Health but under very difficult circumstances and so, I am pleased to inform you that I do consult the Ministers. Sir, it may not be my style to come to Mbala and take vehicles from everybody else and say doctors should walk. That is not my style, I like to persuade and talk to people and I like to convince people.

Mr L. L. Phiri: It is Doctor Sata.

Mr Kavindele: So, you will not see me come to Mbala to fight with my doctors. If they wrong me, I will call them to my office and the two of us will talk. That is my style.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: On the issue that doctors should desist from giving prescriptions in the absence of medicines. Yes, indeed, but like I said, half the time these medicines are sent to hospitals and the doctors will believe that the medicines are there and so, they will prescribe only to discover that the medicines have already been taken to some Kantemba at the market place. So, on that one, again, I call for your help.

Mr Chairman, I have had some assistance here from a distinguished and hon. Member of the House who says AIDS is a new disease and it is a kind disease which gives you time to write your Will.


Mr Kavindele: I think I will not tell you where it came from. The disease gives you time to write your Will and so, I hope that when we are diagnosed, then we will know what to do.

On the ambulance in Mbala, I accept that we have had some requests from Mbala for an ambulance just as we have had requests from almost all Members of Parliament, they would like to see ambulances in their constituencies. And, Sir, with that K4 billion, I think we may be able to buy a good number of ambulances and those who may not have received the first ones that were issued from the Presidential Fund, perhaps, will benefit from these particular funds.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kavindele: Mr Chairman, the hon. Member for Luena (Mr Sibetta) talked about the Cuban and the Chinese doctors. I think on that one, I was assisted by my brothers, the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, and the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs. We certainly have benefited a lot from the intervention of these brothers and we value their services and, indeed, without them, I think we would be in a much more difficult situation.

Mr Chairman, the question about these doctors is that you just cannot stop people from moving. Even England has doctors here. Doctors have come from the UK to work here in Zambia, a poor country and some of our doctors have gone to work in developed countries. So, there will always be this migration of highly qualified people but the idea is to look after them well because not all of them would want to go. What makes them go at times is economic reasons which we are addressing and the other point brought up by my brother, Hon. Sibetta, is on the Food and Nutrition Council.

Mr Chairman, the grant may seem small because it does not include Personal Emoluments because those will come from the ministry. So, the money that is there is just for their services which we think should be able to assist them in a way.

Mr Chairman, on the Zambia Flying Doctor Service, yes, indeed, we are Members of Parliament of rural constituencies and we do need this facility and although the money allocated is insufficient to buy a plane, but at least, it will make us have a commitment to one of our suppliers. On the issue of the computer topography scanner, obviously, you have not been to UTH lately, but I would invite you to go there and see it all installed and working very well and helping us quite a lot. 

We did not spend US$1.4 million. That catscan cost US$835,000 but it is certainly very helpful and only last week we had some doctors brought in from South Africa and these are experts to look at our patients because it is becoming very expensive sending patients to South Africa all the time. So, we have, now, devised a method of bringing, maybe, three or four doctors there and we brought cancer specialists a week ago who, perhaps, using the catscan, saw a lot of our people. So, only those deserving cases will be sent for treatment outside the country.

Mr Chairman, we have had some intervention in some friendly countries talking to us about establishing a highly specialised clinic within Lusaka and this will have the most modern equipment. That will help us treat some of the cases that we would normally have sent to South Africa to be handled here. That will help us a lot. So, we are working on that.

Mr Chairman, the hon. Member for Vubwi (Mr Miti) talked about malaria and about health posts. Yes, indeed, we are doing something about these health posts and I believe two have already been built but we are going to go ahead with delivering the health service through these posts.

Miss Phiri: Now, comment on Chadiza Hospital.

Mr Kavindele: Mr Chairman, Chadiza is without a hospital and I must admit that I was not aware that Chadiza was without a hospital, but obviously that is something I will discuss that with my officials and find out as to why Chadiza, which is a district, is without a hospital and, perhaps, come up with one ...

Mr Sata: It has already a rural health centre Class I which is adequate.

Mr Kavindele: I believe it has a rural health centre Class I which is nearer to hospital status.

Mr Chairman, on research on traditional medicine, I am advised by my officials that, in fact, we are working on that extremely well. The Ministry of Health is closely working with the traditional healers and we do have an officer in the ministry whose job is just to co-ordinate our activities with those of traditional healers. 

On the HIV/AIDS Council, we do have a representation of one of our traditional healers and I believe he is doing a good job working in total harmony with the rest.

Mr Chairman, as I have stated, we very much appreciate the role of the Chinese and the Cuban doctors, who, the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Walubita) referred to. Those who may have the opportunity of going to the Copperbelt may visit the former Nkana Hospital which has been bought by our brothers from China and I believe it will have some of the most modern equipment as well. So, that should assist us.

Mr Chairman, I would like to believe that I have covered most of the issues raised by hon. Members, but indeed, those hon. Members I may not have answered or overlooked are free to ask me at a later stage. As you all know, I operate on an open-door basis and indeed, those who would like to see me, either here or at the office, are more than welcome to seek any clarification on what I would have said.

Hon. Member: At home!

Mr Kavindele: Yes, even at home. I have nothing to hide. That is the tradition of the medical professionals. Doctors, unlike other professionals are on test everyday. If we go to visit a patient at 06.00 hours in the morning, we would like to find the patient feeling better when we go there at 16.00 hours. We do not wait for a year before our performance is proven. We are on test. I keep on telling my colleagues at the ministry that we are on test everyday and every hour. That is how we operate.

So, I am very grateful to all of you, hon. Members. Mr Chairman, it is a difficult ministry, no doubt about it, but with your support, I am sure I will succeed. Soon after the rains, Hon. Sichinsambwe will see me in Mbala. I have been there and I would like to visit most of your constituencies to look at your hospital needs.

With those remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 46/01 - (Ministry of Health - Headquarters - K387,822,373,847)

Mr T. J. C. Phiri (Milanzi): Mr Chairman, may I have clarification on sub-head 3, item 01, sub-item 062 - Health Post Implementation Project - K1,000,000,000. May I know whether this covers rural health posts.

Mr Kavindele: Mr Chairman, on sub-head 3, item 01, sub-item 062 - Health Post Implementation Project - K1,000,000,000, like I have just said, we have put some money into health post implementation and have started off with two projects that have been constructed and we expect to go on.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 46/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 46/02 - (Ministry of Health - Provinces - K113,580,779,642)

Mr T. J. C. Phiri: Mr Chairman, may I have clarification on sub-head 3, item 01, sub-item 004 - Mission Health Institution - K500,000,000. Why has it been reduced from K2 billion last year?

Mr Kavindele: Mr Chairman, on sub-head 3, item 01, sub-item 004 - Mission Health Institution - K500,000,000, Mission Health Institution (CMAZ) , there are some funds that have been made to assist the CMAZ in some of the areas, but these funds are not from this fund. In fact, there is another fund that is helping us meet this. We are paying the arrears that are due to the CMAZ.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 46/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 64/01 (Ministry of Works and Supply - Headquarters - K327,619,302,761)

Mr Muloji (Chavuma): Mr Chairman, I would like to make a brief contribution on the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Mr Chairman, while we would like to thank the Government for making efforts to tar the famous M8 Road, it is my strong belief that we still have a long way to go to finish and make this dream come true, especially for people of areas further or after Kasempa. That is Mufumbwe, Kabompo, Zambezi and Chavuma.

In the Yellow Book, I have not seen much money that has been allocated to ...

The Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Muloji: Mr Chairman, I was advancing the point that while appreciating that the Government has taken a bold step to start tarring the famous Mutanda/Chavuma Road and looking through the Yellow Book, there has been no money allocated for the completion of this road. I do not see much hope for the people of Mufumbwe, Kabompo, Zambezi and Chavuma. We were, at one time, promised that this road would be completed by the year 2001. I believe that even the portion going to Kasempa, there is still about thirty kilometres to be covered. I know that money is not very easy to come by. I would like to thank and congratulate my good friend and cousin, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply for the work well done.

The request of the people that I represent in Chavuma and their colleagues from the districts that I have mentioned is that for this road to make sense to us, we are earnestly and diligently making a request that the contractors should start the tarring of this road from Chavuma so that they can meet the other group that will be proceeding from Kasempa turn-off. If they do not do that, it will be a pipe dream for the people of that province to have this road ever tarred in our political lives.

So, I am earnestly appealing to the hard working Minister of Works and Supply to take note of the requests of the people of that province. So, enough is enough on the Chavuma Road. I would like to bring to the attention of the hard working Minister one factor in Kabwe when a few days ago, the bridge on the Great North Road ...

Mr Mulando: He was stuck on that road.

Mr Muloji: Thank you for the information. That taught him a good lesson.

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Mr Muloji: But I would like to bring to his attention that I have lived in Kabwe for a long time. This is the second, if not the third time, that that bridge has been submerged in water.

The only solution to alleviating this problem is to raise the bridge. It is not asking for too much, but I think if all such bridges on main highways were fly over bridges, lives would be saved. Remedial action should be taken to raise that bridge and I think it is not the only bridge that is low. Those that are lowly constructed should be looked at and our engineering designs should be corrected and this will save a lot of lives and money.

Mr Chairman, I do not want to waste much of your time. I just want to urge, again, the hon. Minister that it is high time the people of Chavuma saw a tarred road.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngulube (Lundazi): I would like to complain on behalf of the people of Lundazi. The three bridges between Chipata and Lundazi have been swept away. Of late, the main Lundazi Bridge which is just about half a kilometre away from town has been swept away. I wish to urge the hon. Minister and the Government to look into this very seriously because the entire district is cut off from the rest of the country.

Mr Chairman, the Chipata/Lundazi Road has been a sorry sight for a long time. As you are aware, Lundazi is the bread basket of Eastern Province. Agriculture is great there. We have the national parks and precious and semi-precious stones there. There is trade there. The road has been badly damaged by trucks, especially those belonging to Sable Transport.

Mr Nkole: Ubufi!

Mr Ngulube: Hon. Minister, this is a very serious issue. There is nothing like ubufi.

Mr Chairman, the road is bad. I have explained to the Provincial Roads Engineer to start patching the road from Lundazi coming towards Chipata because they have always been starting from Chipata when mending the pot-holes leaving the worst area. So, I wish to urge the hon. Minister and the Government that they should start from Lundazi where the road is very bad.

Mr Chairman, I feel also that the Lundazi/Chama and Chipata/Mfuwe roads need urgent attention because they are also in a very bad state. The Great East Road which is also an international road network is not very well looked after. I wish, also, to urge my Government to work on this road and complete it because it is overdue.

Mr Chairman, some of the main offices and buildings of the Ministry of Works and Supply in Lundazi are now dilapidated. I would like to urge the Government to put in some people who can rent some of those buildings so that at least the Government is able to get a bit of revenue rather than leaving these important installations to go to worst.

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

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): In supporting this Vote, I wish to state from the onset that my concern is really not only the insufficiency of the Vote, but the fact that year in and year out, from the Second Republic and also during the Third Republic, we have spent millions and millions of dollars repairing roads, bridges and so forth. It would appear as if the ministry has completely done away with their own technical capacity to be able to check the quality of workmanship. We have lost the capacity to control the contractors. We have lost the capacity to even check how the construction of these roads and repairs are being carried out. 

I can recall the present Government when they were in their infancy stage in 1990/91, when on television, there were very interesting advertisements showing pot-holes all over the country. And it is like we have gone the full cycle and we intend to repeat what you were showing. In fact, we intend using your own films to show that you have gone full cycle. What has gone wrong practically is that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply and indeed the political and technical will power to ensure that the contractors are controlled, has been lost. 

It is also true, Mr Chairman, that if you go to the Ministry of Works and Supply, Roads Board, there are more foreign contractors. Our own indigenous contractors have been set aside. It is also true that there has never been any bill whatsoever that has been submitted by contractors and rejected on account of quality. It is also true and on record that our own President had gone round to look at the quality of workmanship. I do recall that the President was on television complaining about the quality of the workmanship of Great East Road. Now, I cannot understand why that should happen to be so because in the ministry or indeed at the Roads Board, I would expect engineers to do a better job.

One of the problems, Mr Chairman, is that if the Executive is informed that there are Cuban doctors coming, no one bothers to look at whether these are qualified doctors or not. We take it for granted that they are. If a contractor says that he is employing so many engineers on a particular project work, say on the Great East Road, there is no one to basically verify whether or not the people going to work have kitchen hands from another country. In fact, there was a point which was recently raised in the House of some foreigners who were seen pushing wheelbarrows at some site and believed to have come as engineers. And I am sure the ministry concerned just approved.

Mr Chairman, it is very important that this country goes back to the fold of using experienced and qualified personnel even if it is with the contractors or ourselves. It is very important that we go back to the use of skills. We cannot go on pouring millions of kwacha because we can borrow money and collect taxes. And because we can collect taxes and put money together, we keep on putting money into roads, bridges and buildings which cannot stand the test of time. 

Many countries that you have heard advancing is really through engineering. They make sure that everything they put down has a life span. In this country, any contractor can be given a contract and build. And this is why we are being accused of being corrupt because these international people who come here look at the roads network and look at the quality of workmanship. They even wonder how a team of qualified people from the ministry can actually approve this kind of thing because it becomes very visible and there is no way payment can be made against a contractor when the quality of workmanship is poor. 

Mr Chairman, I would like to implore the hon. Minister to comment on this that it is important that he uses his ministry. It is very important that he recruits experienced and qualified manpower to supervise contract work given to the so-called contractors. I also invite him to seriously consider going back and build his own portfolio, making sure that Zambians are given an opportunity to have contracts to build under close supervision from his ministry.

Lastly, Mr Chairman, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister whom I know as my nephew that ...

Mr Sibetta: And you brought him up.

Mr Hachipuka: I brought him up, yes.


Mr Hachipuka: I would like to appeal to him that I keep on speaking to Hon. Chimbwe about my road in Mbabala. Twice he has told me money has been released from the ministry. Twice he has told me that money has been transferred for the Choma/Namwala Road and yet nothing has so far happened. The road finishes at Chitongo. Now if money has been released, where has it gone? My constituents would like to know if the Government has released money and, if they have, has it been given to the hon. Deputy Minister in charge of the Province? If money has been released, where has the money gone? When will the road works begin? 

I get very confused because when I was standing in Mbabala, I was extremely assisted by the President because he decided, in his wisdom, for which I shall remain indebted to put in money in Macha. He gave them an ambulance. He gave the school a mini bus. He game them K25 million for this school. He gave the church some money. To me, I was very pleased that he was able to put these things into my constituency even if I have told my constituents that at least because I have stood, the State President has recognised the fact that the constituency has not been developed.

Now how can anybody else, how can my nephew, how can Hon. Mandandi fight me, fight the President by not working on my road when the President himself can do it? I would like the State President to hear that Hon. Mandandi is sabotaging me. He is not working on my road. The Chitongo/Namwala Road, to me, is an important road and at this time it is impassable. The bridges are impassable. I would like to invite him to come and see the Chitongo/Namwala Road. In fact, I heard that my Chiefs are assembled there. I hope that there is a message for them in Livingstone about that road.

I thank you, Sir.

Miss R. Phiri (Chadiza): Mr Chairman, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Estimates of the Ministry of Works and Supply.

Mr Chairman, I do not have much to contribute but I just want to urge my able Minister that when time allows him, he should go and visit Chadiza and Luanshya. You see, constituencies that are run by female Members of Parliament need to look beautiful.


Miss R. Phiri: They should be beautified because, for example, if Hon. Sampa visited Chadiza - and the way he looks at me in this House - I do not think it would be good for him to just go and look at the roads in Chadiza, I think he cannot be happy.


Miss R. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I am very serious on this point. There are only 40 kilometres from the tarmac to Chadiza District Council. What type of a district is it which has no hospital, roads and no secondary school? There is no doctor. Sir, I am very serious. Let us look at Luanshya, for example. For investors to recognise it, they need to have good roads so that when my sister is driving there, she feels that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is working and Chadiza, Sir, is also a district on its own which needs to be looked into and I know Hon. Mandandi is capable of ....


Miss R. Phiri: ... Aah! - of maintaining the roads that I have mentioned in Chadiza and Luanshya.

Mr Mulongoti: Now, we know.

Miss R. Phiri: In some constituencies, Sir, even villages are tarred and roads going to the dams where animals drink water are tarred. What about Chadiza? You people! You want me to cry now so that you know that I am serious ...


Miss R. Phiri: Chadiza is part of Eastern Province of Zambia just like Luanshya is part of the Copperbelt. So, Hon. Mandandi, watch out, you will be missing a lot of things if you do not work on these roads.

I thank you, Sir.


The Chairman: You will cut a long story short if you can just keep quiet because everybody who stands up is talking about roads, I am sure the hon. Minister of Works and Supply knows all the road networks in this country. I would like people who stand up to bring up fresh ideas, do not talk about what has already been discussed by other hon. Members of Parliament. So, do not talk about bridges, roads, buildings etc , talk about something else.

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Chairman, our experience was that we had pot-holes and the buildings were falling apart and we believed that something would be done. Our experience was that the infrastructure we had in our country was collapsing and our experience was that there was a future.

Sir, as the situation stands, I would want, first of all, to focus on Government Hostels and buildings in rural districts of Zambia. Sir, it is very disheartening to go to districts in rural Zambia and visit the Government Hostels. Technically, there is nothing that is happening to those buildings. The infrastructure is collapsing and above all, one wonders why this Government has decided to deliberately ignore Government buildings. It is, therefore, my submission that this experience which was our experience in due course, ten years in the line should give us confidence and expect the better.

Secondly, Sir, one wonders and I think the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is going to do us a lot of good to explain to this House the criteria that he uses to release money for given roads in this country. I say so, Sir, because I am not going to bemoan what we have said for centuries. My problem is that if you drive, for example, from Lusaka to Livingstone and you look at the type of work that is taking place, vis-a-viz, the rehabilitation of roads and then you drive from Lusaka to Mongu, you will actually see that in Southern and other provinces the work that is taking place is actually resurfacing, whereas for the past ten years in Western Province, this ministry has been patching on patches along the western route and the people of Western Province would want an answer from the Ministry of Works and Supply as to why double standards are being applied on the maintenance of roads in this country.

The third point is that we should not forget that ten years may be long for those who are living in comfort but for those who are suffering, ten years is like hundred years. We promised the people of Western Province and they have not forgotten. We told them that come what may, we shall ensure that the Livingstone/Sesheke Road is done. Ten years in the line and the people of Sesheke are still waiting. We promised them that the Katunda/Lukulu Road, and the Machile/Mulobezi Road are going to be done. Every year, Sir, the Ministry of Works and Supply refers to invisible figures. I say that because when you look at the Yellow Book, they quickly say, we have estimated and we are going to do it. Ten years in the line, nothing has happened.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shumina: And we need good answers to go and tell the people of Western Province, especially those of us in the middle or Front Benches, if you come from there and these roads are not done and you think you will run back to Western Province you are going to meet the people of Western Province there. If they will not be kind to you do not say they are bad people because they have been waiting for so long and have been looking for development but nothing has happened.

Finally, I say enough is enough, Western Province is like any other province, do something about the roads in the province.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kamata (Nchanga): Mr Chairman I thank you for affording me a chance to say a few words about this ministry.

A few days ago, Sir, the southern part of the country was completely cut off near Kabwe at Mulungushi River for a few hours where a lot of vehicles were stranded on the northern side and I also met the hon. Minister himself on Sunday when I was coming back from my constituency. What worried me was our unpreparedness as a nation towards natural disasters even though, that was a locally confined disaster.

What I found there, Sir, was a small rubber boat being paddled by two or three soldiers and one police officer.

Sir, I would like to urge the hon. Minister that the weather pattern is changing in this part of the world. We may be getting such calamities in future and I would urge the Government that they begin, at least, thinking about such strategic bridges like the Kafue Bridge and the one near Mulungushi. Plans should be under way of trying to bridge those rivers if a disaster of this nature occurs again. 

What worried me, Sir, that particular day is what we would have done if we had bad neighbours in the north and troops had to be rushed from Kabwe itself towards Congo DR. Our deployment of troops would have been delayed by so many hours and that could have been crucial. That was a lesson. I am glad that the hon. Minister was there to see for himself and I hope that plans are under way to start working on some of these strategic bridges so that if a disaster of that nature occurs, there is something that can be done to overcome the hindrance.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Chairman: I think you will all agree with me that you have the same problems country-wide. To cut a long story short, I am asking the hon. Minister to come here and, province by province, tell us what his ministry is doing about the problems you have.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mandandi): Mr Chairman, first of all, I would like to thank my colleagues, hon. Members, who have contributed to the debate on this very important Vote. For those who have quietly contributed and did not stand up to speak, I thank them. My sympathisers and my supporters, I thank them.

Sir, the Ministry of Works and Supply’s formal mandate is outlined in Gazette Notice No. 46 of 1992. My ministry is responsible for the following portfolios: 

    (i)    Building and construction industry;

    (ii)    Government housing, offices and buildings;

    (iii)    construction and maintenance of roads;

    (iv)    control of government transport;

    (v)    Government housing policy;

    (vi)    Government printing and Gazettes;

    (vii)    hostels and rest houses;

    (viii)    office equipment and maintenance services;

    (ix)    office accommodation and maintenance services;

    (x)    Zimco properties;

    (xi)    Engineering Services Corporation; and
    (xii)    Hostels Board of Management.

In view of the above portfolio functions, my ministry’s mission, therefore, is to effectively facilitate construction and maintenance of Government property and provisions of printing services in order to stimulate socio-economic development. 

Mr Chairman, I further wish to state that some of the core issues strategic to the performance of my ministry are:

        Adequate funding;

        staff development;

        building capacity in local contractors; and

        re-tooling the departments. 

A number of objectives and strategies have been developed in line with the mission statement in order to deliver the required services to the Government and the general public.

Sir, the progress of works at Government Complex building has reached an advanced stage. The Government is committed to the installation of the generator, elevator and a telephone line and the interior works. The cost of these capital items is estimated at not less than K12 billion. Despite the efforts in budgeting for this important capital item every year, very minimal releases have been made by the Treasury and, sometimes, none at all, thereby making it difficult for the ministry to complete these works which would relieve the Government from office accommodation hurdles.

In conformity with the MMD manifesto and Government policies, my ministry will continue to invest more resources in the maintenance, repairs and rehabilitation of Government infrastructure, plant, equipment, office machines in Government offices, houses, hospitals, schools and others. We shall spend a lot of time and efforts in the designing and supervision of these works. In order to promote growth in the economy, create employment and develop the country, the Government has embarked on the construction and development of the new Chirundu Border Post facilities which are being developed to be a show piece in the region. Once completed, this border post will increase revenue collection and traffic handling. 

Sir, the Ministry of Works and Supply has committed itself to supporting the development of the infrastructure in relation to the ministries of Health; Agriculture, Food and Fisheries; and Education in providing all the necessary technical assistance in the designing and supervision of the infrastructural development in these sectors. 

The tendering of the contractual works to the private sector has created employment to the unskilled, the skilled as well as professional workers. This was the reason why the construction industry policy was developed. In the same vein, policies on standardisation of Government vehicles, office machines and furniture are a necessity for the ministry to develop during 2001. All Government ministries and departments will be required to follow guidelines that will assist them in the procurement of such items.

On the sale of Government houses and flats, Mr Chairman, the Government policy of empowering Zambian civil servants home ownership scheme for sitting tenants, through the purchase of residential housing units, has been commended by many Zambians, including those in the Opposition. Despite this effort, there are still many civil servants who have not benefited from this ownership scheme. As a result, the Government is still paying a lot of money in rentals for some civil servants. However, I am glad to mention that Cabinet is already working on the new policy on housing and it is hoped that it will expedite the process so that the Public Service is guided on the issue of housing to its employees. 

The progress on the sale of Government houses was, at the end of December, as follows:

1.    Fourteen thousand seven hundred and fifteen applications were considered out of which 13,580 were approved country-wide, 517 were deferred while 618 were rejected for not meeting the stipulated qualifications.

2.    One thousand five hundred and seventy-eight units were fully paid for while 5,654 were still being paid for through monthly deductions by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. 

3.    The total payments made since 1997 as at the end of December 2000 were K17,841,586,499.89. The projection of Government is that it will finish this exercise this year.

In addition, Mr Chairman, I wish to inform the House that in order to improve further the operations on the sale of Government pool housing, my ministry is in the process of creating a data base to capture all information on the sale of Government housing units in order to have up to date and accurate figures in the sale process.

The computerised system will contain details of each housing unit; details of applicants; approved, deferred or rejected applications; details of offers as well as payments. This system will be able to produce more accurate statistical information on the status of each Government unit throughout the country with minimum delay and maximum efficiency.

The system is intended to capture information of the said process from the various departments of Government involved in the whole process. The information will be kept in one central place for easier storage and retrieval. The computerised system has already been installed and data entry has commenced. The whole process is expected to be completed by the first week of March, 2001.

Sir, the Hostels Board Management which was earmarked for commercialisation during the restructuring of my ministry has continued to improve in its revenue collection. Its 2000 quarterly net profit ranged from K23 million to K76 million. The low profit levels were as result of some renovations to lodges which still need to be re-capitalised such as the Belvedere, Kasama and Mansa hostels. But, Mr Chairman, I wish to report that the Copperbelt hostels are doing very well, especially with the sale of the mines. 

They are at all times full capacity. Mr Chairman, the mandate of the ministry, through its Department of Roads is to manage, redesign, maintain, rehabilitate and construct all trunk, main and district roads in the country. We are not responsible for the management of urban or feeder roads. In addition, we do not carry out the maintenance, rehabilitation and constructions by force account any more, but do so through contracting. However, we have retained a small number of fleet, equipment and vehicles to carry out emergence repairs. 

In this year’s Budget, Sir, emphasis is placed on the continuing and probably the completion of all projects started in the previous years. The Government would like to see that most of the road and bridge projects that have been going on for some years now are completed as soon as possible to avoid project cost escalation. To this end, roads being reconstructed to bituminous standards such as Choma/Namwala Road, Luanshya/Mpongwe Road, Mutanda/Chavuma Road have been apportioned with large amounts of money relative to the Budget ceiling with the hope that they may be completed.

Miss Chikwata: Hear, hear!

Mr Mandandi: This year, the Government has also decided to embark on long standing projects such as: 

    Kasama/Luwingu/Mansa Road construction;

    Kashikishi/Chienge/Lushinga Road construction;

    Mongu/Kalabo Road construction;

    Livingstone/Sesheke Road rehabilitation;

    Senanga/Sesheke, Senanga/Kalongola stretch rehabilitation;

    Katimamulilo Bridge rehabilitation;

    Lusaka/Mongu Road rehabilitation;

    Chingola/Solwezi Road rehabilitation;

    Matebele Bridge construction;

    Isoka/Muyombe Road reconstruction;

    Landless Corner/Mumbwa Road reconstruction;

    Luangwa Bridge/Chipata/Mwami Border Road rehabilitation by     Phoenix;

    Monze/Zimba Road rehabilitation;

    Kabwe/Kapiri Mposhi Road rehabilitation; and 

    Mpika/Kasama Road rehabilitation.

My ministry is also concerned about the lack of maintenance of the roads in the country. In this years Budget, Sir, significant amounts have been apportioned to the maintenance of a number of roads in the provinces in line with the effects of HIPC benefits. The Government’s intention, however, is to ensure that all roads are adequately maintained. In this regard, most of the roads are included for maintenance although allocated less amount of money. In the event of availability of additional funds, the said roads will receive adequate maintenance attention.

Sir, the Government Printing Department is one of the oldest Government departments and has continued using old printing machinery. During the year 2000, a number of by-elections were held with most materials being produced by the department. These jobs will not be easy if necessary measures, that is to say replacing old machinery, is not undertaken. During this year the country will be holding the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections. It is anticipated that adequate documents will be printed within the stipulated time once the machinery is procured. 

Efforts to re-capitalise the department have proved futile due to budgetary constraints. The vital documents which the department processes such as ballot papers, Gazettes, Acts, statutory instruments, Budget speeches and the Budgets, establishment registers, maps etc. cannot, in some cases, be produced by private printers due to their security nature. The absolute equipment available in the department require a lot to be done in view of the 2001 elections to be able to meet the deadlines.

Sir, the office equipment department plays a very big role of providing expert advice to all ministries and department on what type and model of office machines user departments should purchase. Further, technical staff are available in all provinces to attend to servicing and repairing of all Government office machines.

I would, therefore, urge other Government ministries and departments  to take advantage of the services offered by this department. The main objective of the department is to ensure that standardisation of machines is maintained in all Government offices.  If this is achieved , which is a must, the procurement of the back-up spares will be easily done in bulk and at a much reduced price, resulting in the user department saving some funds which can be channelled to other needy areas.

Office Equipment Department has permanent workshops in all the provincial centres throughout the country in order to service Government departments in these areas, including the districts. It is important to service and repair the office machines in these areas so as to ensure that Government communication is not derailed. This will ensure that Government policies and decisions are quickly implemented. Further, the department in provinces and districts saves a lot of money in terms of transporting their equipment for repair to town centres.

Office Equipment Department, therefore, provides effective and affordable professional services to all its Government clients both along the line of rail and rural provinces and districts. The Government in turn saves a lot funds which can be used for re-gravelling roads, purchasing medicines for the hospitals and many other avenues.

In my closing remarks, Mr Chairman, the Government, through my ministry will endeavour to put in place favourable conditions which will facilitate the execution of socio-economic programmes. The main objective shall be to meet the mandate for which the ministry was established. A number of overlaps in certain portfolios such as roads has distorted certain programmes. It should be made clear that all issues regarding trunk, main and district roads and bridges, security, printing, office machine maintenance and repair and Government buildings are the mandate of the Ministry of Works and Supply. 

The proper management of these strategic Government properties and equipment require a lot funding, failure to which the Government will keep on spending on the same activities instead of investing in new ventures for economic development. The Ministry of Works and Supply will provide policy guidelines that will assist in the management of Government property.

In conclusion, Sir, I would like to state that my ministry, while promoting the local construction industry, will not take kindly to local contractors who fail to perform or perform badly. The Ministry of Works and Supply will not hesitate to terminate such contracts. The Government cannot afford to waste tax payers' money in such a manner.

Mr Chairman, let me take this opportunity to thank all my members of staff who worked tirelessly during the past year to ensure that most programmes were implemented. Indeed, without their commitment, whatever we achieved could not have been possible. Last, but not the least, special thanks also should go to this august House for the guidance and constructive criticism, without which, again, my two colleagues and I would have found it impossible to implement the tasks that we are mandated to perform.

Sir, allow me to briefly go to individual comments, as you have instructed me, to briefly touch on provincial road network maintenance.

Western Province this year, as I have already said, will have the Livingstone/Sesheke Road done. They will also have the Sesheke/Senanga Road worked on. Western Province will also have the Lusaka/Mongu Road done and will be funded by a donor. Papers are being processed. So, the question of saying Western Province is marginalised is not there.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear, ten years!

Mr Mandandi: It is unfair to say that any province in this country is marginalised. We should avoid such type of thinking because we will end up poisoning and dividing the people of this nation. 

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Animal farm!

Mr Mandandi: Sir, whether it takes one or two years, as long as there is a commitment by the Government to do the works, we should take that as a commitment from the Government.


Mr Mandandi: In Western Province, also, we have the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa Road which will be done. And I am sure hon. Members from Western Province saw the advertisement in the newspaper unless they are not serious with reading newspapers. The tenders were floated and we are now waiting for the tenders to be opened and all the procedures to follow. So, where is the marginalisation? 

I am aware of the Machile/Luampa Road. Sir, Government commitment for this is very clear. We have put a K1.00 token, showing that Government is committed to doing this road. What else do you want?


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Can you put K1.00 as commitment?

Mr Mandandi: Sir, I would rather go with K1.00 than pray forcefully and pretend that we are telling the truth when we are hypocrites.


Mr Sata: Go to Northern Province now.

Mr Mandandi: Sir, in Northern Province, we have the Kasama/Luwingu/Mansa Road which is coming on board now. The paper work has been done, it is in the budget and we will move forward.

Mr Sata: What about Mpika/Nabwalya Road?

Mr Mandandi: Equally in Northern Province, the Mpika/Kasama Road will be rehabilitated. They will equally harvest.

Mr Sata: Mpika/Nabwalya!

Mr Mandandi: In Luapula Province, we have the Chiengi/Lunchinda Road which will be done along with the Mushota/Kawambwa Road. Maintenances on the other roads are actively being looked into.

In Southern Province, we have the Monze/Zimba Road being done and we have seen for ourselves that the road is on course. They are equally harvesting. 

They are also harvesting the Choma/Namwala Road. Uncle Hon. Hachipuka, you are safe. Do not worry, you have to come with us if you are to benefit.

Hon. Opposition Members Interjected.

Mr Nkabika: That is cheap, man!

Mr Mandandi: That is the problem I have with my colleagues from the Opposition. You make promises that you will do the road and yet you have no capacity to do the roads. It is the Government which does the roads. 

Hon. Opposition Members Interjected.

Mr Mandandi: In your campaign promises you said you would do the roads.

Hon. Opposition Members Interjected.

Mr Mandandi: But now you are crying ...

The Chairman: Order!

Do not use that language. You must have respect for the hon. Minister who is speaking on behalf of the President and the people. If you disagree with him, do not just fold up your fingers and try to punch. You will never win by punching him. Just take note of it and approach him in the office tomorrow. You will achieve more by doing that than by shouting the way you are doing. Please, keep quiet and let the hon. Minister finish his assignment which I have given him on your behalf.

Will the Minister, please, continue.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Go ahead!

Mr Mandandi: Sir, I am also aware that one Member of Parliament, when there was a by-election in Western Province promised that he was going to raise money from the donors. I am yet to see that Member of Parliament in the Opposition, raise money from the donors. So, your lies are coming back to you and they will boomerang on you.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Go ahead and arrest him!

Mr Mandandi: Sir, I am also aware of the point raised by Hon. Hachipuka which is quite valid that my ministry needs close supervision of these contractors who are doing the roads. I take it that it is a position which my ministry shares with Hon. Hachipuka. We have to be very serious. We do not want to have these roads degenerate in the shortest possible time. I have taken note of your concerns, Hon. Hachipuka, my beloved uncle, and will take serious steps to supervise the contractors.

Mr Hachipuka indicated assent.

Mr Mandandi: You have also alluded to the fact that preference is given to foreign contractors as against local contractors. Sir, allow me to say that much as I would want to favour and promote local contractors, at times they have let us down. Their quotations or, indeed, their performance leave much to be desired. Their quotations are alarming. They are not realistic. 

Mr Tetamashimba: Chingola/Solwezi Road!

Mr Mandandi: There is a road which Hon. Tetamashimba is shouting out about, the Chingola/Solwezi Road, in which we spent money but the quality is bad. At times, it is better to look at the capacity of a company rather than just to say that because he is a Zambian contractor he should be given a contract. That, we shall not allow.

Sir, on the question of termination of contracts, a point which was raised by Hon. Hachipuka, we have done it before. We terminated Astaldi, a foreign contractor who failed to do the job from Rufunsa to Luangwa. We terminated the contract as a ministry and Government. 

Mr Sata: And he is not local!

Mr Mandandi: He is not local. He is a foreign contractor but failed to perform, and we took punitive measures. 

We have taken measures on a contractor along the Lusaka/Mongu Road by terminating the contract because we are not happy with the performance of the contractor. These are some examples which my ministry shares the concerns of the nation.

Mr Chairman, you said I should tackle this issue of roads province by province and in Eastern Province we are doing the Chipata/Lusaka Road up to Mwami Border. The Muyombe/Isoka Road will be done, meaning that the Northern Region will be opened up. You can travel from Isoka, pass through Lundazi, Chama and end up in Lusaka.

Mr Sata: Tawaishiba Geography!

Mr Mandandi: Well, well. So, we are opening up the Northern Region. We have the Mbala/Nakonde Road which is in good condition right now. The only problem I have is that my in-laws are along this road. They overspeed and it has registered four casualties already because of the good road done by the MMD Government.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mandandi: Sir, in Central Province we are geared to do the Landless Corner/Mumbwa Road.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mandandi: We are equally geared to do the Kapiri Mposhi/Kabwe Road and that will be history after the rains.

Otherwise, in Lusaka City, we are home and dry. The roads programme is on course. The Mutanda/Chavuma Road will hit Chavuma. The suggestion by Hon. Muloji that the contractor should start from Chavuma will be studied if it is feasible.

Hon. Dr Kamata, I thank you for sharing the agony with me at Mulungushi River. I know that we are saying the bridges are collapsing, the roads are giving in, what is the Government doing? Countrymen bear with us because neither my Ministry nor the Government has control over the rains. It is God who says, Zambia should have or should not have enough rains. Bear with me because this is a temporal phenomenon and it is a natural disaster and I wished I could close the tap and there would be no floods and, therefore, there would be no bridges collapsing. Sir, for as long as it is the Almighty God who gives us more or less, I have no control over that.

Mr Chairman, the people of Zambia should bear with us and when the situation improves, we will have taken note of how dangerous it is to have low bridges. Future designs will take care of your concerns and bridges will be higher than they were designed by the former UNIP Government.

Hon. Member: Fyafula.

Mr Mandandi: Finally, I think I would like to correct the impression by Hon. Shumina that there are Government Hostels in districts. There are no Government Hostels but Government Rest Houses. Government Hostels are found in Lusaka such as Belvedere and Longacres, in Kitwe we have Lorinthan House while in Ndola we have Henry Makulu and in Chipata there is Luangwa House, but we have dotted Government Rest Houses throughout the country. 

And these, at some time in future, the Government will lease them so that the private sector or, indeed, individuals can rent them and make money. I would like to thank you, but the overview I have given is right on and for those colleagues of mine who have not received adequate answers from my explanation, my office doors are wide open. You are free to come , you will enter my office and come out with an explanation because that is how I operate.

I thank you for paying attention to my narration.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 64/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 64/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1940 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 21st February, 2001.