Debates- Friday, 16th February, 2001

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Friday, 16th February, 2001

The House met at 09:00 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: The House will recall that, on Wednesday, 31st January, 2001, when the House was considering the Motion of Supply on this year’s Budget, and the hon. Member for Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency, Mr B. Tetamashimba, MP, was speaking, the Hon. Chief Whip, Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, MP, raised the following point of order, and I quote:

    ‘Mr Speaker, I rise on a serious point of order as it relates to the     conduct of this House and I would like to refer to an article which     appeared in The Monitor newspaper Issue No. 142 of 19th to 25th     January, 2001 under the headline “KABILA’S DEATH WARNING TO     THIRD TERM ADVOCATES, ‘CHILUBA PLAYING WITH FIRE”’.

    Mr Speaker, you guided this House on the 23rd January, 2001, when     new Members of Parliament were taking oath as there were some     noises going on in the House and this is what you said, Sir: ‘Order! I     would like to call on the House to remember that this is a solemn     occasion. May we, please, limit the excitement that is going on here’.

This was during the time when we were swearing in six (6) new Members of Parliament to the House.

Mr Speaker, the article was written by a Mr Chali Nondo and it was attributed to the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa Central and it reads in part, and I quote:

    ‘Mumbwa Member of Parliament Stanford Hlazo has said that the     assassination of President Laurent Kabila of the Republic of the     Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a big lesson to those calling for     President Frederick Chiluba’s third term. Hlazo of the United Party for     National Development (UPND) said third term schemers will be     blamed if the nation was plunged into chaos.

    Mr Speaker, every Member of Parliament either takes an Oath of     Allegiance or an Affirmation of Allegiance and the solemn of     allegiance. Members of Parliament swear to faithfully bear true     allegiance to the President of the Republic of Zambia.

    Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa Central Constituency     in order to be able to relate events, which happened in the Congo,     which hinge on assassination, with events in Zambia which imply     assassination of the President of the Republic of Zambia for whom he     has taken an Oath to defend and preserve the Constitution of Zambia?     Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling and I will lay this paper on     the Table.”’

In my immediate remarks, I said, and I quote:

    ‘I have listened carefully to the point of order which has been raised     by the hon. Chief Whip which is as a result of a newspaper article and     that newspaper has been laid on the Table of the House. I will have to     study the contents of that newspaper article in detail and, therefore,     reserve my ruling to a later date.’

Hon. Members, I have, now, carefully studied the point of order and wish to state, from the outset, that the point of order has brought out three (3) procedural issues as follows:

    (i)    the hon. Member’s alleged utterances and parliamentary privileges, in particular, the privilege of freedom of speech;

    (ii)    the hon. Member’s alleged utterances and the Oath of Allegiance; and

    (iii)    the hon. Member’s alleged utterances and their alleged interpretation.

This being the situation, it is, therefore, important for me to briefly make comments on each one of these three issues before I finally make my ruling.

(i)    The hon. Member’s alleged utterances and parliamentary privileges, in particular, the privilege of freedom of speech

According to the widely celebrated and classic definition of parliamentary privilege by Erskine May contained in his book Parliamentary Practice, Twenty-first Edition, on page 69, parliamentary privilege is defined as follows, and I quote:

    ‘Parliamentary privilege is the sum of the peculiar rights enjoyed by     each House collectively as a constituent part of the High Court of (the     United Kingdom) Parliament, and by members of each House     individually, without which they could not discharge their functions,     and which exceed those possessed by other bodies or individuals.     Thus, privilege, though part of the law of the land, is to a certain     extent an exemption from the general law.’

Erskine May goes on to say, and I quote:

    ‘Certain rights and immunities such as freedom from arrest or     freedom of speech belong primarily to individual Members of each     House and exist because the House cannot perform its functions     without unimpeded use of the services of its Members. Other such     rights and immunities such as the power to punish for contempt and     the power to regulate its own constitution belong primarily to each     House as a collective body, for protection of its Members and the     vindication of its own authority and dignity.

    Fundamentally, however, it is only as a means to the effective     discharge of the collective functions of the House that the     individual privileges are enjoyed by Members.’

From the definition of parliamentary privilege that I have quoted, it is clear that the purpose of parliamentary privilege is to enable the House and its Members perform the functions of the House. This means that parliamentary privileges are rightly and strictly attached to parliamentary functions and not to any other business or activities a Member wishes or chooses to engage himself or herself in.

Hon. Members, it is on the basis of what I have just said that parliamentary convention demands that the representatives of the people, a Member of Parliament in this case, should have unquestionable possession of the privilege of freedom of speech. In our Parliament, freedom of speech is granted to Members of Parliament by both the Constitution of Zambia and the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia.

Article 87 of the Constitution of Zambia states as follows, and I quote:

    ‘The National Assembly and its Members shall have such privileges     and immunities as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.’

The privileges and immunities referred to in Article 87 of the Constitution are embodied in the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act. Section 3 of this Act says, and I quote.

    ‘There shall be freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly.     Such freedom of speech and debate shall not be liable to be     questioned in any court of law or place outside the Assembly.’

It is important for hon. Members to know that this privilege does not extend outside Parliament. Any hon. Member who decides to make his speeches through the public media or other fora cannot claim the immunities granted by the privilege of freedom of speech. He or she alone takes full responsibility for his or her utterances and will be subjected to the ordinary laws of the land should his or her statement contain anything criminal or defamatory.

Even with the freedom of speech enjoyed inside the Assembly, it is the duty of each Member of Parliament to refrain from making any comments or observations which may be prejudicial to the privileges, rights, dignity and authority of the House which he or she enjoys. Therefore, freedom of speech in the House is merely protection from external influence or interference, but the expressions may still remain to be punishable by the House if they are not positively supported by facts.

Let me, now, come to the next issue:

(ii)     The hon. Member’s alleged utterances and the Oath of Allegiance

Hon. Members, Article 89 of the Constitution of Zambia, Cap. 1 of the Laws of Zambia, states, and I quote:

    ‘The Speaker of the National Assembly, before assuming the duties     of his office, and every Member of the National Assembly before     taking his seat therein, shall take and subscribe before the National     Assembly to the oath of allegiance.’

The Oath of Allegiance referred to in article 89 of the Constitution of Zambia is provided for under the sixth schedule of the Official Oaths Act, Cap. 5 of the Laws of Zambia and it reads as follows, and I quote:

    ‘I ..., do swear/affirm that I will be faithful and bear allegiance to     the President of the Republic of Zambia, and that I will preserve,     protect and defend the Constitution of Zambia, as by law     established.


As hon. Members have noted, the Oath of Allegiance is a constitutional requirement which all hon. Members of this House must comply with and each one of us here has complied with this important legal requirement.

The Lectric Law Library’s Lexicon on Oath defines oath as follows, and I quote:

    ‘An Oath is a declaration made according to law, before a     competent tribunal or officer, to tell the truth; or it is the act of one     who, when lawfully required to tell the truth, takes God to witness     that what he says is true. It is a religious act by which the party     invokes God not only to witness the truth and sincerity of his     promise but also to avenge his imposture or violated faith, or in     other words to punish his perjury if he shall be guilty of it.’

Two issues are distinguishable from the definition of oath I have just quoted. The first one is that the God of truth, who knows all things, is taken to witness. The second is that this just and all-powerful being, is called upon to punish perjury.

This explanation tells us that, whether the oath one takes is promissory, assertory, judicial, or extra-judicial, it has serious implications and consequences both at law and before God the creator.

In their book House of Commons Procedure and Practice, 2000, House of Commons, Ottawa, on Page 181, Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit state, and I quote.

    ‘Breaking the oath of allegiance is a serious offence and any     member whose conduct has been determined by the House to     have     violated the oath could be liable to punishment by the House.’

Hon. Members, I would not like to go further on this matter because of the sub judice rule. We have a case on the issue of oath pending before the court. I will, however, make reference to what I have said on this matter later in my ruling.

This, now, brings me to the last aspect:

(iii)    The hon. Member’s alleged utterances and their alleged interpretation

In his point of order, the hon. Chief Whip, Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, MP, stated, and I quote:

    ‘Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa Central Constituency in order to be able to relate events which happened in the Congo, which hinge on assassination, with events in Zambia which imply assassination of the President of the Republic of Zambia for whom he has taken an oath to defend and preserve the Constitution of Zambia’?

Hon. Members, I have carefully studied the alleged utterances of the hon. Member for Mumbwa Central Constituency and I am persuaded to believe that the interpretation of the alleged utterances of the hon. Member for Mumbwa by the hon. Chief Whip appears to be the most obvious understanding one is inclined to get from the alleged newspaper text. It is not convincing or persuasive enough to think of the interpretation of the hon. Member’s utterances in the alternative. I will come back to this matter later in my ruling.

Hon. Members, in order for the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly to confirm the certainty of authenticity of the alleged newspaper utterances, the Clerk wrote to the hon. Member for Mumbwa, Mr S. M. Hlazo, the Inspector-General of Police, and the Monitor Newspaper Editor, the following were their responses:

1.    Response from the Hon. Member for Mumbwa, Mr S. M. Hlazo, MP

    “Dear Sir,

I have received your letter of 31st January, 2001, relating to the Point of Order raised by Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, MP. Please be informed that in an interview immediately following the events in the DRC I had uttered some words quoted in the article. At this point I know that you do not require me to give you an explanation of the circumstances in which the words were uttered, or anything else in relation to the article or interview, and this I shall do at an appropriate time in due course if I am called upon to do so.”

2.    Response from the Inspector-General of Police

    “Dear, Sir,

    I refer to your minute No. NAS/9/13 Conf. of 2nd February,     2001 on the comments made by Mumbwa, MP, Hon. Hlazo, as     reported in the Monitor Newspaper.

    I wish to inform you that we have opened a docket of     “Proposing Violence” against Hon. Hlazo. We are yet to conduct     our investigations.”

There was no constructive response from the Editor of the Monitor Newspaper.

From the two (2) responses, my findings are that, both submissions have confirmed that the hon. Member for Mumbwa Parliamentary Constituency did actually utter what he was reported to have said.

Hon. Members, after carefully studying the Point of Order raised by the hon. Chief Whip, the Monitor Newspaper article, on which the Point of Order was based, and the response from the hon. Member for Mumbwa Parliamentary Constituency, I wish to state that the Point of Order raises a matter with two aspects to it, taken together, namely, the question of alleged assassination and the issue of breach of oath of allegiance. As I have already indicated the issue of alleged assassination is under police investigation and I shall not like to influence police investigations by establishing a prima facie case of breach of privilege. In this regard, I would like to leave the matter at that.

In conclusion, therefore, I wish to caution hon. Members of this House that, my going to some length to talk about the purpose of parliamentary privileges, is to enable you understand that the powers, privileges and immunities accorded to this House and its hon. Members have a specific purpose, that is to enable the House perform its constitutionally mandated functions. Abuse of these powers and privileges is either punished by the House itself if found to be within is its jurisdiction, or dealt with by other organs of the State if found to be outside the jurisdiction of this House.

Let me, therefore, take this opportunity to appeal to all of you hon. Members of this House, to take careful note of the fact that, in the performance of the functions of this House, there are rules and regulations generally referred to as procedure and practice of Parliament, which guide hon. Members and the House, in general, to do what is permissible and avoid what is not.  In the same vein, hon. Members ought to be cautious of what they swear before this House and the consequences of violation of their oaths. You cannot stand before this House and say things without taking stock of their implications.

The Chair has on many occasions guided hon. Members of this House that they are here in the House to perform Parliamentary work and not to pursue their personal or party interests.

If hon. Members of this House wish to perform the functions of this Hose through the press, then they better given chance to those who know what this House stands for. If an hon. Member wants to remain in this House, he or she has no other option but to do the work of this House in the manner expected of him or her. If an hon. Member wants to do it the other way, then that hon. Member should leave and give chance to those who want to serve the interest of the Zambian people in this House. Hon. Members should not force the Chair to begin to blame the electorate for the choices they make.

Hon. Members ought to know that, by leaving this forum and using other fora, you are lowering the authority and the dignity of this House. Right now, this House should have sited some pressmen for contempt for failure to supply the National Assembly with information. The National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act. Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia is clear on this matter. This House is being dragged into all this because of the poor conduct of some of you hon. Members. You cannot do Parliamentary work in your own styles. It is never done anywhere in the world.

Hon. Members, the Chair is not weak or unaware of the operations of the House of Parliament. The Chair knows what this House is all about, and that is why the Chair has been guiding hon. Members all this time. The Chair wants hon. Members, to understand what they are here for. From the conduct of some of the hon. Members, the Chair is getting the impression that the primary function of this House is to deal with cases of breach of Parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House. This is not correct. The Chair has already outlined the functions of this House, and that is the primary duty the people of Zambia have brought us to this House for. Parliamentary privileges are there to help us perform our work. They are not there for Members’ personal gain or cheap popularity.

Hon. Members, you are “Honourable” and this honour bestowed upon you must be deserved and respected. If you want to be popular through the press, then do so on your own, through your own efforts and at your own risk, without bringing this House into disrepute. This House is not here to punish you for your failure to understand its operations. Neither were you elected to this House to become an obstacle in its well-intended operations. Let our performance in this House promote the well-being of the people of Zambia and not destroy it.

Thank you. {mospagebreak}



The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, I wish to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

On Tuesday, 20th February, 2001, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and consider the following Heads: Head 51 - Ministry of Communications and Transport and Head 64 - Ministry of Works and Supply.

On Wednesday, 21st February, 2001, the business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will also consider private Member’s Motions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads: Head 65 - Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training and Head 67 - Ministry of Tourism.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 22nd February, 2001, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. Followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads: Head 76 - Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development and Head 77 - Ministry of Defence.

On Friday, 23rd February, 2001, the business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then go into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads: Head 78 - Office of the President (Special Division) and Head 80 - Ministry of Education.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




31. Ms Malama (Chipata) asked the Minister of Education:

    (a)    how many community schools there were in Chipata District;         and

    (b)    what assistance Government gave to these schools.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Mmembe): Mr Speaker, there are twelve community schools in Chipata District and Government assistance given to community schools is in the form of seconding qualified teachers were possible, as well as provision of teaching and learning materials.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Namakando (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, it is evident that teachers shun rural areas after graduation, when will the hon. Minister make it compulsory for teachers to go to rural areas after graduation. As it is,  the rural areas will continue to lag behind in terms of education because of shortage of teachers.

Mr Mmembe: Mr Speaker, this is a completely new question, but the ministry is working out certain measures to encourage teachers to go to these rural schools. This is what we are doing in the ministry and when the time is right, we will come and report to the House.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr C. T. A. Banda (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Education to indicate major distinction features between community schools and those that are not described by this term.

The Minister of Education (Brigadier-General Miyanda): Mr Speaker, the school system in Zambia is that we have what we call regular or formal schools. These are the schools that are established by the Government. We also have the non-government schools which are the private schools. We also do have others which are in between such as, mission schools, which get the grant from Government, and we refer to them as Grant Aided Schools. Those are the major types of schools in Zambia.

In recent times, we have encouraged communities to set up schools at their own initiative. Therefore, a community school is a school which a particular community in any part of Zambia, get together and run a school on their own. And so, they initiate such a project, subscribe money and build that particular school. Now, that is entirely their school and not a Government school. Eventually what happens, is that they run to the Government when they have a problem with some support such as provision of school requirements. This is what the hon. Deputy Minister was explaining. So, a community school is a school initiated by the community, it is their school and not a Government school.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Miti (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, the community schools naturally go a long way in easing the movement of our pupils. I wanted to know from the Minister whether they can ease the procedure of recognising such community schools, considering that it takes a lot of time they are recognised by the ministry before it can starts providing the education requirements for such a school.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the problem that the hon. Member has mentioned. In fact, the community schools are doing extremely well and have their own secretariat. In appreciation of this work and seeing that they are independent bodies, we have now made the Chief Inspector of Schools as the Co-ordinator at Headquarters. 

First of all, they are not Government institutions, but we co-ordinate and co-operate with them. I am unaware of any procedural problems. The community sets up a school and it becomes their school. Now, we are concerned because community schools have increase. And my main concern is the quality of the education. Although they are community schools, when things go wrong people blame the ministry. That is one of the reasons we said we should uplift the profile so that I am well briefed. And so, we have the Chief Inspector of Schools as the Co-ordinator of community schools. If the hon. Member is aware of any particular schools which have difficulties in being recognised, I will be very pleased to receive that and we can correct that anomaly.

Thank you, Sir.


32. Mr L. L Phiri (Chipangali) asked the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries:

    (a)    how much money was owed to the Food Reserve Agency         by debtors as at 31st December, 2000; and

    (b)    what measures the Government is taking to assist FRA to         recover the debts.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Lieutenant Colonel Ngulube): Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency was owed a total of K66,707,740,228 by various farmers, organisations and individual persons as at 31st December, 2000. This debt is broken down as follows:-

    Debtors    Kwacha

    Maize -1998/1999    10,836,108,076.00

    Fertiliser - 1997/1998    6,576,535,741.00

                   - 1998/1999    34,855,424,993.00

                   - 1999/2000    14,439,671,418.00

    Total    66,707,740,228.00

The Government has, through hon. Ministers, Members of Parliament, Senior government Officers and other political leaders have, through the media, and different fora appealed to small-scale farmers and other debtors to pay back loans to the Food Reserve Agency so that the same can be revolved in subsequent years. This effort has significantly assisted the agency to recover the debts.

As regards political leaders owing money to the Food Reserve Agency, the Republican President took a personal initiative to discuss the matter with the said leaders irrespective of their political affiliations so that they could pay their outstanding debts. This action has also started to pay dividends.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister if the Government has plans to write off these debts as most of the defaulters are Members of Parliament and top Government officials who have handicapped the work of the Food Reserve Agency in serving the peasant farmers in villages.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ngulube: Mr Speaker, as of now, the Government has no plans to write off debts.

I thank you, Sir.


33. Mr Mweni (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries:

    (a)    how much money was allocated to Northern Province         under the Rural Investment Fund (RIF) between January,         1995 and July, 2000;

    (b)    how much of this money was allocatd to Luwingu District,         year by year; and

    (c)    which projects benefited from the allocation, constituency         by constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Mr Chikamba): Mr Speaker, the Rural Investment Fund started operating in late 1996. Between 1996 and December 1999, there were no ceilings allocated to provinces because projects were funded on the basis of approved submissions from the districts. As at 31st July, 2000, RIF had funded 310 projects in Northern Province at a total cost of K5,433,000,000.

Mr Speaker, as indicated already, between 1996 and December, 1999, projects were being funded on the basis of submissions from the districts. However, between 1996 and July 2000, eighteen projects were funded in Luwingu District at a total cost of K469,122,630. There were no projects in 1996 because Rural Investment Fund started disbursements in 1997. In 1997, K97,610,330 was disbursed and in 1998, K230,968,300 was disbursed. A total of K140,544,000 was disbursed for the 1999/2000 period.

Mr Speaker, the projects funded by RIF in Luwingu District consist of roads, bridges and water furrows. The details of the projects which benefited from the allocation, constituency by constituency are given as follows:

Name of     Project Name    Amount Funded Constituency        (K)

Lupososhi      Chiyongoli Mulalashi Bridge    53,068,000
    Lufubu Water Furrow    7,760,000
    Njili Kafula Bridge    27,465,00
    Simeyo Mupuma Bridge    32,578,000
    Chikunkuluka Busaka Road    27,590,000
    Simeyo Mupuma Bridge II    26,085,000
    Mulalashi Mutondo Bridge    29,952,000
    Muchinka Furrow    9,399,000
    Mbawelo Kamupashi Bridge    19,115,000
    Sub Total    233,012,000

Lubanseshi    Kasonka Ipusukilo Bridge    19,428,000
    Nkwale Mulalashi Bridge    32,919,000
    Lubansenshi Bridge    28,790,000
    Fili ukotuleya Furrow    6,485,000
    Lufubu Furrow    23,140,000
    Shamumanga Bridge    25,145,000
    Lubansenshi Bridge Ext.    31,006,000
    Isandulula Kayoche Bridge    29,838,000
    Ipusukilo Chibofwe Bridge    17,550,000
    Sub Total    214,301,000

Total            447,313,000

    Add Project Appraisal, Design, 
    Monitoring and Supervision    21,809,630
Grand Total            K469,122,630

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Sondashi (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the hon Minister intends to extend these services to other areas as well since this is important and so every district must be covered.

The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Mr Desai): Mr Speaker, the Rural Investment Fund has been operational in every district of Zambia. The question to which we are providing an answer 

requested information on projects which were funded in Luwingu District. That is why the information which was given was all related to Luwingu District. If we are being asked to explain what projects have been funded in Nakonde, Monze and Solwezi, we will be very happy to come to the House and give the details.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister inform this House why other provinces are getting problems in benefiting from this fund, even if they apply genuinely.

Mr Desai: Mr Speaker, funding by the Rural Investment Fund, is based on the concept of giving a matching grant and it is demand-driven. So, if there are some areas of the country which have not accessed assistance from the Rural Investment Fund, it could only mean that the local leaders who should mobilise farming communities to come up with projects, to do their part, which is a contribution of up to 25 per cent towards the project cost in form of cash or labour or provision of local raw materials. If that mobilisation and organisation is not being done in some parts of our country, then the blame should be on the leaders of those areas who ought to organise the people to a stage where they can qualify to receive a matching grant from the Rural Investment Fund. Sir, I would say it is poor leadership in those areas and not a fault of the Rural Investment Fund.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Malama (Chipata): Mr Speaker, despite of 25 per cent being done by the community, the approval of the forms take so long. Why is it so?

Desai: Mr Speaker, Project Proposals have to be appraised. Sometimes, they are not prepared properly. That is what leads to delays, but wherever there is a genuine complaint and where hon. Members of Parliament feel there are unjustified dealings, please, bring such cases to our offices and we will definitely see that the funding flows.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sikombe (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, K5 billion extended to Northern Province is a lot some of money. I would like to find out if the hon. Minister has been to Northern Province to inspect and see if some of these projects did take off and if they have impacted positively.

Mr Chikamba: Mr Speaker, I visited all the constituencies in Northern Province and I have details to prove that those projects, in fact, have been done.


34. Mr Mwitwa (Mansa) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Government can consider assisting Mansa Municipal Council source donor support for the improvement of water supply to Mansa residents.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Sejani): Mr Speaker, in response to Hon. Mwitwa’s question, I wish to state that my ministry will be supporting the Mansa Municipal Council in its efforts to improve the water supply for the people of Mansa. For that purpose, my ministry is already sourcing financial assistance from donors to undertake civil works for the water supply and sanitation system in Mansa.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr T. J. C. Phiri: Mr Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whether his ministry has immediate plans to repair the portion of Great East Road from ZESCO to Airport Turn off. It is in a mess and is disgusting. The potholes are getting bigger and bigger.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister may answer only if he so wishes because it sounds irrelevant.

Mr Sejani: Mr Speaker, the Minister of Local Government and Housing will not answer that question.



35. Mr Kangwa (Solwezi East) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

    (a)    when was the Solwezi/Kipushi/Mushindamo Road last graded;

    (b)    how much money was spent on the exercise;

    (c)    when will the road in (a) above be regraded;

    (d)    under what category does the road fall; and

    (e)    how much money was allocated in the 2000 Budget for the         maintenance of the same road.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mululu): Mr Speaker, the maintenance grading of the 114 kilometres of Solwezi/Kipushi/Mushindamo Road was last carried out in 1996.

The Provincial Roads Engineer, Mr Speaker, spent K40 million to carry out the maintenance grading of the Solwezi/Mushindamo/Kipushi Road in 1996. 

Mr Sibetta Interjected.

Mr Mululu: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I am not one of those hearing impaired persons. So, Hon. Sibetta would do well just to listen carefully.


Mr Mululu: Mr Speaker, the maintenance of the road is included in the year 2000 maintenance programme of the Provincial Roads Engineer. The road is classified as a District Road Class III.

The maintenance of the Solwezi/Kipushi was allocated K1, in 2000 Budget, to keep the Vote going.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I want to find out whether the Government has paid Phoenix Contractors for patching up the Lusaka/Mumbwa Road which has already opened up.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: The question is irrelevant.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, during the debate on Head 29, Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West mentioned that the Solwezi/Kipushi/Mushindamo Road was missing from a document produced by his ministry and the principled Minister of Local Government and Housing said that he was going to do something about it.

Now, from the statement we have just heard this morning from the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, it is implying that the Solwezi/Mushindamo Road is appearing in their documents. Can he explain what the difference is in the two areas, where one ministry is saying it is not appearing in the book and they are claiming that it is also appearing in the other ministry.

Mr Mululu: Mr Speaker, I thought the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West was listening when I was giving the last information. May I repeat for his own benefit. The maintenance of Solwezi/Kipushi Road was allocated K1 in the 2000 Budget.

Mr Nyangu: 2001!

Mr Mululu: 2001 is yours, but mine here is 2000.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Sondashi (Solwezi Central): Can the hon. Minister check his figures. According to us, this road was last attended to in the 1980s. In fact, it was in 1985 when I was Member of the Central Committee of that Province.

Now he is saying that this road was worked on in 1996 which is not true. Can the hon. Minister assure this House that that was done. The hon. Minister should bring evidence to this House so that we challenge him. Can he correct the impression that this road was not attended to in 1996.

Mr Mululu: Mr Speaker, I welcome the challenge. But, I am insisting that the road was graded and I have said so because that road was graded in 1996 by the Provincial Roads Engineer at a cost of K40 million.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kangwa (Solwezi East): I get to wonder whether the hon. Minister went round and inspected the road because I am the custodian of that road. He should come with evidence to show that it was worked on in 1996. It is not true, Mr Speaker. He should bring papers here for us to read.


Mr Speaker: Order! The custodian would like to hear the answer to his ...


Mr Speaker: ... question.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mandandi): I am aware that Uncle Kangwa is eager that the road be done and I am also aware that he was voted into office in November, 1996. Therefore, between January and November, 1996, he has no knowledge of what happened.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, this road is the shortest link between Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo on which this Government is emphasising. When is the Government going to tar this trunk road linking the two countries.

Mr Mandandi: At the moment, Government has no desire to tar this road because it is in a passable position.

Thank you, Sir.




VOTE 44/01 - (Ministry of Labour and Social Security - Headquarters - K2,271,839,765)

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Sibetta (Luena):  Mr Chairman, thank you for affording me the opportunity to open the debate for the day.

Mr Chairman, I would like to start with the factory inspection. At my conclusion, I was referring to hon. Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Chikwakwa) who has turned himself into a Factory Inspector.

Now, this unit of Government needs to be adequately funded so that the investors who are coming in and the old factories are kept in check and inspected. From the Government Estimates, this department will not be able to undertake its responsibility. Every year, the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour has brought recommendations to this House that this unit must be adequately funded. This year, like last year, it has absolutely nothing to allow it carry on its work.

The Labour Commissioner’s Department is a key department. Labour inspections have fallen out for the last 10 years since this Government came to power. Minimum wages have no longer been enforced. As a result of removing minimum wages in various industries, our workers are no longer paid adequate salaries and allowances. Consequently, we have poverty in the nation and when there are low wages in a country, the poverty starts from children, women and vulnerable groups in our society.

What is shameful is that this Government is led by eminent trade unionist like the hon. Minister of Defence (Mr Sampa) who is trying to hide himself.

Mr Patel: He has betrayed the principles.

Mr Sibetta: These are the men who fought and spearheaded a campaign to remove the former Government of Dr Kaunda. They told workers that they were going to put forward a reasonable package to improve their lives. But, what do we see? The various departments in this key ministry like the Labour Commissioner’s Department are not funded. There are no minimum wages and employment retains. The rules governing the rights and safeguards of women and children in industries have been repealed. It is free for all. Therefore, the situation is very chaotic.

To make it even worse, the Government owes the Pensions Board K54 billion. These are outstanding employers contributions from this Government to the Pensions Board to pay the workers who have been working in Government departments. Now we have a situation where workers who retired 5 years ago have not been paid their pensions from this Government led by these short sighted trade unionists. Instead of remitting the money to the Pensions Board, the Government is lending this same money to their friends who have been running bankrupt banks. These banks are held up in bankrupt banks owned by friends of these same trade unionist. One of them is there.

Mr Sibetta pointing at hon. Newstead Zimba.


Mr Patel: The other one is there.

Mr Patel pointing at hon. Chitalu Sampa.


Mr Patel: And the other one is at State House.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, the workers of this country have been betrayed and this ministry has been weakened. This is unheard off. Men who came to power to try and help people have betrayed the first people they came with, namely the workers.

Mr Chairman, on the enforcement of child rights in industry, this Parliament had a report in which the Government was asked to bring back the laws to protect children and women labour and to protect people in the informal sector. The Government is reluctant to do this. The same Government was asked to shorten the casual workers time from six months to three months so that the casual workers are protected. Again this Government is reluctant to do this despite Parliament giving instructions.

Furthermore, on the privatised companies, Mr Chairman, most of these privatised companies, have packed their machinery and sent them across the border to Zimbabwe and South Africa leaving workers unpaid, their terminal benefits unpaid, and their unemployment completely cut off. And this is a Government led by trade unionists. What kind of men and women are these? They have betrayed the cause of the workers. They have betrayed this particular ministry. This is a key ministry. This ministry has the men and women of this country who spearheaded the fight for independence struggle. We had gallant men who were running this department.

I am appealing for more time, Sir. I still have a lot.


Mr Sibetta: On the Congress of Trade Unions, the Parliamentary report is very clear. This particular parent of the workers where you were is now toothless. It is now betraying people. All it is doing is specialise in growing beards appearing to be revolutionary when it is not revolutionary.


Mr Sibetta: You know very well what I am talking about, hon. Members of this House. This ministry must be funded. I can assure the ministry and the workers of this country that it will not be long, the glorious days are coming when this Government will be booted out ...


Mr Sibetta: ... and a new Government is in place and review the conditions of the ministry. The ministry is getting K3.8 billion and for President slash funds, you give K12 billion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Sibetta: You give a key ministry K3.8 billion, you give a President K12 billion to give away. This is unacceptable.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! The hon. Member for Luena is aware that in the Yellow Book, there is no Vote or sub-Vote referred to as slash funds. He is aware of that. Secondly, the hon. Member is capable of using better language than he is currently using. For instance, referring to 'the President' as 'a President' is not respectful to the Head of State. Will he, please, be temperate and careful with his language.

Will he continue, please.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I thank you. You know me very well and you know how I feel about this ministry. I began my life in this ministry before I went out to study banking and before I went out to be a farmer. I worked in this ministry. That is where men like the hon. Minister of Defence or the President or Newstead Zimba and I met.

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

Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairman, I have one issue to raise and this is about the employment of foreign labour in our country.

Recently, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security at the tripartite meeting issued a very stern warning about foreign investors currently bringing labour that is locally available. She used to be known as an Iron Lady but somehow she has lost the iron in the lady. I do not know why. 

Hon. Opposition Members: After labour.

Mr Patel: Recently, and it is of public knowledge and information that the Malaysian contractors building the OAU Village have employed Malaysian labour to move around wheelbarrows and dig holes in our grounds. The law is very clear. The policy is very clear. The hon. Minister was very categorical at the tripartite meeting about this issue yet she is not able to do anything about it. Even this morning when I passed through because I knew this Vote was on to make sure that I am talking facts, I found Malaysians moving wheelbarrows and digging holes at that site. What is so special about the man who is in charge of this project? His name is Richard Sakala. Why is he above the law? Who is he that you cannot deal with him? What is so special about this man? When did you pass immunity against this man that is he is above the law? Why is the hon. Minister and the whole Government not able to take action against the man in charge called Richard Sakala?

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.

I do not seem to support the Vote, Mr Chairman. The reason being that really the money that you have given the ministry is nothing to talk about. As my colleagues have said, we need more money for people like the inspectors to go round. 

To carry on from what the last speaker has just said, the President of this country decided to put a trade unionist, in my view, a person who was fighting for the rights of the workers when he was head of the trade unions. But what is surprising really is that the same person who was fighting for Zambians to be employed, today can be part of a group of authorities who can allow Malaysians to come and carry wheelbarrows and mud from point A to B even to dig trenches as if there are no Zambians who can do it. 

Mr Chairman, Sir, ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! That point has already been made and need not be repeated by another hon. Member. Otherwise it will give the impression to the Chair that hon. Members have nothing else to talk about except the Malaysian cheap labour.

Will you, please, move onto another point.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Chairman, while getting your advice, what I was advancing to is: why are we spending money or why is the ministry approving work permits for these people who are actually doing the same things that our Zambians can do?

When I was debating sometime last week or also, Mr Chairman, I had said that in Malaysia, any job is supposed to be given to a national. But here in Zambia, the same people if a Zambian went there cannot even work as an office orderly, are being given first preference to do the duties that could be done by simple people. 

Mr Chairman, I also wish to find out from the hon. Minister why when we have people given positions in the ministry like labour, especially those who were 

in the Trade Unions, we expect them at least to start thinking of poverty datum line and poverty reduction which they were actually proclaiming when they were in the unions. Surprisingly, as soon as they moves out from being Secretary-General of a Trade Union to either a Minister or Permanent Secretary they forget what they were proclaiming when they were in the unions. These are the double standards that are not going to come after November this year when there will be a change of Government.

Mr Chairman, the Zambian people are finding it difficult, especially those who are at a lower level. You will find that in some institutions, the top brass are being given their salaries in dollars whereas the junior people, it is the ordinary kwacha. We would want to know how far the hon. Minster is going in trying to have a level playing field in terms of the top leadership in companies and their juniors. 

We are grateful that there was change of Government in 1991, and the Zambian people gave chance to the Trade Unions to govern this country. Now we know that the mistake was made and as we go to November elections, we are now looking for economic managers to run this Government not trade unionists because they have already disappointed us. 

Mr Speaker, I would want really to request the Government that as we go along, let them bring Supplementary Estimates for this ministry because if we do not put money in this ministry, I have no reason to doubt that the hon. Minister will not perform well in order to see what is happening with our Zambian employees who are being mistreated, because for her to send people to go to these industries, they will need allowances. So, we are appealing to the Government that in the next three months, if it is possible, please, let them bring Supplementary Estimates for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security so that they can do a good job so that we can know whether it is true what Hon. Dr Kamata has said that expatriates who have the same qualifications like Zambians are getting more than the owners of this land. Really, if that is true, surely, the civil servants at the ministry who were in the unions should honour their promises. If today you are saying equal pay for the same qualifications and the following day you are running away it is because you have failed to do your duty. Please, let us honour our promises.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr A.M. Mwila (Kalulushi): Mr Chairman, I thank you for letting me add a voice to the Vote on the Floor.

Mr Chairman, my understanding of the word expatriate is that one is specialised in a certain trade or field which the local people do not have. In this country, I have found a lot of flows in our system in that we have had cases where expatriates have worked for twenty years ...

Mr Sibetta: Correct!

Mr A.M. Mwila: ... they have even been promoted to end up being managers in various organisations. At the same time, they compete with the same managerial jobs with our Zambians which defeats the purpose of the word expatriate because an expert in a field is supposed to come for a certain period like three years while we train our local people, but this has not been the case and at the same time, though competing for the jobs, they do not compete salary-wise.

Secondly, these expatriates who have worked for so long after being pensioned off have now become investors and after twenty years, they have formed small companies and we are now calling them investors which I fail to understand why we do that. Talking about expatriates again, it is only here in Zambia where you will find an expatriate changing jobs. He comes in as an Accountant for company ‘A’ and leaves that company and becomes an Accountant in company ‘B’. This means that we have left this country to be run by our friends because where are our professionals going to go if we do not safeguard the little jobs that are available? I would like to request the hon. Minister in charge of the ministry to look into this case, especially on the Copperbelt. We are now having mining expatriates changing companies anyhow.

The other issue that I would want the hon. Minister to tackle is on casual workers. A lot of our miners are being retrenched, only to be replaced by casual workers. As a casual worker is defined, it means they can be hired and fired at any time and all the benefits that go with a person in employment for a longer period of time or permanent employment like in medical and education field, they do not benefit. So, there is a lot of uncertainty in connection with our people on the Copperbelt.

I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security to have a strong inspectorate wing to check on the welfare of our workers, especially on the Copperbelt. Instead of waiting in their offices for the people to go and complain, they should do impromptu audit to these mines and check on what is going on because it is not everyday that people will go to complain to the labour office, no.

With those few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Miss R. Phiri (Chadiza): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this Vote of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Mr Chairman, I just want to point out one issue. I am getting worried with the increasing number of street kids due to non-payment of pensions to the retirees. They are not given time to prepare themselves. And as such, they fail to look after their children hence, the increased number of street kids. I want to urge the Government that, maybe, in the next year’s Budget they should include a package for people who are about to retire so that at least a year before, they are given something to prepare themselves as we know that most of the civil servants have not benefited from the Housing Scheme.

Mr Chairman, I know that most of the debaters have already contributed, but I think this is a new idea that I have brought.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Chairman, I would like to support the Vote on the Floor but lamentably, I am very sorry that the amount of money given is not adequate.

Mr Chairman, this Department of Labour, especially in the central department, they need transport. If you go in the Safari lodges, there is a lot of abuse of child labour. They engage casual labourers and renewable every 

six months, when we are supposed to employ them permanently after six months. Mr Chairman, you find that what these people do in these lodges and safaris is that they re-engage them and pay them these slave wages after every six months. I thought the ministry should do something. First of all, it should provide a vehicle for this department to go in these safari camps and look at how Zambians are suffering at the hands of these investors in this industry.

Mr Chairman, I would like also to mention that the factory inspectors should go all out and see, really, what type of products are being produced in these factories. And if they are observing the standard norms, for example, the type of equipment some factories use is quite lethal, it is dangerous. They need to check the pressure, for example, on a boiler, they need to maintain a certain pressure and these should, subsequently, be serviced, at least, every three months just to make sure that safety prevails. It is very risky that we just apply sub-standards in terms of the way labour is organised. 

I am worried, Mr Chairman, that our investors bring very old equipment, install it in a place and then go to the Labour Office and employ some workers without having an inspector to certify that the equipment they are using is, actually, suitable for human use. This is why you find that long ago some factories were even lacing sweets, bread and other things because inspectors do not have transport to go and check.

There was an issue of laced bread that happened in Garden Compound where a bakery was lacing the bread. There was also Duzi Factory which was lacing sweets for school children, but the inspectors did not have transport to go and make sure that the product they were producing was fit for human consumption. So, we need them to be there on the spot. In fact, they are supposed to issue them with certificates of operation for every year that they operate.

On foreign labour, Mr Chairman, a lot of other hon. Members have mentioned it, but I am also saddened that when you go to Manda Hill here, you find that on the contracts signed, they are just supposed to bring a certain number of expatriates to come and work, but within that prescribed contract, they bring in extra members of their own families. There are so many cases, RAMCOZ is another. The investor brings the money and invests, but later he brings members of his family who have no experience, just because their brothers have invested in this country. Our Labour Department does not look at the agreements as to who should come. They simply bring them because they want their relatives to be accountants or managers because their relatives have invested in Zambia. We should be there on the spot to counter-check that the type of imported labour that we are receiving should be that which we cannot find in Zambia.

This takes me to the doctors, Mr Chairman, the labour in the hospitals, we have lost most of our doctors, although I am not talking about health, but I am talking about the labour. We have lost our credible workers in preference to foreign labour and this should be checked by the hon. Minister to make sure that all the labour which is brought here, we do not have Zambians who can stand in.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Chairman, my concern is on casual workers in commercial farms throughout the country. Mr Chairman, a number of casual workers in most commercial farms sometimes do go for six months or one year without pay. I do not know if the Department of Labour could, at least, visit these places so that they can encourage the owners of these farms to pay workers regularly. Also when these workers retire, they are not given retirement benefits. So, you find that when a number of these people go back to their homes, they do suffer a lot. Some of them do not even have anything with which to start off life. So, there are, actually, a lot of problems in these commercial farms and I would like to request the ministry to regularly visit these farms so that they can, at least, ensure that commercial farmers pay these people regularly.

This is the only point that I had, Mr Chairman. 

Thank you very much.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Chairman, I will not belabour the points which my colleagues have made. In supporting this Vote, I just want to underscore a couple of very important points which I think are relevant to the functioning of our Government and the functioning of our society.

When you talk about being independent, I think most of you sitting here have gone through the machinery. Most of you were born before 1964 and you saw the changes, the struggle, particularly during the first ten years. Most of you are a product of independence. You would not have been in this House today had we not become independent. Because of this, the changes that have taken place in the last ten years, we need to take stock, not at our levels because I am aware that most of you have been out of touch with the real country, the real fibre of what has happened in our community.

Mr Sibetta: The lives of our people.

Mr Hachipuka: The lives of our people and I speak from the strength that I have just come from industry into this House and I also speak knowing the strength of the hon. Minister in charge of this ministry, the capacity. She is an old colleague, a person I know can articulate and can deliver, given the climate within which to deliver.

Mr Simasiku: Your sister-in-law also.

Mr Hachipuka: That is a plus. I want to state, Mr Chairman, here that many ills that we fought for prior to 1964 have been re-introduced in our community. If you go to most of these privatised companies, you will be able to tell that there are two distinct communities, the investor community and the local community. The local and indiginous community has been pushed back to its original self, to conditions which prevailed before 1964. It is common today to see a vehicle in town of a foreigner sitting in front, now that you have these double-cabs, with an indigenous person and a dog sitting behind, a servant sitting behind, the same conditions which prevailed before 1964. 

It is common now in privatised companies to find that labour has been reduced in terms of permanent and pensionable employment and yet the numbers are exactly the same as were there before because the larger part is contained in the casuals who are paid a K100,000 and they have no recourse. Our people, as of now, hon. Minister, are paid salaries equivalent to transport to bring them to work.

aThey come to work as a way of occupation. To occupy their minds. They have nothing to take home. Our people now walk to and from places of work. I live in Lusaka-West, substantially most people from Lusaka-West start off at 0500 hours to walk to town. Sir, I think we have gone back to what we were before.

The important point I want to make in here is this, you are also removed from what is happening around yourselves. You have forgotten where you came from. We have all forgotten as Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. We have forgotten where we have come from. It is from that  point of view that I am saying that to put a small amount into this ministry, when, in fact, you know that apart from looking after and protecting the labour force and controlling the labour force, it is the fundamental ministry that you must use as a Government to gauge your successes and how close you are to the people, is very sad. 

There is no employment in the country which you know and we understand that the purpose of this is that we must all contribute so that perhaps, Zambia can be a better place for tomorrow. But, even that must be controlled. It must be governed. It must be managed and there is no way we can manage with the kind of small amount you have voted for this ministry. You need to protect even the informal sector. You need to make sure that regulations that ensure their humanity are observed.

We need to work as a country. We cannot just open our country to a point where you create two communities, the haves and have nots. If the have nots are indigenous people, the haves are going to be the foreigners. Then what is it that we are talking about here? What is it, that we are here for?

I wish to basically request the Executive to use some of these ministries such as this one to be the eyes and ears, to know who you are and what you are sitting on. Do not be a person who is sitting in a boat that is sinking. Certainly, this boat is sinking because we are uncomfortable, people are not being regulated. The people who have regular employment are not being supported. Your indigenous Zambians who are in these companies you privatise - there is no mechanism, there is insufficient policing to make sure the so called investors are protecting your own indigenous people.

I am sad, as was earlier stated because we have the likes of my colleague, Hon. Zimba, - and you take a very strong trade unionist like the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Mr Alec Chirwa. Why should they dilute the strength of the trade unions and yet that is the basis from which they came from? It is unfortunate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Musakabantu (Nominated): Mr Chairman, I have a few points to raise under this Vote. 

In the first place, there does seem to be a perception that non-economic ministries, perhaps, should not get high funding. I think, this is a misconception. It is most unfortunate that we are, now, talking about labour today being under funded from the first day. 

In recognising the fact that labour is important, I would like to say that maybe, the Minster of Labour and Social Security should start looking at her job and redefining it. At the time of independence, we had barely a hundred graduates in this country ...

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Chairman I stand on a very serious point of order and need your ruling. Is the peace maker, Hon. Walubita, in order to shave when he promised this House that he was not going to shave? I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairman.


The Deputy Chairman: In that point of order raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi-West, the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs is being accused of letting down the House after promising to remain like a freedom fighter with a beard. 


The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

Mr Musakabantu: Sir, just before break, I was developing a point that at the time of independence, we had barely 100 university graduates and at that time training for skilled manpower was a priority in this country. 

We saw, practically in every town a labour exchange office and I think, at that time, the greatest employer was the Government itself. The position, however, is different now. I think, there is need for the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare to start looking at their functions with a view, perhaps, to revisiting the laws and practices in the ministry. We, now, have a surplus of skilled labour and we cannot talk about unskilled labour because we just have too much of it.

Now, two phenomena strike my mind. One is that, on the one hand you have a developing economy with people that are getting educated and on the other, you have unemployment or employment declining in the country. 

So, I would like to suggest to the ministry that perhaps one of the ways to address the problem would be to get a data base for all skilled labour because what we are seeing, now, is retrenchment of even skilled labour. Some of the people that are being retrenched are very young. In fact, too young to start looking for a job again.

Now, my suggestion is that perhaps what the ministry should do would be to have a data base so that when the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is retrenching five people, before they are retrenched, perhaps opportunities can be sought with another Government Department and I was thinking that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security would be in a better position once it has information to co-ordinate the transfer of personnel from information to another ministry.

The other approach is that while we are struggling to get as many people into formal employment in the country as possible, we should also use the data base to monitor the export of skilled labour. I think Singapore has gone on record for getting most of its revenues from employment of labour abroad. In this country we have a lot of people getting employed in the SADC region, for example, Botswana, South Africa and other places. I am not sure whether the ministry has an idea about how many of them go out, and when they come, and whether we need some of them to come back for re-deployment. 

Now, the amount of money that has been given to the ministry is too little. I was going to suggest that maybe, it could be a good idea, if the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, who unfortunately, is not here ...

Mr Simasiku: He is here.

Dr Sondashi: From the consultants report, you will notice that this department can create a lot of income in Zambia. It can conduct workshops to educate people - the workers to be productive because this is one area where we are lacking. People are not productive and this includes in the Civil Service. Sir, there is no production taking place in this country and that is a big problem...

Hon. Member: Vendors desk.

Dr Sondashi: Oh, well, Vendors Desk is one of them. So, I would like to urge you hon. Minister to ensure that this department functions. I am not going to speak much about the Zambianisation Programme, I am just grateful to the hon. Nominated Member (Mr Musakabantu) for his contribution to the debate on the same subject. But the only thing I can add on is to ask you to try and lobby the powers that be to allow you to run the Zambianisation Programme on your own. Two Ministers, yourself and the Minister of Home Affairs cannot run this function properly because there is tag of war. When you recommend that a work permit for an expatriate, for instance, be terminated, you will find that your colleague there will say no and as a result, you will be unable to implement the Zambianisation Programme.

Mr Chairman, it is true that most of the jobs which are being done by expatriates now can be done by Zambians because we have more skilled Zambians now than we used to have ten years ago. And so the bottleneck there is the involvement of the Ministry of Home Affairs. They think that they should be there because they have to administer the immigration requirements. I do not think that you can deal with the Zambianisation programme pace in the manner that they are thinking. I think if you lobby properly with the appointing authority, you might find something. After having done that, then you can introduce legislation to empower you, legally to deal with these issues.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Sampa): Mr Chairman, I would like to support the Vote, but there is little money allocated to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Mr Chairman, hon. Members in this House are aware of the reasons why the Government is allocating such amounts of money to each of the Ministries. From that point, I would like to comment a bit on the comments by our colleagues like Hon. Sibetta and the rest of the Members in the Opposition. They continuously use the phrase, ‘you will be booted out, we will change the Government at the end of the year, you will not be in this House’. Sir, I must give them a little of a historical background.

Mr Chairman, in 1991 when we won the elections, we were informed by the then President of the Republic of Zambia Dr Kaunda that he was ...

Mr L L Phiri: Fyakale ifyo, leave him alone.

Mr Sampa: ... that he was going to come back in three months time.

Mr Sibetta: Talk on labour, the Chairman has said that there is no time.

Mr Sampa: And, Sir, that went. Secondly when he was contacted at the end of three months, he said he was going to come back in June, 1992, when June came...

Mr Sibetta: You have run out of ideas, just sit down.

Mr Sampa: ... they said he was going to come back at the end of 1992.


Mr L L Phiri: Talk of your Third Term.

Mr Sampa:. Up to this day we are in this Government. 1996, you people were standing here and saying this was the last time we were going to be in this Government. We are here today. And I must tell you that you are saying today that we shall not come back, all these Members on the Government side will come back without any question.

Mr L L Phiri: We know your tactics.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sampa: And, in fact, we shall get three quarters of you from the Opposition to the ruling party.


Mr Sampa: So, do not waste your time saying that the MMD will be booted out, we shall be here permanently.

Mr L L Phiri: You were condemning wamuyaya now you are advocating for it.


Mr Sampa: And the MMD Government will continue to rule this country for many, many more years to come.

Mr L L Phiri: What is your position on Third Term?

Mr Sampa: I am not talking about Third Term.

Mr Sibetta: Talk about the Vote and not Third Term because it does not exist.


Mr Sampa: Mr Chairman, trade unions are legal organisations in this country. They have been recognised by the Government and you should understand clearly that there are laws governing the trade unions in this country and, therefore, it is not the responsibility of the Government to interfere in the negotiations of the union and the employers. If the unions negotiate and they agree with the employer on conditions of service, that is it, the Government cannot  interfere. Sir, if the Government, for instance, said that we are going to pay so much money to certain workers or group of workers in a certain industry, that will constitute interference and the trade unions will rise and protest strongly, if you do not understand.

So, salaries are the responsibility of the unions and if the employers and the unions fail to agree, then the Government can come in by way of ...

Mr Sibetta: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman:  A point of order is raised.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I rise on a very serious point of order on the hon. Minister of Defence, who looks like Vlosovic, instead of debating the Vote on the Floor, is bringing rhetorics about his collapsed manifesto. Is he in order, Sir, to divert from the Vote on the Floor of the House? I need your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairman: As far as the Chair could follow the debate by the hon. Minister of Defence, he was very much in order in explaining to the House, including to the hon. Member for Luena (Mr Sibetta) how the Government and the unions are going to work on matters of labour and the administration of labour. So, he was very much in order to explain the background having been a long standing member of the Labour Movement himself. He wants to benefit this House with that background information.

Will he, please, continue.

Mr Sampa: I am most grateful, Sir,...


Mr Sampa: ... Hon. Sibetta, you should actually learn something from people like Hon. Dr Sondashi and Hon. Hachipuka who when contributing, they do it reasonably and the Government is able to get something out of their contribution. But when you stand and talk at the top of your voice you think, perhaps, we will be terrified, we are not. We are here as Ministers of this Government and we cannot be terrified by your high voice. So, keep cool.


Mr Sampa: Mr Chairman, I was saying that the Trade Unions have the right to negotiate with employers. If they agree, that is the end. Unless one body like the employers or the Trade Unions have got complaints against  the other, then the Ministry of Labour and Social Security can come in to try and find a peaceful solution so that all two parties benefit.

Mr Chairman, Trade Unions have done fantastically well together with the working people. Today, you are seated in this House freely, insult and talk any language, even outside, because of the freedom the working population and Trade Unions in this country have brought about. We are very grateful. We must appreciate that fact.

Now, when we talk about conditions of service in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the worst employers and culprits are Zambians. Even you Sibetta, when you were a manager ...


The Deputy Chairman: Order! I appreciate that the hon. Minister of Defence is getting charged. That is not the reason for one hon. Member calling the other without due respect to the position he holds on behalf of the people. Will you, please address him as Mr or Hon. Sibetta, because that is what he is.

Will the hon. Minister continue, please.

Mr Sampa: Mr Chairman, Zambians are worse managers in this country than expatriates. When we are given a nice chair, cup of tea, car, etc, we completely forget to advise the expatriates about the conditions of service in this country.

Mr Sibetta: That is what is happening in the economy now.

Mr Sampa: You, Hon. Sibetta ...


Mr Sampa: ... can you listen.

If Hon. Sibetta was a manager, as he is a manager at his farm, he is one who pays slave-wages to his workers at the farm. If we institute an investigation, we will find that Hon. Sibetta is the worst culprit in this field. Therefore, all what we can do is to urge the Trade Unions and workers to fight for their rights.

Consequently, Mr Sibetta, please, take this message seriously. I would like to say that the contributions from some hon. Members of the Opposition have been really wonderful because they will assist the Government to find ways and means of getting to the real root cause of reason workers are suffering in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Chairman, I thought I should touch on one subject which has been raised in the House. This is the question of the Malaysian workers who were brought in by PHI.

This issue has been brought to my attention and we have had discussions with the management of PHI. It is obvious that some of the relevant Government departments were informed rather late on this particular move. However, I want to assure the House that we have taken steps to ensure that this is normalised and that in future, it will not be repeated. I thought I should just clarify that.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Ms Nawakwi): Mr Chairman, in presenting the Vote and seeking for the House support on this Vote, I would like to pay special tribute to my hon. Colleague, Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba, for moving the Budget Speech and moving us into the 21st Century with such high hopes.

On that same note, I would like to clear the misunderstanding which seems to come from the Opposition. They seem to think that the MMD was created as a Party to run this country for two terms. Therefore, the word ‘third term’ seems to be a fun word. I want to assure you hon. Colleagues that if you read our Manifesto it says, 1996 and beyond.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Miss Nawakwi: When we said 1996 and beyond, we clearly stated that we were going to continue to run as MMD beyond two terms. So, I want to assure you that if you do not sort your Act together, you will never stand on this side of the House. As to who will lead the MMD beyond 1996 is a matter of Political Parties, within your Parties and our Party. These are in-house discussions.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Chairman, I think that each Political Party’s Constitution is very clear. So, leave matters of internal Party discussion to Political Parties. If you want to join the debate, join, but do not heckle us in this House because we know what we are doing. We have both the Party and the Republican Constitution.

Mr Sibetta: I am your father-in-law.

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Chairman, that having been said, - if Hon. Sibetta wants to hear my response, can he, please listen. I was just clearing one issue that MMD certainly, is going to run this country beyond the two terms. If you, the Opposition Party think that your only role is to sit and not re-organise yourselves, then you will never have a chance to come this side of the House.

Hon. Opposition Members interrupted.

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Chairman, I need your protection. {mospagebreak}

Sir, allow me from the onset to state that MMD as a Party, and in Government, will continue to create investor confidence in our economy. It is our wish as Government that the situation on the labour market in the country continues to remain calm and that there should be potential for generation of productive employment. Our role as Government is to facilitate the creation of employment through the formulation and implementation of appropriate policies as one sure way, through which the high levels of poverty can be reduced.

Mr Chairman, the problem of inadequate formal sector employment cannot be here attributed to existence of MMD in the last ten years. It is a phenomenon that we took over and that the MMD in Government has tried to address at a very fast rate.

Sir, the challenges that we inherited, we have tackled them head-on. The ever increasing labour force at annual rate of six per cent calls for all of us to put our heads together to find an adequate solution as to how we can increase employment opportunities in the country. This will only be possible if we cultivate an environment that promotes active private sector participation. It is, therefore, the mandate of my ministry to formulate policies that do not stifle the operations of the labour market.

Mr Chairman, liberalisation policy has brought about an increased effective participation of the private sector ...

in the economy, particularly, in areas of mining, agriculture and other sectors. to this effect, there are already indications that employment opportunities are going to increase if we continue on the past of liberalisation and creation of employment opportunities.

Further, the removal of undue controls in the trade, commerce and financial sectors has provided an avenue for Zambians to engage themselves in economic activities of their choice, especially in the informal sector and other activities.

Mr Chairman, in this new set up where we have opened up for new investment, it is a matter of great importance that the few employment opportunities being created in the economy are first accorded to the Zambians and unless there is a proper justification that skilled labour needs to be imported, should this become necessary.

The importance of a free peaceful and harmonious industrial relations atmosphere in the country now is even more important as we are playing host to a number of direct foreign investments. As we strive to compete in attracting investments, there is need to attain a high level of standard of peace and harmony on the labour market.

Mr Chairman, my ministry, of late, has received a number of disturbing reports concerning some employers who are deliberately flouting labour laws and disrespecting workers’ rights. Some of these, however, have been doing so due to inadequate knowledge of the labour laws and practices governing the labour market in the country while some, I believe, have done so out of mere impunity.

I wish to state, therefore, that my ministry through the Labour Department is urgently building up capacity of its Labour Inspectorate and to be able to curb this problem.

Mr Chairman, as hon. Colleagues who have supported this motion have said, the ministry needs adequate resources to be able to undertake this enormous task.

Sir, the House may wish to note that last year recorded quite a number of work stoppage in various sectors of the economy resulting in substantial losses in productive man hours. Most of these strikes, however, occurred without exhausting the laid down legal provisions of industrial dispute resolutions. In this connection, my ministry will embark on a vigorous campaign to educate players on the labour market about the importance of following laws in order to arrive at peaceful solutions.

We have in this respect started a programme together with our social partners to work together to put in place education campaigns so that we can educate both employers and the workers at places of work.

Within my ministry, there is a very important department dealing with occupation health and safety. This is very important function that my ministry undertakes and is one of great concern to productivity in the economy. We need to ensure that there are safe and healthy working environments through the enforcement of the Factories Act, Cap 441 of the Laws of Zambia, efforts are made to systematically inspect pressure vessels, construction sites and plants in general so that they adhere to the normal standards in terms of safety and health concerns.

We are, as you have urged us to do, in the process of building up capacity so that we can be effective and work together with our colleagues in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to enforce the Factories Act and also health and safety at work.

In terms of social security, reforms that the Government embarked on in order to cater for the needs of people from all walks of life are now almost nearing their conclusion. As Hon. Dr Sondashi indicated to this House, we are well advanced in implementing our reforms of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and we have almost completed transformation.

I would like to draw your fears that the reforms are being conducted in a very free and systematic manner. We have reduced staff. We have also conducted competence tests for all the staff that are at NAPSA regardless of their rank. All managers were subjected to an educational test. Of those who did not have the required qualifications, they were retrenched and all people who are being retrenched are being paid off at the time of separation. We did manage to borrow US$5 million from the World Bank through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and everyone is taking home an adequate package and no one is being rendered destitute.

Those who have educational qualifications which were adequate were further subjected to competence tests. It is one thing to have a degree and it is also another thing to have a competent worker. So, we subjected all managers at NAPSA to competent tests. As a result of the two steps, 83 out of 118 senior and middle managers have been retrenched. They were qualified on paper but when we subjected them to what our views were and what we wanted to see as a new NAPSA, we found that our qualifications were not adequate for the purpose that we intend to put in place.

All senior jobs which are vacant are being advertised. There is now a new directorate of investment so that we can add value to the pensioners’ funds. This will take care of the investment of funds. A Director is being sought for this job and this job is being advertised. A new organisational structure is being implemented to focus on the challenge of providing adequate social security. I wish to state that there is no need to fear. We are carrying out this programme systematically with the constant supervision of our hon. colleagues from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and our co-operating partners from the World Bank. And I think I am satisfied with the work that we have done so far.

Mr Chairman, we intend to transform the former Zambia National Provident Fund (ZNPF) into National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and we are successful in this regard. However, there still remains some structural adjustments that need to be addressed. The extension of the scheme to those outside the organised formal sector employment is being considered. We intend that this particular scheme will serve as a minimum social security scheme for all workers and a study to this end is being commissioned so that we can register those people who are not in formal sector employment and provide them a serving scheme. The scheme also intends to introduce other products so that we can broaden the scope.

On this call, I wish to state here and put on record that I am not entertaining any applications for exceptions from this scheme. We all know that some private investors may say that they have put in place, adequate measures, but it is one thing to show that they are sustainable. A private investor may be here today and the following day, they may think that another country is a better destination and they will pull out. So, I will not entertain any requests for exceptions from any investor at the moment.

Mr Chairman, the other component which we are undertaking is that this House did approve the legislation on the merger of the Workers’ Compensation Control Board and the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Board. These have also been finalised. We have started in earnest the implementation of this programme with the commencement order signed on 1st November, 2000.

The new scheme is soon to be fully operational. A lot of work is already being done to speed up this process. You will rightly say that the productivity department is an integral part of our economic programme. We need to be a productive work force.

We need to be competitive if we are to compete in the current globalisation market. A country can only make it on the global market if it addresses issues of productivity seriously. We, therefore, must critically and vigorously undertake this task of promoting productivity improvement through various productivity development programme. 

Hon. Members of this House may wish to know that in August, 1999, Zambia participated in a SADC Summit in Maputo where commitments to create a sustainable and cost effective national productivity centre was made. I wish to assure hon. Colleagues that programmes are underway to be able to conduct productivity seminars and education at places of work together with the Zambia Employers Federation and the other social partners.

Mr Chairman, a lot of colleagues have mentioned that we need to provide labour marketing information. Let me now allude to the issue of availability of information and in particular the labour markets related information and the role that it plays in facilitating the process of policy formulation. Implementation, monitoring and evaluation of labour policies require clearly obtained labour market data. Time and reliable information on most social economic aspect in our country is scanty and sometimes virtually non-existent. Information on the labour market situation in the country is also not an exception. However, my ministry has started collecting data which will include efficient mechanism for collecting, processing, and storing of labour markets data and disseminating information to end users. There are a lot of times when employers come and say that they want to hire expatriate labour and they will argue that they have advertised and they are not able to get local personnel. But we intend to provide this information.

Mr Chairman, we have, in fact, discovered that in the financial sector, we have enough qualified accountants who are currently unemployed and we have stated to some of our partners that we shall not be easily forthcoming in recommending work permits in this particular sector. We now have a school of accountancy at ZICAS and Chingola and we are producing first class accountants and, therefore, we should be able to provide enough opportunity to our local personnel.

Mr Chairman, on the issue of child labour and which was referred to, this rising incidence of child labour is a result of the incidence of unemployment and the HIV pandemic which are but just some of the chief factors that have sent a good number of our children into the streets where they remain with no choice but to engage themselves into unhealthy life styles. We have seen street kids increasing on our streets doing some odd jobs to earn themselves just a mere passage through particular hours of the day. You cannot even call them employment. They are merely trying to survive as virtue destitutes. These children do odd jobs. 

Mr Chairman, it is also worth noting that in Zambia the problem of child labour is not a problem of formal sector employment. It is a phenomenon which we have seen in the informal sector and more and more people are being retrenched and laid off. There exists to this effect legal provision for employment of young persons under the Children's Act. This Act prohibits employing children under the age of 15 years in the formal sector. I am happy to say that my ministry has succeeded in enforcing this particular piece of legislation as far as formal sector employment is concerned. But it is virtually impossible at the moment to enforce this particular legislation in the informal sector where parents are sending children to trade on the streets, and where parents are requesting children to do jobs for virtual survival. However, I must say that in terms of formal sector employment, Zambia is not one of those countries which can actually be cited for allowing child labour.

Mr Chairman, the education system at this particular time also tends to push out a lot of young persons onto the street. It is because of this that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training is now refocusing its training programme to focus at informal sector employment provisions of skills for information sector employment. 

Mr Chairman, I would like to state that we are working together with our colleagues in the Ministry of Education with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training and we have to this effect ratified Convention 182 on the elimination of the work reforms of child labour as I have already stated. 

One of my hon. Colleagues wanted me to refer to a phenomenon called sex workers. I would decline to say that this phenomenon, as you rightly say, is a product of unemployment. It is one symptom of the underlying fundamental fact of high unemployment. If someone is productively employed, there is no way anyone will choose to work at night on a dangerous street. So this phenomenon is something that we all must address and find a way out of.

Mr Chairman, we have participated effectively in regional co-operation, and Zambia played host to the SADC Employment Labour Sector. We co-ordinate that and we are doing it very well. 

I wish to urge you hon. Colleagues that you have in many instances in the past supported this Vote and we hear your call for additional allocation for this particular sector. I hear the same call that I heard when we met two weeks ago with our social partners, ZCTU and the Zambia Employers Federation. In fact, for them they went further that they would like their ministry to wish they are the largest contributors. The employers were saying that they are the ones who are paying taxes through their employees and also through company tax and they were urging me to convey the message to the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development which was, I thought, a threat that they would sometimes withhold their tax until their ministry is properly funded. But we have agreed to have not a tripartite meeting but a meeting with our hon. Colleagues at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and I am sure this matter is being addressed in the overall context of the resources that are available at the Treasury. I am confident that this matter will be addressed.

There are a lot of issues that have been raised which I have addressed in my submission. I am grateful to his honour the Vice-President for clearing the matter on the construction of the OAU Village. It is not our intention to deprive Zambians of employment but I think you will bear with us with the limited time that we need. They will be here for just a few months and you will see them going. We do work closely with our colleagues at the Ministry of Home Affairs. But as you rightly point out we need to get the Department of Immigration to be much more aware of what is required. In many countries, you cannot be employed in one sector. When your job ends, you go to another sector. So we are still chairing the Committee on Zambianisation and we shall work much more closely to do that.

Mr Chairman, the issue of equal pay for equal work is a matter that is very dear to our hearts as MMD. If you read our manifesto, we pledged to address that. Mr Chairman, my ministry ...

Mr Sibetta: Ten years.

Ms Nawakwi: ... someone is calling it as ten years. I would be happy if the new parties like UPND say ten years rather than colleagues from some parties which have been in existence for a good thirty-seven years. I expect them to listen and hopefully try to tell us how they went wrong so that we can correct this situation in a faster way.

Sir, I am glad to say that I am working together with the International Organisation for Immigration. In fact, this week, we had a meeting at which we resolved that it was futile for us to go out and attract those of our professionals who have left us and are economic refugees in other countries. We need to improve the conditions of service at home in the Ministries of Health, Education and many other so that the conditions themselves can save as an attracting package for those of our colleagues who are outside.

I can assure you that non of our Zambian citizens who are working abroad are happier, than they would be here at home. They would like to come home and contribute both economically, politically and socially. We have resolved that we share use of our embassies abroad with the support and funding from the International Organisation of Immigration. We shall be able to have meetings with them but we must at least try to retain those of our employees who are still here. 

I am told that if you go to the University of Namibia, three quarters of the lecturers there are Zambians and if you look at the pay package, they are getting hardly $2,000 which is just a minimum wage, but if there are associated packages, they can be able to get a mortgage and get a car loan. I think that we all agreed that we need to address these issues to retain one or two lecturers who are still here before they go out and I am working with my colleagues at the Ministries of Health and Education so that we can be able to address this. You must understand that this trend has been in place for the past so many years and that is why you need to be patient and patience pays.

As regards the minimum wages and conditions of service, there is a Statutory Instrument No. 119 and 120. There is a provision there for minimum wages but I must admit that even as we met at the tripartite, we agreed that the provisions in there are inadequate and we are reviewing the Statutory Instrument together as partners in the tripartite.

Someone said that this Government has a typhoid trade unionism. I do not know what you mean because we are the only Government who have not suggested that the leaders of Trade Unions become Members of Central Committees (MCC). We have three associations and trade unions and we do register trade unions as applications are forth coming.

Sir, I think that trade union leaders and movement are much freer under the MMD Government than they have been in this country and they are very free to debate and discuss.

I would like to clear the misunderstanding that maybe, Government must go in and negotiate for workers. All workers must be encouraged through, you and the existing Trade Unions to affiliate themselves to one form of Trade Union or the other so that together, they can negotiate.

I do register Collective Bargaining Agreements on wages. If we find that these are not saving the workers, we decline to register them. Where there are no agreements and it is been brought to my attention, then I am required to impose some reasonable wages by a Statutory Instrument but that matter has not yet been brought to my attention. I am aware of some investors and I must be very clear, sometimes we talk and it is just talking. It was brought to my attention that companies like Intercontinental, at the time of purchase did sign contracts with their employees that they were not going to affiliate themselves to any Trade Union. That was not accepted and the labour commissioner is working together with the people in the hotels and catering union to be able to remedy that because it is illegal to refuse any one to associate themselves to any Trade Union of their choice.

I would like to say to those hon. colleagues who think that we do not visit companies, we do visit them and recently, I have a report of a sample survey to investigate the treatment of Zambian workers and Expatriate by the foreign investors in selected companies in four provinces. In as much we do not have adequate facilities, we have tried to go round.

To sum it all, we realise that we need to move very fast to strengthen the capacity of labour inspectorate particularly, in the area of mobility, offices and also to be more pro-active. The Employment Act Cap 268 of the Laws of Zambia requires to be reviewed and I shall be coming to the House to seek your support on that. We also need to do much more random survey, but in terms of our findings, we sampled 26 companies and these ranges from small companies to medium companies. We have a mixed picture and the data collected using the questionnaire, we found out that  you can easily walk into a company and ask a worker as to how much Zambian employees are getting, they will tell you but they seem to be hedging on how much the expatriate workers are getting.

This information we intend to find some way of receiving it by at least compelling employers to submit the statistics as to how many employees in a company. Some people just like to say certain things. it is important sometimes to be kind. My attention has been drawn to RAMCOZ, they are currently four thousand Zambian employees and eight expatriates. If you look at that ratio and the companies Act does not specify, it says bring five employees and it does not specify the five. However, it further does not specify what type of manpower, as long as they bring five, they can bring a Key or Door Engineer and it is up to them . So, if RAMCOZ chose to bring a kitchen Engineer, please do not blame them, they are still within the limits. It is really not a problem but I need to urge my colleague at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to define that and I think that the hon. Minister is listening, it is something that he needs to do.

May I urge you that my labour department is understaffed and I would like you to assist me in this matter, if you could assist us notify us as to where there are problems which we could address.

Mr Chairman, I thank you for your support in this matter and I look forward to your continued support as we continue to implement our programme in this direction. Just to remind my hon. colleague, it is MMD beyond 1996.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: Before we move on to individual items, hon. Members of Parliament and the House in general may wish to know that we have some Guest Members of Parliament from the Lakes Region who are in the Public Gallery just now. They have come here to launch the Amman Zambia Chapter in the Amphi theatre this afternoon at 1400 hours. I will just read out their names and if the guest Members of Parliament could kindly please, stand up as I mention each name, I will be most grateful.

They are Mr Marc Maribona, MP, from Burundi.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: Mr Nobert Mao, MP, Uganda.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: Mr Paul Muite, MP, Kenya.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: Ms Annette Nkalubo, MP, Uganda.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: Mr Ndore Rurinda, MP, Rwanda. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: We wish to welcome them. Thank you.

Vote 44/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 45/01 - (Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare - Headquarters - K57,617,653,495).

Mr Sichinga (Isoka East): Mr Chairman, I would like to commence by making a pre-amble that I, indeed, support this vote very much. In fact, it is, probably, important for us to recognise that the last vote we have just done, this vote and the next vote are very much inter-related as they impinge on the welfare and the well being of our communities. Mr Chairman, I want to quote from the Economic Report for 2000 because it gives us a good indication of what the Government’s intentions are. Without wanting to take us backwards, Mr Chairman, just allow me to make a point that issues of poverty reduction, in my view, would be more effectively tackled not so much by programmes on poverty alleviation or reduction. They can be better tackled by a more pro-active stance and that is employment creation.

In this regard, Sir, I just want to make reference to the report on labour and say that it is worth being aware of what has happened in our environment. On Pages 41 and 42 of the Economic Report, the Labour Market and Development which, I am sure, all of us have, it says and I quote:

    ‘The formal sector employment reduced from 477,508 jobs in 1999     to 476,347 jobs in 2000 representing a decline of 0.2’

On Page 42 there is a table which shows a trend of what has happened since 1997 and it will be quite evident, Mr Chairman, that this shows a reduction in formal employment. What this does, Mr Chairman, related to the vote we are discussing now, is that it impacts adversely on the ability of family heads to provide for their families. I am aware, Sir, that in this particular section, the Government has made a substantial increase in the provisions.

Last year, there was a total of K16 billion at the headquarters to deal with the various programmes of poverty alleviation. This year, a provision has been made for K57.6 billion as far as Headquarters is concerned. 

This is, Mr Chairman, is a commendable provision. Except, to caution, Sir, that almost every single one of the Budget items are without exception dependent on the HIPIC resources. And, in my contribution on the general debate on the position of the whole Budget I did make the point, Sir, that since 53 per cent of the Budget for this year is dependent on HIPIC resources it was, therefore, conditional that a lot of the programmes that have to rely on this source of revenue must be handled with great care because if there is any failure to fulfil any of the HIPIC conditions, this could adversely impact on these programmes. And more specifically, Sir, I wish to make the point that in note number 3 on page 194 of the Budget and going to page 195, you will see that almost all the amounts are relying on HIPIC.

I am happy, however, that the very first item on farmer support programme has been provided with K32 billion. I believe that this is the way it should be. My fear, Sir, while I support this Vote, is the ability of the ministry itself to handle these programmes, including other Government agencies. If you go on to the next page, it talks of the Social Welfare Department, the Department of Community Development and the last one is the Cultural Services, but I will come to that a little later, but just those first two. Sir, in my opinion, based on what has happened in the past, I believe that these departments do not have the capacity to handle these programmes, even if the K57 billion that has been provided for were to be available right now.

I, therefore, want to make an appeal to the Government in general and more specifically to the ministry. I think it would be a wise thing to work very closely with a number of NGOs that have been associated with and involved in this work. {mospagebreak}

Let me give some examples, Sir. The safety net programmes that have been indicated, should be worked out in collaboration with NGOs such as the churches which are involved directly with the community. I believe that such organisations are much closer to the people than institutions that are to be created specifically just for the implementation of this programme. I hope, Mr Chairman, when the hon. Minister comes to respond to this we can be able to see what his plans are in terms of working with institutions like that.

I would like to turn on to another aspect of the social services, and this is the support to the disabled. I believe that this group of our citizens has been most neglected. I am so sure that even the ministry can be able to tell us how many people are disabled and the kind of disabilities that they have. I would like to know that and I hope that in the report that the hon. Minister has, he will be able to indicate to us how many households are headed by disabled individuals because then it means that they cannot fend for their families.

Sir, I believe that connected to this aspect is the issue of orphans. Mainly because of the ravages of AIDS and HIV, a number of house heads have been decimated. They have died and many households are now headed by children. I would like to see a lot more programmes from within the HIPIC provisions to the area of supporting orphans. This is our moral responsibility, especially a country that calls itself Christian. This should be an area of concern. And I am sure that the hon. Minister would not find churches un-willing to help in this respect. However, what we must ensure is that there is accountability for any funds any support that would be provided.

On the issue of orphans, Sir, there is also the issue of children per se. I do not think it would be unkind for the Government to clean our streets off all the children that are washing cars and loitering around, children as young as five, six, or seven years old. There is no way we should allow this to go on. There is no way we can go out as a Christian country and allow small children to be loitering in the streets. I believe, hon. Chairman, for me, if the Government were to undertake a programme where these children would be relocated and looked after properly, I would fully support such a move. It is not an abuse of their rights. It is to protect their rights. 

Sir, connected to that, is the issue of women-headed households. A number of female-headed households need help because many of them cannot even find employment as I have indicated that employment has declined. In this connection, I know that the PWAS programme, for example, which has been providing K18.6 billion has been a total failure in the past. It has not worked well and I know that in here, we have talked about pilot schemes. I do not know what the successes are and I would like to hear from the hon. Minister and the Government in general how these programmes have worked. I would like to see a more increased effective programmes that are going to really reach out to our people, not just in urban areas, but in rural areas as well.

As regards the issue cultural services, I would like to hear from the Government what are the amounts that are being provided for traditional ceremonies. They seem to vary from ceremony to ceremony. I would like to see a standard programme that is available to them so that we know what grants are going to be provided and which ceremonies have been recognised by the Government. It is important that we have a formal programme.

In conclusion, Sir, I want to say that the issue of the grinding mills programme was a very good one, except the way they were structured. There has been no accountability whatsoever to talk about. Only a few have been able to repay back.

Mr Chairman: Order!

The hon. Member’s time has expired.

Mr Mulongoti (Lufwanyama): I thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this important Vote.

I would like to preamble my contribution by reminding the Executive to be mindful of the predatory behaviour of capital. Capitalism by its nature is very aggressive and wherever it goes, it leaves a trail, and sometimes of destruction. If you look at what is happening to our industries, they are collapsing. The main reason is this.

The powerful companies from outside Zambia are able to land in their products into this country more cheaply. Some of them with the support of their Governments, what that implies is that our countries will fold and create unemployment. When you create unemployment you have poverty levels rising. This is why when you are debating the Votes on the Ministry of Labour and Social Security I would have loved to have reminded my sister, the Hon. Minister, that they have to be very cautious. 

Take a walk along Cairo Road, President Avenue in Ndola and Kitwe. Go in those businesses and buildings and see what is happening. Almost all of them have been taken over by the so-called investors. Go to Kamwala, you will see for yourself. You find that  you have more Lebanese in those areas than Zambians in the businesses there. What does that imply? For every Lebanese who comes here he will invite a brother, sister or cousin. For any other who comes here it means loss of employment for the locals. 

Go to the streets of Kamwala. There are more Zambians in the streets than inside the businesses. What does that imply? It implies that Zambians are wandering aimlessly trying to find something to do. Let us be very cautious, no matter how much money we allocate to the Ministry Community Development and Social Welfare to try and alleviate poverty, unless we can go to the root cause of the problem, this will be money just thrown into grave.

Mr Chairman, we support COMESA Free Trade Area, what does that mean? It means allowing people bringing goods here and services. Unless we can provide a strong support background to our industries, we will have difficulties. For example, our neighbours just across the Zambezi are bringing in wheat flour, landed here ...

The Deputy Chairman: I appreciate that the hon. Member on the Floor did not debate on the Vote of Ministry of Labour and Social Security which he should have said quite a lot about our country, but he should take heed of spending very little time in building up his points and move on to the Vote before us. The preamble has taken a bit too long, it is wondered between the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Will you, please focus on the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Chairman, I thank you for your guidance. My preamble is the main speech.


Mr Mulongoti: However, with that guidance, Mr Chairman, I was trying to allude to the fact that we must help create opportunities for our people. However, I have been looking at the Vote for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, and my worry is the capacity for the ministry, K80 billion out of their allocation is grants. What does that mean? If you have got K80 billion of your money under grants, it means this is money that goes to other people. And to monitor that kind of money is a little difficult. I do not know whether the capacity is there. 

Mr Chairman, if you look at the Yellow Book, there is so much duplication there. The hon. Minister, my brother, should be having a lot of difficulties to monitor all these. For instance, there is Management Information Systems and Research; National Development Centre for the Disabled; Illiteracy Training; you have got all kinds of projects going on under that ministry. I think it would be better that they stopped fragmenting the efforts so that the results will be much easier to monitor and be able to handle.

Only K4 billion goes to others, all the K80 billion ...

Mr Sata: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sata: Mr Chairman, I always enjoy the debate of my brother. Sir, but is he in order to mislead this House that it is difficult to monitor grants, because every organisation that gives a grant provide technical assistance to assist the ministry monitor those grants. Is he in order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Member will take advantage of that contribution from the hon. Minister Without Portfolio and continue, please.

Mr Mulongoti: I know the hon. Minister Without Portfolio is looking for dialogue, I hope he can find time for us to have dialogue outside the House ...


Mr Mulongoti: ... and allow me to debate in here.

What I was saying, Mr Chairman, is for instance, on page 198, under Grants - State Functions, Media Cultural Programmes; Public Performance; Promotion of Cultural Industries (1); Promotion of Literature; Cultural Research; Traditional Ceremonies - Surely, to co-ordinate these kinds of projects is a bit difficult. All I am saying is that let them harmonise so that it is much easier for them to control. 

There is an item called, International Centre for Bantu Civilisation and we are paying K80 million for that. I do not know what this is all about. Bantu civilisation in the third century, who are they trying to civilise?

Dr Pule: 21st century!

Mr Mulongoti: Yes, 21st century. Please, this is money which we can use very profitably within the country to try to help the disadvantaged.

Dr Pule: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulongoti: And I am sure Dunamis Ministries will enjoy a share of some of this money.

Mr Chairman, the ministry has got an allocation which is quite substantial and I do hope this money can filter through to some of the rural areas. I know the urban areas could be benefiting a large chunk of this money and we do hope that they can consider us in the rural areas so that we can also benefit from this cake.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Keembe (Bweengwa): Thank you, Mr Chairman, I have one or two concerns under this ministry. 

My first concern and I would like the hon. Minister to comment on this issue, the issue of the place for children in need along Kabwe Road. In that place, they have employed some people and two weeks ago, we saw some ladies who are employed to look after the children protesting because the ministry has banned them from being seen or visited by their own biological children. They are busy looking after these children in need, and I do not see how anybody can execute her duty properly if you cannot allow them to see their own biological children. In order for these people to provide proper services, it is important that the ministry revises this procedure. We want our mothers who are there to do their work properly. And so, they must be allowed at least a day or two to be visited by their own families. 

The other issue, Mr Chairman, is about the Hope Foundation for Street Kids that is in Kabwata. That Foundation is right in the middle of the township, Kabwata, itself among the residents. Now, we had an incident some time last year where a child was killed by those street children from that Foundation. I wonder what kind of security we are providing for our innocent children that are surround that particular centre. To make matters worse, I do not know if there is any age limit ...

Mr Lupunga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lupunga: Mr Chairman, is my brother in order to continue discussing the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development instead of him concentrating on the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare.

Hon. Opposition Members: Awe!

Mr Sibetta: They are overlapping!

The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare has raised a point of order in which he is giving caution to hon. Members to be very careful in the way they debate these items. I must appreciate that quite a number of services provided by the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare tend to overlap in so far as they refer to the children. So, perhaps we will give him the benefit of doubt and please continue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Keembe: I would like to seek clarification on one issue. We have all seen the street kids at the Kamwala Seventh Day Adventist Church, who sleep in that corridor and these are the same group of people who were accused of having killed a boy. And some of those kids are accommodated at the centre in Kabwata which I am talking about. Those kids belong to the Ministry of Community Development Social Welfare. 


Mr Keembe: Yes, they are youths, but it is up to the two ministries to liaise so that we have this thing is addressed.

Mr Sibetta: Murder is murder!

Mr Keembe: The parents of this particular person who was murdered have written a letter to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare and has not been replied to.

She would like to have a clarification and would like to know how she can be helped because her child was killed by these street kids. Some of these kids are allowed to drink beer in the neighbourhood bar or tavern before going back to sleep.

Mr Chairman, some of them are above twenty years old. Now, what kind of kids are we supposed to keep in these centres? So, I would like the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare to ensure that in these centres where we keep kids, there is an age limit.

Mr Chairman, the other issue I want to bring to the attention of the ministry is the issue on taking care of these kids. If we take children and confine them to some home, I do not think that is the correct way of rehabilitating our children. We need these children to be kept in some communities, we must find some ways and means of keeping our children within communities so that these children can associate with other children that are brought up normally from the other family set up. So, I would like to urge the ministry that the issue of street kids will not finish in this country if we do not take serious measures to address it. We need to work together and plan. It is not fair to just arrest the kids or the parents who are suspected to be the owners of these kids. It is important that the ministry puts up a plan so that we address this issue once and for all.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matubulani (Kalomo): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me chance to add my voice to the debate on the Vote.

Mr Chairman, I note that there is an amount of money in the Yellow Book in the range of K40 million to address the problem of HIV/AIDS. Sir, this is not our major problem. Sensitisation is different from the problem which is existing on the ground.

Mr Chairman, for us in the villages where the orphans are looked after by the families and by fellow orphans who are older, Sir, in my view, there is need for such children to be identified by the ministry. I would like to advise the Minister on how we can commit these chaps to established centres. If there is a provision to establish centres, we should be given modalities...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! It may be helpful for the hon. Member for Kalomo to know that the word ‘chaps’ is not acceptable in Parliament and so it is unparliamentary. We should refer to the orphans as children and not chaps. Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Matubulani: Mr Chairman, I thank you for the advice. Mr Chairman, I would like to let the Minister know that about seventeen families in my constituency came together and established a blind centre which needs to be assisted. The Government can assist with hammer mills. Sir, since the kwacha has appreciated, the price of hammer mills has come down. I once went to Saro Agric and the hammer mill single piston is costing K9 million. I would like to hear from the hon. Minister whether the down payment of K5,000,000 will also be reduced.

Mr Chairman, thirdly, there is a provision in the Vote to assist the farmers. I want to believe that these are vulnerable farmers who must be identified by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare.

Sir, we need to also be given modalities just like the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries did. They told us to form co-operatives. Now, if at all our farmers will be addressed, we need to know which way we must go to assist them so that we can start preparing for the next season.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr T. J. C. Phiri: Mr Chairman, first of all, I am want to state that I am happy that the Vote for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare has been increased tremendously. This is good and we hope that the ministry will undertake all the projects that have been put in the Yellow Book.

Mr Chairman, as an hon. Member of Parliament for a rural constituency, I would like to dwell on issues that I think the ministry has, most cases, concentrated on the urban areas. I have observed that the situation in the rural areas is not well catered for. 

Firstly, there is a provision for NGO policy co-ordination which has been allocated K26.5 million. I am not quite sure what this policy is all about, but assuming that the ministry is in charge of the NGO policies. I have noticed that the NGO concentrate their efforts in the urban areas, on the line of rail and all they do in the rural areas is go to a boma for a seminar and come back to Lusaka. I would like NGOs to visit the remote villages and see what help they can offer to these villages.

Secondly, there is a Vote for Poverty Alleviation. This seems to be a general word. Can the hon. Minister make this clear and tell us what this money is all about. Is it for hammer mills, agriculture, fertiliser or anything like that? Again, I have noticed that the rural areas do not take as much of this poverty alleviation provision as the urban areas. Mr Chairman, as we all know, about seventy per cent of the poor people are in the rural areas.

Thirdly, the next item is Peri-urban Self Help (PUSH). There is K7.6 billion provided. Now, this project has been going on for sometime now. However, it is again concentrated in the urban areas. Can the hon. Minister now think of extending this project to the rural areas because they save the same purpose.

Mr Chairman, my next issue is HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Awareness. The rural areas are not benefiting from this as well. That is where AIDS/HIV is highest. I would like the ministry to ensure that the awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS, is as well spread to remote rural areas. There must be an intensive campaign in the local languages so that the rural dwellers can also benefit from this AIDS/HIV awareness.

The last one is street children. There is an amount of K536 million which has been provided and street children also exist in the rural areas. If we call street children as we know them, let us spread this cake to all parts of Zambia rather than Lusaka and Ndola alone.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Chipungu (Rufunsa): I stand to make one or two observations on this Vote.

For many years, Mr Chairman, the problem we have been having in our Budgets is trying to budget for the ministries rather than to budget for the people through the ministries. For the first time, I think this Vote does appear to me to budget for the people through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare by way of grants. These are the grants which are targeting certain communities in our society. The main problem, Sir, is that they have missed the point. What is the community and what are social services?

Mr Chairman, in my view, we should be able to review every five to ten years what we mean by the community and social services. We have had these social services for so many years without really defining them. I feel, Mr Chairman, that for this year, we should have identified, for instance, for the rural Zambia what it is that we would want to assist in the rural communities in our villages. Those are the communities. If we identify them as communities, then what social services would we want to give to those rural societies.

Mr Chairman, we have been spending time here year in year out, in fact, identifying the social services we need in the villages which represent rural societies. We have identified the problems of roads and water. These are the services that would want to be met in the rural society. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare has not identified the critical elements or ingredients or social services in our society, particularly in rural Zambia.

I would have loved, Sir, that this Government moves that department which deals with water and puts it under community so that we redefine it because you have created a ministry which you have not given the rightful job. You have given it K80 billion and what is it for? These are some of the things that can be done by families and there are certain things that we cannot do as families and we have identified them. This is why it is important that you define the role of this ministry. Give it the task of providing water to the villages and we will be able to uplift that ministry as it is now. This is why Hon. Mulongoti was at pains to talk about how the ministry is going to monitor these expenditures because it is not focused. I think what we need is to focus and identify the needs. We have already talked about this.

Mr Chairman, in 1997, the Vice-President told us to go to the villages and we went to identify what was wrong. We wrote reports and we gave him. Those are the social services that we require. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare has not been redefined so that it can identify those problems and this is what we need.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr C. T. A. Banda (Mkaika): Mr Chairman, I would also like to add my voice to this very important ministry. There has been an increase of 400 per cent in the allocation to this ministry. Although I sympathise with the hon. Minister because of the extent of the functions that he performs, I believe that he has done very well in the past and I wish to congratulate him 

for having tried very hard by trying to remove the disabled particularly the one category of the disabled from the streets who were harassing I think the travellers in Cairo, Cha Cha Cha and Freedom Way roads. But unfortunately, this seems to have come back on the streets. And I am sure the hon. Minister with the good allocation that he has received this year, I would like him to tell this House what he has to do this year in order to actually clean these streets completely.

One other issue that is worrying, Mr Chairman, is the coming back in very big numbers of street kids. I am sure those of us who are using the Addis Ababa Road and Great East Road Roundabout, will find that at a certain period of time, especially from about 1900 hours, this place is full of street kids. I do not know where they come from. In fact, the past two weeks, this has been the habit. But what is happening this time is that they are now showing themselves during the day. As soon as it is sunrise, they are back on the street and mix up with those people that are selling newspapers. 

I think this is a worrying matter and we want the hon. Minister to use his lessons from the past to try to clean these people and perhaps round them up. Perhaps he did not do very well in the past because I do not know whether he had defined the destination for all the people that were involved in being removed from these streets I have mentioned. The preparations apparently were not good enough because we should not have seen them back on the streets. So I hope that this time he will do a little more than this. And my suggestion is that he should organise his officials particularly in the Social Service Department so that he concentrates with the people in the rural areas particularly the Chiefs and indeed including the hon. Members. They should sit together and work to ensure that there is proper planning so that if he is carrying out this exercise again, he should not fail.

I have one example of one NGO that was working with street kids in Chipata. This is a Christian-oriented NGO and it is called Zambia Child for Christ. This NGO has done very well in Chipata because the kids there would not be as many as you would find here on the streets. They are organised and made busy. They have clubs. They are actually working so well this time. And I want to ask the hon. Minister to invite this NGO, Zambia Child for Christ. They are based in Chipata, and he can go through the church called Reformed Church of Zambia. He should be able to contact them and can come to the ministry so that you learn lessons from them and see how you can also spread these lessons to other NGOs whom you want to involve.

I also want to make a suggestion that there is too much money which has been allocated to certain organisations. I have here some of the organisations like ...

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1257 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 20th February, 2001.