Debates- Wednesday, 14th February, 2001

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Wednesday, 14th February, 2001

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





21. Dr Kamata (Nchanga) asked the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs when members of the Industrial Relations Court, who are required to sit as Judges would be appointed.

The Minister of Legal Affairs (Mr Malambo): Mr Speaker, the President has since filled the two vacancies that existed on the Industrial Relations Court Bench. So, there are no more vacancies existing there, Sir.

Thank you, Sir.


22. Miss Malama (Chipata) asked the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    how much money was raised from the sale of council houses in the Eastern Province since the exercise began district by district, as at 31st October, 2000; and

(b)    how the money raised was utilised.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Miss Kalenga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that:

(a)    the following was the amount of money raised from the sale of council houses in Eastern Province since the exercise began district by district as at 31st October, 2000;

Table  i

(b)    The money was utilised to pay Zambia Revenue Authority, Workers Compensation Fund, council employees' salaries and wages and payments for other council operations.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr T. J. C. Phiri (Milanzi): It has been indicated that the money raised from the sale of council houses was used to pay for salaries and so on. Can the hon. Minister inform this House whether the proceeds from the sale of council houses are meant to pay for salaries.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Sejani): Mr Speaker, under the guidelines spelling out the procedure to be followed in the sale of council houses, it was directed that councils are supposed to establish a housing revolving fund where the proceeds from the sale of houses were supposed to be deposited. And the monies were supposed to be used for construction of more housing units in the districts. But, as the hon. Member might be aware, most of our councils are having financial problems. So, from time to time, they requested the authority of the hon. Minister to utilise that fund for purposes other than the construction of houses on the understanding that the monies would be reimbursed at a later stage.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Is the ministry going to assist the local councils to build new houses because from the explanation by the hon. Minister, the ministry authorised these councils to be bailed out? Now as it is, the building of houses is abandoned. Is the ministry going to find money to assist the councils build new infrastructure?

Mr Sejani: When I was winding up my speech yesterday, I did indicate that the Government did have various programmes of constructing housing units throughout the country whether through the PHI or Shelter Afrique programmes. The Government is committed to building houses throughout the country.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Luhila (Lukulu East): Does the hon. Minister have any plans to deduct the money misused from the remittances of the councils?

Mr Sejani: We will consider any possibility, Sir, that will be acceptable in ensuring that the monies that are supposed to go towards construction of housing units is actually realised and used for that purpose.

Thank you, Sir.

Miss Malama: Has the hon. Minister any plans to build some council houses at Nyimba where they did not even have revenue collection?

Mr Sejani: The Government has a programme to make houses available to all Zambians throughout the country. Eventually, we should be able to get to Nyimba.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalifungwa (Mambilima): Could the hon. Minister tell the House whether he has been monitoring the proceeds from the sale of all these council houses in all the districts in the country.

Mr Sejani: Yes, Mr Speaker, I have been monitoring. In fact, I am aware that a number of councils did actually utilise some of the proceeds from the sale of houses to construct houses.

Thank you, Sir.


23. Mr Mwitwa (Mansa) asked the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development:

(a)    when houses would be built for the Zambia Revenue Authority officers as Chembe Border Post; and

(b)    how much money was required for this project.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Mr Simasiku): Mr Speaker, I wish to advise the House that the Zambia Revenue Authority has a staff complement of four officers at Chembe with four houses available for their accommodation. Therefore, all officers at Chembe are accommodated.

Secondly, Sir, there are some additional five incomplete houses. These will be completed in due course depending on staffing levels at Chembe Border Post. The estimated cost for the completion of the five houses is around K392.5 million.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwitwa: Is the hon. Minister aware that the delay in finishing the five incomplete houses has now resulted in the vandalising of the same houses?

Mr Simasiku: I was inviting my hon. Colleague when he lost the chance for a supplementary to come and talk to me here. Now that he has raised that question, I want to state that we have no information of this. However, if he has information, let the hon. Member or any hon. Members, indeed, inform us so that we can see what can be done about the vandalism.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): On which side of the river are these houses being built? Is it on the Democratic Republic of Congo side or Zambian side?

Mr Simasiku: Mr Speaker, I am a Zambian Minister. So we are speaking about Zambian property.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


24. Mr Ngulube (Lundazi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when Lundazi District Council and Petauke District Council would be upgraded to municipality status.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Miss Kalenga): Mr Speaker, I wish to state that the ministry has no immediate plans to upgrade Lundazi or Petauke or any other district councils into municipal councils. There are criteria or requirements which need to be met before a council is considered in order to have the status of a council upgraded into a municipal council. These include the population, ratable value and the infrastructural developments of a council. So far, the two councils have not qualified by the rating.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Has the ministry sensitised these district councils to qualify to the status since they have to qualify?

Miss Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I am shocked at the question raised. In my answer, I said that for a district council to qualify for municipal council status, it depends on the population, ratable value and infrastructural developments. So, that in itself is the answer.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngulube: What criteria have been used in upgrading districts like Chavuma and others into district councils when these old councils cannot be considered for municipality status?

Miss Kalenga: Mr Speaker, I do not think he listened to the answer. The question was upgrading district councils to municipality status. Chavuma was turned into a district council. So there is a difference.

Thank you, Sir.


25. Mr Kangwa (Solwezi East) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a)    how many houses were pulled down by Cyprus Amax at Kansanshi Mine, and why;

(b)    what were the reasons for pulling down the clinic and school at the mine; and

(c)    when Cyprus Amax would re-open the same mine.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development(Mr Lembalemba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House and, in particular, the hon. Member for Solwezi East Constituency that 120 houses were pulled down at Kansanshi Mine. The main reason for the pulling down of the houses was that the houses were within the scheduled mining area and, therefore, these houses were going to be covered by the proposed tailings impoundment. Above all, Zambia's environmental legislation would not have allowed these houses to remain close to the proposed mine working or tailing impoundment.

As regards (b), with the movement of the mine population from Kansanshi, there was no need for the school and clinic for the same reasons given in (a) above. However, Cyprus Amax agreed to and did provide logistical support to help with the transportation of dismantled material from Kansanshi and construction of a new school nearer to Solwezi. With regard to the clinic, the company will arrange its own health care services when the mine resumes operations.

As regards (c), Kansanshi Mine will be re-opened as soon as studies to define engineering and metallurgical parameters are completed. Another issue to be addressed will be the infrastructure between Chingola and Solwezi, that is, increased power supply, railway line and durable roads to the area. 

Finally, hon. Members may wish to know that Cyprus Amax has been bought by Phelps-Dodge Corporation. Therefore, Kansanshi Mine PLC is now under the ownership of Phelps-Dodge Corporation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kangwa: May I know when this school to replace the one that was pulled down is going to be constructed.

Mr Lembalemba: Mr Speaker, when Phelps-Dodge Corporation starts operating.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Just as a follow up, in the agreement of sale from Cyprus Amax to Phelps-Dodge Corporation and in view of the fact that there was supposed to be a school built by Cyprus Amax, is there a clause in this agreement that Phelps-Dodge Corporation will build the school?

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr. Syamujaye): Mr Speaker, when a company buys out another company, it also takes all the contractual obligations of the company that it has bought. So Phelps-Dodge Corporation is compelled to abide by the conditions that were agreed upon between the Government and Cyprus Amax.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkabika (Kapiri Mposhi): What was the value of the 120 houses which were pulled down?

Dr. Syamujaye: Mr Speaker, the question was on how many houses were pulled down.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Luhila (Lukulu East): Were these buildings insured thereby facilitating some compensation?

Dr. Syamujaye: Mr Speaker, these houses belonged to ZCCM.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngulube: May I learn from the hon. Minister if the school children at Kansanshi Mine were not disadvantaged by the pulling down of the school and if the community was not deprived of its health services by the pulling down of the clinic.

Dr. Syamujaye: The Solwezi Township Council was fully consulted and Cyprus Amax did, in fact, contribute to make sure that the affected immediate community and the children were not that seriously affected.

Thank you, Sir.



The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr. Syamujaye): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the following Members do constitute the Public Accounts Committee for the Fifth Session of the Eighth National Assembly:

The Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Dr. Kalumba, MP)
Dr. S. N. Chipungu, MP
Mr A. C. Luhila, MP
Mr D. M Sokontwe, MP
Mr C. B. E. Nyangu, MP
Mr D. Kalenga, MP
Mr K. M. Mwitwa, MP
Mr D. L. Shimonde, MP
Mr D. Ngosa, MP

Mr Sibetta: Repeat yourself, you are number one.

Dr Syamujaye: .Mr Speaker, in proposing these hon. Members to serve on the Public Accounts Committee, allow me to pay tribute to the previous Committee for the very able manner in which they performed their duties.
The House will recall that the Public Accounts Committee last year tabled four reports before this House, three of which were on topical issues raised in the Auditor-General’s Reports. The Committee’s fourth report was primarily concerned with the mechanisms and controls used in the collection and management of Government revenue. No doubt, the House will appreciate that such an output of work culminating in the production of four reports was a very taxing job but I commend the Committee because they successfully executed this task.

The Committee’s reports contained valuable information and advice with regard to the management of public funds. Being a watchdog of public funds and expenditure, the Public Accounts Committee’s recommendations are always taken very seriously by the Government. We recognise that the Committee represents the House in ensuring the prudent management of public funds.

Mr Speaker, I am confident that the implementation of the Public Sector Reform Programme which has seen adequately and appropriately qualified accounting staff seconded to most Government ministries and departments, will significantly improve the financial management in these ministries and departments. Efforts will be made to orientate these new officers with Government financial and accounting procedures to avoid unnecessary audit queries.

Sir, I wish to echo the Committee’s sentiments with regard to some controlling officers’ ineptitude in the collection and management of Government revenue. Yet, these same Controlling Officers keep complaining that their ministries are not adequately funded by the Treasury. Mr Speaker, it is difficult for me to understand where these officers expect the Treasury to source extra funds from, if not from the line ministries themselves. I am grateful to the Public Accounts Committee for their timely advice to all Controlling Officers in this regard and I urge the Controlling Officers to heed this advice and to implement the measures tendered therein.

Mr Speaker, I am confident that the team I am proposing to constitute the Public Accounts Committee is capable of performing the watchdog role over public finances very effectively.

Allow me now, Sir, to wish the Public Accounts Committee for the Fifth Session of the Eighth National Assembly all the best and urge them to continue to carry out their duties in the diligent, faithful, efficient and effective manner that has become the hallmark of this very important Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move..

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga (Isoka East): Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the mover of this motion for submitting these names and also for the kind words that have been said about the Committee on Public Accounts.

I also want to pay very special tribute to the outgoing Committee chaired  by Hon. Dr Chipungu. I was particularly impressed with the information that they availed to this House and I think that is the way it should be. Sir, this Committee is senior, important and very crucial in the oversight role of this House. I say so because as we have all known, this particular watchdog Committee has been very focused in its submission to this House and I think that it is important that the submission that has been made, in fact, maintains the team that acted on our behalf. 

Most Members that are included in here were constituting the Committee last year and I think this helps us to have some level of consistency. But more importantly, Sir, is really the work to which the Government, the Executive, puts the recommendations of this Committee. I know that our debate really centres around the constitution or the composition of the Committee itself. Yet, it is very important to also appreciate that because of the load that this Committee has, if anything, it could benefit from being strengthened by the nature of the skills that the hon. Members will bring to this Committee.

Now, I have got the greatest respect for all the hon. Members that have been proposed here. Yet, I also know that within this House, there are also skills that could help to reinforce this Committee because of the nature of work that it carries, because this House is not short of the expertise that is necessary. Because of the searching nature of this Committee, it is very important and I observe that Hon. Sata, hon. Minister Without Portfolio, is questioning what kind of work. I am surprised that a Member who has been in this House, and a Minister for that matter who has been in this House as long as he has been, can raise that particular question with me.

In fact, he recognises that particular aspect and that is why I am raising to the fore these particular issues. Sir, Committee after Committee of the Public Accounts Committee have raised very pertinent issues. Among them, Sir, is the need to change the date by which the financial report must ...

Mr Sata: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sata: Mr Speaker, all hon. Members in this House are knowledgeable. Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to be going round and make us understand that on this Committee there are no accountants, like Mr Hachipuka and himself. Is he in order not to declare interest? The Committee which has been appointed comprises knowledgeable hon. Members. That is why they are here, like in any other Committee. Sir, is he in order to mislead this House?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister Without Portfolio raises a point of order on certain aspects of the hon. Member for Isoka East’s debate with regard to qualifications for membership of committees in general, and on the Public Accounts Committee, in particular. The House may wish to be guided that all Members of the House are expected, indeed, to be knowledgeable in what this House is assigned to do and hon. Members who are appointed to this Committee or any other Committee are required to discharge their responsibilities without undue delay. In other words, they should hit the ground running. There is no time for learning and the Chair is aware that all of you here are experienced and are capable of discharging any duties that you may be assigned from time to time.

The hon. Member for Isoka East would not be happy if another hon. Member debated his qualifications or alleged lack of such qualifications when he is appointed to any of the Committees of the House. May he debate, with due respect, to the other hon. Members’ standing.

May he, continue, please.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for that guidance. I have some difficulty in appreciating why we are debating this particular composition and under those circumstances, Sir, I am unable to proceed with my contribution.

I thank you.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the motion that is on the Floor.

First and foremost, Mr Speaker, I must put it on record that for the time that I have been in this House, the quality of the reports that came from this Committee last year were of a very high standard. If you remember very well, Mr Speaker, some of the reports, I think there were four of them which came concurrently, there was almost nobody debating because of the excellence of the reports. So, to me, Mr Speaker, we are, actually, very grateful that we are having the same people being proposed to be in this Committee and no doubt, we are going to have the same quality of reports that we enjoyed last year.

As you rightly pointed out, Mr Speaker, it is not the qualifications that matter to belong to this Committee. I think it is the report which is given to hon. Members arising from the searching questions that they get while in the field and when it comes before this House, surely, that is the time for people who think that there is need for this to be put in place, to question. As I said earlier, since we had these quality reports coming last year, we are just praying to our colleagues that last year you showed leadership, especially through your Chairman, who is the President of my party which brought me to Parliament, Hon. Dr. Chipungu, what came out, Mr Speaker, we had issues like the PHI on which, for the first time, our Government acknowledged there was a mistake. 

So, if issues could be brought to light, like they did, obviously, it shows that you do not need to be an accountant for you to belong to this Committee, but, really, as the hon. Member has said, it would have been better to add one person. It remains to be seen. I know that some people who were working for some college in Kitwe might have been doing some accounts while they were in Kitwe. I know that some of these hon. Members are businessmen, like our newly elected MMD Provincial Chairman. He is a businessman. So, he knows how to look at some of the figures. So, really, Mr Speaker, I must thank you for having given us this list.

Thank you very much, Sir. {mospagebreak}

Mr T. J. C. Phiri (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the motion and in doing so, I want to join the hon. Minister who has just said that we have to pay tribute to the previous Committee and, indeed, the Committee which has just been appointed has the capacity to do the work.

Mr Speaker, in doing so, I want to make a few observations. Your Committee which has just been appointed in order to do the job has to receive an audited report from the Auditor-General. As I am talking now, the Auditor-General’s Report for 1999 has not been completed. Furthermore, even the 1998 financial report by the auditor which indicates to the House the excess expenditures in various ministries has not been finalised. This, Mr Speaker, indicates that your Committee will take some time before starting work. Furthermore, constitutionally, these public accounts are supposed to be laid before the Table of the National Assembly in September of the following year. This means the 1999 financial reports from the Treasury were supposed to be laid on the Table in September last year. This, obviously, is contrary to what the Constitution says.

Mr Speaker, I was a Member of your Committee in 1997. We had a backlog of three years and we rectified the position and we thought that from there on, the accounts were going to be up to date. Mr Speaker, I also want to mention that when the Auditor-General’s reports are unnecessarily delayed, they lose their meaning.

This is so because the whole thing becomes so historical that even if misapplication, misappropriation and embezzlement of funds are detected by the Auditor-General, the end result is that the culprits cannot be punished. Sir, this has been the order of the day.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I thank you.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika (Mongu): Mr Speaker, I have one concern to raise and that is the absence of female hon. Members of Parliament on this Committee. 

Sir, I do realise that there are few female Members of Parliament and they cannot be represented on every committee. However, this Committee is very important. All the ears of the Zambians are listening to the work and the results of this Committee. I believe very strongly that the female perspective needs to be on this Committee. This Committee needs the female heart, female eyes and female ears so that they can report also on how they see things.

Mr Speaker, this concern was raised last year and I am very disappointed to see, again, that women are not represented on this Committee. I feel that their absence from this Committee is very sad. It adds to the continued eclipse of our nation because these are some of the areas which are very easy for us to see. Thirty years ago, Zambia was leading in affirmative action and also in gender balance. Unfortunately, the last decade has really seen that we are no longer the shining star.

Mr Speaker, that is the very serious concern that I had. This Committee, Sir, is too important for the other side of the gender not to be represented.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Sondashi (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to raise two issues. The first issue is that I think that in appointing this Committee, we must ensure that people rotate. Let us not personalise this Committee. These things are not personal property. Other hon. Members must be made to serve on various committees so that they can also, as you have rightly pointed out, Mr Speaker, have the experience of knowing what is happening in other fields. Let us not institutionalise these things. 

Otherwise, what is the point of saying that people must retire if you do not retire here, if people can be in this Committee for five years and one person in the same position. I do not think that this is right. This is the first point I wanted to make.

Secondly, Sir, regard must be had to specific talents and expertise which people have. Surely, I cannot refer to Hon. Sata as learned because he is not learned. So, he cannot perform the functions of law the way the hon. and learned Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr Malambo, can. He has no qualifications. He did not go to school the way we did.


Dr Sondashi: So, I think that it is important that this factor is known. 

I thank you very much, Sir.

Mr Sata: On a point of order, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Member: Ikaleni fye.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Chair would like to guide the House. That point of order almost succeeded. Hon. Sondashi resumed his seat just in time. I want to remind the House that Members of this House do not depend on one profession only.

Law-makers are not lawyers. You are all law-makers in here. You may not be lawyers but you are law-makers. The understanding of the Chair is that one who makes the law must be respected by the one who interprets the law. 

So, hon. Members must not feel inferior or diffident when assigned to various Committees. As I previously stated, you are required to discharge your responsibilities without any fear, whatsoever. I thought I should say that.

Mr Nkabika (Kapiri-Mposhi): Sir, my contribution is very brief. Sir, when you read through the names of your Committee's members, you will only find male hon. Members of Parliament.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkabika: All your hon. Members on this Committee are very able but I am wondering why it is only male hon. Members of Parliament when this House also has female hon. Members of Parliament. Sir, I am not doubting the integrity of the hon. Members and their appointing authority, I am only interested in gender balance.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkabika: History has shown that female membership is strong and very consistent and it has shown us that they cannot turn around the way we have seen it happen in the case of the third term.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, I do not want to dwell very much on the various controversies that have been brought to the Floor of the House on this particular Committee of the House which undoubtedly, last year, did a very commendable job.

Mr Speaker, it seems that we are creating a tradition that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has to introduce this motion of appointing members of this Committee. The Minister of Finance and Economic Development is a member of this Committee and is also an interested party in that his books are going to be looked at by the very Committee that he introduces. 

Therefore, sometimes, the hon. Minister might be influenced on who should be on the Committee. In the Standing Orders, about this Committee, there is nowhere where it says that this Committee should be introduced by the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

Mr Patel: It is a tradition from One-party State.

Mr Sibetta: It is a bad tradition.

Mr Speaker, the Public Accounts Committee is a Constitutional Committee which also appears in the Constitution but the latter does not say that the hon. Minister, who is also an interested party, should introduce the motion. As the hon. Member for Isoka East (Mr Sichinga) was leading us to believe, it is possible for the hon. Minister to influence the membership of this watchdog Committee.

Therefore, with the development of democracy in this country, I think time is ripe for us to move away from these procedures or practices that are not enshrined in the Constitution.

This Committee should be named by the Speaker. After all, he introduces every Committee. He appoints us to various Committees. I think time is right that people should indicate to the Chair as to who would like to be on this Committee as a watchdog Committee. It is up to the Chair to prune the list to take into consideration the views coming from the lady hon. Members that they too should be represented. Now, if you leave it to the hon. Minister, he is likely to come here with a Committee which is unbalanced. Here we are, the ladies are missing. Perhaps, some of the political parties which are in this House are not also on this Committee. So, really, I think the Chair should actually take away this function which is not supported by the Constitution and Standing Orders that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development should introduce the Committee.

Mr Patel: Parliamentary Reforms!

Mr Sibetta: This must be included in the reforms. I thank you, hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central. The Chair, for the time being, because democracy is in its infancy should name Members of this Committee like any other Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister Without Portfolio (Mr Sata): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the chance to contribute on this motion. 

Sir, there are two unique Committees of this House. The Standing Orders Committee and this particular Committee. They are traditional and historical. I am happy to say that I once chaired the Public Accounts Committee.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: The Standing Orders Committee is chaired by Mr Speaker and he is in charge of this House. The Public Accounts Committee is the only Committee, out of all the sessional committees, which has an outsider, the Auditor-General, as the principal adviser. Therefore, the question which my dear sister brought of balancing is very valid.


Mr Sata: I am saying extremely valid. Without the Auditor-General, this Public Accounts Committee would not function. All other Committees would function without any officer outside this House. 

Sir, when we are in the House, let us not debate personalities. Sir, if we want to bring personalities, it is very simple for some of us to say, ‘Yes, I had a council secretary in Mansa, transferred him to Monze, from Monze he was promoted to be MCC and went to learn law during the night.’


Mr Sata: What I am saying is ...


Mr Sata: I am debating the Committee. I cannot say this man was a council secretary, I promoted him to Provincial Local Government Officer, MCC and then, he went to learn law at night school. Those who are good lawyers never advertise themselves.

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order and I need your serious ruling. Is the hon. Minister without a job, I mean, the hon. Minister Without Portfolio in order to mislead this House by saying that the hon. Members who have contributed were discussing personalities when, in fact, nobody who has contributed discussed personalities except him?

Is he in order to apply what we call, in psychology, ‘projection’, which means what you feel is what you project on other people? Is he in order to turn this projection around when nobody who had contributed talked about personalities? Is he in order to mislead this House?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Minister Without Portfolio resume his debate but pay attention to the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Mongu.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: Mr Speaker, when you are a doctor of pots, the memory is only limited to the pots.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: A doctor is a doctor!

Mr Sata: Yes, of pots.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Not honorary!


Mr Sata: Sir, unless the hon. Doctor was not here when some names were mentioned about Hon. Malambo and some other person, who has never ever claimed to be a lawyer. Sir, I will forgive my dear sister, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu, who emanated from Wusakile, but did not spend much time to learn English and memory but learnt about pots. 

Sir, what I am trying to say is that this Committee is very important. It is a sessional committee with a difference. I think all the previous Committees have done a wonderful job and the Government should do everything possible to implement or listen to what this Committee says because what comes out of this Committee is very serious and cardinal to the future of this country, not only of this Parliament. Therefore, Sir, I wish to compliment my colleagues who have been appointed to this very important Committee.

Sir, we have had some pitfalls of some hon. Members on this Committee. When I was Chairman of this Committee, we had some hon. Members who took personal interest in certain aspects or certain ministries or parastatals when they came. Now, those things must be avoided because when you sit on this Committee, you must exhibit the highest impartiality, when you are dealing with witnesses regardless of which witness comes in because the outcome of an impartial committee will help the dignity of this House, the country and the Constitution. Therefore, the appointment of these hon. Members is very welcome and I think it was an oversight. It is not too late to look for one of our ladies to sit on this Committee.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear! Two!

Dr Syamujaye: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to this motion. Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Sibetta: Summarise!

Dr Syamujaye: Yes, and underscore one or two points. 

Hon. Sichinga felt that this is a very senior and important Committee. I do not know whether there is any junior Committee of the House.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: We have different talents!

Dr Syamujaye: But I believe all Committees of the House are important.

I am grateful to the point of order raised by the hon. Minister Without Portfolio and the Speaker’s ruling with regard to the use of expertise of hon. Members of the House. I believe that all hon. Members must be given an opportunity to participate fully in the business of the house. No qualification can be considered less useful than another qualification.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Solwezi Central indicated that the reports of this Committee were very good and that is why the Government is very happy. The reports, Mr Speaker, for a very long time, at least, for hon. Members who have been here for quite some time, will agree that they were not malicious or roving. They were very specific and that is why the Government found them very useful. And we hope that this tradition will be maintained. 

The hon. Member for Milanzi, I think, misunderstood slightly the purpose of this motion. The purpose of this motion was really not to discuss the Auditor-General’s report or lack of reports for instance for 1999. This is not the issue of this motion.

However, it may be pointed out that  since the MMD came into office, the Auditor-General’s reports have now been regular. He has indicated that the 1999 report is not out. Previously there used to be a backlog of even five years and as will be noticed in this year's Yellow Book, there has been an appreciable increase in the allocations to the Auditor-General’s Office...

Mr Patel: That is not true.

Dr Syamujaye: Well you have not looked at the figures.

Mr Patel: I have.

Dr Syamujaye: You have not. So, obviously this backlog is going to be reduced. The hon. Member for Mongu (Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika) supported by the hon. Member for Kapiri Mposhi (Mr Nkabika) who is the father of Libido, bemoaned the number of female hon. Members. This I concede, Sir, but I think the most important thing to emphasise here is that it is not the sex of the individual which determines the quality of the reports. We believe that the reports were very good and that is what should be recognised by this House. However, this issue will be considered, I believe very seriously, for the future.

Mr Chairman, the hon. Member for Solwezi Central (Dr Sondashi) also felt that these positions are not personal to holder. No, but at the same time we believe that during this transformation, we need to really take advantage of the experiences gained and the Committee has done a very good job and we, in the Executive, feel that this has been very helpful. Our country has been passing through a phase where we need this kind of assistance from the House. On the issue of expertise, I think the Speaker did make a very helpful ruling.

Mr Chairman, on the debate by the hon. Member for Luena (Mr Sibetta), I really cannot place his argument because he is a senior hon. Member and he knows what the practice has been. If there is any particular hon. Member on the Committee he is not happy with, he is always a robust debater, he probably could have told us which particular hon. Member he did not feel comfortable with..


Dr Syamujaye: However, what is missing is that the composition of this Committee is in favour of the Opposition.

Mr Sibetta: No!

Dr Syamujaye: The majority of the hon. Members are from the Opposition. The Chairmanship of this Committee, by tradition, is always held by a Member of the Opposition since we brought in this democratic dispensation. So, I do not see how the hon. Minister can influence the decisions or the composition of this Committee. It must also be emphasised that this Committee does not only deal with Government finances. It deals with all public finances and has the right and mandate to call any person in the Republic who handles public finances. These could be Executives from Parastatals as we still have a few which have not been privatised and so there is no question of the hon. Minister being an interested party.

Mr Chairman, in any case the hon. Minister is subjected to the same rigorous questioning when the report is tabled on the Floor of the House. I am grateful to the remarks that were made by the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, emphasising the importance of this Committee. I hope that this year, particularly, this Committee will do what it has done in the previous years.

Mr Speaker, I thank you and beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.



(Consideration resumed)

Vote 18/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 18/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 30/01 (Office of the Minister Without Portfolio - Headquarters - K762,606,497).

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Chairman, I stand to support the Vote for the Office of the Minister Without Portfolio, which is meant to help out where there are problems or lapses. I am very glad that the ministry has been given more money as compared to last year.

Mr Sibetta: To buy coffins!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairman, it may be difficult for certain people to understand the operations of this ministry because they do not want to understand. When people do not want to understand things, they can say anything because they have got pre-conceived ideas which will not make them understand. So, we leave them at that, but as time goes by, they will be able to understand.

Sir, this ministry is a very important sector of the Government and this is why we would love to support the Vote that has been given to the ministry. What I would just want to urge the hon. Minister is probably to make good use of the money for training. There is a section which deals with training expenses, which has been given K10 million.

Dr Sondashi: Training party cadres!

Mr Mabenga: It is not for party cadres. It is for officers. This ministry can support any other ministry.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mabenga: Yes. It is a ministry which is not particularly looking at a particular ministry. It is kind of an umbrella.

So, what I want to urge the hon. Minister ...

Dr Sondashi: You are out of order!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairman, I have never been a crocodile before and I will never be one.



Mr Mabenga: Somebody is talking about steamers in Mulobezi. It is there and will continue to be there. We are going to fight that the railway line is improved for the betterment of the people in that area.

So, I would like to ask the hon. Minister to make sure that the K10 million is used to benefit a wider range of our people so that they are able to get the benefit of the money that is put in there.

Mr Chairman, I do realise that in the Ministry Without Portfolio we expect the hon. Minister to do a lot of travelling for various assignments. When we look at the other emoluments in the Yellow Book, I take it for granted that it includes travel allowances, apart from the allowances that are shown under the Recurrent Departmental Charges. I want to believe that the hon. Minister, his Permanent Secretary and staff there have got a lot of things to do. They may be required to travel to many places. I do not think this money is enough to cover these expenses. Therefore, I want to urge the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to consider adding more money to this ministry when considering appropriation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Sir, I want to emphasise the fact that this ministry is important. It is not a ministry without work at all, but one with a lot of work.

Dr Sondashi interrupted.

Mr Mabenga: Therefore, we want people, especially Hon. Sondashi, to understand this so that he is able to give the people in Solwezi better information instead of talking about crocodiles and fish when he does not even know how a river looks. You are supposed to be talking of elephants and lions because they live in the bush where you come from.

Hon. Government Member: And Warthogs.

Mr Mabenga: Yes, and Warthogs. They are of the same family.

Sir, I want to ask the hon. Minister to take into consideration what I have talked about. I wish also to ask the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to consider adding more money to the allowances because the expenses of looking after vehicles, lubricants, petrol, etc, are quite high and we need a lot of money to be voted for so that this ministry can function to expected standards.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): I rise to contribute on this Vote Head 30/01 - Office of the Minister Without Portfolio.

I rise actually to support this Vote because this Vote, to us in the Opposition, is very helpful. We have given the hon. Minister Without Portfolio a mission to confuse and disorganise the ruling party.


Mr Sibetta: Once you give him enough money, you will do a very good job for us.


Mr Sibetta: So far, we can see that the MMD is not what it was when he moved into this portfolio to take over this function. I can see that in the last excess expenditure, we gave him K2 billion to continue on this good mission to finish the ruling party.


Mr Sibetta: We welcome the good job he is doing for us.

The Vice-President: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.


The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, is the hon. Member really in order to allege that MMD is coming down because of my colleague here on the left when, in fact, the membership of the party as a whole has increased?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Member for Luena is advised to take note of that advice coming from the Leader of the House about the membership of MMD getting stronger as a result of this office.

Will you continue, please.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I really take note of what the Leader of the House is saying and that I should debate carefully on this Vote of my old friend, Hon. Michael Chilufya Sata, the Minister Without Portfolio.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! The Chair did not suspect that in fact, the hon. Member for Luena was debating the individual in the Office of the Minister Without Portfolio until His Honour the Vice-President raised a point of order. I thought the hon. Member on the Floor was actually debating the ministry. Now, he has come out in the open that he is debating the individual. He is out of order.

Will you, please, continue and debate the ministry on the Vote 30/01.

Mr Sibetta: I thank you, Mr Chairman. I would beg you to ask the Leader of the House not to derail me any more in my good debate. I had to meander a little bit because I know my good friend is capable of wandering outside into Malawi and arrange a few bad things.


Mr Sibetta: That is why I meandered.


Mr Sibetta: Now, I would like to come back to the Vote.

Mr Chairman, in a good mature democracy and ours is still in its infancy stage - it is developing very slowly - in a good mature democracy, funds from the public treasury should be given to various political parties on a prorata basis but in Zambia, only one party is benefiting at the expense of other parties in this House and even other parties registered in this land. Many times, we have heard the Government priding itself on the number of political parties registered in this land. We have almost come to the figures that the Democratic Republic of Congo has been announcing. It is not the number of political parties that are registered in the land that actually indicate how strong democracy is in that land. It is how you look after these political parties from public funds and keep them in watch so that they do not become subversive either to themselves, the Constitution or the people of the land. What is happening is that because we are only giving funds to one political party, all we see is this party subverting itself ...

Mr Mwaanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Chairman, is the hon. Member for Luena who is on the Floor in order to allege that this Vote actually funds a political party, in this case the MMD when, in fact, every political party funds itself since the MMD came into office and is he in order to allege that this Vote is there to fund a political party?

The Deputy Chairman: In that point of order by the hon. Chief Whip, the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena is advised that no matter how well he meanders backwards and forwards, if he is not meandering on the truth, he will be caught up and that point of order is correcting the record. This ministry has nothing to do with funding political parties. As you can tell from the subheads, there is nothing about funding of political parties. So, can we debate more relevantly and refer to the votes as they appear on this head.

Will you, please, continue.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, the hon. Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Roan in his point of order, which you have asked me to take note of and also the remark from the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, says that these funds are not for a political party. No matter whether you put one ton of cotton on my eyes, you will not convince me that the activities I found at the hon. Minister’s office when I visited him, sharing of chitenges and party regalia and cards he had allegedly confiscated from other parties, were not as a result of this funding that is here. It is happening at your office.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! The hon. Member of Parliament for Luena is qualifying the ruling of the Chair by insisting on evidence which has already been discounted for purposes of this debate. The hon. Member should be aware also that the person who occupies this office is the National Secretary of a ruling party. He holds two offices; one, he is the Minister Without Portfolio and, in his own party, he is the National Secretary. So, he is bound to be found doing certain jobs pertaining to his political party and nothing stops him from doing that. But that does not immediately mean he is using the moneys from public office.

Will you continue, please.

Mr Sibetta: I am very thankful for this enlightened guidance from the Chair. 

As we progress in democracy, I would recommend this office to be occupied by one other than the National Secretary so that the twin functions of running his party and running his office are not mistaken or mixed up so that it remains clear from the activities which we see at the office. I have been visiting him. And it is this office that has brought about the recommendation of district administrators. These are in actual fact his surrogates. And when you look in the Yellow Book, they are given more money than various Government departments. So he has control over the funds of district administrators and he has no specific job other than to take the programme of the party and the third term. So this function is misplaced.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipili (Kamfinsa): Thank you, Sir. 

I stand to support the allocation of the Ministry Without Portfolio. This ministry is, indeed, very important. It is designed to fill in the gaps in problematic areas in various ministries of the Government. As such, I would like to suggest to the Government that we have had chronic problems in the area like land. 

I will begin with Lusaka. We have, since inception as MMD Government, found the scenario, I think, the UNIP Government left where boundaries have continued to exist from the colonial government. When you talk of Greater Lusaka, it simply ends at Zani Muone and this city cannot expand anywhere else. I appreciate the fact that there is the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources but this problem has been chronic. It is here up to today. So, you need somebody who will focus less on other activities and look at this problem and solve this problem because we cannot continue to have perpetual squatters in a land where there are only 10 million people and we have vast tracts of land countrywide. So, this indicates that there is a chronic problem which must be sorted out. And if this was handled by the Ministry Without Portfolio, it could, in my opinion, be sorted out because we need to expand Lusaka City. We need to resettle the people we are calling squatters. But without land, how do you expand? The land across happens to be in Chief Mungule's area who has been holding on to that piece of land. You need a new formula of solving this problem. It is true we have policies and everything in place but for some reason, we just do not seem to get it right. That is my suggestion.

As regards Kitwe, Mr Chairman, we have had a chronic problem at Mufuchani across the Kafue River since there was a disaster in the UNIP era. Funds were donated and the bridge was never constructed. There is a dilapidated pontoon and this problem has been with us for the last nine years. It is now in its tenth year. It is, indeed, a chronic problem. This is one area, also, where the hon. Minister Without Portfolio can help out.

As opposed to where we have been given a fly-over bridge in Kitwe, I think it is a priority because if you look at the pedestrian population and the motor ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! The hon. Member for Kamfinsa is very cleverly trying to debate issues, perhaps, he did not have time to debate during the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Matters of bridges, extension of townships and cities do not lie with the Minister Without Portfolio because there is no provision here as you can see from the Estimates. So, please, let us be more relevant. If we do not have much to say on this particular Vote, can we make progress so that we have more time for the more complicated or more interesting areas. Can we make progress.

Will he continue, please, and be more relevant.

Mr Chipili: Mr Chairman, my understanding of the Ministry of Without Portfolio is that this is one ministry which can be used in problematic areas and I was simply analysing these areas.

Mr Sibetta: These are the people you want.

Mr Chipili: Hon. Sibetta, take care. Where we have problems, this ministry can be used. This is the point I am trying to make and I am simply cataloguing some problems which have been with us from independence to date. So I advise the Government, particularly Cabinet, to make use of this ministry and address a few of these problems. And one problem which we have had which we do not seem to get right is the distribution of inputs. This is one area which can be transferred to the Ministry Without Portfolio. This has been a chronic problem and it has continued to be so including that of the street kids. The problem started as a small one but it is now growing and we are not getting it right. So this ministry must be used. This was the point I was trying to make.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Major Kamanga (Lumezi): Mr Chairman, I wish to inform the House that this is a very special day for me. Unfortunately, I could not bring the flowers because we are not allowed. But I did bring flowers for my valentine, Hon. Nkandu Luo. I wish her well. Till God do us part.


Hon. Government Member: Who is she to you?

Major Kamanga: That is my valentine.


Major Kamanga: Beauty is in the hands of the beholder.

Dr. Mbikusita-Lewanika: Eyes.

Major Kamanga: Mr Chairman, I stand here to support this Vote. The thinking of our colleagues in the Opposition is really misleading.

Dr. Mbikusita-Lewanika: Just address your party.

Major Kamanga: And I know that some of them have been lobbying that probably the President can appoint them as Minister Without Portfolio from there. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Major Kamanga: Unfortunately, they have to join us. 

Mr Ngulube: Especially Sibetta.

Major Kamanga: This is a very important ministry and I support the Vote on the Floor. I would have wished that funds allocated to this particular ministry were increased. 

Mr Chairman, I wish to appeal to the hon. Minister in this particular ministry to ensure that his staff are receptive to the people who go there and not to be arrogant. Sir, the hon. Minister must also know that he is there for us and he should, therefore, treat us well.

Mr Chairman, there are countries that have had hon. Ministers appointed as Minister Without Portfolio and United Kingdom is one of them. At one time, they had a Minister Without Portfolio. However, Sir, from the debate this afternoon, it is very clear that most of the hon. Members here do not seem to know what the precise job description and functions of the office of the Minister Without Portfolio are. I would wish that the hon. Minister, as he stands up to summarise, sheds some light as to his perception of his job since, at the moment, he seems to be the hon. Minister of all portfolios, without observing any boundaries at all.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame, shame! {mospagebreak}

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika (Mongu): Mr Chairman, firstly, let me congratulate the hon. Minister and Member of Parliament for Mpika Central who has contributed to this country for many years. I want to acknowledge his contribution.

Mr Chairman, I also want to thank him for his amicable nature although, unfortunately, some members of his party these days are rude to him and they tell him kuya bebele ... 


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: ... which means that, maybe, as another phrase says, bye-bye polio, bye-bye MMD.

Mr Chairman, I offer to him my support, even after all these political party affairs are finished when he will no longer be in MMD. I support him and he will remain my friend. Even when he is kicked out of Mpika, he is very welcome in my village.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, I beg to differ and cannot support this Vote because it is not clearly understood in our country. Sir, many people in Zambia think 'without portfolio' means MMD affairs. They are confused. They do not see the benefits of this ministry. They think it is biased, discriminatory and only looks after MMD affairs.

Mr Speaker, there is too much money put in this ministry which is not clear. Therefore, Sir, the people of Zambia, really, if they had a choice, particularly people from my constituency, they would highly recommend that this ministry does not exist. But as a compromise since they are peace- loving people, if the Government does insist and the powers that be - then the people I represent would suggest that the head be a female.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichinga (Isoka East): Mr Chairman ...

Mr Sibetta: Chilombo, you are languishing, no more debates.

Mr Sichinga: ... I rise to support this Vote because the hon. Minister in charge of this portfolio has many assignments most of which many of us do not know but he has them all the same. I am concerned, Sir, that the allocation of K762 million would not be sufficient for the assignments he has to do.

The Deputy Chairman: Order! 

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Chairman, just a little correction, I am on the eastern side of Isoka rather than on the western but, I appreciate, Sir, the mistake is a small one.

Mr Chairman, I was contributing that the allocation that is being given to this very important ministry, that is used for trouble shooting, wherever there is fireworks, this hon. Minister has to go there and quench the fires.

Mr Sibetta: In Northern Province to close the meeting.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: And change the venue.

Mr Sichinga: Last year, the House might wish to know, we approved an Estimate of K382,680,000 and I have not failed to observe how busy the hon. Minister has been. If he is not at the airport sending off the President or receiving him, he is at some provincial conference closing it or somewhere else at the gender committee addressing the women, leading them to Malawi and other places like that. This Sir, is a very busy office.


Mr Sichinga: This is why even the chitenges and other things are exchanged in this office.


Mr Sibetta: Michael!

Mr Sichinga: At the end of last year, we found out that K382 million we had allocated was totally inadequate and it became necessary to spend K2,487,526,000 ...

Mr Sibetta: This year he is going for K10 billion.

Mr Sichinga: ... and I observed Sir, that rather than creating an unconstitutional expenditure, it is better for us to allocate more money right now. So, I am requesting the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development to change this allocation and I have worked out a percentage by which this Vote was over-expended last year when it was not as busy as this year is going to be. This year is obviously going to be busier because there are going to be elections, there is going to be the OAU Conference where they have to receive a lot of visitors and who other than this office will receive such important visitors that will be coming to our country?

Mr Sibetta: And get the chiefs to sign the petitions.

Mr Sichinga: We want to make sure that the right image is created about our country. So, I am suggesting, hon. Minister, that we change this figure from K762 million to K4,976,000,000 because that is double the amount that he expended last year and this year, it is going to be double. So, I plead, hon. Minister that this amount is not going to be enough. If we do not increase this amount, there will an unconstitutional expenditure next year brought to this House and I would rather we avoided that. Instead, give him sufficient money for this office to execute its duties effectively. 

Mr Sibetta: Knowing him as we do.

Mr Sichinga: I know that the hon. Minister who is occupying this particular office is as tenacious as can be. He is a man of tremendous energy and I know. So, I can vouch for it because as I go to Isoka East, I have to travel through his constituency. I know that he is also busy in that particular area and he needs sufficient money to make sure that all these peripheral activities are properly looked after. So, I plead, hon. Minister, that instead of K762 million, let us give it K4,976,000,000. That way, we will avoid any unconstitutional expenditure. So, I totally support this Vote and I ask that we increase it.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairman, I do not, really, support this Vote because I do not understand what I am voting for and supporting. However, it is not personal because the hon. Minister is a good friend of mine. Though he is known as a cobra, I am always wary of him because he is the only cobra I know who has the same colours as a chameleon.


Mr Patel: My only major concern this year is that in the purchase of services ...

Mr Chikamba: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chikamba: Mr Chairman, I am always happy with the contributions of the hon. Member for Lusaka Central but I am sorry to say that in this House there are only hon. Members. There are no cobras and no chameleons. Mr Chairman, is he in order to be describing human beings as cobras in this House? I need your ruling, Mr Chairman.

The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries has raised a very valid point of order. If we are going to refer to hon. Members by nom de plumes, it must be specified. Otherwise, it becomes an offence and unparliamentary to refer to an hon. Member who represents a constituency in the manner that is negatively descriptive. So, if we must use those names, can we specify within what context we are using them. Otherwise, you will be out of order.

Will you continue, please, and be in order.

Mr Patel: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I would like to apologise to the Chair and, indeed, the hon. Minister. I just simply hope that he does not buy a coffin to parade me on Cairo Road tomorrow.

Mr Chairman, it is a question of priorities when there is very little money and if you look at what has been allocated, for example, to the Lands Department, which is a very important department in our country, it has only received K845 million. If you look at the Factories Department, it has only received K368 million and the Anti-corruption Commission has only received K2.4 billion. So, the priorities, as against the Ministry Without Portfolio, are difficult to define and as the hon. Member who spoke before me said, it will be useful to understand precisely what the functions and the role of the hon. Minister Without Portfolio are.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Sondashi: I thank you, Mr Chairman, for this opportunity given to me. First of all, I want to thank the hon. Minister Without Portfolio for having sent his son to marry my cousin. So, he is now bapongoshi and we are now friends. This is what it should be so that we can consolidate our relationship. But we joke sometimes because we have been together for a long time and we have fought political wars together. He knows what he is by not mentioning the names like cobra and crocodile and I think the crocodile is stronger than the cobra ...


Dr Sondashi: ...because a cobra can bite a crocodile, but nothing can happen. 

Mr Chairman, I wish to say that the genesis and the introduction of the Ministry Without Portfolio is related to a system of Government where a country has only one party to which all belong so that the Minister Without Portfolio can assist in the mobilisation because people are together in one camp. So, in that set up it is a good idea to have this type of arrangement because people are not opposed politically. But that is not the case where you have multi-partism as a system of Government, where many people belong to different parties, and I do not know how many parties there are now.

Mr Simasiku: There are twenty-eight.

Dr Sondashi: You can see, if there are twenty-eight parties, it means that there are about twenty-eight thoughts about how the country must be run. Then when you have this portfolio, it means that this portfolio will favour one section of political thought, which is the ruling party and cannot look after the affairs of the other parties. This becomes a problem and it is in this respect that we are thinking that in future, I think, the Government can have a look at it so that we do not continue with the system.

However, having said that, I wish, again, to congratulate the hon. Minister over the holding of the inter-party talks which he co-chairs with another Chairperson. I think that is one of the areas which the hon. Minister must ensure that it functions well because that is the area where he tries to bring all the political parties together to an understanding regarding the manner the country must be run. That is a very important area, hon. Minister, and when you call upon these meetings, please, try to make use of the suggestions which come from many people in that meeting.

I think that, again, talking to my fellow Opposition Members and friends, that is the area where we have now to see what should be done about the future. My experience shows that in Africa when a decision has been made by a ruling party, that decision can be carried. Do not think that you can have a situation where a decision which a ruling party wants to make cannot be made. In Kaonde we say that when you are throwing a spear, you cannot stop the spear from going when it has already gone.

Hon. Member: Say it in Kaonde.

Dr Sondashi: Therefore, I am urging the opposition parties in this country to find a way of looking forward, instead of bemoaning the Constitutional Amendment because if the party in power says it is going to be passed, it is going to be passed. Who will stand among the MMD members to oppose it? This is the experience that I have. 

So, let us, now, look to the future. What do we do if such a thing happens? I think, this is where the Opposition must, as of now, start making suggestions and plans to see that we introduce a Constitution in the future or amendment which should stop things like that which we do not like. This can be done through the inter-party meetings because we can trade off in those inter-party meetings when we meet the President to tell him that we would like to see some changes in the Constitution, especially with regard to power sharing regarding the powers of the President, the Legislature and the people.

This is what I think is very crucial and I would like to tell you that I am very skeptical about our presidents, whether he is in the Opposition or ruling party. I do not think that any of the presidents, if for instance, in any of the Opposition parties one came to power, he would agree to reduce his powers.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Or she!

Dr Sondashi: Ooh! His or her powers, sorry. I thank you very much.


Dr Sondashi: I think this is the question that we should address now so that we can trade-off with the MMD that they must bring back the Mwanakatwe Constitutional Review Commission Report and the Constitution which was recommended so that this country can take off. This is a Constitution which I am proud of, which I initiated. But when I left, everything was forgotten. The young man here, who followed me as a constitutional lawyer served as secretary.

So, this is what we should say. If they say that they want to change the Constitution, we should ask them to agree that the Mwanakatwe Constitutional Review Commission Report should be brought.

The Deputy Chairman: The Chair does not recognise the young man who followed Hon. Sondashi. I think that for purposes of the record, the Hon. Member for Mwandi should be addressed by his title so that he is recorded in the verbatim proceedings.

Dr Sondashi: Much obliged, Mr Chairman. I was referring to the hon. Member for Mwandi, Dr Kabanje.

Mr Chairman, my worry really, is about those people who know me and I have always talked about this. Even in my own party. I remember proposing that we must put in the manifesto, the provision that when National Party (NP) comes into power, they should reduce the powers of the President. And I tell you, my own uncle was not happy because he did not agree to it. In fact, it was not only him. Even the Lozi Chairman did not agree.


Hon. Members: Who?

Dr Sondashi: My beloved late Arthur Wina. I do not want to mention another opposition party leader whom I wrote a letter to tell me if he would be willing to reduce his powers and he never replied.


Dr Sondashi: So, I think this is the question. So, as long as you have a lot of powers in the hands of one person, you will forget about these things. They will be changing Constitutions as they like and nothing can be done. I think this is what we should be looking at to try and persuade the Government to introduce measures which will stop these excessive powers being enjoyed by one person.

So, if this can be done, I would be very happy myself really so that we can stop pointing fingers at each other.

Hon. Member: There is a yellow light.

Dr Sondashi: You wait with that yellow thing of yours. I am making very important contributions.


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


Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali): Mr Chairman, I thank you for according me the opportunity to contribute on this important Vote before us, the ministry which is headed by my big man, Hon. Sata. So, I would really be failing in my duties if I do not support his Vote. Some people have to learn to appreciate the elders. I think I am here to say that I thank you very much for showing us the true colours of the Chilufyas people have been hearing about in this world.

Sir, I stand to support what has been allocated to his ministry. Hon. Sata has really made our task easy in the Opposition. I was worried, Mr Chairman. Previously, the stigma of fighting each time people differed was only associated with UNIP. Sir, people laughed at us and said that it was a UNIP culture. I am happy because, now, I have realised that what he is doing in MMD, he did in UNIP. I thought I should thank him and urge him to continue. In MMD people have also started exchanging blows like they did in Kasama. Remember that my friend from Chimbamilonga (Hon. Kakungu) was attacked. The other time, it was at the National Assembly Motel. Those are the true colours of the Chilufyas you have been hearing about. Chilufya means knowing how to confuse people. Uku balufya  like what he did in UNIP.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Sir, ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! {mospagebreak}

Again, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipangali should take note of or heed my earlier ruling that on this Vote we are not discussing the individual who occupies the office under discussion, but the functions of the office. I thought when he started he would just make a passing remark about the individual who occupies the office but, now, he is debating the hon. Minister Without Portfolio. 

Will you, please, continue and discuss the real fundamental issues about the ministry and not the man.

Mr L. L. Phiri: I thank you, Mr Chairman. Whenever the person holding a position like the Member for Chipangali does better, I think, people compliment him and mention the name L. L. Phiri.

Sir, I have heard your advice and will dwell on the functions of the Minister Without Portfolio. He is doing a good job and I would want to encourage him and thank him because the stigma he left in UNIP, has now been transferred to the MMD by him as Secretary-General of the MMD and also as Minister Without Portfolio.

However, I would like to say that the job the hon. Minister has started of buying coffins for people who have not yet died ...


Mr L. L. Phiri: ... and booking minibuses for demonstrations is what I would like to question. All the people who do that have ended up going to his office. This means that he is the sponsor. I would like him to clearly indicate to this nation where he gets that money from which those people have been using.

Mr Chairman, it is a very serious issue because we ought to understand the real job of the Minister Without Portfolio. We are suggesting that he should vacate the Government office he operates from and let MMD find him an office, the way it is done at Freedom House. In that way, no one would misunderstand his functions. But if he continues to operate as an MMD official using Government offices, in a democratic State, it will cause confusion. Since he is holding that position as hon. Minister Without Portfolio, then he has to deal with national issues not party issues because the money allocated to his ministry which we are debating here is people’s money. Therefore, his functions must be well understood and spelt out. Beneficiaries would be thankful if that money was accounted for. 

Mr Chairman, I stand here as a serious Zambian citizen. Let the MMD build its own party headquarters and never misuse Government offices.

Mr Chairman, as the hon. Minister summarises on this Vote, we want him to clear the air as to what exactly his role is as hon. Minister Without Portfolio because Government is paying him, has given him vehicles, but he is concentrating on party matters. We wonder why he is given Government money which is tax payers’ money.

Mr Chairman, I wish to thank my big man and urge him to continue employing more bouncers, especially before the MMD Convention takes place. Let him also buy more coffins for those at ward level because I know all those will not enter the convention as he promised when he was closing the Lusaka Provincial Conference. He warned them that he had immense power and those saying kuya bebele  would be dealt with. I think he has already deployed some people who will be bouncers like some people I know whose names are already in my book. You know we take notes ...


Mr L. L. Phiri: However, Mr Chairman, let him not tamper with this man we are now, debating. Mr Chairman, I thank the one who appointed him to that ministry for he had a very good idea of who Hon. Michael Chilufya uulufya is in this nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mfula (Chipili): Mr Chairman, I stand to support the Vote. Mr Chairman, it is very difficult, indeed, to define the job of the Minister Without Portfolio. At the moment, it is not by design that the present Minister is also a National Secretary in this country. But the job can stand on its own and it is a very busy ministry. It is a ministry that is at the centre of all the ministries in the country. 

The hon. Minister is an emissary of the Government and the President. He is the Ambassador-extraordinary. He is everything but when there is something that is to be done, the President looks at who is to go on his behalf. When he is busy, he looks at the hon. Ministers in different ministries who are also busy. It is incumbent upon the appointing Head of State to look for somebody with special experience and knowledge in industrial relations, to go on his behalf and represent the country. So, you see that this person is a very important person in the governance of a country. 

My worry though, Mr Chairman, is that the Vote is not sufficient. I am also not quite sure where travel is included in the Vote ...

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

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, I need your ruling. Is the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training in order to sleep in this House while the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipili is making such a significant contribution? Is he in order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairman: The Chair did not notice the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training sleeping. All that the Chair sees of the hon. Minister is that he is seated very comfortably and listening to the beautiful debate by the Member of Parliament for Chipili. So, he is in order. As you can see he is shaking his legs which means that he is very much awake.

Will the hon. Member for Chipili, please, continue.


Mr Mfula: Mr Chairman, as I was saying, I am a little worried because I do not see where travel is in the budget. But if it is, I would also urge that there be room for increasing this Vote because as we are saying, it is a very busy year. The hon. Minister is going to travel a lot from place to place. I still think that this Vote is not sufficiently funded. It must be increased.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister Without Portfolio (Mr Sata): Mr Chairman, ...

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer for two hours!

Mr Sata: No, it will not be two hours.


Mr Sata: I do not speak for a long time like you do.

Mr Chairman, I am grateful to all my colleagues who have spoken. First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the President for his inspiring and thought provoking speech ...

Mr L. L. Phiri: When?

Mr Sata: ... on the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eighth National Assembly on Friday, 20th January, 2001.

Hon. L. L. Phiri, please, listen. When you were speaking, I listened to you.

I wish to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development for presenting an empowering budget. In the same vein, I would like to express gratitude to the hon. Members of this august House who have contributed to the debate on the Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry Without Portfolio. 

Mr Chairman, since the revival of the office of the Minister Without Portfolio in June 1996, the office has taken charge of promoting and facilitating the process of the inter-party dialogue and democratic governance. After the MMD landslide victory in the 1996 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, the Opposition complained that, among other things, the elections had been rigged, that the Electoral Commission had been compromised and that the registration of voters by Nikuv had been done in bad faith. Mr Chairman, MMD, as a listening party, decided to listen to the complaints of the Opposition. In this regard, in 1997, the MMD held extensive consultations with the majority of the opposition parties to establish modalities of holding consultative meetings. Pursuant to this, a meeting of Secretaries of Political Parties was held at Pamodzi Hotel from 10th to 13th December, 1997. The meeting was a resounding success and set the agenda and dates for the meeting of Party Presidents which was scheduled for 29th to 31st December, 1997 in Livingstone.

Mr Chairman, the meeting failed to take off due to the intransigence of some opposition political parties. However, the MMD has remained resolutely undaunted to these opposition tactics. In 1999, a series of Inter-Party talks for National Secretaries were held on 17th February, 10th June and 10th August and a draft agenda for consideration by the Party Presidents was prepared.

Mr Chairman, I must point out that the MMD has continued to promote and facilitate the process of the Inter-party talks without any hindrance. Recently, on 20th December, 2000, a meeting of Party Secretaries was held at Kwacha House and was followed by a meeting of the Liaison Committee on 11th January, 2001 and of the National Secretaries on 17th January, 2001 at Pamodzi Hotel.

Mr Chairman, it is important to note that this background has been given to demonstrate the MMD's commitment to the process of Inter-Party talks and democratic governance. I wish to make it clear that the Inter Party talks are a consultative forum and should not be confused with a Coalition Government. The MMD Government enjoys the people's mandate and still commands a comfortable majority in this august House. I would like to appeal to all the opposition parties to come forward and dialogue without pre-conditions. The doors are open and the onus is on the opposition parties. 

Two or three years ago, the President transferred the Division of Gender to my Office. Let me now deal with the subject of Gender in Zambia. Since assuming the reigns of power in 1991, the MMD Government has been Gender sensitive by promoting equal rights and opportunities in the public sector in line with the party manifesto. In this regard, the Government decided to elevate Gender from a department under the National Commission for Development Planning to a fully fledged division headed by a female Permanent Secretary under Cabinet Office and with a separate Vote in the National Budget. In addition, Gender focal point persons were appointed in various ministries, provinces and other public institutions to facilitate planning and implementation of gender programmes.

Mr Chairman, in 1995, as a follow up to the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, the Government and Gender stakeholders embarked on extensive consultations in order to formulate a National Gender Policy. Their efforts culminated in the first National symposium on Gender Policy in December, 1998. This Symposium brought together stakeholders from the Government, NGOs, political parties and the Church to prepare a draft policy document. In March 2000, the MMD Government approved the National Gender Policy which is aimed at promoting gender equity and equality.

Mr Chairman, the MMD Government has, in this connection, concluded international, regional and sub-regional agreements aimed at accelerating the achievement of gender equity and equality. The MMD Government facilitated Zambia’s participation at the following women international conferences.

(a)    The Beijing Conference on Women in 1995.

(b)    The African Regional conference on Women held in Addis Ababa in 1999 at which nine Government officials, eighteen NGO representatives attended. Unfortunately, Hon. Lupunga did not attend.

(c)    Beijing Plus Five Review Meeting held in May 2000 in New York at which thirteen Government officials, three Parliamentarians and thirteen NGO representatives attended.

(d)    Similarly, the Government is considering sending a Zambian Delegation comprising Government and other stakeholders to attend the conference on the 45th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women scheduled to be held in New York in March 2001.

Mr Chairman, I am pleased to inform you that we have already nominated two women Parliamentarians to attend this conference and then we have another conference coming up in Sydney. We are also going to nominate two Parliamentarians to attend it.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Just women.

Mr Sata: Mr Chairman, the Government has scored successes worth noting in sectoral development as follows ...

Hon. L. L. Phiri, the conferences are for women. Go and have a sex change if you want to be considered.


Mr Sata: The education and training policies have been reviewed to incorporate Gender.

In the area of poverty reduction and economic empowerment, the government has embarked on addressing poverty alleviation schemes involving vulnerable groups including women and female-headed house holds.

Health Reforms have been designed to address special needs of women and girls and to promote involvement of both sexes in reproductive health programmes.

The Intestate Succession (Amendment) Act No. 13 of 1994 was enacted to enhance the realisation of the rights of children of the deceased by providing offences related to property grabbing  in intestate cases. The Government is also addressing the scourge of Gender violence especially against women and children. Comprehensive legislative and institutional reforms are envisaged in line with commitments made in the National Gender Policy.

In the area of decision-making, women participation in politics, the number of female hon. Members of Parliament has doubled from 1991 to date by 8.2 per cent.

At the Local Government level, there has been an impressive trend of increase in the number of women councillors. The number of women who were elected councillors in 1998 is 300 per cent more than in the previous elections.

In the Civil Service, the number of women in management positions has increased to twenty-two per cent from an average of nine per cent during the Second Republic. These are no mean achievements because they underscore the MMD Government’s political commitment. The Government is confident that the measures it has put in place will achieve positive gender equity and equality for sustainable development.

Last Friday, 9th February, 2001, a total of forty-seven medical practitioners were inducted. Out of those sixteen were ladies, making an impressive increase on the previous years. In April 2001, Zambia will participate in the World Conference of Women Medical Practitioners in Sydney Australia. My ministry is soliciting for funds to send a powerful team of prominent women medical practitioners from the Medical Women Association of Zambia and other women interested in Gender matters to represent Zambia.

Mr Chairman, yesterday, my dear sister disputed some fact which was given by Hon. Kamanga about who crossed the Floor at that time. Because she was at Garden House, she thinks that she was the only one who was more on the band wagon. I would like us to refresh our memory.

Sir, when the Constitution was being debated and when it came to a vote, the tellers for the ‘noes’ were Hon. Crispin Sibetta and Mr Sakuhuka. At that time, the people who left UNIP were as follows:

Mr Hapunda
Mr Kapapa
Mr Koni
Mr Lumina
Mr Mkandawire
Mr Mulemba
Mr Musuka
Mr Mwiinga
Mr Nkunika
Mr Nyamboji
Mr Poho
Mr Sakuhuka
Mr Sata
Mr Sekwila
Mr Subulwa

Hon. Opposition Member: When was that?

Mr Sata: That was in 1991.

Mr L. L. Phiri: At the dying minute.

Mr Sata: That was not the dying minutes. Even if it was, some of you remained like a tick to a skin which is very dry.

Mr Chairman, I am grateful for all that my colleagues have said. I will deal with one issue which, I think, needs clarification. Sir, Hon. Sichinga understands the function of this ministry because being an accountant and former Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, he was concerned with the expenditure of K2 billion. 

It is important for us to know. This expenditure was spent on the conferences which I have mentioned. Those conferences were not for MMD. In all those conferences, the people who went were NGOs and the majority were women. I am pleased to recognise my dear sister Hon. Dr Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, although sponsored by somebody else, she attended one of the conferences in Addis Ababa.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: I never went on Government money.

Mr Sata: I am saying that you attended but not on Government money. You got money from Rwanda.

Hon. Regina Phiri was also in Addis Ababa.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika Interjected.

Mr Sata: Mr Chairman, hon. Members wanted some very important points clarified. Now, some hon. Members who are scared of the truth are trying to blacken their faces because, in their opinion, they thought that this money went into buying coffins and chitenge materials. Sir, this is not true.

Mr Chairman, I know the young Hon. Lucas Phiri very well. I wish to inform him that MMD has its Party Headquarters where I have my office. The Ministry Without Portfolio has its office where I also have an office. The problem which you fail to appreciate, as Hon. Mfula said, is that not everybody who comes to the Ministry Without Portfolio is a party cadre. That is why Hon. Sibetta said that he has been to my office. He is not a party cadre. He may be a party cadre, but not of the MMD. 

Sir, if we can only listen to Hon. Sondashi, we can gain a great deal. We can remove suspicion among ourselves. The biggest danger in Zambia is suspicion among ourselves. If I greet a man from UNIP, it does not mean that I have bought him. If I talk to Dr Sipula Kabanje, I could learn a lot more of what I do not know from him. He could also learn a lot more from me and once we interact, there would not be such tension like we have today. Because of the tension which is existing in the country, we do not trust the Electoral Commission and everything as far as we are concerned. If a particular individual is not on the Electoral Commission, there is suspicion.

Let us interact. We have seen delegations from England. The Conservatives, Liberals and the Labour Party are there. When we have delegations from America, there would be Republicans and Democrats, but with the Zambians, the only witch and enemy we have is ourselves.

Finally, Mr Chairman, we do not have to complain about what we do with our party constitutions. What you do with your party constitution is your own business. You can, today, change the constitution to appoint four Vice-Presidents, the MMD will not make noise. You can give the Central Committee a different name, it is your own constitution. Why should everything be your business? If you want to be interested in MMD affairs, please resign from your party. If we run out of seats, we will remove the Opposition and we will all be on one bench.

Mr L. L. Phiri: You are governing us.

Mr Sata: No. What is governing you is the Government and the Republican Constitution. The MMD Constitution does not govern you. It only governs members of the MMD but what I am saying is that you cannot stop us dealing with our own constitution. That is a private law which administers us. We do not want to infringe on your rights because you are not our member. You do not belong to us and we do not need you.


Mr Sata: What we are talking about is that no ministers come here with a motion or a bill about third term. Nobody has come to any office to demonstrate about the party constitution of MMD. That is no business of Hon. Lucas Phiri. If anybody comes to demonstrate against his own party member, it is not our business. When people fight at Namayani or at Ndola Trade Fair Grounds, we do not complain because that is a private affair. It is not supposed to be brought to this House. That person who was beaten, if at all he was MMD, has not complained. Now, since when did Hon. Lucas Phiri became his representative to speak for him?

Please, let us mind our own business. We should not have the attitude of ‘everything is our business, but our own business.’ Do not poke your nose into other people’s affairs. Let us talk business.

Mr L. L. Phiri Interjected.

Mr Sata: They should come to the Ministry Without Portfolio or  Local Government and if they want to complain about social welfare, they should come to the Ministry Without Portfolio. 'Without Portfolio' means not limited in operation. So, we cannot stop anybody from coming to my office. Even you can come (Pointing at Hon. L. L. Phiri). You do not need an invitation or an appointment. Learn from Hon. Sibetta but come here and be constructive because if you are not, you are going to spend time lamenting about the MMD and when the elections come, kuya bebele.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 30/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 31/01 - (Ministry of Legal Affairs - Headquarters - K3,330,863,018)

Mr Nkabika (Kapiri Mposhi): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this important ministry.

The Ministry of Legal Affairs is the Government's legal adviser which is supposed to advise the ministries and departments. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is no exception when it comes to being advised.

Mr Chairman, this ministry again has failed Zambians. When the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development was preparing the National Budget, he was supposed to be advised or guided legally.

Sir, this year’s Budget is not complete since the Estimates in the Yellow Book are not presented as the Zambian Constitution requires. Sir, in the Yellow Book, the Estimates do not show the allocation of the Office of the second Former President. According to our Constitution, we shall have a second Former President this year in November and these Estimates should cater for this important office.

Mr Chairman, somebody may say the Estimates for the Former President are indicated but they are not enough to cater for the second Former President. Failing to estimate for the Office of second Former President is breaching our laws which we should not entertain in this House.

Mr Chairman, it is not yet late. These Estimates can be withdrawn from the House so that we include the Estimates for the second Former President.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I support the Vote but in supporting it, I would just want to address one item of great concern. This is Cap 90 on Witchcraft and Wizards.

Mr Chairman, I think the Subordinate Courts and the police are in a very awkward situation  because the Act says according to the Laws of Zambia, if you name a person a wizard or refer to a person as one who is practising witchcraft, you are actually liable to have committed a crime. If found guilty, you are punished. Then the same says if you accept that you do practise witchcraft, you are also guilty and you should be penalised. Cap 90 says that the Witchcraft Act provides for penalties for the practice of witchcraft and provides matters incidental to or connected therewith.

Mr Matutu: Are you not a lawyer?

Mr Shumina: I am not a lawyer, you Lamba man. That is why you sold your land to foreigners from the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Mr Shumina: Mr Chairman, 3(a) says and I quote:

    ‘Whoever names or indicates or accuses or threatens to accuse any person as being a wizard or witch shall be liable upon conviction to fine not exceeding 750 penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding one year or to both.’

Now, the same law says on 4 and I quote:

    ‘Whoever shall be proved to be by habit or profession a witch doctor or witch finder shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of not more than 1,500 penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding two years or to both’.

Now, my concern, Sir, is that you have an old man in the village. Someone comes and says to the old man that he is a wizard and they threaten him, possibly beat him up in the village and he appears before a Magistrate. This old man is scared and afraid. And the man says, yes. What happens is that old man is convicted and put into prison. This is what is happening in Western Province.

When the brother, Mr Chairman, of the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs, went to Kaoma, he found me in a very awkward situation where his Magistrate and Hon. Machungwa’s policemen were actually going to my constituency to go and unearth a coffin because a witch-finder had said that they would find a banana in the coffin. When we went there, Sir, we found a beautiful body of a young lady resting in peace. But, the witch-finder quickly said, the law says if you agree, you should be imprisoned. He accepted, so the Magistrate should convict him. That is what happened. That is what happened and your brother, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is a witness.


Mr Shumina: The point I am trying to make is that ...


Dr Syamujaye: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Dr Syamujaye: Mr Chairman, is the hon. Member in order to allege that I was a witness to the unearthing of a beautiful coffin in which there was a beautiful woman?

In fact, I was at pains to extricate him from the hands of the law which wanted to imprison him for practising witchcraft. Is he really in order?


The Deputy Chairman: The point of order by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is giving, perhaps, an amendment to the story of the hon. Member for Mangango. He is trying to give us the facts as they happened rather than what sounds to me like malikopo story about a beautiful young lady sleeping in the coffin. Would the hon. Member for Mangango, please, take advantage of that correction and make his point. He has given us some kind of reference, some background information and I think that this House is interested in knowing how he wants the law to be amended in order to take care of the interests of our society.

Will he continue, please.

Mr Shumina: The Tonga people are in trouble. They are always in Western Province looking for medicine because they think Mazoka is threatening them. 


Mr Shumina: So I tend to agree.

Mr Chairman, my request is that it is, firstly, technically impossible to prove witchcraft because they are in the dark if at all it takes place. Therefore, to serve the innocent lives of old men and women who are being shot, especially in Southern Province, with these Karavinas, I think it would be in the interest of the nation and the people of Zambia to ban witchcraft and make necessary amendments to the law so that we do not disgrace our old men and women who have brought us up and save this nation.

Thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}

Mr Luhila (Lukulu East): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to contribute briefly to the debate on this important Vote which I support.

Mr Chairman, over the  years, I have been a worried man at the rate the Government of Zambia has been losing cases both in our courts in this country and the courts abroad. At the same time, I have been worried at the situation where there is no follow up of certain cases where the Government has been sued and then in the process the Republic of Zambia loses those cases, and in the process the Government of Zambia and, indeed, the tax-payer loses a lot of money. 

Mr Chairman, I have in mind, for example, the Callington case where the Government of Zambia paid a sum of US$5 million to try and secure maize from a Canadian company which was proved later to be a briefcase company. To date, the people of Zambia and the Zambian tax-payer and the donor who donated that money have not been told what the progress is in that case. And how many times do our lawyers make an effort to go and attend to those court cases? This, now, brings me to a situation where, probably, we have to recruit local lawyers in cases which are very complicated like the Callington case. We do not need to send lawyers from this country into England. You need to spend a little bit of money to recruit lawyers in that country to represent this Government. Otherwise, Zambia is going to continue losing money like in this case, the Callington case.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matutu (Kafulafuta): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairman, last year, I belaboured quite a lot on the Office of the Under Sheriff. This is about the behaviour and the immoral conduct of the court bailiffs. The hon. learned Minister for Legal Affairs promised ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! I would like to educate hon. Members who are debating on this Vote that they will have to be very careful about the dividing line between matters falling under the Judiciary and those falling under the Ministry of Legal Affairs. And the point that the hon. Member for Kafulafuta is about to raise now was well covered yesterday under the Judiciary. In fact, it belongs to the Judiciary Department. What we did yesterday was mostly the interpretation of the law in so far as it refers to the disposal of cases. We are now talking about the formulation of laws by the Ministry of Legal Affairs. So, we have to make that slight difference.

Will you be more relevant, please, and continue.

Mr Matutu: Mr Chairman, I wish to discontinue.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Museba (Chimwemwe): Thank you, Mr Chairman. I rise to support the Vote on the Floor. I will be very brief.

Mr Chairman, in supporting this Vote, I want to raise one or two points of great concern particularly with regard to the efficacy of our law vis-a-vis the escalating crime rate in the country. It is of great concern not only for myself but for the constituents and, I think, the populace of the country, at large. 

Mr Chairman, you are aware that these days, hardly a day passes without the nation recording some dastardly acts of crime and banditry. Evidently, the army of gangsters is growing. Our resources are being outstretched. Our efforts are being frustrated and we are almost reaching the stage where our law abiding men, women and children will no longer even be able to enjoy the sanctity of their homes. The perpetrators of this crime are taking advantage of the kind of laws that exist in our country. I want to appeal to the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs to take stock of all criminal laws and review them so that we can address this particular issue of crime. I think the punishment that we mete out to people who commit some of the serious crimes in this country is not suitable. For example, with defilement, getting away with it is likely. We have instances of people committing economic sabotage repeatedly and interfering with vital economic infrastructure, getting away with very light sentences and they go back and steal yet some more and no serious punishment is meted out to them. 

Hon. learned Minister, it is time you looked at the law to examine  whether, in fact, we are demonstrating to these people that crime does not pay. Time and again, you hear of people gang-raping innocent women, carrying firearms of certain classes which are reserved for military operations and they get away with it just like that. The Government did declare an amnesty for people in possession of such firearms to surrender them. I believe, there was even some monetary incentive to them for making it safe for the country.

Therefore, hon. Minister, I believe we have reached a stage where you must ensure that we have a law that reflects our fullest indignation of such heinous crimes as I have described. Our people in the countryside are wondering because they see criminals behaving like they have a right to violate the rights and dignity of others without expecting too much penalty. I think it is time, Sir, that we changed our system and came out strongly against crime. People already have enough trouble with poverty. Now, to be burdened with other worries like crime, they cannot sleep and enjoy their lifestyle. All this, Sir, could lead to serious problems. The Government is trying its best with all the meagre resources but I believe that there is need to change the law completely.

In countries where you have tough laws, people know a criminal will have to think twice before venturing into crime. We have countries where there is sharia law and I think we should not be shy about bringing this law here in Zambia. Sharia law works and if it is possible, let us go and adopt some aspects of it for the survival of the nation. The nation is being eaten up by crime.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Museba: Mr Chairman, I am also speaking on behalf of these people who are too shy to admit that they would like to see that sharia law works in this country. There is nothing wrong with sharia law. Criminals are the ones who are afraid of tough laws. Innocent ones will accept them.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Dr Kabanje (Mwandi): Mr Chairman, I hope today, I am audible enough. 

Thank you very much, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to support this Vote. Sir, first of all, I wish to extend my congratulations to the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs, a man who has fought a very important constitutional battle when the citizenship of our President was on question mark. It was a very difficult battle but completely unnecessary.

Mr Chairman, before I come to the two substantive issues that I would like to debate, I want to start on preliminary issues. First of all, Sir, as we all know, the Ministry of Legal Affairs is not a ministry of illegal affairs; it is the Ministry for Human Rights, Justice and for sustaining our democracy. It is our hope, our future and the rock of ages upon which all of us who have children look forward to the continuity of our race.

Having said that, Sir, I wish to state that this ministry has a number of constitutional office holders more than any other ministry. It is the home of the Minister for Legal Affairs, the Chief Law Officer, the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General and other important law officers. 

In many countries they have realised that when you have too many lawyers in place, you can never get it right because lawyers are trained, not to be practical, but to argue with words, adjectives, verbs, phrases and they always lead to serious difficulties.

Mr Chairman, I am aware that in one jurisdiction, Finland, there is a specific provision that the Minister of Justice should never be a lawyer and I think it is because of the various difficulties that normally happen when too many legal brains are involved. But it is even worse where even an administrator, the Permanent Secretary, is a lawyer. The whole thing becomes very complicated. This is something worth pondering about.

Mr Chairman, I realised that one of the important functions which fall under this ministry is the Zambia Law Development Commission. I want to say a few words on this very important Commission. First of all, I would like to say how very pleased I was when after so many years the Government decided, in 1996, to pass an amendment which made the Law Development Commission into an autonomous body corporate called the Zambia Law Development Commission. This is extremely important and that is the trend in all the Commonwealth jurisdictions. The argument is that a law commission is supposed to reflect a broad spectrum of views. It is not supposed to be under the guidance of cadres like we find in many developing countries.

 Now, the idea, too, was that when it becomes an autonomous corporation, it is able to break away from the chain of misfortune and low salaries, characteristic of wages in the Public Service. The idea was that it would be able to attract a number of high calibre professionals and behind that also was the fact that it would work relatively independently as an advisory body to the Executive. So, that is something that I think the Government should be congratulated heartily for.

Over the years, Sir, that vision, like many visions of the MMD was twisted and broken on the way. We see a situation where there is now a very heavy Executive hand from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, making the Zambia Law Development Commission appear to be an appendage. It is, more or less, treated like a department. There is even interference at administrative level. Sir, this must not be allowed.

Let me illustrate this point. The Zambia Law Development Commission was given a building to be its office to carry out this important work but at one point, the administration in the Ministry of Legal Affairs decided that the Zambia Law Development Commission was going to be abolished. This created a lot of tension and anxiety among the workers. In the course of time, the Department of the Director of Public Prosecutions, a constitutional office, was transferred from its offices to come and camp in the offices of the Zambia Law Development Commission, creating serious difficulties. As it is today, the Zambia Law Development Commission has been sidelined. You have an important constitutional office like the Director of Public Prosecutions camping in a small institution like the Zambia Law Development Commission. So, you have the story of the Arab and the camel. Mr Chairman, I think this must be addressed because in the process, you belittle and negate both institutions and we should not allow this to take place in a democracy.

There was also a process of restructuring and commercialising key departments of the Ministry of Legal Affairs. The Administrator-General’s Office was such a department which was targeted for restructuring. Unlike the Zambia Law Development Commission, this was a department which had the capacity ...

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

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Major Kamanga: Mr Chairman, I rise on a very important point of order. Is the Government in order to keep quiet when money for a lot of our people has been lost by the closure of Union Bank, including Constituency Development Funds? Mr Chairman, I wish to refer to the Times of Zambia No. 11,054 of Wednesday, February 14th, 2001, headlined ‘Union Bank Goes Under’. May I just quote the first paragraph which says and I quote:

    ‘Bank of Zambia has taken possession of Union Bank in a move which caught by surprise many of its customers yesterday as they found all its branches, including the head office sealed off by armed para-military police.’

Mr Chairman, the people of Zambia are saying, 'why is the Government keeping quiet?' I seek your serious ruling on this matter as to whether the Government is in order to keep quiet when a bank like this one goes under. I wish to lay the paper on the Table, Sir.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Who wants to buy it on the other side?

Major Kamanga: laid the paper on the Table.

The Deputy Chairman: In that point of order by the hon. Member for Lumezi which refers to an article in the newspaper, the Government is being asked to shed some light as to what has happened to Union Bank. The Chair is not quite certain as to whether the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs, as he winds up, will be able to shed light or whether, in fact, we should wait until the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is requested to make a statement. I, certainly, find myself in a difficult situation because I do not have the answers. I will, therefore, refer this to the Government so that they can come up, at a later stage, with an explanation so that it clears the air to the general public, particularly those who may be affected by the closure of the bank.

Will the hon. Member, please, continue.

Dr Kabanje: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I was arguing that the Office of the Administrator-General is one which is more logically poised for commercialisation because it has the inherent capacity to generate funds. I am disappointed that up to this time it has not been given an autonomous status in order for it to rise from the more or less graveyard condition that it is at present in. I would not like to comment much on the Department of Legal Aid because having worked there, I feel so sorry that year in and year out, it is the same story, lamenting over the miserable conditions, lack of furniture, office equipment and so on and so forth. I wonder whether we are, actually, seriously committed to this department. Mr Chairman, I would like to see better funding for the Department of Legal Aid. 

Related to the issue of human rights, Mr Chairman, is the need now to re-visit the Local Courts Act with a view to allowing legal representation where necessary in civil cases. At present this is not allowed. 

Mr Chairman, I move to an important point. I had said that the hon. Minister was involved in very important litigation which was completely unnecessary. This arose after the Mwanakatwe Constitutional Review Commission which was meant to give us a Constitution that would stand the test of time. Unfortunately, up to this time, we are still waiting for that Constitution to be passed in Parliament. Mr Chairman, the heart of the Constitution is the Bill of Rights. What this Government did was merely to get a few paragraphs like the citizenship clause which led us to serious litigation and also ...

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

Mr Patel: Mr Chairman, one of the areas of responsibility under the Ministry of Legal Affairs is good governance and I recall very vividly that the hon. Minister addressed a CG meeting last year where he did make a number of commitments but these commitments, obviously, are based on the fact that we are able to source the financing that is required for a number of years because good governance is a long-term project. However, there are a number of areas which the hon. Minister himself acknowledged that can be put through without the need for foreign resources, that is amendment of legislation, issues of Freedom of Information Act and so on. 

The other part I would like to concentrate on during this short debate, again on good governance, maybe, the hon. and learned Minister can express his views and opinions very candidly on this, what is a Constitution? What does it mean to the people of our country? What does it mean when people say it stands the test of time? I do not seem to understand all that because if you look at our history, 1964 then we go down to the 1970s and the 1990s and now, it always seems to be that every time there is general election, there is a constitutional amendment. So, I want him to express in simple English that not only the hon. Members of this House, but the general public can understand. What is a Constitution, what does it mean, what does the majority mean? When you say, the will of the people, the majority, what do all those things mean to us? I really want him to express these opinions very candidly to us.

The other issues are what the hon. Member who spoke earlier than me talked about and that is the real submissions that came out from the previous Commission have not come out in the current Constitution. Again, there is anxiety. every five or ten years, and this anxiety is born out of those who have power at that time because there happens to be this friction and attitude and view that there are things that need to be changed.

I do hope that he will expand on these issues very candidly so that the citizenry of our country is at peace and will understand that we have a Constitution which is supposed to be changed every ten years. Is it for the people or is it for one individual? And where does his mandate come from? How are these majorities and minorities views put together?

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Chairman, I wish to briefly make reference to a number of issues, some of which my colleagues have already touched on.

I wish to say that this Ministry of Legal Affairs is the ministry  of justice, in other places. It is the repository of our Constitution and of good governance. This is the place where we can run to and expect to find justice. Because of that, the institutions that make it up are very important and my colleagues have made statements about the number of constitutional offices that are incorporated in this ministry and I think that is the way it should be. 

However, there is another side of this ministry’s responsibility, and that is the issue of how we ensure that many of our citizens have access to justice, especially as regards the higher courts, the High Court and the Supreme Court.

Mr Chairman, I am particularly referring to the Legal Aid Department. I am aware, Sir, and I am sure that the hon. Minister will probably enlighten us a bit more about this, that many times a lot of cases are delayed in the courts because of lack of representation. The lawyers that serve in the Legal Aid Department are stretched to the limits and, therefore, they are not readily available to represent citizens that need this assistance but cannot afford it. I know that the hon. Minister has exercised his mind on this particular issue. What I would like to hear from the hon. Minister is: how are we going to get out of these difficulties because on the one hand, he has lawyers that require to be paid competitive salaries and in the private sector, they can afford to get very high salaries? Therefore, the ministry is only able to attract freshly graduated lawyers. 

Similarly, Sir, the ministry, itself, has had to make some special dispensation in adjusting salaries but even that has not been enough for the ministry to retain sufficient personnel. This, Sir, has affected the ability of the ministry to provide advice to other ministries, especially the ones that are involved in a large volume of contracts. I would like to suggest that if funds permit, it would have been better that some of the major ministries where there are a lot of legal implications and legal agreements being undertaken, should have members from the Attorney-General's Chambers located within them. Maybe, that could have helped to avoid the situation we were debating last term of moneys being expended which we can never recover because of bad agreements.

I also note, Sir, that frequently there are delays in receiving instructions from the Office of the Director of Prosecutions because he too, or she too, may not have sufficient personnel to help clear his desk. So, Mr Chairman, one is left wondering as to how we can enhance the effectiveness of justice and transparency in accountability and ensuring that this good governance we keep talking about, is seen to be exercised or done because it is one thing to talk about good governance and quite another, to have access to good governance. I wish the hon. Minister would indicate to us how he is progressing on the good governance document and how far we have gone in implementing some of those provisions as he responds. 

Indeed, I was a member of the group of people that attended the discussion of the Good Governance Document at Mulungushi and the hon. Minister did make several commitments. And I would like to hear how the ministry is fairing in implementing those particular requirements.

I also know that many times when witnesses appear before our Committees, they always complain about the delays they experience in the Ministry of Legal Affairs drafting the laws that they require. Could it not be possible that this department could be spun off as has been promised to try and make them more efficient by enhancing the salaries and conditions of service that can be paid to the lawyers who, at the moment, are commanding very high salaries.

Mr Chairman, it would be helpful to see whether we can really get down to implementing the things that we have pronounced as very good because if we cannot implement them, they are as good as not having been made in the first place.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I have a number of issues that I would like to raise with the hon. learned Minister of Legal Affairs that as he winds up the debate on this very important ministry, he should touch on some of these issues that affect the feelings and wishes of our ordinary people.

There has been total silence on the part of the Government on a number of eminent people who have been killed in this country and there have been no reports as to what exactly happened, like Mr Baldwin Nkumbula, Mr Ronald Penza who died really mysteriously and there has been no report. This ministry is a custodian of our human rights ...

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Peter Lishika.

Mr Sibetta: Yes, I agree with you, Mr Peter Lishika and Richard Ngenda.

These people ...

Mr Mwaanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Chairman, I am getting worried about the line of debate of the hon. Member. He has referred to the fact that prominent people have died including the late Hon. Baldwin Nkumbula. Is he in order to say that, when in fact, there was a public commission of inquiry which issued a report on which members of the Nkumbula family sat and it is a public document which can be bought from the Government Printer. Is he in order to begin misleading the House in this manner?

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: What about Peter Lishika and Richard Ngenda?

The Deputy Chairman: In that point of order by the Chief Whip, the hon. Member for Luena is being reminded that after the appointment of the commission of inquiry into the unfortunate death of Mr. Baldwin Nkumbula, a report has since been produced which is available for public consumption. So, he is advised to get hold of that report and get a few ideas from there. 

Will he, please, continue.

Mr Sibetta: I am highly indebted to you, Mr Chairman, and to the Chief Whip. I was not aware that there is a public report on the death of the late Hon. Nkumbula.

However, there are still many more eminent people who have been killed and the ministry should afford this country reports. Even disasters like the Gabon Disaster, there was a study to tell the country what led to the Gabon Disaster. We cannot go on until the end of the life of this Parliament, without the Government favouring this country with a reply to what actually led to the death of our national team.

Furthermore, people get worried, Mr Chairman, when a hon. Minister, for example, kills a lawyer at a pub and he is sentenced to ten years and in less than three years ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours. 

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, when business was suspended, I was proceeding on the theme of human rights, and was asking the hon. Minister that when he winds up debate on this very important ministry which is a custodian of our human rights, he should revisit some of the major matters that have taken place or some disasters for which we have not received reports. And in particular, I was at the point where I was saying, when one of the hon. Ministers killed somebody, he remained on the payroll and there was no by-election even when the sentence was passed by the court. Yet, the Members of the Opposition, like Hon. Tetamashimba and Hon. Kangwa had just a little dispute among themselves in their party, and they would have been unseated quickly had they not sought recourse to the courts of law. 

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: And Hinamanjolo!

Mr Sibetta: I feel that these matters should be looked into because in a democracy, no matter whether a matter has taken ten years, a report still has to come. People have got to be told. When we make appointments of members on a commission to probe a murder, avoid putting relatives of those who have been killed. It should be unbiased individual citizens who have no interest in the matter so that we build the human rights and democracy of our nation.

The Deputy Chairman: If the Member of Parliament for Luena cared to look at the Order Paper, he is now beginning to discuss the Human Rights Commission which is a completely different Head. Most of the contributions he has made would better be brought up under the Human Rights Commission, not the Ministry of Legal Affairs. 

Will he be more relevant and continue, please.

Mr Sibetta: I thank you. I am not lost. I feel that good governance, Sir, is part of the ministry.


Mr Sibetta: Therefore, I feel that even when there is a list of people who are being pardoned at independence celebrations, I think time now has come that we have a Human Rights Committee of this House which should be able to probe that list and look at it so that we are able to build on a firm foundation as a young democracy. There are likely to be ...

Mr Luhila: Favouritism!

Mr Sibetta: ... mistakes. 

We can learn from what has happened in another country, the USA. There is a case now before one of the Committees of the House of Congress, the Justice Committee, where an out-going President has pardoned a run-away millionaire who is running away from tax obligations. The House is saying the out-going President has to come to testify why he had to do such a thing. That is democracy. Even for this nation, old as it is, some of these cases, I wish to take the opportunity to remind the hon. Minister and the Government, ...

Mr Zimba: You are lost!

Mr Sibetta: I am not rubbing salt in your wound. I know you are wounded.


Mr Sibetta: Keep quiet. I am talking to the Chair.


Hon. Opposition Members: Go back to the union!

Mr Sibetta: I am not asking the hon. Minister to review your second marriage ...


Mr Sibetta: ... whether you have titles to this marriage ...


Mr Tetamashimba: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

The Deputy Chairman: Order!


The Deputy Chairman: The Member of Parliament for Luena is accusing the Chair of having a second marriage, ...


The Deputy Chairman: ... and trying to review my second marriage. I do not have one.


The Deputy Chairman: Will you, please, refer to the Vote before the House and stop talking about imaginary marriages around.


The Deputy Chairman: Will you continue, please.


Mr Sibetta: I am sorry, Mr Chairman. I could see my old friend, the Minister Without Portfolio, who is in Grade 3, about this topic.


Mr Sibetta: He was worried that I might charge on him.


Mr Sibetta: I am not going to come to you on this matter, I will spare you. 

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.


Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Mr Chairman, thank you very much for allowing me to contribute to this debate.

First and foremost, I must thank the hon. Minister and the members in his office for being very professional. Specifically, I would mention people like the Attorney-General who, if he was like some civil servants we have seen, obviously people would have been saying that Hon. Tetamashimba ‘was’ in this House. That is the professionalism that we would want to see in your offices, our colleagues in the Front Bench.

Mr Chairman, when there was this landmark decision by the Supreme Court on the petition by the Opposition against the Head of State, as a layman, Mr Chairman, what I understood by the decision of the Supreme Court was that anybody who was in Zambia by 24th October, 1964, is Zambian and can aspire to the position of President. If that is correct, Mr Chairman, we really wonder why some people who have been in Zambia for more than forty years, an example is Mr Ticklay, can be actually given an air ticket without the family knowing. Really, what was this landmark decision? Can we know whether it is true or not that anybody who was here in 1964 qualifies to be a Zambian.

Mr L. L. Phiri: William Banda and Chinula!

Mr Tetamashimba: I am sure those come from Malawi. They do not come from Congo.

Mr Chairman, the other thing that I wanted to say, really, is on what is happening in our country. We would have loved that change of the Constitution to be brought as fast as possible. Today, we hear that even issues which are supposed to be forgotten like that of the ‘Third Term’, cadres, especially in the MMD, are already saying they will bring it here. I know that we are going to reject it, Mr Chairman. We would like to find out from the hon. Minister so that our colleagues who may be from outside ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! The hon. Member for Solwezi West should not try to cross the bridge until he comes to it. And so the question of 'Third Term' outside this House and in this House is not an issue as far as we are concerned. So, please, desist from referring to it and debate on other issues.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Chairman, I was just saying that issues which are not controversial in the Constitution should not be a subject of people, especially those outside this House. So, we would really want to know and put this to rest. About our colleagues who came from outside and were in Zambia in 1964, I will be glad if the hon. Minister can clarify what the hon. Nominated Member (Mr Musakabantu) was saying the other day, of allowing foreigners who have been living here and putting up businesses being given citizenship.

Mr Chairman, the other thing I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister is that there are some people in my constituency who have been telling me that their husbands have been in the country for about ten years but they are finding difficulties to make their husbands citizens. They claim that it is easy for men who are married to foreigners to get citizenship for their wives. So, Sir, I will be grateful if our hon. Minister, who starting from yesterday has had a lot of showers of praise put on him, could clarify this. I also wish to say the same that you are doing very fine and we hope that as we go to November, we shall be together in the box.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyangwe (Chifubu): Mr Chairman, I stand to support the Vote. Sir, in supporting the it, I would like to urge the ministry to stiffen the law on child abusers.

Mr Chairman, we are ignoring the rights of our children and only talking about other issues which are not even on the Floor of the House. Our children are the future leaders of this nation and, therefore, we should protect them.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sinyangwe: Mr Chairman, we should enact laws which will see to it that the children are protected. It is very common these days to hear people abusing the rights of the children by having carnal knowledge of them. After this act, the children will be tortured until they are adults. So, Sir, I would like the Ministry of Legal Affairs to introduce stiffer laws concerning child abusers. Sir, people are not stopping this practice because the laws are too soft.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sinyangwe: Sir, the people who abuse children are not supposed to live amongst ordinary people. They are supposed to be locked up for life, they should not just be given ten year sentences because it is nothing. Sir, a person who has been abused will not forget what happened to her on the day the act was done.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education (Brigadier-General Miyanda): Mr Chairman, during tea break, I considered that I let the matter pass.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika (Mongu): Mr Chairman, I am happy to note that the hon. Minister is fully awake and I will need your help to make sure that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services faces you instead of all the time facing this side.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, I know he is longing to be here where there is a lot of freedom and our conscience is clear but if he wants to cross over, he can do it publicly but not just making commentaries everyday and looking and longing .


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, the Chambers Concise Dictionary defines legal as pertaining or according to law or created by law, strict adherence to the law. I know that the hon. Minister, who is also a very learned colleague, knows this definition very well but I repeated it for myself as a lay person and my plea to him is that we must see this in practice.

Dr Kabanje: Hear, hear!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: We need to see the adherence to the law in our daily lives. The Zambians need to relate to it. What is written and what is done should not be in contradiction, when the definitions are there to guide us, we hope the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs will help us to stick to those laws in our thoughts, ways and deeds. And remember we are opening up doors for the next generation and so we should not confuse them.

Mr Chairman, I would like to remind the hon. Minister of the vows he made to the Lord and my advice to him is to stick to them and he knows very well that in the Holy Book that he and I read, it says that bad company spoils good morals. This job that he has, he really needs good company so that he can stay on the course.

Dr Kabanje: Hear, hear!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, we are a bit confused because in reality, some of us feel that we have been re-colonised, we are not free. It appears that in practice and in reality, not all of us are equal in this country. Some people seem to be more equal than others and yet in theory we read that all of us, citizens, are equal before the law. We need your help to make sure that the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs makes this reality true in practical daily life so that some of the activities and events that happen do not portray the image that some people are more equal than others. Otherwise, we feel like we are slaves in this country. Sir, maybe, I can give an animal illustration that we are being bullied by hyenas, wolves and chameleons and so we are not free. 

Mr Chairman, the late former Vice-President of Kenya felt very strongly on this issue and wrote a book called ‘Not Yet Uhuru’ which means that we are not yet free. In some cases, it appears that we are even going backwards.

Mr Chairman, my other comment is to make sure that the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs gets rid of archaic laws that continue the discrimination. We know that in this era of multi-partism, we really should not be having police permits. For example, when the house rises and I go back to my constituency, in order for me to talk to my constituents I have to apply for a police permit, even for an in-door meeting.

Hon. Members: Shame!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, it is not only that. To get the police permit, I have to supply my own stationery to the police and they ask for many copies and I have to do that each time. Can I really say that I am free if as an elected Member of Parliament, I cannot even brief the people who sent me here unless I go to get a police permit and even then I have to supply the whole police department with my stationery and on top of that they demand many copies. Is it being free?

Mr Chairman, one day I was leading a seminar on prayer for a church congregation which asked me to do that. We had to have a police permit for that and during that seminar the police came three times to the venue. They were asking whether the permit was for a Christian seminar and the organisers said yes. Then the police said, ‘If this is a Christian seminar, what is Inonge doing in there?’ They came three times in a police vehicle. I was a Christian long before I was a politician. Am I free? Can I not even share my experiences? I have worked in many places and I need to share. Even to have a workshop, I have got to have a police permit.

Mr Chairman, I would like to also say that I was disappointed that the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs or the colleagues that were in his office did not help us, in 1996, to ensure that the Supreme Law of the land, the Constitution, has special protective clauses and rights for children and women. We did the homework for the Government. We called for the experts and made all these suggestions. I even laid these papers on the Table to make it easier for the Government but they ignored all that. The surrounding neighbours that we helped to be independent, have specific clauses for children and women, but we do not have.

Mr Chairman, I also believe that some members of our community, like disabled persons and very old people, do not feel that they are part and parcel of this country because they are not highlighted in the Constitution. Most of our laws do not address their problems. They are not protected. Therefore, I want to support and emphasise what the hon. Member of Parliament for Mangango Constituency, Mr Shumina, said about the old people. We need to protect them. They have rights. In fact, as the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs may know, the OAU, now, has got a policy on the aged. Can he brief us on Zambia’s stand. We have too many old people who are destitute.

Mr Chairman, yesterday, the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs was giving us some very important historical happenings of 1991. He told us that twelve hon. Members crossed the Floor and changed parties. However, in 1993, twelve people tried to do the same thing and the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs was there with his colleagues. Suddenly, the rules were changed.

Dr Kabanje: Shame!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: In his answer, I do not want him to go meandering and giving us examples out of the football ground. We would like direct answers. It confuses us. We were told that in law, you go by precedents. We do not expect hon. Members of the legal profession to change, whether they are in Government or not. They need to make sure that precedence is there. We got confused in 1991 when twelve people crossed the Floor and it was all right. Two years later, twelve people wanted to cross the Floor, suddenly it is not all right. You are confusing us. Some of us are old. We cannot go to law school again. So, just lead by example.

Mr Chairman, I would also like the hon. Minister to confirm that the former Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr Rodger Chongwe has actually won his case with the OAU Human Rights Tribunal, on having been wounded through shooting by police in Kabwe. Can he also confirm that ZRA pounced on him and all his properties were auctioned because of some of his commentary and writing as a person born and bred in this country.

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

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Mr Simasiku): Mr Chairman, I just want to comment on two issues. There is absolute need for citizens to understand that laws are meant to be applied equally to the rich, poor, the famous and those who are not famous.

I want to state, Mr Chairman, that for some people to think that laws must be bent to fit those who they think are economically strong, it is wrong. I want to refer to a case that has been mentioned here of a Mr Ticklay. Even in the United Kingdom, we have a case of laws regarding status of citizenship where Mohammed al Fayed, one of the richest men in the whole world and a billionaire of pounds, not ...

Hon. Members: Kwacha!


Mr Simasiku: He has struggled. In Kwacha terms, everyone is a millionaire in this country. All you need is to have a car and house. That is worth millions.

Mr Chairman, this man has struggled to obtain British citizenship. He has not got it. The owner of Harrods shops and one of the biggest turn-overs in the whole world. Now, here people are saying because Mr Ticklay owns minibuses, why have we not given him citizenship? Let us look at history. For forty-six years he has been living in a country without getting citizenship. Whom are you going to blame? He said it himself. He applied for citizenship in the First Republic, he did not get it. In the Second Republic, he did not and in the Third Republic, he did not get it. So, there must be something wrong somewhere. It is not for you and me to say. 

So, Mr Chairman, let us not be irrational about such issues. Let us look at an issue as it is and not jump to conclusions. Our laws and their formulation, as approved by this House, are straightforward.

Finally, Mr Chairman, a number of sentiments have been expressed. The hon. Member of Parliament for Chifubu Constituency (Mr Sinyangwe) is complaining of certain laws that are weak on children who are violated. This is a very sad story. I agree with his sentiments. A number of organisations have also voiced this and, indeed, even Government officials have, on a number of times, spoken about the inadequate provisions in the laws. Sometimes the provisions are there but it depends on the interpretation by those who are charged with their interpretation, the Judiciary. As regards the review of these laws, I really want to support this because it is inhuman for people to rape children of two, three etc, years. old, I think this should not be allowed.

Equally, we must review the laws of those who go and dig up graves. In our statutes, the English laws only limit themselves to trespassing the grave yard. But people are digging up and robbing bodies. It is not just theft. This is abominable in our African Society.

So, I think it is better to bring up stiffer punishment. We hope people out there will not cry foul when punitive laws are reviewed to make them very stiff. We have been complaining of laws on motor vehicle thefts. When the Government responds, some people again are saying this and that. Let us be sincere all the time even if it does not suit us.

I beg to support the Vote.

Thank you, Mr Chairman

The Minister of Legal Affairs (Mr Malambo): Mr Chairman, I am indebted to you for the opportunity to wind up debate on the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

I have been greatly enriched by the debate that has ensued on the Budget of this ministry. Many important points have been made and I have dutifully taken note of all of them. I will, Sir, like I did yesterday, begin by responding to the questions and the concerns that the hon. Members of the House have raised.

I am grateful to you Hon. Simasiku for your support and for the important points you raised about stiffening punishment for some of the offences that are becoming current and we need to deal with them with certainty.

This also applies to issues that relate to defilement and rape. I just want to assure the House that the problem, really, here is not so much the law but the way the law is applied. Currently, the offence of defilement is punishable by life imprisonment. So, one would wish that the courts would respond to the concerns of the law-makers who made the law that they would like to see some cases setting examples and precedent by them exercising the authority already given in the statute books to sentence people to more stiffer penalties. This, in fact, is already happening and because of changed views. I believe that we should be able to make improvements in this area.

The hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu (Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika) raised a few issues and they are extremely important. But, I feel a little inadequate to comment on issues of old people’s policy in Zambia because I am not in charge of old people. I believe that when the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare responsible for this issue comes in, he should be able to adequately deal with these issues.

On the issue of crossing the Floor which you insist on seeking an answer to, we are not dealing with two sets of circumstances that were similar. In 1991, we were dealing with a totally different constitution and in 1993, we were also dealing with a totally different constitution. In the 1991 Constitution, the issues relating to crossing the Floor were dealt with particularly. So, the decisions that were made in 1993 were, in fact, correct.

Adherence to the rule of law and equality before the rule of law - the issues of constitutionalism- are extremely important and they are some of the issues that my ministry is charged to promote.

Equality before the law, Sir, is one of the cornerstones of democracy. It is one of the fundamental values that underpin what we believe in, not only as a Government, but as a people. There is nobody who is above the law and who should be treated differently when they come in front of the law or courts because of their status. These are issues that are fundamental and which we will guarantee to maintain and keep. These are the issues that are of concern to you, Hon. Mbikusita-Lewanika. We will endeavour to deal with laws which is an ongoing process through our law revision policy. Those laws that are discriminatory and no longer efficacious will be dealt with through the normal process of law revision.

But I have had an opportunity to deal with your concern of the Public Order Act and I would like to repeat now that the Public Order Act is a necessary piece of legislation. That piece of legislation is likely to be with us for a very long time to come. When you look at the contents of that Act, in fact, there is very little criticism you can level against it. The problem is in the manner that the police on the ground are applying it. We will endeavour to issue explanatory notes to the police on the implementation of this Act so that there is uniformity throughout the country and its administration does not depend on wishes of a particular police officer in one corner of the country. I believe that this is important. It levels the playing field and ensures equality before the law.

Mr Chairman, the issue of citizenship that the hon. Member for Solwezi West raised was misinterpreted and it is a very serious issue. The Supreme Court did not say that everybody who was in Zambia or Northern Rhodesia in 1964 automatically became a Zambian citizen. That is not what they said. Citizenship laws are extremely complex but I can explain in very simple language what the Supreme Court said. People who were called British-protected persons in 1964 became citizens.

Those who had citizenship of other countries in 1964 did not become Zambians by that law. And so there are many people who were here in 1964 who had citizenship of other countries like British passports, Malawian passports and Tanzanian passports. Just because they were in Zambia on independence day, did not qualify them to automatically become Zambian citizens. So, it is an issue that you need to be very careful about. 

I was listening very attentively to Hon. Sibetta but I am not really sure whether he wants me to respond to the issues that he raised. Issues of reports are dealt with not by my ministry but by Cabinet Office because the Inquiries Act is not administered by the Ministry of Legal Affairs. That is an Act that is administered directly under Cabinet Office by the President. And so, issues of release of reports, and issues of getting commissions of inquiry to sit is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

I also listened to Hon. Sichinga who, as usual, is very substantive in his debate. I concede the issues that relate to Legal Aid. Legal Aid is an extremely important institution in the Ministry of Legal Affairs. This is the department that ensures that the people without money are able to access justice and quality justice. The hon. Members were very eloquently able to re-state some of the problems the department is going through. I just want to let you know that we are aware of these problems. That is why only last year, hon. Members of this House passed an amendment to the Legal Aid Act which enables us to involve much more people in the provision of legal aid other than just lawyers in the ministry or in the Department of Legal Aid. We now have a legal framework within which we can out source legal services from legal practitioners who would be paid, who the Government or the Legal Aid fund would be able to remunerate for the work that they will be doing. And so, we are in the process of implementing reform in the Department of Legal Aid and this will be done.

Let me state one very important point. There is no Government department that is authorised to enter into a contract with another body or any public body in which the Government has an interest that is authorised to conclude a contract without the advice of the Attorney-General. This is illegal and I want to re-state here and now that if in future a Government department does conclude a contract without the authority of the Attorney-General, we will insist on the officers that are responsible to make good themselves the loss that may incur to GRZ. We will not be able to defend cases that people know or knowingly commit and then lumber us with work that we should not be saddled with.

Mr Chairman, I would like to deal with the issues of good governance and how we implement it as the last issue that I deal with. And so, those that raised this issue pardon me as I would handle it as my last subject.

I heard, Hon. Dr Kabanje, your concerns about the Zambia Law Development Commission. There was never a decision made to abolish the Zambia Law Development Commission. There was never such a decision. This is an important institution.

Hon. Opposition Member: But they are sharing offices.

Mr Malambo: Yes, but you do make the point and that is true that they are now sharing offices with the Director of Public Prosecutions. I made a decision to bring the Director of Public Prosecutions into the offices where the Zambia Law Development Commission are after the DPP was evicted from the rented offices that they were occupying because of the inability of the Government to pay rent. It was a pragmatic decision and a decision that was intended to continue the operations of the DPP who are an extremely important department in the Government and I made that decision and I take responsibility for it.

Mr Sibetta: How are you going to do the feeder roads?

Mr Sata: The Minister of Legal Affairs does not do feeder roads.


Mr Malambo: I have dealt with the issues that were raised by Hon. Museba. Hon. Luhila particularly belaboured the issue of the Government losing cases and you are worried about it. There are many reasons that may lead to a case being lost. If a case is bad, it does not matter which lawyer you hire. You will lose a case if it is not defensible. The case of Callington is presently being pursued by this Government using a London Firm of Lawyers in the London Court of Arbitration. We are determined to recover this money and we have no intention at all of relenting.

Mr Sata: More especially if you hire Dr Sondashi.


Mr Malambo: Hon. Shumina, I listened to you on your confusion relating to the law on witchcraft. I think what you failed to distinguish was the difference between a wizard and a witch finder. Those are two separate things. It is an a offence to name a person a witch ...

Mr Sata: Like Sibetta does to me.

Mr Malambo: It is also an offence for someone to go around in the villages looking for witches ...

Mr Shumina: That is what they do.

Mr Malambo: That is an offence and so, you cannot blame the law for ostracising that. It is an offence to go around villages and calling everybody a witch. The police are entitled to arrest both.

Mr Shumina: But the chief promotes that.

Mr Malambo: Yes, when the chief does that, they should know that they are committing an offence under the Witchcraft Act and the police are entitled to so act.

Mr Chairman, I did say that one of the important aspects of the work of the Ministry of Legal Affairs is that relating to the promotion of good governance and, specifically, the ministry was given the task to develop a policy and to capture the ideas and beliefs of the Zambian people in a document that is implementable. This document, Sir, was launched by the President of the Republic of Zambia on the 31st of March, last year. This programme, Sir, is intended to help the Government focus its attention on building institutional capacity. The capacity of institutions, Sir, is absolutely important. One of the problems of this country or Africa, in general, has been its reliance on human beings or its reliance on individuals to move countries forward instead of relying on institutions of the Government.

Mr Chairman, I have stated before and I want to state, again, what the Zambian people need are not good men in the Government but good institutions of Government and that is what we should be concentrating on building in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear, very good.

Mr Malambo: This is a high priority subject of the Government and a project on which I seek the support of you, my colleagues, in this House. 

Hon. Dipak Patel, the Constitution is a supreme law of the land and is expected to have the basis of permanency. It is that in which we have reposed our beliefs and fundamental values as a country. If it is not going to be permanent, then it shows that there is some problem in the manner in which we evolve our Constitution.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear, Long live!

Mr Malambo: It has nothing to do with three or four terms, this is a fundamental issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! We are winning!

Mr Nkabika: Not bangwele imwe!

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)

The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 15th February, 2001.