Debates- Friday, 9th February, 2001

Printer Friendly and PDF


Friday, 9th February, 2001

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]







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

On Tuesday, 13th February, 2001, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and consider the following Heads ...

Mr Kayope entered the Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Members: Chilombo, Chilombo!

Mr Speaker: Order! May His Honour the Vice President continue, please.

The Vice-President: Congratulations, hon. Ministers. The House will consider the following Heads: 

Head 30, - Office of the Minister Without Portfolio;
Head 31 -  Ministry of Legal Affairs; and
Head 33, - Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 14th February, 2001, the business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will also consider private Members’ motions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads:

Head 34 - Human Rights Commission; and
Head 37 - Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 15th February, 2001, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any, followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads:

Head 44 - Ministry of Labour and Social Security;
Head 45 - Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare;         and
Head 46 - Ministry of Health.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 16th February, 2001, the business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads:

Head 51 - Ministry of Communications and Transport; and
Head 64 - Ministry of Works and Supply.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Saviye): Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to thank you for giving me this opportunity. I rise to respond to a point of order raised on 29th January, 2001, by the hon. Member for Solwezi West (Mr Tetamashimba) in this House regarding the advertisement by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO) on the requirement for applicants to be fluent in the Bemba language for temporal employment in the customer campaign in the mine townships on the Copperbelt.

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this august House that following the final sale of the remaining ZCCM assets on 31st March, 2000, ZESCO took over the responsibility of supplying electricity to all the townships on the Copperbelt which had hitherto been supplied by ZCCM, the employers of the miners.

Mr Speaker, this development implied that all residents in these mine townships automatically became ZESCO customers as ZESCO would forthwith supply the electricity to them. Hon. Members of the House will recall that with the sale of the mines, all the mine housing stock was sold to sitting tenants who were either serving or retired employees. During the period that ZCCM was supplying electricity to these mine townships, it used to provide free electricity to the mine employees. After the sale of the mines, mine employees were expected to meet the cost of electricity themselves by paying directly to ZESCO.

Since the mine employees were used to receiving free electricity, ZESCO management expected customer resistance from these employees to meet their electricity bills when they fall due. In order to overcome this customer resistance, ZESCO management decided to carry out an intensive door-to-door customer campaign to sensitise the customers on the need for them to pay their bills.

Mr Speaker, to effectively execute this customer campaign, ZESCO decided to recruit Grade 12 school leavers on temporal basis and train them to carry out this customer campaign in the mine townships. To ensure the success of the campaigns, the issue of the communication medium was considered to be very important. ZESCO management observed that the majority of the people in these townships would be able to understand or speak simple English and Bemba languages when spoken to since Bemba is a widely spoken language on the Copperbelt. It was purely for this need for proper and unimpeded communication that Bemba was put as a requirement in the advertisement to recruit temporal staff to carry out the customer campaign in the mine townships on the Copperbelt. 

However, having investigated and discussed the matter with ZESCO management, I have directed ZESCO to do the following:

    (i)    Withdraw the advertisement to recruit temporal employees with the requirement of being able to speak Bemba fluently.

    (ii)    Re-advertise to recruit temporal employees to carry out the door-to-door education campaign for Copperbelt mine townships.

    (iii)    Carry out the education campaign in all vernacular languages on radio and television.

    (iv)    Have ZESCO management explain on the radio and television the necessity of the education campaign.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Saviye: Mr Speaker, it was in this vein that I decided to correct this impression. However, I did take note that it was an anomaly and this is the stand that we have taken as a ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may, now, raise questions which may assist the hon. Minister clarify issues that have been raised in his ministerial statement.

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I must thank the Government for having come out clearly, especially the hon. Minister. 

Mr Speaker, since I believe that his management, even before the ministerial statement, went ahead and withdrew the advertisement without waiting for Mr Speaker’s ruling, what system is going to be used to ensure that the hundred people who are going to be employed will not be from one tribe?

Mr Saviye: Mr Speaker, the policy of the Government is not based on tribal lines, but on the unity of the country. ZESCO management has been instructed and has a committee that will sit and look at the applications of the applicants throughout the country.

Thank you, Sir.




Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipata) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing how many Chiefs in Zambia are:

    (i)    Paramount Chiefs;
    (ii)    Senior Chiefs; and
    (iii)    Junior Chiefs.

The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, we seek your indulgence. The hon. Minister is not here. Neither is his Deputy Minister here and they have not sent me the papers. I request that this Question be brought up at a later stage.

Mr Speaker: The Question has lapsed.


13. Miss Malama (Chipata) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services when the Zambia Information Services and the Zambia News Agency will be merged.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr Mando): Mr Speaker, the Government, under the Public Sector Reform Programme (PSRP) is currently restructuring all Government ministries and departments to make them lean and affordable. This way, institutions will be more responsive to public expectations and deliver services to the people more efficiently and effectively.

Sir, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is one such institution where the process of merging of the Zambia Information Services and the Zambia News Agency has reached an advanced stage. A Cabinet memorandum on the proposed restructuring is awaiting Cabinet approval.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Speaker, from the hon. Minister’s explanation and bearing in mind that the performance of both institutions is below expectation, is it possible for him to give a time frame when this reform will be done so that the Zambians and the entire community and the nation at large can get the benefits that are so much required.

Mr Mando: Mr Speaker, I did indicate in my reply that this has reached a very advanced stage.

I thank you, Sir.

14. Mr Kapangalwendo (Chinsali) asked the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development when power will be connected from Mundu to Mbesuma Ranch in the Chinsali Parliamentary Constituency.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Saviye): Mr Speaker, in response to the question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chinsali Constituency, I wish to state that the estimated cost for the project, the Mundu to Mbesuma Ranch, as at June 1998, was K2,433,100,000.

The scope of the project entails undertaking the construction of a 94 kilometre overhead line of 33 kv from Mundu to Mbesuma Ranch through designated power connection points enroute.

The hon. Member may wish to know that implementation of the projects like this one has been hindered by the erratic releases of funds to the rural electrification projects. However, the project is one of those which are receiving very careful consideration. If funds improve this year, we will provide the money so that the project can be undertaken.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapangalwendo: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister clarify why recent projects have been funded.

Mr Saviye: Mr Speaker, I do not know what he means by recent projects because we have well over thirty projects. We are going through all the projects according to the schedule and also according to the availability of funds.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    what the findings of a committee that was appointed by the President, in September, 1999 to inquire into the problems of the Eastern Co-operative Union were ;

(b)    what the recommendations of the above mentioned Committee were; and

(c)    when the report will be made available to members of the public.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Mr Chikamba): Mr Speaker, my ministry is not aware of a committee appointed by the President, in September, 1999 to inquire into the problems of the Eastern Co-operative Union. As such, I am unable to report on the findings as requested.

Thank you, Sir.




VOTE 17/01 - (Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Headquarters - K56,014,659,898)

(Consideration resumed)

Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for affording me this opportunity to continue.

Mr Chairman, before I continue on what I was saying yesterday, I would like to recognise that there have been changes in the House. I would like to congratulate Hon. Chilombo for having got it at last after a lot of attempts and I am just encouraging him to take it easy, even if it will be for a few days or months. I have known him to be emotional, he should be calm because he is no longer a man of the canons.

May I also congratulate my big man, Intungulushi - Hon. Kayope, who has now taken the full Cabinet ministerial post. I have some advice for him. This is that he has been exposed in the Front Bench, and as such it removes the advantage of hiding behind Ministers. So, he should stop dozing.


Mr L. L. Phiri: We are not going to give him the chance to sleep in the Front Bench.


Mr Walubita: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Walubita: I rise on a very serious point of order. Before, I raise a point of order, I would like to congratulate my hon. Deputy Minister for coming to the Front Bench. Is Hon. Lucas Phiri in order to downgrade, ridicule and embarrass the newly appointed Cabinet colleague, by using a very unparliamentary word, ‘dozing’ and alleging that the newly appointed Cabinet colleague should stop ‘dozing’? I thought this is quite embarrassing and I request for your serious ruling on this matter.

The Deputy Chairman: Before the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs stood up to raise that point of order, I was about to actually call the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipangali to order for making that statement against the newly appointed Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training. The hon. Member of Parliament for Chipangali is well aware that dozing off is very natural and it is appropriate at certain times. There is nothing wrong about it because we all doze off at one stage or another.

So, he was out of order to, specifically insinuate that against the newly appointed Minister as if to say it is a criminal offense to doze off. It is not a criminal offence.

Will the hon. Member, please, continue and take note of that.

Mr L. L. Phiri: I meant well to advise my big man. I would only encourage and ask Hon. Chikakula Banda to invite the hon. Minister of Science and Technology to Katete so that he is introduced to our traditional rituals of Gule wa mukulu. He will stop praying all the time and stop sleeping.


The Deputy Chairman: Order! The hon. Member for Chipangali is out of order. Will he, please, withdraw that because he is disqualifying the ruling of the Chair.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I withdraw.

Mr Sata: Can you withdraw and apologise.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I just withdraw because I have not tackled Hon. Sata. Hon. Sata should just hold on, I will come to him.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, before we adjourned yesterday, I was advising my Government that of late, the calibre of the people sent on Missions Abroad have not been impressive at all. We have it on record that Zambia has been one with the best representatives in Africa like in those days of the hon. Chief Whip. 

We need such type of history. Just giving people positions as a reward for a job well done should not be the order of the day. We want to have better Zambian representatives if Zambia still wants to uphold the good image it had in the 70s and 80s. This is a very serious issue. For Zambia to have better relationship with other countries, it depends on who are representing us in other countries.

I think the question of having no money does not arise. We cannot accept that. Zambia will never have enough money for each and every ministry, but what we ought to take into account is our priorities as a Government.

I have been to Indonesia, Hong Kong and South Africa and one felt isolated when one saw how other countries’ representatives welcomed their nationals - unlike us who were left out in the cold, without being welcomed nicely. So, I cannot accept the question of having no money and I do no support the amount of money that has been reduced from K10 billion to K8 billion. In fact, it is supposed to be increased from K10 billion to K20 billion. This would have been a great job. We would like to produce other Vernon Mwaangas of those days, in this country.

Mr Chairman, it is a serious offense to see Zambia inherit a bad image in this world. I thought I should add those words of wisdom to the debate.

Thank you, Sir.

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

First and foremost, I wish to say that in my view although there is an improvement, the funding of the ministry is really inadequate. When you pass through these missions, you can see the commitment. I remember, one time, I was passing via London, and there was an officer, who I believe, hon. Minister, you are overworking. He was there throughout the night receiving VIPs, taking them to hotels. Literally everybody passing through, as long as it was known that he/she was from Zambia and a VIP, he/she was given an official vehicle and so on. 

I was one of those. Of course, I am not a Minister but I was accorded that respect by our colleagues at the embassy. So, you would see that our colleagues, I think, in the foreign missions are doing a very good job except that we are not giving them the money on time. Even for you to discover that they are not getting their salaries, it is very difficult unless you really go deep. So, you can see that in a way, I think, our diplomats are very disciplined because if they were not, anybody passing via the embassy would have been told that they are not paid, therefore, they cannot work. 

One thing that I noticed out there, which I think we are not doing well, is specifically for students who are attending courses. For example, in Russia, where I was privileged to go with the hon. Minister, that was the only problem that I came across. But all in all, I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister for the discipline that is in the foreign missions, especially that even a person in the Opposition can be received as if he is one of the Ministers. 

I also remember in Harare, Mr Chairman, again I was at a hotel on private business but when the High Commissioner learnt that there were Members of Parliament around, and there was a reception for Mayors who had visited Harare, I was invited to that reception. Really, that is rare. I think we need to pay them adequately so that they can be encouraged to attend to all of us. 

I have heard some colleagues who have not been received well by the diplomats, this could have been that you did not inform the embassies that you were passing through. But normally when you inform them even by telephone, they will try to see where you are hiding yourself. So, hon. Minister, please, continue with your hard work, but please, we do not want any more refugees in Maheba. They are too many. They are more than the number of indigenous people.

Thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Mr Simasiku): Mr Chairman, I rise also to support hon. Colleagues who have really ably come in full support of this particular Vote.

I wish to begin by stressing that persons who are appointed into the Diplomatic Service are usually of very high standing in society, especially at Ambassador or High Commissioner level. They are very committed people and very senior in all respects. And today many distinguished academicians have also been appointed in the Foreign Service such as professors, name them. We have about three or four professors who are High Commissioners or Ambassadors. Who can be better qualified than these distinguished citizens? 

But I want to turn on the other side of the coin. I would like to appeal to our countrymen that as much as they accept the honour of representing their country abroad and especially being personal representatives of the Head of State, they must not only take pride in those appointments when they are serving because for anybody to serve in these positions, it is at the pleasure of the appointing authority. But what do we see in some of the cases? Some of those who are being recalled become so wounded in their feelings and overcome by emotions that they start using very disrespectful language against the Head of State. I think, once a diplomat, like hon. Mfula said, always a diplomat. I cannot imagine how people like to sink so low and viciously attack a Head of State, who they were representing.

People in the rural areas might not know the seriousness of the position of a High Commissioner or Ambassador. But here in towns and cities, people know. How many of us would turn down an appointment to be a High Commissioner or an Ambassador? None. But immediately, for any reason, you are removed, you want to fight day and night, to discredit the Head of State. Let people realise that they are lowering the dignity of diplomatic status because even in developed countries such as the President of United States or indeed Her Majesty's Government, when they appoint people to those top positions and these people retire, they retire with honour. When they leave those positions, they leave them with honour not with vengeance.

My next point, Mr Chairman, is to share the agony that some of our missions feel because of various problems. But I would like to state that even us, as members of Government, we have had some of these problems. You wish you can do something about it. For example, in the mission in Nairobi, apart from the High Commissioner's vehicle, there is no other vehicle. We use a mini bus when we are there which is really inappropriate. 

I would like to state that, obviously we all know that resources are very difficult to satisfy all our needs and every ministry, you have heard as we have been debating, we have been saying some funds were not enough. It is the same for almost every ministry. But I would like to propose that we have small working groups at all levels such as the Deputy Minister level together with the Permanent Secretaries who are the Controlling Officers, so that we see how best we can alleviate these problems. Some of them are due to administrative lapses.

Finally, Mr Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Kayope, the fearless intellectual, who has stood his ground even when threatened with very difficult conditions in his political career, whose star today has risen to join the Front Bench. We would like to say to you, well done brother.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simasiku: And I also wish to turn to my colleague, now, on the left here, Hon. Chilombo, who has been appointed from yesterday as a Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Simasiku: It is an onerous task you are taking. We wish you all the best. We know you have been very valuable and helpful in your debates and we will learn from your experience.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister Without Portfolio (Mr Sata): Mr Chairman, sometimes I get surprised. Sometimes I wonder whether we want to talk for the sake of talking or whether we want to look into the historical background of Zambia as a nation in the world. Year in and year out, we talk of the same things but without striking a balance of what we are supposed to do. 

Since Zambia became independent and started to open diplomatic missions, there has never been any day when Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, 
Ambassador C. S. Tembo, and Ambassador Mfula were comfortable because the demand and supply could not balance. 

Therefore, when we stand here as hon. Members looking at these diplomats, let us discuss what will help our diplomats. We do have a tendency of trying to embarrass ourselves, whether we are discussing the police or whatever else we are discussing. We have a tendency to ridicule them. 

I would like to congratulate Hon. Kayope. Today, I am the happiest person. I have completed my circle. Hon. Valentine Webster Chansa Kayope was my first Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. 

Mr L. L. Phiri: Are you the promoter?

Mr Sata: My second Deputy Minister was Hon. Dr Peter Machungwa and then my third one was Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba. So, at least I am a great man.


Mr Sata: Sir, when we talk about diplomacy, the Ambassador or the High Commissioner- let us separate the two things- his personal emoluments are more than that of His Honour the Vice-President. It is the maintenance of the chancery which we should talk about. But in terms of personal emoluments they get more money than His Honour the Vice-President.

Another problem which we have is the question of complex. My dear colleague, the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs knows very well that children of all the other Ambassadors, internationally, it is only primary education that the State caters for. But when they go to secondary and university, their children are sent back to their countries of origin. But, that is not the case with Zambia. Here, when somebody is appointed High Commission or Ambassador, he takes with him nephews, grandchildren and everybody interested to be educated abroad. In those days when we were governors, it was a different case because we did not have quality schools. 

But today, we have quality schools. We have produced the best people in the world who are accepted and when we talk about the calibre of diplomats, that is most unfortunate. It is as if we are washing dirty linen in public. What we are saying here is heard in London, Tokyo and Washington. 

Today, we are proud of privatisation and if the calibre of Ambassadors and High Commissioners was low, these people would not have been attracted to come to Zambia to buy these mines. It is our High Commissioners or Ambassadors who attracted these people who expressed the parameters of this country and that is why all these people came here.

Hon. Members of Parliament, you are the best High Commissioners and Ambassadors. From the hon. Mr Speaker, Mr Deputy Speaker and the Chairman. You have gone to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and put Zambia on the world map. Are we going to question the integrity and your calibre? 

I would like to compliment two strong ladies in this House. When Zambia took over the chair of women parliamentarians; Hon. Charity Mwansa, Member of Parliament for Mfuwe was underrated but today, everybody would like to come to Zambia so that they can learn from her as women parliamentarians and yet we do not have as many as they have in Uganda. We also have Hon. Professor Nkandu Luo. When she started CWAZ, people did not understand what she meant by it but today, it has been absorbed by the international community and that is why we even have an AIDS Council in Zambia.

So, when we are talking about the diplomats, do not look at the Chancellor in Botswana, Pretoria and many other places. People have died abroad and they have brought them back here and then you call that a low calibre. Look at our doctors in the southern region. Those are diplomats and we have never heard any adverse reports about those people working abroad. Today, our reporters have put Zambia on the world market through internet ...

Mr L. L. Phiri: Are you eyeing the Presidency?

Mr Sata: You do not have the qualities to vie for anything, let alone to be Member of Parliament for Chipangali.


Mr Sata: We might not like what newspapers write ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Mr Sata: Sorry, I apologise, Sir.


The Deputy Chairman: 'You do not have the qualities to vie for any post, let alone to be Member of Parliament for Chipangali.' That phrase is most unfortunate for somebody who has been elected in a constituency and I am most grateful the hon. Minister has recognised where he has gone wrong.

Will you, please, formally apologise and withdraw that.

Mr L. L. Phiri: He should come directly to me.

Mr Sata: I withdraw, Sir, and unconditionally apologise to the hon. baby Member of Parliament for Chipangali.


Mr Sata: When we are looking at diplomacy per se, our newspapers in Zambia, today, have gone on internet and we might not like what some of the newspapers are producing or writing here. But internationally, they give us an image of freedom of expression which you cannot find in some of the European countries. Most of our newspapers like The Post, The Monitor e.t.c, what they write here may not be acceptable but when other people look on the internet, you will find that every morning they are downloading what is coming from Zambia because they do not have that freedom. But when we come in this House, we always complain that our missions are doing this and that. We have certain countries whose missions are in a far more awkward position.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Drink water.

Mr Sata: That is what I am doing.


Mr Sata: Mr Chairman, we have certain countries in the world which are in a much more deplorable situation. They receive their salaries at regular intervals, but you will never hear them speaking in their parliaments. When you go to get a visa, they will advise you to go and bring a paper to write on so that they only stamp it. They do not come to this House and start embarrassing their own missions.

Once we start protecting our own integrity, we can improve here and there and then somebody will start business with us. It is not the Government which is going to encourage local businessmen to go and open businesses outside this country. We already have our own cadres from the Teaching Service, journalism and several other professions, such as Dr Nkanza who is a Pathologist who is representing Zambia in Johannesburg. But the way we speak here about police, education and everything, Dr Nkanza cannot come back or remit his money here. He would rather save the money in South Africa. 

So, what we need in this House is to exhibit leadership and that is what will attract other people. In this House, we are supposed to sell Zambia, not to ridicule Zambia. There is no way we can be talking about the high calibre which was in UNIP in which I am proud to have served as a Governor. In all the missions, there were Mama Youth, Bwana Region who were High Commissioners and Ambassadors.


Mr Sata: Those were High Commissioners and Ambassadors, but I am saying, today, we have Professor Musambachime, Professor Lyson Tembo, Professor in English, not in Nyanja, ...


Mr Sata: ...Professor Musonda and several other people. When you are talking of calibre, Mr Chairman, I understand it is lack of vocabulary and when you do not have vocabulary, the only thing you know is calibre. You do not even know the meaning of ‘calibre’. You do not understand its meaning.

So, Sir, I would like to compliment my brother, the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and my brother, the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development. We are doing the best we can to try and put the image of this country on the map and, hon. Minister, do not listen to detractors. They were born detractors and they will die detractors.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namakando (Lukulu West): Mr Chairman, in the first place, I would like to congratulate my brother, Hon. Chilombo, on his appointment.

Mr Chairman, I want to appeal to the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and the hon. Minister of Home Affairs who are planning to establish another refugee camp in the Western Province to re-examine their plan. Mr Chairman, our experience is that these refugees will soon outnumber the local people in the Western Province. Mr Chairman, these people are a problem. They are causing havoc in the Western Province. The way they live in Kaoma, Mr Chairman, they have plundered our resources between Kaoma and Lukulu. All the animals which were there, Mr Chairman, have been wiped out. The only animal that you can find there is a jackal. Maybe, they even eat jackals, Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, surrendering our country to these foreigners should not be allowed now. All the murders taking place in the province, Mr Chairman, are carried out by foreigners and putting up another camp in the Western Province will mean selling our province to these foreigners. Mr Chairman, you remember what happened in Congo DR. That war there is being caused by the Nyamurenges who are foreigners and in the same way, Mr Chairman, it will soon happen in the Western Province. There are more guns in the Western Province than any other province in this country because of these foreigners. 

The people of the Western Province are, therefore, saying that they are not accepting any refugee camp again in the Western Province. That camp which they are planning to put there, Mr Chairman, should be taken to Southern Province where there are no refugee camps. You have seen even on the Copperbelt, Mr Chairman, all our resources are being plundered by foreigners from West Africa. So, we are saying that accepting these foreigners, Mr Chairman, for the sake of accepting them is selling our freedom to these people.

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

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Walubita): Mr Chairman, may I take this opportunity to add my voice to that of my other colleagues, hon. Members of this august House, who have spoken before me, in congratulating my own brother, the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, popularly known as KK, for the able manner, Mr Chairman, in which he presented the National Budget for the year 2001.

Before I make any further remarks in supporting the Estimates of my ministry for the year 2001, I want to say a few remarks as a preamble, Mr Chairman. Firstly, I want to thank all hon. Members of this august House who sent me condolences on the loss of my mother whom I buried some time last week. I received so many notes, Mr Chairman, that I am touched by the kindness of my colleagues in this House. It crossed over political affiliations and I received a number of notes even from my colleagues in the Opposition. I am touched by this gesture.

I am also thankful to the House for the sympathies they have shown when in my constituency, Mr Chairman, we lost twelve children who drowned in the Zambezi River on 30th January, 2001. Up to now, only seven bodies have been recovered and five bodies are still missing. I am grateful to His Honour the Vice-President who sent in logistics through his Management Disaster Division and I am grateful to all hon. Members of the House for the support they have given me during this bereavement.

Mr Chairman, I look a little bit different but no amount of pressure and intimidation will force me to shave. I want to assure hon. Members of this House that I will be very busy this year. As Chairman of Security of my party, there is quite a lot to do and, therefore, I wish to beg you to honour my constitutional and human rights and that I should remain as I look like. Yesterday I was being threatened, but I want to assure you, Mr Chairman, that I am still the same person as I used to be.

Let me congratulate Hon. Kayope. I will miss him, Mr Chairman. I found him to be very co-operative and very useful in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia. I will, definitely, miss my elder brother’s contributions in that very important sector of Government function. I wish him all the best. Although yesterday he did not look very happy, but I am pleased to see what has happened. I wish him the best and I would encourage him to start thinking of such programmes as space programmes for this country as he embarks on this very important portfolio of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

In the same vein, Mr Chairman, let me congratulate Hon. Chilombo for joining us in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I will fully co-operate with him and by this afternoon, we will make sure that he begins to know what his functions will be. I want to assure him that I will work with him. This is not the first time I have worked with a Deputy Minister.

My colleague, Hon. Sata, was very happy to see Hon. Kayope move to the Front Bench, but I want to remind Hon. Sata that even Hon. Walubita has worked and built up a number of Deputy Ministers who have so far moved to the Front Bench. Hon. Desai was my first Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Hon. Silwamba, my colleague now, was my Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, not to mention Hon. Mandandi and Hon. Madyenkuku now in the Front Bench, who were both my Deputy Ministers in the Ministry of Works and Supply. Now, Hon. Kayope has moved to the Front Bench.


Mr Walubita: So, my record is there to be seen how I fully co-operated with my colleagues who are now in the Front Bench. I wish each one of them the best for the future.

Mr Chairman, the Budget presented to this House provides an overview of the Government’s commitment to this country’s development strategy on which considerable national resources are to be spent.

As a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I wish to assure this House that given the necessary support we are prepared to accomplish the tasks that has been assigned to us. It is in this respect, Sir, that I welcome and appreciate the encouraging remarks made by each of the twelve hon. Member of this House who contributed to this very important Vote. Without your continued support, my colleagues, my ministry would not make any meaningful achievements in international relations.

Mr Chairman, this year, my ministry will be involved in two very important events. The first one is, of course, the restructuring process under the Public Service Reform Programme (PSRP). It is sincerely hoped, Sir, that the end result of this exercise would be retention of qualified staff who will be well motivated to realise the Government’s goal of having a more efficiently-run ministry.

Mr Chairman, hon. Members will be pleased to learn that in order to complement the restructuring programme, my ministry has since 1st January, 2001 embarked on implementing cost serving measures in its Missions Abroad. The ministry has introduced the principle of cost sharing in the areas of education, health, rents and other utilities. 

Hon. Members will recall, that the House has in the past been concerned with waste expenditure in our missions. The measures thus taken are responsive to the House’s concern to cut down on abuses. In so doing, the ministry hopes to make substantial savings while at the same time ensuring that its officers abroad are not unduly disadvantaged.

Success implementation of this cost serving measures requires that we initially pay off most if not all debts. To this end, Mr Chairman, I trust that we shall all work together to rationalise expenditure in our missions.

I wish to take this opportunity, to reiterate the statement that I had made last year that I welcome the visits undertaken by hon. Members of this House, especially of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs to our Missions Abroad. Such visits give them an opportunity to see and appreciate the operations of our Missions Abroad. Their visits and those of the Public Accounts Committee are, therefore, greatly appreciated by my ministry.

The second event, is the hosting of the OAU Heads of State and Government Summit some time in July 2001. My ministry which has already started preparations would obviously be getting more involved as the Summit date approaches. Although we shall be busy, I wish to assure this House that we shall not neglect other duties.

Mr Chairman, in the area of Zambia’s foreign policy, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, primarily through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has made achievements in many areas. For Example, we have articulated our foreign policy to such an extent that we have earned the respect of a number of countries. Further, Mr Chairman, we have successfully interacted with the rest of the international community by participating in multilateral diplomacy through our contributions to resolutions at international meetings and mediation of conflicts in neighbouring countries.

Mr Chairman, allow me now, to make references to some observations and comments made by some hon. Members on the Floor of the House. 

As I said earlier on, twelve hon. Members of the House did contribute. I take note of the comments by Hon. Mfula, our former High Commissioner to Australia, I simply want to assure him that his knowledge, Sir, will  not be wasted and you will be one of those we shall enlist as one of our visiting lecturers at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations in Lusaka.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Walubita: I would like to assure him that this, we are going to do immediately.

Hon. Nkabika, as usual, I thank the Chairman, for guiding him and I would like to assure him that our attention is equally shared to all the pressing problems of international relations. We do not discriminate. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a special case. As I told you some time back, five of our provinces share a common border with DRC. We really need a stable DRC if our economic development can be meaningful in Zambia and, therefore, President Chiluba will continue to fight for a stable DRC and we are proud of his record as of now.

Hon. Hachipuka, I would like to assure you that once you send your programme to us, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be able to alert our missions of your visits and they will be able to assist you. I am grateful to Hon. Tetamashimba who actually admitted that the professionals we have abroad do not discriminate once it is known to them that you, hon. Members of Parliament, are passing through. They will do everything possible even under very difficult conditions to assist you.

Hon. Sichinga, I take note of your comments. The issue of school fees and other utilities are now ably addressed through the revised Foreign Service regulations and I urge hon. Members of this House to make themselves familiar with these conditions so that we understand what we mean by cost serving measures in these areas. 

I would like to thank Hon. Sikombe for his comments. You should not be frightened when you hear that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is touring Northern Province, especially your constituency. It is part of our ministerial duties and I am very pleased that I have known your constituency now and I want to assure you, hon. Member for Isoka West, that you are not coming back here.


Mr Walubita: I thank you, Hon. Sikombe, for your comments and commending the people of Kaputa. The Chair, did guide us that all the border areas of Zambia are practically affected, especially Western, North-Western, Luapula and the Northern provinces of the country. I would like to assure you that I join you in commending the people of Kaputa, Nangweshi, Mporokoso and Solwezi for looking after our brothers and sisters from the neighbouring countries.

My own father-in-law, Hon. Sampa, has done what he can do in making sure that peace and stability remains our primary aim in those areas. Hon. Chilombo, I do not, now, wish to comment on your remarks, when you were still at the back bench and I want you to take note of the same remarks so that you are able to defend the policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia and the Government at large. I once again, welcome you, my brother, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we look forward to working together successfully.

I thank you, Hon. Dr Kabanje, for your remarks. Yes, we do not only utilise Hon. Mwaanga’s books but, we also utilise him as a person and he remains a very important arm in our foreign policy in this country. We constantly consult him and he is always put in a picture. Of course, as Chief Whip, he is very close to us and we are grateful for the assistance and guidance that he gives us from time to time.

Hon. Lucas Phiri, unfortunately I did not understand what you were trying to portray, but I want to assure you that your remarks will be noted.

Hon. Tetamashimba, I thank you for your remarks of support. And Hon. Simasiku, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, I want to remind ourselves that there is a day of appointment and a day of being recalled. Therefore, we should not feel offended when we lose these temporal positions, it is part of the process. 

What is shameful is where a recalled Ambassador comes in and becomes an enemy of the Government. That is most unfortunate. We should try to protect and be cautious of the status of an Ambassador. And we should show thanks and be reminded that there is always a day of appointment and a day of being recalled.

Hon. Sata, thank you for your remarks and support. And I am grateful to hon. Members of Parliament who travel around the world, most of you and all of us really are not receiving reports of adverse comments that are being made against our own country. We thank you for this, and that building Zambia’s image abroad is a combined effort. All of us are Zambians and we must take pride of being Zambians, and as such, we should talk good of our own country.

Hon. Namakando, our Provincial Chairman for Western Province, I want to thank you and remind you that your proposal that the next refugee camp should be shifted to Southern Province, the Government and my colleague the hon. Minister of Home Affairs will take note of that. But I want to remind you, Hon. Namakando, that these refugees are our own brothers and sisters. Zambia’s position, sharing common borders with eight other countries, automatically means that it will continue to have refugees.

We have international obligation to look after these people. In any case, Mr Chairman, it is Zambia’s tradition to look after refugees. I am surprised that Hon. Namakando would even suggest that, perhaps, we try to run away from this responsibility. We might be misunderstood internationally. Any refugee involved in criminal activities, obviously the host government will deal with that situation. But wholesomely condemning all the refugees, I think, is not fair. 

Today, in Zambia, we are enjoying peace and stability. You never know, we have an obligation internationally and as such, I would urge hon. Members of this House to feel sympathy towards the refugees and that we should assist where we can. Practically every part of Zambia has been affected at one stage or the other. Even Southern Province, in the liberation of Zimbabwe, people really suffered. 

So, it would not be very fair to suggest that, because of what we are experiencing in Western and North-Western provinces, then refugee camps should be established so far away. These are temporal assignments, in the long run when peace and stability is registered in the neighbourhood, our brothers and sisters will definitely go back home.

Finally, Mr Chairman, let me thank my Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Simbyakula, a well known learned lawyer in this country, and all his staff in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia, for the support that they have given me as Minister of Foreign Affairs during the last three years. I am most grateful to each one of them and I urge them to continue serving mother Zambia efficiently and for that matter professionally.

Mr Chairman, with these few remarks, I now appeal to hon. Members of this House to fully support the Estimates of my ministry, it will help us in discharging our duties efficiently and professionally.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 17/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/20 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/23 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/28 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/30 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/33 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 17/34 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 26/01 - (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services - Headquarters - K6,309,072,247)

Mr Mushala (Mufumbwe): Mr Chairman, I am one of those who have never debated in the past on this allocation. I am surprised, Sir, that last year, the allocation was K6.5 billion and this year, the allocation is K6.3 billion. I am getting worried, Sir. Why should there be a reduction? This is a very important ministry. It is the only ministry which can bring out new, good and bad ideas and disseminate the information to the people.

Now, when you start reducing the allocation of the Vote, it shows that we are going backwards and I am not happy with that. Mr Chairman, I can assure you that posterity is going to determine our destiny. I would like to try and remind you that a few years back, it was through the same information and broadcasting system that the late democratic man of Zambia, Adamson Mushala brought about democracy ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushala: It was through this information and broadcasting system that the democracy was set. We should ensure that we provide enough funds for democracy to reign in this nation. If we have to move forward, we need funding. I am wishing condolences to the late Adamson Mushala ...

Hon. Members: Your late father.


Mr Mushala: The only man who brought democracy to Zambia, who has been forgotten and there is no enough funding in here. This shows that you cannot even remember him.


Mr Mushala: Mr Chairman, it is very sad that you even contribute K50 million to Reuters and K60 million to the Deuche Press Agentur ...
The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 until 1100 hours.

Mr Mushala: Mr Chairman, I was trying to bring to the attention of the House that in our prayers, we always ask God to guide us and give us wisdom. And we need this wisdom this year and everyday. We must continue by the wisdom of God. God has always told us in his wisdom that posterity is one important factor. Posterity is a word which was known and attributed to the late Baldwin Nkumbula. He always said, posterity will judge us correct or wrong and may his soul rest in peace.

In the same vain, this country at times does not want posterity to judge because we should have remembered great men like the late Adamson Mushala, the late Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, the late Nalumino Mundia and so many others. But what I want to be remembered for is that posterity must also put me into his judgement that once upon a time, there was this parliamentarian called Bert, who was in the House and deliberated on this ministry.

Mr Chairman, I will tell you one thing which you may not be aware of. When democracy started in 1964, there was the first treason case of John Njapau. People stamped on it and later on, we still had sprinter groups. All the UNIP people must remember the mbaula. It started from the United Party which was formed by people like Nalumino Mundia, who was the President with Adamson Mushala as the Secretary-General . This was only broadcast by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. They are the people who started the mbaula, wa ikatako  wapya. Whoever touches the mbaula will get burnt.

Hon. Member: What is mbaula?

Hon. Member: It is a brazier.

Mr Mushala: Mbaula is the brazier. {mospagebreak}

Now that we have started on the democratic path - let us go out there and broadcast. We should advertise that Zambia is a democratic country and we are going to remain democratic. We need to put in more money in this ministry. I was Chairman of Public Accounts Committee

I went to attend the so-called consultative meeting in Paris and one of the biggest problems we had was governance. It was said that we Africans have always been very unreliable in what we do, because of that they do not even trust us. We are a globe, we are a nation. We must live like the other people. Let us be respected by maintaining our standards and we must try to perform according to what is expected of us. We are only here for a short time, maybe, for fifty or sixty years. Everyone will die. No one will be here forever. Actually I will be able to live twenty years longer than most of you, hon. Members, who are in this House.


Mr Mushala: Mr Chairman, I am only trying to tell you how important the information and broadcasting system is. This is one thing we must bear in mind. And whatever we do, we should not underrate this. 

Mr Chairman, in this Budget, as much as I agree with it, I have already said that I do not agree with trying to reduce the ministry’s budget from K6.5 billion to K6.3 billion. I do not agree. Some of the funding you have provided here is very shameful. I do not understand how the hon. Minister and his Permanent Secretary and the Executive can agree to pay K50 million to Reuters and K60 million to the Deuche Press Agentur, when the great men whom they were supposed to publicise about are lying in unnumbered graves. The late Mr Adamson Mushala is now lying in one of those. It is only news when I go there ...

The Chairman: Order! The hon. Member for Mufumbwe is quite experienced in this House and through that experience, I am sure he has come to realise that in order for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to be effective, they must contribute to international news sources. Those contributions have to be paid for, otherwise we would have an information and broadcasting system which is isolated and not connected to the rest of the world. It is not proper to discourage the contributions to the international community in order to enhance our information collection. So, will you, please, move onto another point and, perhaps, make a better suggestion than asking the ministry to do away with contributions to international organisations, which are actually necessary in order to enhance our information collection.

Will he, continue, please.

Mr Mushala: Thank you, Mr Chairman, for your guidance. I was not trying to condemn that. I was just considering our poverty level and the contributions that Zambia makes. I was, in my own opinion, thinking that things that we broadcast, the news that we publish in Zambia, we must try and have some museum. We must remember the late leaders. 

Hon. Government Members: Why?

Mr Mushala: Why not? Do we go back to the old times? I know Hon. Mando is agreeing with me that there is a clip at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation of Mushala being buried, a burial which I was not privileged to attend. But why can we not go back and exhume his body and rebury him where he wanted to rest?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushala: That will be a better contribution. If we spend K50 million, that will be towards a better cause. Let the people remember us. Think of King George I and King George II. Why not think of Mushala I, Mushala II and Mushala III?


Mr Mushala: Mr Chairman, I am not very much interested in the Film Censorship Board. I would like the hon. Minister, when he stands up to respond, to tell us what this means. He is providing K13 million for the Film Censorship Board. What is this Board going to do? What is its function? Who sits on that Board? We need to know. We make news here. We are all broadcasting information. This is the information I am interested in. I appeal and request the hon. Minister to remember that the sons of Africa must always be remembered.

Mrs Chisala: And daughters.

Mr Mushala: And the daughters of Africa must also be remembered.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapangalwendo (Chinsali): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman, for giving me this rare opportunity to contribute to the debate on this important ministry.

As usual, I will be very brief. Last year, we were supposed to contribute some funds from the constituency development fund, but the ministry stopped us and promised to give us satellite television and radio in each district, particularly in Chinsali. But up to this time, nothing has happened.

Mr Chairman, on sub-head 5 - Satellite TV and Radio Implementation - K150,000,000, I wonder whether this fund is enough to meet the expected requirements, particularly for Chinsali. In fact, this is not even enough for Chinsali to put up a satellite television and radio, unless they are saying that they are not going to do it because this allocation is just peanuts. 

Another point of contention is Radio 1. This station is so much congested with all the local languages while Radio 4 just plays music throughout. I do not know why they cannot consider transferring some of these local languages to Radio 4. In other words, we must also consider incorporating other vernacular languages like Namwanga, Lamba and even Tumbuka so that Radio 4 is properly utilised because there is only English on Radio 1 and Radio 2.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Dr. Sondashi (Solwezi Central): Mr Chairman, I must thank you most sincerely for the opportunity given to me to contribute to the debate on this very important Vote.

Mr Sata: You are very smart ba pongoshi.

Dr. Sondashi: Thank you very much. As usual.


Dr. Sondashi: Sir, allow me to congratulate the newly appointed Ministers, Hon. V. Kayope, my elder brother and Hon. V. Chilombo another elder brother for their appointments which they well deserve. Hon. Kayope will be remembered that he was spearheading the liberation of Luapula Province during the Kaunda regime and so, he deserves to rest in peace.


The Deputy Chairman: Order!

The hon. Member for Solwezi Central who is also a lawyer should know that the phrase ‘rest in peace’ means being dead and buried completely and cannot be used to congratulate anybody. Will you please, find a better phrase to compliment the hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training.

Dr Sondashi: Mr Chairman, I meant that he must enjoy the fruits of his labour and other people should be contented with the positions they are being given, some of them did not even participate in fighting for the liberation.

Mr Chairman, I know that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services is a seasoned politician and trade unionist. I know that he will not be persuaded by some of his officials by listening to them to tamper with the local arrangement of the local languages that are being broadcast on the radio. I am saying that because the languages which are now on the radio were designed by the former colonial government in order to ensure that the Zambians all over could be catered for.

Therefore, the local languages that are broadcast on the radio must be maintained. It should not be disturbed,  and if anything, I agree that if there is any need, it may even be necessary to consider other languages to be added instead of the current number of languages. I am particularly referring to the fact that Kaonde is a typical language on its own and no one can pretend to say that it is similar to any of the languages in Zambia. In fact, it is one of the largest language groups in North-Western Province ...

Mr Mushala: In Zambia.

Dr Sondashi: ... in Zambia because even in Central Congo DR, it is there. So, no one should think that it is a sub-language and I would urge the hon. Minister, for I know that he is a seasoned politician who will not be told to do away with the language, as we hear that there is a move to remove Kaonde from the languages that are broadcast on Radio Zambia.

Having said so, I would like to tell you that even in North-Western Province, Kaonde is not the same as Lunda, Luvale or other languages which are in the North-Western Province. As I am standing now, I can understand these other languages but I cannot speak them. I have to learn in order for me to speak these languages.

This is a unifying factor. It is not a matter that we should pretend to think that it is an easy matter. We would like to put this country together and, therefore, please, do not think that it is as easy as you think. You can bring tribal war very easily by not listening to people when they are pleading for unity. So, Sir, I hope that the point I have made is clear and genuine as you know that I do not stand here to speak on tribal lines since I came to this House. 

I am emphasising this point because people are getting angry with what has happened where Kaonde has been grouped as a sub-tribe. People are getting very upset about this. So, we would like to quench this fire and I hope the hon. Minister will assist us so that we all live in harmony.

I also wish to mention to Hon. Mushala who contributed, that it is not entirely correct that the late Adamson Mushala has not been recognised in literature. If the hon. Member would wish to find out, I can ask him to consult my PHD thesis which is deposited at the University of Zambia where I have described the role of the late Adamson Mushala. I have actually described his contribution just like the other person whom he mentioned and I am arranging to get this published into a book. So, if he has time, please, let him go and read so that he can see for himself.

I am also going to write another treatise on him, whether he was a courageous man or not. Whatever we are doing here, please do not forget that there are historians, legal minded people and people who are going to write about us. I do not think that the contribution of a man like that one can go without being written about and being acknowledged and, in fact, it is not only that. There are even other books that have spoken about Adamson Mushala.

Mr Chairman, I thought I should speak on those few words and I thank you for giving me the opportunity.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipili (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairman, I stand to support this Vote of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. 

I am only surprised that last year, we bemoaned lack of transport, inadequate renovation to buildings and lack of repair of equipment at ZNBC and yet one would have expected that this year’s Budget would take into account what we have been debating in this House, the complaints that have been made on the Floor of this House.

To my surprise, the Budget seems to be leaning when there is inflation to take into account due to kwacha devaluation. One is tempted to question whether our complaints are being heard. Are there some problems? Maybe, we are not articulating adequately. I believe we are doing that. Yes, we appreciate that the Government has financial constraints and we know that the tax base has shrunk, but this is a very important ministry. Any Government in power should know that information is power and must be disseminated across the board without hindrance.

So, we should have given this particular ministry sufficient allocation of funds because I do not see how they will repair the numerous buildings that are falling to pieces right now with the amounts that I have seen in the Yellow Book. You cannot put K70 million for maintenance and repair of television equipment and other things. The ZNBC studio in Kitwe is in shambles. Those who have been in that studio know that when they are conducting an interview, you almost sweat blood. 

These are problems which should have been addressed in this Budget and considering that this is an election year, ZNBC and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, in general, will be extra busy. We expected them to come up with sufficient money, ZNBC does not have sufficient vehicles. The few vehicles that are running now require serious maintenance. In fact, they need brand-new vehicles to operate effectively. I do not see the allocation that has been given to movable assets to be adequate, whether it will cover one vehicle because the cost of a vehicle today, we all know that to buy three to five vehicles, you do not need less than K1 billion if you are going to buy proper vehicles. 

So, I am appealing to the Government to come up with a supplementary budget for this ministry. This budget is definitely not enough. There are several other problems that beset this ministry and most of them hinge on resources. So, we need, at least, to give them extra funding, considering that this is an election year and we will need the services of ZNBC and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services in order for the elections to proceed smoothly.

So, with these few words, Sir, I would like to appeal to the Government to increase the funding on this Vote. As it is now, it is totally inadequate and meaningless.

Thank you, Sir.

Major Kamanga (Lumezi): Mr Chairman, I wish also to join my colleagues in congratulating Hon. Kayope on his new appointment and Hon. Chilombo. The game is not over until the last whistle.


Major Kamanga: So, do not lose hope in the back bench. You can find time to visit Leopards Hill Road. God helps those who help themselves.


Major Kamanga: Mr Chairman, I stand to support the Vote on the Floor of this House. Mr Chairman, I listened very attentively to what Hon. Mushala was saying and I agree with him that there is need for our heroes to be put to rest where they belong. I was one of those who hunted his father day and night. I now know that we were wrong.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Kamanga: I hope that non of us will go into the bush to try and bring the so-called democracy through the back door because democracy is here now. I hope that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services will, one day, bring up this topic for discussion and hopefully, the body of the late Mushala can be exhumed and reburied in the heroes square.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Kamanga: Mr Chairman, we, ourselves, have talked about the freedom of speech and we in the MMD and Government would like to see this in reality and we are doing it. The donors have already started saying they will withhold funding to Zambia unless they see that the elections that are coming this year will be free and fair. I know that that apprehension is uncalled for ...

Mr Sichinga: It is their money.

Major Kamanga: ...because elections are going to be free and fair. I tend to disagree with the hon. Member who said it is their money. It is not their money, they got it from here. They are just giving it back to us.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Kamanga: We know how much was collected from Zambia. For those mines to be as deep as they are today, you can imagine how much money was siphoned from here.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Major Kamanga: Mr Chairman, the people in the Opposition forget very quickly. In most cases, unfortunately, they suffer from amnesia.

Mr Sichinga: Talk about the MMD, why talk about the Opposition?

Major Kamanga: Mr Chairman, I am here to talk about the Opposition which is not ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! It is very important, hon. Members, to realise that not all the donors to Zambia today have been colonial masters of this country. We have had only one colonising nation, Britain. The others are giving economic support to this country out of their own wish, out of their own volition. So, it should not go on record that all of those who are giving us aid owe us anything. There may be others who may owe this country something, but not all of them. So, let us learn to be grateful to those who have volunteered to assist when we are in need and I hope that that message is clear.

Will the hon. Member, continue, please.

Major Kamanga: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I would like to hear the hon. Minister, when he stands up to respond, to tell this nation that there will be free air time for all parties on both radio and television so that the Opposition do not come up at the end of this year, after we have walloped them, to claim that there was an unlevelled playing field. It is important that, as members of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, this should start now and we must be a shining example to our colleagues in the sub-region.

If we do not give free air time to all parties concerned, on both radio and television, we will, ourselves, be failing in our duty to level the playing field. 

Mr Tetamashimba: That is what you are supposed to preach, my brother.

Major Kamanga: You are welcome to join the MMD. Mr Chairman, we have a duty. I have seen on television the writing, ’You are what you know’. Without communication, you know you are nothing. Our people in Lundazi are crying for clear radio reception. They are also requesting for television reception. Hon. Kapangalwendo mentioned here that at one time the local people in the constituency had decided to use the constituency development fund for the purpose of having television reception in their constituencies.

There is always a start to everything. But the Government, through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services said, no, we are working on it. We would like to know when you are starting and which district you are starting with.

The bottom up approach must be respected. If the people want the television reception through their constituency development fund, you must respect their wish and do not deny them. They are the owners of the constituency development fund. 

Mr Chairman, there is need for the Government to support those institutions that have started their own radio transmission stations. There are many ways of doing it and I am sure the Government knows that by helping them, they will be assisting every Zambian to have information. I hope that the ministry will also increase its education transmission on radio and television. This ministry, in conjunction with Ministry of Education, should ensure that this programme is given extra attention so that our students, pupils and children can benefit from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

Mr Chairman, I will be failing if I do not mention here that companies that have wanted to come here and bring other television transmissions into the country should be allowed establish their stations so that there can be competition. We have heard people like Multi-choice say that you have a choice. There is no choice, ZNBC has nothing to offer. We are overprotecting Multi-choice. I am sure that there are other companies that have come up that should come in and give the same services.

So, it is important that the ministry should not hinder such companies that come into the country and want to compete with others. We should not just say, bring your own companies and compete with us. Allow them to compete, because from what we are seeing, evidently, others are not being allowed to do so.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalenga (Kabompo-West): Mr Chairman, I have difficulties in supporting this Vote.

Mr Patel: Hanjika!

Mr Kalenga: I will explain what I mean. I have seen that the allocations are very low. Instead of the Government moving forward and straight, it is like it is going zigzag and behind. Mr Chairman, this is an important ministry because it is involved in the dissemination of information. And with the OAU coming to Zambia, with the elections, the registration of voters this year and with the delimitation of constituencies, people want to know this information in the rural areas. 

UNIP stayed in power because they had this propaganda and this institution was strong, but it is like we have neglected it. If you do not win the elections this year for failing to tell the people the promises you made in 1991 you will be yourselves to blame. 

I say so because you are not supporting this ministry with the facilities they need. I would like to agree with Hon. Chipili like he said that the studio in Kitwe is in shambles and you have to sweat when being interviewed. Sir, whilst being interviewed it can even have a break-down and if those spares were to be ordered from abroad, I know that they are absolutely out of model and you have to create the whole garage to make the spare parts for those video cameras. We have to move with time.

Mr Chairman, our people would need to have information because knowledge is power.

Mr Patel: Correct!

Mr Kalenga: This is the way you can even propagate Government policies. Now, if they do not have the information, how will they interpret Government policies. You are hiding your own information and that will make you lose the elections. I am warning you and this is a free warning.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hanjika!

Mr Kalenga: If you go to rural districts, especially the newly created ones like Shangombo and Chavuma, they do not even have offices for the Zambia Information Services. So, how do they work? They do not have facilities like vehicles, not even bicycles. Instead of them scouting for news they have to wait for people to bring news. I think it is supposed to be vice versa.

Mr Chairman, we have to support this ministry and our people. Their working environment is not good. If you went to Mass Media Complex here, it looks like a garage. There is grass, cobwebs and I think, even the attitude of the workers themselves is partly to blame because they do not need foreign exchange to slash or to remove the cobwebs...

Mr Patel: Or to remove the broken-down vehicles.

Mr Kalenga: .. and even to remove the broken-down vehicles or paint the structures. Things are really in shambles and this is why I say this Government is not moving forward and straight but it is moving backwards and in a zigzag manner ...

Mr Patel: Yes!

Mr Kalenga: ... and we may pay the price.

Mr Hachipuka: You are discussing intelligently.


Mr Kalenga: Mr Chairman, people in rural areas can only get information through the radio, but in most parts of our country they cannot tune to Radio Zambia. The Government should do something. Year in and year out we have been discussing the bad reception of the radio but nine years down the line nothing has happened, Hon. Newstead Zimba. 

This is the only time now. We are in the dying minutes ...


Mr Kalenga: So, we have to inform the people what the Government has done. We have to make sure that we inform our people by radio because if we deny them that information, I think it is even worse. Mr Chairman, this Government, instead of adding they are subtracting. Even the newspapers which we used to have in vernacular like Ngoma, Liseli, Imbila, Tsopano, Lukanga and Intanda are not there. And I thought that when you came into power, you were supposed to improve from where Kaunda left. But, even with what Kaunda left, you are going in a zigzag manner and behind, Mr Chairman.


Mr Patel: Now they have started the Wamuyayaya club.

Mr Kalenga: We should be seen to work so that people are able to get information because information is power, especially this year when we have a hot debate on who is to stand and the Constitution. All these things, people need to know them. Otherwise, even when we appoint some of these commissions or NOCE, whatever you call them. People need to know because like me, I was in Kabompo but I never saw someone from NOCE, is it NOCE or Mike Zulu?

So, Mr Chairman, we need to improve on the funding and even improve the conditions of our workers, because even when you are in a rural area it is very difficult to go with the personnel from Zambia Information Services because some of them cannot even afford to buy a suit, Sir. So, we should improve their conditions. 

If we cannot give them vehicles, give them even motor cycles because they do not consume much fuel. I am told that Hon. Silwamba, Minister of Presidential Affairs, you can even donate your suit to my District Information Officer.


Mr Patel: It will be oversize, he has grown fat over the years.

Mr Kalenga: Mr Chairman, this Government should be seen to promote the media because it is vital for our democracy, especially that the Opposition is somehow fragmented because that will help our new found democracy. As long as we do not support the media, I think we will go back to one-party dictatorship or we will go back to the Wamuyayaya  regime.

Mr Patel: Correct!

Mr Kalenga: We want the media to help us face elections and people to get information. I wanted to clear my voice, Mr Chairman, because people might be mistaken into believing that I am here for tea because I have been quiet for some time.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairman, I cannot agree more than what Hon. Kalenga has already said on why Government should have seriously funded Zambia Information Services, not only this year, but over the years. It is mind boggling that the Government ignored ZIS this year, in an election year, because it is an institution through which it can disseminate information. So, the priorities of Government are really mind boggling. Foreign travelling is given billions whilst ZIS is given millions. Is the foreign travel going to win elections, or going to Kasama to win you elections? In any case, it is advised ...

Mr Silwamba: What is your problem?

Mr Patel: You are a visitor, please listen!


Mr Patel: Mr Chairman, 1991 was an extremely important year in the history of our country. And I recall I was at the forefront with many of the colleagues in the MMD, and I used to draft an advertisement saying, ‘Dr Kenneth Kaunda said this’, and I used to quote him and ask, ‘Can you trust this man? What do you think?’ I used to quote the former President all the time and say, ‘Can you trust the man?’ The President was at State House at that time. The Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation used to refuse to put that advertisement because UNIP, at the time, was in power and thought we were insulting Kenneth Kaunda. 

This year, particularly on the issue of Third Term and whatever, I intend to put advertisements and if the Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC refuse, I will go to court.

Mr Chairman, just as a matter of public record and accuracy, prominent lawyers in MMD assisted us, that time Hon. Silwamba was young and unknown, but there were other prominent people in MMD in the forefront who were very good ...

Mr Silwamba: Interjected.

Mr Patel: It does not matter, it is an honest toil. 

We went to court and the court ruled in favour of MMD and disposed of the services of the heads of these media institutions to go on leave until after elections and allowed our advertisements to come through. It is, therefore, important, I hope that the hon. Minister, in his wind-up debate, will guide us and the nation as what the position will be towards this.

In the Yellow Book there is an item called ‘Independent Broadcasting Authority’. I have never heard of such an Authority, it has been allocated about K20 million and I would like to know what it is, when it was established and what are its functions.

Mr Chairman, the financial status of all the media institutions be it Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC is in complete dire straits. Over the years the debt has accumulated and gone worse, and the situation is getting to a point where they will actually ground to a halt unless something is done about it.

I would like to see some innovative measures with regard to the print media. Would it be better to close down one or sell one and keep one as a Government paper? But whatever they are there should be something happening. Shaking heads and not doing anything does not help these media institutions.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Miti (Vubwi): Thank you, Sir, for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this important Vote. 

Mr Chairman, lack of funding cannot be overemphasised. Perhaps, what is important is to demonstrate to the Government why lack of funding has had negative effects on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services and its departments.

Mr Chairman, first of all, allow me to say something on the question of languages. My cousin, Hon. Kapangalwendo, who is not here, and this could be the cry of many hon. Members, where we would like so many languages on ZNBC. I do not support the presence of all the languages on radio and television because it is not possible and the reasons are clear. It will mean reading five or ten minutes news on radio for twenty-four hours if we accommodate all the languages on radio. It is not possible.

Secondly, if we have all the languages on radio it will mean having five or ten minutes segments for the programmes on either radio or television. So, what we are saying is that there should be consideration for languages that can be accommodated on radio ...

Dr Sondashi: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Dr Sondashi: Mr Chairman, I am sorry to cut the hon. Member short, but since Hon. Kapangalwendo is not in, I wanted to assist him. I do not think that Hon. Kapangalwendo wanted all the languages to be spoken on radio, but said some. So, I think that ...

Hon. Government Member: Point of order!

Dr Sondashi: My point of order is to clarify that the hon. Member must not put words into Hon. Kapangalwendo’s mouth because he did not say so. He has come now. Is it in order to exaggerate and mislead this House that Hon. Kapangalwendo wanted all the seventy-three languages to be put on radio. Is that in order, Sir, because we must be factual.

Mr Deputy Chairman: The point of order raised by the hon. Member for Solwezi Central has put the Chair in an awkward position because the Chair did not hear the hon. Member of Parliament for Vubwi on the Floor mentioning a particular contribution, unless the Chair really was deaf. I missed the mention of Hon. Kapangalwendo’s contribution as being the one he was referring to. But be that as it may, I think the hon. Member was still trying to advance his point and give reasons for not recommending too many languages to put on air for lack of time, perhaps. He had not really finished making his point when the point of order was raised. I would have loved that the hon. Member on the Floor was given enough time to make the point and, perhaps, other people could refer to that.

Will you, please, continue. {mospagebreak}

Mr Miti: Mr Chairman, thank you for your guidance. My point is that we cannot accommodate so many languages on ZNBC because it would not be possible. I am talking from experience, Mr Chairman. I was in that institution for twenty-five years and I understand exactly what happens there in as far as this language issue is concerned.

Mr Chairman, allow me to talk about he proliferation of radio and television stations in the country. I commend the Government on the policy of liberalisation of the media industry. I thank the Government for that. But I have an observation to make, Zambia is a third world country. In other words, we are still developing at such a slow pace. And if that is the case, for the sake of quality, can we control the establishment of these radio and television stations regionally in the country. 

What I mean, Mr Chairman, is that if, for example, without mentioning a particular province, maybe, Lusaka could be an exception, but if you talk of Eastern, Luapula and Western provinces, if you have too many radio stations in any particular province, I wonder the quality of programmes that will come out of these stations.

So, in order to maintain quality, I think it is important if we can have a control on how many of these stations could be in a particular region. I know others will talk about liberalisation, but somehow we also have to think about the quality that we require out of these radio and television stations. 

Mr Chairman, there has been a lot of talk about lack of funding. Yes, indeed, it is pathetic to see a ZNBC producer, a Times of Zambia newspaper reporter, a Zambia Information Services journalist without proper transport, and they are covering major events like elections and international conferences. Sir, it is sad. I will give an example of a parliamentary by-election and this particular reporter or producer has no transport and does not have enough money and she or he is expected to cover the by-election. That reporter travels by bus to that particular constituency, I fear that this reporter will be compromised because he or she will come to me to ask for transport to cover a particular area in the constituency.

Sometimes, they would use a vehicle of these NGOs, some of whom I have no respect for. Some of them are really very biased and if you have a reporter going round with some of these NGOs or, indeed, political parties, except the MMD, you would expect a situation where these particular reporters from ZIS, ZANA and ZNBC will have their stand compromised. Sir, I think professionally, this cannot be accepted. 

Mr Chairman, there has been talk about the rural areas, surely when you look at - I am trying to justify the need for more funding. When you talk about the rural areas, surely, most of the programmes that we listen to or watch now do not have a rural touch. The rural touch is not there and the blame should not be on the producers, it is because they are unable to go out there and gather information in the rural areas. We need more of them to go out there to gather rural news. We need more of that type of production to be on our national television and radio.

Mr Chairman, there is this proposed merger of ZANA and ZIS. I want to say that should the Government go ahead with this, please, there should be no misplacement of manpower in the new organisation called ZANIS. Misplacement of manpower will be costly and we shall really be going backwards instead of going forward. So, as they try to re-organise the new department through the proposed merger, we should ensure that professionalism is seriously taken into account, otherwise it will not help at all.

Mr Chairman, my other worry is the partnership ZNBC is going into with other networks. I am sometimes getting jittery or afraid that ZNBC will get overshadowed because we are going to witness too many of these programmes at one stage because we are unable to produce our own which can have the taste of the nation. This will render our young men and women at this institution literally of no value and these are the people the Government has trained. These are the people the Government is paying. So, this partnership must not be at the expense of the production by our own young men and women.

Finally, to justify why there is need for more money in this ministry, surely it is a fact that ZANA, ZIS, ZNBC are losing experienced journalists to private media institutions. The reason is, of course, insufficient money.

Major Kamanga: Like yourself.

Mr Miti: No, not like myself, I went into retirement and retirement has nothing to do with insufficient funds. What I want to say is that, please, can we keep these young men and women by giving them enough money. I am just trying to justify the need for more funding in these institutions.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulongoti (Lufwanyama): Mr Chairman, my contribution will be based on my concern that whilst we acknowledge the fact that the majority of our people in the country are illiterate, there is very little we have done in terms of encouraging the publication of newspapers in the local languages.

Mr Chairman, if we are denying, for instance, 80 per cent of our population access to information because we do not have local newspapers, what does that imply? We are disadvantaging them and because of that, I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to consider that fact. 

Even from a business point of view, consider a local publication in Nyanja, Bemba, Soli, or Lamba selling even at K200 a copy. Because of the numbers of people who are going to buy those copies, you will be able to break even. I do not know whether you have ever given consideration to that, Hon. Minister. Do not always think about the cost involved, but think of a way in which you can recoup some of this money.

Mr Chairman, just imagine if, for instance, the Monitor newspaper was translated into Nyanja, Bemba, or Lamba. Sir, think of how many people would enjoy and also benefit from the information that is available if The Post newspaper was translated into local languages. We should not just concentrate on English. I have seen here you have made a provision - support to public media. You want them to continue publishing in English, what is wrong in supporting public media so that they can move into publishing in Lozi, Nyanja, Bemba, Luvale, Ila, Mambwe, Ushi, and so on?. The people would benefit, it would be another form of employment.

Mr Nkausu: You have forgotten Soli.

Mr Mulongoti: Oh! Hon. Nkausu is protesting, yes, even Soli and Sala. Sir, if you go around town, you will find the disadvantaged waiting to be briefed by the people who have read newspapers in English what is being said and because of that, there is a lot of distortion of information. Hon. Minister, let us consider introducing vernacular papers from provincial centres. If you do not want to print many copies, print a few and eventually you will pick up and the papers will be able to fund themselves.

Mr Chairman, last April, I was in the United States of America, I saw it as part of the empowerment programme. Blacks in America do publish papers which they go selling on the streets to raise money to empower them as a people. I will be grateful, hon. Minister, if you can consider street children, why do you not start something to make them economically self sufficient? Those people are on the streets everyday, why do you not want to empower them by giving them something to do. If there was a publication in vernacular and you employed those street kids to sell those papers, you will be giving them some means of livelihood. All that we are doing, now, is to let them survive by the grace of God.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Lupunga is not here, I would have wanted him to listen to this because if you empower those people, you are also helping this country to cope with the future bombshell. If we do not organise those people by giving them education and some empowerment, we will find difficulties. So, hon. Minister, you have people who can sell the papers for you on the streets and so consider publishing newspapers in the local languages.

Mr Chairman, those of you who have been to Tanzania will appreciate that Tanzanians are very informed for one reason that their newspapers are in Swahili. Even the villager in Tanzania understands issues but here we are clinging to English. Even people who come from Mugubudu, the hon. Member there, we come here not knowing what we are going to say but we want to pretend that we are all English. Let us encourage our local languages, we should not be ashamed to publish newspapers in Nyanja, Bemba, Tumbuka and what have you. It is information and information is power. Please, hon. Minister, I am making this passionate appeal, although Hon. Muloji, who told us he is a cabbage is busy interrupting.

Mr Chairman, in the past we had what we used to call bioscopes in the townships. We learnt a lot from those. What has gone wrong? There are a lot of people in these townships who have got no access to any information. Why do we not introduce bioscopes to keep them occupied in the evening? Our boys and girls have got no other ways of entertainment. In the process, they are multiplying day and night. Introduce things like bioscopes so that they spend time there. For people with television in houses it is a different issue. Their children are provided for. What about the children of those families where there is no television or radio? I suggest that we occupy them so that they are better citizens in the future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muloji (Chavuma): Mr Chairman, at the expense of sounding repetitive not due to my own fault, but circumstances beyond my control, I would wish to pay tribute to the District Information Officer in Zambezi, who is working under very difficult circumstances by covering two districts, Zambezi and Chavuma. Without his services, I am sure Chavuma was going to be cut off information-wise because only this morning, I go the news that there have been some killings in that area.

While I commend the Ministry of Defence for a job well done in protecting that area, I have repeatedly said that the deployment of some of these people is in wrong places. So, I wish to suggest and concur with Hon. Kalenga that Chavuma now is a district on its own and will need the services of a permanent information desk with the modern equipment. This, I think, should be done urgently.

Mr Chairman, the question of radio reception has been discussed in this august House. It may sound like a broken record, going over a groove time and again, but it is important. When I am out there in Chavuma, I become incommunicado. Even picking the best radio station is a problem. We hear of so many kwachas from China, Japan, etc. How possible? I think Chavuma is the furthest point from Lusaka in this country. May I plead, once again, that the radio reception to that area be improved

Mr Chairman, I think I am on record, some time last year, I mentioned that while we appreciate that our radio and television have to make money through commercial advertisements on television, I still find some of them unacceptable. I am referring to one specific one on kwachamania.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Harrington: Good point.

Mr Muloji: It is too loud and noisy. Last time I said that when it comes, I go out of my sitting room. They are still repeating it. We do not need to be shouted at in order to be attracted. Cohesion is much better. You do not have to shout in order to attract the customer you want. I think, my colleagues who control this out there should know that we are sane enough to be whispered to, but we shall definitely be insane if they shout like that just because they want to attract us.

Mr Chairman, I am sure that this year, being an election year, I do not know if the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services would assist those hon. Members and other people out there to acquire public address systems for rural places where there is no electricity. If this was done, from the ministry’s point of view, it may be easier or cheaper to pull resources and we could even buy the service from them. Looking at this in the open market, it may be beyond our ability to buy. So, I am requesting the ministry to acquire public address systems for those of us who will be willing to pay for such equipment.

Mr Chairman, I would like to come to another issue which has been talked about by other hon. Members. The furniture in the offices at the ZNBC complex. - I will not talk about other places I have not visited. I am a regular visitor to the Luvale section. My heart bleeds for the members of staff there. One would not know whether they are in Angola or in a bush somewhere because furniture is non-existent at all. Even when I visit them, they find problems offering me a chair. Sometimes I end up discussing with them while standing. It took one hon. Member here, to donate equipment like computers, etc., to one section which I will not mention because if I do, I may be challenged to name.


Mr Muloji: Mr Chairman, I believe that in my own humble way, I may also make a contribution to the section that is closer to me, but the Government has overall responsibility to ensure that the people they have employed to do a job for this country are comfortable. You do not expect them to run around looking for carton boxes to make tables and empty crates for chairs., not in the third millennium and the Third Republic. What is happening to us?

Mr Chairman, you may excuse me if I am misdirecting my contribution, but I felt that I should make this inquiry while debating the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. Time and again, we have been told that parliamentary business would be covered live on both radio and television. Could we know when this noble task would be started? I am sure it will not only be for the benefit of hon. Members, but it would encourage our electorate to know what goes on here. That is for those who are lucky to have televisions or good radio receptions.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Wina (Chililabombwe): Mr Chairman, I am glad to contribute to this debate. In the first place, I would like to thank Hon. Zimba for having graduated, rather comfortably, from the trade union to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.


Mr Wina: Some of these jobs have just got to be done. So far, I think he has moved on very well.

Mr Chairman, my main issue is about the budget that has been allocated to this ministry. I do not think, in all seriousness, the sum of K6 billion, which is indicated in this Yellow Book is adequate for a mammoth task which this ministry is expected to carry out, especially during this election year and it is the same year in which we are holding the OAU Heads of State Summit and in which there will be an eclipse of the sun. There are a lot of activities which will take place this year. To give the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services this amount of money, I think it is a mockery. I only hope that there will be supplementary Estimates because I cannot see Hon. Zimba pulling through the year with this type of money.

Sir, I have gone down on record as having, very much, defended the role of the Press in this country. I have always said that while the army is responsible for securing our territorial integrity, the Press, radio, and television are just as important as the army. It is only that they are in charge of shaping the minds and attitudes of our people to make them better citizens of this country.

So, the task is extremely important - just as important as the military. It is only that the Press deals with the minds. As a matter of fact, you will find that as time goes on, safeguarding the minds of the people is much more important than the military aspect of it because technology is improving every time. Having made that point, Sir, I would like to only say that I am rather disappointed in the manner the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is carrying out its task.

Hon. Sata, we must make a clear distinction between propaganda and information. Propaganda is tailoring information to suit a certain purpose. Information is dissemination of knowledge. That is what you get from any simple English dictionary.


Mr Wina: My disappointment is that gradually the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is slipping into a propaganda ministry. I think that at the end of the Second Republic, there was so much outcry about so much coverage given on UNIP and, "President Kaunda has said, President Kaunda has said."

Hon. Opposition Members: Now, even MMD has started.

Mr Wina: Now, it has started.

Mr Chairman, another aspect of this matter is the balancing of the news. Some of the news that comes on television and radio is not worth the problem and time to call it national news. I will take the example of the latest euphoria concerning the Third Term. I am not discussing the Third Term, Mr Chairman. I know that it is walking into war zone and I am not walking into that war zone. But, all I am not happy with is the way it has been handled - you switch on a radio or television, you hear that a UNIP official in Choma has said that President Chiluba should go for the Third Term. Yesterday, it was a ZAP official in Mporokoso who said President Chiluba should go for a Third Term. Is that national news?

Hon. Opposition Members: No, no!

Mr Wina: You may have a branch official in Mporokoso and not even a committee official, talking about Third Term. Anybody can pick up a phone and ring and that becomes national news. I think we should be a little bit careful about this. Broadcasting must command the respect of the people who listen. Once they lose respect and credibility of your broadcasting, then you are broadcasting in vain. You will be like a voice crying out in the wilderness.

I am saying this, Sir, because I was, at one time, Minister of Information. Even the carelessness with which we carry out some of these things and I know that some papers are banned from this House, apparently, and I do not know for what reason, ...


Mr Wina: ...but I think the Speaker became averse to newspapers. But, Mr Chairman, you will excuse me if I break that regulation for a minute. In this euphoria of the Third Term and in our enthusiasm to gather more and more support, we are gathering letters from Chiefs. There is this letter from Senior Chief Chiwala, Chairman of Lamba Lima Association supporting the Third Term for the President. This letter, Sir, was reproduced in the Times of Zambia of Wednesday, 7th February, 2001 and it is written on State House headed paper. How does Chief Chiwala, ...


Mr Wina: all seriousness, get State House paper to write the following letter and I quote:

    ‘I refute the Press statement in The Post newspaper for today, 6th February, 2001 associated to Chiefs on the Copperbelt Province, alleging that Lamba Chiefs are against the Third Term calls.

The Chiefs resolved that they support calls by other Chiefs to go for the Third Term by our incumbent President, Mr Frederick Chiluba.

We did sign individual Press statements which are on record and we fully endorse President Chiluba to go for the Third Term, the Chiefs said we continue to support the calls for Third Term. As Chairman of Lamba Lima Association I do not recall any forum where it was resolved to reject the Third Term call as per The Post newspaper allegations.

Senior Chief Chiwala

Chairman of Lamba Lima Chiefs

6th February, 2001’

How do you explain this one? If all Chiefs in this country had access to the stationery from State House, we would be in complete chaos. As I said, I am not entering the war zone of the Third Term or Second Term, but I would like to say that our Government-controlled Press should be careful the way they are carrying out their propaganda roles because once it becomes so obvious to anybody like it is obvious here that it is propaganda, then it loses its entire meaning.

Mr Chairman, the other point I would like to comment upon is the question of the training our young people at ZNBC and even on Government newspapers. Sir, there is no other field in this world which is advancing at such a fast rate like the art and science of communication. The speed at which communication as a whole is advancing is frightening but it is depressing to see the young boys and girls at ZNBC. There is no programme at all for training these people to go and keep abreast with what is happening in the outside world concerning broadcasting, television and communication.

Mr Chairman, when I was Minister of Information, I was in-charge of putting up that Mass Media Complex. One of the reasons why I preferred that complex to be put up by a British company called Marconi, and for those who know Marconi took its name from the man who invented wireless in those days. The Marconi Company which I had preferred to build had entered an agreement that for seven years, they would continue training Zambians who work at broadcasting and television, year after year. Unfortunately, I was kicked upstairs to the Central Committee and a new Minister came on and the contract was given to a Japanese company who were just interested in putting in microphones and irons without taking care that those microphones and irons have got to be used by people who should be trained.

Mr Sata: Who took over from you?

Mr Wina: I cannot remember who took over from me because by then we had entered the tragic set up of the one-party State.

Mr Sata: It was Peter Matoka.

Mr Wina: Was it Peter who took over from me?

Mr Sata: Yes.

Mr Wina: Thank you very much, Hon. Sata.

So, Sir, I am appealing to the hon. Minister to try and look at this aspect of training our boys and girls. I know that we are the worst culprits in this House for booking cameras for all functions. If you go to ZNBC today, you will find a long list of people who want a camera on Saturday for a wedding, matebeto and sometimes for this and that. The boys there are operating under tremendous pressure. We all want to see ourselves on television. We should sit down and see under what conditions those boys and girls work. Their salaries are too low. That is why for the second time, they went on a go slow - hardly a month ago.

Mr Sata: What is a go slow?

Mr Wina: A go slow is working at a pace which you normally do not work at, Mr Sata.


Mr Wina: Like you are going at go slow now and I have noticed that.


Mr Wina: Mr Chairman, we have to pay attention to the training of these boys and girls. It is a difficult world. This is the world of television and it is a technology which is advancing so fast. There is no use to book them for matebeto and so forth just for the camera. I would like to get a programme, an assurance from the hon. Minister that something is being done to try and give these boys and girls an opportunity to go and work outside. Attach them to the BBC and CNN. All other countries are doing that except us. 

Mr Chairman, thank you very much for affording me this opportunity.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: Before I call upon the hon. Minister to wind up, could I have that newspaper which was quoted from and lay it on the Table.

Mr Wina laid the paper on the Table.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Mr Zimba): Thank you, Mr Chairman.

On my record, Mr Chairman, eleven speakers took the Floor and because it is Radio Zambia, they are free to talk and we listen. Now it is my turn to contribute.

Mr Chairman., in the first instance, I want also to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development for his brilliant presentation of the Budget to this House and also congratulate Hon. Kayope for being elevated to a Cabinet position. And he deserves it because from 1960, I had worked with him in Ndola when he was a tax collector and then in trade union formation. Then he went to the university. Actually, we studied together. Today is his day. At the same time, I want to congratulate Hon. Chilombo for equally being appointed to a Deputy ministerial position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I think it is mature leadership which MMD will be proud of and have a record to demonstrate in this country.

Mr Chairman, I would like to thank all hon. Members of the House who have contributed to the debate on the Estimates of Expenditure of my ministry. This is a special year for my ministry, a year which places special challenges on the ministry in fulfilling some national responsibilities.

One of my ministry's major challenges is to immediately embark on an effective information campaign on the need for the people of Zambia to register in their thousands as voters so that they can effectively participate in the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections due later this year. This is an important national programme in which the media has to play a pivotal role to articulate the issues that are at stake and of concern to our country. The voters have to be sensitised to make informed decisions and choice on the type of Government that they want to govern them.

Mr Chairman, one of the priorities of the Government since the MMD came to power, has been the promotion of good governance and democratic ideals in every sphere of our national life. Good governance is an important ingredient of our democratic dispensation. Our track record in this area has been above board. This fact was recognised and acknowledged even by the Consultative Group meeting which held its meeting in Zambia last year. 

This testimony demonstrates the confidence the international community and the co-operating partners have in us. It also proves beyond any shadow of doubt that we are on the right track in our efforts to reconstruct Zambia politically and economically. It is, therefore, important that we do not relent but build on the gains we have made in the last few years to chart a way forward for our country.

Mr Chairman, some of the programmes and activities which the Government will pursue this year and in the years ahead, were ably articulated by the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development on Friday, 26th January, 2001, when he presented this year's Budget to the House. All I can say at this stage is that the measures Hon. Dr Katele Kalumba announced are well intended and to this end, my ministry will go flat out in full force using the media to explain the impact of the Budget and its benefits to the people of Zambia.

Mr Chairman, it is only when our people know and understand fully what their Government is doing that they will support and participate effectively in implementing Government programmes and activities.

Mr Chairman, it is also for the same reason that my ministry has made the extension of the media outreach to all corners of our country a priority. In this regard, I can confirm to the House that the ministry has made remarkable progress in installing FM radio transmitters across the country. These transmitters are designed to boost radio signals for quality reception.

Mr Chairman, with technical assistance from the People's Republic of China, fourteen FM radio transmitters are currently being installed in six provincial centres, namely, Solwezi, Mongu, Mansa, Kasama, Chipata, and Livingstone, including the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Central Province. The project is expected to be completed by May or June this year.

These transmitters will provide excellent radio reception to the people within a radius of 120 kilometres on average from the location of the radio station. What this means is that many of our people in all provinces of Zambia will have clear reception of Radios 1 and 2 of ZNBC. This facility is already being enjoyed by the people of Central, North-Western and Western provinces where the installation of FM transmitters have been completed. As I speak to the House, a team of Chinese engineers and ZNBC personnel are in Mansa to install a radio transmitter there.

Mr Chairman, other plans are underway to ensure that media outreach to all corners of Zambia is completed. As the House will recall, the President last year directed that satellite broadcasting be introduced in Zambia for maximum media coverage of our country. I can only report at his stage that steady progress has been made on this score as the current Budget has an initial vote of K150 million to start implementing this project.

Mr Chairman, these projects cost enormous amounts of money. For my ministry to make progress, it is important that adequate financial resources are allocated to this critical ministry from which the voice of our successes and failures can be heard. Your contribution to this vote calling for more funding is clearly heard and I am most encouraged. I, therefore, ask all hon. Members of this august House to continue supporting the ministry as it endeavours to inform, educate and entertain the people of Zambia through the media. We can only succeed together. However, without your support, failure is guaranteed. Consequently, the destiny of our country will have been jeopardised.

Mr Chairman, other equally challenging task for the ministry, including the dual hosting of the 37th Summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the INFOCOM Africa: Lusaka 2001 Exhibition, both of which will be held in July this year.

Sir, so much has been said about the OAU Summit of the Heads of State and Government in the media and I would not like to dwell much on that. However, let me explain, for the benefit of the House, what the other event, INFOCOM Africa: Lusaka 2001 Exhibition is all about. 

INFOCOM Africa: Lusaka 2001 Exhibition’s primary purpose will be to expose and sensitise African leaders and policy-makers to the need for them to integrate into their national policies the advantages and benefits of acquiring and utilising modern information and communication technologies to accelerate national development in their countries. Africa has lagged behind in the rest of the world in development, not because we lack resources or knowledge to create the necessary wealth, but rather, it is because African countries themselves have not effectively utilised information and communication technologies to spur economic development for the benefit of their peoples, like the so-called developed countries are doing. 

It is precisely for this reason that INFOCOM Africa: Lusaka 2001 Exhibition was conceived to coincide with the OAU Summit, so that the Heads of State and Government would be afforded an opportunity to see the latest state of the art technologies in information and communication during their presence in Lusaka.

My ministry, in collaboration with the OAU Secretariat, is organising this important event in which, along side the exhibition, the media will play a crucial role in promoting the event through advertisements and other publicity materials. Exhibitors and experts in information and communication technologies will be invited to exhibit a range of their modern equipment during the Summit, targeting African leaders to integrate these technologies in their overall development process.

Sir, the exhibition will come at an opportune time for Zambia, which is in the process of developing our national policy on information and communication technology. My ministry, together with the Ministry of Communications and Transport, is taking the initiative, with technical inputs from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), who have immense experience in this field. We shall take on board all stakeholders so that a solid national task force is constituted to work with the ECA in developing a national policy on the ICT.

Sir, the ministry will also concentrate its energies, in co-operation with line ministries, on issues that will help to reduce poverty, fight HIV/AIDS pandemic through newspaper columns; and promote the growth of tourism industry and, in particular, the tourist capital of Livingstone where a multi-million kwacha hotel, Sun International, is in construction and due for commissioning some time in May or June this year. My ministry, again, working in co-operation with other stakeholders, is to produce a special publication to mark the opening of this luxurious hotel, which is destined to attract thousands of tourists to our country. The publication of a high quality publicity material is designed to re-invent Livingstone as the ultimate tourist destination in this region, as it once was.

Sir, I wish to inform the House that the publication will join the long list of many other documents that my ministry has published or plans to publish in future. The two millennium publications we have published in the past have been acclaimed everywhere, as they have become a source of useful information and knowledge in schools, ministries, libraries and diplomatic missions. 

Sir, at another level, my ministry is promoting the establishment of community radio stations, country-wide. These radio stations have proved to be a success story of the MMD Government since it liberalised the air waves in early 1990s. Everywhere one goes, where these facilities are, whether in Mazabuka, Mongu, Lundazi, Ndola or Chipata, Monze, communities have hailed the services the radios are rendering the local community. The programming context is in their own languages, effectively articulating their concerns and priorities about everything ranging from health, poverty, environmental issues, gender, agricultural inputs and income disparities to sports.

Sir, since a lot of things have been said, I want now, briefly, to touch on what was raised. I will not start with the hon. Member who spoke last, that is Hon. Wina, but I will come to him later. The first was Mr Mushala. He asked why we should allocate money to the Film Censorship Board. You know about the films that are being shown in our cinemas and on some of the TV videos and the alert community. At one time it was discovered that certain films carried immoral exposition of the behaviour of some of our girls, and action was taken. I have appointed a Film Censorship Board to, actually, carry out effective inspection and also look at the films that are being shown to the public.

So, the amount of money allocated is to enable that Board function properly so that we have a decent exposure of films to our people. At the same time, the people who form the Board are eminent Zambians. At the same time, Mr Mushala raised the issue of heroes being remembered. I thought this issue should not be directed to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services because this ministry does cover, to a greater length, certain people who have lost their lives. During burials, we carry out some articles on them and as a result, we can only cover, if at all certain heroes are being exhumed for reburial somewhere else. Those films are kept in the library of ZIS and they can easily be looked for so that the memory is recalled.

Hon. Dr Sondashi raised the issue of insufficient funding and most hon. Members who have spoken have also lamented on that. I would say that my ministry had submitted a huge budget in order to meet its functions, but according to Government allocation of funds, they had to cut down the proposals, not only of my ministry, but of other ministries too so that they give it the funds that they feel they can be able to give. Certain circumstances will dictate that supplementary funds be found because certain costs of the items that are in the budget will cost more money. Therefore, the insufficient funding, particularly on the Vote of the satellite, is recognised and we have seen it because the Estimates were of half a billion kwacha, but because of the exchange rates, this might result in it being increased to K1 billion.

Hon. Dr Sondashi also raised the issue of the languages. I would say that we are in no position to reduce the number of vernacular or local languages, but even if there will be some proposal that we add to that, we would rather encourage the community to put up community radio stations where they want to listen to their own languages. That can be done. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services has been of great assistance to such efforts.

Therefore, in North-Western Province, I would say that we have seven languages but only three are on air. The others are not saying that we must also be included. I have also visited the station. We have Kaonde, Luvale, Chokwe, Lunda, Mbunda, Luchazi and Nkoya. So, all these languages would also like to be heard, but within there, it is the monopoly of three which has been maintained and as I said, these have always been there. But if you want to write history of your own tribe, you are free to do so and certain literature will be bought by the people who can read such language.

Mr Chairman, there was some talk about levelling the playing field on ZNBC Radio and Television. I would like to inform the House that the Electoral Commission has been working with ZNBC on how electioneering should be carried out this year. There will obviously be more equitable distribution and proper allocation of air time according to what the Electoral Commission will set. This will be in the guidelines

So, it will be on ZNBC and some private radio stations so that we do not create undue advantage or disadvantage to the other organisations.

Let me come to Hon. Dipak Patel ...

Mr Sata: Uleendesha tupwishe Vote yobe.

Mr Zimba: There are only three.

This is about the proposed (IBA) Independent Broadcasting Authority. This is an Authority that will take over functions of licensing which has been the duty of the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services in giving licences. So an independent body has got to deal with that through proper guidelines and an Act that this House will pass. 

Also, advertisements and programmes in the public media will be regulated by the Electoral Commission to give equal coverage to all political parties. This I have said, and I hope this will be the case even in the private media, so that issues of going to court does not arise- you should know that the system we fought against virtually from the former Head of State said no newspaper - Times of Zambia or the Zambia Daily Mail should entertain information from the Opposition. It is because of that that we had to take them to task and also send their editors on leave and eventually they lost their jobs.

I want  to say this in relation to Hon. Sikota Wina’s comments. Yes, the Budget has got little to offer but at the same time, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services has been appointed as spokesman on Government policy. When you are giving out the Government policy, you have to be in a position to explain the Government policy position and its own main position on certain issues that are being aired in order to put a correction 

We are not going to keep quiet while the community or the people are being misled or given certain information that needs correction. 
When we are giving corrections, it does not mean that it is propaganda or one sided, because as far as we are concerned, that is what it should be. At the same time, when the dailies do write, they have editorial teams which choose what material they should publish and when they should not do so, they are free to put it in. As the matter is, where did the articles come from? 

We have noted that certain NGOs are using seminars with misleading headings that they are human rights seminars, but what comes out from those human rights seminars are actually propaganda works that deal with the Opposition so that at the end of the day, they work against the Government. So, we cannot keep silent to such things. Whoever the source is in funding such seminars we have indeed to find out. So, when people are misrepresenting the views and some of them even invite the people who cannot read and interpret a memorandum, they will say, this is the position of the country. We cannot keep quiet to such things.

On training, the journalists are trained, we have got local schools and they are also sponsored to train abroad in the United States of America, UK and other countries. I want to assure the House that even in my own constituency, ZNBC in Kitwe, that studio will be elevated by causing improvement through additional assistance from some donor countries and this will be very soon so that people on the Copperbelt can also have an advantage of enjoying the information others do enjoy. 

I want to say that when you are talking of Third Term, that issue has been made clear by our party spokesman and as far as we are concerned you are discussing that. 

Mr Patel: Why?

Mr Zimba: You should discuss to know what it is.

Mr Patel: It is an old issue!

Mr Zimba: That is your own opinion and you should listen to the opinion of others.

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Chairman, thank you for supporting this particular Vote.

Vote 26/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 26/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 26/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

(Debate adjourned)


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 13th February, 2001.