Debates- Tuesday 6th February, 2001

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Tuesday, 6th February, 2001

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: I have to announce to the House that in accordance with the provisions of our Standing Orders, I have nominated the following hon. Members to constitute the following Watch-Dog Committees. These Committees are given the mandate to elect their Chairpersons. The hon. Deputy Speaker will preside at the election of the Chairpersons.


1.    Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs (8)

    Mr J. C. Chisanga, MP
    Mrs R. K. Yikona, MP
    Mr M. M. Mwangala, MP
    Mr D. Kalenga, MP
    Mr D. M. Kapangalwendo, MP
    Mr A. W. Sichinsambwe, MP
    Mr J. T. Phiri, MP
    Mr J. M. Simuyandi, MP

2.    Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour (8)

    Mr P. K. Kalifungwa, MP
    Mr L. A. Mumba, MP
    Mr T. J. C. Phiri, MP
    Mr D. L. Shimonde, MP
    Mr W. B. Sikombe, MP
    Mr D. K. A. Patel, MP
    Mr S. Simwinji, MP
    Mr M. E. Hachipuka, MP

3.    Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply (8)

    Mr W. Chipili, MP
    Mr B. Nsakasha, MP
    Mr J. M. Muloji, MP
    Mr S. M. Hlazo, MP
    Mr A. O. C. Kalunga, MP
    Mr P. M. Bupe, MP
    Ms R. Phiri, MP
    Mr J. T. Phiri, MP
4.    Committee on Agriculture and Lands (8)

    Mr J. J. Chipindi, MP
    Mr M. Nkabika, MP
    Mr R. Musakabantu, MP
    Mr L. L. Phiri, MP
    Mr M. M. Chiinda, MP
    Mrs I. S. M. Chisala, MP
    Mr P. Matubulani, MP
    Dr. L. P. Kamata, MP

5.     Committee on Energy, Environment and Tourism (8)
    Mr G. C. Sikasote, MP
    Mr S. C. Chilombo, MP
    Mr A. M. Mwila, MP
    Mr C. U. Sibetta, MP
    Mr S. Namakando, MP
    Mr A. P. Miti, MP
    Ms D. M. Tembo, MP
    Mrs E. J. Tembo, MP

6.    Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs (8)

    Major F. K. K. Kamanga, MP
    Mr A. C. Luhila, MP
    Mr C. N. Mponda, MP
    Ms D. M. Tembo, MP
    Mr M. G. Chibambula, MP
    Mr M. M. Mabenga, MP
    Mr J. Mfula, MP
    Colonel B. K. Makumba, MP

7.    Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services (8)
    Mr A. P. Miti, MP
    Mr P. Kangwa, MP
    Mr S. Wina, MP
    Dr. S. Kabanje, MP
    Mr G. K. Nang’omba, MP
    Mr G. C. Sikasote, MP
    Captain C. A. Chewe, MP
    Mr E. M. Mwanza, MP

8.    Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Welfare     (8)

    Mr E. N. Keembe, MP
    Princess Nakatindi Wina, MP
    Mr E. M. Mwanza, MP
    Mr C. U. Sibetta, MP
    Ms J. H. M. N. Phiri, MP
    Mr J. L. Muasa, MP
    Captain C. A. Chewe, MP
    Mr A. Kalunga, MP

9.    Committee on Education, Science and Technology (8)

    Mr R. K. K. Sichinga, MP
    Mr A. Ndhlovu, MP
    Mr H. F. Nyundu, MP
    Mr G. M. Mushiba, MP
    Mr C. C. Museba, MP
    Mr C. M. Shumina, MP
    Dr I. Mbikusita-Lewanika, MP
    Mr C. Sinyangwe, MP

10.    Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender     Matters (8)

    Mr C. T. A. Banda, MP
    Ms C. C. Mwansa, MP
    Mr J. Mwape, MP
    Mr D. M. Sokontwe, MP
    Mr A. R. Machher, MP
    Mrs J. M. Nondo, MP
    Mr E. M. Hachipuka, MP
    Mr G. M. Mushiba, MP

11.    Committee on Sport, Youth and Child Affairs (8)

    Mrs I. S. M. Chisala, MP
    Mr A. M. Mwila, MP
    Ms R. Malama, MP
    Mr E. Mweni, MP
    Mr P. M. Bupe, MP
    Mr B. Tetamashimba, MP
    Mr P. Chungu, MP
    Mrs J. M. Nondo, MP



(Resumption  of Debate)

VOTE 05/01 - (Electoral Commission - K89,888,798,051).

Mr Sichinga (Isoka-East): Mr Chairman I wish to make a number of observations as we consider the Vote for the Electoral Commission and I wish to say, clearly, that the Electoral Commission is a very important instrument, a very important organ of the Government especially this year. 

I would like to preamble my submission, Mr Chairman, by stating that unless the Electoral Commission is genuinely independent, be able to enforce equitable and balanced and to be seen to be equitable in its regulations, it will create a very difficult situation for those of us vying to take control of the Government.

I have been rather concerned, Mr Chairman ...

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Mr Simasiku): On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Sibetta: Point of jealous.

Mr Sichinga: ... I am concerned because ...

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Simasiku: Mr Chairman, I am very sorry to interrupt my good friend. I rise on a very serious point of order on which I need your ruling. I wish to quote from yesterday's, publication of The Post, 5th February, 2001 on page nine, The Business News and the subject entitled Sichinga Exposes Budgetary Flaws and I quote.

    ‘Not even the Cabinet has an in-depth understanding of how the budget system works, Isoka-East Member of Parliament Robert Sichinga has observed. Sichinga, who was one of the discussants at the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace CCJP Social Forum on the 2001 budget last Friday, said as Parliament stands, it does not debate or change estimates in the budget and that very little changes were made to what appeared in the Yellow Book.

    He said while efforts were made to consult, Parliament was not consulted and that not even the Cabinet understood how the budget was worked out. The Finance Minister simply presents what he has gathered to his colleagues and unless it has a political standpoint, they are not really interested, he said.

    Sichinga observed that construction of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) village even before Parliament could approve expenditure prompted him to ask where the money to begin construction had been sourced and how it was allocated. He wondered if Parliament was of any use charging that it was just a rubber stamp. Sichinga said the problem was not resources but the allocation and utilisation.’

The subject continues. Now, Mr Chairman, I attended this function and I heard these words myself. Is it in order to state, outside this House, that Parliament is a rubber stamp, thereby bring into disrepute its constitutionality ...

Mr Patel: Yes!

Mr Simasiku: ... standing  stature, sanctity and dignity? I seek your serious ruling and I lay this paper on the Table.

Mr Simasiku laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Patel: That is why you bring Bills in one day and pass them.


The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Development has raised an interesting point of order in which he questions, in his own words, whether it is in order for someone to say something about Parliament outside this House. As far as I can remember, going by my past experience, an hon. Member of Parliament may express his opinion outside this House without committing an offence. But if it is expressed on the Floor of the House it becomes the duty of those in the Government, in the Front Bench to rebut and explain the correct situation ... 

Mr Sibetta: Correct!

The Chairman: ... and I think that the Hon. Deputy Minister (Mr Simasiku) and the Front Bench as a whole, have a duty to try and clarify those issues that were discussed if they think that they are worth discussing on the Floor of the House today, so that everybody is properly informed. As regards the use of ‘rubber stamp’ even though the statement was made outside the House, it does impinge on the dignity of the House. 

For that I will ask for the indulgence of the House that you give us time to look at whether, in fact, there is an offence committed by referring to this House outside as ‘rubber stamp’. Had it been inside, certainly, I would have ruled the hon. Member out of order. So, the hon. Deputy Minister, perhaps, should give us time to look at the text or substance of that point of order and come back at a later date with a ruling. Will the hon. Member, please, continue?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: Long live Siavonga and the its people.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Chairman, in view of that particular point of order, I think that it is in order to say that ...

Mr Sibetta: No, no, just continue.

Mr Sichinga: ... the main reason why we want to debate the matters here, conclusively, is because we want to have a say. And this is why it is important that matters are brought to the Floor of the House. 

Mr Patel: Yes, hammer!

Mr Sichinga: I want to say, Mr Chairman, that the independence of the Electoral Commission is very important and I want to point out certain limitations that I have observed in the performance of the duties of the Electoral Commission. I do beg my colleague, Hon. Ngulube, to just give me chance. He will have his say as well if he wants to.

Mr Chairman, I did indicate that having looked through the budget and I did not see any provision in the Vote of the Electoral Commission for the delimitation exercise. There has been no provision whatsoever made. This, therefore, assumes that there will probably be no work undertaken by the Electoral Commission. I did make reference to the debate that Hon. Charity Mwansa had given during our earlier debate during which she did raise this particular point.

Secondly, Mr Chairman, I also observe that there has been no provision for registration of new voters. In this House, a number of people have pointed out that several of our people remain unregistered. According to my recollection it has been indicated that approximately 4.3 million people are eligible to vote. But they cannot exercise their right because they are not registered as voters. Only 2.3 million people are registered as we stand at the moment, according to the Nikuv Registers.

Sir, this is a major deprivation of the individual rights of the public and the electorate in general to exercise their vote. Therefore, it is necessary, in my opinion that the registration of citizens exercise be undertaken. Once again, I see that there is no provision in the Electoral Commission and neither is there any provision under the Ministry of Home Affairs. I make reference to Head 15/06 - National Registration. I have checked through that vote and other votes, there is no provision whatsoever for the registration of citizens. Now, as all of us in this House know, members of the public that would like to exercise their vote must have a National Registration Card. Up to this point in time there has been no indication from the Government regarding the use of any other identity cards. Yet we have had undertakings from the Minister of Home Affairs stating that this exercise was to be undertaken, certain moneys have been paid, and yet we do not know where we stand as at this point in time. I believe, Mr Chairman, that the registration of citizens in order that they can exercise their voter’s right should be undertaken. I am surprised that there has been no provision and I wonder how this exercise will be undertaken.

In this vein, Mr Chairman, I want to say that many times, towards elections and as we have observed in by-elections, voters have been provided with identity certificates which have been mostly misused to add votes, especially to the ruling party. Mr Chairman, this situation cannot be allowed to go on. 

Mr Chairman, I am also concerned about the election offences and irregularities which the Electoral Commission has not been able to correct. And when the Chairman of the Electoral Commission has been asked, he has stated that this is the responsibility of another organ of the Government. Therefore, we have seen many a time, during elections, there has been no arbitration.

Mr C. Ngulube: Yellow card!

Mr Sichinga: I want to bring to this House’s attention and I am sure that many other hon. Members are aware that we have had cases where individuals have used voters' cards which have not been claimed by the rightful individuals. In other words, you have had people misusing the unclaimed voters' cards by unauthorised persons. This has also led to voters casting their votes twice or more. Mr Chairman, this takes away the credibility of any voting system as being equitable.

These failures, Mr Chairman, can cause a major problem, and when we see problems in other countries after elections, we should not be surprised. We should prevent this situation in our country. And therefore, in as much as I support this Vote, I am deeply concerned that there has not been sufficient provision for important exercises that must be undertaken, that is, the voters' registration as well as delimitation exercise.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Kamata (Nchanga): Mr Chairman, the Electoral Commission is that body which is entrusted with the duty of preparing for elections, general elections and by-elections as well as actually conducting these elections. In that vein, Sir, they are the people who prepare and announce the date of the elections.

Mr Chairman, if you look at our history since independence, you will find that all our general elections have been held during the rainy season. The rainy season in Zambia starts in October in some provinces. The hon. Member for Chipangali may not know this because he never previously left the Eastern Province. In January 1964, there were general elections. There were also general elections in December 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988; in October 1991 and in November, 1996. Mr Chairman, the last Local Government Elections which were held in 1998 were held in the middle of the rainy season in December. This is the only election which the country had been waiting for for three years and yet when it did come, it was placed right in the middle of the rainy season. It puzzles my mind, Mr Chairman, why we insist on having elections during the rainy season for a number of reasons:

Firstly, transport during the rainy season is very difficult and, in some areas, even impassable. If we transferred the elections to the dry season, more people would be able to vote and voter apathy would be minimised.

The other reason why we should not hold elections during the rainy season is that it is the busiest season of the year in Zambia. Most Zambians cultivate their land during this time and also plant their crops, which crops carry them over throughout the year. I wonder, sometimes, Mr Chairman, whether the Electoral Commission is not aware that we, in Zambia, do not grow enough food to feed ourselves and this is the reason why malnutrition is so widespread not only among the children but also among adults.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Especially Bembas, chitemene system!

Dr Kamata: The rainy season is the only time to cultivate our land and plant our crops and yet we compound this problem by bringing the voting right in the rainy reason, during the only season in which we can prepare our land and plant our crops. It is my view, Mr Chairman, that the Commission is not helping to alleviate poverty ...

Mr Nyangu: Ati shani?


Dr Kamata: ... by bringing elections during the rainy season. 

Some people may argue that bringing elections during the rainy season helps to have classrooms ready for elections because most schools in the country are used as polling stations. But these elections could be held during the school term if we hold these elections on Saturdays or Sundays. For example, in Germany elections are always held on Sundays in order to minimise loss of productive hours. 

Mr Chairman, I had hoped that this year after the successful census last year, ...

Mr Mulenga entered the Chamber.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear, Kawimbe!


Dr Kamata: ... we are going to experience demarcation or re-demarcation of wards, polling stations and constituencies.

Mr Chairman, I do not envy the work of the Electoral Commission as they seek to reconcile the bigger geographical areas of some constituencies like Kasempa, Lufwanyama, Mpongwe, Kanchibiya and Mfuwe and the large population of some of the constituencies like Chingola, Nchanga, Bwacha, Mandevu, e.t.c. But there is one thing they can do and do easily and that is, demarcating polling stations in such a way that in a given constituency, the number of registered voters is more or less the same.

I had one extreme case in the general elections in 1996 in Nchanga Constituency where one polling station had only twenty-five registered voters and in the next room, there was another polling station with over 1,000 registered voters. The results were that the officers manning the polling station with only twenty-five voters had a free day as they were playing most of the time whereas the officers with the registered number of voters of over 1000 had no time even to have a glass of water during the day.
But worse still, a polling station with over 1,000 registered voters went on voting until well over 2100 hours and even then, a number of voters were turned away when eventually the polling was closed. This, Sir, should not be necessary and we can minimise turning away of voters by ensuring that in a given constituency, the number of registered voters are more or less evenly distributed among the polling stations.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika (Mongu): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity. In the first place, I would like to register my great disappointment with the Electoral Commission of Zambia. I think it is the biggest disaster and fiasco we have ever experienced in this country. In fact, I am very upset with them because they have not done their job and their independence is questionable. 

Mr Chairman, I am disappointed with the fact that since 1996, we knew that this was election year but nothing has been done and I wonder if they are interested in the job or not because this hinges on the rights of the Zambians. We were expecting to have a massive registration of voters soon after 1996 elections. This was public and everybody knew about it, so that even by last year, all the voters would have been registered. Many Zambians want to vote. The Electoral Commission has a tendency to confuse with those who do not want to vote. We are always talking about those who want to vote. There are those who try to get their National Registration Cards and voters' cards but have been denied that opportunity and it is my hope that we can really get the reason why they have not registered Zambians, when their major job is to register Zambians. They know that a very big election is coming.

Mr Chairman, I would like to propose that in view of the fact that the Electoral Commission has miserably failed to do their duty, there is no way, with the time left and the rainy season is already on us and some areas are already flooded, that they cannot do the two exercises. I would like to propose that all the energies and the resources and human beings that we have are all geared for the National Registration Cards so that we can make sure that all the young people who have turned eighteen or sixteen years old since 1996 have National Registration Cards. My own proposition, Sir, is that all Zambians vote by National Registration Cards.

Mr Chairman, some hon. Members will recall that in 1991, at that time, we in the MMD braced for voting through the National Registration Cards. I was at that table and Mr Jimmy Carter was there. That was our proposal because many people wanted to vote. And there was also a commitment to continue voters' registration but it has been very disappointing and so it is my hope that all the energies and the resources can be put in the National Registration Cards so that the people can vote by using National Registration Cards.

Mr Chairman, I am also very disappointed with the continued inferiority complex in looking down on ourselves, Zambians, and production. Ever since 1964, Zambians have registered their own voters, which meant continued learning and improving and also a source of employment but this experience has been denied Zambians and given to non-Zambians who have done a worse job than the Zambians ever did.

Mr Speaker, it has been suggested by some citizens of this country that the Electoral Commission work on ensuring that Zambians outside this country also be registered so that they can vote.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Sir, 1996 to this present day is a lot of time and they could have made arrangements.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Order! Is there a caucus meeting there?

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, with the modern technology and modern communication, if the Electoral Commission was serious, they could have found a way by which Zambians who are outside this country can also participate in voting. This is their country, they have the technology and they are interested in the affairs. And from what we see in the papers, they are always eager to contribute and it will be very unfortunate if this Electoral Commission continues to deny these Zambians the right to vote.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Hear, hear!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: So, Sir, I would like the Electoral Commission to do whatever they can since they are used to this fire brigade type of management. They will always wait for the rainy season, they will always wait for the last minute and we would like in this last minute style of their fire brigade type of work for them to give National Registration Cards to all the Zambians who are over sixteen years old and to ensure that all Zambians abroad do vote.

Mr Chairman, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission is a learned person and he has colleagues in this region and he is even the Chairperson of the SADC Electoral Commission in this region. He is answerable to his colleagues. What is he going to say to them, what heritage is he leaving for his children, what impact has he left on Zambia and what are we going to remember him for and what is Africa going to remember him for, for hindering Zambians from voting?

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. T. A. Banda (Mkaika): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this very important Vote.

Mr Chairman, the Electoral Commission is a very important institution in this land and from the lessons we have had so far through the by-elections we have had, I think that they have done very well and I think that they need to be commended.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Question!

Mr C. T. A. Banda: Mr Chairman, there is one problem that I would like to bring out in relation to a voter and the ability to vote and this is the legal requirement which says that the voter at the time of voting, must first produce the voter's card and then he must also produce the National Registration Card. Now, this requirement inhibits a lot of our people in the exercise of their right to vote because in most cases, they will be able to come, maybe, with one of the required documents. I think that it is time that we revisited this legal requirement and, if possible, make an amendment to the Electoral Registration of Voters Regulations which is Regulation 12 which provides for this.

Mr Chairman, it, in fact, says that you have to be on the voters' roll. I thought that the requirement of being on the voters' roll would be sufficient for anybody to be allowed to vote if he comes with either the voter's registration card or the identity card. I think that if we have to do very well, my suggestion is to amend this regulation so that it either includes other identity cards or documents such as passport, because it carries the picture of the person on it or the driving licence so that if the voter does not come with either of the two documents which are provided for in the law but comes with any of the two I have mentioned qualifies to vote. Mr Chairman, I must say that we have had a lot of problems during the by-elections where we have had to ferry voters to the office of the District Administrator because they had either lost voters’ cards or National Registration Cards, where they had to have the voter's certificate to be able to vote or get a duplicate registration card. Now, we can avoid this, Mr Chairman, because I think this is an expense. As I said, my suggestion is that we amend this regulation so that it includes either the passport or driving licence or exclude one of the two so that only one of the documents is used for voting.

Mr Chairman, this has been tried in other jurisdictions. I attended an observer mission in Zimbabwe where I found that any of the documents mentioned here make do for a voter to exercise his right to vote. So, I think that we can also do it here. It will, indeed, enable many of our people to vote.

Mr Chairman, during or before elections, we are supposed to inform our people on what they are required to do. This seems to be the function under the Electoral Commission and, of course, the Non-Governmental Organisations and other civic groups. What has happened is that in most cases, where I have attended a by-election and participated, voter education is absolutely not there. There have been occasions when a voter does not know a candidate he is going to vote for. In fact, some are not even aware that on that day there are elections taking place. This is because these civic groups have not done enough to educate the people and make them aware that there are elections, they are candidates and there are policies of Government for which they have to exercise their rights. So, we need to ensure that these people know that they have their right to vote.

My last point, Mr Chairman, is on the Boundary Delimitation Commission. I am aware that there has been a census this year and according to the law, there is provision that soon after the census, there must be delimitation of either constituencies, wards, polling districts or polling stations. Now, I can see that we are too silent over this one. It means that, when need arises for a delimitation exercise, the commission will do this in a hurry. I think that we need to do a good job. It is time we prepared in good time so that we have sufficient time to do the delimitation exercise and consultations so that other people also participate in this sort of exercise.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Muloji (Chavuma): Mr Chairman, at the expense of sounding repetitive, I would like to start by urging the Electoral Commission to look seriously at the issue of increasing polling stations in rural constituencies like my constituency. Married to that, is the same issue of delimitation. It is a must that constitutionally, every after ten years, especially that a census has taken place, this must be looked into so that we do not have vast areas to cover as Members of Parliament.

The next point, Mr Chairman, is that the Electoral Commission in the past have had some lapses which I think they must correct. I remember, in Chavuma, there were Local Government Elections which took place. We were very disappointed in one area where only two ballot books were made available to a polling station. The Opposition had pre-knowledge of this and they took advantage. They sent their people to vote in the early hours of the day. By the time the majority went to vote, more than a thousand people were turned away from the station. A councillor was elected from the minority. This is not the desire of the electorate. So, the Electoral Commission must, this time around, make sure that they provide enough ballot papers or books so that everybody, including the late-comer, would find a paper to make their vote a must.

Mr Chairman, thirdly, may I lament about behaviour. I do not know whether this is common in other constituencies, but lately, it has become fashionable for civil servants, especially teachers in Chavuma, who have openly been found to be campaigning for the Opposition. In one instance, at an election, I personally set a trap for one electoral officer who pretended to assist an illiterate person when he was able to write. When we asked the teacher to assist the semi-illiterate person, he decided to write a name of his own favourite person and we caught him in the act and had him transferred from this station.

So, Mr Chairman, what I am saying here is that the Opposition will be happy because they will be helped by such unscrupulous characters. My appeal is that in a place like Chavuma, I would rather we use the church because I know that the few civil servants in Chavuma are all pro-Opposition. This must be looked into. We would not want people who take sides to settle scores on the ballot papers.

Mr Chairman, I do not know whether the next point would come under the Electoral Commission. if it should not, I beg your indulgence. I do not know whether it is a constitutional oversight, each time we have Presidential Elections, we do not provide for hand-over and take-over period. I am sorry if I am stepping on constitutional matters, but if not, I believe that it is high time our Constitution involved a period when a president comes into office, there must be a specifically set out period in which one takes over from or hands over to the other. The haphazard manner of doing things where we do not know who is taking a book from the library and things like that, should be avoided.

Thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: Any further debate? Major Kamanga.

Hon. Members: Boxer! Tyson!


Major Kamanga: Mr Chairman, I stand to support the Vote on the Floor of this House. The power of the people is through the ballot box. We have a clear testimony of what a vote can do. The only unfortunate part, Sir, is that the Opposition tend to give a wrong impression that voting in the last nine years has been during the rainy season in order to advantage ourselves. They have completely forgotten that it is clearly spelled out in the Constitution that elections will be held within ninety days of either a hon. Member dying or being expelled.

Mr Chairman, the Electoral Commission carries out what we have said should be done through the Constitution. The Constitution was not passed by outsiders. It was passed by ourselves here. So, I am urging the Opposition that their people should not be dying during rainy seasons. They should be dying in the dry season so that elections can be held during that time.

Mr Chairman, it would have been better if they had suggested that the Government should consider that when seats fall vacant during the rainy season like now in areas where roads are impassable, elections be done when the roads are passable. I think that will be more reasonable. Let us not just criticise for the sake of it.

Mr Chairman, we know how many kilometres our voters have to walk - whether it is to register themselves as voters or to vote. I am urging the Government to bring up a Bill that we must approve in this House that mobile voter registration or mobile voting stations should be allowed by law. The only way the Zambian is going to speak is through the ballot box. I, therefore, urge the Government to consider this so that a law is put in place for the Electoral Commission can have mobile voters’ registration and mobile voting stations.

We all know because most of us come from rural areas. Even those who are hon. Members from urban areas come from rural areas. People walk more than thirty or forty kilometres in certain areas to go and vote. Most of these voters do not go to vote because of the distance. It is, therefore, important that at least this year, voter registration and voting can be availed to those living very far away, especially to those who are very old and not able to walk long distances. I am sure Hon. Kangwa will agree with me.

Hon. Member: Because he is very old.

Major Kamanga: I do not agree with that. It is just that he is not very young.

Mr Chairman, I am urging the Government that as soon as we pass the Budget, the Electoral Commission should be given whatever monies ...

Dr Sondashi: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Dr Sondashi: I am sorry to raise a point of order on the hon. Member speaking. But is it in order for the Opposition to speak in low voices that I should not raise a point of order on the hon. Member on the Floor because he can beat me since he recently beat up a hon. Minister?


Dr Sondashi: Is it in order for the Opposition to fear to raise a point of order on the hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi and instead they have asked me to raise it on their behalf? Unless, I am protected, I will be in serious problems.


The Deputy Chairman: The Chair is taken aback by that point of order because I am not aware of anybody who beat up an hon. Minister. Since the Chair is not aware, it will treat that point of order as frivolous for the time being.

Will the hon. Member, please, continue.

Hon. Members: You are the next one.


Major Kamanga: Mr Chairman, I know that hon. Opposition Members know that we are going to whack them even if we have mobile voting stations or vote using registration cards. My sister-in-law, Hon. Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika knows very well what I am talking about.

Mr Chairman, I do not think there will be any problems for us to use National Registration Cards for the purposes of voting. But the question is, are we, in Zambia today, ready to use only registration cards without registering as a voter to express our wish and will? It is a good idea but the time is not right for us. As we know, in any system, it takes time to polish up.

Mr Chairman, with these few words, I am urging the Government to reconsider mobile voter registration and mobile voting.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): In the first place, I would like to call upon the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development or His Honour the Vice-President to clear the air when they wind up debate because the Yellow Book is showing that the Electoral Commission will be provided with K89 billion. Yet, in the Budget Speech, we were informed that it will be provided with K64 billion.

Now, these kinds of anomalies do arise sometimes in this House, depending whether you have an official report or not. I would be very grateful if the air is cleared as to which figure we are debating right now. Is it the one in the speech or Yellow Book?

Secondly, Sir, ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Hon. Sibetta is experienced enough to know that when we discuss Estimates of Expenditure, we are discussing figures in the Yellow Book and not any other figures that he may know about. Please, let us discuss the ones in the Yellow Book.

Mr Sibetta: It was one way of bringing the anomaly to the attention of the Chair so that the Chair is aware that there has been an anomaly.

Mr Chairman, it is very disappointing for a country like Zambia whose Chairman of the Electoral Commission is the Chairman for SADC Region Electoral Commissioners and yet here in Zambia where the Chairman is, the election report for 1996 is not out. I do not know when this report is going to be out and tabled here. We cannot have a situation where it takes five years for the Electoral Commission to produce a report on which we were elected to this House. This kind of inefficiency should not be tolerated. I hope the Leader of the House will give us an explanation as to why up to now, the Electoral Commission has not sent to this House the report on the 1996 elections. This is very serious. 

Furthermore, this country does pride itself in the separation of powers. I think it is time we got ordinary laymen and women, people of higher integrity, to lead this commission rather than to drive our judges into administrative duties. Judges have a patent given to them by the President to be in the courts not to do electoral or administrative functions that can be done by laymen. When the Leader of the House covers this matter, I would like him to tell us why this anomaly has been tolerated by the country such that day in day out, it reminds us of separation of powers.

Mr Chairman, this country is following a system called ‘first pass the post’ which means if you have just one vote above your rival’s, you can still be elected to this House. I remember many years ago in Mazabuka, one candidate came to the House beating his opponent by only seven votes. Now, I feel time is ripe for Zambia to move on proportional representation ...

Hon. Government Members: Why?

Mr Sibetta: ... because some of you are not contributing effectively. You are here ...

Hon. Government Member: Just to eat.


Mr Sibetta: I thank you, Sir. We need people who can come here on proportional representation, including me as an Independent. I would be free to come here if I was elected by a party. I know you will say why because some of you, without, perhaps, your party supporting you, would have not come here. Some of you are saying ‘why, why, why’. You just lost.


Mr Sibetta: If you lose in your party elections, how much can you lose in proportional representation? Next time, we must move to proportional representation so that we can improve the stature of the Opposition because you will have enough people from various shapes and walks of life who will still come to this House. After all, some of the countries in the region are moving to proportional representation such as South Africa and Mozambique and these two are members of the Commonwealth like ourselves. This is an old English system we are trying to follow and it is not sometimes very democratic. It is time we moved to something that can bring men and women of various shapes and thoughts to this House and help the Government to be able to govern the country properly.

Furthermore, Mr Chairman, I think we need to move to a re-run system on the presidential vote. One of these days, we will find that like what nearly happened in Ghana, presidential candidates were tying very closely. If they had no re-run system, I think you would have had to consult witch doctors as to which one of these had won. 


Mr Sibetta: We do not want to wait until we go and see the traditional healers on these matters of importance. I think if the commission was doing its work, like in Mozambique and South Africa, we would have had this country moving on proportional representation.

In this regard, let me thank the commission that supervised the elections in Lusaka recently. They were not biased. They did a good job. Hon. Suresh Desai, you did a good job.


Mr Sibetta: The country ...

Hon. Government Member: Name?

Mr Sibetta: I am not naming the lucky one. Everybody in the country knows that Lusaka has sent a signal.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: The people are very happy that Lusaka has given a lead and silenced some loud ‘mouthists’ that were toppled.

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

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

The Vice-President: The elections which were held recently were for the party. Now, this Vote is dealing with the Electoral Commission which handles general elections.

Mr Patel: We are helping you.


The Vice-President: Is he in order to confuse the two?

The Deputy Chairman: I am most grateful for that point of order raised by the Vice-President because even the Chair was beginning to be very itchy over the reference to party elections taking place within the ranks of MMD countrywide. This particular vote is referring to national elections. I was going to order the hon. Member, perhaps, to reflect on the difference between the two. Fortunately, the Vice-President timely raised that point of order. 

Will the hon. Member for Luena, please, try to be relevant and address the electoral system in so far as it relates to national elections.

Will he continue, please.

Mr Sibetta: I thank you, Mr Chairman. I would like to really congratulate the two generals in that camp.

Thank you, Sir.


Mr Musakabantu (Nominated): Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, I would like to begin my very brief contribution by congratulating our Electoral Commission on chairing the Committee of Electoral Commissions of the SADC Region. To me, this is an honour to this country and I think we must take pride in it. It is common in this country that when you have international organisations chaired by other countries, we feel very happy about it. When our own people go there, we do not seem to like it. For me, I think this is very good. The former Member of Parliament for Nalolo is now heading some organisation in the region. I think it is very good. 

I will be very brief in my contribution. I just want to refer to two issues which I consider to be inadequacies in the Electoral Commission. One of them is that we would like to believe that a vote is a constitutional thing that when we go to vote, only I can decide on election day who to vote for. Sometimes, we do get people going round discouraging people from voting as was the case in 1996 and I think that is unconstitutional because as at now, it does not seem to be provided for adequately. So, I would like to suggest that steps be taken for the future, at least, to ensure that if someone threatens or orders me not to go and vote, he must be considered to have offended by discouraging me from exercising my constitutional right. That is obstruction as was the case with the late party UNIP. If they had taken part in those elections in 1996, in my view, certain people in this country would have exercised their rights and would have given their voice so that the Government, now, would have been responding to either their support or withdrawal of their support through the election. The other inadequacy I consider to be existing in the electoral law is the fact that in this country anybody can stand for elections even if they are not registered voters themselves.

Now, I consider this to be a serious omission and I think that the Electoral Commission should take steps to ensure that if I want to go to Parliament, I must be a registered voter, have a moral responsibility to support myself and the Presidential candidate so that as I get elected, I also cast a vote. But, as it is now, I doubt whether certain people elected from certain places like Mongu could be considered to be voters, especially the former Member of Parliament for Mongu.

Sir, I meant to be very brief and simply to mention the functions of the commission.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Chairman, before I begin this short debate, I just want to pass my condolences to Hon. S. P. Mulenga for losing the elections. I did, however, tell him last week that if he joined the Wamuyaya. Club, even a frog would beat him.


Mr Patel: Mr Chairman, ...

Mr Mulenga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Chairman, I need a ruling on a very serious point of order concerning the hon. Member of Parliament who is a very good friend of mine. Is he in order to refer to me as somebody who is dead or as if I lost a relative? What condolences does he want?


The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central, I am sure, made a slip of the tongue. He meant to commiserate with the hon. Deputy Minister for Lusaka Province.


The Deputy Chairman: We certainly do not have any information before us that you have lost any relative recently but as a good friend, I think, the hon. Member for Lusaka Central was right in trying to commiserate with you because we all know what it means to lose an election. So, he was in order to commiserate with you.

Will he continue, please.


Mr Patel: Mr Chairman, there are just one or two issues that I wish to highlight for His Honour the Vice-President and that is related laws that affect elections, particularly on petitions of those Members of Parliament who may lose or want to petition an election. The current law suggests that within six months of the petition, there should be judgement made. In practice, that is not the case and I was wondering how he, with his colleague on his right, the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs, can work on these issues to ensure that petitions are held in accordance with the current law.

The other issue also regarding petitions is the 1996 election, for example, when the current out-going President was petitioned on the citizenship. My question is this; after the 1996 election when President Chiluba won his last and final term, what would have been the consequences in the country if that petition had gone against him who had won the elections? The consequences in the country would have been quite serious and I was wondering if the law can be amended so that petitions are held in a timely fashion so that the country does not end up in a situation of crisis.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Machungwa): Mr Chairman, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

First of all, I support this Vote and I wish to commend the Electoral Commission on the work that they are doing under very difficult conditions. The Electoral Commission, since it was established as an autonomous unit, has worked very hard and faced a lot of hurdles. One of the biggest hurdles they have faced is the criticism which comes from various quarters of our society, some of which is unjustified.

One issue that Members of Parliament and others outside have referred to is the issue of when voting should be held in this country. It is alleged or argued that there is something sinister about holding elections at certain times of the year. That it is being done to the advantage of the ruling party, MMD ...


Dr Machungwa: .Let me just give some history about general elections in Zambia.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: We know it.

Dr Machungwa: In 1964, the General Elections were held on 28th January.

Hon. Opposition Members: Fyakale.

Dr Machungwa: Those were the elections in 1964 and I am sure 28th January is in the rainy season. In 1968, Presidential and General Elections were held on 19th December.

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

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Before that point of order, could I appeal to the House to recognise that we have a very crowded timetable before the end of the year. We have a lot of economic and political issues to settle and the earlier this House disposes of its business during this sitting, the better for everybody. So, unless we find it absolutely necessary to raise points of order, let us desist from doing so. Having said that, I will take that point of order.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: I need your serious ruling. Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to come to this House and recite the history that we all know when he knows very well that one of the reasons why Mr Kaunda was removed with such a low percentage was some of his misdeeds? Is he in order to insist that the Government that was elected by the people to improve and do things better can go back to what the people rejected? Is he in order to subject us to what we already know?

The Deputy Chairman: In that point of order, I would like to advise the hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu that it is proper for hon. Ministers, when they stand up to give replies, to also use history to back their arguments. They should not be seen to discuss without any evidence because history always has something to teach us for the future. So, he is perfectly in order to refer to what happened before to prove that this is not an abnormal situation. 

Will the hon. Minister, please, continue.

Dr Machungwa: If the hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu is patient enough, she will learn something but if she is impatient, it is not surprising that she is in a two-person party.

Mr chairman, I was just indicating that the elections of 1968 were held on 19th December. The next general elections in 1973 were also held in December, the elections of 1978 were held in December. The elections that were held in the dry season were only those in 1983, 1988 and 1991. The other elections we had in 1996 were in November.

The point I am trying to make is that there are certain contingent circumstances that occur in the nation. Sometimes, it makes it necessary that elections be held at that time. We cannot confine ourselves to holding elections at a given time. In any case, when the hon. Members of Parliament argue that the party in power declares elections to their advantage or we try to surprise them, that does not hold any water because we all know that this year, General and Presidential Elections are going to be held. Now, if we announce that elections are going to be next week, you must know that there are going to be elections.

So, there is no excuse to keep singing about when elections are going to take place. We know they are going to be there this year. If you are an organised party, you will be ready for elections this year so that whenever they are declared, you are ready to stand and win. But some of you want to come and sing about this as if the dry season helps you. In any case, there are certain parts of Zambia where a lot of difficulties are experienced when elections are held in the dry season. 

I will give an example of my own constituency. If you hold elections in October or November, you find that the water levels will have gone down in the channels and it is very difficult for people to travel because they travel by boats. So, they take hours and hours to go to vote. So, as far as that part of the country is concerned, if elections are held in the dry season, there are a lot of problems. So, you cannot just come and say elections in the dry season will win you votes. It is the amount of work that you have done. I think the Electoral Commission should not be blamed. I think they are trying to do a very good job.

The argument has also been made that very few people vote. It is not the role of the Electoral Commission to force people to go and vote. A lot of times, the low turn-out at voting is blamed on the Electoral Commission not having registered people or not having done enough work. Sometimes, it is blamed on the Department of National Registration as not having issued National Registration Cards. 

While there might be some element of truth in that, the larger portion of the truth, which is not often recognised, is that a lot of people come to obtain National Registration Cards, but once they get those cards, they do not register. Sometimes, people register, but they do not vote. The truth is that there is no law in this country that compels people to vote. The only way you are going to get people to vote is to come out with a good manifesto and persuade people. So, if we win, even by a small majority, because we have been able to persuade our members, those who believe in our manifesto, we will have done very well. Even in the recent elections in the United States of America, ...

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

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I will be very grateful if you could rule that the hon. Minister, in his contribution, should now confirm why he has not been able to register voters because he told the House that US $1 million was allocated. Is he in order to debate without confirming why he has not been able to register voters despite the payment, up front, to an Israeli company. He should clarify that.

The Deputy Chairman: I hope the hon. Minister of Home Affairs will take into account that point of order raised. It is an inquiry into the allocation of funds that have been promised before. 

Whilst on that point of order, I just want to guide the House that it is the duty of the Government to facilitate the ability by its nationals to respond to the general elections. Everything else must be made in such a way that it will facilitate rather than discourage or make things difficult. With that, I would like the hon. Minister to explain further what has happened to the funds already released for the exercise.

Will he continue, please.

Dr Machungwa: Thank you, Mr Chairman. My portfolio does not register voters. The hon. Member for Luena is talking about why I have not registered voters. I do not register voters. That is the job of the Electoral Commission. If he is talking about another issue, which is a different subject, National Registration Cards, that will be discussed when that Vote comes.

Mr Chairman, the point I am trying to make is that we will put facilities in place, but it is up to hon. Members and the population out there, the NGOs, the churches, those who are interested, to encourage people to go and vote. I cannot drag people, with my policemen, to go and vote because that will be illegal. They have a right to vote or not to vote. That is the law. It is up to us, as politicians, to persuade people to go and vote. So, blaming the Electoral Commission when they have done their job is not, really, very well placed, in my view. Mr Speaker, I would ...

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

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Chairman, I really have to seek your ruling. The hon. Minister has been in this House and told this House that he has paid money for National Registration which is necessary for people in order to obtain their voters’ cards and he is not responding. Is he in order not to respond to the issue that this House is concerned about? These are statements he made in the House, Mr Chairman.

The Deputy Chairman: I am getting caught up between the two arguments because I thought that I had offered the opportunity to the hon. Minister to clarify the point that was raised in the previous point of order and I think the hon. Minister was about to touch on that issue when another point of order was raised. He has tried to clarify that there are two issues involved here, the National Registration exercise and the Voters’ Registration exercise. If we are referring to moneys voted for the National Registration exercise, obviously, this will be a wrong Vote for the hon. Minister to reply to or, perhaps, at a later stage he might since that department also belongs to his ministry, but not now.

Will the hon. Minister, please, continue.

Dr Machungwa: Thank you, Mr Chairman. It seems it takes some people a long time to learn. This is a different Vote and I will deal with that matter when that Vote comes up. The point I am trying to make, Mr Chairman, is that even in countries which are known to be the pinnacles of democracy, like the United States of America, people win by very thin margins. We are all aware of the recent Presidential Elections in the United States of America where the winning candidate won by a very slim margin. That is democracy, indeed. The people have spoken and that is why Mr Bush is now in office. So, if I beat you, ‘Chief Bauleni’, by two votes, I would have beaten you and I would come to this House.

All I am trying to emphasise, Mr Chairman, is that it is incumbent upon us, as leaders, to encourage a culture of democracy by encouraging our people to vote. But when you threaten people, you burn national registration and voters’ cards, do not expect people to be able to vote. We should be striving to increase democracy together. It is not the job of the ...


The Deputy Chairman: Order! Will hon. Members, please, listen to the hon. Minister’s contribution. They have made their contributions, they should now listen to the hon. Minister’s answers. It does not help us to constantly make it difficult for the other hon. Members to follow the debate of the hon. Minister. Can we be more orderly, otherwise, I will be inclined to name some hon. Members here, if they continue to be unruly, for lack of a better word.

Will the hon. Minister, please, continue.

Dr Machungwa: Thank you, Mr Chairman. We will know how to deal with the people who are being unruly outside but here the Chair will take care of them.

Mr Chairman, the Electoral Commission will continue to work very hard to ensure that all Zambians who are able to vote do so. Other agencies of the Government, working together with the Electoral Commission, will try to do their best. However, hon. Members owe it to themselves, whether they come from the Opposition or wherever, to ensure that they encourage people to vote. When you threaten voters, then do not expect them to vote for you.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kabanje (Mwandi): Mr Chairman, first of all, I wish to say how delighted I am with the outcome of the elections from the other side. I felt so happy, I thought I should change to become a citizen of Lusaka and a resident of Zambia.


Dr Kabanje: Having said that, Mr Chairman, I have three small points to make.

Mr Mwaanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Patel: You are the only one who got it.


The Deputy Chairman:  A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Chairman you have already ruled that what is under discussion is the Vote for the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Is the hon. Member for Mwandi, who also happens to be my son-in-law, in order to begin debating MMD Party Elections in Lusaka instead of addressing the issues relating to the Electoral Commission?

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Mwaanga: He did.

The Deputy Chairman: I appreciate the point of order raised by the Chief Whip but I am sure that the Chief Whip will be the first one to appreciate that since there was no mention of any election pertaining to any other body apart from inferences and innuendoes, the Chair finds it difficult to rule on that one.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

The Deputy Chairman: Will the hon. Member for Mwandi, please, continue and try to steer away from innuendoes and deep waters.

Dr Kabanje: I thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I was merely saying that coups and revolutions are created by lack of a credible electoral process and that the heart of the electoral process is an Electoral Commission.

Mr Chairman, without belabouring what has already been said I would like to say that the Electoral Commission should be strengthened by properly funding the Secretariat. In supporting this Vote, Sir, I would like to raise two additional observations.

First of all, Sir, it is incumbent upon the Electoral Commission to issue in time the timetable or sequence of events. For example, up to now, nobody knows when the process of delimitation would commence. Nobody knows when the continuous process of voter registration will commence. These issues, Mr Chairman, create a lot of difficulties.

The second point I would like to raise touches on the question of election petitions. It has already been alluded to by my hon. friend. It may be recalled that this problem was addressed by the Mwanakatwe Constitutional Review Commission, which realised that some election petitions took too long to be resolved by the courts. There is an incidence where a petitioner did not succeed because subsequently somebody died. We can say that petition was resolved by God in Heaven. It was never resolved by the court. 

Therefore, in response to that sad situation the Mwanakatwe Constitutional Review Commission made an important recommendation which would have assisted us further. It had said it should be a function of the Electoral Commission to hear and determine election complaints arising before filing nominations up to the polling day. It means that some of the frivolous petitions could have been resolved instead of taking such a long time engaging the court.

Secondly, Mr Chairman, in order for people to have confidence in the Electoral Commission, there must be a firm ground rule that indirect bribery of voters should be stopped. We all know that there is a new pattern that when a by-election takes place, we hear of strange donations being made to a particular school, a clinic and so on and so forth. That tends to undermine the credibility of the Electoral process. It is an indirect form of corruption at a very high level and the Electoral Commission must be firm on that in order to level the playing field.

Mr Chairman, a related matter touches on delimitation of constituencies. We all know that the first factor is the population index. But it is also important to remember that the environment is part of governance. Huge rural constituencies have always been a let down on account of small population figures. Mr Chairman, in modern democracy it is not correct. The environment is part of the playing field hence the appointments of ministers for environment. Therefore, even if the population is much smaller than one would find on the national average, such constituencies must be demarcated. Mr Chairman, I know that some of my colleagues may not appreciate what I am saying.

Finally, Mr Chairman, I suggest that the current voter registration card be improved by making it an inclusive package. What do I mean by that? If we add the photograph of an individual on that it would be complete in itself. One can vote with that card without resorting to the National Registration Card.

Mr Chairman, those are the few points that I had wanted to make. 

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Mr Simasiku): Thank you, Sir. I just want to comment on two issues. One raised by Hon. Sibetta when he was trying to find out about the sums of K64 billion and the K89 billion. If only Hon. Sibetta can listen, because he has raised this issue. My uncle here are the explanations. 

Right there on the Electoral Commission it shows that a sum of K21,595,860 is a grant from the European Union towards the capacity building for the elections. Another grant is from NORAD for K976,690 million. In fact, there is also a provision, Mr Chairman, for by-elections, which could be held if Hon. Hachipuka has any problem from there up, there is K1,290,537,228.00 provided for in the budget in addition to our own resources as Government of K64 billion. I hope that clarifies the matter.

Secondly, Mr Chairman, regarding the...

Mr Sibetta: It does not tally.

Mr Simasiku: You were speaking, so I could not follow Bo Sibetta hawu ...


Mr Simasiku: Now, what is happening, Mr Chairman, is that aspersions have been cast on the Electoral Commission. A lot of accusations have been laid on it. But I think the Electoral Commission has done extremely well under very difficult conditions. The Hon. Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Machungwa) has indicated how the elections in the United States went. We all read about the Florida issue. If that was in Zambia, there would have been a lot mentioned. In one of the senate elections, Mr Chairman, in the States one candidate died and because his name was on the ballot paper, they went ahead with his name for several days and weeks after his death and when the dead man won the seat, his wife took over the seat. Now, imagine if this was in Zambia what sort of accusations would we be getting today. 

So, let us be fair when we criticise. We know that in the by-elections, Mr Chairman, some purple materials were being distributed with some hand on it. Whose were those chitenges in Mwandi and Sesheke? Can they tell us who they belonged to? Bo Kabanje kiza bo mani? Whose are they?


Mr Simasiku: So, I think even if you mention the Government solving certain problems in the areas, you still want to win those elections. When you win, you do not complain. When you lose that is when you complain.

People are following the manifesto. How many manifestos have been successfully launched in this country to this day? Zero! People are only talking about Plot 1. The Electoral Commission is not for Plot 1 but is there to ensure that successful elections are held for Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. That is what they are doing. So, you are diverting your time on other irrelevant issues.

Thank you, Sir.

The Chief Whip (Mr Mwaanga): Mr Chairman, thank you very much. I would like to make a brief contribution to the debate which is currently on the Floor. I certainly support this Vote because I recognise that the Electoral Commission plays a very important role in the life of our country. Elections are vital for building democracy and for building confidence among those who participate in the electoral process.

I would like to congratulate the Electoral Commission for setting up a forum were they discuss electoral issues with political stakeholders. They have had a number of meetings with political parties in the recent past ...

Mr L. L. Phiri: With no proper results!

Mr Mwaanga: ... including us in the ruling party, where we have expressed concerns about certain aspects of the electoral process and these issues are currently being addressed. If they are not being addressed, then they are, at least, currently being discussed. We welcome this because it is an important development which has never happened before.

Mr Chairman, there have been demands made that the composition of the electoral commission should change and there are even suggestions which have been made to the effect that the composition of the Electoral Commission should also include representatives of political parties. 

Mr L. L. Phiri: Stakeholders, yes!

Mr Mwaanga: Where this experiment has been tried in the past, there have been disastrous consequences because the Electoral Commission has been unable to perform its legitimate functions. The answer does not lie in political representation on the Electoral Commission but in appointing an independent Electoral Commission like the one we have and having it fully staffed to ensure that they protect the integrity of the electoral process. If you look at the SADC region or those countries in West Africa which have democratised, the chairman of an electoral commission has always been a Judge of the High Court. And if you take the SADC region, chairmen are invariably judges of either the Supreme Court or the High Court. The reason is simple; it is to ensure that there is fairness.

If there are complaints relating to the manner in which elections are held, there is a process for reporting these complaints and having them investigated and dealt with by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and his Commissioners to ensure that these issues are addressed to the satisfaction of the participating parties. The demand therefore to include representatives of political parties is certainly unworkable and would render the Commission impotent because it will be unable to perform its legitimate functions of overseeing elections. We do have five positions for Commissioners on the Electoral Commission at present, and if this were to be increased, certainly it would not be justified to have an increased number of Electoral Commissioners particularly when you consider that in a country like the United Kingdom, the people who conduct elections there are only five for the whole country. And you are talking about many more voters and many more seats than we have in Zambia. There would be very little justification for increasing the present number from five which is where it is.

The issue of voter apathy has been discussed. Yes, we as parties have also a role to play to sensitise our members to ensure that they participate in elections. But we must also understand that in this country people are not forced to vote unlike in Australia where it is an offence not to vote and as I speak now they are going through a process of prosecuting and fining and imprisoning people who did not participate in the last elections because in the name of democracy, it is an offence not to vote.

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Mwaanga: Mr Chairman, when business was suspended, I was saying that we have responsibilities as parties to assist sensitise our people about the need to participate in elections. I have a few interesting statistics which will prove that the voter turn-out in our country has not been as good as it should be but it has also not been worse than what persists in other parts of the world.

Mr Sibetta: Florida!

Mr Mwaanga: We do agree that with the advent of globalisation now, we must also learn lessons from one another and from what happens in other parts of the country. 

In 1991 when we held elections, one would have thought that because voter interest was at its highest because people wanted to see change, ...

Mr Sibetta: It will be like this year!

Mr Mwaanga: ...we had a voter turn out of 45 per cent. In 1996, when there was a controversy about the Constitution, the voter turn out was 58 per cent. There was an improvement of 13 per cent between 1991 and 1996. These are the voter trends which have been observed in our country.

If you look at the more advanced countries like the United States the controversial election which has just ended, voter turn-out was just under 51 per cent. And in the United Kingdom it was 40 per cent. So, although there is apathy, we must also acknowledge the fact that there is a lot more interest in voting in our country than there is in many other countries of the world. There is room for improvement and we must do more to encourage our people to vote.

When the President officially opened this House, Mr Chairman, he indicated that among the legislative pieces of programmes that we will be dealing with will be amendments to the Electoral Bill which will come to Parliament to give the Electoral Commission powers to ensure that there is continuous voter registration. So, the issue of continuous voter registration or the Electoral Commission not dealing with continuous voter registration does not arise because the Bill has not yet come to this House for debate. When the Bill comes, I hope that Members of this House will give it unanimous support so that the Electoral Commission can commence this task. In the absence of this specific provision, the Electoral Commission is not empowered to start continuous voter registration on its own without an Act of Parliament or without the force of law. That is the legal position here.

Mr Chairman, during these consultative forums the Electoral Commission has had with political parties, they announced to us, the stakeholders, that they intend to increase polling stations by 600 this year, to take into account the concerns which have been raised or expressed by members of the public elsewhere where people have to travel long distances to access polling stations. They have already announced what is now a public position and all the political parties that have been attending these consultations with the Electoral Commission have been informed.

Mr Chairman, although we have 4,000,000 people who are eligible to vote, we may have 4,000,000 people eligible to vote but we have only 2,300,000 voters who are registered. In a country where not voting is not an offence under the law, people have to register voluntarily. It increases the responsibility of political parties and NGOs who are interested in governance issues to ensure that people register to vote and that they do not only register but that they also actually vote on voting days. It has been often said that bad governments and bad leaders are often elected by good citizens who do not turn out to vote because they leave that responsibility to others and this is something that should not become part of our political culture.

Mr Chairman, mention has been made that we do not have any specific succession provisions in our Republican Constitution. In fact, I wish to point out that under Article 34 of the Constitution of Zambia, 34 (9), (10) and (11), there are specific succession provisions which stipulate what happens after an election and how the Presidential succession is supposed to be conducted. I would encourage hon. Members to read this provision because they will find it, like I have, extremely instructive.

Mr Chairman, let me end by saying that we should encourage a culture among political stakeholders in elections of congratulating each other when we lose or win an election. At the moment, it is only the MMD that congratulates the other political stakeholders when they win. The others do not congratulate the MMD when the MMD wins an election.

Mr L. L. Phiri: They are not important.

Mr Mwaanga: And each time the MMD wins elections, suddenly, the Nikuv Registers become an issue and the issue of rigging becomes an issue but when they win, these become mute issues. They are not mentioned or discussed because the Opposition has won. We have been very gracious in defeat as MMD in conceding these election results. I would like to encourage other parties - Hon Dr Sondashi, the National Party, UPND, UNIP and the independents. Fortunately, the era of independents is coming to an end this year. I do not think that we will have any more independents after this election because the voters have seen that the independents are not capable of delivering programmes and they do not have manifestos. So, I hope that the culture of congratulating each other and conceding election defeats gracefully, will become part of the political culture of Zambia.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, the first four years of the existence of the Electoral Commission as we know it today have seen the institution grow rapidly into a sturdy organisation. These first four years have since seen one Presidential and National Assembly Election in 1996, one Local Government Election in 1998 and numerous mid-term Parliamentary as well as Local Government By-Elections. Further, the Electoral Commission has also carried out registration of voters exercise in 1996 and in 1998. The pronouncement of Article 76(1) of the Supreme Law of our land being the Constitution has really come to life.

Now, the Mission Statement for the Electoral Commission is as follows: To develop and maintain an efficient and responsive electoral process in order to ensure the conduct of transparent free and fair elections for the benefit of the Zambian people. This Mission Statement is steadily becoming a reality and the commission is preparing for all the challenges that the future holds especially that of the conduct of this year’s Presidential and National Assembly and Local Government Elections.

The current activities which the commission is undertaking are as follows: First of all as you have heard from the Chief Whip, there is a dialogue with the stakeholders and the donor community. The commission in the past year began a series of meetings with stakeholders so as to brainstorm on the electoral process with an obvious focus on the upcoming mammoth elections. Among the most notable...

Mr Sata entered the Chamber.{mospagebreak}


Mr L. L. Phiri: Kuya bebele.

The Vice-President: Among the most notable of the stakeholders that have and are still having consultations with the commission are the media, NGOs and the political parties. The commission, Sir, is also in constant touch with the donor community who have expressed willingness to help Zambia’s electoral process develop even further.

NORAD and the European Union have both committed themselves to partially funding the following exercises: delimitation, voter education, voter registration and the purchasing of materials for the upcoming elections.

These funds will no doubt go a long way in supplementing the meagre Government resources. The pledges in themselves signify that the dialogue between the commission and the donor community is bearing fruit.

The second activity is the amendment to the Electoral Act. The commission is currently working on amending Cap. 13 of the laws of Zambia being the Electoral Act to allow for the continuous registration of voters. This work has reached an advanced stage and the Commission expects the exercise to formally commence around April 2001. I can tell this House that Cabinet has approved this proposal but there is one more step to take before I come to the House with an amendment to this Act.

Mr Chairman, the concept of continuous registration will allow for the Electoral Commission to continuously register Zambians coming of age, that is eighteen years old, as voters throughout the year save for a brief period when the exercise shall be closed to allow for the updating of the voters’ roll. Draft regulations to regulate the same have also been drawn up and are going through the usual legislative formalities.

The third activity is the Presidential, National and Local Government elections, 2001 and under this, we have the question of delimitation of constituencies, polling districts and wards. In order to adequately prepare for this year’s elections that lie ahead, the commission will carry out a countrywide delimitation exercise to review constituency boundaries so as to align them with administrative district boundaries. Furthermore, the exercise is meant for the commission to give guidelines to Town Clerks and Council Secretaries on the delimitation of polling districts and ward boundaries. This exercise is expected to commence soon.

On the registration of voters, this exercise, as has been stated in my earlier contribution, will be continuous as soon as the amendment to the Electoral Act goes through. The commission shall by Gazette notice announce the commencement of the exercise as well as the temporary closures that will allow for the updating of the voters’ roll from time to time. As for the registration exercise for this year, the commission proposes to commence around 1st of April through to the middle of June, 2001 and I think you will agree that that is a long time for this exercise.

The exercise will recommence after the elections. The registration exercise shall be formally announced by way of a Gazette notice and similarly all temporary closures  shall be by way of Gazette notice.

The Commission is also working on the possible amendments to the Statutory Instruments No. 179 of 1996, being the Electoral Code of Conduct. This is being done in close collaboration with stakeholders, particularly, the political parties.

On voter education, the commission has established the National Voter Education Committee to spearhead a national non-partisan voter education campaign, especially for the 2001 elections. This committee is comprised of non-Governmental Organisations and the Commission is represented at all meetings. This committee has inter-alia been mandated to do the following:

    (a)    To identify the causes of voter apathy and design appropriate strategies to improve voter turn-outs.

    (b)    To help build and maintain voter confidence in the electoral process.

    (c)    To publicise the Electoral Code of Conduct and any other information pertaining to the electoral process.

    (d)    To design a standard national voter education syllabus for the education of our people.

The committee, Mr Chairman, will operate as a committee under the general direction of the Electoral Commission, but will design and implement its programmes as independently as possible. The commission will remain behind the scenes to ensure that only non-partisan material is used in the campaign. This campaign shall run side by side with all other programmes being conducted by other interested parties. 

I hope that this explanation has gone a long way to explain the developments in the Electoral Commission.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Now, I want to clarify one or two issues which were raised on the Floor of the House. Before I do that, I have taken note of the contributions from my colleagues, Hon. Machungwa, Hon. Mwaanga and Hon. Simasiku. So, I will not go through those points again.

The first point was from Hon. Mabenga who said that funding for the commission should increase. I agree with him. Once the national cake is bigger, we should be able to look after the commission much more satisfactorily than we are doing now. He also warned of unscrupulous monitors who the Electoral Commission must scrutinise at registration. I want to thank Hon. Mabenga for this suggestion. I will write to the commission to see if this can be improved upon because I think that some of the activities border on offences.

Hon. Shimonde talked about the limitation of constituencies to shorten distances to polling stations and improve voter turn-out before the next general elections. I think you will agree with me, Mr Chairman, that the explanation given by Hon. Mwaanga is more than satisfactory in this issue.

Hon. Chipili also called for delimitation of constituencies and franchising of youths by creating more polling stations. Again, I think that this issue has already been discussed by Hon. Mwaanga.

Now, Hon. Sichinga, last week called for more funding to the Electoral Commission and the Auditor-General’s Office in order to enable them function effectively. I think I have already answered this issue. This week, he asked for registration of people who have not been given an opportunity to obtain their National Registration Cards. I think that the Ministry of Home Affairs are the ones responsible for that.

Dr. Kamata complained about the elections during the rainy season. I think the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has given us the breakdown of past elections and we think that we are not doing anything unusual.

Mr Chairman, November in this country, is of course considered a rainy season but we all know from experience that at that time, most parts of the country are still passable. So, I think that this complaint is not well founded. He also said that the day of elections should be announced in advance. This is a Presidential prerogative and we cannot interfere with it right now.

Hon. Mbikusita-Lewanika described the Electoral Commission as a disaster. She also said that all voters should vote with National Registration Cards and that there should be continuous registration. I have covered the question of continuous registration and the hon. Minister has covered the question of National Registration Cards. To say that the Electoral Commission is a disaster, I think it is most unfair. The Electoral Commission are doing their best. They have conducted some elections and I think it is up to us, as a responsible House, to encourage them in their work. Let us not discourage people by calling them names here which they cannot respond to.

Hon. Banda asked for the inclusion of the passport and driving licence as documents to be used to identify voters. We shall look into this one. He also complained that the civic organisations have not educated people on their responsibilities. That is a matter for the civic organisations.

Hon. Muloji talked about increasing the number of constituencies in rural areas. This will be covered during the delimitation exercise. As for the hand-over and take-over period, I think Hon. Mwaanga has explained that.

Hon. Kamanga asked for mobile registration and voting. This issue, I think needs a further study and I will let the people concerned have a look at it so that they can advise us on the pros and cons of such an exercise.

Hon. Sibetta wondered how we arrived at K89 billion when in the book  there is only K64 billion showing. I am grateful to Hon. Simasiku who has explained this one. He suggested that the Chairman of the Electoral Commission should be an eminent person and not necessarily a Judge. I think if Hon. Sibetta bothered to look at his present Act, he will find that it says that the Chairman must be a person capable of holding high judicial office. So, until such time as we amend the Act, I am afraid that this has to be the case. He talked about the introduction of proportional representation and a re-run for presidential elections. I think that Hon. Mwaanga has explained this. Our system in this country is one which we are employing now and I do not think that there is any serious cause why we should change it now.

Hon. Musakabantu talked about threats during general elections and that this should be an offence. I think that certain types of threats are already an offence, but if he has got any other details, he is free to contact me so that we can look at this problem again and consult other people who can advise us on these electoral offences.

Hon. Patel said that petitions should not take more than six months to conclude. We can only pass this on to the Judiciary. Otherwise, we have no control over them.

Mr Patel: What about the Third Term?


The Vice-President: Hon. Dr Kabanje said that the commission should set an electoral programme and that the contributions or donations during elections should be monitored. The question of electoral programme will not be handled in total because as at now, the commission cannot decide on the dates of the general elections, except for by-elections. That is an issue that we always raise with the authorities concerned and see what their views are. As for contributions and donations during elections, I am aware that this matter has come up elsewhere and I hope that in due course, it will be looked at with the urgency that it deserves.

As I said, Mr Chairman, I am grateful to my colleagues in the Front Bench who have helped to clarify most of these points and I will not go through them because I will just be repeating.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 05/01 - (Electoral Commission - K89,888,798,051)

Mr Mushala (Mufumbwe): Mr Chairman, may I have a clarification on sub-head 2, item sub-head 03 - Purchase of Services - K87,863,087,228 - Is this the amount meant for the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections or does it belong for the demarcation of wards and constitutions?

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mateyo): It is for both, Sir.

Vote 05/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 06/01 - (Public Service Commission - Office of the President - K723,042,076)

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, I really want to thank the hon. Members of this House for supporting this Vote unanimously.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 06/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 07/01 - (Office of the Auditor-General - Headquarters - K2,967,238,192)

The Vice-President: I wish to thank the House for this very unanimous support.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 07/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 07/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 07/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 07/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 07/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 08/01 - (Cabinet Office - Office of the President - Headquarters - K80,035,869,199).

The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Chairman, I am really indebted to the House for supporting this Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 08/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 08/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 08/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 08/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 09/01 - (Teaching Service Commission - Office of the President - K577,474,963).

Mr Keembe (Bweengwa): Mr Chairman, I just want to find out the relationship between the Ministry of Education and the Teaching Service Commission. There has been some confusion. As far as I am concerned, the Teaching Service Commission is an institution that is entrusted to look into the matters of employment and engagement of our teachers in the country.

Mr Chairman, there was an issue where some of these officers, the Provincial Education Officers, to be specific, were transferred by the Teaching Service Commission and the decision was reversed by the Ministry of Education and it really caused confusion in the process because most of them were married women who were transferred leaving their husbands and families to go to other provinces. So, when the Teaching Service Commission heard about that, they wrote a letter to the Ministry of Education explaining the position and instructing the Ministry of Education to follow what the Teaching Service Commission had done. But the Ministry of Education did not listen to the Teaching Service Commission. Now, I wonder, who is doing what? Is it the Ministry of Education in charge of matters of employment or is it the Teaching Service Commission?

Right now, we have some of these particular officers who are getting their salaries. They have been transferred but they have not gone to their stations but their positions have been taken and yet these people are still on salaries. So, we are paying more than two people for one position. I think that is not correct.

I want to urge the Teaching Service Commission to ensure that our graduates ( new teachers) are immediately posted to these schools. There is no reason why we should have our teachers at home for a month or so when our schools have no teachers. It is not fair. We need our teachers to be engaged almost immediately because we need them in our schools.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, I thank Hon. Keembe for the points that he has raised. In this case, he was talking about the relationship between the Teaching Service Commission and the Ministry of Education and he explained the functions very well. Now, if at all there is a reversal over transfers of Education Officers, there must be a good reason why this was done. Just because the Teaching Service Commission has made transfers does not mean that the Ministry of Education cannot comment on that. So, I think that I am not very much aware of this particular case, but I think that there must have been some very good reasons why the Ministry of Education did reverse the decision of the Teaching Service Commission.

Now, on the question of people getting two salaries because of mal-administration, I think you recall that the Ministry of Education did come up here and said that the ministry is tackling this one and they are more or less there in terms of resolving these problems. Otherwise, Sir, I would like to thank the House for supporting this year’s Budget on the Teaching Service Commission unanimously.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Vote 09/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

VOTE 10/01 - (Police and Prisons Service Commission - K372,728,388).

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, I have some brief contributions to make. The first one is just an observation that quite a few prisons have not improved despite our many contributions to this House. Many prisons in this country actually were built a long time ago when the population was much less and very few people went to prisons.

In Mongu, I live very near the prison and I visit it quite often. In my last visit, I only found five bags of maize for the whole province. The whole warehouse had no food and of course, many of them do not have clothing. Their prisons and waiting rooms are all congested. Their cases move very slowly and there is no difference between petty and serious crimes, people are just mixed there. This is not very helpful as we know that the major reason for a prison is correction and restoration and this really, is not happening. I also want to strengthen what has already been pointed out by the Chief Justice that we need correcting centres for young people. We really do not have such facilities and actually, we have been talking and emphasising since 1992 that we have not seen an effort going in that direction.

Now, the prisons some years ago in Zambia actually, were feeding themselves but lately, during the last decade, they lack that seed money just to be able to produce for themselves. Many of us remember that they produced some of the most beautiful and very healthy vegetables all over the country, but this is no longer the case. They do not even have that kind of seed money and I think this is a good opportunity to help them to learn a skill and improve upon and be self-reliant. Actually, most prisons can produce their own food, but they just need that support, facilitation and seed money. Some of these revolving funds that we have going to different target groups in our country should be aimed at prisons.

Another area where the prisons had excelled in this country in the past was furniture making. They made some of the most beautiful furniture and, in fact, most of these hon. Ministers and all the people who go to South Africa or buy South African furniture which is very expensive could actually buy from our own prisons. So, we need to promote this low production.

Mr Chairman, I am very sad to see that the opinion on ourselves as Zambians has gone very low. We look down on ourselves, what we produce, and in many cases, we are curtailing even what our own people can make. We have been independent for thirty years, we should be confident enough, believe in ourselves, promote our people and each other. Let us not kill and destroy the creativity of our people by promoting the creativity of other people. Our responsibility is to represent Zambians and open doors for them.

Mr Chairman, I feel very strongly that if the prisons were given seed money, they could produce furniture for the whole country and all types of people; low, up or high and low. They could also produce a lot of food for themselves. It is very easy Sir, for the prisons to generate their own income.

I would like to look at the state of women in prisons. They do have some special needs and I am not convinced that the Government is doing their part. I know the churches and NGOs are doing their part. This is a partnership and the Government should not fold their hands. They should look to the specific needs of women in prisons and on the whole, we know that most of their offences are petty and they have families to feed. So, they could be doing some community service. 

Therefore, we would like to see how we can curb this old British system of taking children to prisons, those who go with their mothers. We need to think of other ways how we can do it rather than follow what we inherited when those people that we are copying from actually, are changing some of our needs.

I would like to conclude, Sir, by emphasising that prison is there for correction and restoration. We all know that many people should be in prison but they are not because they did not get caught or something else happened. They escaped being caught. Those who are unfortunate enough to be caught need to be supported so that when they come out they should be different, changed people, with a skill, or they have learnt something and they have a certificate in this and that, something which can help them.

Mr Chairman, we need to have a support system for those who are coming out of prison. As you know, some of the prisoners are rejected by their friends and even by their families. So, when they come out, it is so lonely and hostile outside that they commit other crimes and go back. We need to have systems to support them. We want to prevent people from going to prison. That is alleviating poverty, making sure that basic services are there, to make sure that we have schools and vocational training. The street is not a good place to raise children. There are higher chances of people who grew up on streets going to prison than those who have programmes. So, we need preventative measures, make the prison correctional and restoration and support those who come out to ensure that they do not go back.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, I will respond to what the hon. Member has just said and I want to say, from the outset, that I think she has brought up some very good points which can be taken up. It is true that prisons need revamping in terms of infrastructure and I am aware that the food situation in the prisons is rather poor but I think that with the improvement in the economy, we hope that the conditions in prisons can also be improved.

I also agree that there is a tendency to mix petty criminals with hard-core criminals and this does not help the petty criminals at all. This is a very good point which, I think, can be followed up as well. She suggested that there should be youth correction centres and that we should promote prison industries I agree with her. It is true that the prisons do make very good furniture, grow food, are involved in brick making and are involved in plumbing. These are issues that could be looked at in the same way that we have looked at industries in the Ministry of Defence. I think it is possible to get prisoners to look at their industries so that they can generate some income for themselves.

Lastly, Sir, I think that it is true that women prisoners also need to be looked after in a special way but my advice to them is that they should stay away from criminal activities. The moment they commit a crime, the law will not distinguish between a female and a male prisoner. So, the answer, really, is for them not to commit these crimes. Certainly, some of them do know that they have babies, yet they go ahead and commit crimes. I would have thought that mothers would have been concerned about the possible effect of their committing crimes as far as their children are concerned. So, I think that in as much as I agree that we should look after the women and we should also look after the welfare of the children who are in prison because their mothers are in prison, I should also appeal to the women at large that they should behave like women and should not start engaging themselves in activities which will lead them to prison.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 10/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 11/01 - (Zambia Police - Ministry of Home Affairs - Headquarters - K23,529,281,038).

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, first of all, I would like to give my support to the Zambia Police and I appreciate their work and sympathise with them. They work in very difficult circumstances. I am also not happy with the ugly uniform that somebody decided to give them. It is my hope that in future they can participate in deciding what kind and colour of uniform they have. In fact, Mr Chairman, I do have a special prayer for policemen which I was hoping to bring but I thought we were going to debate this item next week but the other side has been too silent. It is my hope that I will have an opportunity to share this prayer by a policeman. They have my sympathy and support. 

Many suggestions have been given in the past and we are not, really, seeing these suggestions being implemented. Their salaries and remuneration are very low. They are not commensurate with the kind of job they do. They lack equipment and they are behind in modern technology. So, I would like to suggest that the Government, first of all, needs to pay special attention to rural police. Most of them do not have houses and many of them do not have transport. Actually, in the rural areas some need speed boats. They used to have them in the past.

Where you have rivers and lakes, the police need water transport. They need, of course, road transport and air transport. I would suggest that some of the aeroplanes or helicopters belonging to the Zambia Army which are not in use, a few of them can be given, at least, in the provinces to the Zambia Police. This is very serious. Under these conditions of no transport, poor housing, no schools for their children, they cannot make ends meet and they cannot do a good job. That is why most of them are very miserable, they are not child friendly and citizen friendly because they are already suffering. They are hungry. 

When some of them compare themselves with their fellow graduates, the people that they went to school with from Grade 1 to 12 they cannot believe it. While other people are feeding their children, have nice houses and nice cars, for them, to use Zambian English, the rain rains on them when it is raining and the sun shines on them when it is hot. So, I would like their conditions of service to improve. 

We need to reduce elsewhere, such as from the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the President and give the money to the police. We need to cut more than half from the hon. Minister Without Portfolio and his budget can be supplemented elsewhere where he does most of his work. Let this money go to the Zambia Police so that they can smile and be happy and relax because their children would then have a future. Their children, really, have no future and it is not fair. Mr Chairman, therefore, I want to emphasise that when transport is given to the police, it should go to the rural areas, to the police who are working on the beats, not to the senior people who use the cars as personal to holder. They use the cars to go to the clubs and to take their children to school. 

Every time the cars are distributed, senior police officers in Lusaka get them. The latest cars on these roads are theirs and some of the roads are not even in good condition. They are just destroying vehicles. So, I would like to plead that next time when transport is allocated, give it to the people who have not had transport for a long time and those who cover long distances. Many of us in our areas know that when you go to report an incident to the police, they will ask you to go and catch the thief yourself because they have no transport or they will ask for transport from you. This is really unfair. 

Mr Chairman, I would like to plead that we give modern information technology to the police. They need to be computerised so that they can do some of the work on the computer. They need modern technology. It should not just be for the Front Bench but also for the people who are supposed to protect them. As you know, unfortunately, people are making their own police forces instead of strengthening the police. You have consultants recovering cars for them. Even leaders have people patrolling their houses instead of helping the police.

Mr Sata: What is she talking about?

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, I do have a complaint from Mongu about the police and this is related to the recruitment which was done recently. There was a recruitment exercise and as you know our people are looking for jobs these days because many of them were retrenched. 

So, when the recruitment team came to Mongu, unfortunately, other people from other provinces also rushed to Mongu. So, in the selection, most of those people who just went specifically to be recruited from Mongu, got the jobs leaving out those from within Mongu and this is also the pattern with the Zambia Air Force. We would like to discourage this. If the people are going to recruit in Mongu, let them recruit the people in Mongu. People from Lusaka, Chawama or elsewhere should not rush to Mongu. Those who recruit should not purposely recruit those people who do not come from Mongu.

So, Mr Chairman, our police are in a sad state of affairs. They have tightened their belts until their bones are showing. Can we have a reversal of things so that those people who have never tightened their belts in the past nine years also tighten theirs, particularly the hon. Minister Without Portfolio. His budget should go to the police.

Mr Sata: On a point of order.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: I thank you, Sir.


The Minister Without Portfolio (Mr Sata): Thank you Mr Chairman. The problem we have in this House is that when people are not ready to talk or to debate they come with psychedelic stories.


Mr Sata: The Government requires sensible discussions to help us and when we...

Mr L. L. Phiri: Kuya bebele!

Mr Sata: ... are talking of money from the Minister Without Portfolio and we are not talking about the several thousands of dollars that we amass from the NGOs without even accounting for it. Where do we take all those millions of dollars which the donors are giving to some fake NGOs instead of giving it to the police?

We do agree that there is no transport. The uniform may not be attractive but this depends on the taste of the person who is looking at the uniform. Those policemen are not supposed to look like they are going for a dressing competition. The uniforms in the police depends on the duty they are going to do. And therefore, the money, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Address the Chair!

Mr L. L. Phiri: Kuya!

Mr Sata: ... Mr Chairman, we need more money in order to ...

Mr Sibetta: On a point of order Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: Continue, please.

Mr Sata: I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde: Ikala iwe!

Mr Sata: We all agree that the police need more money, more equipment, but whilst we agree with that we should respect the Constitution which apportions prerogatives and does not give any prerogative to the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena to interfere with other people's debate.


Mr Sibetta: On a point of order Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: The point of order is granted now.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, is the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, who has been demonstrating and carrying a coffin this morning, of Dr Kawimbe who is alive, in order to come here and talk about democracy when he is refusing to accept the defeat in yesterday's election? I need your serious ruling. He has not recovered.


The Deputy Chairman: The Hon. Minister Without Portfolio, please continue and disregard that point of order.

Mr Sata: Sir, shortage of memory creates problems in other people's thinking. The hon. Member for Luena and the hon. Member for Mongu have been on this Floor saying that people must be allowed to express their freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of demonstration. When other people demonstrate, it becomes an issue.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Did you get a permit?

Mr Sata: Demonstrations are part of democracy. When people are expressing their disagreement or their agreement with certain sentiments, that is democracy!

Mr Sibetta: Did you get a permit?

Mr Sata: Yes, people got a permit.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: In less than two weeks.

Mr Sata: You were not there.

Mr Sibetta: It was just a day.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Kuya bebele!

Mr Sata: Mr Chairman, when we are in this House, we should not allow premature, incapacitated hon. Members of Parliament like the hon. Member for Chipangali to come and disturb the debates of the this House.

Mr L. L. Phiri: I will ask my brother, Major Kamanga, to see you this evening.

Mr Sata: We totally agree that the police ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

The Hon. Minister Without Portfolio has exceeded the limits of his vocabulary by describing another hon. Member of Parliament as incapacitated ...


The Deputy Chairman: It is not parliamentary for an hon. Member of Parliament to be described as incapacitated because we believe that all hon. Member of Parliament have capacity ...

Mr L. L. Phiri: I will tell my brother, Major Kamanga, to see you. He is listening in the corner.


The Deputy Chairman: ... to debate and reason like any other hon. Member of Parliament. Please, could you withdraw that and be temperate with your language.

Mr Sata: Mr Chairman, I withdraw but I did not mean it in the way it sounds because when we were coming into the House he was limping and I was wondering what has incapacitated him. That is what I meant, Sir.


Mr Sata: He is very capable and very honourable. I think he should go to the hospital so that they can attend to that ailment of his.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Major Kamanga is listening in the corner, you will see.

Mr Sata: Sir, what I am saying is that we totally agree that the police need more funding and more sophisticated equipment to be ahead of the criminals because we are even getting women criminals with babies on their backs. 

So, the police must be more advanced in that area. We do agree on that one but that does not mean that we are going to divert money from a legally and constitutionally established ministry like the most powerful Ministry Without Portfolio ...


Mr Sata: ... and Sir, the problem is shortage of vocabulary. If I may borrow a word from the Chair, those who do not read encyclopedias and dictionaries would not understand that this ministry is the longest surviving and oldest ministry all over the world. All these ministries came from the Ministry Without Portfolio. In other countries they used to call the minister ‘roving ambassador’ or ‘roving minister’ but here we call him  Minister Without Portfolio.


Hon. Opposition Members: Kuya bebele!

Mr Sata: Sir, I totally agree that at the end this year, Chipangali, kuya bebele;  Mongu Central, kuya bebele;  Luena, kuya bebele!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Minister Without Portfolio, kuya bebele!

Mr Sata: Minister Without Portfolio is very much here to stay!


Mr Sata: And the Vote is very much defended and increased.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali): Mr Chairman, may I take this opportunity to thank you for recognising me after a long attempt to indicate that ...

Mr Sata: Do not read!

Mr L. L. Phiri: I am not reading anything. I am a seasoned politician, mind you.


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, before I am derailed by my big man who is saying bye to the politics of Zambia I would like to dwell on a few issues. He has been playing to the gallery, from the time he has been jumping from one party to another in the dying minutes. I am glad that people in the MMD have identified him to be a weed which should be taken out early this year, Mr Chairman ...


The Deputy Chairman: Order! Hon. Member for Chipangali is aware that we are not discussing anybody's candidature on this Vote. We are discussing Vote 10/01 - Police and Prisons Service Commission - Zambia Police - Headquarters, and I expect the hon. Member to focus on the Vote in question and not discuss personalities. If you want to discuss personalities, there is enough time in the bar, foyer and corridors of Parliament and everywhere else. Can we get on with the business on the Order Paper.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, being my father from Chizongwe, I have always cherished your guidance.

Mr Sata: Takeshibe ifyakulanda aka!


Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, I wish to indicate on this Vote that the police should be treated like a pain killer in this country... 


Mr Silwamba: Like a panadol!

Mr L. L. Phiri: ... because each and every individual, whatever post or problem he has, always goes to the police for protection. So, if we treat the police in this manner with a lot of problems, Mr Chairman, I think it is not fair.

Mr Chairman, year in and year out we have debated in this august House about the police not being provided with fuel to help them patrol and combat crime. I remember in 1995/96 I heard, in this House, that they would be given fuel from the donors and so forth, but that is not forthcoming. Mr Chairman, we need an explanation as to what went wrong for the donors to have stopped funding the police in terms of fuel to assist them to be on the move all the time.

Mr Chairman, from my observation, we have not realised that if the police went on strike for just five minutes or so, Zambia would not be Zambia and there would be a lot of chaos. That we have not observed because we know that the police are essential workers and cannot go on strike. I think for them to demonstrate to the Front Bench that they are very important and need to be given a lot of money, let them sacrifice to go on strike one day ...


Miss Nawakwi: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Miss Nawakwi: Mr Chairman, I rarely rise on points of order and I am sure the hon. Member for Chipangali who is a very good Member of Parliament in his area, knows very well that the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security is responsible for industrial peace and good labour relations. Is he in order, Mr Chairman, to incite a very peaceful section, a disciplined well-behaved labour force in this country? Is he in order to create anarchy in this country when he knows these are the same men and women who are responsible for peace and security for this country? I seek your serious guidance in this matter.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security has raised a very fundamental point of order on the speech by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipangali. As a seasoned Member of Parliament which he likes to refer himself as, he should know that the police service is one of the very essential services in the land and everywhere in the world in which you dare not incite people to go on strike, otherwise the whole country goes up in flames.

Mr Sata: Kalipena aka!

The Deputy Chairman: So, he is out of order. May you continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Withdraw!

Mr L. L. Phiri: Mr Chairman, in this country, it has proven that crime has reached escalating levels because police officers are frustrated, not because of how we debate here but because of being neglected. If you go around the country, Mr Chairman, you will find that the police officers are still living in those old container houses from 1964. That is where they are sleeping. If you look at their houses, Mr Chairman, they were last painted in the 1970s and 1980s during the days of UNIP. The houses are outdated and yet other officers in other ministries are living in furnished and well painted houses. When policemen receive visitors or in-laws, they are made to sleep in the kitchen because they do not have modern houses. 

So, we are saying that let the Government, if they are serious or appreciate what the police are doing, consider them in terms of salary, accommodation and offices where they operate from. If you go to police headquarters or any police office, cobwebs are all over. Mr Chairman, this is a serious issue and if this Government is a listening Government let them know which ministries are to be given a priority.

Mr Chairman, again I want to put this on record that the recruitment of police officers is not up to date. What they are asking for now is probably just a mere certificate. If someone comes with a Form 5 Certificate, he is picked to go for training without following up what that person has been doing, whether he has been a ng'wang'wazi beating people anyhow at the bus stations. That is why crime is escalating in Zambia because you find that the police are also involved. 

From 1991 to date, the police are found with cases of beating up people anyhow, torturing people and they are involved in giving guns to criminals. The number of these cases has been high since 1991. I think the police must be given the dignity they need. And so, let the necessary authorities scrutinise the history of somebody before he is employed as a police officer. 

We would like the Police Service to employ people who have the dignity to uphold the rule of law. Sir, I commend the Government for establishing police posts in all rural areas. This is a step in the right direction because the Police Service is near the people. But they have forgotten to sponsor those people in the rural areas by giving them transport. 

There was a year when police officers were given bicycles. The police officers in rural areas are not expensive. They eat cheap food which we, in the villages, eat. They miss drinking cold beer and sleeping in electrified houses. What they require are mere bicycles and with these, they would do a good job.

Mr Chairman, being a serious debater I would like this Government...


Mr L. L. Phiri: I would like the hon. Vice President, who is nodding because he knows what I am talking about, to act quickly because the police in Zambia have suffered enough.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Miss Mwansa (Mfuwe): Mr Chairman, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairman, first of all, I would like to commend the Inspector-General of Police for his gender sensitivity. I think in a number of years, we are now seeing that women police officers are being recognised as having contributed or they are contributing to the Police Service. Sir, I have in mind the recent case where the Inspector-General did recognise one Assistant Commissioner, Miss Sakala, and named a police station after her. I think this is the type of attitude that we need and so I really commend him.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Mwansa: Mr Chairman, the other area that I would like to debate on is the fact that we need more police stations in the remote areas in this country. Mr Chairman, we cannot rely on police stations at district level. There are serious and violent crimes that are committed out there in the remote areas and in most cases, they are not even dealt with.

Mr Chairman, I would like to submit that people in the remote areas need as much prevention of crime and protection of the law as the people in the towns and so I would really want to see that this matter will be looked at so that we get more police stations in the rural areas.

Mr Chairman, the other area which I would like to discuss is the question of the Victim Support Unit. Sir, this is a very important innovation in the Police Service but I do not think that we have given it the importance that it really deserves. The other day I was speaking to a police inspector at a police station and it was a Sunday. I wanted to report somebody who needed the assistance of the Victim Support Unit and they said that they were closed because on Sundays they closed the unit because they thought that it was unimportant. 

Mr Chairman, I do not think that unit is as unimportant as they would like to think because many cases would be defused at that level and would prevent more crimes that are happening and a lot of crimes which happen relate to victim support and if the Victim Support Unit was given more support by being funded adequately, I think we would prevent a lot of crimes that are happening in our vicinity. And in any case, an hon. Member said in this House that crime is on the increase in Zambia and I think the adage goes that, ‘prevention is better than cure’ and so I would really like the police to look at this area and divert the attention where it is due. And I think that the Victim Support Unit is an area where we need to put our attention.

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

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak on this motion. I bring you greetings from Burkina Faso where I went.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Chairman, on a sad note, now that we are discussing the police, it is sad to note that a few minutes ago, Hon. Hlazo’s vehicle was stolen from Parliament Grounds. It is very sad that a vehicle can be stolen from these premises. I also wonder how secure we are.


Mr Hachipuka: I hoped that my cousin will be listening. Mr Chairman, on this Vote, I want to bring to the attention of the House very serious observations. If you look at Vote 11/01, you will note under Personal Emoluments that they have been allocated K4,763,810,103. If you look at Recurrent Departmental Charges, there is K18,463,297,438.

Mr Chairman, this kind of allocation of resources, giving personal emoluments a far much less amount than recurrent expenditure is what creates problems in many departments and in running our Government because personal emoluments are too inadequate to see a policeman through the day. There is inadequate funding given to personal emoluments. You expect these officers to leave their homes when their families can hardly afford three meals a day. You are giving them K18 billion in recurrent expenditure and as a result they have to find loopholes on how to transfer this money into their pockets. That is what you are doing in this Vote.

Mr Chairman, I hope the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is listening. You have given K4.7 billion for personal emoluments while you have given K18 billion for recurrent expenditure and creating an automatic inertia for people to move out of their house and come back and claim they had gone to Sinazongwe, meaning they would be clamouring to make money outside their personal emoluments, only to supplement their home incomes. They would also be using the police vehicles to run around and make lifts out of police vehicles. This is what is happening. You have created a situation where people have become destitute because of inadequate funding on personal emoluments.

Mr Sata: How much did you pay for the railways?

Mr Hachipuka: A lot of money. I gave you a couple of billions. I gave the Minister Without Portfolio some money to build this bridge here and he did not have money in the council when he was Governor there.

Mr Sata: You did not give me. You were just supposed to pay for the construction of the railways.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Lekeni ukulanda imwe ba Sata pantu imwe ni kuyenda bebele.

Mr Hachipuka: That shows how strong I am to fund you. Mr Chairman, it is very important that when funds are allocated to services such as the Police Service, that adequate funding is given to them because in the absence of adequate funding, the police will be asking for bribes and they will be forced to do many short-cuts which basically go to the very fundamental issue of our State integrity.

It is very important that we observe this and that those that are responsible for the preparations of this budget re-look at these allocations. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to have a police post with any meaningful integrity.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miti (Vubwi): Mr Chairman, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Floor. 

Mr Chairman, the Government, having put police reforms in place, it should be expected that a lot is being done in that area. The type of condemnation of what is going on by my young brother Hon. Lucas Phiri, Member of Parliament for Chipangali, cannot go unchallenged at all.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miti: Mr Chairman, before I come to my point, I feel that the type of debate he is exhibiting is not in the interest of the Zambia Police and the nation at large.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miti: Mr Chairman, If he calls himself a serious debater, let us look at issues as they are, without inciting. I know a ruling has already been made but I think it is important to emphasise this point. For me, I do not take that type of debate as a mature one.

Mr Chairman, I want to commend the police for what they have so far done in trying to reform the police service. I think the first thing, as a matter of policy, has been the re-introduction, recently, of the reserve police service. This, Mr Chairman, is a way forward for our police and as far as I am concerned, we should be able to see a lot of action in as far as the maintenance of law and order is concerned.

Mr Chairman, the fact that the reserve police service can be put in place simply means that the funding has been taken into account. Sir, one of the things that we can talk about here in this particular situation, is the lack of recreation facilities in our police camps, especially in the rural areas. For example, in Vubwi, most of our police officers do lack recreation facilities. And because they lack these, they engage themselves in illicit beer drinking. This is something which can be controlled if proper measures are put in place to ensure that when they are off-duty, they are able to have sports, out door games and I think this is very possible.

So, I would like to make an appeal that recreation facilities are put in place for our police service, especially in the rural areas because in urban areas, we have a lot of games going on and so, our police officers can belong to a number of clubs.

Mr Chairman, allow me to also say that recently and I think the President did mention, here, that there were fifty vehicles which were bought for the police service. I believe that this is just the beginning but on the distribution, I want to emphasise the fact that our rural areas need a lot of attention in this particular area. For example, for a police station in Vubwi, which is in a border area, instead of considering a police station like that for a new Landrover, they took a Nissan Patrol which was at a police station along the tarmac road and gave to Vubwi and gave the new one to the one along the tarmac road.

Mr Chairman, I think the distribution of such facilities should be with the understanding that those in far-off areas need better vehicles for them to operate well. I only hope that, perhaps, we can take up this matter and see how we can be assisted.

The other area of concern, Mr Chairman, is that of police officers who over-stay in police stations without being transferred to other areas. This, sometimes, has caused complacency among our officers. A number of them will stay in a particular police station for a long time, say five to fifteen years and at the end of the day, they do not perform at all. 

So, I would like to make an appeal here that under the circumstances, let them be transferred, not every year, but at least after a reasonable period of time so that we can have them coming with new ideas and a zeal to operate in those areas.

Finally, Mr Chairman, I want to look at disciplinary matters. This requires immediate attention because for the police service to maintain law and order we need a disciplined police force and with the efforts that are already put in place, we would like to ensure that this is done and done quickly. As crimes are committed, there should be need for quick reaction from the authorities to ensure that these cases are attended to in good time. In that way, our officers will always be alert and aware all the time that they need discipline in order for them to operate.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Ndhlovu (Nominated): Mr Chairman, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Vote on the Floor.

Mr Chairman, I want to dwell on a function which we most often ignore as regards the functions of the police. The police are a law enforcement agency and as such, they help us get the revenue which we will approve in this House. This function is very fundamental. Some people pay admission of guilt fees. Others pay different revenue to the Government and this is all because we have the police. 

Mr Chairman, as regards change of policy in respect of the infrastructure called Zambia Police, we inherited a police force and we have not made any initiative to try and change the structure that we found. Consequently, we find that we are punishing people who are committed to serving the nation.

Sir, let us look at the structures which we have as far as police stations are concerned. In the 1970s, we started renting houses for the police. That was a temporary measure but we continued. In the 1980s, we switched from renting houses to placing police officers in containers and that has been set also as a standard. I think when we take tentative arrangements for anything, we must have a time frame as regards to how long we can use that tentative arrangement because if we have a culture of taking a container to be a police post, it is terrible. If we have to visit these containers during the period October/November, we will see how much the officers sweat but we do not sympathise with them. 

In addition to that, the police are assigned to man roadblocks where they are going to be in the sun for hours and hours. All these things, I think, need attention and we can only give this attention if we review our policy regarding this.

Mr Chairman, again, if we look at the infrastructure relating to accommodation of police officers, we inherited several police camps. Every provincial headquarters, at least, has accommodation for police officers. Now, these houses are actually dilapidated. So, we must have a policy direction here. This is Zambia of the third millennium. We must change these structures and ensure that the police, in making their estimates, must not forget themselves. I am afraid that sometimes we approve these because it is what has been requested for. If we do not put ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

Mr Ndhlovu: Mr Chairman, I would like to thank you once again for allowing me to continue my contribution on the Vote before the House.

I would like to remind this House that the Zambia Police have no union, unlike other Government departments. So, they depend on the goodwill of hon. Members of Parliament in their contributions. This is where they get their strength to think that they are, indeed, being taken care of. We have inherited the Zambia Police and as such, we need to make a policy direction change as far as Zambia Police is concerned. I think this point must be understood from that context in my contribution. It is not an attack on my Government but on the structure which we have inherited.

I would like also to say that the Estimates of Expenditure which I have gone through myself appear to be lacking in terms of allocations for Capital Expenditure. Consequently, my concern has been driven by that. If the Controlling Officers do not make requests, it is possible that this House might not consider what actually we can see because the example I have highlighted here are things which everybody sees. There is nothing which is better explained than seeing the problem or the item on the agenda.

So, if I were given the opportunity to single handedly approve the Estimates, I would say that we should give Zambia Police twice as much as has been requested because of the invaluable service which these citizens are giving their country.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simwinji (Nalikwanda): Mr Chairman, thank you for allowing me to contribute to this very important Vote.

Mr Speaker, it seems today police service is now a luxury because in Western Province where I come from, we have a lot of problems. The first thing, Mr Speaker, when you go to report a crime ...

Mr Shimonde: It is Mr Chairman, not Mr Speaker.

Mr Simwinji: Thank you for correcting me, Hon. Shimonde.

The police will ask you whether you have transport or not. If you do not have transport, the police will ask you for fuel. Mr Chairman, if you ask for fuel from the people who come from rural areas, you are asking for too much.

I would suggest that each constituency be given a police vehicle because of the high crime which is prevailing. There are a lot of killers in these rural areas which are known as karavinas. We have a lot of these killers in Luena, Mangango, Nalikwanda and Lukulu constituencies.

I am, therefore, urging the Police to provide transport and fuel to the officers. Mr Chairman, vehicles have been given to the police departments but we have only got one new landrover in Mongu District which covers three constituencies.

Mr Chairman, there is also a big problem of housing. You would find that four officers share a house instead of that house belonging to one officer. So, this is bringing a lot of difficulties for our police officers.

Thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: Order! Before, I call upon the next contributor, I would like to appeal to hon. Members to realise that when points that have been made by other contributors are being repeated, it is a sign and indication that the topic has been exhausted. I am beginning to hear more of that repetition about accommodation, transport etc, the things that have been said before. Can we have new points.

Mr Ngulube (Lundazi): Mr Chairman, the police officers need to be motivated. Without motivation, they will not work properly.

Mr Chairman, I would like to talk about risk and missing lunch allowances. These men and women are doing golden jobs. The criminals are really on them but they have no risk allowances. Sometimes you will find a police officer working the whole day. If one is manning a road-block, that officer will be there the whole day without food. I would like to urge my Government to look into this matter very seriously.

Mr Chairman, most of the Police Force and police stations have no radio messages, ...


Hon. Member: Radio communications, not radio messages!

Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairman, these police stations and police posts cannot operate well without good communication. The police posts that are in rural areas need to communicate with those in police stations. Most police posts like Mwanse, Lundazi, Nyimba, Mufumbwe and so many others do not have these communication systems.

Mr Chairman, some of these districts are divided into two categories. Some are within the valley and the others ones within the plateau. For example, I want to talk about Lundazi. You will find that in Hon. Kamanga's constituency which is a valley ...

Hon. Member: Which one is this?

Mr Ngulube: Lumezi Constituency. There are kilometres and kilometres for these police officers to cover. Sometimes, they go through Chipata which is a long way off and with only one vehicle at the station, it is not enough. These district police stations need two or three vehicles.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushiba (Sesheke): Mr Chairman, I will take your kind advice that we should produce new points.

Mr Chairman, the police need to be revamped and assisted. I say so because most of the times the police do work on their own and they receive very little support from the public. I would wish to see a situation whereby the police intensify their public relations sector so that the majority of us can participate and assist them.

The other point, Mr Chairman, is the question of insurance. If you remember just a few weeks ago, the majority of the policemen who were guarding a road-block were almost bitten by a big snake. So, I was thinking that, maybe, in future, when these people go out on operations of that nature, insurance should be given or, indeed, certain precautions taken.

Lastly, Mr Chairman, the majority of the police in rural areas are frustrated. They are frustrated not because of the low income only, but most of them are frustrated because of the bad administration. Most of them have leaders who have overstayed in offices. For example, an officer-in-charge who has been at one station for fifteen years takes the station on a personal-to-holder basis. As a result, it is very difficult to have what you call harmonious relationship with the police officers. So, I urge the Government that senior police officers be changed on a regular basis to remove the state of inertia in the police stations.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chilombo (Kantanshi): Mr Chairman, my contribution will be very brief. 

First of all, I want to say that it is very important to give attention to police officers who are manning the border areas. For example, in Mufulira, we have five police stations using only one vehicle. The Traffic Department has one limping vehicle; the radiator leaks; and they have no money for stationery. I do not understand why they are not allowed to retain a bit of the money they make for them to buy things like paper. Police officers run short of stationery and a number of other things.

Sir, it becomes embarrassing to walk into a police station because the toilets stink. Those police stations which have offices upstairs do not have water because the water pressure is very low. They are so desperate and demotivated that they have no money to install a booster pump. In Mufulira, at the main office of the police station, you will find a very sad situation where the whole block stinks. It is unacceptable. Police officers feel very demotivated. I think it is not right. We have to encourage our police officers. Let the Government give them some money which they can use for small things so that eventually they will not be discouraged to perform their duties.

Mr Speaker, some of them at one time came to complain that they could not chase after criminals. We are not sure, for example, in our neighbouring country, whether the new Government will be stable. There may be another development or thefts. How will these people manage to patrol the border areas? The border between us and the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, is very wide and we have no vehicles to carry out patrols. We do not even have bicycles. 

Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to consider, at least, giving Mufulira two vehicles. These vehicles will assist them to do their job effectively. And, please, also allow them to have a bit of money to enable them buy stationery and a few things that will encourage them to do their job efficiently. 

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulongoti (Lufwanyama): Thank you, Mr Chairman. My contribution also will be very short.

Mr Chairman, first of all, I would like to commend the Inspector-General of Police. Since he took office, we have seen the infrastructure change. Those of you who are observant have seen that most police stations now have a coat of paint. I think he must be commended. It is not possible for him to paint all of them overnight but the efforts that he is making are quite commendable. Of late, when I see a police station which is not painted, I feel disappointed because I had begun to take it for granted that all police stations are painted. I think it is a move in the right direction. I hope that he will be supported so that we can have a clean environment for our police officers.

My second point is on the question of professionalism for the police service. I think the change from police force to police service was intended to align them to the new political dispensation. I do hope that they will gradually earn a name for that. What I am saying is that, maybe, to encourage them - I am making a suggestion - I think there is need to give the Inspector-General and the Commissioner, maybe, some security of tenure like we have for the Judges because that way they can make decisions a little more freely. We cannot ignore the fact that they are human. They have families and careers to worry about. And it is possible that when arriving at decisions you have these considerations impinging on the decisions that are made.

Mr Speaker, I do not see anything wrong in trying to give them some sort of security in their employment. You will appreciate that when the hon. Minister of Home Affairs goes to ask for a permit to go demonstrating, it will be very difficult for anybody to stop him. If another person goes, he will be at liberty to decide otherwise. I am proposing, if it is possible, to consider giving them some security of tenure. We are not saying that security of tenure will make them abuse their power. We are just trying to encourage them to feel stable and secure as they arrive at some of these decisions.

Mr Chairman, I know my friends have laboured on the question of police posts in constituencies, but I think this is a matter that cannot be ignored. I have a vast constituency on the Copperbelt but we do not have even a police post. I would make a passionate appeal to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to consider giving us a police post in my constituency. It is also a constituency and a district at the same time. I do not have to persuade him but I hope he will find time to come so that I can take him to see the vastness of the area so that he can consider giving us a police post.

A lot of hon. Members have alluded to security.

Policemen and women require decent accommodation. I am only making a suggestion again, Sir, that instead of the Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI) concentrating on building houses for sale, I would suggest that we move away from that so that they can concentrate on building houses for services. The houses that have been already built should be considered for the people who are serving this country. It would be very difficult for anybody to come and build houses that will be affordable to the policemen, women and soldiers. It would be much easier as a Government to construct these houses on their behalf so that the role of making houses for sale can be left to the National Housing Authority or any other body that will consider commercial reasons.

I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs that if you can consider persuading your colleagues to allow you have some of those beautiful houses we have seen constructed in the Mtendere area. They are constructed in such a manner that they would make it easy for cantonment, the kind of structure fit for that purpose. Please, hon. Minister of Home Affairs, liaise with your colleagues so that you can give our hard working police officers some decent accommodation.

I hope I am not being misunderstood because sometimes when you talk, instead of seeing social reasons in what you are saying, some people see political reasons.


Mr Mulongoti: My appeal is just a genuine one because we would like to move forward, the Government is the father for everybody and if we cannot speak on behalf of those who cannot come here, there will be nobody to speak for them. So, hon. Minister, it is an appeal that I am making and I am conscious of the fact that when I visited Mtendere Police Station just a few weeks ago, and as if by choice, they gave me a bench to sit on and they said, 'Sir, this is the only thing you have given us to use'. I understood that they were saying to me, 'when you go to Parliament, Sir, please, go and talk on our behalf that we need some chairs'.

So, all I am saying is that if you want, I can escort you to Mtendere Police Station so that you can see for yourself. They are working very hard, let us encourage them and support them because they are our police. Nobody else can work for them. It is us who are here to talk on their behalf.

Mr Muloji: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: So, I am making a passionate appeal on their behalf. The Inspector-General of Police, I have seen, is a very hard working man.

Having said that, I do hope that as a word of advice to him, since we have a police spokesperson, I hope the Inspector-General of Police will make use of the spokesperson more than himself. In so doing, he will give us an opportunity so that when we are in doubt, we can go and consult him. Now, when he announces issues himself, that is the end of the story. So, please, hon. Minister, encourage our hard-working Inspector-General of Police to use the spokesperson more than himself. That way, he will be protecting his office and all of us will know that, maybe, a junior officer has made a mistake here and there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Museba (Chimwemwe): Mr Chairman, I rise to support the Vote on the Floor. 

Mr Chairman, many points have been raised regarding the welfare of the police service. I want to depart a little bit from that line and talk about something that has not been talked much about and that is  discipline.

Mr Chairman, in days gone by, the police were associated with the kind of discipline that made them appear different from the way the ordinary person in the street behaves. I would give an example of the behaviour of the officers in the Airforce and Zambia Army. You still have a lot of discipline there. You will not find a soldier, for example, eating groundnuts or a cob of maize in the street or smoking publicly but it is a common practice with our police officers to smoke over the counter ...

Mr Sibetta: You have lowered the standards.

Mr Museba: ... or to beg for a cigarette from a client. This cannot be excused on the fact that they do not get enough. I believe it is just the attitude of the mind which is bad and I will not begrudge them anything that the House might vote for them. They are entitled to be motivated but I think they, too, must pay back to the community something. For the police to carry out their work, they need to exhibit a certain level of behaviour which will in turn earn them esteem from the public. For the time being, we do not see this coming forth and, therefore, the people do not have much regard for our policemen and when that happens, the law suffers because the people will not respect a law that is being enforced by someone for whom they have no respect. We want to see the police begin to behave the way they used to  in the past.

There are instances when recognisable authorities pass by and a policeman does not even care to look at them. He will not stand up, salute, or do anything. They look away to just avoid performing one of their duties to authority. Now, that does not go well and I believe that the problem is at the very top although I see the current Inspector-General of Police working very hard but no system can succeed if it is based on an individual. We have to establish some disciplinary code that works even when individuals are transferred round.

So, Mr Chairman, I support the Vote but I want the hon. Minister responsible for this service to look at these cardinal points of discipline of our police service. They do not expect, for example, the Government to find money to go and sweep the surroundings of their houses. The time before and immediately after independence, we used to have inspections in police camps. Every so often, the Officer-in-Charge would go round to see what was going on. What has happened to that practice, we do not know. I think there is nothing wrong with an Officer-in-Charge of a particular station taking interest to inspect the area in which his policemen live because it is only then that he will be sure of what kind of help he can solicit from an institution like Parliament. The way the situation is now and if you were to go to Sikanze Police Camp, you would think it is not even in Lusaka because it is a disastrous sight. You walk there, you will not think that the law enforcement officers live there. This is partly, I must admit, because we have not funded them properly, but to a large extent, because of the attitude of the policemen themselves brewing Kachasu and doing all sorts of things in their camps ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Poverty!

Mr Museba: Poverty cannot be the excuse. We are not paid so much here ...

Mr Muloji: We are also poor.


Mr Museba: ... but we have not turned our residence at the Motel into shebeens.

Mr Chairman, I support the Vote, but I want the hon. Minister to, please, attend to these little issues.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Miss R. Phiri (Chadiza): Mr Chairman, I know many hon. Members have already debated on this Vote, but I just want to add something. Mr Chairman, I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Home Affairs on the way he has handled the ministry. However, I would like him to look into the plight of Chadiza Police Station which  has been without a vehicle for some years now and as you know, Chadiza District is at the border.

Mr L. L. Phiri: But that is your Government.

Miss R. Phiri: I know it is my Government and that is why I am trying to remind my  listening Government. My brother, do not confuse me.

Mr T. J. C. Phiri: Just go ahead.

Miss R. Phiri: Yes, my brother. I heard one hon. Member complaining about the police and yet my own brother, Hon. L. L. Phiri, at one point chased the police from his constituency but later when problems came, he run back to the Commanding Officer. He forgot that the police were very important in his constituency. I just wanted to remind him, Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, the police need to be properly looked after because they are essential to our communities. The camps for officers, Mr Chairman, have been forgotten. Just to add on to what hon. Museba has said, it is like you have forgotten to remind the Officer-In-Charge of each camp, Mr Chairman, that their camps need to look clean. This time they even plant maize, kandolo and especially the Bembas, cassava is all over.


Miss R. Phiri: Mr Chairman, sewers in camps like Kamfinsa in Kitwe, Luanshya, Chipata, Katete and many other places are blocked. Mr Chairman, I would like the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to tour camps, especially in the Eastern Province, so that he can see that police officers are working under very difficult conditions. But I commend him. I know that tomorrow I will be called to go and get a vehicle for Chadiza Police Station.

I thank you, Mr Chairman.

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

Mr Chairman, I would like to commend the Inspector-General of Police for availing vehicles to a number of police stations. At least, three quarters of police stations in the country have a few new vehicles. I am sure all of you have seen these vehicles.

Mr Chairman, what, actually, perplexes me is one issue of temporary police posts in the country, particularly in the rural areas. Mr Chairman, I have about three police stations in my constituency which have, what I would call, visiting police lecturers. They come for two to three weeks and then they go back to major police stations like Mazabuka. One issue, Mr Chairman, which comes out very clearly is when you try to follow cases, you find that the police officers who came, maybe, a week or two ago have gone back and they go with all the case records. So, one has to begin all over again. What I am calling for, Mr Chairman, is for permanent police posts. It is high time the ministry started building permanent police posts because if this goes on for a long time, it will be very difficult to trace cases because as I said, once a police officer goes away, then all cases go with him unless you make a follow up. We have lost a lot of such cases.

One issue, Mr Chairman, which also exists in my constituency is lack of cells in which to put criminals when you arrest them. So, you find that because there are no cells, it is very difficult to keep thieves when you arrest them. In a number of times you find that criminals run away. What happens, again, Mr Chairman, is that due to lack of transport, it is very difficult to transport these criminals to the nearest big stations. I know the issue of transport has been laboured on but all the same, while the major stations have transport, it is very difficult to come by in the rural areas .

Mr Chairman, one issue which also puts police officers in a quandary is the issue of communication. I know it has already been discussed. You find that it is difficult to connect to the main station until you get somebody travelling in that direction. It is very difficult to know things which are happening at the other stations. So, I would like to request the hon. Minister to provide radio communications machinery so that they are able to connect very quickly with the main stations.

Mr Chairman, I also have one issue in my constituency. This concerns the Kafue road-block. All of you who have travelled south must have seen the road block at Kafue. This road-block, Mr Chairman, is, actually, manned by officers from Lusaka Province and yet that road-block is in the Southern Province. So, my request, Mr Chairman, is that police officers from Mazabuka or somewhere in the Southern Province should man that police post because police officers in Mazabuka know better the issues at hand in Chikankata, than those from outside. There are a number of routes which cattle rustlers use, as you are aware that Chikankata and Mazabuka at large are agricultural areas. So, there has been a lot of cattle rustling in the area and the police officers from Lusaka will not be able to know what is happening there other than police officers from Mazabuka District. So, I would urge the hon. Minister, to, please, bring as many police officers from the Southern Province as he can, to man that road block rather than those from Lusaka Province. 

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

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

Mr Chairman, first and foremost, I would like to thank the Ministry of Home Affairs for the important job they are doing in this country, especially in my constituency, Kawambwa, where we are keeping refugees. The police officers in Kawambwa have extra duties besides the normal ones because we have over 12,000,000 refugees and they are doing a commendable job.


Mr Chola: I would like to appeal to the line ministry that they should put in extra effort in equipping the police in Kawambwa.

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

It is not normal for the Chair to interrupt debate for a new Member of Parliament in the House. But, I think for records' purposes, the figure of refugees that he has mentioned seems to be quiet alarming and I think it will alarm the whole nation. Is that a slip of the tongue or is it true that there are as many as 12,000,000 refugees? Can you, please, put the record straight?

Mr Chola: I thank you, Mr Chairman. The number of refugees at the time I was in Kawambwa was 12,000. I was referring to the number 12,000. 

I am appealing to the line ministry to equip the police officers of Kawambwa Police Station with extra transport and other facilities so that they can cope with the situation in my constituency. Mr Chairman, transport is required. While I appreciate the efforts of the Government on transport - I know that right now we have a new landrover - I think that with the influx of refugees, we need another one so that they can cope with the situation we encounter in our places.

Mr Chairman, apart from transport, I would like to talk about the infrastructure in the camp where these officers are supposed to be accommodated while on duty. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for putting up very good infrastructure in the camp where the police officers will be operating from and, indeed, the Government through the line ministry. There is a requirement to add extra facilities for police officers so that they are motivated and this should be in form of allowances. They are going through different difficult situations while looking after the refugees in the camp. I am, therefore, appealing to the line ministry to look into those matters.

Mr Chairman, I would like to talk about sport because this also concerns the police. Police officers in camps need to be equipped with sporting facilities. Sir, I am very much aware that they have got a sports day in my area. I have observed that they go for sport on Thursday afternoon but they do not have enough sporting facilities. There is the need for the Government to look into this problem. And on top of that one ...

Dr Kabanje: Which one?

Mr Chola: On top of sport.


Mr Chola: In addition, Mr Chairman, it is not only the team like Nkwazi which is being promoted in Lusaka, we also need more teams to be promoted at provincial level especially in Mansa which will be going round police stations promoting sport, Mr Chairman.

Sir, it is very important. If in schools and colleges sport can be promoted, even policemen need that facility. 

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Machungwa): Mr Chairman, I am grateful to the debate by hon. Members and the number of hon. Members who have debated is fifteen and more were indicating to debate showing the concern and interest that the hon. Members show for the Zambia Police Service.

Mr Chairman, I seek your indulgence before I respond to specific issues raised by hon. Members I wish to take this opportunity to brief the House and the nation on the issues and programmes that we are undertaking at Zambia Police.

Mr Chairman, a wide range of concerns have been expressed by hon. Members. This, in fact, speaks volumes about the importance of Zambia Police in the lives of us as individuals in the nation as a whole as well as in our communities.

Let me now brief the august House on some of the programmes that the Zambia Police Service have been undertaking during the year 2000 and the outlook for the year 2001.

The mandate of the Zambia Police Service is to maintain law and order, preserve peace, prevent and detect crime and apprehend offenders who wrong others. To effectively implement the mandate, the Zambia Police Service has had to be reformed from the past. The reform, as hon. Members are aware, began in 1995. The Police Reform Programme includes improvements in the trend and techniques for policing. The service has changed from the previous reactive to pro-active mode of policing. Most importantly, the observations of human rights, respect for rights of individuals has become a top priority in all policing methods. 

Mr Sibetta: For you and Hatembo.

Dr Machungwa: It is also important, especially for Hon. Sibetta, because if we are not doing that, I would lock him up. But now we respect him, he can say what he wants. 

It also important for hon. Members of Parliament to know that the training curriculum for our police officers has changed to be in conformity with the changed environment. To this end, the police training syllabi at Lilayi Police College, Kamfinsa and Paramilitary Training schools now include topics which enhance the implementation of the Police Reform Programme which include Human Rights and caring for individuals.

Mr Chairman, the level of crime has been a source of concern. To combat crime the police service has increased police visibility by establishing more community police posts in residential and business areas to bring police service closer to the people. I wish to emphasise the fact that the police need the co-operation from each and every member of the community including you, hon. Members of Parliament, to effectively combat crime. It should be the responsibility of each and every law abiding member of the community to report crime perpetrators to the police. While it is true that the police service requires a reliable communications system among other logistics, co-operation from the community is paramount if they are to succeed.

Sir, one way to improve the needed rapport between the police service and the community is to increase communication between the police and the community. I am happy to say that last week I officiated at the launching of a newspaper called the Police News for the Zambia Police which will serve as a window through which the public will be informed on the work of the police service.  The public will also be encouraged to contribute articles and stories to the paper.

Mr Chairman, to enhance accountability, responsibility and transparency, recent amendments to the Police Act provide for establishment of the Police Public Complaints Authority to give the public an opportunity to bring to the attention of the Government any police heavy handedness or malpractices.

Unfortunately, the establishment of the Police Public Complaints Authority has been delayed because of inadequate funding and unfortunately the current budget has no provision for us to set up this. But, when we get funding, we intend to go ahead and set it up.

Mr Chairman, motor vehicle theft crime has been on the upswing. To redress this, the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code were amended to make motor vehicle theft unbailable. 

I wish to thank this august House for supporting the amendment which law has now been assented to by the President. This will go a long way in restraining the criminals. because if we get them they will stay behind bars.

Mr Chairman, I also wish to report that towards the end of last year, the police service acquired fifty landrovers which have, to some extent, eased transport problems in some rural districts. I have to emphasise, of course, that the fifty vehicles are not adequate as there are many other areas of need. In fact, each district needs to have a vehicle. In fact, the bigger districts need to have more vehicles as hon. Members have said but, of course, we have to manage with what we have. The importance of transport cannot be over- emphasised. The police need to move to scenes of crime quickly and on time. Prevention and detection of crime requires proper means of movement and communication. Further, the nature and level of some crime require the police to even be airborne. To this end the police service is in its advanced stage of negotiations to acquire some helicopters. Helicopters will improve prevention and detection of crime and apprehension of criminals who hide behind walls or hide in the bush where vehicles are not able to go.{mospagebreak}

Mr Chairman, the men and women in the police force face a number of logistical constraints. The constraints are, by and large, as a result of the difficulties that the national economy and budget are facing. As a police service, we look at these constraints as challenges ahead of the service but, of course, we rely on this House to give us support to get the resources that we need to prosecute our task. My ministry appreciates the resources, limited as they are, that have been placed at our disposal and hence we will try to do what we can with what we have. It is, therefore, my plea that hon. Members of Parliament will support the modest Estimates for the Zambia Police.

Mr Chairman, before I take my seat I would like to respond to specific issues, very briefly, raised by hon. Members during the debate.

Hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu, Dr Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, bemoaned the lack of transport both road and air transport as well as water transport in the police service. She also talked of meagre salaries, poor uniforms and also the need to computerise. I believe the issues have been mentioned but with regard to limited resources, we are, in fact, explaining these issues. But as I said, we are trying in our own way to address some of these issues by acquiring some vehicles and also trying to acquire some helicopter aircraft and also, from time to time when we can, to buy some boats.

The issue of meagre salaries is one that we continually look at but it must be remembered that the police are not the only people who have to be paid. Other security forces as well as civil servants and even hon. Members of Parliament also need to get something from that cake. So, when we debate these issues, we try to ensure that we give what we can, what the budget can afford.

Hon. Member for Chipangali, Mr. Lucas Phiri, bemoaned the lack of fuel. Yes, these are some of the problems that are financially-related but I am really very surprised that the hon. Member, although he is youthful, would advocate pandemonium and chaos for the police to go on strike.

Mr L. L. Phiri: So that you can listen to them!

Dr Machungwa: I do not know what he might do if the police went on strike. I consider it highly unbecoming of an honourable Member of Parliament, and, in fact, bordering on irresponsibility, to begin advocating security forces in a country to go on strike. While we are appreciate that the police are working under difficult conditions, Members of Parliament should do everything possible to encourage these people but not to try to arouse these people. Otherwise, we may be forced to take action against the hon. Member of Parliament, ourselves.

Hon. Opposition Members: Interjected.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Doctors demonstrated. Why can they not do the same?

Dr Machungwa: Those are not security officers.

The issue of police posts is something that we are looking at, not just at this Hon. Phiri’s Constituency. We have started the programme, Mr Chairman, where we encourage communities working with their hon. Members to help us work to construct police posts. We have encouraged our police officers and also the Prisons Department to assist in some cases in moulding bricks, especially in the rural areas where it is easier for us to use modern burnt bricks to construct police stations and even houses and this programme has began. Where hon. Members are eager to work with us and encourage the police and work with us and mobilise the community and resources, we are ready to do that. And once we complete the structures, we will be more than ready to supply you with personnel to man such police posts.

Hon. C. Mwansa, Member of Parliament for Mfyuwe ...

Mr L. L. Phiri: It is Mfuwe!

Dr Machungwa: Chatterbox, listen!

Hon. Member of Parliament for Mfuwe, we are grateful for your comments. We, in the police, will continue to recognise the importance of being gender sensitive and we are happy that we have named one of the police stations after the late Assistant Commissioner of Police, Janet Sakala. This is the Chilenje Police Station which is now known as Janet Sakala Police Station.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear! We want more promotions for women.

Dr Machungwa: We will also try to do what we can to ensure that police posts are put in the remote areas. Again, what I have said is that let the communities and the hon. Members of Parliament try to work with us so that we can try to build more police posts in the rural areas.

The Victim Support Unit is doing quite well. It is true that resources to them are limited but this is a reflection of what we get in the National Budget.

Hon. Hachipuka, Member of Parliament for Mbabala mentioned that personal emoluments under Police was only K4 billion whereas Recurrent Departmental Charges under Police Headquarters was K18 billion. I have to explain, hon. Members, that what has been done in the Yellow Book now is to decentralise personal emoluments and even expenses, to Divisions and to specialised units. If you take time to look through the Yellow Book, you find that the personal emoluments amount to K46 billion, that is, for Headquarters, Paramilitary, Lilayi Training School, Mobile Unit, State House Police, Protective Unit, Tazara and Airport Police. Their personal emoluments amount to K25 billion. And if you look through the book, the Divisions such as Lusaka, Copperbelt, Northern, Eastern, Luapula, North-Western, Western, Central and Southern amount to K21. 1 billion. So, it is much more than what is there.

Hon. Miti, Member of Parliament for Vubwi, I am grateful for your condemnation of the young hon. Member of Parliament from Chipangali who is trying to advocate strikes by security forces.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Slow leadership!

Dr Machungwa: I also agree that recreation is something that should be encouraged and when we have resources, we will try to encourage our officers to get involved in sports so that they can keep fit.

The issue of police vehicles is one that a number of hon. Members have approached me about. The truth of the matter is that we only have fifty vehicles and we tried to allocate some of these to the flash points where we have been experiencing a lot of problems, especially with regard to incursions from neighbouring countries where civil wars are raging. We are, however, planning to get more vehicles to try to look at some of those other areas that do not have vehicles. It must be appreciated, however, that we may not be able to get something like 200 or 300 vehicles so that we can satisfy the needs of everybody. So, once we get some, we will look at them.

So, once we get a look at some needy areas, some might have to wait a little longer but we will do our best.

Mr Chairman, the issue of over-staying of police officers in some areas is being looked at. We will try to move them around so that they do not become like part of the villagers there. We do encourage police officers to work closely with the community, to know the community and to be able to perform. However, we do not want them to get so familiar so that they are not able to be effective.

Mr Chairman, the hon. Nominated Member (Mr Ndhlovu) said we have old structures. Yes, we appreciate that we have old structures but where we can, we are trying to address this. Accommodation, of course, is a difficult problem because for many years now, I think for over twenty years, there are no houses built for the police. Right now, we are trying to build in the country because building had died for a long time. When you look at houses being built by the PHI ...

Mr L. L. Phiri: Building has been going on by the National Housing Authority.

Dr Machungwa: ... the police are not excluded from these. What must be remembered is that when the police retire, they will also need to have houses and so while it is important that we build houses in the police camps or repair the houses that are there, it is important that the police also be empowered so that when they retire, they also have shelter. This is part of the MMD policy to ensure that the people of Zambia are empowered and they own property in their own land.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairman, the hon. Member for Nalikwanda (Mr Simwinji) said we should look at police vehicles. We are trying to look at police vehicles so that if necessary, each constituency will have a police vehicle. But there are some constituencies where a vehicle will be completely useless. They might need some other means of transport but we are cognisant of that as well.

Sir, the issue of Karavinas is one issue which has plagued our people in Western Province, particularly in Mongu, Kaoma and Lukulu. The police are watching this and we have since sent some additional men to those areas. But we would also like to plead with hon. Members of Parliament to try to sensitise our people that this is a crime just the same as the issue of Kalilozi and other things but, of course, we realise it will take a long time for people to forget about these things ...

Hon. Member: Uli Cingwena!

Dr Machungwa: Yes, perhaps, you are a cibokolo, yourself.


Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairman, the hon. Member for Lundazi (Mr Ngulube) said we need to motivate the police. Yes, we need to motivate the police and it is important that we try to get them radios. We have tried in the past to get some base radios. When I visited Germany recently, last year, I asked my colleague there to see if they could assist us with police radios. Unfortunately, they were able to give us only eleven and these have been sent to rural police stations. Where there is no electricity, we are trying to come up with systems that can use solar energies so that these areas can also communicate.

Mr Chairman, the hon. Member for Sesheke (Mr Mushiba) also made a contribution. I would like to say that the nature of police work is dangerous but there are very few countries where you find that the Government has taken out insurance for all security officers but it is important, of course, that the risk allowance which we have for the police should be looked at. Right now, the risk allowance is very small which is not worth speaking about. But, again, when we come to this House and when we debate through our colleagues and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, we would like to put a little bit more resources to look at this issue.

Mr Chairman, coming to the contribution by the hon. Member for Kantanshi (Mr Chilombo), yes, it is true that the police there have had a lot of problems with transport. When I visited them, I found that transport was difficult and it is not only in Mufulira. Sometimes, even dockets are not there. They do not use Occurrence Books (OBs) but they just improvise and these are some of the ailments of an economy that had gone under so much devastation for sometime. However, we have begun to build and address some of these issues.

Mr Chairman, with regard to Hon. Museba’s contribution, discipline is a continuous issue that we try and pay attention to. We try to look at this with the Inspector-General of Police and when hon. Members, or for that matter, members of the public notice some indiscipline, they are free to bring this to our attention so that we can address it.

Sir, Hon. Regina Phiri, Member of Parliament for Chadiza Constituency, talked about the problems they are facing in police stations in Chadiza. I know that there are some problems but some of these are not just unique to your constituency. When you have time, let us sit down and see how you, working with us and with the community, can try to attend to some of these problems.

Hon. Chiinda, Member of Parliament for Chikankata, mentioned that they need a police post. I agree that it is necessary but from your debate, I was not able to tell if there is a community neighbourhood police post. It was not very clear but the issue of a police post is something that we are interested in pursuing. Just like I have said elsewhere, if you are interested, we can sit down and try to mobilise the resources together with the police. You also talked about the issue of road-blocks at Kafue which I think is cost effective and efficient for us to administer it from Kafue because it is very far for us to be sending officers from Mazabuka to come to the bridge. The bridge is less than ten kilometres from Kafue.

So, for reasons of efficiency and co-ordination, we would want to continue to monitor it from Kafue and if there are problems, Kafue could call upon Lusaka where there are more resources than Mazabuka to call upon Livingstone to come and assist. It is just for ease of management and for the police to be more effective there. We are dealing with people who are coming from across the border and you may not know what the contraband is. We need quick response there. 

In fact, it is not unique. For example, Kaputa District is in Northern Province but for police purposes, it is administered from Mansa and is considered part of Luapula Province because it is easier to reach Kaputa from that area.

Finally, Hon. Chola talked about transport in Kawambwa. We have been working with UNHCR to try to address some of these issues. We have met with people from UNHCR and other co-operating partners and have mentioned the need to try to improve on security and also look at our policemen who are in those camps. So, we will continue with these efforts wherever we have camped. Sometimes, it is a little difficult because our co-operating partners give excuses, but we will keep pushing to ensure that they try to help us to improve the security in those areas.

With those remarks, I thank you, Mr Chairman.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 11/01 - (Zambia Police - Ministry of Home Affairs - Headquarters - K23,529,281,038)

Mr Mushala(Mufumbwe): Mr Chairman on sub-head 5, item 02, sub-item 003 - Wireless network - K2,173,492. I would like to find out which police stations will benefit from the above amount.

Furthermore, Sir, I note that there is no provision under the same on sub-head 5, item 02, sub-item 009 - Police vehicles Workshop - Nil. There is no provision in this year’s Budget, not even a K1 to keep this file open while Government is scouting for funds ...

The Deputy Chairman: Order! The hon. Member is entitled to get more information on the Vote provided for. I do not think that we should be questioning where a provision has not been made because there is nothing to debate there. So, can the hon. Minister answer 003.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairman, the token of K2,173,496 is required to keep the Vote open during the year 2001, for various projects whose expenditures are unpredictable such as minor works, maintenance of camps, police vehicles, workshops, wireless radio network, electrification of police camps and staff accommodation. All these are lumped together.

Hon. Members: Where?

The Chairman: It is on sub-item 5, item 02, sub-item 003 - Wireless Network.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, it is for maintenance of the existing wireless network.

Vote 11/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 11/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 11/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 11/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 11/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 11/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 11/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 11/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 11/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 11/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 11/11 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 11/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 11/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 11/14 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 11/15 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 11/16 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 11/17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)

The House adjourned at 2000 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 7th February, 2001.