Debates- Friday, 2nd February, 2001

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Friday, 2nd February, 2001

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: In accordance with our Standing Orders, I have nominated the under mentioned hon. Members to constitute the following:


Standing Orders Committee

    (i)    The Hon. Mr Speaker - Chairman;

    (ii)    Lt. Gen. S. C. Tembo, Vice-President;

(iii)    The Hon. M. C Sata, Minister 
(iv)    without Portfolio;

    (iv)    The Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, Chief Whip;

(v)    The Hon. Dr. K. Kalumba, Minister of Finance and Economic  

    (vi)    The Hon. G. K. Mandandi, Minister of Works and Supply;

    (vii)    Mr L. L. Mumba, MP; and

    (viii)    Dr S. N Chipungu, MP

Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services

    (i)    The Hon. Deputy Speaker - Chairman;

    (ii)    The Hon. V. J. Mwaanga, Chief Whip;

    (iii)    The Hon. V. Malambo, Minister of Legal Affairs;

    (iv)    The Hon. E. C. Mwansa, Deputy Minister of Health;

    (v)    Ms R. Malama, MP;

    (vi)    Mrs R. K. Yikona, MP;

    (vii)    Mr E. N. Keembe, MP; and

    (viii)    Mr W. B. Sikombe, MP


Committee on Government Assurances 

    (i)    Mr D. C. W. Matutu, MP;

    (ii)    Mr P. Ngosa, MP;

    (iii)    Mr E. W. Kawinga, MP

    (iv)    Ms R. Phiri, MP;

    (v)    Mr S. H. Hamir, MP;

    (vi)    Mr B. M. Mushala, MP;

    (vii)    Mr H. M. Moonga, MP; and

    (viii)    Mr P. N. Chola, MP

Committee on Delegated Legislation 

    (i)    Dr. L. S. Sondashi, MP;

    (ii)    Dr L. P Kamata, MP;

    (iii)    Mr C. Ngulube, MP;

    (iv)    Mr C. T. A. Banda, MP;

    (v)    Mr B. Tetamashimba, MP;

    (vi)    Mr C.C. Mwansa, MP;

    (vii)     Mr G. Chulumanda, MP; and

    (viii)     Mr A. F. M. Lupando, MP

Committee on Estimates 

    (i)    Mr D. K. A. Patel, MP;

    (ii)    Mr C. Ngulube, MP;

    (iii)    Mr P. K. Kalifungwa, MP;

    (iv)    Mr C. N. Mponda, MP;

    (v)    Mr T. J. C. Phiri, MP;

    (vi)    Mr C. M. Shumina, MP;

    (vii)    Mr G. M. Chibambula, MP;

    (viii)    Mr R. K .K. Sichinga, MP; and

    (ix)    Mr B. M. Mushala, MP

Thank you.


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

On Tuesday, 6th February, 2001, the business of the House will begin with questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and consider the following Heads: 

Head 09 - Teaching Service Commission;
Head 10 - Police and Prisons Commission; and
Head 11 - Zambia Police, Ministry of Home Affairs.

On Wednesday, 7th February, 2001, the business of House will commence with questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will also consider private Member’s Motion, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads:

Head 12 - Commission for Investigations; and
Head 13 - Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 8th February, 2001, the business of the House will begin with questions, if there will be any, to be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads:

Head 14 - Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development; and
Head 15 - Ministry of Home Affairs.

On Friday, 9th February, 2001, the business of the House will start with questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then go into Committee of Supply on this year’s Estimates of Expenditure and will consider the following Heads:

Head 17 - Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and
Head 18 - Judiciary.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Shimonde: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Education (Brigadier-General Miyanda): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this chance to brief this august House on a matter already known. By now, most, if not all, hon. Members of Parliament are aware of the Grade 7 results which were circulated by my ministry to schools before Parliament resumed its business. This was to enable pupils, parents as well as schools to prepare themselves for the opening day on 15th January, 2001. Sir, I, now, wish, formally, to inform the House and, indeed, the nation that the results of the 2000 Grade 7 examinations have been processed and the selection for Grade 8 pupils already completed.

Mr Speaker, in the year 2000, a total of 181,442 pupils registered for Grade 7 examinations throughout the country. Of these, 80,041 were girls and 101,401 were boys. In 1999, 182,378 were registered of whom 80,249 were girls and 102,130 were boys. Out of the 181,442 registered candidates last year, 69,482 girls and 88,113 boys, actually, sat for the examination, giving a total of 157,595, whereas in 1999, 70,093 girls and 89,514 boys sat the examination, giving a total of 159,607 candidates.

Mr Speaker, in the year 2000, there were 23,831 absentees, of whom 10,556 or 13.19 per cent were girls and 13,275 or 13.09 per cent were boys. In 1999, however, there were 22,772 absentees of whom 10,156 or 12.65 per cent were girls and 12,616 or 12.35 per cent were boys. I will comment on absentees a little later.

Mr Speaker, a total of 79,337 pupils of whom 39,628 were girls and 39,709 were boys, have been selected into Grade 8, to both Government and grant-aided schools this year compared with 76,052, that is 37,908 girls and 38,144 boys in 1999. This gives a progression rate of 50.34 per cent as compared with 47.65 per cent in 1999. The desegregated progression rates by gender are 57.03 per cent for girls and 45.07 per cent for boys as compared with 54.08 per cent for girls and 42.61 for boys in 1999. The higher progression rates this year for both girls and boys is attributed to my ministry’s continuous effort to upgrade more middle basic schools to full basic school status.

The detailed analysis of these results, province by province, is as shown in the matrix below:


Mr Speaker, one notable feature of these results is the large number of absenteeism from the examination. These statistics, Sir, show that a total of 23,831 candidates, who had registered for the Grade 7 Examination, were absent. Of these, 10,556 were girls and 13,275 were boys. In percentage terms these figures translate into 13.19 per cent girls and 13.09 boys who were absent. Analysis by the district shows that the rural areas were worse off than urban areas, with Chinsali and Milenge presenting the highest number of absenteeism and Chililabombwe and Ndola presenting the least. 

Mr Speaker, information from the field attributes this large absenteeism partly to the lack of teachers in a number of schools in the rural areas. But the major reason is that of financial inability of parents to pay for the examination which has led many parents to withdraw their children from school.

Mr Speaker, my ministry is aware that many schools have, indeed, faced a host of problems, including the following: frequent changes in teachers, inadequate teaching staff due to difficulties in replacing those who have died, retired, or those who have resigned and the inability of some parents to afford examination fees. My ministry is already tackling all these problems. Under ZATEC, we have increased the output of teachers graduating from our colleges in order to bridge the gap of teachers shortage in all schools. I am positive that the situation will soon change for the better. 

Further, Mr Speaker, my ministry will continue to address these problems so that all candidates who register for examinations actually sit for these examinations. That is my report or brief on the examination results.

Mr Speaker, please, also allow me in this statement to refer to a related matter which may seem out of place but which has attracted the attention of the public as well as of the hon. Members. This regards my recent announcement to abolish certain fees in primary schools.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members may be aware that under the Basic Education Sub-Sector Investment Programme (BESSIP), we hold two reviews each year. During the last semi annual review on 15th December, 2000, I announced the abolition of Grade 7 Examination and other statutory fees as reflected in the Education Act and its subsidiary legislation. 

I took this step in order to stem the high drop out rates that we were experiencing as well as to increase retention of pupils and to encourage pupils who have stopped schools for economic reasons, to return to school. Hon. Members may wish to know that drop out rates at basic school level are quite high. The reason most cited for this is the economic one: that is failure to meet school costs. 

Under our education policy, I am obliged to take measures that address the needs of the poor and vulnerable in the education system. In addition, I am also obliged to take measures that will support and promote education for all, particularly at basic level. After careful consideration of the budgetary implications, my ministry found that it was possible to factor into the BESSIP Annual Work Plan funds to cover the costs that are required to support the Examinations Council of Zambia for the the conduct of examinations at Grade 7.

I also considered removal of other fees that we could easily do without hence my announcement of the abolishment of Grade 7 Examination fees and all statutory fees. This policy is already effective. 

Following this announcement of the abolishment of Grade 7 Examination fees and all statutory fees, which was later followed by a circular by my Permanent Secretary on 3rd January, 2001, some school authorities have either ignored or defied my directive. Indeed, some parents have sought clarification on my statement and the subsequent circular. 

I wish, now, to provide additional information and to further clarify the decision that I took. For the information of all hon. Members and indeed, the public, the following are the fees or levies that may be paid under the Educational Act and no other. These are:

    (i)    School Fund;

    (ii)    Tuition or Boarding Fees;

    (iii)    PTA Fund;

    (iv)    Prescribed Fees; and

    (v)    General Purposes Fund. 

I will, now, explain each one of them. It is important that hon. Members pay attention because these are the queries that they continue to get in constituencies. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Brigadier-General Miyanda: I am disturbed by some hon. Members who keep chatting.

School Fund

Under the Education Act, a fund entitled School Fund was established to be used to finance some school activities, including sports, athletics and other activities of an intellectual or cultural nature. Currently, it is only K500.00 for pupils at primary schools and K1,000.00 for secondary school pupils . This fund is administered by a School Fund Committee. 

So, wherever they are charging this fee, there has to be a School Fund Committee. The committee is headed by the headmaster or the head of the school and includes the deputy head, one member of the teaching staff and the chairperson of the PTA or its representative. This is the only fund to which pupils are required to contribute and is payable once a year at the beginning of the school term.

No withdrawal may be made from the school fund account without the prior approval of the School Fund Committee. The withdrawal has to be signed by, at least, three members, one of whom shall be the Chairman of the PTA or the representative. Regrettably, these things are not followed that is why it is important that hon. Members as well as parents take an active interest instead of transferring the problems to the headquarters. I have done what can be done to assist.

PTA Fund

The Act provides for the establishment of an association for teachers and parents. The school system and the parents are the ones who constitute this association. The PTA is intended to deal with matters in connection with the school. But the PTA has to be approved or recognised by the Minister. So, when they form it, they are advised by the ministry, through the network, then I approve it to make it legal. The PTA has no power or authority to levy any moneys from pupils in any Government or aided school.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Brigadier-General Miyanda: I have to emphasise that. There has been a misunderstanding. They do not have the power to levy any moneys from pupils in any Government or aided school. The source of funds for the PTA fund are raffles and other legitimate means. PTA committee members are supposed to be enterprising. When elections take place, parents must choose people who are resourceful and have initiative. The practice of levying pupils by PTAs to raise money is illegal.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Brigadier-General Miyanda: It is not allowed to charge fees that are not authorised under the Education Act. I trust that this clarifies the matter. For purposes of emphasis, I wish to say that the PTA has no power or authority to levy pupils at all but they may raise money from other activities such as dinner dances, walks, and even when they walk in Cairo Road or the roads in Kaputa, the money belongs to the school and must be put in this fund and accounted for.

Tuition or Boarding Fees

There are no tuition or boarding fees in day primary schools except for non-Zambian children. However, there is a levy for all children in secondary schools as well as in primary boarding schools.

Prescribed fees for Teacher Training Institutions

These fees apply to teacher training institutions under the Ministry of Education. They are prescribed by the Minister and not the institution and are payable by students enrolled at such institutions. In short, it is wrong for any institution, under my ministry, to charge any such prescribed fees without my authority. As far as I am aware, I have not authorised anybody to do that. This one is not relevant for the purposes of my brief this morning.

General Purpose Fund

This is the main culprit in the high levies we find in schools. According to the Education Act and the Regulations, the General Purpose Fund is a regulatory fund established by the Minister of Education for specified extra curricular activities. The moneys in the General Purposes Fund may be expended by the head of the school for extra curricular activities and other things intended for the spiritual, physical and intellectual welfare of the pupils. These activities include athletics, speech training, hymns and other cultural entertainment, toys and intellectual games such as chess. 

It can be seen from what I have described that in the schools, the General Purpose Fund is used for things that I have not sanctioned. The pupils are levied heavily under this Fund. It is also under this Fund that you find things like major projects being carried out. From what I have explained, hon. Members, it can be seen that the General Purpose Fund is not intended to be school fees for purposes of tuition. It is public information that the general purpose fees cannot be imposed without the approval of the Minister of Education.

I thought that I should give this information to clear the air. Further, I wish to clarify that no levies other than what I have described will be allowed to be levied by any PTA. PTAs can raise moneys in other legitimate ways other than levying pupils. 

Further, I want to emphasise that it is against Government policy to send pupils away from school. Children must remain in school even though they are obliged to pay the fees.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Patel: Mwalimu!


Mr Speaker: Order! Hon. Members are, now, given a chance to raise points of clarification on the ministerial statement delivered to the House this afternoon.

Mr Nkabika (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, can the Minister inform this House why his ministry is not conducting inspections ...

Mr Wina: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Wina: Mr Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order. I was a Member of the Standing Orders Committee when the decision to commercialise the National Assembly Motel was made. But that decision was made with a special proviso that the commercialisation shall only be done when Parliament is in recess.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Wina: That was very clear. Of late, Sir, there has been a tendency that outsiders have been frequenting and, sometimes, booking at the motel when Parliament is sitting.

Mr Speaker, when we come to sit in this House, we have volumes to go through and that motel was especially made to give Members of Parliament privacy to be able to study these very important matters.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Wina: Now, if we are going to have drunkards walk in there at leisure, prostitutes being brought in and so forth, it makes the whole purpose of that motel meaningless.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Wina: Mr Speaker, everywhere in the world, Parliamentarians have some privileges, especially with regard to privacy. I have been a Member of this House for thirty-eight years.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Wina: I have been here since the 1962 Coalition Government and these have always been the rules and regulations that govern and protect Members of Parliament , otherwise, we would not have been meeting here. We would have been meeting in Matero Football Stadium or anywhere else. The fact that there are places like this one, especially built for hon. Members of Parliament to sit and deliberate shows that this institution enjoys special privileges and rights which should not be invaded by outsiders.

Mr Speaker, I really seek your serious ruling on whether it is in order for Members of Parliament to continue being harassed and embarrassed at the motel by outsiders who have no purpose of being there. Whoever wants to take a group of people anywhere, let them take them to the Pamodzi Hotel ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Wina: ... and pay for them there and not at the Parliament Motel. Sir, I am sorry to interrupt a very serious debate on education but I need your ruling on this very serious matter.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The point of order which has just been raised by the hon. Member for Chililabombwe relates to the functions of one of the Committees whose composition I just announced this morning. This is the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services. I am aware that this announcement was made this morning but in view of that point of order, I am instructing the Committee which is chaired by the hon. Mr Deputy Speaker to look into this matter without delay in order to enable me make a ruling by way of informing the House on how the issues raised by the hon. Member for Chililabombwe will have been resolved. I wish to make such ruling, arising from the information that I will be given by the Committee, latest Wednesday next week.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Will the hon. Member for Kapiri Mposhi continue, please.

Mr Nkabika: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister of Education inform the House why his ministry is not conducting inspections of private schools with regard to boarding facilities, high fees being charged and also the unhygienic environment obtaining in these private schools.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: Sir, the statement that we are not conducting inspections is not correct. We do conduct inspections and when we come across an institution that is not complying with the regulations, we do something about it. However, I would advise the hon. Member if he is aware of any particular institution which we have not visited, to inform me and we will send inspectors there.

Mr Speaker, as regards fees, hon. Members need to be aware that some of the institutions do not fall under my ministry and I cannot answer on behalf of other ministries.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr T. J. C. Phiri (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, arising from the statement by the hon. Minister of Education regarding the number of children who were selected to Grade 8, I note that a large number was not selected. May I know whether the Government and, indeed, the ministry has any plans to ensure that these drop-outs do not turn into street kids or criminals.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: Mr Speaker, the question is important but it cuts across many ministries. It requires the efforts and energies of several ministries to look into the problem of street kids. However, with regard to my ministry, I will be briefing the House during the Budget presentation on the measures we are taking to take care of pupils who are unable to get into regular schools. This includes the educational interactive radio programmes which research we concluded recently and which has proved to be very successful.

So, one of the ways of keeping children away from crime and mischief is by giving them something to do, including putting them in school. I am also aware that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training has programmes for taking care of children and so has the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development. I am only saying this because the two cannot answer, now, but I can confirm that the Government is, indeed, concerned with the problem of street children. 

Sir, with regard to crime, they say it takes two to tango and so parents as well must take an interest because even if people go to school, if their minds are not crime free, if I can use that term, they will still commit crime. So, it is not just school that will stop crime. What matters is the guidance that takes place in the homes and the leadership provided by Members of Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namakando (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister confirm that the continued shortage of teachers in the rural areas is slowly drifting this country into a country of illiterates.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: No, I cannot confirm that, Sir. {mospagebreak}


Brigadier-General: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Member merely wants to complain about the shortage of teachers and the resultant problem of illiteracy. I have on several occasions explained the problem and what steps we are taking. I shall do so, again, at length, in the budget debate next week. However, for now, I wish to admit that this is a very serious problem and there are many factors contributing to the shortage of teachers one of which is our inability to produce a requisite number of teachers in our training institutions. I have given information before, for example, that our colleges are producing roughly, about 1,000 teachers per year. We are losing roughly about 1,300 teachers for various reasons. So, it can be seen that the figures are cancelling each other out. That is the reason we have introduced programmes such as ZATEC, whose details I will give a little later for the benefit of hon. Members.

So, the output of colleges is one reason. Another reason for the shortage of teachers is that we lose so many because of poor conditions of service. Some teachers want to go and work in greener pastures. We are addressing this and I hope that we can improve the conditions of service to motivate our teachers to work in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Nondo (Katombora): Mr Speaker, we are very grateful that the hon. Minister of Education has given us the old prescribed fees. I would like to find out what the minimum fees are for the General Purpose Fund.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: Mr Speaker, as I have explained, the only fund that they are supposed to pay is the school fund. The General Purpose Fund is a regulatory fund. So, there is no minimum fee. It is a fund which once established, has to be cleared by myself. As far as I can say now, any funds that are being charged, which have not been approved, are illegal. This is the reason why I mentioned that any school authority which is defying this will be in trouble.

I have directed my Permanent Secretary to remind all the schools to send their requests for approval because some of the fees are truly exorbitant. They are supposed to raise funds through various activities as I have explained already, like dinner dances. This, if well organised, can raise quite a lot of money. Of course, it may be argued that it is only in the towns, but even in the rural areas ...


Mr Sibetta: Makishi Dance!

Brigadier-General Miyanda: ... the Makishi Dance can be organised. Concerts are held in the villages. Some schools raise money through church activities. Why can that not be done in schools in rural areas?

This is an important point which hon. Members raised, but the fact is that I do not want children to be forced to pay fees that I have not authorised. So, there is no minimum fee. This fund is regulated by the Minister of Education and when they submit that information to me, they have to indicate the breakdown and what the funds are for. That is when I will decide. If, for instance, they say that they want money for a wall fence from the pupils, I will not approve that but they can walk from Kafue to Kabwe and raise the money. However, the parents and the teachers must work together to find innovative ways of raising money. The onus should not be on the pupils.

Mr Speaker, I hope this is clear.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapangalwendo (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, I understand that Chinsali has recorded the highest number of absentees. Is the hon. Minister of Education aware that one of the reasons is that in Chinsali, in 1997, I brought to the attention of the ministry the fact that certain schools had collapsed, teachers had to ...

Mr Speaker: Order! May the hon. Member of Parliament for Chinsali ask a question and not debate. If you want to debate, you wait until we come to the relevant Vote, but for now, you are free to raise a question on points of clarification.

Can the hon. Member, please, continue.

Mr Kapangalwendo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that one of the contributing factors for the high rate of absenteeism is that most of the schools which collapsed have not been repaired?

Brigadier-General: Mr Speaker, I am aware that a large number of our schools require rehabilitation. That is why I came to brief the House and distributed documents, copies of which he has, indicating a programme  for construction and rehabilitation over a long term period. The statistics are there but I will not attribute the results to that. That may be a minor factor.

The major problem is the absence of teachers. This is critical because if there is no teacher, there is no education. Of course, on absenteeism, I only referred to the economic factors. The other reason for absenteeism is that sometimes, the parents keep the children away from school so that they can help with household chores or other activities. I am aware, Sir, that the hon. Member was trying to debate and invite me to Chinsali to help him in his constituency, ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Brigadier-General Miyanda: ... which I shall try to do at an appropriate time.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Yikona: (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, we do appreciate the fact that our Government has waived fees at primary level. Much as we appreciate that every child should attend basic education, Grade 9 is not a level where a child can get employment. So, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Education if they have any plans to waive fees further up to Grade 12, since it is the minimum level of qualification for a child to get employment.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: Mr Speaker, that is an important observation. I just want to advise hon. Members that there is always an ideal situation and one of the tempting ideas today is to say that everyone must stop paying fees. That is not practical. What I have done in the ministry, and that is why it took time, is that I directed the officials to examine the budgetary implications of removing the fees. 

Hon. Members will be interested to know, for instance, that in order to do what we have just done, we have denied funds to the Examinations Council of Zambia by cancelling the fees. Roughly, ECZ requires about K8 billion just for the examinations. We looked at our programme, BESSIP, and found that it was possible to replace the lost funds through the grants that I have mentioned.

The question of further reduction of fees in higher categories requires time; it cannot be done, now, because we cannot sustain it. I know that everyone wants free things but it is not possible to do that today.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Speaker, the results for Western Province seem to be very low. Being a rural province cannot be an excuse because we have North-Western Province, Luapula Province, and so on, which are also rural provinces but have done better. So, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Education the problems for this poor performance by schools in the Western Province.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: Sir, the factors are the same or similar everywhere as I have already mentioned. Absenteeism is a very serious issue. Pupils do not only absent themselves at examination time but they absent themselves throughout the school days. So, if they did not receive tuition, then they would produce poor results. Partly also, as I mentioned, the quality of education will be affected. For instance, teachers do not turn up in class for various reasons. I think I have explained this without intending to speak ill of my teachers who are doing their best. Nevertheless, there are times when this happens. At one time, I visited Southern Province and found that some teachers were not turning up. So, even those who are on the payroll do not turn up. 

In Western Province, it is not the case now, I do not want to be misunderstood, teachers were having difficulties in collecting their salaries as they were walking ...

Mr Sibetta interjected.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: No, that is not true. I am aware, I keep my ears to the ground and I send people to verify.

We have this serious problem of collection of salaries. A lot of teachers would travel to Mongu and wait there for long periods. When they arrived in Mongu, because of the system that was existing at the time, the funds maybe would not be available. Meanwhile, they had borrowed money for transport from friends, so, they did not want to go back without collecting their pay. They  would stay in Mongu for several weeks. Sometimes, a month would pass. This is not a tall story. It is a true thing. They would remain there without collecting their pay. But I am happy to say that this system has been changed. 

Hon. Members will recall that when we started this payment across the table, we were condemned countrywide because people thought we were going back to colonial days, but it was intended to identify the so-called ghost workers and to improve the system. Today, this system is very good. It is working well. I am not saying that it is perfect but we have responded and I think that in future as time goes on, things will be slightly better.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sinyangwe (Chifubu): Sir, what measure is the ministry putting in place to make sure that this time the directives are followed by the school heads, especially in my area, Chifubu?

Brigadier-General Miyanda: Mr Speaker, we take disciplinary action. I have the authority to do that based on the Education Act. One is disciplinary action against the officials who disobey. The other one is that the institution or whoever does so will be open to litigation. People may go to court and they may take officials to court. That will not be me. So, we have to be very careful. People have rights in Zambia. So, once the Government approves something, then they must obey that. I hope we can avoid litigation. I hope that does not arise. So, my appeal is for the hon. Members to take an interest in the PTAs and provide guidance because many of them do so out of ignorance. Go to the PTAs and encourage parents to join. Some of the parents think because they cannot speak English, they cannot attend. You tell them that they can go there and speak in Tonga, Ila, or Bemba, they will be understood. Encourage parents to present their concerns. This is really the answer.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sichinsambwe (Mbala): Sir, these funds are too many. Could the hon. Minister consolidate these funds into one to make it easy for parents to pay once and that should be PTA and nothing else.

Brigadier-General Miyanda: Mr Speaker, to consolidate the funds is to cause more confusion. That is why even the Budget is not consolidated. The Budget has State House, Ministry of Education and then within the Ministry of Education, you find headquarters, Eastern Province and Northern Province and so on. So, if we consolidate, there would be confusion in terms of accounting. What might even happen is that funds which are meant for a particular activity may be diverted. So, it is actually in the interest of the schools. It is easier for you to say that there was money for the PTA Fund, where has it gone? There was money for the school fund, how much came in? If you consolidate them, you will not distinguish between them. School managements may even mislead by claiming that the money was used for a wall fence when not.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Chair is aware that the subject is extremely important to all hon. Members of the House and, of course, the public at large. It is not my intention to prevent further questions. I just wish to appeal to the hon. Members who have been unable to raise questions on the ministerial statement that they will be free to do so when we debate the Ministry of Education in Committee of Supply because I have given permission to another hon. Minister to make a ministerial statement of equal importance.


The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mpamba): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me a chance to make a ministerial statement.

Mr Speaker, at its last sitting on Tuesday, 30th January, 2001, Cabinet ratified the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Trade Protocol. The Southern African Development Community, SADC, comprises Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Mr Speaker, of the fourteen member States of SADC, only three are not party to the SADC Trade Protocol and these are Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Seychelles. The members of the SADC States have sought to remove customs tariffs and non-tariff barriers, NTBs, among themselves in order to increase regional trade. 

Mr Speaker, the SADC Trade Protocol which is a tool for fostering trade development was signed at the Heads of States Summit in Maseru, Lesotho, in 1996, and came into effect on 25th January, 2000, following its ratification by the required two-thirds of the member States. However, the implementation was deferred to 1st September, 2000, due to the fact that negotiations were still on going. 

Indeed, the SADC Trade Protocol has been a subject of extensive negotiations to ensure its smooth implementation and optimal application. Zambia could not ratify the SADC Trade Protocol earlier because according to our laws, ratification means immediate implementation. 

Since the negotiations were on going, we felt that it was better to wait until agreement on substantial issues had been arrived at before ratification could be considered. There was need to reach agreement on a standard certificate of origin, we also had to reach agreement on firm tariff reduction schedules and an effective dispute settlement mechanism. I am happy to announce that these issues have, now, been addressed and settled. Hon. Mr Speaker, may I hasten to mention that South Africa has come to be the largest market for Zambia’s non-traditional exports and the SADC trade protocol affords Zambia the potential to increase her share of resources to over US$100 million annually by giving us preferential access.

With the implementation of the SADC Trade Protocol, Zambia will have immediate access of selected goods to South African markets at preferential rates, while Zambia will not need to offer duty free or lower tariff rates on goods imported from South Africa for the first three years.

Mr Speaker, with the ratification of the SADC Trade Protocol, Zambia stands to gain more than in any other market as the South African Government has already gazetted the new reduced tariffs that will be applicable on imports from Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpamba: Products in which Zambia has a great potential to increase export earnings with the ratification of SADC Trade Protocol include copper rods and cables, cotton, blended polyester and cotton textiles. They also include value added wood products. We expect to export tea as well and the whole range of horticultural products. Poultry will also be exported as well as sugar.

Hon. Mr Speaker, reduced competitiveness in the European Union market following continued weakness of the Euro and almost all European currencies against the US$ has created pressure on most leading export industries in Zambia. The alternative, therefore, is for Zambian industries to start seeking markets elsewhere and SADC member countries offer the greatest potential.

The benefits of this arrangement, both in its own right and as a stepping-stone to further integration into the global market, are well known. This means that our producers and consumers will be able to enjoy cheap inputs imported from SADC countries, while other exporters will also benefit from lower import tariffs into SADC markets, provided these comply with the agreed rules of SADC.

Mr Speaker, it is imperative that we, now, take the necessary steps to ensure we begin to reap these benefits as soon as possible so as to serve our people. This, now, affords our exporters and manufacturers a chance to enter into earlier restricted markets. In addition, Zambia will benefit from increased investment because of its central position as a gateway to SADC markets. SADC also is a potentially lucrative market with almost 200 million people capable of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from which Zambia stands to benefit.

At present, Sir, only South Africa and Mauritius have fully implemented the Trade Protocol, but other members have notified that they intend to launch it in the second quarter of 2001. We will, therefore, be among the very first on the ground, allowing ourselves a chance to get established before others implement.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has tabled two offers, one applicable to South Africa only and another, a differentiated one, applicable to the rest of the other members, including BLNS countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, which are the less developed members of the South African Customs Union. The offer to South Africa will see narrower and slower liberalisation, minimising short-term revenue losses and increase import competition from that country. Revenue losses on other SADC members’ imports will be minimal since most have already extended zero duties under COMESA.

Mr Speaker, a study was conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on revenue implications as a result of the SADC Trade Protocol. This study confirmed that those countries that are heavily dependent on imports from SADC (in particular from South Africa) such as Malawi and Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Zambia, would experience revenue losses on import duties as a result of the protocol’s implementation. The IMF report shows that Zimbabwe would lose about 7.4 per cent of its total revenue, while Malawi will lose about 6.6 per cent and Zambia would lose 5 per cent of its revenue over a period of eight years.

Mr Speaker, the threat of closures of companies will only be real for uncompetitive activities which will become economically unviable under the new liberalised trade regime. However, with double advantage given by the SADC Trade Protocol, of both cheaper inputs of production and broader export market, firms that are able to capitalise on this new reality will prosper while opportunities for wealth creation and employment will abound.

Mr Speaker, a positive impact of reduced costs of production and new production opportunities will be a widening of the tax base emanating from improved production and increased output, which will more than offset the revenue losses.

Sir, you may note that the implementation process will, now, take us through the following stages:

    (i)    There will be need to serve a notification to SADC Secretariat in the coming days confirming the ratification of the Trade Protocol and our launch date.

    (ii)    We shall need to train our customs officials on the SADC procedures of rules of origin.

    (iii)    It will be necessary for trade and customs documents to be printed by our Government Printers.

    (iv)    The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, along with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, will prepare a Statutory Instrument of rules of origin and the reduction of tariffs pursuant to the SADC Trade Protocol which will be issued by March, 2001.

Mr Speaker, it is my distinct privilege to inform this august House of our continuing effort to liberalise our economy, improve our operating environment, thereby creating opportunities for employment and wealth creation, and thus greater empowerment of our people. I am, therefore, glad, Sir, to state that after ratification of the SADC Trade Protocol, the implementation date of the SADC Trade Protocol for Zambia will be 5th March, 2001.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: As usual, hon. Members may, now, seek clarification on the issues that have been raised in the statement by the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Kalifungwa (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, besides opening our market to the highly industrialised nations, which are going to exploit Zambia as a market, what have we done to enhance our industrial and commercial base, to enhance the exports to these regional markets?

Mr Mpamba: Mr Speaker, Zambia is doing everything possible to make sure that our manufacturers add value to whatever they are producing. One of the things we have done, under this protocol, is to reduce duty on raw materials that go in production to make it cheaper for our products to be competitive. We have also opened markets in those areas where we are restricted for our manufacturers to export whatever they produce. So, the hon. Member for Mambilima must support this Government for the efforts we are putting in to make sure that our manufacturers are put on a sound base.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, following the ratification of the SADC protocol, if the Government is going to recapitalise the Zambia Bureau of Standards because most of the imports will have to be certified. We do not want to be a dumping ground.

Mr Mpamba: Mr Speaker, it is very important for every country to have a very strong bureau of standards. It is a pity most of the hon. Members here have not even utilised our Bureau of Standards and most of them do not even know where it is and its purpose. Very few, actually, have been there. Mr Speaker, the limiting factor has been lack of funds. We have a plot. If we had the funds, we would build a super structure. We would employ all the quality staff we want so that we can enhance the operations of the Bureau of Standards but we are limited at the moment by lack of funds.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister advise the House when he will table and distribute the full text of the signed protocol so that we can study it in greater detail and debate it when his Vote comes through and how do they reconcile the trade agreements between FTA and SADC?

Mr Mpamba: Mr Speaker, in fact, we have tariff lines numbering up to 7,000 and this is ready for inspection. So, if the hon. Member is interested in knowing the tariff lines that will be affected, he is free to come to our ministry and we shall assist him.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Patel: Answer the question.

Mr Mpamba: I have answered your question.

Mr Ngulube (Lundazi): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister confirm to this nation that Zambia does not need industries and they are not important to the economy of this country. The Government is not encouraging and revamping the Zambian industries but is busy promoting South African businesses.

Mr Mpamba: Mr Speaker, this country, like any other, needs industries. I do not know exactly what the hon. Member wanted to say.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkabika: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell the House what action his ministry is taking to avert further relocation of manufacturing companies like Amanita, Dunlop and Colgate Palmolive which have moved to Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Mr Mpamba: In the first stage, Mr Speaker, let us realise that we have liberalised our economy. People are free to move in and out, but we are not going to encourage companies to go to other countries just like that. We are doing everything possible to keep them here. 

Mr Patel: What?

Mr Mpamba: In fact, we have even formed a committee to look at the reasons why these people are moving to other countries. There is free flow of capital. People are free to move into Zambia and if it does not suit them, they can leave. To answer the hon. Member for Kapiri Mposhi, we are discussing to see whether we can persuade these people to continue operating in Zambia. Some of the demands that are given by these companies cannot be addressed by my ministry and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development because they want preferential treatment which this Government cannot give them.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Patel: Anglo-American.

Mr L. L. Phiri (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm to this House when the tariffs agreement he signed is going to be made available to hon. Members of Parliament to enable us study it so that when his Vote comes under discussion, we can advise accordingly.

Mr Mpamba: In fact, Mr Speaker, I have already answered that. Most people who are interested are the traders and exporters. They come everyday to our office to check. If you are an exporter, you are free to come and inspect. This thing keeps on changing because there are trade lines that are put everyday. So, if you are interested, hon. Member for Chipangali, come to my ministry and we shall give you what you need.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, I appreciate that the hon. Minister has formed a Committee but when is the Government going to look into the issue of high fuel costs, high electricity costs in Zambia and the instability of the kwacha which makes companies migrate from Zambia to Zimbabwe and other countries? When is this Government going to come to this House and report that they have rectified these issues to stem migration of companies?

Mr Mpamba: On the question of the fluctuation of the value of the kwacha to the dollar, the Government has fully addressed that and a circular has already been released. On the question of energy, the hon. Member for Luena is addressing the wrong ministry because the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development is seriously looking into that matter and he is present in the House. If you want an answer from him, you can ask him.

Thank you, Sir.


in the Chair]


VOTE 01/01 - (Office of the President - State House - K3,386,332,406).

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika (Mongu): Mr Chairman, first of all, I would like to express my disappointment at the very limited debate. Some people want to talk. Sir, yesterday, we did not, really, get satisfactory answers and the answers were just very few. I would like to express my deep disappointment that we lost a lot of time reserved for the Front Bench but then they did not utilise it.

Mr Chairman, I would like to contribute to the debate on State House by stating what is and then what is not. First of all, as it says, it is, ‘State House’ that means it is for all of us as Zambians. It is a wholesome place. I notice that in many functions children are excluded and the invitation specifically states that, ‘No children allowed’. I would like to advise that in future children should be welcome to State House. They need to be familiar with State House. They need to be inspired to aspire for leadership, to aspire to work in that House. They are our children. If they are our children, why do we bar them from so many functions? How will they learn to be adults? How will they learn about State House if they are always excluded? In fact, I met a young person who said that when she grows up, she will make invitations and say, ‘No adults allowed’. So, I would like to make a plea that State House be opened to all Zambians, particularly children. They need to work.

Mr Patel: Not just born agains.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Speaker, another thing I would like to talk about is that State House is a working place. It is an office. It is a place of hard work, sweat, a place of sleepless nights and it is a transit place.

Now, I would like to talk about what is not. State House is not a permanent residence, ...

Mr Patel: Wamuyayaya. 

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: It is not a fashion boutique.

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, I would like to move on to another point. I sympathise with the people going through financial constraints and when I look at the budget, ...

Mr Sibetta: Containers.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: ... I see that if we had more financial resources, the amounts would be higher. We are not poor. We have a lot of resources and I am just talking about the financial aspect. In view of the budget constraints, I would suggest that State House trims their budget so that they cut out suits as Zambians according to the means that we have. 

My first suggestion is that they should actually cut costs on drinks. I would like to propose that they utilise local drinks such as Chibwantu, Ilya, Munkoyo, Maheu, locally made and not Maheu from South Africa. The Maheu we are going to make and not the one coming from South Africa. That way, we are going to make our people produce - and most of our drinks are nutritious - and we can cut down on costs by limiting or getting rid of those very expensive spirits. I am sure State House can fund-raise for donations.

Mr Chairman, on the charitable organisations, my opinion is that the donations to the charitable organisations should go through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare and ensure that these donations have clear criteria which all of us should know about and are systematic. At the moment, the experiences are hit and run. Some charitable organisations get them and others do not. It has already been mentioned here that we have thousands of NGOs. I do not even pretend that every one of those thousand NGOs  should get donations, but we should scrutinise them.

Mr Patel: On a point of order, Sir.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika resumed her seat.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Only when I say, ‘A point of order is raised’, should the person on the Floor sit down. If I do not say that, you keep on debating. Anyway, you have lowered down yourself. What is the point of order?


Mr Patel: Mr Chairman, is the hon. Minister of Transport and Communications in order to be dressed like a school girl from Scotland?


Mr Deputy Speaker: I think some of these are issues which can be sorted out outside this Chamber.

Will the hon. Member, please, continue?

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: I thank you, Mr Chairman, for your good advice.

Before the point of order, I was trying to say that I do realise that we have many charitable organisations but we can have a criterion and we can be systematic so that those who are caring for the most needy people and the destitute get the funding. From experience, it is not clear; some people even get donations every year while others do not. So, I do not want the Ministers to say that the donations cannot be given to all the 9,000 NGOs. I am asking for the criteria, system, fairness and justice. I would like donations to be handled by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare so that the Office of the President does not go into disrepute because of the unbalanced donations.

Mr Chairman, in conclusion, I would like to say that the leaders in State House, present and future, need to leave a legacy. A positive impact and elevate the vision of the servant leadership that can inspire more of our people to rise to that office. I would, therefore, like to conclude by giving my support to the fully and genuinely democratic elected leader who will occupy that House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde (Mwembeshi): Mr Chairman, it is on record that last year, I mentioned that the Police Camp at State House needed to be painted. At the moment, the green maize surrounding the camp is making it more flowery, but when the maize is harvested, we will get back to the old situation. 

I hereby urge the Office of the Vice-President to make sure that they paint the police houses at State House. What we have given here, K70 million, is not enough. If we cannot paint the police camp, then let us put a wall fence. The actual State House is clean but then if you look at the police camp, it is the opposite.

So, I urge the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development to allocate more funds to State House instead of just the K70 million which has been allocated.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to participate in the debate on the Office of the President - State House. 

In the Estimates for last year, State House was one of those Government departments that overshot their expenditure. They had to be given K5 billion excess expenditure in order to keep up with their running expenses. This year, State House has been allocated K3 billion, ignoring the trend that has been taking place at State House of over spending. I think that these funds are not adequate because soon or later - in fact, in the period between January and 31st March, State House will be spending, anticipating to go into excess expenditure like what happened last year.

For example, under these Estimates, there is purchase of services for K4 billion that was given as an excess or supplementary Vote last year. Now, this year, a very small amount has been provided. The hon. Minister or His Honour the Vice-President should tell us what purchase of services these were that attracted so much excess expenditure. 

Above all, Mr Chairman, I have been looking at the Yellow Book and I find that some Votes that should have been put under State House are not included in the State House Vote. For example, a sum of K1 billion has been earmarked for Presidential Travel and it is not included in the State House Vote. I also find that a sum of K12 billion for Presidential Fund has been put in the Yellow Book but not included in the State House Vote. This kind of budgeting is not really good, my son-in-law. I know you are shaking your hand. 

Dr Kalumba: My head!

Mr Sibetta: These Heads should have been put under State House. 

Furthermore, as we come to general elections this year, we do not expect containers to leave State House because the President moved in without any containers. 

Mr Nkabika: Five were moved out!

Mr Sibetta: That is the people’s house and what is there must be left for the next President to occupy.

Mr Musakabantu: Just debate the Vote!

Mr Nkabika: Iwe Musakabantu what is your problem!

Mr Sibetta: You are a nominated Member of Parliament. I know that is your area but keep quiet.


Mr Sibetta: The people of Zambia do not expect any more containers to leave that place.

Mr Nkabika: That was theft!

Mr Sibetta: When the President moved into State House, there were no containers neither were there suit cases.

Hon. Government Members: Discuss the vote!

Mr Sibetta: When he moves out, we do not expect to hear that ten containers are heading for Ndola. He should move out as he went in.


Mr Sibetta: That is the people’s house. No furniture or carpets should be taken out of that place.

Dr Kalumba: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairman, I rise on a very serious point of order. I know Hon. Sibetta debates seriously in most cases, but is he in order really to bring the debate of this House to this very low level of discussing suit cases and so on? I beg your ruling.

The Chairman: The point of order raised by the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is very pertinent. The hon. Member for Luena (Mr Sibetta) is completely out of order to lower the standard of debate of this House. The tone of his debate and his language signify that the current President, when moving out, will steal the property of the State and take it with him to Ndola. It is most unfortunate for a Member of Parliament, who is called Honourable, to make such insinuations. 

Please, as it has been stated before by the Hon. Mr Speaker, let us respect people in authority. This being a Republic, everybody who is eligible, a lady or a gentleman, may become President. There are no restrictions. So, if we do not respect people in authority, who are there now, equally, we will not be respected when we move there. If you are not capable of respecting others in authority, equally you will not be respected when you assume authority.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairman: Will you, please, continue and debate respectfully.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, the sentiments of the Chair have been noted. In continuing my debate, I am really at a loss to follow ...

Hon. Government Members: Ikala fye!

Mr Sibetta: ... these ...

The Chairman: Order! 

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I know that my elder brother, the hon. Minister of Defence, ever since I took the Floor to debate on this issue, has been threatening by pointing at me with his usual threatening finger. As I move away from the issue of containers, Mr Chairman, I, now, want to talk about the office of the Comptroller.

Hon. Government Member: Controller?

Mr Sibetta: Not controller but comptroller. Read my lips.


Mr Sibetta: That office is responsible for the finance and management of the accounts and inventory of State House. I would like that office, like the office of the Auditor-General, to be sharpened up and be on the look out to see that everything is in order as we move in and others move out. When I say in, I am talking of the people because that is the people’s house. All of us here are eligible, including His Honour the Vice-President ...


Mr Sibetta: Yes, he is a running mate. All of us are, except the hon. Minister of Defence, who does not want to aspire higher. But for us here, we would like to go to State House like His Honour the Vice-President ...


Mr Sibetta: ... and Dr Katele Kalumba. That is why we would like to see that when you walk in or I walk in, everything is in order.


Mr Sibetta: Therefore, it is very important for the office of the Comptroller to exercise diligence and see that everything is in order.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr T. J. C. Phiri (Milanzi): Mr Chairman, I rise to support the Vote. In doing so, I would like to make a few observations. First of all, I want to agree with those who said State House is for all of us.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr T. J. C. Phiri: I think that the aggregate figure which has been given at K3.3 billion is certainly unrealistic. Mr Chairman, I am aware that the tradition of this House has never been to either shift figures from one Vote to the other, but I think the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development can do well to consider seriously that K3.3 billion for State House is totally inadequate. 

I also want to agree with the hon. Member for Mwembeshi (Mr Shimonde) who indicated that the state of houses in State House compound is appalling. They need to be maintained because that is our home, particularly so that this year we are hosting the OAU Summit. Visitors will be passing through there, I am sure if we are to create a good impression, we should improve the appearance of State House.

I thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Chairman, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to present to this House the 2001 Estimates of Recurrent and Capital Expenditure for Head O1 - Office of the President - State House.

Mr Chairman, I wish to report on the general overview of State House operational difficulties which have been encountered by the institution in the year, 2000. The institution has an old fleet of vehicles which requires immediate replacement as the institution has been dependent on hired vehicles from car hire companies for too long and this has been at great cost to the Treasury. This situation has also generated security concerns. 

Mr Chairman, I will appreciate if this House allocates enough funds for the purchase of motor vehicles to normalise the situation. The other area which has created concern is our inability to allocate sufficient funds to clear outstanding bills owed to suppliers of fuel and providers of foodstuffs, goods and services. This causes a lot of embarrassment to the institution. Most business houses find it difficult to believe that State House can also fail to pay for its financial obligations.

Mr Chairman on the preview of 2001 operations and Budget, the year 2001 will over-stretch the finances of State House even further due to the hosting of the OAU Summit in Lusaka this year and the holding of Parliamentary and Presidential Elections. It is, therefore, imperative, Sir, that more resources are allocated to the institution in order not to find ourselves in embarrassing situations, especially during the OAU Heads of State Summit.

Mr Chairman, I am mindful of the economic difficulties our country is experiencing attributed to low-levels of revenue collections. It is in this light that I am presenting to this House, Estimates for Recurrent and Capital Expenditure for the year 2001, Vote 01 - President and State House, in their present form due to these financial limitations.

Mr Chairman, the total budget provision request for State House is K3,386,332,406. This amount is below, by fifty-eight per cent, of the year 2000 provision of K8,051,413,493 in comparative terms, which translates into a decrease of K4,665,105,287. The breakdown of K3,386,406 is as follows:{mospagebreak}


Mr Chairman, it is my sincere hope that our economy will show positive signs of recovery after the privatisation of the mines as this will contribute to the increase of revenue collection levels and accelerate development in our nation.

I wish to table to this House the year 2001 Estimates of Expenditure for the President and State House for scrutiny and consideration.

Mr Chairman, before I take my seat, I wish to state that there were about four hon. Members who contributed to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairman, sometimes, I get amazed at contributions from hon. Members. Most of the hon. Members are experienced and one would expect that their contributions would be tailored in such a manner that they will give guidance to those hon. Members who are new to the House. The innuendoes and insinuations that come out of here are really most unfortunate. To suggest that the President should move out of State House without containers, I think, is most  unfortunate. The tenure at State House is five to ten years. During that period, you expect that the President, like any other person, will have acquired some property and he must move out with it.

Mr Sibetta: Former President Kaunda was searched by you.

The Vice-President: You must understand that he buys household goods and he has children whom he looks after, who also have their own property and so, I do not see how you can say that he should move out with a paper bag.


The Vice-President: I think we should be serious in our contributions to the debate. As I said, those of us who have been in this House longer should structure our contributions in such a manner that we are of help to the new hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Mbikusita-Lewanika said that children are excluded from functions at State House. Only the other day, she objected to consumption of beer and things like. Now, today, she is saying that the consumption of beer must be extended to children.


The Vice-President: What logic is there?

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: So, State House is associated with beer only? I thought there were other activities.

The Vice-President: When we make these contributions, we should not forget what we have stated before. This is the full impact of this statement. Also let me inform the House that, in fact, there are conducted tours of State House. Children who go there are briefed about State House and its operations. Then they are taken around to see how State House is constructed and so on.

Mr Chairman, there are special arrangements for children and I do not think that we should mix children with adults. 

Mr Chairman, on the question of trimming the budget, I have already covered that in my mission statement. However, to suggest that we should stop buying bottled drinks and concentrate on Chibwantu is lacking seriousness. There are some people who do not drink Chibwantu, they probably have never heard of it. So, how do you come up with such a suggestion? I am sure that if we had to count how many hon. Members of Parliament here drink chibwantu on a daily basis, the answer will be very small. So, this is what I mean by saying that we should be serious in our contributions. 

Mr Chairman, there was a question of donations, particularly to charitable organisations. Last year or the year before, we tabled, in this House, a list of organisations which had benefited from these donations. If it becomes necessary, we can update that list so that you see the wide extent of the donations covering all those possible and potential beneficiaries, but it is not possible to give every organisation a donation. They have to queue. Normally, there is a system of queuing and that takes a bit of time for them to get a donation.

Hon. Shimonde talked about the State House police camp. In fact, we discussed this last year, but he is aware, the allocation was very small. He agreed that the funding is not adequate and hence, we experience over-spending. This over-expenditure, Sir, affects every ministry without exception, State House included.

Sir, Hon. Sibetta spoke about presidential travel and the other point was property being left in State House which, I think, I have already covered. He also said that the Comptroller’s Office sharpened in the same way that we are trying to do for the Auditor-General’s Office. I agree with him on this issue.

Lastly, Hon. T. J. C. Phiri said that the K3.3 billion allocated to State House is unrealistic. I agree with him. He also said that we have to cut our cake according to what we have on the plate. At the moment, that is all we can afford to allocate to State House.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

VOTE 02/01 - (Office of the Vice-President - K18,798,930,754).

Mr Muloji (Chavuma): Mr Chairman, in supporting this Vote, I would like to begin by thanking the Government. on behalf of the people Chavuma. for the food relief that was extended to us when we were raided by our neighbours from Angola.

Mr Chairman, I could see that the Disaster Management Unit is doing a good job under trying circumstances and I believe that it will not be easy for the people of Chavuma to overcome their misery. So, I would urge the Government, through this unit, to continue providing this vital service to the people of Chavuma who, right now, are undergoing severe famine. 

Unfortunately, Mr Chairman, I have information which could be investigated that some food which was sent to Zambezi is being abused by some unscrupulous people who have taken advantage, by exchanging maize with cattle in either Chavuma or Zambezi West. If this is true, Sir, the relevant authorities should look into this and bring this scourge to an end.

Lastly, I am appealing to the Office of the Vice-President not to consign the food meant for Chavuma to anybody in Zambezi. Let the food go straight to Chavuma. We have had problems where some food has not reached there in time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Chairman, thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to debate the Vote.

Mr Chairman, I am looking specifically at the National College for Management and Development Studies. I have looked at the allocation for this year and discovered that the college has been allocated K24 million less than last year’s allocation.

Sir, some of us who have been at that college and have sent our children there have found it to be a very good institution which should be supported adequately.

Mr Chairman, as we were deliberating last year in this House, we discovered that we wanted to have an increase in the number of universities in this country. We said that this college was one of the ideal institutions that could be turned into a university. So, denying it a good amount of money to continue to refurbish and improve the grounds of that institution, I think, is very unfair.

Therefore, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development to revisit the allocation of funds, especially when it comes to appropriation so that this institution can get more funding so that in the future, when we transform it into a university, it will be ready to take the challenge.

Sir, I also want to move on to the Disaster Relief Programme. This programme has been allocated K14,585,714, 286. It is good that this year the unit has been allocated K96 million more than last year. It is a good gesture that the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development has shown. But then we discover that most of the time this money is not used for what it is intended because of our officers who must travel firstly, to go and assess the situation and secondly, to go and deliver what is required to the various sections of society. This is so because when you look at allowances for this year for our officers, they are only allocated K28,514,000. Now, when you take into consideration the cost of fuel and lubricants that have gone up, and then the amount of allowance that is paid to an officer, K90,000 or so per night, and then they have travel, that money is very little. Since the amount is little, naturally people will have to find another way in order to cover the expenses. So, we will find that in the long run the money meant for disaster services may be diverted.

Mr Speaker, the central and northern parts of the Western Province today, are covered by floods and, therefore, food security is threatened. The southern part ,which is Sesheke and covers Mulobezi Constituency as well is threatened with drought, unfortunately. The rain has not fallen for a period of one month and two weeks, from December to mid January. This means that all the maize has dried up. The people will not have food. I have actually already written on behalf of the people of Mulobezi Constituency to His Honour the Vice-President so that he can come to our aid.

When these floods come, compounded by a disease that has hit that province, Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia (CBPP), which is, now, going into the sixth year killing our animals there, I want to request, once again, that the disaster unit of the Office of the Vice-President should come to our aid in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries to consider declaring Western Province a disaster area as far as CBPP is concerned. In the Western Province, like many other parts of the country where people keep cattle, the pride and status of a man or woman depends on the number of cattle one has. Also, the more cattle you have the more you will sell to be able to educate your children.

Mr Chairman, what I am saying is that the disease has threatened the status of our people in that province. Therefore, it is just proper that the Government understands this call and declares that area a disaster area so that they can find ways and means of combating this very unfortunate situation.

I want to mention, further, that in many parts of that province, elephants are a menace. They are a disaster, in other words. The people have tried their best along the dambos and streams to grow some maize which they are eating, now, while they wait for nothing to reap from the gardens that have been scorched by drought. Elephants and baboons are eating the maize. While the Ministry of Tourism demands that we look after animals in the bush and that we become honorary game rangers, we must also be mindful of the fact that when they destroy what is supposed to be used to feed our people, I think there must be a solution in order to make sure that these animals do not destroy our crop. I will suggest, very strongly, here that cropping takes place. I think there are too many elephants. They come from Namibia, Botswana and some of them from Angola. They are running away from gun shots. So, maybe, it will be good that this issue is taken very seriously so that we can curb this unfortunate situation.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Chairman, the K14 billion allocated to the Disaster Relief Programme was not well meant. The way they budgeted was in such a way that they had targeted some areas. This year, however, it does not require the Government to think of valley areas where crops have been washed away. The whole country is affected. 

Mr Chairman, if you go to Eastern Province now, starting from Chongwe, you will find that the maize is yellow. It is stunted. There is nothing. Maize has already tasseled. People will have nothing. If you check their fields, they are clean and well done but they have no food. If you cross Luangwa River and go to Nyimba, Petauke, Katete, Sinda, Kazimule, Chipata and Lundazi, there is completely nothing. 

Mr Chairman, we understand the way they allocate the budget. They just estimate. They plan in advance. We do not want our Government to be operating in agony. When they have reached a stage where people are asking for food, that is when they will be looking for money because of such a system. I think as an hon. Member representing the poor and as a national leader, I would like to advise the Government correctly that they should just declare the whole Zambia a disaster area this year. 

I am sure you heard what one hon. Member from Western Province said. The K14 billion which has been allocated will not take us anywhere. We do not want our Government to be operating in agony. People should not starve during the elections. The Government should put everything in place. This K14 billion is just a drop in the ocean because of the prevailing situation.

Eastern Province has suffered because the rains started in November. It has been raining since then. All the fields, including those in plateau areas are ...

Mr Matutu: They have been submerged.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Yes. Thank you very much, my brother. 

For Mfuwe and other areas in Chama, it is terrible. Coupled with the late coming of inputs which they are distributing, now, when maize is already tasselling, the situation is terrible. So, Mr Chairman, the Disaster Relief Programme in the Office of the Vice-President should be allocated a lot of money.

Mr Chairman, I think I am a person who does not repeat what others have said, but I meant well to advise this Government. It is only the Opposition Members who talk freely and on behalf of the suffering people, not these who fear to be expelled.

Mr Speaker, I thank you, Sir.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Chairman, in the first place I would like to thank the Leader of the House because in his portfolio in the past, he had taken some of the advice I had given. For example, the suggestion to fly relief food to areas that are unreachable by road was one of my ideas although at that particular time I was in Senanga and the relief food did not go to Senanga. But other constituencies did benefit from the idea and the Leader of the House will recall very well that I did make a very serious contribution to the composition of those who administer the relief food. I had suggested traditional rulers and he thought that it was a good idea.

Mr Chairman, I want to start by talking about a concern which we are here for. We are here to express our own views and opinions, we appreciate the guidance that the Vice-President has given, but I would like, through you, to discourage Members of the Front Bench from being too touchy, personal and jittery.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: We have different opinions, we are here to express ourselves and although we are not related, we belong to different parties, we should aim to be amiable colleagues.

Mr Patel: Hear, hear!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: We are not here to personalise issues, particularly to twist issues. Can anyone in Zambia imagine me, advocating for children to drink when all my life, I have been devoted to protect children? I did not say that, let us not twist each other’s words because we are here to give advice. Some of it is good while some of it may not be good, but above all, we need to remain friends.

Mr Chairman, I would like to start by talking on the disaster management which the Office of the Vice-President has done very well. I am here to submit that Mongu and the neighbouring areas are in a disaster. You will not even find people roasting maize this year because we have the most severe crisis in living memory just like in other areas. Therefore, my advice to the Government is not to wait until it is too late, but to act, now, and this is one field that is full of support. I know many times we have discouraged our Government from each time emphasising donor funding but there are some good areas like food relief. This one, we really need to declare a national disaster, otherwise, our people are going to perish. They will not move until the Government calls for action.

So, I would like to plead with the Government to act early and also for systematic distribution of relief food. In this country, we have serious problems of systematic distribution. I know the Government has taken some of the advice and improved on the delivery but I am not quite sure what the problem is. Somehow, I do not know who is allergic to the system, even when the Government in good will, will want to do something, there is a problem. When it is not systematically done, the people have a grudge against the Government, how come when we distribute, we do not distribute to everybody and all the areas that are in need? This is a very serious problem.

I would also be grateful to hear from the Office of the Vice-President the measures they took in the Shangombo area where some of the refugees, when they were coming to that area, took all the crops last year. I will be very interested to hear the measures that were taken.

My last point is on resettlement. Although I know that the budget is very small and the operation is also very small, it contains land management and administration and when we relate this to settlement, I will just like to urge this section of Government to pay particular attention. I know that part of the problem of refugees is covered by another ministry but as far as settlement is concerned, we have a problem. Some refugees are settled but others are not, they are just mixing and mingling with the locals and unfortunately, we need even to investigate because we understand some even have national registration cards, both in the Mongu area and Luapula Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Chairman, we are grateful that the Office of the Vice-President, at least, is fighting hard to solve some of our problems. My concern is the Department of Resettlement. The idea of resettlement was very good because most of these resettlements are in very good places where a lot of people can go into agriculture which is actually a very good thing. However, Sir, when we look at the Western Province situation, here, I have in mind places such as Kalumwange, Mushwala and Lombelombe. The people that you have resettled in those areas are in serious problems.

Firstly, for example, as the situation stands now, even the fertiliser that the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is distributing cannot reach Kalumwange because the bridge on the Luena River is so unsafe that we do not know what is going to happen. Furthermore, since 1994, the road from Kalumwange to Kaoma town has not been worked on hence, when it rains, it is actually a very big river from Kalumwange to Kaoma town and there is no vehicle that can go to Kalumwange now. Hence, I request the Department of Resettlement in the Office of the Vice-President to quickly look into the issue of Kalumwange/Kaoma Road.

Secondly, we have a problem within the same resettlement schemes. We do not know in Kaoma District who are actually giving land to these people, they come with letters from Mongu and other places. There is very little consultation between the royal establishment in Kaoma District - Naliele, Mutondo and Kahare Royal Establishments and the offices in charge of resettlement. The outcome has been a negative impact on the relationship between the people of Kaoma and those who have been resettled. We, therefore, urge the Department of Resettlement to seriously normalise their procedures and consult the area Indunas in those areas so that land is allocated accordingly without any necessary problems.

Finally, on disaster management, I just want to remind the Office of the Vice-President that although this office sent a Disaster Management Team last year in March, after the Mutondo Bridge was washed away, next month will be March, that bridge has not been repaired, children are not going to school and Mwene Mutondo is actually cut off from Kaoma town.

Finally, Mr Chairman, whereas we are talking about relief food, I think under Disaster Management, we should also be thinking of relief seed and fertiliser because I strongly believe, Sir, that anything that is given is never enough and anything that you work for, depending on your capacity and ability, may give you more. Hence, my belief and understanding that relief seed and fertiliser would, actually, add value to the whole programme of relief food.

Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mushala (Mufumbwe): Mr Chairman, I thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to debate the Vote of the Office of the Vice-President. 

This office, Mr Chairman, is a very important one. However, unfortunately, we are not utilising it to the maximum and it is unfortunate that the funding that goes there is so minimal when it is supposed to be one of the superior ones even beating all the other ministries.

Mr Chairman, I want to comment on a few issues. One of them is the Disaster Relief Programme. Mr Chairman, I hope part of the K14 billion that has been allocated to this programme will go to rehabilitate our Chiefs’ palaces. It is very important, they are in a disaster. They have a problem, the situation is bad.

May I, now, move to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit. As we are talking, now, Mr Chairman, Mufumbwe is in a crisis. So many houses have collapsed and we need the Office of the Vice-President to move in immediately and help the people who have been left with no homes. Their houses have collapsed, I do not know whether El Ñino has gone to Mufumbwe. I am appealing to the Office of the Vice-President to ensure that they monitor Mufumbwe on a daily basis.

In one of my past debates, I said in this House, Mr Chairman, that it was important to try and put the Meteorological Department in Mufumbwe so that we can start monitoring the weather pattern in Zambia just as we must put a Meteorological Department in Chavuma. As you are aware, Mr Chairman, the eclipse of the sun will be best viewed in Chavuma, but what is in Chavuma?

On the Department of Resettlement, Mr Chairman, the funds allocated here, in my own view, do not make much difference because what will be given to the Office of the Vice-President may be different from this figure. Year in and year out, the money which is shown in this Yellow Book is not what is disbursed. I want to say something on resettlements. The equipment that we got under Zambia National Service must be used to empower the Department of Resettlement. You can never resettle people in an area like Mufumbwe where there are thickets. For you to clear one hectare, Mr Chairman, it costs a lot of money. Therefore, the equipment which was given to the Zambia National Service must fall directly under the Department of Resettlement so that the Office of the Vice-President can monitor how the project is going to take off in the year 2001.

Mr Chairman, we have a big problem in these resettlements because there are no roads. One of the weakest points we have is that we have not done our best in terms of roads construction. Under the Department of Resettlement, we are resettling everyone. It does not matter whether you are in Kanyama or in Chibolya, you are going to be resettled. Let us ensure that we give the department more funds so that feeder roads and the roads in towns can be cleared. 

I mentioned in my debate on the Budget that we have done so much for the urban areas, now, let us move to the rural areas; that is where we need to see the Office of the Vice-President working. If the Office of the Vice-President does not work, then even the Office of the President is not working. So, we must ensure that enough funds are given.

I come to Parliamentary Business. It is important, Mr Chairman, that this Parliamentary Business Department must ensure that what we discuss in this House is followed up and implemented. Year in and out, we are getting reports called Treasury Minutes or responses coming from the Office of the Vice-President with unsatisfactory answers. We will not tolerate that. In the new millennium, let us have a change and move forward and ensure that things are done. The Vice-President is almost like the President himself and we must ensure that what we discuss here is implemented. Not every time saying, ‘I have instructed Controlling Officers’. Who is senior between the Office of the Vice-President and the Controlling Officers? The Parliamentary Business section must be seen to be working. We are fed up of those unsatisfactory responses.

Mr Chairman, I thought I should add a few words and I thank you so much.

Dr Kabanje (Mwandi): Mr Chairman, I realise that when I was working in the NGO world, even the newspapers used to address me as Dr Kabanje, but when I became a Member of Parliament, they cannot even remember my name. Some call me Kabaye or some other strange name like that.

Mr Hatembo: Or Lubanje.

Dr Kabanje: Mr Chairman, may I also add my sentiments to what has been expressed. First of all, Sir, I would like to congratulate the Government on putting disaster management under the portfolio of the Vice-President. It reminds me of some folklore of Constitutional Law in America when they said that the Office of the Vice-President does not have a job description. Why is this so? The President said, ‘It is because I can send him anywhere I like, especially in a disaster area so that he may perish’. 


Dr Kabanje: That is one very interesting detail about that. So, I am not wishing a disaster to the Vice-President, but I am merely saying that there should be consolidation of the disaster management funds.

Coming to my contribution, as hon. Members from the Southern Province may recall, in Mwandi when somebody says MMD, they say it means ‘many more disasters’.


Dr Kabanje: So, we are entering a difficult period. Really, Mwandi is a disaster area in all respects.

Dr Syamujaye: So, you are also a disaster.

Dr Kabanje: First of all, Mwandi is part of Western Province, the only province, in this country, without a factory. That is why I have said the MMD has intensified the disaster zone in Western Province. Western Province is not moving forward. It is moving backwards to the pre-Lewanika days.

Mr Chairman, when one is driving from Southern Province into Western Province, the traffic officers are very lenient. They say, ‘No matter how much you repair your car, head lamps or whatever you have working, when you come back, they will not be working. So, we cannot keep on charging you for this, otherwise, we shall be charging our own Government’. The road is so bad that no matter how careful you may be, it is not possible for you to drive in comfort. They even say, ‘You are, now, leaving Zambia, you are entering Barotseland, another country’. It is a disaster, you should feel ashamed of yourselves.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Balala.


Dr Kabanje: Mr Chairman, I have already indicated that Mwandi, Sesheke and Mulobezi are in the red and when the so-called drought relief is channelled, it will not be possible because the road is very bad. I do not know why. Maybe, it is because it is the only road in the world named after an individual. I have never seen an international road called by the name of a person. Nakatindi Road is the only road that is called by the name of a person, a great lady, for that matter, that has been neglected like that.

Mr Chairman, this morning we heard that Western Province has produced the poorest results at Grade 7. It is not surprising, Mr Chairman, ...

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

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member’s contribution, but is he in order to divert from discussing the Office of the President and have a cross-country debate?

The Deputy Chairman: I am most grateful to His Honour the Vice-President for that point of order. It is very timely, indeed, because the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi has dwelt too long on his preamble and, thereby, failing to address the issues that he wants to raise on this particular Vote. I think, it is important that you focus on the items or on the Vote under discussion so that you leave time for other people as well.

The other point is that the issues the hon. Member may wish to raise will definitely be captured in other Votes as we go on. This is just the beginning.

Will he, please, focus on the Vote under discussion.

Dr Kabanje: Mr Chairman, I was merely saying in a long-winded way that disaster is looming which will wipe out our cattle and there is no food. So, I was merely adding my voice to what has already been said that there should be more effort made in my constituency.

Thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Education (Brigadier-General Miyanda): Mr Chairman, I just want to make a brief comment in support of the Vote for the Vice-President’s Office. This is just in response to Hon. Mabenga who made an appeal to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development regarding the National College for Management and Development Studies. I thought I should provide information. Sir, it is unfair to the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development and even to the Vice-President to ask them to allocate funds for the establishment of universities.

Mr Chairman, the portfolio for establishment and administration of universities is under the Ministry of Education and it is administered under the University Act, 1999, which this House passed. I thought I would correct that because they might expect His Honour the Vice-President to reply. I shall come to the House with a brief on how far we have gone with establishment of a third university. I thought I should assist the House, Sir.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I rise to support this Vote which is a very important Vote. In particular, I would like to appeal to the Vice-President that the Disaster Relief Programme for which funds have been increased almost threefold from K5 billion to K14.5 billion should be used for the good of all our people.

Already, we have received food from some friendly governments but these donations have come with strings attached in that the food has to be distributed by certain organisations in the country. What I mean is that the Italian Government has been very kind by giving Zambia recently a consignment of maize and there are restrictions that this food has to be distributed through the Catholic Church Parish Network to those areas that need relief food.

Mr Nkabika: Not through party cadres.

Mr Sibetta: In my area, the Catholic Church is not very strong on the ground. We have one parish at Limulunga and it cannot reach the difficult areas where people currently need food. They have no necessary equipment and manpower to do this. I think, in this case, the Vice-President should intervene and get Mongu Municipal Council involved in the distribution of food to Luena. Last year, we were adequately given relief, but unfortunately, the allocation was hijacked by some over-zealous party cadres from he ruling party and food never reached the intended people.

Mr Sata: On a point of order Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Mr L. L. Phiri: But Sata, you have just come.

Mr Sata: Mr Chairman, this House debates matters that can be substantiated. What he may be saying might have a semblance of truth, but is he in order to bring in MMD party cadres without substantiating when he is in the forefront diverting things?

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Substantiate yourself!

Mr Sata: Why me? Hon. Sibetta is there and he is the one who is responsible for diverting Constituency Development Funds and everything given to the people. Is he in order?

The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Member of Parliament for Luena (Mr Sibetta) is being challenged to substantiate the allegations he has made about cadres belonging to one particular party. If he has any evidence to adduce, perhaps it would benefit the hon. Minister Without Portfolio. But, Hon. Sibetta, if you do not have any evidence, it is better to leave such unsubstantiated matters alone and proceed.

Mr Sibetta: I thank you, Mr Chairman. I am addressing my remarks to His Honour the Vice-President whose Vote we are currently debating and I have expressed my support for this Vote. I am in constant correspondence with the office of the Director of Relief Management Unit. And so, I do not want to be drawn into unnecessary issues by the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, who, sometimes, wants to be the Vice-President when he has not yet reached that rank.

Mr Sata: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr L. L. Phiri: How many times? Sit down.


The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Sibetta, you have made a very serious allegation. Again, like you failed to substantiate  over the party cadres, I do not think that you have the evidence to substantiate that the hon. Minister Without Portfolio is itching to become the Vice-President.


The Deputy Chairman: Will you, please, leave that one alone.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Former President!


Mr Sibetta: Mr Chairman, I am in correspondence with His Honour the Vice-President and I do not wish to break protocol by laying my correspondence to him on the Table. He knows what I am talking about.


The Vice-President indicated dissent


Mr Sibetta: The Director of Relief knows what I am talking about.


Mr Sibetta: I am satisfied that action has been taken but I am appealing to His Honour the Vice-President that with this ...

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairman, the hon. Member, who is debating, has been asked to substantiate a point which he has brought before the House. Now, the hon. Member is saying that he cannot reveal because he is in correspondence with His Honour the Vice-President. Is he in order to fail to substantiate by alleging that he is corresponding with His Honour the Vice-President, when he brought this matter out on the Floor of this House?

The Deputy Chairman: I was relieved when I heard the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena say he is in correspondence with the Office of the Vice-President because that simply means that when His Honour the Vice-President stands up to summarise, he will be able to allude to that which we do not know. So, I think he can continue provided, of course, he does not go into matters that he will need to substantiate in the House.

Will you continue, please, and speak to the point.

Mr Sibetta: Thank you, Chairman. I wish to appeal to the Government that more facilities should be given to the Office of the Vice-President to undertake this year’s relief because a lot of areas had their crops damaged by the rains that started in early November and never stopped. Crops in river valleys and most places have been damaged. 

On roads, as we have heard from the hon. Member for Mangango, part of his district is cut off from Kaoma town. I know that we need equipment and manpower to help His Honour the Vice-President undertake relief.

In my constituency, maize is completely destroyed by the floods. Even rice ...

Dr Kalumba: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairman: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Chairman, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is Hon. Sibetta in order not to reveal a point he has raised with me here in the Chamber regarding his advice to Hon. Hatembo that, given the serious situation in the Southern Province, Hon. Hatembo should move to Mansa, where he is married and the rains have been heavy there? Is he in order not to reveal that fact?

The Deputy Chairman: The hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development will realise that the Chair does not rule on omissions. So, in that regard, we might as well remain without a privilege of the information.

Will the hon. Member, please, continue.

Mr Sibetta: I thank you, Mr Chairman, for protecting me. In an African custom it is really unprocedural for sons-in-law to address their fathers-in-law on such issues.


Mr Sibetta: So, I thank you really for protecting me.

In winding up, Mr Chairman, I wish to appeal that the Government should help the Office of the Vice-President in terms of resources and manpower to beef up the relief department.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Nondo (Katombora): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for affording me this chance to offer my few views on the Vote. 

The Office of the Vice-President is very important as it has been alluded to, and it has a lot of work to do. We are very grateful that it has been very prompt in its responses to our demands in times of need. 

Katombora Constituency is a drought prone area. When the whole nation is crying about drought, Katombora is worse. I am bringing this to the attention of His Honour the Vice-President. Two months have passed without rains. It only rained a bit last week so you can imagine the effects.

On resettlement, Mr Chairman, I think that there should be a monitoring team from the Office of the Vice-President. There is a phrase that has been coined in Southern Province which is, makaranguzu’ meaning people just move in and settle. I feel that those should be monitored because they are settling in areas where there are no services. These people usually will move into areas near the national parks or Game Management Areas. They should be monitored and assisted so that they do not deplete the resources that we have in terms of animals.

For example, I was delivering a hammer mill on the plains as you go to Mulobezi and got stuck. I did not know there were people who had settled on that plain from Western Province.


 Mrs Nondo: I was afraid that I would be attacked by animals or, maybe, just have a view of nice animals at night. Unfortunately, Sir, I could not even see a rabbit.

Mr Chairman, in the morning we tried to move around to Bobwe for assistance, we found a lot of people who have moved from Western Province along the Machile River ...

Mr Mabenga: Machile River is in Western Province.

Mrs Nondo: No, on the Southern part, this is the boundary. These people were drinking water from wherever they could find it and so I became a victim of dysentery myself; that is the type of water those people in that area are drinking. Along the Nyawa area, people have moved there illegally. So, if there is a monitoring team, these people can be guided and also provided with services.

Mr Chairman, I thought I should bring that to the attention of the House.

I thank you, Sir.

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 wish you and your team a happy new year. Sir, I fully support this Vote and in supporting it I will limit my contributions to the unit of disaster management in the office of the Vice President.

Mr Chairman, Zambia is lucky when we compare it to other countries in the world with regard to disasters in that we have not experienced disasters at the scale like we have seen in Mozambique or India where an earthquake is said to have killed over 100,000 people. There are other disasters like volcanoes elsewhere. Fortunately, we have been spared.

Mr Chairman, we do, however, have our own problems. We experience droughts and flooding and we have to be ready to tackle these. Now, the Government is foresighted enough and has allocated K14 billion to try to deal with disasters that may occur. Now, it is being argued that this is not enough. This amount, Sir, has been allocated after looking at the size of the Budget and what our experience has been in the past and also looking at the resources available. 

Sir, some Members have called for all the provinces to be declared disaster areas. What they fail to acknowledge is that even in a province, there are variations in weather and even in rainfall patterns and so. when you say a whole province or a whole country should be declared a disaster area, I do not know what you are talking about because when we have disasters, we send people to go and assess and on the basis of their assessment, we are able to determine who gets what ...


Mr Mabenga: Disease.

Dr Machungwa: We are able to determine...

Mr Shumina: Disease!

Dr Machungwa: I am on the Floor, so, just shut up!


The Deputy Chairman: Order!

I am sure the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is already aware that the phrase he has used, ‘shut up’ is most unacceptable in Parliamentary Business. Will he, please, withdraw it.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Chairman, I unreservedly withdraw the phrase. In fact, I was just saying Mushala.


Dr Machungwa: What I was saying is that when hon. Members of this House come and say that the whole area is a disaster area, they are not helping us. What it is is that as Members of Parliament, we are supposed to lead our constituents to try to become self reliant so that only in those cases where assistance is needed, should it be solicited. It should not be the aim of Members of Parliament to make our people perpetually dependent on handouts from the Government or from the international Community. Zambia must be able to stand on its own.

Mr Chairman, we acknowledge that disasters will be there but I know of hon. Members who are year in, year out talking about relief. We know there are certain areas of this country which are food deficit areas and we have statistics on them. But if you come and say areas that are bread baskets are are not growing anything, you are just encouraging our people not to be self-reliant and that will be unfortunate.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Which areas?

Dr Machungwa: The hon. Member for Chipangali claims only he speaks freely because other hon. Members of Parliament are scared, especially those from the ruling party. Sir, it is common knowledge that in the party to which he belongs, people are beaten up, including Presidents by party cadres. What can prevent him from being beaten up if he speaks out of line of his party? Only a young boy would not understand what is happening in UNIP. So, to tell us that you are speaking freely is not correct because we know what is happening in your party. 

Mr L. L. Phiri: It is the same even in your party.

Dr Machungwa: We are a very free party. Mr Chairman, I fully support this Vote and I encourage hon. Members to encourage our people to try to be self-reliant.

I thank you, Sir.

The Vice President: Mr Chairman, hon. Members are aware that the Office of the Vice-President is a Constitutional Office established under Article 45 of the Republican Constitution. The portfolio functions of the Office of the Vice-President includes the following:

    (i)    Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly;
    (ii)    Resettlement;
    (iii)    Disaster Management and Mitigation;
    (iv)    Independence celebrations;
    (v)    Honours and Awards;
    (vi)    National College for Management and Development Studies; and 

    (vii)    Any other matters referred to it by the President. {mospagebreak}

In addition to these portfolio functions, my office being the second highest office in the country, does deal with cross cutting issues and other matters referred to it by ministries.

Mr Chairman, the Estimates which my Office has submitted for the approval of this august House are meant to fund these activities. Hon. Members are aware that the Department of Resettlement in my Office has the responsibility of providing land to retirees, retrenched employees and unemployed persons who  apply for resettlement. This is a Government intervention intended to improve the quality of life of the people. Large parts of the Budget for resettlement is for capital expenditure. Unfortunately, experience has shown that the Treasury has difficulties in raising the funds for capital expenditure and this has affected the implementation of resettlement programmes leading to the dissatisfaction of the people who have applied for resettlement. I hope that this year the Department of Resettlement will be supported.

Mr Chairman, of late, we have experienced a change in the weather pattern. This global phenomenon has caused frequent natural disasters such as floods, droughts and strong winds. The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit in my office was created to deal with these disasters. Following the floods of 1997 and 1998, a number of bridges around the country were washed away and my office is currently constructing bridges to replace those which were washed away. We are actually constructing twenty-three bridges and we hope that next year, we shall do another twenty-three throughout the country. This project needs a lot of money and the support of this House is required to enable my office respond to disasters.

Mr Chairman, my office also looks after one grant aided institution, namely: National College for Management and Development Studies or formerly President Citizenship College which is in Kabwe. The college has contributed significantly to human resource development over the years.

Mr Sibetta: In Kapiri Mposhi!

The Vice-President: Yes, you are right, in Kapiri Mposhi. I agree with you.


The Vice-President: This is one of the colleges which the Government intends to turn into a university. I would be very grateful if hon. Members would approve the grant to the college.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Muloji said that although we sent some food to Zambezi and Chavuma, it was not enough. In fact, the plans are that we will give people in this area, enough food up to April or May this year. After that, we hope that they will have harvested their own food.


The Vice-President: You wrote to me about the food which was destined for your area but that it did not arrive. We are working on that and when we send the next consignment, we shall label it ‘Chavuma’.

Sir, Hon. Mabenga lamented the amount allocated to the college in Kapiri Mposhi. This is true and I would like to inform you that the college, through its own initiative, raised almost half the amount of money allocated to them last year. They have set up a committee to help raise funds this year. The other day, they came to brief me on what they intend to do. I think that they should be able to succeed.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear! Very Good.

The Vice-President: He also said that funds were not adequate. I agree with him. He said that money was not released on time and that the money is spent on allowances in terms of the Disaster Unit.

The problem with the Disaster Unit is not a question of allowances being given to the officers, but it is the release of funds which, sometimes, cannot be made on time for various reasons. 

He asked that the whole Western Province be declared a disaster area. In fact, another hon. Member stated that the whole country should be declared a disaster area. Now, Sir, we do keep a record of droughts, floods and other disasters throughout the country. It is not correct to say that the whole country is affected and so, we must declare it a disaster area. In any case, there are procedures to be followed before an area is declared a disaster area. Whereas I agree that certain parts ought to receive more attention, I do not think that it is necessarily true to say that the every area must receive equal attention.

I wish to agree with the hon. Minister of Home Affairs that there is a danger in that if we make it a habit of providing people with relief food, they will stop growing their own food, thinking that the Government will feed them. This message must go down and people must be told that they have to grow their own food and not to rely on the Government. It is not the responsibility of Government to feed my family. I have to feed my family myself, but we shall definitely look after those who are in dire need?.

Mr Chairman, there was a suggestion that the Meteorological Department should be established in Mufumbwe and Chavuma. This comes under the Ministry of Communications and Transport. We can write to them to see if they can extend their services to Mufumbwe and Chavuma.

Hon. Mushala also said that ZNS equipment should be under the Disaster Unit or the Resettlement Department in the Office of the Vice-President. I think that this is not correct. We shall also have access to this equipment. So, I think where it is now, is probably the most appropriate portfolio to look after this equipment. He also said that normally, there is no follow up action by the Parliamentary Business Department. This is not entirely correct because this department, although very small, does follow up these issues by writing to the relevant ministries to ensure that the matters that are raised here are followed up.

Mr Chairman, my colleague, Hon. Kabanje, said that relief food has not reached Mwandi. I want to assure him that, in fact, we have delivered relief food to Mwandi. I also want to invite him to come one of these days when I make a trip outside so that he can see how it is distributed.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Sibetta talked about distribution of Italian food through Catholics. I have not got the details here now, but I know that there are other organisations which are also dealing with relief food. So, it is not entirely correct to say that only the Catholics are doing so because other organisations are also involved.

He also joked about correspondence with the Office of the Vice-President, but I think that he was providing us with a lighter moment. He read the situation that we were all too tensed up.


The Vice-President: Hon. Nondo said that Katombora Constituency is a drought area and that there is need for relief food. I agree with her because our records are showing that the crop will fail this year in the whole Southern Province. So, we will do something about the problem in Southern Province. Already, as I am speaking, I am aware that the Sinazongwe/Maamba area, up to Livingstone has been covered and we are moving on to the Kazungula area.

She also talked about unplanned resettlements by locals and that some of them are occupying Game Management Areas and other areas where they ought not to be. If there are such cases, I would advise the hon. Member of Parliament to go and report to the office of the Permanent Secretary so that they can do something about it. If they are not able to do it, then they will write to us and be able to get the necessary ministry or department to look at the problem.

On Hon. L. L. Phiri’s comment, I wish to state that in Eastern Province, the situation is not as bad as it was painted. I think that the people should have some crop there.

Mr Chairman, Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika said that Mongu area should be declared a disaster area. In fact, Mongu area, including the entire Zambezi valley requires special attention. Even in areas where the food has been looted by refugees, we always try and assist. I think in Kaputa and Chiengi areas, we have assisted and there is no reason why we cannot assist in Shangombo, Sinjembela, Mongu and other areas. This is as far as we can go in terms of assisting people. However, there are some requests which we get which are not man made. I am afraid, however, to say that those ones, we cannot look into them.

Hon. Shumina mentioned the Kamwange/Kaoma Road. I think that this problem was handed over to the relevant ministry. This is what I can recollect but I will check, again, on it.

There was an issue that there is no consultation in allocation of land. Again, this is a local problem. We can only come in after the Local Authorities have actually demarcated the piece of land for resettlement. He said that in addition to the relief food, we should also have relief inputs. We do distribute seed but we do not distribute fertiliser because it is a complicated issue and requires people who are trained for that.

Hon. Mushala wanted the disaster funds to be used to rehabilitate Chiefs’ palaces. I am afraid this cannot be done because there is a ministry which deals with the matters affecting Chiefs throughout the country.

Lastly, he said that houses at Mufumbwe are collapsing and people will need assistance. I thank him for the information. We shall look at Mufumbwe and see if our people there can be assisted but at the same time, let us advise our people to build houses which are strong. Some of these houses will fall at the slightest wind or even a shower. Now, that is not good. I think that people should be advised to build strong houses for themselves. It is safer for them and their children. They cannot expect the Government to come and build these houses for them.

Mr Chairman, I thank you.

Vote 02/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

VOTE 02/03 - (Office of the Vice President - Department of Resettlement - K685,195,093).

Mr Mushala: Mr Chairman, on sub-head 5 item 02, sub-item 003 - Health Centres - K20,000,000, which areas are going to be targeted under the Office of the Vice President?

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, sub-head 5, item 02, sub-item 003 - Health Centres - K20,000,000, these are health centres which are in resettlement camps.

Thank you, Sir.

Vote 02/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 02/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 03/01 - (National Assembly - K26,777,726,084).

The Vice-President: Mr Chairman, I wish to thank hon. Members for supporting this Vote unanimously.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 03/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

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

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi): Mr Chairman, I note with satisfaction the allocation that has been given to the Electoral Commission and also to pay tribute to them for a good job that they are doing as an independent entity.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: It should be able to see us through so that by November, 2001, we are back into this House. 

Mr Sichinga: Are you sure you will come back?

Mr Mabenga: Yes, I will come back.


Mr Mabenga: So, Sir, my main concern is the problem that we have seen during the ....

Mr Keembe was talking to Mr Mwaanga.

Mr Mabenga: Thank you, Sir. He was looking for munkoyo from the Chief Whip. He does not know that there is no chibwantu in this House.


Mr Mabenga: Sir, I was just referring to NGOs who, we have observed, especially during by-elections that they were used by Opposition parties and wore tags showing that they were election monitors when, in fact, they were campaigning against the MMD Government.

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

Mr Mabenga: This is very unfortunate and it was evident in Sikongo  Mwandi, Pemba, Kapoche, Nchelenge and many other areas where there were by-elections . What I want to request is that the Electoral Commission should be a bit strict so that only impartial election monitors are accredited.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: I personally talked to two leaders of the Coalition 2001 at a pontoon ...

Mr L.L. Phiri: In Mwandi?

Mr Mabenga: No, there is no pontoon in Mwandi. At the pontoon as you cross Liyoyelo on your way to Kalabo. I talked to them and I asked them how genuine the organisation was because I discovered that even among the membership there were people who belonged to political parties. I said, ‘So and so whom you are moving with belongs to a political party, he is a Youth Chairman for a Province, what are you talking about’? They said, ‘We did not know’. Then I said, ‘You should know what you are doing and it is better you check the membership you have otherwise, you should also give us your constitutions’.

I told them that, as representatives of the people, we had to know how they operated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: I said we had our Secretariat in Lusaka, the National Secretary was there and  everybody else. So, if they gave them materials on their operations, they would brief us. That way, we would understand their operations. I have yet to find out from the National Secretary of our party if he received anything to that effect.

So, Sir, seriously, I am putting this before the Electoral Commission so that we do not have a recurrence in future by-elections or general elections. We want to shame people like that man who must look for hair to replace that which is lost so that he can look more handsome than he is now. I will lay him on the Table very soon, Mr Chairman. So, I am, really, seriously, Sir, asking the Electoral Commission to be very serious about these things because we need to have fair play which we are always saying we want to have. We are a democratic Government.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Shimonde: I thank you, Mr Chairman, for the opportunity. I would like to ask the Electoral Commission to make some delimitations. Some of the wards and parliamentary constituencies are enormous like Chama North, Zambezi, Mwembeshi, Katombora and others.

The other point I want to mention, Sir, is that there is voter apathy simply because the polling districts are too far away. If they can make all the primary schools as polling districts just to cut short the long distances, then we will do away with voter apathy because the distances people have to cover are too long. Those are the basic points I wanted to mention, Mr Chairman.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipili (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairman, this is, indeed, an election year and I am quite happy to support this Vote for the Electoral Commission which has done very well so far.

I would like to make an appeal to His Honour the Vice-President. There is an area in Kitwe called Kakolo Resettlement Scheme. It is about twenty-five kilometres from the next polling station. We have written to the Electoral Commission, through the council, but we have not received any reply. I am making this fresh appeal since this is another election year. Otherwise, we will have to ferry people and like my colleague, Hon. Shimonde, has said, it is these distances which contribute to voter apathy because people cannot walk twenty-five kilometres to just go and vote. They would rather be transported there and usually you find that candidates do not have the means to ferry them. This is the single contribution I wanted to make.

Thank you very much, Sir.

Mr Sichinga (Isoka East): Mr Chairman, this is, indeed, a very important Vote, as my colleagues have already indicated. I must say that as an independent Member, it has been my observation that this office needs to do a lot more to be seen to be independent for the benefit of all contestants.

I have a few questions, Mr Speaker, which I hope when the figures have been clarified, they can be explained to me. On Page 7 of the Vote that we are looking at, I have not seen any cost for delimitations. The hon. Member for Mfuwe, Miss Mwansa, had indicated during her contribution on the President’s Speech, if not, after the Budget Speech, that this work needed to be done quickly and in good time. I have not seen any provision for that.

Secondly, the figure that is indicated in the Budget for elections is K64 billion. In this Yellow Book, the total amount is K89 billion. I assume the difference is coming from donors, as indicated on Note No. 1 on Page 7.

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)

The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 6th February, 2001.