Debates- Thursday, 1st February, 2001

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Thursday, 1st February, 2001

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]







(Debate resumed)

Mr Shumina (Mangango): Mr Speaker, yesterday evening, I was trying to put up a theological framework of my perception of a budget. I emphasised that the concept of a budget and the reality of budgeting is central to politics. I qualified my assumption by putting across a case and I said all politicians fall or succeed because of what they do to the budget. A good budget brings prosperity. It makes very good politicians very popular in their country, constituencies and areas. And by so doing, there has been happiness in a country. Contrary to that, the outcome is normally disunity. The outcome is normally finger pointing and the outcome is normally problems of nation building. 

For me, Mr Speaker, a budget is like a forest. In a village, we all go in a forest. All of us go for a specific need. There are those who go to hunt animals. Others barely get there so that they can get mushrooms. And some just to go and bring firewood. For a tired mind, it is just a walk to feel at home with nature. In a way, all villagers consider a forest their property and when one comments on the forest, none of the villagers in that area should feel offended because that is their property. 

Even the budget, Mr Speaker, it is the same thing. All Zambians have the right to comment on the Budget because it is a Zambian Budget, because it is a Zambian economy, because it is a Zambian welfare, and because it is a Zambian survival plan. So, those of us who think when we critically analyse the Budget, when we critically express our views on the Budget, some people think we are actually attacking any person, to the contrary because those who think so are enemies of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shumina: Having said that, Mr Speaker, I now want to seriously look at the 2001 Budget. Yes, as a linguist, I spent ten years in a classroom looking at literally words. I look at the framework of the presentation of the Budget as a good artistic work. The beauty of the language is so good and attractive. So, ...

Hon. Government Member: Aah! 

Mr Shumina: Yes, the question is: is this window-dressing or is this actually the content when we read between the lines? And for any serious politician, I believe that is the basic principle of standing on the Floor of this House of forcing a direction and stating a point. 

A rare understanding, Mr Speaker, started looking at the Budget ...

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to raise a point of order. 

My point of order arises from newspaper advertisements in the Zambia Daily Mail of 29th January, 2001. On page 8, in terms of advertisements, specifically from ZESCO where they want Grade 12 school leavers to be employed in the following towns:

Kitwe    29
Mufulira    26
Luanshya    23
Chililabombwe    12
Chingola    10

Total    100

Mr Speaker, one of the qualifications that is stated for one to be employed in ZESCO as per this advertisement is that a person must be able to speak fluent Bemba. Mr Speaker, if this is left, it will divide this country. Is the Government in order, Mr Speaker, to allow a Government parastatal to advertise jobs and only people who can speak one of the 73 languages can qualify to get a job? 

I will lay the paper on the Table or, maybe, I can read it, this is an advertisement from ZESCO ....


Mr Tetamashimba: ... I will ask your serious ruling, Sir.

I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Did he quote from the paper?

Mr Tetamashimba: Sorry, Sir, this is an advertisement from ZESCO dated 29th Monday, 29th January, 2001 and I would like to quote all sentences on that advertisement, Sir.

    ‘Providing good quality service is ZESCO’s responsibility and we     realise the importance and need for continuance improvements in     the standard of our service to you. 

    ZESCO has now taken over the responsibility of supplying     electricity to the mine township areas. Our new customers have to     pay their bills individually. ZESCO recognises the need to educate     the new customers on how to go about paying their bills and     channelling any queries they may have. As such ZESCO is mounting     an educational campaign in these townships. 

    ZESCO is inviting applications from competent Grade 12 school     levers to undertake the exercise to cover these communities on a     door to door basis.     
    Temporal vacancies are available for the exercise as follows:

    Town                No. of Places
    Kitwe                29
    Mufulira            26
    Luanshya            23
    Chililabobwe        12
    Chingola            10

    Total                100


The applicants should meet the following:

*    Be in possession of a full Grade 12 certificate
*    Be able to explain details in simple spoken English
*    Be able to speak Bemba fluently
*    Be resident in the town where the exercise is undertaken
*    Be aged between 18 and 26
*    Be able to work long hours with minimum supervision
*    Be able to write a two - paged report of their findings in English.

    All applicants should report in person with relevant documents to:
    The Human Resources Officer at the ZESCO offices in their     respective towns. The closing date of receiving the applications is     1st February, 2001.’

Mr Speaker, we all know that these towns are under Lamba land.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Shame!

Mr Speaker: Order! That point of order by the hon. Member for Solwezi West is raised on the activities and functions of a Government parastatal organisation. That organisation falls under a Government portfolio headed by the hon. Minister responsible. In order to clarify this matter for the House and for those who are concerned, the Chair will request His Honour the Vice-President in his capacity as Leader of Government business in the House to identify the relevant hon. Cabinet Minister to come to this House and clarify the various criteria through which those hundred individuals are eligible to qualify for jobs in ZESCO. 

May the hon. Member for Mangango, please, continue.

Mr Shumina: ... I was building a case and I was saying my focus now is on the 2001 Budget and I was saying that before I can seriously look at the issues at hand, I wanted to go back to Mr Speaker’s Committee on Estimates and on page 43, the Permanent Secretary in charge of Budget and Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development gave to your Committee the Budget releases from 1996 to 1999 and he confirmed that in 1996 only 63.7 per cent of the estimated releases which were approved by this House were actually released to the ministries. In 1997 it was 72.6 per cent, in 1998 72.4 per cent and in 1999 it was 63.7 per cent.

Now, Sir, when we look at the 2001 Budget, we should bear in mind that normally, unless the hon. Minister explains so, what appears in the Yellow Book is not the submissions that have been requested by the line ministry. What we normally see is actually the prerogative of the Budget Office which cuts down these requirements according to what they think the Treasury will be able to manage. So, from the word go, Sir, what we have is a situation whereby the projection of a ministry looking at its capacity to deliver is actually curtailed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Secondly, it also means that after those cuts have been made, the releases are never 100 per cent. So, the question is:

Firstly, how does the Zambian consider himself a true owner of a Budget where Controlling Officers are not given an opportunity to put up their cases on the adjustment of the ministries that they control.

So, it actually becomes important that where as we appreciate the good work speech and contents of the 2001 Budget, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should seriously look at the issue of Treasury releases to the line ministries because the Front Bench here has full of paper work in their offices. Their Controlling Officers are ready to work but the money is never seen. So, what do we do? It, therefore, becomes very important that we should bear this in mind because failure to do so, it will be a year again, of a very good speech but very little activities on the ground and this will not be helpful neither to Front Bench nor Zambians outside this House. Mr Speaker, that is the first point I wanted to mention.

The second point is the question that had been debated at length and this is the issue of agriculture. We are happy that the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development has estimated about K32 billion for small-scale farmers although in the first paragraph on page 67 or so, he was actually talking about peasant farmers. I think, in Zambia, Mr Speaker, we do not have peasant farmers, we have small-scale farmers. The term ‘peasant’ was used in Communist Russia and it never meant well, but the point I am trying to deliver, Sir, is that K32 billion plus K32 billion is K64 billion that he intends to give to small-scale farmers. 

In 1997 when we argued over the absence of the marketing component of ASIP, the then Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries was not happy with our sentiments. Five years or so down the line, we have seen a component that has an element of marketing in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Again, Mr Speaker, we shall not fail to remind our colleagues in the Front Bench.

When you look at the marketing process in this country, the Food Reserve Agency has no capacity to market our produce in rural Zambia. Firstly, you will believe, and correctly so, that when you put up the Food Reserve Agency, it was never meant to do marketing. It was intended for food security and there were less than fifteen people at the Food Reserve Agency. Because of that, when you contracted them to do distribution, they had a lot of problems. 

The first problem was, actually, capacity. The second problem was the fact that they did not have even personnel in provinces and districts. The contracts that they have signed have not been very effective because we have, for example, in Mulobezi, people who were crying over their maize that cannot be bought. So, this money, Mr Speaker, that has been set aside for marketing, if there will be no deliberate arrangement of an office or department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, which will squarely focus on marketing, it will go to waste.

So, it is never too late, Mr Speaker. We are saying, yes, the Estimates are there, but look at the actual reality of putting up a system, people and infrastructures, to do the marketing for growth in rural Zambia. If we do that, I suppose we shall go a long way in helping the rural communities in our country.

Mr Speaker, I come to the third point. Yes, I was looking at the hon. Minister’s Speech on manufacturing, very short and very encouraging words. Well, how do we compete with other economies, especially the southern economies in SADC? Maybe, in COMESA, but in SADC, Zambia has become a dumping point. Almost everyone produces anything anywhere and the route always ends with Lusaka. So, I strongly think that if we want to bring employment, if we want to create jobs, there is need for the Government to put up a deliberate policy and funds for manufacturing. 

If we do not put up funds for manufacturing, it means production in this country will be very high and by so doing, with the weak kwacha, even the little that we produce shall not compete even in COMESA and SADC. We have opened up this country to COMESA Free Trade Area, but what have we done to empower our manufacturers? 

So, Mr Speaker, I strongly believe that whereas I appreciate the growth recorded by this sector, it would have, actually, done, possibly, one hundred times better than it has done if the Government considered supporting the manufacturing industry because, Mr Speaker, there is no country that does not support manufacturers, just as there is no country that has stayed away from agriculture. So, that is very important, Mr Speaker.

I am being warned by the yellow light. I want to end, therefore, that all that we want to do and achieve in this Budget has to be done so. When we look at HIPC, we should ask ourselves, have we met our co-operating partners fully? Are they still saying there are other things which need to be resolved? If those things have not been resolved, do we have the political will to do it, because the Zambians have the political and the natural attitude to work hard and deliver. What about the politicians on the Floor of this House? Are we going to respect the rule of law and our Constitution? Are we going to do everything in our means to ensure that we move forward and build this country?

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The Chair may have room for two more back bench or Opposition hon. Members, but those two will have to assure the Chair that they are going to bring up new points. If they do not do so, the Chair will not hesitate to intervene and make sure we move on.

Mr Sibetta (Luena): Mr Speaker, in the first place, I would like to assure you that my contribution is going to dwell mostly on new points. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate my friend, Hon. Mwamutenta Reuben Musakabantu, the newly nominated Member of Parliament from Chisamba Constituency, which is Constituency Number One in this House. Allow me, Mr Speaker, to remind my friend that the post of a nominated Member is not a very easy one and he should not be controversial because he is here at the pleasure of the President whereas I am here at the pleasure of the people.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, let me thank the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development for presenting a very difficult Budget. Many Zambians think this is a very good Budget. I beg to differ. Out of courtesy for my son-in-law, I would like to describe this as being a very difficult Budget. If not, I would have said outrightly that it is a very bad Budget. This Budget, Mr Speaker, follows the trend of the Structural Adjustment Programme Budget.

This budget follows the trend of Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility I and II. This Budget follows the recent budgets that were preparing Zambia to go into HIPC and now we are in HIPC. We all know what damage SAP and Enhanced Structural adjustment Programme have done to our economy, employment levels and even to the value of our currency and mortality of our infants who are under five. We all know what these budgets have done on the life expectancy of the people of this country. Life expectancy has dropped because of these budgets. I would like to remind the hon. Minister that this difficult Budget is full of contradictions.

In the last year’s Official Opening Speech of Parliament by the President, he said on page 28:

    ‘Arrangements for studies on the options for privatisation of ZESCO and ZAMPOST are advanced. Funding for the study on Zambia National Oil Company and the INDENI Oil Refinery has been sought and this study will commence soon. Government will, during the course of the year, decide on the concession of Zambia Railways. The floatation of the initial 10 per cent on Zambia National Commercial Bank shares will be done within this year. So, twenty per cent will be available on ZAMTEL.’

During the course of the year and at the opening of this House, the President informed this House and the nation that they can forget what he told this House last year and what he has been saying for nine years when opening this House that there are no sacred cows. Now, in the tenth year, he says there will be no privatisation of ZESCO and Zambia National Commercial Bank. This turn around, despite borrowing money to commission studies, makes this Budget very unpredictable because whatever the Budget is saying and whatever is in this Budget, which may not be concluded, may change. I do not know whether we are going forward or backwards.

Since the donors, your co-operating partners, are waiting for you before you can get HIPC funding which is included in this Budget, you will have to hand over these companies to them for privatisation. Short of that, they will not move. Therefore, the Budget will not produce the results for which people who have not understood it are cheering and claiming it is an easy Budget. This is going to be a very difficult Budget. The HIPC money may not come. Already the co-operating partners are not trusting us because we do not stand by our words. {mospagebreak}

Let me come to the issue of OAU. The OAU funding was not necessary, that funding should have gone to agriculture. Before the funds are approved, the Malaysians are building and there has been no tender for the construction. The hon. Minister has lost his portfolio as a Chairman of Tender Board. One of his colleagues on that same bench is, now, the Chairman for the Tender Board.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Wako ni wako!

Mr Sibetta: I cannot see how we can approve a Budget here when the tender system which is supposed to be chaired and superintended by him is going to be handled by the Minister in the President’s Office who, at the same time, is acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance and Economic Development in charge of the tender system.


Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Fyonse fye!

Mr Sibetta: So, this is going to be a very difficult Budget. Besides building fifty-two bungalows along Los Angeles Boulevard Road, the Malaysians have already started digging at Mulungushi Conference site to build a new conference centre instead of rehabilitating Mulungushi International Conference Centre in readiness for this important Summit, although we are not approving of it. Mulungushi International Conference Centre is a shrine. That is where the independence of most of Southern African countries was hammered out from. Now, we want to put a new conference site when the ex-UNIP conference complex is nearing completion. It is one of the best in the world and the Chinese are about to complete it. What is the need for another conference site when the UNIP site is about to be completed?


Mr Sibetta: The Mulungushi Conference Centre should have been rehabilitated and taken care of. This is misuse of pubic funds. They should have taken this money to education sector for the benefit of our children or agricultural sector. The reason why you are trying to do all this in a hurry is to see that this Budget is not followed and there is chaos. It is election year, ...

Hon. Government Member waved.

Mr Sibetta: Do not wave at me, I am talking to the Chair. I know you are trying to raise money for elections.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, I really feel pity for the amiable Minister of Finance and Economic Development, I cannot see him coping with this job when all this responsibility is being taken away from him. 

Hon. Government Member: By who?

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: By wako in wako!

Mr Sibetta: He has got to be answerable to this House on the implementation of this Budget. I am asking that he should come back when he begins to sum up. When His Honour the Vice-President begins to debate, he has to confirm that the portfolio will go back to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development rather than be given to another Minister because tender goes with finance. You cannot give it away to someone else.

Above all, as I have said, these projects for building have not gone to tender. We do not know whether the Presidential Housing Initiative is a parastatal because it has not been established or gazetted. 

Mr Nkabika: It is, probably, initiative.

Mr Sibetta: This particular initiative is responsible for getting money out of various Government departments without going through the normal channels. For example, those of you who went to the big dinner at K750,000 per dish, ...


Mr Sibetta: ... your ministries or departments have been debited and money sent to PHI. This is outside budgeting system. We cannot allow chaos.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Shame!

Mr Mulando: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mulando: Mr Speaker, I rarely stand on points of order against my in-law, hon. Member for Luena, who debates very well in this House.

Mr Speaker, even after warning him and others who wanted to debate, that they should bring new ideas, is he in order, Sir, even though we are here to debate, to repeat what his colleagues have already said. I seek your serious ruling.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Just relax Minister, your turn to speak will come.

Mr Speaker: The point of order which has just been raised by the hon. Minister for Central Province enables me to indicate that the Chair was giving the hon. Member for Luena the benefit of doubt as to whether he was really going to develop new points or restate in the same points in his own words. 

The Chair is listening very carefully for new points, which may be developed by the hon. Member for Luena within the time allocated to him. But, while I am on my feet, I would like to remind the hon. Member for Luena that he was going slightly into deep waters on the issue of Presidential prerogative in terms of appointment and assignment of responsibilities. It is a tenuous issue which he should stay away from.

We passed the Constitution here which contains provisions, empowering the relevant authority to take the necessary action in terms of fulfilling the national mandate through appointments, promotions, demotions and even retirements.

May he continue and avoid that issue.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your advice and my message to my hon. Minister for Central Province, who was recently defeated by his own people in the provincial elections, is that he should take it easy.


Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, I would like to go back to the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development and ask him that when he begins to reply he should cover the issue of K105 billion which has been put as ‘Others’ in this Budget. Sir, K105 billion is too much money to be classified as ‘Others.’ In these days of mismanagement, these ‘Others’ could disappear in thin air from these yellow pages.

Above all, the world is currently experiencing one of the worst disasters that has befallen mankind, the earthquake in India. And to put just K5 billion under the Office of the Vice-President for disasters, when the rains have completely destroyed most of the maize crop in the river valleys, is not good enough. There is going to be a shortage of food in this country.

Mr Speaker, fertiliser has been delivered late. The Disaster Management Unit under the Office of the Vice President needed half of these funds called ‘Others’ in order to sustain the magnitude of the task before him. Besides, too many of our pensioners are unpaid and I know the hon. Minister has earnestly promised that the Government will pay the money they owe the Pensions Board so that most of the pensioners can be paid. Some of the business houses like the banks were lent public funds from the pension houses and these banks have gone under. The Pensions Board, as you all know, is chaired by the advisor to the President and he would rather lend money to private commercial banks from the Pensions Board than to pay pensioners.

Mr Speaker, we have pensioners who have now gone for five years unpaid. This is actually disregard for human rights. Part of this money should go to ‘Others.’  I think that it is time, in line with the calling from the civil society, that the K12 billion given to the President as a Presidential Fund is abolished. There is no need for this Fund. This money should be invested in hospitals, education and other service institutions. Sir, that is why the hon. Minister of Education is showing that registration at schools is stagnant. Children are not being registered because teachers are not there and so, it is important that the hon. Minister should assure us that the Presidential Fund is abolished.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: We do not need it and we can do without it. Mr Speaker, credit to farmers is very small and it looks like this credit will only be used for elections purposes, like what happened in Pemba. Maize was bought at K35,000 per bag during the by-elections. You are targeting few farmers in difficult areas. You cannot call that a Budget. We need the amount to be expanded to cover more than 3,000,000 farmers and not just 200,000.

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

Mr Mfula (Chipili): Mr Speaker, in the past days, this Budget would be called a humanistic Budget but today I think it is very fitting for us to call it as we are calling it, ‘Empowering People for Prosperity’.

Mr Speaker, having listened to contributions to the debate by a lot of hon. Members in this House, many of them complaining about agriculture, bad state of roads, name it, I am delighted that the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development has listened carefully and took into account the cries that we had been putting forward and has brought about this very well thought out Budget. It is a job well done. I only hope, though, that the implementation of this Budget will not be disrupted by other forces, which have already been mentioned by other hon. Members in this House.

Mr Speaker, a lot of hon. Members who have spoken before, have talked about the bad state of feeder roads. On page 16 of the Budget speech and I am sure that the President also spoke about this in his speech. He alluded to the fact that Zambian local contractors should be given contracts. I want to mention that we have, in this country, Mr Speaker, contractors who have very good and sufficient equipment for road construction. Some may not be all that good, but how are we going to know how competent they are if we do not award them contracts? They should be tried in order for them to gain competence.

Mr Speaker, a lot has been spoken about education. I just want to repeat because I feel touched by what has happened recently. This is the empowerment given to the primary school-going children. The abolishment of fees ...

Hon. Members: You are repeating the same things.

Mr Mfula: I am emphasising that point.

Mr Speaker, this will assist the parents who have been overburdened in the past because children who would have dropped out will now be able to continue instead of going into early marriages because they have had nothing to do. I compliment the Ministry of Education on that.

Mr Speaker, with regard to agriculture, people have spoken already, but I just want to see one radical change introduced. I emphasise the point of purchasing inputs in time. I am pleading to the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development to release money as soon as possible so that the purchase of inputs for the next planting season can begin in time. Farmers need to plan. We are in a crisis in as far as agriculture is concerned. If we are in a crisis, I am proposing something that is very radical that may help us in this crisis.

Mr Speaker, in order for the problem of distribution of inputs to succeed and end the crisis and panic which have characterised the farming industry, the gallant men and women in the army should move in as soon as possible and deliver the inputs. We have already heard that in certain parts of the country, maize is still lying uncollected. When the army goes to deliver the inputs, they should also come back with uncollected produce. This, I think is radical, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, high prices of fuel and bad conditions of roads will definitely negatively affect this Budget. Farmers, especially in rural areas, need assistance. I would suggest ...

Mr L. L. Phiri: New points!

Mr Mfula: I am coming to see you later, Hon. Phiri.

Sir, because of what has happened, I would suggest that ZIMOIL apply uniform pricing so that those in Kaputa, Sefula and other remote rural areas can pay the same price for diesel as those in urban areas. This, Mr Speaker, will help the farmers out there in rural areas to get a little more relief other than be overburdened by high price of fuel. If we do that, we shall empower rural small-scale farmers for prosperity.

These are the radical changes that I am proposing, Mr Speaker.

Sir, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Any new points on my right? Hon. Member of Parliament for Mansa.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Stand up iwe!


Mr Mwitwa (Mansa): I am more brilliant than you, Mr Phiri. Can you keep quiet and listen.

Major Kamanga: Walichilamo ubwipi naiwe. You need ‘D’ Compound.


Mr Mwitwa: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this very important motion.

First and foremost, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development for this well presented Budget.

Mr Speaker, so far, the goodwill that we have received from donors simply shows that this Budget will be supported. I wish to inform those other hon. Members who seem to be doubting that we do not seem to achieve our goal, that the World Bank and the European Union have already praised the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development and that they are urging other donors to follow suit and help the Budget to be met.

Mr Speaker, there have been questions about the local funding. Our men and women in the ministry have always made sure that the local funding is always available. Therefore, I do not see how we can fail to achieve our objectives.

Mr Speaker, initially, some hon. Members were saying that this Budget should have taken into account a lot of aspects and that a lot of us should have been involved in Budgeting. Sir, the prerogative of preparing the Budget lies in the ministry and the Executive. While I appreciate that our input is necessary, I think it is important also to note that it is not our responsibility to prepare the Budget, but we have the responsibility to give in our inputs at a time like now as we are debating so that the hon. Minister takes into account some of our observations.

Mr Speaker, usually, a draft Budget would have been the best, but preparing a national Budget is not easy, Mr Speaker. Therefore, we cannot keep on arguing and telling each other how to go about it.

Mr Speaker, I have heard others talking about the supplementary Budget. It is imperative, Sir. Even in homes we budget, but there are so many unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, if the hon. Minister comes with a supplementary Budget at a later stage within the year, it should be appreciated and we should complement that because we are running a Government, such steps are necessary. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to turn to tourism. I realise that where I come from in Luapula, we have places which should be promoted in tourism. There are places like Ntumba Chushi, and the longest bridge in this part of the region, which is Tuta Bridge. This bridge needs to be advertised also so that tourists could be visiting it.

Mr Speaker, let me thank the President for having banned the hunting concession. May I urge the hon. Minister of Tourism to take note of what is happening at the Tuta Bridge. We have people where Hon. L. L. Phiri comes from, who have settled there and have been hunting animals along the bridge. 

We have to take immediate steps and remove these settlers from there. Sir, very soon, we shall have no animals along this bridge and it is important that we really take care and remove the settlers from this place so that the animals can multiply for generations to come.


Mr Mwitwa: Mr Speaker, ...

Hon. Government Member interjected.


Mr Mwitwa: Mr Speaker, no amount of intimidation ... 


Mr Mwitwa: Thank you, Mr Speaker, I am protected by you.

Mr Speaker, allow me also to talk about construction. I do agree with the hon. Minister with the amount of growth that this particular sector has recorded. But my concern is the quality of our construction, more especially when it comes to residential houses. We have seen that most of the buildings which are being constructed are poorly done. Honestly, where are our able men and women in the construction sector who should supervise this particular sector because we cannot have a country with bad finishing of construction. If we go to our neighbours, countries like Botswana, the finishing of houses is fantastic and you would admire most of these houses. But our construction in this country really leaves much to be desired. 

Mr Speaker, since we have been warned that there will be no repetition, I want to thank you for affording me the opportunity.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Simwinji (Nalikwanda): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget Address presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

Mr Speaker, a budget is like a project proposal. It can be very beautiful but if it is not adhered to, that good project cannot succeed.

Dr. Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear! Kiwaluna.


Mr Simwinji: Mr Speaker, I would like to speak on agriculture. It seems agriculture has now become a song in this House. We keep on singing it every time year in and year out. We keep on singing about agriculture and fertiliser. When are we going to stop singing this song? The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has failed because it should have been run as a profit making organ like Lonrho which is financing cotton. Lonhro finances farmers. It gives them inputs and after that, it will see to it that it collects the produce. So, in this respect, I would like FRA also to be financing the farmers. It gives fertiliser, but it does not buy the produce which it has financed. 

Mr Speaker, I urge the Government to introduce the floor price. Today, a bag of maize is about K10,000 while the bag of fertiliser is K80,000. Growing maize today means that you will not make any profit. So, in this vein, I would like the Government to introduce a floor price.

Mr Speaker, on mining, Zambia produces the best gemstones in the world and our emeralds are second only to Brazil. I hope the Government will finance the small-scale mining ventures so that they can produce a lot of gemstones which can sustain the kwacha which is declining.

Hon. Government Member: Hammer.

Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for providing K40 billion to pay suppliers to Government institutions. These people have now become destitutes because of being owed money by the Government for a long time. Last year, in the Budget, the suppliers to the mines were paid but suppliers to the Government were not paid. We want an equal playing field. 

Mr Speaker, in Western Province, if you want to empower us, you must provide money to eradicate anthrax which is killing animals in our constituencies. In Western Province, there is Contagious Pleuro Bovine Pneumonia (CPBP). In Southern Province, you have to provide them with grants to eradicate foot and mouth diseases. In North-Western Province, if you want to empower these people, you have to bring back the pine apple producing factory. 

Sir, since in this country we do not have enough money, I would like to see that television and radio licences are introduced so that ZNBC can have sufficient funds. We can learn examples from our neighbours like Namibia. In 1997, radio and television programmes in Namibia were no better than the ones we have here. But today Namibian Television is one of the best.

Mr Speaker, I thought that the revenue which has been removed from opaque beer should not have been removed. This money should have been put to good use by giving it to health and schools. We do not have any teachers in our constituencies and as such the quality of education has gone down. Some of the schools are without teachers. I thought, in this Budget, the hon. Minister was going to provide money for UTs - untrained teachers. 


Mr Simwinji: We do not have teachers in schools. Untrained teachers, should, therefore, be encouraged. Incentives to rural civil servants should be provided to encourage them to go and work in the rural areas. As at now, a lot of teachers and other civil servants do not want to go into rural areas because of lack of incentives.

Mr Speaker, in the last year's Budget, it was said that the Development Bank of Zambia was going to start operating. But up to now, it has not started functioning. I do not know if this year DBZ is going to be recapitalised.

Mr Speaker, Mulobezi Railway is very important to Zambia as a whole because this is the shortest route to the sea and constructing it would make things cheaper which are going to come by rail into Zambia. Sir, I do not know whether Sesheke/Nakatindi Road is one of those roads which are going to benefit in this year’s Budget.

Mr Speaker, you talked about feeder roads, but we do not know the ones you are going to work on. I thought you were going to mention them.

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The Chair has not heard attractive new points, unless the hon. Member for Isoka West can promise the Chair even half a new point.


Mr Sikombe (Isoka West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to add my voice to this very important motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, from the onset, I would like everybody to take a look at the picture here which is on the Budget speech booklet which says, ‘Empowering People for Prosperity’. 

Mr Speaker, this, in my own opinion is, perhaps, a reflection or, in short if you like, this picture epitomises what the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Executive are expecting from this country this year. I am afraid, Sir, I must say that before I go any further, Mahatma Gandhi in his famous memoirs said, ‘The world contains enough for every man’s needs but not enough for every man’s greed.’ I repeat ...

Hon. Members: No, emphasise!

Mr Sikombe: May I emphasise that the world contains enough for every man’s needs but not for every man’s greed. This, in short, means that we have a lot that everybody else can lay their hands on and live in prosperity but the problem lies with greed. Greed is in many ways and one of the ways of being greedy is when you want to amass wealth. Another way of being greedy is corrupt tendencies, bad management and failure to look forward and move along with everybody else by ensuring that whatever you do for yourself, everybody else is equally comfortable. 

Today, Sir, we all come from very comfortable homes, with nice cars and surroundings, but the situation that is obtaining in this country now in the homes of the majority of our people is not exactly the same as the homes that we are coming from ourselves. Therefore, as leaders, what is it that we are supposed to do? We are supposed to lead by example not to be as poor as everybody else, but to make sure that everybody else that is poor gets closer to our level.

Mr Speaker, this Budget can only succeed if the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development ensures that the money that is budgeted for the agricultural sector is provided to that ministry. The K10 billion that has been put aside and expected to purchase the produce must be there at the time when the crop is ready. At the same time, the fertiliser or agricultural inputs must be available on the spot. There is no provision in this Budget for the agricultural inputs to be ready.

Mr Speaker, I am advancing this new point because in this country, for the past ten years, we have actually fortified the idea of obtaining loans by our small-scale farmers. It is supposed to be the opposite because they are not supposed to borrow. It is the commercial farmer who is supposed to borrow because he is got the capacity to pay back. A small-scale farmer can afford to buy two bags of fertiliser, Urea and D Compound. If today, Sir, as the situation lies now, for one to obtain a bag of fertiliser one must pay K10,000 up front, if they are able to do that now, six months after the harvest of their crop what could make them fail, Sir, to be able to buy their fertiliser at K60,000 at the time when they are harvesting in April or May? We have to wait until our people are in a poor state, when they have no funds in their pockets, then we say fertiliser is ready, but even then, they have afforded to pay K10,000.

There are thousands of people in my constituency that have paid that K10,000 but the fertiliser is not adequate and yet it was lying in the shed there for twelve months. At that time, if the fertiliser was released in April or May, the price could not have been at K71,000 as it is today. 

Mr Speaker, advancing another point on the road infrastructure in this country, in particular the feeder roads, I am happy, of course, that the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development has provided funding for the maintenance of equipment that has come from China, but K2 billion is not sufficient a fund to maintain the huge equipment that is there in the country now. So, what is going to happen is that all these equipment and machinery that is there will end up getting marooned or stuck in provincial centres and never reach rural areas. 

If anything, I would suggest that the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development and his counterpart do reconsider that some of these equipment, if possible, must move to individual districts. For instance, one grader, compactor and one tipper should go to each district and not to the provincial centre and then allocate funds immediately for the maintenance of the equipment at the district level. That is the way forward. The only way that our agriculture can go up or yield better results is by making sure that feeder roads in rural areas are passable.

Today, Sir, even a person with a new bicycle in my constituency cannot put a 25 kilogram bag on the bike and cycle up to the town centre. He will have many tyre punctures and the spokes will have actually come out. We have all travelled out of this country and have seen how feeder roads are in the countries that are producing food today. The priority is to look at the feeder roads. 

In other words, what I am trying to say is that our priority now should be towards the feeder roads and ensure that we can produce enough food. What shall we be remembered for ten years down the line? Do you not want to become a hero, Hon. Sata? 

Mr Patel: Former President Sata.

Mr Sikombe: You would like to be a hero but I am afraid, if we take the steps that we have taken now after ten years, none of us will be called a hero. We should actually leave a legacy that people will remember us for and I want to believe that we have a challenge in this country to ensure that we have enough food to produce for our own consumption and enough to export. We can feed this region and make a lot of money and our kwacha can become stronger and stronger. So, in short, what I am trying to say is that we should choose a priority, what is our priority? 

We are not going to achieve everything that we want to do in this Budget - not everything will be achieved - and that is a fact. But let us ensure that one particular area, the agricultural sector, achieves good results. Then we shall be remembered as having been good Members of Parliament and a good Government in the last ten years.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Tourism (Mr Harrington): Mr Speaker, I am most grateful to you for giving me this chance to contribute to the debate on the motion on the Floor which is the 2001 Budget Address presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Katele Kalumba, MP, and I want to join all other hon. Members who have commended him for the manner in which he presented the Budget Address. For me, personally, Mr Speaker, he never fails to impress me on the charismatic manner of presentation.

Mr Speaker, I join other hon. Members of the House who have commended the MMD Government for bringing about various incentives in the Budget. Mr Speaker, I want to say, firstly, that this 2001 Budget is testimony of the political will and commitment of the MMD Government to address constraints in the various key economic sectors of the economy, not least of all, tourism.

Mr Speaker, in his speech, the hon. Minister proposed some incentives for the tourism sector and he proposed to zero rate accommodation offered by hotels, lodges, motels and guest houses in Livingstone, at least, for two years and he promised that this will be more or less a pilot project and that he would extend this incentive, depending on whether it will have a positive impact on the tourism sector as well as on our revenues from the sector.

Mr Speaker, this is a most welcome and overdue proposal and I am aware that the hon. Member for Lusaka Central questioned why this was not extended to other areas like Siavonga. I would have been very comfortable if the hon. Member had declared interest.

Mr Patel: I did.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: He did.

Mr Harrington: Well, I did not hear him, but I am quite sure that if he continues to render support to the very progressive policies of the Government, I am sure Siavonga will be included and I want to say in principle that I do support his proposal because Siavonga is one of those areas where there is stiff competition because there is a very, very developed tourism sector across the lake on the Zimbabwean side. So, I think the request is justifiable and I am sure that the effect on tourism from the Livingstone proposal will render fruits and we can consider that one.

Mr Speaker, the need for sound strategies and appropriate incentives is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, especially in this highly competitive regional and global tourism environment. Most countries, many of them in our region, today, are struggling to attract more tourists to their countries and we cannot remain an island and unless we can bring about incentives, like what the hon. Minister has proposed in this year’s Budget, then we will not succeed in our efforts to make the tourism industry one of the key contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. 

Mr Speaker, I also commend the hon. Minister and the MMD Government, my Government, for addressing the issue of infrastructure. Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister on page 16 acknowledges that to achieve our economic growth objective and to provide gross support infrastructure, he will substantially increase the level of domestically financed capital spending by 67.9 per cent from an allocation of K165 billion in 2000 to K277 billion in 2001. As Minister responsible for tourism, I welcome this proposal because one of the most serious impediments to tourism development, Mr Speaker, as confirmed in the Economic Review Report 2000 from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, is the poor state of infrastructure in this country such as access roads to tourist centres, which rendered tourism activities non-existent in certain times of the year. This report also acknowledges that the sector has been adversely affected by general lack of good hospitality services and inadequate funding.

Mr Speaker, certain tourist destinations in the country, I can name a few like Kasaba Bay, one of the most beautiful lakes in Africa, you can talk about parks like Luangwa, Liuwa National Park, Mr Speaker, which you know very well, Mfuwe, certain parts of the ‘Zambizi’ from Sesheke to ...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Zambezi not ‘Zambizi’. 

Mr Harrington: Zambezi, it depends on which part of the country you come from, it is Zambezi.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: After nine years you cannot pronounce properly.

Mr Harrington: Amukuze fela ima.


Hon. Member: Meaning?

Mr Harrington: I was telling my sister to keep quiet.


Mr Harrington: Mr Speaker, the western bank of the Zambezi from Katima Mulilo to Senanga is inaccessible to our tourists because of the poor road infrastructure. I am just mentioning a few areas which have great potential in as far as tourism is concerned, but the poor road infrastructure is a serious impediment. So, I welcome this and I am sure your Government, the MMD Government, will utilise this money and implement these projects. I am very confident that the money, as the hon. Minister promised, of course, will be available.

Mr Speaker, another issue I want to talk about  ...

Hon. Member: Is ZAWA.

Mr Harrington: Not ZAWA. Mr Speaker, there was the issue, and I want to declare interest as a very keen soccer fan. I find very great difficulty in supporting certain recommendations made on the Floor that the Government should ban advertising of beer products in this country. Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his speech, proposed certain incentives. He proposed reducing excise duty on clear beer from 100 per cent to 85 per cent. This, again, is very welcome. I say so because, Mr Speaker, we need to support industry in this country, including the brewing industry. 

The brewing industry in this country contributes K91 billion to the State in form of taxes, customs and excise duty, K58 billion, VAT, K29 billion, Hon. Patel, direct taxes and pay as you earn, K4 billion, total K91 billion. If you are saying do not advertise, you are telling them not to sell their products because they are competing and you have to look at what this industry is doing for other sectors of the economy. You should not hide behind ...

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Tourism, who is also the hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga, in order to glorify drinking beer and ignoring the fact that we welcome the cost being down because people drink too much? Is he in order to stand there instead of promoting positive industry, to glorify devastating human destruction, beer? I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Mongu raised that point of order before and the Chair guided that the honourable, in this case, Minister of Tourism will debate that issue. May he, continue.

Mr Harrington: Thank you, Mr Speaker, what I am appealing to the hon. Members of Parliament is to debate in a balanced manner. Do not hide and misinterpret the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation to say advertising beer is bad. 

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: I did not say that!

Mr Harrington: That is what you said.


Mr Harrington: This time I was listening.


Mr Harrington: The hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu a few days ago asked if Government was in order to encourage immorality by advertising beer.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: I did not say that!

Mr Harrington: You said so.

Mr Speaker, the brewing industry in this country for example, employs 500 people with a conservative knock-off effect of over 5000 jobs. The company’s rates of paying Zambian workers is the highest in the country. The minimum wage is K585,000 per employee.

Mr Speaker, Zambian Breweries’ contribution to sponsorship and development of sport in Zambia is second to none.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Harrington: The Zambian Breweries contributes a minimum of K500 million per annum to football, the Mosi Cup, Cosafa Cup, basketball, volleyball, netball, golf, bowls, darts and running. This is the amount of money which Zambian Breweries is saving Government from pumping in directly into sports. 

Mr Patel: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister really in order to debate a subject and a portfolio which is not under his jurisdiction? I need your ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Yes, why not? He is in Government!

Mr Harrington: I thank you once again, Mr Speaker, for guiding the Opposition ...


Mr Harrington: ... on how to raise sensible points of order ...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: I will not vote for you for President!


Mr Harrington: Mr Speaker, as a Minister of Government I feel I am entitled to support any other ministry in Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Harrington: I think Hon. Patel should know this because he was once a Minister in MMD Government. Collective responsibility, have you heard of that?

Mr Holmes: He is the one who sold Zambian Breweries!

Mr Harrington: Oh, he sold Zambian Breweries by the way, I am reminded by the hon. Deputy Minister of Tourism.

Mr Speaker, to emphasise, Zambian Breweries is probably the most committed company to the development of both minor and major sports in the country. And you are saying we should destroy the company by banning advertising.

Mr Speaker, I would like to be corrected by the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, this is part of poverty reduction because if I was spending more on five beers per day I will spend less and leave more for my household. In other words we are reducing the expenditure by people in the family on beer and leaving more for bunga at home. That is part of poverty reduction.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: That is a very good point you have mentioned and it is the only point so far!

Mr Harrington: Yes, you must give credit where it is due all the time. We are reducing poverty here.

Mr Shimonde: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Hon. Government Members: Hammer, Minister!

Mr Harrington: Mr Speaker, whilst some other organisations do not find it necessary to support other areas, Zambian Breweries has over the years, supported various community programmes including charity, street kids and orphans. 

So, I do not need to belabour this point, but I am saying, Sir, that let us support industry which is contributing positively to the development of this country and bring about the money we need to develop our constituencies. Without revenue from Zambian Breweries there would be no development. So, let us debate objectively and in a balanced manner. That is my point.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister for Central Province (Mr Mulando): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the mover and the seconder of the motion. Allow me also to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development for a thought-provoking speech and presenting a Budget which provides economic empowerment to our people.

Sir, the 2001 Budget confirms our policy of liberalisation. After having  liberalised our political landscape, I am sure Hon. Bob Sichinga will recall in 1990, as well as Dipak, bo ma Mbikusita-Lewanika, even Hon. Dr Sondashi who used to equate himself to a crocodile and saying that if you want to know what happens to the fish, ask the crocodile. So, having liberalised our political landscape, we have now focused our liberalisation on the economic landscape and empowering our people so that their living standards can be uplifted.

Mr Speaker, the economic adage that economic justice can best be won by free men and women through free enterprise should be the guiding principle for Zambians who wish to prosper. Our people should take advantage of the incentives to initiate and promote small-scale industries and economic programmes which will go a long way in improving our economy. Economic prosperity, Mr Speaker, comes to people who are prepared to work hard and are willing to take hold of the opportunities which are available.

Mr Speaker, I will be very brief in my debate and wish to turn to the issue of the engagement of foreign contractors in civil and construction projects. Allow me, Sir, to defend the Government on this issue. Whilst it is true that the award of tenders to foreign companies deprives our local contractors of business opportunities, it is equally true that local contractors have shown incapacity of finishing even the small jobs which are given to them. 

In my province, Mr Speaker, there are many roads and buildings which have not been completed despite being given up front deposits. Contractors always demand deposits before moving their equipment to the site. And when they are paid, they disappear. Local contractors’ poor record of uncompleted jobs is making Government offer major contracts to foreign firms. Because of the rise of uncompleted projects due to contractors absconding, my office has decided, Mr Speaker, to hand over these cases to the Attorney-General for litigation and for relief and damages.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulando: While contractors are quick to sue Government for non-obligation of contracts, it is also equally important for the Government to pursue these contractors who fail to complete projects. I wish, therefore, to appeal to Zambian contractors to improve their workmanship and their capacity to complete jobs given to them if they are to win tenders from the Government.

In conclusion, Sir, for any Budget to succeed, all economic sectors should work towards achieving growth and adhering to fiscal policies and above all, Zambians should give total support to the Budget and the economic policies.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister Without Portfolio (Mr Sata): Mr Speaker, I want to compliment and congratulate my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development on presenting a good Budget. I know him well because I worked with him for two years. 

Sir, he was my Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Health but now he is Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Sir, when somebody wants to build a House, he goes to the architect who listens to his imaginations, take the imaginations and put them on paper and once they are on paper the imaginations will only be translated by somebody who is trained and has the capacity of reading what the architect has put on paper.

Mr Speaker, if the architect draws a house with a sunken sitting room and you bring my brother or my colleague who is a bricklayer but does not know how to read, he is going to think that that sunken sitting room is like a place where you hide those small animals and that house will not be all right.

Mr Speaker, in this case, the hon. Minister is the architect and we are the builders. Sir, we accept criticism whether it is constructive or not. The criticism which is not constructive comes from people who are not able to read what the architect has done. Those who are good readers like Hon. Sichinga pick salient points, they do not go from page one to the last page, they just pick areas where they are competent and dwell on that to advise us where we need to improve. Sir, when you design, you do that, not for a civil engineer, but a consulting engineer who is going to supervise the builder on following the plan.

Mr Patel: Mwalimu.

Mr Sata: Now, it becomes extremely difficult to follow some of the criticisms. Some are legitimate, some are wild and others ...

Mr Harrington: Like Dipak.

Mr Sata: No, no. We are hon. Members and we should not mention names. Leadership is not a question of looking at personalities, it is looking at ideas and issues.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Wachinja pamene apa.


Mr Sata: What we are trying to say is that it is easy for somebody to come to this House and say, ‘Give peasant farmers free fertilisers’ but behind our backs we know that very few of us here have clean hands of not mishandling the same commodity. Very few have not been involved in denying ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Sata: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that we have heard emphasis over the delivery of fertiliser. Our colleagues on both sides of the House want somebody like a Minister to go and distribute fertiliser when they themselves have not come to this House and said, ‘I have given a contribution of such an amount to the small-scale farmers in my constituency’ and yet for the last eight years all of us, who have constituencies, have been empowered with K30 million constituency development fund. 

Sir, how that fund has been used is highly questionable. If we cared about the things we are criticising, out of the K30 million constituency development fund, one would have taken K15 million and given to the fertiliser dealer or to the co-operatives for the procurement of fertiliser for distribution to the poor people.

But, Sir, is there some tree somewhere under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development where they should pluck money to distribute? As if that is not enough, I will also declare interest. Sir, if we ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, we are also to blame in the delay in the procurement of fertiliser because we have not paid the Food Reserve Agency. If we do not pay the Food Reserve Agency, where are we going to get money to procure fertiliser for distribution in March for the next season?

Sir, when we come here, we forget all those things and say a lot of things about this Government not having distributed fertiliser. The Tumbukas say kavuvya tulo kavumila kunyumba inyake, meaning that what disturbs you from the sleep comes from another house. There is nobody who has said that.

Some hon. Members are saying that we are giving jobs to foreign contractors, but when we produce documents or when the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development signs these agreements or when the Chairman of the Roads Board makes pronouncements, we do not pay any attention at all because everything this Government is doing ...

Mr Sibetta: Ki maleu!

Mr Sata: ... is not for the benefit of the people. If I get K20,000 and give it to the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena Constituency, Mr Sibetta, there is no condition about it. He will spend it as he likes, but if the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena comes to me to borrow K20,000, I will put a condition. It will either be kaloba or commercial condition. If it is kaloba, he would pay back K40,000.

The money for the roads or major contracts which this Government is doing has been given to us by other tax-payers outside Zambia through their governments. Those governments put a condition and this condition is ‘patriotic’. If the money comes from Sweden, they want a Swedish contractor, if it comes from Finland, they want a Finish contractor, if it is Germany, they want a German contractor ...

Mr Sibetta: If the money comes from Malaysia?


Mr Sata: If the money comes from Malaysia to build the OAU village, the conditions are that we must employ technicians from that country, if that is the question you want to be answered.

Sir, even those countries today, to those who have worked in the Government, like Hon. Patel, when they support you in any programme, they even give you technical aid. This is not money, but human beings who are going to be imposed in the ministry. This is what technical aid is. So, you will find human beings put there and you cannot query whether they are qualified or not. You may ask Hon. Sichinga from Isoka East.

This is a problem of being a poor nation. It is not because we are ignorant or whether we do not know what is good for Zambia, but it is just because we are poor and when we are poor, we take what we are given with conditionalities even if they are not favourable. Sir, sometimes I am ashamed. I was not ashamed when some vacuum tanker went to empty the affluent from Hon. Sikota Wina’s farm. It made some damage, but Hon. Sikota Wina is a gentleman. He did not sue them.

When the hon. Mr Speaker nominates a Member of Parliament to attend a CPA or Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference anywhere in the world, the hon. Member is the first one to abandon the House and fill in an application so that he can go and attend. He does not ask hon. Members of the House here whether they would like him to go or whether they would like the hon. Mr Speaker to spend money for him to go to Thailand, Sierra Leone or wherever the conference is.

Mr Sata: I have been in this House for so long and I have served under three Speakers, that is Hon. Mulikita, Hon. Dr Nabulyato and now Hon. Mwanamwambwa. Some of us even go to an extent of going to Mr Speaker’s Office to complain that since we were elected, we have never gone out.

Mr Sibetta: To Malawi.


Mr Sata: Anyway, the hon. Member can name the person who went to Malawi, at least, he went.

Now, for a Zambian to expect a Government which belongs to an international organisation, a founder member of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), to ask the hon. Members of Parliament whether we should host the conference here or have a census and find out from the people out there whether we should hold this conference in Zambia, Mr Speaker, is lowering the standards and dignity of this House.

Dr Kabanje: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kabanje: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister Without Portfolio in order to deviate from debating the Budget and concentrating on giving us a lecture in philosophy?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Normally, the Chair would have ignored that point of order, but for the benefit of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi Constituency, the Chair has been closely following the debate in this House ever since we started, including the debate now being undertaken by the hon. Minister Without Portfolio. Since he started debating, I have not heard him deviate from the motion. For instance, right now, he is replying to a complaint that was raised before that the State is spending money on building an OAU village at the expense of other developments which that hon. Member of Parliament mentioned. Now, the hon. Minister Without Portfolio is answering and I believe it is correct and fair that the House should listen to him.

May he, continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Sata: Sir, constitutional and economic laws are two different laws.


Mr Sata: Constitutional law is subjective whereas economic law is objective.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: Sir, when talking about tourism, since I came to this House - Hon. Sibetta and Hon. Simasiku can bear me out - the complaint which comes from hon. Members is that we do not have infrastructure or a conducive atmosphere for conferences to be held. Previously, the home of conferences was Kenya. From Kenya, they went to Zimbabwe. Now, they are going to Cape Town and Durban. 

What Zambia must do is to try and compete for this foreign money. Sixty-four billion kwacha may sound alarming because I have never seen it and I cannot even count it, but I can write it out. If all the stakeholders for the OAU Conference put their heads together, manage it properly and we stop using alarming language to scare away people, probably, the country will benefit a lot more than K64 billion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: The OAU will be very crucial because this region and Africa in general, has been turbulent. So, the paparazzi journalists and all the photographers would like to come and take a new picture of President Joseph Kabila. They will have to look for other amenities, including drinks. We must remind ourselves that there is no President or Head of State who moves with less than ten people. So that expenditure is very justifiable.

The other problem which I want to refer to quickly is that it is most unfortunate because previously to get a job in the Civil Service, you had to speak fluent Tonga, Nyanja, Bemba or Lozi. And even expatriates, for them to be promoted, they had to speak those languages. Even in our syllabus, those languages are there. 

During census, we were sending people who were conversant with those languages. If one was sent to North-Western Province or Kaonde land, one had to speak Kaonde in order to communicate with the people. ZESCO wants to reduce its indebtedness by going to the people on the Copperbelt, speak to them in Bemba so that they understand. What offence is that?


Hon. Member: In Lamba.

Mr Sata: If there was anything sinister, they would have not advertised. But the fact that they have it in print means they are very transparent. There is nothing abnormal and sinister about it at all. Even the computers today have information in Bemba, and E-mail or Fax can be sent in Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi or Tonga. So, I do not see the problem with that.

Mr Sibetta: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister Without Portfolio in order to debate a point on which you are going to make a ruling at a later time? I beg your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Luena may not have been in the House. The Chair did not reserve a ruling on this matter. I requested the Government, through the Leader of Government business in the House, to identify a Cabinet Minister to deal with this issue. Now, if any member of the Cabinet wants to start early and make reference to this subject, that Member is free to do so, but I still would like a relevant Cabinet Minister to come here and enlighten the House on the subject so that, as usual, points of clarification may be sought and answers given. But there is no harm right now for the hon. Minister to debate it.

Will the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: Mr Speaker, finally, normally people are not all that honest. We always like to dramatise things which are not there. If the Zambia Co-operative Federation was properly managed, and if people did not divert the property of the Zambia Co-operative Federation to their own use, I do not think today we would have the problem which we are facing in agriculture, in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: Even today, we have a record of thirty houses listed against one man's name. But today, he comes here to sound very clean, and be a champion of transparency ...

Mr Tetamashimba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, we know that Hon. Sata is a person who does not lay things on the Table. Can you, please, lay things on the Table. We should not be talking as if we are from Malawi, where we go to witch hunt. Can he lay on the Table, to specifically identify the hon. Member of Parliament or any individual who has done that. We need your guidance, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member for Solwezi West is raising a point of order on the contribution by the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, demanding or requesting the Chair to rule that the person being referred to as having so many houses should be laid on the Table of the House. The Chair cannot do that. He cannot allow the laying of an hon. Member of Parliament on the Table of the House. It is impossible. I have a feeling the point of order was technically faulty.


Mr Speaker: However, I would like to state and guide that, although the Chair did not hear the hon. Minister Without Portfolio mentioning names, the thrust of his debate sounded as if he was referring to an hon. Member of Parliament here ...

Mr Tetamashimba: And he has done that before, to me.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The Chair did not hear that reference. I do not think the hon. Minister named anybody. All the guidance the Chair is giving is, if the hon. Minister was referring to an hon. Member of Parliament here, the Chair has always guided that Members should avoid debating themselves. So, may we make progress, hon. Minister.

May you, continue, please.

Mr Sata: Mr Speaker, I will never debate anybody in this House. But it is common knowledge. The reason why we have privatised parastatals and co-operative movements is because they were plundered. That is on record. Plundered! Plundered! Plundered! Property was taken and hidden. 


Mr Sata: So, this is why we are privatising. And I am not mentioning anybody here and I cannot mention anybody outside, who cannot come here and defend himself. But those who plundered are even here and have never been punished. They must be punished.

Thank you, Sir.


The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for allowing me to take this opportunity to clarify one or two points. I think the rest of them will be done by the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

First of all, like you said, Mr Speaker, the question of allocation of portfolios is a Presidential prerogative, which I think hon. Members know very well. I do get worried sometimes when we start getting into areas where we know the system is applicable. The President can allocate portfolios at his discretion and I think this is what is happening in this particular case. 

On the question of Chairmanship of the Zambia Tender Board, I have just been advised by my colleague the hon. Minister of Legal Affairs that, according to Cap. 394, Section 4(2), the President can appoint a Chairman. It does not say that the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development will be Chairman. In fact, there is no mention in this section. So, this assumption we have had, I think, is because over the years, it has been the practice to have the Minister of Finance and Economic Development as Chairman of the Zambia Tender Board. But in actual fact the law does not say so.

The question of the legality of the Presidential Housing Unit (PHI) was discussed in this very House and I did inform the House that steps are being taken to try and normalise the position of the PHI. I think at a later stage, we will be able to come with the necessary information on PHI. I have had discussions, myself, with the people in PHI, to see how this can be dealt with.

The question of expenditure on the OAU meeting, first of all, hon. Members might wish to know that we have a Cabinet Committee which looks at the preparations for the OAU. The original budget was K97 billion. Through the Committee, we managed to bring it down to K64 billion and we are still working out ways to cut it down even further so that this expenditure, like my friend has said, is justifiable. We have an international responsibility to host this meeting and I think it is our time now to do so.

On the extensions to Mulungushi Village, we are not constructing a new Conference Centre. What we are doing is that we are providing a self-contained plenary room so that when the Heads of State go into plenary sessions, they can go into that room without being disturbed and without disturbing the rest of the participants who will be in the main hall. We went and looked at the construction of the centre as it is now and we also compared it with other conference centres elsewhere and we saw that there was need for us to have an additional room. We are not constructing a complete new conference centre, we are only making an extension for purposes of meeting some of the requirements of the OAU meeting.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Dr Kalumba): Mr Speaker, I wish first, to thank all hon. Colleagues for their contributions. 

Mr Speaker, I would be diminishing a major opportunity if I did not thank first and foremost the Republican President Dr F. J. T. Chiluba and fellow Cabinet Ministers for their wise and meticulous counsel on the approach to the 2001 Budget. It shows that when politicians are fully involved in Budget and generally economic matters, the public interest is likely to be preserved better than when these matters are left in the hands of technical officials alone. Civil servants, whether they be lawyers, economists, agronomists or doctors, need political guidance to better serve the public interest.

Mr Speaker, budget formulation is a careful balancing act for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. On one hand, there is a need to ensure that the Budget is technically sound in its structuring of basic assumptions about economic fundamentals. In this respect, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development must allow as much technical debate to play itself out as intensively as possible. 

For countries like Zambia, it is at this point when collaborating partners like IMF provide inputs largely directed at improving the technical soundness of a Budget and how the Budget is structured to address economic fundamentals. However, Sir, the IMF experts cannot be a substitute to the country’s own technical capacity. A country need seasoned experts both in fiscal and monitory policy construction. 

The other side of the coin, Sir, is that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has to manage popular demands by different constituents which have a direct bearing on the political acceptability of any budget. A budget can be technically sound but politically unacceptable, nay  still, politically unimplementable. So, Sir, it is a careful balancing act where appropriate balance is reached between what is technically sound and politically implementable.

Overlapping this tension, is the question of revenue, how much you have to pay for what and the pressures are always there when you have competing definitions of priorities. It is our job to ensure that political demands are balanced with exigencies of revenue. As politicians we have the job to promise, but your Budget Office, Sir, has the job to reconcile those political promises with the realities of revenue.

It will be an unseasoned Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to prefer to seek popularity through the work that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development does. If you want to be popular in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, as a Minister, you are in a wrong job because one of the basic principles taught me, Hon. Nawakwi is here to bear me witness, and I learnt it from the Minister of Finance from Jordan, is that if you do not know how to say, no, find another job. You have to learn to identify distorted priorities and clearly define public interest priorities.

Mr Sata: Very good mwaiche wandi hammer but be brief! {mospagebreak}

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, there are misperceptions about revenue proposes and these often lead to serious performance for a Budget. We need to be measured in an assessment of our revenue scenario against the demands of various sector ministries. You have seen in this Budget that we have not acted in certain areas, it is because there are realities on the ground that we have to carefully analyse and respond to. We, in the Treasury, Sir, saw the technical challenge of fighting inflation, stabilising our currency while fostering a higher rate of growth as the major challenge for the Budget 20001. 

We have made assumptions about the behaviour of private sector players in mining, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture that gives us reason to believe that growth will take place. We have also made certain assumptions about the conduct of our corporating partners and facts on the ground make these assumptions appear reasonable to us. To improve our degree of confidence in these assumptions, we have taken some decisions or announced some measures that will act as incentives for various actors to act or to support us in implementing Budget 2001. 

We believe that mining production will expand this year based upon certain concessions that we have already made to this industry. We also believe that mining will expand based upon information we already have on the extent of re-capitalisation or re-tooling that is taking place in the mining sector particularly, since they were taken over by the private market players and also information about the global market prospects for mineral products such as copper and cobalt.

We believe that manufacturing will expand based on our clearance of debts to former ZCCM suppliers, knowledge of linkages between new mining expansion and the demand for fabricated metal products. We also have information about the expansion of the food processing industry already at hand. We believe that tourism will grow for reasons we have made very clear in the Budget and I wished Hon. Sichinga would have read through those assumptions carefully.

Following the effects of the Asian crisis that spread into our economy and saw its decline by minus two per cent in 1998, the Zambian economy has been making a progressive recovery. Unless you have figures to the contrary, hon. Members, we grew by two per cent in 1999 and expanded by 3.5 per cent in the year 2000. We, therefore, have reasons to be optimistic that the five per cent growth rate in 2001 is achievable. It will not come as an accident or simply wished, it requires that decisions that we are going to be taking throughout this year are consistent with supporting that growth. We must be willing to play to win, Sir.

Our balance of political and economic interest must support this level of aspiration: 5 per cent rate growth; 17.5 per cent of inflation; 0.75 per cent of Budget deficit and 20.5 per cent limit on monetary expansion. These are the basic parameters of Budget 2001.

Sir, I have no reason to believe that the MMD Government wishes to undermine its own Budget aspirations for 2001. The reason is simple. Good economic performance makes for good politics, Sir. The fact that we have an election in the year 2001 is known and we have tried in this Budget to provide for Elections 2001. We are clearly aware of the fact that if the economy collapsed due to poor political decisions, elections will be a very difficult challenge for us as MMD. We have, therefore, a vested interest in both the economic growth and winning the 2001 elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: These are not mutually incompatible objectives, Mr Speaker. I return to some further issues that were raised by hon. Members. A number of hon. Members raised the issue of the debt owed by - I stand to be corrected by the hon. Member who did not want to call them peasant farmers, I will call them small-scale farmers - small-scale farmers to FRA. As somebody said at the back that it is the same difference, but I would rather take your definition. On this matter, I share the principles underlying the contribution by the new Member of Parliament for Kalulushi, Hon. Mwila. Sir, we need to instil a culture of paying back debt in the agricultural sector. 

We all recall the problem of Credit Organisation of Zambia that collapsed on account of failure to pay back debt by those who borrowed money. LIMA Bank, Sir, collapsed, the story of National Agricultural Marketing Board, the crisis of Development Bank of Zambia, particularly with respect to its agricultural portfolios. Hon. Members of Parliament, unless money lent out is paid back, we shall forever remain beggars as a country.

The Food Reserve Agency must collect within the bounds of the law money owed to it. Sir, this law says nothing about bad and debasing credit collection methods that some officers of Food Reserve Agency or other agencies involved in this sector employ. We, certainly deplore this, but debt has to be collected. 

The second point hon. Members had some collective concern about was the issue of the magnitude of donor share in the Budget. But, Sir, as hon. Matutu eloquently stated, this reflects a greater sense of confidence in the donor community about the clarity of our resolve and commitment to achieve success. The world, Sir, loves a winner not a loser. This point aside, we need to disentangle the technical structure of this Budget in order to unravel the extent of caution we exercised in this case. The critical aspect of this Budget in terms of empowerment and overall Government or public policy have been well catered for within the limits of domestically generated revenue. That is why we put the caution that if external financing does not come, Zambia will not collapse.

Above all, Sir, the assumptions we have made about HIPC are correct and, therefore, we see no reason for negative or somewhat morbid speculation. We do not believe that our co-operating partners are impervious to logic or common sense. We share a mutual interest in catalysing growth and creating efficient institutions. We do not think, Sir, that privatisation is a religion or an act of faith codified in unquestionable form and procedure. It is policy with multiple and analysable dimensions whose implementation modalities would differ from country to country and from time to time. IMF and the World Bank are institutions with capacity to learn from experience just like governments. 

We have experience to go by and need to take it into account. We must, Sir, disentangle the economic interests of our bilateral partners who may have greater voice in multi-lateral institutions like the IMF, on one hand, and our national interest as Zambia on the other. When these are clearly identified and distinguished from technical rationale upon which the IMF and the World Bank offer counsel to countries like ours, I am sure we can proceed to do business in a mutually self-supportive way.

Sir, Zambia understands the intricate interweaving of interests in the operations of multi-lateral institutions. We are not naive and, therefore, we are calling for transparency in discussions on privatisation of the remaining public assets. Transparency is not just on our part, but on the part of all those collaborating partners who seek good for Zambia. We shall put Zambia’s interest first before any other in discussions of this subject. Sir, what we expect to see, away from speculation, is the broader opening up of the power sector and telecommunications. We already have a very thriving banking sector where there are lots of private sector players. For God’s sake, what about ZANACO? We have Barclays Bank, Citi Bank, Stanbic and so on, count them, plenty. There is no problem of monopoly in this sector whatsoever. 

We need new private sector investments in the Lower Kafue Power Project, partnerships in new projects rather than a vulture-like approach to privatisation that lives off the ailing carcasses of state enterprises. We need new partnerships, not bambazonke. Public private sector partnership is the way to go as we move in the next generation of our privatisation policy - public private sector partnership. This approach is not incompatible, Sir, with good economic sense or basic principles of efficiency.

We need to negotiate an acceptable approach. There is no crisis of policy on privatisation in Zambia. There is no deadlock, Sir, only ideas, good and, maybe, some bad ideas. We need to work through these complexities and identify good ideas. So, Hon. Sibetta, there is no crisis, whatsoever. There is no deadlock. We only have partnership and partnership must respect the mutual integrity of partners. If our national interests are not protected in that partnership, we should cry foul. We have a right to cry foul, whether it be the IMF or the World Bank or any other. Privatisation is not an act of faith. It is not a religion.

On disbursements, Sir, hon. Members had a common concern. They all alluded to the problem of disbursement and an impression has been created to the effect that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has been less than effective in disbursing what is allocated. Sir, I can only respond from the basis of facts which are known to us and to all Controlling Officers in various ministries. Under a very difficult year and in the context of kwacha depreciation and inflation and untimely donor disbursements, the status of releases were as follows. 

    The National Assembly    272.1 per cent, 
    Electoral Commission    159 per cent
    Public Service Commission    160 per cent
    Office of the Auditor-General    101 per cent, 
    Cabinet Office    212 per cent, 
    Teaching Service Commission    151 per cent
    Police and Prisons Service Commission    147 per cent
    Zambia Police, Ministry of Home Affairs    98.2 per cent,     Commission for Investigations    102 per cent
    Ministry of Energy and Water Development    45.7 per cent
Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development     77.7 per cent
Ministry of Home Affairs    113.9 per cent
Ministry of Foreign Affairs     172 per cent
Judiciary    85.1 per cent
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources    82 per cent
Loans and Investments - Local Government    38.8 per cent
Loans and Investments - Payments for foreign debt    989 per cent
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting    111 per cent
Public Service Management Division    101 per cent
Ministry of Local Government and Housing    212 per cent
Ministry Without Portfolio    556 per cent
Ministry of Legal Affairs    107 per cent
Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry    173 per cent
Permanent Human Rights Commission    381 per cent
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development    72.6 per cent
Ministry of Labour and Social Security    124 per cent
Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare    76 per cent
Ministry of Health    87.8 per cent
Ministry of Communications and Transport    90 per cent
Ministry of Works and Supply    161 per cent
Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training    86.6 per cent
Ministry of Tourism    81.9 per cent
Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development    66.9 per cent
Ministry of Defence    314.6 per cent
Office of the President - Special Division    506.9 per cent
Ministry of Education    107.0 per cent
Ministry of Lands    78.4 per cent
Anti-Corruption Commission    156.4 per cent
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries    114.8 per cent
Office of the President - Lusaka Province    98.1 per cent
Office of the President - Copperbelt Province    94.1 per cent
Central Province    125.8 per cent
Northern Province    127 per cent
Western Province    99.1 per cent
Eastern Province    85.6 per cent
Luapula Province    95.4 per cent
North-Western Province    109.5 per cent
Southern Province    88.6 per cent

Grand Total Average    103.7%

Hon. Members, facts must speak for themselves. I hope that we can now lay to rest accusations or concerns about disbursement. We have disbursed and disbursed enough and so, let us perform.

On agriculture, Sir, humility requires that I concede the fact that our efforts in agriculture this year do not answer the entire gamut of demand for Government intervention in this sector. Hon. Members, in one native language they say, ‘Ushitasha mwana wa ndoshi’.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalumba: We have made an earnest effort ...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Translate!

Dr Kalumba: If you do not acknowledge good work done may be a son of a witch or something like that.


Dr Kalumba: A son or daughter of a witch whichever applies to you. 

We have made an earnest effort against the background of past policy constraints in this sector. We have tried to break new grounds and assist our small-scale farmers directly both in terms of financing and marketing. 

Much has been said about modalities, Sir. Modalities are the details that sector ministries deal with. It would be a rather wordy Budget if we put administrative modalities in the Budget.

Another point that I feel compelled to make reference to, Sir, is the Governor’s benefits that Hon. Dr Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika who is my aunt, made reference to. It is important that facts rather than fiction dictate debate. Governor Mwanza of the Bank of Zambia is not paid US$50,000 a month or year nor does he remit US$20,000 outside because he does not earn that much. And it just so happens that he gets his pay in our good old kwacha. These are facts whatever differences we have with him, please let us stick to facts in Parliament.

Hon. Members, you also expressed concern on NGOs. this Government ignited the spirit of democratic debate and organisation. We have forgotten our immediate past, perhaps, where there was only the party. Our democracy is like a clear night sky, Sir, with a thousand stars each one of them unique and valuable. But the sky, like our democracy, has laws. In the universe, Sir, stars gravitate towards certain defined centres of equilibrium. There is a definite structure, Sir, ...

Mr Patel: Katele for President!

Dr Kalumba: I am quite happy as I am Hon. Patel. I have no such aspirations.

In Zambia we have a Government around which public life gravitates. Unless this structure is maintained there is a danger of anarchy.

Hon. Members were suggesting that we finance NGOs. Let me share with you the problem we face. We have registered 9,527 Non-Governmental Organisations apart from churches.


Dr Kalumba: And we have 13,014 churches, 28 political parties. It is an extremely lively public life. But to burden the tax-payer in financing the specific interests of these individual Non-Governmental Organisations, would be rather asking for too much.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sibetta: Hope Foundation!

Dr Kalumba: It relies on you Hon. Sibetta to contribute as an independent member of society.

The hon. Minister of Tourism gave us a rather clear response on the question of beer industry where some hon. Members of Parliament from the back bench expressed concern. Sir, our action in this regard was simply to move away from bad taxation. If a commodity has to be taxed a hundred per cent then there is something wrong. That is really bad tax policy. 

Apart from that, Sir, as Minister of Finance and Economic Development, I would rather leave the morality issues to other sector ministries and to our churches and others who are in this industry. But I always find it difficult really to be a champion of Puritanism.


Dr Kalumba: I do no think even the Holy Bible says, “Thou shalt not drink alcohol”. Our good Lord was kind enough to prepare good wine for the wedding attendants.


Dr Kalumba: Sir, where cometh this Puritanism, I do not know.


Dr Kalumba: The Lord warns us against Pharisees who went and said they were the holiest. Sir, the Lord says beware of these colleagues who state such. I know those who spoke did not mean to be cunning about this matter. They had other concerns, but from our point of view it was just a question of bad taxation that we wanted to move away from.

In winding up, I wish to request one hon. Member of Parliament who is a very good friend of mine, Hon. Patel. Hon. Patel is very kind to me when he debates, he always thrashes on my attention, what the Government has committed to here and there and throws in a good measure of figures all round, but I counsel that the hon. Member for Lusaka Central, I know he wants to be factual but can he check with us on details because a number of these figures like the ones he presented to the CCJP Forum Debate has some very misleading statements.

Hon. Member: Letter of intent.

Dr Kalumba: Mr Speaker, the letter of intent dated June 30 said that we were going to study the modalities, that is what it said, ‘We are going to study the modalities of privatisation’. The key words are ‘to study the modalities’ and after careful study to submit such recommendations as shall be found by the consultant to Cabinet and the Cabinet to judiciously take a position on which modalities would be acceptable. That is what we committed and that is what the letter of intent clearly states. So, any notion that somehow we have fractured the integrity of our commitment is far from the truth.

Mr Speaker, the Cabinet has the prerogative and mandate as entrusted by the Zambian people to govern and by governing to take those decisions that are consistent with the national interest. Such is not incompatible with our letter of intent.

Mr Speaker, there is reference to quantitative benchmarks being missed by the end of June or something like that. That is water under the bridge because we rectified the situation and it is not, therefore, an issue for Budget 2001. Neither is the fiscal sustainability credit under the World Bank of 2000 an issue because it has been disbursed. And the other issues where it has not been disbursed which is a very marginal amount are all subject to negotiation which is the spirit of our agreement with the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. We have to negotiate, Sir, and negotiate we shall.

I thank all hon. Members for a lively debate and the support to our Budget 2001.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.





The Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Dr Kalumba): Mr Speaker, we are not ready with the Estimates.

The Chairman: Order! the Committee will not report any progress.




(MR SPEAKER in the Chair)

(no progress reported)




The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1731 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 2nd February, 2001.