Debates- Wednesday, 24th January, 2001

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Wednesday, 24th January, 2001

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: The House will recall that, on Tuesday, 28th November, 2000, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mambilima Constituency, Mr Patrick Kalifungwa, MP, moved a motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour for the Fourth Session of the Eighth National Assembly on the review of the privatisation of ZCCM, laid on the Table of the House on 17th November, 2000, in his former capacity as Chairman of the Committee. The said motion was seconded by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central Constituency, Mr Dipak Patel, MP.

The House will further recall that, after long debates on the Floor of the House, the motion to adopt the Report was rejected. Following the rejection of that motion, attempts were made to bring about a point of order on the conduct of business with regard to the rejected motion. However, such attempts could not be allowed to proceed due to the parliamentary principle which disallows debate on a matter that has already been disposed of. You will also note that it is a settled principle of law that, once a matter has been decided upon, it cannot be raised again. This principle is embedded in the doctrine of Res Judicata.

Hon. Members, in spite of this, some former Members of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour raised, again, this matter in writing, thereby totally disregarded my earlier advice on the Floor of the House when the hon. Member for Kapiri Mposhi, Mr MacDonald Nkabika, MP, tried to raise the same issue by way of a point of order.

I appreciate the fact that the Committee may have been displeased with my advice, but, this notwithstanding, you will recall that sufficient time to debate the motion was given to both sides that were either for or against the motion. Consequently, the Chair, having been satisfied that both sides had debated the motion fully, put the question to the House whether to accept the motion or not. Accordingly, those who were against the motion were in the majority and, as such, their view prevailed.

Hon. Members, the assertion that the outcome of the debate on this matter had tarnished the integrity of Parliament, its staff, and the Committee cannot stand. This is because the procedure followed in arriving at the decision of the majority was not, in any way, different from the established practice and procedure of the Commonwealth and other parliamentary systems.

You may also wish to be reminded that, on a number of occasions, the back-bench has criticised the Front Bench to the extent of casting aspersions at the character of individual Ministers. However, none of the victims of such aspersions has ever attempted to commit his or her displeasure in writing and presenting the same to the Office of the Speaker, as what those hon. Members have done.

I take this opportunity to advise the House that according to our own procedure and according to Mr N. Kaul and S. L. Shakdher, and I quote:

    ‘It is not customary for the Speaker to enter into correspondence     with regard to proceedings of the House or with a view to     elucidating ‘Rulings’ made by the Speaker in the House’

This book is available in the Library. In this regard, the House may wish to know that abuse of the right to petition and reflections on the character or proceedings of the House have been constantly punished by the United Kingdom House of Commons upon the principle that such acts tend to obstruct the House in the performance of Parliament business by diminishing the respect due to them. Hon. Members may wish to consult Erskin May, also available in the Library.

In view of the foregoing, I now take this opportunity to guide Members who may fall into a similar trap that they risk being ‘named’ and their case referred to the Standing Orders Committee for appropriate sanction.

Finally, and in the light of my earlier advice on this matter, I cannot consider the hon. Members’ petition and I hope that this announcement sufficiently explains why the House does not entertain further reference to, or debate on, a Bill, a motion or any other matter that it previously rejected or even approved.

I thank you.


(Debate resumed)

Mr Tetamashimba (Solwezi-West): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for allowing me to contribute on the speech given to the nation by our Republican President, Dr Chiluba. 

Mr Speaker, I also wish you good health, together with hon. Members of Parliament, of course, the Front Bench and the middle bench, as we enter this crucial year of elections. Mr Speaker, I also wish to welcome my colleagues who have just come in. I am happy that most of the new Members of Parliament seem to be of the new generation type. It is our hope that when we go for elections in November, everybody under the age of 55 years will win.


Mr Tetamashimba: Yes, they will be in November.

Mr Speaker, kindly allow me to just make a few comments on the Presidential Speech. The President hinted on the elections which are coming this year and I must say that Zambia has been peaceful in the past ten years and I hope that these elections which will be coming will not bring in situations that have happened in countries like Ivory Coast, the Philippines and Siberia where you find the “people’s power” removing governments.

Mr Speaker, I know that some people will say this cannot happen. It can. We are just lucky that we have had peace and we wish that whoever comes after November will continue to keep that peace.

Mr Speaker, the Opposition who ,I believe, come after November,  are going to occupy the Front Bench ...


Mr Tetamashimba: ... have always been talking about the economy. I remember last year, when I stood here before we adjourned sine die, I said that the kwacha is losing value because we do not control the people who bring in goods and I was even suggesting that this Government should ensure that people who own super markets like Shoprite when they bring in goods worth US$1,000 only that amount of money should be remitted to countries where they come from. Sir, what came from the Front Bench was almost telling us that we did not know what we were talking about because there was liberalisation. But I must say that I am grateful to the President that he has now understood and agreed with what the Opposition have been advising. Today, after the President said that now we must be keeping 75 per cent of our dollars, everybody in the Front Bench is dancing to the tune of saying that we must keep the money in the country.

Mr Speaker, talking about mining I thought I should mention something about Kansanshi Mine which the President mentioned. Hon. Kavindele will agree with me, just like the third most powerful man in Zambia, Hon. Sata, will agree with me, that if you go to Kansanshi Mine, the mine which had a lot of buildings, you will find that there is completely nothing. Hon. Sata even promised the people there when he held a rally that by December, last year something was going to take off. As of today, Mr Speaker, nothing is taking off. 

Mr Muasa: Except for grass.

Mr Tetamashimba: Except for grass. Thank you very much.

We do not know - obviously I will be dancing on top of the hills when the elections come. 

Mr Sibetta: Which party?

Mr Tetamashimba: I do not want to say which party because there is a case before Mr Speaker. If you want me to debate I can debate that with you outside.

Mr Speaker, we were being told by the Government that this mine was sold to Cyprus Amax. Today, we are told that this is under Phillip Dodge 

Hon. Government Members: Who?

Mr Tetamashimba: Phillip Dodge. 


Mr Tetamashimba: I do not know, whatever they are because, as far as I am concerned, I do not think they are serious people.

Surely, Mr Speaker, our colleagues who are in the Front Bench from North-Western Province, of course, Hon. Kavindele, Hon. Saviye, Hon. Mateyo and others, when they pass through Solwezi, that is one thing that they do not want to hear about, especially Hon. Mateyo because his village is just within Kansanshi.

Mr Speaker, I do not want to repeat what my colleagues said about agriculture because we have always said a lot about this issue. Now that the Government has lamentably failed to deliver fertilisers for this year ...

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Tetamashimba: Of course, there is nothing like saying ‘question’ because the hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries was on Television Zambia where he said that he was sorry that they had delivered fertilisers late. These are facts, do not just say, ‘question’.

Mr Speaker, we are requesting the Government that now they should start sourcing fertilisers - what the people want is for the Government just as they go to buy the maize, that is the time they are supposed to deliver fertiliser and then exchange it with the maize or buy the maize. There is no need taking fertilisers and then later you start buying maize. You spend a lot of money. Of course, we know that agriculture has been destroyed unless you go from 1990 backwards but after 1990, there is no doubt that there is no agriculture in the country. Malawi is better than this country in terms of agricultural production.


Mr Tetamashimba: Yes, ask your colleagues who come from Eastern Province, they may be able to tell you.

Mr Speaker, since agriculture is now dead and we heard yesterday from our colleagues in the MMD that the farmers might not get anything. We would want the Government to come out now and give subsidies. There must be subsidies to agricultural production. Where is the MMD getting this idea where they think that they cannot subsidise agricultural production? We have heard of butter mountains, Mr Speaker, the butter is thrown into the sea but the owners are given money. We also know, Mr Speaker, that these western countries will tell you that if you are going to plough 100 hectares, they will ask you to, maybe, plough 50 hectares and for the balance they will give you money. That is what happens. But in Zambia when you say, let us subsidise or just give free fertiliser, what comes out, especially from our colleagues who are running the Government is that it is not possible.

Mr Speaker, why has the poor been suffering in terms of failing to pay for the fertilisers. We were told by hon. Members of Parliament yesterday that fertiliser is costing about K80,000 a bag. Where I come from it is slightly higher than that. You are putting a floor price for the fertiliser but you do not put a floor price for maize. Why should that happen?

Mr Sata: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sata: Mr Speaker, I have been long enough in this House. Has the Speaker ever distributed fertiliser? We want to know, Sir, whether the hon. Member on the Floor is in order.



Mr Speaker: That point of order by the hon. Minister Without Portfolio clearly indicates the pitfalls in which debaters who fail to address the Chair find themselves. Indeed, the Speaker has not been engaged in the business of selling fertiliser.


Mr Speaker: As such, the Chair merely wishes to advise the hon. Member for Solwezi West to address the Chair properly, but direct suggestions or observations to the authorities that are responsible for dealing with matters of fertiliser and similar responsibilities. 

May he, continue, please.

Mr Tetamashimba: Mr Speaker, thank you very much and I am sorry if I was implying that Mr Speaker is a distributor of fertiliser. I meant the Government. Thank you for the advice.

Mr Speaker, I was just saying that in terms of fertilisers, the Government should put the floor price because they are the ones who appoint the distributors. But the same Government, instead of trying to protect the poor by putting the floor price, they claim that it is liberalisation. Mr Speaker, I wish to request our colleagues who are in Government that if you want the poor people to pay for the fertilisers that you give them, there must be a floor price at which if a farmer cannot sell his produce at a price higher than that, then the Government must come and buy the maize at that low price. If they do not do that, that is why I was saying that these colleagues here in December will be the ones in the Front Bench. 

Mr Speaker, our colleagues in Government talked of District Administrators being civil servants, but I would want to request the Government to allow District Administrators to talk about development. Most of the District Administrators do not even talk about fertilisers. Instead of rushing to the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and explain to him how many bags of fertilisers they would want in their districts, the song they would like to sing is, of course, what you have told us not to debate, ‘the Third Term.’ 

Really that is not their job but their job is to see to it that there is development in their districts. We appeal to our colleagues that let these people do what they are supposed to be doing and that is, seeing to it that there are boreholes in all the constituencies, seeing to it that there is fertiliser throughout in their districts and not what is happening where if Members of Parliament are perceived not to be towing the line, they end up actually being sidelined in some of these developmental issues. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to say something on communications and transport. In the past two days, we were seeing some kids failing to go to their homes because there were no buses. And some days before that, we heard what I can call some insults on the television from some of the leaders of these organisations. If I remember correctly, the hon. Minister had said that any operator should simply go and explain to the Minister that he is not able to do this exercise in so many months and can be given so many days in which to do the exercise and that she would give a green light. 

I wish to ask those colleagues to move forward and see the hon. Minister than trying to hide their buses and think that, maybe, they are being pushed. Otherwise, we are going to have a situation where a lot of people will have their money stolen while they are in transit, especially to Solwezi because most of us there do not know how to steal money, but if they go in a town where there are a lot of these kaponyas, it can happen. So, let us move forward and ask for permission.

Mr Speaker, I want to comment also on the roads in terms of the World Bank loan which I hear is to do with the construction of a road from Zambia to Congo DR, that is Solwezi to Katanga, the province where the late President Kabila came from. Katanga is very near to Solwezi passing through the constituency of Hon. Kangwa. You reach Lubumbashi faster than moving from here. Of course, if this money is to target the Democratic Republic of Congo, you can move faster if the road from Solwezi to the boarder which is less than 150 kilometres is tarred. You can move faster into Lubumbashi than passing through the Copperbelt. 

Since Congo is the best market for Zambia, as far as I am concerned, if we were doing our mathematics well, Zambia would have benefited very much by utilising that market. So, we are requesting that when the Ministers and the World Bank start looking at which is the best route into the Democratic Republic of Congo, I propose that they should consider the Solwezi/Lubumbashi Road.

Mr Speaker, I was reading in the newspapers about Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA) trying to privatise or putting for consideration some companies that our President said were going to be strategic. I just hope ZPA will not enter into contracts with those banks in order to private Zambia National Oil Company and also INDENI, since the Head of State now has said let these be left out.

Sir, I agree with what Hon. Sikasote, Member of Parliament for Mpulungu, said in terms of empowerment. In a country called Malaysia, Mr Speaker, when privatisation started, and it is even enshrined in the Constitution, for example, that the Prime Minister of Malaysia shall always be a Malay, and of course any other person, maybe, of Chinese origin since you know that there are a lot of people who came from China some four or five hundred years ago. What happens in that privatisation, Sir, is that first preference is given to the indigenous people. Here in Zambia it was the opposite. 

Let me briefly touch on tourism, Mr Speaker. I would want the Government to take advantage of the solar eclipse which is coming on the 21st of June this year. Zambia is going to be the only country which, apart from 21st June this year, it is also going to witness the same eclipse some time in 2002. For the Americans, it will take them about seventeen years. Surely, since Lusaka is the only city in Africa, and maybe on earth which is going to witness that solar eclipse, the country can make money out of that.

Lastly, Sir, I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Education for the effort he is putting in, but surely we want free education up to Grade 12.

Sir, on HIV/AIDS, I would like to ask the Government to bring before this House legislation where if a person defiles a child or rapes anybody, that person must automatically be taken for HIV test. If he is proved positive, that person should be prosecuted for attempted murder. That way the men who are careless like those who sleep with nieces, daughters and step daughters will end up being locked up.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Keembe (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, let me add my voice in thanking the mover and seconder of the motion.

Mr Speaker, I will start by thanking the MMD Government for changing the face of this country.


Mr Keembe: Let us be factual, dear colleagues. We know what this country was like in 1991. Surely, most of our schools, clinics and so on were gone. If we look at that time and compare it to this time, the few years that the MMD Government has been in power, certainly we can see a lot of improvement in our infrastructure. We need to pay tribute where it is due.

Mr Sibetta: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Keembe: Give me time, what is your problem.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sibetta: Mr Speaker, I usually do not rise on points of order. But is, Sir, the hon. Chairman for Southern Province in the ruling party and Member for Bweengwa in order to imply that the ruling party has changed the face of the earth as far as this country is concerned, when hills like the Munali Hills and other hills are still there. They have not been levelled. Is he in order to give credit to a party for a geographical exercise they have not been able to do? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Could the hon. Member for Bweengwa respond to that issue. Will he, continue, please.

Mr Keembe: Mr Speaker, I thank you. I sympathise with the hon. Member for Luena (Mr Sibetta) because this man has mental lapses sometimes.


Mr Keembe: Mr Speaker, I was saying that ...

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Bweengwa must withdraw the phrase ‘mental lapses’ because it is unparliamentary.

Mr Keembe: I withdraw, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I would like to continue by thanking the MMD Government for empowering our people through the sale of council houses and Government houses. You will believe me colleagues that right now if you go into townships, certainly those people who have had the opportunity to buy houses have worked on the houses by improving the surroundings and thereby changing the appearance of our townships and compounds.

Mr Speaker, I continue thanking the MMD Government for the consideration through the Ministry of Education on the withdraw of primary school fees. Our people live under abject poverty and I thank the Government for listening to the plight of the poor people. I can only urge the Government to go further and reduce the boarding fees in secondary schools which are also very high.

Mr Speaker, I now move to health. Mr Speaker, we appreciate the available infrastructure but the shortage of drugs in the institutions still leaves much to be desired. There is no need to have clinics without medicines and so I urge the Government to help our people. Let us have medicines in these clinics. We should make our people have access to drugs.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is the shortage of staff. It is surprising to see graduate nurses who have not yet been engaged in these hospitals and clinics. They are just roaming the streets and yet they have just qualified. If you go to the University Teaching Hospital, you will find one nurse manning a ward consisting of eighty patients. This is not fair to our nursing staff. We should utilise the qualified students and deploy them for the purpose of serving our people in our hospitals. 

Mr Speaker, the issue of HIV/AIDS is very important and we should not ignore it. While I appreciate those who are calling for the withdrawal of advertisements on condoms, it does not help us to only withdraw without putting emphasis on other ways and means of preventing this deadly disease. While we call for the withdrawal of the advertisements, it is important also to remember that a lot of our people die silently in their homes because we fear our tradition and culture. 

We should just review the type of advertisements that we are going to put on our television. It is important that we keep on knocking and keep on mentioning this deadly disease HIV/AIDS. It is important because it will put the bad picture of this disease in the minds of our children so that they grow up fearing that there is this disease which can wipe out the entire community.

Mr Speaker, in this Christian nation, I want to bring out something very important. We have always talked about HIV/AIDS and abstinence but we have forgotten that one of the contributing factors is the intake of alcohol. Sir, we take alcohol in this country at a very high rate. It is just too much. Alcohol creates a lot of behavioural changes in a person which contributes to the infection of HIV/AIDS. It is a shame for a Christian nation to be the leading country in promoting beer. Almost every advertisement during news time is talking about beer. Our children at the age of three drink beer. It is a shame. What type of morality are we bringing to our children. So, Sir, I call for the withdrawal of all advertisements of beer.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

Mr Keembe: We should not only withdraw the advertisements on condoms but also on beer. This is a Christian nation and we need to live by example. We should lead a moral society.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Third term also.

Mr Keembe: Sir, it is also important ...

Dr Sondashi: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Sondashi: Mr Speaker, in view of the admission by the hon. Member that MMD has not brought any positive change, it has instead promoted beer drinking...


Dr Sondashi: Is it in order for him to continue debating that MMD has not done anything good to this country since he is now admitting to the contrary. Can he be in order to continue debating?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Bweengwa may continue and debate that issue.


Mr Keembe: I will ignore that, Mr Speaker. I am calling for churches, NGOs and all other civil societies to join this House in calling for the withdrawal of advertisements on beer and to stipulate periods ...

Mr Harrington shook his head.

Mr Keembe: The hon. Minister of Tourism should not shake his head. This issue is very important. Our children are dying because when they take alcohol, they indulge themselves into a lot of mischief, including getting HIV/AIDS. We would like also to regulate hours of tarvens and bars operating in this country. There is too much beer drinking, that is why we have alarming criminal cases in this country.

Finally, on this issue, Mr Speaker, I would like to urge our Government to subsidise on anti-AIDS drugs. It should be made available to the majority of our people. I appreciate the fact that we have opened three centres through which our pregnant mothers will be tested and treated. I would like to urge Government to make accessible the drugs to all others who want to be treated with these drugs.

On agriculture, Sir, a lot of my colleagues have spoken on this subject. But I would like to say one thing. In today’s newspaper, we have condemned the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). I think it is not enough to just condemn. We should know the root cause. If FRA is not funded, what do you expect them to do? We urge our Government to put agriculture as a priority. There is no way we can sit here and talk about agriculture everyday. It is important that the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and his staff is supported. He should be given the money so that he plans and improve agriculture in this country. It is not enough to condemn our colleagues. It is important that this House ensures that in this year’s Budget, there is some substantial allocation of funds for agricultural purposes in the coming season.

Mr Sibetta: Long live, the Provincial Chairman!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: You are in the wrong party.

Mr Keembe: Mr Speaker, I will now deal with the marketing system in agriculture. The only people who reach the rural areas are the briefcase businessmen. The President was encouraging us to help our farmers so that they are not crooked by these unscrupulous businessmen. How do we do that if there are no other means and ways of selling the produce? We are urging Government to come back and buy the excess produce by our farmers.

We need to reduce the charges per cow from the cattle disease fund in Southern Province. We thank Government for giving us that money. But if it cannot be accessed by farmers, what is it for?

So, I would like to urge Government, through the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries to reduce charges to a reasonable amount so that our farmers can have access to it. In fact, we need to propose that farmers be given free vaccines for our animals for a period of time in Southern Province so that we can regenerate a few animals that are remaining.

Mr Speaker, talking about roads, the MMD Government has done a lot, especially in urban areas. But, if you go to Bweengwa where I come from, it is a sad state of affairs. A lot of our feeder roads are almost impassable now. So, I would like to urge my listening Government that it should help us. The Government should make feeder roads a priority in this year’s Budget. Let us have our roads graded so that our farmers can have access to the market. The Monze/Namwala Road is a very important and historical road. Maybe Hon. Sibetta does not know that he is, in fact, sitting here because of people of Bweengwa, who sacrificed their cattle in bringing the independence of this country. He must support me when I say that the road from Monze to Namwala must be tarred so that our people can, at least, enjoy the fruits of independence.

So, I am urging my Government that as they work on Choma/Namwala Road, they should have a joint project to also work on the stretch from Niko to Monze. It is very important, ...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Chindi chamana.

Mr Keembe: ... that the Opposition realises that the hon. Member for Solwezi West, who was talking about coming into Front-Bench at the end of this year, should forget about that. The MMD Government is here and it will be here.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Wamu yayaya.

Mr Keembe: So, I can only urge my listening Government to improve on the road infrastructure so that we can help poor people.

Teachers in rural areas are suffering. Right now we have teachers who have also graduated from colleges and are at home, yet our schools have no teachers. I do not understand this. So, I am urging the Government to ensure that ...

Mr Nkabika: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkabika: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa in order to contradict himself. Initially, he was praising MMD that it has brought good to this country and now he is changing and is saying that MMD Government has failed, there are no teachers in rural areas and that the roads are bad?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Bweengwa is in order to contradict himself.

May he, please, continue.


Mr Keembe: Mr Speaker, I have not contradicted myself. In fact, the hon. Member for Kapiri Mposhi must listen when we are debating. 

There is no doubt that under micro-project (BESSIP) which is part of the initiative by this Government, a lot of rehabilitation of schools has been done. Government has done a lot to change the face of this country, but there is still need to also encourage our civil servants by giving them incentives and that is what I am trying to say, Sir.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Muloji (Chavuma): Thank you, Sir, for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the floor of this august House.

First and foremost, Sir, I wish to welcome all the new hon. Members who have come to join us through nominations and by-elections. May I, from the outset, Mr Speaker, congratulate the President for the very brilliant speech delivered to the nation through this august House.

Sir, I wish to say that my colleagues in West Africa have a very good saying that, ‘What cannot talk cannot lie’. I would wish to state that the speech itself was faultless. No one in this country can deny the successes scored by the MMD Government in the last nine years. You can easily single out the road transport sector to shame all those doubting Thomases, including Hon. Sibetta. 

Mr Speaker, you will agree with me that even America, after 200 years of independence, is still perfecting governance. So, who are we to expect wonders and miracles within such a short time?

Mr Speaker, the late President Jomo Kenyatta once said: 'Let us use the past to perfect the present for the past is dead but the future is living'. So, Dr Chiluba's Speech clearly set the guidelines on what action should be taken by the Zambians. The serious technocrats of this country are expected to put meat on the skeleton that the President has put forward. It is not wise to come here only to blame. I think all of us here should see realism and not principles which do not work. 

Mr Speaker, my colleagues in the Opposition like all of us in the back-bench are duty bound to advise Government on the lapses they notice. But it is most unrealistic to heap blame on the Government just because one wants to please his sponsors in the galleries. Hon. Sibetta's debate yesterday was atrocious. 


Mr Muloji: May I remind him and those who are in the same school of thought that the West Africans have also got a wise saying which goes thus; 'Teeth and the tongue stay together in the mouth. Sometimes the teeth bite the tongue but the tongue has never run out of mouth.' So, let us give credit where it is due. It is not necessarily good to be a dramatist here just to earn a few lines in the Press. 


Mr Muloji: You, hon. Members, in the Opposition, come on, where is your realism? 

Mr Ngulube: Hanjika Muloji!

Mr Muloji: Mr Speaker, having gone through the Presidential Speech, I am left with no option or doubt but to support the President, especially when he suggests to build Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI) houses in Zambezi District. What else can one ask for? I urge the President to shift the same scheme to Chavuma as well. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to advise this House through another wise saying from the West that, ‘Man does not feed a horse man does not ride.’


Mr Muloji: Mr Speaker, for the sake of Hon. Chikwakwa, I will repeat. I said, ‘Man does not feed a horse man does not ride.’ 

Lastly, I would like to urge the Government to look into the issue of delimitation of big constituencies in this country. Some constituencies like Chavuma are too big and are causing some unnecessary complaints from the people. So, when the hour comes, I wish this issue to be looked into to make our parliamentary work easy.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Yikona (Zambezi East): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

First of all, I would like to thank the President for the wonderful speech he presented to this House last Friday. I wish to thank him for the Presidential Housing Initiative which he has embarked on in order to empower Zambians with decent and affordable shelter. With this in mind, I wish to thank him for extending this housing scheme to Zambezi District.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Yikona: Zambezi District had more than 65,000 people before the census took place. I am sure that by now, the population must have reached  almost a 100,000. Most of these people do not have decent homes. They live in grass thatched houses which are very vulnerable to fire, strong winds and rains. The choice of Zambezi for the first rural housing project is an honour to the people there. This project will not only empower people with home ownership but it is going to improve the face of Zambezi and will also add beauty to the district. The people in Zambezi are looking forward to welcoming the President when he goes to lay the foundation stone. May the good Lord bless his kind heart.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Yikona: Mr Speaker, there is potential for development in North-Western Province, particularly in Zambezi District. The natural resources are there. We have a beautiful river that runs through the district and if you go by the river, you will see beautiful birds. It is a very good area for tourism. The economic development and empowerment of people which the President emphasised on will need other facets such as education, water and sanitation and health facilities which the Government, I know, is already addressing though in my area it is rather at a slow pace.

Nonetheless, the opening of roads and other communication infrastructure is critically indispensable to the economic development. To this effect, we would like to see the completion of the Mutanda/Chavuma Road. Television and good radio reception are required. The pontoon on Zambezi River does not operate at night. If there are patients on the west bank requiring to come to the hospital for attention at night, it is difficult for them to swim and neither can they use canoes because the river is crocodile infested. Therefore, we request the Government to build a bridge across the river linking west and east banks.

Dr. Sondashi: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr. Sondashi: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member debating in order not to thank the President for having given her monkeys, which she took to Zambezi? She went to State House and she was given monkeys which she took to Zambezi. Is she in order not to thank the President for that?


Mr Speaker: The point of order is in the negative.

May she, continue, please.

Mrs Yikona: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. It is very important for clinics, hospitals and schools to have public phones. A phone call can save a life. If a child gets ill at school, at least a teacher should be able to quickly ring  the clinic. They can be given advice on the phone on what to do with the child. If anybody in the community gets ill, a phone call can be made to the hospital so that they send an ambulance. So, it is important that we have public phones in these areas no matter how remote they are. We have ox-cats, I know, in our villages, but ox-cats and bicycles are not the best mode of transport for patients. They are slow and dangerous. 

Mr Speaker, let me talk about HIV/AIDS. It used to be a taboo for parents to discuss sex with their children. But now, we have no choice but to do so looking at the overfilled cemeteries in our cities and villages. I am sure each one of us has lost a loved one who has suffered from HIV/AIDS. We should not be ashamed to talk about it in this House because this is a calamity that has befallen all of us in this world. Homes have been depleted because children are now heading homes. The ever increasing number of orphans and street kids is very worrisome. We are losing a lot of energetic people like teachers who are supposed to be teaching our children in schools and this shortage, has mostly resulted from HIV/AIDS.

Mr Speaker, the other thing is family values. I have got a feeling that there is a total breakdown in family values. When we were growing up, we used to respect our parents. Their younger brothers of our fathers were our younger fathers while the younger sisters of our mothers were our younger mothers, but now our children are calling anybody, as long as he is a man, uncle. Any male relative of their father is an uncle and any female relative of their mother is an aunt and you will find that even people who are not supposed to be called their uncle, when they visit their homes, are called uncle because that is the way they have been brought up. It is wrong. That is why you find these ‘uncles’ are going out with their ‘nieces’ because there is no respect for each other. 

Mr Speaker, the emphasis on the girl-child education might be dangerous for us in future. I do appreciate the fact that we would like our girl-children to be educated, but I have a strong feeling that in future we will end up having a country full of educated women and no educated men. Every womb produces a girl and a boy. I think as we look at education, we should look at education for both children because if we concentrate on girl-children only, we shall have a very big problem on what to do with the boys.

Hon. Male Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Yikona: Mr Speaker, with a few notable exceptions, men are rarely explicitly mentioned in gender issues. When men do appear they are generally seen as obstacles to women’s development. The superiority of women as hard working, reliable, trustworthy, socially responsible, caring and co-operative is often asserted whilst men, on the other hand are frequently portrayed as lazy, violent, promiscuous and irresponsible drunkards. To focus on women only is inadequate. 

A better understanding of men’s perception and position is also essential. But why are some women and men behaving in this way? It is all because Biblically, we are not following what we were created for. Men were created in God’s image to look after their women to cloth, feed, accommodate and look after them so that they look beautiful throughout just like the way they found them when they married them. That is the same way they should maintain them.

Hon. Male Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Yikona: Women also should look after their men the way God had planned for them to do, but because women and men do not follow God’s teaching, this is what has resulted in this HIV/AIDS scourge. Mr Speaker, we should not give room to the devil to create a play ground in our lives. 

Mr Speaker, I now come to air transport. I am very worried because when I was in London last week, I read from some newspapers about the deep vein thrombosis. This is a very serious situation affecting people who travel in economy class. Those in business and first class are not affected because they have enough room in which to manoeuvre around, but those in economy class are the ones who are vulnerable to the deep vein thrombosis and this is where clots form in the vein and clots are transmitted through the veins to the heart and block the heart, resulting in instant death. So, I hope our Government is looking into this issue and to advise us on what measures we should take, especially to people who travel by air on long routes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalifungwa (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, in my contribution to the Presidential Speech I wish to comment on a few items. The first one being security, the situation in the border areas has become very precarious and it requires enhancement, especially in our areas which are experiencing problems with our neighbours.

Sir, the influx of the refugees has impacted negatively on the economy of our nation as well as the well-being of our nationals. It is in this regard, Sir, that I wish to urge the international community to assist the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to build up on the resources that they supply to the UNHCR and to the country as well so that they can help us resuscitate our economy and reduce on the impact that the influx of refugees has brought up.

Mr Speaker, the other item is poverty and I believe most of the hon. Members of the House have commented on poverty. It is a paramount problem today which has devastated our nation. Statistics show that there is increased poverty shown by increased infant mortality, decreased life expectancy and school attendance of our people has actually worsened in the last decade. Other indicators with regard to the social well-being of our people have also exhibited deterioration in the well-being of our people. Thousands of formal jobs have been lost. The levels have risen tremendously due to compliance with structural adjustment programmes. The overall impact of these reforms cannot, in fact, be measured by the figures that we were talking about. They cannot be captured.

Mr Speaker, the way forward is a creation of an environment which is socially and economically conducive to empower the people of Zambia to succeed and improve on the productivity of our nation. HIV/AIDS has been talked about heavily by most hon. Members of the House but the only thing I could say is that the HIV/AIDS must be embedded in each social and economic plan that we are planning as Government so that it can be realised its impact on our development plans. There is also an established recognition of the two-way connection between HIV/AIDS and poverty, as we realise, Sir, that AIDS deepens the poverty of individuals, families, communities and nations. It is, therefore, very important that instead of servicing the debt, resources should be served and directed to the AIDS pandemic.

Mr Speaker, we should also raise the profile of the call for debt relief and cancellation through Parliament by forming a network within Parliament on debt oversight. Mr Speaker, the establishment of such a body will be responsible for co-ordinating debt relief and this will organise civil organisations so that the profile of debt relief is enhanced to ensure that the debt issue is kept at the core of the legislators so that poverty reduction can be identified country-wide.

The ultimate aim, Mr Speaker, of the debt oversight should be to ensure that the debt is totally cancelled to contribute to poverty reduction and finally that our country should not incur debts that we have no ability to repay.

Mr Speaker, another important aspect which Parliament needs to strengthen is the capacity of Parliament to monitor the external commitments of our Government that they enter into because presently, Mr Speaker, not many parliaments in debtor countries are given an opportunity to scrutinise any financial agreements that our governments are entering into. Mr Speaker, this is very crucial and we should strengthen Parliament’s participation in monitoring these commitments.

On local governance, Mr Speaker, I wish to state that local authorities have lamentably failed and this has retarded the delivery of services to our people in local authorities. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, this is due to lack of prudent management of resources. This is a very sad development too. We urge that resources be adequately and equitably be made available and distribution be accessed to the people that need the resources to enhance development in these local authorities.

Mr Speaker, most of the items have been alluded to. I would not like to repeat myself.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Patel (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, on the front cover of the President’s Speech, the theme reads: ‘A Decade of Reform and Transformation’. Mr Speaker, I believe that the speech reflects upon the key values of the MMD that have led to the achievements of the past decade, providing us with insight as well as caution.

Allow me, Mr Speaker, to dwell on the theme for a moment. If you look back at the decade, the political and economic transformation that was required for the change that we sought in 1991 was massive. In 1991, we fought to set this transformation in motion. At the Cathedral Talks in 1991 the gap between the MMD and UNIP showed us all just how much we had to achieve to ensure this nation could develop. Our task was to move from the sycophantic and self-deluding one party mentality to entrench our values of multi-party democracy, free speech, human rights and a healthy private sector-led economy. We had to bury the old culture and bring in the new culture.

Mr Speaker, this, indeed, required transformation. Let us remember the old culture of wamuyaya, it was the pillar of the old establishment. One could even find senior and apparently serious statesmen and women chanting ‘Kumulu ni Lesa panshi ni Kaunda’. No wonder we fought for change, no wonder people voted for change and no wonder President Chiluba identified transformation as the key note of his speech. We had enough of the old culture and the MMD manifesto and mandate totally rejected that.

Mr Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to President Chiluba for leading Zambia through this period of transformation. Even before his victory in 1991, he was urging from ZCTU, with Hon. Sampa and Hon. Zimba, the people of our nation to embrace the new efforts, the new culture and the vision for transformation.

Mr Speaker, in President Chiluba’s inaugural address on 2nd November, 1991, President Chiluba quoted in his inaugural address, from President George Bush Senior’s inaugural speech and it said and I quote:

    ‘Great nations like great men must keep their word’

President Chiluba went on to say, ‘This is my pledge to you Zambians. This Government will keep its word’. Mr Speaker, it is this integrity that has enabled transformation. In his speech, President Chiluba acknowledged that the road ahead is still long and pointed to the key challenges that we face on the way. Mr Speaker, he also described the long path already travelled and the hurdles already overcome. So much has changed already under the able leadership of President Chiluba.

Mr Speaker, President Chiluba noted that our efforts have won us praise and friendship. The praise and friendship is from the entire African continent and all other continents of the world, the private sector-led business community as well as humanitarian interests. We have friends. The integrity expressed by President Chiluba’s inaugural speech and his desire to transform the old culture as well as the old economy has won us that friendship. Mr Speaker, what does that friendship bring to us? It brings us not only the enhanced status of a friend, but also trade, investment and donor support. These are the life blood of a developing country.

Mr Speaker, we need this life blood. Without the friendship we have, we cannot progress to the future vision that we all share. Mr Speaker, we must ask ourselves how secure these friendships are and how genuine the praise that we receive is. Personally, I am confident of the security and loyalty of our friends, just as I am confident that President Chiluba is a man of his word.

Mr Speaker, the transformation has happened. The Government is respected for its integrity and the new culture has buried wamuyaya.. So, Mr Speaker, we can sleep at night knowing that the road to development is inhabited by friends, not highway robbers. Mr Speaker, I urge the House to remember this transformation, the theme of President Chiluba’s last opening Address to this House as he retires this year. Mr Speaker, it is this transformation that has secured us the praise and friendship that will see us into the future. Let us value this transformation, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, this issue of transformation has been the concern of President Chiluba throughout his term of office. In his speech to the OAU in Dakar in early 1990s, the President blasted this old culture which he said still pervaded Africa. He said we must not remain in the days where Presidents only responded to bullets and coups. We do not want this in new Africa or new Zambia. Democracy, human rights and constitutionalism and the respect for it are pre-conditions for development in Zambia and for our continent, Mr Speaker. Sir, as the President, a man of his word, moves to his next task, the realisation of the Institute of Democracy and Industrial Relations, let us recognise the extent of transformation that has been achieved in Zambia.

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

Mr Patel: Mr Speaker, let us understand the essential contribution of this transformation to our nation’s development. Mr Speaker, let us understand how completely we would jeopardise our future by turning this transformation a full circle back to wamuyaya.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti (Lufwanyama): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important motion.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Hear, hear! Welcome to the back-bench.

Mr Mulongoti: I must confess that speaking from this position after four years is a little bit difficult. But I will try within the confines of rationality to remain ...

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Fisanga abaume.


Mr Mulongoti:  ... objective.

Mr Speaker, the Presidential Speech was very inspirational and it was not expected of the President to give us all the meat. He gave us the skeleton and it was up to us to add the meat. The President talked about transformation and transformation means radical change and I do hope that as we move in this year we will accept that change can never always be incremental but sometimes it becomes transformational. Nine years ago, Zambia was searching for a new way. Today, we are in our tenth year and as we move towards seeking for fresh mandate as MMD, we will remain focused and true to our manifesto.

Mr Speaker, let me start by quoting page 2, paragraph 7 and I will just quote the last piece of the paragraph where the President said and I quote

    ‘Our task has been and continues to be, to bridge and     consolidate good politics with good policy, good values and a     shared purpose; morality and compassion and ultimately with     practical well thought out work programmes, which translate     idealism from mere strategy to action.’

Mr Speaker, I would also want to quote the Former Vice-President of America, El Gore who said:

    ‘The accumulation of knowledge with the bit of luck ferments into     wisdom.’

I do hope that as we sit in the House and debate we will give each other the opportunity to say what we have to say for the benefit of the country. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: I am grateful, Mr Speaker, that the President can put his mark on the need for us as people to debate freely so that we can articulate our respective views without feeling intimidated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulongoti: I am also grateful to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing who also made an appeal to what he called the hysterical fringes. Those who do not want others to debate ...

Mr Sibetta: Sata!

Mr Mulongoti: ... because the more we do not debate, the less you know what is going on in our minds. The way forward and I would hope that the advice from the President and the advice from the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing will be taken into account.

Mr Speaker, the President, when he addressed our Provincial Conference on the Copperbelt said that Zambians have developed even a professional laugh. When we laugh we want to laugh so that the donors and all other people who come here see us as professionals. What did the President mean? That is an indictment on all of us. What he was saying is that the quality of advice he is receiving as Head of State is not up to date and this is why several mistakes have been made.

Now, it was at that point when the President was referring to the change that privatisation of utilities will not be undertaken, what is the implication of that? Let us look at ZESCO, for instance. ZESCO has got two sides. We have got the power generation and the distribution. I do not know what damage it would do to this country if we liberalised the distribution because we will invite competition and the efficiency that will come from there will be a benefit for the consumer.

Mr Speaker, why can the Government not remain controlling Kafue Gorge, Itezhi-tezhi, Zambezi River Authority and allow small investors to take care of Musonda Falls and Ntumba Chushi. Let them exploit those energy-generating areas for the benefit of the country. What is the purpose of clinging to ZESCO, the distribution aspect, when what we have seen is that the income that is coming from there does not benefit the majority of Zambians. Who is it benefiting other than the hefty salaries and perks that the employees get. I do not know if some people can stand here and claim that they are beneficiaries to what is happening at ZESCO. Let us be sincere. 

Let us not develop a quarrel for no apparent reason. If we are going to consider privatisation of ZESCO, let us do it from a research position where we concentrate on the distribution aspect and leave the power generation to the State because it is strategic, because with hysteria to just say, no, I do not think we are helping ourselves. Let us encourage investment in the energy sector and invite people with money to come in and help us. Yes, let us keep the other side which is strategic for our own benefit.

Mr Speaker, the President brought a speech to the House not for our acclamation. He brought it for us to debate in a very objective manner. And I do hope that, as I contribute on his speech, I will be given a hearing.

On page 1, paragraph 4, Mr Speaker, the President talked about taking stock of Government record over the last ten years. Sir, I believe that we should use parameters which indicate the quality of lives of the people. In this regard, the Government and other statistics reveal a disconcerting picture of widespread poverty. After all, we have qualified for HIPC which is an indication that we are really poor. Although this status is being welcomed with pride, I do not share the enthusiasm, Mr Speaker.

This is our country, we must with realism, fight to develop and the minute we behave as if there is no poverty around us, then why talk about poverty eradication and poverty alleviation? Why talk about it? In the absence of poverty why talk about poverty? Let us be realistic and acknowledge, if there is poverty around us let us work towards its eradication and elimination. Let us not bury our heads in the sand and say that there is no poverty and yet you have been classified under HIPC. What does HIPC mean? It means Highly Indebted Poor Country.


Mr Mulongoti: That is our status. So, why should we inside pretend we are not, yet when we go to the international community we say we are extremely poor. Let us not see dissonance in this area. We must be proud of our status. We do not have resources. Let us harness whatever resources we have so that we can move forward. Mr Speaker, I wished this was the way we could move on and develop our country.

Mr Speaker, on pages 1 and 2, the President said we may have succeeded in freeing our citizens from dependence of State benevolent. Sir, I agree we have, but this is only half the picture. The full picture is that the people gripped by perceived poverty, independence, freedom and a desire to attain excellency in their endeavours remain a pipe-dream. 

In other words, Mr Speaker, we have only succeeded in removing the safety nets that cushioned our people against adverse impact of poverty without empowering them to become independent and free. On the condition of our people, he says, to be better all round, agreeable when you have poverty, alleviation and eradication must be the cornerstone of our endeavour.

Mr Speaker, this country is full of natural resources and we should begin to direct these natural resources in priority areas. We must begin to direct them in areas that will be seen to help our people move on. It is one thing to remove subsidies or coupons, but what do you put in place of that? I would really want to be assisted to understand what we should put in place of that. Yes, we are removing subsidies but I am aware that in America and Britain there is what they call ‘price support mechanisms’. What are those price support mechanisms about? Is it not cushioning the impact of the cost of running farms and things like that? 

I do not know whether my understanding is different from yours, but I would like to submit, Mr Speaker, that when we remove something we must put in place something because nature hates a vacuum. In the absence of anything to cushion off the impact of these transformational measures we are taking, we stand to have a situation where there will be too much debate over the lack of fertiliser and food this year etc., and we have removed the cushion, so what happens? The poor are expected to have dialogue and I have my doubt.

Mr Speaker, the President also alluded to economic growth. Is it correct to assert that we have succeeded to put fundamentals of economic growth in place when inflation targets are not achieved? Our local currency continues to depreciate against major international currencies, export revenue remains stagnant and our local industries continue to take a hush battering from subsidised imports.

Mr Speaker, every country must take measures to protect its industry. It is a cardinal principle. Look at Japan, for instance, Japan is the most regulated country in the world, that is why their economy booms. What are we doing here? Liberalisation. Come in and take what you want. You are free to bring in anything and take out even more. We have to protect ourselves. That is why we are called Zambia, we are a country. We are a different country and independent and so, let us control some of these things for our own benefit. Let us not be ashamed to put in measures that are going to help control the performance of the economy.

The laws of supply and demand, it is not every time that they work, sometimes you have got to try and help enhance. Let us not take them from a theoretical position alone and ignore the practical side of these measures.

Mr L. L. Phiri: Wamvela Nkole!


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the investment climate may appear to be stable but we must not forget that there is a certain amount of instability which we should not ignore. One of the factors affecting gross investment in our economy has to do with adverse expectations regarding the future of democracy in our continent. Foreign direct investment is a by-product of stability and continuity in a country. Let us, therefore, strive to remain forecast in this objective. 

Mr Speaker, there is a lot of careless talk. Everybody is saying anything  and in the process you scare away people who are supposed to come and invest, instil confidence that there is stability in the economy. My appeal to my listening Government is that let us co-ordinate our acts. We are the people in power and we shall continue to be in power even next year. I am confident of that,  but let us co-ordinate our acts so that what the right hand is doing the left knows so that we do not have another person making pronouncements in the morning on behalf of another ministry and the owner of the ministry in the afternoon refuting what the other one said.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Shame!

Mr Mulongoti: Let us co-ordinate our acts so that we create the confidence in the investors so that they do not feel that there is this dissonance in the way we are acting.

Sir, I have a lot of faith in the men and women who are running this country, but I must not also forget to remind them that accumulation of knowledge with a bit of lack can lead to wisdom.


Mr Mulongoti: So, find a bit of time to listen. Do not think we do not mean well, but we mean well. I have confidence in my Government and party and this is why I am saying this. If I did not have confidence in them I would have kept quiet and assumed they would discover on their own.


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, let me quickly talk about mining. I hope the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security can please quickly check into this question of having even labourers on the mines coming from outside the country. I think that is not right. This is the kind of protection that I am talking about. How do they issue permits to labourers? I do not think that is in order. Please, let us protect our people.

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah, no!

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Relax Minister, answer back tomorrow!

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I would like to turn my attention to the mining industry; the gemstones industry. We have a lot of money coming out of gemstones in Zambia not benefiting this country. Where has the money been going all these days? Somebody must answer the question on gemstones. In my constituency there are emeralds mines. Go there, it is a sorry site. We have got footpaths as roads. Mr Speaker, surely such a lucrative industry, you ignore it, no road, no telephone no electricity, if there are no economic reasons for putting a tar road there where else do you have economic reasons? My brother, hon. Member for Bweengwa was persuading this House to support tarring of the road for historical reasons, that is good ...


Mr Mulongoti: ... because that is the only thing he can sell now. I am also selling gemstones.


Mr Mulongoti:  Mr Speaker, we are not asking for too much. It is our Government and we have a brilliant Minister of Finance and Economic Development there looking at me. Please, Sir, a little bit of money to support the gemstone industry.


Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, I am worried about privatisation because we have difficulties ...

Mr Mulando: Cabinet material!

Mr Mulongoti: ZPA had 288 companies to sell, now they have only got a few. So, what are they doing? Why create another organ to monitor post privatisation? Turn them into a post privatisation organ so that we do not incur any more expenses in employing new people. We have got people who have been retrenched for many years as a result of privatisation who have not been paid. What do you do? You say ZPA must pay those who have been retrenched because of privatisation, but the money goes to the Treasury. So, how do you expect the ZPA to extricate the money from the hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development who has got so many other problems to attend to? 

I do not think it is fair that we should do it that way. Let us give thought to those of our brothers and sisters who worked for parastatals. Some of these people when they hear about parastatals, it is a nightmare. For three to five years they have never been paid and yet they worked. Mr Speaker, I think we must give thought, these are Zambians as well.

Mr Patel: Hanjika!

Mr Mulongoti: Sir, the Zambia Privatisation Act defines the privatisation as the transferring to the private sector part or all of the equity of other interests held by Government directly in a State-owned enterprise, wholly or partly owned by the Government. So, the quarrel should not be on privatisation. You can even privatise a bit of it and keep the rest. So, let us not be frightened but do what is right.

Mr Speaker, I hope I have made my point and I am grateful for the opportunity and I do hope that Ministers whose ministries have been touched have taken note. What is more annoying is lack of institutional memory.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member’s time has expired.

Mr Sichinsambwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this motion.

Mr Speaker, I first of all want to pay tribute to our President, Dr Chiluba, on the tremendous job he has done.


Mr Sichinsambwe: We shall remember him. Hon. Members, the President is the President for everyone and not for MMD. This is where the MMD makes a mistake. You keep saying our President, he is not your President as a party, he is a national President.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinsambwe: He is a Republican President and we shall really miss him when he retires some time this year.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinsambwe: We shall miss him because he is a democrat who sticks to his guns. I shall remember him on the initiative he has taken on Congo DR but very sorry the President in the neighbouring country passed away before President Chiluba could complete his mission, very sorry.


Mr Sichinsambwe: I would like to thank the Ministers who went to mourn the President in Congo DR. You did a commendable job, continue the good work.

My contribution to the debate has been pre-emptied by other hon. Members who spoke before me but I will just say something on education. Hon. Minister of Education, please, do not look at me.


Mr Sichinsambwe: Mr Speaker, I have three observations to make on the high school fees in higher learning institutions like the Evelyn Hone College and the University of Zambia. Hon. Minister, you are a very capable and have potential, could you kindly give bursaries to the children going to these colleges or universities or cancel the fees completely. The fees are too high for the parents to afford. I am appealing to you to cancel these fees.

Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for improving primary schools, but I would like to urge him not to let PTAs take over the responsibilities of the ministry. Sir, PTAs have taken over the responsibilities in certain schools by even paying teachers. This is shameful. Sir, I have in mind some schools like Landula and many others in Mbala where parents are paying teachers. Hon. Minister, take your initiative, I know you have the potential, you are capable.

Mr Speaker, I briefly want to talk on agriculture as you know I have been pre-emptied by other hon. Members who have spoken before me. Sir, agriculture has collapsed in this country ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Mr Sichinsambwe: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was pursuing a point on agriculture. I was talking about how agriculture has collapsed in this country. It is not because the hon. Minister is inactive, but that the inputs are not delivered in time. Inputs come in late. Sometimes, we get Urea before we get X-compound. If inputs came in time and with good prices, perhaps, agriculture could survive in this country.

Mr Speaker, another thing is that the prices of the inputs are very high. In Mbala X-compound is going at K80,000 or K75,000. A man like myself cannot afford such prices. Mr Speaker, a 10 kilogramme bag of maize seed is going at K50,000 and this is very expensive. I would like the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries to listen as I talk.

Mr Speaker, the poor old man in a village cannot afford to pay such prices. The hon. Minister has not been following what is happening in the camps in the Department of Fisheries. Sir, almost all fishing camps along the lakes Tanganyika and Mweru Wantipa are dead. There are no buildings now if you go to Kampinda. Sir, on this issue, I think it is the fault of the hon. Minister that this has happened. There was one occasion in Mpulungu where a white man had employed four people from Korea as watchmen, leaving indigenous Zambians but the hon. Minister did not follow up this matter. Maybe, they have even gone now. This is why the fishing industry and agriculture have collapsed in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I would like to make mention on poverty. Poverty in Zambia has caused prostitution. This is true, Sir. Today, you will find women looking for men mainly in hotels. 

Hon. Members: No.

Mr Sichinsambwe: This is true. If they cannot do that, they cannot survive. These are poor women who have nowhere to get money and food from. So, because of poverty, prostitution has been on the increase. Because of this prostitution, Mr Speaker, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has also been on the increase If the Government could, perhaps, alleviate poverty as they preach everyday, there must also be a deliberate effort to also reduce cases of HIV/AIDS.

Mr Speaker, could you allow me to wind up and thank the six new hon. Members of Parliament who have just joined us. I would like also to thank the mover of this motion and the seconder.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisanga (Bwacha): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice in commending the President of Zambia, Dr F. J. T. Chiluba for a good programme of work. This programme of work is a challenge to the Executive which must ensure that it is implemented.

Mr Speaker, to avoid repetition, I will restrict myself to democracy and governance. The President has this year given the Executive the directive to follow. If you may allow me, I would like to quote from the President’s Address on page 11, paragraph 5, and I quote:

    ‘Mr Speaker, I would like to see more attention paid to Local Government.’

Mr Speaker, the nation cannot be fully democratised if the local authorities are not strengthened to allow the participation of the communities.

Sir, the decentralisation can only be achieved if the Local Government is funded directly. I, therefore, propose, Sir, that the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing should bring to this House the Bill for consideration of funding the local authorities. All the hon. Members of Parliament here are ready to support the hon. Minister if that legislation is brought forward.

Mr Sibetta: It is not the Bill.

Mr Chisanga: Whatever, whether Bill or legislation.

Mr Speaker, the President mentioned capacity building in all councils and I underline the words, ‘all councils’. That is the rural councils, district councils, municipal councils and indeed, the city councils. There is no discrimination. All councils in the country should be funded for them to deliver the goods as the President has indicated in his speech.

Now, how does the nation attain this? My own understanding is that the councils should attract qualified staff and responsible city fathers and mothers to run the affairs of the councils to serve the communities.

Mr Speaker, allow me to quote from the President’s Address, again, on page 11, and I quote:

    ‘Our aim, therefore, is to ensure that Government is effective and reaches the entire breadth and length of the nation with pro-active programmes that address the needs and wishes of the people.’

The question here is, are we doing that? The answer is, no, we are not doing that. When the President appoints Ministers, he also gives them the duty to help him implement some of these issues. They should not be bringing ideas when they are dropped. They should start talking whilst they are serving in Cabinet.

Mr Speaker, the only Government near the people is the Local Government. It has no capacity whatsoever to meet the needs and wishes of the people. I am sorry, I am not talking about my friend here, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lufwanyama (Mr Mulongoti). I will take Kabwe as an example where I am a Member of Parliament.

Mr J. T. Phiri: Cholera is there.


Mr Chisanga: The district is infected with cholera and I do not know who will vote for me this year when the voters are dying of cholera. This is because the council cannot manage to provide the basic requirements like adequate clean water, and cannot clean the surroundings of the town and so on. That is why, Mr Speaker, I am suggesting that the councils should be funded directly. This situation is not peculiar to Kabwe alone, but to all district councils in the country.

Mr Speaker, I am appealing to His Honour the Vice-President to consider the situation of cholera in Kabwe as a disaster area. I have no doubt that His Honour the Vice-President will come to our rescue.

Mr Speaker, the nation cannot run away from funding district authorities. I admit that the Government has made a lot of strides in may fields of other disciplines. But I am urging that the hour has come for the Government to strengthen the local authorities so that they can provide better services to our communities.

Mr Speaker, I support the motion.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, I rise to deliver good news.


Dr Kabanje: I join my fellow hon. Members of Parliament for proposing a vote of thanks to an excellent speech delivered by the President of the Republic of Zambia. I believe that hon. Members on this side of the House will be generous enough in keeping with ....

Mr Hatembo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order, Sir.

Mr Hatembo: Mr Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member for Mwandi, who is speaking now, in order to be the blackest in this House?


Mr Speaker: That point of order from the hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs is not the sort of point of order that should be raised in this august House, especially as he and all of us, when we look around, we see exactly what sort of people we are in this House. And I believe the sort of people we are in this House requires of us to be proud of what we are. So, the point of order raised by the hon. Deputy Minister is unfair to this House and particularly to the hon. Member for Mwandi.

May he, continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer now.

Mr L. L. Phiri: And those are the Ministers you have.

Dr. Kabanje: Mr Speaker, Sir, it shows that in a democracy unfortunately, there is always excess baggage ...


Dr. Kabanja: ... even when one is contributing to an important motion, in this august House, which hinges on the dignity of the State, people who are still behind in terms of the other side of democracy would try all kinds of tricks.


Dr. Kabanje: Mr Speaker, the speech by the State President was eloquent. It was beautifully crafted and in all fairness, fairly balanced. Before I was interrupted, I was urging hon. Members on the Government side to be gracious in their comments.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr. Kabanje: Mr Speaker, the speech was an epithet It was a valedictory speech by the outgoing State President ...


Dr. Kabanje: ... in getting clearly the role that he has played, a titanic role, in dismantling one-party culture, one-party mentality, one-party backwardness and talking about freedom of association, free speech, competition and the lack of permanence in state positions. I am highly gratified, to note that, the President, true to his ethos, has calculated very well the parabola of his travel from Plot No., where he has done a lot of work for ten years, to the F. J. T Institute, where I hope to be a lecturer when I retire from Mwandi.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr. Kabanje: Sir, I have always said that because all our institutions are borrowed, sometimes we get physical structures and leave the essence, the purpose, the psychology and the underlined forces which motivate these institutions. For example, the President spoke about the need for unity, peace and solidarity. But unfortunately, sometimes our friends who are in the majority tend to despise anybody who is on the Opposition side, forgetting that democracy is about checks and balances, friendship, solidarity, about knowing one another and not about the blackness of somebody.


Dr. Kabanje: Mr Speaker, I realise that during the last great wars of Barotseland, my great great grandfather might have left somebody who looks like my brother and is jealousy of my black skin.


Dr. Kabanje: Among the most important pendulum which the President put before this House was the issue of poverty. I shall not repeat what has been ably articulated by my colleagues, except to put on record that I, a black man, here, comes from what has been classified today as the poorest province in this country.

Hon. Government Member: Which one?

Dr. Kabanje: Western Province according to the statistics is the poorest province in this country.


Mr Sibetta: Yes, Sinjembela and Shangombo, in particular.

Dr. Kabanje: Therefore, across the political divide, I would like to see hon. Members from the MMD coming from Western Province hinging on that question of poverty. 

Mr Speaker, sometimes in life, we tend to say, thank you, for the wrong things. Today, Zambia is saying, thank you very much, and has graduated to HIPIC, Highly Indebted Poor Countries. This is a silent comment on failed MMD economic policies. At the end of ten years you say ‘ten years ago I was poor but now I am super poor.’ You cannot say that is a positive achievement. That is why I say that the President's Speech is futuristic and programmatic. It is programmatic because he is giving a new task to the third President of this country, whether he comes from the Generals on the ruling side or, with God's blessing, from the Opposition side. 

These are some of the issues that need to be tackled. But today Zambia has qualified to be among the poorest countries in the world. It shows that the so-called macro-economic miracles by some Minister of Finance and Economic Development, who was a wizard at economics, has failed miserably. It also shows that the kwacha has been remarkably defeated, although the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development was telling me that the kwacha has been strengthened. I believe it has been strengthened for the elections. I hope it is strengthened for good.

Mr Speaker, the Government has indirectly contributed to poverty by paying the lowest salaries in the SADC region. A person who is poor cannot fight poverty. Our agricultural policies are nothing to write home about. 

Mr Speaker, the question of HIV/AIDS is a crucial issue. It is a very serious war. 

Hon. Opposition Member: More than Kabila.

Dr. Kabanje: I am sure His Honour the Vice-President and the former Vice-President, who are Generals, know that when you are fighting, you have to use all what you have, the infantry, the Air Force and all that. In this country, the future of Zambia is at risk because certain people have used religious fanaticism to prevent a holocaust. 

In one country where Christianity originated, the preacher men in church carry two important things: In the right hand they hold the Holy Bible while in the left hand a packet of condoms and say this Bible will save your souls while the condom will save your life. This is because it is a crisis situation and we should not put religious prudery to confuse issues. We are in serious problems. It is a crisis, a holocaust and we should not pretend. We should not say we are a Christian nation and nothing is going on when we know what is going on. Our children are dying and, therefore, the Government must respond very positively, taking into account that we are born of flesh and, therefore, we tend to be weak.

Mr Speaker, when one combines poverty, malaria and HIV/AIDS, the country has no future because our youths are destroyed. We are not talking about everywhere, but Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, the President alluded to the question of democracy and good governance. It is my view that one cannot discuss democracy and good governance without making reference to the constitutional dispensation. It is like discussing the functions of Parliament without emphasising the role of the Speaker. It is impossible, Sir. Therefore, for us to move forward on our path of strengthening democracy, we have to underline a very important thing, namely; democracy is about deliberate limitation of power, whether in terms of usage of those powers or in terms of tenure of office. That is absolutely fundamental.

Many years ago, people who abused the majority hated the people of Southern Province, who refused the one-party State era. But the big majority, like a bully, got what it wanted, we were locked in a one-party State. Democracy is not about the majority, without due regard to the minority views. When we talk about democracy we are talking about majority rule with due consideration to minority interests, the right to dissent.

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

Mr Sibetta: Erick, it is your leadership.

Dr Kabanje: I know that the hon. Minister for Presidential Affairs is one hundred per cent in full agreement with me.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kabanje: Mr Speaker, when this country, since 1993 to 1996, was searching for a permanent constitutional dispensation, one of the submissions was that elections must be determined well in advance so that people are not taken by surprise. This is a very important point in a constitutional democracy as opposed to parliamentary democracy. It means, therefore, that  when everybody is aware that elections will be held on such and such a day, the Government of the day does not take the Opposition by surprise. We are talking about fairness and the means to expand our democratic dispensation.

Mr Speaker, talking about democracy, I should emphasis that today contrary to expectations, the Office of District Administrator has been grossly abused.

Mr Sibetta: That is part of the excess baggage.

Dr Kabanje: The DAs today, in a born again country, are the born again District Governors and we should not allow that kind of arrangement to continue. In elections, DAs are busy mobilising support for the ruling party. I say this is wrong and unacceptable in a democratic society. It is a contradiction to what the MMD stood for when it opposed vigorously, the Office of District Governor.

Mr Speaker, I want to touch very briefly on the question of gender and Nominated Members of Parliament. Nominated Members of Parliament are a paradox in a democracy. Everyone must face the music and be elected by the people. But the idea behind the appointments was that the President may be able to get people with special talents or qualities in order to balance ...

Mr Sata: On a point of order! .

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised!

Mr Sata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to debate like that when the Republican Constitution states that there will be one ...

Mr Sibetta: He knows.

Mr Sata: No, he does not.

... there are 150 elected Members and eight are to be nominated by the President? Is he in order to start amending the Constitution and speak the way he is speaking, encroaching on the Presidential prerogative? Is he in order to behave like Lucas Phiri?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Miss Malama: Mwakamba bwino a Sata.lelo

Mr Speaker: Order! I believe, arising from the point of order that has just been raised by the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, that each hon. Member of this House has a copy of the Republican Constitution, 1991, as amended in 1996, or has access to Volume I on my left and right. It is important for hon. Members of Parliament to be conversant with the laws that they pass in this House. Indeed, it is true that the Constitution very clearly states who is a Member of Parliament. 

These are two categories; one elected from the specified constituency and the other nominated under a particular article of the Constitution. So far as the Chair and this House as a whole are concerned, both Members are bonafide Members of Parliament. There is no distinction between the two, and they should be given an opportunity to assist in the discharge of the honourable responsibility that this House has been entrusted with. The Chair is familiar with the fact that the hon. Member for Mwandi is a constitutional lawyer and, in fact, he did play a major role in the Mwanakatwe Constitutional Review Commission, and as such, he should assist us understand these issues better.

May he, continue, please.

Dr Kabanje: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for that guidance. They say, in my language, that when your nickname resembles a snake, it is, sometimes, a bit difficult to follow. 


Dr Kabanje: Mr Speaker, I was merely developing a raison d’être, the constitutional justification, for Nominated Members of Parliament and I was saying in view of that particular provision and in view of the gender policy of our Government, that clause dealing with Nominated Members would have been deliberately used to nominate female Members of Parliament. That is what I was urging.

Mr Speaker, very briefly, I would like to touch on the question of councils. The President has emphasised the importance and democratic dispensation of councils. The small point I want to raise is that sometimes when Parliament sits and parliamentary business takes precedence over any other business, Members of Parliament who are ex-officio members of their councils are required to attend council meetings. For example, the Sesheke Council meets today. Hon. Mushiba, Hon. Mabenga and myself are here because we have to balance and this House takes precedence over any other business. 

I was going to suggest, Mr Speaker, that in future, perhaps, councils could be well advised to spread their business so that they afford adequate time for Members of Parliament, particularly from the rural areas, to be able to contribute. Mr Speaker, in terms of resources, it takes K2 million for a Member of Parliament to travel from Lusaka to Sesheke and back and money is not easy to come by unless you are part of the Front Bench.

Mr Speaker, the President talked about the need for cultural diversity and I think it is a very important issue, particularly because the President is saying good-bye to us. He wants unity in this country and, therefore, ...

Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member’s time has expired.

Mr Kangwa (Solwezi East): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for the chance given to me to add my voice to the debate on the motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, the Presidential Speech which was tabled by our Republican President on Friday last week, to me, as an individual, is a hanging speech. I call it a hanging speech because I expected the President to come here and tell us and the nation what his Government has done for the people of Zambia. Here I mean that he should have told us what each and every ministry has done for Zambians. 

I am referring to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, for example, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Works and Supply, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services and the rest. We were supposed to hear what they have done for the people of Zambia in the nine years of their being in office. 

Mr Speaker, on page 9, paragraph 4 of the Presidential Speech, the last one on the page, the President talked about gender issues. Mr Speaker, leaders in the world lead by example. I would have expected the President, during the nominations of hon. Members of Parliament, to have remembered to pick one or two female Members of Parliament to come to this House in order for him to demonstrate that he is a gender sensitive man.

Mr Speaker, let me mention one point. In every organisation, we have three types of leadership. We have office leaders, field leaders and lip service leaders.


Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, when we talk of leaders, we have to look at this aspect I have mentioned. We should ask ourselves, within ourselves, what type of leadership we have. Mr Speaker, I come from Solwezi East Constituency which shares a border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. If one had to go to Luamfula to take development there, he has to come back to the Copperbelt all the way from Solwezi to Chingola, Chililabombwe, Konkola, Kampeku and then go to Luamfula in Solwezi East Constituency.

Mr Speaker, you use Kipushi Road to get to the border. It is the road that connects Zambia to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sir, most of the roads in our country connect two countries. One example is the road that connects Zambia to Malawi using the Eastern Province. I was there and I went up to Mwandi ...

Hon. Members: Mwami.

Mr Kangwa: Mwami, sort of.

Mr Speaker, there is tarmac on that road up to Malawi. If you go to Nakonde it is the same. But when you go to Solwezi, to connect yourself to the Democratic Republic of Congo, you will need a boat, especially during this time of the year when there is a lot of water due to rains.

Mr Speaker, when one talks about road improvement in rural areas I get annoyed because we are under one Government. Why should one Government be one-sided? Government should not be one-sided because the money that is being used is State money which we also contribute from the same area.

Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, the roads that I am talking about ...

Hon. Government Members: Leadership.

Mr Kangwa: Leadership, I have already told you.


Mr Kangwa: Your leadership is lip-service leadership and that is what you have.

Mr Sibetta: Practical.

Mr Kangwa: You are failures in practical leadership.


Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, the Kipushi/Solwezi Road is a road that should be treated as an international road. 

Mr Sata: But you are not annoyed.

Mr Kangwa:  I am annoyed. If you were near I was going to hit you.


Mr Speaker: Order! The hon. Member for Solwezi East should withdraw that word ‘hit’, it is unparliamentary.

Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word.


Mr Sata: The whole speech.

Mr Kangwa: No, I cannot withdraw the whole speech but the word.

Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Hamir: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, it worries the Serenje Constituency when the Opposition, who are also Zambians, support war. There should be togetherness and not talk about DRC and war. Let us protect the interests of this nation. 

Hon. Members: Point of order!

Mr Hamir: Is he in order because he is allowed to speak and, in fact, he should even realise that he is ageing?

I thank you, Sir.

Laughter. {mospagebreak}

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Chair notices the fact that the Hon. Member for Serenje has been indicating to speak and, when that opportunity occurs, he will do well to address the other colleague, the hon. Member for Solwezi East’s contribution.

The hon. Member for Solwezi East may, please, continue.

Mr Kangwa: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This is the year we have been waiting for and it is the year for the MMD to pack up and go. But before they pack up they should tell us what they have done for the nation for the past nine years and this is the tenth year. This is a long time for one to do something great.

Mr Speaker, the only thing that I thank our out-going Republican President will be remembered for is the bringing up of democracy which we expect him and the MMD to honour so that the way is paved for everyone who will be coming after him.

Mr Speaker, it is high time Zambian people danced to a tune of one record. When we talk about traditional rulers, who are the Chiefs like you and me ...


Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, I am here to talk about Chiefs from the area where I come from who are the Lambas. Mr Speaker, Lamba speaking people cover a large area from Mumbwa up to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). All that area is covered by Lambas.

Mr Speaker, I am surprised that on the radio, Lamba is never heard. We do not have any Paramount Chief in Lamba land and yet we have got a lot of Chiefs. Sir, there are no tribes which are better than other tribes at all. We are all equal.

Mr Speaker, Lamba land is an employer of every Zambian and each one of us here, especially the hon. Minister Without Portfolio, knows that the Copperbelt is in Lamba land . He knows that very well since he was on the Copperbelt and he was employed there. So, to me, he is my employee or he is an employee of the Lambas.


Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, we, as Lambas, at this time, need to stand up and be counted. We want to be counted as people. There is nothing wrong with someone to stand up and be counted. We were not born to be stepped on because of one word you use which you call ‘tribalism’. It is not tribalism. We have to claim our rights as a tribe.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, the President touched on the banning of hunting licences.


Hon. Government Members: Interjected.

Mr Kangwa: People in the rural areas very much depend on hunting. It is a source of income for them to provide requirements for their children.

Hon. Government Members: That is poaching!

Mr Kangwa: It is not poaching, ...


Mr Kangwa: ... I am talking about hunting.


Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, I was about to come up with a question trying to find out when the Government is going to give licences to hunt elephants. Unfortunately, before I could come up with this question, the President banned everything.


Mr Kangwa: It is through hunting that you find people discovering where mines are.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kangwa: The first man who discovered a mine was a hunter. He went hunting and came back with stones from the bush.

Mr Walubita: Who is he!

Mr Kangwa: Mr Speaker, I have got one Lamba saying which I would like to share with this august House which says, “Imilandile yobe ngemikitile nga ulibwino noku santila nga naku santila”. That means that if your words corresponded with your deeds, then I would thank you for that. This saying was said by a fox in the bush.

Hon. Government Members: A fox!


Mr Kangwa: A man wanted to know why a fox went away without thanking him for having saved him from his dogs. The man hid the fox from the dogs by saying that he was ploughing and had not seen the fox. Whilst saying this, the man was pointing where the fox was hiding.


Mr Kangwa: The fox was worried after seeing the man pointing towards his hiding place and said, “What is happening? This man is trying to hide me from the dogs but at the same time pointing and showing them where I am hiding.”


Mr Kangwa: “Then he is not saving my life.” When the fox came out from its hiding place, the man asked, “You fox, why should you go without thanking me?” The fox said, “I cannot thank you because what you had said differs from what you did. You were pointing at me in my hiding place but at the same time trying to save my life.”

Mr Nkole: Motion!


Mr Kangwa: So, Mr Speaker, to connect this story to the motion, it means that what the Government of MMD is saying to the people is not what they are doing.

I thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to pontificate and articulate this afternoon. First of all, I would like to thank the President of the Republic of Zambia for a wonderful presentation to this august House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: I also want, Mr Speaker, to take this opportunity to thank the mover and the seconder of this motion. 

Having said so, Sir, I now want to draw the attention of this august House to the declaration by the President of the Republic of Zambia in 1993, when he declared Zambian a Christian nation.

Dr Pule: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: I think it was the most wonderful thing, and in my view he felt we needed God to see this country through its very difficult times.

Dr Pule: Well spoken!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, I am at pains to note that the President’s preamble in his speech, he has brought out a salient feature and this is that, in the nine years of MMD rule, forty-one Members of Parliament have died. Statistically, Sir, this means that out of the original 158 Members of Parliament, forty-one have actually died over the last nine years. That is a very sad statistic. Forty-one represents by my count, twenty-six per cent. That means, twenty-six per cent of the 158 have since been replaced ...

Mr Malambo: Thirteen per cent!

Mr Hachipuka: Fine, that thirteen per cent is nothing to write your mother home about because it is not something to be proud about. I am surprised that serious Members of Parliament and Ministers smile over those statistics.

Hon. Government Members: Interjected.

Dr Kabanje: Excess luggage!

Mr Hachipuka: This is because if you translate this, Mr Speaker, that means all of these hon. Members who eat very well, who have access to medication, access to good food by Hon. Malambo’s correction, thirteen per cent have died despite the good medication that you can access. It, therefore, Mr Speaker, means that if you project this to the poor who were poor in 1991, and now who are poorer, this percentage could be very high. Whatever the reasons are, I am not at this particular moment talking about HIV/AIDS and what have you, I am talking about statistics. It could also show that, maybe, before we rise, we could lose some more.


Mr Hachipuka: This, Sir, clearly shows how worried the Republican President is about the welfare of the nation. And I hope my colleagues are worried too and I think this is basically the problem with our country and I think this is the problem the wonderful President has where he would wish to see this country better than he found it. But his Ministers do other things, they do not follow his instruction and so, he has now come up with a wonderful formula and this is that now he is recruiting young cadres because his colleagues are not listening to him.


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, I have never doubted the level of integrity of the President. He is very calculative and a listener. Irrespective of what they all say, he has a vision. Despite the fact that the others do not want to do what he tells them, the speech is very underlined or pointed. He has given a catalogue of invents since he came to power. He has given a catalogue of what he had wanted this country to be. In the end he has indicated what legacy he would like to live when he retires this year but unfortunately, my colleagues there who have the power, the people he has given the instrument to govern do not listen and I am glad young Turks are coming up.

Mr Speaker, I am persuaded to refer to the speech by the President on page 4 on parliamentary affairs:

    ‘Mr Speaker, in 1991 the Zambian people joined together in a     common purpose to oppose the one-party dictatorship. They     demanded a society in which all men were equal, independent     and free to pursue their civic and public interests’.

Now, I want my colleagues in the Front and second benches to listen to this final statement:

    ‘In essence, the people of Zambia wanted to create a nation of     equal opportunity, not a welfare State that thrived on     patronage and authoritarianism’.

The tragedy is that if the men of the Front Bench took position that they have been given, the mandate to be Ministers and Deputy Ministers, I am sure the direction of the country would have been different. The President himself acknowledges this in his speech that he is unhappy to see men who tell him what they think he wants to hear. He has said it here.


Mr Hachipuka: You must read the speech. One of the tragedies, Mr Speaker, is that I have found out that you can survive in this Parliament without reading anything. You can just come...


Mr Hachipuka: Somebody told me that you are paid a sitting allowance and not a talking allowance.

Mr Speaker, when you look at the MMD manifesto and all the development in the last nine years and as explained in this speech by the President, it is very clear that he would have wished this country better than he found it.

Mr Speaker, why I quoted this in addition to this is that the people of Zambia, for example, if I may be specific to the areas, on agriculture, I am not going to repeat what my colleagues have stated, simply for rhetoric, but to draw the attention of the House and in particular to the Front Bench that we have a Front Bench totally devoid of sitting together to persuade themselves to allocate resources timely.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, we have been sitting during my term of office in this House, we have talked about agriculture and the allocation of money to import fertiliser in time.

Mr C. Ngulube: Your short-term.

Mr Hachipuka: Whatever the period, at least, most of you have been here long enough to have heard the song ‘sufficient enough’ to know. Even a parrot like me would be able to listen. Sir, it is not proper, it is not a statistic to boast about or to ask continuity of the MMD, particularly on agriculture, if fertiliser is being distributed now, the end of January. This is the end of January and we cannot sit and praise ourselves because the effects of failing to deliver fertilisers in time rebounds to our society and these very people we are supposed to serve. The President here says he believes that we are a true reflection and true representatives of the people. I hope we are because we have become insensitive to the plight of our people.

I have seen an improvement in activity over the last one year. As soon as we get elected into office this year, we come back, we will become indifferent. We have completely ignored our people. We cannot come here and brag about success, particularly in agriculture.

Hon. Member: Talk about education.

Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, we should not - even on agriculture I might add. In my constituency, we have decided to distribute fertiliser to those who can surrender UPND cards. How can you use fertiliser on your own people. You are a Government of the people, how can you distribute fertiliser and give it to non farmer cadres who the next minute sell the fertiliser. The queuing cadres are young men who are just being given the fertiliser provided they produce a card.

Mr Speaker, I never thought my country could reach those levels where food and ingredients, an instrument to help my people to grow food to feed themselves, could be used to blackmail them. I never thought I would see my country sink to that level.

Dr Sondashi: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Sondashi: Mr Speaker, I wish to apologise on raising a point of order on a very moving speech of the hon. Member who is on the Floor. Sir, the speech by the hon. Member makes sad listening. And also, I am sure you can agree with me that it is touching on the Constitution of this country that when the Government is delivering services, they must deliver these services to everybody and not on patronage of party lineage or according to a political party which one belongs to...

Mr Ng’uni: Landeni fye!


Dr Sondashi: You listen, this is a serious matter.


Dr Sondashi: Mr Speaker, if you did not listen, he is saying that in his area, fertiliser is being delivered to people who are carrying MMD cards and that is against the Constitution, if you do not know. Sir, is it in order
for this Government to deliver fertiliser to people who belong to a party or deny other people belonging to other political parties? Is it not possible for you, Sir, to order investigations into what has been stated here if Zambia is to be run as a democratic State of equal people because the President himself, in his speech, stated that we are equal? Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling despite the interjections which hon. Members are making as if they are running a party club instead of a Government.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Solwezi Central has raised a point of order on the information that is being given through the speech of the hon. Member for Mbabala. He is still developing that point. If the hon. Member for Mbabala can, indeed, substantiate that fertiliser or any similar inputs have been distributed on the basis of party affiliation, then the Chair will be in a better position to give the necessary directives. If he is debating on the basis of hearsay, the Chair then will direct the Government to deal with this issue when they begin to reply.

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

Mr Hachipuka: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and thank you for the point of order that has been raised.

Mr Speaker, you have heard resignations. I can prove it and I will be able to provide information later that the forty-five Mbabala resignations from UPND which were reported in the paper were just cards ...

Hon. Government Members: Lay them on the Table.


Mr Hachipuka: ... that were collected to support fertiliser distribution. There is another figure of sixty-five that has suffered the same fate in Pemba and I will be able to provide evidence.

Dr Syamujaye: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sibetta: What was broken, was it an ankle or a shoulder?


Dr Syamujaye: Mr Speaker, on 6th January, 2001, I was in Mbabala Constituency, specifically in Mapanza. I was busy defending the absence of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala. Since he was elected, he has never been there.

Hon. Government Members: You see.

Dr Syamujaye: The Chiefs, headmen ambushed me and wondered why their hon. Member of Parliament is based in Chikonkomene where he has a farm and that he has refused to form co-operatives through which Government has announced publicly that fertiliser is going to be distributed.

Hon. Opposition Members: What is you point of order?

Dr Syamujaye: Is he in order to abandon Mbabala Constituency and create another constituency in Chikonkomene where he is distributing fertiliser and come to this House to say that people in Mbabala have been denied fertiliser when, in fact, I was doing the job of distributing fertiliser on his behalf?

Hon. Opposition Members: Why

Dr Syamujaye: He has abandoned his constituency. Is he in order to come to this House and mislead the House that, in fact, he goes to Mbabala when he has never been to Mbabala ever since he was elected?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member for Mbabala, please, continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: I am glad the House is able to see who should be Choma one.


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Speaker, allow me to also comment on the President’s Speech in relation to privatisation. The President, in his speech, did allude to the fact that the MMD Government should be congratulated on basically privatising 65 per cent of the units that were earmarked for privatisation.

Mr Speaker, I would go along with the percentage of 65 in numerical terms. The percentage of 65 privatised units does not represent 65 per cent of the value of companies that have been privatised in the country. I would like to correct the record and urge hon. Members of the House to recognise the fact that if 65 per cent of the units privatised were in Zambian hands and the value was commensurate with that then, we would be much more comfortable. The truth is that a very small percentage which is in the hands of the expatriates is of a higher value. Therefore, I think it is be too soon for us to pat ourselves on our back.

The other point, Sir, I would like to raise is that of empowerment of women, the gender issue. Mr Speaker, I would like to see the outgoing President and Government leave the Zambians a legacy and that legacy is one that I would like to invite them to consider. This economy is based on men providing for women. We need a quota system for women in Parliament that is above and beyond constituency.

In Tanzania, the women are specifically provided with a quota system. They are appointed as Members of Parliament.

Miss Nawakwi: On a point of order, Sir.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Where is Dr Kabunda Kayongo?

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Miss Nawakwi: I rarely rise on points of order when brothers-in-law are speaking.

Mr Speaker, is he in order to advocate a quota system when in his own party there is no quota system? How can he assume that women must be given things on a silver platter when even in his party, he does not advocate a quota system?

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: They are in NEC.


Mr Speaker: Order! May the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala, when he resumes his debate, refer to the point of order that has just been raised by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security since he is still on the Floor.

Mr Hachipuka: I was hoping that the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security would be very glad to be representing the rest of the women rather than herself.

Mr Speaker, once again, in my closing remarks, I want to thank the outgoing Republican President, because it is very clear to me that because of his level of integrity he is going to leave this country a legacy of democracy.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to make a few observations on the Presidential Speech to this august House.

Mr Speaker, the President began his speech by praising this House for having co-operated well with him for the past nine years. Those words were good to listen to. But it is equally saddening that some of the work from this Parliament has not been taken seriously by the Executive. I have in mind the deliberations of the Public Accounts Committee Report of 1998 working upon the Auditor-General's Report for 1998 on the problems of hunting concessions. 

Mr Speaker, the President, in his speech this year, did ban the concessions. He banned the hunting concessions and not the hunting. Now, this has a very serious implication. In the Report of the Public Accounts Committee of 1998, the problem of hunting concessions rose as a result of the previous Government banning the same concessions in 1988. The MMD formed Government in 1991 and several years later, they began to resuscitate hunting concession cases as if Government spent more than US$5 million in paying those concession hunters. You are talking about a Government which has lost more than US$5 million in repaying those concessions which were appropriated in 1998. 

Today, we are, again, being told by the same Government that it is going to take the same action the former government did take in 1998 with disastrous consequences. I think we should go back to your report of 1998 and I am appealing to the Front Bench, especially to the hon. Minister of Tourism to revisit the report and the issue of hunting concessions before this money is taken into account. Otherwise, we are going to have a repetition of litigation and loss of revenue from the Government.

Mr Speaker, the President also mentioned the fact that he has a weak spot for the Auditor-Genera's Office. I think this is indeed a good promise, particularly when one looks at the fact that in the previous study provincial accounting units have been given more money than the Auditor-General's Office. That, in itself, makes oversight functions extremely difficult. And if this issue is going to be redressed this year, I think the pronouncement will go a long way in addressing the problem encountered by that office, particularly now that the work of the Auditor-General is being appreciated, not only by the President but also by the Front Bench and the nation at large.

Mr Speaker, we have heard several times discussions on agriculture. I want to have a different dimension to this. In the year 2000, to me, the problem was not lack of fertiliser and seed but the problem was the                                                                                                                                                                                            market. But the Government went to deal with the issue of fertiliser and not the market. I would have been happier this year, particularly that we are looking forward to the first Budget under the HIPC conditions. We have to deal with the issue of poverty as we understand it. 

In the agricultural sector, every time I go to Soweto which is more like the stock exchange for this country, what strikes me is the number of reject vehicles either going or parked ready to go to Mumbwa, to six miles, to Rufunsa and Chongwe. These are the main roads to the Soweto Market. But why is it that they have to wait until it is 1800 hours to go back when they have already sold their merchandise early in the morning? The problem is easy.

Mr Malambo: They are not roadworthy.

Dr Chipungu: They are not roadworthy. But the problem is not road-worthiness. It is the poverty in which the farmers find themselves.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Chipungu: Look, these are the vehicles that the small-scale farmers are trying to use by all means to bring the produce to the markets. So, if this is a serious Government and they want to deal with poverty, deal with the small-scale farmer who has a vehicle and not fertiliser. It is that small vehicle which will enable that person to have the money in the pocket and buy fertiliser. However, what is happening now, as I represent small-scale farmers who everyday try to bring produce here, is that they have to share their earnings with the police at the road-block.

Mr Simasiku: They are encouraging that.

Dr Chipungu: Now it is either you create a moratorium on the small-scale farmer. Instead of a coupon, give them a permit for one year to be able to generate resources so that they are able to re-invest in agriculture. This is free advice and this is the last year we are going to give you free advice.


Dr Chipungu: ... because next year it will be our responsibility to implement our ideas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, we were all there in 1990 when people talked about change. There was laughter in the National Assembly Motel by your group. They all laughed.


Dr Chipungu: But what we are trying to say is that we will be able to take stock of what can be done to reduce poverty in our society.

Mr Speaker, as I said, I am glad you have given us only three days to debate this motion because we are looking forward to this year's Budget under the auspices of the HIPC conditions.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushiba (Sesheke): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this motion.

In the first place, let me thank the mover and seconder of this motion and, of course, the author of the speech himself, the President of this Republic.


Mr Mushiba: Mr Speaker, I want to appeal to the Government to avoid the rhetoric on the building of the Sesheke/Livingstone Road. I think for the past nine years, it has become almost a song that the road is going to be built. Could they, for the first time show that they are committed to what they are saying by initiating and building this road as soon as possible. At the same time, Sir, I want to refer to the President’s Speech, where he said all Zambians are equal and enjoy equal opportunities. 

Sir, there is a bit of a paradox here in the fact that, while the President is saying that we must have equal opportunities in this country, it is amazing that when you attend some of the political meetings, which are held during elections, senior members of this Government tell you that you are not going to benefit from the resources of this Government if you are going to choose somebody from the Opposition. So, may I remind this Government that the resources should be shared equally on the basis that we are all Zambians.

Mr Speaker, let me also hit on the point of procurement and distribution of agricultural implements. Apart from the fact that this programme is almost failing, I feel we should advise the Government that in future they should avoid a policy of segregation because the distribution of agricultural inputs at the moment is highly politicised.

The next point is that on natural resources, arable land in particular. Where I come from (Sesheke), a lot of land has been depleted because it has been used for a very long time and, maybe, time has come that we should be able to open up certain areas in the forests to give opportunity to the small-scale farmers to be able to access fertile land. Therefore, I would want to ask the Government to dig out some of the forestry, of course, selectively so that we can have food made accessible to all the farmers. As you know, Sir, agriculture is a strategic industry and unless we improve it, the majority of our farmers in rural areas will not be able to live a timely life. 

Also on tourism, although we are encouraging the formation of lodges, I think we have a problem in the sense that we are also promoting child prostitution because of poverty. The only solution here should be to create more jobs because in the absence of productive jobs, most of the people are going to come down to prostitution. 

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamir (Serenje): Mr Speaker, I am very grateful to you, Sir, for allowing me to join my colleagues in contributing to this Motion of Thanks to the President’s Speech for the opening of the Fifth Session of the Eighth National Assembly delivered on 19th January, 2001. This is quite frightening to those hon. Members of Parliament who came here as refugees.


Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, I am very much honoured and thankful for this opportunity. Sir, allow me, therefore, to begin by putting on record my thanks to the President Dr F. J. T. Chiluba for the most welcome speech in this august House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, to begin with, I am one of the hon. Members who came in 1991 and I would say that his speech was one of the most displayed speeches in the manifesto of the MMD Government. I thought we were sleeping but fortunate enough, we are not. Mr Speaker, to be honest, it is one of the greatest speeches ever spoken by the President and I can assure you, we are moving in the right direction.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, being one of the hon. Members who have been in this House since 1991, I will continue guiding them until such a time when I will want to leave. 


Mr Hamir: We have succeeded in many ways, as the President mentioned in his speech; road wise as well as television stations. As you may be aware, in Serenje we were in total darkness but since the MMD Government came into power, we put the television station there and the people of Serenje are enjoying the privilege. There is no dictatorship but freedom.

Mr Speaker, since MMD came into power, each one of us has dedicated our years to our national development which is a great achievement, but where we have weakness is the economy which is falling. I do not know whether the Opposition did pray for me.


Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, Zambia has potential to develop. It is only that you have not made an effort to come to Serenje ...


Mr Hamir: ... I already invited him when he was the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and he even replied that he was going to come but he changed his mind.


Mr Hamir: Sir to be brief, I want to say that it is very true that we have been unable to attain our expectations. We have watched the kwacha going down and failed to restore its value. Our role demands hard work and we have proved that we are hard working people through our reliable body which demands dedication. Why then are we unable to achieve our goals, the 1991 promises? The answer is unity, we need to move away from human selfishness, that is a disease we are suffering from. Do not shake your head, we are all here together, put aside your personal agenda.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamir: And move towards our common goals. The Front Bench need to work together and bear in mind that there is need to develop the country and if I can explain ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 until 1830 hours

Mr Hamir: When business was suspended, I was saying that we are a dedicated nation. We work very hard in Serenje. In many areas of this nation, people at the grassroots work very hard. We put this to the Front Bench, but the question is: how do they take our message?

Mr Speaker, some hon. Ministers do not want to see hon. Members of Parliament, but I am not interested in that and I have been here for ten years.

Dr Pule: Nine years.

Mr Hamir: I am not a preacher like you, who pushes people and then they are healed. Why do you not push me also? Just keep quiet. Do not take the money from the people who are already suffering 


Mr Hamir: Sorry, I was derailed, Mr Speaker. That is my feeling in this House. The Front Bench should have worked hard to fulfil what the manifesto says, like what the President said also. The President, Mr Speaker, is not the overall boss. Shame! He is sitting, locked up at State House. He once said to me, ‘Hon. Hamir, you know these people better’. I said, ‘No.’ When they go to see him, it is like when they go to see a Chief, they kneel. How can you see their true colours?

Mr Speaker, I want to speak my mind, I do not think I would want to come back, but I want to correct this. It is not the way we should live in this world. God says in the Bible, ‘Why are you looking for me? Look for your mother and your father. When you get the blessings from them, then come to me’.

So, Mr Speaker, the answer to the way I feel about the ‘Front Line’ who were appointed by the nation to the ‘Front Line’, you know they can go any day. We need to move away from human selfishness, Mr Speaker. 


Mr Hamir: Yes, I was in UNIP and one of the most powerful UNIP members. You can ask Hon. Kavindele when he was almost undressed.


Mr Hamir: I do not want to take your time, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Continue, hammer.

Mr Hamir: Thank you. We sit here together and we need to put personal agendas aside and work towards common goals of this nation, Mr Speaker. The ‘Front Liners’ do not know that their own mothers voted for them. They do not know their mothers. 


Mr Hamir: I came in 1991 and I am ending my life with you, Mr Speaker, and I must speak my mind out. I am trying to say that in life, you have to love your parents, your electorate and come here humbly. I sit on this bench here and I can see everybody. Who can take over from Chiluba? They do not smile, they are selfish people.


Mr Hamir: I must speak my mind out, Mr Speaker. The people of Serenje sent me here to speak for them.


Mr Hamir: All of you are kawayawayas.


Mr Hamir: Let me tell you, Mr Speaker, I was lucky that the people of Serenje elected me as their Member of Parliament. I can go and see, I will not call him Satana, Hon. Sata.


Mr Hamir: You are free. But go to his two sitting rooms, the nation is waiting to meet him. You call this democracy. What I am saying, Mr Speaker, is that I would even advise you that the grassroots people, who want to see you are better people than millionaires because God blesses the poor and he will give you a long life, Mr Speaker. Why am I still living after surviving so many accidents? It is because of the grassroots, not the ‘Front Line’ people. 


Mr Hamir: No, you are not working as what your President tells you. Mr Speaker, to be honest with you, I can see Hon. Chikwakwa there. He is the only hard working Minister.


Mr Hamir: How much can you push him? I want him in Serenje because there is exploitation. Kaunda was saying exploitation of man by man. Bufi, nimwe ba Opposition. They closed a lot of private hospitals, today we go to South Africa, that is KK. I told the hon. Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry that people from Congo DR have invaded Serenje. My brother, Hon. Chikwakwa has promised, I want to speak in this House that I am watching and waiting for his removal. Mr Speaker, I have been to a lot of countries like India and others, anybody can go and take over.

When Hon. Harrington was Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, he told the President, in my presence ,that he was bringing a Bill, that Bill never came. What is happening with liberalisation? We ought to have some control, Sir, of our lives because this House, of only Zambians, but when you go there, I do not know what Kuwait oil they put in your pockets...


Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, I want to speak the truth. Why are they not working? There you are, minding your pockets. Who were you? You came here through us.

Mr Speaker, I really appreciate your giving me this good time to tell the nation what I really feel. If we were working together with these front line people, they were not going to fail the nation. But the fact is that they are saying, who are you to say this? So, the question is, what is happening with these Members of Parliament? Luckily enough, Hon. Sata is not here. I was going to tell him that I had to collect his people to go and eat at the Motel.


Mr Hamir: Mr Speaker, they had been waiting for three weeks. It is not God who puts wings over your shoulders. It is the people.


Mr Hamir: So, let us respect this nation. These elections will reflect the true colours. The President was telling me the other day that he knows them better because he keeps them. These people can crawl from the gate of State House ...


Mr Hamir: ... but me I know them better.

Mr Speaker, the sentence is, ‘We know them better.’ The nation knows them better. And as I sit here we are not seeing anything wrong. There is nobody capable who can take over the honourable seat. Yes, 

Hon. Members: They are sad!

Mr Hamir: Yes, they are sad.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matubulani (Kalomo): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to add a voice to the motion on the Floor. I would like to thank the mover and the seconder of the motion.

I also wish to thank the President for the moving speech he gave as a guide to this House, which I call a programme for 2001 left for us to implement as an august House.

Mr Speaker, in adding my voice to the motion on the Floor, I also wish to articulate very few things that my hon. colleagues have not hinted much on. I was very much concerned, Mr Speaker, when the President talked about the influx of the Refugees in this country and I quote:

Mr Nyundu: What page?

Mr Matubulani: I will give the page do not worry, it is on page 36.

Mr Speaker, my concern is that we are a sovereign State which must be security conscious. We are not the only State which has, perhaps, signed a protocol with the United Nations (UN). There are so many African States involved in this protocol, but what is it that makes this country so easy for people to flee to from other countries where there are wars and come to this country and be accommodated? 

I listened to the speech and this peace can cause a problem. We have been too soft. Look at the number of countries that the President talked about and I would like to quote part of paragraph two:

‘The refugees in Zambia emanate from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Liberia and Sierra Leone.’

Mr Speaker, all these refugees are in this country. I want to mention that some of them  are settled in refugee camps but a few, in the same paragraph, are mentioned to be settled in the border areas where they are not controlled. Mr Speaker, my concern is that as a nation these people come with the weapons that they use in their battles because they are fleeing from where there is war.

I would like to cite an example, Mr Speaker, that in 1978 when Zimbabwe was fighting for its independence, unfortunately the former Republican President declared that the freedom fighters be brought into this country. They used our park in the Southern Province. I would like to inform this august House that just because of that generosity, we lost lives and if this is not avoided it can happen again. We do not know what type of weapons they come with. We can only see what they present to our armed forces but we cannot see what they leave in the background. This is critical. I want to mention, Sir, that we need to do something about it and I am happy that the hon. Minister of Defence is around. 

One day, I was listening to the radio and this was in the Northern Province where the UN Representative was asking for 1,000 hectares of land to settle the refugees on. This is unfortunate. We are aware that there is war in their countries but when the war ceases, they need to be sent back, otherwise, they are just too many. I am worried, Mr Speaker, because these people are not only causing security problems but where they come from, their customs and systems are such that they are not afraid to take away life and hence the crime which is increasing in the country. There is no doubt about that. We need to look at it the other way round. We need to protect the interests of the people where these refugees are settling. We need to protect them. Much as we have done well as a Government, in that area alone, we need to improve. 

As I speak for the people of Kalomo who sent me to this august House, very briefly, Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the President for introducing the Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI). I am also saying that we have a historical background as a province because Zambia’s first capital was Kalomo. I think on the basis of that we are supposed to be given priority in the PHI because we want Kalomo to be a better area. It would be fair if the historical town was well taken care of. In representing the people of Kalomo we are inviting the PHI to come and expand the township so that it can look attractive.

Mr Speaker, as regards agriculture, we have not done much. There is one thing that makes me wonder. When we sit and discuss, we read the manifesto, we understand very clearly that agriculture is supposed to be vested into private hands. But there are two unique things. I want to mention that I have been talking to people in Kalomo and the people of Kalomo have informed me that since I left there has been no rain. The time I was leaving we had had no rains for four weeks and if it continues, there will be a drought. Livingstone was worse than Kalomo when I left.

This is a fact, people in the east are saying there is too much rain and their maize is submerged. Let us look at this weather pattern because God has decided that we have a disaster there whilst the other disaster in the east is different from ours, but they are both disasters. As a country we do not have food security and so, where are we going to draw food reserves from? If we cannot have money to spend on agriculture but have money to spend on importing food from outside, that makes us -I do not know.

Mr Speaker, I want to thank the MMD Government for the one year I have been here and my first cry was on the rehabilitation of the Mapatizya Road. I am glad that the listening Government has attended to my cry. Thank you very much.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matubulani: I want to take the initiative and thank the hon. Minister of Education for his good declaration to waive the payment of fees from Grades one to seven. In the same vein, I want to invite the hon. Minister of Health to take this same courage. Please, attend to our people. We have no money to pay in these health institutions.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Matubulani: It pays to be courageous. Whether your arm can be twisted, that arm will not break because God is with you because you are suffering for the sake of the nation. Take the same courage.

The last point, Mr Speaker, that I want to advance is that there is division between the Opposition and the ruling party. There is nothing very serious which is supposed to divide us, to my understanding. The Opposition and the back bench have the same mission and our mission is to guide the Government. If we continue twisting the arm of Government for the sake of twisting, then we are confusing the Government. So, we must tell them so that they can understand the need for change. If we add a bit of politics it becomes difficult for us as back-benchers of the ruling party to support the Opposition. Even if you are advancing a point, we find it a little bit difficult to assist, but we are all the same. We are representatives of the people. This party is ruling and we must assist them to rule in the right direction. As back-benchers, we are here to tell you the problems.

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order on the Government and I seek your serious ruling. Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister for Eastern Province in order to influence his Royal Highness Nkosi Mpezeni, to propose a monarchy system for the Republican President, and not to help him and take charge of his province, considering that Paramount Chief Mpezeni had been beaten up before for being pro-MMD? My point of order is from yesterday Post Newspaper which says, “Mpezeni calls for Chiluba’s Third Term. There is no leader to replace him.” I seek your serious ruling. I will lay the newspaper on the Table.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika Laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu raised a point order that has referred to a newspaper. Firstly, the point of order is in the negative. Secondly, the Chair did not hear any substantial quotation from that paper as to precisely cite what the hon. Minister for Eastern Province is said to have said to influence one of the Senior Chiefs in the area on the subject matter that she was referring to. The Chair cannot rule under those circumstances.

Will the hon. Member, continue, please.

Mr Matubulani: Mr Speaker, when the point of order was raised I was almost winding up. Sir, I have one last point to make and that is on gender.

Sir, a lot of gender representatives and advocates have spoken and they have said that we are not gender balancing in Parliament. This point, according to my understanding, is demand-driven. You cannot go and field women as Members of Parliament even when there are no women applicants. Sir, the MMD Government has done a lot and in my view the women we have in this Parliament are enough.


Mr Matubulani: These ladies applied to stand as Members of Parliament. The second gender balancing party is only Agenda for Zambia where we have one man as President and the second one is a woman Member of Parliament and so, you need to give them a hand.

Mr Speaker, I would like to call upon the gender advocates that as things are, it is an indication that not much civic education is given to fellow women. What they should do is to sensitise the women on the forthcoming general elections.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr J. T. Phiri (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity given to me to contribute to the debate on the Presidential Speech.

Mr Speaker, I sometimes get surprised as to why some of us in here fail to look at the State President as an individual, to begin with. We tend to look at our President with mixed feelings and as a result you come out with very wrong feelings. If you look at the quality of leadership of the President we have in this country and if we look at where he is driving the ship of development for this country, those of us who have eyes are able to see that we are being driven in the right direction.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr T. J. Phiri: All that is required is to polish up the mission. Mr Speaker, if a person is deaf, he will never ask the DJ to change the tune.


Mr J. T. Phiri: If a person is blind, he will never tell you that this girl is beautiful. If somebody has no legs, he will never ask you which is the best tourist resort. If you listen to these three people then you are worse than them yourself. You see, we have to be serious about these things. The problem we have is that when you sit down or sleep, even in the Opposition, to think of who can be a good leader, there is nobody. We are just busy quarrelling about who should be the leader or whatever - this shows that there is no quality there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr J. T. Phiri: If you want to rule this country, groom somebody with quality leadership, not where you have no constitution and have nothing but just talk about a successful Government and you are even comfortable in here. Let us be serious.


Mr J. T. Phiri: We are talking about serious issues in this House. This is the House where laws are made. Now, we should not just be talking because you are in the Opposition. You want to oppose even if somebody says this is bread, you want to say, no, it is a wheel chair.


Mr J. T. Phiri: If a person has no feelings, you will never know love.


Mr J. T. Phiri: Yes, if you have no feelings, you will not know love. Some of you have no feelings and you do not know what is good or what is happening. You are just opposing.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr J. T. Phiri: Let me now turn to agriculture and the hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Mr Chikamba) should take note.

I am sad to say that fertiliser has not reached Chama and I know there is no way the Government can take fertiliser there now.

Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika: But you were saying that everything is all right.

Mr J. T. Phiri: I am not saying the Government has failed. There is a problem. All what I need to do is to appeal to Hon. Desai and everything will be polished up. But some of you want to avoid hon. Ministers like Mr Desai and Mr Chikamba just because you are in Opposition or back bench. That does not help. We have to co-ordinate and find a way out. You should not just come here to criticise the best we are doing. You are not helping us. We have to be serious. Last time I used to say that where are we going, but now I have seen the destination.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr J. T. Phiri: The flight is about to land now. So, I have a glimpse of hope. I know they have had a lot of problems in local government. But all what is required is for the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to fund the councils to some extent. It is not the ministry that is at fault. 

Most of our local councils misuse money. At the same time, they are not generating anything. To be able to make money, you must be creative. If you sit down and expect Hon. Sejani to come and tell you how to make money in Samfya, then you have a problem.


Mr J. T. Phiri: If the road network and agriculture can co-ordinate properly, then we will not have a lot of problems. I know they are doing that, but let us consolidate and become more serious about it. If there are no roads, then agriculture is cut off.

Mr L. L. Phiri: What about Matumbo Road?

Mr J. T. Phiri: I should also not forget to mention Matumbo Road which has been on the drawing board.


Mr J. T. Phiri: And the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is not present, unfortunately.

Hon. Opposition Members: The Government is there.

Mr J. T. Phiri: But, I wanted the hon. Minister to listen himself than listening to hearsay. The problem we have in Chama is that the road that was made from Lundazi to Chama by Sable is completely finished because they never constructed good drainage system.

So, I am appealing to the hon. Minister that before some of the contractors are paid, the hon. Minister must physically go and check the work if it is well done. The money that was spent between Lundazi and Chama is a total waste, which is very disappointing. We have to put our little resources to good use. It would have been better if they had worked on 20 kilometres stretch and done a good piece of work than doing the whole road which is, now, useless. 

Some contractors that you engage - I am an engineer by profession ...

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr J. T. Phiri: Yes. When I look at the work of some of these contractors, I start wondering if they paid somebody something so that they should get the tender because the work done has no proper quality. 

So, the most important thing we have to be doing here is to help this Government where you see things not going well. Do not just wait until you come to Parliament to criticise the Minister. That does not help us. Let us co-ordinate and work together as a team. That is the only way we will cross over all these problems. 

Now, some of you have just become experts at criticising. That is not what the Opposition is supposed to do. Where the MMD Government has done well, you should do what my good brother, Hon. Sichinsambwe said. That is what we want and not just condemning. You are not helping because even if somebody was able to help, they will not do so because you are putting them off. So, let us work as a team. 


Mr J. T. Phiri: You see, this is what I was talking about. Some of you are already shaking your heads in the Opposition because I was saying a person who is deaf cannot change a tune. He will not know whether it is rhumba or pop music playing. That is the problem we have.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.





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 1907 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 25th January, 2001.