Debates- Friday ,19th January, 2001

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Friday, 19th January, 2001

The House met at 1000 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Vice-President (Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba, will arrive at 1030 hours to declare the causes of his calling Parliament today.

Thank you, Sir.

Business was suspended from 1015 hours until 1030 hours.

The President entered the Assembly Chamber escorted by Mr Speaker.

(Assembly resumed)

The Clerk read the Proclamation.


The President (Mr F. J. T. Chiluba): Mr Speaker, in view of recent developments, I would like to request the House to rise and observe a minute of silence, in honour of the late President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, His Excellency Laurent Desire Kabila.

Hon. Members of Parliament stood in silence for one minute.

The President: Allow me to greet you in the name of our risen Lord on this singularly auspicious occasion marking the official opening of the Fifth Session of the Eighth National Assembly.

This occasion is auspicious for many reasons, firstly: it marks the beginning of the last session of the Eight National Assembly before we hold the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections to elect new Members of the Ninth National Assembly later this year.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, this occasion accords us an opportunity to review the last ten years of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy Government and to take stock of the tremendous strides we have made in changing and transforming this country for good and, indeed, for the better.

Let me, therefore, take this opportunity to express my very deep sense of gratitude and appreciation to you, Mr Speaker, and to your predecessor, Dr Robinson Nabulyato and, indeed, to all hon. Members  of this august House for the tremendous amount of support and co-operation that this arm of Government, the Legislature, has extended to the Executive, in ensuring that important pieces of legislation were passed without undue let or hindrance.

In the last ten years that we have worked together, I have had no cause to deny assent to any Bill passed by the House, neither have I had cause to take issue with the House on any matter of substance.

You, my dear colleagues, have served the country, the cause of democracy and indeed the cause of reform and transformation with great honour, credit and distinction. The last ten years will undoubtedly stand out in the annals of history as a turning point in the political and economic direction of this great country.

Ours was not an easy task, confronted as we were with the monumental mission of transforming an entire national ethos from pervasive welfare dependence to an entrepreneurial cultural predicated on hard work and enterprise.

The transformation has not been easy, but I am proud to note that we have succeeded. The Zambian is no longer a slave of State benevolence, Zambians value their independence, freedom and desire to attain excellence in their endeavours and rise to their highest aspirations.

There are, of course, those of our citizens who still labour under the illusion that poverty is best eliminated by State benevolence. To them the message of renewal and transformation is still alien.

Mr Speaker, after ten years of Government, I can state with certainty that all the fundamentals are in place, a conducive climate exists for business, opportunities abound for determined citizens and an enabling environment exists to provide empowerment to cohesive, and coherent strategies for development.

If there is anything we have learnt in the last 10 years, it is the falsity of sanctimonious pontificating by the developed world which preaches democracy and morality to us while tenaciously upholding a global economic system that is unjust, immoral and totally devoid of the standards they preach, thereby consigning the majority of the world’s population to abject poverty.

Mr Speaker, our campaign of renewal and transformation holds the only hope for our effort to rid the country of poverty and engender development and prosperity. Our 1991 platform for change still remains as valid today as it was then.

We fought for what is right and just. Our political agenda was to create a responsible nation, capable of facing the challenge of economic and social development in the face of tremendous internal and external hurdles including the huge debt overhang created by consumption expenditure.

Mr Speaker, my Government is fully aware that growth from within demands a radical paradigm shift. It demands the use of sufficiently motivated competent human capital. It demands that we seek the best and not the beast in our collaborators and activist, the sublime rather than the malevolent and the practical rather than the exigent. 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, we have not sought the populist road of coupons, subsidies and easy solutions because these are not lasting solutions, they will instead lead the country to further suffering. Our experience from the First and Second Republics bear testimony to this reality, as we are still laboured by their legacy of failure.

The House may wish to know that a recent World Bank Report has noted that if all the aid that came to Zambia between 1961 and 1994 had gone into productive investment, and if investment had been as important to growth as initially predicted, the country’s per capita income would have been more than US$20,000 in 1994, not US$600.

Mr Speaker, the last ten years have been a decade of difficult, trying and vexatious decisions. Transformation was not a choice, but an imperative, national renewal was not an alternative but an absolute essential and political regeneration not an adjunct but fundamental to the new political order and dispensation.

Gladly, this House has stood steadfast in enabling Government achieve these goals by enacting some momentous and revolutionary pieces of legislation which include:

    -    The Repeal of the Foreign Exchange Control Act, 1993; making Zambia one of the two countries in Africa without any foreign exchange laws - a truly bold and courageous act; and

    -    The Privatisation Act No. 21 of 1992, which also established the Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA) which supervised the dismantling of the pernicious State control mechanism - a mechanism that dragged the country into the current economic crisis.

It is a matter of proud record, which I wish to acknowledge, that this noble House has truly risen to the occasion and has performed remarkably in representing the well-articulated wishes of the people to transform and renew this country, that is why we mourn the passage of many of our colleagues who championed this noble cause, but they are no longer with us - men and women who distinguished themselves in their gallant effort to make Zambia a better place to live in.


Therefore, Mr Speaker, allow me to share my heartfelt grief and regret at the loss of forty-one (41) members of this august House over the last nine (9) years.

It is sad to note that in the course of last year alone, this House sadly witnessed the demise of six (6) of its Members, namely:

1.    The hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa Constituency, Col. Donald Chivubwe;

2.    The hon. Member of Parliament for Pemba Constituency, Mr Stanford Chimwengele Mudiyo;

3.    The hon. Member of Parliament for Sikongo Constituency, Mr Grandson Nalumino Liandu;

4.    The hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke Constituency, Col. Mwiya Simushi Nawa;

5.    The hon. Nominated Member of Parliament, Mr Leonard Nawa Luyanga; and

6.    The hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi Constituency, Mrs Monde Nganga Nang’umbi.

May their Souls Rest in Eternal Peace.

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

Under the leadership of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, a massive ground swell of activism ushered in change. The Zambian people have continued to support Government’s Reform Programme through a renewed mandate in 1996 including our victories at by-elections and through freely and popularly elected representatives. The Zambian people have affirmed their wish to reinvigorate the nation by promoting a culture of opportunity and prosperity rather than the culture of poverty and dependence.


Accordingly, we set out on a programme of structural change as enshrined in our manifesto. In order to support this Reform Programme, I recall asking you, hon. Members, through my speech in this House on 29th November, 1991, to act as true trustees of the future of our nation by considering the government’s legislative measures aimed at:

    (a)    promoting the growth of the sector;

    (b)    restructuring the incentives framework to favour export-based and export-substitution activities; and

    (c)    encouraging local and foreign investments by streamlining regulations and procedures.

Indeed, based on these policies, various laws have been enacted to achieve social and economic stability and growth in order to reduce poverty and enhance the quality of life of our people.

Mr Speaker, when I look back over the last ten years, I am delighted to note that one of the best achievements of the Government has been to fully accept and recognise that you are not only Members of this House, but that you are also the true representatives of our dear people, and therefore, partners in development, because our vision has been very ably translated into your dynamic programmes that have seen Zambia change for the better.

Mr Speaker, we agreed in 1991 that the nation would rely on Parliament to review, update, strengthen and, in some cases, repeal some of our inherited archaic legislation so as to make the laws more responsive to our developmental needs. To a large extent, this has been achieved. For example:

1.    The Companies Act No. 26 of 1994, which revised the law of the formation, management, administration and winding up to companies; and

2.    The Securities Act No. 28 of 1993, which provides for the regulation of the securities industry have been enacted.

In order to enhance good governance and Government accountability to the people during the past nine years, several pieces of legislation were either passed or strengthened. May I point a few:

1.    The Zambia Revenue Authority Act of 1994, which established the Zambia Revenue Authority and transferred from the Government to the Authority the functions and powers of the     Department of Taxes and the Department of Customs and Excise;

2.    The Banking and Financial Services Act No. 28 of 1995 which provides for the regulation of the conduct of banking and financial services and provides safeguards for workers and customers of banks and financial institutions; and

3.    The Investment Act No. 39 of 1993, which revised the law relating to investment in Zambia so as to provide a comprehensive legal framework for investment in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, when the Zambian people renewed the MMD’s mandate in 1996, bearing in mind that democratic politics is about mandate, we proposed to this House, on the occasion of the Official Opening of Parliament on 17th January, 1997, after receiving that mandate, the people of Zambia affirming their commitments to our programmes and we announced on the 17th January, 1997 that the Eighth National Assembly must further consolidate the reforms directly intended to ensure that the legal and regulatory framework becomes compatible with the new political dispensation and liberalised economy. This too, has been done.

Other legislative initiatives were undertaken aimed at improving and rationalising the criminal justice system and strengthening institutional legal structures in order to remove the hurdles which impeded the delivery of quick and effective legal services and justice for all. For example:

1.    Amendments were effected to the Penal Code in Act No. 12 of 2000;

2.    The Criminal Procedure Code in Act No. 13 of 2000;

3.    The Prisons (Amendment) Act No. 14 of 2000, which legislation introduced community service as an alternative to imprisonment; and

4.    The Legal Aid (Amendment) Act No. 17 of 2000 on the other hand revised the provisions on the delivery of legal     aid by establishing the legal aid fund to source funds for legal aid.

The House passed twenty five (25) Bills between January and December, 2000. It also considered twenty two (22) reports laid on the Table of the House by your Committees.

While there may have been differences of opinion between Government and this House on the modus operandi of launching major programmes, you nevertheless passed the necessary and enabling legislative measures which have enhanced good governance and improved the investment climate.

Mr Speaker, our trust in the ability of this House to respond to, and think critically about the Government’s legislative initiatives has never wavered.

Some Government Bills did not pass through the House. These developments demonstrate that the legislative sovereignty of Parliament we advocated in 1991 has been enshrined in the democratic strengthening of our Parliament. The Honourable Members of this House have critically examined each and every Bill and processed them without fear or favour.

This year, Mr Speaker, the legislative programme of the Government will include Budget-related legislation; the Deposits Insurance Bill intended to protect depositors in the banking sector; the Electoral Act to enhance the electoral process; the Finance (Control and Management) Act to improve the financial management in the public sector, and legislation to promote and enhance investments in Zambia for the development of our country.

These Bills will further reinforce and entrench the values and goals which we set out to achieve, namely to position our country strategically for active business development.

Democracy and Governance 

Mr Speaker, in responding to concerns raised by our people, the MMD, in its 1996 manifesto, promised to create an economic and social structure guided by sound economic policies and social principles. The party manifesto clearly states that Zambia is one united and indivisible Republic, all Zambians are equal, and all enjoy equal opportunity.

The manifesto further promises that in Government, the MMD will continue, once given the mandate, to restore human dignity and national pride.

As the ruling party, we have worked to ensure that every Zambian has the opportunity to realise their potential. We have assured each and every Zambian a share in the human desire to stand on one’s own feet and to make progress in an open society driven by market forces that must be guided by policies with a social conscience.

Mr Speaker, the party manifesto further promised to institutionalise what had already been achieved so as to consolidate economic growth and democracy. The challenge confronting us, therefore, is the attainment of sustained development through individual and collective effort. Charity and philanthropy have never been considered as strategies for poverty alleviation. Poverty can only be eradicated by productivity. The role of Government, therefore, is to provide the appropriate framework for growth and productivity.

But first and foremost, our concern was to entrench the most important pillars of democracy; namely human rights. That is why among the first commissions to be established was the Commission on Human Rights and Torture, which has finally been transformed into a Permanent Human Rights Commission.

Mr Speaker, the Commission is playing a positive role in good governance. For instance, last year, the Commission hosted a workshop on the Public Order Act where participants concluded that the Act was necessary but that it should be amended to remove those aspects that infringe upon entrenched freedoms and liberties of individuals. Government acknowledges that in some instances there might have been misinterpretation and misapplication of the law by enforcement agencies when dealing with notices for demonstrations or holding of public meetings.

Mr Speaker, there are other threats to Human Rights worth noting, such as the external debt which has the effect of compounding poverty in many African countries. It is quite clear that the greatest threat to the effective enjoyment of Human Rights in the new millennium is poverty. Pervasive poverty has complicated the economic, social, political, environmental, cultural and technological situation on the African continent. Democracy cannot thrive under conditions of extreme poverty because external poor people cannot exercise choices based on free will.

Mr Speaker, another challenge to Human Rights in the coming years is the HIV/AIDS pandemic. HIV/AIDS could result in some of the worst forms of prejudice and discrimination. People who are found to be HIV positive risk being left out in employment and educational opportunities just because of their health status. There is, therefore, need to put in place mechanisms that aim at protecting those already infected from social prejudice and discrimination.

Mr Speaker, Government has continued to ensure respect of the rights and dignity of the human being. For instance, the free legal services provided by the Department of Legal Aid fulfils the policy of Government of quality and justice for all under the law.

Since 1991, the Government has been equally sensitive to the promotion of equal rights and opportunities between men and women, in the fulfilment of the MMD manifesto. Consequently, the Government’s programme on gender and development over the last nine years had produced concrete results. Regrettably, Mr Speaker, and definitely not by design, the composition of this august House is not quite representative of our gender sensitivity.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

The President: Previously, gender issues were being co-ordinated by a small unit in the former National Commission for Development Planning (NCDP), but now the Gender In Development Division (GIDD) is a fully fledged division at Cabinet Office headed by a Permanent Secretary and may I dare say that that Permanent Secretary is a lady. Further, the Government has since adopted the National Gender Policy which will guide our actions in this area to the extent that today, gender is a topical and priority subject across all sections of the population and all sectors of development.

Mr Speaker, empowerment of women is central to the eradication of poverty. The Government policy with regard to women’s development is to empower them through entrepreneurship and leaders skills training as well as credit provisions, especially that they are among the marginalised and vulnerable groups. It is very important for women to have access to the factors of production. The Government will, therefore, continue supporting the training of women by giving grants to homecraft centres which offer skills training to women and girls.

The Government has achieved a number of other successes in the area of Government which also deserve mention. Checks and balances have been strengthened by the observation of the separation of powers; and the Executive has become more accountable to Parliament. In addition, the Government has in the past few years, created or strengthened institutions to enhance good governance. The Judiciary is autonomous and the appointments by the President of constitutional officers such as Judges and the Auditor-General are subject to ratification by Parliament. All these measures and many more are concretised in the National Capacity Building Programme for good governance which is our blueprint for good governance in Zambia.

I am aware that on some occasions, tension has risen between the various arms of Government, these have been resolved with the dignity and decorum befitting the institutions.

Mr Speaker, additional steps will be taken to strengthen the Office of the Auditor-General in order to promote accountability and transparency in the allocation and utilisation of public resources. In this regard, the office will be further decentralised and its scope of operation expanded so as to enhance accountability.

Mr Speaker, Government on its part, will pay closer attention to the recommendations of the Auditor-General and take necessary action, when this is required.

The work done by the Drug Enforcement Commission, the Zambia Police and Prisons Services, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Commission for Investigations, is commendable. These law enforcement agencies are fighting a noble war to contain the drug scourge and crime in all its forms with the help of the communities they are operating in.

Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission has put in place an electoral code of conduct which provides a level playing field by guiding all political players during elections to ensure that they are free and fair.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

The President: That is why we have more than one party here.

Mr Speaker, I would like to see more attention paid to Local Government. The process of strengthening the decentralised system of Government should be completed quickly in order to promote community participation in development and good governance. The establishment of District Administrators is expected to improve co-ordination of development activities at local level. In local administration the key should be capacity building in all councils. The commitment and responsibility of councillors ought to be improved upon.

Mr Speaker, I would like to see preparations of the House of Chiefs completed so that it becomes operational during the course of this year. The opening of the House of Chiefs will further enhance the participation of our traditional rulers in governance.

Our chiefs are closer to the people and therefore deserve a voice in the governance of this country.

We are a listening Government and we want to ensure giving an ear to all views. 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.

Public Service Reform Programme

That is why, Mr Speaker, honourable Members of this noble House will recall that in 1993 I launched the Public Service Reform Programme (PSRP) whose three components are:

1.    Restructuring of the ministries and Government departments;

2.    Capacity Building in the restructured ministries; and

3.    Decentralised and strengthening of local Government.

The aim of the PSRP is to transform the public service into an institution that is capable of facilitating social-economic development. It further seeks to transform the public service into an institution that effectively supports our new macro-economic policy framework which is aimed at, among other things, fostering private sector development as the engine for economic growth.

I am glad to report, Mr speaker, that the Public Service Reform Programme implementation has now entered the critical stage of building capacity and broadening competence in the public service. While the reductions in personnel levels are necessary, it is capacity building that will ensure that government achieves its goals of delivering quality services to the people of Zambia. Accordingly, the Public Service Capacity Building Project (PSCAP) was launched on 4th October, 2000.

It is vital to reform and restructure Government in order to create a bureaucracy that will support the liberalisation programme. Our economic reforms must be firmly anchored in a Government structure that is responsive accountable and flexible enough to service the needs of the economy, which itself is undergoing major transformation.


Mr Speaker, you may recall that when the MMD came into power in 1991, the economy had virtually collapsed. It was characterised by widespread shortages of goods, lack of adequate and quality social services such as schools and hospitals, and a general dilapidation of economic infrastructure such as roads.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: Business and consumer confidence had been eroded, if not lost altogether. A parallel foreign currency market was booming with inflation at over 100 percent. While money supply was growing, at nearly 200 percent, economic growth was negative and external debt service arrears were almost US$7.0 billion. The relationship with the multilateral financial and development institutions and bilateral cooperating partners was not only negative but hostile as well.

These difficulties Mr Speaker, had stemmed mainly from internal factors. Specifically, discipline in economic management had been eroded and the Government was running fiscal deficits of over 10 percent of gross domestic product. In addition, the Government intervened in the economy by introducing price controls and directing enterprise management through the parastatal sector. These policies were wasteful as they tended to distort the efficient allocation of resources in the economy. The deterioration in terms of trade could not be mitigated or thwarted by such policies.

Consequently, Mr Speaker, for the past nine years, the MMD Government’s micro-economic objectives have been to attain stability, restore investor and donor confidence, as well as promote private sector participation as the basis for economic growth and sustainable development.

Mr Speaker, against this background, from 1992, the MMD Government began to implement a broad-based economic reform programme. This created a lot of expectations in our people. Far-reaching policy and structural reforms had to be implemented. These included prudent monetary policies and fiscal management measures involved the decontrol of agricultural prices and the liberalisation of maize marketing. In addition, we embarked on a comprehensive privatisation programme. The decontrol of interest rates, the removal of exchange controls and the floatation of the kwacha complimented the liberalisation of the banking sector. The trade regime was enhanced by the removal of quantitative restriction on imports and exports, as well as the reduction of the levels and dispersion of customs tariffs, and creating an environment for fair trading and competition.

Mr Speaker, we have made significant strides on the macro-economic front and there is no doubt. The overall fiscal has been reduced from 7.2 percent of GDP in 1991 to 2.3 percent by 2000. Inflation has been reduced from 190 percent in 1992 to less than 30 percent in 2000. In fact Government’s efforts to reduce inflation would have been even more successful but for external factors especially in the year 2000 when the world price of crude oil increased sharply by 25.3 percent between December, 1999 and September, 2000.

Mr Speaker, the objective of our fiscal policy has been aimed at reducing the deficit in order to keep inflation in check, while not crowding out credit to the private sector. Fiscal management has been improved through the strengthening of tax reforms that have resulted in a rational tariff structure designed to provide a conducive environment for producers not only in the manufacturing sector but other sectors as well.

Mr Speaker, even though there is still room for improvement, it is fair to say that tax administration has improved considerably since the creation of the Zambia Revenue authority in 1994. Compliance has improved as a result of better enforcement strategies. Tax revenues as a percentage of GDP have increased to 17 percent. The public expenditure management system is also being strengthened to avoid the accumulation of domestic arrears and ensuring that controlling officers do not over-commit the treasury to expenditures not backed by revenues.

It is my hope that in their private endeavours, Members of this honourable House will serve as torch bearers and leaders in meeting their tax obligations, timely and diligently.

Mr Speaker, Government’s efforts to resolve Zambia’s indebtedness has resulted in the public debt being reduced from US$6.9 billion to about US$5.9 billion. Currently, Zambia has no debt service arrears to the Paris Club or any multilateral institution. this has been aided by the Government’s restoration of good relations with our cooperating partners, due to our sound economic policies. It is on this account that Zambia has now qualified for the highly indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative debt relief programme, which is expected to give the country a debt relief of almost US$3 billion. We must take advantage of this relief to invest and diversify our economy to all areas of potential. Although mining remains the major economic mainstay, an abundance of opportunity exist in other areas. 

We must take advantage of this debt relief to invest and diversify our economy to all areas of potential. Although mining remains the major economic mainstay, an abundance of opportunity exist in other areas.



Mr Speaker, when the MMD party came into office in 1991, the mining industry was at its lowest ebb in terms of mineral production, due to under capitalisation and lack of technological innovations over the years. This decline in production coupled with low copper prices led to decreased contribution of mining to the economy. This had direct adverse effects on the performance of the other sectors of the economy, thus lowering the living standards of the Zambian people.

Mr Speaker, in an effort to reverse this trend, the Government took bold decisions to restructure the mining industry, with greater emphasis being placed on private sector led development within the context of a liberalised market economy. Between 1996 and 1999 there were a total of thirty one (31) international companies conducting exploration work for base metals, gold, platinum, diamond, talc, asbestos, magnetite and gemstones in the country, clearly attesting to the improved investment climate and the confidence the companies have in doing business in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the new mine owners have committed investment capital of US$3.1 billion within the next three to five years, the operating mines will be fully rehabilitated and re-engineered while a number of new green field mining projects are already on line for implementation. These include the Konkola Deep Mining Project, Konkola North, Kansanshi Mine, Chibuluma South and Milyashi North. The sector has already started showing signs of improvement, with output from the second half of 2000 picking up. This trend is expected to continue this year.

Mr Speaker, let me make a few comments on small scale mining, particularly that of gemstones. Admittedly, this sector which has the potential to contribute to the economy has not been fully exploited due to a number of constraining factors. The Government has now put in place measures that will ensure that the development of this sector has a positive impact on the economy by decentralising  professional and technical services to gemstone miners throughout the country. In addition, a credit facility of US$25 million has been secured from one of the co-operating partners to cater for the gemstone miners.

Mr Speaker, in our effort to further facilitate investment in miming, 65 percent of the country has been geologically mapped, highlighting mineral potential. It now remains for entrepreneurs to take advantage of the information collected and exploited the potential identified in order to provide employment and reduce poverty.

Mr Speaker, another area of interest in the mining sector are the results of the Hydro-carbon survey. Geological available indicates that there are at least seven sedimentary basins in Western Zambia, Luangwa, Mid-Zambezi, Kafue through Luano-Lukusashi, Bangweulu and Lukanga Swamps. Previous investigations carried out in Chama and Lundazi by Placid Oil Company were inconclusive. Re-evaluation of the data indicated that there is potential for oil and gas including coal bed -methane in Luangwa. Geo-physical data collected prior to 1990 are now available in digital format and this provides a basis for hydrocarbon and mineral exploration in Zambia. I am therefore, inviting international oil companies to come and carry out oil exploration in all the sedimentary basins.

Mr Speaker, you will recall that in the last few weeks I have expressed my concern about the non-repatriation of the proceeds from the sale of our minerals resulting in the erosion of the value of the kwacha. At it’s height in 1994 ZCCM provided up to US$412 million to the Bank of Zambia. This in critical contrast to US$18 million which the Central Bank received from the mining sector last year. I am however, pleased to inform the House that in our talks with the mining houses and other members of the business community, tremendous progress was made in redressing the issue. We are expecting improvements.

It is however, clear, in order to broaden our economic fortunes, we must promote economic activities in all viable sectors and especially agriculture, which as you know employs the largest number our people, and has unlimited potential. The performance of our non traditional exports from the agricultural field gives great optimism.


Mr Speaker, in the agriculture sector, Government’s policy has been to encourage effective and timely procurement and distribution of inputs and marketing of agricultural produce.

I would like to appeal to hon. Members of the House to take a keen interest in the establishment of cooperatives to ensure that the people participate directly in procurement and distribution of inputs. The cooperatives must equally participate in the marketing of produce, to ensure that farmers reap maximum benefit from their effort. We should not allow briefcase marketeers, who are offering poor prices. To frustrating the renewed interest of farmers.

Government has over the past years provided various incentives to help boost agricultural production. These include the zero rating of agricultural inputs like fertilisers and reduction of duty on agricultural machinery and equipment.

Mr Speaker, the Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (ASIP), has been implemented since 1996. Under the programme, the Rural Investment Fund (RIF), has assisted small holder farmers with funding of over 400 infrastructure development projects such as dams, dip Storage sheds and roads.

Mr Speaker, other positive developments in the sector include the phenomenal increase in outgrowers schemes and contract farming, particularly the production of cash crops like cotton, tobacco, paprika, horticultural and floriculture products. Although the horticultural and floricultural products have been registering substantial outputs in both quantity and value, these have experienced a decline in the past two years. This has been mainly due to lack of expansion arising from inefficient re-capitalisation in the industry. In addition, the exporters of these important products were not able to access further credit facilities. I however, wish to assure this House that Government is critically evaluating all aspects relating to the support of this sector so that these problems could be overcome in the shortest possible time.

Mr Speaker, small-scale farmers have embraced the strategy of crop diversification by producing more profitable crops which require less chemical fertiliser, and which are drought tolerant such as beans, groundnuts, sunflower, sweet potatoes, sorghum and cassava.

Conservation farming technologies have also been introduced in several areas and are now accepted as a way of increasing production.

Mr Speaker, the agricultural sector has emerged as the highest contributor to non-traditional export earnings. This is in spite of the unfavourable conditions on the world market in terms of restricted access to markets and low commodity prices. Major export products including fresh flowers and vegetables, primary commodities of cotton, coffee, soyabeans, groundnuts, high value crops like paprika, marigold and essentials oils.

Mr Speaker, small holder farmers have responded positively to the promotion of primary cooperative societies and close to 6,000 co-operatives have been registered so far.

Further, over the years, our country has recorded increases in agricultural production of food crops such as maize, sorghum, groundnuts, sunflower, wheat and mixed beans. The production of traditional crops such as cassava, millet and sweet potatoes have also continued to register very high levels of growth over the years. The positive trend in agriculture production clearly indicates that Governments agricultural policies are beginning to bear fruit.

Mr Speaker, as I indicated earlier, while many successes have been scored during our term of office, a number of problems and constraints have nevertheless been experienced in the agricultural sector.

Notable problems have been recurring droughts, difficulties in the marketing of produce, input supply to our small-scale farmers, lack of reliable seasonal and long term credit, and the prevalence of livestock diseases. These problems have contributed to low production and productivity thereby reducing farmer incomes. Government is addressing these problems.

The Government still has the main challenge of ensuring household and national food security and incomes generation within the liberalised policy framework while promoting private sector growth. Government is aware of the role agriculture can play in breaking the poverty trap in the country. Hence, the need to put more resources into the sector.

Government will, therefore, continue with the programme of developing the agriculture sector. To this effect, a successor programme to the current ASIP is currently under preparation and components like the Rural Investment Fund will continue to be emphasised.

I suggest we still keep our belts fastened.


The President: Mr Speaker, the potential for the country in agriculture is great and it is important that we should strive to exploit it for the betterment of our people and the country with the coming of the COMESA Free Trade Area, we hope to see an increase in trade, particularly exports from Zambia to countries in the region. I, therefore, challenge our farmers to increase production of various agricultural products given Zambia’s comparative advantage in the region in terms of resources such as land, water and labour. On our part, Government will provide all the necessary support and incentives to encourage agriculture.

In order to improve marketing, and the distribution of inputs we are also implementing a road rehabilitation programme covering feeder roads in all the rural areas of our country.

Communications and Transport

Mr Speaker, when the MMD Government came into power, it found 80 per cent of the country’s road network in poor condition due to neglected maintenance by the previous Government. In order to address the problem of poor road maintenance, the MMD Government established a fuel levy in 1993 and the National Roads Board in 1994 to manage and administer the road fund.

In addition the Government and the road users with the help of the international community and co-operating partners developed the Road Sector Investment Programme (ROADSIP) in 1997. The programme is expected to last for ten years. The programme emphasises the use of contracts rather than force account, and community participation is encouraged. ROADSIP is meant to rehabilitate the country’s core road network and bring about 50 per cent of the entire road network to good condition by the year 2002.

The US$500 million road sector investment programme has been implemented effectively and efficiently. A bankable document to launch ROADSIP II in the year 2000 at a cost of about US$8000 million has been formulated and long term contracts for routine maintenance of roads has been launched. About 1100 KM of roads has been put on long-term maintenance contracts. In addition, a K19 billion feeder road programme funded by co-operating partners has been launched. The national roads board has been hired by the World Bank to train and develop National Roads Boards in other countries in Africa. 

This included Malawi Cameroon, Tanzania, Kenya and Lesotho. Economic Development instituted by World Bank filmed Zambia Road Sector as a learning experience to policy reforms in other developing countries.

The improvement in roads has also been accompanied by a dramatic improvement in public transport, which, hon. Members are obviously witnesses to. {mospagebreak}

Road Transport

In early 1995, the Government waived duty on importation of minibuses of 14-seater and above capacity to encourage the private sector to fill the vacuum of passenger transport left by the defunct United Bus Company of Zambia.

The response to this tax holiday was overwhelming and there is now more than adequate capacity to meet passenger travel demand and allow for health competition amongst operators.

We are however not resting on our laurels. Although the measures taken by Government to boost the general supply of public passengers transport in the country have succeeded, the concentration of supply of public transport is biased towards urban areas. This is as a result of poor road infrastructure particularly in the rural areas.

The Government is addressing this issue by rehabilitating rural roads through the Road Sector Investment Programme.

Our recent acquisition of equipment for the Zambia National Service (ZNS) from the People’s Republic of China, signals the start of a major infrastructural development programme for our rural areas.

I expect that you hon. Members will work together with District Administrators to prioritise road rehabilitation and construction programmes for this new equipment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sibetta: Those are the same as District Governors!

The President: Mr Speaker, the great North Road from Mpika to Nakonde and Simba to Monze, the Great East Road from Lusaka to Luangwa Bridge, are under rehabilitation and are expected to be completed by the end of the year. Other roads to be rehabilitated are Kabwe-Kapiri and Chisamba Roads, Chingola-Kasumbalesa, Livingstone-Sesheke-Katima Mulilo and Mongu-Kalabo. The Choma-Namwala Road is under construction.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: Mr Speaker, May I also inform this august House that with assistance from co-operating partners a number of bridges are being rehabilitated and constructed. Luangwa Bridge is already in use after rehabilitation. A new Chirundu Bridge is under construction. Construction of the Katima Mulilo Bridge is expected to commence soon while feasibility studies for the Kazungula Bridge are in progress. The above infrastructure rehabilitation and development are all geared to positioning Zambia as a regional hub.

Mr Speaker, preparations of the second phase of ROADSIP scheduled to start in 2002 have reached an advanced stage and are awaiting consultations with all stakeholders and the co-operating partners.

Improvements have not been limited to the road network alone. Work to improve air transport are continuing. So what about air transport?

Air Transport

The air transport industry has been liberalised to encourage private sector participation. A number of private local airlines have come up to fill the gap left by the national air carrier. Most of the domestic and regional routes have been taken up. The Government is working on the revision and signing of additional bilateral air services agreements with other states whose airlines are interested in operating into Zambia and vice-versa.

There has been a noticeable increase in commuter and air charter operations, which has resulted in further development of tourism activities. This has created job opportunities and widened the overall revenue base for the country.

Work on airports has continued. Mfuwe has become an international airport bringing the number of international airports to four. The runaway at Lusaka International Airport has been rehabilitated and Livingstone runway has been rehabilitated to handle much larger aircraft. These developments have improved airport usage.

Regrettably, while air transport is improving, the situation with rail transport is not as inspiring, unfortunately.

Railway Transport

Mr Speaker, over the years, railway transport has lost most of its traffic to road transport due to deteriorating operational efficiency resulting from poor infrastructure and inadequate rolling stock. In order to reverse this trend, the Government approved the privatisation of Zambia Railways by way of concessioning.

The involvement of the private sector in the running of the railways is expected to bring capital injection and efficiency in the sector. This will make the railways more competitive with road freight transport.

Private capital has also been employed in the telecommunication field.


Mr Speaker, the telecommunications sector in the country has been liberalised as well thereby allowing investors interested in the field to invest without hindrance. In 1984, the then Posts and Telecommunications Corporation, (PTC), was divided into two entities namely, the Zambia Postal Service Corporation, (Zampost,) and the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited, (Zamtel), in order to encourage private participation in the provision of telecommunications services. Realising that most of the private telecommunications providers are unwilling to provide services in rural areas due to poor infrastructure and low demand, the Government is doing everything possible to attract private sector investment in rural areas.

Since the establishment of the Communication Authority, a number of private companies have been licensed to provide service and these include: three mobile phone providers, three Internet providers, four broadcasting stations and six radio stations.

By improving transport and communication, we are enabling investors and citizens communicate more effectively to facilitate business and commerce.

Commerce, Trade and Industry

Mr Speaker, the Government's undertaking in 1991, which was reaffirmed in 1996 by the mandate Government received, was to create and maintain an economic environment in which free enterprise could flourish. The Government has remained true to this undertaking. The focus of the country's industrial policy will continue to be the development of an open market, a competitive, dynamic and sustainable industrial sector in which the private sector is the principal actor.

Mr Speaker, I am quite concerned by apparent stagnation in our manufacturing sector. The contribution of manufacturing to GDP has only increased by about two per cent between 1992 and 2000. The not-so-robust growth of manufacturing has been hampered to some measure or extent by unfair competition from some of our neighbours. That still have to open their markets and level the playing field by eliminating tariff and non tariff barriers. It is my sincere hope that we can quickly strategies to plan for the unfolding market condition created by regional initiatives of COMESA and SADC.

Mr Speaker, since 1991, the Government has undertaken trade policy reforms to induce more efficient use of the economy's resources. The free movement of goods, services, labour, payments and investment is conducive for large scale domestic, cross border and foreign direct investment.

In order to create an enabling environment for private sector development, several laws are being amended and new ones enacted, will depend on our economic planning to include private sector participation. In the long run the success of our economic reforms will also depend on the capacity of the private sector, to take full advantage of the enabling environment, to produce, compete and export to neighbouring countries.

Mr Speaker, we also realise that the provision of adequate security is a pre-requisite to sector investment.

Law and Order

Mr Speaker, that is why law and order are a major concern of the Government. In 1991, we inherited a police force with a meagre 5,000 officers. This figure was totally inadequate to meet national demand. We thus embarked on an aggressive programme of recruitment and training. This recorded the resuscitation of the Lilayi Police College which had been deserted and was heavily vandalised. Paramilitary and mobile training school also resumed. The systematic training programme has resulted in the present police formation of 15,000 police officers in service. The Government is determined to equip and provide the service with all the necessary tools and equipment to combat crime of any form. Already this year the police service has been provided with 50 new Land Rovers to ease transport problems.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: I want to reiterate that there will be no safe haven for criminals in Zambia. The record of police successes in arrests in almost all major crimes must signal the Government's determination to stamp out criminal activities in the country.

I want in particular to commend the general public for the support they have given to the police service, leading to the arrest of many notorious criminals. I must also congratulate concerned citizens who have established well over 100 neighborhood watch associations across the country. This participation in crime prevention had a notable positive impact especially towards the end of the year when crime significantly dropped especially as regards to car thefts. The recovery of stolen motor vehicles also increased. The clearance rate on serious crimes such as murder and aggravated robberies increased significantly. The Inspector-General and the police and prisons working under difficult conditions deserve our commendation and a big thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: I am also congratulating you hon. Members of the House for having passed a bill denying bail to car thieves. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: This has undoubtedly sent the correct signal to criminals that crime does not pay, but hard work does. The region as a whole is collaborating, I am happy, to stamp out car thefts, money laundering and drug trafficking. The region is collaborating and co-operating.

Our quest for investment has inevitably involved large scale marketing of our country to the international community. Crime can prevent or disturb the flow of investment.



Mr Speaker, in the past nine years, the Government has managed to transfer the management of the economy to the private sector through a very ambitious privatisation programme. By 2000, the bulk of the Zambian economy was firmly in the hands of the private sector following the completion of the privatisation of the mines. Our expectation is that this will propel the Zambian economy to higher achievements and prosperity. We should, therefore, be proud that Zambia's privatisation programme has been internationally acclaimed as it demonstrated the importance of political will and consensus building across the whole spectrum of stakeholders, for the goodwill of all.

Mr Speaker, by the end of last year, out of a working portfolio of 280, a total of 248 companies and units had been privatised with the remaining companies at various stages of the privatisation process.

Another significant achievement in the privatisation programme during last year, was the leasing of Mpulungu Harbour which provides Zambia an ideal link in economic activity and trade with the Great Lakes region. With a commercialised and financially viable harbour authority at Mpulungu, the country stands to maximise its strategic location in both the SADC and COMESA trade arrangements.

Mr Speaker, I am happy that the Government strived to ensure participation of Zambians in the privatisation programme. Of all the parastatals privatised, 65 per cent have been sold to Zambian individuals, ... 


The President: Yes, the records are there. I am happy. 

... management buy-outs, or handed back to Zambians who previously had their companies nationalised. In addition, so far, five public flotations in profitable companies have been undertaken, thus creating thousands of Zambian shareholders. There are also a number of public flotations earmarked for the future once the companies become profitable and market conditions allow. Over 90 per cent of trade sector properties have been sold to Zambians while all the non-core assets of parastatals such as housing have also been sold to Zambians. Shelter for our people is key to political and social stability as it cushions families against destitution.

Mr Speaker, I wish to make one point abundantly clear, and this is that we are not going to privatise for the sake of privatisation or at the behest or demand of external pressure. No.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: We have privatised because we are convinced of the need to do so. That is why our privatisation programme is systematic and deliberate. We shall decide the form, time and nature of privatisation. Every country in the world has the right to do so.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: The liberalisation of the economy has resulted in improvements in the quality as well as the availability of goods and services in the economy. It has also created a surge in private investment, as being witnessed in the retail sector. The foreign direct investment in the economy since 1991 has exceeded US$1 billion.

And while our privatisation programme has been a phenomenal success, we still have to manage the post privatisation period to ensure that the programme remains on course.

Mr Speaker, during our privatisation programme, we have also learnt that there is not a single country in this world which has not got parastatals. Not one. Never too late. Better late than never!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: Our failure to follow-up privatised companies has proved detrimental. Some of these companies have collapsed while others have failed to flourish and still others have ventured into different fields.

In order to make sure that we drive this economy into growth and prosperity, we are creating an effective economic monitoring system that will follow-up to ensure that business development plans, re-investment, production import and export transactions, employment and labour laws, regulations and standards are closely monitored and followed. Measures to effect these controls will be announced very shortly.

Mr Speaker, much progress has been made in reforming the economy. The momentum of economic growth has been restored. There is no doubt. Everybody sees. We must examine all areas of potential to facilitate growth and prosperity, and one such area being tourism.


Mr Speaker, we realise that tourism holds tremendous potential to contribute to the national economy. In fact, tourism, if properly managed and exploited stands the chance of overtaking mining as a major earner of foreign exchange, hence the development of the tourism sector has been one of the cornerstones of the MMD Party Manifesto.

Government realised that tourism provided a great opportunity to revitalise the economy and raise the standard of living of our people, especially those in the rural areas where most of our tourist treasures are found. We recognised the sectors potential for investment to create jobs and generate foreign exchange.

Mr Speaker, like in other vital sectors of our economy, the privatisation process has seen an impressive improvement of standards in the tourism sector. Companies of international repute such as Holiday Inn and Sun International have come on the Zambian tourist scene. Sun International is investing a total of US$56.5 million in the Hotel Resort Complex which will commence operations this April in our tourist capital, Livingstone. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: We have also undertaken a sustained promotion campaign of our country, which includes the establishment of a tourism promotion office in the Republic of South Africa.

Mr Speaker, it is heartening to note that my fellow Zambians have not been idle in seizing the opportunities provided under our tourism policy. A large number of Zambian-owned guest houses have been established throughout the country. The Government is currently working on a new legal framework for tourism to ensure high standards and to prevent illegal establishments from operating.

Mr Speaker, although our country is blessed with a diverse and rich tourism base comprising, among others, cultural and heritage sites and beautiful scenery, it is important to acknowledge that in the foreseeable future, the wildlife estate will remain the basis for tourism. In order for it to increase its contribution to the growth of our economy, the Government has restructured the management of the wildlife resource. The National Parks and Wildlife Service has been replaced by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).

It was our hope, Mr Speaker, that with the establishment of the Authority, a momentum would have been created to ensure the future sustainability and growth of the wildlife life resource and become an example of true co-operation among Government, wildlife manager, rural communities, private sector investors, tourists and the public at large.

Regrettably, this has not been the case. Instead, we have experienced wide spread abuse of the concession license which have been used for the indiscriminate dissemination of wildlife.

Few, if any, of the operators have honoured their obligation to remit earnings from their concession proceeds and only one of the 64 concessions have so far produced an audited statement to indicate their status. Only one out of 64. Well, the hour has come.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: The hour has come. The Government is at work.

In the circumstance, I am left with no option, but to ban with immediate effect any further hunting concessions. This ban will last for one year and is intended to enable animals regenerate after the wanton destruction we have witnessed in the past.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: Mr Speaker, I am confident that this action will not only give ZAWA an opportunity to re-organise and help re-establish sustainable bio-diversity in national parks and game management areas, but will help create new jobs and improve the quality of life among communities living in areas with wildlife estate.

We still have a few kilometres to travel. Please, remain seated and fasten your seat belts.



The President: Mr Speaker, the Government has decentralised the operations of the National Heritage Conservation Commission in order to develop facilities at national monuments and sites of local and international importance by improving their attractiveness and enhancing income from them. I call upon the hon. Members of this august House to work closely with the Ministry of Tourism and the National Heritage Conservation Commission in creating awareness among their constituents on the importance of preserving and protecting these national monuments and sites.

I also wish to appeal to you hon. Members of this distinguished House to serve as honorary wild life guards protecting our wildlife ...


The President: ...from indiscriminate slaughter. We must show that poaching does not pay.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: The Government also wishes to promote the establishment of museums. It is the Government's intention to ensure that each province has a museum at least within the next decade. In order to do this, the Government wishes to encourage individuals with resources to establish museums that will be run and managed privately. In the same vein, district councils and traditional establishments should be working towards setting up museums in their areas. Councils should identify buildings that can be used for this purpose.

Mr Speaker, the Government recognises the important role that culture plays in national development. We believe that cultural identity is a permanent source of inspiration for independence, sovereignty and national building. It is also an instrument of well-balanced economic and social development and a prerequisite for strengthening national and international unity.

It is for this reason that the Government made a commitment to promote local ethnic cultures and provide the necessary environment in which artistic expressions are made to thrive.

Mr Speaker, the Government's acknowledgment of the importance of the cultural sector has not only seen the enactment of the National Arts Council Act and the revision of legislation on copyright to protect visual arts and performing arts, but also the revival of the traditional ceremonies from less than 14 in 1991 to more than 50 today.

These ceremonies bring together people of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds in a festive atmosphere, thus contributing to the strengthening of national unity in our diversity. This unity in diversity has given us character to stand uniquely as Zambians today.

It is my hope, Mr Speaker, that these cultural associations will not be abused to promote tribal chauvinism that has fragmented and created schisms among many harmonious communities.

Mr Speaker, the Government has recognised the potential in the cultural sector to contribute to poverty reduction and to the growth of tourism through cultural industries. I wish, therefore, to reaffirm Government's commitment to continue to provide suitable conditions in which our culture will be preserved and disseminated.

Mr Speaker, the prospects for the growth to Zambia's tourism industry are extremely very bright. There is still enormous scope for investment in a number of areas such as the provision of high quality accommodation, photographic and hunting safaris, conference facilities, air and boat excursions around Victoria Falls and elsewhere along the Zambezi, Kafue and Luapula rivers and the lakes of Luapula, Northern and Southern Provinces. Other areas include game farming, fishing, luxury coach services, car hire and travel agencies.

This year, Mr Speaker, provides Zambia with a very important tourism event - the total eclipse of the sun which is expected to be experienced in Zambia on the 21st June, 2001. This event which can only be experienced one in every 400 years, is expected to attract more than 10,000 foreign tourists to Zambia. I am certain, thank God, that most of these tourists will be coming to Zambia for the first time. Welcome! The Government will work diligently with relevant bodies and institutions to ensure that these visitors have a memorable stay in Zambia so that they can encourage others to visit our country. We should also appreciate that our country has many other natural resources which, if fully exploited would earn the country sizeable revenue.

Natural Resources

The natural resources include water, arable land, forests, fisheries, wildlife and minerals. Minerals are a wasting asset - we know that - whose quantity will continue to decline as we exploit them for economic benefits and development. Our long-term focus and strategy will, therefore, be in the area of renewable natural resources. We will exploit these resources in a sustainable manner so that we can continue to serve the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations.

Mr Speaker, unfortunately, over the years, this rich base of natural resources has come under increasing pressure due to a number of factors. These include poverty, lack of alternatives, poor levels of environmental and natural resource awareness and inadequate co-operation and collaboration among stakeholders. In our efforts to redress environmental degradation, the National Action Plan, (NAP), was formulated in 1994 to provide an operational framework for environmental management in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, to facilitate the realisation of sustainable natural resources management, the Government is no longer the sole player in the management of natural resources. Government is now a partner with the local communities whose lives are entirely dependent on these resources. This approach has been tested in the wildlife sector and is currently being studied from an integrated angle in pilot areas under the Environmental Support Programme, now covering several districts. The core focus of this programme is the building of capacity among local communities to manage their own resources.

This community based approach has been well articulated and provided for through the revision of a number of policies. Within the same framework, efforts are being made to ensure that communities derive a direct benefit from these resources, and so help reduce poverty in these communities.

Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to ensuring that future generations find a better environment. Our vision for the future has not changed. We will continue to undertake measures aimed at enhancing and providing a conducive environment for sustainable natural resource management.

Another natural resource we have in abundant is water.


Mr Speaker, the Government developed the National Water Resources Master Plan in 1995. The Plan outlines possible infrastructure development projects to meet current and future demands to serve the various sectors in accordance with projected water demand up to the year 2015.

Zambia has the largest share of water resources in the sub-region. It is Government’s intention to begin to harness this important resource effectively for the benefit of our people. With application of modern technology, for example, it is possible to convey huge quantities of water from outlying lakes and rivers such as Bangweulu, Mweru Wantipa, Zambezi and Kafue into inland dams. Such a programme would have the dual purpose of inland water transport and irrigation throughout the year. The programme would also provide relief to drought prone areas.

Mr Speaker, the development of the country’s water resources to improve access to all sectors will continue. It is planned that by 2005, 50 per cent of the rural and 75 per cent of the urban population will have access to safe and adequate clean drinking water.

Another major natural resource we have in Zambia and we have it in abundance is land.


Mr Speaker, in fact, one of the greatest resource Zambia has, as I said, is land, which is a key resource in the development of a strong and prosperous nation. The task of the MMD Government, therefore, has been to ensure that the people of Zambia are given equal opportunity to access and utilise land as provided in the Republican Constitution. If we do not own land we are not sovereign as a nation. We fought for our land to adequately express our freedom and independence.

Mr Speaker, I must stress here that past land policies failed because they were oriented towards the privileged few. In today’s democratic set up in Zambia, we cannot afford to continue with a land delivery system which discriminates against the majority, the less affluent or the poor, if you like.

I am, therefore, pleased to announce that Cabinet has approved an issue paper on Land Policy. The Government will solicit the views of the Zambian people on the document and sensitise the various stakeholders on the new policy. In this way, broad consensus can be arrived at on all critical issues before the document is finally adopted.

Mr Miyanda: Hear, hear!

The President: The new policy is meant to address the question of equity and efficiency in the land delivery system and ensure that all Zambians are afforded the same opportunity to own land either through the lease hold tenure or the customary tenure.

Mr Speaker, my Government is determined to ensure that Zambians fully benefit from the newly won democracy by providing tangible benefits.

Social Sectors

In 1996, the MMD Government pledged its commitment to consolidate the economic gains made during our first five years in office. We pledged to learn from past experiences as well as make the future a period of real deliverance from joblessness and hopelessness to productivity and social security for all. Apart from creating a conducive atmosphere to enable citizens to exploit their full potential, on the one hand, and attract foreign investment, on the other, Government also pledged to continue to provide social services such as education, health and social welfare to the under privileged.

Mr Speaker, during the last nine years the Government has endeavored to create an environment in which every Zambian who was able and willing to work hard and take responsibility has the opportunity and freedom to do so. The Government has also provided social safety nets. These and other measures are aimed at fighting the scourge of poverty which has continued to ravage our nation.

Mr Speaker, this year Government will concentrate on building the  capacity of the poor through various community and social development programmes and strengthening the provision of social safety net programmes such as micro-credit schemes, basic social support and food for work programmes.

Mr Speaker, realising the enormity of the problem at hand, the Government has set out various programmes aimed at fighting poverty. Among these are community based plans which play a vital role in the development process by conscientising, stimulating and mobilising people to undertake projects and programmes on self-help. Social mobilisation, which is a critical feature of successful anti-poverty strategies, can only be achieved by creating grassroots organisations which ensure participation by all members of the community. The spirit of self-reliance is enhanced through the acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills by participating in non-formal education and skills training programmes.

Mr Speaker, the resettlement programme is another important Government intervention for poverty reduction and empowering Zambians in the ownership of land. I would like to see adequate resources allocated to this important programme.

In many cases, lack of community participation has led communities to believe that infrastructure and facilities provided by Government for their use are Government property and not theirs. Such facilities lack community ownership and this has resulted in rampant vandalism of these facilities and lack of maintenance of public property.

Mr Speaker, under this process of empowerment of our citizens, and in line with the MMD manifesto, which pledged the creation of a sustainable housing delivery system capable of providing quality housing to all income groups in both urban and rural areas, the policy of Government is to provide adequate and affordable housing to all.

In this regard, many aspects of the housing policy such as the sale of council and Government pool houses have already been implemented. The sale of houses was also extended to mining areas in the country. This exercise, apart from raising additional funds for the construction of more houses in order to cater for the growing housing needs in the country, has also empowered many of our citizens with home ownership. A new middle class of property owners is emerging slowly but surely.

Mr Speaker, the Presidential Housing Initiative, (PHI), is yet another project the Government has embarked on in order to empower Zambian with decent and affordable shelter.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: The project has been successful with more than 400 houses built in Lusaka alone and 100 others in Ndola. Work on another site in Mandevu area in Lusaka has also started. The Government is at work.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: The hour is working.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: Mr Speaker, the project is now extending to Livingstone and later in the year to Zambezi in North-Western Province. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: But why Zambezi? The choice of Zambezi for the first rural housing project is symbolic. We want to take into account the origins of the name of our country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: I am aware that hon. Members of the House have been anxious about the empowerment programme from which they  have not benefited. The difficulty until now has been to source sufficient funds to undertake housing development. Among those we consider urgently requiring housing in addition to hon. Members of this House, are our gallant men and women in the Army, Air Force, the Police, Intelligence Service and, of course, our hard working National Service.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: The House may, however, wish to know that following on the success of PHI, a new structure will soon emerge to enable the mobilisation of local and external financing. The House may be requested to pass the appropriate legislation for this purpose.

The nation is also going to benefit from the housing project being undertaken by the National Housing Authority with financial assistance from Shelter Afrique to construct a total of 450 core and extendable houses in all the nine provinces of Zambia particularly in newly established district councils.

Mr Speaker, our effort at transforming Zambia will, to a large extent, depend on our ability to train and mobilise and educated work-force with the capacity to engage in the globalisation process meaningfully.


Mr Speaker, when the MMD Government came to power in 1991, it inherited a run down education system. The new Government was faced with a challenge of dilapidated institutional infrastructure that needed rehabilitation and construction. There were inadequate teaching and learning materials and most schools had no desks. There was also a pronounced gender imbalance manifested by poor performance of the girl-child. The administration system was characterised by excessive centralisation of power and authority that compromised efficiency in the delivery of education services.

In order to redress these difficulties in the education system, after consultations with all stakeholders, the Government in 1996 launched the national policy on education entitled ‘Education our Future’. This policy document is based on the principles of liberalisation, decentralisation, equality and equity, partnership and cost sharing and makes the management and delivery of education in the country transparent and accountable to the people of Zambia. Mr Speaker, people matter.

The policy provisions and the subsequent reforms have guided the implementation of some major programmes that have significantly contributed to the delivery of education at all levels. For example, as a way of improving the performance of the administrative machinery, the Government has since the 1990s, gradually and systematically been transferring decision-making, planning and utilisation of resources and management functions from central to provincial, district and school levels. The establishment of Education Boards, which comprise members of the community, parents, educators and pupils, have proved to be effective management tools as they have promoted accountability and transparency in the effort to deliver quality education.

Mr Speaker, it is the intention of the government to ensure that these reforms succeed, and succeed they will. Through education, the many hindrances that slow down our efforts in the fight against poverty will be eliminated to ensure a stable and growing Zambia.

Another factor that slows down development is disease and resultant morbidity.


Mr Speaker, the health of our people is paramount to stability ad growth in our nation. This is why, in 1991, the MMD’s pledge to the people of Zambia included the restructuring of both the health institutions and the way health services are delivered to the people.

Mr Speaker, the Government embarked on a process of reform to ensure effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness in the delivery of health services. Under these reforms, a number of achievements have been scored.

Mr Speaker, the HIV/AIDS pandemic seriously threatens the country’s prospects for sustained economic growth, social stability and development. The cross sectoral impact of HIV/AIDS on health, education, agriculture, economic and political sectors, coupled with adverse effects of generating a large number of orphans and destroying the integrity of families particularly children and women, has created a human catastrophe not seen before in our country.

As we prepare for landing, please, fasten your seat belts again.


The President: Mr Speaker, to address this problem, the Government has established a National HIV/AIDS/STD/TB Council and Secretariat to co-ordinate the multi-sector HIV/AIDS response, integrating the activities of some 14 ministries, as well as numerous Non-Governmental Organisations, (NGOs), Community Based Organisations, (CBO), and the Private Sector. A three-year HIV/AIDS strategic framework has been articulated and costed.

The Committee on natural remedies is also proceeding steadily in its work to validate or invalidate claims of cures by herbalists and other traditional healers.

Mr Speaker, these efforts will not count for much unless there is a deliberate and sustained behavioral change among our people. Prevention is better than cure.

Mr Speaker, side by side with HIV/AIDS, malaria also continues to take its toll on the population. Malaria fatality rates have increased dramatically over the years. The parasite has also shown increasing resistance to chloroquine, the front line drug for the treatment of malaria. The Abuja Declaration on Malaria, which I personally endorsed, will play a catalytic role in the malaria control programme.

Mr Speaker, due to global climatic changes, weather patterns have changed throughout the world resulting in natural disasters such as floods, storms, earthquakes and tornadoes.

In our region, we have experienced floods, the worst one being in Mozambique last year. Mr Speaker, the flood disaster exposed our vulnerability and lack of capacity to cope. There is, therefore, need for Government to strengthen the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit in the Office of the Vice-President. The House will recall that the floods due to El Nino phenomenon in 1998/1999 caused extensive damages to infrastructure such as bridges and roads. The Government is determined to complete rehabilitation of the twenty-five bridges that were damaged throughout the country.

Mr Speaker, I now wish to turn to the international front.

Regional Co-operation

Mr Speaker, since coming into power, the MMD Government has taken steps to ensure that Zambia continues to play a leading role in regional affairs.

Pursuant to the commitment that the Government made in 1996, that Zambia shall pursue conflict resolution in Africa and abroad, the hon. Members of this House, will recall that Zambia hosted peace talks on Angola, and is currently chairing those on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Speaker, although the peace processes on the DRC and Angola have suffered some set-backs, it is important, however, to recognise that the objectives of the peace process remain the only workable and viable framework for the resolution of these conflicts.

Similarly, our region needs to continue co-operating in defense matters, especially now that a need has been identified for Africa to play a more significant role in the resolution of conflicts in trouble torn parts of the continent. The Government remains committed to defense co-operation with SADC Member States in areas of training, combined exercises, information exchange and, of course, peace support operations under the auspices of the United Nations and Organisation of African Unity. This support is in recognition of the realisation that peace is absolutely essential for social, economic and cultural development of our continent and Zambia in particular.

Our neutral position in conflicts and the peace and tranquillity we enjoy has made Zambia the choice destination for refugees.

Let me then discuss refugees.


Mr Speaker, Zambia today is playing host to an estimated 250,000 refugees who fled individual persecution and violence arising from internal armed civil conflicts in their countries of origin.

They do not come from two countries only. The refugees in Zambia emanate from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Liberia and Sierra Leone and they are relocated in settlements and camps. Others are spontaneously settled in outlying borders and urban areas.

Hosting a large number of refugees  has been very difficult for Zambia especially in the face of scarce resources.

The influx of refugees mixed with armed elements both from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo have posed a huge threat to the security of the country and consequently has placed a strain on our already over-stretched resources.

The Government also faces a huge challenge in terms of adequate transport to deal with emergencies promptly, as and when they occur. This, coupled with the poor road infrastructure in rural areas, makes it even more difficult to effectively deal with refugee emergencies.

With the increasing numbers of refugees, social services that exist within settlements such as schools land clinics are no longer adequate and, therefore, need expansion.

Mr Speaker, the situation on our borders has been extremely difficult. Our security forces have worked tirelessly to ensure peace and order, as refugees from neighboring countries stream into the country.

I would like, therefore, to pay special tribute to all wings of our security forces for their diligence and hard work.

I would like to commend particularly the Army Commander, Air Force Commander, Zambia National Service Commandant, Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of Intelligence and all their men for their patriotism and dedication to duty.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: Credit should go to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR), World Food Programme, (WFP), Red Cross International, Lutheran World Federation and Care International who have been working with the Government in the provision of financial, technical and administrative support towards the day-to-day management of refugees.

Mr Speaker, Zambia will not allow herself to be drawn into active participation in the internal conflicts of her neighbours. This is because we are aware that external involvement in the conflicts of these countries only goes to escalate such strife.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: We intend to continue with our policy of neutrality and we intend to continue, however, to contribute to peace efforts or mediate, when called upon, between belligerents to achieve lasting peace. 

Ho. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: In this regard, I wish to thank the international community for the support given to Zambia to broker a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Speaker, as I stated in my address to this august House last January, the Government will continue to take positive steps aimed at reactivating all joint-permanent commission in order to enhance co-operation. We believe that joint-permanent commissions of co-operation offer useful and effective framework for enhancing Zambia’s collaboration with other countries. Through this platform, we have been able to establish important understanding with our neighbours on many issues that directly impact on the livelihood of our people.

Mr Speaker, in our effort to expand markets for Zambian products, and enhance trade with other countries, we have been actively seeking, and in some cases, concluded bilateral agreements with countries in the  region and overseas in trade, road and air transport.

Mr Speaker, COMESA Member States successfully established and launched the COMESA Free Trade Area, (FTA), on 31st October, 2000. The establishment of the FTA offers both challenges and benefits to COMESA Member States. The benefits of a free trade area are the reasons that have forced not only Zambia but countries throughout the world to adopt regional integration as an alternative way of developing their  economies.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the SADC Trade Protocol that was signed at the Heads of State Summit held in August, 1996, in Maseru, Lesotho by eleven of the fourteen Member States, Zambia is fully committed to further liberalise inter-regional trade in goods and services based on fair, mutual, equitable and beneficial trade arrangements, complimented by protocols in the SADC region.

Mr Speaker, to-date, the majority Member States have ratified the SADC Trade Protocol. Zambia is yet to ratify, since the two-thirds majority, that is required to enforce it, has already been attained. The instrument became effective on 1st September, 2000.

Mr Speaker, going by the undertaking made by Government in 1996, to ensure that international agreements and conventions are evaluated before ratification so that they reflect the interest of the nation, Zambia has not been in a position to ratify, because of a substantial number of unclarified issues which we consider cardinal to the implementation of the trade protocol. However, non-ratification by Zambia does not imply that the country is not committed to seeing the process through.

Our position on international issues is reflective of our desire to promote productive co-operation with our immediate neighbours and those beyond.

International Relations

Mr Speaker, the MMD Government has been conducting a non-partisan foreign policy whose priority objective is the pursuit of national and economic interests of Zambia. To this effect, the MMD Government produced a progressive foreign policy document in 1995, after national debate, to achieve wide acceptance. For the first time since Independence, Zambia had a written foreign policy document to guide the country’s actions in the international arena and to serve as a beacon in the country’s interaction with the international community.

Over the past nine years, Mr Speaker, Zambia has continued to play a central role in the political and economic activities of the sub-region and the continent as a whole. Zambia’s participation in conflict prevention, resolution and management at continental level has been visible and effective. For instance, the Zambian forces that have served and are still serving in peace-keeping missions under the auspices of the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations, (UN), have distinguished themselves in all these assignments.

It is in this connection, Mr Speaker, that I would like to thank the international community for the support given to Zambia in her quest to find peace in these areas.

Our neutrality in the on-going conflicts in the region is unequivocal, Sadly, however, we will continue to suffer accusations of being biased from some of our brothers and friends that are in conflict. But these accusations will not weaken our resolve to remain neutral.

Mr Speaker, at continental level, Zambia has continued to champion the cause of African unity and democracy. During the assembly of Heads of State and Government over the past decade, we have strongly advocated for a truly democratic Africa in which mechanisms for changing over of governments are entrenched and respected. I am happy to report, Mr Speaker, that at its 36th Heads of State and Government Summit in Lome, Togo, in July, last year, the OAU, through what was called the ‘Red Card Principle’ supported Zambia’s views on democracy and resolved that any Government that ascended to power through unconstitutional means would be ostracised and isolated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! {mospagebreak}

The President: The Lome Summit also adopted a constitutive Act for the establishment of an Africa Union. Zambia was one of the first twenty-six Member States to sign the Act which is expected to propel African States beyond their narrow boundaries of nation-states into the global sphere of universal realities of inter-dependence and co-existence.

Mr Speaker, our signing of the Act is a clear demonstration of our commitment to African unity. This is further affirmed by the fact that Zambia will be hosting the OAU Heads of State and Government Summit in Lusaka in July, this year. I hereby call upon all Zambians to give their support to the successful hosting of this summit to justify the honour that has been bestowed upon us.

Mr Speaker, at international level, our country has made tremendous strides in meeting its international obligations. We have taken decisive steps to articulate our Foreign Policy and to facilitate interaction with the rest of the international community in order to realise Zambia’s interests and to positively contribute to international peace and security.

Our position on matters that concern and relate to humanity is unambiguous. We have clearly stated our position on issues relating to human rights, democracy and sustainable economic development at the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Non-aligned Movement within which Zambia’s participation has been both decisive and effective. Our country has pronounced itself with regard to institutional reform measures necessary for these organizations to continue to be relevant. The MMD Government supports the proposal to broaden permanent representation on the UN Security Council so that Africa and other developing regions could have a more influential, meaningful and effective voice.

We strongly believe that the reform measures are necessary because it is our desire that such world bodies continue to carry out their mandate in a timely and effective manner in order to safeguard international peace and security and to ensure equitable economic distribution and sustainable growth and development.

The commitment of the MMD Government to build democratic institutions that promote the rights and freedoms of all the Zambian people has won us praise and friendship. We have worked, and still continue to work, hand-in-hand with the bilateral and multilateral co-operating partners from whom we receive economic support which is of great assistance, particularly in our economic and social restructuring programmes.

Mr Speaker, I wish to assure the people of Zambia, through this august House, that the MMD Government which they gave the mandate with which they signed the social contract remains committed to the progressive foreign policy guidelines set out in its manifesto, which have demonstrably distinguished the Government in this sphere. It is an incontrovertible fact that without a pragmatic and acceptable Foreign Policy and Diplomatic posture, the current goodwill that Zambia continues to enjoy would have been difficult to attain.

Through you, Mr Speaker, I would, therefore, like to commend all those that have been part to these tremendous efforts, and to request them to continue to render their support because, the battle is certainly not won.

Did I announce we are about to land? Yes, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, I have taken time to sketch the long path of reform and transformation we have traversed over the last ten years. Ten years of rapid change and transformation.

What then, Mr Speaker, are the development challenges facing our country?

Firstly, we must seek out high value investment that adds technological and material worth to our country, to ensure that we expand our ability to enter the international market.

Secondly, we must increase labour productivity, especially that of our peasant farmers whose potential and capacity has never been fully utilised. We must draw them into the mainline economy and enhance their asset base to mechanise their menial tasks.

Thirdly, we must further raise education opportunities at all levels to increase vocational and technical ability to meet the demand of growing globalisation. I am encouraged by the number of emerging educational institutions offering various forms of training to supplement Government effort.

Fourthly, we must deliberately relegate to the past  the mentality of the state benevolence and instead promote the ethic of work, productivity and enterprise. That is where the answer lies. Welfare is not the answer. Charity is not the answer to poverty eradication, but productivity will generate wealth.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The President: Last but not the least, the Government and the business community must forge a positive partnership that will result in the creation and implementation of coherent and cohesive development programmes.

Lastly, and in the very final analysis, we must learn to put national interest over and beyond narrow, parochial, partisan cleavages and embrace a common national ethos.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President: Mr Speaker, destiny has ordained us the rare privilege and opportunity to change and transform Zambia into a dynamic, prosperous and stable country. We have within us the means, ability and, indeed, the will to achieve this goal. Let us join hands together, rise to the supreme sacrifice and make this goal a reality. We are a nation with hope. Hope firmly anchored in our unfailing and invisible God of tremendous exploits.

Although the challenges we face may look insurmountable, I believe, with God on our side, victory is certain. To make victory certain, let me, therefore, Mr Speaker, on behalf of my fellow countrymen and women rededicate out country and ourselves and all that we hold dear to the Almighty God and ask from the platform of this eminent House for the Holy Spirit to take more of us and to give us more of Him, for by Him this House can carry out its noble mission successfully and to the glory of God. Through Him, our souls ...

Hon. Member: Alleluia!

The President: Praise the Lord.

Hon. Members: Alleluia!

The President: Praise the Lord.

Hon. Members: Alleluia!

The President: Praise Jesus.

Hon. Members: Alleluia!

The President: Through him our thoughts, ambitions and plans can be articulated and implemented with infallible accuracy. For the message of the Bible is clear, the Lord said: As the Father has sent me so send I you, and whatever you bind here on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever is loosened here shall be loosened in heaven.

Let the Holy Spirit therefore guide us in wisdom to love others and make us channels of peace so that we do things as Christ would have done them, and ask that in moments of decision-making, he will give us sufficient inner grace to choose what Christ would have chosen.

Let us then go out on this important mission and fulfil our noble task.

May God bless you.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The President left the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Speaker took the Chair



The Vice-President(Lieutenant-General Tembo): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that at its rising today, the House do adjourn until Tuesday, 23rd January, 2001.

Mr Speaker, may I begin by expressing on behalf of this House and indeed on my own behalf my sincere thanks to the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr. Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba, for the remarkable speech he has just delivered. I consider that the President deserves our heart congratulations on a profound and intelligent address ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: ... with a candid manner in which he has delivered his speech. No doubt, the President has raised exceedingly important issues which need to be carefully analysed and properly understood. Consequently, I am convinced that the House should rise so that hon. Members are allowed ample time in which to study the speech and reflect on all the points raised in order to make constructive contributions during the debate on the Motion of Thanks starting on Tuesday, 23rd January, 2001.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the House for supporting the motion unanimously.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1245 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 23rd January, 2001.