Debates - Tuesday, 25th February, 2014

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Tuesday, 25th February, 2014

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, on 19th February, 2014, I informed the House that in an effort to enhance bilateral and parliamentary relations, the Zambian Parliament would host the Parliament of Zimbabwe in football and netball games in Livingstone on 8th March, 2014. However, since 8th March, 2014, is International Women’s Day and is, therefore, a public holiday, most of the female Members of Parliament will be assigned to officiate at events across the country in commemoration of the day. As a result of this development, it has become inevitable to reschedule the games from March, 2014 to June, 2014. The Zimbabwean Parliament has been informed accordingly.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



340. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    what quantities of uranium had been produced by Lumwana Mine Plc from inception to date;

(b)    what the value of the uranium was;

(c)    of the total production, how much had been sold as of 31st December, 2013;

(d)    how much money in taxes the Government realised from the sale of uranium;

(e)    what long-term health concerns were expected in relation to the mine workers handling the metal; and

(f)    what legal framework was in place to regulate the mining, handling and disposal of uranium in the country.

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, no uranium has been produced by Lumwana Mine Plc since the inception of its operations. The uranium ore which is being mined is a byproduct of copper and is stockpiled and covered. Lumwana Mine Plc has no immediate plans to start processing uranium ore. 

Sir, the value of the uranium ore which has been stockpiled has not yet been established. No uranium has been sold so far. That being the case, no taxes have been paid to the Government. 

Mr Speaker, no long-term health concerns are expected yet as the uranium at Lumwana is not processed. It is stockpiled in accordance with the regulations to protect the environment as well as the safety and health of the workers around the area.

Sir, the following pieces of legislation are used to regulate the mining, handling and disposal of uranium in the country:

(a)    The Mines and Minerals Development Act, 2008;
(b)    The Mines and Mineral Development (Prospecting, Mining and Milling of Uranium Ores and Other Radioactive Ores) Regulation of 2008;
(c)    The Ionising Radiation Protection Act; and 
(d)    The Environmental Management Act.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if there is a way that the uranium which has been stockpiled can be sold.

 Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I guess the uranium which is being stockpiled will, at one point in time, be sold. There is a need to follow the right procedure in the acquisition of the licence for uranium mining. Lumwana Mine Plc applied for a licence to mine copper and not uranium. We are trying to see how we can proceed because the mine wants to formally apply for a licence for uranium mining. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, my concern has to do with the safety of the environment as well as the human beings and all living creatures around the area where the mine operates. Can the hon. Minister state at what stage this ore becomes radioactive and if there are any sample tests conducted periodically in order to ascertain that there is no radioactivity taking place because its effects on a human being normally manifest long after one is exposed to uranium.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, uranium ore only has very minimal radioactivity effects. We should only become concerned with the radioactivity effects when uranium has been processed and enriched. However, be that as it may, the mine still provides its workers with all necessary safety protection so that they do not come into contact with the effects of radioactivity even if they are low.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, the Government has allowed Lumwana Mine Plc to export the concentrates which are made up of untreated material. How does the Government know whether it is only copper which is contained in that raw material?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, it is a known fact that the concentrates contain minerals which can be separated after further treatment. We do not allow the exporting of concentrates of copper and other minerals except for nickel because we do not have any processing facilities for it in the country.

Sir, Lumwana Mine Plc is at the moment storing the uranium ore and not the concentrates. The copper concentrates in the country are processed through tolling. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, if I got the hon. Minister correctly, he said in his earlier response that uranium is a byproduct of copper. If that is the case, why wait until a licence is issued to mine it?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, having a mineral as a byproduct of another does not mandate one to go ahead and process that mineral.  Lumwana Mine Plc has to apply for the mining of uranium specifically because as I said earlier, uranium is a very tact mineral which should not processed anyhow. 

Mr Speaker, we have put in place measures to ensure that Lumwana Mine Plc stores uranium as stipulated by various safety standards. We cannot allow the uranium to get into wrong hands. All those who want to mine uranium must have the licence to do so. 

Sir, we will have to investigate how much uranium is in the ground so that we formalise its mining so that its sales can be taxed.  

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the river water in the Lumwana area in Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency is safe to drink. 

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, when we learnt that Lumwana Mine Plc was mining uranium as a byproduct, people were sent in to test the drinking water in its surrounding areas to ascertain whether it was contaminated. I wish to inform the hon. Member that the water is safe. This is why we have gone ahead to allow the continued stockpiling of uranium ore.

I thank you, Sir. 


341. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when the construction of a science laboratory and dormitories for boys and girls at Lusuntha High School in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency would commence. 

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the ministry has no plans to construct dormitories at Lusuntha Secondary School because it is a day school. 

Sir, due to budgetary constraints, the construction of the laboratory shall be deferred until funds are available. Nevertheless, the ministry shall provide mobile science kits for the teaching of science. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, welcome back. I missed you. 


Mr Mbewe: Sir, there are schools in rural areas which offer weekly boarding facilities. I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether it is right for him to say that dormitories will not be constructed at Lusuntha Secondary School because it is a day school.  Is he serious when he says that there is no consideration to build dormitories in order for the pupils to spend their weeknights at the school? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the ministry is serious in its efforts to provide a solution to the challenge faced by pupils at Lusuntha Secondary School. This is why it is constructing Chasefu Secondary School.  

Sir, last week, a question was asked regarding the construction of Chasefu Secondary School. In our response, we said that the mobilisation advance had already been paid to the contractor. Chasefu Secondary School will be a boarding school which will cater even for some of the pupils who might be squatting at Lusuntha Secondary School. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, has the ministry considered providing Lusuntha Secondary School with mobile laboratories?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I stated in my earlier response, that in the interim, the ministry will provide mobile science kits to the school while waiting for funds to construct the physical structures. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, boarding space goes with boarding fees. Some of the pupils at Lusuntha Secondary School who come from afar end up squatting in nearby villages. Hon. Deputy Minister, are you not considerate enough to put up some boarding facilities for these pupils? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, this is why I said that for that particular constituency, we are building a boarding secondary school. I further said that money had already been paid to the contractor so that we address some of the challenges that our pupils at Lusuntha Secondary School are facing. 

I thank you, Sir.


342. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many dialysis machines the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) had as of December, 2013;

(b)    what the status of the machines currently was;

(c)    whether the Government had any plans to procure new machines and, if so, when;

(d)    what the cost of one machine was; and

(e)    what the life-span of one machine was.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, as at December, 2013, the UTH had sixteen dialysis machines. At present, fourteen dialysis machines are functional. 

Mr Speaker, under the hospitals’ modernisation programme that my ministry is undertaking, the Government has plans to have dialysis machines in all the ten provinces. Already, Kitwe Central Hospital has four machines running as at now and the rolling-out of this programme is on course. 

Sir, the total cost of one dialysis machine is K138,000. However, the ministry has entered into an agreement with the manufacturers of the machines whereby the machines will be placed in our hospitals and remain properties of the supplier on condition that the ministry buys reagents from the same supplier. 

Mr Speaker, the life-span of one machine is six to seven years. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, of the sixteen machines currently at the UTH, how many of them are called ‘dirty machines’? 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you may respond.

Dr Chilufya indicated dissent.

Mr Speaker: The question was not very clear. Hon. Ntundu, could you repeat the question, especially the last part. 

 Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, dialysis machines used on patients who are human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive are called ‘dirty machines’. I would like to find out how many of these ‘dirty machines’ are currently at the UTH. 

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, in fact, there is a system for ensuring that any of the fluids which are likely to come in contact with the HIV and other infections are protected. At present, in Lusaka, only the UTH has that system in place. We have had patients coming from private hospitals where they have dialysis machines, but do not have that system in place.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.  

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister indicated that there is a modernisation programme through which the Government hopes to procure dialysis machines for all provincial hospitals. May I know when this exercise will commence and its time frame so that we can measure its efficiency.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, we do not have a specific time frame. All I can say is that the implementation of the programme has begun. Already, Kitwe Central Hospital has four dialysis machines. The implementation of the programme is ongoing. 

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the health workers at the UTH take long to release the results for the HIV tests.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the health workers at the UTH do not take long to release the results for the HIV tests.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: That is a short answer.



343. Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a)    how many business houses brought foreign direct investment (FDI) in Zambia in 2012  
and  2013;

(b)    what the total value of the investment for each year at (a) was;

(c)    in which sector of the economy the FDIs were targeted; and

(c)    how many jobs were created as a results of the FDIs at (a).

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the FDI inflows to Zambia increased from US$1.1 billion in 2011 to US$1.7 billion in 2012. In 2013, the FDI inflow is estimated to have been worth about US$1.8 billion representing a total increase of 64 per cent from 2011 to 2013.

Mr Speaker, the FDI mainly targeted the following:

(a)    mining and quarrying;

(b)    wholesale and retail trade;

(c)    banking  sector;

(d)    manufacturing;

(e)    construction;

(f)    transport and storage; and

(g)    electricity and gas.

  Mr Speaker, in 2013, a total number of 5,391 jobs were created from the FDI compared to 2,421 jobs created in 2012. The manufacturing sector contributed the highest number of jobs at 2,567 followed by agriculture which created 656 jobs.

  Mr Speaker, I thank you.

  Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, if I compare the FDI inflow in 2012 to that of 2013, I can see that there was a very marginal increment of only about US$100 million. What would be the explanation for that marginal increase? Is it perhaps as a result of the lack of confidence by the investors in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, that is not the case. If the hon. Member wants to use the FDI inflow as  a yardstick for measuring the investors’ confidence in the PF Government then he should start his analysis from the 2011 which is when the PF come into power. From 2011 to 2013, there has been a 64 per cent increment in the FDI inflow. That shows that there is confidence out there in the PF Government.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 


344. Mr Katuka asked the Minister of Youth and Sport when the Youth Resource Centre in Senior Chief Kanongesha’s area in Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituency would become operational.

The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker, the Youth Resource centre in Senior Chief Kanongesha’s area in Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituency became operational in 2010. The officer in charge of the centre has been attached to it from the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. The filling of positions in the expanded establishment for all youth resource centres is awaiting Treasury authority.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, I do not understand what the phrase ‘being operational’ means in the context which the hon. Deputy Minister has used it. I would like to know when the centre will start recruiting students because from 2010 to date, no youths have graduated from it. 

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, when the centre was commissioned, a teacher from the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education was attached to it. Thus, the centre is operational. Like I have already stated, we have asked for Treasury authority so that we can recruit more teachers for the youth resource centres in the country. The inadequate manpower might be the reason for there being little activity at the centre.  

I thank you, Mr Speaker


345. Mr Katuka asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

(a)    what the maximum period of service for Zambians in the Foreign Service was;

(b)    how many Heads of Mission had served longer than the maximum period as of December, 2013;

(c)    at which missions had heads, overstayed; and

(d)    what the reasons, if any, for overstaying were.

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde) (on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Simuusa)): Mr Speaker, the maximum period for Zambians to serve in the missions abroad is three years subject to a renewal or extension of the tour of duty.

Sir, none of the Heads of Mission have served longer than the maximum period of three years as of December, 2013. There is no mission abroad at which a Head of Mission has overstayed. 
 I thank you, Sir.


346. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minster of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the dilapidated infrastructure at Kalabo Secondary School would be rehabilitated;

(b)    which of the following facilities would be given priority in rehabilitating the school:

(i)    dormitories;

(ii)     classrooms; and

(iii)    teachers’ houses; and

(c)    whether the Government had any plans to increase the boarding facilities at the school.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the dilapidated infrastructure at Kalabo Secondary School has already started using the Parent Teacher Association funds. The classrooms have been given first priority while the dormitories will be second in being rehabilitated. The staff houses will be rehabilitated last.

Sir, the Government is currently focusing on opening up more secondary schools in places where the service is not available and as such, plans to increase the boarding facilities at Kalabo Secondary School will be considered in future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I would like to know what the hon. Minister thinks can really inspire and motivate the teachers at Kalabo Secondary School to deliver to people’s expectations when they are living in houses which have no doors and window panes.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of infrastructure at secondary schools is an on-going exercise. As I have stated, the rehabilitation of classrooms is given priority. If the ministry had enough money, then the entire infrastructure at the schools would have been rehabilitated at the same time. We are proposing to start with the rehabilitation of the classrooms due to budgetary limitations. I have taken note of Hon. Miyutu’s observation and will look into the matter.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I received a report that most of the pupils at Kalabo Secondary School are unable to stay in boarding because the parents are required to pay K1,000, which they cannot afford. As a result, the girl children in particular, are very vulnerable. So, is the Government considering the reduction of boarding fees to the level they were during the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I take note of what Hon. Dr Situmbeko is saying, and if you recall, even His Honour the Vice-President last week said many of the texts that he receives are to do with user fees in our schools. Last year, if I am not mistaken, there was a circular which was issued by the Permanent Secretary to all our Provincial Education Offices (PEOs) to the effect that they needed to start managing user fees in their respective regions. So, as far as the ministry is concerned, the situation is under control.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Order on the right! Hon. Deputy Minister, you may continue.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as I was saying, last year, we did guide all the PEOs, through our Permanent Secretary, to start managing the user-fees in their respective schools. We appreciate the fact that most of the complaints which we receive from parents have to do with user fees. So, the ministry will continue superintending over the way user fees are administered.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, the Government is busy constructing new schools. May I know why it is not concentrating on rehabilitating the already existing schools if it does not have enough money.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in case the hon. Member is not aware, each time the Budget is approved in this House, there is always a provision for the rehabilitation of old secondary schools. However, as a ministry, we are aware that the money is not enough to cover the whole country. Like last year, we helped some old secondary schools, in terms of rehabilitation, and we will continue with the exercise.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to know what measures are being put in place to ensure that pupils who fail to pay user fees in various schools are not sent away. We have a situation whereby pupils are being sent away for failing to pay these user fees.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the guidelines have already been issued to that effect. When we travel to tour schools, we remind our colleagues who are the school managers that children are not supposed to be sent away if they have not paid user fees. For example, if parents of a certain pupil are unable to pay cash, such parents can even pay in kind. That is the direction which we have been encouraging our school managers to pursue. The pupils are not supposed to be sent away. I would like to ask the hon. Members to bring to our attention situations involving pupils who are sent away on account of not having paid their user fees.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, the PF Government promised the people of Zambia free education. Is this the free education it promised the people of Zambia?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, those who care to hear must have heard my explanation regarding the issue being referred to by Hon. Ndalamei. The PF Government is very committed to providing free education from Grade 1 to Grade 12, but the present circumstance dictates that such an initiative is not viable. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Phiri: Sir, I have explained at length before, that presently, the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, although voluminous, mostly goes to personal emoluments because of the number of teachers under the ministry. What remains, about 30 per cent of the allocation, goes to non-personnel expenditure. A major part of the non-personal expenditure has to do with infrastructure development. This is because, as a country, we have, for a long time, not invested into infrastructure development, particularly, at secondary and tertiary levels of our education system. This year, we have K500 million going towards secondary school infrastructure and K320 million is going to the upgrading of selected basic schools in order to create space in the quickest possible time because a lot of students have left our education system at Grades 7 and 9.

Sir, when we calculated the cost of free education up to Grade 12, it came to K1.7 billion. Before rebasing, we are talking of about K1.7 trillion. That is equal to the funds that we spend on infrastructure. The Ministry of Finance sets a ceiling on the amount of money which can be spent on certain activities. So, we have a choice, whether to go for free education or put that money into infrastructure development. We are hoping that soon, we can have infrastructure to accommodate more Zambian children in our education system. We feel that is much better than us dividing the money to provide free education and also infrastructure development. That is the explanation that we must give. However, I wish to emphasise the point that we are committed to providing free education because the majority of our children cannot afford to pay for the services that we provide, particularly at secondary school level.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the issue of education is cardinal to this nation. In fact, a bright future for our children depends on it. Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane asked a very simple and clear question. He asked whether the Government was going to revisit its policy on user fees considering the fact that children whose parents cannot afford to pay them are normally sent away from school. We want the hon. Minister to shed more light on this issue. What is the Government’s clear message to the Zambian people on this matter?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I did not know that a person at the level of Hon. Dr Musokotwane needs an interpreter. If he does, why has the interpreter spoken in English? I was waiting to hear some language from Ikeleng’i.


Dr Phiri: Sir, I think the answer that was given to Hon. Dr Musokotwane’s question was very categorical. There are guidelines which have been sent to all provincial and district managers. We expect the guidelines to provide sufficient information on what should guide the school managers. As much as possible, the provincial, district and school level managers are directed to consider the plight particularly of children coming from poor backgrounds when enforcing the guidelines. That is the situation that is in place.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I see a contradiction between what the hon. Minister, Dr Phiri, and what his Deputy, Hon. Mabumba, have been submitting to this House. Hon. Mabumba said that schools have been encouraged to allow children who cannot manage to pay user fees to pay in kind. On the other hand, the hon. Minister just now has said that school authorities have been asked not to adhere too much to the guidelines in order to accommodate the pupils who are disadvantaged. 

Sir, considering that child labour is against the law, can the hon. Minister give examples of what paying in kind for a child to be left in school entails. In other words, what sort of activities should a child get involved in to be considered as having paid in kind?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, there is no contradiction of any sort. If the hon. Member cared to listen, he would have heard that we are talking about the same thing. Let me explain what paying in kind means to us. Definitely, it is not using children as cheap labour so that they have some money to pay their user fees. We are talking about the other kind such as using chickens or whatever the parents can afford to pay for the fees of their children. The parents should be allowed to negotiate with the school authorities. That is part of the guidelines we have given. We have told school authorities to be as flexible as possible. They should allow as many children as possible to continue with their education. The non-payment of fees should not be a hindrance.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just admitted that public resources are not enough for schools to offer free education from Grade 1 to 12. With that realisation, are our colleagues telling us that they are now going to adjust the part of their party manifesto which stated that they would offer free education when they come into power? If that is not done, there will be a breach of contract or trust between the PF and the Zambian people.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I rarely want to answer in a manner which injures the feelings of hon. Members of Parliament because I respect them all. However, let it be known that when the PF sat down to write that manifesto, which it sold successfully to Zambian people, it did …

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: … not realise that the Government it was taking over from would leave glaring ….


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Phiri: Sir, let me tell our colleagues what I have said before, and I think this is the third time I am saying it here. We found projects which were not tied to the Budget. There were secondary school projects which were being used for political expedience in order to create an impression that the previous regime was a working Government. Since I have been asked to comment on this, I want to point out that this explains …

Mr Ng’onga: Yes, tell them!

Mr Speaker: Can we have order on the right, please.

Dr Phiri: … why most hon. Cabinet Ministers retained their seats in the last General Elections. They used the projects as campaign tools to gain votes. We are talking about more than eighty-three projects. 

So, even if we had a well-meaning manifesto, given this huge task they left for us, we had to choose whether to complete the projects or not. Thank God, we chose to finish them. Although they were not our mistake, we are going to complete the projects. These projects will consume K500 million this year alone and they are at various levels of construction. 

Sir, we are not an irresponsible Government for us to agree with our colleagues across who are saying that we have made a mistake to complete what they started. If the projects did not exist, we would have taken the money we are spending on them towards free education. We have to complete the projects, although at a great cost to the manifesto that we love so much.


Dr Phiri: Sir, we are hoping that this year or early next year, we can complete this backlog. I have explained why it is a backlog. We had too many projects chasing little money in the Budget. This means that instead of a contractor finishing a secondary school in two-and-a- half years, they are taking five to six years because we are paying them only K2 million per year. What do you do with only K2 million for a school project? This is the burden the MMD left and we are gladly going to bear it. When we finish this task, we shall reflect on whether we now have an opportunity to implement our manifesto to the letter. Nonetheless, we are still committed to the promises we made during campaigns. The Zambian people should not be cheated … 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, withdraw the word ‘cheated’ and substitute it with a more suitable word.

Dr Phiri: Is ‘deceived’ more friendly, Sir?


Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, although I have already made my point, I withdraw that comment and say that our people should not be deceived. The Zambian people gave us a mandate. They did not make a mistake by doing that. The good Lord also gave us this mandate. He did not make a mistake. He knows why he put us here.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Sir, we are committed to serving both the Zambian people and God that gave us this privilege. There is no doubt about that. As leaders, we should not use the Government projects for political expediency. Let us look at reality as it is. The reality is that our colleagues left behind a backlog of projects which we are committed to finish. We are also committed to giving an opportunity to as many Zambians as possible to get educated.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, going by the hon. Minister’s answer, it is very clear now that the PF has failed to give the people of Zambia free education. Can the hon. Minister not be bold enough to apologise to the Zambian people for having misled them.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I did not want to cross paths with that little, …


Dr Phiri: … sorry, with the hon. Member. I have avoided that both in respect of the late Hon. Kunda and also of the young emerging politician. However, let him know that even his coming to Parliament was through his riding on the platform of the four secondary school projects that his daddy left. In one constituency …

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to demean an hon. Member of Parliament … 

Hon. Government Members: How?

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: … who is a representative of the people of Muchinga in this House? 

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Unless I have not been following the debate closely, I did not hear anything that demeaned the hon. Member of Parliament for Muchinga Constituency.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that there is backlog of construction projects which were left behind by the previous Government. Is he, therefore, saying that his party which has formed Government now is also deceiving people by starting construction projects for roads and airports which are not talked about in its manifesto? 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I will not allow the hon. Minister to answer that question because it takes him out of his remit. If you want to pursue that line, please, file in a question.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, during the campaigns, the PF promised the people of Chadiza free education once it came into power. When I go to my constituency, people ask me, to tell them when free education will be taken there. I have no answer to give them. Can the Minister tell me what I should be telling the people of Chadiza. 

Mr Speaker: I will not request the Minister to belabour that question.


347. Mr Mwanza asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:

(a)    whether there were any guidelines for constituting royal establishments in the chiefdoms countrywide;

(b)    if so, what the guidelines were;

(c)    whether the guidelines were followed by all the chiefdoms; and

(d)    which authority was responsible for ensuring that the guidelines were adhered to.

The Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mrs Kawandami): Mr Speaker, there are no guidelines for constituting royal establishments in Zambia. Each  chiefdom devises its own rules and regulations pertaining to the constitution of a royal establishment.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that, because of the lack of guidelines, the PF Government has allowed these chiefdoms to be appointing relatives, such as children, as chiefs’ representatives or members of the royal establishment?


Mr Mwanza: Sir, the current situation has led to chiefs’ representatives appointing their children and sisters to positions in the chiefdom. Is that correct?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, it is interesting that the PF Government should actually be accused of allowing chiefs to appoint relatives, such as children, as chiefs’ representatives.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Members of Parliament know that chiefdoms have existed from time immemorial. That is before all of us seated in this room were born. Therefore, it is interesting that someone can stand up and blame the PF Government for what is happening in the chiefdoms. At the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, we have realised that we need to put certain systems in place in order to bring sanity to our chiefdoms. Our chiefdoms need to gain the respect which they deserve because they are very important institutions.

Mr Speaker, my ministry is, currently, hiring consultants to study chiefdoms so that they can put on paper what is in the annals of history so that there will be no need to re-invent the wheel and rewrite history. Furthermore, my ministry is now developing what it is calling the Code of Ethics for the Chiefdoms. This is in a bid to address the issues that the hon. Members are raising regarding the chiefdoms. 

Sir, the PF Government should be given credit for doing what previous Governments failed to do. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the Government is developing a code of ethics for the chiefs …

His Honour the Vice-President entered the Assembly Chamber using the door on the side of the Opposition and sat next to Dr Kaingu.


Mr Speaker: Let us proceed.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, we seem to have a stranger on our side.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that her ministry is developing a code of ethics for the chiefs. How …

Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, as you can see, I am relaxing here.


Dr Kaingu: Sir, is His Honour the Vice-President in order to come here and tell me that we must swap places?


Mr Speaker: I have noted lately that there have been a lot of consultancy services …

His Honour the Vice-President crossed the Floor to resume his seat


Mr Speaker: … that have been offered by the left. It may just be that His Honour the Vice-President is consulting.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that her ministry is developing a code of ethics for chiefdoms. Would it not be prudent for the ministry to find out from each chiefdom their code of ethics rather than them developing them on behalf of our chiefs? 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, it is interesting to hear the hon. Member ask such a question when he has been involved in an exercise similar to the one I referred to. Such an exercise requires a lot of research and consultations. All the information which will be collected will be put together at a central registry point. If you listened to me carefully, you would have heard that I was talking about chiefdoms, not chiefs. 

Sir, we are moving away, as a ministry, from just talking about chiefs because we think that there are bigger issues which we need to handle. We are talking about chiefdoms because we want to take holistic development to the rural areas. The chief simply happens to be the leader of a chiefdom. Let us start celebrating chiefdoms, not individuals.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the chiefs or the traditional authorities constitute their own rules for determining who becomes chief. Is she not ashamed that today, the Government wants to constitute rules on how the Paramount Chief Chitimukulu should be selected?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, one of the issues I do not want to be drawn into this afternoon is the discussion of press reports and innuendos.

 I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that currently, royal establishments follow their own rules and guidelines. I would like to find out, as a rider to the question by the hon. Member for Lubansenshi, why the Government is meddling in the affairs of the chiefs in the Northern Province when they are following their own laid-down guidelines which have been established over a period of time. Are they not being inconsistent?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I want to repeat my earlier response. I will not be drawn into discussing innuendoes and press reports. I think that we should let the issue be resolved out there. In fact, it is the innuendoes that people are starting to bring to the table that will create a problem.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Prof. Luo: Sir, let me also hasten to say that there are similar issues in some of the constituencies which the hon. Members represent. Why do they not want to discuss those issues? Why do they want to create a problem where there is none?

I thank you, Sir.    

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that …

Prof. Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, in the hon. Minister’s response to the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa, she stated that we should be celebrating chiefdoms and not chiefs. Is she in order to move the nation away from the nomenclature of her ministry namely, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, which is supposed to be guiding her vision for the ministry? Is she in order to move the nation, through this House, away from the focus of her ministry to something else? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: I will request the hon. Minister to respond to that observation as she continues responding to other questions relating to her portfolio. 

The hon. Member for Ikeleng’i may continue.
Mr Muchima: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for granting me this opportunity. The preserve of deciding whether a question must be answered or not is yours. Is the hon. Minister in order to refuse to answer very simple questions raised by Hon. Mucheleka and Hon. L. J. Ngoma when an electoral college which was established made a decision which was contrary to the Government’s position? Are the questions by the hon. Members difficult to the extent that she should rule that she would not answer them instead of you deciding on that?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister will respond to that point of order.

The hon. Member for Ikeleng’i may continue.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, in her response to one of the questions, I heard the hon. Minister refer to the appointment of a consultant. What I know is that a consultant should be a very knowledgeable person on the subject matter. In this regard, we are dealing with traditional matters concerning our chiefs in Zambia, who are many. Is the hon. Minister talking about one or more consultants and are they from villages? We believe that the villagers are the ones with the traditional knowledge. So, who is that consultant and how long will it take him or her to cover the whole country?
Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, take into account the concerns from the hon. Members for Ikeleng’i, Sinda, Nalikwanda and Chipata Central.

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I do not think that I have directed anybody to move away from the established nomenclature. When talking about this country, we do not just talk about His Excellency the President, Mr Sata, all the time. The same applies to chiefdoms. Chiefs only lead chiefdoms. There are a lot of issues which are associated with chiefdoms. I think it is important that we now start addressing chiefdoms if we are to deal with the many challenges that are found in the different parts of the country.

Let now answer the questions asked by the hon. Members for Chipata Central, Lubansenshi, …

Mr Speaker: And Sinda.

Prof. Luo: … and Sinda. Mr Speaker, I do not think that there is anyone in this House who has any evidence of an electoral college that was constituted. We all have been getting our information from the stories in the press. I am not going to answer questions which are based on press reports regarding issues I do not have information about on my table. I have said before on the Floor of this House that my ministry has not received the required documentation for the selection of the chief from the chiefdom in question. Therefore, if I do not have those documents, I am not going to sit here and speculate answers.

I thank you, Sir.
Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Minister has said that her ministry or the Government at large does not set the rules that are used to constitute …

Mr Muchima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has attempted to respond to two concerns which you directed her to. However, she has not addressed the concern I raised as you directed. Is she in order to completely ignore my question? 
Mr Speaker: As far as I am concerned, she has provided an elaborate response.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, there was an issue about the appointment of a consultant or consultants. As you continue responding, please, clarify that position.

The hon. Member for Siavonga may you continue.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated and, rightly so, that her Government has no say in the constitution of royal establishments. As I speak, the people of Chief Sikoongo’s area in Chirundu District have no chief. May the hon. Minister explain to me, and the nation at large, why some people in Chief Sikoongo’s area dragged her and her ministry to court over the succession wrangles that ensued after the dethronement of Chief Sikoongo?

Mr Speaker: Order!

That is not a supplementary question.

The hon. Member for Monze Central may ask his question.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, it seems that there is a contradiction between the hon. Minister and her Deputy pertaining to the intended codification of the conduct of chiefs or chiefdoms.

Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, she indicated that they will not create a code of conduct for chiefs. What they will do is create a code of ethics for chiefdoms, meaning that they are going to create a code of ethics for all Zambians in this country. What will be the punishment for any Zambian who will violate that code of conduct?

Mr Speaker: Order!

You may provide the clarification, hon. Minister. Bear in mind also, the point by the hon. Member of Ikeleng’i about consultants.

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i and many of those who are seated here know that before hiring a consultant or consultants, you have to come up with terms of reference. Therefore, the hon. Member will not draw me into discussing the terms of reference and would-be consultants because we are not yet at that stage. I can invite him to come to the ministry to discuss this matter further. Furthermore, I do not think that the hon. Member should prescribe who the consultants should be. There are people who have studied history, anthropology, culture, and other related subjects. In fact, right now, the University of Zambia (UNZA) is offering a course on chiefdoms. I think that it is difficult to prescribe the terms of reference before determining the full scope of the works.

  Mr Speaker, words are being put in my mouth. I did not say that we are going to develop a code of ethics for all Zambians. I think that what I talked about was totally different. When raising a  follow-up question, an hon. Member alluded to the fact that there are problems in chiefdoms because we do not have in place a code of ethics for the selection of chiefs. We have said that each chiefdom has its own ways of selecting a chief. When coming up with the ethics, we need to factor in the needs of the different chiefdoms. The constitution of the teams which will be  selecting the chiefs in the chiefdoms will need to be carried out in accordance with the ethics.

I thank you, Sir.


348. Mr Mucheleka  asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the construction of the maternity wing at Ndoki Health Post in Lubansenshi Parliamentary Constituency would resume; and

(b)    why the construction works had stalled.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the contract to complete the maternity wing at Ndoki Health Post in Lubansenshi has been awarded to Sicwra Enterprises Limited, through a procurement process undertaken by the Northern Province Provincial Administration. Works are expected to resume once the rainy season ends, as the road leading to the area is currently impassable.

Mr Speaker, the construction works at Ndoki Health Post stalled after the termination of the previous contract in December, 2012, that was held by Ruthen Engineering Limited.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I need your informed guidance on the procedures we are going to be using in this House.

Mr Speaker, in your absence, we were advised that when you want to raise an issue pertaining to a matter that is under consideration, the question must be contemporaneous. We have been told not to wait until the one on whom we are raising the point of order has completed speaking. Arising from the answer that was given by the hon. Minister, what will constitute contemporaneity over the issue I will raise? If  precedence is taken into account, I will be ruled out of order, and told that I should have raised that question when the hon. Minster was on the Floor. 

I need your serious guidance on this matter so that I am not seen to be abrogating the rules of this House.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The difficulty I have with some of these points of order is that before the hon. Minister is given an opportunity to complete an explanation, and I emphasise, to complete an explanation, another point of order is raised. That could continue ad infinitum, meaning by implication, that the hon. Minister may not have an opportunity to explain herself at all. Therefore, I do allow a completion of the response with the hope that your concerns, or any hon. Member’s concerns will be addressed in the course of that response. If I were to permit points of order the moment an hon. Minister rises, there would be a risk that hon. Ministers may not be accorded sufficient opportunity to respond to these points of order. When is contemporaneity? I think that you should allow presiding officers to exercise their discretion to determine the propriety or otherwise, of interjections. There is no hard and fast rule. By the way, we also follow these responses. The bottom line is that I would like to afford your colleagues on the right an opportunity to respond to your questions. It is very tempting to interject even when a response is still being made, but I think that on a balance, I am inclined to give an opportunity to the hon. Ministers to complete their responses. If at the end of the response, there is still dissatisfaction, my ears and eyes are open.

The hon. Member for Lubansenshi may continue.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the answer given by the hon. Minister. The people of Ndoki have suffered. This project has stalled for too long. Can the hon. Minister suggest to me, what I should go and tell the people of Ndoki area in Lubansenshi Constituency, and what they should do to the Government if at the end of the year, this project still remains incomplete?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the completion of the project is on course. The evaluation was done and an appropriate contractor was picked. We are confident that things will go according to plan. Thus, the people of Lubansenshi should support the PF Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!



349. Dr Musokotwane asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    what urgent measures the Government was taking to curb the use of dangerous fishing methods such as the poisoning of fish in water bodies in the Western Province;

(b)    whether the Government was aware that wildlife had been dying from drinking the poisoned water; and

(c)    what measures had been taken against people that were using the unconventional fishing methods in the province.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, during the month of November, 2013, there were reports of fish poisoning by fishermen in Lukulu, Mitete and Libonda areas in the Western Province, using doom in the lagoons. In order to arrest the situation, the Government has done the following:

(a)    conducted joint patrols involving the Department of Fisheries and the Zambia Police Force to deter such practices;

(b)    the Department of Fisheries has gone round the affected areas, sensitising the Indunas who own the lagoons as well as the communities, on the dangers of using poisons in fishing to human health as well as general aquatic life;

(c)    the Government is aware that some wildlife has died from drinking the poisoned water; and

(d)    at present, a key measure being undertaken to discourage the use of unconventional fishing methods in the province is the sensitisation of the communities involved.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, can I be allowed to raise two points of order?

Mr Speaker: No. You are not allowed to do so.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order on the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock. 

Sir, our duty here as legislators is to provide oversight on the Executive. While you were away, I raised a point of order regarding the delay by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to make an announcement about the lifting of the ban on the sale of pork products. The Hon. Deputy Speaker graciously enough asked the hon. Minister to come up with a position thereon. That was done last week. In his statement, the hon. Minister indicated in no uncertain terms, that, yes indeed, the ban had been lifted and that on 24th February, 2014, which was yesterday, the ministry would issue a statement to officially lift the ban on the sale of pork products.  

As you may wish to know, Mr Speaker, feeding a pig on a daily basis has its own cost implications. The farmers require to dispose of these animals as quickly as possible. Now that today, is the 25th February, 2014, is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock in order to remain quiet and not issue a ministerial statement which will take away the pressure which the pig farmers have? I seek your ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order!

As the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock continues to respond to questions, he could,  take into account the concern raised by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central and clarify the position.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, it has been observed that most of the people who brought the wrong fishing methods into the Western Province are not from there. Can the hon. Minister agree that the Lozi traditional system of fishing should be promoted in order to discourage the people of the Western Province from using wrong methods?

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, in our initial response, we explained that the measure that is being taken is that of sensitising the people. This sensitisation programme is not only confined to the people of the Western Province. It is for everybody who is involved in fishing in this country. That is the only way we can deter people from poisoning water in order to catch fish.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: What about the concern by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central?

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, we stand by the statement that I made on the Floor of this House when I responded to a question which was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Constituency. I stated that the ban on the movement of pigs in Lusaka Province would be lifted on 24th February, 2014, which was yesterday. That statement still  stands. The Director of Veterinary Services issued a statement about the lifting of the ban which should have been broadcasted by now by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). The Director of Veterinary Services is following up the matter so that the nation can be informed accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, poisoning water is a very wicked and obnoxious act to commit not only to aquatic life, but to wildlife and subsequently to human beings as well. 

Sir, the hon. Minister indicates that this act was done in Mitete and Lukulu. Have there been any arrests and the subsequent prosecution of the perpetrators?

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, no arrests have been made yet. I cannot agree more with the hon. Member on the fact that that is a serious mater. We only hope that the law enforcement agencies will find the wrongdoers and bring them to book.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the problem at hand is a serious source of concern. How many sensitisation …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am grateful. My point of order is on the hon. Minister of Justice and His Honour the Vice-President, jointly.

Sir, in the last fortnight, there have been several pronouncements by the Head of State, His Excellency Mr Michael Sata, which have trivialised the Constitution-making process despite the PF having promised to deliver a people–driven Constitution within ninety days after being elected into power. 

Mr Speaker, last week, the hon. Minister of Justice, arising from a point of order that was raised by Hon. Mucheleka, was advised to come to this House and tell us, in no uncertain terms, at which stage the Constitution-making process was at. Last week, the hon. Deputy Speaker came to this House and indicated to us that he had authorised the statement to be delayed because the hon. Minister of Justice was indisposed.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Justice is now back in the House and is seated in front of me. Is he in order to remain seated without telling us exactly what we need to know as the people providing oversight on the Government regarding the official position on the Constitution-making process? 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, the hon. Minister of Justice is scheduled to issue a statement tomorrow. 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, this poisoning of the water bodies, commonly known as masa, is getting out of hand. How serious is the sensitisation programme? If nothing serious is done, all the fish, animals, cows and people in the Western Province will die.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, the sensitisation is on-going. Perhaps at this stage, let me appeal to the hon. Members of this August House to participate in this programme of sensitising our people because if the wrongdoers do not stop the things that they are doing, then we all stand to lose as a nation. 

I thank you, Sir.


350. Mr Mwanza asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    when the rehabilitation of township roads in Solwezi would be completed;

(b)    whether the project would be completed on schedule;

(c)    if not, what the reasons for the delay were; and

(d)    what the estimated cost of the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation project of township roads in Solwezi has not yet commenced and, therefore, a definitive completion date cannot be availed at the moment. It is envisaged that once the project commences, the appointed contractor shall complete the works on schedule.

Sir, the project for the rehabilitation of the roads is still under the procurement stage and, therefore, the matter relating to the delays for the completion of the project cannot arise at this time. The actual project cost shall only be known once the contract has been awarded. This contract will cover an approximate 20.5 km of township roads.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that the delay is because the contract which was given to Arizona was cancelled after Hon. Mwamba resigned as Minister of Defence. That is what the people of Solwezi know. 

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that. The process is still at the procurement stage, so we cannot say anything else as at now. Whatever goes on at the procurement stage is confidential. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, how long does the hon. Minister expect the procurement process to take? 

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, it may take six months or more.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, does the country have enough money to work on the roads? We keep getting false information.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, the Government has got money to work on the roads. That is why you are seeing that most of the roads throughout the country are being worked on.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, how long does it take for the tenders to be offered after they have been evaluated? I believe these roads fall under the Pave Zambia 2000. We have been told that the evaluation was done months ago. How long do we have to wait before the works can begin?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, the process has reached the MPC stage.

Hon. Opposition Members: What is MPC?


Mr Speaker: Just explain that abbreviation.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, it stands for Ministerial Procurement Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


351. Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education what plans the Government had to improve the teaching and infrastructure standards of community schools in rural areas. 

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr P. Ngoma): Mr Speaker, the ministry has allocated a total of K953,325,650 for infrastructure in 2014 for the provinces as compared to K607,408,764 in 2013. This represents a 56.95 per cent increase in the allocation, thus emphasising the importance the Government attaches to infrastructure development.

Sir, in 2014, each of the ten provinces will construct a total of fifteen classrooms and fifteen houses, together with ventilated improved pit latrines. These classrooms will be constructed in schools where there are pole and mud structures, which will include some community schools.

Mr Speaker, it should be pointed out that the ministry attaches great importance to the standards of education in all schools, including community schools. The ministry will not relent in its efforts to support many schools to provide quality education.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, does the Government know the number of community schools and their status countrywide?

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, the Government is well aware of the number of community schools countrywide. We have visited certain schools in the rural areas. In some schools, the environment is not conducive for learning because they are made of pole and mud. In this year’s Budget, the ministry has allocated some money to rehabilitate some of these schools. Other schools will be rehabilitated next year. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, how long will it take for the Government to turn the community schools into institutions which are fit for learning?

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, the Government is doing everything possible to work on the schools that are made of pole and mud.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, the Teaching Profession Act does not recognise untrained teachers. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, before we went on break, I was saying that the Teaching Profession Act does not recognise teachers at community schools who are not trained. What will the hon. Minister do with these teachers? Are they going to be recognised now or not?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, we are operationalising the Teaching Profession Act. We hope to deal with the issue which Hon. Mtolo has raised once we establish the council for teachers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is the ministry considering the issuance of certificates to practising teachers in the near future?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, immediately the council is fully operational, that is the duty it will perform.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, many stakeholders including the Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) want the Government to clarify a seemingly confusing statement that was published a year or two ago, that the ministry intends to take over the running of community schools. Does the ministry intend to take over the running of the community schools in order to improve the quality of education they offer?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, we have had very fruitful discussions with ZOCS. There is no need for the ministry and association to quarrel regarding the running of the community schools. The Government should facilitate the upgrading of community schools. As of now, the community schools that have been upgraded have happily been given to the ministry to manage and there has been no conflict at all.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, has the hon. Minister got any plans of increasing the number of trained teachers in community schools?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, we have actually put initiatives in place for the upgrading of the qualifications for teachers. UNZA and Copperbelt University (CBU) have put in place programmes for that purpose. A programme will soon be launched for the purpose of improving the qualifications of teachers who work in community schools. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, these community schools are quite useful because they serve as a nursery for secondary schools. I would like to find out what interventions the hon. Minister has in place for spotting talent from amongst the teachers found in community schools whom it intends to take to colleges.

Dr Phiri: Sir, community schools play a critical role in the country’s education system. They  inform the Government about the need to create more space in our schools. This is why the ministry sends qualified teachers to most of the community schools even though the Government schools need teachers. We thank the communities for the schools. The best way to support them is by training the teachers in the community schools. When I was announcing the Grade 7 examination results, I stated that some pupils from the community schools performed better than those from my own schools. The community schools have a lot of potential which needs to be harnessed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to hear that the ministry is encouraging the training of community teachers. Does the ministry provide some sort of support in terms of funding, especially for teachers in rural areas who are unable to pay their college fees?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the colleges have initiatives in place to help community school teachers access their training. Some do that through the distance mode of education. Further, there are a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which try to help the community school teachers to upgrade their qualifications.

Thank you, Sir. 


352. Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would construct a police post in the Nambwa area of Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Force has got plans to construct a police post in the Nambwa area of Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency, funds permitting.

Sir, I am pleased to inform the House that the community has indicated that it is willing to help the Zambia Police Force to construct a police post to service this particular area. To this effect, the ministry has requested the Infrastructure Development Unit at the Zambia Police Force Headquarters to prepare a bill of quantities for the police post.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the whole of Nangoma Constituency, big as it is, has only one police post which does not have a vehicle? Is that the way the people of Nangoma will be protected?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we are aware of the security challenges in Nangoma Constituency. That is why we have accepted to partner with the area Member of Parliament and the community in the construction of a police post.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


353. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    how many tonnes of lint cotton were exported from 2011 to 2013,  year by year;

(b)    how much money was realised from the exports, year by year;

(c)    how much money in taxes was realised by the Government from the exports; and

(d)    if no tax was charged, what the reasons were.

Mr Kazabu: Sir, lint cotton exports during the period under review or the period in question were as follows;

    Year        Metric Tonnes

    2011        44,439.8
    2012        84,688.7
    2013        56,834.3

Mr Speaker, the money realised during each of the export years …


The Deputy Speaker: Order on my right!

Hon. Opposition Member: They are always noisy.

Mr Kazabu: … was as follows:

    Year    Amount of Money 

    2011    K583,086,368
    2012    K682,007,612
    2013    K458,767,953

Sir, there was no tax revenue collected on the exporting of lint cotton from 2011 to 2013. The reason for the non-collection of tax revenue on exports of lint cotton is that the 15 per cent export duty rate which was introduced in the 2008 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure on lint cotton (not carded or combed) of tariff line 5201.00.00 was reduced to zero in the 2009 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that cotton exports from 2011 to 2013 attracted no tax revenue. I would like to find out when the Government intends to start collecting tax revenue from the cotton exports.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, issues to do with the collection of taxes fall under the jurisdiction the Ministry of Finance. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what could have led to the reduction in the tonnage of lint cotton exported from 84,688.7 in 2012 to 56,834.3 metric tonnes in 2013. Could it be because of the bad policies this Government has with regard to cotton growing.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, cotton production depends on various factors, some of which are beyond our control. There are factors such as the rainfall pattern or the types of soils where cotton is grown by our people. These factors can explain the decrease in the production. Furthermore, there is the issue of the capacity of individual farmers to increase the acreage of their cotton fields. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, the decrease in production in 2013 was definitely not a consequence of the rainfall pattern or any other reason, but poor marketing. This is a fact which has been acknowledged in this House by the ministry. Now, …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, we have been informed by the Patriotic Front (PF), through His Honour the Vice-President, that the distribution of fertiliser depends on the rainfall pattern. Is the hon. Deputy Minister who is responding in order to say that the reduction in the production of cotton is as a result of the rain pattern also? Is he in order to say that? 

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think the hon. Deputy Minister mentioned several reasons. The rainfall pattern is just one of them. 

Can the hon. Member for Chipata Central continue. 

Mr Mtolo: Sir, production in the 2012/2013 season dropped not because of the rainfall pattern or input distribution, but because of poor marketing. As a result, farmers did not cultivate enough cotton in 2013, a product whose prices now are very good on the international market. 

Mr Speaker, what measure is the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock putting in place to encourage cotton farmers through good marketing? May I know what marketing policies are in place for cotton.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, in response to what happened in 2012, the Government came up with the Price Stabilisation Fund. In fact, the exact amount provided in the Yellow Book is K3.2 million. We believe that if the unexpected happened in the sense that perhaps the price on the market falls, the Government would be able to make that necessary and critical intervention so that our cotton farmers begin to build on their capacities. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Brig-Gen Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the cotton growing areas in Zambia are Katete, Chipata, Kalomo, Mumbwa and Kabwe rural. 

Sir, I am sure many farmers would not want to invest their labour and money into growing cotton. Has the information about the Price Stabilisation Fund been disseminated to our farmers?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, for clarity’s sake, I wish to state that there is a whole range of factors that affect the production of cotton.

In reference to the question by the hon. Member for Chipata, I want to inform the House that rainfall patterns, input distribution, marketing and price, in particular, are some of the factors which affect cotton production. 

It may well be known that in 2012, there was a serious drop in the price of cotton on the world market which created a problem between the farmers here and the out-grower promoters, particularly the big companies that engage a lot of farmers to produce cotton for them. Consequently, there was very little crop planted in the 2012/2013 season, in comparison to the previous years. In fact, production dropped by 46 per cent. That was of great concern to us.  

Mr Speaker, with regards to the point raised by Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo, it is our view that it is not the responsibility of the Government alone to disseminate information about cotton. The bulk of the people that are disseminating this information are the out-grower promoters such as Dunavant Zambia Limited and Cargill Cotton Zambia. In fact, there are, at least, six major companies which promote the growing of cotton. 


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, on my right!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the Government has continued to allow the private sector to promote the growing of cotton. We are only supposed to intervene when there is a problem. In fact, we have taken a step further by holding meetings with the Cotton Board and other companies involved in the selling of cotton. We had meetings yesterday and today. We shall also hold another one in April, this year. We will have a consultative conference at which we are going to discuss the roles which should be played by the different players. Once we have completed that process, we will be in a position to come up with specific programmes. We want to attend to the several factors which affect the growing of cotton. We will obviously come back to this House once we have completed this process. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, money has been budgeted for, meaning that the Government intends to cushion the drop in the price of cotton. 

Sir, in their calculations, how much have they budgeted for a kilogramme of cotton? 

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I think I already answered that question. I indicated that we have been having consultative meetings. The fact that there is a provision in the budget does not mean that the Government will intervene by buying cotton. We have not said that. It is a Price Stabilisation Fund. The fund is not supposed to be used to buy cotton. The utilisation of the fund is a subject of the consultative process which we are carrying out at the moment. 

I thank you, Sir. 


354. Mr Ntundu asked the Minister of Health: 

(a)    what the staff establishment for doctors at Gwembe District Hospital was;

(b)    how many doctors were stationed at the hospital as of December, 2013; and

(c)    when the shortfall, if any, would be filled. 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the staff establishment for doctors at Gwembe District Hospital is five. There should be two general medical officers, one medical officer in-charge and two senior resident medical officers.

Mr Speaker, as of December 2013, there were two doctors stationed at the hospital because the other two doctors were elevated to the position of district medical officers for Monze and Pemba districts. One doctor went on study leave.

Sir, the filling of positions in the establishment is an ongoing process. Therefore, the Government will send more doctors to fill the vacancies within the course of the year.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, at the moment, the doctor who is stationed at Gwembe District Hospital is the District Director of Health. I would like to find out where the hon. Minister got the numbers which he has given us because, at present, the District Director of Health is the only medical doctor at Gwembe District Hospital. When is the Ministry of Health going to send medical doctors to Gwembe District Hospital? The answer should not be based on the wrong information at hand.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the information I have provided was as of December, 2013.  Therefore, the hon. Member should not confuse that information with what is now prevailing on the ground. If the hon. Member wants some more information on what is obtaining currently, we can give it to him.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, Gwembe District Hospital is the only Government facility that provides medical services to the people in the area. As at December, 2013, the establishment at Gwembe District Hospital was made up of two doctors. What urgent measures is this Government putting in place to ensure that the suffering of the people of Gwembe is alleviated considering that we have been forsaken since we have no district hospital?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Before the hon. Minister responds, the establishment is not the same thing as strength. The hon. Deputy Minister can now respond.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the posting of doctors to all the district hospitals is an ongoing process. Therefore, Gwembe will receive its due attention.  

I thank you, Sir.




(Debate resumed)

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and his Deputy Minister are not in the House. I am wondering whether …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

I know where the hon. Member for Mwandi is heading. For your own information, His Honour, the Vice-President is going to respond to all the concerns on behalf of the hon. Minister of Finance. You may continue, please.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, having been guided very well by the Chair, let me continue with my debate.

Sir, the question of debt is not partisan. It is a serious national issue. Therefore, when we make comments, it does not mean that we want to belittle the job of the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, when I was doing my Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I had a Bemba lecturer who used to say that inkongole chintu icibi sana. 


Dr Kaingu: Sir, what he meant was that incurring debt is a very bad thing. It has ruined homes and family businesses. When a country incurs a lot of debt, its sovereignty is threatened. I would want my colleagues on your right to stop making noise. You have guided against that.

Sir, let me recap what I said on Friday, last week. When a Government continues to borrow heavily like that Patriotic Front (PF) is doing, it simply shows that it has failed to collect taxes. If a Government cannot collect taxes, then it does not have the capacity to pay back debts.

Mr Speaker, it is also important for the Government to know that over borrowing causes problems in the Civil Service. If the Government continues to borrow like it is currently doing, we shall forever have problems with accountability in the Civil Service. Those in the Civil Service will start helping themselves to the resources.

Sir, we should not just focus on the principal that has been borrowed. In finance, there are implicit diseases like interest rates, inflation and exchange rates. What happens is that if the principal is heavy, the interest will also be high. The interest rate alone will milk the Government to a level where it will not be able to pay the principal. In short, the hon. Minister of Finance will become a cash-cow to the lenders. They will forever be collecting money from us because it will not be easy for the hon. Minister to pay the principal as the interest rates go up. I heard the hon. Minister of Finance saying that it does not really bother him even if the exchange rate is on the upswing. That is really a reckless and careless statement because he knows very well that there are some businessmen who have borrowed money externally, and if the exchange rate goes up, then the principal money that they have borrowed will also go up. If the principal goes up, then the interest rate also goes up. Those businessmen will also become cash-cows.

Mr Speaker, the other important thing that I want the hon. Minister to know is that, as the interest rates and the exchange rates go up, the inflation rate also goes up. If the inflation rate goes up, it will exacerbate unemployment. The standard of living in the country will also become high. As you can see, the prices of mealie meal and other essential commodities have been going up. I have heard people say that if the Government borrows heavily, it will crowd out the private sector. What does that mean? It means that if the Government borrows heavily, as it is doing, the only way it can pay back is to introduce Government bonds. When these Government bonds have been introduced, the interest rates will become very attractive to a level where banks will not invest in private businesses, but in the Government. It will be cheaper to invest in the Government because that investment will be safe. On a lighter note, our hon. Minister of Finance will be called “Mr Money”, and people will say “lend your money instantly …


Dr Kaingu: … because security is guaranteed”. That is what will happen.

Hon. Opposition Members: Mr Money!

Dr Kaingu: So, you can see that in future, we are going to bequeath a heavy debt to the coming generation.

Mr Speaker, this is worrying. On this side of the House, we want to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is not just a question of the arrogance of numbers. We did the same when we were on the Government side of the House. However, as we debate here, the hon. Members …

Hon. Government Member: Where were you?

Dr Kaingu: Sir, we were on that side of the House. I want to assure you that the people of Zambia have realised the importance of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy’s (MMD) coming back into power.

Hon. Government Members: Iye! No, No!

Dr Kaingu: Sir, there shall be no more experiments. They say once beaten twice shy.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the message from the people is very clear. I engage them and they have said it to me as MMD Vice-President, who is going to be Republican Vice-President in 2016 …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Could we go back to debating the Motion.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for your guidance. I urge …

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the illusionary MMD Vice-President, Dr Kaingu, in order to keep misleading himself and the people listening out there that the people of Zambia will forever long for the MMD to come back to power without pointing out that the so-called MMD has continued to lose badly, especially in Luapula Province, where it lost like utwana utunono, meaning little children? He is not telling the Zambian people that the money that the PF Government is mopping up is going into infrastructure development, and that the people are very happy everywhere. Even as we speak now, …


Mr Deputy Speaker: What is your point of order?

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, is Hon. Dr Kaingu in order not to tell the Zambian people that the money that the PF is mopping up is being used as planned? The hon. Member complains about infrastructure development every day.

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Let us debate the Motion. Why do you want me to get involved in the battles between the left and the right? I am a presiding officer, and once I make a decision, it is final. You cannot challenge that decision. You may continue, Hon. Dr Kaingu.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I forgive the young man.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Kaingu: Sir, the danger of borrowing for infrastructure development was demonstrated in the days of United National Independence Party (UNIP). It was also demonstrated in the Latin-American countries, particularly, in countries where the governments use the development of infrastructure to gain political mileage. If you borrow and invest the money in infrastructure that is just meant to gain political mileage, surely you are going the wrong way. It is also true that if the Government is borrowing for consumption, even the minimum wage will be irrelevant as it will be eroded. This Government will need to subsidise the cost of many things. When the private sector does not have access to money, it will stop employing. We have already seen a moratorium on employment in the Civil Service. I have already said that what the Government is doing will exacerbate unemployment. So, I do not understand what the young man was saying. Maybe, I should borrow that same phrase …

Mr Deputy Speaker: I would rather you address him as hon. Member of Parliament as opposed to young man.

Dr Kaingu: Sir, my apologies, I refer to him as hon. Deputy Minister. He is definitely philosophically indisposed.


Dr Kaingu: Sir, with those few words, I thank you.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this debate. I particularly want to appreciate this opportunity given the fact that many of us were ambushed last week because of the confusion that arose on when the debate on this Motion was going to take place. I had left my notes home. I now have them. I am sure that is the case for many of my colleagues.

Mr Speaker, this is the second time, I believe within about six months, that we are being requested to approve the raising of the ceiling for Government debt. In other words, the Government is asking this House to raise the amount of money that we can borrow. The first time this was done, it was on foreign debt. Today, it is on domestic debt. I can see His Honour the Vice-President is …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it is always important for, us, as leader to be honest to ourselves and those that we lead. Is the hon. Member, who is a former hon. Minister of Finance, in order to debate without acknowledging the fact that the current hon. Minister of Finance is trying to regularize some of these matters, especially the raising of the current debt limit, that was incurred under his administration and by himself?


Mr Kampyongo: Is he in order not to indicate that some of the undertakings embarked on such as the Formula I road projects, which were not budgeted for, have contributed to the hon. Minister’s coming here to request this House to regularise the irregularities the former hon. Minister of Finance left behind? I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I do not have any serious ruling to make. Can we wait until the hon. Member on the Floor completes his contribution.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, even Hon. Sichinga here is saying that I should be allowed to debate first.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, here is a summary of what we are being requested to approve today. On loans borrowed for a duration of less than one year, the limit today is K200 million, but we are being requested that this limit be increased to K13 billion. That is a sixty-five times fold increase. For loans exceeding one year in duration, the limit should rise from K10 million to K20 billion. That is a 2,000 fold increase. Then, of course, we are also being requested to increase the limit on the contingent liabilities incurred locally and outside the country. In all, given this information that I am just reading out, the loans that the Government can acquire domestically rises from K210 million to K33 billion. This is a 157 times fold increment.

Mr Speaker, loans are just one form of borrowing. There are other forms of borrowing which are not covered by this Statutory Instrument (SI). These other forms of borrowing include Treasury bills. In other words, the Government can still borrow through Treasury bills, in addition to what we are being requested to approve here.

Mr Speaker, there is also the issue of borrowing through domestic bonds. Again, that has not been included here. So, all in all, what we are seeing is that at minimum level, the borrowing limit is being increased, as I said, from K210 million to K33 billion for domestic loans only. However, when you include other forms of borrowing like Treasury bills and so on and so forth, clearly that limit is bound to be much higher.

Mr Speaker, the limits that we are being requested to increase today are in fact meant to counter the deficits that the Government has been running into. Obviously, when you run a big deficit, such as 6 to 8 per cent, and I think that was the projection for last year, you must go and borrow. This Government has been borrowing at a very rapid rate. 

Mr Speaker, here is some information that was extracted from the report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV Consultations on Zambia. At the end of 2011, the banking system in Zambia lent to the Government a total of K5.2 billion. By the end of this year, it is projected that the total amount of money that the banking system will have lent to the Zambian Government on an accumulative basis will be K10.2 billion. So, in a period of two-and-a-half years, we are talking about doubling the amount of the domestic debt that the Government is incurring. Hon. Members can get this information for themselves on the IMF Website. 

Sir, still referring to the same source of information, at the end of 2011, the amount of money borrowed by the Zambian Government was K9.6 billion. Two-and-a-half years later, it is estimated that the figure is going to be K25 billion. That is more than double the initial amount.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, clearly, you can see that we are getting into a problem which has been caused by the rapid growth of debt arising from the fact that the Government wants to spend well beyond its means. This is what this means.

Mr Speaker, many times, I hear our colleagues across talking about the unprecedented development they are bringing to the country. However, I do not hear any one of them talking about how this unprecedented development is taking place and how it is being financed. They conveniently keep quiet on that side of the story. They do not say where the money for this development is coming from.

Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is that this so-called unprecedented development is actually the unprecedented destruction of the Zambian economy.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, we know of many examples of unprecedented development that takes place elsewhere. If this Government, in the last two-and-a-half years had opened three or four new mines, which creates new taxes, we would be full of nothing, but admiration because our colleagues would be working. The only mines that they went to put flags on are those which were already in the pipeline during the reign of the MMD. They have done nothing.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, if we saw agricultural production expanding, thereby this country yielding bumper harvests, farmers would have money in their pockets and pay more taxes. The money from such taxes could be used to build roads. That is what we would call unprecedented development. Instead, granaries that were flowing with produce in the past are now empty, with only cockroaches and mice.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, …

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Are those the PF cockroaches.

Dr Musokotwane: … if this Government was opening many manufacturing companies at a given goal, we would see unprecedented development …

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Yes.

Dr Musokotwane: ... because roads, power and such type of infrastructure come from the productive sector. If it does not come from the productive sector, then what we are seeing is unprecedented destruction.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shaikapwasha: Of the economy.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, that it what happened under UNIP.

Dr Kaingu: You will see what will happen.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the other thing that we need to mention is that, as we borrow, some of the money, yes, is going to infrastructure development, but a lot of it is actually going to wasteful expenditure. For example, one of the priorities of this Government is by-elections.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, a by-election does not cost less than US$1 million. Most of the time they cost more than that. When our people ask for schools, they are told there is no money. When our little children say gives us money so that we stay in boarding schools to stop these men from impregnating us in the villages, they are told there is no money. However, when it comes to creating by-elections, money is always there.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: They even go to the Supreme Court.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, we have heard how a number of expenditures are just created from nowhere. People can just stand up one day and declare that they have created a district there. They just create districts ...

Mr L. J. Ngoma: And another one there.

Dr Musokotwane: … so that the PF cadres can get jobs as District Commissioners.

Mr Speaker, these districts that have been created are cost centres. The same development that you want to see …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Why are you engaging him? He is addressing the House through the Chair.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Deputy Speaker: If you want to debate, you indicate. You will have the opportunity to counter the debate. So, please, can we listen.

May the hon. Member continue.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, I was saying that, we are seeing institutions like new districts being created anyhow. These are cost centres.

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, if you want to build a hospital in the rural areas, you do not need to create a district for that. You can give the money to Hon. Dr Kasonde. He will go and put up a hospital in my village. My village does not need to be a district for it to qualify to have a hospital. It does not. Similarly, this can be done for schools.

Mr Speaker, what we see is a situation that every other day a new district is created. I hear colleagues cheering.

Dr Kaingu: Umm!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, sometime this afternoon, I heard somebody saying that, many of the projects under the MMD Government were political gimmicks. Today, we are seeing under this Government political gimmicks of an unprecedented order.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Deception.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, under the PF, we have seen the unprecedented order of political gimmicks. 

Mr Speaker, as we speak even these amounts that we are talking about are terribly underrated because if you go around, you will find so many people in business saying, “Look, I am owed so much by this Government.” They made me to work on a particular road without paying me. They made me to work on that school without paying me. This is what is happening in this country.

Dr Kaingu: What is the illusion?

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, this careless spending is a big danger to our country. 

Mr Speaker, I think we have spoken before about the danger of excessive borrowing. We have talked about the consequences before. We have talked about the possibility of an increase in the inflation of the country. In this country, we used to have inflation of more than 100 per cent, 200 per cent and 300 per cent caused by excessive borrowing and the printing of money. The way I see this Government handling the finances of this country shows me that we are not very far away from the day when high rates of inflation will come back.

Mr Speaker, we have talked about the balance of payment problems. When you borrow too much inevitably, some of that money that you borrow would need to go into imports. When people want to spend the kwacha to buy cars, television sets and all sorts of things, inevitably, it will lead to balance of payment problem.

Mr Speaker, we have talked before about the risk of economic development. When investors see that this country is getting into a financial problem, what do they do? They will shun the country. Likewise the local people instead of putting up a factory, they say the economic environment is not enabling. The danger of economic growth shaking is very real. 

Sir, today, let me add another point about the consequences of this excessive borrowing. One of those consequences is the loss of confidence by those who lend money to us. People begin to ask themselves questions like, is Zambia still a country that I can lend money to? Let me tell you, Mr Speaker, if you read through one of the Bloomberg Reports of last week, you will have noticed that the bonds are being issued at a discounted rate.

Hon. Opposition Members: Oh!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, in other words, if somebody bought a bond for $100, he should be ready to sell it on the market at maybe $99. Why are they selling them at a discount? They are doing so because they are not sure about the prospects of the bonds being paid back in full.


Dr Musokotwane: Read the report. It was on the Bloomberg Website for last week.

Dr Kaingu: They do not read.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, if you get to a situation where people can no longer lend you money, then you are in serious trouble.

Mr Speaker, there are so many cases of countries that have fallen into similar problems like us. Think of the problems in Greece that we hear about. The problem of Greece started when they were sponsoring the Olympic Games a few years ago. They borrowed excessively in order to construct stadiums. Today, where are they? They are in serious trouble.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: They are broken.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, we hope that the Government will depart from this path.

Mr Speaker, I did hear the hon. Minister of Finance saying that they are just creating room for development. The creation of space for development should not lead to us exhausting all our borrowing options. 

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Dr Kaingu: That is a political statement.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, especially, we have a Government that is known for making promises that it does not honour. They promised the people a new Constitution in ninety days. That promise has not been honoured. The PF also promised that mealie meal prices would go down once it came into power. That promise has also not been honoured. They promised for free education which we were discussing a few minutes ago, but it has also not been honoured. 

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Fuel.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, the promise of more money in our pockets, has also not been honoured. 

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Fuel.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, they also have not honoured the promise to reduce the price of fuel.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Barotseland.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, the promised to implement the Barotseland agreement, but it has also not been honoured. 

Sir, my conclusion, after reading the article by the IMF that I was talking about, I got some valuable infomation. Read through the report and look at the figures. Some of you may think that I am just politicking when, in fact, I am giving sound professional advice.

Dr Kaingu: Yes.

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, if the Government does not read through history and heed advice, it will go down in history as one of the worst governments that this country has ever seen. They found an economy that was growing and stable which they have just spoilt within three years. For all these reasons, Mr Speaker, I do not support the Motion. I would suggest that we take a step further. I would be happier for us to begin to discuss how we can institute binding limits on the amount of money that this country can borrow. 

Mr Speaker, you heard this debate in the United States of America last year where people had serious arguments. In the days of the IMF programmes, we adhered to limits because they were imposed on us. After that, we became confident and said that we did not need the IMF. We were running things without imposition. However, given the fact that this Government does not want to limit itself, maybe, we should go to the IMF and say that we are financially indisciplined, and so, impose limits on us so that we can run our finances properly.

Mr Speaker, I do not support the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.    

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Apart from His Honour the Vice-President, I have two more hon. Members on my list. I want to give them the opportunity to debate. However, if there is anyone on my right who wants to debate before His Honour the Vice-President, I want to give you the opportunity to do so instead of your passing running commentaries. If I see none, I should not hear any running commentaries.
The hon. Member for Lubansenshi may speak now.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, the issues I wanted to raise have already been covered by the people on your right who have spoken before me. Therefore, I would like to take their debate as mine.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!    

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate.

Sir, clearly, economics is not a monopoly of one side of the House. In fact, the Government has a lot of information at its disposal. Unfortunately, I missed out on last week’s debate on the matter. However, I will refer to some of the comments that have been made this afternoon by some of the speakers on your left.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: You have never run an economy.    

Mr Sichinga: Sir, I hear a comment from the hon. Member of Parliament for Keembe that I have never run an economy. I also want to tell him that he has never run a mine like I have which was responsible for almost the entire economy of this country. Therefore, I would like to debate this Motion from a position of experience and knowledge.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo not to raise a point of order because we listened to them and are now responding. So, I would like him to sit down as my good friend and listen to professional advice.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

Hon. Minister, I prefer that you make your points rather than instruct that nobody should raise a point of order. You may continue with your points.

Mr Sichinga: I thank you, Sir. 
Sir, before 2011, this country was running a deficit and the former hon. Minister who is seated on your left was responsible for that. Beyond that, he was also the economic advisor to the President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Therefore, when we debate issues, we must put them in context.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the deficit, which included what was owed to ordinary people besides Treasury bills and bonds, was in excess of K8 trillion in the currency of the day.

Dr Musokotwane: What percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) was that?

Mr Sichinga: Allow me to debate. Sir, I need your protection so that I can debate and develop the point.

Mr Deputy Speaker: I agree. Let us allow him to debate .

An hon. Member interjected.

Mr Sichinga: The reason I want …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

When anyone of you on my left was debating, whether the people on the right thought you were misleading the House or not, they did not disturb you. I think it is only fair that you listen. Do not engage the speaker on the Floor.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Sichinga: I thank you, Sir. I am responding to the issues that were raised. In fact, one of the reasons I said we should encourage this debate in the House, including from the former hon. Minister of Finance, is that we wanted to respond.

Sir, the previous Government was running an economy which had a deficit. The indebtedness to suppliers of goods, Treasury bills and Government bonds were in excess of K8 trillion in the currency of the day. Therefore, the point that …

Hon. MMD Member: It was 1 per cent of the GDP.

Mr Sichinga: Please, hon. Member, can you just listen? I am on the Floor and the Speaker has given me protection. I want to say that out of twenty years …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

What is happening in the House? I am appealing for order, but I have people on my right who do not want to speak when given the chance to speak and want to specialise in making running commentaries. For people on my left, why are you engaging the speaker on the Floor? Let us learn to give each other the opportunity to debate.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Sichinga: I thank you, Sir.

Sir, the legal limit on the debt is the figure that we are debating today which was K20 billion in the day and now K20,000. You cannot run an economy on that level. They had already exceeded the limit as of 2011. In economics, you make a provision to ensure that you are operating within the limit. The previous Government was already outside the limit. What we are doing today is to clean up the balance sheet. We are cleaning up – I want to seek your indulgence, Sir, because there is no other way to say it – the mess that was left behind.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!    

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: No, there is no indulgence. Mess is unparliamentary. Stick to the proper language. 

Mr Sichinga:  Mr Speaker, we are cleaning up the irregularities that were left behind.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: When you exceed the legal limits, you need to regularise the situation and this is what this Government is doing. The indebtedness is at two levels. The provisions under Cap 366 talk about internal and external debt. Let me talk about internal debt and then move on to external debt.

Mr Speaker, internal debt comprises Treasury bills, bonds and all other outstanding debt that the Government has incurred locally. The limit on this, as I have already stated, was being exceeded by the previous Government. How, therefore, they funding the extra expenditure? They were funding with money from the Treasury bills. However, what we did not see was how that converted into capital formulation. We did not see roads mended to ensure that the economy can be kept oiled. Instead, we saw, towards the end of the term of the previous Government, the rush to build the so called Formula I roads. Sir, the current Government has had to take some money from the Eurobond to pay for that indebtedness. Even that, needed to be regularised, and this is the process that we are now going through.

Mr Speaker, let us now look at external debt. The reason a country goes out to borrow is to finance its offshore procurement. It also borrows because it does not have the sufficient generation of income from taxes within the country and the options are to either increase taxes or borrow. Even with that borrowing, which was covered through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC), there was still a debt of US$556 million. The debt coverage was out of a write-off and not good management, as they claim.

Mr Mbulakulima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, I am worried. Looking at the minutes that are remaining, I expected the hon. Minister to touch on one important fact. Is he really in order to mislead the country that the MMD Government left a deficit, without explaining that the deficit was 3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the current deficit is in excess of 7 per cent? Is he in order not to explain those two important facts?

I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

As you debate hon. Minister, you can handle that point.

Mr Sichinga: I have thirteen minutes to go. I can pick and choose which aspects of this issue I want to debate because the subject is very wide. The examples which have been given regarding inflation are a 100 per cent correct. I also want to say that out of twenty years under the MMD, we did not see a change in infrastructure in terms of schools and hospitals. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, if that had been done, there would be no reason this Government would have to be doing that work now.


Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, let me also explain that if you want to move the copper ore from the new mines in the North-Western Province, you need to have roads and the railway lines. You cannot have a mine operating without a road or a railway line nearby. The cost of doing so would become excessive, and that project would not be viable. This is exactly what this Government is doing. We are putting money in the roads. Surely, this must make sense even to those that have not done economics. If you want a mine to operate in five years time, you would have to resolve the road problem before the five years. This means you have to increase your capital expenditure. You have to increase your infrastructure development expenditure through ways that normally exceed your ability to earn it from the taxes. At the moment, the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) is the one that finances the operations of this country. This Government is interested in creating jobs that will give us the income tax that will go towards financing a number of projects. 

Mr Speaker, some people have complained that we are leading the country into problems by incurring a lot of debt. Which one do you do first? Do you create infrastructure first, or do you wait until you are not able to deliver your promise to allow the industry to be oiled? Industries will be attracted to invest in this country when we have infrastructure such as roads, telecommunication facilities and power supply in place. We found a power deficit which has been responsible for the majority of the power cuts this country has been experiencing. There was no capital expenditure and investment going into the generation of power.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichinga: Sir, this is why it is important for us to expedite processes …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, you have always guided us that on the Floor of this House, we must speak based on facts. We should not mislead this House. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock is actually misleading the House.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, he is aware that the Kariba North, Kafue Gorge, Itezhi-Tezhi, and Victoria Falls power station expansion projects under the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) were all initiated by the MMD.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is he in order to mislead the House and the nation at large, without acknowledging certain facts? Let him just debate issues and not start misleading the House. Is he in order to mislead the House?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, as you debate, you can take that point of order into account.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, it is true that every Government that comes will ensure that whatever projects are started by the previous one are completed. It is the same even for this Government.

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

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, we had power deficit. That cannot even be disputed by the previous Government and the United Party for National Development (UPND). The truth of the matter is that there is a power deficit because there were no power stations being developed. That is the fact. How can that statement be misleading to this House? In fact, you do not even have to be in this House to understand that there is a shortfall of power out there. The people themselves know that too well. That power deficit stifles economic development. You have to put in place power stations to generate power in order to attract trade and industry to the country. 

Mr Speaker, let me look at the other issue that has been raised. What is the current level that is allowed legally under our laws for borrowing domestically? What is the figure? I think that the former debaters did not want to disclose that. Do we choose to leave it where it is now? If we do, it means that any borrowing that we are going to do, however small it will be, will be illegal. That is why Cap No. 366 is very specific. This Government is in order to come to this House and point out that we doing things illegally. We want to regularise the situation. Surely, this Government deserves to be commended.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, if your earnings from your taxes are not sufficient to allow you to accelerate your capital expenditure, you have to find an alternative. The alternative that this Government has is to carry on the way the MMD did and have no development at the end of the day. We have chosen to do otherwise, and that is the basis of the differences in our manifestos. We are not going to wait until the mines start operating, people start rioting, and industries fail, before we start to deal with the problem. That is why within two-and-a-half years, we have allowed ourselves to engage in the productive construction of infrastructure including power stations. That is what industries require in order to function properly. I cannot have value added for my agriculture commodities without power. This is an issue which the Vice-President for the MMD, who is the hon. Member for Mwandi, and I have discussed.  I want to inform the House that these are the issues that tax us both in Cabinet and the party. We look at the figures and think about how to accelerate development with these figures. Our friends from Bembaland have a very good saying, and it says uwakwensha ubushiku … 

Hon. Government Members: … bamutasha elyo bwacha.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, this means that we may appreciate someone who takes us through the dark in the morning when the sun rises.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I also want to say to the MMD Vice-President that the Bible is very clear on this. Where there is no wisdom from the leadership, the people perish. That is why we are not going to allow the people of Zambia to perish.

Hon. Pande: The Kasempa people are perishing. 

Mr Sichinga: Hon. Pande, we need to borrow money so that the North-Western Province is provided with roads.

Mr Pande: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

You know, when I sit here, do not think that I am just looking, I am also hearing. Hon. Pande is not qualified to raise that point of order because he started the game.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I am sure that two wrongs do not make a right here. 

The hon. Minister may continue.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: On who? I am still speaking.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, continue.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I also want to encourage my colleagues on this side not to be afraid to …

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, Sir, is the hon. Minister in order to come here and misquote the Bible? 


Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Sir, he said that, “Where there is no wisdom, people perish.”The Bible clearly says, “Where there is no vision, people perish.” Hon. Sichinga misquoted the Bible. Is he in order to do that?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: I am sorry. I am not an expert on issues to do with the Bible so I will not be able to make a ruling on that issue. The hon. Member for Keembe was himself out of order by addressing me as ‘Mr Speaker, Sir’. Can the hon. Minister continue. 


Mr Sichinga: Sir, I also wanted to say to my colleagues that we should engage intellectually …

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Sichinga: … and not use points of order because the debate can only flow when we allow each other …

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised. We seem to have exhausted our debate on this matter. I will, therefore, allow that point of order and after the hon. Minister has spoken, we will move.

Ms Imenda: Sir, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. The hon. Minister on the Floor has been twisting facts and misleading us. He earlier on mentioned that the last Government exceeded the limit and had a deficit of K8 trillion and that what we are doing now is tidying up.

Sir, we are talking about increasing the debt threshold to K20 billion rebased, which means that under the old currency it is K20 trillion. Is he in order to try to mislead this House, the nation at large and even you, Mr Speaker. Is he in order?


Mr Deputy Speaker: Once you bring in the Chair into your point of order, you dilute it. I may not have all the facts in terms of the two positions being advanced by people on my right and left. It becomes difficult for me to make a ruling on matters I have no facts on. 

Can the hon. Minister continue. 

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I am rather disappointed with the last point of order because I had expected a professional accountant …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I have made a ruling. Do not go back to that point of order.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, let me just correct the wrong impression that that point of order has created. My point was that one of the things that we are dealing with is the domestic debt which was incurred in 2011. The debt that was incurred in 2011 exceeded the limit that is on the statute books. We want to increase the threshold so that we can borrow legally. This debate has just taken place in the United States of America.

Sir, the changes will give us the flexibility to borrow without having to resort to breaking the law. That is point the I was making. It should be clear to the House that it is now in order for the PF Government to clean up its act. We want to legalise our borrowing. Due to the intensity of our development agenda, it has become necessary to borrow. There is nothing wrong with borrowing if the money is not going to consumption. We want to spend the money in productive areas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I hope we have cleared the air over this particular matter. We expect the support of the entire House on this matter. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Well, I intended to move on. Let me allow one more hon. Member to debate so that I am not accused of stifling debate.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, you can take the Floor. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I promise that I will be very brief. 

Sir, I see a lot of senior PF officials who were in this House before 2011. I used to argue with some of them. There are times when your Government makes certain decisions and you have to be very independent in your mindset. You do not have to support everything that your Government does. We were accused of supporting everything that our Government used to do. We want to see our colleagues behaving differently 

Mr Speaker, we are not against the borrowing. The question we are asking is: To what extent are we going to borrow? On Friday, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central asked a question about the stability of our exchange rate. The answer from the hon. Minister, which surprised me, was that it was normal for the exchange rate to keep fluctuating. The monetary and fiscal management in a country is the function of the Government. When the hon. Minister of Finance agrees that it is normal for the exchange rate to fluctuate, it sends wrong signals.

Mr Speaker, at the time when they took over Government, the cost for a US Dollar was K4,700. From September 2011 to date, the US Dollar costs almost K6,000. This is an indictment on the Government which has indicated that it has failed to run the economy. You cannot casually say that it is normal for the exchange rate to keep fluctuating. It is the function of every Government to control monetary and policy issues.

Sir, we raised the limit in terms of borrowing from foreign sources not too long ago and today, we are talking about internal borrowing. There will be no sustainable development for the future generation if we live the debt burden on them. Sustainable development starts now. Yes, most of us in this House are in the late afternoon. Despite that, we need to care for the children who are coming tomorrow.

Mr Speaker, there should be no divide between that side and this side. The issue of borrowing is just like the issue of the deficit. You cannot properly run a Government with an unbalanced Budget. The MMD, even in those days, had a deficit of 3 per cent. Today, we have started to reach levels of 7 to 8 per cent. This calls for worry. There is a need for us to slow down.

Sir, there are certain issues which need to be dealt with urgently on the global stage. I have a document which reads:

“The restriction of loans to a few large borrowers and governments, together with the widespread existence of high inflation, growing budget deficits, which we are experiencing, and negative real interest rates, are the issues that led to the credit crunch during the 1980s.” 

Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance Minister was already an economist by then. In the 1980s, Africa or the least developed countries suffered a crunch because of the combination of these factors. There is a need for us to reflect on what we are doing. We do not dispute the fact that we need to borrow. All we are saying is that we need to watch out. 

Sir, it is a fact that in the long run, it is the efficient collection of taxes that can help the Government raise funds for meeting the development aspirations of the people. We cannot rely on borrowing. In this House, we need to talk about tax and not to hinge our development plans on borrowed money. If our plan is to survive on borrowed money, then, there is cause to worry. These are the important issues that we should bring to the House.

Sir, many LDCs face the problem of having large fiscal deficits. We know that deficits are incurred when public expenditure is in excess of public revenue. This is as a result of embarking on a combination of ambitious development programmes and unexpected negative external shocks, which we have no control over. The deficit can also be as a result of rising debt burdens, falling commodity prices, growing trade imbalances and declining private and public investment flows. One of the junior doctors said that the MMD invested in schools to make them politically popular. That was not the case. We need to reflect on that. They should look at the way they are crowding the road sector. It is not a bad idea to work on the roads. However, if you become so overambitious, you will cause a deficit. The benefits of developing a country’s road infrastructure take a long time to yield. 


Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, these days, it is common to find a road in a bad state after the end of the project. If that happens, there is, again, a need for you to reconstruct that road. Are you going to borrow the money to start repairing that road? While we do appreciate the need for infrastructure, we need to be very cautious in the way we do things. No one is against investing in infrastructure. It is just worrying if you become overambitious. 

Sir, we are saying that it is this borrowing which has got an effect on inflation in the country. It also has an effect on the exchange rate and on the lives of the people of Zambia. It is for this reason that the kwacha is not getting strong. This is a non-controversial issue. I know that our colleagues have come in big numbers because they want to use the arrogance of numbers. 


Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, there should be no division. We need to stop borrowing excessively. The rate at which we are going, His Honour the Vice-President, is very dangerous. By the time we leave this House, we shall become a highly indebted poor country. The MMD is the only party that has got the vision to run this country …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mbulakulima: … even on a cash Budget. I do not think there is any party that can come up with the infrastructure that we left. There is no party with the ability to do what we did. I can assure you that come 2016, with the vision of Dr Mumba supported by Dr Kaingu and Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo, …


Mr Mbulakulima: … no one will stop us from developing this country. It is my sincere hope that our colleagues will support us. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Sir, I have the honour of having been elected three times to this House. Following each election, I have seen my colleagues identifying vehicles that they wished to buy on nkongole for five years, but free of interest. I have not noticed any animosity towards nkongole amongst the Opposition in this House …


The Vice-President: … until today or the other day. Suddenly, we are spouting Bemba sayings such as, “inkongole,  shilaletelela”.


The Vice-President: Sir, coming from a Lozi, that saying is rich. I have never heard that before. It seems those from the MMD have some faint hope that they might succeed in shooting down the PF. As someone has pointed out, what we are doing is housekeeping. On 20th of September, 2011, the date on which we put the MMD in a place where it will remain for a long time, …


The Vice-President: ... the outstanding stock of domestic debt was K12.8 billion. The prescribed threshold in the law was K210 million only. This means that, they over borrowed. So, the law we had then to govern domestic debt was meaningless. We could have continued to keep that meaningless document and, maybe, even put it in the Museum. 

Sir, let us be realistic. What we are doing here is to merely legalise our borrowing. If the Opposition succeeds in somehow stopping us from borrowing any more money, I will be in Mwandi tomorrow explaining to the people that I cannot fix the road from Livingstone to Sesheke because of …

Mr Mukata: because of Kaingu!

The Vice-President: … Kaingu.


The Vice-President: Sir, I will tell them that he stopped me from obtaining the nkongole with which I was going to fix their road.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Your Honour the Vice-President, can you, please, put the words, ‘nkongole’ and ‘Kaingu’ in the proper language of the House. 


Mr Mukata: Sikoloti!

 The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the sikoloti or whatever you want to call it …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Do not say, whatever. You should say what is correct in the House.


The Vice-President: Sir, that is the boomerang effect of this little campaign. We will go to their constituencies explaining that until the people grow enough tomatoes and we have taxed them, we will not be able to improve their schools. We will tell them that until they have enough cattle and we have taxed them, we will not have the money to fix their roads. I am sure that those who are in the Opposition, but were formally in Government, know perfectly well what we are trying to do. The people who are hoping to be in Government one distant day may not be in a position to understand what is happening. If you win in Katuba, so what? What is one seat in Parliament made up of 158 seats? 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: You would have done that with a lot of blood spill. 

Sir, I beg the House to be sensible, honest, simple and straightforward and pass this Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours. 

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Hon.  Opposition Members called for a division.

Question that in terms of Section 3 and 15 of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act, Chapter 366 of the Laws of Zambia, this House authorises the Minister of Finance to Increase Amount Outstanding at Any One Time on Domestic Loans put and the House voted.

Ayes – (70)

Mrs E. M. Banda
Mr N. Banda
Mr Bwalya
Mr Chabala
Col. Chanda
Mr Chansa
Mr Chilangwa
Dr Chilufya
Mr Chisala
Mr Chishimba
Mr Chitotela
Mr Chungu
Mr Evans
Mr Kabimba, SC
Mr Kalaba
Mr Kampyongo
Ms Kapata
Mr Kapaya
Mr Kapeya
Mr Kapyanga
Dr Kasonde
Dr Katema
Ms Kawandami
Mr Kazabu
Mrs Kazunga
Mr Kosamu
Mr Kufuna
Mr Lubinda
Dr E. C. Lungu
Col. J. Lungu
Professor Luo
Mr Mabumba
Mr Malama
Mr Matafwali
Mrs Mphande
Mr Mpundu
Mr Mubukwanu
Mr Mukanga
Mr Mukata
Mr Mulenga
Mr Mumba
Mr Munkombwe
Mr Mushanga
Mr Musonda
Mr Mutale
Dr Mwali
Mr Mwaliteta
Mr Mwango
Mr Mwewa
Mr Namulambe
Mr P. A. Ngoma
Mr Ng’onga
Mr Njeulu
Dr J. T. Phiri
Mr Sampa
Dr Scott
Mr Shamenda
Mr Siamunene
Mr Sichinga
Mr Sichone
Mr Sichula
Mr Sikazwe
Dr Simbyakula
Mr Taundi
Mr Tembo
Professor Willombe
Mrs Wina
Mr Yaluma
Mr Zimba
Mr Zulu

Noes – (25)

Mr Antonio
Mr W. Banda
Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo
Mrs Chungu
Ms Imenda
Dr Kaingu
Mr Katambo
Mr Lombanya
Mr Mbewe
Mr Mbulakulima
Mr Miyutu
Mr Mtolo
Mr Mucheleka
Dr Musokotwane
Mr Mutelo
Mr Mwale
Mr Mwanza
Mr Mwiimbu
Mr Ndalamei
Mr L. J. Ngoma
Mr Ntundu
Mr Pande
Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha
Mr Sianga
Mr Simbao

Abstentions – (0)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1841 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 26th February, 2014.