Debates- Thursday, 18th July, 2013

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Thursday, 18th July, 2013

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Simuusa): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to make a ministerial statement on the measures that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is undertaking to address deforestation in Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, the deforestation rate in Zambia is high, with between 250,000 and 300,000 hectares of forest cover lost every year. The PF Government will not let this very worrying state of affairs and depletion of forests continue without providing tangible interventions. 

Sir, the recent announcement by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that we risk losing our forests within fifteen years if nothing is done about the deforestation rate in Zambia is a timely warning. After taking over the Government in 2011, we immediately took some action towards supporting the forestry sector. In 2012, a supplementary budget was provided to the Forestry Department to raise tree seedlings for establishing forest plantations as well as establishing and expanding community woodlots in all the ten provinces. That bold step was a direct response to the high rate of deforestation. Fifteen million tree seedlings are expected to be raised and planted over 10,000 hectares in the 2013/2014 planting season. However, this intervention is just a drop in the ocean when you compare it with what we are losing every year. 

Mr Speaker, as a Government, we are determined to achieve a net-zero deforestation target rate in as short a time as possible. That means that the trees we lose every year must be balanced out by the trees we plant or regenerate. That, if achieved, will be a very big achievement for us as a country. After that, we can start talking about becoming net-positive. 

Mr Speaker, in order to address illegal logging, a timber ban was instituted in November, 2012, and was only lifted on 1st May, 2013. During the ban, the Government, through my ministry, engaged all stakeholders in the timber sector through provincial and district consultations. However, all the timber licences became invalid as of 30th June, 2013. I am pleased to indicate that the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, through the Forestry Department, is currently reviewing timber licence conditions and putting in place other measures to control and regulate timber harvesting. The new conditions were supposed to take effect on 1st July, 2013 but, due to administrative challenges, it was not possible for the ministry to finalise and implement them. It, therefore, became imperative to extend all licences that were valid on 30th June, 2013, for a further three months, from 1st July, to 30th September, 2013. Thereafter, the licences will be renewed under the new conditions to be announced shortly. 

Mr Speaker, in the on-going effort to address deforestation and environmental concerns arising from agricultural activities, my ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock have commenced the harmonisation of our policies. 

Finally, Sir, the Government, through my ministry, will tackle the charcoal sector. You are all aware that charcoal production is one of the major drivers of deforestation in our country. Cognisant of the fact that charcoal is a major source of livelihood for many of our citizens and a source of domestic energy for over 90 per cent of the households, we need to address the matter with care to avoid disadvantaging the many livelihoods that depend on this commodity. 

Sir, charcoal burning is a major issue that cannot continue to be ignored in our country. Therefore, in addressing it, we will deal with the five components of the value chain, namely, forest management and production, transportation, retail and consumption of charcoal. Each of the components has a number of different actors and stakeholders. So, we need to critically analyse all the various aspects and bring the major stakeholders to a round table to discuss practical options for the charcoal sector. All the stakeholders will be invited to what we have termed a ‘Charcoal Indaba,’ at which we will discuss and find solutions to issues related, but not limited, to sustainable forest management, charcoal production, alternative energy sources, improvement of energy efficiency, charcoal economics, technology options for improved production and the institutional framework. 

Sir, the Charcoal Indaba will be convened by my ministry in September, 2013. All stakeholders and institutions across the country that are interested in contributing to the discussion should forward their requests to the Permanent Secretary at Mulungushi House in Lusaka before 15th August, 2013. Proposed presentations and inquiries can be e-mailed to either

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement just made by the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement. I think it could not have come at a better time than now.

Sir, the issue of desertification has been with us for a very long time now, especially those of us who come from the Southern and Western provinces, to the extent that the region is slowly becoming engulfed by the Kalahari Desert. The 15 million trees that the hon. Minister made reference to may be a drop in the ocean, but how many will be planted in the two provinces, considering that the Western Province has been the most devastated by the logging that he referred to in his statement?

If you are kind, Sir, I would also like to know what practical alternatives to charcoal his ministry is thinking about other than the twigs that we have been talking about for a long time, considering that the extreme weather conditions that we are experiencing the world over have reached the unprecedented levels whereby, England, today, has recorded the hottest day since 247 years ago. It means that even on this side of the Equator, we will soon record colder weather conditions. With our people that do not have central heating, what are the alternatives?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, I think that you have asked your question.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I acknowledge the positive comments made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central.

Sir, last year, I remember coming to this House with a very detailed province-by-province programme for the tree-planting exercise, which included the tree species to be planted them. With your permission, I will come with that detailed programme and share with the hon. Members of the House and the nation at a later stage. However, I wish to encourage hon. Members of Parliament to participate in this exercise. Last year, we apportioned a thousand seedlings for hon. Members of Parliament to plant in their constituencies or any area of their choice, but very few came forward.


Mr Simuusa: Those who came forward were given the seedlings and they planted. Others did not come because there were problems with transportation. Nonetheless, I urge my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to be ready. There will be another allocation. However, regarding each province, I will come with the details later.

Sir, I will follow the one-question rule. So, for the other question about alternative energy sources, I will come with the details, which will be very interesting.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, sustainable forestry management requires resources, one of which is transport for those charged with the responsibility of monitoring. What is the ministry doing to ensure that the district offices are provided with transport so that they are able to monitor this endangered resource?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, in answering that question, allow me to appreciate the massive support we receive from the Ministry of Finance in making this programme very successful. Regarding transport, we are doing all we can to make it available. However, we will start at the provincial level and, then, roll down to the districts where the actual work is done because even in the plan for tree-planting, most of the seedling nurseries are at the provinces. Further, we depend on the provinces to supervise and co-ordinate the districts. For now, we are making serious efforts to ensure that transport is available at provincial level.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I know that it might not be allowed, but let me acknowledge the good work that this hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: You are allowed.


Ms Namugala: He is doing a commendable job, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, that said, what practical steps will the Government take to ensure that alternative sources of energy and economic livelihood are provided to our people who rely on forests and forestry products? We all know that there are many people who would not send their children to school if they did not burn and sell charcoal.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, allow me to also acknowledge the positive comments from the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simuusa: Sir, having said that, the issue that the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga has raised is one of those that make charcoal burning such a touchy subject even for the Government; the fact that it is a major source of income and livelihood for many of our poor people in Zambia but, at the same time, one of the largest drivers of deforestation. Having said that, I invite hon. Members of Parliament, including the one for Mafinga, to the indaba …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simuusa: … so that we collectively look at this matter. It is not a simple issue, but a very complicated one. It is in the matrix of our society. How will we, for example, stop deforestation or cutting down of trees for charcoal burning? What alternative do we give to our people?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let us give the hon. Minister an audience, please.

Mr Simuusa: For example, if we ban charcoal burning, what alternative sources of livelihood will we give to our people? What will the source of energy for our mbaulas or braziers be? The reason I am calling for that indaba is to tap from the experience and wisdom of the brains of this country. I, therefore, acknowledge the significance of the aspect to which the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga has referred.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, why has the hon. Minister’s ministry decided to give an individual, who is a member of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Board, 20,000 hectares in the national forestry reserve in Upper Lupande?

Hon. Opposition Members: Eeh! How?

Mr Mwiimbu: Furthermore, what happened to the money that we have all been paying as carbon tax, which was supposed to be used to mitigate the effects of deforestation and forms of environmental degradation?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm or deny the issue of some individual being given 20,000 hectares in a national forestry reserve. I invite the hon. Member to bring me those details so that we look at it very closely, if at all it is true.

Mr Speaker, the money paid as carbon tax goes to the General Treasury. In fact, we have had discussions with the hon. Minister of Finance. Maybe, a statement will be made later on the best way to use the carbon tax money.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, while the hon. Minister wants us to wait for the indaba on deforestation, important as it may be, could he highlight for us the specific measures he is taking to address the depletion of certain economically valuable species like Mukwa, Rosewood and Mwande.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, as I mentioned in my statement, very shortly, I will announce new conditions for forest licences. However, that is one of the reasons we instituted that timber ban, especially in the Western Province. Some species are in trouble and in danger of extinction. Those species include teak, Mukwa and Rosewood. Some of the measures that we are considering include banning the exploitation of certain species in some regions to allow them to regenerate. Those are the measures we are considering.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the reason the Government did not complete revising the licence conditions was that of administrative challenges. What was the nature of those administrative challenges that the ministry faced or is currently facing?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the main challenge is how to enforce the conditions. We do not want to announce those conditions prematurely. We have not put the enforcement mechanisms and measures in place.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement. However, what plans does the Government have to utilise the research stations in the country, whose capacity is not being utilised in the area of plant species regeneration?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, sadly, most of our research centres are in a very poor state. I visited the research station in Kitwe, which belongs to the Forestry Department, and I was heartbroken by what I found. There was no equipment. The fridges used were small and, for all intents and purposes, would not contribute much. The first thing we are trying to do is revamp and restructure the Forestry Department and related research units. Before we can even use them, we need to bring them back to a condition in which they can deliver. However, we have recognised that we need to bring them on board, especially for these many ambitious programmes that we have.

I thank, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, in the Western Province, the major causes of deforestation are the firms, most of which are Chinese-owned, that are logging timber. Our people have not benefited in any way from this activity. If, at all, you intend to allow people to continue logging, what provisions have you put in your new guidelines to compel them to engage in some form of enforceable corporate social responsibility, which will benefit our communities?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the issue that has been raised by the hon. Member is very important. Unfortunately, it is one of factors that are leading to the depletion of our species, especially in the Western Province. I can say that the new licence conditions will, first of all, require very close screening of the people that we will licence to cut timber to ensure that there is responsible use of the licence and people do not go outside the boundaries or quotas specified on their licence. One of the conditions will be that, for every tree cut, there must be several planted. That will be a form of corporate social responsibility. I can let that one out of the bag because it was, obviously, coming. Even the big timber merchants will be required to meet this condition and they will be audited. That way, we will start getting somewhere.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that, for every tree cut, there will be a number planted. Will it be the cut species that are replanted in order to maintain the natural habitat? I have in mind the Mopani in Siavonga.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the simple answer is yes because we would want to maintain and increase that species in that area. So, we will require that the same species is maintained so that we maintain the natural balance. The challenge will be for the loggers, and that is why it will be very important that people understand the conditions when they are announced. If they want to cut Mukwa, for example, they will have to do their research so that they are able to regenerate it. They will need some technical expertise. That will be the beauty of it.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that charcoal burning is a major source of deforestation, and that, for every tree cut, five are to be replanted. What is the latest on that programme?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, currently, the tree planting exercise is voluntary. We are not forcing anyone. In fact, even with the one we are announcing, we are just appealing, as the Government, to people’s conscience. Even here, we made a thousand trees available for each hon. Member of Parliament, but very few came forward. So, we cannot enforce …

Mr Muntanga: In cash terms.

Mr Simuusa: In cash terms? 

Sir, what we want to do, now, is make it mandatory so that, at least, we can make this important activity take off. So, it would be difficult for me or my ministry to, actually, follow up anyone to see if they were replanting five trees for every tree they cut. In future, however, that will have to change so that we achieve net-zero deforestation in the soonest time possible.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, deforestation has been a big problem for a long time and several efforts have been made to deal with it. We remember the industrial plantations that were embarked on because of the problems of charcoal burning. The ministries of Mines, Energy and Water Development, and Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection undertook studies on how we could use coal for cooking in our homes. To what extent is the ministry using the knowledge gained from those studies? We should not go forwards and backwards in the fight against deforestation in our country.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, one of the main aims of the exercises I mentioned earlier, including the Charcoal Indaba, is to bring together all the body of knowledge that we have, so far, accumulated on the issue of charcoal. We will also be on the ground collecting all the data so that we put it together with whatever we will get from the indaba. From there, we will start looking at the way forward. As an alternative, we may say that the coal produced from Maamba Collieries be pulverised and made into coal bricks, and ban the use of charcoal. However, those kinds of decisions will only be made after we collect and process the data.   

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, cosmovision is a concept being used in Zimbabwe to conserve biodiversity. This concept encourages the communities to participate in conservation. Would the ministry not bother to adopt it?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, Hon. Dr Kaingu introduced the concept of cosmovision. I think that he mentioned it in one of his previous debates.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I must confess, I need to read up on that concept. So, I will defer my answer, with your permission, so that I can read up on this concept. I, however, thank him for introducing it and promise that I will look it up. I hope I can find it. 

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: I would also advise dialogue between you and Hon. Dr Kaingu on the concept.


Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s answer that carbon tax funds go to the General Treasury, to which the ministry has no access, can there not be an arrangement whereby those funds go directly to the ministry so that it can use the money on time?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I can safely report that we have been discussing that issue with the hon. Minister of Finance; that, instead of the carbon tax money going to the main Treasury, can we not make it available for certain activities? I will leave that squarely with the hon. Minister of Finance. However, I can report that we have been discussing the matter. So, that is a very good suggestion that the hon. Member has put forward and it will reactivate the discussions we have had. We will announce at a later date what we will finally decide.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, there has been a loud call by the many stakeholders in the sub-sector for a review of the Forests Act. Where do we, as a Government, stand on this issue?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, we had planned to table a Bill on the Forests Act in this Sitting of Parliament, but there have been some delays in the system. It is ready, and I think that all we need to do is try and push things forward. Since we have missed this session, hopefully, we can catch the next one. We are, however, ready and geared to table the Bill to Parliament for us to look at.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, would the Government consider adding value to the timber that is being exported, instead of exporting it in its raw form, so that we create more work for our people.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, that is a very important and valid submission. In fact, in the conditions that will be announced shortly, that is one of the aspects that have been looked at. Currently, unfortunately, our timber goes out raw in the forms of cants, which are the square logs, and planks. That is as much value addition as we do. The Government is now saying that we can do better than that. In fact, generally, that is what we, as a Government, are discouraging. So, this sector will not be an exception. We will encourage value addition to our timber products so that we create more jobs. That will help us to unlock the potential we have in what we are calling our green gold.  

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, would the ministry consider letting out certain portions of the forests under the public-private partnership (PPP) programme in order to help curb deforestation?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, those are some of the uncharted waters that we are looking at. Currently, forest management in Zambia is almost 100 per cent by the Government. There have been serious suggestions from many delegations, especially from the Finnish Government, which is doing very well in its forestry sector, that the Government considers private-sector involvement in the management of our forest resources. That has never been tried in Zambia. However, we are willing to try it. 

Mr Speaker, looking at the timber licences that will be considered next month, we will work together, especially with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO), to see how we can slowly bring in the private sector. Possibly, that might be the catalyst we are lacking to unlock the potential we have. So, that is also a very valid suggestion but, since it is uncharted water, we will approach it cautiously and see how it goes.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to update the House on the progress made, so far, in the investigations on Zambeef imported meat and meat products, which were seized for further laboratory analysis. You may also wish to know that my ministry has been monitoring the importation of fish into the country.

Mr Speaker, the importation of meat and meat products is regulated by the Public Health Act Cap 295 of the Laws of Zambia; Meat, Abattoir and Butcheries Regulations; Abattoir and Transport of Meat Regulations; and the Food and Drugs Act Cap 303 of the Laws of Zambia. Fish imports are regulated by the Food and Drugs Act. 

Sir, the objective of the public health laws is to prevent the exposure of people to hazards that cause food-borne illnesses or injuries. In my previous statement to this august House, I emphasised the importance of safeguarding our communities through food safety and environmental health risk assessments. To that effect, you may be aware that there have been a number of concerns raised regarding the quality of imported meat products and fish. In my previous statement, I also promised to report back to this august House the findings of my ministry regarding the samples that had been taken to South Africa for isolation of the specified aldehyde chemical that was found in the meat seized from Zambeef outlets.

Mr Speaker, the findings of the laboratory analysis undertaken in South Africa have confirmed the presence of Formaldehyde in meat samples taken from different batches and outlets of Zambeef.

Mr Mwila: Aah!

Mr Mulusa: Mwila, keep quiet.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the affected meet products are offals and hooves, which are mainly imported. It is, therefore, important that we establish the point of contamination, a task we have vigorously embarked on.

Mr Speaker, during the same period, my ministry also seized thirteen trucks of imported fresh fish whose results were negative for aromatic ketones and aldehydes. These trucks have since been released to the owners for them to conduct their usual business as per standard surveillance guidelines.

Mr Speaker, my ministry collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and other relevant ministries to facilitate smooth investigations. As indicated in my previous statement, formaldehyde is in a group of aldehydes and is mainly used in embalming corpses. It is also used in industrial activities that are, mostly, of no health significance. It is not listed among the preservatives in the Food and Drugs Act because of its harmful nature.

Mr Speaker, vending in fresh meat and fish products on the streets may increase the possibility of their contamination. Therefore, my ministry, with the involvement of local authorities, will intensify routine monitoring of food and enhance surveillance not only at points of entry into the country, but also within the country to ensure food safety and guarantee the quality of life of the people of Zambia.

Sir, finally, and following the results of the investigation, my ministry will take action on this matter, as prescribed by existing laws in order to ensure adherence to food safety standards in the country. 

In conclusion, on the basis of the results of the investigations carried out, so far, it has been established that:

(a)    contamination of some imported meat products in local outlets has been confirmed;

(b)    the monitoring of food products by inspection and testing of samples on importation and in local storage and sales points has proved effective as a way to protect the public from consuming contaminated material; and 

(c)    normal business may be resumed by all suppliers with the assurance to the public that the intensified surveillance system will remain in place to protect them.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement just made by the hon. Minister of Health.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, Zambians were told that there was formalin in the meat products from Zambeef. Would you make it clear on whether formalin was among the aldehydes that you found in the products?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the term ‘formalin’ is sometimes used instead of formaldehyde. It is the same substance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Was it found?

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, you cannot ask a direct question while seated.


Mr Speaker: If you want to satisfy your curiosity further, you could even engage the hon. Minister after this session.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, now that it has been confirmed that there was contamination and that our people have been exposed, what tangible and aggressive action will the Ministry of Health take to bring the culprits to book, deter those who may want to also use the same methods and, further, protect the health of our people? We must see that action taken by the Government.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, all those samples that have tasted positive will be followed up. It is important for this to be accepted as a serious offence to the public. Guided by the laws that I have cited, all the cases will be followed up. However, I cannot disclose where the samples were taken from and which company will be involved because of the need for confidentiality.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in this House and on the Zambia National Broadcasting Services (ZNBC), the hon. Minister has said that two trucks belonging to Zambeef were seized and, eventually, released after it was established that there was no aldehyde in the meat they were carrying. Could he confirm that, after investigations, the two trucks were, indeed, cleared, and that the beef on them was found fit for human consumption.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I emphasised that, once inspected and found negative, all products are released immediately for resumption of normal business. That was the case with the two trucks. That has been and will continue to be the practice. If the hon. Member wishes to have any further information different from what I said, I am afraid, it will not be forthcoming. The answer will be the same.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, how long has this practice been happening and will anyone, from the hon. Minister downwards, resign as an admission of their failure to protect Zambians?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I think that we understand success and failure differently. In this case, the samples were discovered. Therefore, nobody has failed. The system did what it was meant to do, and that is to constantly monitor and test. Of course, it is possible that the exercise might not have been sufficiently emphasised previously, and that the increasing discovery of the perpetrators is a sign of an effective Government taking over. It is not up to me to enter into a discussion of what the previous Government might have been doing. I think that our predecessors, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), probably, did a good job as well, and we can only wish that they may be allowed to rest in peace.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister sincerely for his attempt to clarify this matter of contamination of food products. In his statement, he indicated that his ministry would embark on a surveillance mode to ensure that unscrupulous traders of meat and fresh food products are cracked down on. Does his ministry, together with the law enforcers, have the capacity to stop the practice of selling meat and fish on our streets, which is against the PF policy of open street vending? The problem is not limited to Zambeef because many traders have been preserving meat products for sale using the same chemicals when the stocks are not all sold in one day.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central for his question. I ask that my ministry be excused from defining street vending, street trading and such terms because those are matters that fall under other ministries. My ministry’s concern is to ensure that the products sold are safe, regardless of where the trading takes place. Therefore, in our exercise, we shall not distinguish between the big shops and those trading elsewhere. Our concern is to ensure that edibles that are dangerous to humans shall not be sold.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that statement. Now that we know that, indeed, there was contamination of the inspected samples, there is a very high probability of the contaminated meat having been consumed by a number of our people. My question is: Has the hon. Minister considered putting in place a mechanism for tracing those who may have eaten the contaminated products to ensure that adverse effects, if any, are detected early for treatment?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mumbwa for raising the very important issue about how we maintain surveillance of the development of disease. Here, we are dealing with a wider problem, and I am glad to inform the hon. Member that a system of surveillance of the emergence of diseases, particularly non-communicable ones, and determining contributing factors has been in place. However, it has been enhanced by the strengthening of the Surveillance Department, which used to be the Public Health Department, in the Ministry of Health. In other words, at any given point, we should be able to identify the factors responsible for any given development. We are very confident of that.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, initially, when all this started, it specifically concerned Zambeef. I find the hon. Minister dodgy, in a way, because he has spoken generally. There is some fish that has come in, now, and I am a bit confused and worried for my mother in Kapiri-Mposhi, who has withdrawn from buying Zambeef products. Can he state, specifically, if there was contamination in the Zambeef samples that were taken and, if so, what Zambians should do. He should open up so that Zambians know what happened because Zambeef has lost a lot of business as people are not sure whether they should continue buying from the company.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, it has been a while since the hon. Member for Kasenengwa asked me a question, and I think that I may be allowed to say that it is not without trepidation that I respond to her question, taking into account that, on a previous occasion, she dared to describe a part of my anatomy, my hair. I wonder whether, in her questioning, she might not go on to describe other parts of my anatomy.


Mr Speaker: Order!

We will not speculate.


Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, nevertheless, I can assure the hon. Member on the issue that she has raised. First, she wants it confirmed that there was contamination. I think, I clearly confirmed that in my statement. I think that it is important for us to use that as a starting point for whatever else we will do. We have confirmed that there was contamination. Therefore, in the follow-up, it will be a question of making sure that, at any stage at which there is a possibility of a risk occurring in the chain, from supply to consumption, we test and handle the case appropriately.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, we have been eating that meat and offals …


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, now that the meat we have been consuming was contaminated, can we, as individuals, sue the people who sold us the contaminated food? This is because we do not know what health problems we may have in the near future. Are we allowed to sue them in our own capacity?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I think that the point that the hon. Member has raised is important in the sense that the individuals in the community are responsible for their own health and should be empowered to do whatever they can to protect themselves. For that reason, any person is entitled to bring to the attention of the Ministry of Health any suspected contamination of any food they are supplied with. It is beyond my ministry to guide on whether they can, then, go on to take legal action. I would suggest that they consult another ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that some of the samples that were taken into custody on suspicion of contamination were interfered with. Have investigations been conducted to find out who tampered with them? If so, what happened to the culprits?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, yes, the investigations are on-going. However, I regret that we have not been able to discover who ran away with some chunks of meat. 


Dr Kasonde: I can only hope and pray that they did not consume it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, taking advantage of the hon. Minister’s knowledge of medicine, having been a doctor for many years, can he bring us up to speed on any salient symptoms that can manifest as a result of consumption of such dangerous products so that we are aware immediately we see them develop.


Mr Speaker: I am sure that you will not indicate the location of those manifestations.


Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: He is already manifesting.


Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I think that it will be inappropriate to enter into the personal inspection and tests that affected individuals would take.


Dr Kasonde: That is a matter that we should leave to the continuous process in which we encourage all people to regularly check up on their own state of health. We facilitate that. I would rather leave it at that.

I thank you, Sir.

Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, Zambeef is one of the largest indigenous corporate employers. It is also listed on the London Stock Exchange. Could the hon. Minister consider dealing with this issue in a manner that promotes dialogue between the Government and the executives of the company and resolves the issue in a manner that favours the rest of Zambia.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the dialogue is already on-going. The company volunteered to suspend business in the affected products until this matter was cleared. It has now been cleared, as I have said in my statement.

Sir, I think, it is important for us to appreciate our different objectives. Whereas our colleagues in the corporate world start from the point of the profitability of a product, we start from the point of safety of the products. However, the two objectives are not mutually-exclusive, and we should continue on those lines.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, first of all, allow me to wish President Nelson Mandela a happy birthday.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

731. Mr Katambo asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock what progress the Government had made on the rehabilitation of silos throughout the country.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has embarked on a project to rehabilitate silos around the country. These are:

(a)    Mungwi (Lusaka);

(b)    Chisamba (Chisamba);

(c)    Natuseko (Kabwe);

(d)    Bwana Mkubwa (Ndola);

(e)    Kitwe (Kitwe); and

(f)    Monze (Monze).

Sir, the states of the silos are as follows:

(a)    Mungwi Silo was rehabilitated by Grain Marketing Board (GMB) of Zimbabwe in June, 2009, and has since been operating well; 

(b)    a contract to rehabilitate Bwana Mkubwa Silo was awarded to Wah Kong Contractors on 12th July, 2013. However, the contractor has not yet moved on site due to financial constraints on the part of the client; 

(c)    the FRA has engaged a Chinese contractor, Aviation Industries of China (AVIC), to rehabilitate the Kitwe Silo under the Chinese Government Concessional Loan. The draft contract was sent to the Attorney-General’s Office for review and has since been approved. AVIC is of the view that the existing silo is so dilapidated that the cost of building a new one would only be minimally higher than that of rehabilitating the old one. The contractor has also advised the FRA to carry out structural stability tests on the silo to determine its structural integrity;

(d)    Civil Struts Consultants has been contracted to carry out preliminary consultancy on the proposed rehabilitation of the Kitwe Silo. The contract has since been signed and the consultancy works have commenced;

(e)    Wah Kong Contractors has been contracted to rehabilitate Natuseko Silo, which has a storage capacity of 22,500 metric tonnes. The FRA has engaged various commercial banks to source funding for the rehabilitation works and is in the process of receiving term sheets from the banks. The agency will, then, evaluate the lending agreements;

(f)    a consultant has already been engaged to undertake the engineering design for the rehabilitation of Chisamba Silo. The engineering designs are expected to be completed by the end of July, 2013; and

(g)    Civil Struts Consultants has been contracted to carry out preliminary consultations on the Monze Silo while AVIC will be the contractor for the rehabilitation works.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, why is the FRA concentrating on erecting slabs and purchasing tents to cover maize each season, instead of concentrating on rehabilitating silos?

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, currently, the ninety-eight slabs that were constructed are being turned into complete storage sheds. So, the process of rehabilitation is taking place concurrently with the improvement of the slabs.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, in the 2010/2011 Crop Marketing Season, maize stocks amounting to over K1.1 trillion went to waste in this country. At which stage is the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock with regard to the construction of silos in every province, as was promised by His Excellency, the President when he addressed Parliament?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, it may be helpful to the House for me to give an overview of the situation regarding secure and unsecure storage of grain and other agricultural products. 

Sir, the issue of silos only constitutes part of the storage capacity. Currently, we have different types of storage facilities. Some are concrete slabs, logs on which plastics have been placed for insulation and covered storage facilities while others are silos. In total, we have 743,200 metric tonnes of storage capacity, which includes all those I have mentioned above. Most of them are unsecured facilities, which means that they do not have roofs and, therefore, the product is not under cover.

Sir, any produce that exceeds 743,200 metric tonnes would have to be exposed on either the slabs or logs. In order to provide some level of cover for those that are on logs and open slabs, tarpaulins are used. The life span of maize stored in such conditions is very short. It does not exceed three months.

Mr Speaker, in the last three years, our production has exceed 743,200, with 2011 having achieved the highest level of output, at 3.1 million metric tonnes, and 2012 having achieved 2.7 million metric tonnes. We expect 2.5 million metric tonnes from this year’s crop, which means that, of any purchases that will be made from that quantity, 50 per cent will have to be exposed. 

Sir, there has been a process of rehabilitating storage facilities, including silos, and the silos that are being asked about only have a combined storage capacity of 225,000 metric tonnes. So far, one silo with a storage capacity of 15,000 metric tonnes has been rehabilitated while the others, as my hon. Deputy Ministers have indicated, are still in the process of being rehabilitated. Contracts have been awarded to various consultants and construction companies, including the ninety-eight slabs that are being converted into covered storage, which will add 225,000 metric tonnes to our storage capacity. However, silos and other covered facilities are more expensive to build compared with slabs. Due to some constraints, the exercise has to be done in phases, and that is what the PF Government is doing after the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) failed to do so. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, the last time the hon. Minister talked about the reserves and storage facilities in this country, he indicated that up to 30 per cent of the crop in storage had gone to waste. I indicated that we could go to Zimbabwe and ask to use the silos at Karoi for storage. I hear that the GMB of Zimbabwe is renovating the silo in Zimba. How is it that a Zimbabwean company is renovating those silos?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, it is simply because the Zimbabweans have the expertise.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, most of the silos referred to in the question, such as Natuseko, Mungwi and Monze, have only one defect, and that is the conveyer mechanism. Apart from that, are there any actual structural problems, such as cracks, on the silos, which would give wrong readings in terms of the holding capacities of the silos? 

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, a comprehensive programme has been undertaken to identify various components that need to be repaired. Some of the silos have structural problems while, for others, we have difficulties in procuring spare parts. Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to categorise which particular silos have which particular defects. Suffice it to say that additional details on specific silos can be provided if a question is put to us. In this case, the question specified the silos about which we were supposed to provide information.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I am aware that the rehabilitation of silos was started by the MMD regime. Even the awarding of the contract to rehabilitate the Mungwi Silo to the GMB was done by the MMD, hence the early completion.

Mr Speaker, we have heard from the hon. Minister that the rehabilitation of Bwana Mkubwa has stalled because of financial constraints. Meanwhile, we have the ninety-eight slabs that have continued to be built and converted into complete sheds. Would it not have been prudent for the ministry to divert that money to the silos, which are more secure than the slabs, which store maize for only three months? There is also the huge cost of buying tarpaulins that goes with the use of slabs.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, clearly, there is a deference of understanding of the costs associated with each one of the structures. I explained that the cheapest, though most insecure, form is to put maize on logs and cover it with tarpaulins. We have taken the open slabs that had no roofs and covered them because they are the fastest and least expensive method of storing maize in a secure manner. 

Sir, the cost of rehabilitating silos is so high that the funding that might be available at any given time might not be enough to rehabilitate one silo. Furthermore, the silos are currently in selected locations. Unless we build new ones, there will not be any available nearest to the point of production. Therefore, the preferable option between rehabilitating the silos and covering the existing slabs is self-evident in what I have explained. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the MMD left very good plans for storage of our grain and other farm produce. Recognising the increasing productivity, we put in place the Agricultural Credit Act, which provides for warehouse receipt systems. When will the hon. Minister operationalise the Act, which will go a long way in meeting the storage needs for grain in our country?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the issue of the Agricultural Credit Act is not what we are discussing currently. Just as a reminder to those who have been in the Government before, the need for storage currently exceeds 1 million metric tonnes. since you know that the deficit in the Central Province is not less than 200,000 metric tonnes; the Copperbelt Province has a shortfall of more than 26,345 metric tonnes; the Eastern Province has a deficit of not less than 182,697 metric tonnes; in Luapula Province, there is a deficit of 65,167 metric tonnes; in Muchinga Province, there is a deficit in excess of 65,000 metric tonnes; in the Northern Province, the deficit exceeds 188,000 metric tonnes; in the North-Western Province, there is a deficit in excess of 64,581 metric tonnes; and the Southern Province, which has got the highest storage capacity in the country, still has a deficit of more than 75,609.5 metric tonnes. It is only in the Western Province, because of the low production levels, where there is no shortfall. Having mentioned these challenges, I would like to state that the PF Government is dealing with them. The issue has nothing to do with the Agricultural Credit Act. If the hon. Member for Mumbwa would like to know about that, let him ask a new question and we will answer it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chungu (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, prior to the 2011 General Elections, contractors were engaged to construct ninety-eight concrete slabs. However, only less than 50 per cent have been constructed. What will the Government do to recover the money that was paid to the contractors who have not done their job?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I confirm that an award of works for ninety-eight slabs was made. However, some of the contractors have not been able to fulfil their contractual obligations. Since the institution that contracted them is the FRA, it has sought legal advice on how to recover that money. In the meantime, we have gone ahead to try to complete the works that were started. That is the process that the PF Government is undertaking.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister informed the House that the …

Mr Mufalali: On a point or order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order and I would like to ask my brother, the hon. Member for Siavonga, to forgive me for interrupting him. Is the hon. Minister in order to mislead the House that there is enough storage capacity in the Western Province when, in fact, some of our trucks were ferrying maize from the Western Province to Kafue because of a lack of storage facilities? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Well, the hon. Minister will clarify that in due course. The hon. Member for Siavonga may continue.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister informed us that the FRA is in the process of getting loans from banks, which I consider very expensive. Is this the only source of money financing that he can use to rehabilitate the silos?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the deficits that I have talked about are quite high. We are not using one method, but a variety of methods. Even after we have completed the ninety-eight slabs, there will still be a shortfall. 

Sir, to respond to the point of order, the information available at our office is that the available storage space in the Western Province is 29,100 metric tonnes. If we compare that with the province’s production which, so far, has been about 21,500 metric tonnes, it is clear that there is no deficit. However, that does not mean that grain may not be moved from one location to another because the consumption levels are highest in urban areas. Produce can be moved from the producing areas to the consumption areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, when you keep maize in silos, even its management is easier because you have to fumigate the silos every three months. There was a question on the need for the Government to consider, not the Agricultural Credit Act, but the Warehouse Receipt System, ...

Mr Speaker: What is the question?

Mr Muntanga ... which means that the private sector would build storage sheds. Why would your ministry not consider the Warehouse Receipt System so that we safeguard our grain? 

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I have just explained that we are looking at all options. In fact, some of the warehouses and silos we are talking about are being managed by the private sector.

I thank you, Sir.


732. Mr Muntanga asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    whether there were any health workers who had been acting in their positions since 2006;

(b)    if there were, what the reasons for the delay in confirming them were;

(c)    what measures had been taken to expedite the confirmation process; and

(d)    what progress had been made on the new staff establishment to accommodate nurses with university degrees.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, there are 596 officers in the Ministry of Health who have been acting in their positions since 2006 countrywide.

Mr Speaker, the abolition of the Central Board of Health (CBoH) in 2006 and the subsequent restructuring of the Ministry of Health in 2008 to 2009 contributed to the delays. Some officers appointed to act by the CBoH did not have the requisite qualifications to facilitate confirmation in the new structure. Such officers continued to hold their previous positions in an acting capacity. Even after the restructuring, some heads of institutions continued to appoint officers to act on a local arrangement even to positions that were not in the establishment. In cases where positions were available, there was a general delay by the heads of institutions to have the officers confirmed by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Sir, in 2012, the Ministry of Health, in liaison with the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) decentralised some human resource functions to the institutions so that heads could recommend the confirmation of officers directly to the PSMD to facilitate quick processing of cases. The ministry is sensitising heads of institutions in the provinces to recommend their officers in good time and provide the necessary documents. The ministry has also been touring the provinces to clear the outstanding human resource cases. The PSC has also continued to tour the provinces to clear cases on the spot. 

Mr Speaker, to accommodate the nurses with university degrees, the ministry is currently in the process of developing the Institutional Strategic Plan, 2013 to 2016, which will result in an expansion of the establishment to cater for promotional positions and Bachelors of Science in Nursing positions, among others. Further, the positions of Nursing Officer and Tutor, which were previously open to diploma and certificate holders, have been reserved for degree holders. The Ministry of Finance has granted Treasury authority for the 2013 net recruitment of health workers, which will further expand the establishment to include officers with degrees in nursing.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, it is strange that a person can act in a position for six to seven years. What will happen to the officers who have been acting for this long period? Will they be confirmed or paid for acting for seven years? 

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, I think, the information given is that those who are affected are mainly those who were found lacking in qualifications. Those with the requisite qualifications will be considered for confirmation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the provisions of the Employment Act are very clear on somebody who acts for more than two years in a position for which he is not qualified, and there are steps that must be followed. What is this the Government doing to respect the Employment Act in this regard?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the Government is doing nothing wrong.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chikusu: The abolition of the CBoH in 2006 was meant to streamline the Ministry of Health, through the restructuring, to make sure that everybody is accounted for and allocated appropriate positions according to qualifications. I think that we are not abrogating the Employment Act.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, hon. Minister, could it be the case that, for seven years, qualified people have not been absorbed into the positions that you indicated because they have people to hold them in an acting capacity when they do not have the academic qualifications to be confirmed in them? Could it be true that, for seven years, this country has not produced qualified people to substantively occupy those positions?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, on the issue of the training health workers and people holding specific positions for which they are not appropriately qualified, two solutions are to streamline the establishment, which we have tried to do, and to make sure that the new structure accommodates appropriately-qualified people. Therefore, during the period in question, there are some people who have obtained appropriate qualifications, especially in degree programmes. They are now graduating. Therefore, we will fulfil that requirement. However, it is important to remember that some programmes take long for one to graduate from.

I thank you, Sir.


733. Mr Mushanga (Bwacha) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to construct new staff houses at Bwacha Police Station in Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency in order to alleviate the problem of inadequate accommodation;

(b)    whether the Government would extend the construction of staff houses to Chililalila and Kamanda Police posts in Makululu Compound; and

(c)    whether the Government had any plans to construct a modern police station to service Mukobeko Prison, Mukobeko Township, Makupu and their surrounding areas.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Chilangwa): Mr Speaker, the Government plans to embark on a massive infrastructure development programme, which will see the construction of over 9,800 houses for various units, including the Zambia Police Force under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Bwacha Police Station will be catered for under this programme in order to alleviate the problem of a lack of accommodation. Land has been identified within Bwacha Police Camp for this project, which will commerce as soon as the programme is rolled out. It is the intention of the Government to provide our officers with decent accommodation and it is for this reason that it is embarking on this ambitious programme countrywide. 

Sir, staff houses for Chililalila and Kamanda Police posts in Makululu Compound will also be considered under the programme I have referred to above. In the meantime, the Government is securing pieces of land for the purpose.

Mr Speaker, it is the responsibility of this Government to provide security to all citizens countrywide. The hon. Member of Parliament may wish to note that Mukobeko Maximum Prison, Mukobeko Township, Makupu and the surrounding areas are currently being serviced by Mukobeko Police Post. However, as part of the on-going infrastructure development programmes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Government has plans to upgrade Mukobeko Police Post into a modern police station.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, Mukobeko Police Post does not operate on a twenty-four hour basis. What is the Government, through your ministry, doing to ensure that this police station starts operating on a twenty-four hour basis?

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, this Government will consider that request.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, why is it taking long to roll out the programme of constructing houses for police officers, who are in dire need of this accommodation?

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, the construction of 9,800 housing units is not a small project. It is a project that we must think through and which needs consultation with other various Government ministries, such as the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, so that, as we start the tendering process, we do not get bogged down with issues of impropriety and flouting of tender procedures. So, there are many procedures that we are considering.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, are those officers who are not accommodated, but are servicing this republic in the Zambia Police Force paid a housing allowance?

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, that is a new question. The hon. Member would do well to put it as such.  

I thank you, Sir. 


734. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)    how much money was spent on hosting the Constitution review fora in all the districts in Zambia in 2012; and

(b)    how much money was spent on conducting provincial conferences on Constitution review in 2012 and 2013.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, the Technical Committee on Drafting the Zambian Constitution held district consultative fora in eighty-five districts in the country at a cost of K18,084,850.10. On the provincial conventions, the amount spent was K7,488,613.50.

I thank you, Sir. 


735. Mr Chungu asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the Mpika/Kasama Road would be rehabilitated;

(b)    why it had taken long to rehabilitate the Chambeshi/Chinkobo Road in the Northern Province, which had been in a deplorable state for over six years; and 

(c)    when the road at (b) would be upgraded to bituminous standard.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr M. H. Malama): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), has allocated K34 million for the periodic maintenance of the Kasama/Mpika Road in the 2013 Road Sector Annual Work Plan. The project, whose scope of work includes, but is not limited to, pothole patching, edge repairs, reconstruction of selected sections, drainage works, resealing works and signage, is currently under procurement.   

Sir, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the RDA, recognises the importance of rehabilitating the Chambeshi/Chinkobo Road in the Northern Province. However, the implementation of the project has delayed due to limitations in funding in previous annual work plans. The RDA will include the project in the 2014 Budget or subsequent road sector annual work plans, depending on the needs of the individual local authority, in this case, the Mpika District Council. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


736. Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many pathologists were working in Zambia as of February, 2013; and

(b)    at which hospitals the pathologists were stationed.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, as of February, 2013, Zambia had ten pathologists working at various health facilities across the country. Of this number, three were Zambians while seven are expatriates.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, before the hon. Deputy Minister of Health continues, I would like to state that we are three minutes late after tea break. We are now developing the habit of coming late. Can we be punctual. 

The hon. Deputy Minister may continue. 

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I had just informed the House that, as of February, 2013, Zambia had ten pathologists working at various health facilities across the country. Of this number, three were Zambians while seven were expatriates. Their distribution was as follows:

    Hospital    Number of Pathologists

    University Teaching Hospital (UTH)    3

    Ndola Central     2

    Kitwe Central     1

    Kabwe General     1

    Livingstone General     1

    Zambia Army    1

    Zambia Police    1

    Total     10

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Matafwali: Mr Speaker, what measures is the Government effecting to make Pathology a much more attractive discipline? 

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, pathology is an important area of specialisation in the ministry. Therefore, the ministry has effected several measures to encourage students to specialise in the field. One of the measures was the launching of the Health Personnel Training Plan, 2013 to 2016, yesterday. We will also train health workers throughout the country, including those who need specialisation, through The National Health Training Institute, to be established soon. 

Mr Speaker, the other measure is that various conditions of service for pathologists have been improved. In fact, it is very attractive, now, to work as a pathologist.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, to have produced three pathologists, since Independence, I think, is a very insignificant achievement. Would you like to share with the House what the challenges are? Or is there stigma associated with the field? Further, what more can the Government do to make it attractive?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the issue of stigma does not arise in the minds of those intending to do medicine. The only explanation is that we need more opportunities for people to go and specialise. This is an area in which we are promoting and encouraging young graduates to specialise. It is as equally important and rewarding as any other specialisation in medicine.

I thank you, Sir.


737. Mr Matafwali asked the Minister of Health what measures the Government had effected to control the importation of foodstuffs, some of which were responsible for causing diseases like diabetes and cervical cancer.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the Government has put in place a number of statutes to protect the public from health hazards and fraud in the sale and use of food. Some of these laws are the Food and Drugs Act, Cap 303; Control of Goods Act, Cap 421; and the Bio-Safety Act of 2007.

The following measures of control are done through:

(a)    provision of standards or regulations for most foods commonly found on the market;

(b)    establishment of a public health laboratory for analysis of food samples for standards;

(c)    checks at borders and points of entry of all imported and exported foods;

(d)    the laws prescribe sanctions or punitive measures for those flouting food safety regulations; and

(e)    establishment of inquiry points and channels of complaints at local authorities and health facilities.

Sir, the procedure for the control of imports is that an importer has to obtain a no-objection letter or health clearance certificate from the Ministry of Health, which requires that the following information is provided:

(a)    name of the food article intended to be imported or exported;

(b)    quantities to be imported over six months;

(c)    country of origin (manufacture and export);

(d)    manufacturer’s health/safety manual for the product in question;

(e)    a certificate of laboratory analysis from the manufacturer and from the Food Safety Laboratory and the Food And Drugs Laboratory at the UTH for compliance with Zambian safety standards; and

(f)    scrutiny of the labelling for ingredients, language and health claims.

Sir, any food that does not comply with the requirements of the Laws of Zambia, the Codex Alimentarious or World Health Organisation (WHO) standards is not allowed into the country.

Sir, as regards the causation of diabetes and cancer, it would be necessary to specify the product before a proper answer can be provided.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Matafwali: Mr Speaker, does the Government have any intention of launching a programme to popularise local dishes, such as mice, in the Eastern Province?


Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the issue of promoting the consumption of a specific food does not fall under the Ministry of Health. Ours is to see whether that particular food is safe. If mice are safe, then, they can be eaten.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, are we going to test the preservatives used in tinned foods just in case we have the same issue of contamination in that area that we have had in other foods?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Minister put it clearly that the surveillance system will undertake its obligations to sample any type of food product to determine its safety. That is our role.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


738. Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga) (on behalf of Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa)) asked the Minister Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    why Chilubi and Lupososhi Boarding Secondary schools in the Northern Province were not opened in January, 2013, despite 95 per cent of the works having been completed; and

(b)    when the two schools would be opened.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, Chilubi and Lupososhi Boarding Secondary schools in the Northern Province could not be opened in January, 2013, despite 95 per cent of the works having been completed due to incomplete sewer and water reticulation systems, incomplete power supply connections and incomplete kitchens. However, the Government is currently working towards completing the outstanding works.

Sir, the two schools will be opened once all the critical works indicated above have been completed.

I thank you, Sir.


739. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Health whether the Government had any plans to:

(a)    upgrade Kabompo District Hospital to a general hospital; and

(b)    rehabilitate and expand Chikenge Rural Health Centre.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to upgrade Kabompo District Hospital to a general hospital. However, the option will be considered.

Sir, the Government will consider the rehabilitation and expansion of Chikenge Rural Health Centre in the 2015 Ministry of Health Infrastructure Operational Plan.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the usual answer, which is now a song from our Executive, that there is no plan because there is no money. Since there is no money to upgrade Kabompo District Hospital to a general hospital, is the Government considering, at least, painting and rehabilitating the dilapidated buildings so that the Zambians there also feel part of this country?

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member of Parliament’s question. The rehabilitation of hospitals and other health facilities is an on-going programme. In addition to the health centres we are constructing, we are rehabilitating all the hospitals. I did not say that the Government has no plans to upgrade Kabompo District Hospital to a general hospital. What I said was that there is a possibility that the hospital is under review. So, we are aware of the challenges that our people in Kabompo face in accessing high-level medical services.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that, in the whole of the North-Western Province, there is only one general hospital in Solwezi, and that some patients who are referred from district hospitals, such as Chavuma and Zambezi, have to travel 500km to 600km to Solwezi? If he is aware, what is the Government doing to build more general hospitals in the province to ease the health challenges there?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Please, observe the one question, one answer rule.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, we are aware of what the hon. Member is talking about. In the past, the pattern has been that, in all the provincial headquarters, there was only one general hospital, except, maybe, for the Northern Province, where we have general hospitals at Mbala and Kasama. Every province had only one general hospital without a district hospital, which is a filter hospital to the general hospital. That is what we, as a ministry, are changing. I am sure that you will appreciate that we are upgrading some of the district hospitals into general hospitals in order to overcome the challenge that the hon. Member of Parliament has just referred to. That programme has since commenced and we will go to the North-Western Province and do the same. We have many plans for the North-Western Province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, in view of the increase in the population in the North-Western Province, could the hon. Minister put Kabompo on a priority list of districts to have a general hospital. We say so because it is centrally-positioned and, currently, Solwezi General Hospital is overwhelmed by the influx of patients.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I visited Kabompo District Hospital and I appreciate the challenges that the hon. Member of Parliament has talked about. That is why we are saying, this year, there is no allocation in the Budget to upgrade or do anything for Kabompo District Hospital. However, we are still thinking about doing something for the district. As he has rightly put it, Kabompo is in the centre of the province, and we are serious with this programme. So, we will look into that.

I thank you, Sir.


740. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the construction of a college of mathematics and science in Kabompo District would commence; and

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

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to construct a college of mathematics and science in Kabompo District. Consultations with local authorities have commenced and land has been identified for the proposed construction of ... 


Mr Deputy Speaker: Ah, a  bit of loud consultations on my left!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, thank you for the protection. 

Sir, land has already been identified for the proposed project. However, construction will commence after the evaluation of the offered land and the tendering process have been done by the Government. 

Sir, the actual cost for the construction of the college will only be established after the land and the bill of quantities are evaluated. However, the ministry’s initial estimated cost is US$18.8 million.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the answer from the hon. Minister. However, I would like to be enlightened on when, exactly, the procurement process will commence.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I would like to refer to what Hon. Chilangwa once said. These projects go through a lengthy tender process and, looking at the month we are in, all I can assure my hon. Colleague is that the ministry will be able to make progress as we get into 2014. I do not want to give him a misleading answer. I am only sure that we would have made progress by 2014.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, on a light note, what name is the Government considering giving to the college of mathematics and science in Kabompo?

Mr Sikazwe: Mwanza College.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, since Hon. Mwanza comes from the North-Western Province, we will give him the first priority to sit with his colleagues and the community in the province to decide what the college will be called. It is not the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education that is supposed to impose a name. It has to come from our colleagues in that part of the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


741. Mr Matafwali asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication why the upgrading of the Kasama Airport Runway stalled despite the Government releasing funds for the project.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, the Kasama Runway Project has not stalled. Detailed designs have been made by the consultant, UWP Consulting. The cost of the design was K2,103,776.00, which has not been released for payment. Therefore, the design cannot be used until payment is made.

I thank you, Sir.


742. Mr Chansa (on behalf of Mr Ng’onga) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    how much money the Road Transport and Safety Agency spent on upgrading the main data link between the Lumumba Road Station and the Core Router at Lamya House in Lusaka; and

(b)    what the objective of the project was.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, up on my extreme left!

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) spent K12,542.31 to upgrade the main data link between its Lumumba Office and the Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) at Lamya House. The upgrade was done in June, 2011, and the objective of upgrading the link from digital subscriber line (DSL) to optic fibre was to mitigate the frequent breakdowns and low speed due to limited band width. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


743. Mr Chansa (on behalf of Mr Ng’onga) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when Milyashi Mine became operational; and

(b)    how many tonnes of copper had since been produced.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the Milyashi Project became operational in April, 2012. Construction for the project commenced in January, 2011, and 11,790.94 tonnes of copper have since been produced as follows:

Period    Tonnes of Copper Produced

April to December, 2012    6,100.54

January to March, 2013    5,690.40 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}


744. Mr Bwalya asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a)    when the Government would rehabilitate and construct houses for Community Development and Social Welfare officers countrywide; and

(b)    when the Government would provide the Luwingu District Office with a motor vehicle for projects.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kazunga): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to construct sub-centre houses in those centres that do not have houses and rehabilitate dilapidated houses. I am glad to state that this is an on-going exercise being done in phases depending on the availability of funds. However, there was some progress made in 2013. The offices in Itezhi-tezhi, Siavonga, Chirundu and Serenje districts are under construction while district offices in Chililabombwe and Chingola are earmarked for rehabilitation. There is also an office block under construction in Chililabombwe.

Sir, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, through its co-operating partners, procured a vehicle under the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS) for Luwingu District in September, 2011.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, taking advantage of this question on the construction of houses for Community Development and Social Welfare Officers countrywide, when will Milenge District, which has neither the houses nor district offices, benefit?

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, although Milenge District is not in the question, I can give him a bonus answer.

Mr Mbulakulima: Yes.

Ms Kazunga: The ministry has a programme, under the Department of Community Development, which encourages communities in rural areas to apply for funding under the Self-Help Scheme. If the community in Milenge applies under that programme, it will be able to construct its own houses for our officers in sub-centres in good time.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwaliteta: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, do we need the community in Mitete District to apply for funding to build houses for officers under the ministry under the Self-Help Scheme? I need clarification on why that funding should not be disbursed under a normal Government programme like it is being done in Chililabombwe. Why should that not be done in Chembe?

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think the question has been understood.

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, we have an on-going programme in the ministry under which we are building and renovating houses and offices for our staff in the sub-centres. We cannot build houses for the officers in towns and cities because they get housing allowance. We only concentrate on the officers in the sub-centres. If the community in the hon. Member’s area feels that this programme is taking too long to reach them, they can still apply under the Self-Help Scheme so that we give them the money and they can start the project earlier than those who will wait for the ministry to go and renovate or build them houses.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwaliteta: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Deputy Minister’s answer. However, where, precisely, can the community apply? Is it straight to her office in Lusaka or are there any other offices we can use?

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, we have offices in all the districts. I also think that all the constituencies, including the hon. Member’s, fall under a district. If there is no district office, please, our office at the headquarters is ready to assist him on where to start from.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


745. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Health when the construction of the maternity facility at Mumbeji Rural Health Centre in Kabompo West Constituency would commence.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the construction of the maternity wing at Mumbeji Rural Health Centre will be done with the support of the community, which will contribute sand, stones and blocks. Currently, moulding of concrete blocks is in progress while sand is being mobilised. The project will commence as soon as all the building materials are in place.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


746. Mr Bwalya asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the Government would award contracts for the rehabilitation of the following feeder roads:

(a)    Chifwele via Fikonkonta;

(b)    Chepeshi/Shimumbi;

(c)    Musele/Katuta/Sobingi;

(d)    Tungati/Lundu; and

(e)    Mwengwe/Bulambo.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, the contract for the periodic maintenance of 38km of the Chifwele to DO43 via Fikonkonta Road in Luwingu District of the Northern Province was awarded and signed on 10th May, 2013. The contractor has since mobilised on site and works have commenced. The contractor is Fumachila Zambia Limited.

Mr Speaker, the contract for the periodic maintenance of 82km of the Nchepeshi-Shimumbi Road in Luwingu District of the Northern Province was also awarded and signed on 10th May, 2013. Mobilisation has begun with the works expected to commence in a week’s time. The contractors are Infasim Construction and Mukaka Construction as the project is a joint venture.

Mr Speaker, the contract for the periodic maintenance of Musele-Katuta-Sobingi Road has been advertised and the tendering will close in the first week of August. The contract will be awarded as soon as the evaluations are concluded.

Mr Speaker, the Tungati-Lundu and Mwengwe-Bulambo roads have been included in the 2014 Annual Work Plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, quite often, for projects where contracts have been signed and awarded, we have challenges of contractors failing to adhere to the conditions of the contracts. What specific steps have been taken to ensure that projects are done according to the schedules that are agreed upon between the ministry and the contractors?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, when contracts are signed, contractual terms dictate what a contractor is supposed to do. If the contractor does not perform according to what was agreed upon, the contract can be terminated. If the contractor exceeds the period specified in the contract, there are what are known as liquidated damages that are charged.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




Mr Muteteka (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Museums in Zambia for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 8th July, 2013.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mumba (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, during the course of its deliberations, your Committee considered the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Museums in Zambia. To further assist your Committee appreciate the subject, it invited various institutions in the museums sector. 

Mr Speaker, I will begin by giving a brief outline of the museums sector in Zambia. At the apex, we have the National Museums Board (NMB), a creation of an Act of Parliament, Chapter 174 of the Laws of Zambia, whose principle role is the preservation of the nation’s history and movable cultural heritage, which is vital in providing education in the maintenance of the nation’s identity and pride.

Sir, the NMB is the umbrella body for the National Museums Board Secretariat, and national and community museums. The museums are 

(a)    the Choma Museum;

(b)    the Copperbelt Museum;

(c)    Kawiko Community Museum;

(d)    Livingstone Museum;

(e)    Lusaka Museum;

(f)     Moto Moto Museum;

(g)    Nayuma Museum and Heritage Centre; and

(h)    Nsingo Hall Community Museum.

Mr Speaker, these museums play the vital role of looking after the cultural and natural heritage and property of the nation and interpret it to the public for the education and enjoyment of the present and future generations. 

Sir, the cultural and natural heritage also plays a significant role in defining the nation’s cultural identity and pride. In addition, the sector has the potential to generate revenue through tourism. It is for the foregoing reasons that the Office of the Auditor-General decided to conduct a performance audit of the sector to establish how well the museums are being managed so that recommendations could be made, where appropriate. Additionally, the audit was motivated by the findings of the financial audit for the period 2005 to 2008, which revealed weaknesses in the way museums were being managed.

Mr Speaker, the purpose of this audit was to assess how effectively and efficiently the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Protection, which was then responsible for museums, and the NMB carry out their responsibility for the preservation of museum artefacts and the management of the museums in general.

Mr Speaker, the audit, which was conducted between May, 2010, and May, 2011, covered the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, the NMB and four national museums, namely, the Copperbelt, Livingstone, Lusaka and Moto Moto; two private museums, namely, Choma and Nayuma, and two community museums, namely, Nsingo and Kawiko.

Mr Speaker, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) defines a museum as “a non-profit permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment”.

Mr Speaker, I have deliberately given the definition above so that, as I speak about each of the terms of reference or functions of museums, we may be able to relate that to museums in Zambia and how they have fared on these parameters.

Collection and Conservation

Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General found that museums were not following the laid-down procedures of managing artefacts. For all museums, there was generally a chronic lack of storage space, cabinets and other receptacles, thus exposing museum objects to potential breakage, dust, graffiti and insect attacks. Most of the museums had leaking roofs and poor ventilation in the storerooms, which rendered the artefacts prone to damage due to humidity. There was also inadequate laboratory equipment and necessary chemicals for conservation purposes. To exacerbate the situation, there was inadequate skilled conservation staff.

Mr Speaker, the audit report also revealed that, although regulations required museums to insure their properties, which included the artefacts, that was not being done.


Mr Speaker, it was reported by the Auditor-General, and acknowledged by the audited institutions that almost all the museums had neither trained staff nor funds and transport to carry out research. The museums also did not have funds to recruit suitable staff to fill vacant positions due to their inability to pay them. 

Communication and Exhibitions

Mr Speaker, although each museum had, at least, one permanent exhibition, they were all almost unable to do mobile exhibitions due to a lack of funds and transport. That, in turn, limited the extent to which the museum works were communicated to the public.

Mr Speaker, what I am attempting to show is that, based on the ICOM definition, museums in Zambia failed to qualify to be called such due to the aforementioned reasons. In being unable to carry out most of their core functions, museums in Zambia were pressed to justify their existence. A museum does not qualify to be one only by virtue of having an exhibition as that is the function of a gallery.

Mr Speaker, I will not go in to the details of the audit report and the responses that were given by the Ministry of Tourism and Art. Suffice it to say that what emerged from the deliberations of your Committee is a gloomy and sad picture about the state and prospects of museums in Zambia. On the whole, the findings of the Auditor-General on the state of museums in Zambia were a true reflection of what was on the ground.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has noted that all the problems and failures in the museums sector are as a result of inadequate funding from the Government. Your Committee was dismayed to learn that, since 1995, funding to the National Museums Board and museums by the Government has been low, with the period between 1995 and 2003 being the worst in that there were months when the institutions went without any funding from the Government. This state of under-funding for over fifteen years has led to a build-up of a debt amounting to K70 million in form of debt towards staff salaries, statutory obligations, and liabilities to creditors of as at 31st December, 2012.

Mr Speaker, your Committee noted that museums were grant-aided institutions that the Government expects to generate further income on their own. However, by their very nature, as non-profit making entities, museums are incapable of generating any meaningful income. Your Committee further noted that the Government, with good cause, had stopped museums from charging economic entry fees as doing so would affect the museum industry in Zambia. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government improves on the funding and funding modalities for museums, through the NMB, for the museums to operate effectively. Your Committee is also uncomfortable with the fact that the NMB and museums have been moved around to various ministries of the Government, which has affected their operations. It is the view of your Committee that this has not helped the administration and management of the sector. Your Committee urges the Government to desist from this practice. It should place the NMB under the appropriate ministry once and for all.

Mr Speaker, the report of the Auditor-General revealed that there was no comprehensive national policy in place to regulate the management of museums. The National Museums Act of 1966 had not been reviewed to take into account modern trends in the sector, albeit a new Bill had been drafted, but not enacted as of May, 2011. Consequently, there was neither a legal provision nor any modus operandi on how to deal with community museums, hence, some of the confusion in the relationship between the NMB and some community museums. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the policy and legal framework be amended expeditiously to take into account all types of museums, whether national, community or private, and all aspects of museum management.

In conclusion, your Committee wishes to express its gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, and to the Clerk of the National Assembly for the support rendered to it during the year. Your Committee is also indebted to all stakeholders who appeared before it for their co-operation in providing the necessary memoranda and briefs. Your Committee would like to commend the Office of the Auditor-General for the audit, which sensitised us and the nation to our collective responsibility to support the museums.

Sir, your Committee is hopeful that the observations and recommendations of this report will go a long way in improving the management of museums and the tourism sector in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Mumba: Now, Mr Speaker.

Sir, I beg to second the Motion for this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Mr Speaker, since the main issues have been ably tabled by the Chairperson, I will strive to discuss some of the issues in detail. I will begin by describing the museums currently existing in Zambia.  

Sir, the Choma Museum, which was established in 1988, displays the cultural heritage of the Tonga tribe of the Southern Province. It houses many traditional artefacts, including beadwork, musical instruments, spears, clay figurines and jewellery. The museum’s crafts project stimulates production of local crafts, such as baskets, beadwork, carvings and others, for the purpose of preserving local traditional skills and providing an alternative form of income to the people of the Southern Province.

Mr Speaker, the Copperbelt Museum was established in 1962 and houses items found in the area dating back to the Stone Age. Ethnographical artefacts, and geological and historical items are its exhibits. It also exhibits the process of mining and copper processing. The museum is located in Ndola District of the Copperbelt Province.

Sir, Kawiko Community Museum was established as an initiative of the residents of Kawiko Community, which is a village in Mwinilunga District of the North-Western Province. The Project Team came up with a project proposal to establish a community museum and submitted it to the NMB for approval. In February, 2006, the NMB started disbursing funds to the project.

Mr Speaker, the Livingstone Museum, which is the country’s biggest and oldest, dates back to the 1930s and contains artefacts related to the local pre-history, history and natural history, including photographs, musical instruments and items previously owned by Dr David Livingstone.

Sir, the Lusaka Museum was established as a National Museum in 1996. It showcases contemporary art, highlighting the way of life of the Zambian people through paintings, sculptures and models. The museum also displays the story of Zambia’s development from the ancient through the historic past to the contemporary way of life.

Mr Speaker, Moto Moto Museum’s history dates back to the 1940s, when Father Jean Jacques Corbel, a Canadian missionary, collected cultural artefacts from the Northern part of Zambia for study and posterity. It was officially opened as a national museum under the NMB in 1974. Most of the collections are from the Northern part of Zambia, covering ethnography and art, pre-history, history and natural history. The museum is located in Mbala District, the Northern Province.

Sir, Nayuma Museum and Heritage Centre is located in Limulunga in the Western Province. Construction of the museum started in 1983, with financial assistance from the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD) in collaboration with the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), and was opened to the public in 1996. The museum promotes the arts and crafts of the people of Barotseland, not only in its many traditional forms, but also where such craftwork is an expression of art.

Mr Speaker, Nsingo Hall Community Museum was established in 2004 by a Trust called National PHD Holder Trust in Chipata District of the Eastern Province and was initially called the Museum of Ngoni Cultural History. On 21st October, 2004, the Chipata Municipal Council entered into an agreement allowing the National PHD Holders Trust to use the council building in Nsingo and to renovate it at the Trust’s own cost. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that the four national museums are being developed along thematic lines. For instance, the Copperbelt Museum will be the Museum of Science and Technology, the Lusaka National Museum and Moto Moto will be cultural history museums, whereas Livingstone will be a Museum of Natural History. 

Sir, from the foregoing, it is imperative that the Government ensures sufficient and timely funding to the sector to ensure that this vision is realised.

Your Committee was informed by the Auditor-General as well as the audited that both manual and computerised documentation systems by museums had been slow, partial or non-existent in some cases. This was due to understaffing due to a lack of operational funds to employ adequate and appropriately-trained staff, as well as a lack of funds to purchase equipment, such as storage cabinets, computers and appropriate documentation packages. Your Committee, in this regard, recommends that all museums, national as well as community, adhere to the standardisation of documentation by using the prescribed system. It goes without saying that the Government should avail the necessary funding.

Sir, your Committee learnt that the NMB has been operating without a strategic plan since 2006, when the previous strategic plan expired. Although a strategic plan for the period 2011 to 2015 has been drafted, it had not been finalised as of June, 2011. The NMB had also failed to effectively monitor the activities of the individual museums. Your Committee also noted the anomaly that, whilst the NMB had a Draft Strategic Plan, the individual museums did not. Your Committee, in this regard, urges the NMB to enhance its role of monitoring and supervising all museums by co-ordinating research, staff development and placement as well as marketing.

With those words, I beg to second.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, this is a very important report and the silence in debating it is an indication of the problem that we have as a nation.

Sir, let me begin by reflecting on what one of the sons of the soil said many years ago. That was Professor Lameck Goma, the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia. In 1975, on the day he inaugurated the Department of Philosophy at the University of Zambia, he stated that we must seriously pay attention to the usefulness of the apparently useless disciplines. He went on to highlight how neglected philosophy was in universities, especially the emerging ones in Africa, and why that discipline was very important to our understanding of our own lives.

Mr Speaker, in the same vein, museums are very important in the development of any nation. They are the repository of the nation’s scientific, technological, cultural, and social heritage. One could argue that a museum is actually the mind, heart, spirit and soul of a nation. It has very important functions as an institution of national pride, identity and patriotism to one’s nation and national unity.

Mr Speaker, when any serious-minded person visits a country, the first question that they should ask themselves is where the museum of the country they are visiting is. They should find time to visit the museum and understand where that particular society has come from and the basis of its development. 

Sir, if you went to London, Washington, Cairo, France and towns in many other countries, you would find museums. All serious-minded people, especially leaders, need to visit the museums of the countries they go to so as to understand the society’s heritage. 

Mr Speaker, the problem that we have is that museums are considered negatively. They are just looked at as places where cultural artefacts are kept, but they are more than that. For example, where can we find information or knowledge about plants and herbs, geology, fish species, wildlife or soil types in our country? It should be in the museum, and that is why, in other countries, museums employ the best brains to collect, analyse, document, preserve and exhibit information for the interest of the public. They are very important research institutions.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: That is how it used to be when the Livingstone Museum started and throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but we have had problems. In times of financial crisis, resource allocation to museums tends to be a secondary thought. It is easier to neglect them. Our museums have been struggling since 1995, but that is not how things ought to be. There are very serious challenges that our museums should be addressing in terms of generating knowledge and collecting our cultural artefacts. However, we, as a nation, have not given them adequate support.

Mr Speaker, we are a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, and that means that we, as a nation, are culturally, artistically and socially rich. The importance of documenting that – I think, we might be the only country on the African continent that is rich in, for example, traditional masks. The Luvale and Chewa cultures are very rich in traditional masks, which are very important. A lot of research needs to go into that so that it can be documented, preserved and exhibited to the nation. 

Sir, as your report indicates, it is very disappointing that our museums are not able to afford vehicles to do research. They cannot implement staff development programmes to train, for example, entomologists, who are able to classify and collect information on the various insect species that are found in Zambia. How many of us know the different butterfly species found in Zambia? How many of us know the different types of bees that make the honey that we enjoy in our homes in Zambia? That kind of information is very important for us, as a nation, yet the report of your Committee says that we have neglected these institutions. That is something we ought to address. We should give our museums the status and funding that they deserve for them to operate effectively and undertake staff development, research and procure equipment that can assist them to analyse the information, species or samples that they collect and preserve the information they generate.

Mr Speaker, your report tells us that we should search our souls and pay due attention to museums to enable them to operate effectively so that they truly become the repositories of our development. 

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

Mr Evans (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to make my maiden speech to this august House. Before I go any further, I would like to state that I support the Motion, which is on the management of museums, since I am a Member of Parliament for Livingstone, which hosts the biggest museum in Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Evans: Mr Speaker, at this point, I would like to thank the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for giving me the opportunity to work in his Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Evans: Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank the Secretary-General of the Patriotic Front (PF), Hon. Wynter Kabimba, the Central Committee and the District and Constituency officials for adopting me to contest the Livingstone Constituency Seat. 

Mr Speaker, I thank all hon. Cabinet and Deputy Ministers who travelled from their respective places to support me during my campaign. I would like to further thank my campaign manager, Hon. Mwaliteta, …

Mr Mwaliteta: Hear, hear!

Mr Evans: … who worked tirelessly. He was intimidated and frustrated, but he composed himself very well because he knew what he wanted to achieve, which was to deliver the seat to the PF Government, and he did that with a landslide victory. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Evans: Sir, it was a well-deserved victory and a job well done. 

Sir, may I also extend my gratitude to one political heavyweight, who has been in politics for over sixty years, for his support during my campaign. That is no other than Hon. Daniel Munkombwe.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Evans: Sir, allow me to also congratulate you on being elected to that very important seat. In the same vein, I cannot forget to congratulate the hon. Mr Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House. 

Mr Speaker, I am fortunate to be elected to represent Livingstone at a time the town is undergoing a facelift in preparation for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly (UNWTO-GA), which will take place in August, 2013. The tourist capital is receiving new roads, street lights, an intensive care unit, rehabilitated hospitals, new ambulances, a new building at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport, modern bus stop and market, public toilets, general clean-up, garbage collection and waste bins from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to point out that I have inherited certain problems and development challenges, some of which are long-standing and their resolution overdue. Through the PF Government, I will work hard and deliver to the expectations of the people of Livingstone. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Evans: Mr Speaker, some people have noted my absence from this House and seem to be very interested in Livingstone, its issues and people. May I simply say that, in Livingstone, we are very busy developing the area. My people are fully represented in Parliament and have a Member of Parliament who will not walk out when there are differences of opinion in the House. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Evans: Mr Speaker, my work in Livingstone Constituency will be a shining example for many to learn from, especially those who seem to be failing to effectively represent their constituencies. 

Mr Speaker, I thank the people of Livingstone for making the wiser choice of voting me in as a Member of Parliament under the Ruling Party. I also thank the clergy for their spiritual support to me and look forward to working with them for many more years to come.

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

Mr Evans: Mr Speaker, the people of Livingstone realise that voting for an Opposition Member of Parliament is an exercise in futility …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Evans: … and would not take development to their area. They have found comfort in the PF Government because of the good leadership of His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata.

Mr Speaker, my election as Member of Parliament for Livingstone on the PF ticket has opened the door for the Ruling Party in the Southern Province. With the leadership of the Provincial hon. Minister, who is a political heavyweight, we will ensure that the province stands with the PF. 

Mr Speaker, the PF Government has started delivering on its promises to the people of Zambia, as can be seen in my constituency, where many projects are being undertaken in readiness for the UNWTO-GA. As Member of Parliament for Livingstone, which will co-host the event, I assure the people and this august House that the event will be a success story for Zambia under the PF Government.

Mr Speaker, let me also congratulate the hon. Opposition Members of Parliament from the Southern Province who have accepted to work with the PF Government as this is the way to take development to the province. However, allow me to end by advising them on the intimidation that they are experiencing in their political parties. They should feel free to come to the PF, which is free of political intimidation and is on the move to change the face of the province in terms of development. Together, we shall work selflessly to provide for the needs of our people. 

With those few words, I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to welcome the hon. Member of Parliament for Livingstone to this House.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, as we embark on the spirit of African renaissance, through the philosophy of ubuntu, I would like to say that museums are very important. I want to adopt Hon. Professor Lungwangwa’s debate as my own. 

Sir, going through the report and listening to the Chairperson of this Committee, I would say that the NMB and Museums’ institutional and legal framework, funding, human resource, interaction with the community and research are inadequate in this country. 

Mr Speaker, on the institutional framework, I do not agree that the NMB and museums must be under the Ministry of Tourism and Art because this ministry is a consumer. Its main interest is to bring the tourists to enjoy the artefacts and the intrinsic values of this country. The appropriate ministry would have been the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. I also feel the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs should have been called the Ministry of Culture. That would have been the right nomenclature for it. 

Mr Speaker, it is clear that we need a department in the ministry to run the NMB and museums. There must be connectivity between the ministry and the two. The Permanent Secretary (PS) must also sit on the NMB. Currently, it looks like the board is autonomous. There is also no connectivity between the museums and the communities in which they are. 

Mr Speaker, on the legal framework, I would like to say that the 1966 Act is archaic and needs to be repealed as soon as possible. We also urgently need a policy that will guide on how we should look after, preserve and safeguard our artefacts and promote the museums. It is clearly stated in the report that the NMB is not adequately funded. It is important that, as we create a department in charge of this sector under the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, it must have its own vote in the National Budget. The tacit definition of museums as merely a place where artefacts can be dumped is wrong. As you have heard from Hon. Professor Lungwangwa, …

Hon. UPND Members: Lungwagwa.

Dr Kaingu: Yes, you heard me.


Dr Kaingu: I am sure that my elder brother will forgive me for that. The museums are repositories of our ancestral knowledge and creativity. If you went to the museums, which I know most of you are avoiding because you think the right places to go to are beer halls, …

Hon. Members: Mmm.

Dr Kaingu: Let me advise hon. Members to go to museums and see how we have undergone transformation, through the matrix of culture, to be where we are. What you call development, today, is merely the process of responding to cultural needs. 

Mr Speaker, what is clear in the report is that we do not have a qualified human resource hierarchy. Museology is a science, and you need the following personnel for a museum to run properly:

(a)    Museum Registrar;

(b)    Archivists;

(c)    Museum Technician; 

(d)    Museum Educator; 

(e)    Museum Director;

(f)    Exhibition Co-ordinator;

(g)    Visitor Services Specialist;

(h)    Cultural Heritage Information Professional;

(i)    Museum Librarian; and

(j)    Museum Researcher.

Sir, these are customised requirements. It is not every museum that will be able to afford employing these people, but big museums like Moto Moto and Livingstone must have the above-mentioned personnel. 

Sir, as museums are catalysts in the development of rural areas, in 2003, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government awarded Grant Thornton a contract to audit the number of portfolios in tourism and thirteen portfolios were identified, eight of which were driven by the museums, through ethnic and cultural tourism. Therefore, there must be connectivity between the museums and the people, through traditional ceremonies. For example, the artefacts in Moto Moto Museum must be connected to the Umutomboko Ceremony. A week before the ceremony, the museum must establish a stand where the community can go and view the artefacts. The Livingstone Museum must connect itself to the Lwiindi Chandaule and Lwiindi Lwa Basilombelombe while the Choma Museum should link itself to the Lwiindi Gonde Ceremony held in Monze so that the people in the communities can appreciate the knowledge that existed before they were born.

Mr Speaker, so much has been said about the artefacts in the museums, but there was no mention of the intangible cultural heritage, which is very important to Zambia. For those who do not know, Gule Wamkulu and Makishi were given World Heritage status. However, Gule Wamkulu is not safeguarded.

Mr Mwale: Imagine.

Dr Kaingu: It can be performed anywhere and that is where we are losing it in Zambia. In Zimbabwe, there are designated areas where traditional ceremonies are performed. In Zambia, even somebody who is launching a biscuit will bring Gule Wamkulu to perform. That is shameful.

Dr Katema: Ku manda.


Dr Kaingu: Yes, I have heard the hon. Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health say ‘ku manda’. I want him to know that he should not take pictures with Nyau or Makishi dancers because we believe that those are actually spirits. You can only pose with a spirit if you are also a spirit.


Dr Kaingu: During our time in office, as the MMD, we used to have culinary activities or gastronomy at the Lusaka Museum. One went to taste the traditional foods. I can see that that will not happen in this Government because its members would rather have sandwiches …

Mr Livune: Or by-elections.

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Dr Kaingu: … than promote traditional foods. 


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, as I wind up, I want to emphasise the point that it is important for the museums to engage the communities. A good traditional ceremony like the Chakwela Makumbi should be linked to the Lusaka Museum. We must create arenas where people from town can pay a nominal fee, rather than enter for free. It is very disappointing that people from urban areas would rather be entertained free of charge and eat free food. There is nowhere in the world where entertainment or food is free. It is, therefore, very important that, as we engage the NMB, we help it in the paradigm of interpretivism, phenomenology or ethnographical research that it undertakes. 

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I reluctantly support the report.     

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I want to state, from the beginning, that I am a member of this Committee. Therefore, it goes without saying that I support the report. I will be very brief because of the aforesaid. 

Mr Speaker, I thank the Office of the Auditor-General for bringing what I will call hidden treasure to light. Going by the report, the Act of Parliament that established the NMB, Cap 174 of 1966, was done for a purpose which, in this regard, was to promote national identity, national historical memory, self-esteem and national pride so that we did not forget who we are.  

Mr Speaker, the report is very worrying because it is coated with a lot of negativity, especially in the area of funding. The museums are not operating in the manner that they ought to for the simple reason that they lack money due to our failure to recognise the value of national pride. 

Sir, artefacts in any museum are priceless. I know this, having grown up in Livingstone, when Hon. Chikwanda was hon. Minister of Agriculture, back in 1974/1975. There was so much value then in children being connected to their country’s history that the Zambia Tourist Board (ZTB) then called Zambia National Tourist Board (ZNTB) went into schools to market the museums so that children, from as low as Grade 1 through to 7, would visit the museums to gain some appreciation of their work. However, the report shows us that, with the passage of time, there has been less and less value attached to these institutions, probably, because of the competing needs of the nation. We know very well that we have been struggling, as a country, in terms of where to place our resources, and I want to say to the PF Government that this is not a matter for which anyone can blame it squarely. However, it is timely for the Government to understand that Zambia’s anthropological history should not disappear. It is important that it looks at this report carefully and finds the resources needed to capacitate the museums. 

Sir, the report tells us about the human resource inadequacies of the museums. We have been told that people who are not qualified work as curators, keepers or conservators. It is important for us to recognise that we need to capacitate these institutions because they are cost centres. 

Sir, the report also has a table on page 6 indicating that, as a result of the lack of finances, priceless and irreplaceable artefacts in all the museums that were under study have not been insured. What that means is that anyone can go into a museum and steal the artefacts and the country would never recover such items because some of them are not found anymore. 

Mr Speaker, it is also important to discuss the registration of these artefacts and sourcing of the right chemicals for some exhibits that must be preserved chemically. Many of the animals in the museums have dried up and should be thrown away.  

 Sir, one most disheartening issue about these institutions is, as we learnt at the Lusaka Museum, that among the creditors of these institutions are the employees, who have been supporting the existence of these institutions. I posed a question on how the employees assisted and the Director indicated that they used their own transport to get work done because the institution was incapable of providing transport. It is only fair that, if we are going to hold mobile exhibitions, each of the eight museums should be given, at least, one vehicle. I am sure that, if we placed our priorities where they should be, the museums will be able to do all that they should do.

Mr Speaker, as much as this report makes sad reading, the Motion is non-controversial. Although the PF has only been in the Government for two years, I ask it to look at this report, not just put it away to gather dust, and see if it can make a difference by revitalising the museums because they hold the country’s institutional and cultural memory. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the report of your Committee. 

Sir, I thank your Committee and the Auditor-General for considering this very important and timely subject. As Hon. Nkombo put it, even though the PF Government has only been in power for about two years now, it is important that it looks at the matters that have been raised in your report. 

Mr Speaker, the Government is responsible for all the problems identified by the report as being faced by the museums. All the issues that have arisen from this report, such as limited funding, are matters that the Government can decide on. Beginning with the current Budget, the Government can improve on the funds that go to museums. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours. 


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was making the point that the problems of the museums, as presented by your Committee, can be placed squarely at the door of the Government. When these institutions were created, people began to think that they could be self-sustaining financially. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Museums worldwide survive on the support of the society in general. For that reason, I urge the relevant ministry to seriously consider improving funding to museums because we cannot avoid them. There is no country that can go without museums. In fact, in some countries, city tours are a major attraction and most of the tours take visitors to the museums and similar facilities.

Sir, as regards the lack of policy on the management of museums, again, this is about the Government showing leadership in ensuring that there is a policy on the management of these museums.

Mr Speaker, a number of issues have already been raised, but I want to restrict myself to those that may not have been emphasised by my colleagues. It is good that your report has brought out one of the things that we feared. When the PF Government was aligning and re-aligning ministries and institutions, we feared that we would lose some things in the process. One of the things that we seem to have lost was the value of the museums in regard to tourism. We have been told that there are people who have camped in Livingstone in anticipation of the UNWTO-GA, but we wonder how much of their time will be devoted to ensuring that we correctly position the Livingstone Museum to organise exhibitions. We wonder how much money is being channelled to the museums. Mind you, what will distinguish us, as a tourist destination, is not the Victoria Falls because Zimbabwe also has a claim to it. It is not the roads that people are spending time supervising in Livingstone because there are better roads where the tourists come from. It is our culture that distinguishes us, and that culture is held, by and large, by the museums and showcased in exhibitions.

Sir, we should have paid attention to improving the museums. I am now beginning to think that we were right, after all, in fearing that we might lose some value as we moved these institutions from one ministry to another. Therefore, we urge our colleagues in the Executive to begin to align these ministries and institutions correctly so that our tourism sector grows. So far, there is a disconnection. Various tourism products have been thrown somewhere else and, in the process, some of them are getting lost because relevant officers are spending time supervising roads, thinking that will bring in tourists. In any case, we have already heard, on the Floor of this House, that the UNWTO-GA is just a three-day meeting.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: If we are to spend money, then, we must invest in institutions like museums, which will bring more income, in the long run, than the UNWTO-GA, which is a meeting where people will just sit the way we are seated here.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Basiyeni!

Mr Belemu: So, it is not worth it, if you are an hon. Minister, to spend months supervising works on the roads in Livingstone while neglecting the key tourism products, which we are reading about in the report. The problems in these museums are a lack of funds and policy. That is tied to what we have already indicated on the Floor of the House; that difficulties may have arisen because some of these institutions have been aligned or re-aligned too many times. At the end of the day, even the managements of these institutions are now not sure of what will happen next. Once and for all, we need to stabilise these institutions. I suppose that is the reason there is not even a policy framework. The institutions have been moved from one ministry to another. This morning, they are in one ministry, the next day, they are somewhere else. We want the institutional framework of institutions like museums to be predictable. We must also have long-term plans, including financing plans, for the museums. As I have already said, museums are funded by the societies they serve.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: However, if we continue moving them from one ministry to the other and having wrong priorities, we will continue having these problems. Let us invest money in sectors that will bring income into this country, through tourism. If we asked each one of you how many have gone on city tours or to a museum before, the answer would be that it is only a few.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us consult quietly on my right. The consultations are too loud.

May you continue, Hon. Belemu.

Mr Belemu: Sir, city tours are part of the museums. If we ask ourselves how many have gone on city tours and visited museums, the answer would, probably, be none.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Even those who have constituencies like Kabwata should be very interested in the museums.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: That museum will boost the image of Kabwata.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, it is very important that …

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, is Hon. Belemu, who is debating so emotionally, like a little baby who has lost his shoe, …


Mr Lubinda: … in order to bring Kabwata Constituency and its noble Member of Parliament into his strange debate without recognising the fact that, when he was in the ministry responsible for museums, he saw this noble Member of Parliament for Kabwata contribute to that important house in Kabwata, the first statue of the First President of the Republic of Zambia at his own cost? Is he in order not to recognise that and, instead, belittle this noble gentleman? I seek your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Since you have sufficiently debated your point of order, allow him to continue with his emotional contribution.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, the last time I lost shoes was at the Kabwata Cultural Village when I was young …


Mr Belemu: … and I have not found them to this day. I may find them one day in a constituency office somewhere.

Sir, I was emphasising the fact that it is important for us to invest where we are likely to get the best value for money, as opposed to these short-term things like the UNWTO-GA. Let us invest in the museums. I appreciate people like the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata for their individual contributions. However, I think that, beyond individual efforts like his, public resources must go into these museums so that we can be proud of them, as a nation.

Mr Speaker, if we cry, it is because we understand what resource we are losing, as a country. When we speak emotionally, it is because we understand the value of these things. They are valuable, and we need to invest in them. We should also put our act together. Mind you, when things do not move well in these institutions, they do not just embarrass the Government in power, but all of us as well. That is why we want them to be run correctly. We also want an assurance from the Executive that we have not lost anything in the process in determining which institutions should be funded and to what extent. I thought I should highlight those points.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Professor Luo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor. I want to appreciate the way the mover of this Motion, who is the Chairperson of your Committee, has presented the report. It was important that he emphasised the fact that this was a report that considered the state of museums before the PF came into the Government.

Mr Speaker, I also appreciate the issues that the seconder of this Motion raised and all the debaters who subsequently spoke.

Sir, to the people who have contributed to this Motion, I would like to say that my ministry will look at this report very critically and where we are expected to make some amends, we shall do so. However, I would like to highlight some things and correct some of the impressions that have been created.

Sir, first and foremost, for the benefit of Hon. Belemu, the museums do not fall under the Ministry of Tourism and Art, but that of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. We must thank His Excellency, the President of this Republic for having aligned the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) and museums to this ministry.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, charity begins at home. For us to start appreciating the benefits and importance of museums, we must start at home. The reason His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia removed museums from the Ministry of Tourism and Art is simple appreciation of the fact that museums do not belong, for example, to tourism. Tourism is a beneficiary of a well-run museum industry. Museums are also linked to the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education because they are a learning institution. That is why I said that charity should begin at home. When we do what I call total transformation and a paradigm shift, as a society, and start putting a lot of emphasis on education and science and technology, then, we will not sit in this House and engage in lamentations or blame others.

Mr Speaker, museums are also linked to commerce and trade, and this is why His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia put this important institution in the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, because that is where it starts. When we talk about artefacts, we talk about crafts. It is our preservation of artefacts and all the other instruments that are found in museums that will help us preserve our national heritage, as chiefdoms.

Sir, because of the recognition that our ministry cannot just employ anybody who says they have seen an advertisement, our ministry has given instructions to our Human Resource Department to make sure that we stop employing just anybody. We will only employ anthropologists, social scientists, curators and historians because they will help us build the museums and other activities around our national heritage.

Mr Speaker, we are rebranding traditional ceremonies because we believe that they can also be museums in their own right, not necessarily put under a roof like the ones that have been described in the report. We heard a submission about encouraging the sampling of traditional foods at the Lusaka National Museum. We have said that, during our traditional ceremonies, as we rebrand them, instead of sausages, T-bone, Fanta and Coca-Cola, we should promote our national foods, which are, in fact, very healthy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Gankata.

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, one of the recommendations that my ministry would like to share with you is the one about the construction of the Choma Museum. It has been recommended that it be constructed on its own site. Which site? Museums have an educational function and the people who constructed the museum on a plot dedicated to teaching and learning did the right thing. So, the recommendation should have been for me to partner with my colleague, the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to protect the museum.

Mr Munkombwe: I will support that very much.

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, in my ministry, and my colleagues in the Government know this, whenever we have an activity, because we are the home, the best of everything in Zambia, we do not act alone, as a ministry, but collectively with other relevant ministries. When we went to launch the campaign against child marriages, eight ministries were represented because we knew that everything that we do is linked to what the other ministries are doing. So, we are paying a lot of attention to museums and all the chiefdoms will have museums linked to the palaces just to enshrine the ‘charity begins at home’ maxim. Then, one would not need to go to Livingstone. As one visits his or her constituency, one can go to the palace and learn about Zambia. 

Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka: Mr Speaker, I thank the debaters for contributing and bringing to life the issues contained in the report. I also appreciate that the hon. Minister has acknowledged and expressed her Government’s commitment to the implementation of the recommendations that have been made in the report. I am grateful for the overwhelming support.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Question put and agreed to.




The following Bill was read a third time and passed:

The Supplementary Appropriation (2011) Bill.




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 1850 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 19th July, 2013.