Debates- Tuesday, 16th July, 2013

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Tuesday, 16th July, 2013

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that, in the Speaker’s Gallery, is the Committee on Transport and Public Works from the National Assembly of Malawi, comprising thirteen members and one member of staff, namely:

Hon. J. Zingale, Chairperson;

Hon. M. R. J. Khwepeya;

Hon. D. J. Thamanga;

Hon. A. Y. Mpaweni;

Hon. J. E. A. Mkandawire;

Hon. A. L. Musongole;

Hon. T. L. B. Malipa;

Hon. Professor E. E. Banda;

Hon. W. A. Makala Ngozo;

Hon. M. M. M. Shaba;

Hon. F. M. L. Banda;

Hon. F. M. L.  Malunga;

Hon. K. Msiska; and

Mr Harold H. Kwalimba, Committee Secretary.

I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, to receive our guests and warmly welcome them.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to clarify, to this august House and the general public, issues surrounding the naming of the stadium under construction in Lusaka. The Government of the Republic of Zambia is committed to develop sport in this country. To this effect, it has embarked on efforts to massively invest in the development of sports infrastructure in the country. 

Sir, in this regard, a 40,900-seater Levy Mwanawasa, ultra modern stadium in Ndola was commissioned in 2011. Currently, we are constructing a 50,009-seater stadium in Lusaka, at a total cost of US$94 million. The Government will soon start the construction of two more stadia in Livingstone and Mongu. 

Mr Speaker, the construction of the stadium in Lusaka, which is located next to the Independence Stadium commenced on 6th July, 2011. The project is now 85 per cent complete and is expected to be handed over to the Government in October, 2013. There was an urgent need to give it a name in order to provide for adequate time for the contractor to procure the material for labelling of the stadium before it is commissioned. The contractor wants to print the name of the stadium on each seat. The Ministry of Youth and Sport has been receiving proposals on the naming of this stadium. The response has been good with a number of suggestions received. 

Sir, in view of this, a memorandum on naming the stadium was tabled before the Cabinet. I would like to report that the Cabinet, at its thirteenth meeting held on 8th July, 2013, decided to name the stadium as Gabon Disaster Heroes Stadium ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: … in memory of the Zambia National Football Team …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kambwili: … which perished in a plane crash on the coast of Gabon in April, 1993. It must be noted that the incident that occurred in Gabon has been gazetted under the Zambian law as the Gabon Disaster. The name was well-meaning and was agreed upon after a protracted discussion. Our intention was to recognise the pain and anguish which the unfortunate incident left in the lives of most of our people. Those who died in the plane crash were heroes and we salute them to this day. 

Sir, the response from the general public had been overwhelming, some in support and others against the name. The majority view has deemed the name to have a negative connotation in particular, the inclusion of the name, ‘Gabon’ and ‘Disaster’ in the title. They said that ‘Gabon’ was a name of another country and that ‘disaster’ is associated with bad luck. 

Mr Speaker, the name, ‘Gabon Disaster Heroes Stadium’ was derived from the fact that the unfortunate incident is gazetted under the laws as the Gabon Disaster. We have since named the burial site at Independence Stadium as the Gabon Disaster Burial Site. 

The Patriotic Front (PF) Government is a listening Government and respects its people’s views. Therefore, the concerns by the general public have been noted. Following this, my Government further consulted the general public and is pleased to change the name of the stadium. This shows patriotism and togetherness. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Sir, I am pleased to announce that the stadium shall now be called the National Heroes Stadium.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Sir, the Government has taken cognition of the fact that the name will not only honour the Gabon plane crash heroes, but also all the heroes in sport. It will act as a motivator for the sports persons to be more competitive.

Mr Speaker, since the new name was announced on 10th July, 2013, and an article was published in the newspaper on 11th July, 2013, there has been positive feedback from the general public. This is as it should be. The Cabinet, also, at its fourteenth sitting on 15th July, 2013, adopted the new name, National Heroes Stadium. I hope and trust that this clarification puts to rest all the issues surrounding the naming of the stadium.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Ema Ministers.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, we named this stadium as Lusaka National Stadium after Headman Lusaka, whom we all know is a hero in this country. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what, therefore, necessitated the change of the name from Lusaka National Stadium to the current name, whatever it is.

Mr Speaker: He has just indicated it.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, it clearly shows that the previous Government did not know what it was doing.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: When you name a national institute …

Mr Mwale: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: … or property, you have to gazette the name. We did not find any gazette indicating that the name of that stadium was Lusaka National Stadium. Therefore, we were left with no option, but to name the stadium.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, from the construction point of view, the roof …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, sorry I have to interject. You must confine yourself to the subject, which is the name. Continue, please.

Mr Mooya resumed his seat.


Mr Speaker: If there are no questions, we will move on to our next item.




710. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)     when the police posts at Mumbeji and Kayombo in Kabompo District would be   

(b)     what the estimated cost of constructing the two police posts was; and

(c)    when the construction of the two posts would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, our speaker is as follows …

Hon. Government Member: Our answer.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, our answer is as follows: …

Mr Speaker: Yes.


Mr Kampyongo: In recognition of the high demand for police stations and police posts in many parts of the country, the Government has embarked on a serious financial resource mobilisation exercise to enable it to construct as many police stations and posts as may be required to satisfy the high demand. Therefore, Mumbeji and Kayombo in Kabompo District will be catered for once this national programme is eventually rolled out.

Sir, the total estimated cost of constructing the two police posts will only be determined at the planning stage. The completion period will also be determined at that stage.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that elaborate answer. I would like to know what the source of the resources will be. Is it a local or an external one?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, the responsibility of mobilising resources lies with the Ministry of Finance. What we have done is simply request for the funds. We are waiting for the ministry to advise on how much money it can mobilise for us to undertake this important project.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Is it external or internal?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, that will be determined by the Ministry of Finance which is in charge of mobilising resources for all the Government programmes.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether the Government will also consider constructing staff houses for the police officers.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Order, on my right.

Mr Kampyongo: … we will consider constructing staff houses in areas where we will construct police posts. In fact, we have mobilised funds which will go towards the construction of houses in areas which already have shortages of accommodation for our police and prison officers.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, when will the police posts which have been built by the community be opened? Police posts such as Munkwela, Kalomo and Siachitema have not been opened despite having been built by the community. 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, in fact, let me take advantage of Hon. Muntanga’s question, to thank the hon. Members of Parliament who have come forward and pledged to utilise part of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to construct police posts. 

Sir, for us have a standard model of police posts, I wish to advise the community or hon. Members that whenever they manage to find some resources, they need to plan with us, through our police, from the initial stages so that we can give them the appropriate design and costings. That way, it will be easier for us to operationalise those police posts once they are constructed. The problem that we have had is that the community start a project without engaging the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the police and later, when we go and inspect it, we would find that what had been constructed was not suitable for police operations. This is what has made some structures become white elephants. However, as a way forward, it is important that we engage each other from the early stages.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.          

Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that, at national level, resources are being mobilised to put up police stations. In his response, concerning the construction of police posts at Mumbeji and Kayombo, the hon. Minister was too general. I would like to know when, exactly, the two police posts will be constructed. 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I was only trying to avoid a situation where hon. Members would ask for police posts at places of interest. I hoped that my response would cater for the whole nation. 

Sir, when resources are available, we will let the hon. Members know when, as well as how many, police posts will be constructed. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, will new districts, such as Mitete, which have no police posts and police camps, have to wait or is there a particular programme for them.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, there is a need for new districts to be given priority. However, this will only be after the mobilisation of resources. 

Most importantly, we will give priority to newly-created districts because they require police stations and not police posts. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the new districts will be given priority in the construction of police posts. 

Sir, Chadiza, where I come from, is a very old district with no police station. Is the hon. Deputy Minister saying that Chadiza will not be considered because it is not a new district?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it is always interesting to get questions from the hon. Member for Chadiza. I know he is trying to put words in my mouth.  


Mr Kampyongo: First and foremost, I did not say that Chadiza will not be considered. The hon. Member should take comfort in knowing that we will take note of areas that do not have police stations. 

Sir, Chadiza is a district. 

Mr Mbewe: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: It is, therefore, not a police post that is needed in Chadiza, but a police station. The district will, therefore, be considered together with other districts that do not have police stations. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


711. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Justice why High Court Sessions in Luapula and Northern provinces are only quarterly in spite of the increased number of Judges. 

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Supreme Court and High Court Number of Judges Amendment Act No. 26 of 2009 increased the number of High Court Judges from thirty to fifty. Although the law increased the number of Judges, there are currently thirty-one Judges holding office. This is due to the lack of infrastructure in the form of offices and court rooms to support the revised establishment. As a result, sessions in provinces, on a quarterly basis, have been maintained until suitable infrastructure is put in place. This situation is, however, being reviewed so as to align it with the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, which provides for easy access to justice for our people. 

I thank you, Sir. 


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

(a)in which districts oil reserves were detected as of March, 2013;

(b)what the names of the locations were; and

(c)when the drilling of the oil at the locations above would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, at the moment, no oil reserves have been detected in any district in Zambia. 

Sir, since there are no discoveries yet, the question of actual location of the oil reserves does not arise. 

Lastly, the drilling of oil will commence when the oil reserves of economic value are discovered. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to further state that the Government, through the Geological Survey Department, between 2007 and 2010, carried out microbial prospecting exercises to assess the potential of oil and gas in the country. The principle behind microbial prospecting for oil and gas is that oil and gas deposits emit a stream of hydrocarbonic gases to the surface of the earth. Microscopic bacteria known as hydrocarbon oxidising bacteria feed on the hydrocarbonic gases that seep into the earth’s surface. Detection of the bacteria is a clear indication of the presence of hydrocarbonic bearing structures. 

Mr Speaker, this technique has delineated areas with potential to host oil or gas in Zambia. The areas were demarcated into blocks for interested companies to bid for petroleum prospecting licences. Initially, the entire country had a total of forty-four oil blocks. As of January, 2013, the Geological Survey Department of the Republic of Zambia further declared another twenty oil blocks. In total, therefore, we have sixty-four oil blocks with serious potential for oil and gas. 

Mr Speaker, we have answered this question in this House before. However, I want to further state that several local and international companies have been given prospecting licences for oil and gas in the Republic. Some of these companies include:

Company    Country    Blocks (province by province)

Barotse Petroleum Co. Ltd    Zambia        20/21 in Western 
Exile Resources Inc.    Canada        26 in Muchinga 
Mettprosol/Frontier    Zambia        34 in Southern 
Petrodel Resources Limited    France        17 in Western 
Majetu    Zambia        13 in Western/North-western 
Rapid African Energy    Mauritius        31 in Northern/Luapula 
Mafula Energy Ltd    Zambia        32 in Luapula/Northern/Muchinga
Gapex    Zambia    7 in North-Western
ZCCM–IH    Zambia    1,4,6 and 10 in North-Western
Mineks Zambia International    Turkey    27 in Eastern/Muchinga
Chat Milling    Zambia    5 in North-Western 
Terralinna Zambia Ltd    Australia    24 in Western and 38 in Southern

The above listed companies have since been issued with default notices for failure to commence exploration in accordance with the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act of 2008. According to the Act, a licence holder should commence exploration within ninety days of having been granted the licence. With regard to Rapid African Energy, the licence was cancelled due to irregularities in the way it was issued. This matter is in court. 

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by stating that the ministry recently advertised another thirty-one blocks for which twenty-seven bids were received for the eleven blocks. These bids are due for evaluation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I rise to raise a point of order on a procedural matter. Is the Government in order to keep quiet and not inform this House who is acting in the absence of the Leader of Government Business in the House, and yet we are in business? I need your ruling.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: There is no indication. The presumption is that he will obviously be joining us.

You may continue, please.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether these explorations are open-ended. If they are not open-ended, when are they going to be completed so that the country is not on a continuous wild goose chase?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, thank you for that good question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Sinda although he has chosen to use vocabulary which is advanced. We are not on a wild goose chase. As per requirement of the law, if the companies do not proceed with the prospecting within ninety days, the ministry is obliged to send them default notices. So, this is what we have done as a ministry. We have sent default notices so that in case these licence holders do not give us good explanations why they are not on site, their licences will be cancelled.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, some time back, we were informed, in this House, by the same ministry that samples that were obtained in Zambezi were sent to Germany. Further, we were told that the samples actually indicated the presence of oil in Zambezi. Why did they make us get excited when the hon. Deputy Minister seems to be suggesting that nothing of that nature happened?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, in the first place, I want to make it abundantly clear that I have not said that nothing is happening. I think the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central did not follow me closely. I said the Geological Survey Department of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development has done preliminary works. We issued licences to several players on the market as per the terms of exploration based on the preliminary works which were done by this department. It is on the premise of such preliminary works that those samples were taken abroad in order to have a second view. The response which was received was quite positive. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, before I ask my question, I would like to declare interest because I am an oil sheik ...


Mr Kakoma: … who has shares in one of the companies exploring for oil in Zambia. Sir, arising from the hon. Deputy Minister’s statement …

Mr Speaker: You mean you have already struck the oil?


Mr Speaker: Continue, please.


Mr Kakoma: Sir, what is the Government doing to create an enabling environment for local investors to explore for oil?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, thank you for that question, …

Hon. Members: Microphone!

Mr Musukwa: I am sorry I thought I was loud enough. Hon. Kakoma, thank you for that question. It is good to note that leaders such as yourselves are involved in exploration activities because that is what can help to grow our economy.

The basic information which the licence holders are using for their exploration was put together by the Government. Further, in order to reduce the exploration expenses, the Government has been trying to partner with some countries which can do aerial surveys which can provide serious geological information that these companies can use in going forward.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I would like to be educated since I might be wrong. There were a few blocks in Zambezi District which were repossessed by the Government. How far has the Government gone in terms of exploring the blocks which it repossessed?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, first of all, the Government owns the blocks through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines - Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH). The default notice was also issued to the ZCCM-IH. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, when there is talk about oil being in Zambezi West, the people there will start dancing. When is the ninety days ultimatum ending? We need to know the results as soon as possible. Perhaps when we get good results, we shall talk less about issues to do with the importation of oil.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the ninety days which is outlined in the Petroleum Act commences the day when one is first given a licence. I am sure Hon. Kakoma can help me to explain this matter better.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, maybe, I did not get the hon. Deputy Minister very clearly. On the issue of exploitation, …


Mr Mbewe: … oh sorry, exploration, is it on-going or it has a specific period when it will come to an end?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I know that the issues to do with oil and gas are very sentimental, especially that most of our neighbouring countries have actually found these substances in their countries. The exploration activities will take place for the period which is stipulated in the licences which are issued according to the Act. Principally, there is a two-year exploration period within which you must be able to give us some good results. However, apart from the two-year, the law also stipulates that three months after the licence has been given, to tie it to with the PF slogan of ninety days, you must be able to give us a report on what is happening on the ground.

I thank you, Sir.


713. Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund would:

(a)change the mode of payment to beneficiaries from annual to monthly; and

(b)increase the annual pension from the current K750.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF), operating under the LASF Act, Cap 284 of the Laws of Zambia provides social protection for members employed in the local authorities, National Housing Authority (NHA), water utilities created prior to 1st February, 2000 and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) Limited.

Sir, from inception, the LASF Act had no provision for the automatic revision of the pensions until Statutory Instrument No. 30 of 1996 under Section 26 (4) of the LASF Act was passed to allow the hon. Minister responsible for local governance to adjust benefits and pensions in consultation with the board and in accordance with an actuarial valuation.


Mr Speaker: Order on the left, please.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the fund used to pay pensions on a monthly basis until the late 1980s, when the value of the pensions was payable, was eroded by inflation and became an administrative burden on the fund. It was subsequently decided that the monthly pensions be paid on a quarterly basis for pensioners receiving small amounts and bi-annually for pensioners receiving reasonable monthly pensions. By the mid-1990s, it was further decided to pay pensions on an annual basis by adding the monthly pensions together. The payment of the monthly pensions at once annually does not require amendments to the LASF Act as it is only an administrative arrangement to mitigate the value of the low pensions. Consideration can be made once the financial position of the fund improves.

Mr Speaker, the fund has been increasing the pensions payable every three years with effect from January, 2004. The policy to adjust pensions every three years was approved by the hon.  Minister responsible for local governance, subject to the financial position of the fund. The first upward adjustment was effected in January 2004, whereby the minimum pension was increased to K100. The second adjustment was in 2007, which increased the minimum pension to K500. The third revision was effected in 2010 whereby the minimum pension was pegged at K750.

  Sir, the annual pension payable ranges from K750 for the lowest paid pensioner to K36, 000 for the highest paid pensioner, which is the balance of the gross annuity after two-thirds or one- third is commuted for the lump sum at the time of retiring. Generally, the fund has been unable to award huge pension increases due to its poor financial position arising from several factors, namely:

(i)   declining membership and contributions due to the closure of the scheme to new        
   members with effect from February, 2000;

(ii)   non-financing of the actuarial deficit which stands at K504.53 million as at 31st   
      December, 2007; and

(iii)   the scheme design of the fund is a defined benefit scheme, whereby the benefits are  
defined in advance through a formula based on the last annual salary. The benefits       are payable irrespective of the performance of the fund in terms of receipt of  pension contributions from employer organisations and investments.

Sir, in conclusion, based on the fund’s policy to adjust pensions every three years, an adjustment was due effective 1st January, 2013. However, the fund has not made recommendations to adjust pensions due to its declining financial performance. The actuarial consultants have recommended that the pensions should not be increased until the actuarial deficit is funded to cover the cost of any increase.

Mr Speaker, currently, the Government is spearheading the social security reforms, among other things, to address the issue of low pensions and how the Government will finance the actuarial deficit.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, is the Government considering reviewing the pension payout system from every three years to annually?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, that position will only be defined when the review, which is currently going on, has been completed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out when the Government is going to appoint actuaries to do the assessment of LASF.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Ms Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, the auditors who were appointed assessed the situation at LASF and recommended that my ministry not go ahead with the revision of the pensions until the actuarial deficit has been liquidated.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


714. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)why the Mchinji Railway Line had remained inoperational from the time it was officially inaugurated; and

(b)when the Railway Line was expected to commence operations.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr M. H. Malama): Mr Speaker, the Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line has remained inoperational since it was commissioned because the operator, Central African Railway (CEAR), that the Government has engaged to run train services, had failed due to the capacity challenges it has been facing in terms of rolling stock.

Sir, the Government, through Zambia Railways, will move some rolling stock and locomotives to start operating train services on the Chipata/Mchinji Railway Line down to Nacala in Mozambique, through Malawi, in the first quarter of 2014. An access agreement is already available and discussions among the three countries are still on-going for the completion of paper work.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I must say that it is sad that a venture as big as this, which cost Zambia a lot of money, has to take so long to be operational. Why has it taken so long to arrive at a solution?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, this is a big issue. It has taken long to start providing services because Mozambique has also had challenges in the railway sector. I also wish to state that in Zambia, we only have 27 km which might not work properly if the other long distance, for example, in Mozambique, is also facing challenges. I think that has been the problem.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, while planning to put in place the rolling stock in the first quarter of next year, is the Government aware that this particular railway line is actually wearing off in certain places such that it may not even be safe to run a locomotive on it? If so, what is being done to ensure that this line, on which we spent a lot of money, is properly utilised?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, Hon. Muntanga’s question is, in fact, coming to us as a  reminder. What I know is that we have people who are guarding this railway line. We have not received such a report from these people. It is good Hon. Muntanga has brought to our attention what he has said. I think we will make a follow up and find out whether some damage is occurring on this rail line.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, how far has the Government gone in planning to connect this railway line with the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) line, through Petauke up to Serenje, so that it becomes economically viable?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, that project is at the feasibility study stage. Immediately the report is submitted, the Government will know the next step to take.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that this railway line will link Zambia and Mozambique. Is this a joint venture and, if so, what will be the shareholding arrangement between the two countries?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, I do not have the information concerning the question the hon. Member has asked. So, I cannot really tell what the shareholding structure will be like. All that I can say is that I invite the hon. Member to come to our office so that we can provide a proper answer instead of my dreaming up one.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Which, of course, will not be permitted.


Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Sir, looking at the fleet of locomotives at Zambia Railways, which is under fifty, does the Government intend to procure more locomotives which will be sent to Mchinji?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, the railway system is quite important and if we do not have enough, definitely, in the near future, we will consider buying more rolling stock.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, will the rolling stock be electrically or diesel propelled?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, it will be propelled by diesel.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, arising from the question raised by the hon. Member for Gwembe, the hon. Minister indicated that, sooner or later, rolling stock will be procured to be taken to Muchinji. What mode of transport will be used to take these locomotives to Mchinji, seeing that there is no connectivity and we have been told that this line is just standing by itself?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, there are so many ways of transporting the rolling stock. It can easily be transported using the low-bed trucks. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Trucks?

Mr M. H. Malama: Yes, it is possible.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


715. Mr Chungu (Luanshya) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education how much money, on average, the following institutions spent on electricity bills per annum:

(a)University of Zambia;

(b)Copperbelt University;

(c)Nkrumah University College;

(d)Mukuba University;

(e)Mulungushi University; and

(f)Chalimbana University.

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, first of all, let me mention that, out of this list, only three are universities. That is, the University of Zambia, Copperbelt University and Mulungushi University. The other institutions are still colleges of education awaiting to be legally transformed into universities. Nonetheless, I will give the figures for all these institutions. The following institutions, per annum, spend the following average amounts on electricity bills:

Institution    Amount (Kwacha)
University of Zambia    2,782,321.10

Copperbelt University         1,920,000

Nkrumah University College       234,005.05

Mukuba University College            144,000

Mulungushi University            645,000

Chalimbana University College            278,213

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, considering that these costs are quite high, is the ministry considering having pre-paid meters for electricity so as to optimise the cost?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, these are universities run by councils which are the overall bosses of the management in the universities. The Government only gives grants. The universities also generate additional funds from their internal mechanisms. The universities decide on their own how to pay their electricity bills.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Sir, are these learning institutions up-to-date in terms of payments to ZESCO?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, none of these public institutions have reported that they are in arrears. The ministry does not want to speculate on whether or not they are in arrears. Therefore, I would safely say that they are managing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to educate me on what measures his ministry and the various university councils in question have put in place to optimise the use of electricity, considering that it is very common to see in many Government institutions, such as the Government Complex, lights on as late as midnight. When coming from night clubs, we normally see the lights on at the Government Complex.


Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, all I can say is that the university councils are responsible institutions and, thus far, there is no reason for the ministry to inquire as to how the universities are using the electricity that they are paying for.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education refer to the schools he has mentioned as universities and that they have councils. May I know whether Nkrumah University College now has a university council because he recently said that they still wanted to put in place a university council at the institution.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I thought I was very categorical. Hon. Chungu wanted to know the electricity bills for the six institutions. So, when I began answering, I said that out of the six, three are universities. These include the University of Zambia, Copperbelt University and Mulungushi University. All the three institutions are governed by university councils. The other three which are Nkrumah University College, Mukuba University College and Chalimbana University College, are yet to be established as universities. We are still working on establishing the councils at the three colleges. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


716.     Mr Chansa on behalf of  Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the Government would amend the Food and Poisons Act so as to bring it in line with the current trends in Zambia; and

(b)    when the Government would present the Traditional Healers Bill to Parliament for enactment to ensure that traditional medicines complement conventional medicines as is the case in South Africa and Senegal where the practice has worked very well.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, the Food and Drugs Act, Cap 303, is one of the pieces of legislation that was identified for revision under the Business Licensing Reforms that the Government is undertaking. Therefore, the process of revising this Act commenced some time back and has now reached an advanced stage. This Bill will be brought to Parliament as soon as the Cabinet gives a go-ahead.

Mr Speaker, it is the policy of the Government to ensure that traditional, complementary and alternative medicines in Zambia are developed to a level where they effectively complement conventional ones. In this regard, my ministry, with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other stakeholders, has produced a layman’s Draft Bill on Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. The Draft Bill is currently undergoing consultations after which it shall be submitted to Cabinet for approval before it is brought to Parliament as a Bill.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, traditional medicine is part of our culture. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Health whether we really need to wait for this Bill or we have enough laws to stop those people who are advertising traditional medicines on the streets. In fact, some of the advertisements are vulgar. I have problems explaining the kind of advertisements I am referring to. These advertisements refer to things such as the enlargement of anatomy. Do we need to wait for this Bill or we have enough laws for the Government to act by arresting and prosecuting the advertisers?

Mr Speaker: I thought you would just end by saying that the advertisement are difficult to explain.


The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I agree that some of the advertisements that we see do not represent the kind of attitude that we expect from our traditional doctors. That is why we are proceeding to legislate the way traditional medicines are used. It is certainly not necessary to wait. Anyone who has the initiative under the current law should feel free to take action whenever such misconduct has been found. We will continue to monitor the extent to which we are exploited, as a community, by traditional doctors.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, in understanding part (a) of the question, what current trends did the ministry consider?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the Food and Drugs Act was made at a time when several of the issues now arising with regard to both food and drugs were not existent. Now, we have new trends. We have a lot of new products such as drinks. We need to be concerned about the kind of environment in which the new products are prepared. It is clear that things are no longer the same. 

This is why we have not only passed legislation regarding pharmaceutical products, but are also continuing to re-define what is meant by drugs, excluding the definitions in the Bill, which will pass through Parliament soon. I wish to assure Hon. Hamudulu that the current trends will be adequately attended to in the Bill which we will present to the House soon.   

   Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, in rural areas, groups of traditional healers practise divination and sometimes claim that they have some papers from the police. This becomes a source of karavina issues. Do some people really have some papers that allow them to engage in witch-finding activities? This situation is giving us problems in rural areas. 

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I am impressed with hon. Members for their being acquainted with divination and other aspects of traditional practices.


Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I think we have a future in this House. When we talk of traditional medicine in a rather loose way, we are talking about two or three different activities. On one hand, we are talking of herbalists and, herbs and on the other hand, we are talking of spiritualistic activities. It is our intention to define these aspects of traditional practices in a way which will make them distinguishable. I think that with that clarification in our law, it will become easier to say who should get what paper and from where. For the time being, the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ) does recognise the existence of the Traditional Health Practitioners Association of Zambia (THPAZ). The Professional Diviners Association awaits the guidance of the hon. Member for its creation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I want to find out, from the hon. Minister under what law the Chinese traditional healers practise. They are very predominant in Lusaka.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Member carefully distinguished between the Chinese modern practitioners and Chinese traditional healers. The two are in distinct categories. On one hand, we have the Chinese practitioners who have gone through what is described as modern medical training and these are entitled to have surgeries in Lusaka or elsewhere. On the other hand, we have Chinese individuals who practise herbalism. We already have provisions in the law for such individuals just like we have for those who belong to THPAZ. Everything, I think, is fully covered. I am not sure which group the hon. Member wants to belong to.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

He seems to be content with the legal practice.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, there are exceptional instances where conventional medicine has proved not to be able to assist people who are afflicted with certain health conditions. I have in mind, hon. Minister of Health, a case of a lad in Kalomo who had been to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), our referral hospital, with a dermatological condition. There is a woman, I think she lives in Matero, who administers traditional medicine. I hope the hon. Minister knows the case I am referring to. To what extent has the ministry gone in assisting herbalists with licences, such as Dr Vongo and Dr Sondashi, who have proved beyond, any reasonable doubt that they can help people in order to circumvent those who may want to continue getting money from unsuspecting citizens in the guise of wanting to provide medical help in instances where conventional medicine has failed? 

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, in my daily work, a month does not pass without a claim arriving on my table about the ability of individuals to cure Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), dermatological conditions and so on and so forth. As of now, it has been our practice, as a ministry, to offer the opportunity for those substances to be tested through our laboratories at the Tropical Disease Research Centre in Ndola or sent to a research institute in South Africa. We cannot register a person or product until certain criteria have been satisfied.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, while we wait for the Traditional Healers Bill to come to Parliament, there are issues that can be addressed. Currently, under the Public Health Act, there is a provision which stops certain individuals from exaggerating what they are able to do, including the abilities of famous powders, and what was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbala. Is it not possible for the Government to strengthen the inspectorate, that is, the Ministry of Health in-conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to implement the Public Health Act in full?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I agree with what has been said by Hon. Dr Kazonga. Of course, the Public Health Act, although it has been revised, was first presented way back in 1949. Again, it is about to be revised. However, throughout this period, there has always been a very clear message about what can be said and what cannot be said. I concur with the hon. Member that …


Mr Speaker: Order!

May I have order on the right.

Dr Kasonde: … even now within existing legislation, there is a need for continuous monitoring of certain claims, if we can call them that, that are currently obtaining.

I thank you, Sir.


717. Mr Chansa (On behalf of Mr Ngo’nga) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)whether the Government was aware that some schools in Kaputa District
have classroom blocks which have remained incomplete since 2004;
(b)when the incomplete classroom blocks would be completed; and 

(c)    what the total cost of completing the classroom blocks was.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, it is true that the ministry is aware that there are some classroom blocks in Kaputa which have remained incomplete since 2004.

Sir, the incomplete schools are planned to be included in the 2014 Infrastructure Operation Plan. The estimated cost of completing the classroom blocks in Kaputa is estimated at K942,000.00.

I thank you, Sir.


718. Mr Mpundu asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)whether the Government had any plans to facilitate the establishment of a commercial bank in Nchelenge District; and

(b)if so, when the plans would be implemented.

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House and the public at large that the Government’s strategic objective under the Financial Sector Development Plan is to address low access to financial services by the majority of the population. In this regard, we are continuously interacting with commercial banks to increase their outreach, especially to the rural areas.

Sir, additionally, the Government, through the National Servings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE), has embarked on increasing financial services access through the opening of new branches, the most recent one being in Chavuma.

Mr Speaker, there is currently no commercial bank in Nchelenge District. However, NATSAVE has been operating in the area since 2003, providing full banking and other financial services. It is, therefore, fully undertaking the role of a commercial bank.

Sir, plans are underway to enhance the operations of NATSAVE by constructing a new branch which will start in the fourth quarter of 2013, and to install an automated teller machine (ATM) in the same district. Further, mobile banking services in the district are also provided by the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) through the Rural Zambia Postal Service Programme.

Mr Speaker, as already pointed out above, NATSAVE is providing full banking and other financial services. Nchelenge District, therefore, already has banking services. The Government will, however, continue to engage with the commercial banks to open a branch in the district although it already has full banking and other financial services.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, is there a likelihood that ZANACO could be compelled to set up  permanent presence in Nchelenge?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the Government’s role is to facilitate, especially, in the area of business. We have no stomach to compel business houses to set up businesses in rural areas. All we can do is create an enabling environment. 

I thank you, Sir.


719. Mr Bwalya asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

(a)what value the American Peace Corps added to the communities where they were attached; and

(b)what benefits they derived from the communities where they were attached.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dr Lungu): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the American Peace Corps add value to the communities where they are attached by providing the following services:

(i)Community Health Improvement Projects: The health projects strive to complement the Zambian Government’s efforts to decentralise health care services to the community level. Volunteers primarily help the village level neighbourhood health committees to provide preventive health care services against HIV/AIDS and malaria;

(ii)Rural Aquaculture Promotion: Volunteers involved in rural aquaculture, in close collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, help to develop the quality and quantity of fish culture activities in rural farming communities. These activities increase food security and provide cash incomes for the fish farmers;

(iii)Linking Income Food and Environment (LIFE): In the LIFE Project, volunteers focus on the promotion of the adoption of sustainable agriculture technologies and techniques and provide capacity building for teachers in schools who organise environmental sensitisation clubs. They also help community members to enhance their incomes generating activities; and

(iv)Rural Education Development (RED): The RED Project aims to assist the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to improve the quality of and access to basic education, particularly, at zonal level. By working closely with the zone centre schools, Peace Corps volunteers support the effective implementation of the current Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education initiatives in all Government and community schools within the assigned zones. They work with teachers to implement learner-centered teaching methods and with parent committees to encourage community investment in education.

Mr Speaker, the Peace Corps derive benefits from the communities they are attached to by learning the languages and cultures of the local people. Allowing the American Peace Corps programmes is one way of strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries. They also learn the use of indigenous traditional medicines which can be researched on further by the co-operating partners. Overall, the benefits are matual because both sides will, in the long run, appreciate each other’s cultures and traditional norms.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, given the value that is added to various communities and the benefits that are derived from the communities, may I know how widespread these Peace Corps programmes are.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the Peace Corps programmes are spread in eight out of the ten provinces.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, 70 per cent of the population of our country comprises the youth. Most of them spend most of their time idling. Does the Government have any plans to run a reciprocal programme for our youths, in the United States of America (USA) or other developed countries?

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, that question would best be posed to the Ministry of Youth and Sport. The Government does have plans to send some youths to these counties where the youth volunteers come from, especially America. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Sources of funding for the national road fund agency

  720. Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Finance how much money the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) received from the following sources from 2009 to 2012, year by year:


(b)the Government; and 


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, from 2009 to 2012, the NRFA received K2.58 billion from donors. Of this amount, K296.5 million was received in 2009, K695.9 million in 2010, K852.9 million in 2011 and K732.5 million in 2012.

Mr Speaker, from the Government, the agency received a total of K5.5 billion during the period under review. K835.2 million was received in 2009, K1.0 billion in 2010, K2.2 billion in 2011 and K1.4 billion in 2012.

Mr Speaker, the NRFA received a total of K8.1 billion from both donors and the Government during the period under review. Translated on an annual basis, the agency received a total of K1.13 billion in 2009, K1.73 billion in 2010, K3.06 billion in 2011 and KR2.15 billion in 2012.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matafwali: Mr Speaker, do we have mechanisms in place that ring-fence the funds received by the agency so that they are solely used for the purpose for which they are collected?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, these funds are ring-fenced. In fact, before these funds are disbursed, there are documents that are presented that will detail the exact amounts that will be disbursed. Returns are also made to indicate how the funds were applied through audit processes as well as monitoring and evaluation processes, which are embedded within the Government’s system.

I thank you, Sir. 


Report of the public accounts committee on the report of the auditor general on the accounts for the financial year ended 31ST december, 2011

Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2011.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Zimba (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in accordance with its terms of reference, considered both oral and written submissions from controlling officers of ministries and institutions that were mentioned in the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2011. The Secretary to the Treasury was also requested to comment on the expenditure of all ministries and institutions.

Sir, your Committee was privileged to undertake a local tour to selected fines, fees and revenue collection points in general, in order to acquaint itself with their operations. The places visited were in the Copperbelt, Southern and Western provinces. It also undertook a foreign tour to the Zambian Mission in Brussels in order to check on the state of the mission with respect to accountability and financial management.

Mr Speaker, let me start by assuring you and, through you, the House and the nation, that your Committee remains committed to ensuring accountability in the governance of this country. Every member of your Committee will, therefore, continue to act without fear or favour so that public officers remain accountable for the services they render to Zambians.

Sir, in her report, the Auditor-General laments the changing of controlling officers presenting challenges during the audit because most of them could not respond to audit queries on time as they were trying to settle down. It is the hope of your Committee that there will be much more stability in this area so that controlling officers are made to account for the matters they preside over. 

Mr Speaker, let me also comment on one key issue relating to the handling of your Committee’s report in the House. It has become a tradition in this House for the hon. Minister of Finance to be the only one obliged to respond to your Committee’s reports on the Floor of this House. It is my belief and that of other members of the Committee that this is insufficient to give the matters raised in the audit report the prominence that they deserve. It would be ideal for each of the hon. Ministers whose ministries are cited in the report to use this opportunity, today, to assure the nation of the measures they have put in place to address various accounting weaknesses. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Sir, we would like to see more Cabinet Ministers make comments regarding the audit revelations so that they assure this House that what is happening will not continue.

Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General’s Report has revealed a high level of non-compliance by ministries, provinces and spending agencies which your Committee does not only find unfortunate, but also unacceptable. With the limited resources and competing needs in the nation, the pursuit of value-for-money projects is paramount if the Government is to improve service delivery. The Government must, therefore, endeavour to do more with a few resources as wasteful and unproductive expenditure can no longer be afforded. 

Sir, the Report of the Auditor-General has reported that we recorded some marginal improvements in the amounts affected or queried. For example, misappropriation of funds reduced from K1.096 billion in 2010 to K1.060 billion in 2011. Delayed banking reduced from K13.51 billion, in 2010, to K1.89 billion in 2011 while misapplication of funds also reduced from K220.63 billion, in 2010, to K23.69 billion in 2011. 

Sir, further, unretired imprest reduced from K77.16 billion, in 2010, to K33.14 billion in 2011. Given that such reductions are rare, your Committee wishes to take note of these marginal improvements and commend the Secretary to the Treasury for the measures put in place so far. Your Committee, however, urges the Secretary to the Treasury not to relent in implementing measures to ensure that audit queries are completely eliminated.

Mr Speaker, in its report, on the accounts for the financial year ended 2010, your previous Committee bemoaned the widespread misapplication of funds in Government ministries and made special mention of the Ministry of the Community Development, Mother and Child Health, where drastic action was recommended to address the anomaly. Your Committee sadly notes that this ministry has continued to be a major culprit. This is unacceptable as funds being misapplied are meant for poverty-reduction programmes and other social safety net interventions. Your Committee, therefore, reiterates the need for the Government to take concrete steps to address the matter conclusively. 

Mr Speaker, part of your Committee’s mandate is to ensure that proper scrutiny is given to public assets. Your Committee is pleased to note that following your previous Committee’s recommendations to come up with comprehensive measures to address the poor state of mission properties, the Government constituted an inter-ministry committee to study the matter and come up with recommendations on the way forward. Your Committee notes this action by the Government, but urges it to urgently act on the recommendations of the Committee as the delay is leading to further deterioration …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwale: … of the properties, some of which need urgent attention.

Mr Speaker, while still on the plight of properties in Zambia’s missions abroad, let me comment on one property in Brussels, the Belsquare Property. For the sake of hon. Members who are not familiar with this matter, the Belsquare Property is a block of flats with thirty apartments owned by the Zambian Government, but held by Jarban S, a company which owns the shares of a real estate company, Belsquare N. V. 

Sir, this property was seized by the Task Force on Corruption and is being run by a property manager. What worries your Committee is the uncertainty surrounding the Belsquare Property as regards its management and financial accountability. There is no board in place, resulting in financial statements remaining unapproved. Further, the books of accounts have never been availed to the mission nor have they been audited from the time the apartments were seized. The lawyers and the Property Manager have not been paid. There is equally no clarity on who should supervise the operations at Belsquare. Is it the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance or Ministry of Foreign Affairs? There are no documents to show how much is being realised from rentals and how much is going to servicing the mortgage.

Sir, further, out of the revenue realised from the Belsquare apartments, nothing is being remitted to the Government. Your Committee, therefore, urgently urges the Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to quickly come up with measures to address the issues surrounding the property so that the nation can benefit from it. Your Committee urges the Government to immediately appoint a board of directors to run the property.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I hope Cabinet Ministers are listening.

Mr Speaker: Proceed.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, let me conclude by thanking you and the Office of the Clerk for the guidance rendered to your Committee during the session. Let me also thank the Secretary to the Treasury and all controlling officers, including their representatives, that appeared before your Committee, for their co-operation. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, at the time business was suspended, I was concluding by thanking you and the Office of the Clerk for the guidance rendered to your Committee during the session. Let me also, thank the Secretary to the Treasury and all controlling officers, including their representatives, that appeared before your Committee, for their co-operation. The deliberations of your Committee could not have been ably concluded without the assistance of the Office of the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General and the Controller of Internal Audits. 

Mr Speaker, lastly, but not the least, let me show my gratitude to members of your Committee for their professionalism and for being willing to tenaciously go through the report of the Auditor-General in the interest of the people of this country.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Before we proceed, I wish to inform the House that His Honour the Vice-President is on another assignment and the hon. Minister of Finance will act as Leader of Government Business in the House.

Thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: He is not here!


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

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, now.

Hon. Opposition Members: January!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this time to second the Motion. I hope I will be very straightforward in my debate. 


Mr Zimba: Sir, I beg to second the Motion that this House does adopt the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the  Accounts for the Financial Year Ended, 31st December, 2011, and I know the Government that was there then.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, the mover of this Motion has ably articulated the views of your Committee on this Motion. I shall, therefore, only comment on one or two issues that require emphasis.

Mr Speaker, I will start by stating that public resources must be safeguarded at all times. The responsibility of ensuring that this is done lies squarely on the Government of the day. The Government must always ensure that quality decisions are made. The officers entrusted with the implementation should do their job with a high level of commitment, especially when it comes to ensuring that financial regulations are adhered to when expending public resources. 

Mr Speaker, on this issue, as a secorder, I wonder what normally takes place in the Government.


Mr Zimba: In every Government, there is no order that can be seen by any citizen if people do not understand the regulations that they are supposed to be using when executing their duties.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Chama North, please, you are seconding the Motion. So, please, refer to your notes.

Mr Zimba: Sure.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I fail to understand why financial regulations are overlooked when people are doing their job in various offices. Even in this august House, we are eager to ensure that professionalism is observed in running the affairs of this country. I fail to understand why people who are supposed to be professional in executing their duties abuse  finances.

Hon. Government Member: Which was done by the MMD.

Mr Zimba: Even as I am seconding this Motion, I do not fully understand the reason behind what is obtaining on the ground. What I know is that each time we have professionals multiplied in various offices, there is an increase in financial abuse. What is the purpose of having professionals in the Government if the source of abuse is at degree level and is so high that we cannot even understand it?

Hon. Livune: Tell them.

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, at the moment, it does not seem to matter whether someone is a professor, a degree holder or is just from the streets. It seems there is no qualification which can deter someone from engaging in corrupt activities.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Please, do not do that.

Mr Zimba: When people are employed in the Civil Service, it is very important for them to understand that their qualifications are not enough for them to be officers of integrity.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: They need to understand that they need to undergo intense orientation on the issues to do with financial regulations. I wonder why a professor who is expected to know a lot of things would abuse public finances. Maybe, such persons are not properly oriented regarding the financial regulations in the Public Service. I want to implore the current Government not to trust professors who are employed in the public sector. No, they should not do that.


Mr Zimba: They must subject them to intense orientation at every level on the issue of finances. When you just trust somebody because he is a degree holder, you will discover that, at the end of the day, he will end up amassing wealth which does not belong to him.

Mr Speaker, this is a very cardinal issue. Financial regulations are not supposed to be trivialised. We need an orderly way of executing the Budget.

Mr Mwale: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, after the Budget has been passed in the House, we expect those monies to go towards the intended purposes. When we are looking for resources to go towards development, we are always told that the country does not have adequate finances. However, in the midst of those little finances, there is much abuse which takes place. We need to safeguard the few resources that we have so that we can embark on a number of development projects.

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

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!
Normally, when somebody is seconding a Motion, we allow them to finish before we can raise points of order. So, please, let him finish. Continue, please.

Mr Zimba: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear. Hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, the Report of the Auditor-General has stated that there is widespread poor supervision of projects and contracts. There is no doubt that the Government has continued to invest a lot of money in big construction projects. That is commendable as it is a good recipe for development. Your Committee is, however, alarmed at the high levels of poor supervision …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: … resulting, in some cases, in delays in completion of works and poor quality of work. We do not need a point of order when we are seconding.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I want to point out one thing.

Mr Deputy Speaker: I have said order!

You see, that point has already been made and it has been well-taken. So, please, continue with your seconding.

Mr Zimba: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

In some cases, certificates are actually issued by Government officials before works are completed. I, therefore, strongly urge the Government …

Mr Livune: The PF Government.

Mr Zimba: … to pay particular attention to the procurement and supervision of the contracts so that the country gets full value from the massive investments being made in the construction industry.

Hon. UNPD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I want to implore the Cabinet not to just concentrate on theories, but to have a deep insight in what is happening in the procurement of the contracts and the actual work on the ground. It saddens me that they have to wait until the Auditor-General comes in order to identify an irregularity when there are people who are mandated to do that in place. This should be avoided. The Cabinet can easily identify certain problems even before the Auditor-General does so.

Sir, let me comment on one more issue which is a bit interesting. When we went round this country, we were trying to find out how levies are collected at various police stations. The police officers face certain challenges in collecting fines and fees in various centres. When your Committee visited some police stations, it found that money is being handled by police officers who have little knowledge of financial issues. What type of Government can progress when finances are being handled by people who have little knowledge of financial regulations? When they abuse the finances, you want to reprimand them. Is this fair?


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to implore the Cabinet to bring to a halt such type of management. We expect financial irregularities which arise from people who know how to handle finances and not those who do not know. This must be stopped.

I further implore the Government to liaise with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the Zambia Police Force co-opts qualified accountants, in their operations, who can manage funds that are collected in the various centres. 

Mr Mwila: Finally!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I still have more to say. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members that are in front of the hon. Member debating are disturbing him. Can you, please, leave him alone. 

Hon. Member, you may continue. 

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, most police stations lack basic requisites such as safes and lockers for safe custody of both accounting document, like receipts and cashbooks, and revenue collected. It is very saddening that when people collect money, they lock it up in a drawer which can easily be broken at any time. I implore the Cabinet to ensure that this is stopped. 

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, strongly urge the Government, through, relevant ministries, to immediately seek Cabinet authority to revise the police establishment in order to provide for the recruitment and placement of accounting officers at police stations. Further, the Government should ensure that all police stations are facilitated with safes, lockers and strong rooms for the safe custody of revenue and accounting documents. 

Sir, as I conclude, allow me to thank the House for its attention.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Sir, I wish to thank the mover of the Motion for the able manner in which he led your Committee during deliberations. I also wish to thank your office and the Office of the Clerk for the support rendered to your Committee. Most sincerely, I wish to thank the Chairperson, who really laboured to provide a Motion that he has articulated with integrity.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to add my voice to this very important Motion which was ably moved by Hon. Mwale … 


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members are making noise to the extent that the person on the Floor cannot be heard. Please, can you consult quietly. 

Mr Mwiimbu: … and seconded by Hon. Zimba. 

Mr Speaker, last week, I talked about the impotence of our Committee System in this House. The Report of the Auditor-General and the report of your Committee render credence to the issues I raised. 

Sir, I have been in this House for twelve years now. Year in, year out, your Committee and the House, in general, have been lamenting the failure to account for public funds. 

Sir, I do not support the pleasure of your Committee on the alleged improvement in accountability. In its own report, your Committee has indicated to this House that more than K1 trillion has been misappropriated. We all know that the last Budget we passed was worth K32 trillion. I think that K1 trillion is a colossal sum of money. Losing such an amount of money should not be accepted. This amount is more than what was allocated to certain ministries. This situation should not be allowed to continue. 

I would like to implore this House and the Government to ensure that the Committee System is reformed to guarantee that responsible Committees have got teeth to bite. This House should not be a House for wailing and lamenting. Every year, we lament. I have no doubt in my mind that even in the next audit report, we will be lamenting. 

Mr Speaker, K1 trillion is equivalent to US$200 million. This is a lot of money. We are always pleading with donors to give us money and yet we are allowing a situation where colossal sums of money are being misappropriated. The most unfortunate thing is that most of the culprits who were disciplined in the past, have found themselves back in the system and are busy munching our money and no action is being taken. Why are we doing this? I think that K1 trillion can be distributed to all the constituencies as Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and substantial development could take place. When we ask that the CDF be increased, we are told that there is no money. However, if this money were given to constituencies, surely tangible development would be take place. 

Mr Kakoma: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, we have a lot of money in this country. We are so irresponsible as hon. Members of Parliament because we have failed to come up with appropriate regulation to ensure that those who abuse the money are taken to task. We always laud Uganda, where the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sits with security officials. Immediately one of the officials in the Government is found wanting, the Committee will direct the police to arrest that particular individual. In this House, however, we lament and wait for the Action-Taken Report the following year. Nothing happens. In the meantime, our people in various constituencies are living in squalor because no development is taking place and the excuse we have is that there is no money and yet money is available and we know who is abusing it. The reports are there. 

Sir, we know officers who are living beyond their means. You can check the mansions that are around Lusaka and the luxurious vehicles that are on the road. These vehicles are being driven by people who have no means and yet we have the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) which just target politicians. 

Hon. UPND Members: And journalists!

Mr Mwiimbu: I hear now even journalists are being targeted. We must reform our Committee System. If we do not reform it, we will continue lamenting and not do what we have been brought here for.

Sir, I am a very sad person and do not share the happiness of the Committee even though I support the report.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, thank you, I rise to support the report of your Committee. I would like to thank the mover and the seconder of this Motion.

Sir, as the speaker who has just finished debating has said, the Report of the Auditor-General has always been a very bad one. We are yet to receive a good report. Most of the issues that have been written in this report are perplexing. One wonders why this is the case all the time. I agree with Hon. Mwiimbu that all we can do for now is just to lament. 

Sir, I am going to talk about only one very serious issue. I am going to talk about an issue which has to do with the Kasaba Bay Runway Project. As part of my lamenting, the first thing I want to say is that when you look at this report, it gives you an idea that it lacks the input of experts in a certain field. Most of the issues which are talked about in the report show that there was no input from experts such as engineers.

I agree with what Hon. Mwiimbu said that we should reform our Committee System. We need to ensure that a committee like PAC has all the necessary professionals. This is because the issues I am going to raise here show that the Auditor-General did not fully interrogate this particular issue.

Mr Speaker, my Committee on Transport and Communications visited Kasaba Bay in May 2013. I note that the Auditor-General’s people visited this place in August 2012 which is almost a year after we did. At that time, the Auditor-General’s team found out that there was nothing happening at the site. That is the same situation which we found as well. By the time this project is finished, it will either cost double or three times what it was supposed to have cost before. This project was supposed to cost K63 billion. Unfortunately, after the Government paid K50 billion to the contractor, the construction works stopped.

The submission which was made to your Commitee suggests that 70 per cent of the work had been done. When you go there, you discover that there is no work which has been done which is worth talking about. Only about 30 per cent of the work has been done. They have not even reached the stabilised stage of the project. This project is far from even half-way finished. However, what we read in the report is that 70 per cent works have been done. That is not correct. The submission which was made to your Commitee suggests that only 20 per cent of the work remains to be done. This is far from the truth. If the Auditor-General had used the expertise of some engineers, they could have said exactly what I am saying. This project, at its state now, is about 20 or 30 per cent complete and yet K50 billion was paid to the contractor.

In fact, it seems as if the contractor was certified as having completed the works. However, when you go there, apart from you, being impressed with the moulds of gravel that have been piled there and, maybe, the machinery on site, you will notice that a plane cannot land there. In short, it is a no-go area. So, how somebody certified that the work had been completed is confusing. This is why we are saying that we need to modify our Committees to ensure that certain experts are attached to them.

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

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, a few things here went wrong. For example, the contractor hired the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) equipment to do the works there. It pains me, as a Member of Parliament from the Northern Province, who was looking forward to having the roads in my constituency done, to see that this equipment was not put to good use. The story was that this equipment was making roads in some other constituencies and yet that was not the truth. This equipment was in Kasaba Bay trying to earn money worth K16 billion. One wonders how whoever was contracted was allowed to use this equipment when it was meant to circulate among all the constituencies in the province.

To make matters worse, the contractor happened to be the consultant. Only small projects require the combination of these two fields, consultant and contractor. In big projects like this one, you need to have a different consultant and contractor. There was a lot of mixing in this project. One wonders why works worth K63 billion were certified as having been completed when that was not the case. Maybe, it was because the main fields were mixed up.

Sir, I have concerns with the way the consultant did his work. This project was halted because the consultant did not do a good job. Surprisingly, the same consultant has been given other big projects in this country. One wonders why this is happening. What are we not seeing? This same consultant has been given three more big jobs despite not having done a good job on the Kasaba Bay Project. What is it that this consultant has that makes us prefer him to others?

So, the Kasaba Bay Project is a project that we cannot continue suspending. This is a project for which we should immediately find a way of completing. Right now, tourism in the northern part of this country is dying and it will take a long time to revive it if we take long to complete this project.

Sir, when we went there, if we were not strong men, we would have shed tears after seeing what was happening. This is one area that is comparable to Livingstone. It should be promoted without any question at all. 

Mr Speaker, I would suggest that this Government engages another consultant immediately as it proceeds to investigate the consultant who was initially given the job. If the consultant has done badly on the Kasaba Bay Project, what will stop him from doing badly in the other big projects which the Government has given him?

As I support this particular project, I would like to urge the Government, not to delay this project any further. This is one area that can make this country very attractive if we work on it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to say that I support the Report of your Committee. The report has actually raised various issues which have been with us for a very long time. It appears that if nothing is done, we may continue grappling with them for a long time.

Mr Speaker, in my view, the issues that have been raised border on the control environment. We can talk as much as we want but, if the control environment is not good, all the systems and efforts will yield nothing. There are what are referred to as the three As. These stand for attitude, awareness and action. The attitude has to do with the human resource. The attitude of the human resource in this country, especially those that are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding public resources does not seem to favour the control environment. Unless that attitude changes, we will continue with issues of this nature. The attitude has to do with both the controlling officers and those who are below the controlling officers.

Sir, it is important that each time such things come up, we take responsibility and accept that we erred. We have people that have been in charge of certain projects which have failed. Unfortunately, these people have not been able to come out and own up for their mistakes. 

Mr Speaker, in an institution, there is always somewhere where the buck stops. The roles must be well-defined to ensure that whoever is responsible for certain things is answerable to another. Currently, I do not know if there are working relationships within ministries. The Permanent Secretaries are controlling officers who defiantly do not even want to consult hon. Ministers. If that communication breaks down, you will find that there will be no communication between the hon. Ministers and their Deputies. Eventually, that problem will trickle down to directors and many others, and then the control environment will collapse. At this point, fraudsters take advantage of the situation. It is, therefore, my appeal that we try as much as possible to look at the control environment and strengthen it.

Mr Speaker, awareness is another thing. We can have the Financial Services Act and very good internal controls but, as long as people are not aware of them, they will not adhere to them. This will result in the misuse of public resources. Communication is critical and it must be seen to be practised within our ministries if we are to curb the rampant misuse of public funds.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to talk a bit about the Office of the Accountant-General, as it relates to the various issues that have been raised here. I have said before, on the Floor of this House, that the Office of the Accountant-General needs to be strengthened. If possible, let us make that office a constitutional office. The Secretary to the Treasury is overburdened with things like raising funds for this country and ensuring that the policies being formulated are working to benefit the Zambian people. The issues of internal controls must be squarely vested in the Office of the Accountant-General, who should have the teeth and ability to go round all the ministries. Today, I do not know to what extent the Office of the Accountant-General can apply itself and detect some of these glaring issues. Internal controls are supposed to be preventive.

Sir, I have read in your report that certain issues were only detected by the Office of the Auditor-General. Where is the Controller of the Internal Audit?

Mr Ntundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Sir, what does this office do? In certain countries, the Office of the Accountant-General is a constitutional office which has been given powers to ensure that accountants who are in various ministries are accountable. Before any money is disbursed, the internal auditors go through the books. How then can one explain a situation where documents go missing or even having a payment without supporting documents? I think it is time we looked at the systems and the issues that go with them. It is also true that, in this country, we do a lot of talking. I can assure you that if the English language was development, this country would have developed the most on the continent of Africa, because we know how to talk with very little action taken.

Sir, if only we could act on these issues before us with objectivity, we would address a number of issues, especially if we applied the funds to eradicate poverty and better the infrastructure in this country.

Mr Speaker, on page two of your report, it appears to me that the Auditor-General is still using the procedural approach. If this is correct, I would like to find out when the Auditor-General is going to implement the risk based auditing approach, so that we avoid over-auditing in areas where we are safe. We should just go straight into the risky areas and spend our resources there. If we do that, we will be able to change certain things that have been confronting us for a long time. There is a lack of maintenance of the asset register. In one province, the question may be different from what is obtaining in other provinces. The asset register gives us the financial position of the country, and it would be interesting if PAC could inquire how many title deeds the Government has, in terms of the buildings it owns, both in parastatal and Government institutions. That way, we will be able to know the financial position of the country in terms of assets.

Mr Speaker, the issue of procurement and stores is yet another issue that has been raised in your Committee’s report. If it is possible, one of these days, I want to find out what the procurement profession is doing about the problems in its field. If we can have stocks that are unaccounted for, then there is something wrong with the profession itself. Procurement is just like accountancy, which is overseen by the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) in this country. Do we need to come up with detailed legislation to clearly stipulate how this profession must be regulated?

Mr Speaker, it makes very sad reading that we can have warehouses which are not manned, thereby resulting in things that are confiscated by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) being stolen after two or three days of being put in the warehouses. Thereafter, the owners of those particular goods which have been seized begin to claim the items. The warehouses where the ZRA keeps confiscated items need to be guarded so that, eventually, when the owners pay the required duty in order for us to raise funds for the development of this country, they are given back their items.

Mr Speaker, perhaps, we should reform our laws so that the internal auditors in various ministries can report directly to PAC. I can assure you that there would be a lot of revelations that would come out if we did this. The bottom line is that it does not matter which political party is in government. If the control environment is wrong, it will be difficult even for other governments to come and improve upon the situation because all governments use the Civil Service to deliver on their political promises. So if the Civil Service, through which almost all the public resources are channelled, is defective and not able to account for monies, the promises that we make on political parties will not be delivered.

Mr Speaker, it is my hope and prayer that we will be able to address some of these things. I am aware that the 2011 financial year is shared between the former and current Ruling Party in terms of those who presided over it. We have a stake, as the Patriotic Front (PF), in that financial year just like the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). Although we know that the bulk of this responsibility lies with our predecessors, it is our duty as the Zambian people, first and foremost, to ensure that the people in the Civil Service do that which is correct.

Mr Speaker, thank you very much.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I am wondering what could have happened to have made me develop a hoarse voice.


Mr Livune: I am, however, very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. Time has come for the people of Katombola in Kazungula District to also add their voice, through their representative, to this very important Motion on the Floor of this important House. 

Mr Speaker, principles do not change. I have heard references being made to the work of various governments. I think what is important is the principle to which somebody has been called in that particular profession. There was a caption in the Auditor-General’s report expressing concern on the mobility of controlling officers. It stated that some of them have failed to account for their actions because of having little or no knowledge regarding particular questions. This is largely because of being new in certain ministries. It is very annoying to many of us to learn that we have people who cannot account for what they do in order to earn their living in these offices.

Mr Speaker, it is very important that the people who pay tax receive the value for their hard- earned income for this Republic. The taxpayers obligingly contribute to the national pot for the even distribution of money across the country. Therefore, we should not allow one or two people to abuse public office, as we have heard in this report. There are a lot of issues such as the lack of supporting documents and the embezzlement of funds. These words are very polite, but if it was not unparliamentary, I would have said it is theft of the highest order.

Mr Deputy Speaker: You are, however, saying it.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. I said that because what is happening has annoyed me. I know that what has been misappropriated and embezzled could have done a great deal in Katombola, a rural constituency requiring a lot of support from the Treasury.

Mr Speaker, a lot of things have been said. I totally agree with my colleagues who debated earlier. There is no substitute for what has been said. As I said earlier, principles do not change with the change of government. Observations have been made on the need to strengthen internal audit controls. I am aware that, at various points, there are pre-audits and post-audits, but at the end of the day, we recieve these unpleasant reports from the Auditor-General’s office. 

Sir, I want to get some comfort by seeing the responsible officers, hon. Ministers inclusive, taking action on such matters. In the past, we have lamented the lack of such action. Is there any one or two people that are going to deal with these matters in a manner that we shall appreciate? Once that is done, we shall be able to somewhat instill some fear in those people who may want to do the same.

Mr Speaker, the people handling public funds are well-trained. I want to think there is no institution with more qualified people than the Government in this country. We have highly qualified Association for Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), Certified Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and various degree holders. However, why do we get the highest disorder in terms of the management of public resources?

We would want to see one or two people being dealt with whenever public funds are misapplied. Mr Speaker, are you with me?


Mr Livune: Sir, it cannot do to have people failing to even raise payment vouchers. Why should well-trained people fail to do simple things like that? In the private sector, where many of us in this House have come from, people lose jobs for as little as 1 ngwee. What is so special about these Government officers? Why can action not be taken so that there is some sort of a deterrent?

Mr Speaker, I would like to see us, one day, have comfort from an hon. Minister who has taken action because the Auditor-General’s report …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Katombola, you asked whether I was with you. I have been following you and you are repeating yourself. You have finished.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, I will try to be very brief. Let me thank the hon. Member for Chipangali, the mover of this Motion, as well as the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama North, Hon. January Zimba, for the manner in which they have presented this matter before this House.

Sir, the impression that I get, having been in this House for, at least, six years now, is that the issue of public accounts has now taken a posture of what one would term an annual traditional ceremony, Christmas or business as usual. This is because the matters that are contained in your Committee’s reports for a long time now range from unsupported payments, unretired imprest, misapplication of funds, failure to recover advances, expenditure without vouchers and missing payment vouchers, as other colleagues have said.

Mr Speaker, I want to see this institution reduce, in the short term, these financial irregularities and, in the long term, get to a position where it will have dealt with these matters thoroughly. We need to instill fear in the controlling officers. One of the debaters asked a question as to why controlling officers are failing to manage audit queries at internal audit level as well as at line ministry level. 

Mr Speaker, to sum it all up, one would think that it is only befitting to say that the adage which goes “If you cannot beat them, join them” is at play in this particular case where it is like Sodom and Gomorrah when it comes to the application of State finances. We will go down in the history of this country as having been toothless Parliamentarians. As the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central indicated, we shall simply continue wailing until we earn ourselves a name after Bob Marley and the Wailers. We will be called Patrick Matibini and his Wailers. We will just be …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Nkombo: … wailing and …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Nkombo: ...wailing and …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Please, do not be provocative. You know what you are referring to. I think that it is not fair.

You may continue, please.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, we are tired of wailing. We need some action. For sure, one day, we shall be called as such. My line of thought is that we should ask ourselves a few questions. One of the questions that I would like our minds to interrogate is: As the legislative wing of the Government, how extensive and effective are our powers to legislate or even initiate the changing of laws? The hon. Members who spoke before me said that we should now try, as much as possible, to bring in measures that are a little bit more punitive to erring officers who, with impunity, take away what does not belong to them. In Tonga, we have a saying which goes hintu yabuleya hilatondwa. I am sure that having been raised in the Southern Province for part of his life, the hon. Minister of Finance understands what I mean by hintu yabuleya hilatondwa. It means that public things carry a taboo around them. You do not just deal with them as you wish. 

Mr Speaker, another question which should interrogate our minds is: How extensive are our powers as Parliament, here assembled, to oversee what the Executive is doing and to hold it accountable without abusing it? The Executive must be accountable to us. Sitting on the left side of the House is simple. There should be no offence taken when I demand to know why officer X failed to retire his imprest. These are descriptions of small offences. I call them offences right now and not oversights or whatever anyone wants to call them. I think they are misdemeanors which, when you add them all up, sum up to the K1 trillion which Hon. Mwiimbu was speaking about.

Sir, another question that I thought should interrogate our minds is: How rigorous are our procedures to approve and supervise succession in public expenditure as hon. Members of the House on this side? In performing our oversight role, it is our preserve, here assembled, to be able to rigorously and, at all times, help our colleagues because I imagine that sitting in Parliament as they are today, they are politicians as much as we are, but their controlling officers are busy pilfering the State funds in their offices today. These are matters that are contained in this book for every ministry. There is no exception. If it is not the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is another one. I read on page 59 where it was clearly said that Government Ministers and senior officials were making unnecessary trips from Hendon in London to South London spending Government money which should have gone to install boreholes in the remotest areas of our country.

Mr Mwiimbu: In Lundazi!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, another question that should interrogate our minds is: How extensive are the procedures of Parliament in legislating in consultation with the public? I think that we have become limited to just coming here and saying “Hear, hear”, then going home. I think that we need self-examination such that by the time the PF leaves office, it leaves a legacy of having put things in order. For now, I will not speak about the MMD because it is gone and not coming back. The few things that …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Question!


Mr Musukwa: Ema MP aya!

Mr Nkombo: The few things that may have happened in the twenty-year rule …


Mr Nkombo: Hear me out. The many things that went wrong in the twenty-year rule are not going to come back. This is what I meant. The few wrong things that happened will not come back.

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


Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Brig. Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, who started off debating fairly well, in order to be the judge and the jury about the MMD not getting back to the right side of the House? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: The serious ruling is that I would have preferred the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central to say that they may not come back because to say that they will not come back is definitive. It is in that context that he may not have been in order.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, English is my second language. That is what I actually meant to say.


Mr Nkombo: Please, take no offence, colleagues. I meant to say that it may not come back, having done its fair share or served this country to the best of its ability. Let me continue talking about financial irregularities. Now, I want to try to share my little understanding of what may be the problem or the root cause for the benefit of the PF which is the Executive wing of the Government. 

Mr Speaker, in my view, there has been a preponderance of a very deliberate haphazard way of not following the Budget. We will come here and pass the Budget year in and year out. At the end of it all, like an annual Christmas party, Hon. Chikwanda will come here not long from now to present a Supplementary Budget in the face of a K1 trillion gone missing. The hon. Minister will come and present a Supplementary Budget and we ─ if it were not unparliamentary, I would have said that in the rubberstamp manner that we have always operated ─ will pass it.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Like you have already said, it is unparliamentary.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I was going to say it, but since it is unparliamentary, I will skip it and simply say that we have become a tool which navigates issues to do with people’s personal needs – the civil servants. At this point, we must take off our gloves and deal with civil servants with bare knuckles because they are earning the Government a bad name.

Those who are in Government have what it takes to check them and make sure that they do not continue to pilfer our funds.

Mr Speaker, before I lost my thread, I was saying that the hon. Minister shall come here in the face of a K1 trillion missing, to present a Supplementary Budget. Within a day or two, we will pass it and say, “Let it be”. However, to whose detriment will that be? We are not doing ourselves a favour. Part of the reforms that we discussed last week is to ensure that we adopt the Ugandan mode of operation, where a policeman must be standing at the door of the PAC sittings as it interrogates people over the report of the Auditor-General so that those who are found wanting are taken to the cells, then prosecuted.

Mr Speaker, most of the blunders are more for commission purposes rather than pure omissions. People want to get commissions or what are loosely known as kick-backs, whenever they anticipate there is room for ni chekeleko. It was called ni chekeleko in the other Government. However, today, I think it has a different terminology. Someone said it is called don’t kubeba. There is one who was among us here, and whose name I cannot mention who was found wanting. His name was in the report of the Auditor-General as having been one of those who failed to retire imprest. This Government gave him a job, until he started despising them. They then threw him out. I think that that is too much pretence. At every given level, it is important that the Government sits upright.  If there is a dark cloud hovering over my personality, I must be told to rest until such a time that everything is cleared. There are some people we saw being called to the ACC through arrests and through the court system whose cases have suddenly been dropped. Today, they are serving in this Government. They are there. Just challenge me and I will tell you who they are.

Hon. Government Members: Ah!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

You should not take that route.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, where is the morality for us to think that we are going to do things correctly one day in the future? Having not served in any Government, I can stand tall and say that if the people of this country were to give a favour to the United Party for National Development (UPND), it would do things differently.

Hon. Government Members: Iye.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, that is a definite statement and woe to that one who is saying iye because I am simply saying that I am tired of lamenting and wailing about obvious things. I think that in the United States of America (USA), the revenue or tax authority does not target individuals based on what may be their political affiliation. Let me give the example of Hon. Kalaba, because I get along with him. If I took Hon. Kalaba to the tax authority in the USA, the tax authority will go to him and say “Sir, can you, please, give us a tabulation of your tax returns so that we see if they are commensurate with your earnings”. That is what Hon. Mwiimbu was busy trying to discharge in his discourse. Civil servants whose way of life does not tie up with their earnings must simply show us how else they are making their money. They should simply do that. This is because they are the engines of the economy who must be checked at all stages. It should be like a cat and mouse game. For as long as you will just sit here in Parliament waiting for them to knock off, at 2000 hours, and the next day, they give you a report and you do not double check it and put heat on the internal auditors, these bad reports will keep coming yearly. By the time we look back, posterity will have arrived and we will be judged very harshly, especially those who have had the privilege to sit on your right hand side. This is because they are the ones who are controlling things at the moment.

Mr Speaker, I think that it is important that the Office of the Investigator-General also starts to function by the letter of its responsibility. When that happens, we will stop having all these innuendoes and unsubstantiated stories that someone is earning commissions in certain procurement deals. There are many questions that have to be answered in the oil procurement process in this country.

Mr Speaker, finally, I think what makes us fail to account for our budgeted allocations in each ministry are the by-elections. Not by-elections per se, but the activities that are associated with by-elections. Last week, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kapiri-Mposhi, I think it is Hon. Musonda ─ I have met him only once ─ asked a very pertinent question. He said that when they were campaigning, the road was ripped in Kapiri Mposhi. He asked his own Government when it was going to repair the road. In January, I had never seen the amount of earth moving equipment I saw during the by-election in Livingstone. As soon as the by-election passed, only the Mosi-O-Tunya Road was being rehabilitated. Before, there had been works going on in Dambwa North, Libuyu and there were graders and compactors everywhere. That money was not budgeted for those works. Therefore, where did the money come from? Today, we will be called in this Parliament by the hon. Minister of Finance to, please, approve this Supplementary Budget, and we shall approve it.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

You are repeating, hon. Member. You have said that before.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, that is called emphasis in Tonga.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Oh no, sorry you have finished. The hon. Minister of Finance.


The Minister of Finance and Acting Leader of Government Business (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, just a little reminder to some of our colleagues. What we are discussing relates to  2011. We were only in power for few months in that year. Therefore, we may not be entirely accountable for the lapses and slips. However, as a responsible Government and responsible citizens, we take full responsibility for what is happening.

Mr Speaker, PAC is a watchdog Committee of Parliament and we should all be supportive of its work. I think that it is not a blunt tool because those of us who are in the Government know that when our controlling officers are coming to the PAC, there is trepidation. Therefore, PAC has an effect on the operations of the Government. It prevents some irresponsible behaviour. It is incumbent upon all of us to support the findings of PAC. If we think that there are ways in which we can reinforce this watchdog Committee of Parliament, let us do so. Let us give it all the tools it needs because it is doing a splendid job.

Mr Speaker, resource misdirection and all forms of impropriety cannot be tolerated in our midst because, first of all, we have very limited resources. If the little money that we have is misdirected, misused, directed to uses not intended or used for personal benefit, we will just be accentuating the economic development of our country. It defeats our development agenda. 

  We should not tolerate the misdirection of resources. This is one area where we should discard our party labels and be unanimous. It is our responsibility to do so. We should not gloss over the fact that we have difficulties in this area. To some extent, the knack to abuse resources is embedded in the characters of quite a large segment of our population. So, it is going to be an uphill task. We are not just going to abolish corruption in this country by screaming obscenities at each other. It will take a lot of effort. We need to revamp the institutions which fight corruption in this country.  

Sir, in some cases, we go to extremes, by suggesting that we take examples of countries in Africa where there is an absence of democracy. That is how lost we can be. During their debates, some hon. Members unambiguously eulogised countries where elections are never as fair and free as they are in our country.


Mr Chikwanda: We can really get lost if we take that route. We need our country to run better. One way of getting our country to run better is for us to put our heads together. Where we see impropriety, let us all condemn it without any reservations. This will enable us to think of ways of stopping such impropriety because it is taking our country backwards.

Mr Speaker, I have a lot of respect for the hon. Member for Lupososhi, Mr Bwalya. He is one of our country’s finest accountants. So, I was a bit taken aback that he is not aware that in the Ministry of Finance, there are two offices. There is the Office of the Accountant-General and Office of the Controller of Internal Audit. These two offices are independent. The Office of the Controller of Internal Audit can even watch over the activities of the Accountant-General. We are trying by all means to get these offices to operate effectively in order to make sure that they put an end to a number of scams. 

Sir, in the private sector, a lot of emphasis is placed on the Internal Control Audit Department. When I was director in one of the commercial banks, I was Chairperson of the Audit Committee. I know the importance which should be assigned to the Controller of Internal Audit. So, even in the Ministry of Finance, this office does exist. The only thing which needs to be done is to improve its operations. We have actually started sending people from that office to some parastatal organisations where we suspect wrongdoing. They are bringing very useful reports.

Mr Speaker, one hon. Member talked about the operations of Zambia Railways. We benefitted a lot from the activities of the Controller of Internal Audit who went to look at the operations of Zambia Railways. We received a well-done report of what was going on at Zambia Railways. That report is being acted upon. 

I, therefore, would like to urge Hon. Bwalya to go and have a look at the effectiveness of the offices of the Accountant-General and the Controller of Internal Audit. I think we can benefit immensely from his wisdom and reflections.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to advise hon. Members not to resort to acrimony unnecessarily. 

Sir, on behalf of my colleagues on the Front Bench, let me join those who have thanked and congratulated the Chairperson of the PAC and his Committee for the good work which has been done. I have had reports from my officers in the ministry that the PAC, under the able chairmanship of Hon. Mwale, has been doing a good job. 

Sir, as I said at the beginning, by helping to put God’s fear into the hearts of our officials, they will know that they have to do things properly for fear of appearing before PAC and being taken to task

Mr Speaker, if there is anything, we, hon. Members of Parliament, can do to try to make the PAC even more effective, we should put those proposals on the table and work together.

I, again, thank PAC for its work and advise its members to be categorical and firm in executing its assignments. This country needs to ensure that public resources are not subject to misdirection or being wrongfully used by individuals to line up their pockets.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, in winding up the Motion on the Floor, may I respond to the issue that Hon. Mwiimbu raised regarding our being happy, despite the fact that we have lost over K1 trillion as a country. I want to say that we are not happy as a Committee. We only said that as a  Committee, we are a bit happy that the Secretary to the Treasury has been responding to our requests.

Sir, we said, in our report, that we did not want to see this Government lose money. We want to see the money that is being raised through taxes being put to good use. We have said that time and again. 

Mr Speaker, we raised the issue of abuse of imprest. The Secretary to the Treasury changed the way imprest is to be managed. Now, people are not getting returnable imprest. They have to get the exact amount that they need to use when they go out of station so that they do not retire anything. So, as a Committee, we would like to see more of that happening. That is the only thing that we appreciated. Otherwise, we are still very concerned at the abuses which are taking place in different ministries.

We were also happy when the Secretary to the Treasury made the financial regulations firm, as we asked him to. Right now, the financial regulations are being revised. Unfortunately, that revision is only taking place for regulations affecting the Secretary to the Treasury. Other people, such as, for example, Permanent Secretaries and accounting officers, are still very far from being made accountable. 

Mr Speaker, compared to countries like Tanzania, where the economy has tremendously improved, Zambia is still very far from having ideal regulations. However, we want to say that the Secretary to the Treasury is trying his very best to change things. We actually said that there have been marginal improvements and not tremendous ones.

Mr Speaker, in winding up, I also want to say that I am still very disappointed that only the hon. Minister of Finance has stood up to debate even when I invited Cabinet Ministers to stand up and take ownership of what is happening in their ministries.

Sir, if we continue with the business-as-usual attitude, we will not go anywhere as a country. You have to go to Tanzania, South Africa or Zimbabwe on a day like this one when the Motion of their public accounts committees are being moved. The whole nation listens. The event is given proper coverage and all the hon. Ministers and Members are present to discuss the issues at hand. We are looking at matters to do with accountability. This House exists precisely that purpose. Those of us on this side of the House need to keep in check the people on the other side. The hon. Ministers need to tell us what they want to see happen in their ministries.

Mr Speaker, yes, Hon. Chikwanda has done that. However, we wanted to see the hon. Ministers of Health, and of Community Development, Mother and Child Health telling us what they would like to see happening because there are a lot of abuses which are happening in those ministries. We want to hear how committed the hon. Ministers are in bringing changes to the way things are done in their ministries. 

Sir, people are dying from preventable causes when there is a lot of money being appropriated by this House to prevent that from happening. We are concerned and want to see proper accountability. I thank all hon. Members, including those who supported us in their silence. I beg that we adopt this report.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to. 



Second Reading

The Supplementary appropriation (2011) Bill 

Mr Deputy Speaker: When business was interrupted on Friday, 12th July, 2013, the House was considering the Second Reading Stage of the Supplementary Appropriation 2011 Bill (2013) and the hon. Minister of Finance had just wound up debate on the Motion. 

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time. 

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee, on Wednesday, 17th July, 2013.

House in committee

[the chairperson of committees in the 

The excess expenditure appropriation (2010) BILL

Clauses, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to. 



[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]


Accelerate efforts for the attainment of Millennium Development goals 

(Debate resumed)

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, when we adjourned, I was trying to put forward the argument to this House that this Government is accelerating the efforts for the attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs). I mentioned, here, that, through my ministry, the Government has put up measures regarding the survival of the children in this country.

Mr Speaker, in order to reduce child morbidity and mortality, especially from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, my ministry successfully conducted a mass measles campaign and covered 96.4 per cent of the targeted children. We have also just introduced new vaccines such as the rotavirus vaccine which is going to be rolled out to the rest of the country for the prevention of diarrhoeal diseases which are the third killer of our children. 

Sir, a new vaccine called pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for the prevention of pneumonia, which is the second killer disease of our children in Zambia, has been incorporated into the immunisation schedule for all the children in the country. All this effort is to reduce childhood illnesses from communicable diseases. 

Mr Speaker, my ministry will use the comparative advantage of working with the community structures to increase the immunisation coverage and to register all children in the community who need vaccination. 

Mr Speaker, under the MDG Number 5, the Government has embarked on the following measures:

(i)the Government recognises the fact that high maternal mortality should be addressed from the community level. Thus, my ministry will work with the community development structures, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, other Government ministries, institutions and safe motherhood groups to ensure that women seek antenatal care early and go for, at least, four visits. This will ensure that women are healthy and nutritionally fit during pregnancy;

(ii)we are in the process of building 650 health posts in order to bring delivery services closer to the community; and

(iii)also in the process of procuring 207 ambulances and equipment for health facilities to strengthen the referral system.

Skilled Birth Attendants

Mr Speaker, in view of the critical human resource shortage, the Government has introduced direct entry into midwifery programmes, which will contribute toward the increase of mothers being attended to by the skilled attendants. A person has to train as a nurse for three years, work for two years and then go for midwifery training. To quicken this training process, a direct entry path into the midwifery programme has been introduced. 

Mr Speaker, the Government, through my ministry, has doubled the money pledged for family planning and reproductive health services which are given to our mothers. Family planning is known as a tool which improves the health of our mothers and the entire families. 

Mr Speaker, the Government has launched an eight-year scale-up plan which has been disseminated to all stakeholders. Community based distributors of family planning commodities are being trained to provide family planning. We, therefore, intend to introduce the provision of injectable contraceptives through trained community-based distributors. 

Adolescent Health

Mr Speaker, my ministry is cognisant of the challenges of teenage pregnancy and in this eight-year family planning plan, we have committed ourselves to working with chiefs and traditional leaders, churches and civil societies to provide appropriate health education information and services to the adolescents. This includes the support to our sister ministry regarding its early marriage mitigation efforts. All these efforts are meant to accelerate the attainment of MDGs Numbers 4 and 5.

Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to state that the Government is aware of the need to accelerate the attainment of the MDGs. In this vein, as a country, we do provide annual progress reports and know exactly where we are. We are addressing the necessary challenges and literally accelerating the MDGs. The door is open. We do not see any need for pushing the door which is already open because the Government is already accelerating the attainment of the MDGs.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this opportunity to debate this Motion. From the outset, let me state here that this Motion is non-controversial and non-contentious. For those reasons, I will be very brief. 

The Government has always been committed to the attainment of the MDGs. In fact, all those that debated in favour of this Motion are basically pushing an open door. As the mover of this Motion has rightly pointed out, the Government has, for the purpose of keeping public focus on the attainment of the MDGs, infused the goals in the national planning frameworks and made them an integral part of the national development plans. 

Mr Speaker, as part of the monitoring process for national development plans, progress towards the attainment of MDGs is tracked by the Government as a matter of priority. Further, the Government has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assess progress made towards the attainment of the MDGs since 2003. So far, four MDG progress reports have been produced with the latest being that of 2013 which, I believe, is a subject of the Motion on the Floor. 

Mr Speaker, let me state at this point that this report, the subject of this Motion, was co-authored by the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and not the United Party for National Development (UPND).

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the report tracks achievements of the eight goals and thirty-nine indicators in the context of the country’s development. 

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, procedurally, is the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance in order to begin dragging the UPND into matters that have nothing to do with us when we are sitting here quietly? Is he in order to debate instead of the hon. Minister of Finance? 

Mr Deputy Speaker: It appears the hon. Deputy Minister wanted somebody to raise a point of order. It is quite clear that he was talking about the UNDP. I also fail to understand how he brought in the UPND. Can the hon. Deputy Minister continue.


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, when I see my cousins dozing, I always want to excite them a little bit.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, this report is an essential tool …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised, but before that, let me put this clear. The hon. Deputy Minister is speaking on behalf of the hon. Minister of Finance who is the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House. 

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, you have clarified my point of order.

Mr Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the information I am divulging is extremely important. I know that they will thank me for it. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Continue.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, this report …

The Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, as I was saying, the report is an essential tool for Zambia’s leaders, citizens and partners for reviewing the progress of national policies and programmes that address each of the eight goals.

Sir, in the report, the Government has, recognised the need to accelerate efforts aimed at improving performance in most of the MDGs. By placing emphasis on the triggers for acceleration, the Government and the UNDP, as co-authors of the report, will examine what has been tried and tested. It is noted that Zambia has grown economically at an average of 6.5 per cent in the last six years, and yet cannot show a significant reduction in poverty, inequality and malnutrition in rural and peri-urban areas.

Mr Speaker, the report unequivocally demands that national priorities and policies be reset and institutions re-aligned to gain ground in the areas we have lagged behind. In this regard, the Government is developing an MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) which will focus on the MDG Number 1 which is, eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The MDG MAF will analyse why Zambia is lagging behind on the MDGs, prioritise the bottlenecks to be overcome and identify collaborative solutions involving all relevant developments and stakeholders. The choice of the MDG Number 1 as a focus area is premised on the fact that tackling extreme poverty with its multi- dimensional manifestations will generate multiplier effects in the other MDGs, for instance, the promotion of sustainable energy sources by the rural communities will result in the preservation of forest resources thereby advancing progress towards the attainment of the MDG Number 7, which is ensuring environment sustainability. This is in addition to the measures the Government is undertaking such as tree planting. Similarly, the construction of feeder roads in rural areas will reduce costs related to transportation and storage for small-scale farmers, thereby contributing to food security both at household and national level.

Mr Speaker, the Government policy to remove subsides and channel resources from there towards areas of infrastructure and energy development is in line with the need to reset national priorities emphasised in the report with a view to channelling resources to areas that will sustainably deal with the root causes of extreme poverty and hunger as opposed to dealing with the symptoms of extreme hunger through subsidies as has been the case in the past.

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, just to emphasise a point, you will note from the report that between, 1991, to date, extreme poverty has only reduced by about 15.7 per cent ─ from 58 per cent in 1991 to 42.3 per cent in 2010. That is a span of over twenty years. The only thing we could show for it is the reduction of extreme poverty by 15 per cent. This is despite previous Governments using subsidies as a tool to reduce poverty. Clearly, this has not worked, especially in the case of mealie-meal.

Sir, the key is not in subsidising mealie-meal, for example, but in setting up infrastructure, as the Government is doing, to ensure household food security through storage sheds from the current 7,000 metric tonnes capacity to 2.1 million metric tonnes around the country to serve two main purposes. The first purpose is to ensure that wastage of grain due to a lack of storage capacities is staved off and, more importantly, to ensure that the grain in these rural areas is stored and milled within the areas it is harvested as opposed to the current scenario where grain is transported into towns for milling and taken back to rural areas for sale at exorbitant prices. This is what infrastructure development will do. This is what re-orienting our focus from subsidies and channelling resources to infrastructure such as roads and energy will do.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the policy on value addition and support of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), therefore, espoused by this Government on several occasions. The Government has also talked about its plans regarding investment in road infrastructure and energy in rural areas on the Floor of this House. When we talked about clusters and comparative advantages in rural areas, this is exactly what we were talking about. 

Mr Livune: Bufi.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, these measures, among others, are the economic and social imperatives we must deal with in order to sustainably empower our people and eventually wean them off the poverty platform. In addition, I would like to inform the House that we are currently reviewing the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) to give it a pro-poor …


Mr Deputy Speaker: I think, there is a lot of noise coming from my right side. Give him the chance to be heard, please.

Mr Mukata: This is the Government speaking.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Continue, hon. Deputy Minister.


Mr Mukata: We are revising the SNDP in line with the interrogation that has been raised in this report to re-orient that plan and give it a pro-poor punch. This is because as has been argued before, this Floor, most of our people have not benefited in terms of these macro benefits that we talk about. This is what the Government is doing and the way forward goes beyond the 2015 MDGs. So, this is a Government report, borne out of introspection and the need to face and challenge the realities out there instead of lying to our people and giving them cramps.

Hon. UNDP Members: Question!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Please, hon. Minister, stop being controversial …

Mr Mukata: In terms of giving them crisps …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Stop being controversial. Do not deliberately use terms that you know are unparliamentary. Just stick to your notes.

Mr Mukata: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

The answer does not lie in …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, it is only procedural that when an unparliamentary word is used, using the powers and advice vested in you, that the hon. Deputy Minister replaces the word ‘lie’. Is he in order to continue debating without actually retracting the word ‘lie’ which is totally unparliamentary?

Mr Speaker: Can the hon. Minister retract the word and proceed.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I lie …


Mr Mukata: … I withdraw the word ‘lie’ and replace it with the words misdirected and jaundiced views. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Continue.

Mr Mukata: I want to conclude by saying that we are under no illusions as to the challenges ahead of us. God is with us …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: … and we have accepted these challenges. We are going to face these realities head on. This Government means well for the people of Zambia and will speak the truth. 

Mr Mukata: Sir, what will take this country forward is the exposure of the people to the realities of infrastructure deficiencies that the country faces and not giving them tokens simply to blindfold them. The key for the people of Zambia is on your right.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for the opportunity to finally wind up debate on this Motion, which was brought here deliberately. 

Sir, we have gone through the progress reports. Our concern is that the progress is too slow for the two fiscal years that remain.  Our people deserve something better. We brought this Motion on the Floor of this House not only to acknowledge progress, but indicate also that it is too slow.  


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members on my extreme right, consult quietly. 

Hon. Member for Bweengwa, you may continue. 

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I am happy that this Motion is non-controversial. I would have been very surprised if anyone had rejected such a straightforward Motion. 

Sir, as hon. Members on your left, we have the responsibility to persuade our hon. Colleagues on your right. I do not think that they are impervious to the persuasion of the people on your left. We are telling you that the slowness of the progress is unjustifiable. 

Mr Speaker, the only MDG whose target was met in 2007 is number six. There is nothing to write home about on the remaining seven. 

Sir, the MDGs are the biggest international anti-poverty campaign ever in the history of this world. We have two years before 2015. Zambia must not be found to be the worst performer when we go to report at the summit. It would be a bad indication on us as a country. Further, we would have betrayed our people because they do not deserve to live below the poverty datum line. The MDGs are asking you to lift us just above the datum line. They are not asking for something big. 

Mr Speaker, it is possible to make meaningful progress in the remaining two full years. There are simple solutions in curbing malaria and other diseases. There are simple techniques which we can improve, as the hon. Minister stated, to accelerate the MDGs. Our people deserve better. It is not over until it is over. 

If we had been walking before, let us run towards the 2015 touchline. We can do more for our people. It is not too late because we have two more budgets to bring to Parliament for the two fiscal years remaining. Our people are asking us to report meaningful progress. We do not have to meet the targets because as it is. It is a tall order. We can start by planting trees. There is no rocket science in planting trees. We simply have to go round with our sleeves rolled-up to make this country green.  

Mr Speaker, I want to thank my friend and colleague, Hon. Mucheleka, who seconded the Motion and the many debaters as well as the hon. Ministers who gave good responses so far. We want to see the acceleration framework done. 

Sir, on this side of the House, like Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo said, we are ready, as Parliamentarians, to do our part. It takes two to tangle. Parliament, during this period, had a role to play in the attainment of the MDGs. However, we have not played our role properly. We are supposed to provide heightened oversight over these issues, but have been found wanting. This is why Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo said that we the Parliamentarians should, perhaps, have a caucus on MDGs acceleration to help each other for the two years that have remained. 

Mr Speaker, we will, therefore, be knocking at your door. Since it is voluntary, we will organise ourselves and form a caucus for the remaining period so that we can learn lessons beyond 2015 in order to do things a little better than before. We have let down our people. Going forward, we can do much better than this.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Question put and agreed to. 


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn. 

Question put and agreed to. 


The House adjourned at 1845 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 17th July, 2013.

709. Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Finance:
(a)    how much money was raised under the following categories from 2010 to 2012, year by year:
        (i)    fuel levy;
        (ii)    GRZ project funds;
        (iii)    weigh bridge fees; and
        (iv)    weigh bridge fines; and
(b)    how much money Zambia had borrowed from the Saudi Fund in 2012.
The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, during the period 2010 to 2012, the Government raised a total of K1.3 billion as fuel levy. In terms of yearly collections, they collected K350 million in 2010, K504.53 million in 2011 and K460.60 million in 2012.
As regards the question on how much money was raised from the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) project funds during the period 2010 to 2012, I wish to inform this august House that the Government does not raise money from the projects that it funds.
Mr Speaker, concerning funds raised from the weighbridge fees, the House may wish to know that during the period of 2010 to 2012, the Government raised a total of K59.1 million as weighbridge fees. Of this amount, K13.42 million was raised in 2010, K12.87 million in 2011 and K32.83 million in 2012.
Sir, in terms of weighbridge fines, a total of K160.40 million was raised during the period 2010 to 2012. K45.10 was raised in 2010, K93.60 million in 2011 and K21.70 million in 2012.
Mr Speaker, With regard to part (b) of the question, I wish to inform this august House that the Government borrowed US$12.0 million from the Saudi Fund in 2012 and this money was borrowed for the Kalabo/Sikongo Road Project.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.