Debates- Wednesday, 10th July, 2013

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Wednesday, 10th July, 2013

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]





686. Mr Sianga (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the Government would construct a new high school in Sesheke
District; and

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to construct a high school at

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the Infrastructure Development Plan for 2012, which was the first document to be produced by the Patriotic Front (PF), in terms of infrastructure development in this country, provides seven sites for construction in the Western Province. Out of these sites, three have already been tendered and are almost at offer stage. Furthermore, Sesheke was one of the districts which were identified to benefit from these identified sites. 

Mr Speaker, the Government, therefore, will construct a new high school in Sesheke District at Kalobolelwa area when the funds are made available. However, what is important to note is that the area has already been identified as a priority.

I thank you, Sir.


687. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    when construction of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) storage facilities in
Kabompo District, which had been abandoned by the contractor, was expected to resume;
(b)    what the timeframe for completion of the project was; and 

(c)    whether the Government had any plans to assist workers who were employed by the contractor, but were not paid their emoluments after the contractor abandoned the works to get their money.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, the construction of the FRA storage facilities in Kabompo District, which were abandoned by the contractor, is expected to resume by the end of September, 2013. The FRA has engaged a contractor, Advanced African Solutions, to complete and upgrade all the remaining hard-standing slabs into complete covered sheds.

Mr Speaker, the timeframe for the completion of the project is twelve months from September, 2013. 

Mr Speaker, the FRA has constituted legal action against all contractors that were paid, but abandoned the construction of storage facilities countrywide.

Mr Speaker, the issue of contractors who have outstanding payments to the workers will be dealt with by the law and part of what has been constituted legally will deal with legal suits.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, why did this contractor abandon the works? What measures does the ministry intend to take against those contractors who abandoned the works? Has the ministry devised a way of blacklisting them?

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, we think that these people abandoned the works because they had no capacity to complete them. The ministry has constituted legal action against them. Therefore, they will be dealt with.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I was not clear on the answer about the slabs that were abandoned. What will happen to them? I heard that construction will start by the end of the year. What is the story for the rest of the slabs?

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, the abandoned ones are about ninety-eight and we have engaged African Advanced Solutions to ensure that it starts work this September. We signed a contract that stipulates that it should complete the works within twelve months.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the contractor abandoned the works. May I know what guarantee he is giving the people of Kabompo that the contractor who is taking over the works will not do the same thing again.

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, once beaten, twice shy. This time around, we are very serious and taking a lot of factors into consideration as we analyse each contractor so that the same thing does not repeat itself.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, a down payment was given to most of the contractors and, in many places, the contractors have not done the works. May I find out from the hon. Minister why this exercise has not been fruitful.

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that the exercise has not been fruitful, but we cannot say why the contractors did not do the job. I think the Government awarded these contracts, as it should have, to deserving Zambians. Unfortunately, the contractors disappointed the Government. As for the reasons they did that, I can only say that they had no capacity to do their job.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the failure to complete these works, I assume, amounts to an abrogation of a contract. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what penalties were spelt out in the contract that has been abrogated and what steps the Government has taken to seek redress, regardless of the fact that these people may have had no capacity to complete these works.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I understood the hon. Minister to have said that there is contemplation of constituting some legal action against the defaulters. I stand to be corrected. So, the hon. Minister may answer.

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, I said that, first and foremost, we have terminated the contracts and have constituted legal action against all contractors that abrogated this agreement.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, ninety-eight abandoned structures is quite a large number. I was wondering what could have gone wrong during the selection of the contractors. Was it one contractor who defaulted or there were many? For contractors to abandon ninety-eight structures could be an indication that the mistake was made during the selection process. I say so because a shed was also abandoned in Kasempa.


Mr Mulenga: Tell the world what happened.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, whether under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) or the PF, I think the civil servants are the same.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear! Ema Ministers aba!

Mr Mulusa: That is why you are sitting on this side. Mwaliba abano.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!

Mr Mwewa: What we, as a Government, can only say is that we are sorry that this happened and that we are now being very cautious as we engage a company to complete this job.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, in the House! 


Mr Deputy Speaker: I am calling for order, please. Can the hon. Members on my left, please, listen.


688. Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would undertake the following in Nchelenge District:

(a)    build six police posts;

(b)    construct more staff houses at Nchelenge Police Camp;

(c)    provide a submersible pump and an overhead tank at the police camp; and

(d)    provide transport for the police station. 

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mrs Mwamba): Mr Speaker, you may wish to note that it is the desire of the PF Government to take security services closer to the community. 

Mr Speaker, the Government already has plans to construct more police posts in various locations around the country, taking into consideration the economic activities, population growth and the increase in crime rates in these areas.

Sir, the Ministry of Home Affairs has embarked on a project to construct 12,000 housing units for the Zambia Police Force and other departments within the ministry. Luapula Province has a share of 685 housing units and it is from this number that Nchelenge Police Camp will benefit.

Mr Speaker, the 2013 Budget has decentralised all infrastructure development programmes, including the rehabilitation of all sewerage and water reticulation systems, in all police camps and stations to the various divisions in the country. The Luapula Division Command will, then, consider prioritising the provision of the submersible pumps and an overhead tank at Nchelenge Police Station.

The Nchelenge Police Station currently has a Toyota Hilux Single Cab motor vehicle which is a runner and a speed boat for water transport. 

Sir, as you may be aware, the Government, in 2011, procured motor vehicles for the Zambia Police Force and various police stations around the country benefitted from this exercise. It is, therefore, the Government’s intention that additional motor vehicles be allocated to Nchelenge Police Station once more motor vehicles are procured.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I thank you for granting me this opportunity to raise this very important point of order. Since the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport is not in the House, I will raise this point of order on His Honour the Vice-President.

Sir, is the Leader of Government Business in the House in order to remain silent and not inform this House and the nation the rationale behind the naming of the newly-constructed stadium, here in Lusaka, the Gabon Disaster Heroes Stadium?

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Mwale: This is a long name which appears to be a sentence instead of considering shorter names which will bring out the fact that we had heroes who died and others who brought the Africa Cup. Why not consider a name like Heroes Stadium? First of all, the name Gabon Disaster Heroes Stadium bears a foreign name, Gabon. Secondly, we have the word ‘disaster’ in it. This is such a wrong name. Is he in order to remain silent without telling us why they came up with such a terrible name which has been approved by the Cabinet?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: I need your serious ruling.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order has been raised and I am supposed to issue a serious ruling. The serious ruling is that the hon. Member should file in a Question to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly.


689. Mr Mpundu asked the Minister of Health when the Government would construct a pharmacy, a conference room and a store room at the District Health Management Office in Nchelenge.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr  Mulenga): Mr Speaker, …


Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note that the Government will, this year, construct a pharmacy at the District Health Management Office in Nchelenge. Funds for the construction of a pharmacy have been provided in the Infrastructure Operational Plan for 2013.

Sir, the construction of the conference and store rooms will be considered in the 2014 Budget.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

 I am afraid the hon. Members on my left are not listening. We cannot proceed like this. Please, consult quietly. We have always advised that if you want to consult, do it quietly. If you think you need to consult loudly, walk out of the House, consult and come back. I am not sure whether the hon. Minister finished answering.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I finished.

I thank you, Sir.


690.  Mr Mutale (Kwacha) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Government had any plans to assist the Kitwe City Council (KCC) to collect and manage refuse in the city.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda):  Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the municipal solid waste management in the City of Kitwe is a mandate of the local authority and can be executed directly or outsourced. 

The Ministry of Local Government and Housing disbursed a total sum of K400,000 to the KCC in November, 2012, specifically for refuse collection and disposal.

Sir, in the 2013 Budget, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has made provisions for the purchase of the following:

(a)    one refuse compactor truck to be supplied by Automotive Equipment by the end of August, 2013;

(b)    one skip truck to be supplied by Southern Cross Motors by the end of August, 2013;

(c)    200 wheelie bins to be delivered by the end of August, 2013; and

(d)    five skip bins to be supplied by Meltcast Engineering of Kitwe by the end of September, 2013. 

In addition, the ministry, with the support of the African Development Bank (ADB), is procuring the following: 

(a)    one compactor refuse truck, which has already arrived and is being registered;

(b)    two twenty-tonne tipper trucks to be delivered by the end of November, 2013; and 

(c)    development of an engineered dump site near Ganertone in Kitwe at a cost of about K1.1 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, I am grateful that equipment is being procured. However, the lack of equipment at the KCC does not only affect Kwacha Constituency, but all the constituencies in Kitwe. 

Sir, is the Government thinking of subcontracting refuse collection in order to speed up the process because the markets have become dumping areas throughout the city and this is a danger to the lives of the people? Will the ministry consider outsourcing?

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, for example, we have started to implement that approach to refuse management in Lusaka. We have already put arrangements in place to manage refuse in that manner on the Copperbelt. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the Government has a comprehensive plan to ensure that refuse collection in most major cities and towns in this country is managed. Furthermore, will the Government also come up with a policy to ensure that street vending, which is a major contributing factor to the failure by local authorities to collect garbage, is addressed?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the … 

Mrs Kabanshi rose and sat down.

Mr N. Banda: … oh, sorry.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has already started to engage stakeholders to ensure that refuse management is taken care of by the councils in all the cities in the country. I believe that this sensitisation, even through this House, must be initiated in the councils that we, as hon. Members, belong to.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, on the Copperbelt, local authorities are the stakeholders of the Copperbelt Solid Waste Management Company (COP-WASTE). What role does it play in assisting the KCC address this particular problem?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, COP-WASTE comprises all local authorities, who are the stakeholders, on the Copperbelt. They sit and make decisions on how best to get rid of garbage. The Government complements COP-WASTE’s efforts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, at one point, the Government promoted the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign”. This translated into keeping the district towns clean by providing local councils with vehicles to assist in this cause. Is the ministry considering enhancing this programme so that even places like Kaputa can have a vehicle allocated towards such a programme?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, different local authorities have different ways of dealing with waste management. I would advise the hon. Member to budget for the type of equipment that is needed for getting rid of garbage in his district. In my constituency, we do not need a vehicle or a tractor. What we need are people to sweep and clean the area. So, I would like to advise the hon. Member …

Mr Livune: Aah!

Mrs Kabanshi: … to plan and budget for the equipment that is needed and the ministry will come in and help.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed us that there are different ways of managing waste in various districts. Is there any policy on waste management whose aim is to ‘uniformise’ the disposal of these dangerous substances?

Mr Kalaba: Uniformise?


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I had touched on that in my earlier response. What I was trying to say is that each district has different terrain. In some areas, the councils would like to have a truck while others would like to have a tractor. As for me, I would like to have a boats because there are no roads in my area and we only have lake. That is why I advised the hon. Members to budget for the equipment they need to dispose of their waste. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, during the United National Independence Party (UNIP) days when the current President was a governor, Lusaka was very clean. 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Ms Kapata: It is clean now.

Mr Mbewe: Sir, even under the MMD, the cities in Zambia were very clean …

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: ... but, now, the coming of the PF Government … 


Mr Mbewe: Look at …


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, this is a fact.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Deputy Speaker: What is your question, hon. Member?

Mr Mbewe: Look at the cities in Zambia. They are very dirty.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, what is your question?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, my question is: Since the Government has failed to run the cities …

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. MMD Member: Point of jealousy.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member, who is asking a question, in order not to mention that the lawns in Lusaka are turning green and that the face of State House has changed? Is he in order to say that all the cities are dirty?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Deputy Speaker: I have no serious ruling to make on that point of order. However, as guidance, please, ask your questions because we have a tendency of wanting to debate when asking questions. Can hon. Members make their introductory remarks brief and get on to the question.

Can the hon. Member for Chadiza continue, please.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, our cities are very dirty and we are failing to contain the refuse. Does the Government intend to come up with a deliberate policy to facilitate recycling of refuse so that our towns can look clean?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, keeping the cities clean is not the responsibility of the Government alone. It is also the job of the hon. Member of Parliament, who has asked this question, to keep his surroundings clean. When he points a finger at the Government for not cleaning, four fingers are pointing right back at him. The Government is doing its best to clean the cities.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the question by Hon. Mwiimbu has not been answered. The question was and I repeat: Considering that street vendors or the so-called street traders are contributing a lot to the refuse on the streets, are you considering taking these street vendors out of the streets?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the Government is doing a lot in trying to solve that problem and I would like to urge Hon. ‘Miimbu’, whatever …


Mrs Kabanshi: I would like to urge the hon. Member for Monze Central to be patient …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! That was clearly a slip of the tongue. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Let the hon. Minister continue.

Mrs Kabanshi: Yes, Mr Speaker. I would like to urge the hon. Member to be patient with this working Government because, very soon, the results of its work will be seen.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, the question by Hon. Ng’onga, from the back there, was about the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign”. It was a very good theme. Therefore, is the Government going to continue with it? 

Mrs Kabanshi: At the beginning of this year, I re-launched the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign.” What is remaining is the participation of people such as the hon. Member who has asked this question. Therefore, I would like to urge everybody to come on board and keep Zambia clean. Do not look at keeping clean as something to be done by the Government alone. You should also keep your surroundings clean. Mr Speaker, I think I will have to check the homes of the hon. Members of Parliament …


Mrs Kabanshi: … so that I can see if at all they do keep their surroundings clean.

I thank you, Sir.



691. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing whether trade licence fees were the same in all the district councils in Zambia.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the trade licence fees and business levy fees are not the same in all the district councils in Zambia.

Sir, the trade licence fees or business levies are categorised under city, municipal and district councils. The fees are different according to the types of businesses. This is pursuant to the Business Levy Regulations, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 20 of 2012, dated 30th March, 2012, issued by the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing under the Local Government Act, Cap. 281 of the Laws of Zambia. This Act was introduced by the Government following, the abolition of the Trade Licensing (Fees) Regulations, 2008, under the repealed Trades Licensing Act Cap. 393 of the Laws of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, what is the relevance of having a trading licence when other members of the public are trading without them?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member may be aware that when a law is put in place, it is the obligation of every citizen to follow the regulations. Where it is seen that the laws are not being adhered to, the responsible citizens must report this to relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that when the law is broken, the perpetrators have to be reported. The traders who have shops along Cairo Road pay for their licences. Do those who trade along the corridors do the same? Has this House not indicated to the hon. Minister that some law is not being followed concerning street vending?

Mrs Kabanshi and Mr N. Banda rose at the same time. 


Mr N. Banda: I am sorry, hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, it is the Government’s responsibility to take care of the lives of all Zambians. In the absence of a comprehensive solution to meet the demand of the well-being of our people, the Government has to find the nearest possible way to handle the situation. Therefore, the Government is looking into the matter with the aim to resolve it. I hope the hon. Members of Parliament acknowledge that the pressure of finding a solution to this situation is more than just criminalising the street vendors.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, how do the people who are trading from their homes acquire trade licences? Some people have built grocery stores right in their homes. These stores are constructed as part of their blocked walls. Is this regulated?
Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I think we are all aware that I rarely rise on points of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, since no licence fees are required for the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to inspect the hon. Member …

Dr Kaingu: Kaingu!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: … for Mwandi’s house, can she not extend her inspection to all of us who are nearer …

Dr Kaingu: I am enough!


Brig. Gen. Dr Chituwo: … to her instead of insisting on the one who is so far away? Is she in order to be so discriminatory?


Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Kwacha, you may continue.

Mr Mutale: I was asking whether those people who turn part of their blocked walls into grocery stores also apply for trade licences.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, in putting up a business, in any given situation, there is always a procedure laid down by the local authority which citizens are supposed to adhere to. Once an abrogation is observed, it must be reported to the relevant authorities and that is the position of the Government. When it is followed up, an appropriate charge will be given. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, while responding to one of the questions, the hon. Minister appealed to hon. Members of Parliament to help by reporting offenders. I would like to know whether this is the only way the Government intends to identify offenders or does it have an inspectorate that goes round to check on these offenders?
Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Member to be more specific on the offenders that he is talking about.
I thank you, Sir.
Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question was that apart from hon. Members reporting those offenders, is there any other way by which you can identify and deal with the offenders. 
Can you answer that.
Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I am trying to find out whether the hon. Member is referring to the street vendors as offenders?
Mrs Kabanshi: I want the hon. Member to clarify …
Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!
The question refers to those street vendors who do not have trade licences. You said hon. Members can assist by reporting them. The question, therefore, is: Apart from hon. Members reporting them, is there any other way by which you can identify and deal with them?
Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, there are council representatives who go round cities and districts inspecting businesses. They also check on licences and those found wanting are reprimanded.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, it is clear that the PF Government has failed to …
Mr Ng’onga: Question!
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Ntundu: … find a lasting solution to street vending. Would it consider consulting the United Party for National Development (UPND) for a lasting solution.
Mr Deputy Speaker: Next question.
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!
692. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:
(a)    how many schools, in Kaputa District, had the roofs of their classrooms blown-off from 2010 to 2013, year by year:
(b)    of the schools at (a), how many had their roofs repaired; 
(c)    when the roofs in the remaining schools would be repaired; and
(d)    what the total cost of repairing the roofs in the remaining schools was.
Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, during the period 2010 to 2013, there were twenty-four classrooms which had their roofs blown-off. Of these, eighteen had their roofs repaired.
Mr Speaker, the roofs of the remaining six classrooms will be repaired once funds are provided before the end of 2013.
Sir, the estimated cost of repairing the roofs of the remaining classrooms is K63,627.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why it takes long for the roofs to be repaired. Sometimes, these cases are reported during the rainy season, but they are not repaired until, probably, at the onset of the next rainy season.
Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, this is a national challenge. However, it takes long for the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to repair the blown-off roofs as a result of budget limitation. I would also like to advise the hon. Members of Parliament that it is important to report such emergency cases, because of their nature, to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). It has been very supportive in attending to many of the blown-off roofs in this country.
I thank you, Sir.
Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, year in and year out, we get this problem. I would like to know what the cause is. Is it the design or poor workmanship?
Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, some of the reasons are very historical. As we may be aware, many of our schools, prior to Independence and immediately after Independence, were built using timber tracts. As time went by, they got affected by termites. Among some of the measures that the Government has put in place to address this problem is the re-designing of the roofing structures for most of our schools by using steel spider tracks, which we believe are going to last longer.
Sir, the other cause of blown-off roofs in some areas is that the communities cut trees around the schools. When the strong winds blow, they affect the roofing structures of these old schools. Consequently, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is educating the communities against the ills of cutting trees that surround the schools. These are some of the measures that we, as a ministry, have taken and I am sure they will go a long way in protecting many of our schools.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, part (a) of the questions states that:
“how many schools, in Kaputa District, had the roofs of their classrooms blown- off from 2010 to 2013, year by year”.
If I got the hon. Minister right, I heard that the number is twenty-four. I am interested in the last part of this question which says, “year by year”, which meant, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Mr Deputy Speaker: Interestingly, I have noticed that, sometimes, when there is a general question not requiring specific information, year by year, the answers given outline the information year by year. However, when there is a question seeking specific information, the answer is general. 
Mr Deputy Speaker: I thought we would let things pass but, fortunately or unfortunately, the hon. Member of Vubwi noted that.
 Can the hon. Minister respond to that.
Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Dr Kazonga for that remainder. We will take note of that and, I think it was an omission on our part. We should have provided information year by year. Even if we did not do that, the most important thing which is essential to the question is the total number of schools that had their roofs blown-off which is twenty-four. However, we recognise Hon. Dr Kazonga’s contribution.
I thank you, Sir.
Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, as per advice given by the hon. Minister to seek help from the DMMU, in the event that we did that and help was not rendered, since the DMMU has a separate budget line, is it not possible for the ministry, itself, to have a budget line in order to address this problem? This is a national problem and the roofs of various schools in the country have been blown off due to the storms or rains.
The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minster was very categorical. The budget line for blown-off roofs is not adequate to meet not only the demands of Kaputa, but also nationwide. 
Sir, this is why, as a bonus answer, the hon. Minister said that there is a separate facility in the Office of the Vice-President, where you will find a very vibrant hon. Deputy Minister by the name of Hon. Kalaba, who will advise where needs can be met. So far, reports indicate that they are doing a commendable job. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the greatest enemy in this country is the lack of maintenance of various infrastructure. We seem not to care about providing adequately for maintenance. 

Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education whether it would not be prudent for us to include funds, specifically for maintenance, in the budget which can be under the ambit of the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS).

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament’s line of thought is alongside that of the ministry. This is the future that we want to build. We not only want to ceremoniously open schools, but also look after them. 

Mr Speaker, the schools that the First Republican President and his Government built are in disarray and now gobbling more money in rehabilitation than building new ones. This is what we want to avoid. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.     


693. Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the Government would facilitate the construction of mobile communication towers in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr M. H. Malama): Mr Speaker, the Government has prioritised the extension of communication towers and services to cover all chiefdoms and other un-served areas. 

In this regard, communication services will be extended to Dundumwezi, particularly to Chief Siachitema, in the on-going tender for the procurement of 169 towers which is due to close on 19th July, 2013. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 




Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to reinstate subsidies in view of the hardships that ordinary citizens are currently facing as a result of the removal of subsidies.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) indicated assent.

Hon Members: Talk!


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. 

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, on 7th March, 2012, I moved a Motion in which this House urged the Government, as matter of urgency, to develop a broadly-shared economic and human development strategy.

In supporting this Motion, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, said the following:

“The Government is an all-inclusive thing. That we are this side and others are that side is just a question of convenience of sitting arrangements.”

He further said that governance of the country is continuous. 

Mr Speaker, the last part of Hon. Chikwanda’s statement meant that a new Government would pick up the threads where the last one left off. The first part meant that we, on this side of the House, are part and parcel of the Government.

Mr Speaker, we need to be consulted or, at the minimum, be engaged on matters of national importance. In the elections of September, 2011, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government scored around 40 per cent of the votes. The combined Opposition got the rest and we would not, therefore, be wrong to assume that we represent close to 60 per cent of Zambians and we are, therefore, the majority.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, if the PF Government represents 40 per cent of Zambians who support the removal of subsidies, we represent the 60 per cent who do not. This afternoon, we wish to share their views because they, through their representatives, were not consulted in arriving at the decision to remove the subsidies. 

Mr Speaker, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica (2003), a subsidy is a direct or indirect payment. It can be an economic concession or privilege granted by a government to private firms, households, or other government units in order to promote a private objective. 

It also refers to a sum of money granted by the government or public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive. More broadly-defined, subsidies include welfare payments designed to ameliorate inequalities in the distribution of income and other governmental programmes designed to mitigate the effects of market forces. 

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, the Government, in the past, subsidised various sectors of the economy such as agriculture, transport and education as a means of helping the poor deal with the cost related to accessing these services. 

In the agricultural sector, the Government subsidised Zambian farmers as well as consumers through the implementation of a maize subsidy through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). This was aimed at providing farmers with farming inputs such as fertiliser and seeds at prices cheaper than the actual market value. This was done in order to allow small-scale farmers to grow more maize and reap profits and also stabilise the price of maize meal, which is Zambia’s staple food.

In these particular agriculture-related subsidies, a distinction was made between consumer and producer subsidies, which are categorised as direct or visible subsidies and indirect or concealed subsidies. Distinction was also made between two categories of recipients, producers and consumers.

Understandably, Sir, fuel subsidies were introduced in 2009 due to the increase in the international price of oil from US$50 per barrel to US$140 per barrel in 2004 and 2008 respectively. This was against the Government’s projected increase of US$100 per barrel during the same period. Therefore, the Government decided to introduce fuel subsidies with the aim of cushioning the public, especially the vulnerable in society, against high market prices by paying a portion of the actual price. Since 2009 to date, the Government has spent a total of K2.5 billion distributed as follows: 

Year    Amount Spent

    2009     179.0 million

    2010    90.0 million

    2011    247.6 million

    2012    754.0 million

    2013     1.2 billion

Mr Speaker, the Government has since withdrawn both the maize and fuel subsidies, but asserts that it will continue to support 900,000 farmers through the FISP. 

Sir, the Government will, however, continue subsidising the education sector through the continued provision of free primary education and the bursary scheme at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU). We thank the Government for this even though we would like the students at the Mulungushi University to benefit as well. 

Sir, in terms of the essence of subsidies in Zambia, regardless of the form they take, their purpose has always been to alter the results created by, otherwise, free markets and unimpeded competition in a direction skewed towards meeting the objectives of public policy. 

Therefore, this Motion highlights alternative solutions for savings. It also talks about sources of wasteful expenditure and related cost implications. However, let me start this by reminding the House of an appeal made by Hon. Chikwanda on 6th March, 2012. He stated that: 

“Only us Zambians will develop Zambia and that we must join hands together to find common solutions.”

Mr Speaker, today, in a quest to achieve togetherness, we extend our hands and now wish to suggest solutions to the challenge of achieving savings from the economy other than through punishing the poor who are defenceless and vulnerable. The poor are the easiest target. Any strategy to use alternative means such as touching the benefits of hon. Ministers and Government officials or the rich are conveniently avoided.

Sir, there are thirty-one possible sources of savings, but I know that my colleagues this side of the House, including Hon. Chungu, who eloquently represents the people of Luanshya Constituency, will add more ways. It is a pity that the voice of the people of Chilubi Island has been silenced. Otherwise, we would have heard more sources of savings.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, we have examples of this Government never taking decisions that are full packages of all the factors that should be at play. For instance, when the US$750 million Euro Bond was obtained, the Government started searching for projects on which to expend this money. The approach should have been to first identify projects and look for suitable sources of financing. We were told that the PF Government was going to successfully implement the Link Zambia 8,000 Project, but we were not told how the funding would be obtained. Now, we are being told that subsidies have been removed in order to re-allocate the savings towards infrastructure development, particularly road construction. We have a problem with that approach because it clearly shows that the lack of a well-defined developmental strategy is affecting Zambians negatively.

Mr Speaker, we are told that savings from the removal of subsidies will amount to K2.5 billion, which is the total expenditure over the five-year period the fuel subsidy was in place. Although this amount spent over a period of five years sounds very little, in terms of annual savings, it went a long way in lifting the welfare of people generally. The message we have this afternoon is that we can raise well over K40 billion or twice the projected tax collections in 2013 using different strategies. The following are the possible sources of savings: To start with, we should never have donated fuel to Malawi.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: That, alone, cost us K27 million. We should never have donated maize to Zimbabwe. It cost us K140 million.

Mr Mucheleka: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, the current expensive fuel source is costing us K1.35 billion. The bloated Government we have, at the moment, is another source of wasteful expenditure. We have an expanded fleet of ministerial vehicles.

Mr Mbewe: Aah!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, the purchasing, fuel provision and maintenance of this fleet will cost us about K100 million this year.

Mr Mucheleka: Sure?

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, we also have ministries which have more than one Permanent Secretary. The salaries of the expanded cadre of Permanent Secretaries will also cost us colossal sums of money. We have an expanded cadre of diplomats and former diplomats, who are not working, and yet receive full benefits like those who are working. This is another source of wasteful expenditure. There is also a lack of initiative, on our part, to extract maximum value from our defence forces in times of peace. We have the Link Zambia 8,000 Project. Let us declare war on that project and use our military personnel to construct roads. We can buy the military personnel equipment to do so. After all, the Zambia National Service (ZNS) is already constructing roads in the rural areas. In Mufulira, we have a division which can actually do this work if equipment is purchased for them.

Mr Speaker, we also have unnecessary movement of maize. We should invest in storage capacities. We also have unnecessary large entourages on trips abroad. We have unexplained extended stays abroad by the President.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, we are also purchasing military hardware when we are not at war and neither is there a threat of conflict. We have high levels of unnecessary expatriate workers in all the sectors of our economy.

Sir, by mismanaging the issuance of work permits, Zambia is exporting job opportunities and importing unemployment. In short, we are subsidising richer economies at the expense of our people’s welfare. Savings can be obtained by more money retained in the economy and contributing to the reproduction capacity of our economy. In most foreign-owned companies, the only time you meet a Zambian is at the gate where they will be working as a security guard and at the reception as a receptionist. Behind the curtain, everybody else, including those doing simple jobs such as cashiering, are foreigners.

Mr Speaker, we have unnecessary expenditure on by-elections, and this is expected to cost K150 million by the time the PF is done with nullifying all our seats.


Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, we also have extended expenditure on the constitution- making process, which is very unnecessary. There is unnecessary expenditure on the Judge Chikopa-led Tribunal. That man should have gone back a long time ago.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Abwelelele kwao.

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, we also have politically-motivated economic and social infrastructure development. The basis on which road contracts are awarded is political. If it was not the case, there is no way the Solwezi/Chingola Road, which delivers 15 per cent of the taxes paid in Zambia, could not have been a priority in the two years of the PF rule. There is a downturn to that. The Chingola/Solwezi Road users are losing vehicles and incurring high running costs due to the poor state of that road. There is also a policy by several contractors to park their trucks at 1900 hours and commence movement the next day by 0500 hours. The effect of that is a lower net income before tax and, therefore, this lowers tax contribution.

Mr Speaker, we also have low levels of value-addition to our natural resources. The low levels of value-addition to all the natural resources extracted in Zambia and exported to be fully processed outside the country means that Zambia is subsidising richer economies to the levels it cannot sustain. However, we appear to sustain that because we have agreed to be chained in perpetual poverty. By exporting job opportunities, we are denying our domestic economy wealth retention and local economic development.

Sir, we also have unsustainable infrastructure funding options. While the issuance of the bond was a great success, fund usage is fraught with mismatches not to mention corruption. To start with, it was a wrong funding instrument for the proposed projects to be funded. When you have an economy that is at the stage of building capacity and resilience, you need to ensure that, as much as possible, there is a match between the funding instrument and the timing of the positive cash flows to liquidate the debt. 91 per cent of the proceeds went to projects in the energy and transport sectors, most of which are yet to be conceptualised. The example is the Zambia Railways Limited which was just announcing a plan yesterday.

Mr Speaker, the planned projects should have been more suitably funded with concessionary loans that carry conditions such as seven years grace period and, thereafter, fifteen years to repay. The Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans would have been more suitable funding options. Therefore, it is not possible that, in ten years time, the US$750 million Euro Bond would have contributed to the reproductive capacity and resilience of the economy to support the bond redemption without causing funding pressures.

Sir, there are also incidences of corruption in the Euro Bond proceeds. There are also unnecessary trips abroad, for instance, to Cuba, Sudan, Palestine to make unnecessary proclamations.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Boma iyi bati!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, there are also costly interventions. I would like my colleagues to listen carefully.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, you will recall that the hon. Minister of Finance, during the 2012 Budget Policy Statement, gave financial institutions in Zambia a 5 per cent tax reduction,which cost our fiscus K500 billion. The banking sector consolidated balance sheet indicates that, over the following fiscal year, after the hon. Minister’s policy pronouncements, Zambians became more financially stressed and increased their borrowings for consumption purposes through personal loans. This can be indicative of low savings in the economy.

Under the PF, with that policy intervention, gross loans and advances grew by 40 per cent compared to the MMD’s 29 per cent, without that policy intervention. Loan loss provision under the PF grew by 3 per cent compared to a drop of 12 per cent under the MMD.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Sir, the PF’s 40 per cent growth in gross loans and advances was singularly driven by personal loans which grew by 62 per cent and accounted for 26.2 per cent of the country’s financial sector loan portfolio. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Interestingly, during the last year in office of the MMD, personal loans accounted for only 22 per cent of total loans and advances and only grew by 50 per cent year by year. Personal loans beat loans into important sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. This indicates why the hon. Minister of Finance has never come back to the House to announce the benefits that have been reaped from the reduction in taxes to the banks.

Mr Speaker, given the above scenario, I pose a question: Did we have to remove subsidies instead of realising savings from this wastage?

Dr Kazonga: Yes, it is an important question.

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, we also have a narrow tax base on which the PF Government should work. We have unnecessary budget line items creating a bloated Budget. In fact, we can save K5 million if we cleaned up the budget process.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, we also have low tax recovery from mineral resources and high rates of contract jobs and casual labour. These jobs rob us taxes through reduced savings that can contribute to productive activities in the economy. We are also subsidising the mines in terms of energy. The poor are paying for energy at higher rates than those of the mines which earn more money than the poor. So, out of the thirty-one sources of losses of income and wasteful expenditure, only twelve items have explicit values. The rest of the items require details, trans-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary qualitative and quantitative studies to estimate the quantum of losses.

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

Mr Mulusa: The twelve items’ combined value, as a loss to our fiscus, amount close to K40 million. If you consider the fact that Norway contributes 60 per cent of taxes to its gross domestic product (GDP), then, the argument is that Zambia, at 19.4 per cent tax contribution to the GDP has the potential to reach the world’s best benchmark of 60 per cent. This means that Zambia can potentially raise an additional K50 million. The twelve items above have accounted for K40 million. Therefore, there is no exaggeration, especially that when we properly account for our GDP, the figure will equally self-correct and increase.

Mr Speaker, in this Motion, we have adequately argued that the fuel subsidy, at K2.5 million, over five years, is very small compared to the minimum K40 million that we can raise and this would go a long way in assisting people.

Mr Mbewe: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Mulusa: Sir, in conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank Hon. Mbulakulima for having thought of this Motion and suggesting that I move it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Sir, through the Clerk of the National Assembly’s Office, indebtedness goes to the Journals and Table Office as well as the Research, Public and International Relations Department for the assistance rendered in crafting the title and contents of this Motion. I would also like to sincerely thank you, Sir, for approving the Motion and, therefore, facilitating debate. I hope that our colleagues in the Government will see sense in realising savings and earnings elsewhere rather than using measures that affect the poor negatively.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Well done!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Lufuma: Now, Mr Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Bandika!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for affording me this opportunity to second the Motion on the Floor today. May I commence by commending the hon. Member for Solwezi Central for the moving this Motion in his usual able manner.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, please, allow me to make a few pertinent comments. First, it is an established and agreed fact that governments all over the world indulge in giving subsidies in one form or the other. Be they in developed or developing countries, subsidies are given in the form of energy, food or other markets in pursuit of economic and social justice, including equity and poverty alleviation. 

Contrary to this truism, the Zambian Government, in May, 2013, decided to remove subsidies on fuel and maize which had previously been introduced in 2009 by the then MMD administration to cushion consumers from the high crude oil prices prevailing on the world market at the time. The maize subsidy was also introduced to cushion consumers from high mealie-meal prices. The MMD administration was fearful of a possible repeat of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) mealie-meal saga.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Since the definition of a subsidy has been adequately given by the mover of the Motion, I will go straight to mention that subsidies can be used to correct market failures or distortions and improve people’s welfare, especially if they are managed efficiently.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: It is important to realise that a subsidy is just one of the many alternative policies the Government can use to address challenges. It follows, therefore, that it can decide to use other policy tools other than subsidies to address the same problems. This has adequately been explained by the mover because he has pointed out various areas where we can save money in order to help the poor.

Mr Speaker, allow me to delve into the rationale for the removal of subsidies as advanced by the current administration. These include the following:

(a)    that subsidies are too costly and inflict too heavy a burden on the Government’s Budget to be sustained. The Government has stated that it has already spent over K500 million, in 2013, on fuel subsidies and that the projected cost for the entire year would be K1.1 billion. With regard to maize subsidies, the Government has revealed that it has been making losses through supporting the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and subsidising the purchase of mealie-meal by the millers;

(b)    that subsidies are a wasteful form of consumption in general and that they are benefiting only a few rich people and not the poor; and

(c)    that there is a need to utilise resources saved from subsidies on development that benefits the poor such as infrastructure development, health and education.

Mr Speaker, this point of view was espoused by the hon. Minister in charge of energy. Nonetheless, Zambians have raised concerns about the removal of subsidies and the manner in which it has been done. These concerns can be put in two categories. One is economic and the other is social. 

We are cognisant of the fact that fuel and maize subsidies are a cost to the Treasury and that this Government is increasingly under pressure to balance its Budget by cutting fuel and other subsidies. It is, however, our firm belief that it is a necessary cost in economies with structural deficiencies and inefficiencies such as ours. Furthermore, if the benefits of a subsidy outweigh the cost of providing it, the cost of a subsidy should not be a source of concern.

Mr Speaker, we do not subscribe to the assertion that money saved by default will be used on other developmental projects that directly benefit the poor. The administration may have to demonstrate this by elaborating a supplementary Budget that clearly shows new projects being funded by the savings made.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Otherwise, there is absolutely no guarantee, whatsoever, that the money saved by virtue of removal of subsidies will actually be used on projects ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: … that will benefit the poor. So, targeting is as much an issue with subsidies as it is with actual implementation. 

Mr Speaker, let me now come to economic concerns. Zambia’s economic growth, in the last decade, has been spurred by private sector development. Privatisation of the economy, in the early 2000s, brought about increased investment and innovation in the economy and, subsequently, economic growth. The high cost of doing business in the country, however, has been cited as the main hindrance to accelerating economic growth and reducing poverty. Increased fuel prices as a result of the removal of subsidies will, therefore, result in increased cost of production which may slow down economic growth and, consequently, further hinder attempts to reduce poverty.

Mr Speaker, the Government should note that businesses are the largest consumers of fuel and, therefore, any removal of subsidies will directly increase their cost and/or indirectly increase the cost of living for ordinary households. The price of mealie-meal in rural areas during the months of starvation, December to February, may be unbearably high. Increased cost of production for businesses will result in loss of jobs as companies lay off workers in an effort to contain high costs of production. 

Sir, the other economic factor is that the removal of subsidies on both fuel and maize will translate into higher inflation which may distabilise the macro-economic environment or framework and, subsequently, discourage investment. Increased inflation will also increase the cost of living for many households, especially that the removal of subsidies has been effected at a time when electricity tariffs are also being revised upwards. The Central Statistical Office (CSO) has already released figures which indicate a rise in the inflation rate. 

Mr Speaker, as regards social concerns, the removal of subsidies on both maize and fuel will result into an increased cost of living not only for the rich, but also for the poor in whose name this Government has removed subsidies. Mealie-meal and fuel prices have both gone up and both the rich and the poor, in one way or another, consume these products. Both classes go to the same shops. Therefore, the assertion by the Government that subsidies have only been benefiting the rich and their removal will not affect the poor is based on a faulty, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: … or otherwise, fallacious premise. Society, today, is so dependent on fuel that even the poor cannot simply abstain from using it. Fuel is an absolute necessity for the economic survival of the poorest. Unfortunately, many governments, and ours inclusive, do not seem to appreciate the role that it plays in the lives of the poor. Fuel subsidies work like indirect payments to the citizens, as sovereign owners. Under this reasoning and with no real indication of this administration delivering on its now infamous campaign promise of “more money in your pockets,” let alone inducing meaningful economic development and reducing poverty levels, maintaining the subsidy is more than justified.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Pressure!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the Government, therefore, needs to carry out a detailed study to establish to what extent the poor will benefit from the removal of subsidies. 

Mr Speaker, as a way of recommending, we advise the Executive to institute urgent measures to ensure that the country obtains maximum benefits from its extractive industries currently booming in the North-Western and Copperbelt provinces.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Indeed, copper and other minerals are being ferried away under our noses with no corresponding tangible benefit to the country, save for environmental hazards in the form of gutters and craters. This is where our wealth lies and where our money is, and yet we concentrate on removing subsidies to cover up and balance a run-away Budget deficit. This measure only helps to further inflict pain and hardship on an already over burdened and poverty-stricken Zambia.

Mr Speaker, we note, with a tinge of sadness, that although the world is quickly changing, the old economic paradigms of rewarding shareholders in the extractive industry have failed to connect and empower countries with booming hungry populations and dwindling resources.

Sir, instead of facing this challenge head-on, as the best possible frontier to mobilise sufficient financial resources to provide for the much-needed social and economic infrastructure, we choose the easiest way out and that is removal of the much-needed subsidies on fuel, the engine of any economic activities in a country, to the detriment of the poor. The Government should be more innovative and bold enough to take on these conglomerates which take more than their fair share of return on their investment in the country. Should we do this, the issue of subsidy removal will be relegated to the annals of history. Indeed, it will be a non-issue.

Mr Speaker, I was impressed by one of the quotations that I came across which says:

“Following a path of least resistance is what makes men and rivers crooked.”

Sir, the fuel subsidy is the only real claim to ownership or bona fide shared interest most people have on resources in this our country. Let us not tinker with it. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, we note, with grave concern, the removal of subsidies in the middle of the financial year and without a detailed cost-benefit analysis of its impact. Furthermore, we note, with unreserved concern, the abrupt and unsystematic and unco-ordinated manner in which the removal of subsidies was implemented. The Government should have waited for the financial year to end before entertaining ideas on removing subsidies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the Government should have also consulted with the public and its representatives, including Parliament, on the measure, instead of engaging them after the measure had already been implemented.

Mr Livune: Look at them!


Mr Lufuma: The sugar quoting of after-thought and ad hoc arrangements and strategies of implementing extremely important policies only serves to heighten suspicion and, at times, calling for unnecessary opposition. This must be avoided at all costs.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: The question that begs an answer is why the hurry. Furthermore, there seems not to be any thought rendered to providing safety nets in the wake of this drastic decision, save for the erroneous assumption that this measure will, by and large, affect only the rich while the poor go unscathed. The Government should, therefore, rescind its decision and find ways of better targeting the subsidy so that it benefits the right beneficiaries. The failure of subsidies to benefit their  intended beneficiaries is not because the policy is bad per se, but it is the failure on the part of the Government to target the policy on the true beneficiaries.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Indeed, the failure to correctly implement a policy cannot be corrected by simply sending hon. Ministers en masse to explain to the citizenry after the actual policy implementation.

Mr Speaker, the Government has an obligation to engage and consult the citizenry prior to implementation of certain critical policies or decisions that affect them. It also has a duty to enable the people to afford decent living. People need affordable goods and services as much as they need infrastructure. Therefore, as long as the Government does not implement alternative policies to address the high cost of mealie-meal and fuel, there is no justification for its removal of subsidies.

Mr Speaker, finally, the Executive must remember that a hungry man is an angry one.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the priority of a hungry man, you will agree, can never be education, health or medication, let alone roads or bridges. He will be physically incapable and might waste away before enjoying these facilities on which the PF claims it will use the saved funds. 

Mr Speaker, this Government must learn from the mistakes of UNIP when food riots were rampant as a result of the high price of mealie-meal. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the rest is history. Let me hasten to mention that rescinding the decision will not be a sign of weakness, but …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Lufuma: … that of strength and a big plus for an Executive that has proudly branded itself as a listening and pro-poor Government. This will ultimately be a plus for democracy. The PF Government must be brave enough to accept that the decision that it made was hurriedly arrived at.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: With these few comments, I beg to second the Motion on the Floor of the House and urge both the right and the left to support it without reserve.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity to contribute to this debate that is very important.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, it is a wonderful opportunity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all Zambians out there who are hungry because of the policy injunction. We want to assure the people of Zambia that they have sound representatives in Parliament.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, we are going to speak for them, defend them and make sure that this Government rescinds its position.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I also want to say to the Zambians out there that there are men and women of good will in this House.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Please, may I have order. If you want to debate, please, indicate and if you are offered the opportunity, it will be fine. However, let us not make running commentaries while seated. 

Hon. Member, you may continue.

Dr Musokotwane: We say to the hungry today that your hunger is our hunger. Your anger is our anger.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Your frustration is our frustration and that is why we will speak on your behalf. If there is shyness on the other side of the House, on this side of the House, we are proud of our nshima.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, nshima is our staple food. 

Hon. Nkombo: Buhobe. Nsima

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, we are proud of it. As its product, we have well-built men in this House like Hon. Muntanga. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, there are intellectuals in this House like Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa who are products of nshima.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, there are men of immense energy in this House ... 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: … like Hon. Munkombwe out there.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, he had a lot of energy and that is how he managed to fight for the independence of this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, when Hon. Munkombwe says he is following politics of the belly …

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: … do not misunderstand him. All he is saying is that he is following nshi …

Hon. Opposition Members: nshima!


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, when His Excellency the President came to this House, he told us that one of his hon. Ministers, I cannot remember which one it is, had finished the girls. He also said that the girls had also finished him.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I am sure that they only managed to finish each other because before they did whatever they did, they ate nshima.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, you can see that nshima is very important to us. Therefore, we just wonder why this Government, suddenly, without warning, became reckless and increased the price of mealie-meal. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, this Government forgot that, in this country, there are old men and women looking after orphans. In recklessness, it forgot that, in this country, there are children who look after fellow children, the orphans. 

Mr Speaker, three years ago, a bag of mealie-meal was going at K40. Today, it is at K70.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, where I come from, it is K100.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Hon. Chabala: Where do you come from?

Dr Musokotwane: I come from Kalabo. Can this be an action of a Government that is concerned about the poor, as it claims?

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, this Government has forgotten the fact that the statistics in this country show that nearly 60 per cent of the people are poor.

Hon. Nkombo:  It is 68 per cent.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the statistics show that 45 per cent of the children in this country are stunted because of poor nutrition. How, then, can the Government forget these basic facts and end up raising the price of mealie-meal to such high levels? It claims that it is saving money for infrastructure. However, this is not the first government to build infrastructure.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, UNIP built infrastructure, but it did not say that orphans were not to eat while it was at it. The MMD put up infrastructure, …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: ... but it did not deny people the right to eat. This is the first Government in the history of this county that wants to put up infrastructure by denying the poor people their right to food.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, this is why the hon. Ministers in this Government are failing to convince people. As a result, they have opted to woo the old men in the compounds by promising to do wonderful things for them. “You used to buy mealie-meal at K40 and now I am going to make you pay K100. This is good for you.” The people are saying that they do not understand the Government. Is it leading this country or has it come from another country?

Mr M. H. Malama: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, it will never convince the people otherwise. Through this recklessness, the Government is behaving like a fisherman who goes to a fish pond with a mosquito net. In the process, he ends up picking the algae, which is required by the fish for survival, and fingerlings. The result is that there will be no fish the following day. By similar reasoning, the hon. Ministers in this Government have gone to that four-year old little girl in the compound who eats porridge before she goes to school. As she is about to eat her porridge before going to school, the hon. Ministers have told her, “You have eaten enough. Bring that plate. We want to save money so that we can build a school for you, sponsor another by-election and hire more district commissioners.” This is how reckless this Government is.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is a learned man with lots of experience. He knows that a child who is hungry cannot go to school.

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Dr Musokotwane: He knows very well that a child who is hungry cannot pay attention in class. So, in the end, the schools and universities that the Government will build after starving us will only serve the children of hon. Ministers. The poor people will never have access to these schools. They will never step into those universities because they will be too hungry to go to school.

Mr Speaker, I wanted to say something about the looming hunger that will be experienced next year. Unfortunately, I do not think I will have enough time …

Hon. Members: There is enough time.

Dr Musokotwane: No, because I will discuss other issues as well. All I can say is that the advice that was given, last week, that we should all taste nshima prepared from yellow mealie-meal was timely. You were psychologically preparing us.

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

Dr Musokotwane: Contrary to the past few years when Zambia was producing surplus maize and became proud of exporting from importing it, mark my words, next year, please, prepare yourselves to eat yellow maize …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane:  … because white maize will not be enough in Zambia.

Mr Musukwa: Prophet of doom!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mulusa interjected.

Dr Musokotwane: Yes, I am sure those who are experienced and very good at importing maize rather than growing it, I think, will take the lead in all this.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulusa interjected.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I now want to say something about fuel. This Government has hiked the price of fuel to unprecedented high levels. The explanation that has been given is that the subsidy on fuel has been withdrawn. 

Sir, I dispute that very strongly. The reason the price of fuel has gone up is not because subsidies have been removed, but rather because we, the consumers, are being asked to subsidise the Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: That is the reason behind the high fuel prices.

Mr D. Mwila interjected.

Dr Musokotwane: Let me explain and after that, you can also debate.

Mr Mulusa: They do not like debating. 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, to demonstrate that the reason the price of fuel is so high is the subsidies that we, the consumers, are paying, let me take you back to the issue of what a subsidy is, which, I think, has already been explained by Hon. Mulusa. My job is to simplify the process for you, and I am going to use my arms as graphics. That is all I have in this Parliament.

Sir, assuming that this level (lifted and stretched out his left hand) is the market price for a commodity and now look at my right. Supposing my right hand (lifted his right hand and stretched it lower than the left hand) went below the market price, that is what Hon. Mulusa referred to as a consumer subsidy. Ideally, the consumer is supposed to pay more (placed his right hand on top of the left hand), but it is paying less. So, that is a consumer subsidy.

There is also what he called a producer or supplier subsidy. In the demonstration, my left hand will be on top of the right hand. Not so, Mr Speaker?


Mr Deputy Speaker: Do not ask me.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!

Can the hon. Member debate without bringing the Hon. Mr Speaker into his debate.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, just remember that when I come back to this point, my right hand will be on top of the left hand and that will mean …


Dr Musokotwane: … supplier subsidy.

Mr Mulusa interjected.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Well done!

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Dr Mwali and Mrs Kawandami slowly entered the Assembly Chamber. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: I am waiting for you two to take up your seats.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was demonstrating to the House that the price of fuel is high because we, the consumers, are subsidising the Government and not the other way round.

So, to do that, I need to bring out certain information. Firstly, what is really the market price of fuel? Then, we have to determine whether what we are paying is below that market price in which case, it will be a consumer subsidy or whether we are paying above the market price, in which case, it will be a producer subsidy.

Mr Speaker, regarding the market price for fuel, I managed to download a document indicating fuel prices in the 142 countries of the world from the website. In Venezuela, the cost of fuel is almost negligible in comparison to countries where a litre of diesel, for example, is more than US$2.00.

Sir, Zambia ranks number fourteen …

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: … in the world in terms of fuel being expensive, at US$1.8 per litre. The following is a list of countries that sell fuel at a cheaper price than Zambia which sells it at US$1.83: 

Country    US$

Malawi    0.75 

Zimbabwe    0.92

Congo DRC    1.01

Mozambique    1.03

Namibia    1.03

Botswana    1.16

South Africa    1.23

Uganda    1.24

Lesotho    1.29

Swaziland    1.32

Mr Speaker, this has almost nothing to do with taxes, especially here in the region, because I know that the taxes are almost the same. So, the difference in costs is as a result of something else. The average price of a litre of diesel in landlocked African countrie in our region is US$1.20 per litre, but we are paying US$1.83.

Therefore, coming back to my hands, the market price is there (lifting his left hand) at US$20. What we are paying is up there (placed his right hand above the left hand) at K1.83. Therefore, there is no doubt that this is a subsidy that the consumers are paying on fuel to the Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, who is benefitting? It is those who are procuring oil, the Government.

Mr Speaker, I understand, I do not know whether that is factual, but I heard that the PF, as a party, is also part of the procurement process.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Shame!

Dr Musokotwane: I stand to be corrected, but if that is the case, then, the PF is also a beneficiary. 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: I also need to …

Mr Mwaliteta: On point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mulusa: Aah!

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I rise on a serious point of order. By the way, I am the hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue.

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member, who is very senior and was once an hon. Minister of Finance, in order to allege that the PF Party is importing part of the fuel in this country without giving evidence in this House? Is he in order? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Let us debate in a proper manner so that we convince each other. Please, do not ask the Chair to make a ruling on an issue that he is not conversant with. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think that the hon. Minister responsible will take into account the views expressed and address them when he gives his response.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Can you continue, hon. Member.

Ms Kalima: Long live, Mr Chair.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, there was a statement by the PF that it was doing this business. If it is not, then, I apologise, but if it is, then, obviously it is benefiting. 


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I also need to deal with the issue of who the loser is or who the one bearing the burden is. Firstly, the losers are you and me, the ordinary consumers, because we are paying unnecessarily highly. Secondly, the industry is also losing out. 

Sir, it is no wonder that mining companies are threatening to lay off 2,000 workers. Today, on the internet, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) said that it has placed 600 miners on temporary suspension and the reason is that the fuel that is coming here is too expensive. If it had the freedom to get fuel elsewhere, it would get it at a cheaper cost and, therefore, do away with the pressure of having to fire people.

Mr Speaker, another group of people who are losing out are the youth. They are in need of jobs in this country, but how can transporters hire more drivers to ferry copper to the oceans when the price of fuel is so expensive that they cannot compete with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana? The youth are suffering as a result of the removal of this subsidy …

Dr Kaingu: Mwamvela ka?

Dr Musokotwane: … that we are now paying to the Government.

Mr Speaker, the Treasury is also suffering because of the distortions. We cannot get new hotels and universities coming here, therefore, the number of jobs that should be created to broaden the tax base is shrinking. All these are the sectors that are suffering.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the Government, which said it is here for the poor people, needs to demonstrate that commitment to the Zambian people. How can the Government quickly forget about those who hardly eat today, the orphans and the old people? 

Sir, I wish His Honor the Vice-President was here so I could make an appeal to him. You have snatched the porridge from the little four-year old girl I talked about earlier who needed to eat it before going to school. That porridge may not be important to you, but that is what makes the difference between that child being a prostitute twenty years from today and being educated like the hon. Ministers there (pointed at the hon. Ministers).

Mr Speaker, my appeal to this Government is for it to give that plate of porridge back to the girls.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: The plate of porridge is more important than the by-elections on which it is spending money. Give the plate back to the children.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker, arguments over the removal of subsidies usually tend to be academically more superior and are very appealing to the unsuspecting. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Who wrote that for you?


Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, subsidies are usually applied when an economy is fragile or sliding into recession.

Mr Mumba: Tell them!

Mr Mpundu: This usually happens in order to cushion the people from the negative effects of the economy. Subsidies are also applied when a government has no credible solutions to the problems people are faced with.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Hear, hear! ‘No solutions’ is what you have.


Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, the Government has a good case for removing or reducing subsidies. First of all, it is part of the PF style of country management … 

Mr L. J. Ngoma rose on a point of order.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mumba: Iwe, ikalapanshi.

Mr Mpundu: ... which is aimed at doing two things. The first one is to reposition the economy.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised. However, please, let us not debate through points of order. I hope that we can have enough time to speak.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, I am wondering how the hon. Member from the PF, who happens to be part of the Government, can support this Motion by indicating that subsidies are applied when a government has got no solutions like the PF.


Mr L. J. Ngoma: Is he in order to start speaking against his own Government?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

That is why I am saying we should debate very calmly. The mover of the Motion on the Floor is trying to seek support even from my right. So, if my right wants to support the Motion, then, it is not in order to question them.


Mr Deputy Speaker: The idea here is to debate. Let us put our views across and, at the end of the day, we will know which way the Motion will go.

Hon. Member, continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Long live Chair.

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, thank you for protecting me.

Mr Speaker, as I was saying, this Government has a very good case to remove or reduce subsidies.

Hon. Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, I was saying it is part of this Government’s style of country management which is aimed at doing two things which are repositioning the economy through diversification and re-orienting the people towards self-reliance.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, taxes have been lowered and that has been done for the purpose of putting more money in people’s pockets …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mpundu: … so that they can cushion the effects of negative economic developments. The other measure is the removal of subsidies. 

Mr Speaker, attainment of the lower middle-income status means that this country is now eligible for more debt than aid. What this Government is trying to do is avoid getting this country back into the debt trap and this is a good thing.

Sir, this country is experiencing relative micro-economic stability …

Mr Livune: Question.

Mr Mpundu: … such that the environment has become suitable for the removal of subsidies …

Mr Livune: Question.

Mr Mpundu: ... because the negative effects arising would not be large enough to disturb the economic system. It would continue to enjoy relative stability amongst problems. 

Mr Speaker, arguments for the reinstatement of the subsidy should, instead be urging the Government to continuously find ways of sourcing cheaper suppliers of fuel for this country. For example, they should be urging the Government to set up sugar plantations so that we have ethanol produced in this country. When that is done, we shall have cheaper petrol produced. They should also be talking of setting up palm oil plantations and we can have bio-diesel and cheaper sources of fuel.

Mr Speaker, they should also be talking of facilitating the setting up of financial services, preferably in each district. If you look at the case of Rwanda, it has about 416 savings and credit organisations (SACOs). They are everywhere. The outreach is across the entire country. This means that loans are available everywhere and for everybody. In that country, the kind of subsidies we talk about here are not there. For them, the aspect of maize production which is subsidised is the cost of transport cost up to a farm gate. It is also possible to do it here in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, our colleagues must also be talking of urging this Government to diversify agriculture and this should be through a process of stimulus. These subsidies which have been removed could then be transferred elsewhere so that we support other subsectors of the agricultural sector. Subsidies, wherever they have been applied, have not been a permanent fixture like our colleagues are trying to make us believe. In developed countries, subsidies are applied because they have reached a saturation point and, besides, they can afford them. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, as I am a man of few words, I do not want to spend so much of my time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: Sir, in conclusion, I would like to say that this Government of His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, will leave a foot print of excellence, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: … in terms of economic management in order to create a better life for all. His Excellency the President and his Government are trying to create a country in which you and I will not need to be rich in order to enjoy a good life after we have left Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to speak a little on this very important Motion moved by the prolific hon. Member for Solwezi Central and …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member who is on the Floor cannot be heard. Can we, please, be silent.

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Nkombo: … seconded by Hon. Ambrose Lufuma, Member of Parliament for Kabompo West.

Mr Speaker, it is important that we engage effectively on this Motion. My plea to my colleagues on your right hand side is for them to allow me to make my points so that, maybe, with a speck of luck, what I am trying to deliver to this House today may reach the heart and soul.  

Sir, realising that the mover indicated, in no uncertain terms, that his Motion was serving a purpose of realising savings and earnings elsewhere other than removing the subsidy, is the point at which I want to start my debate. Also, I want to address the Government which, in its quest to take the Executive wing of the three arms of the Government, was very clear on how it would manage to amass its votes with very straightforward and piercing messages such as ‘more money in your pockets’, ‘lower taxes’ and ‘ninety days’. 


Mr Nkombo: Sir, unless I am wrong, I stand to be corrected, in order for me not to attract a point of order, I read the PF Manifesto, but I did not see or understand where the removal of subsidies is included. In order to reinforce my argument, I want to emphasise that some people believe that trial and error is quicker than reading the manual. What I mean by this is simply that when you are in a trial and error mode, you are likely to get things going, but systems may malfunction along the way and you will be forced to go back to read the manual. 

Mr Speaker, having said so, the mover of the Motion indicated that subsidies mainly serve one purpose which is to ameliorate a balance between the rich and the poor. In this particular case, we strongly believe that the fuel and the agriculture input subsidies served as a safety valve for social protection in a country where Hon. Mpundu, and I salute him for having stood up to debate because that is what I encourage other hon. Members to do, indicated that subsidies are only relevant in an economy which is fragile.

Ms Lubezhi: Yes!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the Zambian economy is fragile and there is no doubt about it. Having a situation that does not encourage value-addition on our raw materials is one of the definitions of a fragile economy. This is where you do not get optimum value of whatever you produce, but the people who add the value on the raw products. A living example is that the source of covering these subsidies will reside in, for instance, desisting from giving investors unnecessary tax holidays. In Mazabuka, we had a big mine which was called Albidon Mine. It was given a huge tax holiday to allow it to settle down and that has been the trend of every successive Government. That is a way in which you can balance up between this investor and the poor guy in Shakapinka Village in Mazabuka. 

Sir, any economy that is fragile does not permit the absorption of graduates from tertiary level, be it mainstream academics or even vocational and skills training. This economy does not manage to absorb those who graduate. They remain dependants. I am sure that, in this House, there are hon. Members faced with a situation where the average number of dependants, who have gone through a school system, goes beyond six. Whether they live in their homestead or outside, they support them remotely. This does not only apply to you, hon. Members of Parliament alone, but to a teacher as well. Where we have an economy of a citizenry that has been ravaged by the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic, we have a lot of orphans that have gone through a school system, but cannot get a job. They need to be cushioned. 

Sir, in an economy where you, the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, decides against seeing the sense in not protecting Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited and removing the 25 per cent that I have been singing about on the importation duty on finished oil products such as petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas and Jet A1, 300 jobs get protected against 13 million Zambians. Hon. Dr Musokotwane belaboured to simplify the argument by indicating that the cost of fuel in this country is superficial. That is basically what he was saying. Out of the countries in the region whose fuel prices he gave, only Zambia claims to have a refinery. You call it a refinery, but it is simply a separator. Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi do not have refineries. Why, therefore, should fuel in Zambia be US$1.83?

Mr Livune: Shame!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, give me the reason fuel in Zambia must be US$1.83 when the regional average is around US$1.20. Where is the 60 cents going? I think that is the question the hon. Member fofrLiuwa was trying to ask.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Someone is putting that money in his pocket. Let us be candid with each other here. Someone either does not know his job or he is putting the money in his pocket. It is simply that. Fuel in this country must be sold at US$1.20 per litre. That is the bottom line. Why should it be US$2 or K10 per litre, and yet you want to say that we will protect Indeni’s operations? Shut it down.

Sir, sometimes, we agree with our colleagues on your right hand side. This is because I remember very vividly when His Honour the Vice-President indicated that if he had his way, he would have Indeni closed. The Government should liberalise the importation of fuel so that this 60 cents does not go missing. Someone in this establishment is sitting pretty with 60 cents per litre. 

Hon. Mwale: Shame!

Mr Nkombo: That is a lot of money. There is no argument about the fact that Zambia is landlocked, just like Malawi. However, there is something wrong with the procurement process.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Let us bite the bullet and speak the truth. The issue of confusing Zambians about removing the subsidy on fuel does not arise to me.

Sir, we are in an economy where retirees get their monies posthumously.

Hon. Government Member: Aah!

Mr Nkombo: It is a fragile economy. I am trying to buttress Hon. Mpundu’s argument. How else can one think of an economy where retirees get their benefits posthumously other than fragile?

 Mr Ng’onga: Question!

Mr Nkombo: Explain to me. In economies that are not fragile, one goes home with their pay cheque on their last day of work. 

Mr Livune: Yes.

Mr Nkombo: That is what happens. Who is going to take care of the family of that person who is going to be retired and only get his benefits posthumously? He has children to look after.

Mr Speaker, this subsidy on fuel is cross cutting. Hon. Ministers have argued that the subsidy on fuel has been benefitting only the haves and not the have nots. The solution lies in liberalising the importation of fuel. If you think that the 25 per cent importation levy is something that you direly need, at least, reduce it to 15 per cent. This is because we are talking about millions of litres of oil that we consume in this country. You should consider doing some mathematics and reduce the importation duty from 25 per cent if you want Indeni to survive. There are so many people who have opened their gullets, wanting to supply oil here. It should not be the preserve of the Government. It is a recipe for corruption. Whether you like it or not, it is a recipe for corruption. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Nkombo: Trial and error is never better than reading the manual. Please, read the manual. The manual book that I am talking about are the facts on the ground.

Mr Speaker, there were arguments by members of this Government at the time His Excellency the President asked them to go round the country to explain the removal of subsidies. An hon. Minister stated that the people who were insisting on keeping the subsidies were those who drove bigger engines and gallivanted, I am sorry I am quoting, from one bar to another, benefitting from the cost of fuel.

Sir, the hon. Minister forgot that even the poorest of the poor, from time to time, have to use motorised vehicles to move from place to place. For them to go to the hospital, they need to get on a mini bus. It may be important to understand that the squalor that we are experiencing in this capital city of Zambia, Lusaka, is going to be worsened by the removal of the subsidies, and I will explain what I mean.

Mr Speaker, children who used to get on buses from Matero to Kabulonga Girls Secondary School now have to walk because their parents cannot afford to put them on a bus every day. They cannot do that anymore. This is because it is supposed to be a matter of budgeting.

Sir, if you looked at the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) Basic Needs Basket, you would realise that it stands at a certain amount of money. Transportation of children, especially the girl child that Hon. Dr Musokotwane talked about, is now difficult and they have to walk to school.

Mr Livune: Without porridge. 

Mr Nkombo: Once darkness sets on any material day, they will start hiking and become vulnerable. They become vulnerable to sugar daddies. 

Hon. Mwale: Oh, yeah.

Mr Nkombo: They become vulnerable to those who have motorised vehicles and get abused. This is the manual that I am saying that you should have read before going on trial and era. These results of social disconnection shall soon manifest as a result of the high cost of living that you have imposed upon the people of Zambia. The hon. Member for Liuwa has clearly explained why Zambians must know, from this moment, that they are the ones subsidising the PF Government on the cost of fuel. 

Mr Speaker, what is the justification of having three hon. Deputy Ministers in one ministry?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Give me the reason people should overcrowd an office when there are Permanent Secretaries, directors, senior personnel and middle-level employees in their offices. When you look at our sitting arrangement, you will realise that most hon.  Members from the Ruling Party are seated on our side because their side is blOATEDed. The party has oversubscribed and it is using the taxpayers’ money to carry on with its business.

Mr Speaker, this is one area where the hon. Member for Solwezi Central suggested that we find alternative sources of income and leave the subsidies as they are. The target groups on subsidies have been eluded by the action of the PF to remove the subsidies. Poverty is not going to be dealt with. I bet you with my bottom kwacha that this particular policy change will not serve the poor. 
Ms Imenda: At all.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, with regard to the argument that we are currently having, Mr Magande, the former hon. Minister of Finance, once said that poverty is in various categories. There is poverty of the spirit, the poor in spirit; poverty of the mind; poverty of intellect; poverty of reason; and also poverty of judgment. 

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: I think that our colleagues have passed the test of inadequacy in their judgment regarding subsidies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, the Government argued that the windfall tax was going to injure the mining investment. The same Government is now arguing that the mining investments are the biggest beneficiaries of the fuel subsidies. Tell me if that is not a contradiction. 

Mr Livune: Poverty of the mind.

Mr Nkombo: If the Government wants to save money from the mines, I challenge it to introduce the windfall tax, as an alternative measure for revenue, then reinstate the subsidies. 

Sir, my nephew whose parents are dead, got a distinction at Grade 12 and went to university and graduated with a merit, but cannot get a job. Who is going to look after him if not the Government through subsidies? Every single person’s life, unless he or she lives in the bush like the late Mailoni Brothers, …


Mr Nkombo: … hinges on energy, fuel. 

Mr Speaker, even food prices have gone up, today, because the farm gate price into the market is determined by cost, insurance, handling and freight. For a person to deal with freight, he or she has to put a litre of something in the automated machine to move from point A to point B. This is cost addition. Any value-addition on one hand translates to cost addition. 

Mr Speaker, look at them (pointed at hon. Government Members) …

Dr Kaingu: So many!

Mr Nkombo: They are so many. One ministry has three or four hon. Deputy Ministers. Why can you not show some prudence?

Mr Speaker, I will not even delve into the issue of by-elections because the country is aware that by-elections, even though allowed by law …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo:  Sir, I am about to make a point. 

Mr Kaingu: Are being induced! 

Mr Nkombo: Some by-elections are being induced by biscuits. 


Mr Nkombo: Big people with children at home are succumbing to biscuits and sweets.

Mr Livune: Imagine!

Mr Nkombo: I think that this is another avenue where we can save money, dear colleagues. 

As I conclude, I want to thank the House for listening to me. Do bear in mind, however, that I have got unfettered support for this Motion. If the UPND was in the Executive wing of the Government, …

Mr Shamenda: If wishes were horses!

Mr Nkombo: If wishes were horses, quite alright, Hon. Shamenda. I hear you, but I will be polite today. 

Mr Speaker, if the UPND were in the Government, today, we would not touch the subsidies. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: We would find alternative ways of cushioning the challenges that our nationals face.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I have an independent hon. Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi indicating. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, thank you …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Lubansenshi, please, sit down for the time being. 

Hon. Members, this is an issue which I know all of you appreciate. It is an issue on which we can take three to four days debating. However, I want you to understand the intensity of the difficulty I have. Already, I have ten notes from individuals on both my right and left asking me to let them debate. You know what this means. 

In view of the fact that we have one more Motion on the Order Paper, I want to appeal to both my right and left that after the Independent hon. Member of Parliament has spoken, the four meant to speak on my right, in answer to the Motion, be cut down to two to wind up before we move on. Otherwise, we will be debating the whole day. 

The hon. Member for Lubansenshi may proceed. 

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I thank you for recognising me as an Independent hon. Member of Parliament, representing the people of Lubansenshi. 

Mr Speaker, the last time I spoke about subsidies, I was almost arrested. 

Mr Mulenga: Balikucita bwino.

Mr Mucheleka: As I was trying to explain what subsidies were to the people that had read about them in my constituency, the police tried to arrest me …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mucheleka: … because, as far as they were concerned, instructions had been issued to arrest me for misleading people on the issue. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Sure!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, Catholics have a magazine called “Icengelo” or light. In the last edition of the magazine, there was an article on subsidies and people read and realised that, after all, the poor are now subsidising the rich. 

Mr Speaker, who does not know that everywhere, in the world, including developed countries, subsidies are there? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, last time I gave an example of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, where, on a daily basis, an average of 1 billion Euros is spent to subsidise the farmers. If you compute this amount, for a year, you have 365 billion Euros per year. 

Mr Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament who spoke earlier advanced very important arguments led by my friend, Hon. Lucky Mulusa, Member of Parliament for Solwezi Central. Why should the Government introduce subsidies mid-stream when it is already implementing the Annual Budget? This merely shows how inconsistent it is. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: The Government suffers from policy inconsistency. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: The Government should make its policies known well in advance. 

When we approved the 2013 Budget, there was no mention of the removal of subsidies. How, then, does the Government remove subsidies on maize and fuel when the Budget is already under implementation? It merely shows that it does not have a proper policy direction on anything. 


Mr Mucheleka: At least, try to show that you can be consistent on certain things. 

Mr Speaker, a statement like “this Government is pro-poor” is heavily loaded. However, the truth is that Zambians are very rational. 

Zambians, today, are even more rational, objective and alert than they were, perhaps, in September, 2011. So, no amount of lies or misinformation will convince them. They know what it means for the Government to remove subsidies. We all know that the Government has, perhaps, signed collective agreements with the labour unions, but that has been postponed to September, this year, if that is the position. However, if you abruptly remove subsidies from maize and fuel, the cost of doing business and commodity prices will go up. It merely means that the poor people are going to be paying more. The workers are going to be paying more.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Nkombo referred to the JCTR Basic Needs Basket. When you look back, the basic needs basket for last month was different from that of three months ago. This means that the poor, because of the removal of subsidies, have become poorer. We all know that the majority of the poor are in rural areas. These are the people who are now paying more for transport. The fact that the cost of transport has gone up means that the spiral effect has affected literally every commodity and people are paying more for services. In the meantime, the money that they are getting into their pockets is actually less. You must tell people that when the PF said more money in their pockets, it actually meant less money or no money in people’s pockets because it has basically taken away …

Hon. Government Members interjected.

Ms. Kalima: Hammer!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, Hon. Mulusa has given various options that can be considered in order to increase our revenue rather than taking away from the poor, and yet go ahead and misinform them about putting more money into infrastructure development. In project management or economics, there is what we call net present value. You cannot postpone resolving a problem that is here today to ten years down the line. It does not work like that.

Mr Livune: They do not understand that!

Mr Mucheleka: Sir, what people might want is the ability to derive the benefits today. The Government has to cushion the people’s problems. When we are talking about increasing revenue, have we not talked about the issue of windfall tax? Who does not know, for instance, that it is the poor people who are subsidising the mining companies? When the Government borrows a US$750 million Euro Bond, who is going to pay back that money? Is it not the Zambian people who will, eventually, have to pay and where is it being invested? Is the Government not saying that it wants to improve the road infrastructure? Who is using those roads it is improving? Is it not the mining companies? So, why is the Government not able to collect sufficient resources from those mining companies through windfall tax so that they can contribute towards road construction as well as the energy capacity? That is what we should be talking about.

Sir, at the rate we are going, we are approaching the issue from many angles. Firstly, the Government is increasing external borrowing and, at the same time, squeezing the people who are already poor and taking advantage of the high levels of illiteracy. Zambians know and are able to see what is happening. The majority of us come from rural constituencies. In Lubansenshi, the people know that, from the time the Government removed subsidies, they have begun to pay more for commodities and services. That is a fact you cannot dispute. There is no amount of misinformation that they will buy because they are able to feel it. They are paying more for mealie-meal.

Ms Kalima: Quality.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, those are the issues we should be talking about and the options to reverse the situation are many. This is why you need to consider the wide range of options that were suggested by Hon. Mulusa. Take your time. We are able to give you ideas as we are doing right now. Do not just be dismissive. Sit down and look at the issues we have presented here. You may pick something from there. 

Mr Speaker, most important is the issue of corruption. When you talk about corruption, who is bearing the brunt? It is still the poor people.

Ms Kalima: Mukokolepo apo.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, there are all those deals that are perceived to be corrupt. Hon. Nkombo has talked about 60 cents. You need to look at that and ask whether there is anyone benefiting from that.

Mr Sikazwe: Iwe, Mucheleka, wayamba ukutufulunganya.

Mr Mucheleka: We must be talking about corruption because, ultimately, it is still the poor people who have to pay. For example, after borrowing the Euro Bond and using the funds on a project that is of a sub-standard nature, the Zambian people still have to pay more. Every payment is being made by the Zambians through the careless contracting of some of this external debt. It is the poor Zambian people who still have to bear the brunt. So, when the Government prides itself in being pro-poor, it must demonstrate that, indeed, it cares for the poor. Political rhetoric will not buy it the support of the Zambian people. They want practical measures on how their poverty is going to be addressed. For instance, in the agricultural sector, which requires to be adequately funded, will the requirements of the 2003 Maputo Declaration, which has always been talked about, be achieved, come the 2014 Budget, when subsidies are removed? Will the Government, then, say that it removed subsidies and point to the Zambians at the areas where the money saved would have been spent? In the event that the Government will not be able to do this, how will Zambians know that, indeed, it removed subsidies because it wanted to improve the agricultural sector and build the roads?

Sir, those are the issues we should be talking about. Most importantly, it is all about governance. There is a need to strengthen the institutions of governance so that all these issues of corruption are dealt with. That is what you need to do when you are talking about removing subsidies. You also need to ensure that every cent that is allocated for a particular sector is utilised prudently.

Mr Speaker, we are a fragile economy. Hon. Mpundu says Zambia is a fragile economy and I thank you for admitting that. 

Mr Sikazwe: But why are you arguing?

Mr Mucheleka: That is the more reason we need to be very careful in terms of how we utilise our resources. We are not going to have unnecessary or induced by-elections which can be avoided. Do we really have to spend K150 million on induced by-elections? Do you not think that money can be spent prudently by improving the service delivery in this country through the institution that you have set up? So, these are the serious issues.

Mr Speaker, this is a very well-intended Motion and any Zambian or hon. Member of Parliament who, indeed, represents the poor people of Zambia should be able to support it. 

Sir, with those remarks, I wish to thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to add my voice to this debate and represent the women in the House and, indeed, in the nation. Before the PF came to power, it rode on fake promises such as more money in people’s pockets, like many other people have said. Other promises included more jobs and more fertiliser, under the FISP, in order to increase agricultural production. It promised that fertiliser, under the FISP, would be increased from eight to sixteen bags per package. The farmers were, indeed, overwhelmed and excited, and believed this. Hence, they gave the PF their votes in 2011. 

Mr Speaker, alas, barely two years down the line, the PF Government has failed the people of Zambia. It has failed to live up to the promises it made to the people of Zambia. Instead, the Government has decided to do the opposite of what it promised.


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, as I debate, I want to concentrate on the reduction of the amount the Government will be contributing towards fertiliser subsidies. Instead of giving the farmers the sixteen bags of fertiliser, as promised, the Government has, instead, decided to increase the farmers’ contribution from K50 to K100 per bag of fertiliser. This makes it very difficult for a poor farmer in Kaputa and Kasenengwa. This has been done under the pretext that the Government will allocate the funds saved from subsidies towards infrastructure. 

Mr Speaker, I stand here to challenge the PF Government and entirely assure the nation that, come 2016, this shall not come to pass. The people of Zambia will know the sort of Government we have at the moment. I speak like this because we have seen a number of launches and groundbreaking ceremonies which have yielded nothing. I can assure you that this will continue and the infrastructure that the Ruling Party is talking about shall not come to pass.

Mr Speaker, we feel that the removal of subsidies was not timely because it has been done at a time when farmers have had very low yields. The PF Government performed very badly in the distribution of inputs under the FISP. This programme was done very wrongly and most of the farmers did not receive their inputs in time. Therefore, we have seen that the maize yield, this year, will go down. 

However, being the uncaring Government that it is, it decided to remove the maize subsidy at the wrong time. I say it is the wrong time because it was done immediately after the removal of the fuel subsidy which pushed the prices of various goods and services upwards. The Government did not even consider going around the country to explain why this fuel subsidy had been removed and give the Zambian people time to adjust. Instead, we heard the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock come through and tell the people that the PF was, again, going to inflict more pain on them by increasing the farmers’ contribution towards the FISP. 

Mr Speaker, the people of Kasenengwa are crying. I took a tour of my constituency and, being a very caring hon. Member of Parliament, …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Ms Kalima: … I went around explaining the implications of this measure. Hon. Minister Malozo Sichone can bear me witness because I even attended one of his meetings in Chipata when he addressed people at a market. Since I am a caring hon. Member of Parliament, I wanted to hear what the PF Government had to explain and, thereafter, explain it to my people. However, I could not pick anything from that explanation.


Ms Kalima: Nonetheless, I went around my constituency and explained in all the seven wards, the removal of the maize subsidy and what it meant. 

Mr Speaker, I want to repeat that the people of Kasenengwa are crying. They are disappointed with the PF Government and are regretting that they ever voted for this Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, they are regretting because they have failed to understand how the Government could just come in and untimely remove subsidies without explaining or bothering to make the people of Zambia understand this action. Meanwhile, the PF has money for by-elections and to bring in more hon. Deputy Ministers. I even explained to my constituents that the Government has money to give each hon. Minister a brand new car and many other benefits that come with that position. The people of Kasenengwa do not understand why the Government could not wait for next year to remove subsidies.

Mr Speaker, I wanted to concentrate on agriculture because tampering with agricultural production is killing the farmers. Most of the people …


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I think it is important that people, especially, on  my left hand side, listen so that …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!{mospagebreak}

Sometimes what you say also matters because it provokes others to start heckling. However, this is not to say that other hon. Members should be interjecting when she is talking. Please, hon. Member, we must live by our social contract. So, I hope that you are about to finish.

You may continue.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I appreciate your guidance, especially that I still have twelve more minutes.


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

That is the kind of thing that I detest. You are forcing me to say what I should not say. You must remember that I had said that, after the Independent hon. Member, I was meant to allow hon. Members on my right, but I gave you a chance. Therefore, I think that it is not fair for you now to begin reneging.

Can you continue.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the people of Lundazi are also crying.


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the removal of subsidies on fertiliser is killing the farmers because most of the farmers in rural areas have no other income apart from farming. They depend on farming to send their children to school, contribute to the food basket in the community and for many other things that they would want to do. The reduction has really affected them because they do not know where they will get the extra KR50 to top up on their previous contribution.

Mr Speaker, the removal of subsidies on the amount of maize that will be bought by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), this year, moving from 1,200 to 500 metric tonnes, will affect the farmers negatively in the sense that only a few farmers will be able to sell their maize to the FRA. In the process, farmers will get desperate and sell their maize at a lower price. You can see, therefore, that the removal of subsidies was very untimely. This year, the Government should have taken time to explain to farmers and prepare them for consequences and, maybe, implement it next year. I want to emphasise the word ‘maybe’. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, with your guidance, I just want to urge the PF Government to reconsider, especially, the removal of the subsidy on fertiliser because most farmers in rural areas depend entirely on fertiliser for their well-being.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, leaving nine minutes for others to debate, I beg to submit.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, I would like to oppose the Motion which is on the Floor and, in so doing, I would like to say that Zambia has experienced a strong economic recovery and robust growth in the past ten years, …

Mr Livune: Question!

Ms Kapata: … but this has had little impact on the high rate of poverty. There is extreme inequality in the standard of living among urban and rural areas, the small emerging middle class and those of the rest of the population. 

Mr Mucheleka: Abamulembele nababepa.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the persistent failure of the growth benefits to reach the poor suggests that the time is right to try new approaches, including the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: The PF Government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, is keen to re-examine the country’s strategy for development and help the poorest in society. 

Mr Speaker, a recent study by the World Bank examined the major programmes that directly transferred resources, either in kind or in cash, to households in Zambia and assessed their impact on extreme poverty. The study revealed that over US$130 million was spent on subsidised fertiliser and seed to farmers and benefits go almost entirely to non-poor households. For example, my ministry runs the Food Security Pack Programme which aids the vulnerable. With the removal of subsidies, a lot of vulnerable people will be able to benefit from this programme. We also have the Social Cash Transfer which is only in fifteen districts in Zambia. With the removal of subsidies, …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order on my left!

Ms Kapata: … we are going to scale it up to more districts. This means that we are going to reach a lot of people who will benefit by 2016.

Mr Speaker, in the days of UNIP, there was the School Health Nutrition Programme (SHNP), but it was removed with the coming of the MMD. The PF Government has decided to re-launch the SHNP so that children can be eating from school and, in turn, be encouraged to go to school. 

Sir, I noticed that Hon. Dr Musokotwane belaboured this point when he knows very well that when he was hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, he was the one who stopped the SHNP ... 

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: … which the PF Government is trying to restart.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am very constrained, as a matter of fact, to raise this point of order on Hon. Kapata for reasons that she knows. She is my sister in-law. Hon. Kapata is aware, being an hon. Member of Parliament serving a second term, that regulations …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, Hon. Nkombo! You rose on a point of order. What is it?

Mr Nkombo: She is aware that regulations …

Mr Deputy Speaker: No, what is your point of order?

Mr Nkombo: … do not permit her to refer to past occupations of hon. Members of Parliament. That is a fact. It is in our regulations.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Can you, please, raise your point of order?

Mr Nkombo: Is she in order to continue speaking about Hon. Musokotwane’s former employment in making her point? I need a serious ruling.

Mr Deputy Speaker: The point is taken. It is true that one of our rules inhibits us from doing as stated by the hon. Member. Therefore, Hon. Kapata, you may continue with that point in mind.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: Hammer!

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, with the fuel subsidy, the Government has been subsidising the rich who have cars and buy fuel. With the removal of the fuel subsidy, the Government should now subsidise the poor who have no cars or depend on motorised transport. 


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the main argument for the removal of subsidies is that …

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

Mr Mutale: Ba Lungwangwa, ikaleni!

Mr Mushanga: Abana balelila!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

You know, I think that we are really exceeding the norm. You see, they are now actually responding to your submissions. These are addressing specific issues relating to their ministries. This is why I thought that we should give them time to answer. If we are going to raise points of order, we will not finish. All the same, you can raise your point of order.

A point of order is raised.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister for Community Development, Mother and Child Health in order to misinform the nation that the SHNP was removed by the MMD Government when, in fact, that programme has been intact in the ministry? In addition, the MMD Government introduced a school feeding programme. Is Hon. Jean Kapata, who happens to be my sister and was my junior at school, in order to stand on the Floor of this House to misinform the nation in such a manner? I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: You have adequately debated your point of order.

The hon. Minister may continue

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the money saved will be used to develop and rebuild the much-needed infrastructure in our country. The Government will transfer huge savings from subsidies to other areas in need such as construction of roads, revamping of the railway systems sector, rural electrification, construction of hospitals, clinics, schools and other training institutions …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order on my left, please.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Ms Kapata: … and providing them with medical equipment, essential drugs and general overhaul of all major infrastructure within the country. 

Furthermore, with the removal of subsidies, the Government will save money and ensure equitable distribution of resources, especially in rural parts of the country where the most vulnerable people are found.

Mr Speaker, the removal of subsidies is being done in order to ensure that scarce resources are effectively used to develop social and economic infrastructure that can bring about development that will benefit everyone, including the most vulnerable in the society.

Mr Speaker, clearly, the current subsidies were not poverty-focused as they were almost all going into the better off society.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to state that what the Government has done is in the best interest of the majority of Zambians who are the poor and we need to ensure that resources meet their needs rather than subsidising the rich, especially those seated on your left.

With these few words, I oppose the Motion on the Floor and thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.

Mr Mwewa rose.

Hon. Opposition Members: Which one?


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

The person I have on my list is Hon. Kazabu, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.

Hon. Opposition Members: They are too many!

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, I thank you. Let me preface my debate by stating to this House that the issue of maize subsidies, in particular, is predicated on two principles, namely affordability and sustainability. That said, let me state, from the outset, that a subsidy is an ad hoc measure. In other words, this is a measure that is taken in order to take care of force majeure situation or unforeseen circumstances. At the time when the maize subsidies were introduced, they were in two forms. By the way, I will restrict my debate to the maize subsidies only …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Kazabu: … because that is what I am conversant with. The first one was payment made through the FISP by the Central Government to producers of agriculture products for the purpose of stabilising food prices, ensuring increased food production, guaranteeing farmers’ basic income and, in general, to strengthen the agriculture sector in the economy. These were implemented from the 2002/2003 Farming Season through the procurement of agriculture inputs mainly for maize at full market prices. These inputs were distributed  to selected small-scale farmers at prices way below the market prices. This included full subsidies on transportation to each district and to the nearest point to each farmer through the primary co-operative societies and other farmer organisations. 

Mr Speaker, as pointed out above, the production subsidy was premised on the poor performance of agriculture production in the mid to late 1990s, arising from successive drought in major crop production areas and floods in some districts. This, in turn, led to the erosion of the farmers’ asset base, as they attempted to counter mitigate the effects of the poor weather conditions during that period. Furthermore, the implementation of this producer subsidy was initially intended to last for a period of between three and four years, after which it was envisaged that the farmers’ asset base would have been restored for them to effectively procure various agriculture inputs of their choice from the market. However, because this programme became highly politicised, ...

Hon. Opposition Member: By who?

Mr Kazabu: ... the subsidy element, instead of increasing with the corresponding Government subvention, was allowed to increase at a huge and unsustainable Government cost.

Mr Speaker, the second element of the subsidy is the consumer subsidy which has largely been implemented through the selling of maize to major millers of meali-meal at a price much less than the purchase price through the FRA. Under this subsidy, while the Government managed to hold mealie-meal prices at prices which could be afforded by the consumers, it had become clear that the cost of managing this subsidy was not sustainable and was, in fact, not fully being passed to the intended target group, the consumers. 

Mr Speaker, the above subsidies have been a serious drain on both the National Budget and, in particular, the agriculture budget, as investment in the agriculture sector is heavily skewed towards maize. Other sub sectors such as infrastructure development, agriculture research, agriculture extension services, livestock development, and fisheries development, just to mention a few, remained under-funded. As a result, it became difficult for the Government to encourage the much-needed and more sustainable agriculture diversification due to the heavy subsidies on both production and consumption. The PF Government was, therefore, quick to notice this unsustainable trend of investment, which left very little resources to invest in other important sectors to complement a thriving and sustainable agriculture sector.

Mr Speaker, the measures taken by the Government are, therefore, intended to rationalise the use of resources both in the agricultural sector and also to ensure that other pre-requisite sectors important for agriculture growth begin to receive some fair share of the national cake.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to correct the impression which may have been created which implies that the Government has removed the production subsidy. On the contrary, the Government has only tried to improve the farmer contribution from the current K50 per 50 kg bag of fertiliser to a K100.

Mr. M. Malama: Question!

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, this move has only moved the farmer contribution from about 25 per cent to less than 50 per cent on all inputs. At this level of cost-sharing, the Government will be in a better position to service the farmers in terms of quality inputs, timeliness and choice than the current position.

Mr Speaker, this is, in fact, in line with the original design of the programme which should have ensured that the farmers pay up to 75 per cent of the input cost. They were there and they can bear witness to that statement. 

Mr Speaker, the consumer subsidy element was also not intended to last forever nor was it supposed to be implemented every year. The consumer subsidies are only supposed to be involved in periods when food prices rise beyond the reach of the consumer.

However, because, in the past, the Government crop buying programmes left few opportunities for the private sector, including millers, to purchase their own maize, there was an expectation that the Government would continue releasing maize to millers at lower prices than the market prices. However, this led to a distortion as the Government was buying maize at K65 per 50kg bag and later selling it to the millers at K60 per 50kg bag. 

In addition to selling the maize at a discount, the FRA had also been meeting all the costs related to transportation, storage, fumigation and handling of the maize. This has led to the FRA accumulating huge debt as it has been unable to operate efficiently and profitably in order to pay back its debt.

Mr Speaker, as a forward-looking and responsible Government, the PF places high priority on diversifying the agricultural sector away from one crop, namely maize, as enshrined in its manifesto. Currently, a significant proportion of expenditure in the agricultural sector is …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Just to remind you of the time in the social contract, can you continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: A significant proportion of expenditure in the agricultural sector is targeted at the promotion of maize. This has disadvantaged other crops such as rice, sorghum, cassava, millet, palm oil, soya beans, groundnuts, cotton, cashew nuts and pineapples, to mention, but just a few.

Mr Speaker, the resources that are to be freed from the removal of the subsidies will be spent on, among other areas, livestock development which hitherto has not been given its due consideration. 

Sir, there is the issue of irrigation development so that our people who live in arid regions, can also have the opportunity to grow some crops and sustain themselves at the household level.

Mr Speaker, the other money will be spent on research and extension which, at the moment, is not up to the level that the Government would like it to be.

Sir, there are also the post-harvest losses. Every marketing season, we lose about 30 per cent of all the maize that is bought through the FRA. We want to bring that to an end, hence part of the money will be spent on building additional storage sheds. Then, of course, infrastructure which is one of the core programmes of the Government.

Mr Speaker, with that contribution, I want to state to the House that the Government has made a prudent decision, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Kazabu: … and that being the case, therefore, I would like to appeal to the hon. Members on your left not to walk in the opposite direction.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kazabu:  Let us walk together and we all stand to benefit in the years ahead.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Motion which is currently on the Floor of this House.

Sir, from the outset, I want to register that I will not be part of supporting this Motion which is heavily defective, both in nature and content.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, as an hon. Deputy Minister in charge of disasters in this country, I would want to say that the Government, through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), will continue to subsidise citizens of Zambia in areas of need. For instance, we will continue repairing bridges that will be washed away. That is subsidising. We will also continue attending to blown-off roofs in clinics and schools. We will also continue to provide relief food in areas of need like Pemba, Sinazongwe, Luano Valley, Namwala, Kasenengwa and Shang’ombo.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Including television (TV) signal.

Mr Kalaba: Sir, it is important to understand that principles do not change. It does not matter where you might be sitting today, but it is important to note that principles should always be carried. I have, with me, a document that was done on 24 November, 2010, to be precise, which I will lay on the Table of the House. It was writtenby the then hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane.

Mrs Mwamba: Emwali?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, this document is the letter of intent which is the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policy and Technical Memorandum of Understanding. In this document, there is a letter to Mr Strauss-Kahn who, at that time, was the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, then, indicated that the Government had removed subsidies on maize. The document is here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mwila: Ebaume aba!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, on page 3 of the document, the then hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning wrote:

“Fiscal performance in 2010 was broadly in line with expectations other than the need to address the maize purchase late in the year. As of end September, 2010, domestic revenues had performed well and are expected to over perform by 9 per cent by the end of the year. This performance is attributed to higher collections under income and value- added taxes arising from the collection of tax arrears and an increase in tax collections from mining companies. Total expenditure was 7 per cent higher than budgeted as the Government faced additional expenditure pressures which included transfers to the FRA in order to finance maize purchases, the fuel subsidy early in 2010, which has since been removed, and numerous by-elections.”

Mr Speaker, in this document, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning then was telling the IMF that his Government had removed fuel subsidy. That was not telling the truth because he knew that they were going to elections in nine months time and had to be careful lest they lost elections which they eventually did. So, there was no need for them to do that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Twabula naimbi!


Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, allow me to quickly quote an extract which I got this morning from the internet on the situation of fuel, even in Saudi Arabia, as we speak. It says:

“The Saudi Arabia’s Economic Minister said that the country, famous for its oil wealth, should cut down fuel subsidies to lessen the burden on public finances and solve the problem of falling crude exports. Enormously high subsidies, resulting in extra-ordinarily cheap gasoline and power, have made Saudi Arabia the world’s sixth biggest consumer of oil, resulting in smaller economic output than most other oil-producing nations according to the World Bank. 

As a result, the Economy and Planning Minister, Mohammed, Al-Jasser, said that this has become an increasingly important issue as these subsidies have become increasingly distorting to our economy …” 

Now, this is Saudi Arabia which is oil-producing. Now, fyabula pa chipe, mumankombelesha emo walaikuta?

Hon. Government Members: Awe!


Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, this means that if you cooked a meal in a pot and it was filled to the brim, upon finishing eating and you are not satisfied would you be satisfied now that the meal is finished?

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Kalaba: The comparison, here, is that Zambia does not produce oil, but Saudi Arabia does. Saudi Arabia is saying that it wants to remove the distortions on the subsidies on oil. Therefore, the arguments that we are advancing in this House should be standing on firm ground. It is important that the people know the truth and that they understand that this was done for their own good.

Mr Speaker, I accompanied His Honor the Vice-President on a trip to Feira recently. We found broken-down vehicles at a chief’s palace and His Honour the Vice-President asked the chief what the problem was. The chief said that the problem was that the road is bad.

Ms Kalima: So?

Mr Kalaba: His Honour the Vice-President asked whether he would prefer subsidised fuel or a good road and the chief said anyone in their right senses would go for a better road.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the fact of the matter is that fuel is just a small component of the transport industry.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, the bigger components in the transport industry lie in the wear and tear of vehicles and that is why you find that it becomes very expensive for transportation. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kalaba: When that transporter is charging a farmer on a very bad road, they do not simply over charge them because of the pump price, but because the road is equally pathetic.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: There are various ways in which the transporter will evaluate the price.

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that we are standing on firm ground, as the Government, and that we have realised that it is important to remove these subsidies for the sake of posterity. Posterity has to judge us right and, by doing this, we are broadening the participation of citizens in the economy and also allowing even the poorest of the poor, whom most of the politicians have said they are representing, but have never represented. We want to have targeted subsidies … 

Hon. Members made gestures.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

What is happening on my right? The hon. Member cannot be heard. Even you, on the left, please, sober down.


Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, in winding up, I was saying that the PF Government wants to have targeted subsidies. It does not want to have even people who are brewing chibuku and that poor peasant who is always going to a hammer mill to grind mill to be benefiting from the subsidies that the Government is providing.

Sir, it is high time the poor were captured and subsidies, indeed, targeted the real poor and not the poor who eat cornflakes in the morning. I would like to lay this document on the Table of the House to prove that, sometimes, what you say and do will always follow you wherever you go.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! State Counsel.

Mr Kalaba laid the paper on the Table. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

The last on my right, the hon. Minster of Mines, Energy and Water Development, before I call on the mover of the Motion to wind up.

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, much has been said but, nonetheless, I would like to contribute to the debate.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Yaluma: Sir, firstly, we need to know why the fuel subsidy was introduced. 


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, in mid-2008, the world …


Hon. Government Member: Keep quiet.

Mr Yaluma: … price of oil went up to about US$150 per barrel.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

No matter how high he shouts, if you are making those noises, he will not be heard. Please, can we give him our attention. 

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Yaluma: I will try to translate.

Sir, due to the negative impact of this development, the Government introduced a temporary measure of fuel subsidies. This meant that fuel was being sold at a non-cost reflective price and, hence, items affected by fuel prices were not being sold at the right prices. Even though the measure was meant to be temporary, the country saw the cushioning of fuel subsidy lasting for more than five years now.

Sir, I will now outline why we cannot support the re-introduction of the subsidy as it is right now. 

Mr Speaker, for the first four months of 2013, the expenditure on fuel subsidies from the Treasury was about K1.2 billion, as highlighted by the first speaker, which converts into US$220 million. By the end of 2013, this amount would have been K2.4 billion, which is US$440 million. This level of expenditure cannot be afforded by the Treasury.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

On my right, please.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the fuel subsidy has, therefore, become unsustainable and cannot be reintroduced.

The amount of money which could have been spent in 2013 is equivalent to what is estimated to be the requirement for the re-investment into the Indeni Petroleum Refinery, which is US$440 million, in order to enable it to process normal crude oil as well as produce cleaner and environmentally-friendly fuel such as low sulphur diesel. 

Mr Speaker, investing in Indeni, for example, will bring long-term benefits that include lower fuel prices. The investment of US$410 million will bring benefits to fuel consumers and the country as a whole for many years unlike when the US$440 million would be spent in one year just to cushion the fuel consumers from higher fuel prices for one year only.

Mr Speaker, with the above example, it is clear why the Government opted to use the available scarce resources to invest in ventures that bring long-term benefits than and not those that merely cushion consumers for a short time. 

Sir, as earlier indicated, the condition that prevailed at the time the subsidy was introduced, was that the price of oil on the international market was at about US$150 per barrel compared to now when it is US$100 per barrel.

Mr Speaker, as it can be seen, there has been a huge expenditure on fuel subsidies which has been spent, as indicated by Hon. Mulusa when he opened up the debate. At the moment, a total of K2.5 billion has been spent and this expenditure could not be sustained by the Treasury.

Sir, despite removing the subsidy, the fuel in Zambia is the cheapest if you look around …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Kaingu: They are listening outside.

Mr Yaluma: ... if we look …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Yaluma: ... if we look at the prices in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi.

Mr Mwiimbu: Aah!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, as I speak, the petrol in Malawi costs US$2.0 and petrol in Zambia costs US$1.80. Diesel in Zambia is US$1.67 and US$1.93 in Malawi.

Mr Nkombo: Are we in Malawi?

Mr Yaluma: Kerosene in Zambia costs US$1.24 and US$1.58 in Malawi. This demonstrates that the fuel prices in Zambia are cheaper than in Malawi and the DRC.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

What I do not understand is that when the debater on my left was quoting those figures, we listened quietly. Now, we want to interject when the hon. Minister is quoting. Can we give him a time to speak.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the fuel …

Mr Mwiimbu: Order!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that, in Zambia, fuel is cheaper than in the DRC and Malawi. I think we all do realise that the national fuel supply and consumption pattern has been rising and, as such, that has been giving the direct rise in the cost of the subsidy. As it is, at the moment, our daily consumption of petrol has risen to about a million litres per day. Diesel consumption has gone up to a daily consumption of 2.0 million litres per day. Kerosene consumption has also gone up to 80 litres per day and Jet A1 fuel has also risen to 300,000 litres per day. This increase in the fuel consumption has directly impacted on the cost of the subsidy. It is going up year after year. We are also ensuring that we apply all the taxes applicable as a source of revenue. Currently, petrol attracts the highest excise duty at 36 per cent. 

Mr Speaker, some of the speakers highlighted that we are overdoing it on diesel. We have taken full consideration of the mine production and we have 10 per cent on kerosene as a direct way of returning the subsidy. There is no excise duty on kerosene which is utilised by most of our people. It is at zero excise duty.

Mr Speaker, in order to achieve long-term stable lower pump prices, we have decided to go ahead and accelerate the completion of the petroleum storage tanks, which we think will stabilise the pump prices in the long run. We will not have people queuing up in Ndola to get fuel. Fuel will be picked up from all over the country where these tanks are being put up. This will cut the cost of transportation for fuel. For that matter, the Lusaka tank is almost completed at K150 million and it will contain about 14 million litres of diesel. 

Mr Mwaamba entered the Chamber.

Hon. Opposition Members: Nshima!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I hope you are not implying that the hon. Member loves nshima more than others. 


The Deputy Chairperson: You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the Lusaka Depot is due for commissioning any time in the next two weeks. Mpika Depot is 6.5 million litres capacity and this is at a cost of KR50 million. It will be completed by the end of September. Solwezi Depot is 15.5 million litres capacity and the contract is currently mobilising to get on site. Mongu Depot is 6.5 million litres capacity at KR50 million and the contractor will soon be mobilising to get to the site. 

Sir, we are also concentrating on the bitumen plant which is at a cost K100 million and this will be completed before the end of 2013. On top of that, we have got bulk depots which are being earmarked for construction at Kapiri Mposhi, Kasama, Mansa, Chipata and Choma. All these will be at a cost of K250 million. The works which have not yet started will commence in 2014 and are earmarked to be completed by 2016.

Mr Speaker, once these deports are constructed, there will be a positive impact on the price of fuel as transport costs will be reduced. For example, fuel being imported from Tanzania does not have to go all the way to Ndola before being returned to consumers in the Muchinga and Northern provinces. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform hon. Members of this august House that there is a subsidy that has been retained. It has been scraped off and this is has been achieved through the uniform petroleum pricing. This subsidy has a defined target beneficiary group such as the following: 

(a)    targets 20 per cent of fuel consumers outside the line of rail in the rural areas;

(b)    almost 80 per cent of fuel consumers, mainly along the line of rail, are rural consumers; 

(c)    the subsidy is also manageable as it does not need direct funding from the Treasury;

(d)    the Government will, therefore, maintain this subsidy as it is beneficial and affordable; and

(e)    fuel consumption, an indicator of economic activity, in the rural areas has increased because of this subsidy. 
Sir, there are other measures being implemented to improve the cost fuel effectiveness and assure stability of supply.

Mr Speaker, the Government is offloading about 49 per cent shares in Indeni Refinery to raise funds for reinvestment. About US$410 million is required for immediate modernisation for the refinery which will lead to the following:

(a)    the refinery being able to refine normal crude oil other than only refining commingled crude stock, as I respond to what Hon. Nkombo was talking about;

(b)    reduce internal consumption of losses from the current 10 per cent to below 6 per cent, as per industry standards; and 

(c)    enable the refinery to produce cleaner fuels as per current international standards. 

Sir, the two governments of Zambia and Tanzania are looking for funds to reinvest in the Tanzania/Zambia Railway Authority (TAZAMA) Pipelines with a view to enable the pipeline to do the following:

(a)    increase its transfer capacity; and

(b)    reduce and eliminate incidences of pipeline links. 
Mr Speaker, having said that, I would like to make my comments to be known. We do not support the Motion and we will not reintroduce the subsidies. 

I thank you, Sir. 

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

Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, I sincerely thank you and in winding up debate, I would like to start by thanking the people of Luapula for the message they sent through their gallant son, Hon. Mbulakulima, to have this Motion introduced in the House.


Mr Mulusa: Mr Speaker, it is difficult for me to thank individual debaters and it will be disingenuous of me not to thank Hon. Kalaba for quoting a document of intent out of context and, therefore, providing the mere fact …


Mr Mulusa: … that for the MMD not to have implemented it, means that it was such a caring Government.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Sir, lastly, I wish to thank the debaters on this side of the House. I urge my fellow hon. Opposition Members not to lose heart because they represent 60 per cent of the majority of Zambians. Even if our seats are nullified, the Zambians have heard and they will bring us back to this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Sir, it would be not be very African for me not to thank the PF for campaigning for us without being asked to do so.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: I sincerely thank them and hope that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will not reprimand them for campaigning early.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!

Hon. Opposition Members called for a division.

Question that  in view of the hardships that ordinary citizens are currently facing as a result of the removal of subsidies, this this House urges the Government to reinstate the subsidies put and the House voted.

Ayes − (52)

Mr Antonio
Mr I. Banda
Mr W. Banda
Mr Belemu
Mr Chipungu
Mr Chisanga
Brig-Gen.Dr Chituwo
Mrs Chungu
Mr Habeenzu
Mr Hamududu
Mr Hamudulu
Mr Hamusonde
Ms Imenda
Dr Kaingu
Mr Kakoma
Ms Kalima
Mr Katambo
Mr Katuka
Dr Kazonga
Mr Kunda
Mr Livune
Ms Lubezhi
Mr Lufuma
   Prof. Lungwangwa
Mr M. Malama
Mrs Mazoka
Mr Mbewe
Mr Mbulakulima
Mr Milambo
Mr Miyanda
Mr Mooya
Mr Mucheleka
Mr Muchima
Mr Mufalali
Mr Mulomba
Mr Mulusa
Dr Musokotwane
Mr Mutelo
Mr Muteteka
Mr Mwale
Mr Mwanza
Mr Mweetwa
Mr Mwiimbu
Ms Namugala
Mr Ndalamei
Mr Ngoma
Mr Nkombo
Mr Pande
Mrs Sayifwanda
Mr Sianga
Mr Simbao
Mr Sing’ombe

Noes − (70)

Mrs Banda
Mr N. Banda
Mr Bwalya
Mr Chabala
   Col Chanda
Mr Chansa
Dr Chikusu
Mr Chingimbu
Mr Chisala
Mr Chishimba
Mr Chungu
Mrs Kabanshi
Mr Kalaba
Mr Kampyongo
Ms Kapata
Brig-Gen Kapaya
Mr Kapeya
Mr Kapyanga
Dr Kasonde
Mr Katema
Mrs Kawandami
Mr Kazabu
Ms Kazunga
Mr Kosamu
Ms Limata
Mr Lubinda
Mr E. Lungu
Col J. Lungu
Prof Luo
Mr Mabumba
Mr M. H. Malama
Mr Masumba
Mr Matafwali
Mr Miyutu
Mr Monde
Mr Mpundu
Mr Mukanga
Mr Mukata
Mr Mulenga
Mr Mumba
Mr Munkombwe
Mr Mushanga
Mr Musonda
Mr Musukwa
Mr Mutale
Dr Mwali
Mr Mwaliteta
Mr Mwamba
Mrs Mwamba
Mr Mwango
Mr Mwewa
Mr Mwila
Mr Ng’onga
Mr Njeulu
Dr Phiri
Mr Sakeni
Mr Sampa
Dr Scott
Mr Shamenda
Mr Siamunene
Mr Sichone
Mr Sichula
Mr Sikazwe
Dr Simbyakula
Mr Simuusa
Mr Taundi
Mr Tembo
Mr Yaluma
Mr Zimba
Mr Zulu

Abstentions − (0)

Question accordingly negatived.


Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to address issues that are a common denominator for our people, like the previous Motion did. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Is the Motion seconded?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Order!

The excitement about voting should be over by now.

Mr Mucheleka: I beg to second the Motion, Sir. 

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, at the dawn of the new millennium in 2000, our Heads of State and governments, on behalf of our countries, gathered at the United Nations (UN) …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

May we hear the mover of the Motion, please.

Mr Hamududu: … Headquarters, in New York, to reaffirm our faith in the UN and its Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. 

Sir, at this meeting, there was recognition that, in addition to separate responsibilities of individual countries, member-states of the UN have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at global level. Our leaders, therefore, affirmed how duty bound they were to the entire world, especially the most vulnerable, in particular, the children to whom the future belongs. They committed themselves to sparing no effort to freeing their fellow men, women and children from the dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty to which more than a billion of them, at that time, were subjected. 

Mr Speaker, at this meeting, Zambia, along with 198 UN member-states, adopted the UN Millennium Declaration that laid a vision for a world of common values and renewed determination to achieve peace and decent standards of living for every man, woman and child.

Sir, the eight millennium development goals (MDGs) derived from the Millennium Declaration set time-bound and quantifiable indicators and targets aimed at halving the proportion of people living below the Poverty Datum Line; improving access to primary education; promoting gender equality; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating and reversing the trends of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and promoting global partnership for development between developed and developing countries by 2015.   

This set of eight clear, measureable and time-bound development goals were expected to generate unprecedented and co-ordinated action not only within the UN system, including the Bretton Woods Institutions, but also within the wider donor community and most importantly within developing countries themselves. 

Sir, to accelerate progress, the group of eight most developed and industrialised countries, the G-8, finance ministers agreed, in June, 2005, to provide funds to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and African Development Bank (ADB) to cancel an additional US$40-US$55 billion debt owed by Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to allow impoverished countries to rechannel the resources saved from the forgiven debt to social programmes such as health, education and poverty alleviation. 

Sir, with the deadline of the attainment of the MDGs on the horizon, the latest MDGs Report, jointly authored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Zambian Government, revealed that, at the current pace, Zambia is unlikely to meet most of the MDG targets unless more effort is put in place to accelerate progress. 

Mr Speaker, the 2012/2013 MDGs Progress Report for Zambia reveals the following:

(a)    MDG 1 – Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger

extreme poverty declined from 58 per cent in 1991 to 42.3 per cent in 2010. This is too slow to meet the target of 29 per cent by 2015. This scenario for Zambia is against the fact that, at global level, this important goal of cutting extreme poverty by half from 1990 to 2015 was met ahead of time in 2010.
Extreme poverty is higher in rural areas at 57.7 per cent compared to 13.1 per cent in urban areas. With a Gini Co-efficiency of 0.65, Zambia is now among the countries with the highest level of inequality in the world, which demonstrates an economic growth that has not benefited those at the bottom of the income ladder, the majority living in rural areas and relying on subsistence agriculture.  

Stunting caused by chronic malnutrition stood at 46.7 per cent of children under five years of age in 2010 and is responsible for 52 per cent of under-five deaths in Zambia;

(b)    MDG 2 – Achieving Universal Primary Education 

net enrolment of children in primary schools increased from 80 per cent in 1990 to 93.7 per cent in 2010, supported by increased construction of schools, the removal of school fees in 2002 and the adoption of free basic education and re-entry policies. 

However, concerns remain on the quality of education received and completion rates in subsequent grades;

(c)     MDG 3 – Promoting Gender Equality

with regard to gender parity in education, the ratio of girls to boys in primary education improved from 0.90 in 1990 to 0.96 in 2009. In secondary school, this rate decreased from 0.92 in 1990 to 0.88 in 2009. 

Women representation in Parliament at 11 per cent and 6 per cent in local councils is low in relation to the MDG and Southern African Development Community (SADC) target of 30 per cent and 50 per cent for the African Union (AU). Therefore, you should adopt women in the so-called by-elections;

(d)    MDG 4 – Reducing Child Mortality

Mr Speaker, the number of under-five deaths dropped from 191 per 1,000 live births in 1992 to 138 in 2010. The MDG target is sixty-four per 1,000 live births by 2015. Infant Mortality Rate has declined from 107 per 1,000 live births in 1992 to seventy-six in 2010. The MDG target is thirty-six per 1,000 by 2015; 

(e)    MDG 5 – Improving Maternal Health

Sir, thirty-eight mothers die each month due to pregnancy or child-birth related complications. The number of women dying during pregnancy and child-birth has decreased from 649 per 100,000 live births in 1997 to 483 in 2010. Although maternal mortality has been falling, the decline is insufficient to reach the 2015 target of 162 per 100,000 live births;

(f)    MDG 6 – Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

 Zambia’s national HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the age group between fifteen and forty-nine years declined from 15.6 per cent in 2002 to 14.3 in 2007. The MDG target which is to keep prevalence below 15.6 per cent has been met. However, new infections remain high and are alarmingly on the rise among young people. Further, HIV incidence is consistently higher in women than men, demonstrating our ugly reality of income and gender inequality which nees urgent attention. 

On malaria targets, the proportion of under-five children who sleep under insecticide treated nets rose from 6.5 per cent in 2001/2002 to 41.1 per cent in 2008. Zambia made significant gains in malaria control and prevention up until 2009. However, the drop of resources in the health sector has resulted in a reversal of the gains in recent years; 

(g)    MDG 7 – Ensuring Environmental Sustainability

the percentage of land covered by forest in Zambia decreased from 59.8 per cent in 1990 to 49.9 in 2010. Since no serious measures have been implemented to reverse this trend, current statistics of deforestation can be shocking. 

With regard to sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation, the proportion of households without access to clean water sources was reduced from 51 per cent in 1990 to 36.9 per cent in 2010. The MDG target is 25.5 per cent. However, the proportion of the population without access to improved sanitation has worsened, from 26 per cent in 1991 to 67.3 per cent in 2010.  Zambia is, therefore, well off-track in achieving the MDG target of 13 per cent by 2015; and

(h) MDG 8– Developing a Global Partnership for Development

the HIPC and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives (MDRI) reduced Zambia’s debt servicing obligations. The external debt dropped from over US$6 billion in 1999 to US$934 million in 2006. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) increased from US$754 million in 2002 to US$918 million in 2009.

Sir, for more than seven years now, Zambia has recorded sustained, impressive and positive macro-economic indicators, with an average economic growth of 6 per cent. Despite such enviable fiscal space and international goodwill, progress on MDGs has been sluggish. Poverty, child and maternal mortality, inequality, malnutrition in rural and peri-urban areas remain unacceptably high. The appeal for up-scaling measures to accelerate progress to justifiable levels by 2015, therefore, becomes a moral imperative.

Mr Speaker, with more than two full years remaining before the end of 2015, it is possible to considerately accelerate progress on the MDGs if the right policies are applied. Since the re-introduction of national planning in 2002, the MDGs have been mainstreamed into the country’s successive Medium Term National Development Framework. The slow progress in attaining the MDG targets invariably indicate that the aspirations contained in our development plans are, by and large, not being met. Therefore, acceleration of the MDGs progress is a useful indicator of our progress in meeting the overall term targets of our development plans in the short and medium terms.

Mr Speaker, the possibility of non-attainment of the MDGs by 2015 is a serious indictment of the leadership in this country, as this would be tantamount to postponing the basic well-being of our people. Putting in place measures to accelerate progress on the MDGs in the remaining two full years, is a matter of social justice. Most of the MDGs are achievable by 2015, if supported by the right set of policies, targeted technical assistance, institutional capacity, adequate funding, strong political commitment and invested more in aspects that have already worked.

Sir, with lessons learnt from experience, so far, in meeting the MDG targets, the Government can easily finalise the MDGs Acceleration Framework and Country Action Plan for incorporation in the 2014 and 2015 Budgets for Zambia to attain justifiable progress towards the MDG targets.

Sir, the finalised MDGs Acceleration Framework and consequent Country Action Plan will also help in engaging co-operating partners for focused support of the identified MDG targets for acceleration. Acceleration will not only help in getting justifiable results by 2015 on the MDGs, but also lay a firm foundation for the Post 2015 Development Agenda, such as Ending Hunger by 2025 and many other social areas that the Government has already committed itself to. Acceleration of the MDGs will, therefore, ensure that Zambia enters the Post 2015 Development Agenda with the right momentum to meet the aspirations of the citizens.

Mr Speaker, if we are to make progress on the MDG 1, that of reducing poverty, the Government needs to pay attention to agriculture and rural development. The FISP needs to be enhanced through adequate resources and diversification of support to various agricultural activities taking place in different parts of the country. Corruption and inefficiencies in input distribution must be removed so that the targeted farmers get the support and on time.

Adequate rural infrastructure needs an urgent rollout to facilitate economic inclusion of rural dwellers. The Rural Roads Units (RRU) in our provinces and the local councils everywhere in this country need strengthening and adequate funding to maintain rural roads. At the moment, good as it may be, the concentration of the Government has been on inter-town road connections, leaving out the rehabilitation of rural access roads.

Sir, another emphasis should be on gender equality. Women make up the majority of the labour force in agriculture. Unfortunately, they have problems accessing land, credit facilities, inputs, markets and extension services. The MDGs on gender equality and food security need to be intertwined because we cannot achieve one without the other. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) suggests that if women had access to productive resources as men, yields would increase by 20 to 30 per cent, helping raise agricultural output in developing countries like Zambia and reducing the number of hungry people by 12 to 17 per cent.

Mr Speaker, the Government should ensure that the MDG Acceleration Framework seriously addresses child stunting which undermines national educational outcomes, weighs heavily on national health expenditures and causes depletion of the GDP in lost productivity.

Sir, as a commitment to acceleration on the nutritional aspect of the MDGs, the Government has pledged to scale-up nutrition by committing itself to reducing malnutrition by 50 per cent in the next ten years and increase budgetary allocations by, at least, 20 per cent annually for the next ten years. The Government should, therefore, fulfill this commitment as nutrition cuts across most of the MDGs. In the remaining two years before 2015 and beyond, the Government should allocate more resources in agriculture, education and health and meet the thresholds it committed itself to in the various declarations. My colleague will highlight that aspect.

Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude by saying that the Government must be cognisant of  the fact that while economic growth is central to effective and long-term poverty reduction, rapid and sustained poverty reduction requires pro-poor growth and a pace and pattern of growth in which poor women and men participate, contribute and benefit.

Sir, the glaringly high and inelastic poverty and inequality levels amidst a growing economy is testimony to the fact that the current economic trajectory is, to a large extent jobless, futureless and ruthless. This, therefore, calls for serious consideration of the growth-employment-poverty reduction connection in our policy formulation, resource allocation and implementation of development programmes.

Finally, to accelerate the MDGs’ progress and beyond, in a country endowed with abundant natural resources and a youthful population, the poor have something to offer in the form of land and labour. Sustainable progress will be made if the Government provided them with productive capital, improved facilitative infrastructure and access to markets for them to be part of the economic growth story. Innovative and robust employment creation strategies must, therefore, be at the centre stage of our economic growth agenda. I, therefore, urge hon. Members of this august House to support this straightforward Motion.

Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later.

Mr Mucheleka: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I stand to support the Motion that has been ably moved by the hon. Member for Bweengwa and wish to call upon all hon. Members of Parliament, who value well-meaning and sustainable development, to equally do the same.

Mr Speaker, noting that Zambia willingly and formally signed up and committed itself to the attainment of the eight MDGs …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

On my right, the consultations are rather loud. Please, may you moderate.

The hon. Member on the Floor may proceed.

Mr Mucheleka: … and the associated eighteen targets by 2015, we need to understand where we are and devise a way of how we can move forward. The hon. Member for Bweengwa has ably explained where we are and what we need to do to go forward. There is a need to prepare for the Post 2015 Development Framework. This should be based on positive lessons and challenges encountered during the implementation of the attainment of the MDGs in Zambia. 

Appreciating the strides that Zambia has made with regard to the social sector related the MDGs and associated targets, such as increased primary school enrolment and reduced child mortality, there are still a lot of challenges which we are faced with as a country. These include increased demand for quality primary education, increased demand for secondary and tertiary education, child mortality cases and poor nutrition. Gender disparity still remains rampant and this has often worked against the socio-economic empowerment of women. 

Mr Speaker, there is a strong need for the Government to speed up, before 2015, the intervention that would improve the partial attainment of some of the MDG targets. There is a lot that we can do, as a nation, before 2015. What is equally important is to prepare for the Post 2015 Development Framework for Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, for the economic sector-related MDGs such as the MDG No. 1 of reducing extreme poverty and hunger by 50 per cent, it is observed that progress has been very slow. This, therefore, implies that Zambia will not be able to attain the MDG No.1. Although, overall, Zambia recorded positive economic growth of over 6 per cent per annum in the last seven years or so, this has, however, failed to reflect in the efforts to reduce poverty and inequality. These remain very high, especially in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance, while launching the 2013 Progress Report on the MDGs in Zambia on 7th May, 2013, rightly admitted that Zambia will not realise all the MDGs despite some noticeable progress that the country has made, especially in the health and education-related goals. The hon. Minister further observed that if Zambia can marshal adequate resources to invest in agriculture, we can, in the medium and long-term, eradicate poverty. 

Mr Speaker, we would, therefore, be delighted to encourage the hon. Minister of Finance to allocate a minimum of 10 per cent of the 2014 Budget to the agricultural sector in line with the 2003 Maputo Declaration commitment. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) framework on Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CADDP) Compact signed by the Zambian Government in February, 2011, would be able to guide on four pillars on where investment in the agricultural sector would, indeed, be channeled. This would further make the Zambian people, hopefully, believe that the removal of subsidies on maize would see the saved resources being channelled to build the productive capacity of the agricultural sector.

Cognisant of the effort and initiatives being made by the UNDP, at global level, to prepare for the Post 2015 Development Framework, there is a need, however, for Zambia to take ownership of its own process and adequately prepare for this framework. This is important in order to have a home-grown development agenda to be further supported by regional and global partners. This process should be inclusive and widely accepted by different stakeholders. The Executive wing of the Government is, therefore, requested to provide leadership and, in earnest, start the process of formulating the Post 2015 Development Framework for Zambia.

Mr Speaker, Zambia will need to focus on key social and economic sectors on which the Post 2015 Development Framework should be pinned. The Government will need to identify stakeholders from the public sector, private sector, civil society and the general public who could help develop a home-based Post 2015 Development Framework. 

Mr Speaker, realising that poverty and inequality remain the biggest challenges of our time, there is a need to identify key social and economic sectors that will be used to accelerate the poverty reduction agenda. The Government is called upon to accelerate funding to the health sector in order to meet the requirement of the 2001 Abuja Declaration. The Government pledged to increase funding to the health sector to, at least, 15 per cent of the Budget.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1915 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 11th July, 2013.