Debates- Tuesday, 26th February, 2013

Printer Friendly and PDF


Tuesday, 26th February, 2013 

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, you rightly directed that I issue a statement following concerns expressed by the Member of Parliament for Monze Central, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, on the continued downward slippages in the kwacha parity vis-à-vis major currencies. I would like to start by thanking Hon. Mwiimbu for bringing the issue of the kwacha exchange rate to the fore because it is a matter of profound public interest. The exchange rate of the kwacha affects our lives and economy in many ways.

Mr Speaker, exchange rates are prices of currencies in terms of other currencies. They are a function of many composite factors, including the state of an economy. Exchange rates are never and cannot be price neutral. To some extent, and not only to some extent, they are determined by supply and demand conditions. However, there are also unquantifiable factors such as market sentiments and perceptions. 

In our particular situation, there is an element of supply of hard currencies being lower than their demand, hence pushing the price of the kwacha downwards. In Zambia, one would be stretching things out of proportion to say that the exchange rates are strictly a market determined function. The rates in our situation are determined by inter-bank arrangements and since the banks are few and a cartel, there is clearly quite a pronounced element of manipulation. It is a profitable undertaking and banks are obviously led into temptation. There is clearly quite inadequate surveillance and supervision of the banking system to induce the banks to act a little more responsibly. 

Mr Speaker, last year, we took a step to increase the levels of foreign exchange when, through Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 33, we required all domestic transactions to be settled in the country’s legal tender, the kwacha. For a month or two, there was significant increase in foreign exchange availabilities. However, companies, especially the major players, soon detected a weakness in our compliance mechanisms and breaches have since become quite rampant. 

Sir, there is a need to strengthen compliance arrangements so that those caught in the act can face the stiff sanctions stipulated in the law. The Government has reinforced its position, including activating the Financial Intelligence Centre. We need to operationalise things to protect public interest from the enemies of open society, but do so without draconian measures which roll back democracy. Zambia’s liberal economy stands it in good stead in the international community and global market place.

Mr Speaker, there is, currently, before the House, the Bank of Zambia (Amendment) Bill which will enable the Government to regulate the foreign exchange system and monitor the balance of payments. Once the Bill is passed, it will enable the Government to issue detailed regulations, including the requirement for export earnings to be repatriated. However, it is important to note that companies will retain unfettered recourse to their foreign currency deposits through the commercial banks.

Mr Speaker, Zambia’s major earner of foreign exchange is the mining industry. Even on the basis of the current tax arrangements, the country could earn enhanced revenues if the assessments were based on correct volumes of production. It is in this context that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is refining the monitoring system of production in our mining industry. Additionally, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, has also taken a very welcome initiative to put together a broadly-based technical committee to assist with the monitoring of operations on the mines. We want to do things in responsible ways and still maintain Zambia as a credible investment destination which has policy consistency and predictability.

Mr Speaker, a weak kwacha raises the cost of all imports and transactions in foreign currencies for citizens who have to pay education bills, medical expenses and even legitimate foreign travel. Inevitably, a continually weakening kwacha induces inflationary spirals which impinge negatively on our economy. It erodes the purchasing power of citizens since imports are a very large segment of the economy.

Mr Speaker, the President and, indeed, the Government have been concerned with this all-important issue of the kwacha parity. While a reasonable price of the kwacha, in terms of other currencies, helps our exports, especially in the agricultural sector, it is vital that we maintain a reasonable and right balance. Even exporters are ultimately hurt by the unrestrained cost of imports and the inflationary spirals engendered by an inordinately weak local currency.
Mr Speaker, as the custodian of public interest, the Government will take all conceivable measures to put matters right. It is a delicate exercise and balance, but we will not renege on our duties, obligations and responsibilities.
Mr Speaker, once again, I thank Hon. Mwiimbu for raising the matter of the price of the kwacha in this august House.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification in relation to the ministerial statement issued by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I am grateful that the hon. Minister has made a statement concerning foreign exchange. It was on the Floor of this House that I asked a lot of questions concerning the same and the hon. Minister, then, said that the Government would see to it that the kwacha was maintained at an average of around K4,800 per US$1. During that time, I asked a lot of questions, including the behaviour of the kwacha off shore, who the foreign exchange traders were and who was controlling our foreign reserves. Does the hon. Minister not know, now, that the people who budgeted around K4,800 per US$1, last year, might have to close down this year because the kwacha has, by far, exceeded what they budgeted upon? It is now K5,400 per US$1. Does he not know that the small companies are most likely going to close down?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has talked about what I read out in my ministerial statement. The whole statement has shown concern about the price of the kwacha vis-à-vis the other currencies which I said is not price neutral. It does affect the prices of things. I am not quite sure whether the figure the hon. Member has quoted is what we quoted. Anyway, exchange rates of all currencies change on an hourly and daily basis; they are very volatile factors. What is important is that we are going to take steps to see how we can protect public interest because a weak kwacha has a telling effect on the economy, as I have said. A weak kwacha will inevitably trigger inflationary spirals which can never be good for the economy. I share the concerns of the hon. Member for Senga Hill and agree that those questions were raised in good faith and we take his concerns on board.

Thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, one of the justifications for introducing the SI that made it illegal to price goods and services in foreign currency was to strengthen the kwacha. I would like to find out from him whether, in his opinion, the overall objective of that SI has been achieved.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I amply stated, in the statement, that the reinforcement mechanisms have not been very effective. That is why we are taking measures to reinforce them and that is why we have, before this august House, a Bill to amend the Bank of Zambia Act. I also made reference to the fact that the Government has since put together an instrument, the Financial Intelligence Centre, which we hope can take an active interest in these matters when it settles down because there are a lot of fraudulent activities by the business communities in Zambia. So, we need to jack up our enforcement mechanisms.

 I agree that the SI No. 33 has not had the impact that was desired. It only worked for two or three months because, then, people were very frightened to breach the law because of the provision which stipulates that a person who breaches that SI can be imprisoned for up to ten years. It scared people quite a lot, but when they discovered that the Government did not have adequate monitoring mechanisms, they lapsed back into temptation. So, it is up to us, as a Government and community to try to see where we can reinforce things and see if we can pre-empt these scams which are perpetrated by unscrupulous business houses. Appealing to their conscience, upon which we make presumptions, cannot do. The only thing is to come up with mechanisms which will stop them from doing things which are injurious to the interest of our country.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, what the hon. Minister of Finance is telling us is that the strength and sustainability of our kwacha is heavily dependent on our capacity, as a nation, to generate foreign exchange. He has further told us that as a mono economy, we are heavily dependent on the capacity of our mines to generate foreign exchange. That is saying that, our capacity, as a nation, to assess the revenue base from the mines is very poor and that affects our foreign exchange reserve. Therefore, what measures has the ministry put in place to strengthen the capacity of the Government to assess revenue from the mines?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, actually, our foreign exchange earnings are quite diversified. Although the mines bring the bulk of the foreign exchange, there is a very substantial and an ever-increasing contribution made by the agricultural sector and non other traditional exports like those involved in the processing of copper. A classic example is, of course, Zambia Metal Fabricators (ZAMEFA) Plc. However, let it be known that agriculture is making a very substantial contribution and, I think, that is the way we should go. The mines are good and we will continue creating conditions which will allow people to invest in mining but, personally, I think, our thrust should be agriculture. This is because, firstly, the gestation period is short and, secondly, it is not very costly because from agriculture, for every US$1 you obtain in export earnings, maybe, only 10 or 20 cents of it is in foreign exchange. Whereas, in the mines, for every US$1 you generate from exports, maybe, 70 or 80 cents is in hard currency. 

Our hopes lie in expanding the agricultural sector. I do not know whether the hon. Member was in the House when I made reference to the fact that the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development has set up an all-embracing committee that will help with the monitoring of the mining industry. I am not sure whether we can do it overnight, but we are trying. We are making every effort to know what goes on in the mines because Zambia earns the least from its mining industry in the region. Our neighbouring countries, such as Botswana and South Africa, which have mines, generate, at least, 11 per cent of their revenue from the industry whereas, in our case, it is only 5 per cent. This is not because of the tax structure, but because, in those countries, the royalty is only 3 per cent, but we are at 6 per cent. The issue is simply that we do not get correct declarations of what is produced by the mining companies. It is that loophole that we want to seal without causing too much alarm.

I think you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, some of the factors affecting the foreign exchange rate are market sentiments and perceptions by players in the foreign exchange market; those who export and hold foreign exchange as well as those who bring their dollars to Zambia. Why do players in the market appear to be holding negative perceptions about the Zambian foreign exchange market and the Zambian economy in general? Is this a reflection of the rating of the poor performance of the economy and the Patriotic Front (PF) Government since it came into power?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Member has mixed things up a bit. Perception is related to the global exchange rate, whether in Zambia or anywhere else. I said that it is a function of factors like the supply-demand equilibrium. However, there is also a large element of market sentiment and perception. These are unquantifiable factors that complicate economies; the economies are not only governed by measurable or empirically ascertainable fundamentals, but also perceptions and sentiments, which matter quite a lot.

Sir, businesses that withhold the currency that needs to come into the economy are doing so because, as I said, our monitoring and enforcement mechanisms are inadequate. That is why we have the Bank of Zambia Amendment Bill which, among other things, will require all exporters, whether in the mining or agricultural sector, to bring back all their export earnings to Zambia. Of course, they will have recourse to use of the foreign exchange but, at least, they will bring back the foreign exchange earnings. Therefore, we will be able to adequately monitor how much foreign exchange is being generated. I think, that is one way in which we can, perhaps, limit the acts of fraud that are, currently, quite extensive.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, are there any incentives given to exporters so that we can have more foreign exchange in the country and help the kwacha to appreciate?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, such questions are very difficult. What incentives do you give to exporters who are already cheating you?

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I would like to applaud the hon. Minister for the measures he intends to take because, for a long time, we have been telling the Government that there is a lot of foreign exchange flight from this country. Before export earnings come into the country, they are already expended.

Mr Speaker, one of the factors that determine currency exchange rates is, obviously, the differences between inflows or exports and outflows or imports. Inflows are exports, foreign direct investments (FDI) and things like the Eurobond that we secured. Of course, there are other factors like purchasing power parity among countries. Could you, please, educate me on the weakening of the kwacha. Does it mean that all those inflows that I have mentioned and others are less than our outflows? 

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Luena has very ably explained that the weakening in the kwacha is partly because the inflows are less than the outflows. So, the hon. Member has ably dealt with her question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, usually, a weak currency is detrimental to a country like Zambia, which is import-dependent. However, there are some people who benefit from a weak currency and these are mainly the exporters. Do we have exporters who are benefiting from the weakness of the kwacha?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, yes, there are exporters who are benefitting. In fact, all exporters benefit from a weaker kwacha. However, it is a long equation. They may benefit now, but things will catch up with them because the imported inputs will go up as a result of the weakening kwacha. Therefore, it is a very delicate equation to balance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, one of the factors cited by the hon. Minister as negatively impacting on the foreign exchange rate is manipulation by the banks, the institutions that are supervised by the Central Bank. With that realisation, what measures is the Government putting in place to curb the manipulation of the foreign exchange rate by the banks, like it did with regard to interest rates?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, some of the remedial measures are implicit in the Bank of Zambia Amendment Bill which is before this august House and which we hope that the hon. Members, having expressed concerns about how the country is being taken to the cleaners, will pass as expeditiously as possible.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the PF Government is in power and it should not doubt that it is. During campaigns, in 2011, the PF promised the people of Zambia that it would introduce the windfall tax. Currently, the strength of the kwacha is unpredictable and keeps going up and down. Hon. Minister of Finance, do you have any intentions of introducing the windfall tax?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, although our subject concerns the kwacha, if you look at the currencies around us, such as the South African Rand vis-à-vis the United States Dollar or Sterling Pound, you will see that there has been quite a substantial depreciation in their value. I am not saying that that is the reason we have allowed the kwacha to depreciate inordinately. I said that an inordinately weak kwacha is a disadvantage to the country because it raises the prices of imports and we are very substantial importers. 

Mr Speaker, the windfall tax is not a panacea for this problem. I have already said that mineral royalty tax is at 3 per cent in Botswana and South Africa, which is half the mineral royalty tax we get from our mines. However, these countries do not have the problem we have, which is fraudulent declaration of revenues in the mining industry. They are, hence, able to collect up to 11 per cent of their revenue from the mining sector when we only collect 5 per cent of our revenue from the mining industry. 

Sir, we, both in the House and those outside, have to take measures to protect our national interests and that is what we are doing. We are taking other things into account because we do not want to rattle or undermine confidence in Zambia as an investment destination because we still have room to attract foreign investment. However, we are going to do it in a way that is sensible. I think that we are equipping ourselves. I have repeatedly said that the proposed amendment to the Bank of Zambia Act will give us adequate protection to safeguard our national interests.

I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Kabimba, SC.): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to give a ministerial statement in response to the point of order raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, Mr Mwiimbu, last week.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 21st February, 2013, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu raised a point of order before this honourable House on whether the Government, through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, which is the supervising ministry of the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), was in order to breach the provisions of the Energy Regulation Act, No. 16 of 1995. Hon. Mwiimbu referred this House to the schedule under Section 3 of the Act, which prescribes that the number of board members must be seven and that no member of the board should be drawn from any political party. In reference to the present ERB Board, Hon. Mwiimbu informed the House that it was composed of eleven members, instead of seven, as provided for by the law. He, therefore, wondered whether the Government was in order to abrogate the laws enacted by this august House.

Mr Speaker, I have taken time to verify the issues raised by Hon. Mwiimbu in his point of order. It is true that Section 3 of the Energy Regulation Act, No. 16 of 1995, as read together with the Amendment Act, No. 23 of 2003, provides that the board shall be composed of seven members only. It is also true that the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development appointed eleven members, instead of the prescribed seven. However, what is not true is that this decision was a deliberate act on the part of the Government to circumvent or breach the legal provisions of the Act, as enacted by this House.

Mr Speaker, the PF Government treats and shall continue to regard the laws enacted by this House as sacred and sacrosanct. This Government stands for the rule of law and the application of the laws enacted by this House with utmost respect and deference. This particular incident raised in the point of order is an act of inadvertency, which is not uncommon in any mortal human being.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, it is an act that calls for an immediate remedy on the part of the Government. We shall, accordingly, proceed to remedy this fundamental error and ensure that the board of the ERB is re-constituted in accordance with the provisions of the law. Further, the Ministry of Justice has already recommended that all sector ministries, from now onwards, employ in-house legal officers to ensure that ...  

Mr Kabimba, SC. cleared his throat

Mr Kabimba, SC.: … decisions by – Excuse me, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Drink some water.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member of Parliament for Gwembe, you are not a medical doctor.


Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, thank you for your protection. I said that the Ministry of Justice has recommended that all sector ministries employ in-house legal officers in order to ensure that Government decisions are made with the professional attention that they deserve.

Mr Speaker, let me now raise a point that highlights the problem that could have led to this point of order. It is most interesting that the said breach of the provisions of the law came through a point of order before this House, when such an administrative error could have been corrected by those employed to advise the hon. Minister in the ERB administration and management. Since Hon. Mwiimbu does not work for the ERB, as far as I know, it does not require any stretching of imagination to realise that the source of his information is within the ERB.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!{mospagebreak}

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, what, then, could be the motive for such a leakage of information, if not to undermine the public image of the Government and show that it is composed of men and women who act with impunity in matters of the law or, as Hon. Mwiimbu put it in his point of order, a Government that will abrogate the laws of this House with impunity?

Mr Speaker, we all recall the debate in this House, last week, during the Motion for the ratification of the Secretary to the Cabinet. Allegations were made on the Floor of this House about the so-called rampant dismissals of civil servants and that those not fired were working with a high sense of insecurity about their employment. Unbefitting examples were given about some relatives who had been dismissed under the PF Government. How else, one may ask, can a Government discharge its functions and implement its development programmes unless it is supported by a Public Service that is loyal and faithful to its development agenda?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, we, in the PF, believe that only a loyal and faithful Public Service and employees of its attendant statutory bodies can act as the engine of our social and economic policies. Anyone who attempts to undermine the development process that is intended to deliver our people from poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, inequality and social justice should be regarded as an enemy of the people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, our policy …


Mr Speaker: Order!

You are aware that there will be a provision for seeking clarification. Please, hold your fire.

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Anyone who attempts to undermine the development process, which is intended to deliver our people from poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, inequality and social injustice, should be regarded as an enemy of the people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Such a person has no right to continue to serve our people. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Our policy for an inclusive Government should not, therefore, be regarded as a sign of weakness at all. To the contrary, it is predicated on our desire and belief to turn this country into a civilised society.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

As usual, your opportunity has come, hon. Members, for you to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister.

Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, by his own admission, the hon. Minister said that the hon. Minister inadvertently abused his authority in the office. Can I know if the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development and Chief Whip is going to be charged for abuse of authority.

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, ‘inadvertently’ does not mean ‘abuse’.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: It is abuse!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I am extremely worried that such an anomaly can take place when each ministry has experts and advisers in the form of Permanent Secretaries. I would like to find out whether, as Zambians, we should not be concerned that there are many more anomalies that are being perpetuated by the Civil Service to undermine, not just the Government, but also the people of Zambia. 

If the hon. Minister is as worried as I am, what mechanism is he going to put in place to ensure that the Civil Service does not abuse the people of Zambia and that, in future, the Government is going to be more in charge of running the country?

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, I have stated, in my statement, that we still have a cadre of public servants that, certainly, is not loyal to the development agenda of this Government. We still have a cadre of civil servants that are averse to even looking at the portrait of Mr Michael Sata as President of this country. 

Sir, I said, in my statement, that the cadre of public servants can do this country and themselves a favour by deciding to resign. Some of us set this example. When we did not agree with the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), we never pandered to it or pretended to work for them. We stayed out and were in the Opposition until we were able to serve in a government that we believed in. That is what we expect from honourable men and women.

Mr Speaker, this incident is one that tells us that all the ministries must be on the lookout for this group of civil servants that want to serve in this Government while awaiting a government of their own choice whenever it does come. However, for now, for those who want to work for this Government, we shall expect them not to engage in acts of betrayal because, like I said in my statement, surely, those that are in charge would have gone to the hon. Minister and told him that he had appointed more people than he had done. 

This reminds me of a story about how Alexander Haig, as Secretary of State for Ronald Reagan, actually believed that, constitutionally, he was number three after the President and the Vice-President until he was told that, in fact, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kabimba, SC.: … after the Vice-President, comes the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in seniority, followed by the President of the Senate and then himself. Therefore, this is what we expect civil servants to do. We shall catch up with this cadre of civil servants.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, in my culture, when somebody is clearing his throat while making a statement, it means that there is something that is not true in what he/she is trying to say.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, this House has passed laws trying to protect whistleblowers, those civil servants and other citizens that are exposing wrongdoings in the Government. However, I heard the hon. Minister of Justice say that he was going to get rid of these public servants whom he is suspecting are from the ERB and alleged to have leaked information of the illegality of the appointment of the board. 

May I find out what is wrong with people that are concerned about the wrongdoings in his Government and exposing the wrong doings. May I also know why he has opted not to address the full issues of the illegalities in Hon. Mwiimbu’s point of order. For example, Hon. Mwiimbu raised the fact that some of the board members appointed to the board were not qualified and he stipulated the qualifications of the board members. Hon. Mwiimbu stipulated that it is illegal in that Act to appoint a member who is an official of a political party. However, the hon. Minister has opted to remain silent or avoid those obvious issues that are incriminating his Government. May I know why he did that.

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi West was listening or not. 

Sir, in Paragraph 2 of the statement, I made it clear that, certainly, the constitution and composition of this board are contrary to Section 3 of the Energy Regulation Act. I further stated that we shall proceed to remedy the illegality of the composition of that board. I said that very clearly.

However, let me also say that an officer who decides not to perform his duties through the prescribed legal channels is not a whistleblower. Let us clear the phraseology. An officer who fails to advise the hon. Minister but, instead, decides to advise an unauthorised person is not a whistleblower. There are two categories of people being referred to here. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): I thank you, Mr Speaker (cleared her throat).

Mr Speaker: There is another person clearing her throat.


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, listening to the hon. Minister of Justice present his statement to this House and addressing us like civil servants, I am not surprised that such a mistake was made. Intimidation is one of the reasons the informant may have opted not to advise the hon. Minister on the mistake that had been made, and I am surprised that he can even complain about what transpired.

Sir, the ERB is a public institution and the information about the board members is in the public domain unless he is telling me that it is supposed to be a secret. Our job, as hon. Members of Parliament, is to provide oversight and we do not depend on whistleblowers.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Ms Kalima: Our interest is to see to it that our country, Zambia, is run properly for the future of our children and …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, what is your question?

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister prefer that we, as hon. Members of Parliament, keep quiet when the Government makes mistakes or that we perform our role of providing oversight?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, after that long Sunday sermon by the hon. Member, I have lost the question.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Could you summarise the question in one sentence, hon. Member for Kasenengwa.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister of Justice, Mr Wynter Kabimba, SC., prefer that we sit down and not correct the mistakes that the Government makes or does he appreciate that we are here to provide oversight and correct any mistakes it may make for the betterment of Zambia?

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. J. J. Mwiimbu for raising the point of order. The point that I was making, in my statement, was that the illegality in the composition of the board shall be remedied. We are grateful for that point of order and that is what I said. Further, I did not, at anytime, try to take away the oversight function of this honourable House on the Government or the Executive. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister has agreed to the fact that the Government erred, is he agreeing that the Government abrogated the law?

Mr Speaker: I will not require the hon. Minister of Justice to answer that question for obvious reasons.


Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Justice has admitted illegality in what happened. I would like to quote from the January, 2013 issue of the Farmers Gazette which we all received. It talks about the composition of the ERB with the actual names of the eleven members. 

Further, if we look at the board, which we have been promised will be reconstituted, we will see that there were only three women out of eleven which comes to only 27 per cent representation, and yet we have heard the Government talk about gender balance. In the reconstitution of the board, will gender equality be taken into consideration? Will the other hidden elements be considered as well?

Hon. Opposition Member: Which hidden ones?


Mr Kabimba, SC.: The remedy will constitute both the legal and policy part of it.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to dwell on what the hon. Member failed to address in the point of order, which is the inclusiveness of the board. The majority of the board are Bembas. The woman named Mrs Tembo is married to a Bemba man.


Mr Mwanza: Why is this board composed of Bembas only?


Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker I do not know the individuals that compose this board. However, it is such sentiments that led to the genocide in Rwanda.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, could you give him an opportunity to express his viewpoint freely.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, the proceedings of this House are aired throughout the country. Therefore, we have to be extremely careful in the way that we express some of our views. I do not think that I can stand up, as hon. Minister of Justice, to start answering questions on who is Bemba, Tonga or Sala. That is not my job.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the mistake was inadvertent. By implication, is he advising hon. Ministers to read the Acts before they appoint members of boards?

Mr Kabimba, SC.: Mr Speaker, strictly speaking, it is not the job of the hon. Minister to read and interpret an Act, but that of the technocrats. They are the people paid to read the Act. 


Mr Kabimba, SC.: Yes, these are the mistakes that the MMD made by assuming the role of the Permanent Secretaries and become executives and administrators themselves. The hon. Ministers are not qualified to read and interpret Acts. That is why there are people who are paid to do that.

I thank you, Sir.




376. Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education whether the Government had any plans to upgrade Chiyewe Community School in Msanga Ward in Chipata Central Parliamentary Constituency into a Government school, considering that there was no Government school within a radius of 8km of the community school.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Kakoma: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order which is on a matter of extreme urgency and of national interest. Some hon. Members of Parliament are not in the House because the State has decided to arrest them and detain them on very vague allegations.

Mr Speaker, there are serious issues relating to the violation of human rights and the rights of your hon. Members of Parliament …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Could you, please, allow the hon. Member to raise his point of order.

Mr Kakoma: … who are genuinely carrying out their duties. 

Mr Speaker, are the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and His Honour the Vice-President in order to have issued instructions for the police to arrest hon. Members of Parliament based on flimsy grounds without the knowledge and authorisation of you, Mr Speaker? As I am speaking to you, the situation in Livingstone is tense. Right now, the paramilitary are surrounding the house where the President of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr Hakainde Hichilema is. They want to incarcerate him. This is creating tension a few hours before the people of Livingstone go to vote. Are the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and His Honour the Vice-President in order to create this situation in Livingstone and keep quiet about it without informing us on what is going on? I need your serious ruling. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I will direct the hon. Minister of Home Affairs through, of course, His Honour the Vice-President to respond with an appropriate statement on Thursday, this week. 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was saying that the ministry is not aware of a community school by the name of Chiyewe Community School in Msanga Ward. It could be that the school is known by a different name or it has not been registered with the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education for us to officially recognise it. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


377. Dr Kazonga (Vubwi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    what the top four non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Zambia were;

(b)    what the prevalence rate of each disease at (a) was; and 

(c)    what measures the Government had taken to address the risk factors of the diseases.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, the top four NCDs in Zambia are as follows:

(a)    trauma, which is connected to violence and injuries;

(b)    hypertension and cardiovascular diseases;

(c)    asthma and chronic respiratory diseases; and

(d)    diabetes.

Mr Speaker, there are no specific studies that have been conducted to determine the prevalence rate of the diseases. Nevertheless, the health management information system (HMIS) shows that these diseases are on the increase. The incidence of diabetes, for example, doubles yearly. The number of cases reported from primary health care level, in 2011, were as follows:

Disease    No. of Cases

Trauma    600,000

Cardiovascular Diseases    30,000
Hypertension    100,000

Asthma    90,000
Sir, however, the STEPS Survey was carried out in 2009 to 2010 and was conducted in four districts. It looked at the prevalence rates of diabetes, hypertension and obesity as well as the risk factors for the NCDs and showed the following results: 

Disease    Percentage

Diabetes    3.5

Hypertension    38.0
Sir, cancer incidence reported at the Cancer Diseases Hospital is on the increase from 1,204 cases, in 2007, to about 1,850 new cases last year. 

Mr Speaker, the Government has taken some measures to address the risk factors of the non-communicable diseases which I will now look at. 

Health Service Delivery

This has been done at two levels, namely health promotion and prevention services and case management. 

Health Promotion

Health promotion for the NCDs focuses on both the health population at risk whilst, at the same time, taking care of those who have contracted the disease. The following measures which we plan to scale up fast are being undertaken: 

(a)    health education on the risk factors and prevention of non-communicable disease through the media, drama groups, posters and other materials at all levels of care, be it national, provincial, district or community;

(b)    strengthening the control of tobacco use through advocacy and enforcement of appropriate policies and legislations aimed at discouraging, restricting and controlling tobacco use;

(c)    strengthening control of alcohol abuse through legislation and policies especially among the youths; 

(d)    promotion of healthy diets among the population, including promotion of exclusive breast feeding for babies for the first six months. We also promote traditional diets which are proven to be healthy as well as the control of the inflow and consumption of genetically modified food products. We even provide nutrition counselling;

(e)    promotion of active involvement in physical activities, including promotion of sport and recreation in schools, work places and communities; 

(f)    scaling up efforts towards prevention of trauma (caused by injuries and violence) through information, education and public awareness and enforcement of relevant policies and legislation aimed at reducing various forms of violence, injuries, including road traffic accidents, industrial accidents, domestic and gender based violence; and

(g)    educating men on the prevention and early detection of prostate cancer. Men above the age of forty-five should undergo screening for prostate cancer. Screening using digital or per rectal examination is done at health centres. The prostate specific antigen test is, currently, being offered at the Cancer Diseases Hospital. We plan to provide such services in other facilities as well.

Case Management Rehabilitation, Care and Support

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, until recently, management of the NCDs was, to a large extent, not prioritised and adequately supported. However, with the increase in their trends, there have been positive strides towards recognising them as a major public health problem. We have taken critical measures to support their case management. 

Mr Speaker, in this respect, the most significant step includes the establishment of the Cancer Diseases Hospital which has made significant impact, capacity building of health workers (doctor’s specialisation in the NCDs management), screening programmes for cervical, breast and prostate cancer, rehabilitation through physiotherapy departments and the strengthening of organisational structures for the NCDs. Therefore, the Government is tackling all the aspects of care for the NCDs and scaling up on these interventions and services that are being provided, that is promotion of the NCDs screening, early diagnosis and strengthening treatment and care of specific NCDs at all levels.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, since there has been no detailed study, I would like to find out if it is possible for the ministry, which has now taken the issue of the NCDs as a very important area as far as public health is concerned, to carry out a detailed study so that the overall picture in Zambia can be determined.

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the hon. Member for Vubwi Constituency’s interest in epidemiology and statistics. Let me confirm that studies will be launched to examine the nature and magnitude of the problem of the NCDs in Zambia. A separate study on the incidents and causation of injuries is also being planned for.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, when designing interventions and policies in the field of health, it is very necessary and quite important to have studies. I am happy to hear that some studies are being planned for. In the absence of information such as the prevalence and incidence rates, where did the hon. Deputy Minister base the information he gave us that there is an increase in the prevalence of injuries and diabetes? Was it just by subjective feeling or what we are currently seeing?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I have no doubt about the basis of the information which was given by the hon. Deputy Minister, but I am in doubt about the basis of the question by Hon. Dr Kalila.


Dr Kasonde: The basis of the information which was provided by the hon. Deputy Minister, of course, is the HMIS which collects data regarding admissions and out-patient attendances. This is the information that was used.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, while I was listening to the hon. Minister enumerating on the various types of the NCDs, I heard him mention trauma. In recent times, this country has had the misfortune of witnessing a high  percentage of carnage on our roads due to road traffic accidents. Could the hon. Minister, while waiting for this study, consider training the neighbourhood health committees and, through them, the communities which stay near accident prone places in providing first aid services. This is because we know that many deaths could have been prevented if we had a cadre of men and women who can know what to do when they arrive at the scene of an accident.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the hon. Member for Mumbwa Constituency that the Chibombo experience was a sad one and should, therefore, prompt us to take several actions. We had started working on all emergency services before the occurrence of the accident. Furthermore, on 6th March, 2013, we also intend to go through the whole experience that we had so that we can learn lessons from it. In the meantime, let me agree that first aid training is not only necessary for the communities which stay near places where accidents usually occur, but also, as we saw in the Chibombo incident, for the police officers and other people who are mandated to turn up first at a particular incident. I appreciate the suggestion given by the hon. Member. I wish to state that we all agree with him.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, as I take advantage of the presence of the hon. Minister and the hon. Deputy Ministers of Health, I would like to find out why, in the last three to four weeks, specifically in Lusaka, there has been an increase in flu and cough related illnesses. Could there be any information that we, as community members, can get from hospitals in order to help prevent these illnesses.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the current experience of flu in Lusaka and, indeed, the country as a whole is generally not very different from previous experiences. However, since the question has been asked, I have the obligation to mention that, in one district, there has been the occurrence of a kind of flu called H1N1 which is a very serious condition. It is at present confined to that particular district. However, we are making every effort to control the spread of that particular type of flu.

I thank you, Sir.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Minister referred to the unfortunate accident where people’s lives were lost in Chibombo. I would, therefore, like to find out from him if there are any plans of constructing a district hospital in Chibombo which will be well equipped to attend to emergencies such as highway accidents.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, we intend to do that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


378. Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection whether the Government had any plans to replant trees in the forest reserve situated on the southern part of the Great North Road between Mkushi and Serenje.

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the National Tree Planting Programme, intends to plant 400 hectares of plantations in the degraded forest reserves during the 2013/2014 Tree Planting Season.

I thank you, Sir.


379. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a)    what economic benefits accrued to the country as a result of trade promotion missions to the following countries in 2008;

(i)    Japan for the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) IV;

(ii)    China during the Xiamen Trade Fair;

(iii)    United Arab Emirates (UAE);

(iv)    India; and

(v)    Nigeria; and 

(b)    whether any industries had been set up in Zambia by investors from the countries above.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Taima): Mr Speaker, TICAD IV was launched to promote high level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners. It highlighted opportunities in various sectors and formed the basis on which the Government developed the Triangle of Hope Initiative, a programme supported by Japan through the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

 The Triangle of Hope Initiative seeks to create a platform for Zambia to achieve economic development by attracting significant domestic and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It aims to achieve this through a strengthened policy and legislative environment. The initiative emphasizes on political will and integrity, private sector dynamism and integrity, and Civil Service efficiency and integrity, as three key forces that enable the economy to attain accelerated economic development. 

Mr Speaker, the Triangle of Hope Initiative has a task force made up of twelve members. The main objective of the task force is to combine the ideas from public and private sectors in order to come up with solutions of speeding up development in various economic sectors of the country. The twelve task force facets are:

(a)    agriculture and agro-based industry;
(b)    cotton and cotton-based projects;
(c)    education;
(d)    medical and Health;
(e)    information and communication technology;
(f)    tourism;
(g)    banking and Insurance;
(h)    mining;
(i)    small and medium enterprises development;
(j)    air cargo hub and inland ports;
(k)    multi-facility economic zones; and
(l)    streamlining government machinery.

Mr Speaker, the benefit of the Triangle of Hope Initiative is the improvement of the investment environment in Zambia for it to be competitive in the region. Its other benefit is its contribution to the creation of more jobs and wealth by encouraging the private sector to increase levels of investment. The Government’s primary responsibility is to create a conducive business environment through the improvement of related policies, laws, regulations and services to attract more investment. One of the key commitments by the Japanese Government, during TICAD IV, was to assist in increasing the FDI from the Japanese private sector to Africa. As a result, the information shared during the conference opened up Zambia to Japanese investors. 

Mr Speaker, the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) is held in September, every year, in Xiamen, China. The fair focuses on investment negotiation and investment policy promotion and trade exchanges. The fair is currently China’s only international investment promotion event aimed at facilitating bilateral investment. It is also one of the largest global investment events. The fair showcased trade and investment opportunities available in various sectors of Zambia such as tourism, mining and construction. It also provided the platform through which Zambian businessmen and women exposed their businesses to the international trade and investment community. As a result of the showcasing of the investment opportunities, several Chinese companies have since set up mining and construction companies in Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, the mission to the UAE provided an opportunity for Zambia to share information on investment opportunities available to investors from the Middle East. The Middle East is a major source of the FDI and the mission was aimed at positioning the country to be a focus of trade and investment from the Middle East Region. Emirates, an airline company which runs a number of flights between Zambia and the UAE, is as a result of that trade mission beginning to bear fruit. 

The trade promotion mission to India exposed the country to new sources of the FDI in various sectors in Zambia. India, as one of the most dynamic emerging economies, is a major source of investment to the international community and Zambia has positioned itself, through such missions, to attract investment from India. 

Mr Speaker, the information that was shared during the trade promotion to Nigeria opened up the country to Nigerian multi-national enterprises in various sectors such as Dangote Industries, which is currently constructing a US$450 million cement plant, and Access Bank and Eco Bank which have both established their presence in Zambia. 
Mr Speaker, some of the companies set up as a result of investment missions to the countries outlined above include the setting up of the Hitachi Construction Machinery Limited in Lusaka, which has, so far, invested over US$15 million in a remanufacturing plant for heavy duty equipment. The success of this project is expected to open up Zambia to more Japanese investments. 

Secondly, there has been the entry and establishment, in Zambia, of firms such as Nava Bharat, which took over Maamba Collieries Limited and is in the process of constructing a 600 MW coal powered thermo plant in Maamba District; Emco Power is also setting up a coal power plant in Maamba District; Sterling Agriculture Enterprises Limited is in the process of setting up a sugar plantation and sugar processing plant in Solwezi; Airtel and as earlier mentioned, Dangote, Access and Eco banks. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the trade promotion missions are still in force in this country. 

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, I wish to confirm that trade missions in Zambia are in force. For instance, in the case of the trade fair in Xiamen, we attended one such fair in October, last year, which assisted in getting a number of companies from China to express interest in investing in the country. Some of those companies are already in the country. This, however, is an on-going process. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, I have seen a number of Zambian businessmen and women going to the UAE to do business. However, there has been no mention, in the hon. Minister’s response, of companies or industries from there setting up in Zambia. May I know why this is so? 
Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, reference was made to the UAE regarding trade. On the manufacturing side, we have to admit that, perhaps, it is still in the formative stages. Suffice it to say, in 2008, the total investment was in the region of US$43 million. However, like we said, this is a process. Interest has been expressed and it is only a question of time before we see people shifting their investments into manufacturing. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Kapyanga (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to know how the Triangle of Hope Initiative is addressing the issue of cotton growers, seeing as Mulungushi Textiles remains closed and cotton producers remain stuck with the produce in their homes.  

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the catch phrase, under the Triangle of Hope Iniative, is ‘value-addition’. Even the policy documents drafted and associated with it, such as the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and reports and arguments presented before Parliament, emphasise the importance of a shift from the extractive industry or export of raw materials to value-addition. This is one of the interventions that arises under this initiative. 

Hon. Lubezhi is not here, but I wish to inform her that, in Namwala, we currently have a programme that is going on where we are setting up a cluster of cotton growers …

Hon. Members: Clusters!


Mr Mukata: Yes, at least, clusters are coming to life now. In Namwala, cotton farmers have come together to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a partnership where a ginnery will be procured to gin the lint into yarn and also to extract the cotton seed and make oil thus adding value. Similarly, this is happening in Mumbwa where the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has partnered with farmers under a project in similar lines as the one in Namwala.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


380. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    whether there had been a decline in maternal mortality rates from 1990 to 2010;

(b)    if so, by what rates; and

(c)    how many women died as a result of maternal related complications from 1st January, 2005 to 31st December, 2011, year by year.
Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is the proportion of female deaths per a 100,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management for a specified year. This indicator is measured worldwide through population based surveys such as demographic and health surveys (DHS). The Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) was conducted in 1992, 1996, 2002 and 2007 with preparation for 2012, the ZDHS underway. The MMR from the DHS in Zambia is as follows:

Year    1992    1996    2002    2007    2012

Maternal    No data    649 per    729 per    591 per    No data yet
Mortality    Available    100,000 live    100,000 live    100,000 live
Ratio         births    births    births

Therefore, prior to the period before 1996, there were no reliable maternal mortality statistics at population level.

Sir, the MMR in Zambia declined by almost 9 per cent from 647 per 100,000 live births, in 1996, to 591 per a 100,000 live births in 2007.

Mr Speaker, according to our facility-based HMIS, the number of women who died as a result of maternal related complications from 1st January, 2005 to 31st December, 2011, is 3,915 broken down as follows, year by year:

Year    No. of Deaths

2005      573
2006      700
2007      579
2008      462
2009      512
2010      585
2011      568

Total    3,915

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the concise research I carried out reveals to me that the maternal mortality rate is skyrocketing in rural areas more than in urban areas. This being the case, what mechanism is the Government putting in place to save the lives of women in the rural areas?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, it is a matter of great appreciation for me to hear that some research has been going on …


Dr Kasonde: … in Chilubi.

Mr Speaker: It is concise.


Dr Kasonde: Admittedly, I have limited my record to published work and I am looking forward to the publication of the findings of the research carried out in Chilubi.


Dr Kasonde: Sir, I agree that, perhaps, rural areas deserve much more attention than they have received before. That is the reason two important steps were taken by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. 

The first step was to increase the number of facilities available in the rural areas to look after exactly such cases. Sir, you may recall that, in a recent response, we mentioned that the majority of emergencies in most rural areas are, in fact, related to pregnancy and child birth. The second step is to develop the mobile service system in such a way that it becomes very complementary to the fixed system and, therefore, contributes significantly to saving mothers in that situation.

Mr Speaker, may I also draw your attention to the fact that the creation of the mother and child component in the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health was in response to try to get closer to the people in the area of maternal health.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, one of the reasons this problem of maternal mortality has persisted is that people are having children that they do not plan for because they have no access to family planning services. What is this Government doing to ensure that it takes family planning services to all parts of this country, including rural areas which the hon. Member is concerned about, so that people can have children which they will plan for and, in turn, help to reduce maternal mortality rates?

Mr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I entirely agree with the hon. Member that the area of family planning has not been sufficiently developed to increase the contraceptive rate to a level that would bring us some reduction in maternal mortality.

My colleague, the hon. Minister for Community Development, Mother and Child Health, recently launched a very extensive programme to strengthen family planning services in the country. I would not wish to go into details of that because I am sure that, at some point, he will wish to do so. So, in agreeing with you, Sir, I also hope that hon. Members like yourself have already taken steps to participate in this activity.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer by the hon. Minister, I note that the MMR has been fluctuating from 1989 to 2007 and since 2007 to date, we do not have figures …

Dr Kalila: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a point of order. Is the hon. Minister of Health in order to answer a question on maternal and child health, which is now a portfolio function of the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, when the substantive hon. Minister is in the House? 

I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: According to the order of proceedings, the question was actually directed at the hon. Minister of Health and, I think, it is also within his professional competence to respond to the question.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I was saying that, according to the information given by the hon. Minister, the maternal mortality rate had been fluctuating between 1989 to 2007. In 1996, it was 649, in 2002, it was 739 and, in 2007, it was 591. From 2007 to date, we do not have data on what has happened to the rate. Furthermore, in part (c), which is about the women who died as a result of maternal related complications, the number has equally been fluctuating. What was the hon. Minister’s basis for informing this House and the nation at large that the rates have been going down?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member not only for the question, but also for the great work she is doing in support of maternal health. The issue of statistics between 1992 and 2012, and 2005 and 2011, have got one technical nuance that must be taken into account, which is that of the figures being quoted from the Zambia Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS). Initially, the surveys were done every five years and, therefore, we did not have figures for specific years. We had periodic figures. However, later, under (c), the statistics were collected annually.

Secondly, Sir, whereas in surveys we look at population data, in this case, on the question under (c), we are looking at the actual deaths. This is rather confusing but, once we understand it, it becomes possible to see why an overall fall in population data might be compatible with some increase in individual mortality data. That is the explanation.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the issue of family planning seems to be a burden to be carried by women alone, yet it should be an issue for both sexes. What forms of male contraception is the hon. Minister promoting to reduce the maternal mortality rate?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I fully agree with her not only on this issue, but also some of the stands that we have seen her take outside this Chamber, which have the overall effect of progress.

Sir, family planning for men is a very important issue. We know that condoms are available. Vasectomy is also available, but we have not yet come to achieve that level of control as we have achieved in the case of women. This, I think, is a scientific anomaly that only the scientific world will resolve. For the time being, it is a social issue that is our focus on communicating with men for them to be participants in the process of family planning. That is our real position.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, one of the main reasons for the high maternal deaths is early marriages that result into teenage pregnancies and vice versa. If we look at our laws, there is the customary law, which allows early marriages, and the statutory law, specifically the Marriage Act, which does not. What is the Government doing to harmonise the two laws?

Mr Speaker: That is an interesting and very good question. However, I am not too sure whether it is fair to pose it to the hon. Minister of Health and whether it could be truly said to be supplementary in that regard. Just in case the hon. Minister of Health would like to venture an answer, he may do so.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has, indeed, asked a very interesting question which, however, the hon. Minister of Health has no answer to at present.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The matter is not dead and you may want to pursue it further.



381. Mr Kapyanga  asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the Government would rehabilitate ablution blocks, which were in a deplorable state, at the following schools in Kabwe Central Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    Mwashi Basic;

(ii)    Neem Tree Basic;

(iii)    David Ramushu; and 

(iv)    Lukanga Basic; and

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to improve the infrastructure at Jasmine Secondary School and, if so, when the plans would be implemented.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, when I last visited Mwashi Basic School, the ablution blocks were being rehabilitated using funds from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). As for Neem Tree Basic, the ministry provided K18 million, last year, for rehabilitation of the ablution block and works have since been completed. The picture countrywide is that we have got many schools with dilapidated or even no ablution blocks. Therefore, David Ramushu and Lukanga basic schools will be considered once we are adequately funded by the Ministry of Finance.

Mr Speaker, according to our Draft Infrastructure Plan for 2013, we have provided funds for improving infrastructure at Jasmine Secondary School. However, the money will be limited to the rehabilitation or completion of the laboratory.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, how often does the ministry receive reports on the state of Government schools throughout the country and what is the rate of response?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, that question is quite a mouthful. However, the ministry has structures that inform the headquarters on the state of school infrastructure countrywide. I am talking about the district education boards, through their secretaries and Provincial Education Officers (PEOs). These submit information on their various needs, which we factor into the National Infrastructure Development Plan every year.

I thank you, Sir.


382. Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection when the Government would erect a physical boundary between Zambia and Tanzania, particularly in the Nakonde area.

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Chingimbu): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection will replace damaged or destroyed intermediate beacons with permanent ones in collaboration with the Tanzanian authorities this year. Further, Zambia has made budgetary provisions for this exercise in this year’s Budget and works are scheduled to start next month.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.


383. Mr Simbao (Senga Hill) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:

(a)    what percentage of the labour force in the country was employed in the agricultural sector;

(b)    what contribution the forestry and fish industries made to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 and 2012; and

(c)    what the total contribution, in percentage terms, of the agricultural sector to the country’s total export earnings was in 2011 and 2012.

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, according to the latest estimates from the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey by the Central Statistical Office (CSO), in 2010, approximately 66.7 per cent of the total employed labour force was in the agricultural sector. No survey was undertaken in 2011 due to financial constraints while the 2012 Labour Force Survey, which will produce the up-to-date statistics, is currently underway.

Mr Speaker, the contribution of the forestry industry to the country’s GDP in 2011 and 2012 was 4.4 and 4.2 per cent, respectively while the corresponding contribution of the fisheries was 1.6 and 1.5 per cent, respectively. 

Sir, the 2012 estimates are preliminary while all estimates were calculated at the constant 1994 prices. Estimates by the CSO indicate that agriculture contributed 8.8 per cent to the country’s total export earnings in 2011 and 12.4, as at 30th September, 2012.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I note that the figures for the labour force employed in agriculture for 2011 and 2012 are not available which makes it very difficult to really find out what the ministry is trying to say. However, going by the 66.7 per cent what is the percentage for those in forestry and those in fisheries in 2010?

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, that is a new question. However, it would not be difficult for us to provide the response should the hon. Member put it in writing.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: In short, the information is not available at hand.


384. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    why the Government had changed the nomenclature of the following positions:

(i)    District Education Officer to District Education Board Secretary (DEBS); and

(ii)    Inspector of Schools (IS) to Education Standards Officer (ESO); and

(b)    why the Government had abolished the position of Education Officer (EO).

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the Government changed the nomenclature of DEO to DEBS after the Ministry of Education, then, was re-structured in line with its Educating Our Future Policy. This was further in line with decentralisation, whereby education boards were established and the role of the DEO was modified. The position of IS was renamed ESO because the former name used to instill fear in our system, instead of being supportive. The ESO’s role is that of offering support, not fault-finding, hence the change of name.

Mr Speaker, the position of EO still exists in the ministry. However, at district level, the position has now been replaced by SOs.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, now that the DEBSs have become almost irrelevant, is the Government not planning to revert to the titles of DEO and IS, which were known even by old people in the villages?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, there is no evidence that suggests that DEBs have become irrelevant as Hon. Chisala has presented. We can only reach that stage when more scientifically-organised research is conducted, but let me state that there is no policy that is cast in stone. The need will arise, just as it arose at the time these boards were thought of. We will review this when the need arises. As at now, there are more urgent areas for us to expend our energies on.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


385. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a)    when the Government would facilitate the commencement of manufacturing of the following farming machinery:

(i)    tractors;

(ii)    ploughs;

(iii)    harrows; and

(iv)    planters; and

(b)    from which countries Zambia currently imported the farming machinery at (a) above.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the Government has made strides in providing for an enabling investment environment suitable for the FDI in value-addition projects and labour-intensive technologies. This includes the facilitation and promotion through the provision of cost reduction fiscal incentives under the appropriate tax codes. One such incentive is customs duty exemption for projects engaged in the assembly of tractors, motor cycles and trailers. 

Under the Zambia Development Act No. 11 of 2006, the Government has provided the following incentives that assist local manufacturers, including those involved in the assembly of tractors and manufacturing of ploughs and harrows:

(a)    zero per cent tax rate on dividends for five years from first year of commencing operations;

(b)     from six to eight years, only 50 per cent of profits are taxable; and

(c)    from nine to ten years, only 75 per cent of profits are taxable. 

There is also zero per cent import duty rate on capital goods, machinery and specialised vehicles for five years.

Other incentives offered to manufacturers, Mr Speaker, include the following income tax:

(a)    10 per cent initial allowance and annual 5 per cent wear and tear on buildings and structures; and

(b)    50 per cent depreciation allowance on machinery.
On indirect tax, the incentives offered are as follows:

(a)    customs duty exemption on most machinery and equipment used in manufacturing;

(b)    zero rate duty on certain raw materials; and

(c)    import value added tax deferment on eligible plant and machinery of a capital nature.
Mr Speaker, some companies have already responded to the incentive package and have commenced manufacturing some of the said equipment. These include Saro Industrial Limited and Camco Limited. In this regard, the ministry has continued receiving increased interests from potential investors and it is hoped that such interests will be firmed up as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker, members of the public are free to import from whichever country they deem fit. The Government is, however, not involved in the importation of farming machinery, but facilitates a conducive business environment in the country. However, some of the countries where some of the machinery is imported from include, but are not limited to, China, India, Brazil and the United States of America (USA).

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, is there other farming machinery that is likely to be manufactured apart from the one that the hon. Minister has stated in his response?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, it is definite that we will have other types of farming machinery manufactured, as I did indicate. There are expressions of interest from investors, both from outside and within, to come and invest in other types of equipment such as tractors. Currently, one type of equipment that has not been mentioned here, which is being manufactured, is a hammer mill. In terms of the local market, the Government has been facilitating the manufacturing of less complicated agricultural farming tools and equipment on a small-scale basis through the recognition of the organisations and associations involved in the production of agricultural tools and implements. Examples of such small manufacturing organisations are the Technical Development Advisory Unit (TDAU) at the University of Zambia (UNZA), which is manufacturing ox-drawn ploughs, planters, harrows and post-harvest equipment; the Katopola Mechanisation Centre in Chipata, Eastern Province, which is also engaged in the manufacturing of ox-drawn ploughs, spare parts, ridges and post-harvest equipment; there is the Small-Scale Mechanisation Services (SAMS) on Mungwi Road in Lusaka, which is also engaged in ox-drawn ploughs, ox-drawn planters, spare parts, ridges and post-harvest equipment; and also the Lumbwe Mechanisation Centre in Mansa, Luapula Province, which is involved in the manufacturing of similar types of equipment.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister mentioned Camco Limited. Is he aware that the machinery manufactured by this company is sub-standard?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the ministry is not aware of that fact but, I think, such are issues that you will meet when you talk about issues of equipment, especially in a competitive environment. However, you are free to come to the Zambia Bureau of Standards and let us know the material particulars of sub-standard equipment and then we can engage Camco Limited and see how we can assist the private sector, such as this company, to improve. Perhaps, what the company needs is just assistance to improve in that regard.

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has spoken so much about the importation of equipment. He has also mentioned a few companies that are involved in the manufacturing of equipment such as ploughs and harrows on a small-scale. However, the companies mentioned are non-existent as we have a huge shortage of ploughs in the country. Ploughs are cardinal to the growth of the agriculture industry. 

Is the hon. Deputy Minister considering coming up with a cluster in this area which can look at manufacturing these ploughs to help the agricultural sector in the country?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, it is part of the bigger picture.

I thank you, Sir.


386. Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when construction of Kamukeze Primary School in Mapatizya Parliamentary Constituency would be completed;

(b)    who the contractor for the project was;

(c)    why the contractor had abandoned the project;

(d)    how much money had so far been paid to the contractor; and

(e)    what the total cost of the project was.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the construction of Kamukeze Primary School will be completed when additional funds for the project are released.

Sir, the project was on full-contract mode and the contractor’s name is Wikens Enterprise of Choma. The contractor abandoned the project because the funds were not remitted in totality. Therefore, the money was not sufficient to complete the project. The total amount of money that was released for the project was KR254,000. Out of that amount, the contractor was paid about KR40,000.  

Mr Speaker the estimated cost of the project is KR394,000. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister made it clear that the money was not released in totality. Why was this so when it was meant for Kamukeze Primary School?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament is aware that we are talking about a 2008/2009 project on full contract. We had to go against protocol to get certain information from the DEBS, who is just four months old in office. It is one of those sad stories in the infrastructure development programmes of the Government in that we are targeting to construct, at this school, a 1 x 3 classroom block, two staff houses, two single ventilated improved pit-latrines (VIPs) and two double VIPs which we have failed to complete. 

Sir, as I speak, we have completed the 1 x 3 classroom block and one staff house which is awaiting painting. The other house is not complete and has not been roofed at all. The VIP toilets have not been constructed either. So, I have asked the Office of the Provincial Education Officer (PEO) to liaise with the DEBS so that we come to terms with what happened. However, as the hon. Deputy Minister said, the contractor has since left the site.

Nevertheless, we would like to know how much money we released against how much money we were supposed to pay in totality. We will await this information and the hon. Member of Parliament will be alerted on what exactly happened. In the meantime, hon. Member of Parliament, I would beseech you to take a keen interest in these old projects which are hanging around the constituency so that you help us to monitor the performance of the ministry in the Infrastructure Development Programme better.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the completion is expected when funds are made available. He later encouraged the hon. Member of Parliament to follow through these issues. Now, when you receive an answer which is open-ended like that, it is very difficult for the hon. Member of Parliament to follow these issues through. Is it not possible to give an indication as to when the Government will avail money meant for this project?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, once the ministry gets feedback from the province and the district, we will endeavor to complete this project. Four years down the line is an inconvenience to our teachers as well as the learners. We will endeavour to complete this project, but not before we can get the gist of what happened.

I thank you, Sir.


387. Mr Ng’onga asked the Vice-President:

(a)    when a District Commissioner (DC) would be appointed for the newly-created Nsama District in the Northern Province;

(b)    when infrastructure development in the district would begin; and

(c)    how much money was earmarked for the initial phase of infrastructure development.

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, a DC has already been appointed.

Sir, like other newly-created districts, Nsama District will have standard modern infrastructure. However, the infrastructure construction process will be preceded by the development of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Local Area Plan (LAP). In order to ensure orderly infrastructure development, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is in the process of developing IDPs and LAPs for all the newly-created districts.

The exact amount of money to be spent on the construction of infrastructure in Nsama District will be known once the planning and tendering process is completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, Nsama needs a DC. May I know the minimum qualification for this position,

Hon. Government Members: Aah! Is that a question?

Mr Mutale: You must be Zambian!

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I did not come armed with that interesting fact and I would like to know it myself. 

I thank you, Sir.


388. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)    whether the Government was aware that Lake Mweru-Wa- Ntipa and the surrounding swamps and marshlands had been drying up at a faster rate in the last few years;

(b)    whether the drying up was related to the effects of climate change and, if not, what the cause was; and 

(c)    what measures the Government had taken to reverse the drying up of the lake and surrounding areas.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that Lake Mweru-Wa-Ntipa and its surrounding swamps and marshlands have been drying up, but cannot confirm that the rate of drying has been faster in the past few years because no studies have been conducted to verify this.

Mr Speaker, the water levels of the lake are dependent upon local climatic conditions and the lake has virtually dried on a few occasions. For example, during the years 1912 to 1919 and, again, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Ekowali?

Dr Mwali: Ekotwali ifwe.


Dr Mwali: … in 1949-1950. However, the lake reached peak levels in 1974. The causes of the drying up of the lake are many. These include the rampant deforestation of catchment forests around the lake and within the lake basin leading to siltation in the streams and rivers which are tributaries to the lake. 

The extreme cases of drying have been compounded by severe droughts experienced in the area while peak water levels have been due to flooding. This is a clear aspect of climate variability. Severe drought also had a negative effect on the underground water recharge systems that have linkage to the Lake Mweru-Wa -Ntipa system.

Mr Speaker, some of the measures that the ministry has put in place to address the situation include arresting deforestation by promoting nationwide tree planting and encouraging good natural resources management practices. To this effect, a study is required to provide information which will be used to plan remedial measures which include deepening of the river beds of the affected water courses and the restoration of the river line forests in catchment areas. 

Mr Speaker, we are also considering the development of community environmental management initiatives to conserve the Itigi Thickets on the uplands surrounding the lake by planting indigenous trees, eradicating late and high density fires, protecting the remaining thick forests and practising conservation farming.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngo’nga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Deputy Minister for the elaborate answer that he has given to us. 

Mr Speaker, Mweru-Wantipa is an inland lake which supports all the major economic activities for the people of Kaputa. Therefore, it is a very important lake. I want to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister when a group of people will be sent to Kaputa to conduct the study he mentioned so that we know what immediate actions can be taken.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, we have programmes for that area. I can assure the hon. Member of Parliament that we will conduct the study as quickly as possible.

I thank you, Sir.


389. Mr Ngo’nga asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)    what environmental concerns there were in relation to the mining of sand in areas near cities and towns;

(b)    who was responsible for the cost of rectifying the damage caused to the environment as a result of sand mining;

(c)    what the economic benefits  to the nation of mining and trading in sand were; and    

(d)    whether the Government had any plans to control the indiscriminate mining of sand and, if so, what the plans were.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the environmental concerns in relation to mining of sand in areas near towns and cities include:

(a)    transformation of river beds into deep pits and erosion of river banks;

(b)    pollution of water;

(c)    loss of valuable timber resources  and wildlife habitats;

(d)    sand mining compromises air quality, generates unacceptable levels of noise and damages infrastructure; and    

(e)    has an impact on human health and safety.

Mr Speaker, one of the principles in the Environmental Management Act of 2011 is the Polluter Pays Principle. This principle states that whoever pollutes or causes land degradation is responsible for rectifying the damage caused to the environment. However, if we fail to identify the entity responsible for that damage, the responsibility to rectify the damage falls on the Government.

Mr Speaker, the following are some of the economic benefits of sand mining:

(a)    contributes to job creation through the employment of truck drivers and general workers;

(b)    contributes to the local tax base through taxes and levies; and

(c)    leads to infrastructure development such as roads and other buildings.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, through the Zambia Environmental Agency (ZEMA), has, in the past, asked the sand miners to operate in designated areas in order to control the indiscriminate mining in undesignated areas. This programme has not yielded the desired results. To this effect, ZEMA is considering coming up with new measures to deal with sand mining.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, has the Government designated any areas for sand mining in Katuba, which is near Lusaka?

The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Simuusa): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Member of Parliament that the Government has not allocated any specified area in Katuba for sand mining activities. In fact, I think, we need to work more closely with the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development because there should be a licence issued to people who want to mine sand. However, what is happening is that people overlook this provision and are not getting licences to mine sand. When you get the licence, it stipulates where you are supposed to mine. However, this provision has been ignored. I think the Government needs to act firmer on this issue because most of the sand mining activity currently taking place is illegal and is causing a lot of problems to our environment.

I thank you, Sir.    


390. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education why the construction of the following infrastructure in Kalabo had stalled:

(a)    a 1x 3 classroom block and staff houses at Ng’uma Basic School;

(b)    a 1x 3 classroom block at Lushi and Kalabo Basic Schools; and

(c)    an office block for the DEBS.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the construction of a 1x 3 classroom block and one staff house has stalled because the contract was terminated and, therefore, the hon. Minister, through the DEBS, has proceeded to put in place an advertisement to engage a new contractor. The reason for the termination of the contract was that the contractor had absconded from the site for more than three months.

Mr Speaker, the construction of a 1x 3 classroom block at Lushi and Kalabo basic schools could not be completed because materials for the completion of the construction works were not enough. Funds for this project were limited and, therefore, the ministry will have to look for more money to ensure that the classroom blocks at these two schools are completed.

Mr Speaker, the construction of Kalabo DEBS’ office has not been completed because the funding for this building was done through sector pool funding which was phased out before the structure was completed. However, the consolation is that the completion of this office has been provided for in the 2013 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.
Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, as most hon. Members are aware, Kalabo is economically poor. Is the Government not going to reverse the idea of having community-based projects? Some communities, such as that of Kalabo, find it difficult to contribute towards such projects. Does the Government have any plans to suspend or do away with community-based projects?

Mr Speaker: Can the hon. Minister reiterate the policy.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the policy is not standard. There are particular areas that need specific solutions and Kalabo is one of them. For us to complete the construction of the 1 x 3 classroom block at Lushi and also Kalabo Basic, we have decided that we provide funds. These funds have been provided for in the 2013 Budget. 

The views which have been expressed by Hon. Miyutu are valid. Depending on which area we are dealing with, we should be flexible when deciding to use either the community or contractor mode. We have enough experience to inform us which area would benefit more from a contractor mode or community mode of constructing education facilities. 

I thank you, Sir.


391. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)    whether the Government was aware of a critical shortage of arable land in the following areas in Kalabo District:

(i)    Yanga;

(ii)    Lutwi;

(iii)    Shi;

(iv)    Lukona; and

(v)    Munyonga; and

(b)    whether there were any plans to degazette parts of the protected forests in the areas at (a) to enable local people to access land for farming.

Mr Chingimbu: Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that the issue of shortage of land for agriculture is a reality in certain parts of the country. This includes the areas mentioned in Kalabo District.

Sir, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has no plans to degazette parts of forest reserves in Kalabo District in the above mentioned areas for agricultural purposes because of the following:

(a)    Kalabo District has a very fragile landscape because of its being near the Kalahari Desert. The district requires careful land use planning; and

(b)    the removal of trees in the said forest reserve could trigger high levels of siltation to the streams and rivers in the Zambezi River Basin. The resultant siltation may have serious repercussions on the lives of people and animals as it may lead to the accelerated encroachment of the Kalahari Desert conditions in Kalabo District.

Sir, equally, the Government has noted the poor agricultural systems of slash and burn as well as shifting cultivation practices as the major drive for the shortage of agricultural land in most parts of our country. Hence, my ministry as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock are sensitising our small-scale farmers to abandon these agricultural practices and adopt agro-forestry and conservation farming practices in order to improve their agricultural produce per unit area to ensure food security at household level and income generation. 

Thus, we should improve on our agriculture productivity per unit area as opposed to clearing huge tracts of land with very low productivity.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, my observation is that these communities are used to practiing the Chitemene Farming System. They find it difficult to change to any other mode of farming. Further, all these measures are not being enhanced …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

What is your question?

Mr Miyutu: In the areas which have been mentioned, why has the Government not taken up the initiative of educating farmers so that they adopt new farming methods?

Mr Chingimbu: Mr Speaker, this senstisation programme is a national one. The sensitisation activities are carried out at so many fora, more especially by the district agriculture co-ordinators’ offices.

I thank you, Sir.


392. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whether the Government had any plans to construct a modern market at John Chinena Market along the Great North Road in Chibombo District.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government has plans to improve the market infrastructure not only for Chibombo, but also for all the districts countrywide. Due to the huge financial requirement for constructing infrastructure for modern markets, it has not been possible to meet all the requirements from the various districts within one financial year. 

The support to the various districts is being given in phases and, therefore, Chibombo and other districts shall be considered in the next budgeting year.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the area in question is quite a dangerous one, in terms of the location. It curves in both ways whether you are coming from Kabwe or Lusaka. Even the speed humps there do not seem to be helping matters. We had a tanker overturning there. Are there plans by the ministry to find an alternative place where the people in the area can be trading from?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, when funds are available in the next budgeting year, the council and other stakeholders will come together to find a suitable place where the market will be constructed. The market where people are trading from in Chibombo is not recognised by the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, may I know whether the ministry has plans to change the name of that would-be market to something which is a bit respectable.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, like I said, the Government does not recognise the market in question. Therefore, its name is also not recognised.

I thank you, Sir.


Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, John Chinena …


Professor Lungwangwa: … was a very famous person in this particular area. However, unfortunately, John Chinena, who was a product, son and resident of this particular area, passed on. The community has honoured him by naming the market after him. Why would the Government not recognise such a famous man? Whether you call him John Chinena, John Sinena, John Kinena, like in Kaonde, …


Professor Lungwangwa: … why would the Government not acknowledge and respect the people’s wish to honor their own?


The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, it is not the name that we are not recognising, but the market because it is situated at a very dangerous point.

I thank you, Sir.

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


393. Mr Bwalya asked the Minister of Home Affairs what measures the Government had taken to address the porous nature of Kasumbalesa Border Post in Chililabombwe District.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, we have put in place various measures to address the porous nature of Kasumbalesa Border Post in Chililabombwe District which include the following:

(a)    as a permanent solution, the Government is in the process of constructing a wire fence along the border line as a way of securing the border area;

(b)    the Government has also increased the presence of police in the area in order to prevent smuggling and other crime-related activities along the border area;

(c)    the Immigration Department, in its quest to address the porous nature of Kasumbalesa Post, deployed five more officers, in 2012, in order to beef up the number of officers at the station;

(d)    the Government is aware that the available manpower is not adequate due to accommodation challenges. In this vein, the Government is in the process of building more housing units for officers at the border post to alleviate this challenge;

(e)    the Government has further given Kasumbalesa Police Station a land cruiser to assist in motorised patrols along the border areas;

(f)    the Immigration Department has also been conducting patrols and mounting road blocks in a bid to curb illegal border crossings; and

(g)    the Immigration Department, in conjunction with other stakeholders, will in March, this year, 2013, conduct a sensitisation tour among the people who live along the border area on the need to comply with immigration requirements. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, my concern is the revenue that is lost at that particular border post. In that light, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there is collaboration between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Finance in as far as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is concerned in ensuring that we seal those loop holes so that we can collect the revenue that will go towards the construction of feeder roads in Lupososhi Constituency.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, there is collaboration between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. In any case, the financial resources to put up the fence to secure the border line will be provided by the Ministry of Finance. We are collaborating to ensure that we start collecting revenue because, as you are aware, we are losing a lot of it through the smuggling that occurs at that border post.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I heard that there is consideration to put up a wire fence. Surely, is that a wise way of using our money? Would the hon. Minister consider putting up a steel fence instead of a wire fence. Does he think that the fragility of a wire fence will assist in curtailing this illegal smuggling?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we are looking at different types of wire because we are trying to put up temporary measures for now and also look at the cost implications of eventually putting up permanent fencing along the border line.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, would the ministry consider turning the road block at Kafue into a twenty-four hour one because the border post is too porous and most people travel during the night.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I am a bit confused because we are talking about Kasumbalesa Border Post in Chililabombwe District …


Mr Kampyongo: Yes, we are looking at the option of that border operating twenty-four hours a day. However, that will not be the solution per se. The most important thing to do is secure the border and then the road block will stand to simply enhance the measures that we would have been put in place.

I thank you, Sir.


394.    Ms Kalima asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the Government would build health posts in the following wards in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    Chiparamba;

(ii)    Nkowe; and

(iii)    Kwenje

(b)    of the 650 health posts earmarked for construction countrywide, how many would be constructed in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency;

(c)    how many nurses would be posted to Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency in 2013; and 

(d)    when an ambulance for Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency would be procured.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the Government will construct health posts at Chiparamba, Mkowe and Kwenje wards in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency this year, 2013.

Sir, as indicated above, the Government will construct three health posts in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency and as such, none of the 650 Indian-funded health posts earmarked for construction countrywide will be constructed in the constituency. 

Mr Speaker, Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency has four health facilities, namely Kasenengwa, Chizenge, Mazimawe Health centres and Katondo Health Post. Currently, the four health facilities in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency have a total of eleven qualified staff and they are broken down as follows:

Staff     No. of Staff

Zambia Enrolled Nurses    03 
Zambia Enrolled Midwives    04

Environmental Health Technologists    02

Health Centre in-Charge    02

Sir, the establishment of nurses at the four health facilities in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency is filled to capacity. The Government will only consider posting nurses after the three health posts proposed for construction in 2013 are completed. 

Mr Speaker, the current Government policy on ambulances is that an ambulance is attached to the district hospital which services the catchment area. The Government does not distribute ambulances by parliamentary constituencies. Further, the Government is aware of the shortage of ambulance services in most of the districts in the country. It appreciates that a functioning ambulance service increases access to health services for the people of Zambia. To this effect, it has taken measures to avert the shortage of ambulance services not only in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency, but also in all districts countrywide. The Government will procure 207 ambulances. These will comprise forty-two advanced ambulances, 160 basic ambulances and five Type IV ambulances. These will be distributed to all districts in the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that all the health centres are filled to capacity in terms of nurses. Katondo Health Post in Mboza has only got one nurse who does everything at the health centre. When this nurse goes to attend workshops, the health post remains unmanned. What is the ministry doing to ensure that such is avoided because I do not concur with the answer that has been given by the hon. Deputy Minister. I am on the ground and I would like to say that …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Member for Kasenengwa, please, approach these issues with clarity. You were just in the process of asking a question and then before you completed doing that, you raised a contradiction on a statement made by the hon. Deputy Minister of Health. Following what you are presenting is a bit difficult because of that sort of mixed communication. Ask a supplementary question rather than contradicting the statement by the hon. Minister.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I just realised that what he was saying was not true. The clinic in Mboza only has one nurse and the hon. Minister said that Kasenengwa, in terms of nurses, is filled to capacity. What does the Government intend to do to ensure that when this nurse is attending workshops, the clinic is manned and people do not remain unattended to?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I must appreciate that, on this occasion, there was, in fact, a lot of light as compared to the amount of heat. The issue of absence to attend a workshop and the need for that absence to be covered is very much a local management one. Instructions are given to district management about arranging for absences to be covered. That is why the hon. Deputy Minister referred to the total number, from the beginning, to cover a group of centres. It seems logical to me to leave such decisions to the local management. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister if there is what I would call staff allocation to these health facilities. I am taking advantage of part (c) of the question which was looking at nurses being sent to that constituency. Is there a plan which looks at the distribution of these staff such as nurses similar to that of infrastructure?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, for every institution defined in our list of health institutions, there is a corresponding arrangement for its establishment. Therefore, for us, in the Ministry of Health, the moment we say this is a health centre, we know it represents a certain category of people. However, there are occasions when the current situation in a given centre requires that adjustments are made on a temporary basis for this cover to be maintained without necessarily following the establishment. This seems to work well and I think even mathematically, the hon. Member will find that it will work.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, will the newly-created districts benefit from the ambulances that will be distributed?

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, yes, it is our intention to maintain the arrangement that wherever a district is created, there be necessary provision of hospital and ambulance facilities. However, we must take account of the fact that a district has to be created first and only then are we able to start thinking about the kind of arrangements for transport. Therefore, there will be, as of this moment, certain districts which have recently been created which may not receive a few of the ambulances that are going to be available. This does not, in any way, change the policy.

I thank you, Sir.


395. Ms Kalima asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    when the Government would construct police posts in the following wards in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    Chiparamba;

(ii)    Mkowe;

(iii)    Mboza;

(iv)    Ng’ongwe; and

(v)    Makongwa;

(b)    how many police officers would be posted to Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency in 2013; and

(c)    How many vehicles would be allocated to the police in the constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mrs Mwamba): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Zambia Police Force, will construct police posts in Chiparamba, Mkowe, Mbola, Ngongwe and Makongwa wards. This project will be budgeted for in next year’s Budget line.

Sir, I am informed that there is no office and housing infrastructure for police officers in Kasenengwa, hence, we cannot deploy officers until a police post or station is constructed. However, as a temporary measure, the head of the police in Chipata deploys officers to Kasenengwa Constituency to conduct patrols although, with the coming of the rainy season, it has been difficult for officers to undertake patrols because of the poor state of the roads and inadequate transport.

Mr Speaker, the Government has recruited 1,500 police officers, who are currently undergoing training at Lilayi Police College, School of Public Order Maintenance (Kamfinsa) and the Paramilitary Training School (Sondela). However, officers will only be posted to Kasenengwa once a police post is constructed. 

Sir, it is the Government’s policy to provide transport to all police stations countrywide. It will, therefore, provide an additional motor vehicle to Chipata, which will facilitate motorised patrols in Kasenengwa, as a temporary measure, pending the construction of a police post.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that Kasenengwa is more than 100 km away from Chipata, and that, currently, there is no police officer? Even those who were in Chiparamba on patrol have been withdrawn, thus, increasing the incidences of crimes in that area. Is it right to have such a situation, whereby there are no police officers in the whole area? I heard the hon. Deputy Minister indicate that only after a police station is constructed will some police officers  be deployed in that area.

Mrs Mwamba: Mr Speaker, we are aware that this situation has prevailed for a long time but, currently, because of the rainy season, the roads are in a very deplorable state and it is very difficult for our police officers to get to Kasenengwa. When the rains have subsided, patrols will resume and continue until a police station is constructed in the area.

I thank you, Sir.




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 1649 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 27th February, 2013.