Debates- Friday, 2nd November, 2012

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Friday, 2nd November, 2012

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I rise to give an idea of the business the House will consider next week. 

Sir, on Tuesday, 6th November, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any and then the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. The following Heads will be considered:

Head 5 – Electoral Commission;
Head 6 – Public Service Commission – Office of the President;
Head 7 – Office of the Auditor-General;
Head 33 – Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry; and
Head 45 – Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.

Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 7th November, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and will consider the following Heads:

Head 8 – Cabinet Office – Office of the President;
Head 9 – Teaching Service Commission – Office of the President; and
Head 10 – Police and Prisons Service Commission – Office of the President.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 8th November, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, and the following Heads will be considered:

Head 11 – Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs;
Head 15 – Ministry of Home Affairs;
Head 16 – Drug Enforcement Commission; and
Head 46 – Ministry of Health.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 9th November, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with The Vice-President’s Question Time. It just says, “The Vice-President’s Question Time”, not, “The Vice-President’s Question Time, Aha ...”


Mr Speaker: Continue, His Honour the Vice-President.


The Vice President:  Mr Speaker, on Friday, 9th November, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure to consider the following Heads:

Head 12 – Commission for Investigations – Office of the President;
Head 13 – Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs; and
Head 14 – Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development.

Mr Speaker, after that, the House will deal with any outstanding business that may have been introduced earlier in the week.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.



Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President has indicated, at least, three times on the Floor of this House that all the small-scale farmers who sold their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would be paid by 31st October, 2012. At the moment, less than 40 per cent of the farmers in my constituency have been paid. What is the next promise to small-scale farmers who sold maize to FRA?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, let me just recapitulate for the benefit of the hon. Members or bring up-to-date information on the maize marketing business. The FRA opened 1, 293 satellite depots throughout the country and the programme officially came to an end on 31st October, 2012. I have brief details of the activities now. 

Mr Speaker, on crop purchases, the FRA recorded a cumulative total of just over 1 million metric tonnes as of 26th October, 2012, which is about 2 per cent in excess of the million metric tonnes that had been targeted. The highest production area was, indeed, the Eastern Province, with 191, 560 metric tonnes and the Southern Province, with almost the same quantity. The Western Province, at 21, 000 metric tonnes, was the lowest.

Mr Speaker, as for the disbursement of funds, I will ask the hon. Member to realise that there is a gap between the money being disbursed from banks in Lusaka, from which the FRA is borrowing, and the bank branches in Vubwi and elsewhere where they have to pay the small-scale farmers, based on schedules provided by the FRA depot clerks. So, there may be a few days’ delay. 

Sir, the hon. Member could have read articles in the paper about how farmers, together with FRA co-ordinators, had stormed banks to try and get the money flowing. The purchased maize of which we have definite records was valued at K1.322 trillion out of which K1.12 trillion, which is more than 90 per cent, if I am not mistaken, has been disbursed, leaving a balance of about K200 billion owed to farmers throughout the country. I have always thought that K200 billion was quite a lot of money but, according to FRA standards, it is not much. This is the first time in the history of the agency that a small amount of money out of the total is owed to farmers in record time at the close of the marketing season. 

This achievement can be traced to the Government since it provided guarantees to banks to finance crop purchases. That is the situation that the Government and I know about and, of course, there may be details down at the level of the satellite depots that we do not know of.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, we have seen the increase in both foreign direct investment (FDI) and copper production, but we are still seeing our kwacha tumbling against the United States (US) Dollar. What measures has the Government put in place to reduce the cost of doing business in Zambia and enhance private sector participation in the economy?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think that was more than one question, but let me respond to the first one, which was on the depreciation of the kwacha. 

Sir, the kwacha is not tumbling by any standards that are normally used. If you look at the movement of the dollar, euro or any other currency that you may care to name, over the last year, you will see that it is a 10 per cent movement from about 4, 850 to 5, 250. This is a relatively small movement and is largely the result of speculative investment. It is the so-called portfolio investors who borrow money cheaply, let us say, from Japan, and put it in New-Zealand or Zambia to get much higher interest rates that are normally on offer in these countries. 

Mr Speaker, the cost of borrowing in Zambian is coming down. So, it is less attractive to put your money in Government bonds in Zambia. From the Government point of view, that is not a bad thing because you do not want to be paying out interest to speculators all the time merely to keep an artificially high value to the currency. There is a bit of adjustment that needs to be done as the interest rate regime adjusts. 

Sir, I think that we should also bear in mind that it is not just the cost of imports that goes up when the kwacha slips a bit, but the price of exports as well. If the cotton farmers had had this rate when the exchange rates were computed, they would have an extra K200 per kilogramme from the exchange gain to the exporters. So, there are many aspects to this issue, and I would not use a word like ‘tumble’.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are reminded to restrict themselves to one question.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the printing of ballot papers in Zambia was one of the many promises that the PF Government made during last year’s campaigns. When will the printing of ballot papers be done by the Zambian Government?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the questioner should encourage his colleagues to pass this Budget. I am sure, in the estimates, there is K50 billion that has been allocated to this task with the relevant ministry, and we will do it in 2013.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, strong directives have come from His Honour the Vice-President’s Office in recent weeks concerning those who are in drought-prone areas …

Hon. Government Members: Drought-prone areas?

Professor Lungwangwa: … oh sorry, flood-prone areas, to move to safe places. It was a slip of the tongue, Mr Speaker. Could he enlighten the House and the nation on the progress on that directive?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the relocation of people from flood-prone areas is proceeding apace. I have not had a recent update on that yet since it has only been about three weeks ago that we issued, not a directive, but advice to the people who live in houses built in quarries to move because that is a sensible thing to do. Otherwise, they will be refugees in their country, and we will have to accommodate them at the Independence Stadium and other places. It is a matter of trying to be helpful to the people before the trouble starts so that they do not desperately run around when it starts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, could His Honour the Vice-President guide the House and the nation on how petroleum products are imported into the country, particularly in relation to the sourcing of the foreign exchange that is used. Is it sourced from the commercial banks or the Bank of Zambia?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, over the last year, I think, we have experimented with both systems of special access to foreign exchange reserves and using internal markets. Currently, I am made to understand, it is from the local markets that the money is sourced.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, now that the Government has run out of ideas on how to catch the Mailoni brothers, what is the next plan? Or has the Government totally failed?


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think, it is not entirely right to say that we have exhausted all the plans. For all I know, there are ten more secret plans in the police’s preview. Personally, I was asked the question of whether the Mailoni brothers actually existed and if there is any evidence of that. Maybe, the questioner can add in answering that question. However, I am sure that the police, the Ministry of Home Affairs and ministry of traditional activities such as witchcraft will be fully working secretly.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, my question to His Honour the Vice-President is on the environment. I am a slightly worried hon. Member of Parliament and citizen of Zambia because of the amount of plastics that litter Zambia. Does the Government have a policy to either stop this litter or promote environment-friendly paper bags as alternatives to plastics?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there are a number of approaches to this problem that are under consideration, but the recycling approach is the one currently being prioritised. We want to encourage, especially the small industries because they can benefit the ordinary people more readily. In fact, in the next three days, we have a set of small units that recycle plastics which were provided by a Charity in the United Kingdom (UK) coming to the Disaster Management Mitigation Unit (DMMU). The relevant hon. Minister has assured me that the whole matter is under active consideration. However, if that fails, then, we will have to go for other bio-degradable options or go back to the situation we had in this country of having to pay for a plastic bag or carry a basket as you go shopping, instead of expecting to find free plastic bags. All these options, together, I think, can make a cleaner Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, can the Vice-President clearly indicate to the nation when the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will start the continuous registration of voters as provided for in our laws. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, in principle, it is ongoing though, in practice, I think not, because of lack of funds. We certainly expect to see something happening regarding the continuous registration though it may be not at every polling station, but district centres next year. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mrs Mazoka (Pemba): Mr Speaker, for many years now we have been subjected to seeing policemen and paramilitary officers carrying guns around crowded areas, thus posing a great danger to the public. They even carry the guns on public transport. 

I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President if this is Government policy, and if so, what purpose it serves since we are not in a state of war. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, many countries such as Great Britain, which had a long reputation of never having had the police carrying guns, now feature heavily armed police officers because of the dangers posed by armed criminals. 

This is a policy that we inherited and not invented as the PF Government. I am sure that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs would readily assent that we review the situation from time to time in order to ensure that we have the right classes of police and security officers with the right weapons. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President when works on the Lukulu/Katunda Road will commence. Currently, the situation has gone from bad to worse. There are no longer just potholes on the road. There are stretches of bad spots. When it rains, it looks like the road completely covered with porridge. 


Mr Mutelo: We seem to be asking the same question every time because we know that this is what is troubling the people. I would like to know when this Government will listen to the people’s cry. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I did not understand the last part of the question, but I think that I understood the principal question. The hon. Member wants to know when the Lukulu/Katunda Road will be worked on. 

Mr Speaker, the road will be worked on as soon as the hon. Member organises his colleagues to pass the Budget. 


The Vice-President: That is when we can actually start planning the disbursement of the monies. Afterwards, he can turn his attention onto the various district level bureaucrats whose work rate needs to be accelerated in order to get the job done. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, in yesterday’s Times of Zambia, there was an instruction by His Excellency the President that MMD spies should be removed from the Civil Service. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let the hon. Member finish. 

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President whether he thinks that this directive has the potential to undermine the Civil Service in that civil servants will owe allegiance to the PF and not the people of Zambia. 

In any case, Sir, how will these spies be identified? Do they have numbers on their foreheads? I will lay a copy of the newspaper on the Table. 

Ms Namugala laid the paper on the Table.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think that the headline is a little bit free rolling. The President did not actually say that there are MMD spies in the Civil Service who we must get rid of. He said that there are people in the Civil Service who would be happy to see us fail as a Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

The Vice-President: In political language, he calls these MMD remnants. 

Personally, I agree with him and I think that most people do. There are people who would like to see the PF fail …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

The Vice-President: … not necessarily because they have any ideological loyalty to any opposition party, but because they have built a nice nest or pond for themselves. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

The Vice-President: The people building houses in Chilala are civil servants. 

Mr Lubinda: Point of order!

The Vice-President: Oh, and Front Bench politicians too. 


The Vice-President: Some civil servants have more money than they should have in their pockets. It is these civil servants who are building houses in Chilala. 

Mr Speaker, there is also an apparent level of incompetence in the Civil Service. It is very difficult in a bureaucracy to distinguish between output due to sabotage, incompetence and witchcraft. However, if you make a fair analysis of the situation, you will notice that a lot of people do things the wrong way willfully. This is what the President was talking about in his mini press conference. He was telling the new Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet to engage some competent bureaucrats at director level so that we do not have to keep coming here with corrigenda, and God knows what else, to serve the interest of this House. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the PF Government is doing very well in its fight against corruption.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mbewe: Honourable Vice-President, why is your Government weakening itself by not allowing the two hon. Cabinet Ministers under investigation to step aside in the interest of good governance? 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the presumption of innocence is constitutional. If I accuse the hon. Member for Tom and Jerry, …


The Vice-President: … I beg your pardon, Chadiza, of corruption, it is not appropriate for him to step aside. That would be malevolent and discomforting. It would be like I would be putting some smoke on his fire. 

This is why the ACC and many other investigating agencies are involved. You can tell that one of the two people to whom the hon. Member referred to is in this morning’s Post asking why the ACC is so slow in giving him the results of the preliminary investigation. We are letting the law take its course and not letting the country be run by hearsay and kachepa. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. {mospagebreak}

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the Government has been praising itself that it has managed to perform well in terms of raising finances for the nation and that the Budget for 2011 has been well implemented. In my constituency and other constituencies in the Republic of Zambia, projects that were budgeted for in the 2011 Budget have not been undertaken due to lack of funds. I have in mind schools, clinics and roads which have not been worked on due to the failure by the Government to raise funds despite it praising itself for having done so. Why has the Government failed to ensure that these particular projects are implemented as promised?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the problem has not been that of failing to raise money. The problem has been the failure to access money within the system. This could be as a result of failing to meet the various requirements for the expenditure. The answer is, if I may take the questioner to a few questions back, the MMD spies.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, it is a fact that the exchange rate is not getting any better …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Lubezhi: … and that the depreciation of the kwacha increases the prices of imported goods. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what the PF Government will do to reduce dependence on imported goods in order to avoid inflationary pressure.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is an interesting question. When the kwacha strengthened enormously, that time shortly after we reached the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Completion Point, when the speculators started doing offshore banking, the exchange rate went to even below K3,000 to a dollar. There was no reduction in the cost of living despite there having been around a 60 per cent apparent reduction in import costs. The way prices are fixed in this country is not through the use of a simple expedient method whereby we factor in the exchange rates and, maybe, increase the price by 30 per cent or whatever. Therefore, it is not certain that there will be a big impact on the cost of imported goods in kwacha terms. Of course, there will be no impact on the cost in terms of dollars anyway.

However, these things tend to be self-correcting. If coffee, cotton or groundnut farmers have faith that the rate is going to be K5,200, they will plant more than if they have faith that it will only be K4,800. The price of exports can go up just like the price of imports. It is normal for these rates to keep fluctuating. That is why they are adjustable. There is no point in floating something if you cannot let it move freely. You cannot try to anchor it at the same height even when a tide comes. Things do not work that way.

We must let this issue be handled by the market. What is most important is that the stability is not threatened. In other words, the situation is alright if you do not get a hyper inflationary situation, whereby the value of the kwacha depreciates by half every few months. A one-time shift of 10 per cent or 20 per cent is acceptable in normal economics.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, when is the contractor, who is very slow at doing his work, going to finish working on the Lundazi/Chipata Road in order to reduce the many accidents which occur on this road?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, again, my obligatory piece of advice to the questioner is that if you could give me even five minutes’ notice of a question like this one, I would be in a position to answer it. However, if I get no notice at all, unless I just happen to know because I happened to have been at a meeting or seen a letter or document regarding the issue, I cannot answer such a question.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, what progress has been made by the monitoring team to ensure that all employers are respecting the minimum wage guidelines?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security carries out routine inspections and receives complaints from workers who feel they have been mistreated. It is business as usual.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, could His Honour the Vice-President tell this House and nation at large whether campaigning is one of the roles of the District Commissioners (DCs) whenever they are holding meetings, especially in Sesheke District?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it depends what they are campaign for. I do not recall there having been a by-election in the area. Is there a by-election in Sesheke?

Mr Mukanga: No!

The Vice-President: There are no by-elections as far as I am aware at either local government or parliamentary level in Sesheke. So, I am at a loss to imagine what they could be campaigning for. Maybe, they are campaigning for development projects or efficiency in the Civil Service through the removal of bad eggs or perhaps for a better price of fuel as per the price structure in Namibia. I just do not understand the question.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, when we apply for a permit to hold a public meeting, will Dr Scott give us the permission to go ahead?

The Vice-President: It is not my job to give permits, Mr Speaker.

I thank you, Sir.





250. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock how many metric tonnes of the following crops the FRA purchased in the 2011/2012 crop marketing season:



(c)rice; and


The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, in the 2011/2012 crop marketing season, the FRA purchased 1,751,660 metric tonnes of maize and 1,077 metric tonnes of rice. The agency did not purchase any sorghum and cassava during the above mentioned crop marketing season.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister …

Ms Kalima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. Firstly, I heard His Honour the Vice-President talk about it even though I hardly hear what he says because usually he speaks to himself.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Ms Kalima: Sir, the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2012, Part II (5), which talks about autonomy, says:

“Subject to the Constitution, the Commission shall not, in the performance of its functions, be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.”

Mr Speaker, in today’s Post newspaper, the best friend to the PF, carries a story on page 1 entitled “Kabimba gives ACC seven days ultimatum to make public its probe on him or face court action.” 


Ms Kalima: The story continues on page 4 …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Kalima: If you will allow me, Sir, I can read a bit of the story.

“Wynter Kabimba has given the ACC seven days in which to make public the findings of preliminary investigations on allegations of corruption against him. Kabimba has threatened to apply for a writ of mandamus in the High Court to compel the ACC to publicise its findings of the preliminary investigations.”

The story goes on, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Justice is not here. However, is the PF Government, through the hon. Minister of Justice, in order to put pressure on the ACC to come up with findings within seven days as if he is the first cabinet minister or the first person in Government to be probed by the ACC? Is this Government in order to interfere with the work of the ACC? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Government Members: Dorika, Dorika!

Mr Speaker: Order!

I have had sight of the article in question and I have also taken into account the provision which the hon. Member for Kasenengwa has referred to. I know this is a matter of interpretation of the law, and it is not a subject that is easy to interpret unless you are properly aided.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The autonomy and interference referred to in that particular provision does not, in my opinion, apply in this instance, and I will give my reasons.

The hon. Minister of Justice has written to the ACC, in my opinion, in his capacity, first and foremost, as an individual citizen. He has a personality, legal rights, standing before the courts and he is entitled, like any other citizen, to bring any public institution to account. This is exactly what he is doing. This is not a matter arising in a vacuum. If he was not a subject of investigation, the matter would have been different. Therefore, in my view, this would not qualify under the provision that the hon. Member for Kasenengwa Constituency has referred to.

If that were so, then, by extension, you will be saying hon. Members of the Executive, if found in those situations, will not have rights to question or challenge public institutions like the ACC because that would constitute interference. So, we need to separate the role of an hon. Minister and that of an individual because these two are different. That is my ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Long live the Chair!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Gwembe may continue.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I have observed that the PF Government is doing more wrong things than good. The PF is doing more wrong things than even those people seated on the other side. I would like to find out why the PF Government has restricted the FRA to buying maize and rice only? Who told you that maize and rice are the only foods in Zambia? In Gwembe, we eat sorghum. When is this Government going to buy the other crops?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, indeed, sorghum and cassava are also foods but, by policy, the FRA has been restricted to purchasing maize because it is the food that is eaten throughout the country. So, it is just by policy, but this is not to say that should the need arise in future, other foods cannot be considered. Nothing is cast in iron.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, why is the policy so biased towards farmers who grow maize and rice only when we have farmers who can only grow sorghum and they also need to make money?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, I did say that when the need arises, the policy can be changed. We are obviously cognisant of the fact that many other crops which are eaten by our citizens are grown in various parts of the country, but maize is the staple food for the country. That is the reason there has been concentration on the purchase of maize. It is by way of policy.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is saying the policy can be changed when the need arises. How will this Government or the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock know when that need arises?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, we will know by way of demand from the producers. In the initial stages, rice was not included in this component but, as the production of rice increased, the producers appealed to the Government to consider it and it was included. So, it will depend on the pressure that we will get from the producers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, cassava is highly produced in the Western Province, especially in Kaoma. I would like to know how much cassava the FRA has bought this season.

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the season has closed and we have not bought any cassava from Kaoma.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister clearly state whether the Government will purchase other crops next season or they will only concentrate on maize.

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, as things stand, our programme is to purchase maize and rice but, obviously, should there be demand, like I said earlier, these policies are not cast in iron. If there is a need, we will review the policy.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Speaker, sorghum does very well in drought areas because it is drought resistant. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there will be a deliberate policy to encourage the people living in the valleys to grow sorghum so that they can attain food security?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, indeed, this is the more reason, to support diversification, we have included sorghum as one of the crops that will be covered in next year’s Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister says that sorghum has been included in the crops for the FISP. Does that mean that the need for this has just arisen? Further, is the Government going to buy the sorghum after providing the inputs for that crop?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, there is a readily available market for sorghum. Zambian Breweries Plc has actually a big demand for sorghum. Therefore, there will be no need for us to purchase the crop because that can be handled by the private sector.

I thank you, Sir.





VOTE 01 – (Office of the President – State House – K38,555,779,101).

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to present the 2013 Estimates of Recurrent and Capital Expenditure for Head 01 – Office of the President – State House. 

From the outset, let me state that the institution of State House plays a critical overarching and supervisory role in providing national guidance and overall policy direction to our country. Hon. Members are well aware that it is here that the Executive’s functions are directed through Cabinet as well as other high-level forms of consultation. It is also, indeed, here where the Head of State oversees operations of the Government and exercises his executive duties.

Mr Chairperson, given this mandate, the policy objective of State House is encapsulated in the mission statement outlined below:

“To provide visionary and effective economic, social and political leadership to the nation in line with the Constitution in order to facilitate sustainable development, promote peace, stability, rule of law and democratic governance.”

The goal, in support of the aforesaid mission statement, is as follows:

“To effectively guide the operations of the Government, promote unity, attain economic growth and reduce corruption and poverty in the country.”

Overview of 2012 Operations

State House has continued to pursue its role of providing overall national guidance by encouraging both foreign investment and locally-driven social and economic initiatives through the empowerment of Zambians while recognising the important role the donor community plays in these initiatives and by promoting social justice, which forms the core of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s domestic and foreign policies. 

State House has further endeavoured to create an all-inclusive government by opening doors to all stakeholders in running the affairs of the country and providing direction to the economy. Further, State House has continued to closely monitor the implementation of the nation’s highest priority programmes by giving guidance to line ministries and spending agencies. Through this guidance, the Zambian economy has maintained stability necessary for positive growth.

Mr Chairperson, State House made significant progress in implementing …


The Chairperson: Order!

I cannot hear His Honour the Vice-President. Please, let us consult quietly.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, State House made significant progress in implementing its programmes and activities. Notably, the institution changed its approach to utility bills management and infrastructure maintenance with the aim of addressing the challenges of the outstanding utility bills and tackling the backlog of infrastructure maintenance work. As a result of the new approach, the institution managed to liquidate all its outstanding utility bills which had accumulated over a long period. Some hon. Members will remember that the issue of outstanding utility bills for State House was controversial in previous years.

The institution also scaled up building infrastructure maintenance and horticultural activities in order to meet the demands of the aging infrastructure and transform the outlook of the institution’s buildings and grounds. The undertaking of these programmes and activities will continue on the basis of estimates before this august House.

2013 Budget Estimates

Mr Chairperson, for the information of hon. Members, State House functions are performed through three key departments, namely:

(a)Presidential Secretariat which is responsible for  the efficient and effective execution of the presidential day-to-day programmes;

(b)Advisory Services which comprises five distinct areas of specialisation with the critical role of providing professional and technical backstopping to His Excellency the President on various matters that are brought to the attention of the highest office …


The Chairperson: Order!

Please, hon. Members at the back of His Honour the Vice-President, this is a serious matter we are considering. It is only fair for the hon. Members on my right, particularly the Executive, to give His Honour the Vice-President a chance to be heard. Loud consultation disrupts the proceedings of the House.

Can His Honour the Vice-President, please, continue.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, let be back-up slightly. I did mention the Presidential Secretariat, which is the first of the tripartite services. The second is the Advisory Services. This comprises five distinct areas of specialisation and has the critical role of providing professional and technical backstopping to His Excellency the President on various matters that are brought to the attention of the highest office of the land.

(c)    Administration which is charged with the main roles of efficiently and effectively manning staff, providing logistic and material support services in order to facilitate the smooth operations of the institution. In addition, it is responsible for the maintenance of State House surroundings and management of the State lodges and State Lodge Farm.

The budget estimates before this august House will enable State House to facilitate the smooth operation of its departments as well as attend to personnel emoluments, maintenance of building infrastructure and servicing the VIP motor vehicle fleet. Let me also mention that being part and parcel of the world community, State House continues to engage the global community in pursuance of the peaceful coexistence and international co-operation necessary for the growth of our economy and society. It is for all these programmes that I wish to appeal to the hon. Members to support the estimates of State House as presented.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to contribute to this debate.

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a very serious procedural point of order. Sometime this year, the Ministry of Finance issued Statutory Instrument No. 33 of 2012 that enforces the regulation to ensure that Zambians and other players on the market utilise the kwacha in the purchase of goods and services. When that statutory instrument was issued, the hon. Minister of Finance assured the nation that as a result of that particular statutory instrument, the kwacha was going to stabilise. Unfortunately, the kwacha is melting like ice-cream on a charcoal brazier.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear! Hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: As of this morning, Mr Chairperson, the kwacha is trading at K5,350 to a US$1. This morning, we have started deliberating specific votes pertaining to the Budget of the Republic of Zambia. We all know that in 2011, when we were considering the Budget for the Republic of Zambia, the kwacha was trading at around K4,800 to a US$1. The Budget was passed by this House and we are considering another Budget this year.

Mr Chairperson, the issue I am raising pertains to the substantive issues of the budgetary allocations which we are going to consider this morning. When you look at the actual value of the kwacha vis-à-vis the 2011 Budget and the actual value of the 2012 Budget and in comparison to the value of the kwacha, the value of the Budget, in real terms, has substantially reduced, considering that Zambia depends mostly on imports. As a result of the devaluation in value of the kwacha, the income of Zambians has been eroded. The value and income of hon. Members of Parliament has been affected. As a result of this particular erosion, …

The Chairperson: Order!

You are taking too long to make your point of order. You are debating. I allowed you to make your preliminary remarks because I thought you would come to your substantive point of order.  Can you now raise your point of order?

You can continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the point I am driving at is that as a result of this erosion of the value of the kwacha, the considerations we are going to make this morning will not be prudent without an explanation from the hon. Minister of Finance. The hon. Minister of Finance must be in a position to tell the House the implications as we are debating the specific votes. What would be the value of this House passing a Budget when we know that, in real terms, the kwacha has been eroded and the Budget we are going to be passing will not be effective?

The Chairperson: Order!

May the hon. Member, please, raise the point of order?

You can continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the point of order is: Is the hon. Minister of Finance in order not to advise us on the implications of the erosion of the kwacha vis-à-vis the Budget we are considering this morning so as to enable us make an informed opinion whether to support those budgetary allocations or propose increments or reductions because the issues that have arisen are very serious and have a direct effect on the Budget? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Chairperson: I think, as important as that point of order is, I do recall that during His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time, a similar question was raised and His Honour the Vice-President did provide an answer. I also know that the value of a currency fluctuates. Therefore, each time there is a fluctuation of the value of the currency, we have to accept it. Nonetheless, the hon. Minister of Finance, at an appropriate time, must come and say something on this matter.

The hon. Member for Zambezi West may continue.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, I thank you. As His Honour the Vice-President has stated in his policy debate, State House is supposed to rule this country with honour and dignity through the President. 

Mr Chairperson, I have observed that in the past one year since His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr M. C. Sata, went to State House, there has been …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Before I give the hon. Member the Floor, I would like to say that if this is how we are going to proceed when considering the Budget, we will not achieve much. This is why, sometimes, the Chair reduces the number of points of order. When this is done, hon. Members take a hard line, but this is because the proceedings of the House should go on smoothly. We have to move on.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, thank you. It is because of the need to move smoothly that I raise this point of order. We are about to approve the budget for State House. Last week, a news item appeared in The Post, where it was clearly stated that, “Government proposes to budget K1.4 billion for building a house for the sitting President.” 

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of a house and motor vehicles, the Benefits of Former Presidents Act stipulates as follows:

4A.  (1) In addition to the benefits set out in Section Four, there shall be –

(a)     assigned to a former President within a period of not more than two years from the date of ceasing to hold office, a furnished executive house built or bought in Zambia by the State at a place of the former President’s choice;

 (b)     provided to a former president immediately upon ceasing to hold office housing accommodation as the government considers fit before the house referred to in paragraph (a) is assigned to the former President; and ...

Mr Chairperson, are we going to be in order to proceed without clarifying whether the man whose Budget we are about to approve has actually retired or is still in office? Are we, after we have approved this Budget, going to be asked, again, within this Budget and against the Constitution, to approve the building of the President’s house while he is still in office? I seek your serious ruling on this matter.

The Chairperson: My serious ruling on this matter is that the building of the retirement house for the President is usually considered in the Budget for the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. The hon. Member may raise this matter then.

The hon. Member for Zambezi West may continue and I hope that there will be no further points of order raised on him.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairman, I thank you for allowing me to continue with my debate. I was saying that I have observed that since President Michael Chilufya Sata came to power, there have been some concerns regarding the way he conducts himself in public and, in many cases, some of the statements that he has uttered publicly have been very embarrassing for this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Question!{mospagebreak}

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, the President of the Republic of Zambia is supposed to be the number one diplomat. However, in many cases when he has interacted with other countries, it has been embarrassing.


Mr Kakoma: I will just cite two cases to illustrate my point. In one case, when he interacted with the former President of the United States of America, Mr George Bush, he referred to America as a colonial power. Of course, he was speaking off-the-cuff which was an error in history and in fact. President George Bush felt very uncomfortable and, obviously, there were newspapers that were published throughout the world about …

Mr Mulenga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: There are no more points of order! 


Mr Kakoma: … that embarrassment.


The Chairperson: Order!

It is true that I had said that I was not going to allow any more points of order. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sit down. 

The Chairperson: So, please, let him finish his debate and when he has finished, His Honour the Vice-President will wind up on this matter. Therefore, he can come and address the issue being raised.

Hon. Kakoma, you may continue.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, I said I was going to site two cases to illustrate my point. The second one was during the President’s last trip to South Korea. An item appeared in the press to the effect that the President referred to Zambia as primitive, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Oh, shame!

Mr Kakoma: … implying that Zambians are primitive. Obviously, Sir, that, to me, was a bit embarrassing because to refer to your own citizens, whom you are ruling, as primitive is not the right thing to say. However, obviously, all these things arise because the President prefers to speak off-the-cuff. The advice that I would like to give him is that he should stick to written statements so that he avoids uttering statements that are embarrassing and can create diplomatic rows.

The Chairperson: Let me guide the House. I ruled that there would be no more points of order. However, at the same time, as the person in the driver’s seat, I was trying to listen very carefully to find the connection between what you are saying and the issue of the Budget for State House. Really, let us come back to discussing the Budget and not what the Head of State says wherever he is. 

You may continue, but veer off that line and get to debate the Budget.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Chairperson, as we approve or, indeed, disapprove the Budget for State House, we want to ensure that the money that we are approving for use at State House will be used properly and to the advancement of dignity and honour for this country. If we are going to approve money that is not going to be used for that purpose, then, this House has no business approving such expenditure.

Mr Chairperson, I also note that the President is trying to accumulate too much power for himself as he runs State House. I have in mind one recent directive where the President decided to take the Road Development Agency (RDA) from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Supply and Communication to State House. Obviously, the President should be advised that putting the RDA under his office is not only creating a legal problem, but also exposing him and putting him within firing range because when scandals happen in the road sector or when corruption allegations are made in the award of contracts, they will directly impact on his name. When issues of abuse of office surface in the road sector, they will be directly attributed to his office.  There is a need for us, as a country, to protect that office so that it is not brought into ridicule. 

I would like to believe that there was no need for the President to bring the RDA directly under his close supervision of the day-to-day running of the business there.

Mr Mutale: Question!

Mr Kakoma: Sir, there is a need to advise the President to avoid going into issues of illegality in this country. When the hon. Minister of Finance came here to present the Budget, he said that he was the bearer of a message from the President and one of the messages that he brought to us in the House was that Parliament should build him a house at K1.4 billion so that he can start drawing his retirement benefits before he retires. 

Obviously, that is illegal, and he should not have given that message to the hon. Minister of Finance to bring to this House because it should not be used for approving illegal things.

Sir, the law is very clear. The benefits of the President are stipulated in an Act of Parliament, and it says that a house for a former President can only be built within two years of his leaving office. It does not say that you should build a House for the President when he is still in office. That message that the President gave to the hon. Minister of Finance to bring here is illegal and this House, myself in particular, will not support the Vote when it comes.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I have noticed that since the President went to State House, he has avoided facing the nation through press conferences. Most of the time, we hear the President issuing statements and dismissing and appointing people through his Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations. The nation has had no opportunity, through our media, which is the fourth estate, to ask the President to account for his actions. Obviously, that is not the right way to go about it. 

Sir, we have seen throughout the world, including countries like the United States of America (USA), Britain, and Germany, that heads of state hold press conferences, make major policy announcements and account for their actions. Our President has tried to avoid this for the last one year that he has been in office. I would like him to start holding press conferences for us, the citizens of this country, so that the media can ask him questions so that he can clarify some things that he is doing in this nation.

Mr Chairperson, with these few remarks, I beg to reluctantly support …


Mr Kakoma: … the budget for State House on condition that the advice that I have given to our dear President is taken on board.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the budget for the President is straightforward and is easy to understand. However, I must mention a few things that I think must be considered.

Mr Chairperson, in this budget we are about to approve, we have been asked to give K320 million to the State Lodge Farm. We approved this money last year, which is considered a grant. I am aware that in the past, whenever people gave gifts in the form of cattle to the First Republican President, these animals ended up at the State Lodge Farm. When are we going to see this farm get less or no funding from the Government? If I were to get K320 million to run my farm, I would be very comfortable. When are we going to see the income from this farm? What sort of income is it producing, anyway?

Mr Chairperson, this budget we are going to pass will allow us to take care of our President in all areas, including food. State Lodge Farm was given K300 million last year. This year, it has been given K320 million. What results are there? Since we are going to approve this money, we need to be told what income this farm has generated and where that income goes. I have no doubt that President Sata can check this because he is very efficient. He went to check on a road and, in five or ten minutes, he told those people building it what he thought they should do. 

Sir, we need to be told what we are going to get from the State Lodge Farm. Is it another drain on the Treasury? Is there someone drinking the milk and eating the meat for free? You call cows meat even when they are still alive. What is happening there is of concern to me. I want the occupants of State House to know that we should not just put money there without explanations.

Mr Chairperson, I know that President Sata was not a fan of golf. I do not know whether he has now been enticed to play the game by the First Republican President. We have put K300 million for the golf course. So, I encourage the President to be fit and invite others to play golf so that we do not spend this K300 million on improving a golf course that will not be used. We need to see what will happen there. There are some who doubt my statement that the President does not play golf. He does not. If he does, I have not heard about it.

Mr Chairperson, I am gratified that the K2 billion that we approved for the payment of arrears is not there this year. I hope that, at the end of this year, we will not have supplementary estimates of things that we do not know about. The K2 billion was allowed, I believe, for things that were not paid for by the former Government. This time, it has been avoided and I appeal that we should maintain this discipline.

Sir, I know that the President has decided to remove many people from office and has been given K1.1 billion for monitoring. Last year, he was given nearly the same amount. However, I do not want him to concentrate so much on the junior staff in the Civil Service, but to look at hon. Ministers. He should not allow two of his hon. Ministers to be quarrelling to become presidents of the party before he leaves office.


Mr Muntanga: This is not right. Maybe, that is the reason we are budgeting for the President’s house because we are so sure he is going to retire early. Those hon. Ministers must be told that no one is bigger than the other. It does not matter whether it is my good friend GBM (Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba) or the Secretary General of the PF. Who told them that they are fit to be presidents, anyway?


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, who told them that they will have the chance, like President Sata had, to become President.

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, do not start debating others.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, it is not right that we have allowed such a situation to drag on. I am talking about State House and the K1.1 billion for monitoring. Those two hon. Ministers are worrying the President. That is why he has moved the RDA to State House. Tomorrow, he might move the Ministry of Home Affairs to State House and, the next day, it might be another ministry. The hon. Minister of Finance acts as President. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance is already at State House.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, all I want is State House to be in control. We need the hon. Ministers to help the President. Some of them are very good at answering us back. However, they do not even come to this House, but spend time sitting in Europe. We do not know what they bring to the country.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, we do not want the President to move the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to State House.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I also want this new Government to realise that it is in power. The PF should stop thinking like it is still in the Opposition, and this should start from State House. Its members are not in State House, but in this House. They are no longer in the Opposition. For those who do not have constituencies and take State House as their constituency, they should be very careful or we will tell the President to fire them.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, having said that, I suggest that State House be supported so that we do not unduly overwork the President. We do not want, God forbid, anything wrong to happen to him. He must be supported by everybody. 

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Muntanga: Obviously, I have no choice, but to support this Vote. There is one that I will refuse to support, though. 

Mr Chairperson, I am aware that there are hon. Ministers who talk too much. They are good at yapping without producing any results. 


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga: I will remind them, through this House, that we need results. The time for them to talk …

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Muntanga!

It appears you have exhausted your points.

Mr Muntanga: I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the budget for State House.

Sir, this is a budget with which we have no controversies at all. As Hon. Muntanga said, it should be supported by everybody. However, we do not want to approve it for the people at State House or in the Government to award contracts to themselves. We are not going to support that.

Mr Chairperson, State House is an institution that should lead by example by being corruption-free. Our colleagues are lucky to have an Opposition such as this one. We are helping them to do things better.


Mr Ntundu: If you give contracts to yourselves, it will be just a matter of time before you get out of office and the bulldozers will be there waiting for you. I am telling you the truth. Do not think that everybody is sleeping. We are wide awake and watching you. We are seeing and we know what you are doing at State House.

The Chairperson: Order!

Please, address the Chair.

Mr Ntundu: Through you, Mr Chairperson, …


Mr Ntundu: … I want to tell our colleagues that the last time I was at State House was when Dr Kaunda was President.


Mr Ntundu: I was invited genuinely by the Former President Kaunda to attend the wedding of Mutasa Kaunda, when she was marrying James Banda, in 1983.

Mr Lubinda: When you were in primary school!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Chairperson, State House was really State House then. It was a place that everybody wanted to go to. Now, you have made it a cadre house. You must stop that. 


Mr Ntundu: Next year, if you are going to continue to make State House a cadre house, you will have no money …

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Ntundu, please address the Chair.


The Chairperson: I have always said that the best way is to address the Chair is to use ‘they’ because when you say ‘you,’ it means you are talking to the hon. Members directly. 

Please, address the Chair.

Mr Ntundu: Thank you for the guidance, Sir.

Mr Chairperson, I was just saying that, if we see the trend of activities that we have seen at State House this year, you will …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Say, ‘they will’.

Mr Ntundu: They will have no money for State House in 2014 because we are not going to approve its budget.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Chairperson, I remember, there was a question to His Honour the Vice-President on the President’s trips. We are supporting our President, and there is no way a President can fly to Japan using his money. We do not want to allow that. As long as someone is a President, he will use Government money. It is something that has never been heard of that a President can use his money while Government money is there. We want you to be telling the truth when answering questions. When the President officially opened Parliament, he talked to me.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Chairperson, that day, the President was in his jovial mood because he told our colleagues that he wanted them to answer questions from us, not to tell us that the President flew to Japan using a Government jet and his personal money.

Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Sir.

 Hon. Opposition Members: No points of order!


Mr Ntundu: Mr Chairperson, I would like to see all the monies that the President uses to appear in the Yellow Book. If you give us wrong answers, I will tell Mr Sata. He gave me his phone number.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Chairperson, in short, we want to work with our colleagues in ensuring that these resources that we are approving are used for their intended purposes. We do not want to see resources at State House taken to your companies so that you become richer. We will not allow you to do that. If you are on the Government side and have awarded yourself a contract, I promise you that time will catch up with you. A bulldozer is there waiting for you.


The Chairperson: Please, address the Chair.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Chairperson, I hear that State House does not look good. 


Mr Ntundu: I am told so. My colleague went to celebrate Independence the other day and he told me about how State House looks. I am telling you the truth. We need to make that place look better than it is.


Mr Ntundu: We do not mind who is there. There can be Mr Sata or Mr Hakainde Hichilema, who is the next to go there, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Ntundu: Do you doubt?  When the MMD was on the Government side, its members also doubted that you would be that side. Now, you doubt that we can be on the Government side. 


The Chairperson: Order!

I am tempted to end the debate.

Hon. Members: No!

The Chairperson: Yes, because what is happening is not fair. Let us, please, listen to him. Otherwise, we will not go anywhere. We are not making any progress. Can we, please, debate the substance.

Continue, please.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your protection. They are interrupting me a lot, and yet I still have eight minutes to talk.

Sir, I was told that State House is not looking good, and I urge our colleagues to make that place look better. The Government should allocate more resources, if it can, so that State House becomes a better place. I know that you will only be there for five years.


Mr Ntundu: In 2016, there will be someone else. Just the way we are talking now, we will talk in a similar manner in 2016, when there will be someone else. This is because State House is not only for Mr Sata. He is the fifth President in State House. The sixth President will be Mr Hakainde Hichilema, and I have no doubt about that. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Mr Chairperson, through you, who is the next option?


Mr Ntundu: In this House, there are only three parties and two of them have all been in Government. We are the only ones who have never been there. So, we are the next Government.


Mr Ntundu: So why should you doubt?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu: Sir, with those very few remarks I am supporting the budget for State House without any fear or favour.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to make some comments on the budget for State House. 

Mr Chairperson, State House is an extremely important entity in our nation. It is supposed to be the melting pot of our identity as a nation. It is supposed to be the entity that unifies all of us. People from each and every corner of this country are supposed to feel that they are part and parcel of State House. 

Mr Chairperson, what we saw a few weeks ago when we were celebrating our Independence is not a reflection of what ought to be happening at State House which is the highest institution in the land. I think the presidents of the Opposition, Dr Nevers Mumba, Mr Hakainde Hichilema and others, did well to boycott the Independence celebrations because of what happened at State House on that day. It was more like an occasion for cadres to showcase their patriotism to their party. State House functions must be a reflection of our identity as a nation. What happened on that day clearly calls for a redefinition of State House in the interest of national building, peace and who we are as a people. 

Sir, the days are gone when we used to see, for example, chitwansombo standing up to praise the President. However, we saw this on television on 24th October, 2012. Those kinds of practices are long gone. In a multi-party democracy, we should not have a situation where the President is being praised by somebody. That belongs to royalty. It is alright for praises of them to be sung. However, that should not happen at State functions.

Mr Chairperson, coming specifically to the budget, it is clear that State House ought to show an example in terms of the efficient and prudent management of resources. What we have here, which was not clearly reflected in the policy statement, are utility bills at State House which are on the increase. The question is: What causes the increase in these utility bills? For example, in this proposal from State House, we have utility bills which have increased by about K1.1 billion. That is a colossal amount of money. Why are the bills at State House increasing at a time when various Government departments are being called upon to be more efficient, and to engage in cost saving measures? What is really behind this? That is the type of money that could build several classrooms for our children if it was saved. It could build several clinics and facilitate the drilling of boreholes in order to provide clean water for our people. I think it is time to ask those pertinent questions. What is causing the rise in utility bills by about K1.1 billion at State House when the allocation was about K4 billion for this year? 

The Chairperson: Order! 

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was making reference to the utility bills which are at K5,520,000,000 according to this year’s proposals. I was saying that this is a huge amount of money. State House, like every other Government department or unit, should lead by example in terms of the application of cost saving measures. Such resources can go a long way in meeting other needs of our communities. 

Mr Chairperson, the other aspect which raised concern, as far as these proposals are concerned, has to do with the role of State House. State House is not supposed to be an implementation agency or unit. The implementation of programmes which relate to development are a function of other Government departments. 

However, in here, we see State House being involved in the monitoring of development programmes. According to the proposals here, K1,110,037,500 has been allocated to the monitoring of development programmes. Such functions should go to units which implement development programmes. I think there is a need to redefine the role of State House. 

Mr Chairperson, should State House be engaged in monitoring and evaluating development programmes? I do not think that should be the role of State House. There are relevant units that can do that kind of work more efficiently and effectively than State House. Such kind of resources could be allocated elsewhere in order to meet the other needs of our society.

Mr Chairperson, let me also look at other areas of concern. More than K400 million has been allocated for landscaping and gardening. We need State House grounds to look presentable so that anybody looking at the place can say, “Yes, that is where our President resides.” We should be happy to clearly see well-maintained grounds of State House. I think more should be done in that regard. If you look at State House grounds as you drive, especially along Independence Avenue, you will not see a pleasant sight. More work should go towards making the State House grounds better than what they are now. 

Mr Chairperson, we have K1.1 billion, which has been allocated to the maintenance of buildings, grounds, plants, equipment and utility services. State House buildings and infrastructure must be presentable because that is the place where, for example, the international community, especially the very important persons (VIPs) from other countries, first visit. State House should present a very good image of the country to the outside world. Therefore, the maintenance of State House infrastructure is very important and should be open to tender. Those companies which will be maintaining the infrastructure should not be companies of a few privileged ones, who would like to be the only ones getting public resources. That is unacceptable. We would like to see an open tender that is transparent and unquestionable so that these resources are managed in the most prudent, transparent and accountable manner possible. 

Mr Chairperson, we also have, of course, other areas which come under State House. There is a K300 million that has been allocated to the golf course. It looks like it is a new venture which is reopening what we used to see in the sixties, seventies and part of the eighties, whereby our First Republican President used to have golf tournaments at State House. Yes, that is a good idea. We would like to see the golf course at State House being utilised. Those of us who are golf enthusiasts would like to taste the golf course at State House. I think it will be good for the relationship between the Opposition and the PF as the Ruling Party. It will be good for us to be on the same turf so that we can exercise together and see who the best golfers are. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, I am sure we stand to win on this side (left) of the House because I know that His Honour the Vice-President, for example, has never played golf in his life.


Professor Lungwangwa: Therefore, we would like to see him on the golf course. These are extremely important areas that we want to see attended to. We need to see a redefinition of State House. It should be the epitome of our democracy. That is the house each and every Zambian must identify with. We must all feel that, indeed, that is our State House. It should not be a playground for cadres. Let State House remain the highest symbol of our democracy. We also require to clearly rethink the role of the State Lodge. What really is the role of the State Lodge? If there is any farming going on there, how much is being produced? Can people go and see what is going on at the State Farm? Can people go and see whether what is happening there is inspiring and can afford any lessons to small-scale farmers? These are very serious matters. We should not be placing or putting resources in areas which really may not be serving the purpose for which we would like our resources utilised. A redefinition of State House at this point in time is extremely important. Let it not be a house for cadres.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson. 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, some of the issues I have just heard from many hon. Members, some of whom are no longer in the House, relate to wrongly identifying the Head under which various issues are going to be considered. For example, the question of the President’s House does not fall under State House Budget. It probably, falls under the budget for the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. We will see when we get there. 

Mr Chairperson, some of the contributions seemed simply as an excuse to complain, in a campaigning kind of way, against our President. The joking relationship that our President has with Mr George Bush is very straight forward because Mr George Bush is a Texan who understands chimbuya. Mr George Bush did not take any offense with America being described as a colonial power which, of course, it was. Others may think that it still is. I do not think you can describe in a different way a country that has first of all, reduced the population of one continent by half by taking some of its people as slaves. It is this same country which undermined the governments of South America successfully. I think you cannot call it anything else other than a colonial power. Anyway, that is a matter of historical fact. There was no indication that Mr George Bush was upset with what was said. It was the Zambian Watchdog, with its famous lack of sense of humour, which found what was said offensive. Let me also talk about the allegation that it was somehow demeaning for the President to say that we are primitive. He simply meant that our economy and industrial structure is primitive in the sense that it does not add value to raw materials. 


The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I think I am going to give up at this point because the hon. Members do not seem to be paying attention to what I am saying.


The Chairperson: Order!

Yes, it is true. We do not seem to be listening on both sides of the House. You can continue.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, our President has a certain style of his own, which happens to suit me and many other people in Zambia because we have joking relationships and that is what we are famous for. Even on the western side of the Zambezi River, the population there has a good sense of humour. It is only their representative who seems to lack a sense of humour.


The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, he takes everything at face value and comes to regurgitate what was said on the Floor of this House. 

Similarly, I think Hon. Muntanga surely realises that a President in a country which has constitutional democracy has a strong presidential executive, like in the United States. So, if the President said he is taking the RDA under his wing, that does not mean that we have realigned the structure of the Government. This means that the President is taking a special interest in that institution together with its achievements and problems. That is all that it means. It does not have to take the involvement of every ministry, because every ministry is basically there to take away his workload. If the President wants to keep a close eye on a particular institution, that is how the administration of the presidential democracy works. If Hon. Muntanga wants to change it, let him change it through the constitutional amendment process which is currently happening. 

Mr Chairperson, as regards the complaints that we are going to give contracts to people to build roads through State House, all we want is performance in the road sector and this has come out very clearly in the President’s actions and words. That is all that is being said, and not that we want to give contracts to our friends. How do we jump from A to Z in that sort of way? I cannot understand it.

Sir, on the issue of utility bills, they may look a little high until you realise that it is not just all of State House together with the police camp, but it is all the other mini-state houses in Mongu, Kitwe, Ndola and so on and so forth, that are consolidated under those utility bills. There is a backlog in the payment of bills, but I have suggested to the State House staff that they should check the tariffs on which these various utilities are operating because they may be a case of putting some of State House’s expenditure on industrial electricity tariffs especially rather than domestic tariffs, as I found in my case at my farm, by shifting from a domestic tariff to an industrial one, I have the electricity bills. So, it is good practical thought from Hon. Professor Lungwangwa, and we shall take it up. That is all that I have to say, and I thank you so much for supporting this head.

I thank you, Sir


VOTE 01/01 – (Office of the President – State House – Headquarters – K38,055,779,101).

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 004 – Staff Welfare – K30,000,000. This year, we had K158 million authorised and there is a proposal of K30 million for next year. May I know what has caused this reduction?

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Kalaba): Mr Chairperson, the decrease is due to the removal of the loan revolving fund component which is now centrally budgeted for at the Ministry of Finance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Chairperson, Programme 3003, Activity 005 – Long- Term Training – Local – K150,000,000 and Activity 008 – Short-Term Training – Foreign – K120,000,000. I see that we have these two activities that seem to be taking place on an annual basis. May I find out from His Honour the Vice-President what this training is that is conducted locally, and why the figures are going up?

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I do not have the analysis and enough detail for such a small sum which has been consolidated but, obviously, these are performance gaps that have been identified that people need to go on training courses whether it is for secretarial services or some sort of economic analysis. That is all I can surmise.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr M. B. Mwale (Malambo): Mr Chairperson, on Programme 3001, Activity 019 –  Maintenance of Buildings, Grounds, Plant, Equipment and Provision of Utility Services – K1,111,476,000, this year, we had K536 million which was budgeted for, but you have proposed an expenditure of over K1 billion for 2013. May I know what new activities will be undertaken for 2013.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, the provision is meant for general maintenance of buildings, electrical fixtures, fittings, plumbing materials, office furniture, sanitation charges and general maintenance of the State House irrigation network. The increase is due to the scaling up of maintenance activities in order to adequately address the maintenance demands of the institution’s infrastructure.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 01/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 02/01 – Office of the Vice-President –  Human Resource and Administration – K1,000,000,000 and Vote 19  –  Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit –  Headquarters –  K69,303,247,650.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, first of all, let me apologise to the hon. Opposition Members if the sight of me constantly standing up is becoming a little bit irritating, but what can I do.


The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I rise to present the estimates of expenditure for the Office of the Vice-President for the year 2013. I think it is appropriate for me, at this stage, to thank the mover of the Motion, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, Member of Parliament, and Minister of Finance, for coming up with this wonderful goal oriented and poverty-alleviation Budget in line with the Patriotic Front (PF) vision. Let me take this opportunity to thank you, Mr Chairperson, for allocating the hon. Members of Parliament efficient time to debate the Motion. The hon. Members have expressed a wide range of views about this Budget. However, it is hoped that they will appreciate it after a critical analysis.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to remind the hon. Members that the Office of the Vice-President derives its legal status from Article 45 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. In this regard, the Vice-President is the principle assistant to the President in the discharge of Executive functions and he is responsible for advising the President with respect to Government policy and any other such matters as may be assigned to him by the President. 

Mr Chairperson, arising from this mandate, the portfolio functions of the Office of the Vice-President include parliamentary business, disaster and drought mitigation and resettlement. By virtue of its position as the second highest office in the land, the Office of the Vice-President also performs important crosscutting functions on issues referred to it by line ministries and other institutions. In implementing its portfolio functions, the Office of the Vice-President is guided by a strategic mission statement which is, “To facilitate effective conduct of Government business in Parliament, manage disaster and resettlement programmes in order to enhance good governance and empowerment of valuable households.”

Mr Chairperson, as Leader of Government Business in the House, I have a Parliamentary Business Department which assists me in co-ordinating Government business in this august House. The department facilitates the effective conduct of Government business in Parliament and processes all parliamentary business such action-taken reports, Parliamentary Questions and various information memoranda from the Executive in order to enhance accountability of the Executive to the Legislature. 

The department also assists the Executive with regard to facilitation of processing of Government Bills, responses to Motions and ministerial statements, amongst other responsibilities of the Executive to Parliament. In this regard, the department has to contend with an increased workload emanating from parliamentary oversight. I seek the House’s support when considering the budget for this relatively small, but critical department in the smooth discharge of Government business transacted in this House. 

Mr Chairperson, resettlement is another one of the functions of the Office of the Vice-President. In the past several years, more than eighty resettlement schemes have been established across the country, covering an area of 621,000 hectares. These resettlement schemes are home to more than 20,000 families. 

The challenge faced by the Government is to make the schemes attractive and productive to the settlers by providing adequate infrastructure such as roads, water supply points, schools and health facilities, amongst others. A lot of money is required to construct the infrastructure in resettlement schemes. 

The focus of the 2013 Budget is in the area of scheme infrastructure development where more than 50 per cent of the budget for resettlement will be spent to make the resettlement schemes economically and socially viable. 

The demand for resettlement has been increasing over the years. Currently, over 70 per cent of the resettlement schemes are full and, in 2013 and beyond, the Department of Resettlement will intensify consultations with stakeholders to acquire more land for resettlement purposes and also resolve some of the land disputes affecting some resettlement schemes. 

Issuance of land title in resettlement schemes has been very slow, as less than 2,000 settlers out of more than 20,000 have received certificates of title for the land they are occupying. My Government has embarked on fast track surveying of settlement properties and issuance of certificates of title to settlers in various settlement schemes across the country. The certificates of title are very important as this is the only avenue of improving land tenure security and can also be used as collateral for settlers to access loans from the banks to finance their enterprises, which can, in turn, help them assist in increasing productivity and contribute to employment creation and put more money in people’s pockets. 

Mr Chairperson, my office is also charged with the responsibility of disaster management and mitigation. I wish to report that the allocation provided under Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the 2012 Budget enabled my office to deal with the emergency repair of roads, bridges and crossing points washed away during the previous seasons. Key infrastructure that was constructed includes the Ukwimi/Sandwe Road, from Petauke to the valley areas up to Mambwe, to open up the area which is usually cut off during the rainy season. Some of the bridges that were attended to were Kenyaule in Solwezi and Kadamsana in Chipata. My office also rehabilitated …


The Vice-President: How do you pronounce it?

Hon. Government Member: You are correct. 

The Vice-President: … other social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals to ensure that the communities continue receiving the much-needed services. 

Mr Chairperson, my office also attended to outbreaks of epidemics such as cholera and typhoid in Mpulungu and Mufulira. In the case of Mupambe Township in Mufulira, my office undertook a major intervention which included the construction of new water and sewer reticulation system for the township. My office also utilised the money for repatriation and resettlement of internally displaced people in Sichifulo, Kazungula District, and members of the New Jerusalem Church in Chinsali District. 

Mr Chairperson, for 2013, the DMMU has been allocated K69,303, 247,650, approximately K70 billion. This allocation will be utilised, among other things, for the operationalisation of the disaster risk management framework which will concretise our shift from being reactive to proactive and will also build synergy between my office and all the stakeholders in the humanitarian sector. 

Mr Chairperson, my office will increase investments in the area of early warning preparedness, mitigation and prevention as part of disaster risk reduction at all levels in order to reduce economic and social damage, including the loss of life in a bid to ensure the involvement of the grassroots in the governance of this nation. 

My office intends to use the allocation to build a cadre of volunteers who will directly influence disaster risk reduction activities in their constituencies. In other words, my office intends to use the allocation to build a cadre of volunteer Members of Parliament who will directly influence disaster risk reduction in their constituencies. 

My office will continue to work on wash-a-ways and rehabilitations of infrastructure that suffer damage from natural elements in its mandate to ensure that a strong social safety net is built for the people of Zambia. Zambia has continued to experience a rise in the number of people displaced as a result of development projects and these are expected to be on the increase as the economy grows. The displacements are mainly as a result of mining and big agricultural projects across the country. 

Mr Chairperson, to deal with the issue of internally displaced people, my office will work on the domestication of the Kampala Convention which provides standards for the protection of people from arbitrary displacement. The protection of internally displaced people, while they are displaced, is a durable solution to their displacement.

Mr Chairperson, our country is endowed with a lot of wetlands mainly in the North-Western, Western and Luapula provinces. To curtail the effects of climate change and promote risk reduction, my office wants to embark on a pilot project to establish how these wetlands can be sustainably utilised to add to the local livelihood. I have actually discussed with hon. Members of Parliament of a number of areas, including Western Province, on what is needed to get the wetlands to be productive again. 

Mr Chairperson, this year, our total estimates are K84,246,265,551. Given the general resource level, if this amount is approved by the hon. Members of Parliament, it would go a long way in achieving our objectives. With this background, the hon. Members of this House are urged to support this budget. 

Mr Chairperson, I wish to report that during the 2012 Financial Year, the DMMU was allocated K67.6 billion. Hon. Members may wish to know that this amount enabled my office to implement the shift from the traditional reactive disaster management to the more proactive disaster risk reduction, in tandem with the PF’s Manifesto of ensuring that the people at the local level are involved in their affairs. 

Mr Chairperson, the allocation enabled the DMMU to deal with emergency repair of roads, bridges and crossing wash-a-ways during the previous seasons. The key infrastructure that was constructed includes the Ukwimi/Sandwe Road. 

I have to apologise because I have a duplicated page in my statement. 


The Vice-President: Hon. Members, the DMMU …

I am sorry, this is all because of the MMD spies. 

Hon. MMD Members: Aah!

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, you just have to bear with me. 


Mr Muntanga: And, please, speak loudly. You are talking to yourself. 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, it would help if Hon. Muntanga was not speaking while I give my statement. 


The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, our country is endowed with a lot of wetlands, especially in the North-Western, Western and Luapula provinces. We want to develop these wetlands by starting with a pilot project to enable us restore their usefulness. We wish to open them up through the dredging of canals, for instance, to make them more accessible for economic activities. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to render my support to this Vote. I wish to put on record that I might be the only one or, maybe, with a few others from this side, that really support the Office of the Vice-President. Unfortunately, it looks like the hon. Members on the other side have chosen to ridicule this office for whatever reasons. However, I have found it to be a very useful office. In the past, it was one of the most respected offices. As I am standing here, I am questioning why we are being reduced to nothing by calling our leader in this House, a ‘bag carrier’.

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Mr Simbao: Sir, in supporting this office, which I respect so much, I would like to make it clear that it is important that we all appreciate the Office of the Vice-President. Hence, we should not consider it a shadow Office of the President. That we are allocating funds to this office means it exists and has roles and responsibilities which are given to it by Parliament. The money that we are allocating here is appropriated by us Parliamentarians. We are the ones agreeing that this office requires this kind of money. This Vote has a lot of duties to carry out for Zambia. As a preface to my debate, I would appreciate people respecting this office, especially hon. Members on the other side.

Mr Speaker, coming to the budgetary allocation itself, I have noticed that we have given Operation of the Vice-President’s Bureau K3 billion more than what we gave it in 2012. Honestly, I must say that I do not understand this Bureau. I do not know how I missed it last time, but I do not understand it. However, that being the case, whatever this Bureau does, I am sure it deserves this increment. 

For this reason, I would say that I am impressed with the hon. Minister of Finance for giving money so literally and freely to the extent that he can increase an allocation of a Vote by over 100 per cent. I hope he is going to look at the salary increments of the police in the same manner. There is no way he is going to increase a Vote like this by over 100 per cent and when it comes to salary increments of the police, we see a 5 per cent or 10 per cent increment. It would not be fair at all. If this office feels that it needs such a big increment to work for the people of Zambia, then there are many other people that are working for the people of Zambia that would equally benefit from an increase like this one. While I appreciate and support this increment, I would like to remind His Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Minister of Finance that I anticipate seeing a similar increment in salaries for Government workers.

Sir, I have noticed that the Public Functions and Ceremonies line was initially allocated K250 million but, this time around, it has gone to K1.1 billion within one year. What has changed so much that we can raise a line by over 400 per cent? What has become so important about this particular office?

Mr Speaker, I did not hear His Honour the Vice-President discuss this line because this is very important. Why are we giving him so much money? What does this office do which the Ministry of Works, Supply and Communication is failing to do? Normally, the issue of public functions are a reserve of the Ministry of Works, Supply and Communication. Of course, other ministries have something to do, but this ministry does a lot of this. It does almost all the organisation and everything. Why, therefore, have we raised this Vote so much?

However, I wish to state that even then, I am not against it. I am sure it is very good for whatever reason they found. Nonetheless, I would like to see a similar increment in the salaries for nurses. Nurses are earning very little money. If we can see a 400 per cent increment for ceremonies, what is wrong with giving a person who needs money in the pocket this kind of a percentage increment? Speaking from experience, and having been once in Government, I know that the salaries for nurses are very low.

Hon. Government Members: Why did you not increase them!

Mr Simbao: However, if we are able to give a 400 per cent increment for ceremonies, Mr Chairperson, why should we give a worker less than 100 per cent?

Therefore, when it comes to salary increments, I would like to see a situation where whoever will negotiate will not negotiate for less than 400 per cent.


Mr Simbao: I cannot understand why public functions and ceremonies, something that is not going to generate any extra funding at all, can be given 400 per cent increment, when workers who actually produce wealth for this country are not given that kind of increment? So, I would like to say in advance that the people tasked to negotiate should look at these increments when they go to that table and refuse to back down and get anything less than 100 per cent.

Mr Speaker, I have seen that the Ministry of Finance doubled most of these lines, which is very good. However, we would like to see the extra work or programmes in this office that is so ridiculed by the Government that has caused most of these allocations to be doubled. We would like to see that difference in the coming year so that in 2014, we will not have to say anything like this or question the increased allocations, but just support the Vote.

Sir, of course, this is as a result of our Budget growing, but this money must go to some lines. However, when you give to public ceremonies in this manner, then everyone else expects a hefty increment. Failure to that, we shall have problems in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Member: Ba Simbao, good!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me the Floor. I stand to support this Vote for my friend, His Honour the Vice-President.

Mr Lubinda: For nepotism!

Mr Muntanga: Yes, he comes from Monze.

Sir, his budgetary allocation has been increased by 30 per cent, from K15 billion last year to K20 billion this year. The same thing has been done to some votes, but not so much to others. I know these increments. I do not want to push the hon. Minister of Finance to increase to such levels but, however, I am looking forward to him increasing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by, at least, 50 per cent.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what the problem is in disaster management? Why is it that when a report is made to his office, he takes time to act? We are about to approve the K70 billion budgetary allocation, and yet when we report to his office that several bridges have been damaged in Mukolo and Sikweya in Kalomo Constituency, he does not act. What is his problem? The Permanent Secretary who was fired in Livingstone came to Kalomo and saw for himself how the small bridge is nearly collapsing. Apart from your Permanent Secretary, the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication came and saw the damage which he described as a disaster.

The quotation made by the RDA for the repair works was only K200 million. This office had K3.5 billion for such programmes and I want to believe that not all of it was used, but why are the repairs not being carried out?

We allow this office to have the money, but when a disaster is reported, nothing is done. We think that perhaps giving money to a word called ‘disaster’ is better because that way, even the police can be declared a disaster so that we give them the increment required.

I would like to urge His Honour the Vice-President to sort out resettlement schemes; to be active and ensure the outstanding issues are resolved. Yes, you once acted on the Sichifulo Game Management Area issue. Just next to Sichifulo Game Management Area, there is another area where people are fighting over land and you need to show some leadership over that issue as well. It was your office that took people to that area against the wish of the local chief. It has taken years. Although you will say you are only a year old in office, you are already looking at those problems. One year in office is good enough for you to know the problems.

Now, we are supporting this Budget despite their calling you a chola boy. To us, you are not a chola boy, but His Honour the Vice-President who is working.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: They may not make you act as President because of certain rules but, since you were appointed Republican Vice-President, they should respect you because you are the Vice-President.

Mr Chairperson, we had a situation where a presidential candidate could not be nominated in the House but, because there was a lacuna in the law, the late President picked someone who was a presidential candidate as Vice-President. He was a nominated candidate and was made Republican Vice-President. Alas, a losing candidate. 

However, you are not a losing candidate. So, you can act as President. There is no reason you cannot act as President. The hon. Minister of Finance is a good man. Perhaps, because he is in charge of money, they make him act as President. I noticed that when you are receiving the President at the airport, there is some sort of confusion on who goes to meet the President first between His Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Minister of Finance, who acts as President?


The Chairperson: Order, order!

Hon. Muntanga, Order!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, it is the money allocated …  

The Chairperson: Order, order!

No! Do not cleverly bring in something else. Just discuss the budget.

Mr Muntanga: Sir, I have looked through this budget and noted that there is money for His Honour the Vice-President’s travel expenses. Now he has extra money which he uses to fly to these areas preparing for by-elections such as Mufumbwe. I hope you are not going to blow this budget up by flying too often to all the places where by-elections are taking place. We want you to do the job of a Vice-President. Although you are the Vice-President for the PF and the country, do not over use this money for your party. After all, the Secretary-General of the PF does not recognise you and he is the one who calls you a chola boy.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, what we want is for this money to be given to the Republican Vice-President. I am appealing to him …

Mr Chikwanda: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member, who is a very gifted hon. Member of Parliament, in order to misuse the time allocated to him to debate and instead use the time to engender divisions which do not exist in the PF?

Mr Chairperson: Yes, he is misusing his gift to debate. He is out of order. 

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, it is an understanding that the hon. Minister of Finance will adhere to the plea to increase the CDF, a request I personally made to him. We will deal with this issue later and he will have to agree.

Sir, all I am saying is that I am supporting the budget for the Vice-President’s Office in the same way I will support the CDF budget when it is increased, as agreed by the hon. Minister of Finance and ourselves in the Committee. I do not think he will run away from that, neither will he use his clever way of dodging. I promise not to divide the PF, but I want to advise them that, as we pass the Budget, the two hon. Members, Messers G. B. Mwamba and Kabimba, should stop fighting publicly. I, therefore, support the Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Chairperson I promise to be very brief as I adopt the contributions of my colleagues as my own.

Sir, I would like to put it on record that the people of Malambo Constituency appreciate the work being done by the DMMU. Therefore, I will restrict my debate to this unit.

Mr Chairperson, Malambo is in a very unique situation with its own share of problems. For instance, as you may know, the whole of Malambo is a game management area (GMA) as well as a valley. We may have dry spells in Malambo, but we may also end up having floods in the valley.

Sir, when it rains in the plateau, all the rain water collects at Malambo as the main drainage system for the Eastern Province is the Luangwa River, thereby causing floods in Malambo.

Mr Chairperson, as a consequence, we end up with people being displaced, crops are lost and when we have dry spells, agriculture yield is poor. The other problem that we have in Malambo is the issue of human/animal conflict.

It is a fact that both the human and animal populations have been increasing over the, thereby causing a lot of stress in terms of usage of the same land, which does not expand as the population grows.

Mr Chairperson, with the problem animals like the elephants, there is loss of crops and human lives as well. I would, therefore, like to appeal to the DMMU to stop being responsive and become proactive so as to mitigate the effects of the disasters that befall the people of Malambo Constituency.

Sir, I have noticed that in the 2013 Budget, there is an increment in the emergency response allocation from K2.1 billion to K5.4 billion. That, in itself, indicates an admission that the DMMU is primarily responsive and not reactive.

Mr Chairperson, in the case of Malambo, in line with what His Honour the Vice-President just said, that they would like to see the DMMU assuming the role of being more proactive, I would like to propose that the DMMU should consider constructing a number of canals on Musandile River to the north so that the flood waters end up in areas where there are no human settlements. That way, we will mitigate against flooding in the communities.

Sir, the other concern is the downscaling of the emergency offseason production. What we have seen in the 2013 Budget is that the allocation for this area has been reduced from K158 million in 2012 to K50 million next year. What this means is that the people of the valley, who have been so used to winter-cropping, will be severely affected in 2013. I would like to put it on record that the people in that area do not take pride in receiving relief food because it is dehumanising. The people there are also not lazy and would like to grow their own food. Winter-cropping, in some ways, provided a means for them to grow their own food whenever their crops were damaged by floods or even by problem animals such as elephants.

Sir, I am informing his Honour the Vice-President that the downscaling of the emergency offseason production is not very welcome for the people of Malambo because they would like to produce their own food. Just as much as they appreciate what the DMMU is doing for them, they would like to see their self-esteem enhanced through their own labour.

Sir, with these few words, I thank you.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Vote for the Office of the Vice-President, I would like to discuss some issues. 

Sir, I will just go straight to the issue of resettlement schemes. In the Yellow Book, I realise that the Resettlement Department seems to be one of those that are getting a raw deal in terms of funds for transport. It had more money for transport this year, but there is a reduction for 2013.

Mr Chairperson, I am very concerned about this department because it plays a crucial role in resettling people. I would like to take this opportunity to say that we have requested the Vice-President’s Office to take some people who are not interested in settling in the Kalumwange Resettlement Scheme to the Songa Area in Senanga. However, I think that the Office of the Vice-President has been very reluctant to respond to our request.

Sir, people find it difficult to move from Senanga to resettle in Kaoma. When I attended a Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committee meeting, I noticed that there was a lot of money meant for resettling people that was being sent back to the Treasury. We do not want that money to go back to the Central Government. When we have areas that can be turned into resettlement schemes, I think that it is important that we focus on those areas and use that money. I think that there was still K2 billion held in offices in Mongu meant for this exercise in August 2012 or somewhere about that time. So, the Office of the Vice-President needs to respond to our request so that we can resettle some people in the Sikumbi/Songa Area using the same amount of money because the place is better than most resettlement schemes.

Mr Chairperson, I would also want to remind His Honour the Vice-President about the importance of digging canals. We have many wetlands in the Western Province. At one time, we passed through the Kalongola Plains with the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication and one thing we realised was that, because of the unavailability of canals, the water is collecting in higher levels, making it a disaster area. So, after approving the budget for the Office of the Vice-President, we would like to see canals dug in areas prone to flood disasters when the rains are heavy.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue is that of blown-off classroom roofs. This is a great challenge most of the time and the response from the Vice-President’s Office is very poor. We have reported several schools in Shang’ombo and Senanga that have been without roofs for a long time. Unfortunately, there has been no quick response that has come through from this office and we are getting into the rainy season. The ministry that is directly in charge of schools has also not replaced the roofs. So, after we give this money to his office, we hope that His Honour the Vice-President will react quickly to this matter. 

Further, Sir, we do not want to see the DMMU stacking relief maize for many months when people are waiting in those places where there is a need for it. For this unit to do carry out its operations effectively, it is important that we see quick response when it comes to distribution of relief food after we approve the budget.

Mr Chairperson, we have some bridges that have been washed away and have stayed that way for too long. We have been waiting to see whether the Vice-President’s Office would come in quickly. One bridge I have in mind is the one at Kaunga-Lweti. Now that the rains are coming, we will see a situation in which that area is cut off and the people from the west bank will not be able to move. That also applies to the Kakenge Bridge which was also washed away on the eastern side of Senanga. The ambulances will stop moving in that area because the rivers will soon start flooding. 

Sir, we want to urge the Vice-President’s Office to change the way it responds to disasters. It must respond quickly when we call on it. Otherwise, I think, we will just be allocating money for disaster mitigation, but the service that is coming from the Vice-President’s Office will be nothing to be happy about.

Mr Chairperson, I end here, and thank you.

The Chairperson: Thank you for that. If hon. Members can make their contribution in less than fifteen minutes, that will be better.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the budget for the Office of the Vice-President, I will restrict myself to just talking about the work of the DMMU and commenting on one or two budget lines under this unit. We know for sure that this department is very handy to our nation in terms of its response activities. 

Sir, I would like to indicate, without any reservation, that some Government ministries that are supposed to attend to certain activities are starting to relax. This is because they know that when disasters strike, the DMMU will deal with them. For example, many of the washed-away bridges from the last rainy season, which are supposed to have been worked on, are not yet worked on. There are culverts in some areas which are already in total disrepair. I think that the people from the provincial administrations or the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication can move in if they had full information of what was happening on the ground. When the rainy season comes, the DMMU will have to move in because the lives of the people will be in danger. Whereas there are resources allocated for the DMMU’s work, the line ministries, which are entrusted with certain responsibilities, must still ensure that they do their job and not just rely upon it to attend respond to emergencies. 

On programme 3146, item 009 – Facilitate Emergency Rehabilitation of Culverts and Bridges – K2,118,000,000, I am worried because there is a reduction from K3.5 billion to K2.118 billion. I would have liked to see more funds given to this activity because there are many culverts which need to be attended to.

Mr Chairperson, in Kaputa, I think we have a big disaster looming. We have Lake Mweru Wa Ntipa which has been drying up very quickly. The responses to calls for this problem to be sorted out have not been good. This lake requires water to flow into it and that can be done by opening up the source at the Kalungwishi River with excavations. Something should be done about this looming disaster. When that lake dries up, the people around the area will have nowhere to get water from. So, I urge the Government not to wait until a disaster happens. The Government should put in place mitigation measures.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much. I support the Vote. In so doing, I want to start by commending the DMMU under the Office of the Vice-President.

Mr Chairperson, the performance of the DMMU has been good. It is ready to support anyone who walks into its offices. I want to urge it to continue with the same spirit. Perhaps, we should start thinking of turning this particular department into a fully-fledged ministry. I have in mind a ministry of disaster and resettlement because I think we are really becoming overwhelmed as a country by disasters.

Mr Chairperson, to explain my point further, let me give an example of a disaster which took place in my constituency. People were almost starving to death. I went to this office for assistance. There is a place called Chomba in the Shikabeta Area. The roads are impassable in this area, but the DMMU provided my constituency with enough food using two helicopters within three days. I think this is the way we need to react to disasters. I urge the Government to decentralise the operations of this office for now since the idea of having a fully-fledged ministry is not in the offing. It is very difficult each time there is a disaster for us in Rufunsa to come to Lusaka. If the operations of this office were decentralised, at least, it would be easier for us to report disasters. The money that is being allocated to this department, in my view, is not sufficient. There is a need for us to give it slightly more.

The unit also provides funds for the grading of roads in resettlement schemes. We have the Rufunsa Resettlement Scheme. The roads there are quite bad. It is my request that funds are provided for the grading of the roads in the resettlement scheme. 

Mr Chairperson, we have Shikabeta situated in the valley bordering with Mkushi. I think most hon. Members do not know where this place is. It is my earnest appeal that this office considers opening a resettlement scheme in that area.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Chairperson, thank you. I promise to be brief. 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to centre my debate on the DMMU. In so doing, I would like to adopt the hon. Member for Malambo’s debate as my own. I want to believe that the DMMU does not take pleasure at actually mitigating disasters which could otherwise be avoided. So, my debate will be centred on the preventive and not curative approach. I would like to advise that probably as we mitigate these disasters, we should also try and find out exactly what causes some of them because they occur every year. I want to cite an example of something which occurs in my own constituency in Siavonga. I can assure you that whether we like it or not, there is hunger coming. This is not because we are poor farmers or are lazy. We know exactly what to do, but the climatic conditions do not favour the growing of crops that are seen to be of an economic value in this country.

Mr Chairperson, I want to advise the DMMU to look at certain issues, of course, in liaison with the responsible line ministries. I know that the His Honour the Vice-President is tired of hearing the song about cotton. However, I wish to state that part of the reason we have a looming hunger situation this year is the disastrous marketing season for cotton that does so well in our area. I want to advise that, maybe, we should look at diversification initiatives. We have talked about the diversification subject for too long here, without implementing any initiatives. I have in mind a crop called guar which has been tested by the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART) and is doing so well in areas such as Siavonga, Rufunsa, Gwembe and Sinazongwe. We understand that this is a very good cash crop which could be a very good substitute for cotton in a situation where the marketing becomes disastrous again. 

Also, I am advocating that His Honour the Vice-President liaises with the line ministries concerned with farming, for example, to promote goat rearing. This is another area that we can go into which can actually reduce the hunger situation in the valleys. If we have to embark on large-scale goat rearing, we have to look at ways of improving the breeds that we have at the moment and also damming most of the areas. Goats do well in areas where there is a lot of water. Fishing is also another area that we can go into in order to mitigate the hunger situation. The people who live in Siavonga are very hard working. If they can be supported in those areas that I have mentioned, I can assure you that they would not be asking for relief food.

The other thing that we can look at is mining. In Siavonga, there are small mining activities going on but, if they are enhanced with the help of the Government, I can assure you that, again, we shall not cry so much again about the hunger situation in the area.

Mr Chairperson, let me also talk about a crop that might be considered to be inferior and this is sorghum. I am glad to hear that actually the Government is looking at giving inputs for the growing of sorghum. Now, if the Vice-President is serious about his efforts to prevent hunger, I would advise that we embark on sorghum growing very seriously. We can also consider the growing of finger millet. Even though the crops I have talked about are looked at as inferior, they could actually help in mitigating hunger situations in certain areas. 

Mr Chairperson, I promised to be brief and, true to my word, I wish to conclude by saying that, please, bear with us when we ask for relief food because we feel that we deserve it. Otherwise, we have solutions if we can sit down together and plan. 

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, fortunately, I spent five years in the wilderness on the other side of the House and I know the questions that would be raised and, therefore, I have prepared their answers. 

Mr Chairperson, let me explain the problem that exercised Hon. Simbao so much which is the question of the cost of operations of the Vice-President’s bureau travels which include foreign and local travel. In 2011, the budget estimate passed by this House was just over K2 billion for this. The supplementary that was then passed was K11.5 billion. The total authorised was seven times as much as the budget. What we have decided to do this year is be honest and say what we think it is actually going cost. This 2011 Budget went from a touch over K2 billion budgeted to nearly K14 billion actually spent. Yes it was electioneering and other things, but we have elections of one sort or the other all the time. 

Mr Chairperson, the budget was not increased much for 2012. It went to K2.8 billion and the supplementary actually incurred K5 billion. So, the total expenditure came to K8 billion. In other words, considerably less than my predecessor spent on the same item. This year, we have tried to make the budget more realistic. That is where the K3 billion extra comes in and there is no supplementary yet at this stage and so, the total authorised has actually dropped to half what Hon. Kunda managed to spend in 2011. 

Mr Chairperson, I would urge hon. Members to be careful and raise these issues as questions rather than pontificate about them as if they understood exactly where these figures were coming from. I know it is done for the purposes of the general listener to the Parliamentary FM Station but, nonetheless, it is more informative if we realised that we have taken what we actually spent in the past and made that the authorised amount.

On the subject of events, in 2012, the budget was K250 million. The supplementary was K1.6 billion. So, the total authorised was nearly K2 billion. In other words, eight times the authorised amount. What the Ministry of Finance and my office have done this time is put in a realistic budget which is actually less by K200 million than that which was actually spent. The budget is now K1.6 billion up from a quarter of a billion. However, the actual spending is not expected to move at all. In fact, with the first item which regards the local and international travels, State House and ourselves have embarked upon a very draconian exercise of cutting down on the size of advance parties and close parties and so on and so forth. So, we have actually halved the number of individuals who travel to Australia, Iran or wherever we are going as well as half the number of people on the local trips – the helicopter trips that Hon. Muntanga feels so jealous about. These have been cut down and I would expect the spending to be less than it was for this current year.

Let me address a few points on individual issues raised. As regards the Kalomo Bridge funds …

Mr Muntanga interjected.

The Vice-President: Hon. Muntanga, please, I am addressing your bridge. 

Mr Muntanga: Where is the money?

The Vice-President: Do you want me to address your bridge or not?

Mr Muntanga: The money!

The Vice-President: The money has been released this year.

The Chairperson: Your Honour, do not get into a verbal exchange. 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, through you, I would like to plead with …

The Chairperson: Yes, that is agreeable.

The Vice-President: … Hon. Muntanga to be quiet when I discuss the money for his bridge.

The Chairperson: Ignore him.

The Vice-President: Well, I ignore him.  I will just not say anything then about this bridge. 


The Vice-President: The money has been released already this year and the bridge will be fixed this year. As regards the Kaungalweti Bridge, the Road Development Agency (RDA) and the DMMU will do emergency works while awaiting the Link Zambia 8000 Project. 

The issue raised by hon. Mufalali of Senanga on the need to establish a resettlement scheme is already receiving attention by our office in Mongu with support from resettlement headquarters. Consultations have already commenced. We have also taken note of the issue of establishing a resettlement scheme in the Shikabeta Area in Lusaka Province.


The Chairperson: Order!

I am inclined to separate those three hon. Deputy Ministers. I am referring to the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President and the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development. I will spare the hon. Minister but, please, stop interfering and consult quietly.

His Honour the Vice-President may continue.


The Vice-President: An assessment of Shikabeta will be undertaken in 2013. 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

VOTE 02/01 – (Office of the Vice-President – Human Resource and Administration – K13,183,824,547).

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, may I have clarification on Programme 3006, Activity 028 – Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management Conventions – K18,000,000. May I understand what this activity is all about regarding the contributions and subscriptions?

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the President (Mr Kalaba): Mr Chairperson, Programme 3006, Activity 028 – Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management Conventions – K18,000,000, is for professional bodies like the human resource practitioners’ body.

02/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

02/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 02/04 (Office of the Vice-President – Human Resource and Administration – 20,592,171,831).

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President why there is such a big reduction in the salaries on Programme 3000, Activity 001 – Salaries Division 1 – K784,014,844, Activity 002 – Salaries Division 11 – K526,972,326  and Activity 005 –  Other Emoluments – K58,772,110.

Mr Chairperson, I also would like to find out why there is a big reduction on Programme 3001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K966,526,002.

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a point of order that I deem very important to this country, and to all hon. Members of Parliament here. I am inclined to think that before the Budget is passed, an Appropriation Bill is brought here, and the President has to assent to it, after which it becomes law. 

Mr Chairperson, yesterday and this morning, I watched and listened to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and one of their news headlines was that the National Assembly had passed the Budget unanimously. Is the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting in order to remain silent, and not correct the impression that has been given to the nation, region and the world, that we have unanimously passed the Budget? If he is in order, is what we are doing not an exercise in futility? 

I need your ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I have been told by those who had the advantage to hear what was said that the ZNBC said that the policy debate on the Budget was passed unanimously. However, if the ZNBC said what you have said it did say, then, the ZNBC is obviously wrong and that correction should be made. 

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, the decrease in Programme 3000, Activity 001 – Salaries Division 1 – K784,014,844, has come as a result of the abolition of the position of the Permanent Secretary on Parliamentary Business.

Mr Chairperson, the decrease in Programme 3001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K966,526,002 has arisen as a result of the rationalisation of services in office running. 

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, my question is on Programme 3051, Activity 001 – Covering Parliamentary Debates – K265,300,000. Last year, K20,000,000 was allocated for this, but what has caused this increase?

Mr Chairperson, on the same Programme 3051, Activity 018 – Processing of Parliamentary Questions – Nil. Last year, K214,878,524 was allocated. However, no provision has been made to this line next year. What does this mean?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, the increase on Programme 3051, Activity 001 – Covering of Parliamentary Debates – K 256,300,000 has arisen due to the consolidation of some programmes and activities.

Mr Chairperson, Programme 3051, Activity 018 has been included in Programme 3051, Activity 001.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 01/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 19/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 03/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 04/01 – (Ministry of Gender and Child Development – K35,249,688,708).

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Wina): Mr Chairperson, first and foremost, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to deliver the policy statement on the Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development for 2013 to this honourable House.

Mr Chairperson, may I thank His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, the President of the Republic of Zambia, and the PF Government for demonstrating progressive political will and commitment to gender equality, and the empowerment of women as well as the development of children in the country. This is consistent with the PF’s vision on gender equality and equity as expressed in its manifesto.

Mr Chairperson, for the benefit of some of hon. Members, I would like to say that when I talk of gender equality and equity, I talk about issues of justice, fairness and a balanced society. Furthermore, in line with the PF Government’s commitment to international and regional instruments, my ministry will, through Government ministries, domesticate international protocols and conventions relating to gender and child development such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mr Chairperson, as you are aware, the Government, in demonstrating its long-term commitment to gender equality and children’s issues, created the Ministry of Gender and Child Development in March, 2012, by abolishing the Gender in Development Division at Cabinet Office, and establishing the ministry through Parliamentary acclamation on 22nd March, 2012.

Sir, the vision of the ministry is to have a nation where there is gender equality and a full realisation of children’s rights for …


The Chairperson: Order!

We are drowning the hon. Minister.

Mrs Wina: … sustainable development. For this newly-established ministry to execute its mandate, the following key policy objectives have been put in place:

(a)co-ordinating gender mainstreaming into national and sectoral policies and programmes in order to facilitate gender-responsive development;

(b)facilitating the implementation, co-ordination and monitoring of child protection and survival programmes from a multi-sectoral response to child issues in order to ensure child development;

(c)developing and reviewing policies and legislation in order to provide an appropriate legal framework for effective implementation of gender and child programmes;

(d)advocating and raising awareness on gender and child issues in order to promote the rights of women, men and children;

(e)effectively co-ordinating the implementation of anti-gender based violence programmes in order to contribute to reduce the incidence of the vice;

(f)developing, implementing, co-ordinating and monitoring socio-economic empowerment programmes through the establishment and strengthening of strategic linkages with other line ministries, civil society and the private sector in order to enhance effective participation of men and women in economic activities; 

(g)effectively planning, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of gender equality and child development programmes in order to facilitate the development and implementation of appropriate interventions;

(h)providing administrative and logistical support services in order to enhance the operations of the ministry;

(i)mobilising and managing financial resources in order to enhance the efficient and effective implementation of programmes; and

(j)developing and managing human resources in order to enhance individual and organisational performance.

Mr Chairperson, having highlighted the vision and key policy objectives for my ministry, allow me to specify the main areas of focus for the 2013 Budget, as follows:

Creation and Restructuring of the Ministry Of Gender and Child Development

Mr Chairperson, as a result of the creation of the ministry, a restructuring assessment was carried out to determine the optimal functional and staffing levels that would enable the ministry to fully discharge its mandate. One of the key focus areas is to ensure that there is adequate capacity to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate the impact of programmes associated with gender and child development.

Sir, as part of the restructuring process, the ministry will establish a new department called Planning Monitoring and Information with the view to strengthening and enhancing the monitoring and evaluation of programme implementation in order to effectively mainstream gender issues. The Monitoring and Evaluation Unit will be the nexus for gender mainstreaming programming.

Mr Chairperson, the creation of the ministry has also led to the assessment of the past structure to come up with an appropriate one that would support the ministry. This has entailed the need to recruit additional staff and increase the allocation of resources to support the implementation of gender and child development programmes.

Sir, it is for this reason that a budget estimate of K3, 122, 683, 539, 000 has been devoted to the Planning, Monitoring and Information Department. This has significantly contributed to the increase in Head 04.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Mr Chairperson, the importance of monitoring and evaluation cannot be over-emphasised, particularly, with issues of gender mainstreaming. You may recall that the President, in his Speech, during the Opening of Parliament, recently, referred to the importance of monitoring and evaluation programmes in assessing the Government’s delivery of services to Zambians. That was further echoed by the hon. Minister of Finance, who informed the House of the Government’s intention to create a harmonised Government Monitoring and Evaluation System that will be linked to the Ministry of Finance, to which all ministries, provinces and spending agencies are required to submit their monitoring and evaluation reports.

Sir, the ministries were directed to ensure that resources were allocated and capacity built to implement this task. It is in view of the above that my ministry has allocated K128, 375, 000 for monitoring and evaluation. The funds will facilitate the development of gender-responsive monitoring and evaluation systems, plans, indicators and tools to use.

Mr Chairperson, in light of this, I wish to inform this House that my ministry intends to make the district the nerve centre of all our activities because the district is where our people are, and it becomes easier for us, in consultation with district administration, to identify the target groups. To this end, we intend to strengthen the operations of our district and provincial offices. This will include the development of a Management Information System to support and facilitate activities, such as research, and provide an efficient and effective reporting system.

Further, the research and field surveys for monitoring and evaluation activities will require transport and other relevant equipment such as computers, to ensure real time decision-making between the headquarters, provincial and district levels.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry will also establish a wide area network to facilitate the collection of data on gender and child development from all districts so as to feed into the management information system from which analysis will be undertaken to inform decision making and programme development processes. The wide area network will also facilitate real-time information sharing and decision making.

Mainstreaming Gender into National Policies and Legislation

Mr Chairperson, various studies and assessments, including gender audits, have been conducted in some line ministries. It has been observed that it is still a challenge for public service personnel to formulate and implement gender responsive policies and programmes within their sectors. 

Sir, capacity building in gender analysis and gender budgeting remains a major component of my ministries responsibility. The ministry will therefore conduct gender audits in ministries and institutions of Government so as to generate data which will assist in mainstreaming gender into policies and sector budgets.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry will also finalise the process of reviewing the National Gender Policy of 2000 and Child Policy of 2006. This will be done in order to deal with emerging and new challenges and also align the policies to the policy provisions in the PF Manifesto and the millennium development goals (MDGs). 

Mr Chairperson, Zambia is party to the global United Nations (UN) agreed benchmarks often times called MDGs. While all the MDGs relate to gender and development goals, goals number 1, 3 and 5, which concern the eradication of extreme poverty, promotion of gender equality and women empowerment as well as improving maternal mortality respectively, are of particular interest to my ministry. 

Therefore, it is important to have sufficient funds allocated to my ministry so as to achieve these development goals as they relate to gender and development.

 Economic Empowerment of Women

Mr Chairperson, poverty levels in this country affect more women than men. That is why poverty is said to have a female face in Zambia. Extreme poverty stands at 57 per cent for female headed households compared to 49 per cent among male headed households. In fact, poverty affects the rural women more and this situation is unacceptable.

Therefore, in 2012, Parliament appropriated funds for the economic empowerment of women with the main objective of supporting economic empowerment activities of vulnerable women in the country especially those in the rural areas. It is proposed that this fund continues in 2013.

Mr Chairperson, as a way to disburse the empowerment fund equitably, the ministry has conducted needs assessments in all the provinces so to establish what goes well with each province. In this regard, the ministry has provided and will continue to provide entrepreneurship and skills training as well as financial literacy lessons to the women groups.

However, it has been realised that providing the training alone is not sufficient as women still lack access to credit and other factors of production. It is in this vain that the ministry has procured equipment such as hammer mills, rice polishers, oil expellers, ox ploughs, sawing and knitting machines. It has also supported the breading of goats. The empowerment fund has also been used to provide startup capital to the needy women’s groups across the country. 

Mr Chairperson, it has been observed that these forms of empowerment programmes are very beneficial to the women groups. Thus, the ministry intends to scale up the training of women in various entrepreneurship and business development skills as well as the purchasing of equipment. 

Gender Based Violence 

Mr Chairperson, gender-based violence (GBV) is a vice that continues to affect the citizens of our country. Like poverty, it is a fact that GBV affects women and girls more than it does men and boys. Unfortunately, it seems the vice is on the increase. This can be seen by the number of reported cases in the last three years. 

Sir, in 2009, according to statistics from the Victims Support Unit (VSU), there were a total of 8,261 reported cases of GBV while in 2010 there were 8, 467 and during 2011, there were 11, 998 cases. Further, at the end of the second quarter of this year, 6, 178 cases were reported. 

Mr Chairperson, in order to address this unacceptable situation the ministry, in 2012, operationalised the National Action Plan on Gender Based Violence thereby enhancing coordination in the tackling issue of GBV. In addition, the ministry has continued to facilitate the implementation of the National Action Plan on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS and the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act No.1 of 2011. 

Mr Chairperson, in the year 2013, the ministry will continue undertaking various interventions in order to reduce the instances of GBV. Further, in 2013, the ministry will focus on coordinating the domestication of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Southern African Development Community Protocol on Gender and Development. The ministry will ensure that the implementation of the GBV Act is enhanced. 

Grants to Institutions

Mr Chairperson, my Government attaches a lot of importance to the protection and promotion of children’s rights in the country. In 2012, the ministry through the Child Development Department, provided grants to institutions that are providing care and support to orphans and vulnerable children. A total of 220 child care institutions were supported countrywide. 

However, due to the realignment of Government ministries, three institutions have been transferred to the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. These are Insakwe Probation Hostel, Katombola Reformatory and Nakambala Training School. The ministry will continue providing support to child development programmes in the country especially those targeting street children.

Infrastructure Development

Mr Chairperson, in 2012, the ministry carried out the rehabilitation of infrastructure to be used for skills training of orphans and vulnerable children. In 2013, the ministry intends to continue the rehabilitation of the remaining skills training centres for orphans and vulnerable children. In addition, the ministry has made provisions for the rehabilitation of reading and recreation centres for children.

Mr Chairperson, under child protection, in 2012, the ministry provided support to thirty-five child protection committees in some provinces to enable them sensitise the public on issues of child protection. 

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate Adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)

The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 6th November, 2006.