Debates- Thursday, 1st November, 2012

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Thursday, 1st November 2012

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that, as part of the 48th Independence Anniversary, the Ministry of Youth and Sport lined up various activities, one of which was a football match between hon. Members of Parliament from the Ruling Party and the Opposition. 

This match took place at the Commonwealth Youth Development Centre on Friday, 19th October, 2012. The Opposition won the match by beating the Ruling Party by eight goals to two.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I would, therefore, like to extend my sincere congratulations to the winners and urge the Ruling Party to re-organise and make every effort to redeem itself next time.


I further wish to inform the House that the match was also used as an opportunity to select a team of hon. Members of Parliament for future games which include playing soccer with other Parliaments in the Region. This is the composition:


Mr Speaker: The team will be captained by Hon. Dr P. Matibini, SC, MP.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The rest of the team is as follows:

    Hon. C. Banda, MP

    Hon. Dr N. Simbyakula, MP

    Hon. S. Kampyongo, MP

    Hon. R. Musukwa, MP

    Hon. M. Sampa, MP

    Hon. C. Miyutu, MP

    Hon. W. Banda, MP

    Hon. D. Chingimbu, MP

    Hon. V. Mwale, MP

    Hon. M. Malama, MP

    Hon. M. Habeenzu, MP

    Hon. M. Chishimba, MP

    Hon. J. Kapyanga, MP

    Hon. A. Carlos, MP

    Hon. H. Kunda, MP

    Hon. M. Katambo, MP

    Hon. R. Mtolo, MP

    Hon. C. Mweetwa, MP

    Hon. A. Lufuma, MP
    Mr M. Musonda, MP

    Mr P. Njeulu, MP

I urge the team to train hard in order to attain the required levels of fitness.

I thank you.


Mr Speaker: The management of the team will be announced in due course.





244.    Mr Njeulu (Sinjembela) asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection when the Government would demarcate the boundary between Zambia and Angola in Shang’ombo District, especially that the Angolan Government claims the Kuando River is entirely on Angolan territory.

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Muchima): Mr Speaker, the Zambia-Angola International Boundary was defined and physically marked with boundary beacons which were put on the ground during the colonial period. The border definition is as a result of a number of agreements involving Britain, Portugal, South Africa and the then Northern Rhodesia Administrations.

Sir, Zambia inherited this boundary at Independence on 24th October, 1964. The present Zambia-Angola International Boundary was signed in Lisbon on 18th November, 1954 between Great Britain, on its own behalf, and on behalf of the Government of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and the Government of Portugal.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia/Angola International Boundary is approximately 1,110km long and marked by beacon pillars and streams throughout that length. The section of the border that passes along Shang’ombo District, as one moves south, consists of straight-line segments that follow the normal limit of the River Kuando on its eastern side when it is flooded. The Government will consider looking at the issue under bilateral arrangements and also in detail through the African Union Programme (AUP).

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Njeulu: Mr Speaker, where, exactly, is the border because even where Sipuma Primary School is, the Angolan Government is claiming that it is actually on its land?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the boundary is physically marked and beacons are there. Actually, there is a river which is on the Angolan side but, during the floods, the water ends up on the Zambian side. The school in question is on the Zambian side. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the Angolan Government has been insisted on using the cordon line as the boundary?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, we are not aware of that. I think, that is just speculation by people who have no knowledge. The boundary is defined physically by beacons, not the cordon line. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the houses at Imusho Border Post are claimed to have been built on Angolan land?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, a claim is not a fact. The reality might be different from what is claimed. If there are any issues of that nature, there is a bilateral arrangement that looks into such issues. Currently, there is no such claim on the Zambian side.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Magoye): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that there are beacons marking the boundaries which were left by our colonial masters. If the beacons are visible enough, why can we not show them to the Angolans so that this dispute can come to an end?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I have indicated that, if such issues become a nuisance, cross-border co-operation, through established channels, is the way forward. The Zambian and Angolan Governments can jointly handle the problems. As far as we are concerned, however, the issues have not risen to that magnitude.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister seems not to agree with the statements that are coming from the people who are on the ground. The issue should not be, ‘if’ because these claims are there. Now that he does not agree with these claims, what is he going to do about it?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I said that there are established commissions. I am using the word, “if” because it has not been pronounced so much. Let me put it very clearly that we shall enquire into these claims to find out, exactly, what is there so that we can refer the matter to the relevant authorities for them to be resolved.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, the questions that are coming from the hon. Members of Parliament show that there is a lot of ignorance on the part of our citizens in that area about where the demarcations are. What is the Government doing to sensitise the people who live around that area on where the boundary is so that they do not stray into Angola? 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, these boundaries are artificial countrywide. They are just for administrative purposes.


Mr Muchima: Let me explain, Muntanga.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Address the Speaker, not Hon. Muntanga.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, these issues are normal. It is quite a costly venture for the Government to re-mark and explain to the people where the boundaries are. The beacons which were put there are clearly visible. Further, the people who have more knowledge on the matter are the hon. Members of Parliament for that area and their councillors. I think that they are the right people to explain to the citizens where the boundary is and on how to respect the territorial integrity of other countries. Where we live, people are free and think that just because their uncles are on one side and the other family on the other, they can move anyhow. That is very normal in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated in his earlier answer that he will only act or correct the situation when there is a nuisance. When will he know that there is a nuisance, if not when houses are being claimed to be on foreign land? 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, a nuisance is if there is a disturbance or something causing discomfort. Currently, I am saying that we have not experienced that discomfort but, since we have the information, we will dig deeper to find out exactly what it is and, then, refer it to the relevant authorities.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, we are not learning about these boundary issues from this question because we had a similar question on Kaputa last time. May I know if there will be a commission that will look at all the boundary disputes countrywide?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, although the issue was on the Zambia/Angola International Boundary, I will give the hon. Member a bonus answer. We have not been sitting idly. The negotiations on the Malawi/Zambia and Zambia/Mozambique borders have both been completed. The outstanding ones are the Angola/Zambia, Mweru/Tanganyika and Zimbabwe/Zambia. One problem we have had on the Zimbabwe/Zambia Border is that of financial difficulties on the side of our friends. In future, our Zambian delegation will go there to sort this matter out. 

Sir, as for Nakonde Border Post, the beacons need to be placed closer to each other so that they are clearly defined. Otherwise, we are looking into these issues.

I thank you, Sir.


245. Mr Sililo (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting when the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation radio and television signals would be extended to Mulobezi District.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kapeya): Mr Speaker, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) has already started installing frequency modulation (FM) transmitters across the nation. In the Southern and Western provinces, the sites where these transmitters will be installed nearest to Mulobezi are Sesheke, Senanga and Namwala. However, the distance from Mulobezi to Sesheke is about 120 kilometres, implying that the 700w transmitter that will be installed in Sesheke will only reach the fringes of Mulobezi, whereas the Namwala and Senanga ones are further off and the signals will be too weak to reach Mulobezi.

Sir, as the FM project is an on-going Government-funded exercise, it is intended that the next phase will take account of new places where the ZNBC radio signals do not reach. The installation of the transmitters in Namwala, Sesheke and Senanga is scheduled to be implemented before the end of 2012, as the transmitters have already been taken to the areas.

Mr Speaker, as for television coverage, all the areas in Zambia that are currently not able to receive the ZNBC signals will be covered under the Digital Migration Project. This means that Mulobezi will be one of the places that will benefit from the change of television transmission technology from analogue to digital, which the International Telecommunications Union directed to be implemented by 2015.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, where does the Government intend to put the FM transmitter for Mulobezi to benefit because, depending on where you are, Mulobezi could be nearer to Senanga?

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, I have clearly stated that the nearest place to Mulobezi is Sesheke. So, at least, Mulobezi will be able to capture the signals from Sesheke although they will be very weak. They will be what we call ‘stray signals’.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L Zimba (Kapiri-Mposhi): Mr Speaker, why do we have bad radio and television signals in Kapiri-Mposhi and other places in the country, especially during the rainy season?

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, I thought that we were dealing with Mulobezi and that, if the hon. Member of Parliament wants to know about other places, he would put a question.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: It is a supplementary question, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, as I said in my earlier responses, the Government will install FM transmitters in every district. As I explained yesterday, the creation of new districts will improve the flow of radio signals since all of them will be given transmitters.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I have failed to get clarity from the hon. Minister on the question about when Mulobezi would be covered. The hon. Minister has indicated that the transmitter that will be installed in Sesheke will not suffice for Mulobezi. This leaves the question unanswered. Could he tell me again when Mulobezi will be fully catered for.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Sakeni): Mr Speaker, I think, the hon. Deputy Minster was explicit in his answer. He said that, as we get the funds, we are rolling the project out, but we cannot give the exact timeframe. We may be jumping the gun because this programme involves money. Further, we have already started doing something for Sesheke, although the signal will not be that strong for Mulobezi to benefit. However, some people within Mulobezi District will be able to access radio signals by the end of this month. In fact, according to the programme, they were supposed to start getting that signal last month. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, there was a programme that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, whose members are with us this side, left in place. They even used to show us the long transmitters at the ZNBC and assure us that we would be receiving television and radio signals by 2012 in Gwembe. What happened to that programme because we still do not have access to these signals in Gwembe? 

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, we have continued from where the MMD left in areas of development. We cannot discard development programmes just because we shelve the plans which were in place. Governments come and go but, honestly speaking, we have not abandoned most of the programmes that we found. The MMD also left the Digital Migration project, which is actually an international programme, and Zambia has to implement it. We currently use analogue broadcast technology, but we need to migrate to digital media. We have suspended putting up transmitters for ZNBC Television because the deadline for digital migration is 2015. As we progress, you will be hearing programmes on the migration from analogue to digital. As for radio reception, we have continued trying to improve it and we will still cover Gwembe.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing'ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, why has the Government opened TV2, instead of concentrating on giving places like Mulobezi access to clearer, rather than stray, signals?

Mr Sakeni: Mr Speaker, I have just answered that question by saying that we are continuing with the programme. For television, we have to go digital. So, we cannot still continue installing analogue transmitters because we would not be moving forward. We need to go digital and move forward like other countries because the world of technology has changed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, my question has already been asked, but let me try to solicit an answer, this time.

Mr Speaker: Why repeat the same question?

Mr Hamudulu: It is because he did not answer it. My question was: Is there a programme, specifically for Mulobezi, other than the district having to depend on stray signals from other centres, such as Sesheke and Namwala?

Mr Speaker: I think that question has been answered. 


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister stated that there is a roll-out programme throughout the country as part of the migration. That was the answer. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


246. Mr Taundi (Mangango) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development how many boreholes would be sunk in Mangango Parliamentary Constituency in 2012, ward by ward. 

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr C. Zulu): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Department of Water Affairs and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (RWSSP) has plans to construct three boreholes and rehabilitate one in Mangango Constituency. In addition, there are plans to construct six and rehabilitate four hand-dug wells in the constituency. Further, one borehole has already been drilled in Namafula Ward, one in Mangango Ward is at the tendering stage while another was drilled and fitted with a solar-driven pump, but it collapsed and the contractor has been instructed to re-do the works. 

Mr Speaker, the borehole in Lumabwa Ward, which is up for rehabilitation, is also at the tendering stage. 

Sir, the construction of boreholes and rehabilitation of hand-dug wells will commence after the tendering process is completed. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Taundi: Mr Speaker, as we speak, Mutondo Palace has no water at all. What is the Government doing to address this situation at the palace? 

Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, now that the hon. Member has informed us, we will follow the matter up and see how the water blues can be sorted out. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, how much money does the Government spend to sink one borehole? 

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, the cost of sinking a borehole depends on the location or site, depth, prevailing environmental conditions and rock formation. I can, however, give the hon. Member an average of K25 million per borehole.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the question put on the Order Paper is about how many boreholes will be sunk in Mangango Constituency, ward by ward.  I sought that this was not brought out clearly. 

Hon. Government Members: You sought?

Mr Mutelo: Thought.


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, three boreholes will be drilled. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, in the 2012 Budget, it was planned that 3, 000 boreholes would be sunk countrywide. Out of 3, 000 boreholes, Mangango Constituency will only receive three. What criterion has the hon. Minister used to come up with the three?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is looking at the Yellow Book which we have not yet discussed and concluded. 

Hon. Opposition Members: For 2012!

Mr Mukanga: 2012? 

Mr Speaker, the drilling of the three boreholes in Mangango Constituency will be done by the Department of Water Affairs. There is no mention of 3, 000 boreholes under this programme. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister was asked about the cost of sinking a borehole. He indicated, if I heard him right, that the cost of sinking a borehole depends of the distance, depth and rock formation. Further, the hon. Deputy Minister had earlier indicated that there are tender processes that are followed before contracts are awarded. 

Mr Speaker, water tables vary from place to place, yet prices are known and tenders awarded prior to commencement of work. Normally, even payments at a certain percentage would have been given to the contractor. How is the water table determined prior to drilling for purposes of costing? Do you understand my question, hon. Minister?

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the response I gave earlier on costs was generally to cater for every site. This is why I said that it is a function of rock formation. I was not talking about Mangango, alone, but Zambia in general. The function depends on the depth as well as the method used to drill. In the case of Mangango, however, the contractor must have gone there, evaluated and pushed in a quotation. In engineering, one has to know what he or she is doing to push in a quotation. When a quotation is submitted, we know that a contractor knows what he is doing and we will evaluate it and award the contract. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


247. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Vice-President what progress had been made in the fight against corruption, from September, 2011 to August, 2012. 

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, from the time we assumed power, our Government has provided the much-needed political will and commitment to the fight against corruption. To this effect, a number of milestones have already been reached. In accordance with the nature of the question, the response is quite detailed and lengthy, and I propose to lay it on the Table of the House after this summary. 

Sir, the Government has since September, 2011, done the following:

(a)Funding to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been increased from K55, 825, 561, 882, in 2011, to K60, 162, 453, 812, representing an increase of 8 per cent;

(b)increased staff compliment of the ACC by providing funding for recruitment and deployment of 72 new officers in December, 2011;

(c)purchase of office equipment and additional accommodation;

(d)strengthened the legal framework through the new ACC Act No. 3 of 2012, which the President assented to on 12th April, 2012;

(e)embraced the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Policy;

(f)trained 28 new Integrity Committee members in various ministries, departments and agencies;

(g)signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Office of the Auditor-General to facilitate information sharing for speedy investigation of suspected cases of corruption;

(viii)    trained 100 civil society organisations throughout the country on their role in fighting corruption; and

(ix)    involved traditional rulers in the fight against corruption rulers, starting with the Eastern Province where, so far, twenty-four chiefs have participated in the training workshops.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members on my left, could you consult quietly, please.

Mr Ng’onga: Banaka!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the list of achievements is long and I beg that I now lay the document on the Table.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kalaba laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, what causes corruption in this country? Is it because of greed, lack of jobs or other things?


Mr Ng’onga: What other things?

Mr Livune: Answer!

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I am sure, there are many PhDs to be earned by academics studying on corruption because the contributing factors are many.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr V. Mwale asked the Minister of Tourism and Art:

(a)what measures the Government had taken to stop piracy of music in Zambia; and

(b)whether the Government had any plans to assist the Zambian artists with resources to enable them compete favourably against other musicians in Africa.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Art (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, this Government has introduced a feature called a hologram, which will be stuck on all audio-visual products. A hologram is a three-dimensional feature which cannot be replicated in any way. This feature will be in use by end of 2013. 

Furthermore, the Government has constituted anti-piracy crack squads at border entry points into the country consisting of different Government agencies to deal with piracy. It has also established the Intellectual Property Unit (IPU) under the Zambia Police Force to directly deal with issues of counterfeit and piracy.

Sir, the Government is also amending the Copyright and Performance Rights Act, No. 44 (Amendment No. 25 of 2010) to deal with piracy and counterfeit.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Department of Arts and Culture, is facilitating the establishment of arts and cultural centres. The Government Complex and Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) could provide space for exhibitions as well as learning purposes. These centres will incorporate performing arenas, exhibition halls and recording facilities. It is from these centres that the Government expects our artists to acquire and improve their artistic skills that will make them compete favourably with other artists from anywhere in the world. In fact, this programme is being rolled out to all the ten provinces. Currently, there are centres being constructed in Chipata, Solwezi, Kasama, Ndola and Livingstone. 

Sir, I urge the hon. Members of Parliament, specifically the one for Chipata Central, that, if he wants to hone his Vimbuza dancing skills, he can always visit our Chipata outlet once it is open.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that elaborate answer. Our musicians need equipment like instruments that they can use to do their live performances here, in Zambia, and abroad in order for them to raise funds. Are you considering giving them soft loans or some kind of help so that they can acquire instruments that can help them to improve on the quality of their music?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, yes, I can confirm that, in fact, it is …

Hon. Members: Wait!

Mr Mukata: Oh, sorry.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister.


Mr Mukata: Sir, there is so much noise that I got carried away. I have too many answers.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the Government has a budgetary allocation in place that it will roll out to provinces, districts and constituencies to finance community tourism initiatives. With the assistance of the National Arts Council (NAC), we will procure musical equipment to be used at the community level. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, sometimes, when you are driving around in town in Lusaka, you will find boys aged ten years skilfully playing drums. What is your ministry doing to assist them so that they can develop their talents to a higher standard?

Mr Speaker: I am not too sure about this question, but could the hon. Minister give a bonus answer.

The Minister of Tourism and Art (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, indeed, I will give a bonus answer because it is a very important follow-up question. I agree that we have a lot of talent in the arts and culture sector. The Government has already made a pronouncement, through the President’s Official Opening Speech, and the speech by the hon. Minister of Finance, that there was a need for us as the ministry responsible for tourism and art so as to use the tourism sub-sector as a driving force to use in developing our economy through identifying, developing and promoting all these skills in the arts sector. 

As the hon. Deputy Minister stated earlier, we have plans and budgetary provisions to identify skills or tourism products, which are cultural or arts products and natural resources that we have, like the Victoria Falls and new sites which are not known by many of our people. 

We want to develop the new products and encourage our people to start thinking aloud because we have made a proviso for them. We might not have enough resources, but we will still try to do something. We want to be real in the manner in which we implement our policies for the benefit of our people.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the answer from the hon. Minister does not give the country hope in terms of confronting piracy. One of the factors giving rise to piracy is information and communication technology (ICT). What is the ministry doing to address the real challenge of the ICTs, which are being used for piracy purposes in the music industry? What is being done by the ministry?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, one thing you may understand about arts and culture is that, from way back, the enforcement mechanisms for laws on cultural and artistic products are reposed in other ministries. For example, the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) deals with issues of intellectual property while the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Zambia Police Force deals with other issues I mentioned earlier.

However, like I said, we are trying to link all the strategies. We shall bring all the portfolio functions to the centre. The major challenge has been that different legislative instruments are used to deal with different problems. 

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I am very pleased to learn that the Ministry of Tourism and Arts wants to promote local music. The different regions of Zambia have very unique instruments. For instance, in the Southern Province, there is the namalwa as well as that special performance known as kuyabila. In Mbala, we have vingwengwe, a very unique heritage of instruments. I know that the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts will be heading there because I heard her mention that. My question is: Does the ministry have a written policy or programme on how to develop local instruments or local musical talent using traditional instruments and the unique traditional singing styles?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, we have said that we have a number of policies within our ministry, such as the Tourism Policy, Cultural Policy, Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Policy and legislation that supports these policies.

Sir, we have made a pronouncement on the Floor of this House that it is the PF Government’s intention to review all the policies. The process of review has started and, in some cases, reached an advanced stage. We hope to complete the process before this year ends. We will then bring legislative support to the new policies that we will be developing. In doing so, we will take into account what the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbala has asked about.

Mr Speaker, in his speech to this House, His Excellency the President talked about the formation of a commission under the National Arts Council (NAC), which will be reformed. The idea is to take on board issues such as the ones being raised here. 

Sir, the problem we have had in the past was that, when somebody talked about Arts and Culture, there was always a feeling that they were different aspects. In fact, the arts portfolio has many disciplines and sections. So, when it comes to musicians, for example, you have traditional music and traditional dance just like there is contemporary music and dance. Whether someone is singing in Chitonga or English, it is all considered to be arts. There is, therefore, a need for effective harmonisation, and that is what we intend to do under the policy review so that we also harness all these disciplines for the effective promotion of our culture through art.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for her elaborate answer. One of the ways in which artistes can be assisted to develop their capacity is by strengthening the intellectual property rights as well as enhancing patenting. That being the case, how much resources has the Government put into patenting? Further, can the ministry assist the artistes to get payment each time their music is played on any radio station because that is one way of strengthening their capacity, as is the case in developed countries?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that good question. First of all, I would like the hon. Members to appreciate that the Act which deals with the issue of piracy is under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. When I talked about harmonisation and review of policies, these are some of the issues that we will be looking at. However, I can safely say that, currently, the relevant ministry, which is the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is looking at this issue. I am aware that the hon. Minister announced that, hopefully, by the time we begin to implement the 2013 Budget, our musicians’ works will be protected.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I am wondering if the copy of the Budget I have is what everyone else received. The hon. Minister has just informed us that there is this commission that will be put in place. I would like her to show me where this commission is mentioned in the Budget. Maybe, the hon. Minister is just talking from the blues.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that my colleague has never been in the Executive. So, he may not really appreciate an activity-based Budget but, when the time comes, I will show him what he is asking about when I articulate the policy on tourism and arts.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, in her answer to a follow-up question by one of the hon. Members on traditional music and dance, the hon. Minister said that the Government has funds to promote such. I would like to know what the procedure for accessing these funds for dances like Nyau and Ngoma is.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I think, that is an important question. I have said that the Government is going to promote the arts and culture in the 2013 Budget. We want to support all those talented people in various communities. As to how the money will be accessed, that is something that will follow later, but before 2013.

I thank you, Sir.




(Debate resumed)

The Deputy Minister for Western Province (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Speaker, when the House adjourned yesterday, I was talking about tourism in the Western Province. I was saying that the construction of the Mongu/Kalabo and Sesheke/Senanga roads is expected to stimulate the inflow of tourists in Liuwa and Sioma/Ngwezi national parks. The province is putting several strategies in place to promote tourism. These strategies include publication and production of tourism promotion materials. This is found on Page 17 of the Yellow Book.

Sir, boreholes have continued to be rehabilitated in an effort to improve water supply, with 455 new ones having been drilled under the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (RWSSP) of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Seventeen boreholes were drilled under the Department of Water Affairs (DWA), and this has greatly improved the provision of adequate, clean and safe water for the local communities in the province.

Mr Speaker, as regards energy, Shang’ombo and Lukulu districts, which have been serviced by diesel electric power since Independence, will soon be connected to the national grid under the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP). Nkeyema and Luampa in Kaoma District as well as Sikongo Sub-Boma in Kalabo District will also soon be connected to the national grid as plans are at an advanced stage.

Sir, I am very happy to report to you that work on the Mongu/Kalabo and Sesheke/Senanga roads is progressing very well. A bridge will be constructed at Sioma to link Senanga and Sesheke. The construction of the Kalabo/Sikongo Road is also at an advanced stage. 

Mr Speaker, last week, I was seated here when one hon. Member of Parliament debated passionately about road infrastructure saying that the PF Government should learn to complete road projects. I was just wondering what that hon. Member of Parliament was talking about because the previous Government left the Mongu/Kalabo and Bottom roads uncompleted and the Chiawa Road unattended to and without a bridge. The PF Government is seriously going to factor these into next year’s Budget and make sure that these roads are completed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Miyutu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister on the Floor in order to misguide this House and the nation at large by stating that the works on the Kalabo/Mongu Road stalled during the reign of the former Government when the contractor for this road was contracted by the former Government?

Mr Speaker: Well, as I understood it, the point made is that some roads have not been completed and the current Government was being urged to complete them. I think, in the process, the hon. Deputy Minister is referring to the fact that these roads may not have been commenced by the current Government and that, therefore, it would be unfair to attribute the non-completion of the roads to the current Government. I understood him so. You actually seem to be confirming what he is saying when you state that the contractor was actually engaged by the previous Government. So, as I see it, you are at tandem.

You may continue, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, under the Link Zambia 8, 000 Project, the Government intends to construct the Lukulu/Katunda/Watopa, Kalabo/Kalongola/Sitoti/ Kasempa/Kaoma and Luampa/Machile/Sesheke roads. One hon. Member of Parliament came to this House and said that the PF Government would be doomed if these roads would not be done. We are saying that we are a very committed Government because we are carrying the mandate of the Zambian people. We want to improve their lives by giving them good roads, and we are going to do just that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I would now like to comment on commerce, trade and industry. The construction of the Katima Mulilo Boarder Post is almost complete and the facility will be commissioned soon. This will enhance trade and link Zambia to the outside world. In addition, the construction of Imusho Boarder Post is expected to promote socio-economic activities. 

In an effort to promote industries, cashew nut production is being revamped. Again, in this House, several hon. Members on your left have said that the PF has failed to deliver on its promises. One of the promises the PF made to the Zambian people, especially those in the Western Province, was the construction of the Mongu/Kalabo Road, which we are doing.

Hon. UPND Members: What about the Barotseland Agreement!

Mr Mwaliteta: You do not even understand what the Barotseland Agreement is.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, the other promise which this Government made to the people of Zambia was that it would recapitalise the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). The people of Kafue are happy today because the NCZ has been recapitalised.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: This was one of the promises we made when we went around the country during the campaigns for the last elections. 

Sir, the people of Zambia appreciate the promises the Government made because we are now completing the Senanga/Sesheke Road. The people of Zambia appreciate the fact that the PF Government will put a bridge across the Zambezi River at Sioma. These are promises that we are fulfilling. Those who do not want to co-operate with the Government will not see these promises fulfilled. So, the Opposition should co-operate with us so that they can see these promises become a reality in their areas. 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mwaume, uyu.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, in the health sector, the construction works for Mongu, Kaoma, Lukulu and Shang’ombo district hospitals are almost complete while a school of midwifery has been opened at Lewanika School of Nursing. The construction of a nursing school in Senanga is also in progress. 

Mr Speaker, moving on to education, it is a shame to report to you that this is a province where school toilets in rural areas are still grass-thatched. Hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province can agree with me. This is unfortunate because an hon. Members of Parliament from the province was Minister of Education, but forgot to build toilets with blocks. He, instead, left grass-thatched toilets. We are telling you that the PF Government, in 2013, will raze down all those toilets and put up good ones for our children. Sanitation is paramount to us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, 7,903 desks were distributed to schools in the Western Province. Within the same period, 313 new teachers were recruited, reducing the shortfall to 2,230. With regard to skills training, the construction of Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) training institutions in Senanga and Sesheke will commence in 2013. Nangweshi and Mayukwayukwa refugee camps are being converted into skills training centres, and this is happening this year and the next.

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Sakeni): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the 2013 Budget. Let me start by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance on the steady, strong and decisive leadership he has provided in fiscal policy development and implementation that has become synonymous with the PF Government.

Mr Speaker, the theme for this year’s Budget represents a significant direction for us. In order to see how this Budget will facilitate the theme of, ‘Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice’, we must focus our debates on how our people will attain inclusive development and social justice. The Budget debate should not just be about demanding expenditure from the Government. Rather, it should be viewed comprehensively. Inclusive development and social justice mean using the Budget to empower our people with the means and environment in which they can be in a position to take advantage of the resources that are in the Budget as well as creating in our people the capacity to create wealth.

Mr Speaker, this is a progressive Budget which has received overwhelming support from our co-operating partners, professionals in various fields, civil society, the church and the ordinary citizens. I, therefore, want to sympathise with my colleagues on the left who, instead of offering alternatives to the good measures contained in the Budget, want to defy all logic by wholesomely condemning it. 

In supporting the Budget, I want to emphasise that the PF Government came into office on the premise of improving the quality of life of our people. The hon. Minister of Finance announced a number of interventions in the education, health, agricultural, tourism, energy and manufacturing sectors among others that clearly show the intention of the Government to provide inclusive development and social justice. All these interventions are practical and will result in job creation, which will lead to reduced poverty. The Government has deliberately targeted these sectors because they directly affect our people’s lives.

Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, this is a good Budget which deserves the support of all well-meaning Zambians. However, for our people to know and benefit from its contents, the media has to play a critical role. As we have repeatedly mentioned before, the PF Government believes in the freedom of the media. Since we came into power, just over a year ago, we have allowed the media, especially the public media, to set their own editorial policies. We have gone further and informed the media that they are free to launch their self-regulatory mechanisms. 

Sir, this august House is aware that we have opened up the airwaves for private and community investments in radio and television stations. I, therefore, want to give the assurance that, in addition to all these measures, and in order to further enhance the freedom of the media, the Government is committed to bringing the Freedom of Information Bill to this House as soon as it is practically possible.

Mr Speaker, this Government believes that the provision of information is key in the fight against corruption. We are committed to removing the shroud of secrecy under which the Government used to operate, and this will only be done if our people are availed with the right to information. This Government is alive to the fact that information is the oxygen of democracy.

Sir, I want to call on the media to help this Government to disseminate the positive interventions that are in the 2013 Budget. The Opposition is aware that this is a good Budget and that, once it is implemented, it will firmly entrench the PF as a party for the people. It is no wonder that some of the hon. Members of the Opposition are opposing it because they can see us going further.

Sir, when the citizens of a country have the necessary information and knowledge, they will appreciate the role that they need to play in order to develop their country. Again, rather than politicking, hon. Members of this House should be looking at the Budget to see how it will be used to deliver inclusive development and social justice. 

As can be seen from the interventions, Mr Speaker, when we talk about delivering on our election promises, it is not just an abstract concept, like our colleagues on your left say. We talk about things that we act on. This Budget, therefore, requires the support of all well-meaning Zambians.

Sir, I thank my colleagues on the left for their attention. They have been quiet.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr E. C. Lungu): Mr Speaker, I am privileged to have this opportunity to present this policy statement for my ministry, in respect of the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2013.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr E. C. Lungu: No, I beg your pardon, Mr Speaker. 


Mr E. C. Lungu: I am privileged to present my contribution to the speech delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance relating to the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 2013.

Firstly, I wish to applaud the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting a Budget that will create a sound base for lifting this country from poverty. The mandate of my ministry is to effectively and efficiently provide and maintain an accountable and transparent internal security system in order to create an environment in which peace, stability and justice prevail for sustainable socio-economic development for the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, my ministry’s operations, in fulfilling this mandate, are carried out by the following specialised agencies:

(a)the Zambia Police Force;

(b)the Zambia Prisons Service;

(c)the Drug Enforcement Commission;

(d)the Department of Immigration;

(e)the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship;

(f)the Home Affairs Research, Planning and Information Department;

(g)the National Archives of Zambia;

(h)the Office of the Registrar of Societies; 

(i)the Police Public Complaints Authority; and

(j)the Commission for Refugees.

Mr Speaker, the PF Government takes cognisance of the fact that a peaceful and secure environment is a prerequisite for socio-economic development. In this vein, my ministry will remain resolute in maintaining a peaceful and secure nation in order to attract the much-needed local and foreign investment.

Mr Speaker, my ministry’s focus from 2013 to 2015 is on the integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in crime prevention programmes and activities, improvement of infrastructure as well as expansion of the staff strength across the departments in my ministry. It is envisaged that these policy measures will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of executing policing duties as well as improving the officer-to-population ratio and, subsequently, raise public confidence in our law enforcement agencies. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight some of the major programmes and measures set by the ministry.


Mr Speaker, my ministry, in 2013, will finalise the amendment of the National Registration Act to facilitate the introduction of digitalised national registration cards (NRCs). This process will culminate into an improved registration card with wider use in addition to incorporating bio-metric security features. The process of computerisation will further include digitalisation of other national documents, such as birth, adoption and marriage records to name but a few. This programme will result in quick processing and retrieval of records at the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship.

Mr Speaker, my ministry will also embark on the process of modernising the Zambia Police Force and putting in place an integrated security database that will link with other stakeholders in crime prevention. My ministry will equally enhance forensic operations to ensure that investigations are expedited.

Sir, the ministry has embarked on the process of computerising and decentralising the operations of the Office of the Registrar of Societies in order to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. The ministry will also ensure …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it appears to me that the hon. Minister is giving us a policy statement which should come when we start debating his ministry’ head. Instead of making comments on the Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance, I see him going ahead of his time. Is he, therefore, in order to give us a policy statement now, before the head on his ministry comes up for debate?

Mr Speaker: It is very pertinent that the Motion under debate relates to the Budget Speech presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, and I would, therefore, urge the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to take that into account.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I know that my colleague who raised the point of order has unsettled business with me. 

Mr Speaker, as outlined in the …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to qualify your ruling and insinuate that I have an issue with him when I am simply trying to educate him to follow procedure?

Mr Speaker: I will not rule on this point of order because, as the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central is fully aware, it is not allowed for him to raise two successive points of order.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, that word was the unfinished business I talked about. He wants to ‘educate’ me.


Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I am grateful that the hon. Minister of Finance has seen it fit to allocate sufficient money to take care of what I have already talked about. Having said that, I thank the hon. Member for curtailing my debate.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you have not been curtailed. You have the liberty to continue if you wish to.


Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I am a man of my words. 

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kabimba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the Budget, which was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, and give him my accolades for coming up with the most visionary and progressive Budget this country has ever seen.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, I have been following the budgets that have been delivered in this House for a long time. I have never, at any time, been inspired by any Budget like I have been inspired by this one.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to confine my debate to the theme of the Budget which is, “Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice.”

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has brought out terminologies that we have never heard in this country before, such as how development for our country must be ‘inclusive’ and render ‘social justice’ to our citizens. What we saw in the past was that the development that was preached about never touched the lives of our people.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Let us debate in an orderly manner. It is just fair. There is no point in having somebody debate if you are going to keep disturbing him.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, the term ‘inclusive development’ as part of the theme of the Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance has touched a number of areas that I would like to debate. The first is that the hon. Minister of Finance has tried, again, for the first time, to unlock issues of outstanding moneys in our local authorities and district councils, in terms of payment to retired personnel, and the insufficient grants to our local authorities for our local government system to be the engine of development in this country.

Mr Speaker, what we saw in the past was the administration of the Budget by the previous Government which starved those local authorities which they perceived not to be in support of the MMD Government. However, this year, the hon. Minister of Finance has treated every local authority equitably, including Gwembe, Siavonga, Mazabuka and Petauke; without any form of discrimination. That is what we mean by inclusive development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, that is what we mean by social justice. We would like to see our people, for the first time, appreciate that there is a Government that has been voted into office. Thank God that they made the correct decision on 20th September, last year. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: There is a Government that has been voted into office which is non-discriminatory, but interested in the lives of all citizens in this country.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Nkombo: What about GBM?


Mr Mbewe: GBM, where are you?

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President has, in line with the Budget, created several districts. This entails that we would like to see the decentralisation and devolution of power from the centre to the districts, which is another first. This is going to localise the development process so that local communities can determine their own economic activities. This, again, is a novel idea in our development process. We have never seen this kind of approach and planning. This will also promote accountability amongst our people and ensure that local authorities become engines of employment creation.

Mr Speaker, this Budget gives us clear figures for employment creation this year. We have figures of how many jobs the Government will create. I have sat, for the last one month, in this House and listened to our colleagues on your left lay claim to sainthood by saying that the high levels of unemployment that exist today have been created by the PF in the last twelve months …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: … without acknowledging that they should be responsible for this situation. They should be held responsible for our youths who are on the streets, and mothers who cannot afford to have food on the table, today, because of the previous Government’s poor planning and misallocation of resources.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has given us clear figures on the jobs that this Government would have created by the end of the 2013 Financial Year. I would like to commend my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance, for this job creation …

Mr Kakoma interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Zambezi West, that is unexpected of you.


Mr Speaker: Order!

 Hon. Kabimba has not completed his debate. Please, give him a chance to speak. 

The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I also have unfinished business with the hon. Member.


Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, I want to bring out one principle in the Budget which has given me pride, as a Zambian. The hon. Minister of Finance is moving this country away from donor-dependence. The Budget has clearly spelt out that, out of the K32.2 trillion Budget, only K1.5 trillion or 4.6 per cent will come from our co-operating partners. This is historic. In the past, we heard the previous Government talk about co-operating partners as if they were here to stay and owed us the development of this country. In this Budget, the hon. Minister of Finance has given us the pride that we deserve. We ought to move the development process ourselves, and ensure that, at one point in the near future, we become independent of the dependence syndrome common in third-world countries.

Mr Speaker, one of the vehicles that the hon. Minister of Finance has put in the Budget for employment creation is road infrastructure development. The Budget has targeted to construct, at least, 1,500km of roads, and this process is non-discriminatory. The road infrastructure will be in Kalomo, Dudumwezi, Zozwe and all the other areas in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, we want to show the people of Zambia that this Government was voted by the people of Zambia and for the people of Zambia, and that every citizen is under the PF Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, it does not matter whether you come from Zozwe or Nalikwanda. You are still under the PF Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, the transfer of the Road Development Agency (RDA) by His Excellency the President to his office is an indication of the seriousness he attaches to this area. He has shown us the passion that he has for infrastructure development in this country, and I would like to commend him, through the hon. Minister of Finance, …

Mr Kakoma: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, you have guided this House that you have given an opportunity to the hon. Ministers to respond to the many questions that we raised regarding their portfolios. The hon. Minister of Justice has been debating for half of the twenty minutes allocated to him, but has not touched on anything to do with his ministry. He is talking about other things, such as local government, foreign aid and the RDA, yet we raised issues concerning the Constitution-making process. He is silent on this issue in his debate. Is he in order to continue wandering, as if he is the Vice-President, when he is the hon. Minister of Justice and is supposed to address the issues pertaining to the Ministry of Justice?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!{mospagebreak}

At this juncture, I cannot rule him out of order for the simple reason that he has not completed his debate. I do not know the content of his debate. Therefore, how can I possibly rule him out of order? All I can say, and I am sure he will take cognisance of that fact, is that, in due course, he needs to address issues that touch on his portfolio. 

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for your guidance. 

Let me now mention the public order and safety part of the Budget. The hon. Minister of Finance clearly spelt out in the Budget that this Government is going to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), and that  K76.3 trillion has been allocated for infrastructure development for the Judiciary, Home Affairs and other related  law enforcement agencies. 

Hon. Members: Trillion?

Mr Kabimba: Billion, I beg your pardon. Part of this money …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kabimba: … will go towards the completion of the Constitution-making process.

Mr Speaker: Order!

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, part of the amount I have mentioned will go towards the completion of the Constitution-making process. We are committed to ensuring that, where our colleagues on your left failed to deliver a Constitution that derives legitimacy from the people of Zambia and stands the test of time, the PF Government scores a first in this regard by delivering such a Constitution. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance made it clear that the strengthening of the ACC and DEC will show the people of Zambia that this Government is committed to the fight against corruption.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Speaker, corruption is a cancer that diverts the resources of the country from the people into the pockets of individuals and, because of that, the strengthening of the law enforcement institutions in order that they may trail and trace those who are engaged in corrupt activities is a commendable venture of the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, K783.8 billion has been allocated to housing and community amenities. In the last forty-eight years, our people have had no access to clean water, under the previous Governments.


Mr Kabimba: Yes!

Sir, what we have had were Governments steeped in the rhetoric about amounts of money being allocated in some area, yet our people had continued to die from preventable diseases, such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea and dysentery.

Mr Speaker, with his experience, the hon. Minister of Finance has ensured that this becomes history for our people. 

Sir, in winding up my debate, I assure our colleagues on your left that the Constitution-making process will be completed in time. It will give us a Constitution that is going to give us pride. For the first time, we have an all-inclusive and participatory Constitution-making process, which is not influenced by those of us in the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Professor Luo):  Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to respond to some of the issues that were raised by our colleagues when they reviewed the 2013 Budget.

Sir, in responding, I want to, first of all, start by congratulating …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a serious point order, pursuant to Standing Order No. 29.

Sir, yesterday, this morning and this afternoon, I have been agonising on how I am going to raise a question to the hon. Ministers who are responsible for the health of our country. I have had difficulties raising the issue considering that the point of order and the question I wanted to raise to the hon. Ministers relates to the health of our people, in particular, the outbreak of measles in this country.

Mr Speaker, at first, I thought that I was going to raise this question with the hon. Minister of Health, but I realised that there is another ministry that deals with the health of mothers and children. The question I wanted to raise relates to the outbreaks of measles that have affected mothers. So, I had difficulties of whether to raise the question with the hon. Minister responsible for community development. There were also fathers and men who are affected by the measles. Therefore, I did not know whether I should raise this question to the hon. Minister of Health. There are also children who have been affected by measles. So, I had difficulties whether I should raise this question to the Minister of Health.



Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, as a result of the confusion in the nomenclature and assignments that have been given to various portfolios, I am finding it extremely difficult to raise a question on the Floor of this House because nobody will answer it.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is that Government in order to confuse …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, just business was suspended, I was raising a point of order on the confusion of functions between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.

Sir, last week, the hon. Minister of Health issued a statement to the effect that there was a measles outbreak at Mpelembe Secondary School in Kitwe. Yesterday, the same hon. Minister issued a contradictory statement that there was no measles outbreak at Mpelembe Secondary School.

Mr Speaker, as a result of these contradictory statements and the roles of these particular ministries, vis-a-vis issues of health, I found it difficult to raise an important question to any of those hon. Ministers for the portfolios seem to be conflicting.

Sir, is the PF Government in order not to be prudent in the management of ministries to the effect that your representatives, in particular, myself, on behalf of the people of Zambia, are finding it difficult to hold it accountable as a result of the failure to rationalise and ensure that portfolios do not conflict with each other, and that there is collective responsibility on the part of Government? 

I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

My ruling is that we will assist you to file the question and advise that it should be an urgent question, given the nature of the subject. Further, that question should be directed to the Ministry of Health. In the event that, depending on the tenor of those questions, it is discovered that it is a cross-cutting issue, then we will direct your question further to His Honour the Vice-President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Sir, before I was interrupted by the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, I was just about to start congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance, Sir Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, for this very interesting Budget that was presented to the august House for the benefit of the people of Zambia, whose theme is, ‘Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice’.

Mr Speaker, I listened attentively to the interventions that were made by our colleges on the left and the issues that they raised on the Budget, to which they were expecting a response. I sat here surprised by our ability to forget in such a short period of time, especially for those who had the opportunity to run the Government. Let me just remind our colleagues the kind of scenario that has been obtaining in the country for the past forty-eight years, which we have inherited so that, thereafter, we celebrate the 2013 Budget.

Mr Speaker, we inherited poor infrastructure, especially in the road sector, … 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: … dilapidated schools and health institutions, underdeveloped energy infrastructure and a lack of investment in the rural areas, leading to high levels of rural poverty. Powers were even usurped from the chiefs, who had played an important role in the governance and development of this country in the pre-colonial days. We also inherited very poor procurement policies, the effects of which was that, as things got bad in urban Zambia, they got worse in the rural areas of the country.

Mr Speaker, an analysis of previous Budgets will show that they were not of benefit to the Zambian people, but only to the rich.

Mr Muntanga: Sure?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, one of the issues that our colleagues raised, due to not having many issues on the manner in which the Budget was presented, was that the hon. Minister was not clear on how he would create jobs. This is, probably, because they do not have knowledge on the way a Budget is presented.

Mr Speaker, creating jobs is not the responsibility of the hon. Minister of Finance. His job is to put together a Budget that is presented to the House. The details, in terms of strategy, delivery framework, activities and action plans, are the work of the sector ministries. Therefore, it is a non-starter to expect the hon. Minister of Finance to tell this House how jobs will be created. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: They should ask us, who are in the sector ministries, how we intend to create jobs for the people in the rural areas. We are going to create jobs, except not all of them will be white-collar jobs. The definition of a job covers more scope than just white collar occupations. 

Mr Speaker, I can see that some of our colleagues are belittling the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. They should wait for the day when I will come to this august House to present the policy statement on how the ministry is going to make Zambia grow. However, for today, I will limit myself the 2013Budget.

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Professor Luo: I will bewitch you.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am insulated from witchcraft … 


Mr Nkombo: … and take that as a light moment from the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. However, my reason for rising on this point of order is in direct reference to her statement that she is surprised that hon. Members from your left argued that the hon. Minister of Finance was unclear or obscure on how jobs would be created. In raising my point of order I would like to draw your attention to page 3 of the Budget Speech, paragraph 23, under the sub-heading, ‘Microeconomic Objectives, Policies and Strategies for 2013 and the Medium Term’. I will quote under ‘Strategies for Growth and Job Creation’ which, I think, was an integral part of the speech. It reads as follows:

“Mr Speaker, in direct response to high unemployment, low incomes and consequent high poverty levels among our people, it is the intention of this action-oriented Government, within its first term of office, to significantly transform Zambia’s economy by focusing on sectors with high employment creation potential.”

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs in order to suggest that the hon. Minister of Finance did not utter these words, thereby prompting hon. Members to say that he was not very clear in this particular statement?

I need a ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I have pointed out before that, in the nature of our proceedings, the left had the opportunity to debate and the right is now responding, and this is supposed to be a point of order. However, the manner in which the hon. Member for Mazabuka is proceeding amounts to debating, rather than seeking guidance on a procedural point. To that extent, I will permit the hon. Minister for Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, I was saying that, from my analysis, the 2013 Budget will propel Zambia through a lot of development. What is also very exciting, for all us who are seated on your right, is that this is truly the first ever PF Budget. There are certain important highlights that I would like to bring to the attention of the House. The Budget clearly shows good intentions and actions in relation to tax reforms and the zero-rating of certain sectors of our economy.

Mr Speaker, as a person who represents people in rural Zambia, I feel that …


Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I am hon. Minister for Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. 

Mr Speaker, the overall tax reforms are clearly going to improve the quality of life of the Zambian people. What I know about economic development is that, very soon, a lot of our people will be able to afford many things. They will soon start looking at even owning things that they have not owned before, such as radios and televisions. There will also be better housing infrastructure around the country. 

Mr Speaker, if you examine the quality of work that has been taking place around the country, you will discover that it is extremely poor. With the procurement reforms, we are likely to see an impact on the quality of work throughout the country, be it in housing or road infrastructure. 

Sir, in the past, the governance of this country was centred on a few individuals. Under the Decentralisation Policy, the governance of this country will go down to the unit level. Even in terms of resource, all the people will enjoy some allocation. This will impact not only on the quality of governance of this country, but once again, on the development of rural Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the allocation of resources that has been done has a direct bearing on the development of rural Zambia. One of the examples is the allocation of more resources to tourism. Tourism promotion is a Siamese twin of works that are done in the chiefdoms. The chiefdoms procure the products and give them to tourism to market. All the crafts and national heritage are, or come, from the rural areas. Through this Budget, we are likely to grow rural Zambia and make sure that the country will never be the same again.

Mr Speaker, I was also excited to see the allocation of a lot of resources to the up-coming conference next year. I can tell you in this august House that we, in the chiefdoms, are very excited. Even the witchcraft they are talking about, we are going to exhibit and make money out of it. 


Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, apart from the allocation to tourism, the big allocation to agriculture is also going to impact positively on rural Zambia. In fact, for us in the ministry, while our colleagues on the left are used to seeing that the FRA go and buy maize all the time, we will be happy when some of it is used in the chiefdoms so that we can develop them. Maize should not only be marketed as seed or mealie-meal, but also as maize. It can also be developed into products like stock feed. Many people keep pigs, goats and chickens. Therefore, chiefdoms will take on the mantle of producing stock feed. We, in the chiefdoms would like to have some of these products remain with us so that we can start using them to generate money, which can be used to improve the lives our people. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, Zambia has become poor simply because we do not look around for products which can be translated into money. We are used to then business-as-usual approach. Year in, year out, we come to the House and talk about one thing. What the Budget for this year is saying to all of us in this House is that we need to get out of this business-as-usual mentality and start looking at better ways of developing this country. Personally, I am very excited about this Budget and will be coming back to the House to show how the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs will help to move Zambia forward. I am also going to talk about how all of you who represent rural constituencies in this House must think outside box.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, in summary, I want to say that Zambia can change. The beginning of all this is the 2013 Budget.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mrs Masebo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this very important Motion on the Floor. From the onset, I want to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and His Excellency the President for this very good Budget which, indeed, is a people’s Budget, in particular, the poor Zambians who are in the majority today. 

Mr Speaker, a number of my colleagues on your left made some comments on this Budget as it relates to the tourism sector. I want to thank them for those good comments. For those comments which were not good enough, they will help us to get the portfolio of tourism to the highest level. The PF Government’s vision is to use tourism as a sector that shall create employment for our youths.

Mr Speaker, you will note that, in this Budget, the hon. Minister of Finance proposes the creation of over 550,000 jobs by 2015. You will also note that, out of 550,000 jobs, 300,000 are expected to come from the tourism sector. That is how important tourism has been placed in terms of assisting the PF Government to develop this country.

Mr Speaker, one of the points that the hon. Minister of Finance has clearly made is that, there is a need for this country to harness the opportunities it has to create jobs. In particular, there is a need to harness the natural resources that we have. That is the reason the four sectors in which the natural resources fall have been ably placed as the main tools that will be used for job creation. These are agriculture and forestry, tourism, manufacturing and infrastructure development.

Mr Speaker, the reason we are saying that this Budget is one of the best this country has ever had is that there is an improvement in the allocation to some areas, such as health. There is an increase of almost K1 trillion in the education sector and K95 billion for the tourism sector. The K95 billion for the tourism sector might sound like a small amount, but this is an improvement on last year’s amount, which was K75 billion.

Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts, I am very happy with the allocations to other ministries because tourism is a cross-cutting sector. It is not a stand-alone sector.

Sir, there is so much money that has been allocated to infrastructure development, which deals with roads, among other infrastructure. One of the challenges which tourism faces is the inaccessibility of tourism sites. If the hon. Minister responsible for the roads sector can come up with good roads which can go to the Leopards’ Curves in Chongwe, and various tourism and heritage sites in Zambia, which are over 3, 000 and, which most of us who are seated here may not even know about, it would be a plus for the tourism sector.


Mr Speaker: Continue with the debate.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, tourism is mainly private sector-driven. Our role, as the Government, is to create an enabling environment and, for the first time, this year, the Government has given tourism the importance that it deserves.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: It now remains with us in the tourism sector and, indeed, all the hon. Members of Parliament, to rise to the occasion and help our communities, especially those in the rural areas, to understand what this Budget has provided in terms of opportunities. In this country, we have many Zambians thinking that jobs can only be found at the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the RDA or the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA). This is because we are not giving them the necessary information.

Mr Speaker, one of the measures that the Ministry of Finance has taken in developing the tourism sector and creating jobs is to remove the taxes on the importation of vehicles that can be used in the sector. Our people do not even know that because we, the people who are supposed to tell them, are just busy politicking.

Mr Speaker, when I went to be the guest of honour at some Independence celebrations, I also had a side meeting with the business community and the people who are involved in preparations for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference. I informed them that I was very happy to have the best tourism budget ever. I also told them that I was happy with what the President and hon. Minister had done for the tourism sector, and that they could even get their buses to transport tourists from the airport into Zimbabwe. They asked me when the tax reforms would be implemented and I told them it was with immediate effect.

Mr Speaker, let me appeal to the hon. Members of Parliament to tell the people about the incentives that are being offered in the tourism sector. All the people who have hotels, lodges, restaurants and accommodation have an opportunity to import products that can enhance the quality of their facilities duty-free. We all need to work together because this is the sector that is going to create that much-needed employment.

Mr Speaker, this is a pro-poor Budget because, if you look at the way the resources have been allocated, you will notice that, for instance, in the area of water, as Hon. Kabimba has mentioned, for the first time, we are using our own resources to deal with the issues of water supply and sanitation. In the past, although we may have had allocations for that activity, most of the money was from donors. In some instances, we would have about K50 billion of which only K5 billion would be from the National Treasury while K45 billion would be from the donors. However, this time around, it is the opposite. We have K5 billion from the donors and K45 billion from our own resources. This is good.

Mr Speaker, we must acknowledge the fact that, in order for us to monitor the implementation of this Budget, we all need to work together. After saying that the Budget is good, the next step is for all of us to ensure that we implement all our programmes effectively. Otherwise, most of this money will be used for bureaucratic administrative expenses.

Mr Speaker, I agree with the sentiments that Hon. Hamududu has expressed concerning the implementation of the Budget. He said that this is a good Budget which needs the support of everyone. For instance, when the CDF is sent from Lusaka to Mazabuka, Hon. Nkombo has to help the Government in ensuring that the money is effectively utilised. If he does not do his job, there will be no serious development even after we have done our part.

Mr Speaker, the PF Government has done what is required in trying to fulfil the promises that it made. I want to say that this Budget can help to fulfil all the promises that President Sata made during his campaigns. The challenge that remains is the implementation, in which the Opposition and Ruling Party hon. Members of Parliament should be involved. If there will be failure, it will not be the PF Government alone that would have failed, but all of us collectively.

Hon. Opposition Member: Question.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Mrs Masebo: … the Budget is key because concretises our statements and guides all of us. I tend to wonder why some people would say that this Budget should not be approved because, when that is not done, all of us, as Zambians, will be doomed. What we should do is to improve it through our debates. We should not talk about shooting it down. We have to be very careful with politicians who are eager for by-elections at the presidential level because they cannot wait for 2016. Let us not use this House to support such causes. 

Sir, I appeal to all hon. Members of this House to be very careful because they all know what it would entail if we did not approve this Budget.

Mr Speaker, I also want to talk about resources for decentralisation. I was at the helm of the Decentralisation Policy and helped draft it. I am on record supporting decentralisation. 

Mr Speaker, to be honest, for the first time, we are seeing action on the devolution of power. For the first time, we are seeing districts being created. Those who speak against the creation of districts are just politicking. I am sure that most of the hon. Members seated in this House, if not all of them, would like their districts, constituencies and wards divided for more resource allocation and effectiveness. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the PF Government has not created districts without allocating resources. The beauty about this Budget is that, for the first time, there have been pronouncements to this effect and money has been allocated, unlike what was happening in the MMD. 

Mr M. B. Mwale: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to mislead this House and tourist operators by saying that customs duty was being suspended until the end of this year when the hon. Minister of Finance’s speech reads and I quote:

“Sir, as a clear demonstration of our commitment to leverage these benefits, the suspension will come into effect from midnight tonight and will last up to 31st December, 2013.”

Mr Speaker, is she in order to say that it will come to an end by December, this year. 

I need your serious ruling? 

Mr Speaker: I can only assign it to human freight. Obviously, she may not have meant the date you have just referred to. 

May the hon. Minister continue.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I will re-iterate because these issues are important for the hon. Members to help the country. I said that, immediately the hon. Minister made the announcement, the policy decision became effective. This means that, by the end of 2012, we would have lost two or three months. By 31st December, 2013, that incentive would have come to an end. 

Mr Speaker, I am imploring my colleagues, both on the right and left, to tell the people to start importing and benefitting from this good gesture, which is in line with this Government’s election promises. We should not derail ourselves unnecessarily in the name of politics, especially when policy decisions are being made. When our colleagues are debating, we give them all the space to articulate issues. When we start responding, however, they have tactics of derailing us with points of order that are meaningless. 


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for your able guidance in trying to protect the integrity of this Parliament. 

Mr Speaker, Art or the creative industry can create employment. When we talk about tourism, some hon. Members feel that we are only referring to Livingstone and the Northern Circuit and, therefore, consider it unimportant. I disagree because tourism will be the foundation. We need products to use for tourism purposes. One such product shall be the creative industry. 

Hon. Professor Luo talked about crafts, which can be produced by women under the Ministry of Gender, an Member of Parliament, who is just a Back Bencher, maybe, from Dundumwezi Constituency. 


Mrs Masebo: They can be produced by sector ministries but, at the end of the day, they will be supported for tourism. We are going to diversify tourism products beyond the Victoria Falls in Livingstone into the creative industry. 

Sir, I would like the hon. Members of Parliament to begin to understand because there is a bit of confusion and people do not know how best they can engage themselves in this sector for the benefit of their communities. It is important that even singing or some artistic kind of work, whether a …

Mr Sing’ombe: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this point of order. I think that this is the second time ever that I am standing on a point of order. 

Is the hon. Minister debating in order to draw me into her debate when her ministry has completely failed to advertise the Bilili Hot Springs in my constituency? Is she in order not to talk about the Bilili Hot Springs?


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts was merely illustrating in her submission. The issue that the hon. Member for Dundumwezi has raised has nothing to do with a point of order.

The hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts may proceed. 

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection.

Mr Speaker, I am very happy that hon. Members of Parliament understand what tourism products are and have begun to think clearly and tell us about hot springs that we have never heard of.


Mrs Masebo: The whole idea is to make everybody, councillors and communities, to look around and tell us about tourism products because this country is large and the Government has no capacity to cover all of it to know what is out there in the remotest areas. 

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

Mrs Masebo: The hon. Members of Parliament, councillors, communities and non-governmental organisations will be able to tell us about tourism products that need financing, development and promotion. The role of the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, is to provide the resources. The hon. Minister of Finance has given us all the monies that we need and, in some cases, incentives for you to do justice to that business and create a job for yourself and others. Being employed is not about being a District Commissioner, hon. Minister or hon. Member of Parliament. Jobs can be created without being formally employed. Our people in the villages can actually become employers offering quality jobs. 

Mr Speaker just this afternoon, before I came here, a lady walked into my office with a compact disc (CD) and told me that she has a beautiful voice and can sing, but needed financial assistance to record her music. These are the people we are looking for. They are the people who voted for the PF and they are the ones we are looking up to. 

This is why I said that we need Zambians to begin owning their natural resources. I hope that the hon. Members of Parliament ear going to help me to ensure that we begin to own our natural resources. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Drink some water. 

Mrs Masebo: Why do you not give me the water?


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, it is important that our people become passionate about what God has given them. It is about time hon. Members of Parliament who come from areas with national game parks begin to take keen interest in ensuring that, together, we work and help our people and chiefs to become partners in those businesses, instead of coming here to make noise.  Do not come here just to raise points of order on the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts about why this or that board was dissolved. We want you to go to Kalomo and tell the people that Mr Sata is a real President and he is bringing development. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: That is what we want you to do. We want you to come to our ministry and ask us what we can do for Kalomo in terms of job creation. 

Mr Muntanga gave water to Mrs Masebo.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, hon. Member for Kalomo Central for giving me the water. 

Mrs Masebo drank some water.


Mrs Masebo: You are a good hon. Member of Parliament.


Mrs Masebo: That is the spirit we want. We must work together with Opposition parties, such as the UPND. Just as he has given me water to drink, he must also come and tell me how I can help Kalomo Central Constituency in terms of tourism.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: President Sata told us in his Speech to this House that we need to work with you in order to deliver goods and services to our people. So, do not come to this House to tear papers or talk about not approving this Budget because this Budget is yours and it is also ours.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, following on the heels of the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts, I think that we have put to rest the issue of how these moneys are going to be spent.

Sir, let me thank you for allowing me to make a contribution to the debate on the 2013 Budget. I would like to suggest that the hon. Minister of Finance gets commendation from both sides of this House because he presented a well-articulated Budget and he has tried, as much as humanly possible, to spread out the resources that we have.

Mr Speaker, the PF was elected into office on the platform of providing inclusive development, social justice, particularly for the under privileged and poor who need to be uplifted. The kind of development that we had attained under the previous Government was not sufficiently inclusive. That is why it is necessary that we make changes. It is not sufficient that our colleagues, either in the previous Government or, indeed, other hon. Members of the Opposition, should expect that we will simply repeat what the others did. We are not going to do that because we have to make a difference.

Sir, the core of the Government policy has been outlined by the President in his Official Opening Address to the House and, to the extent that it impinges on the economic and fiscal regime, the hon. Minister of Finance in his debate has also made it very clear as to how we are going to move. I would now like to attend to key issues.

Firstly, I will respond to some of the broad issues that were raised by hon. Members of this august House that directly and indirectly relate to my portfolio.

Mr Muntanga: Who are you correcting?

Mr Sichinga: That is good English, Hon. Muntanga.


Mr Sichinga: Secondly, I will expand on key issues that have been raised in the Budget Speech, particularly with regard to our industrialisation and job creation strategy.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by expressing my acute consternation at the decision by the MMD to oppose the Budget, as has been articulated by its president. Firstly, the essence of debate from the Opposition should be to persuade and convince the Government that the Opposition has got viable and meritorious alternatives. That is what we seek from the Opposition. Let me share some of my experiences in this House. 

I recall that, in …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very important point of order which borders on the integrity of this House.

Sir, recently, I read an article in The Post Newspaper dated 25th October, 2012, on page 10, entitled, “Lungu’s Comment on Deported Priest is False - Lundazi Parish”. When I read this article, I noticed that there was, actually, a letter written to you, Mr Speaker. I did not take it seriously because I thought it was just a newspaper, but little did I know that this letter was copied to several people. Consequently, I am aware that Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia protects us here. Section 16, states, and I quote:

“Any person, who, before the Assembly or any authorised committee intentionally gives a false answer to any question material to the subject of inquiry which may be put to him during the course of any examination, shall be guilty of an offence against Section 104 of the Penal Code.”

Sir, this is a standard understanding to all of us. When people started talking about this letter, others asked us, as hon. Members of Parliament, what we were doing about it. 

Sir, I am not usurping your powers, and I know that this issue was discussed in this House. It was an issue which was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga. Therefore, it is the question of the House, not necessarily that the Speaker must be responsible to answer these people. I got to see the letter and it was addressed to you. It was not even written ‘Confidential’. That is why it is flying around. The letter, in part, reads:

“We have learned through the Parliament Radio and Zambia Daily Mail of 18th October, 2012, that, in answering the question by Mafinga Member of Parliament, Hon. Edgar Lungu, Minister of Home Affairs, informed the House that ‘Father Banyangandora exhibited grave misconduct and I exercised my discretion by having him deported.’ As parish Executive of Lundazi’s St Paul’s Parish, and on behalf of all Catholics in this parish, as well as people of good will in this district, we write to refute the incorrect information Hon. Lungu gave to the highest House of Zambia. We further ask you to facilitate timely correction of the wrong image of Fr Viateur Banyangandora as recently painted by Hon. Edgar Lungu.

“Fr Banyangandora lived and worked among us. He constructively participated in the social, developmental and religious affairs of Lundazi District. We know him as a prayerful, peace-loving, prudent and reliable priest. Many of us listened to his homily of Tumbuka Mass on 29th July, 2012. 

“For the Lundazi community, the utterances by Hon. Edgar Lungu are not just false, but dangerous lies. Can hon. Lungu substantiate the claims of ‘grave misconduct’ since the community of Lundazi never witnessed it? We question the legitimacy of a Government Minister who tells lies to the Zambian people and, worse still, to Parliament. We do not feel he is our Zambian Minister because he does not know, understand, represent, respect and reflect our concerns; struggle against poverty and longing for dignified living for all, and a spirit of charity.”

Sir, this letter was signed by these people:

“Parish Executive of St. Paul’s Parish, Lundazi,
Francis J. Banda, Parish Chairperson;
Thomas Banda, Parish Vice-Chairperson;
Reuben Luhana, Parish Vice-Secretary; 
Joseph A. Kumwenda, Parish Development Chairperson;
Luke Mbale, Parish Vice-Development Chairperson;
Judith Chisimba, Committee Member;
Rev. Sr. Dainess M. Sokoni, Parish Pastoral Sister, Lundazi;
Moses Nyirenda, Catechist Lundazi;
Fr Evans Tupanda Sakala, Assistant Parish Priest signed.”

Mr Speaker, I feel that we have to deal with this case prudently to be able to exonerate our hon. Minister. According to this point of order, under our own arrangement in this House, we do not refer to the Penal Code, but refer these matters to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services, where details of what happened and evidence will be read in this House so that the people who have decided to publish this letter in the newspaper are satisfied, and that this House will continue upholding its standards. 

Sir, I seek and beg your indulgence.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My short ruling is that this matter has already been brought to the attention of the Office of the Speaker and investigations are under way. At an appropriate juncture, I will give an informed position to the House. 

That is my ruling.

May the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry continue, please?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, going back to the Budget, I was making the point that the essence of debate by the Opposition should be to persuade the Government and offer viable and meritorious alternatives. I was going to share that we have also been there and sat on the other side of this House. The truth of the matter is that, if you are very well-informed, why do you not offer concrete alternatives like I did in 2003 when I sat there and came up with an alternative Budget?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Do not engage the person debating. It is most inappropriate and I am supposed to be assisted in maintaining order by both the left and the right. I do not want to refer to the structures. 

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Sichinga: Sir, in fact, the then Government reviewed our alternative Budget and adopted some of the measures that they were in agreement with. To the best of my knowledge, this helped the country to move forward. This is the spirit of the PF Government. What we are seeing is engagement on meritorious arguments. In fact, this is the spirit in which I expected the Opposition to have debated. Some did and we will take their submissions on board. The President’s act of incorporating some of the hon. Members of the Opposition is intended to help us to move forward. He has also gone so far as to indicate, in this House, that our doors are open. I think that it is important that, as we engage each other, we avoid a confrontational approach but, instead, present our merits, as it were.

Mr Speaker, in this year’s Budget, we must regard this not as a one-off thing because it is a series of budgets that represents pragmatic policies aimed at consolidating the gains the country has made over the last two decades, in terms of macro-economic fundamentals, and enhancing the foundation by re-aligning the Government fiscal and industrial policies towards inclusive growth. We are not talking about economic growth for the sake of it. We want it to benefit our people.

Furthermore, the Government has carefully infused the demands of our own manifesto in the PF, without causing undue upheaval. Simply put, this Budget is designed to ensure that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth is translated into growth at the individual level, what we call the micro level, so that people can have more money in their pockets.

Sir, I, therefore, wonder when hon. Members of the Opposition want to oppose the Budget for the sake of doing so. Are they saying to us, that:

(a)they do not support the construction of the road network linking all the provincial capitals or the paving of 2, 000km of township roads, which will result in, at least, 20,000 jobs?

(b)are they not supporting the recapitalisation of the rail network after years of neglect, in terms of previous concessions?

(c)are they opposing the development of hydro-power at Itezhi-Tezhi and Kafue Gorge? And,

(d)are they objecting to the investments in the strengthening of the oversight over mining activities in this country? Are they objecting to all this, because that is what this Budget is saying?

Mr Speaker, I would also like to touch on the issue that has been raised in a number of debates and that is the issue of expenditures. The education sector expenditure has been increased by 15.8 per cent. In the health sector, it has gone up by 40.7 per cent with a 104 per cent increase in drug and medical supplies over the 2012 Budget. Is this not a good thing? Is this not what we are seeking?

Sir, the PF or any other Government cannot resolve all the misdemeanours and mismanagement or misdirection of the previous Government in one or two budgets. It cannot do that. This, as I said, can only be done in a series of budgets. Therefore, budgeting and turn-around management are certainly not an event but a process, and this is a process that the PF is undertaking. If the hon. Members on your left disagree with these bold decisions, let them present us with viable, tangible and meritorious alternatives, with counter arguments on what the implications would be for those alternatives. We are ready to reason with them and listen to the merits of their case because we believe in constructive engagement.

Mr Speaker, one of the areas of debate which has also been raised is that of the CDF. Firstly, the Government has a higher representation of hon. Members of Parliament sitting on the right side. It is in our interest that the constituencies are developed. There can be no doubt, therefore, that we consider the CDF an important development vehicle for the constituencies. However, to demand a high CDF amount at the expense of the broader perspectives to development can only prove detrimental in the medium as well as longer terms. We must all admit that there have been problems in implementing and applying the CDF funds in several constituencies, including misapplications and, in some cases, downright theft of the funds.

Sir, this Budget represents one of the most elaborate efforts to fiscally empower local authorities through the introduction of revenue sharing measures. The Budget proposes an almost ninety-four per cent increase in the allocations to the local authorities. This will allow the local authorities to spend more in the areas which the CDF is currently covering. In addition to that, there have been significant allocations to electricity and road infrastructure, schools and hospitals. All these are to benefit the constituencies in which the hon. Members of Parliament are serving. Surely, this must be a good thing.

Mr Speaker, on several occasions, I have indicated to this House the initiatives from my ministry that specifically target constituencies and districts. I have talked about the Industrial Cluster Programme, which will roll out to every district, including those that are occupied by the Opposition. I have talked about our plans to establish intra-country markets in selected border areas. This is to help us take the production of the clusters and sell them to our neighbours.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Sir, this is to benefit the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These are not programmes being implemented in Lusaka alone, but also in the districts and constituencies that are represented by hon. Members of this entire House. Surely, this must be good and deserve your support. These programmes are designed to take advantage of the resource endowment in our respective districts and constituencies, and to create wealth and jobs. Therefore, in debating constituency development, one must not restrict themselves to the CDF, but take a holistic view of how we are going to develop the districts, and all these contributions we have talked about are going to make the districts much better places.

Sir, we are all cognisant of the accountability challenges that have beset the CDF. The level of mismanagement has been disturbing, to be quite frank. We have had to recognise that the constituencies are at different levels of development. We needed to do that, and this is why allocations that have been made to the districts are intended to smoothen out those particular requirements. We also recognise that, because of these differences in the levels of development, constituencies need some leeway to determine their specific priorities. This calls for a balance between the broader development needs within the national, provincial and district contexts as well as those that are constituency-specific, which is what our colleagues on the other side have been talking about. Remember, it is not just you. Even hon. Members from the right have constituencies and we need to deal with them.

Mr Speaker, this is a more prudent approach, and the hon. Minister has been very careful in allocating K750 billion to constituencies in the blind faith that it will be used prudently. This is an approach to development which we cannot simply afford if we are to neglect the importance of accountability in this regard.

Sir, a lot has also been said to the effect that we are merely increasing national debt by borrowing money from abroad. Let me be very clear on this. Talking from a business position, borrowing and debt contraction is not wrong, in itself, because it depends on what problem you seek to resolve. Debt can enable the country to grow or spell out its downfall. In this case, we need the infrastructure to facilitate the work that will come out of these clusters. We need the road infrastructure, to which the hon. Minister has ably allocated resources. Furthermore, as far as businesses are concerned, he has allocated an additional US$20 million which will be available through the Development Bank of Zambia. Surely, this deserves the commendation of this House. 

Sir, clearly, we do not have all the resources to do everything that we want. This is why we budget. We budget because resources are limited. We have borrowed to invest US$430 million into our road network and railway. Not a day goes by in this House without the concerns over roads and rail, yet our critics are suggesting that the Government should shy away from this because, by saying that we should not put money into this because we have borrowed, it means these facilities would have to remain the way they are. We are arguing that we need to move forward and, because we do not have all the resources, we have to borrow. I would like to support the hon. Minister who has been very prudent in the manner he wants to use these resources.

Sir, is it wrong, therefore, to invest US$255 million in our energy sector when we are having power shortages all the time? Is that wrong? These are the arguments that the Opposition needs to put forward. We have found ourselves with an energy deficit. If Zambia has more power, it can sell to its neighbours, earn income from that and sustain its operations. In fact, I would even say that it would have been better for us to have borrowed a lot more, now, because the interest rates are at very low levels on the international markets.

Mr Matafwali: Hear, hear! Very true!

Mr Sichinga: If we built capacity, load-shedding and loss of production would be avoided and we would all be a lot more comfortable with the manner in which electric power is being used throughout our country. As we borrow for investment and capacity building, there is no doubt in my mind that the investments we are making, today, will pay for themselves, not only in the short term, but also in the medium as well as long term. It is a fact that good communication and transport infrastructure always spurs economic activity and reduces the cost of doing business, thereby leading to economic development and more money in our pockets. Surely, this must be commended.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Another focus of the criticism of the Budget has been based on some people being sceptical. In this Budget, we have gone to the extent of outlining the projected number of jobs we want to create in each identified sector. Surely, this is an innovation and the hon. Minister of Finance deserves to be commended. This is boldness that should be congratulated. It is the first time that this has been done in this House. This is the kind of boldness we never saw in our colleagues before us. Budgets were presented in this House and I sat on the other side and analysed them but, I am afraid, I never saw anything like what I have seen in this Budget. I, therefore, repeat that the hon. Minister deserves our commendation for the work that has been done.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, we have set targets to which we can relate. Job creation represents the driving force for our industrialisation agenda. Our primary focus is sustainability of growth. My colleagues who have spoken before me have indicated to the House how we are going to do this. When we come to talk about specific sectors, we will give the House details of how we intend to move forward. For me, micro, small and medium enterprises need to be incorporated and that is why the clusters become important.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, as articulated by my counterpart, the hon. Minister of Finance, in his Budget Speech, each sector will be set on a trajectory towards value addition, especially in agriculture, mining and tourism. The Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs will also help us with production. We can develop the country by creating a vibrant manufacturing sector which adds value and puts more money in our pockets. This is how we are going to create jobs, and we have indicated how many we are talking about.

Mr Speaker, when one sums up all this and looks at the arguments that have been put forward on how the Budget has been done, you can see that we are not talking about a one-off solution or a silver bullet as people would say. It is a series of programmes that we have to carry out. The hon. Minister has now set the foundation on which we can build. So, my dear brothers and sisters in this House should not even think of opposing this Budget. Let us assume, for a moment, that the Opposition had enough numbers to oppose it. Then what? How would they get the CDF?


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichinga: There are statements that have been made by leaders of some political parties to this effect. That is how we are responding to it. Even walking out by the hon. Opposition Members during the debate on the Motion of Supply does not help because it simply means that they do not have plausible arguments to put forward. It means that they are not able to engage or put forward …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry in order to make reference to utterances that are made outside this House in his discourse? 

I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that it is neither desirable nor helpful to incorporate those extraneous or external statements in this debate. I mentioned earlier, in another ruling, that we are all involved in discharging a constitutional mandate of the consideration and approval of the Budget. I think that it is preferable that we approach this subject in this context and the point of order has been taken.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, it is not my intention to, in any way, engage on this issue but, when hon. Members of Parliament stand up and say, “Without CDF, we will not approve this Budget”, we need to respond to that. Having said that, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Another point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to start questioning your ruling on the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central on the Floor of this House? He is now making an aspersion on the ruling you have made.

Mr Speaker: My short ruling, again, is that all hon. Members walk past rulings immediately they are made. I have indicated what other avenues are available under the Standing Orders to bring up various issues. To put it very mildly, let us move on with the debate.

The hon. Minister may proceed.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, in our strategy, we are not looking to re-invent the wheel. We are building on existing platforms, strengthening existing programmes and rationalising resource utilisation. We are also learning from programmes that have succeeded within and beyond the region. This is a realistic, prudent and positive approach, and it requires that we engage the private sector. In fact, we spent the whole of doing just that. My reason for coming late is that I was engaging with …

Mr Muntanga interjected.


Mr Sichinga: … the Mayor of this city on how to establish clusters which will benefit all of us.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: The Opposition has said it is not enough to have a good plan. We recognise that we need to have a strategy and implement it. The PF Government inherited a Public Service that has been compromised in many ways, whose performance was bad and to which accountability was a by-word. It was a Public Service that simply could not deliver the inclusive growth that we are talking about. This is why the measures that are being taken, currently, are meant to help us move to the level at which we want to be. The President has shown clearly his intention to re-vitalise the Public Service and shift it to a new paradigm. We have more than …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to justify his coming late, yet we are all aware that Parliament sittings take precedence over any other matter? This is the reason hon. Ministers must do their other business in time for them to be present in the House. Is he in order to justify his continuous late-coming or absence and ignore this rule?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I did not hear the hon. Minister say that he is continuously late because of other engagements. I think that he was quite specific and singled out his commitment this morning and afternoon, I suppose. So, I do not think that it is fair to suggest that he is justifying his continuous late-coming to Parliament.

Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, let me conclude by saying that, at the end of this month, we will have an Investment Summit in Livingstone to strategise on how we can fill the gaps. Secondly, we are preparing …


Mr Sichinga: … ourselves for the UNWTO Conference. As I indicated at the beginning of my debate, we are a constructive Government which is prepared to engage in constructive criticism, but not filibustering. This is not a Budget for the PF, but for our nation, and it is my strong desire to see this House rise well above partisan politics so that the Front and Back Benchers work together to implement a Budget that reflects national priorities according to the piece of cloth that we have. I believe that this Government has signalled very clearly how it intends to take this nation forward. We look forward, therefore, to the support of both sides of the House in approving this Budget. 

Sir, I, therefore, unreservedly support the Motion that has been moved by the hon. Minister of Finance. Also, let me say to my brothers on the other side that trying to derail me will not work because none of them can do so. I know exactly what we need to say and …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichinga: … that is why you should not spend time …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I thank you.{mospagebreak}

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, it is not my task to wind up, but I thought I would intervene by pointing out a few issues that hon. Members appear to have overlooked or missed as they have gone through this most excellent Budget Speech. Perhaps, they did not have enough time in the House to actually do much thinking about the Budget Speech since they were mostly stridulating and walking out.


The Vice-President: I have just checked the word in the dictionary. It exists, Hon. Mwiimbu.

Sir, I just want to draw their attention to an important aspect of our thinking, as the PF Government, as represented by the hon. Minister. I will just go through them quickly. 

On page 2, paragraph 12, the last sentence is as follows:

“Sir, these high interest rates continue to impose unsalutary effects on the economy”.

This is just a reminder that it is the interest rates that have destroyed this economy as much as anything else. The MMD had ignored them completely. We had the highest cash interest rates minus inflation of any country in the world. Whereas an Englishman or woman can buy a house on loan for thirty years at 6 per cent, in Zambia, the best you can do is ten or, more likely, five years at 20 per cent because we are largely too innumerate, I think, as a nation, with something about the education that we all received twenty years ago. 

Sir, we do not realise that one of the formulas above is for bankruptcy while the other is for ownership of a house. If you swapped the British and the Zambian financial systems, Britain would collapse from the high interest rates because of the short pay-back periods while Zambia would thrive because we would be able to build schools, houses, set up factories and other things. 

The US$750 million Eurobond deal, at less than 6 per cent is a very firm step in the direction of long-term and low-interest borrowing that we need to be able to access and run an economy on. We cannot be going round from school to school saying, “Well, I will talk to the MP. Maybe, he can do it using CDF”. This is because every school in Zambia needs classroom blocks, teachers’ houses and water systems. So, I am just pointing out that this is a theme that will run until it is sorted out or becomes part of a very firm policy.

The second issue I want to draw your attention to is the FRA’s vote for maize buying. The Opposition, I think, knows perfectly well that the same K300 billion that is in the Budget for next year is in this year’s, and that K150 billion, half of that amount, was in the 2011 Budget, a 100 per cent increase to the purely MMD Budget. So, it is us who have doubled the money available for managing the strategic reserve. We have not halved it or, in any way, reduced it. The FRA, of course, also has access to borrowed funds and that is how it manages to operate. It is a parastatal that is run as a business and manages to get up to speed on that.

Sir, paragraph 89 talks about doubling the vote for drugs. I have not heard anybody commend us for this, but what this will mean is that – and I hope the hon. Minister of Health will expand on it considerably when that head comes – it gives us the capacity to actually return HIV/AIDS where it came from. The programmes that are being developed now will have the capacity to eliminate that epidemic along with various other diseases of men, women and children. That is a very important innovation and striking intervention, if you like, in the history of this country. Watch the space. When you hear it said by somebody else, you will remember you heard it here first. 

Sir, the value-added tax (VAT) on bread and wheat has been removed by the hon. Minister. That is an estimated K100 billion more in the consumers’ pocket or stomach. That is K500 minimum of a loaf of bread for the average consumer and, as you know, bread is becoming a third or fourth staple food in Zambia. This measure is very notable and worthy of note.

The last issue I would draw your attention to is on paragraph 53, where the hon. Minister says the following:

“Sir, I have noted with great concern the profligacy with which some revenue-collecting statutory bodies have utilised and accounted for public resources. Consequently, I propose to make it mandatory for revenue-collecting statutory bodies to deposit all their collections from various fees and fines into the Treasury.”

These are the many independent statutory bodies, most of which were set up by donor interventions but, later, the donors disappear. These include the regulators for energy, the environment and heritage. They have just been writing their own salary cheques by setting up fines and fees, and spending the money on workshops, paying for education and other things. 

Again, this is a very appropriate intervention because to make them bank the money in the Treasury is now the way to actually take away from them the incentive to become what they call rent-seekers in this language of political economy. I am sure that even the hon. Member for Kalomo Central, Mr Request Muntanga, who is seriously nodding his head …


The Vice-President: … recognises the Kaponyas I am talking about. You will come along and they tell you that there is something wrong with your fence or road, and that you need an environmental impact assessment (EIA). These are actually parasites on the small private sector of this country that runs it and will be its future.

With those few remarks, Mr Speaker, I would like, though it is not really up to me, to thank all the people who have bothered to attend the sessions of this Parliament. However, I welcome back, I suppose, belatedly, the UPND and MMD. We shall consider these items head by head later.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight some of the salient issues from your Committee’s interactions with the stakeholders.

Sir, your Committee notes that the favourable macro-economic indicators are, by and large, not benefiting the majority of our citizens, as clearly evidenced by the prevailing high poverty levels, especially in our rural areas, high unemployment levels, low life expectancy, poor literacy, low nutrition levels among the poor, dilapidated infrastructure and, indeed, poor social indicators, generally. In view of the challenge I have just highlighted, your Committee’s expectation in next year’s Budget is that more attention be directed towards ensuring that the benefits from the improvement in the macro-economic fundamentals cascade to the majority Zambians.

Sir, your committee appreciates that the Government has included employment creation as a macroeconomic objective in the Budget as a step in the right direction. However, it is concerned that the strategies to ensure creation of decent and sustainable jobs are not clear.

Your Committee urges the Government to be elaborate in the quest to create decent and sustainable jobs, as employment creation is a major tool for pulling the majority of our citizens out of poverty. Your Committee is concerned that, in the past, the jobs that have been created have been mainly low-paying, seasonal and contractual, without credible benefits.  

Your Committee is further concerned at the lack of accurate and timely employment statistics. It, therefore, urges the Government to put in place mechanisms, through the Central Statistics Office (CSO), to generate accurate and timely employment statistics that will assist the duty bearers and concerned stakeholders to make informed decisions.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned to note that, in the past three fiscal years, the Ministry of Finance has been allocating funds towards the preparation of the Budget and Planning Bill which, until now, has not been brought to Parliament for enactment despite assurances on the Floor of this House. Your Committee, again, urges the Government to keep its word on this matter. It is generally agreed that the envisaged Budget and Planning Act will enhance transparency and accountability in the Budget cycle, and ensure participation of the key stakeholders.

Mr Speaker, the witnesses who appeared before your Committee expressed concern over the low tax contribution to the Budget from the mining sector. Despite high copper prices and, especially that mining constitutes three quarters of the country’s exports, the issue of poor mechanism for monitoring mineral production figures and exports is of great concern as these statistics are important for ascertaining the tax contribution of the mining companies.

The Committee urges the Government to ensure that the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, as a matter of urgency, puts mechanisms in place to accurately monitor the production figures of our mines. The low tax contribution of the mines to the Budget, in the midst of high copper prices, has kept alive the call by various stakeholders to re-introduce the windfall tax.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned about the lack of value addition of the country’s exports despite having a robust mining sector and a huge agricultural potential. Lack of value addition on exports is effectively dampening efforts to create descent and sustainable jobs. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to put mechanisms in place to resuscitate and sustain manufacturing as a key strategy for wealth and employment creation.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is saddened to note that, at a time the country is struggling to meet the Millennium Development Goal No.1 on the elimination of poverty, the 2013 allocation to the agricultural sector falls short of the 10 per cent threshold of the signed Maputo Declaration. The Committee urges the Government, as a matter of urgency, to strive to meet the 10 per cent threshold of the Budget going to agriculture as most Zambians live on agriculture. 

Sir, the increase in the allocation to the agricultural sector should avail enough resources for irrigation, research, extension services, crop diversification, and livestock and fisheries development.

Sir, your Committee notes a nominal increase in the 2013 Budget allocation to the health sector. Though the increment is welcome, the funding is still low, considering the demands facing this important sector, such as inadequate personnel, poor infrastructure and shortage of drugs, among others. The allocation still falls short of the 15 per cent Abuja Declaration threshold on health to which the country is a signatory.

Mr Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee recommends that the Government progressively increases the allocation to the health sector to ensure the country attains the Abuja declaration. This will help to improve service delivery in the sector.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the Government managed to raise US$750 million from the sale of a sovereign bond on the international market. It is aware that part of these resources will be directed to infrastructure development. However, it is of the view that the success of the investment of these funds will depend on the Government addressing the project implementation challenges the country faces.

In view of the foregoing, it is prudent that the Government addresses the challenges in the construction sector, such as empowering the Works and Buildings Department and putting in place stringent measures to compel Government officials to abide by good corporate governance principles. Further, your Committee recommends that procedures governing the tendering processes be revised to ensure efficient and timely implementation of projects.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes a nominal increase in the allocation to local authorities, although this falls way below the fiscal decentralisation expectations. Your Committee is of the view that more resources should be allocated to local authorities for them to function effectively and efficiently, and provide the requisite services to the residents. Some of the challenges that these local authorities face include debts owed to pension funds, retirees, utility companies, limited human resources and a narrow revenue base. Therefore, your Committee urges the Government to build the capacity of local authorities and expedite the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy so as to devolve power to local authorities alongside fiscal decentralisation. Your Committee also urges the Government to provide enough resources to local authorities to clear the outstanding debts and arrears.

Sir, your Committee observes that the CDF has been useful in meeting pressing and critical developmental needs at the grassroots level in all parts of the country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the CDF be substantially increased to ensure equitable and accelerated development in all the parts of our country, especially the rural areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: In conclusion, I wish to thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording us the opportunity to study the 2013 Budget. My gratitude also goes to the stakeholders and the hon. Minister of Finance, who appeared before the Committee. Lastly, but the least, let me thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the invaluable support and services rendered to your Committee during its deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for the opportunity to wind up debate on the Motion of Supply on the 2013 Budget, which I presented to this House on Friday, 12th October, 2012. Going by the proceedings, and taking into account the fact that, so far, sixty-three hon. Members have taken part in the general policy debate and the various public comments made, I am convinced beyond doubt that the 2013 Budget is not controversial.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Sir, I wish to render my profound thanks to the expanded Committee on Estimates for the comments, observations and recommendations which are well articulated in its report and supplemented by the Chairperson just a few minutes ago. 

Mr Speaker, let me also thank the hon. Members of Parliament for their wise counsel on the proposed 2013 Budget policies. I also wish to acknowledge the ingenuity of several stakeholders who provided very constructive comments on the various aspects of the Budget. Mr Speaker, all this would not have been possible without your unwavering guidance and wisdom. I thank you most profoundly.

Mr Speaker, let me say that the proposed 2013 Budget is the beginning of the Government’s relentless efforts to bring about social justice for all. It is the spring board that will set Zambia on a trajectory to sustainable and inclusive growth with a focus on expanding opportunities for all. The Government has made an undertaking to positively and practically change the lives of the majority of our people who are wallowing in poverty. This solemn undertaking is premised on all of us raising our commitment levels and working harder.

Mr Speaker, in order to move this nation forward and improve the lives of our people, it is imperative that we address the structural imbalances in our national plans. We have heard the calls for sound Budget formulation and implementation. It is clear from the debates that this is what our people want. The pertinent observations that have been made will go a long way in helping us to remedy some of our omissions.

Mr Speaker, let me respond to some of the comments on the Budget. Hon. Members of this House know too well that allocations to various expenditure programmes are a direct function of resource availability. Our ability to allocate sufficient resources to all expenditure programmes is constrained by the limited size of Zambia’s resource envelope. If we are to make more allocations to expenditure programmes, above what is available, we will have to expand our borrowing or increase taxes for our people. However, our borrowing is limited by our ability to service the debt, while our taxes are already choking the tax payers. 

Mr Speaker, our resolve is to address deformities in the structure of our Budgets so that we can be in charge of our own destiny. The PF Government’s policy is to scale down the country’s dependence on external aid. It is against this background that we have proposed that the gap in the 2013 Budget to be bridged by borrowing is about K6 trillion, and only K1.5 trillion will come from our co-operating partners.

Constituency Development Fund

Mr Speaker, there has been a lot of apprehension in the House regarding the proposed allocation to the CDF. Hon. Members of the House are calling for increased allocations to the CDF, which is unsustainable, given our severely limited fiscal space. The CDF is a useful fund as a mechanism for taking development to the people. While we agree with our colleagues that this small allocation might not achieve much, we are also concerned about the utilisation of these resources. Let me, without hesitating, assure this House that we are already looking into plausible scenarios for re-structuring the CDF allocation and disbursement criteria. The allocation of this fund will take into account the population size, geographical vastness, poverty levels and other deprivation indices in each constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the Government will also ensure the timely disbursement of these funds so that most community projects can be undertaken on time. To ensure that what is disbursed is properly utilised, the Government, through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, is currently drafting legislation which will regulate the utilisation of the CDF. The legislation will be tabled before the House soon.

Sovereign Bond

Mr Speaker, there were comments made regarding the sovereign bond which we successfully issued at a favourable interest rate of 5.375 per cent with a maturity period of ten years. I wish to re-iterate that this is, by far, one of the cheapest bonds that have been issued in the region in recent history. The support from the international financial community which was put at Zambia’s disposal was US$ 11.9 billion against the US$500 million which we had originally envisaged. This is an affirmation of the high esteem Zambia enjoys in the global community. This is essentially because of the harmony, peace and stability in our country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, there can be no greater tribute to our collective wisdom. This should compel us to widen the franchise of our togetherness and shy away from all actions that have the potential to cause civil strife.

Constitution-making Process

Mr Speaker, allow me to address the concerns on the allocation to the Constitution-making process. A number of stakeholders have submitted that this Government is not committed to the Constitution-making process because they perceive the proposed allocation in the Budget to be insufficient to undertake the required processes. I want to assure the House that adequate funds for the process will be allocated at appropriate times. The importance of the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the land, needs no embellishment. The Government’s commitment to delivering a Constitution which will stand the test of time remains irrevocable.

Revenue-Sharing and Empowering Local Authorities

Mr Speaker, I mentioned in this House that, in order to fiscally empower councils, this Government will design revenue-sharing arrangements through which more resources will be transferred to the councils so as to improve their service delivery to our people. In 2013, the Government will continue to reinforce the councils’ efforts by assisting them to dismantle their debts. When you look at your copies of the 2013 Yellow Book, hon. Members, you will notice that, for a start, 2.6 per cent of the mineral royalty tax and 4.4 per cent of the pay as you earn (PAYE) will go to councils to help them create financial capacity so as to improve their service delivery.

Farmer Input Support Programme

Mr Speaker, some stakeholders have indicated that the allocation to FISP is insufficient. I wish to re-iterate that this programme is being restructured in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. The reform will also include the inclusion of other crops under this programme. A lot of wastage that has been associated with this programme, such as numerous middlemen and poor targeting, will be cured. We believe that, with these reforms, the allocated funds will be sufficient for the intended beneficiaries of the programme.

Tax Policy and Revenue Measures

Business was suspended at 1615 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about the tax policy and revenue measures.

Sir, I have listened attentively to the debate on the tax policy and revenue measures and it is evident from the comments that the nation is supportive of the PF Government’s direction on the tax regime. We are focused on an inclusive development strategy through which our people will practically benefit from investments in the economy.

Mr Speaker, to this end, the fiscal concessions, and they are quite numerous, which I presented in the 2013 Budget are meant to spur private sector-led inclusive growth, which will promote local value addition and support anti-dumping initiatives. As such, we will not support the duty-free importation of goods which we are able to produce locally. This will mainly affect goods which are imported from outside the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). 

Sir, it is for this reason that this Budget has proposed to increase duty on products made from iron and steel. I wish to make it clear that the 2013 Budget has not proposed any increases in the taxes on roofing sheets. What is proposed is a policy to discourage dumping of goods so as to promote the local production of things like roofing sheets. This will contribute to the reduction in the cost of roofing sheets and help create employment opportunities.

Mr Speaker, the status of the mining tax regime has generated interesting debate. I wish to assure this House that the fiscal regime that is in place is designed to capture optimal income from mining activities.

Sir, in designing the mining tax measures, we strive to ensure that we do not stifle the growth of existing mining companies. With the new changes proposed to the mining regime, we foresee a movement towards a balanced outcome that will secure more benefits for our nation and the appropriate returns on investments for mining companies.

Mr Speaker, the challenges for enhanced revenue from the mining sector lie in effective monitoring so as to determine the actual quantities produced. This is why we will introduce legislation to criminalise fraudulent and the false declaration of information.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, since our attention spans are becoming increasingly strained, …


Mr Chikwanda: In conclusion, …


Mr Chikwanda: Even my own colleagues have had their attention span stretched, but I assure them that I will wind up in a minute’s time if they can defer their gossiping.


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to recognise the valuable suggestion from the Expanded Committee that there should be more engagement with the hon. Members prior to the finalisation of the Budget. This is one of the issues being considered for possible inclusion in the forth-coming legislation on planning and budgeting. 

Sir, I want to tell the Chairperson of the hardworking Committee that the much-awaited legislation will seek to benefit from the Committee’s wisdom.

Mr Speaker, finally, let me make it clear that our Budget is exceedingly small, indicating glaringly that we are, indeed, at a very low ebb of development. Given the vast needs of our people throughout Zambia, there is a compelling need to marshal immensely more resources to get the development of our country to higher levels. This Budget is a modest effort in that direction.

Sir, I am persuaded beyond doubt that the House will unanimously support the Budget.

Once again, I re-iterate my profound thanks to all my hon. Colleagues on both sides of the House and, indeed, the whole nation for their support.

Mr Speaker, since I do not want to crucify any hon. Members for their valid judgments which they are perfectly entitled to, I want to end my debate here. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Question put and agreed to.


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


The House adjourned at 1839 hours until 0900 hour on Friday, 2nd November, 2011.