Debates- Tuesday, 30th October, 2012

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DAILY PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES FOR THE SECOND SESSION OF THE ELEVENTH ASSEMBLY

Tuesday, 30th October, 2006

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

NATIONAL ANTHEM

PRAYER
__________

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

DISTICT INFORMATION OFFICER FOR MULOBEZI

224.Mr Sililo (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting:

(a)when a district information officer would be posted to Mulobezi District; and

(b)when transport would be provided for the district office.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kapeya): Mr Speaker, Mulobezi falls in the category of fifteen newly-created districts across the Republic of Zambia. This means that the staffing and equipping of this district will have to wait for approval of structures and operational budgets. This process is driven by the Management Development Division (MDD) at Cabinet Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Mr Speaker, once the structures are finalised and officers posted to the district, resources and equipment, which include transport, will be provided to the district.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how long the process will take for the officers from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to get to Mulobezi District.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, the MDD is already working on the process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, the question is how long will this process be.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Sakeni): Mr Speaker, our ministry will advertise for the recruitment of district information officers. Once we get the approval from the MDD, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) will then recruit the officers. I am positive that this will be realised in the next six months.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, I would like to take advantage of the question that is on the Floor of this House to ask a similar one. When will Sesheke be provided with transport?

Mr Speaker: Order!

That is a new question. 

BOUNDARY WRANGLE

225. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs what measures the Government had taken to resolve the boundary wrangle which has persisted over thirty years in the Mpweto/Kaputa area between the Republic of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dr Lungu): Mr Speaker, I wish to state, from the beginning, that although part of the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to maintain international relations, the response for question 225 regarding the boundary wrangle in Mpweto/Kaputa was prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. This is because boundary issues fall under the Surveyor-General’s Office in the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. 

Mr Speaker, the Government has been actively engaging the DRC Government on the disputed border areas. This resulted in the establishment of the Special Joint Technical Committee of Experts on the Zambia and DRC Border Dispute by the two presidents of the respective countries in August, 1982 through a declaration at Gbadolite in the DRC.

Mr Speaker, the terms of reference for the committee of experts which were agreed by the two countries were as follows:

(a)to interpret the Treaty of 12th May, 1894 for the benefit of the two countries;

(b)to study the course of the boundary in any area where it may be necessary and make proposals for the two governments.

(c)to cause demarcation of the boundary if need be, through the construction of boundary beacons which will be described in a protocol to be submitted to the two governments for ratification. 

Mr Speaker, of the above terms of reference that constituted the main agenda of the committee, so far items (a) and (b) have been satisfactorily disposed of. Item (c) remains to be done before the committee can accomplish its mission. The committee of experts met sixteen times, eight times in Zambia and eight times in the DRC, since it was established.

Sir, the part of the Zambia/Congo DR Border between Lakes Mweru and Tanganyika remains unmarked with boundary beacons though it was directed by the committee in 2010, for the works to commence in 2011. However, the works have not been done due to the political instability in the DRC.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, reports which are reaching me are that part of the land in question has been taken over by our colleagues from the DRC. May I know the quickest intervention that the ministry intends to put in place so as to normalise the situation in that part of the country.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, I wish to state that it is not true that the land in question has been taken over by our colleagues.

I thank you, Sir.

Interruptions

Hon. Opposition Members: Go on!

Mr Speaker: Order!

There was another arm of the question that has not been attended to.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the committee is still pursuing the matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, taking advantage of the question asked and also the good answer that the hon. Deputy Minister has provided, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Ng’onga: … I would like to find out if there are any intentions by the Government to inform the people of Kaputa about these boundary disputes.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, we said that the two governments are working together. We have established a joint committee. We have said that the committee has met sixteen times; eight times in the DRC and eight times in Zambia. We are actively engaging the DRC so that we can come up with a solution to the boundary wrangle. The two sides involved have already agreed on certain issues. The committee will do everything possible to solve the problem. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that the delay in putting up beacons on the stretch between Mweru and Tanganyika is due to the political instability in the region. I would like a clarification on this issue because the report that reached me …

Interruptions 

Mr Simfukwe: … last year was that there were no funds to put up the beacons. Have funds now been found and it is just the political instability which is delaying the process?

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, the reports that are reaching my colleagues …

Laughter

Mr Lubinda: … cannot be substantiated. We cannot vouch for those reports because we do not know their source. The reliable information is the one that we have presented. The members of the committee met and agreed that we must put up beacons between Mweru and Tanganyika. No action has taken place because of the political instability in the eastern part of the DRC. 

Sir, my colleague has also indicated that our committee will meet soon to seek a resolution to this matter. So, all those unreliable sources must be discounted. I would like to urge you to take the answers that have been provided by your Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, reports reaching us in Parliament …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … indicate that this question has been with us for a long time. There was an agreement that this particular border line would be constructed when funds are made available. I would like to know when the construction works will be done. The former hon. Member of Parliament, Dr Katele Kalumba used to ask this question every other day. The answer on the Floor of this House was that the works would commence when funds were made available. 

Sir, these are the reports reaching us in the House. When will the funds be found so that this demarcation is done?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the report that I would like this House to have is the one which was issued by the hon. Deputy Minister. The hon. Deputy Minister said that this matter has been outstanding since 1982. It is not a new matter at all. So, that point must be acknowledged.

Sir, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that the committee was established in 1982 and, yes, indeed, there have been repeated questions on this matter in this House. In the past, the answer could have been that the Government did not provide any allocation for this. However, the current position is that even notwithstanding financial considerations, the issue also hinges on the political instability in the DRC. Unless the situation there normalises, it would not be easy for people to go and put up beacons bearing in mind the fact that the activity would be a joint responsibility of the two sovereign states. Zambia, alone, cannot proceed with that kind of assignment. It requires the support and participation of our neighbour, the DRC.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, considering that the political instability in eastern Congo might last long, is the Government considering stabilising the situation along the border by deploying our military forces so that they can maintain peace, order and stability in the area to enable the process of putting up beacons?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, Hon. Charles Kakoma is fully cognisant of the fact that the instability in the DRC is a matter of sovereignty. There is no way Zambia can deploy soldiers to try and sort out the problems of the DRC unless it is done through regional organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) or the African Union (AU) or the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region.

Sir, Zambia, as a sovereign State, cannot go into the DRC to stabilise the situation there. What I am about to say has been stated twice by myself and the hon. Deputy Minister. We have now decided that the members of the committee should meet and consider the issues involved in setting up beacons in that part of our country. So, we are not sitting back because of the political instability. We are looking at various ways of proceeding with the setting up of the boundary beacons.

I thank you, Sir.

MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN MULOBEZI

227. Mr Sililo asked the hon. Minister of Health:

(a)how many doctors, clinical officers and nurses were in Mulobezi District as of June, 2012; and

(b)when more medical personnel would be posted to health institutions in Mulobezi, especially Sichili Mission Hospital which had been without a doctor for some time.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, as of June, 2012, there were four doctors, three clinical officers and thirty-two nurses. The House may further wish to note that the filling of positions to reduce the variance between the approved establishment and staff in posts in Mulobezi District and all health facilities countrywide, Sichili Mission Hospital inclusive, is  being done in phases.

Sir, the Government has provided K77.8 billion for net recruitment this year and Mulobezi District has benefited from this allocation. Three registered nurses have been posted to Sichili Mission Hospital during Phase II of the recruitment exercise.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I am wondering where the hon. Minister is getting the four doctors who are in Sichili from. Are there doctors in Sichili? As far as I know, there are no doctors.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the establishment for Sichili is six doctors and the existing position is four doctors. I do not think they have disappeared. They are there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the question that has been asked by the hon. Member for Mulobezi Constituency is very important. May I know whether there are doctors in Sichili. Can the hon. Minister tell us the truth as to the prevailing situation in Mulobezi. 

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member points his finger all the time, but he is pointing at a wrong situation. 

Sir, the establishment in Sichili, as of 2012, is six doctors. The existing number, as of that date, is four and we have recruited more doctors. Therefore, we will send more to doctors to Sichili.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is emphasising on the establishment that is supposed to be at Sichili. Can he assure this House that the four doctors he is mentioning are verifiable and we can send a delegation to verify and establish the veracity of his statement?

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member’s question is verifiable. He can go there and come back to attest to the fact that there are doctors in Sichili. Where can they disappear to? They are there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, one other way of verifying the presence of a human being is by name.

Laughter

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister to name the four doctors who are at Sichili. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the question said: “How many doctors are available?” There are four existing medical doctors.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, I am worried by this particular question and the answer that has been given. There is a statement challenging the hon. Minister about those four doctors that he has indicated out of an establishment of six. Can the hon. Minister guide us. He is being challenged on the existence of those four doctors. What does he hope to do next?

Mr Speaker: I will request the hon. Minister to supply the names of the doctors before the end of the week.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

ZAMBIAN DELEGATION TO CHINA-AFRICA CO-OPERATION MEETING

228. Mr Chisala asked His Honour the Vice-President:

    (a)    how many members of the Zambian delegation attended the China-Africa Co-operation meeting in Beijing in 2011.

    (b)    how much money was spent on the trip for the entire delegation.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, the meeting took place in Hangzhou, not Beijing. The Zambian delegation that attended the 8th Senior Officials Meeting of the Forum on China-African Co-operation comprised four senior members, two from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters and another two from the Zambian Embassy in China. The two from the Zambian Embassy in China were the Ambassador and an officer.

Sir, the money spent on the trip for the entire delegation was K85,276,228.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, arising from the … 

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the question asked by Hon. Chisala is very specific. It is talking about a particular meeting held in a particular town in a particular year. The answer that has been given by His Honour the Vice-President is talking about a meeting held in another town in the same year. Procedurally, if the question is specific, how do you paraphrase it and make an answer? If there was no meeting, they should say there was no meeting held in Beijing rather than answering a question that is not on the order paper.

Hon. Opposition Members; Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling on this.

Hon. Opposition Members; Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chilubi is on the Floor. After he poses his question, may His Honor the Vice-President take note of the observation made by the Hon. Member for Monze Central and clarify the matter.

Mr Chisala: May I know what the benefits of that trip were.

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let His Honor the Vice-President respond.

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, the benefits to Zambia from this meeting, the one that is  … 

Hon. Opposition Members: Which one?

 The Vice-President: Let me clear up Hon. Mwiimbu’s point of order.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Be patient. He will come round to it.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the meeting that was referred to was completely ambiguous. It was not just any odd meeting held in China. It was a Zambia/Africa,…

Interruptions

The Vice-President: Let me just say exactly what the question says.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Order!

It is a very cautious and fair observation. 

Laughter

Hon. Opposition Members: Boma, Boma!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the question says, “How many members of the Zambian delegation attended the China/Africa Co-operation Meeting?” That happens to be unambiguous because there was only one such meeting held in August, 2011. We did not want to, actually, start a pedantry sort of exercise in sending questions back because a wrong town was named. Therefore, we have answered it to make it clear to most people except for the most extreme pedants and points of order raised.

Laughter

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we are answering the question. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, with your permission, I will answer the follow-up question.

Mr Speaker: Please, proceed. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as a founder member State of the Forum on China/Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) and a leading African beneficiary of the Chinese Development Corporation (CDC), Zambia actively participated in the meeting and had an influence on the outcome document adopted by the ministerial committee of FOCAC in the Beijing Conference of 2012 and the Beijing FOCAC Action Plan 2013 to 2015 document. The Action Plan outlines five major courses of action to be implemented under the FOCAC umbrella. Zambia hopes to benefit, of course, through increased Chinese investment in African countries. Zambia will also benefit from Chinese assistance and support to regional African integration to the combined FOCAC efforts at promoting peace and stability in African countries.

I thank you, Sir.
FOOTBALL TROPHIES IN ZAMBIA

229. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Youth and Sport:

(a)what trophies were competed for annually by football clubs under the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ); and

(b)of the trophies at (a) above, which ones were competed for under the following categories:

(i)Division Two;

(ii)Division One; and

(iii)Premier Division.

The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Mubukwanu): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this august House that the following are the trophies that are competed for under FAZ. These are the Samuel Zoom Ndhlovu Charity Shield and the Barclays Cup. 

Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that the Samuel Zoom Ndhlovu Charity Shield is the opener for the Premier League. The Division Two teams presently compete for their league championship only.  The Division One League teams play for the league championship and the top four teams are allowed to compete for the Barclays Cup.

The Super Division teams compete for the following:

(a)the MTN Super League Championship and Trophy;

(b)the Samuel Zoom Ndhlovu Charity Shield; and

(c)the Barclays Cup.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, why do we have a limited number of trophies being competed for? Is it because we do not have many sponsors in the country?

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, I think one appeal this Government has been making to the corporate world is to take an active role in sponsoring some of the tournaments. As a Government, we stand ready and encourage the private sector to come up with more sponsorships as this will continue promoting sport.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, do the Division One and Division Two clubs receive any incentives from the Government?

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, there are no direct incentives that are given to them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, which one of the trophies has got the highest prize?

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, by sponsorship, the Barclays Cup is now standing at K1 billion and has the highest value.

I thank you, Sir.

GWEMBE COURT BUILDING

230. Mr Ntundu asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)when the Government would construct a Magistrate’s Court building in Gwembe; and

(b)when local court buildings in Gwembe District would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the construction of Gwembe Magistrate’s Court and the rehabilitation of the Gwembe Local Court have also been budgeted for in the 2013 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

ZAMBIA REVENUE AUTHORITY

231. Mr Ntundu asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)what the wage bill for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) was, countrywide as of June, 2012 for the following categories:

(i)senior management;

(ii)middle management; and

(iii)the rest of the employees;

(b)how much money, on a monthly basis, the ZRA received from the Government as grants; and

(c)whether the grant was given as a percentage of the revenue collected.

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, the wage bill for the ZRA countrywide as of June, 2012 for the following categories of staff is:

Category    Amount (K bn)

Senior Management    3.66 

Middle Management    19.38 

Rest of employees    54.18 

Mr Speaker, the amount that the ZRA receives from the Government, as a grant, differs from year to year. In 2012, the ZRA was allocated a total Government grant of K266.5 billion which translates to an average of K22.2 billion per month for the institution’s operations. A further grant of K120 billion was allocated to facilitate the effective implementation of the ZRA Modernisation Programme. 

Mr Speaker, lastly, the ZRA, just like any other grant-aided institution, receives a monthly grant from the Government as per appropriated Budget by Parliament. The money funded to the ZRA is based on the total cost of programmes and activities that the institution plans to discharge in a given year, and not as a percentage of the revenues collected.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, the ZRA does overcharge customers in order to meet its target. Does it have percentages of the revenue that it is supposed to collect from institutions? 

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, first of all, the Government payment structure is not performance based, but it is across the board with prescribed salaries. There is no record of anyone being overcharged. If there is one, then there is an appeals avenue through which they can appeal and complain against being overcharged. Everyone pays according to the standard prescribed fees and charges.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there is no institution that is Government-aided and gets a percentage of their revenue collections. May I find out from him whether he is aware that the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), which is under the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), under the law, gets a 3 per cent of its earnings. If he is aware, what is he going to do about it?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, let me admit that I am not aware of that, but I will undertake investigations on that assertion made by the hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just indicated that K3.6 billion has been allocated to the management. May I find out from him the number of people that are in management and the amount that each person will get roughly?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, senior management would entail a number of commissioners but, with regard to the precise figures, that is a new question that I would need to research on.

I thank you, Sir.

LIVESTOCK FARMERS IN ZAMBIA

232. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    how many commercial livestock farmers there were in Zambia as of 30th May, 2012, province by province; and

(b)    what the total cattle population was, as of June, 2012, province by province.

  The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, as of 30th May, 2012, there were 800 commercial livestock farmers owning 1,159 farms countrywide. The following is the distribution of the farms, province by province.

        District    Number of Commercial Farms

    Southern    Choma    43
    Kalomo        72
    Kazungula        21
    Livingstone        31
    Mazabuka        64
    Monze        70
    Total        301

    Lusaka     Kafue            57
    Chongwe        55
    Total        112

    Central    Kabwe        107
        Kapiri Mposhi    87
        Mkushi        87
        Serenje        240
    Chibombo        55
    Mumbwa    34
    Total    610

    Copperbelt    Chingola    13
        Kalulushi            4
    Kitwe    15
    Luanshya    5
    Masaiti    6
    Mpongwe    22
    Mufulira    2
    Ndola    15
    Total     82

    Eastern    Lundazi    15
    Petauke    3
    Nyimba    4
    Total    22

    Northern     Kasama    20
    Total    20

    North-Western    12
    Total    12

    Luapula    0
    Total    0

    Western    0
    Total    0

    Total No. of Farms    1,159

Mr Speaker, the following is the total cattle population in Zambia as of June, 2012, province by province:

    Province    No. of Cattle

    Central    272,945
    Copperbelt    64,357
    Luapula    13,960
    Lusaka    165,838
    North-Western    252,420
    Southern    1,009,257
    Western    1,316,050
    Eastern    291,645
    Northern    52,026
    Total    3,438,498

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, over 3 million cattle is too small a number compared to the population of this country. I would like to find out how the Government intends to boost the production of cattle in this country.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, the Government has strategies and programmes that are intended to increase the total population of cattle from 3.4 million to a higher figure. Some of the strategies in the plans include the establishment of livestock service centres and breeding centres, revamping of the Mazabuka Artificial Insemination Station and re-organising of the extension service. We are also taking measures to vigorously fight the diseases that keep killing the animals both in the countryside and on the farms along the line of rail. These are some of the measures that we think, if made functional, can help increase the total population of cattle in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, about two months ago, the President of the Republic of Zambia made a public statement that my party president, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, owns more cattle than the whole of the Southern Province. However, according to the statement made by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, he has indicated to the nation that there are about 1 million head of cattle in the Southern Province. Since his ministry is responsible for collecting statistics of all the commercial farmers who are involved in cattle rearing in this country, can the hon. Minister confirm to this House, and the nation, whether Mr Hakainde Hichilema owns more than 1 million head of cattle in the Southern Province?

Laughter

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we can only talk about the statistics that we have. We are not responsible for information that is obtained from other sources. The statistics that I gave are what are on record and, as a ministry, we stand by them.   

I thank you, Sir. 

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

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that one of the measures undertaken by his ministry to increase the cattle population is to fight diseases. I would like to know whether his ministry has the intention of manufacturing vaccines for cattle within the country. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, at the moment, various vaccines are produced in Malawi. This is as a result of the SADC Protocol. 

However, we already have a pilot scheme of producing some vaccines at our Central Laboratory Research Station. We think that it would be good for us, as a nation, to produce our own vaccines because, sometimes, it is a problem to procure these vaccines from elsewhere. We will, therefore, intensify the production of some of the vaccines in the country. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Chungu (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, I know of farmers in Namwala who own more than 1,000 cattle, but are missing on the list of commercial farmers in the Southern Province. May I find out from the hon. Minister what the definition of a commercial farmer is. 

Ms Kalima: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, it is true that in Namwala District some people have large herds of cattle. However, the condition on which one can be classified as a commercial farmer is that his/her farm has to be on title. If, therefore, one rears cattle on a piece of land which is under the customary land tenure, he/she is not qualified to be a commercial farmer. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Interruptions

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, in other words, is the hon. Minister confirming that his statistics are wrong?

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that the statistics are wrong because they are correct. As a ministry, the only livestock farmers who are recorded as commercial farmers are those whose farms are on title. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the low numbers of cattle in Luapula Province worry me a lot. Is it because our colleagues are allergic to seeing animals moving freely because they enjoy eating them? Can the hon. Minister confirm if the depletion is as a result of not wanting to ukuchusha umunani as they are fond of saying? 

Laughter 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, it is not because of what is being suggested. As you will note from the record, there are 13,960 cattle in Luapula Province. It is just a question of our people in Luapula coming on board after other areas had long started rearing cattle. The people in Luapula are catching up, and very quickly so. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that the number of cattle on record is the total number of the animals in the Southern Province, including traditional herds. This being the case, and if the President of Zambia was correct by saying that Mr Hichilema has more cattle than all the people in the province, I would like to know if the total number of cattle given includes Mr Hichilema’s or are his not on record? 

Laughter 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, that is a new question from the hon. Member. 

I thank you, Sir.

Laughter 

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the Government has any plans to set a minimum floor price for cattle, as cattle farmers are being exploited currently. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, we do not have such plans. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the Government has intentions of increasing the cattle population from 3.4 million. What is the figure that they are aiming at?

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, it is a figure above 3.4 million. 

I thank you, Sir.

Laughter 

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said rearing cattle on a piece of land on title qualifies one to be a commercial farmer. Is there any other condition apart from a title deed that qualifies one to be categorised as a commercial farmer?

Mr Speaker: Please, note that the correct nomenclature is commercial livestock farmer. We do not want to confuse the debate. 

The hon. Minister may continue. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, like I already explained, for any livestock farm to be classified as commercial, it should be on title. I am not aware of any other conditions.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Siamunene (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the condition for one to qualify as a commercial livestock farmer is a title deed. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry has any deliberate policy to ensure that farmers that are not recorded get title deeds in the near future so that we have the correct number of head of cattle in the country. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, for any livestock farmer to collect a certificate of title is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, but that of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. 

I thank you, Sir.  

Mr Chisanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned a number of incentives given to commercial livestock farmers. I would like the hon. Minister to confirm that there are no incentives given to farmers in Mkushi and that they have been doing things on their own. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, at no time did I refer to any incentives. What I referred to are strategies and programmes that are designed to develop the livestock industry. 

I thank you, Sir. 
MAIZE SATELLITE DEPOTS IN CHILUBI

233. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)how much maize, in tonnes, was destroyed by the Food Reserve Agency  (FRA) at Matipa Satellite Depot in Chilubi District in July, 2012;

(b)from which satellite depots the maize at (a) was collected ; and

(c)when the ministry would establish additional satellite depots in Chilubi District. 

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, in July, 2012, the FRA destroyed 94 metric tonnes of rotten maize at Matipa Depot. 

Mr Speaker, the maize was collected from Matipa, Chitimali, Mubili and Kaseya satellite depots, which is part of Luwingu District. 

Sir, Chilubi District already has satellite depots located at Matipa, Chitimali and Mubili. These depots are currently operational and receiving grain.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, may I know why the maize got rotten?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the maize got rotten because some of it was stocked under tents. It is natural that with the moisture content that comes with the seasons, the maize gets rotten.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has confirmed that the maize got rotten. What measures have been put in place to prevent the same situation from recurring?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, this year, we have ferried most of the maize from satellite depots to the holding depots. Therefore, we expect that there is going to be very little damage arising from the exposure of maize to the elements that led to rotting.

Sir, most of the maize that we have bought this year is kept under tents because we bought sufficient tents. Those who have been travelling around the country will agree with me that most of the satellite depots have tents. So, covering of the maize and its transportation from the satellite depots to the holding depots will prevent further wastage.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the moisture content of maize is 12 per cent. How sure are we that the Government has not bought maize with high moisture content this year?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, that was not the answer that we gave. What we said is that some of the maize went to waste because it had attracted moisture from the base, not as a result of it having been bought before it had dried sufficiently, but because of the rains.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I just want my brother to confirm that the situation that was obtaining under the MMD Government, in which we used to have maize getting rotten, is also obtaining under the PF Government because this is 2012.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, I have just returned from Mufumbwe …

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Wait for the response.

Mr Chenda: … and we inspected some satellite depots there. Most of the maize that was bought has been transported to holding depots while that which is being held in satellite depots is well-covered. This year, we managed the situation very effectively. I speak from what I have seen. I am sure most hon. Members of Parliament here who come from the rural areas have seen that most of the satellite depots have been well managed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, Chilubi has been a district for a long time. Does the hon. Minister have plans to give it a holding depot for maize?

Mr Chisala: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the quantity of maize that is produced in Chilubi does not justify the establishment of a holding depot there. It is economical for us to pick up the maize and take it to a depot elsewhere.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Monde (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, what criterion did the hon. Minister use to choose to inspect depots in Mufumbwe whilst we have many challenges countrywide, especially that it is election time?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Why?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock is …

Ms Kalima: Why?

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Chenda: … at liberty to inspect agricultural programmes throughout the country.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Chenda: I just picked the North-Western Province, and I am glad to report that what I saw there is very good.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, in other countries, the maize that goes to waste is converted into stock feed. Why is the Zambian Government not doing the same, instead of destroying the maize?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, most of this maize had been soaked for more than one season and was beyond consumption, including for livestock. So, we had to destroy it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said most of the maize has been ferried to holding depots while most of what is still in satellite depots is covered with tents. That answer, to me, implies that there are some depots where maize has not been ferried to holding depots or covered with tents. May I know which depots these are.

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, I am not in a position to give the exact statistics. However, the position is that wherever the maize has not been ferried to holding depots, it has been covered by tents to protect it from the rains. However, the intention is to haul it to the holding depots as quickly as possible. This exercise has been going on very smoothly and effectively.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, it seems that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock is using his weekends to inspect holding depots. Can he assure the people of Nalikwanda that he will be able to visit and inspect the holding depots within the shortest possible time before the rainy season?

Laughter

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Livestock, Hon. Kazabu, has just returned from the Western Province where he was inspecting some projects, including Nalikwanda.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

__________

MOTIONS

BUDGET 2013

(Debate resumed)

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, when the House adjourned on Friday last week, I was discussing the legal framework and asked the hon. Minister of Finance to seriously assist the Ministry of Justice, in terms of funding, so that we can strengthen the legal framework.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that we should not just look at issues of politicians being visited by the law in a very resolute manner. We have very serious problems such as people misusing funds that were given to us by other taxpayers who are still roaming the streets. Recently, we saw people stealing equipment at the Cancer Diseases Hospital. These are very serious issues and the people responsible should be charged with attempted murder, and this is murder more than sabotage and espionage.

Sir, on tourism, the Ministry of Finance should seriously look at incentives for people who own hotels, lodges and guesthouses in Zambia to encourage tourists to come into this country. I say so because Zambia is, indeed, one of the most expensive tourist destinations because of the too many taxes that the hotels, lodges and guesthouses are paying. I think that there is a need for the Government to pay a lot of attention to this sector. However, in doing so, it should not only look at Livingstone as the only tourist destination, but also other areas across the country.

Mr Speaker, we also have the issue of environmental management to which only about K74 billion has been allocated in this year’s Budget. Zambia is becoming very dirty because we are not funding the environmental protection agencies very well. I, therefore, implore the Government to look at that issue.

Sir, in conclusion, looking at all the problems that I have mentioned, I am left with no option, but to seriously ask the Government to consider creating a ministry for rural development. Maybe, through such a ministry, we, in the rural areas, can be taken care of more appropriately in terms of service delivery. I therefore, ask the hon. Minister of Finance to use his contingency funds to ensure that we have this ministry. I am sure that the President, who is listening, will agree with my proposal. I am merely pushing an open door. We need a ministry of rural development for us in the rural areas to fully benefit from the Government’s programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to contribute to the debate on the 2013 Budget, as presented to this House. 

Sir, when I look at the Budget, I have difficulties supporting it because there are some concerns that have not been addressed.

Firstly, the PF Government came into power after promising many good things to the people of Zambia. When you look at this Budget – and I have looked at it from the first to the last page – there is nothing good for a Zambian.

Laughter

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, this Budget is mere window-dressing. It looks as though it can serve the people of Zambia when, in fact, it will not. It is like the story of the Emperor’s Clothes. I was very lucky to have gone to school and read that story in which some people were saying the emperor was properly dressed, when he was actually naked. That is what I see in the 2013 Budget.

Mr Speaker, the PF wants to create jobs for the people, but how does it do so when it is not demonstrating good will towards people in the rural areas. The youths in rural areas emphasised that they wanted to venture into farming, but the Government has failed to make that become a reality.

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I am keenly following the debate by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza. Is he in order to make reference to the emperor’s suit without familiarising us with the story? We do not know the emperor’s suit and its story. Is it something that is on Cartoon Network or what? Is he in order to debate in the manner he is doing without even mentioning the aspect of Tom and Jerry in his debate? 

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: As I followed the parable, he made an attempt to explain but, as I have said before, let us get to the issue.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank you. I was very lucky because I read Benny and Betty, unlike the hon. Members on your right who never read those books since they came late into the world.

Laughter

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, we are looking at agriculture, which can be the main player in this country’s economy. However, looking at the Budget, it is clear that there is very little that has been allocated to the sector. It is not enough to have 900, 000 farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). That is the number which the MMD Government left and it was supposed to have been scaled up to about one million farmers by this time. 

Sir, allocating K500 billion for fertiliser support is a mockery. There is a need to allocate more money so that more farmers can access the fertiliser. Without fertiliser, no agriculture can take place, particularly in my constituency.

Mr Speaker, as I stand here, the people of Chadiza have no food because last year’s FISP did not go well. Most farmers did not get fertiliser which resulted in hunger in Chadiza Constituency. His Honour the Vice-President must be ready to send relief food to Chadiza. The little maize that was purchased, and is in the sheds …

Mr Speaker: Address the Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Through you, Mr Speaker, I am ordering His Honour the Vice-President …

Laughter

Mr Mbewe: … to leave food in Chadiza.

Mr V. Mwale: You have been ordered.

Mr Mbewe: We have three depots and, if the maize at all these depots is cleared, believe you me, the people of Chadiza will die of hunger. As I speak, my people are living on cooked raw mangoes. I am sure the maize that is there will last until January. After that, there will be no mealie-meal in Chadiza. Therefore, through you, Mr Speaker, I am ordering His Honour the Vice-President to ensure that all the maize in Chadiza is not transported from there to other areas.

Mr Speaker, going back to the analogy of The Emperor’s New Clothes, maybe, it is true that the President means well, but he is not well informed. After I have spoken here, they will go and tell the President that there is food in Chadiza when I, a resident of the constituency, am telling the President that there is no food there. If the maize is kept in Chadiza, the people there will be very happy.

Sir, coming to maize marketing, I would like to say that it is chaotic. It did not go very well, both last year and this year. The people of Chadiza have no money. So, it will be very difficult for them to buy the maize we are talking about. The Government should provide food for work, whereby the people will work and the Government pays them in kind for the job they will do by giving them food. That is the only way the people of Chadiza are going to survive. 

When I look at the Budget …

Dr Lungu: On appoint of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, I rise on very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member for Chadiza in order to come here and command the Vice-President to send relief food to his constituency when he has not even gone to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to ask for it? 

I need your ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Well, I was equally curious when that issue was referred to, but I thought it was simply, perhaps, a question of semantics. In my view, the structures and operations of Government institutions are known. The best the hon. Member can do is to make a request to the right Government institution however earnest or dire the situation in his constituency may be.

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, that was a point of jealousy.

Laughter

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the K300 billion allocated in the Budget for the purchase of maize is too little. It is very important for the Government to come out very clearly and state what its role will be in the purchase of maize in the next marketing season, instead of giving a meagre allocation for this exercise in the Budget. Why do our colleagues on your right not just say that they are not interested in participating in the buying of maize from our farmers? This will alert the farmers to start organising themselves in terms of choosing which crops they will grow and sell to bring money in their pockets. As things stand, the Government is not clear about whether the K300 billion will be enough to pay for all the maize that will be supplied by farmers. What other tactics is the Government going to use to make sure that all the maize from our farmers is bought?

Mr Speaker, I am a man of very few words. The last thing I want to do is commend the hon. Minister of Finance. Look at me (pointing at Mr Chikwanda). I am very happy when you look at me.

Mr Chikwanda: I can see you.

Mr Mbewe: Hon. Minister, you have done very well on the issue of corruption. You have increased the allocation to the fight against corruption. The people of Chadiza and I are very happy.

Mr Speaker: Address the Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, despite that being a good thing, the problem I have, however, is that some people in the Government that are involved in fighting this vice might have corrupt agendas themselves. There is a need to analyse the situation carefully because when you look at it in details, you will find that even if some people are claiming that corruption is being fought, in actual fact, the Government may be using corrupt tools.

Interruptions

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the money allocated in the Budget should be used prudently. I am reminded of the words of my His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Sata, who asked, “Are you not even ashamed that within one year in office, there are traces of corruption in your Government?”

Laughter

Ms Kalima: Shame!

Mr Mbewe: The issue of corruption is serious. The Opposition is behind the Government in the fight against this scourge. However, we do not want to be used to further our colleagues’ pocket agendas.

Mr Speaker, I am a man of few words.  I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a few comments as regards the Motion of Supply which was ably moved by the hon. Minister of Finance. From the outset, I want to state that I am very delighted to hear the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza, who has debated very well and referred to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, as his own President because he is the President for everybody. 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the 2013 National Budget, which was delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance, is said to be the first Patriotic Front (PF) Budget in many circles. This Budget has reinforced confidence in investors and has effectively brought to an end a lot of speculation which was generated when we took over power that we will put up measures in the mining industry which will be detrimental to the industry.

Mr Speaker, as a responsible Government with a focus to grow the mining industry for the benefit of all Zambians, we desired not to listen to distracters whose interest was to ensure that the confidence of investors in our mining industry was eroded. This Budget is a clarion call for job creation and poverty reduction as well as a bedrock of medium-term aspects. Significant resources have been allocated to health, education, local government and housing, which are the prime sectors for my Government to reduce poverty.

Sir, this Budget is realistic. It has improved funding to major sectors that are involved in the reduction of poverty. No doubt this Budget will create jobs because we are on top of things, especially as regards its execution so as to ensure that we move in tandem with its vision.

Mr Speaker, this Budget, as rightly projected by the hon. Minister of Finance, is being financed in excess of 76 per cent from domestic resources. This scenario is unprecedented.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, as regards many factors and issues that have been brought to the fore, especially the issue of the Eurobond, we decided to actually put up a spreadsheet in the Budget over the use of the resources that we generated from that measure just to be transparent. Funds in excess of millions of United States (US) dollars are being used on capital projects in terms of hydro energy transmission and distribution as well as in the development of road and railway infrastructure. Health infrastructure will also be rehabilitated. There is no better and prudent Government like that of the PF which has stated clearly the use of these resources in order to ensure that we upgrade the living standards of our people.

Mr Speaker, the Budget has equally shown a serious resolve by the PF Government to develop the education sector, as evidenced by the huge allocation to it so as to effectively deal with the issues of infrastructure, especially for universities that have been created in the recent past. My Government will also ensure that as we build universities and schools, we also put up houses for teachers and lecturers coupled with social amenities for rural areas such as banks, road networks and other facilities.

Mr Speaker, allow me to also comment on the changes to tax. At the time we came into power, we promised a 100 per cent change to the way we tax our people. As a serious Government which keeps its promises, the tax threshold for non-payment of Pay-as-You-Earn (PAYE) has now been increased to K2,200,000. This is commendable. 

Mr Speaker, the increase in the allocations to the tourism, water, sanitation and health sectors will significantly change Zambia. With this ambitious Budget, we are already working on changing the mindset in the manner funds will be disbursed. It will not be business as usual. Top on our agenda are the monitoring mechanisms. This Budget will be expended to the expectation of our people. The Government will ensure the timely disbursement of funds to the ministries and departments in order to generate the fruits of this positive Budget. We want to transform what we have put in words and numbers into action for the benefit of our people who have been waiting for an active Government such as ours at this time.

Hon. Opposition Member: Question.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, this is the first Budget that has spelt out realistic values and numbers in terms of job creation. This is our agenda. We are also committed to ensuring that we meet these numbers in terms of job creation. The prime factors among the measures that will be used are agriculture, tourism and road construction as spelt out by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, the Government will ensure that the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development continues to use tax models which are relevant. There were assertions made by most of the hon. Members who spoke on the Floor of the House as regards the introduction of windfall tax. I am very grateful that one of the eminent sons of the PF, last week, on the Floor of this House, spoke about the issues of windfall tax.  The PF Government will continue to tactfully and skillfully tax the mines so that we do not impinge the development of this industry. 

The hon. Member for Malambo also looked at the various issues as regards the taxation of the mines. He was very particular about some forms of tax that have been introduced. I want to assure the House that the Government will engage the mining houses and put up measures that are beneficial both to the Republic of Zambia and investors. I also listened very attentively to the hon. Member as he debated very well last week in favour of the Government’s position on several issues. I thought he was going to delve into the issues of windfall tax because he is an expert in this field. However, he avoided doing that. I thought I could do that on his behalf.

Mr Speaker, as we tax the mines, we must also continue to look at the gestation period of the investment in the mining sector so that we move with the industry in terms of time. For the avoidance of doubt, I want to state that during the global financial crisis in 2008, the mining industry lost a lot of manpower due to the downsizing of the operations. Simple mathematics will indicate that we never witnessed any downsizing in other sectors of the economy such as agriculture and others. However, this impact was greatly created in the mining industry. That is why the Government is very keen to generate maximum revenue from the mining industry. We must ensure that we move in tandem with the trends in terms of proper taxation.

Mr Speaker, the mines, today and beyond, continue to do well as a result of the favourable investment climate prevailing in the country coupled with attractive metal prices. The Government continues to attract investment in both small and large-scale operations with improved availability of geological information in order to stimulate exploration activities and subsequently the opening of new mines. 

Mr Speaker, the revision of the legal and regulatory framework with a view to empowering Zambians to own small and large-scale mining operations is a matter of priority by the PF Government. We will continue to organise the gemstone industry by ensuring that structures are created such as the lapidaries so that we can add value to our mineral resources in order to ensure that we get maximum returns on these minerals.

Mr Speaker, as a Government with a vision, we are moving through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to ensure that we encourage small-scale miners by building capacity through empowering them with equipment. All these measures will increase our local mobilisation of resources to the Treasury. 

Mr Speaker, the mining fiscal regime which is in place has created direction and predictability in the industry. This has raised investor confidence. Our style of managing the mines is such that the industry should thrive and create employment. We shall also ensure that the workers in the mining industry are paid well and that the mining companies re-invest in communities through infrastructure development and the upgrading of social facilities.

Mr Speaker, I have noted that this Budget has been unanimously accepted by our colleagues.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, that is why, when most of them stand to debate, they actually bring to the attention of the hon. Minister of Finance issues which need to be further improved upon. This is very good. We have a very wonderful Opposition which means well for this country as can be seen by their support of this Budget.  

Mr Speaker, assertions by some people outside this House that some hon. Members will frustrate the approval of this Budget are neither here nor there because our well-meaning colleagues from the Opposition have actually come to the Floor of this House and deliberated very seriously as regards its implementation. Many of the issues that have been brought out by our colleagues are those to do with resource redistribution, especially in their respective areas where they represent the people just as good as ourselves. This is commendable. 

This Budget is a source of inspiration and those schemes by our colleagues to assume that the people are being gong’ered, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Deputy Minister should use the official language.

You can continue, please.

Mr Musukwa: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This Budget has been depicted as not telling the truth. This is contrary to the provisions in the Budget. This Budget means well, as it has addressed the many issues that the Zambian people have wanted to be addressed for a long time. That is why wonders will never stop happening. I was sitting here when one hon. Member alleged that one day they will wake up to find the PF has run away. Unfortunately, that hon. Member was supported by a very sober hon. Member for Mbabala. I want to assure this House that the PF Government will never run away …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: … because it is equal to the task of re-building our country. The Opposition and all the people of the Republic of Zambia should trust that we shall transform this country and eradicate poverty. 
 
Mr Speaker, the discourse of politicking must not be used as a springboard for fighting issues such as the approval of the Budget, especially by people who speak from trees outside this Parliament because this Parliament thrives beyond such kind of assertions from anyone.

Mr Speaker, consistency is key. In one breath, you can drive to State House uninvited and try to cause confusion and, in the next, when you are invited, you choose not to be there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, we want to assure the people of Zambia that we will continue to govern the affairs of this country in humility and with great passion to ensure that we deliver on the promises that we made to them.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, there has been a lot of talk as regards the Road Development Agency (RDA). Only people who do not want to ensure that straightforward issues are managed in order to get results or beneficiaries of corruption are going to be worried about how we supervise the RDA.

Mr Speaker, the issue about the RDA is to ensure that, at all times, we run the road projects and meet our targets and build Zambia. Once we implement the road project in Zambia, even our colleagues from the Opposition will have nothing to campaign against us because this is a project for all the people of Zambia which will bring development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I want to end by urging the hon. Members of the House that, in their usual style in which they have come to support this Budget, they should stand up and ensure that this Budget, which is user friendly and in the interests of our constituencies where facilities such as water and sanitation will be upgraded, is supported. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, with these few words in support of the Budget, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to also contribute to debate on the Budget Speech which was presented to this House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda.

Mr Speaker, before I comment on the allocation to our ministry, I would like to acknowledge a few issues that will have a direct impact on my people in Shiwang’andu Constituency. 

Hon. Opposition Members: No, your ministry!

Hon. Siliya indicated dissent (shaking her head).

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have noted, like my colleague has indicated, the allocations to all the key sectors which will definitely go down to our people in various constituencies.

The allocation of K103.9 billion to the empowerment of entrepreneurs with a primary focus on women and youth is very significant. It shows a substantial increment from last year’s K40 billion.

Mr Speaker, you must note that the challenges of our youth border on security. If we cannot provide enough for our youth, the security of the nation will be compromised. Therefore, I am comfortable to see these allocations.

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.
 
[THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the 
Chair]

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was talking about some allocations to empowerment programmes. However, for the sake of time, I will only talk about the allocation to my ministry. 

Mr Speaker, I am particularly happy when I go to page 12, under Public Order and Safety, item 96. The Government proposes to spend K1.3 trillion or 4.2 per cent of the Budget on Public Order and Safety. In addition, the Government will continue to strengthen the Zambia Police Service by recruiting and modernising its operations. Further, in addition to the K30 billion allocated to the modernisation of the service, the hon. Minister has also made sufficient provisions for the net recruitment of about eight hundred officers.

Mr Speaker, this could not have come at a better time than this. We have many challenges under our ministry and modernising the police service requires a lot of resource injection. We just have to start afresh. We need to work to rehabilitate and establish new training colleges for the police. I am saying this because when we changed the way of governing ourselves from one party to multi-party democracy, all we did was to merely change the name Police Force to a Police Service. However, there was nothing that we did to ensure that the change we proclaimed of a Police Service was invested into. This is the challenge that we have and I am very happy that it has been recognised by the hon. Minister of Finance. 

Mr Speaker, with modernisation, we are going to address a number of issues. We will establish training schools and refresher course training centres so that police officers can be trained to operate in tandem with the current democratic dispensation.

Mr Speaker, we know that the number that we have planned for this year might not be adequate but, for a start, this is a timely effort. At this point, I would like to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament who would like to apply some of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to constructing infrastructure such as police posts. The best way to do this is to first approach us so that we can plan together. What has happened in the past is that when a police post was constructed, there was no house constructed for the police officers. Hence it became difficult for the Zambia Police Service to send officers to such police posts. That is something that we need to work on. Therefore, when you plan to do such a thing, come to us so that we see how far you can go with the money you want to allocate to that important infrastructure development. When you construct a police post, there must be housing constructed as well so that you do not end up with structures that remain white elephants.

Mr Speaker, I have seen the increase in the number of cases of drug abuse and money laundering. Therefore, it is important that the hon. Minister of Finance has made some allocations to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) so that it can have the capacity to deal with some of the complicated cases which they, sometimes, fail to handle due to lack of resources.

Mr Speaker, I am also happy that the hon. Minister of Finance provided funds for national registration. Currently, you may be aware that national registration and record keeping is done manually. We are now trying to digitise this. The first phase of the project is being funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and we appreciate UNICEF for this. However, this project is supposed to be owned by the Government eventually. It is important for the Government to start allocating resources to this important project. Currently, we are digitalising the manual data of all the registration which was done as far back as 1964 so that we can start issuing new identity cards. There will be identity cards which I may liken to the SADC drivers’ licences. These are identity cards which will be recognised when you go to other SADC countries. They will have biometric data. I am happy that the hon. Minister of Finance has seen it fit to start allocating resources to this important programme. 

Mr Speaker, another area I have noted is the allocation of funds meant for the establishment of new border posts. There are many entry points which are not manned properly because we do not have infrastructure and officers to man them. However, I have seen that some funds have been allocated to the establishment of some border posts so that we can man the borders and ensure that there is security. These were some of the issues that were raised today. I know that the hon. Minister for Luapula Province has many challenges in that area. We are going to ensure that we start manning some of the border posts. Going forward, I would like to ensure that as we plan for all these institutions that are supposed to be at border posts, that is the ZRA, Zambia Police and Immigration Department, we should start making an integrated plan for all these institutions. It should be this way so that when we establish a border post, there must be facilities to accommodate all these institutions so that no one wing should feel superior to the other.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I would like to appeal to all hon. Members of Parliament that want to embark on development issues such as hon. …

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament who feel that we need to build border posts in their area, and they think that they can spare some funds from the CDF to go towards building the border posts, to come and talk to us. I know that it will be difficult for us to effectively get there. It is not that we are abdicating our duties. I have been discussing this extensively with Hon. Chansa.

Mr Speaker, the issue of the Public Order Act was addressed adequately by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. However, I can only say that the Act is still in place and we should now be looking at how to manage it before we can look at other options. Therefore, you should engage with us. Our offices are open and you can always come to us when you have challenges. As I advised people who have been having meetings, my phone is on 24/7. I always get phone calls from hon. Members even as late as midnight. In a similar fashion, you should call when you have challenges. Let us not take advantage of our police officers. As I said earlier, police officers require refresher courses, and we need to build them in order that they may be responsive to the dispensation that we are in. Let us not take advantage of them. When you need to engage us politically, you should do that. My hon. Minister has an open door policy. You can get in touch so that we can settle issues, and not put our police officers in awkward positions.

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

Ms Siliya (Petauke): Mr Speaker, in adding my voice to the debate on the Budget Speech presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda, I want to state, from the outset, that we, on the left side, unanimously agree that the promises of the PF leadership before they formed Government, were empty. It is glaringly clear that those ninety-day promises were empty.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I believe that this is why, on the very first page of the Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance, Hon Chikwanda, clearly articulated that the economic transformation of Zambia is a journey and we have not arrived at our destination yet. He very clearly said that because we are in a democratic dispensation, this journey will not be uncontested.

Mr Speaker, I also believe that it is because of these failed ninety-day promises that – I am not sure that these promises made by the PF were intended untruths or not. However, what is clear is that the Zambian people, whether they are in the PF, MMD, UPND or Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD), expect some sort of apology for raising their expectations above the bar …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: … so that we can all face reality. I recall that immediately after the elections, some people thought that they were going to occupy all the shops in Kamwala because of the ninety-day promises. Some people thought that even if they have no degrees or diplomas, they would instantly get a job as a teacher or nurse because of the raised expectations. I believe that now that the PF leadership has moved from political party leadership into Government, they will be responsible enough not to raise unachievable expectations.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, whenever we, in the Opposition, particularly the MMD, offer advice or criticise this Government, which is a Government for all of us, we are usually labeled bitter.

Sir, we, in the MMD, are aware that we lost an election. We are also aware that we handed over power peacefully. However, we are very proud to look back at a legacy going back to 1991, when there was the late former President Chiluba, Hon. Chikwanda, Hon. Ronald Penza, Hon. Kasonde, late former President Mwanawasa, SC., Hon. Dr Situmbeko, Hon. Dr Chituwo, Hon. Rupiah Banda, and all of us.

Interruptions

Ms Siliya: We, in the MMD, know that we left an indelible mark on the socio-economic transformation of this country.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, we admit that the successive MMD administrations did not achieve all that the MMD set out to do, but it is clear that our legacy has already been achieved.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: The challenge to achieve a legacy now falls squarely on those who are in the Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We are waiting to see what kind of legacy is going to be achieved. Already, the first one year has been denied as it is not part of a legacy for the Government which is in office now. So, we keep wondering what kind of legacy will be achieved. Will it be a legacy that is anchored on the Constitution of this country? Will it be a legacy that is consistent in terms of policies, and not flip-flopping – Mr Speaker, sorry, I replace that word with changing of positions all the time. Will it, indeed, be a legacy that respects citizens’ rights? Will it be a legacy that does not abuse the Public Order Act?

Mr Speaker, I believe that our colleagues on your right side must start singing a new song. To continue to say the Opposition is bitter, will not bear any fruit. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Sir, the Budget is a tool for development and it does not get executed in a vacuum. It is one thing to have a well-written Budget, which my colleague, the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development said was unanimously supported, and another to execute it well. However, we, on the Opposition side, are unanimously clear that for this Budget to be well-executed, what it requires is for all of us, as stakeholders, to give it support. That is why it does not operate in a vacuum. We need to deal with fundamental issues such as the Constitution which we are still talking about even after years of spending money at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) and other fora. The Constitution is the most important document for the country. Unless we agree on these issues, we will continue wasting money. Unless we continue to respect citizens’ freedom and allow people to associate and have freedom of speech, we will not get the kind of stakeholder support that we need to execute this Budget appropriately.

Mr Speaker, Jefferson, an American President said:

“I might not agree with what the man standing next to me is saying, but I will do everything to support his right to say it.”

Sir, I believe that forty-eight years after Independence, this is the kind of mindset that we should all have. We should all look forward to seeing how we can consolidate our democracy in a manner that allows people to debate even the Budget, not just in Parliament, but on the radio, television, internet and even in public gatherings. This is because the Budget is a tool for development for all citizens, not just the PF leaders, PF cadres, but everybody, including the United Party for National Development (UPND), the MMD, the ADD, United National Independence Party (UNIP), and everybody else who might not belong to any political party.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I would also like to discuss the elephant in the room, so to speak. The fight against corruption was not started by the PF. It has been there for a long time, even in the UNIP days.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: It will not do to believe that you will get stakeholder support by using the fight against corruption for political expedience or, indeed, for persecution or perceptions and rumours. I believe that unless we take the fight against corruption appropriately, we can continue to put all the money in the Budget and nothing will be achieved, as we have already seen. That is why the first year of the PF in Government is being denied as a legacy of the PF.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the Budget, specifically. Noting that K300 billion has been given for maize marketing, I believe that we must put our money where our mouths are. First of all, in terms of belonging to regional protocols, SADC countries have agreed to commit 10 per cent of their national budgets to agriculture. However, in the last three years, because of theFISP, we, including my colleagues, even the PF Back-benchers who were Members of Parliament, clearly saw an actual transfer of income into people’s households, especially women-supported households of many rural farmers. 

Sir, this is because, in the last three years, with the injection of the FISP, farmers increased from 500,000 to close to a million, overnight. We doubled the number of people that were able to access this fertiliser but, at the same time, we were able to access the trillions of Kwacha that were spent on maize marketing. This meant that money moved from the Budget or the Yellow Book into someone’s household. This meant that these families were able to send their children to school. They were able to buy medicines and do all the other things required at the household level.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Sir, now I understand the argument that has been advanced by His Honour the Vice-President many times that we cannot spend so many resources just on one crop. However, it is the manner in which you win support from maize marketing that is important. I believe that the last two or three years were not enough. We need to continue to give more support to maize marketing and the FISP for a few more years while we continue to put money in other crops and diversify. So, this should be a balancing act so that we are able to truly transform, especially the population in rural areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I also believe that, for a long time, this country has ignored livestock. We just heard today from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock that the country has only 3.4 million heads of cattle. I think that we can do more.

Sir, if we are supporting agriculture and emphasise support in terms of livestock so that, probably, every rural family in Zambia, if they had two or three heads of cattle, it would totally change the economic structure of that household. This is because the cattle can even be used for short-term financing and various support services that the family will need. Until we take livestock seriously, I actually wish to recommend that we think of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, once again, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: … so that we can give it the attention it deserves.

Mrs Masebo entered the Assembly Chamber.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am happy that we have a vibrant hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts, who has just walked in. I am happy that the Ministry of Finance has given incentives to Livingstone in preparation for the UNWTO Conference. However, I believe this is not enough. It looks like we have been caught unawares. We are going to plan for investment just when the conference is coming.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts has been to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt. There is no Victoria Falls or natural wonder there. What is there is a sea, salty water and sand. However, in the middle, there is a street with hotels from a one star hotel to seven star hotels. What are they selling? They are selling a dream that, depending on your pocket, you can go and live well there and enjoy yourself. That is what they are selling in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Mr Speaker, Bahamas with a population of 300,000 gets 6 million tourists, the same as just one town in Egypt, Sharm El-Sheikh, and yet we are still struggling to meet a million mark in Livingstone. We have had the Victoria Falls from time immemorial, since God created the world. I believe that what we need in Livingstone is not to be content with the Royal Livingstone or the Sun International. We need proper hotels there because, if I go to Livingstone today, I will see the Victoria Falls for thirty minutes. After that what do I do?

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kapeya: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, thank you very much.

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke in order to start offloading her ideas of promoting tourism, today, when she failed to do the same in her Government?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: May the hon. Member continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, obviously, the hon. Member has no new song. We need to start singing new songs in this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am happy that resources are being allocated to tourism for marketing, but that is not enough. We need to support infrastructure. When a tourist comes from America or England, they are not just going to see the Victoria Falls. They would want to eat Italian food, Greek food, and Mexican food. They want to buy Gucci and Channel products. We need to invest in Livingstone and, unless we take investment on a mega level to Livingstone we are not going to be able to have six million tourists …

Interruptions

Ms Siliya: … in Livingstone and Kazungula.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, with regard to the environment, I believe that, as a country that is industrialising, we should not re-invent the wheel and follow the paths of countries where we know there are pollution and waste management challenges. I think the Finance Minister of this country has the tools in his hands to use tax incentives to be able to promote recycling plants in a country like Zambia which borders so many other countries. Let us be the first to enter that market. We know that with the consumer levels that are taking place in this region, including just bottles of water, we need to find ways to recycle them because it is cheaper to produce a new one than it is to clean one. I believe that this is an opportunity for the new jobs, revenue generation and investment in this country and these are the things the Government is talking about.

Sir, in Korea, where the President has just returned from, I am sure they have challenges of e-waste and we are positively positioned to take advantage of these possibilities.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the issue of roads. I am aware that the country has had a challenge of roads for a long time. However, I am curious about the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Network Project. The Formula 1 Project took one-and-a-half years, employed five contractors and 172 km were done. We have been told that the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Network Project will be done in sixty months, which is four years. This means that every month, 133 km of road will be done. Multiply that by K5 billion and you get K666 billion per month, unless my calculations are wrong. I believe we should not raise expectations that we cannot meet. Let us level with the people of Zambia and discuss what is doable so that we do not come back and ask you to sing a new song. When we remind you that this is not achievable, you say we are bitter. Even the construction companies in this country, at this moment, will not be able to meet the 8,000 km target. It is a good ambition, we agree … 

Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I have been following the debate and the mention of Formula 1 brings about questions. Is the hon. Member of Parliament on the Floor in order not to mention that although we were told that they used tax arrears for the Formula1 Project, they actually used a loan? Is she in order not to tell the nation where the money came from?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member debating chooses what to tell us. May she continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am quite confident that as the years pass, the Back Benchers of the Patriotic Front will begin to see things the way we see them on this side of the House. 

Mr Speaker, I may not be very conversant with mining issues, but what is very clear is that no matter what has been provided in terms of tax incentives, there is still a lack of confidence by both the Government and the miners. There is a lack of confidence in the Zambian people on whether we are getting value for money. This lack of confidence in this industry is not going to assist this country. Instead of burying our heads in the sand, we need to address this matter so that all parties, the Government, the people of Zambia and the mining houses, can all be on the same page.

Mr Speaker, I did say, from the outset, that preparing of a Budget by the hon. Minister of Finance is one thing. The hon. Minister of Finance will be here in Lusaka and he will want to make sure that this money is spent in Petauke, Chama, Shang’ombo and everywhere else. This is why the call for decentralisation is becoming louder by the day. It will not work to say there is no capacity at the district level. 

Sir, this country has been educating people for the last forty-eight years. If we are able to hold that money here in the Central Government, then I am sure we can find the right people to employ to execute this Budget at the district level. The problem is that if we do not do that, we will continue to get interference from politically-appointed Permanent Secretaries in provinces and that is where we will fail to execute this Budget. 

Mr Speaker, I know the hon. Minister of Finance wishes to see this Budget executed but, unless we have some sort of a marshal plan or a rural development ministry, as Hon. Mtolo said, I believe the real answer is decentralisation. Let us put the right people, the money and decision making at the district. We cannot say that only the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, here in Lusaka, has all the brains to develop the rural areas. There are enough Zambians to do that, and they are looking for the jobs. So, let us give them the jobs.

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

Ms Siliya: If we do not do this, we will continue to have inefficiencies and ineffective execution of the Budget and we will be wondering why the Budget increases every year while we are not seeing the services on the ground. We are not seeing the people’s lives being transformed. In 2030, eighteen years from today, a girl who is five years old will be twenty-three. She will ask what you were thinking. Will she have gone to the right school; the school with an education that will give her the right mentality that she can make money in this country and beyond; have the confidence to look for a job within Zambia and beyond? Will that twenty-five-year old boy or girl have the right housing whether he/she is in Petauke or Shang’ombo or does he/she just have to be in Lusaka to access housing and good water? Will that twenty-five year-old boy/girl be confident, in 2030, that we are making the right decision today for that child at that time to drive on good roads; be able to access financing for businesses and to be able to participate in politics freely without the Public Order Act interfering … 

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Will he/she be able to speak and associate freely but, most of all, be proud of Zambia and be able to say that those who came before him/her did the right thing? There is only one right thing and that is to develop this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

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

Sir, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting a progressive Budget that is inclusive and captures both the young and old, rich and poor and men and women. That is why I find it strange that a leader of an opposition political party can devise mechanisms to try and shoot down a Budget which he should be the first one to support. The Zambian people are watching and listening. They know who is who. They know that some leaders are just destructive elements.

Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about the tax threshold that the hon. Minister of Finance has presented to this House. K2.2 million has been made tax free. None of our colleagues who have been debating have stood up to eulogise such an initiative. They gloss over it deliberately because they understand the ramifications. They know that the ordinary Zambian is being looked after very well by this Government. We want to associate ourselves with those that are lowly paid. We understand the challenges of this economy and the struggles of that worker who earns K2.2 million per month. It is in that regard that we said that they should go and spend that K2.2 million. They should go and have a luxury of choice with this kind of money. 

Mr Speaker, in the past, we had leaders who took wine to give them an appetite for food. This Government does not want to do that. We need to be with the people and meet them where they are. I met several of our colleagues on your left, especially members of the MMD, taking wine to get appetite at Arcades and Manda Hill. 

Laughter

Mr Kalaba: We do not want that.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Let us guide each other. You are the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President and this is an opportune time for you to respond to the points that were raised by the Back Bench in so far as they related to your portfolio. It is just guidance because I can see everybody wants to be involved in cross-cutting issues. Let us try to zero-in on our portfolios. We are hon. Ministers. 

Proceed, hon. Minister.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that very progressive guidance.

Sir, I will, indeed, comment on the issues that relate to my office such as land resettlements as well as disaster management in this country. 

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order on my left! 

Allow the hon. Minister to respond to the issues that you raised. 

Proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for being very noble by paying a lot of attention to issues of land resettlement in this year’s Budget. This has happened for the first time. 

Sir, my colleagues in this House will agree that issues of land resettlement are very important, and yet some of our colleagues deliberately did not have the courage to congratulate the hon. Minister for allocating that much money to it so that we can create wealth and jobs. 

Mr Speaker, in the PF Government, we are talking about job creation and wealth creation because we have come to understand that it through areas such as land resettlements that ordinary Zambians can pursue their goals in life. We do not want the notion that it is only when you wear a tie that you can get a good job. The fact of the matter is that everywhere in the world, and Zambia is not an exception, land is the beginning and source of wealth. This is why the PF Government has taken this issue very seriously.  It wants to look at how best it can alienate the land in these resettlement schemes to its people. It does not want those who have already got land somewhere else to rush to these settlement schemes and get more. That is greed which we do not want to promote as the PF. This country is for all of us. However, it can only be good if all of us have a say in the way we manage it, unlike what we saw in the past. 

Mr Speaker, I also want to pay glowing tribute to the hon. Minister of Finance for the amount of resources he has proposed in this year’s Budget for disaster management-related issues. Zambia, as a country, has been beset by huge disasters in the past that include floods and cholera outbreaks. What disappoints my office, in particular, is that when a disaster happens, most hon. Members of this House, especially those from the MMD, fail to comment on them, even as they speak on the Floor of this House. Yesterday, we picked up five people who died when they were working at some place in Lusaka, and yet we did not hear any one of our colleagues talk progressively in this House about it. I am sure the people out there are listening and wondering what kind of Opposition leaders we have who are even fail to sympathise with them. 

Mr Speaker, a lot of money has been spent on disaster management and I am sure that when it comes to this House …

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I never rise on points of order unless it is absolutely necessary. Just two minutes ago, you guided the hon. Minister to try his best to adhere to policy issues pertaining to his ministry. Is he in order to career off and start talking about the MMD hon. Members who are attentively listening to the expectations of the PF Government? 

I need your ruling on the matter, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The ruling will merely restate that hon. Ministers must stick to policy debate in so far as the Motion relates to their ministries. Obviously, we give a bit of latitude as they debate because it is not possible to debate in a straight line, as long as that does not go off course completely. My ruling is that, please, hon. Minister, stick to issues that were raised in so far as they relate to your ministry.

Proceed, hon. Minister.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, I was saying that our Government is placing emphasis on quick response and being proactive in the manner we deal with disasters that beset our country. However, it is important that, as the Government deals with these issues, all of us in this House behave as stakeholders in these programmes. It is in this regard that I mentioned some political party. The point that I want to belabour is that the department under my office, the DMMU, is very proactive in the manner it is dealing with issues. It is in this regard that the PF Government wants to embrace everybody, including Dora, to …

Laughter

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Deputy Minister, you are definitely out of order. The person you referred to as Dora, whoever that is, is an hon. Member of this House, and I have noted that she is listening very attentively to your debate. Please, do not drag her into your debate. If you have run out of ideas, you know what to do. 

You may proceed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I was saying that we are a proactive Government.

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, in line with the tradition of the House, you have ruled, from time to time, that the Executive should speak on clearly-written policy statements. Is the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, who is supposed to set an example in line with the tradition and ruling of the House, in order to just stand there and speak off-the-cuff, wandering all over the place …

Laughter

Professor Lungwangwa: … without a clearly-stated policy direction?

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Ordinarily, we expect hon. Ministers to have written texts but, if they have copious notes, they are allowed to refer to them as long as the notes are in an orderly fashion.

Proceed, hon. Minister.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection.

Mr Speaker, in my concluding remarks, I was saying that the PF Government wants to work with everyone who is progressive, especially in the DMMU. We have understood that the challenges that beset Zambia are not different from those that beset other countries. Currently, in the United States of America, there is Hurricane Sandy which is wreaking havoc in that country. 

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we will work with everybody who is progressive. In this regard, we are asking everybody to join hands with us as we serve the people of Zambia diligently, instead of distracting us when we want to reach out to members of other parties. 

It is my favoured hope that, even as the Vote for my office appears before this House, hon. Members of Parliament will how we are working with them, as a Government, and support it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity you have given me to contribute to this Budget debate. From the outset, I wish to appreciate all the good intentions that have been outlined in the Budget by the hon. Minister of Finance, who is my own uncle, …

Hon. Government Members: Is he your uncle?

Mr Mucheleka: … Hon. Chikwanda.

Mr Speaker, first of all, I have heard this Budget being referred to as a pro-poor one, and even the language sounds pro-poor in regard to the intention but, if you look at the details, one begins to wonder if at all it is a pro-poor Budget. I have read the whole Budget, and there is no part that makes reference to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly MDG No. 1. What I thought was that given that we have less than three years before 2015, the Budget should have been benchmarked against that particular MDG and should have indicated the specific steps that the Government intends to take, indicating the extent to which poverty will be reduced. I thought that part was missing in the Budget.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, for the sake of Hon. Chishimba, MDG means millennium development goals and, if he wants to know more about what it means, he can …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

The rules of the game dictate that you address the Hon. Speaker. If you address people other than the Hon. Speaker, then you are inviting unnecessary comments and interference with your debate. 

Can you, please, bear that in mind as you debate.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, very quickly, let me talk about mining. According to the hon. Minister of Finance, three quarters of our exports are in the mining sector. However, when you look at the mining sector’s contribution to the Budget, it is less than 6 per cent. Much as he has indicated the good intentions of strengthening the taxation in the mining sector, he should have also looked at where we are because, if you relate K1.9 trillion to the Budget, it gives you less than 6 per cent. How, then, do you expect to address the issues of poverty and poor service delivery? 

Sir, the jobs that are created for our people in the mining sector are mostly casual ones. The majority of the people on the Copperbelt, particularly the spouses of miners, are engaged in street vending and selling in markets in an attempt to supplement their husband’s income, which is not sufficient.

Mr Speaker, there is nothing to write home about corporate social responsibility in the mining sector. You will also notice that the tax contribution is very little, and there is no guarantee that the Government will have an indirect way of increasing the contribution through the tax that is paid by the workers because it is very little. Are we saying that the mining sector is just there to protect the interests of the investors, not of the Zambian people? What about the damage to the environment? That has even gone beyond the environment to the problems in the road sector. For instance, when driving from Lusaka to the Copperbelt Province and, probably, extending to Solwezi, you will see the amount of equipment that is being driven on our roads. There is massive capital equipment coming in while we see trucks carrying copper out of the country in the opposite direction. 

Sir, the Government has responded by way of borrowing money through the US $750 Eurobond which will, further, be used to subsidise the mining sector. One would have thought that this is the time that we should put in place mechanisms that will increase the mining sector’s contribution to the Budget. Unfortunately, the Government has gone ahead to borrow to subsidise the mining sector.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance also talked about the Debt and Aid Policy. If you compute, you will notice that we are going to borrow K1.2 trillion in the 2013 Budget, and it is possible that by the time the PF Government finishes implementing its ambitious programmes, we would have gone back to another debt crisis. There is no point in borrowing so much when we should be able to use the opportunity offered by the mining sector to increase the domestic revenue mobilisation. That is what we should be looking at.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the agriculture sector. How do you expect to get people out of poverty when, as the other hon. Members of Parliament have already said, the allocation to agriculture is less than 6 per cent, and almost 50 per cent of what has been allocated to the sector is going to a single crop, which is maize? K300 billion is going to the FRA while K500 billion is going to the FISP. The remaining amount is K1.8 trillion, and one wonders how it is going to be used. What about the storage facilities, because we have been told, on this Floor, how much maize was destroyed due to lack of sufficient storage facilities? 

Mr Speaker, the President, in his speech to the House, said that the Government’s intention was to build silos in each province. Where will the money for this come from if it is not in the Budget? What about the livestock development that the hon. Members of Parliament have spoken about? What about crop diversification and the FISP? The Government should start talking about ways and means of ensuring that the farmers who are participating in the FISP are able to be weaned off. It should not continue subsidising the same farmers every year. Recommendations have been made in this country on the mechanism of how these farmers can graduate.

Hon. Opposition Member: Tell them.

Mr Mucheleka: You need to do that. The PF Government has a responsibility to work out a mechanism of ensuring that farmers are able to graduate. If it does not do this, then it will fall into the same trap as the MMD Government. You will not be able to come out of the politics of maize. One way of diversifying is working out a system of weaning the farmers from the FISP. The K300 billion that has been allocated is not sufficient to buy maize from the 900,000 plus farmers who have to wait for months on end for their inputs.  

Mr Speaker, I just came from Lubansenshi Constituency. It was so pathetic to see farmers spending sleepless nights at the National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE) in Luwingu, waiting to get their money. Their maize was collected and not paid for because the FRA has to borrow money. How do you expect farmers to come out of poverty? You are perpetuating poverty like the MMD did before you. 

Interruptions

Mr Mucheleka: This is what the PF is doing. 

Mr Speaker, I want to strongly advise this Government to create a ministry of rural development. This is the only way that the Government will effectively respond to rural poverty reduction because, at the moment, their systems are not working. This is why hon. Members of Parliament, myself included, want the CDF increased.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: This is the only way to go because you have failed to put systems in place to address rural poverty. At the moment, if I asked my uncle, the hon. Minister of Finance, how much money will be used to develop the rural areas, he will not be able to tell me. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I thought your uncle can tell you at your house. Proceed. 

Laughter 

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, the Link Zambia 8,000 Road Project is very important. If it can be done, it has my full support. 

In Luwingu where I come from, the road that goes from Kasama via Luwingu to Mansa is important. However, beyond the central business district of Luwingu to Senior Chief Shimumbi’s area, there is no road. This is what makes the cost of doing business in rural areas very expensive. Feeder roads are in a state of disrepair and there is no money allocated for them in the 2013 Budget. 

Mr Speaker, if the 2012 Budget is anything to go by, where I think K10 or K5 billion was allocated for feeder roads in the thirteen districts of the Northern Province, before Muchinga was created, we are not helping matters. Where are the roads for small-scale farmers and the rural people? How do you expect them to come out of poverty when year in and year out, there is no money provided in the Budget for feeder roads?

The Rural Roads Unit (RRU) is non-functional because its equipment is obsolete. The machinery in the Northern Province has been marooned in Chilubi for the past four months or so. When will the other roads in Lupososhi and Lubansenshi be worked on? These are the issues. Let us be action oriented. It should not just be rhetoric that this Budget is pro-poor without even making any reference whatsoever to the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP). That is not the right way of doing things. We need to show political will by clearly outlining strategies that are meant to ensure that there is equitable distribution of resources. 

Mr Speaker, what we mean by pro-poor development is putting the money where it matters. We mean sharing the national cake equitably between the urban and rural areas. There is nothing at all in this Budget for the rural poor. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance talked about decentralisation of local authorities. I did not see any strategies to be used to ensure that there is a sharing mechanism of resources. All he said was that he had given more than a 100 per cent increment to local government to dismantle the arrears. What about service delivery? Local authorities need to be adequately funded. We do not have to wait for next year. It has to start now. 

Mr Speaker, I appreciate the increments that have been made in the education, health, water and sanitation sectors. However, the systems to ensure that these programmes are implemented are not there.  We have seen, in the past, that this is the same money that is subject to a lot of misapplication, misappropriation, abuse or theft, as the Auditor-General’s reports indicate. 

Mr Speaker, my heart bleeds when I look at certain issues concerning governance. I am so embarrassed that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is defending the Public Order Act in its present form. I am so disappointed. I would have expected him …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir. 

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have been following the debate by the hon. Member patiently. He must have heard me explain that the Public Order Act he is referring to was re-done in 2010. The hon. Minister explained this very clearly. It is not a question of defending it, but simply a case of asking people to follow the law which is available. 

Hon. Opposition Members: What is your point of order?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, he made reference to me and I have the right to correct the impression. Is he in order to mislead this House and start making reference to the Public Order Act which has already been properly explained in this House? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir. 

The Deputy Chairperson: To the extent that nobody is misleading the other, the hon. Member can continue. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, K20 billion has been allocated for the Constitution-making process. Can you just come in the open and say that you are not interested in this process? The amount that you have allocated will not take us anywhere. Come out in the open and say that you do not have interest in the Constitution-making process. We have seen statements being made indicating that the PF is not interested in the constitution-making process. Why do you not just come out in the open and tell us that you are not interested in the Constitution-making process? We have now seen how power corrupts and corrupts absolutely. Where will the K20 billion take us?

Mr Speaker, further, why should other political parties and individuals be stopped from holding meetings or assembling in this era and age? Look at how the World Bank has downgraded this country. You should find out what is causing this. Do not make the mistake of betraying the trust of the Zambians like the MMD did. This is why the hon. MMD Members are seated with me on this side. 

Laughter 

Mr Mucheleka: Next time, you will be back here. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: You listen to me. I am speaking as an Independent hon. Member of Parliament. I am talking about issues that people tell me about. 

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

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kazunga): Mr Speaker, I would like to, first of all, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the 2013 Budget Address whose theme is “Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice”, by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda.

Mr Speaker, in terms of macro-economic objectives, and in line with the strategic focus of the SNDP, the Government, in response to the high unemployment levels, low incomes and consequent high poverty levels, will pay particular attention to infrastructure development and human resource development by investing in sectors with high employment creation potential, namely agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has reminded us in his address that agriculture is the lifeline for the majority of our citizens. The development of this sector is paramount to the country’s poverty eradication efforts. My Government will invest in agriculture so as to boost crop and livestock productivity as well as strengthen agriculture’s forward and backward linkages to other sectors of the domestic economy in order to exploit its full potential. In 2013, the PF Government has increased the total allocation to the agriculture sector to K1.9 trillion as compared to K1.698 billion in 2012. Part of this amount will go towards promoting the sector’s diversification and cater for livestock, fisheries, crop and irrigation development. In 2013, the Government will also introduce the e-voucher system that will ensure that the private sector plays a more significant role in procuring and distributing farming inputs.

Sir, the Government has noticed that in other countries in the world, the tourism and creative industries have significantly contributed to their gross domestic product (GDP) through wealth and job creation. Our tourism and arts sector continues to grow. However, there is a need to invest in product diversification, infrastructure and streamlining licensing procedures. Therefore, in order to grow this sector and promote employment, the Government has allocated K63.8 billion to the expansion of tourism products and development of key infrastructure, including tourism marketing with a focus on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference.

Mr Speaker, the Budget Address reminded this House that in the area of manufacturing, the strategic focus of the PF Government will be to promote products that can be competitively exported or successfully substituted for manufactured imports. The Government will promote and facilitate value addition to locally-sourced raw materials by putting in place appropriate industrial infrastructure for small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), especially in rural areas. The investment in SMEs will ensure that the wealth being created remains in Zambia and is not externalised by foreign investors.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, with regard to infrastructure development, the PF Government is committed to investing heavily in Zambia’s economic infrastructure such as transport by linking all provincial capitals and opening up the country to investment, particularly in rural areas so as to enhance accessibility to markets. In order to realise this, in the 2013 Budget, there is an allocation of K3.4 billion to road infrastructure.

Sir, with regard to social sector policies and priorities, the hon. Minister of Finance, in his address, emphasised that the ultimate goal of the Government’s economic growth efforts and development strategy is to improve the quality of life for all Zambians.

Mr Speaker, kindly allow me to explain the above statement. With regard to education, in order to enhance access to quality education and skills development, the hon. Minister of Finance has allocated K5.6 billion. That is slightly over what was allocated to the education sector in 2012 which was K4.8 billion. These resources will go towards improving school infrastructure and the net recruitment of not less than 5,000 teachers. All these are clearly an indication of the Government’s efforts of wanting to ensure that quality education is delivered to our children, and hence contributing to equity and social justice.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us consult quietly. I am interested in listening to every word that comes out of the hon. Deputy Minister’s mouth. 

Laughter

The Deputy Chairperson: So, please, consult quietly.

You may proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Ms Kazunga: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was interrupted.

Sir, turning to the health sector, the Government’s resolve is to improve on service delivery at all levels. My Government will scale up the provision of essential drugs, medical equipment and other supplies to ensure that there are no stock outs to disturb quality health provision. In terms of expenditure allocation, the hon. Minister of Finance has increased the allocation to K3.3 trillion compared to K2.579 billion in 2012. Mr Speaker, it is important to note that some of these funds will also go towards infrastructure development in the health sector and also to facilitate the net recruitment of not less than 2,000 frontline medical personnel.

Finally, Mr Speaker, let me conclude by focusing on social protection. The other day, one hon. Member of Parliament lamented that funding towards social protection programmes has not been increased in the 2013 Budget. He further went on to state that the Social Transfer Scheme has not been scaled up and was still donor dependent. Allow me to inform this House that funding to the various social protection programmes has not been reduced. Secondly, the scaling up of the Social Cash Transfer is an on-going exercise. In order to cover the remaining districts, there are some triggers or pre-conditions that have been met, one of them being the procurement of an electronic payment system provider which was a hindrance before to our efforts to counter possible fiduciary risk. In 2013, the programme will be introduced to two additional districts, namely Milenge and Chienge, bringing the total number of districts to thirteen and supporting 65,400 households.

With regard to the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, we, currently, have a ten-year joint financing agreement with our co-operating partners to support the scheme with the understanding that the Government progressively increases its allocation to the programme every year. This ten-year financing agreement allows the Government to also allocate funds to other priority areas in my ministry.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion of Supply.

Sir, first of all, allow me to commend the hon. Minister of Finance for the elaborate manner in which he presented his Budget to the House. I want to thank him for one critical item that he stated on the Floor of this House. He stated that the route, which we shall take, will not be easy and will be full of challenges. So, for me, coming from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, one thing that immediately comes to mind is that for us to surmount the challenges that we face in this country, we will require a total change of mindset. We need to change our attitude towards work, productivity and production if this country has to move up another rank on the ladder of success.

Mr Speaker, it is the first time, perhaps, in the history of this country, that credence has been accorded to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. We have always been ranked at the bottom of the drawing board when it comes to financial or budgetary allocations.

Sir, for this year, the hon. Minister, knowing very well that we are grappling with issues of staffing levels in the ministry, inspections in terms of labour and productivity, realised the need to increase the allocation and, for us, as a ministry, speaking through my hon. Minister, who is just in front of me, we need to give the hon. Minister special commendation and positively reinforce him for the action that has been taken.

Mr Speaker, as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, I appreciate that the hon. Minister has, again, been able to adjust the tax threshold in terms of the workers’ take-home pay.

Sir, only last year, in the Budget, we were able to move the tax threshold from K1 million per month to K2 million per month. For this specific budgetary allocation, the hon. Minister has gone a step further by giving us another K200,000 which reflects a 10 per cent increase. The hon. Minister of Finance has gone further to justify the increase, in his Budget Speech, when he says that we need to attain inflationary levels that are not above 6 per cent.

Sir, what this means, therefore, is that the raising of the tax threshold by 10 per cent still gives us a buffer of plus or minus 4 per cent. There is still flexibility in terms of how a worker can manoeuvre to grapple with the inflationary trends that may come into this country.

Mr Speaker, the most important thing is that inflation only provides indemnity. The whole purpose is to restore an employee to the level he/she was at prior to suffering the shocks that could have come as a result of inflation. So, for us, as a ministry, coupled with the fat that we have just come from a situation where my hon. Minister recently prescribed a minimum wage, this provides a lot of comfort.

Sir, what remains is for the parties that are in individual contracts to look at how best they can vary their terms and conditions depending on the issues of the variables that are obtaining on the market. These could be variables of productivity as well as the unit cost of production. That is the basis upon which the conditions of service and employment can be varied. We thank the hon. Minister that the cushion has been adequately addressed in the collective bargaining processes because what is remaining is for the parties to go into collective bargaining processes and be able to enhance their take-home packages depending, again, on the variables that I have referred to.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to appreciate that we are involved in a critical process of labour inspections. We mentioned, earlier this year, that we are now grappling with the issue of understaffing. When we came to the ministry, the number of labour inspectors to cater for the whole country was below thirty. Now, with the rise in the number of districts that we have, we want to ensure that we are physically present in every district.

Sir, it is our conviction, with my hon. Minister, that to govern is to be physically present. Therefore, let me thank the hon. Minister for taking the initiative to enhance our budget and also for ensuring that this budget is able to meet the challenges we are facing at the moment. Obviously, with the political will that we have and with the direction we have under the able leadership of our President, we will be able to surmount these challenges.

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the allocation to human resource development. We need to build capacity in our staff if we have to provide quality service as a ministry in charge of productivity and driving this economy to another level.

Sir, allow me to also mention the issue of mobility in my ministry. We have had challenges of mobility in our ministry for a very long time now, like I said earlier, because of having been the least funded. Let me pay special commendation to the hon. Minister of Finance for that regard that has been given to this particular need. Obviously, we may not have adequate resources to go round the entire ministry, but the bottom line is that we will sit down and make a start. We should be able to procure vehicles that will enable us to reach out to so many districts in our country.

Mr Speaker, allow me to also comment on the issue of change of mindset which I referred to earlier. The emerging economies now such as India, China and Brazil were like us before. China just opened up in 1978 and, now, it is a super power economically and politically. Speaking as hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security, I can only say to my fellow Zambians that now is the time to change our attitude towards work. I know for sure that it can be done so long as there is practical commitment from each and every one of us. This is achievable.

Sir, let me talk about the issue of social protection that our Government has put in place through the hon. Minister of Finance. K892 billion has been set aside for social protection programmes and, according to the information that has been shared with us by the hon. Minister of Finance, K616.9 billion is for the Public Service Pension Fund. This is important because, for a long time now, we have had challenges of how to manage our social protection issues in our country. So, for the hon. Minister to have allocated such an amount to this, is a step in the right direction. The amount may not be adequate for now, but the bottom line is that a start is being made. For us, what is important is that we continue building on this because I know that the hon. Minister is cutting this coat according to the size of cloth. This is what we have in our resource envelope for now. We are not in the First World, but are in the Third World category.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to mention that we received a number of concerns from our colleagues in the Opposition. One concern that we noted was that, first of all, the increase of K200,000 on top of the K2 million was too little. This worries our ministry because it actually depicts certain levels of inconsistency. I could have said it depicts mediocrity but, to be parliamentary I will say, shifting the goal posts and it is quite regrettable.

Sir, it was here that my hon. Minister and I came under fire from our colleagues from the Opposition before the hon. Minister prescribed the minimum wage. They said Zambian workers had become worse off under the PF Government. Two or three weeks down the line, my hon. Minister ably prescribed the minimum wage and the goal posts changed. Now, we are being castigated for killing industries by the same colleagues who said that we are going to kill the industry. So, really, what can we do as a Government? Today, the hon. Minister of Finance says we are increasing the PAYE threshold by K200,000 but, again, the Opposition says it is too meagre.

Mr Speaker, I do not know what they want and we really need your guidance on what would be adequate for our colleagues because it is important in leadership that we are identifiable. We must always have a tag. When we say, no today, do not, all of a sudden, say, yes. I think that is not leadership.

Sir, let me now talk about the theme for the 2013 Budget which is “Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice.” In my humble opinion, what this means is that this Government, which is a Government for the Opposition also, is actually focused on making sure that everyone is brought on board in the governance process of this country regardless of their social divide or political diversity. We want to bring everyone into the governance of this country. That is why, in his own wisdom, our President invoked the provisions of Article 46 and 47 of the Republican Constitution which confer upon him the authority and right to appoint hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers from within Parliament. Now, when the President uses the Constitution correctly, the Constitution that we have actually sworn to uphold, then he is a wrong President. Where are we going? What is even more worrying is that some people who also want to govern our country are the very first to show ignorance with regard to the interpretation of simple articles in the Constitution. I think we need to be delivered, for lack of a better term.

Laughter

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, when it comes to the issue of …

Interruptions

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, may I be protected from that fat gentleman there.

Laughter

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, as regards social justice, it is astounding that our colleagues here, Hon. Dr Kazonga included, can even talk audaciously about the PF Government having watered down social justice. Those people on your left were bad when they were in the Government.

Interruptions

Dr Kazonga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, you know me.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: I rarely stand on points of order and my standing up is indicative of the serious nature of the point of order I am raising.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Is the hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in order to bring me into his debate when I am yet to throw my missiles after he has debated? 

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that the hon. Deputy Minister, in debating, was merely exercising the cordial relationship that exists between the two cousins.

You may continue.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your usual wisdom. The point I was trying to make is that the MMD was very vindictive and the Zambian people know that the MMD was simply bad. It is a party that really persecuted a lot of Zambians and never tolerated any divergent views. In case you do not know, it is the party that even constituted special teams called taskforces and I am one of the victims of those taskforces. Now that we are in power, these taskforces have been abolished. I think, for the MMD, the best is to be silent.

Laughter

Mr Mbulu: There is a lot of success in humility. We may forgive them but, if they open their mouths so widely, what is likely to happen is that they will be scratching scars. You know what happens when you scratch a scar; it is fresh blood that comes out. So, I think let the sleeping lions lie.

Interruptions

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, last but not the least, at the moment, my hon. Minister and I are involved in the process of labour law reforms and we are doing it so well. The process is running both in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt. The whole idea is to do away with all those repressive and oppressive pieces of legislation. We want to have a fresh beginning where Zambians can freely exercise their freedom of association and assembly and be able to speak freely and not the way it was in the past. Some of us could speak only in our offices and that kind of thing.

Mr Speaker, I think the least I can say is that this Budget must be supported by any well-meaning Zambian.

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

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, the very last thing I want to say is that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we are simply macrocosms of the bigger society. As we debate here, we should look at what other people out there are saying about the same Budget. Intellectuals, the Church and academia have all spoken highly of this Budget. So, what do we do since we are also a comparative body to the outsiders who are not in Parliament? I think it is better to get a comparative analysis; that is to compare and contrast and then conclude. So, in my humble opinion, the Zambian people have spoken. This Budget simply has to be adopted.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, I would like to share a few thoughts with my fellow Parliamentarians here. As far as energy is concerned, the intention of the Government is to ensure that Zambia is land linked and not landlocked. So, we are putting in place measures to ensure that we start exporting energy. We want to go beyond just getting rid of load shedding, but end up exporting energy to countries around us.

Mr Speaker, a lot has been said about this Budget. Some people have even looked at its cover. I, however, do not think that is necessary. We tend to waste a lot of time on the context of something, but forget the content. There is no way you can judge a book by the cover. Let us look at the content of something not the context.

Mr Speaker, a lot has also been said about energy. It has been alleged that the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) only load sheds in Kalingalinga or other shanty compounds, but not in places like Kabulonga. That is not true. When you are holding a responsible position in society and have a huge following of people, you have to be factual when making public statements. That is important because whatever you say influences a lot of people.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda, for making energy a priority sector in the 2013 National Budget. The allocation of K1.4 trillion, inclusive of part of the money from the Eurobond, to the energy sector in totality and K616 billion to our ministry in particular, demonstrates the Government’s recognition of the importance of this sector. The energy sector has the crucial role of keeping the wheels of the economy turning. 

It is, therefore, incumbent upon the ministry to ensure that each sector of the economy has reliable sources of energy, including the National Assembly. I remember when there was a blackout for two minutes here, people thought that it was the end of the world. For commerce and industry, in particular, our pledge is to work towards security of supply for petroleum and electricity.

Mr Speaker, in the past financial year, the energy sector faced numerous challenges such as fuel shortages and load shedding across the country. Load shedding in this country has been attributed to not having enough generation capacity. The current generation deficit is 250 MW. Load management is carried out to ensure system security. We call it load management in our circles and not load shedding. The level of load shedding is determined by the difference between the available generation capacity and the focused demand. It is on this basis that load management schedules are published in the print media and are also available on the ZESCO website.

Mr Speaker, come the end of 2013, load shedding will be reduced to a very minimal amount, if not done away with completely. It is against this backdrop that the ministry is pursuing several initiatives, including public-private partnerships (PPPs) to increase the generation capacity, transmission and distribution infrastructure and also programmes to expand rural access to electricity. I am sure you know that it is only 3 per cent of the rural communities that enjoy electricity. For the country as a whole, it is less than 25 per cent of our people that are connected to the national power grid. So, we want to ensure that all rural areas are catered for.

Mr Speaker, the following are the programmes the ministry will continue implementing in the 2013 financial year:

(a)Maamba Collieries is developing a thermal coal power plant which will generate 300 MW. This is being done with help from Nava Bharat PTE of Singapore;

(b)Ndola Energy Company Limited is currently constructing a 50 MW heavy oil plant in Ndola. The plant will be commissioned by the end of 2012. ZESCO Limited has already signed a power purchase agreement that will ensure all the power Ndola Energy Company Limited will generate is bought by ZESCO;

(c)the Kabompo Hydro-Electric Power Project, which is a 40 MW will be developed by the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC);

(d)the Shiwang’andu Hydropower, which is a 1 MW will be commissioned by the end of this year; 

(e)the Kalungwishi Hydropower Project, which is a 247 MW will be developed by the Lunzua Power Authority (LPA); and 

(f)the EMCO Coal Fired Power Plant, which is 300 MW, will be developed by EMCO Energy Zambia Limited.

Mr Speaker, with funds that have been allocated, we expect the following power projects to commence in the 2013 financial year:

(i)the Kafue Gorge Lower – 750 MW; and

(ii)the Batoka Gorge – 800 MW.

Mr Speaker, allow me, again, to express how grateful we are to the hon. Minister of Finance for allocating US$255 million of the proceeds of the Eurobond to the energy sector. From this amount, US$169 million will be allocated to Kafue Gorge Lower, which is a generation project, while US$89 million will be for transmission and distribution projects. The following are the transmission projects that the ministry will pursue in the 2013 financial year: 

(i)connection of the North-Western Province to the national grid;
(ii)the Pensulo/Kasama and Pensulo/Chipata 330 kV Project;
(iii)the Kariba North Bank Extension Power Evacuation Project;
(iv)connection of the Luangwa District to the national grid; and 
(v)the Itezhi-tezhi/Mumbwa/Lusaka West Transmission Line Project.
Mr Speaker, in the petroleum sector, our goal, during the 2013 financial year, is to ensure that security of supply of petroleum products to the nation is maintained at all times. The efforts are, therefore, twofold, that is, for infrastructure development and long-term supply contracts for petroleum products. Therefore, in terms of infrastructure development, the ministry will continue to establish and construct fuel depots in all provincial centres. This will increase storage capacity and contribute to enhancing security of supply of petroleum products as well as assure affordability of fuel in the country.

You may wish to know, Mr Speaker, that the Lusaka Fuel Depot will be commissioned in the first week of December while the Mpika Fuel Depot will be commissioned in January next year. The ministry also recently signed a contract with the Trafigura PTE of Singapore for the supply and delivery of 216,920,000 litres of diesel and 21,230,000 of unleaded petrol. 

Mr Speaker, under renewable energy, our ministry, in the coming financial year, will embark on several renewable energy programmes that will have a positive bearing on development, especially in the rural areas. These include solar and wind energy for water pumping, installation of water geysers and biogas digesters for cooking and lighting and the promotion of modern use of biomass, including biofuels. In order to quantify the potential of renewable energy, my ministry will commence the development of renewable energy resource map and continue undertaking geothermal investigations. The latter is being done by the Kalahari Geothermal Energy Company.

Under the renewable energy programmes mentioned above, we expect major positive impacts on other sectors such as education and health. Once electricity is connected in rural areas, many teachers will be attracted to work there and pupils will be reading more. The health services will also improve. In the Western Province, Mr Speaker, the ministry has put up a pilot project for solar geysers. The project is planned to expand and extend to the North-Western Province and other provinces across the country. With the above-mentioned projects, our aim is to have a positive impact on development which includes the creation of, at least, 90,000 jobs in the energy sector. 

Under the water sector, Mr Speaker, the ministry will continue with the assessment of the country’s water resources for both ground and surface water. This is meant to ascertain the potential and stability for various uses. In order to improve access to water resources, the Government will continue with water resources development programmes which will see a continuation of programmes in dam construction, rehabilitation and the construction of water points and boreholes equipped with hand pumps. The Government will continue to invest money in water resources infrastructure to increase access to water for economic and social development.

Mr Speaker, these are some of the things the ministry will do. We shall remain focused. Therefore, we need support from all hon. Members in this House. Of course, there are problems. For example, ZESCO put up electricity poles in the Western Province, but people cut them down. 

I would like to urge hon. Members of this House to sensitise the people on the importance of power in their areas. It is does not matter where we come from, we should work together. Like the President said, visit our offices. I have seen several hon. Members from the Opposition who have been to my office and I like that. We also enjoy the questions that are asked. We are not afraid of those questions. We enjoy them because they make us educate people outside this House. Some people did not know why load shedding takes place in the country but, through your questions, people now know. Some people did not know how many workers ZESCO employs and how much it is owed but, through your questions, people now know. This trend of asking questions in the House should continue. We will always support it.

Thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of this august House.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance, Mr Chikwanda, on growing the National Budget from K27.6 trillion in 2012 to K32.2 trillion in 2013. We all know that the population of our country is growing at a high and fast rate. The rapid growth in the population entails an increase in the socio-economic needs of the people. Therefore, for such needs to be met, more and more resources should be made available. I believe this is the wisdom behind the hon. Minister’s decision to propose a Budget of K32.2 trillion. Well done, hon. Minister!

Mr Speaker, I support the Budget Address because of the spirit in which it was thought out, “Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice”. Further, I wish to state that the address contained a number of aspirations, expectations and objectives and is in tandem with the President’s Address to the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh Assembly delivered on 21st September, 2012 on the Floor of this House.

Sir, the President’s Address and Budget Speech are a compass …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the Chair]

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that the Budget Address and the President’s Address are a compass which the Government will use to navigate the social, economic and political development of our country in 2013 and, maybe, beyond.

Sir, for obvious reasons, I shall restrict my debate to the livestock sub-sector in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. To that effect, allow me to preface the debate with a general observation on the development of livestock in our country. 

Mr Speaker, it is our view, as a Government, that, over the years, the livestock sector, which has great potential to substantially contribute to the growth of the national economy, has not been given its due consideration in terms of the allocation of resources. For example, in the 2010 Budget of K16,717,767,817,120, livestock was allocated K181,284,029,106. Out of this amount, only K74,485,348,489 was released.

Mr Speaker, owing to the inappropriate consideration, during the successive Budget, at the change of Government last year, we inherited a livestock sector characterised by the following:

(i)    lack of a defined policy on livestock development;

(ii)    poor extension services – shortage of staff because during the Public Service Reform Programme, one sector that suffered was the livestock sector under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock;

(iii)    dysfunctional and inadequate dipping facilities. The House many wish to know that out of a total of 702 communal dip tanks, only 261 were functioning, as at last year, while 461 were all dysfunctional; 

(iv)    neglected cattle ranches and breeding centres; 

(v)    poor availability of livestock drugs; 

(vi)    lack of water for livestock, 

(vii)    lack of organised market for livestock and livestock products; and

(viii)    poor animal husbandry, and the list goes on.

Sir, in the scenario which I have just described, it is difficult to see how anyone of us can expect livestock to develop or to be developed to a level where it can significantly contribute to the national economy. 

Mr Speaker, to redress the unfavourable situation and unlock the huge potential of the livestock sector, the Government has stated on page 33 of the President’s Address that:

“In order to further develop the livestock sector, my Government has intensified the livestock restocking programme, construction of livestock service centres and rehabilitation of breeding centres in various parts of the country. We have also intensified the animal disease control mechanism. My Government also plans to rehabilitate and restock the idle State ranches in Mporokoso and Senanga.”

Mr Speaker, the Budget Address, on page 4, paragraph 28 reads:

“To boost the livestock subsector, the Government will enhance livestock restocking, scale up animal disease research and development and implement disease free zones.”

Mr Speaker, further, we plan to rehabilitate the non-functional dip tanks and construct new ones in areas where dip tanks do not exist at the moment and employ additional staff because, at the moment, we have huge camps, many of which are not manned. However, even for those that are manned, it is virtually impossible for one veterinary assistant to provide a satisfactory service to the people who are located in various parts of the country and people who rear cattle. 

We also plan to carry out educational campaigns on good animal husbandry. At the moment, from my travels to some parts of the country, I have come to learn that some of our people who rear cattle, for example, do not know how to look after their animals. No wonder they keep dying. They do not just die due to diseases, but lack of good nutrition. I get surprised by the way people handle grass after the rainy season. Instead of bailing hay, they choose to wait for the grass to totally dry up so that they can set it on fire. However, the question is what happens during the lean months or the dry months of August, September and October when the pastures are totally dry? 

In view of that, it is important that there is a ministry to equip the people with the necessary education so that they can begin to look after their animals in a manner that will protect them even from some minor diseases that end up killing them.

Mr Speaker, we plan to build small and medium dams in order to provide water for livestock. It is very sad that some of our people in the villages draw water from wells and boreholes used by their animals. I think that it is wishful thinking for anyone to expect that we can take livestock production to another level with this situation. Therefore, we need to build dams. I am sure that the hon. Minister of Finance, who I know has passion for cattle, will agree with me on that being the only way we can take this sector to another level.

Mr Speaker, we also intend to produce semen for artificial insemination and improve traditional breeds. In fact, we have already acquired some bulls and, very shortly, we will start producing semen so that people in the villages, who still have the traditional breeds of cattle, can improve their breed. 

Mr Speaker, we have already started re-establishing livestock checkpoints to control outbreaks of diseases. We also intend to promote and develop the production of stock feed and facilitate the availability of drugs to farmers. Currently, if you live in one of those remote parts of our country and have a cow that is sick, you will watch helplessly until it dies because drugs for animals are not readily available. The distance between where our people live and where drugs are found is quite prohibitive. Therefore, we think that it will be wise for us to make these drugs available in future.

Mr Speaker, clearly, for these strategies and programmes to work, the ministry will require more money. Therefore, I earnestly appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to consider increasing the allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock so that we can deliver dip tanks to our people. 

Interruptions

Mr Kazabu:  In his own wisdom, he will know how to support this …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Bear in mind that you are an hon. Minister in the Government, and that is your document.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. 

The livestock sector I am talking about is one that we can look to in terms of growing the national economy because that is where the big money lies. However, we will not achieve this until we do the needful such as providing our people with dip tanks, ensuring that the extension services are right and creating livestock service centres. I think that we will be shooting in the wrong direction if we do not do this. However, I am very confident that we are focussed and we realise the potential of this sector. We will do all that it takes so that this sector can contribute meaningfully to the growth of our economy.

Mr Speaker, with these very few remarks, I rest my case, and I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Muchinga Province (Mr Sichone): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the 2013 Budget Address by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda. 

Sir, the 2013 Budget has given a lot of hope to the people of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, I can classify it as a pro-poor Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: I say so because the theme, itself, is: ‘Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice.’

Mr Speaker, for so many years, especially the last twenty years of MMD rule, this country missed the track in terms of social justice. It has come at the time when, for poverty to be addressed in this country, this aspect of social justice is very important. 

Sir, let me dwell on a few things that are exciting to the people of Muchinga Province and, indeed, the country at large. You will agree with me that, in the Budget Address, the hon. Minister of Finance has clearly indicated that there is K204 billion allocated to new districts and the new province, Muchinga, in the 2013 Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, last year, you will recall that there was only K30 billion allocated to infrastructure development in all the new districts and Muchinga Province. Now, that figure has been raised to K204 billion. What else do people want?

Sir, it is only this year that we have seen an increase in the number of boreholes to be drilled across the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions 

Mr Sichone: Last year, we had 1, 500 boreholes but, this year, there will be 2, 500.

Interruptions

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, the President has set a tone in terms of how he wants the people of this country to operate. In that tone, one would trace the President’s aim to provide water to the many people who have been drinking from contaminated wells and streams.

Sir, if this good will had started in 1991, whereby 2, 500 boreholes were drilled every year, in twenty years, simple mathematics tells us that we could have drilled 50, 000 by now, and that number of boreholes was going to make a big difference in this country. However, that could not have been achieved then because there was no good will. The good will has just been portrayed in the Budget Address to this House by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, I also want to comment on the K83.1 billion allocated to the Public Welfare Assistance (PWA) and Social Cash Transfer (SCT) schemes. Being pro-poor, the Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: … has allocated a significant amount of money to the PWA Scheme for the first time in this country. If this had started in 1991, the number of poor people could have automatically reduced in this country today.

Interruptions

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, by now, we could have had few poor people. What else do people want?

Sir, it has been observed that it was difficult for anybody to debate the Budget Address in this House, especially our colleagues on your left …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichone: … because the substance of the Budget was just above debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: It was just too good.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: The people out there have already provided feedback. Even if their representatives would not want to acknowledge that, they have heard that the people of this country have appreciated this Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions 

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, when we just took over Government, the PAYE threshold was pushed to K2 million. This year, we have further increased it to K2.2 million.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister is responding to issues that relate to Muchinga Province.

Continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, the K2.2 million threshold for PAYE simply means ...

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Sichone: ... that there will be more money in people’s pockets.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Come January, 2013, people will have K200, 000 automatically added to their expendable income.

Interruptions

Mr Sichone: Is that not what we promised as the PF?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: We are fulfilling our promises.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, on my left!

I note that some hon. Members on my left have resorted to cross-Floor debate while seated. You should desist from that. Allow the hon. Minister to respond. You were given an opportunity to debate. Now, it is time for the hon. Ministers to respond. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Allow them ample opportunity to do justice to the issues you raised.

You can proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, let me also talk about one thing which is lacking. In as much as we are talking about this Budget being perfect and historic in this country, there is a problem, which is lack of patriotism amongst both the people on the left and, possibly, some from the right in the streets of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, we are citizens of this country and it pains a lot to see that, in as much as we have a great Budget in place, the implementation agencies such as the Civil Service, in one way or another, want to tear it apart. The civil servants want to deliberately misapply resources as it is indicated in some of the reports we have been receiving in this House.

Sir, to show that they are patriotic, our colleagues on your left are supposed to support this Budget to the point that, by now, we could have all agreed to approve it and moved on to its implementation. So, lack of patriotism is one of the challenges that we have.

Mr Speaker, the other challenge is that of transforming the mindset of both the implementing agencies and our colleagues on your left. We need to see good where there is good and work extra hard where we are required to do so. We need to oppose only where it is due. You cannot be opposing just for the sake of it. This Budget is outstanding.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, I would also want to comment on the youths. The youths in this country …

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mulenga: Imwe ba Professor, ikaleni naimwe!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister for Muchinga in order to accuse the hon. Members of this House of being unpatriotic when each and every one of us in this House held the Constitution of this Republic and vowed to protect and defend it? Is he in order to debate like that? 

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

To the extent that the debate bordered on questioning the patriotism of hon. Members of Parliament who swore on the Bible to uphold the Constitution, he was definitely out of order, ... 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: ... unless evidence can be supplied to prove his allegation. For now, I have seen none.

Proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Apologise!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

There is no assistant Speaker on my left.

Proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, indeed, there are many youths on the streets, starting from the young age of fifteen to thirty five, who are wallowing in abject poverty.

Sir, this problem is a long-standing one. You saw that, through the will of His Excellency the President, ...

Hon. Government Members: Michael Chilufya Sata!

Mr Sichone … Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, the hon. Minister of Finance indicated that there is a plan to create 200, 000 jobs in 2013. That simply means that we will have to create more than a million jobs in the next five years and beyond which, I believe, we will do.

Sir, if we had the good will to create 200, 000 jobs for youths every year, and if this was imbedded in the successive budgets since 1991, how many unemployed youths were we going to remain with today? That question, obviously, cannot be answered by our colleagues on the left.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, let me also dwell on the removal of customs duty on motorcycles and ambulances. 

Sir, in my province, we have the Nakonde Border, which is one of our economic hubs for the province. It is a gateway to the East. Just across the border, our colleagues do not use bicycles as much as they use motorcycles. Even in rural areas, people ride motorcycles. They use motorised transport, which enables them to transport their tomatoes and onions from the village to the market on time and with very little damage.

Mr Speaker, the removal of customs duty on the importation of motorcycles is a blessing to the people of my province because I can assure you that, by December, 2013, there will be many farmers who will have motorcycles. The cost of a motor bike without duty is about K3 million … 

Hon. Government Member: Even K2 million
 
Mr Sichone: … or even K2.5 million in some cases. Now that the duty has been waved, farmers are very excited.

Mr Speaker, the K1 trillion increase in the budget for the health sector from the 2012 Budget, which translates to 40.7 per cent, is another indicator that the Government of his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, is a very serious Government. 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: I can assure you that this K1 trillion will be spent on the poor people in my province and in this country who are unable to access expensive health services.

Sir, we have 5,000 teachers earmarked to be employed in the education sector. In Muchinga Province, we have a lot of vacancies in terms of teaching staff. The human resource in this sector is not as adequate as required. The 5,000 jobs that will be created in 2013 in the education sector will definitely increase the number of people that are going to leave the streets. If this strategy was launched in 1991, we would have more teachers than pupils by now.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to comment on the K50 billion given to the youth for empowerment. Some have forgotten about the need to try and explore the future of our youth because we heard about the K40 billion Youth Empowerment Fund in 2006, which I wanted to benefit from as a youth, but I never saw that money trickle down to the ground.

Mr Speaker, the great assurance that we have is that in 2013, this money will be in the villages of Chama District near the game park which is a remote area with very few people.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: This is a commitment which the Government of His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata has made. 

Sir, I would also like to comment on the K475.1 billion that has been earmarked for the operations and expansion of infrastructure in universities, colleges and trades training institutes. For some time after Independence, this country only saw the opening of two public universities. The addition of Mulungushi University increased the number to three. The population has been growing and since 1991, the intelligent young Zambians were denied an opportunity to get university education. You had to first go into college before going to the university because you could not be part of the 5,000 people that were getting places at the University of Zambia. This will be history. We now have two universities in Muchinga Province.

Hon. Opposition Member: Why?

 Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, these two universities will provide the people of this country the rare opportunity of obtaining university education.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). The NCZ has been given K255 billion. What this means is that the NCZ will be revitalised. A lot of jobs will be created and the fertiliser, which in many cases has been imported, will now be available on the market all year round. This was part of the promise which the PF Government gave to … 

Mr B. Mutale: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Before you make your point of order, let us bear in mind the fact that, you, the Back Benchers, debated and now it is time for hon. Ministers to respond. I will be very reluctant to grant some of these points of order because we must allow hon. Ministers to respond. I hope you will meet the criteria for raising points of order. 

You may proceed.

Laughter

Mr B. Mutale: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to raise a very serious point of order. I rarely raise points of order.

Laughter

Mr B. Mutale: This might be the second time that I am raising a point of order. 

Sir, the hon. Members on your left had the opportunity to debate. The hon. Ministers are now reacting to their debates, but 99 per cent of them have all gone out of the House.

Interruptions

Mr B. Mutale: Okay, let me put it at 90 per cent. Are they in order to come to this House and not listen to the responses from the hon. Ministers? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The ruling to the very serious point of order is that as long as there is a quorum, the Business of the House will continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) will benefit from the recapitalisation of the railway sector and has been allocated K642.6 billion. You may wish to know that a good stretch of the TAZARA line passes through my province. It contributes over 20 per cent to the economy of Muchinga Province.

Mr Speaker, the recapitalisation implies that 12,000 plus jobs … 

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members on my right and on my left, please, let us observe silence. Hon. Members on my right, I find it extremely discomforting when a fellow hon. Member on your right is responding and you engage in loud consultations. I do not know what the meaning of that is. 

You may continue since silence has returned.
 
Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, I was talking about the recapitalisation of the railway sector. The Great North Road passes through Muchinga Province and we have a freight crisis. We have a challenge with regard to the number of vehicles on the Great North Road that pass through the province. This is because all the heavy duty capital goods are being delivered by road. This road has become very expensive to rehabilitate. We have created over 12,000 direct and indirect jobs for our neighbors in Tanzania as a result of the Great North Road.

Sir, the moment we recapitalise TAZARA, the 12,000 jobs will be transferred into Zambia. There will be no more trucks carrying copper on that road. The rehabilitation costs of this road will be reduced and the face of Muchinga Province will also be improved. 

Mr Speaker, lastly, I want to comment on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the process of developing this country. For many years, people with disabilities felt like they were not citizens of this country. It is only now that we have seen that the vehicles they use for transportation have had their custom duty waived. This is a Government that means well to the people of this country. It has the perfect leadership of His Excellency the President. If ,for the next ten years, this country continues to be under the same leadership of His Excellency the President, it will hit the highest point of development.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to debate on the Budget Address which was presented to this House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda. I commend the hon. Minister of Finance for the job well done. 

Mr Speaker, I am very disappointed to see that the hon. Members on your left have disappeared from this House. When we were on that side of the House, we did not…

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

A ruling has already been made on that. Proceed, hon. Member.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, there are issues which were raised by our colleagues and it is important that we respond to them.  Firstly, I want to quote what the hon. Minister of Finance said and …

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said, and I quote: 

“A total of K24.7 trillion or 76.8 per cent of this expenditure will be financed by raising domestic revenue.”

Sir, the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development commended this and I agree with him.  Last year, this was at 72 per cent but, now, it is at 76.8 per cent. This means that we are now running away from the issue of depending on donors. I, therefore, expected our colleagues on your left to praise the PF Government under the leadership of Mr Michael Chilufya Sata.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata has never failed. He was Minister of Local Government, Minister of Labour and Minister of Health and he delivered. He is still going to deliver to the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, this Government has committed itself to fighting corruption in this country and has provided K100 billion plus for this fight. It is only in this country where criminals become heroes. That is why I wanted Hon. Maxwell Mwale and Hon. Dora Siliya to be in the House so that I respond to all the issues that they raised. I agree with the hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security, Mr Mbulu, who said that the MMD have to keep quiet because they failed the people of Zambia and they have even asked for forgiveness because they did not do a good job. What else can they say in this House?

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has allocated K255 billion to the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF) to pay the retirees. Ask the MMD if they did that when they were in power. The pensioners were just languishing in the streets for five to six years without being paid.

Professor Lungwangwa walked out of the Chamber.

Hon. Government Members: Sit down!

Laughter

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, you can see, they are even running away from the House.

Laughter

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

The hon. Member has freedom of movement.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this year, we have provided K616 million so that we continue paying the retirees. These problems were left by the MMD. Why are they raising their voices on us? They did not want to listen to anyone when they were in power. The hon. Minister of Finance did present how we are going to spend the US$500 million Eurobond. He tabulated how the money shall be spent. The MMD did not do that at all. When we tried to advise them, they did not listen and they even misled Mr Rupiah Banda. Today, they are out of power and the Zambian people are watching. Their partners have said that they will never come back. You know the partners I am talking about.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the people of Zambia are watching.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Please, do not engage the hon. Member that is debating. Hon. Member, please, proceed.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, our able hon. Minister of Finance has provided K255 billion for the NCZ. For the past six to seven years, the MMD did not allocate any money to the NCZ. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, without disturbing your debate, bear in mind that you are hon. Deputy Minister of Defence and a number of issues that were raised touching your ministry have to be responded to. I know that you will be coming to that shortly. 

Please, proceed.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I am saying so because the MMD Government failed the people of Zambia and they need to be reminded. 

Mr Speaker, one hon. Member from the UPND talked about the establishment of Youth Training Skills Centres (YTSC), which is now in our hands. The Ministry of Finance released K6.5 billion for the Zambia National Service (ZNS) which is under the Ministry of Defence. We are rehabilitating Kamfinsa and Chiwopo in the Eastern Province. This will enable us recruit youths to train in carpentry, farming and other skills. We want each provincial centre in this country such as Mansa, Kasama and Lusaka to have a YTSC. We will have about ten YTSC. The target is that each training centre will have 500 youths. That is good progress. People thought that when His Excellency the President pronounced this, it should have ended there. We are on the ground. In 2013, this Government, through the Ministry of Finance will provide K10.6 billion so that we continue with these programmes. I have told the MMD and the people of Zambia that my President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata will deliver to the people of Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education did tell us that they will recruit 5,000 teachers. The Ministry of Health will recruit 2,000 health workers. The Zambia Police Service will recruit 800 policemen. Now, is that not job creation? The MMD Government did not do this in twenty years. They were just arrogant. When we stood to advise them in this House, they could not listen. We promise not to fall in their track. That is why we are on the right track. With the programmes which His Excellency has put in place, I can tell you that after ten years, the people of Zambia will request for the amendment of the Constitution because we will deliver. You saw what happened when His Excellency the President went to inspect the works on the roads and bridges. That was superb.

Laughter

Mr Mwila: The only people who cannot see where we are going are the blind. Therefore, I would like to say that we are on the right track. I can assure the people of Zambia that we shall fulifil our promises.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to debate on the Motion that was presented to this House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda.

Mr Speaker, in terms of my debate, and my representation of the people of Mwense Constituency, which is a rural constituency, I have a few words to say. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You are the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training, and Early Education, and you respond to the issues that are raised relating to your ministry. As an hon. Minister, all the constituencies are virtually yours.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance. 

Before I dwell much on my ministry, let me start by saying that, in 2011, when the elections were held, the Zambian people decided to make a fundamental change. The reason they decided to make that change in the governance of this country is that they recognised the political, social and economic failures that this country went through during the MMD Government’s twenty-year rule.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, sometimes, we do not want to be engaged in political talk but, as Zambians, we need to recognise that it is only fair, especially if we are factual, that the only way we will drive this country forward is when we tell the Zambian people the truth. The truth is that the only way this country will develop is when the Zambian people decide to make that change. We also need to develop a culture of Zambia versus Zambia, unlike developing a culture of Zambia versus Angola. The Zambian people have a fundamental responsibility to develop this country and, in this regard, there is a need to have a fundamental definition of the destination this country is headed for.

Hon. Government Members: Tell them.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Nasheniko ukubomfya fundamental.

Laughter

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, order!

I hope this is the last time that I will remind the hon. Members on my left not to interfere when another hon. Member is debating.

Mr Mabumba: … for the first time, this country has an experienced President by the name of Mr Michael Sata.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, it is not about personality, but the principle that His Excellency Mr Michael Sata brings to the Zambian people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: If you look at the Budget that has been presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, you will see that it only demonstrates that our Republican President aims at bringing social justice and decency to the Zambian people.

Mr Speaker, for instance, the council employees were not getting paid on time. We have read in the newspapers that all the councils throughout this country have been given grants. That is a way of providing social justice to the people who were not getting paid and social decency to the people who were even failing to meet the basic needs because the Government, then, was not able to pay them their money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, having said that, let me also look at the issue of infrastructure and how this relates to the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training and Early Education. If you look at our rural schools, sometimes, it is not easy to retain the teachers in these rural schools because of the non-availability of infrastructure, roads and electricity in these areas. However, like we all heard, the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development said ZESCO is heavily investing in the generation and distribution of power in this country. This entails that even the teachers that were not able to go to rural areas will go there because we will have excess electricity to supply to these areas. The rural areas will be accessible, and this will attract the teachers and enable them to return to the schools in these areas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we have schools along the line of rail but, if one got on a train today, it would probably take him/her four days to get to where he/she is going. We need to commend the Republican President for the decision to cancel the concession on Zambia Railways Limited. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Zambia Railways Limited has not been able to contribute to the social and economic development of this country. 

Mr Speaker, I would now like to talk about the Decentralisation Policy. Schools that are in Pemba, Nsama, Chipili and many other districts that His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata created do not have the social or public services. Therefore, with the K204 billion allocated, we are going to develop infrastructure in these newly-created districts. This will be able to attract and retain teachers in rural areas, including Mwense, my constituency. 

Mr Speaker, at one time, our colleagues complained that the President was creating too many districts. Now they are surprised because this Government has demonstrated commitment to the Zambian people. Instead of just creating districts in a vacuum, we have given those districts some money. 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I now come to the financial policy re-engineering. 

 Our colleagues have argued for windfall tax for some time now, and yet nobody has come to this House with some figures. All I have heard is that we can raise US$300 billion as windfall tax and so on and so forth. Where are the figures? Where is their research? If they go to the Zambia Chamber of Mines, they will be able to find research that has been conducted regionally. Which country is charging windfall tax? There is none in the region.  

Mr Speaker, windfall tax is not good for business in this country. It is neither good for job creation nor is it good for our social extended family fabric because if the mines went under care and maintenance, the few civil servants who would remain in employment might have their salaries affected. Some of the money we are getting from the mines goes to pay the workers who are in the Civil Service. 

Therefore, we should commend the Government and Hon. Chikwanda for having taken a cautious approach to mining taxation. We need to have a transitional incremental approach when it comes to the fiscal policy in the mining sector. Our pledge to the Zambian people was to broaden the tax base and this is what the Government is trying to address. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is a big spender. The restructuring of the Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA) is a welcome move. In 2013, procurement decisions will be made in the ministry. This means that we are going to expedite the procurement processes unlike what they are now. This will mean that construction of schools will be speeded up.

Mr Speaker, we should thank the Government for abolishing interests that were being charged on savings, fixed deposit accounts and other financial instruments. This entails that if our teachers in rural areas have an account with a bank, they will have some savings because the tax that they used to contribute on the basis of the money that they have in their bank accounts is no longer there. This is an important policy decision that this Government has made because it will help the banks to mobilise their resources and even our colleagues who were burying money in bunkers will …

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: … no longer do so. They will simply take it to the banks and earn interest without paying any tax.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we are grateful to the hon. Minister of Finance for the money that has been allocated to the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. This money will be used to complete the schools we inherited from our colleagues as well as start new infrastructure development at the secondary and primary school sub-sectors. 

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, the money which has been allocated to the ministry, will help in policy reviews. We have the Education Act of 1996, which I do not know how long ago it was last amended, and yet things have changed. Therefore, the budgetary allocation, in accordance with the President’s Speech, is going to help us review our policies on education and revolutionalise our bursaries scheme when the Loans Authority is formulated.

Sir, my colleagues have debated on the recruitment of teachers. At one time, Hon. Mutati mentioned, in this House, that he had no teachers in his constituency, especially for the community schools. However, I wish to inform him that, with the policy of recruiting 5, 000 teachers, community schools that do not have teachers will be provided with teachers. This is an important policy direction in moving the ministry forward. 

Mr Speaker, it is also important to note that all these challenges that the ministry is facing were inherited from our colleagues, the MMD. Twenty years in power was a long time. I was in Kabwe a few weeks ago and noted that even schools in the urban area did not have proper ablution rooms. As the hon. Minister already mentioned, part of this Budget is going to be used to start addressing some of these historical challenges in the ministry which were due to administrative failure by our colleagues who were mandated to run this country for twenty years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the PF Government means well for the people of Zambia and we, in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, are not going to abdicate our responsibility to them. We will build schools, recruit teachers and build toilets for them. This is because we want to underscore the difference between the MMD and the PF Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! The MMD!

Mr Mabumba: Sir, they managed to convert only one college into a university, Mulungushi University. As I speak, we have six universities …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: … that are either tendered for or being constructed. 

Sir, the reason the people of Zambia changed the Government was that they wanted to bring in His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata who is an action-oriented President, to change the direction of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: For those who want to continue arguing, the truth is that this Government is going to make a difference. That is why some of us had to come on board. So, we are committed to the Zambian people and we will make that difference.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

(Debate adjourned)

ADJOURNMENT

The Minister of Finance and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

__________

The House adjourned at 1933 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 31st October, 2012.

WRITTEN REPLY TO QUESTION

MAYUKWAYUKWA SECONDARY SCHOOL

225.Mr Taundi (Mangango) asked the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)when the Government would complete constructing Mayukwayukwa Secondary School in Mangango Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)what the total cost of constructing the school was;

(c)when the school would be opened to the public; and

(d)whether the school would cater for both boys and girls.

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the construction of Mayukwayukwa Secondary School in Mangango Constituency is expected to be completed in 2013.

Sir, the total cost of construction of Mayukwayukwa Boarding Secondary School is K38,540,379,729.17.

Mr Speaker, the school will be opened to the public in 2013, and it will cater for both girls and boys.

I thank you, Sir.

     

Tuesday, 30th October, 2006

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

NATIONAL ANTHEM

PRAYER
__________

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

DISTICT INFORMATION OFFICER FOR MULOBEZI

224.Mr Sililo (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting:

(a)when a district information officer would be posted to Mulobezi District; and

(b)when transport would be provided for the district office.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kapeya): Mr Speaker, Mulobezi falls in the category of fifteen newly-created districts across the Republic of Zambia. This means that the staffing and equipping of this district will have to wait for approval of structures and operational budgets. This process is driven by the Management Development Division (MDD) at Cabinet Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Mr Speaker, once the structures are finalised and officers posted to the district, resources and equipment, which include transport, will be provided to the district.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how long the process will take for the officers from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to get to Mulobezi District.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, the MDD is already working on the process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, the question is how long will this process be.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Sakeni): Mr Speaker, our ministry will advertise for the recruitment of district information officers. Once we get the approval from the MDD, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) will then recruit the officers. I am positive that this will be realised in the next six months.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, I would like to take advantage of the question that is on the Floor of this House to ask a similar one. When will Sesheke be provided with transport?

Mr Speaker: Order!

That is a new question. 

BOUNDARY WRANGLE

225. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs what measures the Government had taken to resolve the boundary wrangle which has persisted over thirty years in the Mpweto/Kaputa area between the Republic of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dr Lungu): Mr Speaker, I wish to state, from the beginning, that although part of the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to maintain international relations, the response for question 225 regarding the boundary wrangle in Mpweto/Kaputa was prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. This is because boundary issues fall under the Surveyor-General’s Office in the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. 

Mr Speaker, the Government has been actively engaging the DRC Government on the disputed border areas. This resulted in the establishment of the Special Joint Technical Committee of Experts on the Zambia and DRC Border Dispute by the two presidents of the respective countries in August, 1982 through a declaration at Gbadolite in the DRC.

Mr Speaker, the terms of reference for the committee of experts which were agreed by the two countries were as follows:

(a)to interpret the Treaty of 12th May, 1894 for the benefit of the two countries;

(b)to study the course of the boundary in any area where it may be necessary and make proposals for the two governments.

(c)to cause demarcation of the boundary if need be, through the construction of boundary beacons which will be described in a protocol to be submitted to the two governments for ratification. 

Mr Speaker, of the above terms of reference that constituted the main agenda of the committee, so far items (a) and (b) have been satisfactorily disposed of. Item (c) remains to be done before the committee can accomplish its mission. The committee of experts met sixteen times, eight times in Zambia and eight times in the DRC, since it was established.

Sir, the part of the Zambia/Congo DR Border between Lakes Mweru and Tanganyika remains unmarked with boundary beacons though it was directed by the committee in 2010, for the works to commence in 2011. However, the works have not been done due to the political instability in the DRC.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, reports which are reaching me are that part of the land in question has been taken over by our colleagues from the DRC. May I know the quickest intervention that the ministry intends to put in place so as to normalise the situation in that part of the country.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, I wish to state that it is not true that the land in question has been taken over by our colleagues.

I thank you, Sir.

Interruptions

Hon. Opposition Members: Go on!

Mr Speaker: Order!

There was another arm of the question that has not been attended to.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the committee is still pursuing the matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, taking advantage of the question asked and also the good answer that the hon. Deputy Minister has provided, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Ng’onga: … I would like to find out if there are any intentions by the Government to inform the people of Kaputa about these boundary disputes.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, we said that the two governments are working together. We have established a joint committee. We have said that the committee has met sixteen times; eight times in the DRC and eight times in Zambia. We are actively engaging the DRC so that we can come up with a solution to the boundary wrangle. The two sides involved have already agreed on certain issues. The committee will do everything possible to solve the problem. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that the delay in putting up beacons on the stretch between Mweru and Tanganyika is due to the political instability in the region. I would like a clarification on this issue because the report that reached me …

Interruptions 

Mr Simfukwe: … last year was that there were no funds to put up the beacons. Have funds now been found and it is just the political instability which is delaying the process?

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, the reports that are reaching my colleagues …

Laughter

Mr Lubinda: … cannot be substantiated. We cannot vouch for those reports because we do not know their source. The reliable information is the one that we have presented. The members of the committee met and agreed that we must put up beacons between Mweru and Tanganyika. No action has taken place because of the political instability in the eastern part of the DRC. 

Sir, my colleague has also indicated that our committee will meet soon to seek a resolution to this matter. So, all those unreliable sources must be discounted. I would like to urge you to take the answers that have been provided by your Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, reports reaching us in Parliament …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … indicate that this question has been with us for a long time. There was an agreement that this particular border line would be constructed when funds are made available. I would like to know when the construction works will be done. The former hon. Member of Parliament, Dr Katele Kalumba used to ask this question every other day. The answer on the Floor of this House was that the works would commence when funds were made available. 

Sir, these are the reports reaching us in the House. When will the funds be found so that this demarcation is done?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the report that I would like this House to have is the one which was issued by the hon. Deputy Minister. The hon. Deputy Minister said that this matter has been outstanding since 1982. It is not a new matter at all. So, that point must be acknowledged.

Sir, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that the committee was established in 1982 and, yes, indeed, there have been repeated questions on this matter in this House. In the past, the answer could have been that the Government did not provide any allocation for this. However, the current position is that even notwithstanding financial considerations, the issue also hinges on the political instability in the DRC. Unless the situation there normalises, it would not be easy for people to go and put up beacons bearing in mind the fact that the activity would be a joint responsibility of the two sovereign states. Zambia, alone, cannot proceed with that kind of assignment. It requires the support and participation of our neighbour, the DRC.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, considering that the political instability in eastern Congo might last long, is the Government considering stabilising the situation along the border by deploying our military forces so that they can maintain peace, order and stability in the area to enable the process of putting up beacons?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, Hon. Charles Kakoma is fully cognisant of the fact that the instability in the DRC is a matter of sovereignty. There is no way Zambia can deploy soldiers to try and sort out the problems of the DRC unless it is done through regional organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) or the African Union (AU) or the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region.

Sir, Zambia, as a sovereign State, cannot go into the DRC to stabilise the situation there. What I am about to say has been stated twice by myself and the hon. Deputy Minister. We have now decided that the members of the committee should meet and consider the issues involved in setting up beacons in that part of our country. So, we are not sitting back because of the political instability. We are looking at various ways of proceeding with the setting up of the boundary beacons.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN MULOBEZI

227. Mr Sililo asked the hon. Minister of Health:

(a)how many doctors, clinical officers and nurses were in Mulobezi District as of June, 2012; and

(b)when more medical personnel would be posted to health institutions in Mulobezi, especially Sichili Mission Hospital which had been without a doctor for some time.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, as of June, 2012, there were four doctors, three clinical officers and thirty-two nurses. The House may further wish to note that the filling of positions to reduce the variance between the approved establishment and staff in posts in Mulobezi District and all health facilities countrywide, Sichili Mission Hospital inclusive, is  being done in phases.

Sir, the Government has provided K77.8 billion for net recruitment this year and Mulobezi District has benefited from this allocation. Three registered nurses have been posted to Sichili Mission Hospital during Phase II of the recruitment exercise.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I am wondering where the hon. Minister is getting the four doctors who are in Sichili from. Are there doctors in Sichili? As far as I know, there are no doctors.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the establishment for Sichili is six doctors and the existing position is four doctors. I do not think they have disappeared. They are there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the question that has been asked by the hon. Member for Mulobezi Constituency is very important. May I know whether there are doctors in Sichili. Can the hon. Minister tell us the truth as to the prevailing situation in Mulobezi. 

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member points his finger all the time, but he is pointing at a wrong situation. 

Sir, the establishment in Sichili, as of 2012, is six doctors. The existing number, as of that date, is four and we have recruited more doctors. Therefore, we will send more to doctors to Sichili.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is emphasising on the establishment that is supposed to be at Sichili. Can he assure this House that the four doctors he is mentioning are verifiable and we can send a delegation to verify and establish the veracity of his statement?

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member’s question is verifiable. He can go there and come back to attest to the fact that there are doctors in Sichili. Where can they disappear to? They are there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, one other way of verifying the presence of a human being is by name.

Laughter

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minister to name the four doctors who are at Sichili. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the question said: “How many doctors are available?” There are four existing medical doctors.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, I am worried by this particular question and the answer that has been given. There is a statement challenging the hon. Minister about those four doctors that he has indicated out of an establishment of six. Can the hon. Minister guide us. He is being challenged on the existence of those four doctors. What does he hope to do next?

Mr Speaker: I will request the hon. Minister to supply the names of the doctors before the end of the week.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

ZAMBIAN DELEGATION TO CHINA-AFRICA CO-OPERATION MEETING

228. Mr Chisala asked His Honour the Vice-President:

    (a)    how many members of the Zambian delegation attended the China-Africa Co-operation meeting in Beijing in 2011.

    (b)    how much money was spent on the trip for the entire delegation.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, the meeting took place in Hangzhou, not Beijing. The Zambian delegation that attended the 8th Senior Officials Meeting of the Forum on China-African Co-operation comprised four senior members, two from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters and another two from the Zambian Embassy in China. The two from the Zambian Embassy in China were the Ambassador and an officer.

Sir, the money spent on the trip for the entire delegation was K85,276,228.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, arising from the … 

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the question asked by Hon. Chisala is very specific. It is talking about a particular meeting held in a particular town in a particular year. The answer that has been given by His Honour the Vice-President is talking about a meeting held in another town in the same year. Procedurally, if the question is specific, how do you paraphrase it and make an answer? If there was no meeting, they should say there was no meeting held in Beijing rather than answering a question that is not on the order paper.

Hon. Opposition Members; Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling on this.

Hon. Opposition Members; Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chilubi is on the Floor. After he poses his question, may His Honor the Vice-President take note of the observation made by the Hon. Member for Monze Central and clarify the matter.

Mr Chisala: May I know what the benefits of that trip were.

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let His Honor the Vice-President respond.

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, the benefits to Zambia from this meeting, the one that is  … 

Hon. Opposition Members: Which one?

 The Vice-President: Let me clear up Hon. Mwiimbu’s point of order.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Be patient. He will come round to it.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the meeting that was referred to was completely ambiguous. It was not just any odd meeting held in China. It was a Zambia/Africa,…

Interruptions

The Vice-President: Let me just say exactly what the question says.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Order!

It is a very cautious and fair observation. 

Laughter

Hon. Opposition Members: Boma, Boma!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the question says, “How many members of the Zambian delegation attended the China/Africa Co-operation Meeting?” That happens to be unambiguous because there was only one such meeting held in August, 2011. We did not want to, actually, start a pedantry sort of exercise in sending questions back because a wrong town was named. Therefore, we have answered it to make it clear to most people except for the most extreme pedants and points of order raised.

Laughter

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we are answering the question. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, with your permission, I will answer the follow-up question.

Mr Speaker: Please, proceed. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as a founder member State of the Forum on China/Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) and a leading African beneficiary of the Chinese Development Corporation (CDC), Zambia actively participated in the meeting and had an influence on the outcome document adopted by the ministerial committee of FOCAC in the Beijing Conference of 2012 and the Beijing FOCAC Action Plan 2013 to 2015 document. The Action Plan outlines five major courses of action to be implemented under the FOCAC umbrella. Zambia hopes to benefit, of course, through increased Chinese investment in African countries. Zambia will also benefit from Chinese assistance and support to regional African integration to the combined FOCAC efforts at promoting peace and stability in African countries.

I thank you, Sir.
FOOTBALL TROPHIES IN ZAMBIA

229. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Youth and Sport:

(a)what trophies were competed for annually by football clubs under the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ); and

(b)of the trophies at (a) above, which ones were competed for under the following categories:

(i)Division Two;

(ii)Division One; and

(iii)Premier Division.

The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Mubukwanu): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this august House that the following are the trophies that are competed for under FAZ. These are the Samuel Zoom Ndhlovu Charity Shield and the Barclays Cup. 

Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that the Samuel Zoom Ndhlovu Charity Shield is the opener for the Premier League. The Division Two teams presently compete for their league championship only.  The Division One League teams play for the league championship and the top four teams are allowed to compete for the Barclays Cup.

The Super Division teams compete for the following:

(a)the MTN Super League Championship and Trophy;

(b)the Samuel Zoom Ndhlovu Charity Shield; and

(c)the Barclays Cup.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, why do we have a limited number of trophies being competed for? Is it because we do not have many sponsors in the country?

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, I think one appeal this Government has been making to the corporate world is to take an active role in sponsoring some of the tournaments. As a Government, we stand ready and encourage the private sector to come up with more sponsorships as this will continue promoting sport.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, do the Division One and Division Two clubs receive any incentives from the Government?

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, there are no direct incentives that are given to them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, which one of the trophies has got the highest prize?

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, by sponsorship, the Barclays Cup is now standing at K1 billion and has the highest value.

I thank you, Sir.

GWEMBE COURT BUILDING

230. Mr Ntundu asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)when the Government would construct a Magistrate’s Court building in Gwembe; and

(b)when local court buildings in Gwembe District would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the construction of Gwembe Magistrate’s Court and the rehabilitation of the Gwembe Local Court have also been budgeted for in the 2013 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

ZAMBIA REVENUE AUTHORITY

231. Mr Ntundu asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)what the wage bill for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) was, countrywide as of June, 2012 for the following categories:

(i)senior management;

(ii)middle management; and

(iii)the rest of the employees;

(b)how much money, on a monthly basis, the ZRA received from the Government as grants; and

(c)whether the grant was given as a percentage of the revenue collected.

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, the wage bill for the ZRA countrywide as of June, 2012 for the following categories of staff is:

Category    Amount (K bn)

Senior Management    3.66 

Middle Management    19.38 

Rest of employees    54.18 

Mr Speaker, the amount that the ZRA receives from the Government, as a grant, differs from year to year. In 2012, the ZRA was allocated a total Government grant of K266.5 billion which translates to an average of K22.2 billion per month for the institution’s operations. A further grant of K120 billion was allocated to facilitate the effective implementation of the ZRA Modernisation Programme. 

Mr Speaker, lastly, the ZRA, just like any other grant-aided institution, receives a monthly grant from the Government as per appropriated Budget by Parliament. The money funded to the ZRA is based on the total cost of programmes and activities that the institution plans to discharge in a given year, and not as a percentage of the revenues collected.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, the ZRA does overcharge customers in order to meet its target. Does it have percentages of the revenue that it is supposed to collect from institutions? 

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, first of all, the Government payment structure is not performance based, but it is across the board with prescribed salaries. There is no record of anyone being overcharged. If there is one, then there is an appeals avenue through which they can appeal and complain against being overcharged. Everyone pays according to the standard prescribed fees and charges.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there is no institution that is Government-aided and gets a percentage of their revenue collections. May I find out from him whether he is aware that the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), which is under the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), under the law, gets a 3 per cent of its earnings. If he is aware, what is he going to do about it?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, let me admit that I am not aware of that, but I will undertake investigations on that assertion made by the hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just indicated that K3.6 billion has been allocated to the management. May I find out from him the number of people that are in management and the amount that each person will get roughly?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, senior management would entail a number of commissioners but, with regard to the precise figures, that is a new question that I would need to research on.

I thank you, Sir.

LIVESTOCK FARMERS IN ZAMBIA

232. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    how many commercial livestock farmers there were in Zambia as of 30th May, 2012, province by province; and

(b)    what the total cattle population was, as of June, 2012, province by province.

  The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, as of 30th May, 2012, there were 800 commercial livestock farmers owning 1,159 farms countrywide. The following is the distribution of the farms, province by province.

        District    Number of Commercial Farms

    Southern    Choma    43
    Kalomo        72
    Kazungula        21
    Livingstone        31
    Mazabuka        64
    Monze        70
    Total        301

    Lusaka     Kafue            57
    Chongwe        55
    Total        112

    Central    Kabwe        107
        Kapiri Mposhi    87
        Mkushi        87
        Serenje        240
    Chibombo        55
    Mumbwa    34
    Total    610

    Copperbelt    Chingola    13
        Kalulushi            4
    Kitwe    15
    Luanshya    5
    Masaiti    6
    Mpongwe    22
    Mufulira    2
    Ndola    15
    Total     82

    Eastern    Lundazi    15
    Petauke    3
    Nyimba    4
    Total    22

    Northern     Kasama    20
    Total    20

    North-Western    12
    Total    12

    Luapula    0
    Total    0

    Western    0
    Total    0

    Total No. of Farms    1,159

Mr Speaker, the following is the total cattle population in Zambia as of June, 2012, province by province:

    Province    No. of Cattle

    Central    272,945
    Copperbelt    64,357
    Luapula    13,960
    Lusaka    165,838
    North-Western    252,420
    Southern    1,009,257
    Western    1,316,050
    Eastern    291,645
    Northern    52,026
    Total    3,438,498

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, over 3 million cattle is too small a number compared to the population of this country. I would like to find out how the Government intends to boost the production of cattle in this country.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, the Government has strategies and programmes that are intended to increase the total population of cattle from 3.4 million to a higher figure. Some of the strategies in the plans include the establishment of livestock service centres and breeding centres, revamping of the Mazabuka Artificial Insemination Station and re-organising of the extension service. We are also taking measures to vigorously fight the diseases that keep killing the animals both in the countryside and on the farms along the line of rail. These are some of the measures that we think, if made functional, can help increase the total population of cattle in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, about two months ago, the President of the Republic of Zambia made a public statement that my party president, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, owns more cattle than the whole of the Southern Province. However, according to the statement made by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, he has indicated to the nation that there are about 1 million head of cattle in the Southern Province. Since his ministry is responsible for collecting statistics of all the commercial farmers who are involved in cattle rearing in this country, can the hon. Minister confirm to this House, and the nation, whether Mr Hakainde Hichilema owns more than 1 million head of cattle in the Southern Province?

Laughter

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we can only talk about the statistics that we have. We are not responsible for information that is obtained from other sources. The statistics that I gave are what are on record and, as a ministry, we stand by them.   

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that one of the measures undertaken by his ministry to increase the cattle population is to fight diseases. I would like to know whether his ministry has the intention of manufacturing vaccines for cattle within the country. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, at the moment, various vaccines are produced in Malawi. This is as a result of the SADC Protocol. 

However, we already have a pilot scheme of producing some vaccines at our Central Laboratory Research Station. We think that it would be good for us, as a nation, to produce our own vaccines because, sometimes, it is a problem to procure these vaccines from elsewhere. We will, therefore, intensify the production of some of the vaccines in the country. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Chungu (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, I know of farmers in Namwala who own more than 1,000 cattle, but are missing on the list of commercial farmers in the Southern Province. May I find out from the hon. Minister what the definition of a commercial farmer is. 

Ms Kalima: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, it is true that in Namwala District some people have large herds of cattle. However, the condition on which one can be classified as a commercial farmer is that his/her farm has to be on title. If, therefore, one rears cattle on a piece of land which is under the customary land tenure, he/she is not qualified to be a commercial farmer. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Interruptions

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, in other words, is the hon. Minister confirming that his statistics are wrong?

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that the statistics are wrong because they are correct. As a ministry, the only livestock farmers who are recorded as commercial farmers are those whose farms are on title. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the low numbers of cattle in Luapula Province worry me a lot. Is it because our colleagues are allergic to seeing animals moving freely because they enjoy eating them? Can the hon. Minister confirm if the depletion is as a result of not wanting to ukuchusha umunani as they are fond of saying? 

Laughter 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, it is not because of what is being suggested. As you will note from the record, there are 13,960 cattle in Luapula Province. It is just a question of our people in Luapula coming on board after other areas had long started rearing cattle. The people in Luapula are catching up, and very quickly so. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that the number of cattle on record is the total number of the animals in the Southern Province, including traditional herds. This being the case, and if the President of Zambia was correct by saying that Mr Hichilema has more cattle than all the people in the province, I would like to know if the total number of cattle given includes Mr Hichilema’s or are his not on record? 

Laughter 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, that is a new question from the hon. Member. 

I thank you, Sir.

Laughter 

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the Government has any plans to set a minimum floor price for cattle, as cattle farmers are being exploited currently. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, we do not have such plans. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the Government has intentions of increasing the cattle population from 3.4 million. What is the figure that they are aiming at?

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, it is a figure above 3.4 million. 

I thank you, Sir.

Laughter 

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said rearing cattle on a piece of land on title qualifies one to be a commercial farmer. Is there any other condition apart from a title deed that qualifies one to be categorised as a commercial farmer?

Mr Speaker: Please, note that the correct nomenclature is commercial livestock farmer. We do not want to confuse the debate. 

The hon. Minister may continue. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, like I already explained, for any livestock farm to be classified as commercial, it should be on title. I am not aware of any other conditions.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Siamunene (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the condition for one to qualify as a commercial livestock farmer is a title deed. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry has any deliberate policy to ensure that farmers that are not recorded get title deeds in the near future so that we have the correct number of head of cattle in the country. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, for any livestock farmer to collect a certificate of title is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, but that of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. 

I thank you, Sir.  

Mr Chisanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned a number of incentives given to commercial livestock farmers. I would like the hon. Minister to confirm that there are no incentives given to farmers in Mkushi and that they have been doing things on their own. 

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, at no time did I refer to any incentives. What I referred to are strategies and programmes that are designed to develop the livestock industry. 

I thank you, Sir. 
MAIZE SATELLITE DEPOTS IN CHILUBI

233. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)how much maize, in tonnes, was destroyed by the Food Reserve Agency  (FRA) at Matipa Satellite Depot in Chilubi District in July, 2012;

(b)from which satellite depots the maize at (a) was collected ; and

(c)when the ministry would establish additional satellite depots in Chilubi District. 

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, in July, 2012, the FRA destroyed 94 metric tonnes of rotten maize at Matipa Depot. 

Mr Speaker, the maize was collected from Matipa, Chitimali, Mubili and Kaseya satellite depots, which is part of Luwingu District. 

Sir, Chilubi District already has satellite depots located at Matipa, Chitimali and Mubili. These depots are currently operational and receiving grain.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, may I know why the maize got rotten?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the maize got rotten because some of it was stocked under tents. It is natural that with the moisture content that comes with the seasons, the maize gets rotten.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has confirmed that the maize got rotten. What measures have been put in place to prevent the same situation from recurring?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, this year, we have ferried most of the maize from satellite depots to the holding depots. Therefore, we expect that there is going to be very little damage arising from the exposure of maize to the elements that led to rotting.

Sir, most of the maize that we have bought this year is kept under tents because we bought sufficient tents. Those who have been travelling around the country will agree with me that most of the satellite depots have tents. So, covering of the maize and its transportation from the satellite depots to the holding depots will prevent further wastage.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the moisture content of maize is 12 per cent. How sure are we that the Government has not bought maize with high moisture content this year?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, that was not the answer that we gave. What we said is that some of the maize went to waste because it had attracted moisture from the base, not as a result of it having been bought before it had dried sufficiently, but because of the rains.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I just want my brother to confirm that the situation that was obtaining under the MMD Government, in which we used to have maize getting rotten, is also obtaining under the PF Government because this is 2012.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, I have just returned from Mufumbwe …

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Wait for the response.

Mr Chenda: … and we inspected some satellite depots there. Most of the maize that was bought has been transported to holding depots while that which is being held in satellite depots is well-covered. This year, we managed the situation very effectively. I speak from what I have seen. I am sure most hon. Members of Parliament here who come from the rural areas have seen that most of the satellite depots have been well managed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, Chilubi has been a district for a long time. Does the hon. Minister have plans to give it a holding depot for maize?

Mr Chisala: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the quantity of maize that is produced in Chilubi does not justify the establishment of a holding depot there. It is economical for us to pick up the maize and take it to a depot elsewhere.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Monde (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, what criterion did the hon. Minister use to choose to inspect depots in Mufumbwe whilst we have many challenges countrywide, especially that it is election time?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Why?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock is …

Ms Kalima: Why?

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Chenda: … at liberty to inspect agricultural programmes throughout the country.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Chenda: I just picked the North-Western Province, and I am glad to report that what I saw there is very good.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, in other countries, the maize that goes to waste is converted into stock feed. Why is the Zambian Government not doing the same, instead of destroying the maize?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, most of this maize had been soaked for more than one season and was beyond consumption, including for livestock. So, we had to destroy it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said most of the maize has been ferried to holding depots while most of what is still in satellite depots is covered with tents. That answer, to me, implies that there are some depots where maize has not been ferried to holding depots or covered with tents. May I know which depots these are.

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, I am not in a position to give the exact statistics. However, the position is that wherever the maize has not been ferried to holding depots, it has been covered by tents to protect it from the rains. However, the intention is to haul it to the holding depots as quickly as possible. This exercise has been going on very smoothly and effectively.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, it seems that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock is using his weekends to inspect holding depots. Can he assure the people of Nalikwanda that he will be able to visit and inspect the holding depots within the shortest possible time before the rainy season?

Laughter

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Livestock, Hon. Kazabu, has just returned from the Western Province where he was inspecting some projects, including Nalikwanda.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

__________{mospagebreak}

MOTIONS

BUDGET 2013

(Debate resumed)

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, when the House adjourned on Friday last week, I was discussing the legal framework and asked the hon. Minister of Finance to seriously assist the Ministry of Justice, in terms of funding, so that we can strengthen the legal framework.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that we should not just look at issues of politicians being visited by the law in a very resolute manner. We have very serious problems such as people misusing funds that were given to us by other taxpayers who are still roaming the streets. Recently, we saw people stealing equipment at the Cancer Diseases Hospital. These are very serious issues and the people responsible should be charged with attempted murder, and this is murder more than sabotage and espionage.

Sir, on tourism, the Ministry of Finance should seriously look at incentives for people who own hotels, lodges and guesthouses in Zambia to encourage tourists to come into this country. I say so because Zambia is, indeed, one of the most expensive tourist destinations because of the too many taxes that the hotels, lodges and guesthouses are paying. I think that there is a need for the Government to pay a lot of attention to this sector. However, in doing so, it should not only look at Livingstone as the only tourist destination, but also other areas across the country.

Mr Speaker, we also have the issue of environmental management to which only about K74 billion has been allocated in this year’s Budget. Zambia is becoming very dirty because we are not funding the environmental protection agencies very well. I, therefore, implore the Government to look at that issue.

Sir, in conclusion, looking at all the problems that I have mentioned, I am left with no option, but to seriously ask the Government to consider creating a ministry for rural development. Maybe, through such a ministry, we, in the rural areas, can be taken care of more appropriately in terms of service delivery. I therefore, ask the hon. Minister of Finance to use his contingency funds to ensure that we have this ministry. I am sure that the President, who is listening, will agree with my proposal. I am merely pushing an open door. We need a ministry of rural development for us in the rural areas to fully benefit from the Government’s programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I would like to contribute to the debate on the 2013 Budget, as presented to this House. 

Sir, when I look at the Budget, I have difficulties supporting it because there are some concerns that have not been addressed.

Firstly, the PF Government came into power after promising many good things to the people of Zambia. When you look at this Budget – and I have looked at it from the first to the last page – there is nothing good for a Zambian.

Laughter

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, this Budget is mere window-dressing. It looks as though it can serve the people of Zambia when, in fact, it will not. It is like the story of the Emperor’s Clothes. I was very lucky to have gone to school and read that story in which some people were saying the emperor was properly dressed, when he was actually naked. That is what I see in the 2013 Budget.

Mr Speaker, the PF wants to create jobs for the people, but how does it do so when it is not demonstrating good will towards people in the rural areas. The youths in rural areas emphasised that they wanted to venture into farming, but the Government has failed to make that become a reality.

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I am keenly following the debate by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza. Is he in order to make reference to the emperor’s suit without familiarising us with the story? We do not know the emperor’s suit and its story. Is it something that is on Cartoon Network or what? Is he in order to debate in the manner he is doing without even mentioning the aspect of Tom and Jerry in his debate? 

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Laughter

Mr Speaker: As I followed the parable, he made an attempt to explain but, as I have said before, let us get to the issue.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank you. I was very lucky because I read Benny and Betty, unlike the hon. Members on your right who never read those books since they came late into the world.

Laughter

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, we are looking at agriculture, which can be the main player in this country’s economy. However, looking at the Budget, it is clear that there is very little that has been allocated to the sector. It is not enough to have 900, 000 farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). That is the number which the MMD Government left and it was supposed to have been scaled up to about one million farmers by this time. 

Sir, allocating K500 billion for fertiliser support is a mockery. There is a need to allocate more money so that more farmers can access the fertiliser. Without fertiliser, no agriculture can take place, particularly in my constituency.

Mr Speaker, as I stand here, the people of Chadiza have no food because last year’s FISP did not go well. Most farmers did not get fertiliser which resulted in hunger in Chadiza Constituency. His Honour the Vice-President must be ready to send relief food to Chadiza. The little maize that was purchased, and is in the sheds …

Mr Speaker: Address the Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Through you, Mr Speaker, I am ordering His Honour the Vice-President …

Laughter

Mr Mbewe: … to leave food in Chadiza.

Mr V. Mwale: You have been ordered.

Mr Mbewe: We have three depots and, if the maize at all these depots is cleared, believe you me, the people of Chadiza will die of hunger. As I speak, my people are living on cooked raw mangoes. I am sure the maize that is there will last until January. After that, there will be no mealie-meal in Chadiza. Therefore, through you, Mr Speaker, I am ordering His Honour the Vice-President to ensure that all the maize in Chadiza is not transported from there to other areas.

Mr Speaker, going back to the analogy of The Emperor’s New Clothes, maybe, it is true that the President means well, but he is not well informed. After I have spoken here, they will go and tell the President that there is food in Chadiza when I, a resident of the constituency, am telling the President that there is no food there. If the maize is kept in Chadiza, the people there will be very happy.

Sir, coming to maize marketing, I would like to say that it is chaotic. It did not go very well, both last year and this year. The people of Chadiza have no money. So, it will be very difficult for them to buy the maize we are talking about. The Government should provide food for work, whereby the people will work and the Government pays them in kind for the job they will do by giving them food. That is the only way the people of Chadiza are going to survive. 

When I look at the Budget …

Dr Lungu: On appoint of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, I rise on very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member for Chadiza in order to come here and command the Vice-President to send relief food to his constituency when he has not even gone to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to ask for it? 

I need your ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Well, I was equally curious when that issue was referred to, but I thought it was simply, perhaps, a question of semantics. In my view, the structures and operations of Government institutions are known. The best the hon. Member can do is to make a request to the right Government institution however earnest or dire the situation in his constituency may be.

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, that was a point of jealousy.

Laughter

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the K300 billion allocated in the Budget for the purchase of maize is too little. It is very important for the Government to come out very clearly and state what its role will be in the purchase of maize in the next marketing season, instead of giving a meagre allocation for this exercise in the Budget. Why do our colleagues on your right not just say that they are not interested in participating in the buying of maize from our farmers? This will alert the farmers to start organising themselves in terms of choosing which crops they will grow and sell to bring money in their pockets. As things stand, the Government is not clear about whether the K300 billion will be enough to pay for all the maize that will be supplied by farmers. What other tactics is the Government going to use to make sure that all the maize from our farmers is bought?

Mr Speaker, I am a man of very few words. The last thing I want to do is commend the hon. Minister of Finance. Look at me (pointing at Mr Chikwanda). I am very happy when you look at me.

Mr Chikwanda: I can see you.

Mr Mbewe: Hon. Minister, you have done very well on the issue of corruption. You have increased the allocation to the fight against corruption. The people of Chadiza and I are very happy.

Mr Speaker: Address the Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, despite that being a good thing, the problem I have, however, is that some people in the Government that are involved in fighting this vice might have corrupt agendas themselves. There is a need to analyse the situation carefully because when you look at it in details, you will find that even if some people are claiming that corruption is being fought, in actual fact, the Government may be using corrupt tools.

Interruptions

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the money allocated in the Budget should be used prudently. I am reminded of the words of my His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Sata, who asked, “Are you not even ashamed that within one year in office, there are traces of corruption in your Government?”

Laughter

Ms Kalima: Shame!

Mr Mbewe: The issue of corruption is serious. The Opposition is behind the Government in the fight against this scourge. However, we do not want to be used to further our colleagues’ pocket agendas.

Mr Speaker, I am a man of few words.  I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a few comments as regards the Motion of Supply which was ably moved by the hon. Minister of Finance. From the outset, I want to state that I am very delighted to hear the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza, who has debated very well and referred to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, as his own President because he is the President for everybody. 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the 2013 National Budget, which was delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance, is said to be the first Patriotic Front (PF) Budget in many circles. This Budget has reinforced confidence in investors and has effectively brought to an end a lot of speculation which was generated when we took over power that we will put up measures in the mining industry which will be detrimental to the industry.

Mr Speaker, as a responsible Government with a focus to grow the mining industry for the benefit of all Zambians, we desired not to listen to distracters whose interest was to ensure that the confidence of investors in our mining industry was eroded. This Budget is a clarion call for job creation and poverty reduction as well as a bedrock of medium-term aspects. Significant resources have been allocated to health, education, local government and housing, which are the prime sectors for my Government to reduce poverty.

Sir, this Budget is realistic. It has improved funding to major sectors that are involved in the reduction of poverty. No doubt this Budget will create jobs because we are on top of things, especially as regards its execution so as to ensure that we move in tandem with its vision.

Mr Speaker, this Budget, as rightly projected by the hon. Minister of Finance, is being financed in excess of 76 per cent from domestic resources. This scenario is unprecedented.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, as regards many factors and issues that have been brought to the fore, especially the issue of the Eurobond, we decided to actually put up a spreadsheet in the Budget over the use of the resources that we generated from that measure just to be transparent. Funds in excess of millions of United States (US) dollars are being used on capital projects in terms of hydro energy transmission and distribution as well as in the development of road and railway infrastructure. Health infrastructure will also be rehabilitated. There is no better and prudent Government like that of the PF which has stated clearly the use of these resources in order to ensure that we upgrade the living standards of our people.

Mr Speaker, the Budget has equally shown a serious resolve by the PF Government to develop the education sector, as evidenced by the huge allocation to it so as to effectively deal with the issues of infrastructure, especially for universities that have been created in the recent past. My Government will also ensure that as we build universities and schools, we also put up houses for teachers and lecturers coupled with social amenities for rural areas such as banks, road networks and other facilities.

Mr Speaker, allow me to also comment on the changes to tax. At the time we came into power, we promised a 100 per cent change to the way we tax our people. As a serious Government which keeps its promises, the tax threshold for non-payment of Pay-as-You-Earn (PAYE) has now been increased to K2,200,000. This is commendable. 

Mr Speaker, the increase in the allocations to the tourism, water, sanitation and health sectors will significantly change Zambia. With this ambitious Budget, we are already working on changing the mindset in the manner funds will be disbursed. It will not be business as usual. Top on our agenda are the monitoring mechanisms. This Budget will be expended to the expectation of our people. The Government will ensure the timely disbursement of funds to the ministries and departments in order to generate the fruits of this positive Budget. We want to transform what we have put in words and numbers into action for the benefit of our people who have been waiting for an active Government such as ours at this time.

Hon. Opposition Member: Question.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, this is the first Budget that has spelt out realistic values and numbers in terms of job creation. This is our agenda. We are also committed to ensuring that we meet these numbers in terms of job creation. The prime factors among the measures that will be used are agriculture, tourism and road construction as spelt out by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, the Government will ensure that the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development continues to use tax models which are relevant. There were assertions made by most of the hon. Members who spoke on the Floor of the House as regards the introduction of windfall tax. I am very grateful that one of the eminent sons of the PF, last week, on the Floor of this House, spoke about the issues of windfall tax.  The PF Government will continue to tactfully and skillfully tax the mines so that we do not impinge the development of this industry. 

The hon. Member for Malambo also looked at the various issues as regards the taxation of the mines. He was very particular about some forms of tax that have been introduced. I want to assure the House that the Government will engage the mining houses and put up measures that are beneficial both to the Republic of Zambia and investors. I also listened very attentively to the hon. Member as he debated very well last week in favour of the Government’s position on several issues. I thought he was going to delve into the issues of windfall tax because he is an expert in this field. However, he avoided doing that. I thought I could do that on his behalf.

Mr Speaker, as we tax the mines, we must also continue to look at the gestation period of the investment in the mining sector so that we move with the industry in terms of time. For the avoidance of doubt, I want to state that during the global financial crisis in 2008, the mining industry lost a lot of manpower due to the downsizing of the operations. Simple mathematics will indicate that we never witnessed any downsizing in other sectors of the economy such as agriculture and others. However, this impact was greatly created in the mining industry. That is why the Government is very keen to generate maximum revenue from the mining industry. We must ensure that we move in tandem with the trends in terms of proper taxation.

Mr Speaker, the mines, today and beyond, continue to do well as a result of the favourable investment climate prevailing in the country coupled with attractive metal prices. The Government continues to attract investment in both small and large-scale operations with improved availability of geological information in order to stimulate exploration activities and subsequently the opening of new mines. 

Mr Speaker, the revision of the legal and regulatory framework with a view to empowering Zambians to own small and large-scale mining operations is a matter of priority by the PF Government. We will continue to organise the gemstone industry by ensuring that structures are created such as the lapidaries so that we can add value to our mineral resources in order to ensure that we get maximum returns on these minerals.

Mr Speaker, as a Government with a vision, we are moving through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to ensure that we encourage small-scale miners by building capacity through empowering them with equipment. All these measures will increase our local mobilisation of resources to the Treasury. 

Mr Speaker, the mining fiscal regime which is in place has created direction and predictability in the industry. This has raised investor confidence. Our style of managing the mines is such that the industry should thrive and create employment. We shall also ensure that the workers in the mining industry are paid well and that the mining companies re-invest in communities through infrastructure development and the upgrading of social facilities.

Mr Speaker, I have noted that this Budget has been unanimously accepted by our colleagues.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, that is why, when most of them stand to debate, they actually bring to the attention of the hon. Minister of Finance issues which need to be further improved upon. This is very good. We have a very wonderful Opposition which means well for this country as can be seen by their support of this Budget.  

Mr Speaker, assertions by some people outside this House that some hon. Members will frustrate the approval of this Budget are neither here nor there because our well-meaning colleagues from the Opposition have actually come to the Floor of this House and deliberated very seriously as regards its implementation. Many of the issues that have been brought out by our colleagues are those to do with resource redistribution, especially in their respective areas where they represent the people just as good as ourselves. This is commendable. 

This Budget is a source of inspiration and those schemes by our colleagues to assume that the people are being gong’ered, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Deputy Minister should use the official language.

You can continue, please.

Mr Musukwa: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This Budget has been depicted as not telling the truth. This is contrary to the provisions in the Budget. This Budget means well, as it has addressed the many issues that the Zambian people have wanted to be addressed for a long time. That is why wonders will never stop happening. I was sitting here when one hon. Member alleged that one day they will wake up to find the PF has run away. Unfortunately, that hon. Member was supported by a very sober hon. Member for Mbabala. I want to assure this House that the PF Government will never run away …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: … because it is equal to the task of re-building our country. The Opposition and all the people of the Republic of Zambia should trust that we shall transform this country and eradicate poverty. 
 
Mr Speaker, the discourse of politicking must not be used as a springboard for fighting issues such as the approval of the Budget, especially by people who speak from trees outside this Parliament because this Parliament thrives beyond such kind of assertions from anyone.

Mr Speaker, consistency is key. In one breath, you can drive to State House uninvited and try to cause confusion and, in the next, when you are invited, you choose not to be there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, we want to assure the people of Zambia that we will continue to govern the affairs of this country in humility and with great passion to ensure that we deliver on the promises that we made to them.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, there has been a lot of talk as regards the Road Development Agency (RDA). Only people who do not want to ensure that straightforward issues are managed in order to get results or beneficiaries of corruption are going to be worried about how we supervise the RDA.

Mr Speaker, the issue about the RDA is to ensure that, at all times, we run the road projects and meet our targets and build Zambia. Once we implement the road project in Zambia, even our colleagues from the Opposition will have nothing to campaign against us because this is a project for all the people of Zambia which will bring development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I want to end by urging the hon. Members of the House that, in their usual style in which they have come to support this Budget, they should stand up and ensure that this Budget, which is user friendly and in the interests of our constituencies where facilities such as water and sanitation will be upgraded, is supported. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, with these few words in support of the Budget, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to also contribute to debate on the Budget Speech which was presented to this House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda.

Mr Speaker, before I comment on the allocation to our ministry, I would like to acknowledge a few issues that will have a direct impact on my people in Shiwang’andu Constituency. 

Hon. Opposition Members: No, your ministry!

Hon. Siliya indicated dissent (shaking her head).

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have noted, like my colleague has indicated, the allocations to all the key sectors which will definitely go down to our people in various constituencies.

The allocation of K103.9 billion to the empowerment of entrepreneurs with a primary focus on women and youth is very significant. It shows a substantial increment from last year’s K40 billion.

Mr Speaker, you must note that the challenges of our youth border on security. If we cannot provide enough for our youth, the security of the nation will be compromised. Therefore, I am comfortable to see these allocations.

Interruptions

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.
 
[THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the 
Chair]

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was talking about some allocations to empowerment programmes. However, for the sake of time, I will only talk about the allocation to my ministry. 

Mr Speaker, I am particularly happy when I go to page 12, under Public Order and Safety, item 96. The Government proposes to spend K1.3 trillion or 4.2 per cent of the Budget on Public Order and Safety. In addition, the Government will continue to strengthen the Zambia Police Service by recruiting and modernising its operations. Further, in addition to the K30 billion allocated to the modernisation of the service, the hon. Minister has also made sufficient provisions for the net recruitment of about eight hundred officers.

Mr Speaker, this could not have come at a better time than this. We have many challenges under our ministry and modernising the police service requires a lot of resource injection. We just have to start afresh. We need to work to rehabilitate and establish new training colleges for the police. I am saying this because when we changed the way of governing ourselves from one party to multi-party democracy, all we did was to merely change the name Police Force to a Police Service. However, there was nothing that we did to ensure that the change we proclaimed of a Police Service was invested into. This is the challenge that we have and I am very happy that it has been recognised by the hon. Minister of Finance. 

Mr Speaker, with modernisation, we are going to address a number of issues. We will establish training schools and refresher course training centres so that police officers can be trained to operate in tandem with the current democratic dispensation.

Mr Speaker, we know that the number that we have planned for this year might not be adequate but, for a start, this is a timely effort. At this point, I would like to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament who would like to apply some of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to constructing infrastructure such as police posts. The best way to do this is to first approach us so that we can plan together. What has happened in the past is that when a police post was constructed, there was no house constructed for the police officers. Hence it became difficult for the Zambia Police Service to send officers to such police posts. That is something that we need to work on. Therefore, when you plan to do such a thing, come to us so that we see how far you can go with the money you want to allocate to that important infrastructure development. When you construct a police post, there must be housing constructed as well so that you do not end up with structures that remain white elephants.

Mr Speaker, I have seen the increase in the number of cases of drug abuse and money laundering. Therefore, it is important that the hon. Minister of Finance has made some allocations to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) so that it can have the capacity to deal with some of the complicated cases which they, sometimes, fail to handle due to lack of resources.

Mr Speaker, I am also happy that the hon. Minister of Finance provided funds for national registration. Currently, you may be aware that national registration and record keeping is done manually. We are now trying to digitise this. The first phase of the project is being funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and we appreciate UNICEF for this. However, this project is supposed to be owned by the Government eventually. It is important for the Government to start allocating resources to this important project. Currently, we are digitalising the manual data of all the registration which was done as far back as 1964 so that we can start issuing new identity cards. There will be identity cards which I may liken to the SADC drivers’ licences. These are identity cards which will be recognised when you go to other SADC countries. They will have biometric data. I am happy that the hon. Minister of Finance has seen it fit to start allocating resources to this important programme. 

Mr Speaker, another area I have noted is the allocation of funds meant for the establishment of new border posts. There are many entry points which are not manned properly because we do not have infrastructure and officers to man them. However, I have seen that some funds have been allocated to the establishment of some border posts so that we can man the borders and ensure that there is security. These were some of the issues that were raised today. I know that the hon. Minister for Luapula Province has many challenges in that area. We are going to ensure that we start manning some of the border posts. Going forward, I would like to ensure that as we plan for all these institutions that are supposed to be at border posts, that is the ZRA, Zambia Police and Immigration Department, we should start making an integrated plan for all these institutions. It should be this way so that when we establish a border post, there must be facilities to accommodate all these institutions so that no one wing should feel superior to the other.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I would like to appeal to all hon. Members of Parliament that want to embark on development issues such as hon. …

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament who feel that we need to build border posts in their area, and they think that they can spare some funds from the CDF to go towards building the border posts, to come and talk to us. I know that it will be difficult for us to effectively get there. It is not that we are abdicating our duties. I have been discussing this extensively with Hon. Chansa.

Mr Speaker, the issue of the Public Order Act was addressed adequately by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. However, I can only say that the Act is still in place and we should now be looking at how to manage it before we can look at other options. Therefore, you should engage with us. Our offices are open and you can always come to us when you have challenges. As I advised people who have been having meetings, my phone is on 24/7. I always get phone calls from hon. Members even as late as midnight. In a similar fashion, you should call when you have challenges. Let us not take advantage of our police officers. As I said earlier, police officers require refresher courses, and we need to build them in order that they may be responsive to the dispensation that we are in. Let us not take advantage of them. When you need to engage us politically, you should do that. My hon. Minister has an open door policy. You can get in touch so that we can settle issues, and not put our police officers in awkward positions.

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

Ms Siliya (Petauke): Mr Speaker, in adding my voice to the debate on the Budget Speech presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda, I want to state, from the outset, that we, on the left side, unanimously agree that the promises of the PF leadership before they formed Government, were empty. It is glaringly clear that those ninety-day promises were empty.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I believe that this is why, on the very first page of the Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance, Hon Chikwanda, clearly articulated that the economic transformation of Zambia is a journey and we have not arrived at our destination yet. He very clearly said that because we are in a democratic dispensation, this journey will not be uncontested.

Mr Speaker, I also believe that it is because of these failed ninety-day promises that – I am not sure that these promises made by the PF were intended untruths or not. However, what is clear is that the Zambian people, whether they are in the PF, MMD, UPND or Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD), expect some sort of apology for raising their expectations above the bar …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: … so that we can all face reality. I recall that immediately after the elections, some people thought that they were going to occupy all the shops in Kamwala because of the ninety-day promises. Some people thought that even if they have no degrees or diplomas, they would instantly get a job as a teacher or nurse because of the raised expectations. I believe that now that the PF leadership has moved from political party leadership into Government, they will be responsible enough not to raise unachievable expectations.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, whenever we, in the Opposition, particularly the MMD, offer advice or criticise this Government, which is a Government for all of us, we are usually labeled bitter.

Sir, we, in the MMD, are aware that we lost an election. We are also aware that we handed over power peacefully. However, we are very proud to look back at a legacy going back to 1991, when there was the late former President Chiluba, Hon. Chikwanda, Hon. Ronald Penza, Hon. Kasonde, late former President Mwanawasa, SC., Hon. Dr Situmbeko, Hon. Dr Chituwo, Hon. Rupiah Banda, and all of us.

Interruptions

Ms Siliya: We, in the MMD, know that we left an indelible mark on the socio-economic transformation of this country.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, we admit that the successive MMD administrations did not achieve all that the MMD set out to do, but it is clear that our legacy has already been achieved.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: The challenge to achieve a legacy now falls squarely on those who are in the Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We are waiting to see what kind of legacy is going to be achieved. Already, the first one year has been denied as it is not part of a legacy for the Government which is in office now. So, we keep wondering what kind of legacy will be achieved. Will it be a legacy that is anchored on the Constitution of this country? Will it be a legacy that is consistent in terms of policies, and not flip-flopping – Mr Speaker, sorry, I replace that word with changing of positions all the time. Will it, indeed, be a legacy that respects citizens’ rights? Will it be a legacy that does not abuse the Public Order Act?

Mr Speaker, I believe that our colleagues on your right side must start singing a new song. To continue to say the Opposition is bitter, will not bear any fruit. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Sir, the Budget is a tool for development and it does not get executed in a vacuum. It is one thing to have a well-written Budget, which my colleague, the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development said was unanimously supported, and another to execute it well. However, we, on the Opposition side, are unanimously clear that for this Budget to be well-executed, what it requires is for all of us, as stakeholders, to give it support. That is why it does not operate in a vacuum. We need to deal with fundamental issues such as the Constitution which we are still talking about even after years of spending money at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) and other fora. The Constitution is the most important document for the country. Unless we agree on these issues, we will continue wasting money. Unless we continue to respect citizens’ freedom and allow people to associate and have freedom of speech, we will not get the kind of stakeholder support that we need to execute this Budget appropriately.

Mr Speaker, Jefferson, an American President said:

“I might not agree with what the man standing next to me is saying, but I will do everything to support his right to say it.”

Sir, I believe that forty-eight years after Independence, this is the kind of mindset that we should all have. We should all look forward to seeing how we can consolidate our democracy in a manner that allows people to debate even the Budget, not just in Parliament, but on the radio, television, internet and even in public gatherings. This is because the Budget is a tool for development for all citizens, not just the PF leaders, PF cadres, but everybody, including the United Party for National Development (UPND), the MMD, the ADD, United National Independence Party (UNIP), and everybody else who might not belong to any political party.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I would also like to discuss the elephant in the room, so to speak. The fight against corruption was not started by the PF. It has been there for a long time, even in the UNIP days.

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

Ms Siliya: It will not do to believe that you will get stakeholder support by using the fight against corruption for political expedience or, indeed, for persecution or perceptions and rumours. I believe that unless we take the fight against corruption appropriately, we can continue to put all the money in the Budget and nothing will be achieved, as we have already seen. That is why the first year of the PF in Government is being denied as a legacy of the PF.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the Budget, specifically. Noting that K300 billion has been given for maize marketing, I believe that we must put our money where our mouths are. First of all, in terms of belonging to regional protocols, SADC countries have agreed to commit 10 per cent of their national budgets to agriculture. However, in the last three years, because of theFISP, we, including my colleagues, even the PF Back-benchers who were Members of Parliament, clearly saw an actual transfer of income into people’s households, especially women-supported households of many rural farmers. 

Sir, this is because, in the last three years, with the injection of the FISP, farmers increased from 500,000 to close to a million, overnight. We doubled the number of people that were able to access this fertiliser but, at the same time, we were able to access the trillions of Kwacha that were spent on maize marketing. This meant that money moved from the Budget or the Yellow Book into someone’s household. This meant that these families were able to send their children to school. They were able to buy medicines and do all the other things required at the household level.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Sir, now I understand the argument that has been advanced by His Honour the Vice-President many times that we cannot spend so many resources just on one crop. However, it is the manner in which you win support from maize marketing that is important. I believe that the last two or three years were not enough. We need to continue to give more support to maize marketing and the FISP for a few more years while we continue to put money in other crops and diversify. So, this should be a balancing act so that we are able to truly transform, especially the population in rural areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I also believe that, for a long time, this country has ignored livestock. We just heard today from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock that the country has only 3.4 million heads of cattle. I think that we can do more.

Sir, if we are supporting agriculture and emphasise support in terms of livestock so that, probably, every rural family in Zambia, if they had two or three heads of cattle, it would totally change the economic structure of that household. This is because the cattle can even be used for short-term financing and various support services that the family will need. Until we take livestock seriously, I actually wish to recommend that we think of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, once again, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: … so that we can give it the attention it deserves.

Mrs Masebo entered the Assembly Chamber.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am happy that we have a vibrant hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts, who has just walked in. I am happy that the Ministry of Finance has given incentives to Livingstone in preparation for the UNWTO Conference. However, I believe this is not enough. It looks like we have been caught unawares. We are going to plan for investment just when the conference is coming.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts has been to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt. There is no Victoria Falls or natural wonder there. What is there is a sea, salty water and sand. However, in the middle, there is a street with hotels from a one star hotel to seven star hotels. What are they selling? They are selling a dream that, depending on your pocket, you can go and live well there and enjoy yourself. That is what they are selling in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Mr Speaker, Bahamas with a population of 300,000 gets 6 million tourists, the same as just one town in Egypt, Sharm El-Sheikh, and yet we are still struggling to meet a million mark in Livingstone. We have had the Victoria Falls from time immemorial, since God created the world. I believe that what we need in Livingstone is not to be content with the Royal Livingstone or the Sun International. We need proper hotels there because, if I go to Livingstone today, I will see the Victoria Falls for thirty minutes. After that what do I do?

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Kapeya: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, thank you very much.

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke in order to start offloading her ideas of promoting tourism, today, when she failed to do the same in her Government?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: May the hon. Member continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, obviously, the hon. Member has no new song. We need to start singing new songs in this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am happy that resources are being allocated to tourism for marketing, but that is not enough. We need to support infrastructure. When a tourist comes from America or England, they are not just going to see the Victoria Falls. They would want to eat Italian food, Greek food, and Mexican food. They want to buy Gucci and Channel products. We need to invest in Livingstone and, unless we take investment on a mega level to Livingstone we are not going to be able to have six million tourists …

Interruptions

Ms Siliya: … in Livingstone and Kazungula.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, with regard to the environment, I believe that, as a country that is industrialising, we should not re-invent the wheel and follow the paths of countries where we know there are pollution and waste management challenges. I think the Finance Minister of this country has the tools in his hands to use tax incentives to be able to promote recycling plants in a country like Zambia which borders so many other countries. Let us be the first to enter that market. We know that with the consumer levels that are taking place in this region, including just bottles of water, we need to find ways to recycle them because it is cheaper to produce a new one than it is to clean one. I believe that this is an opportunity for the new jobs, revenue generation and investment in this country and these are the things the Government is talking about.

Sir, in Korea, where the President has just returned from, I am sure they have challenges of e-waste and we are positively positioned to take advantage of these possibilities.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the issue of roads. I am aware that the country has had a challenge of roads for a long time. However, I am curious about the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Network Project. The Formula 1 Project took one-and-a-half years, employed five contractors and 172 km were done. We have been told that the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Network Project will be done in sixty months, which is four years. This means that every month, 133 km of road will be done. Multiply that by K5 billion and you get K666 billion per month, unless my calculations are wrong. I believe we should not raise expectations that we cannot meet. Let us level with the people of Zambia and discuss what is doable so that we do not come back and ask you to sing a new song. When we remind you that this is not achievable, you say we are bitter. Even the construction companies in this country, at this moment, will not be able to meet the 8,000 km target. It is a good ambition, we agree … 

Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I have been following the debate and the mention of Formula 1 brings about questions. Is the hon. Member of Parliament on the Floor in order not to mention that although we were told that they used tax arrears for the Formula1 Project, they actually used a loan? Is she in order not to tell the nation where the money came from?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member debating chooses what to tell us. May she continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am quite confident that as the years pass, the Back Benchers of the Patriotic Front will begin to see things the way we see them on this side of the House. 

Mr Speaker, I may not be very conversant with mining issues, but what is very clear is that no matter what has been provided in terms of tax incentives, there is still a lack of confidence by both the Government and the miners. There is a lack of confidence in the Zambian people on whether we are getting value for money. This lack of confidence in this industry is not going to assist this country. Instead of burying our heads in the sand, we need to address this matter so that all parties, the Government, the people of Zambia and the mining houses, can all be on the same page.

Mr Speaker, I did say, from the outset, that preparing of a Budget by the hon. Minister of Finance is one thing. The hon. Minister of Finance will be here in Lusaka and he will want to make sure that this money is spent in Petauke, Chama, Shang’ombo and everywhere else. This is why the call for decentralisation is becoming louder by the day. It will not work to say there is no capacity at the district level. 

Sir, this country has been educating people for the last forty-eight years. If we are able to hold that money here in the Central Government, then I am sure we can find the right people to employ to execute this Budget at the district level. The problem is that if we do not do that, we will continue to get interference from politically-appointed Permanent Secretaries in provinces and that is where we will fail to execute this Budget. 

Mr Speaker, I know the hon. Minister of Finance wishes to see this Budget executed but, unless we have some sort of a marshal plan or a rural development ministry, as Hon. Mtolo said, I believe the real answer is decentralisation. Let us put the right people, the money and decision making at the district. We cannot say that only the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, here in Lusaka, has all the brains to develop the rural areas. There are enough Zambians to do that, and they are looking for the jobs. So, let us give them the jobs.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: If we do not do this, we will continue to have inefficiencies and ineffective execution of the Budget and we will be wondering why the Budget increases every year while we are not seeing the services on the ground. We are not seeing the people’s lives being transformed. In 2030, eighteen years from today, a girl who is five years old will be twenty-three. She will ask what you were thinking. Will she have gone to the right school; the school with an education that will give her the right mentality that she can make money in this country and beyond; have the confidence to look for a job within Zambia and beyond? Will that twenty-five-year old boy or girl have the right housing whether he/she is in Petauke or Shang’ombo or does he/she just have to be in Lusaka to access housing and good water? Will that twenty-five year-old boy/girl be confident, in 2030, that we are making the right decision today for that child at that time to drive on good roads; be able to access financing for businesses and to be able to participate in politics freely without the Public Order Act interfering … 

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Will he/she be able to speak and associate freely but, most of all, be proud of Zambia and be able to say that those who came before him/her did the right thing? There is only one right thing and that is to develop this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

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

Sir, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting a progressive Budget that is inclusive and captures both the young and old, rich and poor and men and women. That is why I find it strange that a leader of an opposition political party can devise mechanisms to try and shoot down a Budget which he should be the first one to support. The Zambian people are watching and listening. They know who is who. They know that some leaders are just destructive elements.

Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about the tax threshold that the hon. Minister of Finance has presented to this House. K2.2 million has been made tax free. None of our colleagues who have been debating have stood up to eulogise such an initiative. They gloss over it deliberately because they understand the ramifications. They know that the ordinary Zambian is being looked after very well by this Government. We want to associate ourselves with those that are lowly paid. We understand the challenges of this economy and the struggles of that worker who earns K2.2 million per month. It is in that regard that we said that they should go and spend that K2.2 million. They should go and have a luxury of choice with this kind of money. 

Mr Speaker, in the past, we had leaders who took wine to give them an appetite for food. This Government does not want to do that. We need to be with the people and meet them where they are. I met several of our colleagues on your left, especially members of the MMD, taking wine to get appetite at Arcades and Manda Hill. 

Laughter

Mr Kalaba: We do not want that.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Let us guide each other. You are the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President and this is an opportune time for you to respond to the points that were raised by the Back Bench in so far as they related to your portfolio. It is just guidance because I can see everybody wants to be involved in cross-cutting issues. Let us try to zero-in on our portfolios. We are hon. Ministers. 

Proceed, hon. Minister.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that very progressive guidance.

Sir, I will, indeed, comment on the issues that relate to my office such as land resettlements as well as disaster management in this country. 

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order on my left! 

Allow the hon. Minister to respond to the issues that you raised. 

Proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for being very noble by paying a lot of attention to issues of land resettlement in this year’s Budget. This has happened for the first time. 

Sir, my colleagues in this House will agree that issues of land resettlement are very important, and yet some of our colleagues deliberately did not have the courage to congratulate the hon. Minister for allocating that much money to it so that we can create wealth and jobs. 

Mr Speaker, in the PF Government, we are talking about job creation and wealth creation because we have come to understand that it through areas such as land resettlements that ordinary Zambians can pursue their goals in life. We do not want the notion that it is only when you wear a tie that you can get a good job. The fact of the matter is that everywhere in the world, and Zambia is not an exception, land is the beginning and source of wealth. This is why the PF Government has taken this issue very seriously.  It wants to look at how best it can alienate the land in these resettlement schemes to its people. It does not want those who have already got land somewhere else to rush to these settlement schemes and get more. That is greed which we do not want to promote as the PF. This country is for all of us. However, it can only be good if all of us have a say in the way we manage it, unlike what we saw in the past. 

Mr Speaker, I also want to pay glowing tribute to the hon. Minister of Finance for the amount of resources he has proposed in this year’s Budget for disaster management-related issues. Zambia, as a country, has been beset by huge disasters in the past that include floods and cholera outbreaks. What disappoints my office, in particular, is that when a disaster happens, most hon. Members of this House, especially those from the MMD, fail to comment on them, even as they speak on the Floor of this House. Yesterday, we picked up five people who died when they were working at some place in Lusaka, and yet we did not hear any one of our colleagues talk progressively in this House about it. I am sure the people out there are listening and wondering what kind of Opposition leaders we have who are even fail to sympathise with them. 

Mr Speaker, a lot of money has been spent on disaster management and I am sure that when it comes to this House …

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I never rise on points of order unless it is absolutely necessary. Just two minutes ago, you guided the hon. Minister to try his best to adhere to policy issues pertaining to his ministry. Is he in order to career off and start talking about the MMD hon. Members who are attentively listening to the expectations of the PF Government? 

I need your ruling on the matter, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The ruling will merely restate that hon. Ministers must stick to policy debate in so far as the Motion relates to their ministries. Obviously, we give a bit of latitude as they debate because it is not possible to debate in a straight line, as long as that does not go off course completely. My ruling is that, please, hon. Minister, stick to issues that were raised in so far as they relate to your ministry.

Proceed, hon. Minister.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, I was saying that our Government is placing emphasis on quick response and being proactive in the manner we deal with disasters that beset our country. However, it is important that, as the Government deals with these issues, all of us in this House behave as stakeholders in these programmes. It is in this regard that I mentioned some political party. The point that I want to belabour is that the department under my office, the DMMU, is very proactive in the manner it is dealing with issues. It is in this regard that the PF Government wants to embrace everybody, including Dora, to …

Laughter

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Deputy Minister, you are definitely out of order. The person you referred to as Dora, whoever that is, is an hon. Member of this House, and I have noted that she is listening very attentively to your debate. Please, do not drag her into your debate. If you have run out of ideas, you know what to do. 

You may proceed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I was saying that we are a proactive Government.

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, in line with the tradition of the House, you have ruled, from time to time, that the Executive should speak on clearly-written policy statements. Is the hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, who is supposed to set an example in line with the tradition and ruling of the House, in order to just stand there and speak off-the-cuff, wandering all over the place …

Laughter

Professor Lungwangwa: … without a clearly-stated policy direction?

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Ordinarily, we expect hon. Ministers to have written texts but, if they have copious notes, they are allowed to refer to them as long as the notes are in an orderly fashion.

Proceed, hon. Minister.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection.

Mr Speaker, in my concluding remarks, I was saying that the PF Government wants to work with everyone who is progressive, especially in the DMMU. We have understood that the challenges that beset Zambia are not different from those that beset other countries. Currently, in the United States of America, there is Hurricane Sandy which is wreaking havoc in that country. 

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we will work with everybody who is progressive. In this regard, we are asking everybody to join hands with us as we serve the people of Zambia diligently, instead of distracting us when we want to reach out to members of other parties. 

It is my favoured hope that, even as the Vote for my office appears before this House, hon. Members of Parliament will how we are working with them, as a Government, and support it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity you have given me to contribute to this Budget debate. From the outset, I wish to appreciate all the good intentions that have been outlined in the Budget by the hon. Minister of Finance, who is my own uncle, …

Hon. Government Members: Is he your uncle?

Mr Mucheleka: … Hon. Chikwanda.

Mr Speaker, first of all, I have heard this Budget being referred to as a pro-poor one, and even the language sounds pro-poor in regard to the intention but, if you look at the details, one begins to wonder if at all it is a pro-poor Budget. I have read the whole Budget, and there is no part that makes reference to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly MDG No. 1. What I thought was that given that we have less than three years before 2015, the Budget should have been benchmarked against that particular MDG and should have indicated the specific steps that the Government intends to take, indicating the extent to which poverty will be reduced. I thought that part was missing in the Budget.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, for the sake of Hon. Chishimba, MDG means millennium development goals and, if he wants to know more about what it means, he can …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

The rules of the game dictate that you address the Hon. Speaker. If you address people other than the Hon. Speaker, then you are inviting unnecessary comments and interference with your debate. 

Can you, please, bear that in mind as you debate.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, very quickly, let me talk about mining. According to the hon. Minister of Finance, three quarters of our exports are in the mining sector. However, when you look at the mining sector’s contribution to the Budget, it is less than 6 per cent. Much as he has indicated the good intentions of strengthening the taxation in the mining sector, he should have also looked at where we are because, if you relate K1.9 trillion to the Budget, it gives you less than 6 per cent. How, then, do you expect to address the issues of poverty and poor service delivery? 

Sir, the jobs that are created for our people in the mining sector are mostly casual ones. The majority of the people on the Copperbelt, particularly the spouses of miners, are engaged in street vending and selling in markets in an attempt to supplement their husband’s income, which is not sufficient.

Mr Speaker, there is nothing to write home about corporate social responsibility in the mining sector. You will also notice that the tax contribution is very little, and there is no guarantee that the Government will have an indirect way of increasing the contribution through the tax that is paid by the workers because it is very little. Are we saying that the mining sector is just there to protect the interests of the investors, not of the Zambian people? What about the damage to the environment? That has even gone beyond the environment to the problems in the road sector. For instance, when driving from Lusaka to the Copperbelt Province and, probably, extending to Solwezi, you will see the amount of equipment that is being driven on our roads. There is massive capital equipment coming in while we see trucks carrying copper out of the country in the opposite direction. 

Sir, the Government has responded by way of borrowing money through the US $750 Eurobond which will, further, be used to subsidise the mining sector. One would have thought that this is the time that we should put in place mechanisms that will increase the mining sector’s contribution to the Budget. Unfortunately, the Government has gone ahead to borrow to subsidise the mining sector.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance also talked about the Debt and Aid Policy. If you compute, you will notice that we are going to borrow K1.2 trillion in the 2013 Budget, and it is possible that by the time the PF Government finishes implementing its ambitious programmes, we would have gone back to another debt crisis. There is no point in borrowing so much when we should be able to use the opportunity offered by the mining sector to increase the domestic revenue mobilisation. That is what we should be looking at.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the agriculture sector. How do you expect to get people out of poverty when, as the other hon. Members of Parliament have already said, the allocation to agriculture is less than 6 per cent, and almost 50 per cent of what has been allocated to the sector is going to a single crop, which is maize? K300 billion is going to the FRA while K500 billion is going to the FISP. The remaining amount is K1.8 trillion, and one wonders how it is going to be used. What about the storage facilities, because we have been told, on this Floor, how much maize was destroyed due to lack of sufficient storage facilities? 

Mr Speaker, the President, in his speech to the House, said that the Government’s intention was to build silos in each province. Where will the money for this come from if it is not in the Budget? What about the livestock development that the hon. Members of Parliament have spoken about? What about crop diversification and the FISP? The Government should start talking about ways and means of ensuring that the farmers who are participating in the FISP are able to be weaned off. It should not continue subsidising the same farmers every year. Recommendations have been made in this country on the mechanism of how these farmers can graduate.

Hon. Opposition Member: Tell them.

Mr Mucheleka: You need to do that. The PF Government has a responsibility to work out a mechanism of ensuring that farmers are able to graduate. If it does not do this, then it will fall into the same trap as the MMD Government. You will not be able to come out of the politics of maize. One way of diversifying is working out a system of weaning the farmers from the FISP. The K300 billion that has been allocated is not sufficient to buy maize from the 900,000 plus farmers who have to wait for months on end for their inputs.  

Mr Speaker, I just came from Lubansenshi Constituency. It was so pathetic to see farmers spending sleepless nights at the National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE) in Luwingu, waiting to get their money. Their maize was collected and not paid for because the FRA has to borrow money. How do you expect farmers to come out of poverty? You are perpetuating poverty like the MMD did before you. 

Interruptions

Mr Mucheleka: This is what the PF is doing. 

Mr Speaker, I want to strongly advise this Government to create a ministry of rural development. This is the only way that the Government will effectively respond to rural poverty reduction because, at the moment, their systems are not working. This is why hon. Members of Parliament, myself included, want the CDF increased.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: This is the only way to go because you have failed to put systems in place to address rural poverty. At the moment, if I asked my uncle, the hon. Minister of Finance, how much money will be used to develop the rural areas, he will not be able to tell me. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I thought your uncle can tell you at your house. Proceed. 

Laughter 

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, the Link Zambia 8,000 Road Project is very important. If it can be done, it has my full support. 

In Luwingu where I come from, the road that goes from Kasama via Luwingu to Mansa is important. However, beyond the central business district of Luwingu to Senior Chief Shimumbi’s area, there is no road. This is what makes the cost of doing business in rural areas very expensive. Feeder roads are in a state of disrepair and there is no money allocated for them in the 2013 Budget. 

Mr Speaker, if the 2012 Budget is anything to go by, where I think K10 or K5 billion was allocated for feeder roads in the thirteen districts of the Northern Province, before Muchinga was created, we are not helping matters. Where are the roads for small-scale farmers and the rural people? How do you expect them to come out of poverty when year in and year out, there is no money provided in the Budget for feeder roads?

The Rural Roads Unit (RRU) is non-functional because its equipment is obsolete. The machinery in the Northern Province has been marooned in Chilubi for the past four months or so. When will the other roads in Lupososhi and Lubansenshi be worked on? These are the issues. Let us be action oriented. It should not just be rhetoric that this Budget is pro-poor without even making any reference whatsoever to the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP). That is not the right way of doing things. We need to show political will by clearly outlining strategies that are meant to ensure that there is equitable distribution of resources. 

Mr Speaker, what we mean by pro-poor development is putting the money where it matters. We mean sharing the national cake equitably between the urban and rural areas. There is nothing at all in this Budget for the rural poor. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance talked about decentralisation of local authorities. I did not see any strategies to be used to ensure that there is a sharing mechanism of resources. All he said was that he had given more than a 100 per cent increment to local government to dismantle the arrears. What about service delivery? Local authorities need to be adequately funded. We do not have to wait for next year. It has to start now. 

Mr Speaker, I appreciate the increments that have been made in the education, health, water and sanitation sectors. However, the systems to ensure that these programmes are implemented are not there.  We have seen, in the past, that this is the same money that is subject to a lot of misapplication, misappropriation, abuse or theft, as the Auditor-General’s reports indicate. 

Mr Speaker, my heart bleeds when I look at certain issues concerning governance. I am so embarrassed that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is defending the Public Order Act in its present form. I am so disappointed. I would have expected him …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir. 

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have been following the debate by the hon. Member patiently. He must have heard me explain that the Public Order Act he is referring to was re-done in 2010. The hon. Minister explained this very clearly. It is not a question of defending it, but simply a case of asking people to follow the law which is available. 

Hon. Opposition Members: What is your point of order?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, he made reference to me and I have the right to correct the impression. Is he in order to mislead this House and start making reference to the Public Order Act which has already been properly explained in this House? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir. 

The Deputy Chairperson: To the extent that nobody is misleading the other, the hon. Member can continue. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, K20 billion has been allocated for the Constitution-making process. Can you just come in the open and say that you are not interested in this process? The amount that you have allocated will not take us anywhere. Come out in the open and say that you do not have interest in the Constitution-making process. We have seen statements being made indicating that the PF is not interested in the constitution-making process. Why do you not just come out in the open and tell us that you are not interested in the Constitution-making process? We have now seen how power corrupts and corrupts absolutely. Where will the K20 billion take us?

Mr Speaker, further, why should other political parties and individuals be stopped from holding meetings or assembling in this era and age? Look at how the World Bank has downgraded this country. You should find out what is causing this. Do not make the mistake of betraying the trust of the Zambians like the MMD did. This is why the hon. MMD Members are seated with me on this side. 

Laughter 

Mr Mucheleka: Next time, you will be back here. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: You listen to me. I am speaking as an Independent hon. Member of Parliament. I am talking about issues that people tell me about. 

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

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kazunga): Mr Speaker, I would like to, first of all, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the 2013 Budget Address whose theme is “Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice”, by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda.

Mr Speaker, in terms of macro-economic objectives, and in line with the strategic focus of the SNDP, the Government, in response to the high unemployment levels, low incomes and consequent high poverty levels, will pay particular attention to infrastructure development and human resource development by investing in sectors with high employment creation potential, namely agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has reminded us in his address that agriculture is the lifeline for the majority of our citizens. The development of this sector is paramount to the country’s poverty eradication efforts. My Government will invest in agriculture so as to boost crop and livestock productivity as well as strengthen agriculture’s forward and backward linkages to other sectors of the domestic economy in order to exploit its full potential. In 2013, the PF Government has increased the total allocation to the agriculture sector to K1.9 trillion as compared to K1.698 billion in 2012. Part of this amount will go towards promoting the sector’s diversification and cater for livestock, fisheries, crop and irrigation development. In 2013, the Government will also introduce the e-voucher system that will ensure that the private sector plays a more significant role in procuring and distributing farming inputs.

Sir, the Government has noticed that in other countries in the world, the tourism and creative industries have significantly contributed to their gross domestic product (GDP) through wealth and job creation. Our tourism and arts sector continues to grow. However, there is a need to invest in product diversification, infrastructure and streamlining licensing procedures. Therefore, in order to grow this sector and promote employment, the Government has allocated K63.8 billion to the expansion of tourism products and development of key infrastructure, including tourism marketing with a focus on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference.

Mr Speaker, the Budget Address reminded this House that in the area of manufacturing, the strategic focus of the PF Government will be to promote products that can be competitively exported or successfully substituted for manufactured imports. The Government will promote and facilitate value addition to locally-sourced raw materials by putting in place appropriate industrial infrastructure for small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), especially in rural areas. The investment in SMEs will ensure that the wealth being created remains in Zambia and is not externalised by foreign investors.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, with regard to infrastructure development, the PF Government is committed to investing heavily in Zambia’s economic infrastructure such as transport by linking all provincial capitals and opening up the country to investment, particularly in rural areas so as to enhance accessibility to markets. In order to realise this, in the 2013 Budget, there is an allocation of K3.4 billion to road infrastructure.

Sir, with regard to social sector policies and priorities, the hon. Minister of Finance, in his address, emphasised that the ultimate goal of the Government’s economic growth efforts and development strategy is to improve the quality of life for all Zambians.

Mr Speaker, kindly allow me to explain the above statement. With regard to education, in order to enhance access to quality education and skills development, the hon. Minister of Finance has allocated K5.6 billion. That is slightly over what was allocated to the education sector in 2012 which was K4.8 billion. These resources will go towards improving school infrastructure and the net recruitment of not less than 5,000 teachers. All these are clearly an indication of the Government’s efforts of wanting to ensure that quality education is delivered to our children, and hence contributing to equity and social justice.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us consult quietly. I am interested in listening to every word that comes out of the hon. Deputy Minister’s mouth. 

Laughter

The Deputy Chairperson: So, please, consult quietly.

You may proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Ms Kazunga: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was interrupted.

Sir, turning to the health sector, the Government’s resolve is to improve on service delivery at all levels. My Government will scale up the provision of essential drugs, medical equipment and other supplies to ensure that there are no stock outs to disturb quality health provision. In terms of expenditure allocation, the hon. Minister of Finance has increased the allocation to K3.3 trillion compared to K2.579 billion in 2012. Mr Speaker, it is important to note that some of these funds will also go towards infrastructure development in the health sector and also to facilitate the net recruitment of not less than 2,000 frontline medical personnel.

Finally, Mr Speaker, let me conclude by focusing on social protection. The other day, one hon. Member of Parliament lamented that funding towards social protection programmes has not been increased in the 2013 Budget. He further went on to state that the Social Transfer Scheme has not been scaled up and was still donor dependent. Allow me to inform this House that funding to the various social protection programmes has not been reduced. Secondly, the scaling up of the Social Cash Transfer is an on-going exercise. In order to cover the remaining districts, there are some triggers or pre-conditions that have been met, one of them being the procurement of an electronic payment system provider which was a hindrance before to our efforts to counter possible fiduciary risk. In 2013, the programme will be introduced to two additional districts, namely Milenge and Chienge, bringing the total number of districts to thirteen and supporting 65,400 households.

With regard to the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, we, currently, have a ten-year joint financing agreement with our co-operating partners to support the scheme with the understanding that the Government progressively increases its allocation to the programme every year. This ten-year financing agreement allows the Government to also allocate funds to other priority areas in my ministry.

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

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

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion of Supply.

Sir, first of all, allow me to commend the hon. Minister of Finance for the elaborate manner in which he presented his Budget to the House. I want to thank him for one critical item that he stated on the Floor of this House. He stated that the route, which we shall take, will not be easy and will be full of challenges. So, for me, coming from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, one thing that immediately comes to mind is that for us to surmount the challenges that we face in this country, we will require a total change of mindset. We need to change our attitude towards work, productivity and production if this country has to move up another rank on the ladder of success.

Mr Speaker, it is the first time, perhaps, in the history of this country, that credence has been accorded to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. We have always been ranked at the bottom of the drawing board when it comes to financial or budgetary allocations.

Sir, for this year, the hon. Minister, knowing very well that we are grappling with issues of staffing levels in the ministry, inspections in terms of labour and productivity, realised the need to increase the allocation and, for us, as a ministry, speaking through my hon. Minister, who is just in front of me, we need to give the hon. Minister special commendation and positively reinforce him for the action that has been taken.

Mr Speaker, as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, I appreciate that the hon. Minister has, again, been able to adjust the tax threshold in terms of the workers’ take-home pay.

Sir, only last year, in the Budget, we were able to move the tax threshold from K1 million per month to K2 million per month. For this specific budgetary allocation, the hon. Minister has gone a step further by giving us another K200,000 which reflects a 10 per cent increase. The hon. Minister of Finance has gone further to justify the increase, in his Budget Speech, when he says that we need to attain inflationary levels that are not above 6 per cent.

Sir, what this means, therefore, is that the raising of the tax threshold by 10 per cent still gives us a buffer of plus or minus 4 per cent. There is still flexibility in terms of how a worker can manoeuvre to grapple with the inflationary trends that may come into this country.

Mr Speaker, the most important thing is that inflation only provides indemnity. The whole purpose is to restore an employee to the level he/she was at prior to suffering the shocks that could have come as a result of inflation. So, for us, as a ministry, coupled with the fat that we have just come from a situation where my hon. Minister recently prescribed a minimum wage, this provides a lot of comfort.

Sir, what remains is for the parties that are in individual contracts to look at how best they can vary their terms and conditions depending on the issues of the variables that are obtaining on the market. These could be variables of productivity as well as the unit cost of production. That is the basis upon which the conditions of service and employment can be varied. We thank the hon. Minister that the cushion has been adequately addressed in the collective bargaining processes because what is remaining is for the parties to go into collective bargaining processes and be able to enhance their take-home packages depending, again, on the variables that I have referred to.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to appreciate that we are involved in a critical process of labour inspections. We mentioned, earlier this year, that we are now grappling with the issue of understaffing. When we came to the ministry, the number of labour inspectors to cater for the whole country was below thirty. Now, with the rise in the number of districts that we have, we want to ensure that we are physically present in every district.

Sir, it is our conviction, with my hon. Minister, that to govern is to be physically present. Therefore, let me thank the hon. Minister for taking the initiative to enhance our budget and also for ensuring that this budget is able to meet the challenges we are facing at the moment. Obviously, with the political will that we have and with the direction we have under the able leadership of our President, we will be able to surmount these challenges.

Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the allocation to human resource development. We need to build capacity in our staff if we have to provide quality service as a ministry in charge of productivity and driving this economy to another level.

Sir, allow me to also mention the issue of mobility in my ministry. We have had challenges of mobility in our ministry for a very long time now, like I said earlier, because of having been the least funded. Let me pay special commendation to the hon. Minister of Finance for that regard that has been given to this particular need. Obviously, we may not have adequate resources to go round the entire ministry, but the bottom line is that we will sit down and make a start. We should be able to procure vehicles that will enable us to reach out to so many districts in our country.

Mr Speaker, allow me to also comment on the issue of change of mindset which I referred to earlier. The emerging economies now such as India, China and Brazil were like us before. China just opened up in 1978 and, now, it is a super power economically and politically. Speaking as hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security, I can only say to my fellow Zambians that now is the time to change our attitude towards work. I know for sure that it can be done so long as there is practical commitment from each and every one of us. This is achievable.

Sir, let me talk about the issue of social protection that our Government has put in place through the hon. Minister of Finance. K892 billion has been set aside for social protection programmes and, according to the information that has been shared with us by the hon. Minister of Finance, K616.9 billion is for the Public Service Pension Fund. This is important because, for a long time now, we have had challenges of how to manage our social protection issues in our country. So, for the hon. Minister to have allocated such an amount to this, is a step in the right direction. The amount may not be adequate for now, but the bottom line is that a start is being made. For us, what is important is that we continue building on this because I know that the hon. Minister is cutting this coat according to the size of cloth. This is what we have in our resource envelope for now. We are not in the First World, but are in the Third World category.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to mention that we received a number of concerns from our colleagues in the Opposition. One concern that we noted was that, first of all, the increase of K200,000 on top of the K2 million was too little. This worries our ministry because it actually depicts certain levels of inconsistency. I could have said it depicts mediocrity but, to be parliamentary I will say, shifting the goal posts and it is quite regrettable.

Sir, it was here that my hon. Minister and I came under fire from our colleagues from the Opposition before the hon. Minister prescribed the minimum wage. They said Zambian workers had become worse off under the PF Government. Two or three weeks down the line, my hon. Minister ably prescribed the minimum wage and the goal posts changed. Now, we are being castigated for killing industries by the same colleagues who said that we are going to kill the industry. So, really, what can we do as a Government? Today, the hon. Minister of Finance says we are increasing the PAYE threshold by K200,000 but, again, the Opposition says it is too meagre.

Mr Speaker, I do not know what they want and we really need your guidance on what would be adequate for our colleagues because it is important in leadership that we are identifiable. We must always have a tag. When we say, no today, do not, all of a sudden, say, yes. I think that is not leadership.

Sir, let me now talk about the theme for the 2013 Budget which is “Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice.” In my humble opinion, what this means is that this Government, which is a Government for the Opposition also, is actually focused on making sure that everyone is brought on board in the governance process of this country regardless of their social divide or political diversity. We want to bring everyone into the governance of this country. That is why, in his own wisdom, our President invoked the provisions of Article 46 and 47 of the Republican Constitution which confer upon him the authority and right to appoint hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers from within Parliament. Now, when the President uses the Constitution correctly, the Constitution that we have actually sworn to uphold, then he is a wrong President. Where are we going? What is even more worrying is that some people who also want to govern our country are the very first to show ignorance with regard to the interpretation of simple articles in the Constitution. I think we need to be delivered, for lack of a better term.

Laughter

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, when it comes to the issue of …

Interruptions

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, may I be protected from that fat gentleman there.

Laughter

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, as regards social justice, it is astounding that our colleagues here, Hon. Dr Kazonga included, can even talk audaciously about the PF Government having watered down social justice. Those people on your left were bad when they were in the Government.

Interruptions

Dr Kazonga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, you know me.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: I rarely stand on points of order and my standing up is indicative of the serious nature of the point of order I am raising.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Is the hon. Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in order to bring me into his debate when I am yet to throw my missiles after he has debated? 

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that the hon. Deputy Minister, in debating, was merely exercising the cordial relationship that exists between the two cousins.

You may continue.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your usual wisdom. The point I was trying to make is that the MMD was very vindictive and the Zambian people know that the MMD was simply bad. It is a party that really persecuted a lot of Zambians and never tolerated any divergent views. In case you do not know, it is the party that even constituted special teams called taskforces and I am one of the victims of those taskforces. Now that we are in power, these taskforces have been abolished. I think, for the MMD, the best is to be silent.

Laughter

Mr Mbulu: There is a lot of success in humility. We may forgive them but, if they open their mouths so widely, what is likely to happen is that they will be scratching scars. You know what happens when you scratch a scar; it is fresh blood that comes out. So, I think let the sleeping lions lie.

Interruptions

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, last but not the least, at the moment, my hon. Minister and I are involved in the process of labour law reforms and we are doing it so well. The process is running both in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt. The whole idea is to do away with all those repressive and oppressive pieces of legislation. We want to have a fresh beginning where Zambians can freely exercise their freedom of association and assembly and be able to speak freely and not the way it was in the past. Some of us could speak only in our offices and that kind of thing.

Mr Speaker, I think the least I can say is that this Budget must be supported by any well-meaning Zambian.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, the very last thing I want to say is that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we are simply macrocosms of the bigger society. As we debate here, we should look at what other people out there are saying about the same Budget. Intellectuals, the Church and academia have all spoken highly of this Budget. So, what do we do since we are also a comparative body to the outsiders who are not in Parliament? I think it is better to get a comparative analysis; that is to compare and contrast and then conclude. So, in my humble opinion, the Zambian people have spoken. This Budget simply has to be adopted.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, I would like to share a few thoughts with my fellow Parliamentarians here. As far as energy is concerned, the intention of the Government is to ensure that Zambia is land linked and not landlocked. So, we are putting in place measures to ensure that we start exporting energy. We want to go beyond just getting rid of load shedding, but end up exporting energy to countries around us.

Mr Speaker, a lot has been said about this Budget. Some people have even looked at its cover. I, however, do not think that is necessary. We tend to waste a lot of time on the context of something, but forget the content. There is no way you can judge a book by the cover. Let us look at the content of something not the context.

Mr Speaker, a lot has also been said about energy. It has been alleged that the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) only load sheds in Kalingalinga or other shanty compounds, but not in places like Kabulonga. That is not true. When you are holding a responsible position in society and have a huge following of people, you have to be factual when making public statements. That is important because whatever you say influences a lot of people.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda, for making energy a priority sector in the 2013 National Budget. The allocation of K1.4 trillion, inclusive of part of the money from the Eurobond, to the energy sector in totality and K616 billion to our ministry in particular, demonstrates the Government’s recognition of the importance of this sector. The energy sector has the crucial role of keeping the wheels of the economy turning. 

It is, therefore, incumbent upon the ministry to ensure that each sector of the economy has reliable sources of energy, including the National Assembly. I remember when there was a blackout for two minutes here, people thought that it was the end of the world. For commerce and industry, in particular, our pledge is to work towards security of supply for petroleum and electricity.

Mr Speaker, in the past financial year, the energy sector faced numerous challenges such as fuel shortages and load shedding across the country. Load shedding in this country has been attributed to not having enough generation capacity. The current generation deficit is 250 MW. Load management is carried out to ensure system security. We call it load management in our circles and not load shedding. The level of load shedding is determined by the difference between the available generation capacity and the focused demand. It is on this basis that load management schedules are published in the print media and are also available on the ZESCO website.

Mr Speaker, come the end of 2013, load shedding will be reduced to a very minimal amount, if not done away with completely. It is against this backdrop that the ministry is pursuing several initiatives, including public-private partnerships (PPPs) to increase the generation capacity, transmission and distribution infrastructure and also programmes to expand rural access to electricity. I am sure you know that it is only 3 per cent of the rural communities that enjoy electricity. For the country as a whole, it is less than 25 per cent of our people that are connected to the national power grid. So, we want to ensure that all rural areas are catered for.

Mr Speaker, the following are the programmes the ministry will continue implementing in the 2013 financial year:

(a)Maamba Collieries is developing a thermal coal power plant which will generate 300 MW. This is being done with help from Nava Bharat PTE of Singapore;

(b)Ndola Energy Company Limited is currently constructing a 50 MW heavy oil plant in Ndola. The plant will be commissioned by the end of 2012. ZESCO Limited has already signed a power purchase agreement that will ensure all the power Ndola Energy Company Limited will generate is bought by ZESCO;

(c)the Kabompo Hydro-Electric Power Project, which is a 40 MW will be developed by the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC);

(d)the Shiwang’andu Hydropower, which is a 1 MW will be commissioned by the end of this year; 

(e)the Kalungwishi Hydropower Project, which is a 247 MW will be developed by the Lunzua Power Authority (LPA); and 

(f)the EMCO Coal Fired Power Plant, which is 300 MW, will be developed by EMCO Energy Zambia Limited.

Mr Speaker, with funds that have been allocated, we expect the following power projects to commence in the 2013 financial year:

(i)the Kafue Gorge Lower – 750 MW; and

(ii)the Batoka Gorge – 800 MW.

Mr Speaker, allow me, again, to express how grateful we are to the hon. Minister of Finance for allocating US$255 million of the proceeds of the Eurobond to the energy sector. From this amount, US$169 million will be allocated to Kafue Gorge Lower, which is a generation project, while US$89 million will be for transmission and distribution projects. The following are the transmission projects that the ministry will pursue in the 2013 financial year: 

(i)connection of the North-Western Province to the national grid;
(ii)the Pensulo/Kasama and Pensulo/Chipata 330 kV Project;
(iii)the Kariba North Bank Extension Power Evacuation Project;
(iv)connection of the Luangwa District to the national grid; and 
(v)the Itezhi-tezhi/Mumbwa/Lusaka West Transmission Line Project.
Mr Speaker, in the petroleum sector, our goal, during the 2013 financial year, is to ensure that security of supply of petroleum products to the nation is maintained at all times. The efforts are, therefore, twofold, that is, for infrastructure development and long-term supply contracts for petroleum products. Therefore, in terms of infrastructure development, the ministry will continue to establish and construct fuel depots in all provincial centres. This will increase storage capacity and contribute to enhancing security of supply of petroleum products as well as assure affordability of fuel in the country.

You may wish to know, Mr Speaker, that the Lusaka Fuel Depot will be commissioned in the first week of December while the Mpika Fuel Depot will be commissioned in January next year. The ministry also recently signed a contract with the Trafigura PTE of Singapore for the supply and delivery of 216,920,000 litres of diesel and 21,230,000 of unleaded petrol. 

Mr Speaker, under renewable energy, our ministry, in the coming financial year, will embark on several renewable energy programmes that will have a positive bearing on development, especially in the rural areas. These include solar and wind energy for water pumping, installation of water geysers and biogas digesters for cooking and lighting and the promotion of modern use of biomass, including biofuels. In order to quantify the potential of renewable energy, my ministry will commence the development of renewable energy resource map and continue undertaking geothermal investigations. The latter is being done by the Kalahari Geothermal Energy Company.

Under the renewable energy programmes mentioned above, we expect major positive impacts on other sectors such as education and health. Once electricity is connected in rural areas, many teachers will be attracted to work there and pupils will be reading more. The health services will also improve. In the Western Province, Mr Speaker, the ministry has put up a pilot project for solar geysers. The project is planned to expand and extend to the North-Western Province and other provinces across the country. With the above-mentioned projects, our aim is to have a positive impact on development which includes the creation of, at least, 90,000 jobs in the energy sector. 

Under the water sector, Mr Speaker, the ministry will continue with the assessment of the country’s water resources for both ground and surface water. This is meant to ascertain the potential and stability for various uses. In order to improve access to water resources, the Government will continue with water resources development programmes which will see a continuation of programmes in dam construction, rehabilitation and the construction of water points and boreholes equipped with hand pumps. The Government will continue to invest money in water resources infrastructure to increase access to water for economic and social development.

Mr Speaker, these are some of the things the ministry will do. We shall remain focused. Therefore, we need support from all hon. Members in this House. Of course, there are problems. For example, ZESCO put up electricity poles in the Western Province, but people cut them down. 

I would like to urge hon. Members of this House to sensitise the people on the importance of power in their areas. It is does not matter where we come from, we should work together. Like the President said, visit our offices. I have seen several hon. Members from the Opposition who have been to my office and I like that. We also enjoy the questions that are asked. We are not afraid of those questions. We enjoy them because they make us educate people outside this House. Some people did not know why load shedding takes place in the country but, through your questions, people now know. Some people did not know how many workers ZESCO employs and how much it is owed but, through your questions, people now know. This trend of asking questions in the House should continue. We will always support it.

Thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of this august House.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance, Mr Chikwanda, on growing the National Budget from K27.6 trillion in 2012 to K32.2 trillion in 2013. We all know that the population of our country is growing at a high and fast rate. The rapid growth in the population entails an increase in the socio-economic needs of the people. Therefore, for such needs to be met, more and more resources should be made available. I believe this is the wisdom behind the hon. Minister’s decision to propose a Budget of K32.2 trillion. Well done, hon. Minister!

Mr Speaker, I support the Budget Address because of the spirit in which it was thought out, “Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice”. Further, I wish to state that the address contained a number of aspirations, expectations and objectives and is in tandem with the President’s Address to the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh Assembly delivered on 21st September, 2012 on the Floor of this House.

Sir, the President’s Address and Budget Speech are a compass …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the Chair]

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that the Budget Address and the President’s Address are a compass which the Government will use to navigate the social, economic and political development of our country in 2013 and, maybe, beyond.

Sir, for obvious reasons, I shall restrict my debate to the livestock sub-sector in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. To that effect, allow me to preface the debate with a general observation on the development of livestock in our country. 

Mr Speaker, it is our view, as a Government, that, over the years, the livestock sector, which has great potential to substantially contribute to the growth of the national economy, has not been given its due consideration in terms of the allocation of resources. For example, in the 2010 Budget of K16,717,767,817,120, livestock was allocated K181,284,029,106. Out of this amount, only K74,485,348,489 was released.

Mr Speaker, owing to the inappropriate consideration, during the successive Budget, at the change of Government last year, we inherited a livestock sector characterised by the following:

(i)    lack of a defined policy on livestock development;

(ii)    poor extension services – shortage of staff because during the Public Service Reform Programme, one sector that suffered was the livestock sector under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock;

(iii)    dysfunctional and inadequate dipping facilities. The House many wish to know that out of a total of 702 communal dip tanks, only 261 were functioning, as at last year, while 461 were all dysfunctional; 

(iv)    neglected cattle ranches and breeding centres; 

(v)    poor availability of livestock drugs; 

(vi)    lack of water for livestock, 

(vii)    lack of organised market for livestock and livestock products; and

(viii)    poor animal husbandry, and the list goes on.

Sir, in the scenario which I have just described, it is difficult to see how anyone of us can expect livestock to develop or to be developed to a level where it can significantly contribute to the national economy. 

Mr Speaker, to redress the unfavourable situation and unlock the huge potential of the livestock sector, the Government has stated on page 33 of the President’s Address that:

“In order to further develop the livestock sector, my Government has intensified the livestock restocking programme, construction of livestock service centres and rehabilitation of breeding centres in various parts of the country. We have also intensified the animal disease control mechanism. My Government also plans to rehabilitate and restock the idle State ranches in Mporokoso and Senanga.”

Mr Speaker, the Budget Address, on page 4, paragraph 28 reads:

“To boost the livestock subsector, the Government will enhance livestock restocking, scale up animal disease research and development and implement disease free zones.”

Mr Speaker, further, we plan to rehabilitate the non-functional dip tanks and construct new ones in areas where dip tanks do not exist at the moment and employ additional staff because, at the moment, we have huge camps, many of which are not manned. However, even for those that are manned, it is virtually impossible for one veterinary assistant to provide a satisfactory service to the people who are located in various parts of the country and people who rear cattle. 

We also plan to carry out educational campaigns on good animal husbandry. At the moment, from my travels to some parts of the country, I have come to learn that some of our people who rear cattle, for example, do not know how to look after their animals. No wonder they keep dying. They do not just die due to diseases, but lack of good nutrition. I get surprised by the way people handle grass after the rainy season. Instead of bailing hay, they choose to wait for the grass to totally dry up so that they can set it on fire. However, the question is what happens during the lean months or the dry months of August, September and October when the pastures are totally dry? 

In view of that, it is important that there is a ministry to equip the people with the necessary education so that they can begin to look after their animals in a manner that will protect them even from some minor diseases that end up killing them.

Mr Speaker, we plan to build small and medium dams in order to provide water for livestock. It is very sad that some of our people in the villages draw water from wells and boreholes used by their animals. I think that it is wishful thinking for anyone to expect that we can take livestock production to another level with this situation. Therefore, we need to build dams. I am sure that the hon. Minister of Finance, who I know has passion for cattle, will agree with me on that being the only way we can take this sector to another level.

Mr Speaker, we also intend to produce semen for artificial insemination and improve traditional breeds. In fact, we have already acquired some bulls and, very shortly, we will start producing semen so that people in the villages, who still have the traditional breeds of cattle, can improve their breed. 

Mr Speaker, we have already started re-establishing livestock checkpoints to control outbreaks of diseases. We also intend to promote and develop the production of stock feed and facilitate the availability of drugs to farmers. Currently, if you live in one of those remote parts of our country and have a cow that is sick, you will watch helplessly until it dies because drugs for animals are not readily available. The distance between where our people live and where drugs are found is quite prohibitive. Therefore, we think that it will be wise for us to make these drugs available in future.

Mr Speaker, clearly, for these strategies and programmes to work, the ministry will require more money. Therefore, I earnestly appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to consider increasing the allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock so that we can deliver dip tanks to our people. 

Interruptions

Mr Kazabu:  In his own wisdom, he will know how to support this …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Bear in mind that you are an hon. Minister in the Government, and that is your document.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. 

The livestock sector I am talking about is one that we can look to in terms of growing the national economy because that is where the big money lies. However, we will not achieve this until we do the needful such as providing our people with dip tanks, ensuring that the extension services are right and creating livestock service centres. I think that we will be shooting in the wrong direction if we do not do this. However, I am very confident that we are focussed and we realise the potential of this sector. We will do all that it takes so that this sector can contribute meaningfully to the growth of our economy.

Mr Speaker, with these very few remarks, I rest my case, and I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Muchinga Province (Mr Sichone): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the 2013 Budget Address by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda. 

Sir, the 2013 Budget has given a lot of hope to the people of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, I can classify it as a pro-poor Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: I say so because the theme, itself, is: ‘Delivering Inclusive Development and Social Justice.’

Mr Speaker, for so many years, especially the last twenty years of MMD rule, this country missed the track in terms of social justice. It has come at the time when, for poverty to be addressed in this country, this aspect of social justice is very important. 

Sir, let me dwell on a few things that are exciting to the people of Muchinga Province and, indeed, the country at large. You will agree with me that, in the Budget Address, the hon. Minister of Finance has clearly indicated that there is K204 billion allocated to new districts and the new province, Muchinga, in the 2013 Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, last year, you will recall that there was only K30 billion allocated to infrastructure development in all the new districts and Muchinga Province. Now, that figure has been raised to K204 billion. What else do people want?

Sir, it is only this year that we have seen an increase in the number of boreholes to be drilled across the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions 

Mr Sichone: Last year, we had 1, 500 boreholes but, this year, there will be 2, 500.

Interruptions

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, the President has set a tone in terms of how he wants the people of this country to operate. In that tone, one would trace the President’s aim to provide water to the many people who have been drinking from contaminated wells and streams.

Sir, if this good will had started in 1991, whereby 2, 500 boreholes were drilled every year, in twenty years, simple mathematics tells us that we could have drilled 50, 000 by now, and that number of boreholes was going to make a big difference in this country. However, that could not have been achieved then because there was no good will. The good will has just been portrayed in the Budget Address to this House by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, I also want to comment on the K83.1 billion allocated to the Public Welfare Assistance (PWA) and Social Cash Transfer (SCT) schemes. Being pro-poor, the Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: … has allocated a significant amount of money to the PWA Scheme for the first time in this country. If this had started in 1991, the number of poor people could have automatically reduced in this country today.

Interruptions

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, by now, we could have had few poor people. What else do people want?

Sir, it has been observed that it was difficult for anybody to debate the Budget Address in this House, especially our colleagues on your left …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichone: … because the substance of the Budget was just above debate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: It was just too good.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: The people out there have already provided feedback. Even if their representatives would not want to acknowledge that, they have heard that the people of this country have appreciated this Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Interruptions 

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, when we just took over Government, the PAYE threshold was pushed to K2 million. This year, we have further increased it to K2.2 million.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister is responding to issues that relate to Muchinga Province.

Continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, the K2.2 million threshold for PAYE simply means ...

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Sichone: ... that there will be more money in people’s pockets.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Come January, 2013, people will have K200, 000 automatically added to their expendable income.

Interruptions

Mr Sichone: Is that not what we promised as the PF?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: We are fulfilling our promises.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, on my left!

I note that some hon. Members on my left have resorted to cross-Floor debate while seated. You should desist from that. Allow the hon. Minister to respond. You were given an opportunity to debate. Now, it is time for the hon. Ministers to respond. 

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

The Deputy Chairperson: Allow them ample opportunity to do justice to the issues you raised.

You can proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, let me also talk about one thing which is lacking. In as much as we are talking about this Budget being perfect and historic in this country, there is a problem, which is lack of patriotism amongst both the people on the left and, possibly, some from the right in the streets of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, we are citizens of this country and it pains a lot to see that, in as much as we have a great Budget in place, the implementation agencies such as the Civil Service, in one way or another, want to tear it apart. The civil servants want to deliberately misapply resources as it is indicated in some of the reports we have been receiving in this House.

Sir, to show that they are patriotic, our colleagues on your left are supposed to support this Budget to the point that, by now, we could have all agreed to approve it and moved on to its implementation. So, lack of patriotism is one of the challenges that we have.

Mr Speaker, the other challenge is that of transforming the mindset of both the implementing agencies and our colleagues on your left. We need to see good where there is good and work extra hard where we are required to do so. We need to oppose only where it is due. You cannot be opposing just for the sake of it. This Budget is outstanding.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, I would also want to comment on the youths. The youths in this country …

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mulenga: Imwe ba Professor, ikaleni naimwe!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister for Muchinga in order to accuse the hon. Members of this House of being unpatriotic when each and every one of us in this House held the Constitution of this Republic and vowed to protect and defend it? Is he in order to debate like that? 

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

To the extent that the debate bordered on questioning the patriotism of hon. Members of Parliament who swore on the Bible to uphold the Constitution, he was definitely out of order, ... 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: ... unless evidence can be supplied to prove his allegation. For now, I have seen none.

Proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Apologise!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

There is no assistant Speaker on my left.

Proceed, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, indeed, there are many youths on the streets, starting from the young age of fifteen to thirty five, who are wallowing in abject poverty.

Sir, this problem is a long-standing one. You saw that, through the will of His Excellency the President, ...

Hon. Government Members: Michael Chilufya Sata!

Mr Sichone … Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, the hon. Minister of Finance indicated that there is a plan to create 200, 000 jobs in 2013. That simply means that we will have to create more than a million jobs in the next five years and beyond which, I believe, we will do.

Sir, if we had the good will to create 200, 000 jobs for youths every year, and if this was imbedded in the successive budgets since 1991, how many unemployed youths were we going to remain with today? That question, obviously, cannot be answered by our colleagues on the left.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, let me also dwell on the removal of customs duty on motorcycles and ambulances. 

Sir, in my province, we have the Nakonde Border, which is one of our economic hubs for the province. It is a gateway to the East. Just across the border, our colleagues do not use bicycles as much as they use motorcycles. Even in rural areas, people ride motorcycles. They use motorised transport, which enables them to transport their tomatoes and onions from the village to the market on time and with very little damage.

Mr Speaker, the removal of customs duty on the importation of motorcycles is a blessing to the people of my province because I can assure you that, by December, 2013, there will be many farmers who will have motorcycles. The cost of a motor bike without duty is about K3 million … 

Hon. Government Member: Even K2 million
 
Mr Sichone: … or even K2.5 million in some cases. Now that the duty has been waved, farmers are very excited.

Mr Speaker, the K1 trillion increase in the budget for the health sector from the 2012 Budget, which translates to 40.7 per cent, is another indicator that the Government of his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, is a very serious Government. 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: I can assure you that this K1 trillion will be spent on the poor people in my province and in this country who are unable to access expensive health services.

Sir, we have 5,000 teachers earmarked to be employed in the education sector. In Muchinga Province, we have a lot of vacancies in terms of teaching staff. The human resource in this sector is not as adequate as required. The 5,000 jobs that will be created in 2013 in the education sector will definitely increase the number of people that are going to leave the streets. If this strategy was launched in 1991, we would have more teachers than pupils by now.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to comment on the K50 billion given to the youth for empowerment. Some have forgotten about the need to try and explore the future of our youth because we heard about the K40 billion Youth Empowerment Fund in 2006, which I wanted to benefit from as a youth, but I never saw that money trickle down to the ground.

Mr Speaker, the great assurance that we have is that in 2013, this money will be in the villages of Chama District near the game park which is a remote area with very few people.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: This is a commitment which the Government of His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata has made. 

Sir, I would also like to comment on the K475.1 billion that has been earmarked for the operations and expansion of infrastructure in universities, colleges and trades training institutes. For some time after Independence, this country only saw the opening of two public universities. The addition of Mulungushi University increased the number to three. The population has been growing and since 1991, the intelligent young Zambians were denied an opportunity to get university education. You had to first go into college before going to the university because you could not be part of the 5,000 people that were getting places at the University of Zambia. This will be history. We now have two universities in Muchinga Province.

Hon. Opposition Member: Why?

 Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, these two universities will provide the people of this country the rare opportunity of obtaining university education.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ). The NCZ has been given K255 billion. What this means is that the NCZ will be revitalised. A lot of jobs will be created and the fertiliser, which in many cases has been imported, will now be available on the market all year round. This was part of the promise which the PF Government gave to … 

Mr B. Mutale: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Before you make your point of order, let us bear in mind the fact that, you, the Back Benchers, debated and now it is time for hon. Ministers to respond. I will be very reluctant to grant some of these points of order because we must allow hon. Ministers to respond. I hope you will meet the criteria for raising points of order. 

You may proceed.

Laughter

Mr B. Mutale: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to raise a very serious point of order. I rarely raise points of order.

Laughter

Mr B. Mutale: This might be the second time that I am raising a point of order. 

Sir, the hon. Members on your left had the opportunity to debate. The hon. Ministers are now reacting to their debates, but 99 per cent of them have all gone out of the House.

Interruptions

Mr B. Mutale: Okay, let me put it at 90 per cent. Are they in order to come to this House and not listen to the responses from the hon. Ministers? I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The ruling to the very serious point of order is that as long as there is a quorum, the Business of the House will continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichone: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) will benefit from the recapitalisation of the railway sector and has been allocated K642.6 billion. You may wish to know that a good stretch of the TAZARA line passes through my province. It contributes over 20 per cent to the economy of Muchinga Province.

Mr Speaker, the recapitalisation implies that 12,000 plus jobs … 

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members on my right and on my left, please, let us observe silence. Hon. Members on my right, I find it extremely discomforting when a fellow hon. Member on your right is responding and you engage in loud consultations. I do not know what the meaning of that is. 

You may continue since silence has returned.
 
Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, I was talking about the recapitalisation of the railway sector. The Great North Road passes through Muchinga Province and we have a freight crisis. We have a challenge with regard to the number of vehicles on the Great North Road that pass through the province. This is because all the heavy duty capital goods are being delivered by road. This road has become very expensive to rehabilitate. We have created over 12,000 direct and indirect jobs for our neighbors in Tanzania as a result of the Great North Road.

Sir, the moment we recapitalise TAZARA, the 12,000 jobs will be transferred into Zambia. There will be no more trucks carrying copper on that road. The rehabilitation costs of this road will be reduced and the face of Muchinga Province will also be improved. 

Mr Speaker, lastly, I want to comment on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the process of developing this country. For many years, people with disabilities felt like they were not citizens of this country. It is only now that we have seen that the vehicles they use for transportation have had their custom duty waived. This is a Government that means well to the people of this country. It has the perfect leadership of His Excellency the President. If ,for the next ten years, this country continues to be under the same leadership of His Excellency the President, it will hit the highest point of development.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to debate on the Budget Address which was presented to this House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda. I commend the hon. Minister of Finance for the job well done. 

Mr Speaker, I am very disappointed to see that the hon. Members on your left have disappeared from this House. When we were on that side of the House, we did not…

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

A ruling has already been made on that. Proceed, hon. Member.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, there are issues which were raised by our colleagues and it is important that we respond to them.  Firstly, I want to quote what the hon. Minister of Finance said and …

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said, and I quote: 

“A total of K24.7 trillion or 76.8 per cent of this expenditure will be financed by raising domestic revenue.”

Sir, the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development commended this and I agree with him.  Last year, this was at 72 per cent but, now, it is at 76.8 per cent. This means that we are now running away from the issue of depending on donors. I, therefore, expected our colleagues on your left to praise the PF Government under the leadership of Mr Michael Chilufya Sata.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata has never failed. He was Minister of Local Government, Minister of Labour and Minister of Health and he delivered. He is still going to deliver to the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, this Government has committed itself to fighting corruption in this country and has provided K100 billion plus for this fight. It is only in this country where criminals become heroes. That is why I wanted Hon. Maxwell Mwale and Hon. Dora Siliya to be in the House so that I respond to all the issues that they raised. I agree with the hon. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security, Mr Mbulu, who said that the MMD have to keep quiet because they failed the people of Zambia and they have even asked for forgiveness because they did not do a good job. What else can they say in this House?

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has allocated K255 billion to the Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF) to pay the retirees. Ask the MMD if they did that when they were in power. The pensioners were just languishing in the streets for five to six years without being paid.

Professor Lungwangwa walked out of the Chamber.

Hon. Government Members: Sit down!

Laughter

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, you can see, they are even running away from the House.

Laughter

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

The hon. Member has freedom of movement.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this year, we have provided K616 million so that we continue paying the retirees. These problems were left by the MMD. Why are they raising their voices on us? They did not want to listen to anyone when they were in power. The hon. Minister of Finance did present how we are going to spend the US$500 million Eurobond. He tabulated how the money shall be spent. The MMD did not do that at all. When we tried to advise them, they did not listen and they even misled Mr Rupiah Banda. Today, they are out of power and the Zambian people are watching. Their partners have said that they will never come back. You know the partners I am talking about.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the people of Zambia are watching.

Interruptions

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Please, do not engage the hon. Member that is debating. Hon. Member, please, proceed.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, our able hon. Minister of Finance has provided K255 billion for the NCZ. For the past six to seven years, the MMD did not allocate any money to the NCZ. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, without disturbing your debate, bear in mind that you are hon. Deputy Minister of Defence and a number of issues that were raised touching your ministry have to be responded to. I know that you will be coming to that shortly. 

Please, proceed.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I am saying so because the MMD Government failed the people of Zambia and they need to be reminded. 

Mr Speaker, one hon. Member from the UPND talked about the establishment of Youth Training Skills Centres (YTSC), which is now in our hands. The Ministry of Finance released K6.5 billion for the Zambia National Service (ZNS) which is under the Ministry of Defence. We are rehabilitating Kamfinsa and Chiwopo in the Eastern Province. This will enable us recruit youths to train in carpentry, farming and other skills. We want each provincial centre in this country such as Mansa, Kasama and Lusaka to have a YTSC. We will have about ten YTSC. The target is that each training centre will have 500 youths. That is good progress. People thought that when His Excellency the President pronounced this, it should have ended there. We are on the ground. In 2013, this Government, through the Ministry of Finance will provide K10.6 billion so that we continue with these programmes. I have told the MMD and the people of Zambia that my President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata will deliver to the people of Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education did tell us that they will recruit 5,000 teachers. The Ministry of Health will recruit 2,000 health workers. The Zambia Police Service will recruit 800 policemen. Now, is that not job creation? The MMD Government did not do this in twenty years. They were just arrogant. When we stood to advise them in this House, they could not listen. We promise not to fall in their track. That is why we are on the right track. With the programmes which His Excellency has put in place, I can tell you that after ten years, the people of Zambia will request for the amendment of the Constitution because we will deliver. You saw what happened when His Excellency the President went to inspect the works on the roads and bridges. That was superb.

Laughter

Mr Mwila: The only people who cannot see where we are going are the blind. Therefore, I would like to say that we are on the right track. I can assure the people of Zambia that we shall fulifil our promises.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to debate on the Motion that was presented to this House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda.

Mr Speaker, in terms of my debate, and my representation of the people of Mwense Constituency, which is a rural constituency, I have a few words to say. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You are the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training, and Early Education, and you respond to the issues that are raised relating to your ministry. As an hon. Minister, all the constituencies are virtually yours.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance. 

Before I dwell much on my ministry, let me start by saying that, in 2011, when the elections were held, the Zambian people decided to make a fundamental change. The reason they decided to make that change in the governance of this country is that they recognised the political, social and economic failures that this country went through during the MMD Government’s twenty-year rule.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, sometimes, we do not want to be engaged in political talk but, as Zambians, we need to recognise that it is only fair, especially if we are factual, that the only way we will drive this country forward is when we tell the Zambian people the truth. The truth is that the only way this country will develop is when the Zambian people decide to make that change. We also need to develop a culture of Zambia versus Zambia, unlike developing a culture of Zambia versus Angola. The Zambian people have a fundamental responsibility to develop this country and, in this regard, there is a need to have a fundamental definition of the destination this country is headed for.

Hon. Government Members: Tell them.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Nasheniko ukubomfya fundamental.

Laughter

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, order!

I hope this is the last time that I will remind the hon. Members on my left not to interfere when another hon. Member is debating.

Mr Mabumba: … for the first time, this country has an experienced President by the name of Mr Michael Sata.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, it is not about personality, but the principle that His Excellency Mr Michael Sata brings to the Zambian people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: If you look at the Budget that has been presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, you will see that it only demonstrates that our Republican President aims at bringing social justice and decency to the Zambian people.

Mr Speaker, for instance, the council employees were not getting paid on time. We have read in the newspapers that all the councils throughout this country have been given grants. That is a way of providing social justice to the people who were not getting paid and social decency to the people who were even failing to meet the basic needs because the Government, then, was not able to pay them their money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, having said that, let me also look at the issue of infrastructure and how this relates to the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training and Early Education. If you look at our rural schools, sometimes, it is not easy to retain the teachers in these rural schools because of the non-availability of infrastructure, roads and electricity in these areas. However, like we all heard, the hon. Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development said ZESCO is heavily investing in the generation and distribution of power in this country. This entails that even the teachers that were not able to go to rural areas will go there because we will have excess electricity to supply to these areas. The rural areas will be accessible, and this will attract the teachers and enable them to return to the schools in these areas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we have schools along the line of rail but, if one got on a train today, it would probably take him/her four days to get to where he/she is going. We need to commend the Republican President for the decision to cancel the concession on Zambia Railways Limited. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Zambia Railways Limited has not been able to contribute to the social and economic development of this country. 

Mr Speaker, I would now like to talk about the Decentralisation Policy. Schools that are in Pemba, Nsama, Chipili and many other districts that His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata created do not have the social or public services. Therefore, with the K204 billion allocated, we are going to develop infrastructure in these newly-created districts. This will be able to attract and retain teachers in rural areas, including Mwense, my constituency. 

Mr Speaker, at one time, our colleagues complained that the President was creating too many districts. Now they are surprised because this Government has demonstrated commitment to the Zambian people. Instead of just creating districts in a vacuum, we have given those districts some money. 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I now come to the financial policy re-engineering. 

 Our colleagues have argued for windfall tax for some time now, and yet nobody has come to this House with some figures. All I have heard is that we can raise US$300 billion as windfall tax and so on and so forth. Where are the figures? Where is their research? If they go to the Zambia Chamber of Mines, they will be able to find research that has been conducted regionally. Which country is charging windfall tax? There is none in the region.  

Mr Speaker, windfall tax is not good for business in this country. It is neither good for job creation nor is it good for our social extended family fabric because if the mines went under care and maintenance, the few civil servants who would remain in employment might have their salaries affected. Some of the money we are getting from the mines goes to pay the workers who are in the Civil Service. 

Therefore, we should commend the Government and Hon. Chikwanda for having taken a cautious approach to mining taxation. We need to have a transitional incremental approach when it comes to the fiscal policy in the mining sector. Our pledge to the Zambian people was to broaden the tax base and this is what the Government is trying to address. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is a big spender. The restructuring of the Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA) is a welcome move. In 2013, procurement decisions will be made in the ministry. This means that we are going to expedite the procurement processes unlike what they are now. This will mean that construction of schools will be speeded up.

Mr Speaker, we should thank the Government for abolishing interests that were being charged on savings, fixed deposit accounts and other financial instruments. This entails that if our teachers in rural areas have an account with a bank, they will have some savings because the tax that they used to contribute on the basis of the money that they have in their bank accounts is no longer there. This is an important policy decision that this Government has made because it will help the banks to mobilise their resources and even our colleagues who were burying money in bunkers will …

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: … no longer do so. They will simply take it to the banks and earn interest without paying any tax.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we are grateful to the hon. Minister of Finance for the money that has been allocated to the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. This money will be used to complete the schools we inherited from our colleagues as well as start new infrastructure development at the secondary and primary school sub-sectors. 

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, the money which has been allocated to the ministry, will help in policy reviews. We have the Education Act of 1996, which I do not know how long ago it was last amended, and yet things have changed. Therefore, the budgetary allocation, in accordance with the President’s Speech, is going to help us review our policies on education and revolutionalise our bursaries scheme when the Loans Authority is formulated.

Sir, my colleagues have debated on the recruitment of teachers. At one time, Hon. Mutati mentioned, in this House, that he had no teachers in his constituency, especially for the community schools. However, I wish to inform him that, with the policy of recruiting 5, 000 teachers, community schools that do not have teachers will be provided with teachers. This is an important policy direction in moving the ministry forward. 

Mr Speaker, it is also important to note that all these challenges that the ministry is facing were inherited from our colleagues, the MMD. Twenty years in power was a long time. I was in Kabwe a few weeks ago and noted that even schools in the urban area did not have proper ablution rooms. As the hon. Minister already mentioned, part of this Budget is going to be used to start addressing some of these historical challenges in the ministry which were due to administrative failure by our colleagues who were mandated to run this country for twenty years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the PF Government means well for the people of Zambia and we, in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, are not going to abdicate our responsibility to them. We will build schools, recruit teachers and build toilets for them. This is because we want to underscore the difference between the MMD and the PF Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! The MMD!

Mr Mabumba: Sir, they managed to convert only one college into a university, Mulungushi University. As I speak, we have six universities …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: … that are either tendered for or being constructed. 

Sir, the reason the people of Zambia changed the Government was that they wanted to bring in His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata who is an action-oriented President, to change the direction of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: For those who want to continue arguing, the truth is that this Government is going to make a difference. That is why some of us had to come on board. So, we are committed to the Zambian people and we will make that difference.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

(Debate adjourned)

ADJOURNMENT

The Minister of Finance and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

__________

The House adjourned at 1933 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 31st October, 2012.

WRITTEN REPLY TO QUESTION

MAYUKWAYUKWA SECONDARY SCHOOL

225.Mr Taundi (Mangango) asked the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)when the Government would complete constructing Mayukwayukwa Secondary School in Mangango Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)what the total cost of constructing the school was;

(c)when the school would be opened to the public; and

(d)whether the school would cater for both boys and girls.

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the construction of Mayukwayukwa Secondary School in Mangango Constituency is expected to be completed in 2013.

Sir, the total cost of construction of Mayukwayukwa Boarding Secondary School is K38,540,379,729.17.

Mr Speaker, the school will be opened to the public in 2013, and it will cater for both girls and boys.

I thank you, Sir.