3 November 2012

Zambia: Parliament Nods K38 Billion State House Budget

PARLIAMENT yesterday unanimously approved the K38 billion allocation to State House in the 2013 national Budget.

The Parliamentarians also approved the Office of the Vice-Presidents' allocation of about K20 billion and that of the National Assembly estimated at K323 billion.

Moving the motion to approve the estimates of revenue and expenditure, Vice-President Guy Scott said State House was significant as it played a key role in providing guidance to the nation.

"This Budget for State House will enable smooth operations and it is an important institution that provides guidance for this nation," Dr Scott said United Party for National Development (UPND) Gwembe MP, Brian Ntundu said State House should be respected by everybody because it was the residence for the Head of State.

"Mr Speaker, I therefore, support the budget for State House without any fear or favour," he said.

MMD Nalikwanda MP, Geoffrey Lungwangwa said State House should be an institution that unified all Zambians and that the 2013 Budget allocation should help improve its status.

UPND Kalomo MP, Request Muntanga and his Zambezi West counterpart Charles Kakoma also supported the State House budget. MMD Malambo MP,

Maxwell Mwale said the Office of the Vice-President (OVP) should be respected including its institution, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), which was doing tremendous work during disasters.

MMD Senga Hill MP, Kapembwa Simbao was impressed with Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda for increasing by 100 per cent, the allocation to the OVP.

UPND Mazabuka MP, Garry Nkombo rose on a point of order on whether Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) was right to inform the nation and the world at large in their news bulletin of Thursday evening that Parliament had unanimously approved the 2013 national Budget when in fact not.

Mr Nkombo said ZNBC misled people because the House on Thursday only wound up debate on the Budget.

In his ruling, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mkhondo Lungu said the correct position was made on the matter.

Meanwhile, Dr Scott said the Government would not rest until the fugitive serial killers, the Mailoni Brothers who had killed and continued to terrorise residents of Luano Valley in Mkushi were captured.

He was responding to MMD Mkushi South MP, Sydney Chisanga, who wanted to know whether the Government had exhausted all channels of capturing the Mailoni brothers.

UPND Pemba MP, Mutinta Mazoka asked what the Government was doing on some police officers who travelled by public service buses while carrying firearms.

In response, Dr Scott said the Ministry of Home Affairs would address the issue if it was true there were such cases.

MMD Mafinga MP, Catherine Namugala wondered whether it was in order for President Michael Sata to direct that the civil service be cleaned up to eliminate MMD remnants that were frustrating development efforts being embarked on by the Patriotic Front Government.

Dr Scott said in his response that the Government would not continue to work with civil servants who would want to see the ruling party fail to implement developmental programmes.

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