By CHARITY MOONGA –
OPPOSITION Members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday took Government to task over the cattle movement ban in Southern and Western provinces, which has been in force for the past 17 years.
This followed an oral question from Patriotic Front (PF) Kaputa MP Maxus Ng’onga, who wanted the Ministry of Agriculture to tell the House when the Agricultural Credits Act would be implemented.
Mr Ng’onga wanted to know why the Act had not been implemented despite its enactment in 2010.
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Robert Sichinga said Government was considering lifting the cattle movement ban this year because of the social and economic impact it had on Zambia’s economy.
Mr Sichinga informed the House that the Agriculture credits Act would only be effected after comprehensive consultations.
He said the Act had not been implemented because of lengthy processes and consultations.
The minister said the setting up of the Warehousing and Licensing Authority as prescribed in the Act was also costly for the Government.
Mr Sichinga was, however, hopeful that the process would be completed this year.
In a follow-up question to the Ministry of Agriculture and
Livestock, MMD Sikongo MP, Mundia Ndalamei wondered what Government
would do about the vandalised cordon line between Zambia and Angola
considering that there was a ban on cattle movement in Western Province as
a result of the Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia (CBPP) outbreak.
Mr Ndalamei also sought to know when Government would lift the ban on
cattle movement in Western Province, and what measures were put in
place to ensure that cattle from Angola did not cross into Zambia.
Mr Sichinga said Zambia was no longer able to sustain the cordon although it was concerned about the continued movement of animals from
He said as at October 30, 2013, CBPP in Western Province stood at
about one per cent.
“Lifting of the ban which has been on for the past 17 years is linked
to the disease.
“It has been contained but not completely eradicated.
Once this happens, the ban will be lifted,” he said.
The minister said a team was already in Western Province to look at issues of
the cordon line and the lifting of the cattle movement ban.
Mr Sichinga said ministry staff would soon be sent to Italy to learn
ways of containing CBPP.
United Party for National Development (UPND) Mazabuka Central MP Gary Nkombo
wondered why the officers could not learn from Botswana which had the same weather and climate as Zambia but had managed to contain the disease.
UPND Kalabo Central MP Charles Miyutu said since only one per cent of
the cattle was affected, the Government should allow the remaining 99
per cent to be transported
In his response, Mr Sichinga said Zambia was already collaborating
with Botswana and Brazil over gene control of the animals and that it
would be difficult to tell which one per cent of the animals was
He said the Government was working with the Indian Government in
controlling CBPP in Zambia.