The Ministry of Local Government has awarded contracts to two local contractors to work on feeder roads in Chipata district.
The works will be carried out at a total cost of one hundred and forty-five million Kwacha.
Speaking in an interview with journalists today, Chipata City Council Public Relations Manager, Kameko Manda, named the contractors as Horizon Contractors and Vibrant Constructions and General Supply Limited.
Ms. Manda says the roads will be constructed over a period of three years.
She explained that Horizon Contractors will work on the fifty-seven kilometres Chamakanga-Lukuzwe road at a cost of seventy-eight million Kwacha.
Ms. Manda says Vibrant Constructions and General Supply Limited will work on the forty-five kilometres Chongo- Chiwoko road at a cost of sixty-seven million kwacha.
She says works on the two roads started on November 17th, adding that the periodic inspections, which will be done over three years will ensure that the roads being constructed are of the highest quality possible.
The Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia, EFAZ says there is need to adjust some of the sections in the 1968 tobacco Act.
Speaking on the sidelines of the TBZ consultative meeting held in Chipata yesterday, EFAZ chairperson, Franklyn Mwale, says changes to the act are needed because of the transformation that has taken place in tobacco farming methods and marketing.
Mr. Mwale says the tobacco Act has been in existence for over 40 years and needs to be amended to suit the current trends and growing number of farmers in the province.
He emphasized that the act should just be amended so that it addresses current issues such as sponsorship of farmers without farming equipment and levies that farmers pay, instead of completely being repealed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mwale says that due to last year’s good market for the crop, more farmers have been encouraged to grow tobacco during the 2017-2018 farming season.
Mr. Mwale has urged farmers to provide the association with information that will assist EFAZ to start negotiations with the government through TBZ over buying companies.
Nyimba District Commissioner Colonel Peter Kunda Kaisa has appealed to relevant authorities within government to consider repairing two damaged bridges in Chief Ndake’s area.
Speaking in an interview with Breeze News, Colonel Kaisa says the two bridges, Msima and Kapakasa were damaged during the 2016- 2017 rain season and have not been repaired.
Colonel Kaiza says that the two damaged bridges have resulted in motorists failing to cross to the other side.
He says that ambulances have equally been affected as they are unable to pick patients from the villages across the bridges to the hospital.
The district commissioner added that the situation was reported to relevant authorities some time ago, but the district is still waiting for funds to have the two bridges repaired.
Government has been urged to properly plan and identify reliable resource areas to avoid illegal mining activities in the country.
Reacting to government’s decision to revoke exploration mining licenses in Petauke and Vubwi districts, Eastern Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI President Thomas Mtonga says that there was a situation of lawlessness in the respective areas.
Mr. Mtonga says the illegal mining activities conducted in the areas are a wakeup call to government, stating that for a long time, the deposits of gold have been laying idol in the province.
He says this is why government should have a resource map, to determine areas, which are rich in natural resources, so that certain things are done in a proper way.
Mr. Mtonga however says in terms of policy, when a person has a mining right, they are protected under the law in executing their activities.
He says assurance of permission to conduct business in the country by investors can be affected if government grants and later withdraws licenses from investors.
Government is to release 400,000 Kwacha towards rehabilitation of Lutembwe Bridge on Kagunda road and culverts on Chipata-Magwero road.
Road Development Agency RDA Regional Engineer, Thomas Zimba has confirmed to Breeze News.
Mr. Zimba says that works on the bridge and culverts will start immediately after the money is made available by government.
And Chipata Central Member of Parliament Moses Mawere says that the 400,000 Kwacha is part of the 1.5 million Kwacha, which will be released by the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to some constituencies in Eastern Province.
Mr. Mawere says that he has been assured that the money will reflect in the RDA account today so that works can start immediately.
He however, says that if the money delays to come, Chipata City Council has agreed to borrow some money from the equalisation fund to do the works.
Mr. Mawere says that he is aware that the Lutembwe Bridge and culverts on Magwero road need agent attention to facilitate movement of people and vehicles.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo has expressed concern over the existing drug pilferage practices in the Province.
Mr. Kasolo says it is criminal to engage in selling of drugs meant for distribution in Public Health facilities.
The Permanent Secretary was speaking in Chipata during the 2017 Provincial Health 3rd Quarter Integrated Technical Review meeting.
He urged the Health Sector to strengthen its internal
controls to ensure the safe storage and management of medicines and other medical supplies.
Mr. Kasolo however commended the health sector in the province for recording improvements in areas of infrastructure development and implementing malaria control measures.
He said that this is despite the disease still remaining the major cause of morbidity and mortality.
Mr. Kasolo added that government has prioritized control efforts because its aim is to eliminate malaria by 2021.
The Permanent Secretary urged stakeholders to use the review meetings to assess ways of addressing the various challenges being faced in the province, among them insufficient blood availability, limited human resource and maternal deaths which was at 92 in 2016 and 72 so far this year.
Mr. Kasolo revealed that the health sector in the province has so far received tremendous support from cooperating partners with a total sum of 65 million Kwacha from various partners and 100% government funding.
The Chipata High Court has sentenced a 29 year old man of Sinda district to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour, on one count of defilement.
Appearing before Lusaka based Judge Mwila Chitabo for sentencing was Kafita Banda.
Facts of the matter are that Banda, on April 18th 2016, had carnal knowledge of his 10 year old niece, contrary to the laws of Zambia.
In mitigation, the convict who spoke through Senior Legal Aid counsel John Phiri asked the court to exercise leniency as he is a first offender who is sorry for his action.
He said the convict is a young man who can easily be rehabilitated if given another chance.
But when passing ruling, Judge Chitabo said the court had heard his mitigation but said that at his age, the convict is expected to show leadership in society and protect the wellbeing of children.
He said after carefully considering the record of proceedings from the lower court and looking at the medical report presented to the court, he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Banda had carnal knowledge of a minor.
He said the convict’s action will have a long psychological problem to the victim and therefore sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour, with effect from the day of his arrest.
The Judge advised him to appeal to the higher Court if he is not satisfied with the ruling.
Tarring works on Kalindawalo road in Chipata district have temporarily been suspended due to lack of funds.
Sable Construction Company Managing Director, Nazir Aloo has confirmed the development to Breeze News.
Mr. Aloo says that the company has opened up the road without works being completed because it is waiting for funds from NRFA, the National Road Fund Agency.
He says that the company is supposed to put another thick layer of bitumen on the road before it could have been opened to motorists.
Mr. Aloo says that he is currently not sure when funds will be made available for the road works to be completed.
The Kalindawalo road is now being used by motorists with only a thin layer of bitumen, which is expected to ware off within a short period of time.
A 34 year old woman of Sinda district has been hospitalised after being hit by a stray bullet.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Alex Chilufya has confirmed the incident, which happened yesterday around 10:45 hours at Munyamadzi section.
Mr. Chilufya says that the incident happened during a dog elimination exercise, which was being conducted by the Veterinary Department and the council.
He says that Alice Tembo, a passer-by, was shot at by an Officer who was on duty with Council and Veterinary Officers during the operation.
Mr. Chilufya says Ms. Tembo sustained 9 pellet gunshot wounds; in the neck, left side of the chest, left arm and abdomen.
He says that the victim was rushed to St. Francis hospital where she underwent surgery to extract the pellets from her body and she is reported to be in stable condition.
Mr. Chilufya says police have opened an Inquiry File to determine the circumstances of the incident.
A 43 year old man of Chief Kalindawalo’s area in Petauke district has committed suicide after thinking that he had murdered his wife.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Alex Chilufya has confirmed the incident to Breeze News, which happened yesterday.
Mr. Chilufya says that Moses Mwanza of Ndikula village seriously assaulted his 36 year old wife Regina Phiri, when he hit her with a hammer on the forehead after a domestic dispute.
He says that when his wife fainted, Mwanza thought she had died prompting him to take insecticide by way of committing suicide.
Mr. Chilufya says that both husband and wife were rushed to Minga Mission Hospital where they were treated.
However, while Regina Phiri responded to treatment and recovered, Mwanza succumbed and died at 05:00 hours.
The police commissioner says that the body of Mwanza is lying in Minga Mission Hospital awaiting post-mortem and burial.