Street vendors in Chadiza district given ultimatum

Street vendors in Chadiza District have been ordered to move back to the market place at Chadiza old Market.

Chadiza District Council Secretary Kennedy Kazanda says that there are more than 70 vacant spaces at the old market but wondered why people were rushing to do their business along the streets.

He says that the traders were sensitized on the dangers of selling their goods along the street but that the traders have ignored the advice.

Mr. Kazanda has given the traders a two day ultimatum for them to get back to the market or lose their goods through confiscations.

He further warned that the local authority would drag the vendors to court.

This comes barely hours after Marketeers at Chadiza Old market protested over the increased number of street vendors in the area.

The marketeers who later stormed the Civic Centre asked the council to remove all street vendors from their various trading places and place them in the market shelter at the old market.

The marketeers complained that they were receiving very few customers in the market because most of the residents bought their goods form street vendors.

Twenty-two fish ponds dry up in Chipata

Twenty-two fish ponds under the Fisheries Department in Chipata have dried up.

Provincial Fisheries Officer, Edgar Kabeke has confirmed this saying that this follows the almost drying up of Fisheries Dam.

Mr. Kabeke told Breeze News that the Fisheries Dam has very little amount of water, which has resulted in ponds completely drying up.

He says that the department has been forced to dig a deeper pond to access water, where they are keeping the remaining stocks of fish.

Mr. Kabeke says that if the rain situation does not improve soon, the department will be forced to get new stocks of fish from Chilanga and Mwekela.

And Mr. Kabeke complained that thieves have taken advantage of the low water level in Fisheries Dam to conduct illegal fishing.

Ambassador George Zulu and PS Chanda Kasolo differ over a land issue.

Zambia’s Ambassador to Australia, George Zulu, has accused Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, of fuelling confusion in his acquisition of part of farm number D98 in Vubwi district.

He says he followed all procedures required to acquire the farm and that Mr. Kasolo is the one who signed papers on behalf of the provincial planner.

But Ambassador Zulu says he was shocked to learn later that Mr. Kasolo went to Vubwi and told people, who settled at the farm, that he does not know how he acquired the land.

He alleged that Mr. Kasolo told the people that he would investigate the matter and get back.

Ambassador Zulu says another politician, whom he did not want to mention, went to Lusaka to try and influence the Commissioner of Lands to repossess the land given to him.

He says the late President, Michael Sata, concerted to and even encouraged him to acquire the said land.

But when contacted, Mr. Kasolo said ambassador Zulu should just find a way to deal with the matter and not involve him as he is not the owner of the said farm.

Mr. Kasolo explained that the matter is currently being handled by the Ministry of Lands and he is not the one in charge.

He said people have demonstrated before over the matter to the District Commissioner and his office, but did not do anything because he thought Ambassador Zulu had done the right thing especially that he was once permanent secretary in the Ministry of Lands.

Mr. Kasolo said instead of involving him in the matter, Ambassador Zulu should just search his conscious and understand whether he got the land properly or not.

He also denied Ambassador Zulu’s claim that he assured him over the phone that he would address the matter.

UPND official in court for seditious practices

United Party for National Development UPND official, Michael Chuzu, yesterday appeared in the Chipata Magistrate Court where he is charged with the offence of seditious practices.

Mr. Chuzu 59, who is National Deputy Chairperson for Youth and Sports Development, is alleged to have issued a statement on September 26th 2016 on Chipata Television, stating that UPND met to resolve that the party does not recognize Edgar Lungu as a President of the Republic of Zambia since the court did not declare his election.

The UPND official, who is jointly charged with Chipata TV News Editor Iris Mwale, appeared before Magistrate Philip Mpundu for explanation of the offence.

Magistrate Mpundu granted bail of 5,000 Kwacha each with three working sureties.

The two are expected to appear for further explanation of the offence on November 28th this year.

Forty families for retired health workers continue to occupy government houses

Chipata Municipal Council is still assessing the issue of evicting about 40 families of retirees staying in government houses at Chipata Central Hospital Compound.

Chipata Mayor, Sinoya Mwale told Breeze News that government gave the council a mandate to evaluate the situation so that they find a lasting solution to the matter.

When asked if the council will soon issue eviction notices to the 40 families, Mr. Mwale says he needs to find out more information as the matter is still under discussion.

About 40 families of retirees under the Ministry of Health have been staying in deplorable houses at Chipata Central Hospital Compound for almost 20 years despite being paid repatriation allowances by government.

Some families are alleged to have refused to move out, claiming that they were promised by the MMD government that they will be sold the houses during former President Rupiah Banda’s reign.

The disabled describe the 2017 national budget as discriminatory.

More people have continued commenting on the 2017 National Budget, which was presented to parliament on Friday by Minister of Finance, Felix Mutati.

Elijah Ngwale, who is a goodwill ambassador for the disabled, has described the 2017 budget as discriminatory to the disabled.

Mr. Mgwale says there is no mention in the budget as to how much money has been allocated towards helping the physically challenged.

Mr. Ngwale notes that Mr. Mutati only explained that money has been allocated to assist the vulnerable.

He argues that the word vulnerable is vague, as every person is vulnerable in one way or another and can therefore, claim some money from the allocation.

Mr. Ngwale says previous national budgets were clearly explaining how much money would be allocated for the disabled and women or youth empowerment.

He has therefore, expressed disappointment and feels something needs to be done before parliament approves the budget to ensure that there is an allocation that specifically caters for the disabled.

Chipata Central Hospital has a shortage of 162 nurses.

Chipata Central Hospital needs about 300 nurses for it to operate well in its current status as a central health facility.

Hospital Medical Superintendent, Daniel Makawa told Breeze News that the hospital is currently operating with only 138 nurses.

Dr. Makawa says he is hopeful that government will send more nurses to the hospital during the on-going deployment exercise.

And Dr. Makawa says plans are underway to rehabilitate the mothers and relatives shelters at the hospital next year.

He says he is aware of the deplorable state in which the two shelters are in, but the Ministry of Health has to first complete the construction of health posts before rehabilitating the two shelters whose works have been included in the 2017 Budget.

Dr. Makawa says the rehabilitation of the mothers and relatives shelters at the hospital will be done under PPP, Public Private Partnership, adding that a named Bank has already committed itself to work with government in improving the facility.

Serious water problem hits Chipangali Constituency

Chipangali Constituency in Chipata district is in a water crisis, forcing people to be digging shallow wells in the dried Rukuzye River.

Patriotic Front, PF Chipangali vice Youth Chairman, Tizifa Nkhoma told Breeze News that the area has few boreholes which are damaged while others have dried up.

He says that this has resulted in people spending almost the whole day waiting for the shallow wells they have dug in the dry Rukuzye river to accumulate some water.

Mr. Nkhoma says drilling more boreholes and constructing dams is the only solution to alleviating water challenges in the area.

Mr. Nkhoma explained that traditional leaders have made several appeals to government and organisations to assist them drill boreholes and construct dams but nothing has been done.

Mr. Nkhoma explained that the water drawn from shallow wells in Rukuzye river is not enough and not safe to drink.

He added that domestic animals are also affected as they are being given water in buckets.

Various stakeholders welcome 2017 national budget

Various stakeholders have welcomed the 2017 National budget, which was presented to parliament by Finance Minister, Felix Mutati yesterday.

The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD says that the 64.5 billion Kwacha budget is a pro-poor budget while Civil Society for Poverty Reduction says that the budget reflects President Edgar Lungu’s pronouncements made to parliament.

MMD National Chairperson for Agriculture Chishala Chilufya says that the 64.5 billion Kwacha budget will spur development in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

Mr. Chilufya told Breeze News this morning that government has provided so many incentives that people should take advantage of.

Next year’s budget is 11 billion Kwacha higher than the 53.1 billion Kwacha government proposed to spend in 2016.

And Mr. Chilufya has defended the minimal increase in PAYE, Pay As You Earn threshold from 3,000 Kwacha this year to 3,300 Kwacha for 2017.

He says that the amount for the tax exemption still gives relief to many Zambians, adding that people getting an equivalent amount in Malawi are taxed.

And Civil Society for Poverty Reduction CSPR Advocacy and Communication Programme Coordinator Maxson Nkhoma says that the budget sticks to a number of issues that stakeholders have been raising like putting in place safeguards after the removal of subsidies.

Mr. Nkhoma further stated that the budget has addressed increased funding to social sectors like the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and good budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector so that there is a shift from mining.

He also pointed out that the zero-rating of VAT, Value Added Tax on any water related machinery is welcome because of climatic change issues, which the country is facing.

Mr. Nkhoma described the budget as progressive but expressed concern that there is poor accountability in management of public funds.

He says that in 2017, government should improve its oversight on public funds so that the intended beneficiaries benefit instead of money going into the pockets of public service workers.

The 2017 national budget has prioritized the agriculture, mining and infrastructure sectors.

Finance Minister, Felix Mutati stated that Zambia’s macro-economic objectives in 2017 will be anchored on agriculture, tourism and mining to revive the economy through diversification and create 100,000 decent jobs.

Chipata Airport runaway needs an additional one kilometer

The Department of Civil Aviation in Chipata says the Chipata Airport Runway needs to be expanded from the current 1.470 kilometers to 2. 5 kilometers.

Civil Aviation Officer in Charge, Hector Chimbwe told Breeze News that this is in order for the runway to accommodate heavy planes.

And Mr. Chimbwe says the decision by government to relocate people from M’zabwela Compound to pave way for the expansion of the airport is a welcome move because it is an illegal settlement.

He says his department has been receiving complaints from pilots on why they allow people to be moving around the runway anyhow and it has been difficult to control them.

Meanwhile, squatters staying in M’zabwela Compound, which on land belonging to the Chipata Airport say they are ready to be relocated to a new area which government will identify for them.

Speaking on behalf of the others, Rosemary Banda Miti who has been in the area for 35 years told Breeze News that the residents have welcomed the decision by government to expand the airport and relocate them because they do not have any legal documents for the area.

Mrs. Miti however, appealed to government to ensure that they give them money to build new houses where ever they will be relocated.