Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chileshe Mulenga has revealed that there is a lot of abuse of public resources among civil servants in the province.
Dr. Mulenga has told Breeze News that from more than four cases that have been taken before court involving abuse of public money, none of the civil servants has been acquitted.
He was reacting to Grand Coalition Provincial Chairperson, Maxson Nkhoma who has alleged that civil servants in Eastern Province are now working in fear because of too many suspensions.
Mr. Nkhoma, who has petitioned the Secretary to the Cabinet through the Public Service Division Commission to intervene in the matter, charged that most of the suspensions are being made on flimsy grounds.
But Dr. Mulenga says that there is no joy or malice on the suspensions that are slapped on erring officers, stating that he has the responsibility to protect public funds from abuse.
He explained that as principal officer, he will need to account for the money when he appears before PAC, the Public Accounts Committee if he allows abuse of public resources.
The permanent secretary expressed disappointment that Mr. Nkhoma, who is also CSPR Provincial Coordinator would condemn measures that are aimed at protecting public money from abuse.
President Michael Sata’s body will receive a special send-off ceremony from the British armed forces at Heathrow Airport in London this evening.
The Zambia High Commission in London has announced this in a press statement availed to Breeze News by press secretary, Amos Chanda
Mr. Chanda says that the Queen has ordered a special send-off ceremony in honour of the President.
And the programme for the repatriation of the body of late President Michael Sata from London has been completed.
This is in readiness for the departure of the family and officials to Lusaka this evening.
Mr. Chanda says that the mission in conjunction with the Diocese of Westminster in London has organised a Requiem Mass in honour of the life of the President.
The church service was expected to take place at 12: 00 hours at the Church of Our Lady in St. Johns Wood with Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda expected to address the congregants on behalf of government and the family.
Meanwhile Mr. Chanda says that a book of condolences has been opened at the Zambia High Commission.
Mr. Chanda also emphasised that it is not true that the mission has purchased 200 tickets to offer any Zambians willing to travel to Zambia.
He explained that a statement circulating on social media is a forgery.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni speaking people in Eastern Province has been hospitalized in South Africa.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni confirmed to Breeze News in a telephone interview that he is feeling much better and expects to be discharged this evening.
And the Paramount Chief says that he too has heard rumors purporting that he has died, but indicated that his condition is not serious.
He assured his subjects not to worry too much or entertain false rumors.
Meanwhile, his induna Goerge Kanyamula Zulu has told Breeze News that he is happy with the progress Chief Mpezeni is making in responding to medication.
The Induna explained that when he last spoke to Chief Mpezeni, he was in high spirits and able to laugh and joke with him.
Mr Zulu has castigated those spreading rumors of the Paramount Chief’s death to stop being malicious and instead wish him good health.
The Grand Coalition on the People Driven Constitution Making Process in Eastern Province says it has received President Michael Sata’s demise with grief.
In a statement made available to Breeze News, Provincial Grand Coalition Chairperson, Maxson Nkhoma has also expressed his Heartfelt Condolences to the first family, the Patriotic Front Party and the People of Zambia for the untimely loss of the president.
Mr Nkhoma says it is regrettable that Zambia has lost one of the most hard working and Patriotic Zambian who dedicated his entire life working for a common good of Society as witnessed by various Leadership Positions, which he held before ascending to the Presidency on 20th September 2011.
He says the death of President Sata has robbed the Country of a visionary Political Leader whom Zambians would have loved to complete his term of office.
And Mr Nkhoma has expressed sadness that the death of the President has continued to expose how defective the current Constitution is to handle Governance issues relating to who should take over power when the sitting President dies.
He says the current Constitution calls for Presidential Election to be held within 90 Days, at a very huge cost.
Mr. Nkhoma says that this could be easily avoided by enacting a new Constitution which allows the Vice President to take over the Office of the President and Save until the end of the term.
The Bank of Zambia BOZ has assured people that the Zambian economy remains fundamentally strong and resilient.
BOZ Governor, Michael Gondwe says that the resilience has been demonstrated this year through the challenges faced in the foreign exchange market.
In a statement of condolence to the first family over the death of President, Michael Sata availed to Breeze News, Dr. Gondwe says that the Bank of Zambia mourns the tragic loss of the former head of state.
He says that at a time like this it is expected that the financial markets may become unsettled leading investors and individuals to take measures that reflect market uncertainty rather than any change in the fundamental strength and resilience of the economy.
Dr. Gondwe has disclosed that BOZ has already seen some of these uncertainties reflected in the foreign exchange market.
He however, assures that Zambia’s financial sector remains well capitalised and sound.
He says that BOZ will remain resolute in ensuring that it maintains macroeconomic stability that supports the continued growth and diversification of Zambia’s economy.
Dr. Gondwe has conveyed his deepest condolences to President Michael Sata’s family stating that BOZ joins them in prayer during such difficult times.
Mwase Lundazi and Kapichila local Courts in Lundazi district have been closed due to poor sanitation condition of the toilet facilities.
Lundazi District Community Medical Officer, Dr. Allan Chisenga confirmed the closure of the two local courts.
He says the closure is basically due to lack of toilets at both Mwase Lundazi and Kapichila local courts.
Dr. Chisenga said Kapichila local court has long standing issues stating that there were more problems at Kapichila local court as the building is not acceptable and the whole court building needs to be rehabilitated.
He says that his office wrote a letter to Lundazi Local court offices on what to do and appealed to the public to put in place all the basic needs like toilets to avoid outbreak of diseases this coming rain season.
And Lundazi District Local Courts Officer Wisdom Phiri said that his office reported the matter to the provincial local courts office in Chipata and they are waiting for a response.
Mr. Phiri however, said that they have started building the toilets while waiting for the provincial authorities to respond to the costs involved.
Voters in Kasenengwa and Vubwi parliamentary by-elections have started voting.
Breeze FM Staffer, Diana Ngwengayama reports that Chiparamba sub-centre polling station opened at exactly 06hours with over 100 people waiting to cast their vote.
Four candidates are participating in the by -election and these are Gideon Zulu of the ruling PF, Timothy Nyirenda of the UPND and Khumbiza Daka of UNIP, while Victoria Kalima is re-contesting the seat on the MMD ticket.
Meanwhile Breeze FM Staffer, Naomi Mwimba is in Vubwi Constituency and reports that Vubwi Basic School, polling station opened at 06hours with about 30 people waiting to vote in the by-election.
MMD are fielding Dr. Eustakio Kazonga, UNIP has Lucas Phiri, PF has floated Margaret Miti and UPND have fielded in Alfonso Phiri.
Meanwhile the ECZ, Electoral Commission of Zambia has gone ahead with its new system of transmitting election results electronically.
Chiparamba sub-centre polling station presiding officer, Admason Sakala has confirmed that polling centres have been told to update ECZ on the voting pattern after every three hours.
And voters in Solwezi Central, Mkushi South and Zambezi West are also voting to choose their members of parliament in a by-election.
Opposition political parties planning to destroy ECZ, Electoral Commission of Zambia equipment, which will be used to transmit election results electronically, risk being arrested.
This is according to a statement availed to Breeze News by Police Spokesperson, Charity Munganga Chanda.
Mrs. Chanda has further warned political parties, who are planning to cause confusion or any form of violence during and after the elections that they will be arrested and taken to court.
She says that there are enough officers on the ground to handle any violence situation that may arise.
And police has urged electorates in the five constituencies where they are by elections today, to move freely as they cast their votes and report any incidence to the nearest police officer.
Mrs. Chanda says the role of the Zambia Police is to provide security and protection to the electorates, ECZ officials and government equipment as well as the stakeholders, who will be taking part in the by-election.
Meanwhile Mrs. Chanda has reiterated the need for the participating political parties, electorates and all stakeholders to abide by the electoral code of conduct
Provincial Minister, Malozo Sichone has expressed worry with the high number of sex workers in Chipata.
Mr. Sichone has told Breeze News that such kind of business is illegal and a risk to one’s life.
He explained that he rescued a woman, who was almost raped by a man on one of the streets when he was coming from campaigns around 23 hours.
The Provincial Minister says that such activities are not only denting the image of the individuals but also giving a bad name to Chipata.
Mr. Sichone says that government is ready to empower women with good skills, so that they stop lining up on the streets for commercial sex at night.
Marketeers in Katete district especially those trading in vegetables have complained over the increase of illegal street vendors in the area.
Katete Stores Market Chairperson, Sainani Lungu told Breeze News in an interview that marketeers have abandoned their stands opting to trade from the street.
Mr. Lungu indicated that although street vending has backing from government, it should be applicable to areas where there are shortages of trading places other than Katete were there is enough space to trade from.
And one of the traders, Esther Mbewe, who is currently operating inside the market, also complained that they are currently facing a challenge in selling their vegetables due to vendors.
And Katete District Council Chairman, Abraham Zulu also complained that the local authority was losing about 50 per cent of revenue due to illegal street vending.
Mr. Zulu has indicated that the council was not collecting any levy as vendors were operating from corridors of people’s shops.