More than 7 million Zambians must vote in the national Referendum.

About 7.5 million Zambians must vote, for the Referendum on the enhanced Bill of Rights to be a success.

Senior Parliamentary Counsel in the Ministry of Justice, Kelvin Mweemba revealed this during a radio programme on Breeze FM this morning.

Mr. Mweemba further says that more than 51 per cent of the 7.5 million people must vote Yes to the proposed Bill of Rights, for the referendum to go through.

He explained that according to CSO, Central Statistical Office, Zambia has an estimated population of 15 million people.

Mr. Mweemba says that of these 15 million Zambians, the projection is that by June 30, 2016, there are about 7.5 million people who are above the age of 18 and eligible to participate in the referendum.

And speaking during the same programme, Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Andrew Nkunika says that CSO has been empowered by law to use statistical figures of 2010 and come up with an estimated population of Zambia.

He was clarifying on a matter where some Zambians have questioned why a census for the referendum has not been held to establish how many people are supposed to participate.

Meanwhile Governance Specialist in the Ministry of Justice, Abraham Miti says that the proposed Bill of Rights do not in any way promote same sex marriage.

Mr. Miti further explained that the proposed Bill of Rights is important because it allows citizens to sue the state if they feel that it is not fulfilling its mandate.

And Examiner and Estates Officer, Busiku Kapanda says the proposed Bill of rights has added rights, like access to information on an issue of public nature and freedom of the media.

 

FRA faces challenges to buy maize from farmers

The pace at which maize is being bought by FRA, the Food Reserve Agency from farmers in Eastern Province is slow.

This may provide a challenge to FRA in meeting the 160 thousand metric tonnes target of maize that the agency intends to buy from farmers in the province.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says FRA is facing problems in buying maize because most farmers have sold their produce to private buyers.

Mr. Kasolo also told a media Briefing yesterday that some farmers are holding on to the maize because they are being cheated by some politicians that the maize buying price will be increased again.

He however, says FRA will manage to buy enough maize or even exceed the target because no maize will be allowed to be exported to other countries.

Mr. Kasolo says government will not increase the buying price further to compare with prices in other countries because FRA has its own market.

And Mr. Kasolo says smuggling of maize and mealie-meal is still a challenge in the province due to the porousness of the borders.

He confirmed that rumours suggesting that ZNS, Zambia National Service officers are being compromised by accepting bribes from smugglers.

Road works on Great East Road have stalled.

Road works on a 15 kilometre stretch of the Great East Road have stalled for more than 10 days.

This has raised concerns among motorists, who have demanded for an explanation from RDA, the Road Development Agency on the matter.

Speaking to Breeze News, the motorists say that the stretch between Sinda and Petauke districts is not being worked forcing them to use a detour, which is in a bad state.

And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo has attributed the stalling of the road works to delays in concluding an agreement between the contractor, RDA and Africa Development Bank.

Mr. Kasolo says that according to the agreement of the contract, Condrill Construction Company was given room to renegotiate terms of the agreement.

He explained that Condrill Construction Company is renegotiating the payment agreement so that it can be paid in US dollars instead of kwacha.

Mr. Kasolo says that works on the stretch, which has already recorded two accidents in the last two weeks, will resume immediately the agreement is concluded.

 

Lawyers visit Eastern Province to explain referendum and Bill of Rights.

A team of lawyers from Lusaka is in Eastern Province to sensitize people on the referendum and the contents of the Bill of Rights.

Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Andrew Nkhunika says the sensitization tour by the lawyers will help people understand the referendum better and the contents of the proposed Bill of Rights.

Mr. Nkhunika was speaking yesterday when a team of lawyers paid a courtesy call on Provincial Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo at his office in Chipata.

He says people will be sensitized through various electronic mediums.

And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says the referendum issue needs a lot of sensitization for people to understand.

Mr. Kasolo also says that the Bill of Rights is one of the documents that need understanding by people because it is for their own benefits.

He thanked the team of lawyers for choosing the media as a tool of informing people on the document, saying most radio stations in Chipata are commercial but have community content which is very helpful to the people.

A project to construct hostels at Chipata Trades Training Institute stalls for half a year.

The 23 million Kwacha project of constructing 64 roomed student’s hostels at Chipata Trades Training Institute has stalled for about six months.

Clerk of Works, Marko M’tonga confirmed to Breeze News that the works which started in December, 2013 were supposed to be completed in January this year but are still at 52 per cent.

Mr. M’tonga explained that the delay is due to an error in the documents as the contract drawing is showing a four storey building while the Bill of Quantity BOQ is showing a three storey building.

Mr. M’tonga says the Department of Public Infrastructure has now gone back to the tender board requesting the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to authorize the constructing of a fourth floor.

He says the contractor, ZAMINLINY Investment Limited will resume the works when authority is given by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

And Mr. Mtonga says government has paid over 11 million kwacha out of about 23 million kwacha to the contractor carrying out the project.

He says once completed, the hostel will have a capacity of 248 bed space for the students.

Chief Zumwanda of Lundazi district calls for peace

Chief Zumwanda of Lundazi district has urged politicians to conduct decent campaigns ahead of next month’s general elections.

The Chief says that political violence being recorded in some parts of the country would destroy the image of the country.

Chief Zumwanda was speaking when Eastern Province coordinator for special team campaign for President Edgar Lungu, Lameck Mangani paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Lundazi.

He said politicians must remain peaceful and do everything within their powers to curtail the rise in political violence and tension in the country.

The traditional leader emphasised that nothing should be done by anybody to undermine the peace and tranquillity that currently prevails in the country.

And Mr Mangani who is former home affairs minister said that he was in the area to ask for votes for President Lungu and other Patriotic Front aspiring candidates.

He said the ruling party would strive hard to campaign based on the party manifesto which he said was clear.

Mr Mangani asked the traditional leader to assist in mobilising people to vote on poll day in an effort to avoid voter apathy

CCZ unhappy with politicians’ failure to fufill promise

The Council of Churches in Zambia CCZ has condemned political leaders for failing to implement the peaceful communiqué to which they all consented to on March 29 this year.

CCZ also says that it is not fair that the church heeds calls by politicians for prayer but politicians completely ignore the wise counsel of the Church.

This is contained in a statement availed to Breeze News by CCZ Communication and Documentation Officer, Grace Sitima.

The church mother body has reminded politicians to first of all, respect the church’s initiatives of gathering them together to try and iron out the challenges that they faced going forward in their campaigns.

CCZ has noted that politicians made serious commitments on how they would conduct themselves going forward but have not implemented.

It has noted that the politicians committed themselves to strengthening a culture of political dialogue and tolerance within and amongst themselves as well as depoliticize public places such as markets and bus stations.

CCZ says it would have loved that the call for prayers be meant to thank God for using political leaders to calm the nation by heeding the call of the Church.

Malawian arrested for stealing two vehicles in Zambia

A Malawian man has been arrested by Police in Lilongwe in connection with the theft of two Zambian motor vehicles.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Alex Chilufya confirmed to Breeze News the arrest of Alfred Phiri, who is in police custody in Lilongwe.

Mr. Chilufya said Phiri was arrested last week after he failed to produce papers for a Toyota Hiace he was selling in Lilongwe.

He says Police in Lilongwe were notified on the matter and discovered that the vehicle, which was being sold was stolen from Mwami border area in Zambia on July 10th 2016 and belonged to Charles Million Tembo, who was using it for campaigns.

Mr. Chilufya said after further investigations by the Malawian police officers, they also discovered that the suspect was in possession of a Toyota Corolla belonging to Gift Phiri of Zambia, which went missing from Mwami border area last month.

He says Police in Lilongwe have impounded both vehicles, which will soon be handed over to the Zambian police and given to the owners.

Mr. Chilufya says the suspect will soon appear in the courts of law in Lilongwe.

JCTR dismisses promotion of same sex marriage in Bill of Rights

The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection JCTR has dismissed suggestions that the Bill of Rights seek to promote homosexuality.

JCTR Programmes Officer for Faith and Justice, Poniso Kawanga says that the enhanced Bill of Rights aim at improving the lives of Zambians.

Mr. Kawanga says that people practicing homosexuality do not fall under minority groups, which the Bill of Rights also seeks to protect.

He says that Zambia is a Christian nation which does not tolerate same sex marriage adding that Zambians should not fear voting YES to the enhanced Bill of Rights on August 11.

And Mr. Kawanga says that no political party including the ruling PF, Patriotic Front Party should be associated to the Bill of Rights.

He says that the Bill of Rights, which Zambians will be voting for in the referendum are completely independent from any political influence.

Schools not spared from unfair trading practices.

School authorities in Eastern Province have been advised to be ambassadors of disseminating information on fair trading in line with the revised curriculum.

Provincial Education Officer, Allan Lingambe says most schools in the Province have been victims of unfair trading as they purchase school products on the market.

Dr. Lingambe was speaking in Chipata this morning when he officially opened an inter-school debate organised by CCPC, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

Dr. Lingambe says unfair trading by most traders looks to be normal as they sale expired goods to people and mistreat customers but the trend should be stopped by reporting perpetrators to the commission.

He thanked CCPC for partnering with the Ministry of General Education in disseminating information on unfair trading saying this will assist a lot as most schools have fallen victim of unfair trading.

About nine schools from across the province are participating in the debate that is aimed at raising awareness on unfair trading.