EPCCI advises government on mineral desposits

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.

K400,000 to be released for bridges

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.

Pilferage of drugs worries government

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.

 

 

Man senetenced 20 years for defilement

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 suspended

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 hit with stray bullet

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.

 

Man commits suicide after fight with wife

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.

 

Councils told not to divert funds for capital projects

Councils in Eastern Province have been advised against diverting funds meant for capital projects.

Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu observes that some councils in the province have been using resources meant for capital projects to hold workshops and pay allowances to participants.

The Minister said this when he officiated at the Provincial Coordinating Committee for the Dissemination of the Seventh National Development Plan 7NDP in Chipata.

Mr Zulu has urged councils to ensure money meant for specific projects are correctly used.

And the Minister has urged councils to take a leading role in the implementation process of the 7NDP especially as the province embarks on the concept of decentralization.

The Minister further stressed the importance of the dissemination exercise saying it is the only way stakeholders will familiarize themselves with the plan and ensure its effective implementation.

He noted that the only way to develop as a country is if the plan is implemented in an integrated manner.

And Permanent Secretary for Monitoring and Evaluation under the Ministry of National Development Planning, Auxilia Ponga says the dissemination exercise is intended to make citizens aware of its contents to enhance their effective participation and support.

The provincial dissemination programme has already been held in Northern, Southern, Lusaka, Copperbelt, Muchinga, North Western and Central provinces.

The programme is today being held in Western, Luapula and Eastern Provinces before it is concluded.

The 7NDP plan which was launched in June this year will run up to 2021.

Police investigate fraud at British Council

Police in Lusaka have opened investigations into alleged fraud at the British Council on one of the UK AID funded projects.

Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo has confirmed that police have launched investigations into the Zambia Accountability Project ZAP.

Ms. Katongo has told Breeze News that this follows a report that was made last week on Thursday to the Zambia Police Anti-Fraud Unit.

She says that the fraud is said to have occurred between 1 January 2016 to 1st September 2017.

Ms. Katongo further says that revelations follow an internal investigation carried out by the British Council.

Surety backs out after being detained

A surety has applied to withdraw from representing an accused person after officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, detained him for five days, following a court’s move to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of an accused person.

Sam Nyirenda was a surety for Solomon Sakala, who is charged with a wild life offence.

Sakala was found in possession of elephant bones.

When the matter came for return of bench warrant on Friday, Nyirenda told the court that he was surprised that he was apprehended because the person he signed bail for was not appearing before the court.

He said he was informed that the case against the accused ended because he paid money.

And Resident Magistrate Mwala said if is disheartening to learn that he was in custody.

He said according to the law, a bench warrant is issued against the accused, saying the accused is the one who is supposed to be in police custody and not a surety.

Magistrate Mwala said the court sympathizes with him, stating that if he wishes, he can pursue the matter.

The Magistrate said the police bond for the accused will not be extended until the other surety is brought before the court.

The matter has been adjourned to tomorrow for commencement of trial.