The Grand Coalition in Eastern Province has backed calls for country wide campaigns to demand for the immediate release of the draft constitution.
The call was made by the Grand Coalition National Chairperson, Fr. Lenard Chiti yesterday.
In a statement released to Breeze News, Grand Coalition Provincial Chairperson, Maxson Nkhoma says the coalition in Eastern Province has already put all logistics in place to kick start the campaigns but will wait for the outcome of the national indaba on the constitution making process.
Mr Nkhoma has however, commended government for expressing willingness to attend the indaba organized to discuss the way forward on the constitution making process.
He says that the coalition will attend the indaba with an open mind but will be cautious not to give in on the demand for the release of the new constitution.
Mr Nkhoma has appealed to government to ensure that all stakeholders are able to reach a consensus on the constitution making process at the indaba.
Southern Centre for Constructive Resolution of Dispute SACCORD has organized an indaba scheduled to take place in Lusaka on April 30.
Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba has hinted his willingness to attend the meeting, to dialogue with stakeholders on the constitution making process.
Two Chipata businessmen arrested for being in possession of over 49,000 Kwacha counterfeit Zambian bank notes have today pleaded guilty in the Chipata Magistrate court.
Appearing before Magistrate Kunda Malawo were George Zimba 42 and David Mutumayo 41 of David Kaunda residential area and Magazine compound respectively who both pleaded guilty to all the three counts.
In the first count the two are jointly charged for being in possession of forged bank notes contrary to the laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that on Thursday last week, the two whilst acting together were found in possession of 420 by 100 Zambian Kwacha forged bank notes.
In the second count, David Mutumayo is alleged to have been found in possession of 38 by 100 Zambian Kwacha bank notes without lawful authority or excuse.
And in the third count George Zimba is alleged to have been found with 38 by 100 Zambian Kwacha bank notes without lawful authority or excuse.
The two have being remanded at Namuseche prison awaiting appearance on April 30th for presentation of facts.
About one thousand ‘’Mukula’’ tree logs have been illegally transported from Vubwi district to Mchinji District in Malawi.
Provincial Forestry Officer, Agnes Chinyama, confirmed the development to Breeze News.
Mrs. Chinyama says her office has established that the logs were procured in Vubwi District and transported to Mchinji District without authority.
She says after investigating the matter, the Malawian government has agreed to return the tree logs.
Mrs. Chinyama says that no one has been arrested in connection with the matter and that investigations have been instituted.
Earlier this month Provincial Permanent Secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga said that some people were illegally harvesting the Mukula tree in Nyimba, Mambwe and Lundazi districts.
Dr Mulenga asked security agencies in the province to look at the issue closely and advise how to get things under control.
He also instructed all the security officers who man roadblocks along the Great East Road to impound any truck carrying illegally logged timber.
About 21,000 Kwacha under the 2013 budgetary allocation to Ministry of Gender and Child Development in Eastern Province was not utilized.
Acting Provincial Child Development Coordinator, Ariel Tembo confirmed the development during a live Budget Tracking Programme on Breeze FM.
Mr. Tembo says that out of about 150, 400 Kwacha, which was allocated to the department, 139,000 was used for various activities.
He says that he was yet to establish if the remaining 21,000 Kwacha was sent back to the treasury.
And Mr. Tembo says that the department has in the 2014 National Budget been allocated with 154,466 Kwacha.
He says that 74,400 Kwacha will go towards general administration, 6,600 for utilities, 5, 600 for public functions while 23,300 will go towards cross cutting issues.
About 40,000 Kwacha has been allocated for child empowerment while 9,600 Kwacha is for child empowerment inspection programmes.
He says that the department has this year so far used about 18,700 Kwacha for various activities under administration, utilities, cross cutting and child empowerment.
Chipata district will have a second modern shopping mall with construction works expected to start this year.
Giving a presentation on the new development at the DDCC District Development Coordinating Committee meeting, Director of Planning, Namenda Kaonga said that works are due to begin in July.
Mr. Kaonga says that the shopping mall will be constructed at a 150 by 80 meter plot in Moth area at a cost of 29.8 million Kwacha.
He says that the double story building will be constructed by a Chinese Company called Zhengtai, and a Zambian firm called LT & Associates.
Mr Kaonga says that the first floor will be reserved for stores while the top floor will be for offices.
He says that some companies have already expressed interest to operate from the shopping mall, which is also expected to provide entertainment alternatives like a cinema hall.
The project is expected to be competed after two years.
A 57 year old peasant farmer of Nyimba District has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling his 12 year old granddaughter for three consecutive times.
High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga who is handling criminal cases at Chipata High Court, jailed Blackson Tembo of Million Village, Chief Luembe who stood charged on one count of defilement contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence were that Tembo on unknown dates but between 1st August and 13th December last year, had carnal knowledge of his granddaughter.
Tembo readily admitted to the charge and told the court that he enjoyed his granddaughter despite not knowing that she was 12 years of age.
And in mitigation through Legal Aid Board Senior Legal Officer, John Phiri, the accused pleaded with the court to exercise maximum leniency on him as he was a first offender.
He said he was staying with a grand-daughter for six years adding that he had a loan with Dunavant which he needed to pay back.
But Ms. Justice Mulenga said she had heard what was in the mitigation and slapped a 30 years imprisonment sentence with hard labour.
Chipata district is expected to record a 70 per cent increase in maize production this year.
This has been confirmed to Breeze News by the acting DACO, District Agricultural Coordinator, Alfonso Kalahawe.
Mr. Kalahawe says that the expected output of maize for this year stands at over 4 million kilogrammes.
He says that this is despite some areas in the district experiencing poor rainfall patterns.
And Mr. Kalahawe observed that the bulk of maize has been produced by over 3 million small scale farmers.
He says that it is unfortunate that the district currently only has 26, 000 farmers operating on a large scale basis.
And Mr. Kalahawe says that despite the late distribution of farming inputs, various stakeholders were able to assist farmers with fertiliser.
He says that this has helped to shelter some farmers from experiencing a low output.
The United Party for National Development, UPND, has observed that most commodities will be hiked because of the increment in fuel prices.
Provincial Youth Chairperson, Victor Mbuzi states that government should have not removed the fuel subsidy.
He says government should reintroduce fuel subsidy because it used to make food and transport cheaper.
Mr. Mbuzi told Breeze News that soon mealie meal prices will be hiked and that this will affect the poor greatly.
The Energy Regulation Board, ERB, announced the fuel increment on Thursday last week.
ERB Board Chairperson George Chabwera attributed the increment to thedepreciation in the exchange rate of the Zambian Kwacha.
A serious shortage of water has hit Mwangazi ward in Chadiza district.
Ward Councillor Petronella Banda says that poor rainfall has contributed to the problem of water in her ward.
The civic leader says that Mwangazi Ward, which has 56 villages, depends on the seven boreholes that are in the area and out of the seven only five are working.
Ms Banda says Kamphaka and Mpungalume zones are the worst affected because these areas have no streams while the two dams were washed away some thirteen years ago.
She however, thanked the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for the five boreholes that were sunk last year but appealed to the ministry to speed up the opening of the two that have not yet started operating.
Meanwhile the civic leader has bemoaned poor staffing at Ngala primary school.
She says the school has three teachers handling grades 1 to 7, which is a huge burden especially that one of the teachers is on leave.
The much anticipated for tobacco marketing season has been officially launched with TBZ, Tobacco Board of Zambia chosen to run the floors.
Addressing various stakeholders yesterday, Agricultural Minister Wylbur Simuusa says that the decision to allow TBZ to run the floors this season was arrived at because it was clear that this is what the farmers wanted.
Mr. Simuusa however, took a swipe at the regulatory authority for not adequately addressing the needs of the farming community in the province.
He has instructed the board to immediately begin engaging all stakeholders so that by December this year, a local association is formed which will run the floors next year.
And the Minister announced that farmers have been allowed to sell their produce from wherever they want to, for as long as they are duly registered.
He directed all merchants to ensure that they pay farmers within 24 hours of buying the produce.
Meanwhile Eastern Tobacco Grower’s Association yesterday heeded to the Ministerial directive to withdraw the court case against EFAZ, Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia.
In an interview with Breeze News, the Director, Michael Daka expressed happiness with the ministerial decision to allow TBZ to run the floors this year.
And the farmers made a mockery funeral of EFAZ with a coffin following the decision by the minister to choose TBZ to run the floors instead of EFAZ.