Government says it will not allow the local authority in Chipata to commercialize plots near Eastern Water and Sewerage Company water treatment plant.
Chipata City Council has advertised more than 200 plots, which include high cost, Medium and commercial.
Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says he will not allow the council to go ahead in giving out plots to the people because the land in question is situated near a water plant.
Speaking to journalists during a press briefing, Mr. Kasolo says there should be a minimum amount of land around any water facility that should not be tempered with.
He says that he will talk to the Managing Director of Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Lyton Kanowa, to find out if those plots being advertised are near the water plant.
Mr. Kasolo says if the plots being advertised are alongside the water plant, he will report the matter to the Lands Minister Jean Kapata.
The Permanent Secretary says he has powers to dismantle anyone who is incapable of executing their work efficiently.
And Chipata City Council Town Clerk Davies Musenge says the plots in question are not situated near the water treatment plant.
Mr. Musenge says the council will engage the water utility company to confirm if the sewer system that will be built in the area by developers will affect the water treatment plant.
He says the distance from the stream to where the local authority has advertised plots, is about 500 meters.
A spot check by journalists at the advertised plots this morning found that works on the opening up of roads have started.
The Pwata Paralegal YWCA, Young Women Christian Association has been banned from operating in Chief Misholo’s area in Chipata district.
Coordinator Patson Ngoma who is also headman Chitimbe has confirmed the development, stating that this follows a suspected rape case involving a Malawian and a school girl.
Mr. Ngoma alleges that some villagers in the area demolished a sign post for Pwata Paralegal, a day after Chief Misholo banned them from operating in the area.
He says that YWCA had referred the rape matter to Madzimawe Foundation.
And when contacted for comment, Chief Misholo accused Mr. Ngoma of undermining his authority.
He explained that he had no problem with YWCA operating in his chiefdom, but he does not want Mr. Ngoma to be operating in his area.
The traditional leader stated that from the time the YWCA Paralegal desk started operating in his area, they have never given him a report about their operations.
The Food Reserve Agency FRA has bought over one million bags of maize from farmers in Eastern Province.
FRA Provincial Marketing Coordinator, Felix Moyo says that by yesterday, the agency had bought one million, one hundred four thousand, five hundred and 41 bags.
Mr. Moyo says that Eastern Province is leading in the whole country with the highest number of bags bought from farmers so far.
He says that over 137,000 bags of maize have been delivered to satellite depots in Eastern A, which consists of Chama, Chadiza, Chipata, Katete, Lundazi and Vubwi districts but not yet received by FRA.
Mr. Moyo says that this is an indication that there is still a lot of maize on the market in Eastern Province.
And Mr. Moyo says that the agency has so far bought slightly over 22,000 by 50 kilogramme bags of soya beans from farmers in the region.
He has encouraged farmers to take their maize to FRA depots as the marketing exercise is expected to close at the end of October.
The Zambia Bureau of Standards ZABS has advised people against drinking bottled mineral water from unverified sources.
ZABS Head of Marketing and Public Relations, Hazel Zulu has told Breeze News that people should not drink bottled water bought from the streets and other questionable sources.
Ms. Zulu says that ZABS is aware that consumption of bottled water and other drinks increases especially during the hot season.
She says that it is therefore not uncommon to find bottled drinking water, packaged and distributed by unverified sources, which may pose a health risk to consumers.
Ms. Zulu says that ZABS has noted with concern the increase in the number of people particularly on the streets selling bottled drinking water whose quality and safety cannot be guaranteed.
She says that all consumers should be alert and insist on buying bottled drinking water and other beverages from reliable sources, who have valid permits for supply from ZABS.
Consumers have been further advised to ensure that the water they are buying is sufficiently labelled with all traceability information necessary to help them make informed purchasing decisions.
Government says it has received a notice from Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi of the Chewa people that Chief Mafuta has been dethroned.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says Chief Mafuta has been dethroned on Kalonga Gawa Undi’s decision.
Speaking during a press briefing at his office yesterday, Mr. Kasolo says that an appropriate action against the dethroned chief will follow once the whole procedure is concluded.
He says government will wait for the appointing authority of Kalonga Gawa Undi, to install a new chief.
The Permanent Secretary says according to the Zambian constitution, government will not interfere in the degazzeting and installation of traditional leaders.
Mr. Kasolo says any dispute of land between Chief Chinunda and Chief Mafuta should be suspended, because a new chief is yet to be installed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kasolo says the death of the suspected poacher who died in detention cells in Mambwe district is regrettable.
He says government is saddened over the incident, adding that law enforcement officers in uniform are in communities to prevent crime and not to kill people.
Mr. Kasolo says suspected officers in the matter will be investigated and taken to court if there is evidence against them.
He says he will meet the police commissioner today to find out how far the police have gone with the investigations.
The Young Women Christian Association YWCA says that not less than five children are defiled weekly in Eastern Province.
YWCA Provincial Coordinator, Dorothy Ndhlovu, says that in some cases, the children are reportedly defiled by close relatives.
Ms. Ndhlovu says that failure to enforce laws on conflicts, disasters and emergencies, which increase economic pressures on households, has resulted in many families that would not have previously tolerated early marriages to use it as a last resort measure for survival.
She was speaking at the launch of a campaign against sexual abuse and harassment against girls which was held in Chipata yesterday under the theme,’ Stop Sexual Abuse, Protect the Girl Child in School
And representing the girls, Tipezenji Sakala says that girls have continued to be abused in communities and schools.
Tipezenji appealed to all stakeholders to help address the scourge which she says deprives girls of a future as they are also at risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections STIs.
She says that it is unfortunate that some male teachers have continued to take advantage of girls by sexually abusing them.
The Council of Churches in Zambia in Eastern Province says it expects a pro-poor budget as government prepares to present the 2018 national budget on September 29th 2017.
CCZ Provincial Chairperson Sonye Banda says the budget should have a serious focus on reducing high poverty levels in the country.
Reverend Banda says that in his address to the nation, during the opening of the second session of the 12th National Assembly, President Edgar Lungu said government is working tirelessly to reduce poverty levels in the country.
He says that the budget should therefore, be in line with the pronouncements made by the head of state.
Reverend Banda says the budget should also focus on agriculture as it is one of the sectors that empower indigenous Zambians economically.
He added that the agriculture sector has helped in boosting the national GDP, Gross Domestic Product.
Government has been asked to consider farmers that have already sold their maize to FRA, the Food Reserve Agency, when revising the market floor price.
Chipata District Farmers Association, CDFA coordinator, Virgil Malambo, says farmers should be given a top up if the price of maize is increased.
Mr. Malambo also stressed the need to hasten the revision of the maize floor price, adding that farmers are excited with this development.
He said that farmers are hopeful that government will consider the price of inputs and the cost of transportation and announce a price that will be favourable.
He observed that most farmers, who were holding on to their maize are now willing to sale their maize because government has shown willingness to revise the price of maize.
Mr. Malambo says government should quickly announce the new floor price, because it will assist farmers bargain for better prices when selling their maize to private buyers.
President Edgar Lungu last week made a pronouncement that government would revise the maize floor price for the 2017 crop marketing season.
The 12.5 million kwacha road works in Petauke district are progressing well.
District Commissioner, Velenasi Moyo, says construction of Petauke turnoff-boma, Minga Mission-hospital and Kalindawalo roads, are all undergoing rehabilitation.
Mrs. Moyo says Condril Construction Company is expected to complete works on the boma road before the end of this month.
She told Breeze News that the contract for the project is three months.
The district commissioner says the contractor has already started doing detours on the Kalindawalo road, while works on the Minga Mission Hospital have also commenced.
Government has handed over two Honda Tractors to Mwandipeza Co-operative of Zingalume Village in Chief Zingalume’s area in Chadiza District.
Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary, Felix Phiri says Chadiza is one of the areas identified where value addition processes can be done.
Dr. Phiri says this is due to high levels of agriculture products recorded in the district.
He says that government will continue empowering women by giving them all necessary support in agricultural business.
Dr. Phiri says government will work with women co-operatives to bring economic development in the area.
He says that 70 percent of membership in the co-operatives should be women and only 30 percent men.
The permanent secretary has appealed to Mwandipeza Co-operative members to utilize the tractors well and make sure that the money generated from the project is not abused by men in the co-operative.
And Mwandipeza co-operative chairperson, Ireen Phiri, says the two tractors will help improve the farming methods and improve on the crop yield among women in the area.
She has, however, asked government to help her co-operative with roofing sheets as the co-operative has already moulded more than 15,000 bricks for the construction of a storage shed.