Council employees in Lundazi district have staged a peaceful demonstration, over non-payment of Division Four workers.
A check by Breeze News this morning at the civic centre, found irate workers chanting slogans, demanding the immediate removal of the council secretary, Magubwi Simunkolomba and council treasurer, Mable Enga-enga.
Lundazi district Zambia Union of Local Authority Workers Union, ZULAWU chairperson, Jones Mchambwe Nyirenda, says that the workers have opted to stage a peaceful demonstration over management’s failure to pay them their salaries.
Mr. Nyirenda says that at a meeting held recently, management promised to clear the four months arrears, but up to now, the workers have not been paid.
And Mr. Nyirenda has condemned the deployment of police officers in riot gear at the civic centre.
Meanwhile Local Government and Housing union deputy national executive committee chairperson, Emmanuel Mwinsa, says that management at Lundazi district council has failed to address workers’ grievances.
And council district chairperson, Godfrey Mapili says that the workers will be paid two moth’s salaries.
He explained that the money to pay the workers will be drawn from the street lighting project.
This is a second time workers at Lundazi district council have downed tools in two months.
In October, the workers also joined their colleagues in a countrywide protest against non-payment of salaries.
All is set for the Nsefu Ward local government by-election in Malambo Constituency of Mwambwe district.
Mambwe district electoral officer, Reuben Simfukwe, confirmed this to Breeze News.
Mr. Sifumkwe says that most election materials and officers have already been dispatched to the polling centres.
Five candidates are vying for the seat.
Kennedy Soko is MMD, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy candidate, while Steven Zulu is standing on PF, the Patriotic Front ticket.
Gayiman Mphasi is standing on NAREP, the National Restoration Party, while UPND, the United Party for National Development has floated Nason Banda.
Ackson Manda is standing on UNIP, the United National Independence Party ticket.
The seat fail vacant after Gayiman Mphasi, resigned from the MMD to join PF.
Government departments in Eastern Province are struggling to offer optimum public services due to limited funds.
Provincial Veterinary Officer, Arthur Mumbolomena, says that the veterinary department in the province, only received 19.7 per cent of over the 8, 482, 900 Kwacha,in the 2013 budgetary allocation.
Dr. Mumbolomena says that due to the limited funds, all districts in the province received less than half of what was allocated.
He was speaking on a budget tracking programme on Breeze FM this morning.
And one of the callers, Ganizani Banda from Mtenguleni, wondered why veterinary officers solicit for money to cover fuel costs, before going into communities to vaccinate cows.
District Veterinary Officer, Chrisborn Mubamba, explained that sometimes, the money given to the veterinary officers is not enough to adequately cover fuel costs.
However, Dr. Mubamba says that livestock production in the province has increased, with Chipata leading in cattle production with over 77 000 herds.
Over 41 per cent of people in rural parts of Chadiza district have no access to sanitation and safe drinking water.
This came to light during the World Toilet Day which was commemorated yesterday.
Chadiza district commissioner, Paul Phiri attributed the sanitation problems that the district is facing to lack of trained officers, who can sensitise and educate people on the matter.
Mr. Phiri observed that most homes in villages do not have proper toilets, a situation, which poses danger to people’s health, as diseases such as diarrhoea can easily break out.
He urged school going children to say no to homes without toilets, and educate their parents on the need to have toilets.
Mr. Phiri says if well educated, pupils are good agents of change, and they can help to sensitise parents on sanitation and hygiene matters.
A 37 year old woman of Nyonyo village, Chief Mwanjawanthu’s area in Petauke District has been murdered by her husband.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Grace Chipalila confirmed the incidence to Breeze News.
She said that the woman, identified as Alice Phiri, was murdered by her husband, Martin Banda after a marital dispute.
Ms. Chipalila explained that the incident happened between November 16 and 17.
She says that the body was taken to Chipata General Hospital and the suspect is in police custody.
And Ms. Chipalila says that a 15 year old boy, identified as Foster, died when he fell off a moving tractor and sustained multiple head injuries.
She explained that the accident happened on November 17 around 08 hours at Anusa village in Chief Kalindawalo area in Petauke.
Mr. Chipalila says that there were 12 other passengers on board who escaped unhurt.
People in Lundazi District have been cautioned against smoking in public.
Lundazi District Community Medical Officer, Allan Chisenga told Breeze News that the ministry is concerned with the rampant smoking habits in public places.
He explained the increase in health complications such as kidney failure, heart failure, stroke, cancer of the lungs, cardiac and hypertension in the district can be attributed to secondary smoking.
Dr. Chisenga says that smoking also affects non-smokers due to passive smoking.
He says that people who fail to follow the Public Health Act, which bars people from smoking in public, will be punished.
Meanwhile, Lundazi District Council Secretary, Mugubwi Simunkolomba says that the council will start conducting inspections aimed at sensitising the community on the dangers of public smoking.
The two were reacting to concerns by members of the public over increase in public smoking at the bus station, bars and the markets.
A land degradation and urban flood management project Memorandum of Understanding has been signed in Chipata today.
The MoU is between Chipata Municipal Council and the Great Commission for People and Development Orphans, GCPDO, which will undertake the prevention of soil erosion, deforestation and water pollution from storm water in Chipata district.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, GCPDO Executive Director, Reverend Japhet Justin Phiri says that his organization will build the capacities of the community in planting trees and maintaining forest cover to maximize forestation.
He said the MoU will also assist in improving people’s livelihood and mitigate the effects of climate change by raising awareness on global warming.
He added that the project will also minimize gully erosion for the prevention of intense land erosion and sedimentation problems while also improving the usefulness of land damage by gulleys and floodplains.
And speaking during the same signing ceremony, Chipata Mayor, Goodson Thole says that the MoU will assist in addressing most of the environmental challenges being experienced in the district.
Mr. Thole says that the council has already received an environmental planner whose responsibilities will be to look into environmental issues.
He called on other stake holders to partner with the council in addressing environmental challenges in order to maintain the beauty of the district as it seeks to attain its City status.
Lack of adequate funding has crippled operations at the Ministry of Agriculture in the province.
This came to light during a budget tracking programme on Breeze FM this morning.
Provincial Agricultural Coordinator, Dr. Obvious Kabinda, says that just over 4 million Kwacha was received out of 21 million Kwacha allocated to the ministry.
And reacting to concerns raised during the programme, the Provincial Agricultural Coordinator acknowledged that over 4.9 billion kwacha is still owed to retirees from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Dr Kabinda, explained that since 2006, government had only released 43 million in 2010 and 1.527 billion in 2013 for the retirees.
He says that despite funds not being enough, his ministry was trying its best to address the challenges being faced.
He says that Msekera Research Institute, was one of the projects under the ministry which is underperforming, due to lack of adequate funding.
However, Dr Kabinda was pleased to note that the province was still leading in the production of maize seed, groundnuts, sunflower, as well soya beans.
He expressed confidence that the province will continue to perform well in the coming farming season.
Katete District Council has refuted reports that it has been allocating plots to people illegally, on the land that belongs to the Departments of Community Development and Social Welfare.
This follows complaints by the Department of Community Development in Katete district that the council has allocated plots to some people on the land meant for the extension of a skills training centre.
District Senior Community Development Officer, Victor Muyaloka says that a number of houses have been built on the land, where the skills training centre is supposed to be extended.
Mr. Muyaloka says that owners of the houses claim that they were given the land by the council.
But Katete District Council Secretary, Wamulume Aongola, says that the matter has been resolved and the land in question does not belong to any of the two departments.
He said none of the departments holds any title to the land.
Mr. Aongola urged people with land ownership issues to seek guidance from the council, before starting any construction work.
Chipata District has received about 90,000 by 50 kilogramme of D compound fertilizer.
The fertilizer is under the Farmer Input Support programme.
District Agricultural Coordinator, DACO, Michael Ngulube has confirmed this to Breeze News.
However, Mr. Ngulube says that the district has not yet received urea fertilizer.
He says that the district is expecting to receive urea fertilizer anytime from now.
And Mr. Ngulube says that only seven million, out of about 11 million Kwacha has been paid to farmers who sold their maize to FRA, the Food Reserve Agency.
He explained that the Ministry of Agriculture still owes farmers in Chipata about four million Kwacha.