Chipata District Commissioner, Kalunga Zulu says he is concerned with the increase in the number of illegal immigrants from Malawi, who are trading in Chipata.
Mr. Zulu says that a lot of Malawians have found business opportunities in Chipata Town and are staying in Zambia without any proper documentation or permits.
He was speaking this morning during the DDCC, District Development Coordinating Committee meeting in Chipata.
Mr. Zulu says that there is need for concerted efforts among authorities from the immigration department, the National Registration Office and the police to agree on how to stop illegal immigrants from entering the Zambia.
And Mr. Zulu has challenged the Prisons and Immigration departments to start attending DDCC meetings so that they give statistics of how many illegal immigrants they are arresting.
The Ministry of Education has put in place a three years strategic plan to improve teaching standards in schools.
This has delighted BETUZ, The Basic Education Teachers Union of Zambia in Eastern Province.
In a statement availed to Breeze News, BETUZ Provincial Secretary, Ronald Mbuzi says that in the recent past, there has been serious complaints from members of the public on how the quality of education has dropped.
Mr. Mbuzi states that nowadays, pupils cannot be able to read properly even at grade 12 level or college and university levels.
The strategic plan aims at sharpening the teaching skills and knowledge of the teachers.
Mr. Mbuzi has encouraged teachers to take full interest in the programme stating that the union will not defend any lazy teachers, who just want to get salaries.
He says that BETUZ has received complaints from members of the public and administrators over misconduct of teachers and lack of commitment to duty.
Two cyclists are battling for their lives in the Chipata General Hospital after being hit by a vehicle on Umodzi Highway Monday morning.
Chipata Municipal Council Chief Fire Officer, Fackson Mbewe confirmed the hit and run incident to Breeze News, which happened around 08 hours.
Mr. Mbewe says that John Zulu aged 30 of M’nukwa Village in Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s area and Moffat M’kandawire aged 40 of M’chini Compound in Chipata were hit by an unknown vehicle near Saturday Market as they were cycling on the road.
He says that the fire brigade rescue team that rushed to the scene found the two men critically injured while the driver of the vehicle ran away.
Mr. Mbewe says that the two were letter rushed to Chipata General Hospital where they are currently receiving treatment.
Road contractors in Nyimba district have been cautioned against doing shoddy works and abandoning projects.
Nyimba District Council Chairperson, Max Kapanta says that the council will not accept shoddy works.
He said this in the wake of a named contractor that has not been on the construction site on the Chipembe-Utotwe Road.
Mr. Kapanta says that the contractor was expected to start phase two of the works, which involved putting up gravel and culverts on the road, but has not been seen since last month.
He has appealed to government to ensure that the contractor gets back on the site quickly, so that works are completed before the rainy season.
The council chairperson says that a number of rural roads in the district are being rehabilitated including Mtilizi and Offmeyer and that the local authority expects high quality works to be done.
And Mr. Kapanta also appealed to government to release more money to ensure that the Chipembe-Utotwe Road is gravelled.
He said that grading of the road has been completed, but the road risks being washed away if it’s not gravelled.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kapanta said that farmers are disappointed that FRA, the Food Reserve Agency is delaying to start buying maize.
He said that farmers, who took their maize to most depots in the district, are already spending nights in cold.
Chipata Municipal Council is reported to be dumping garbage carelessly along Genda road.
This has angered residents in the area, who accuse the local authority of being inconsiderate.
Speaking to Breeze News, one of the residents, King Lungu says that the garbage, which is dumped not too far from the road is posing health hazard to villagers.
Mr. Lungu further complained that cyclists have equally been affected because bicycle tyres are punctured by bottles from the garbage.
And another resident, Whyson Daka wondered how the council, which is supposed to be in the forefront encouraging good hygiene, could put people’s lives at risk.
But when contacted for comment, Chipata Municipal Council Public Relations Officer, Taonga Kawonga said that she needed to consult before responding to the allegations.
This is not the first time that people in Genda area have raised concern on the garbage, which is dumped carelessly.
The Chipata-Mchinji Railway line has so far generated 700, 000 Kwacha in the months of May and June.
Speaking to Breeze News, Zambia Railways Nacala Director, Vyonsi Manda says the railway line has also transported 3, 270 tonnes of goods in May, against the targeted 2,000 tonnes.
Mr. Manda says that the weight was increased by more than a hundred per cent in June with 13, 871 tonnes of goods being transported.
He however, told Breeze News that the business community in Zambia have not yet taken full advantage of the Nacala corridor.
Mr. Manda says that this may be because a lot of clients are still using the Durban and Beira ports due to long term haulage contracts they may have signed.
He says that most of the goods transported on the route so far, are by Malawian and Mozambican business communities.
And Mr. Manda says that 30 more wagons and one more locomotive is expected in Chipata within the next two weeks in order to enhance their operations.
Delay to complete two crop storage facilities for FRA, the Food Reserve Agency in Katete district has raised concerns.
District Buildings Officer, Shenga Mugala told Breeze News that the project, which was to be completed within six months, has continued to drag since works started in 2012.
Mr. Mugala explained that JOCEDA, a Lusaka based contractor, who was engaged to put up two slabs for FRA was not giving satisfactory answers over the delay to complete the project.
Mr. Mugala wondered why JOCEDA has continued to delay when another company, Portmoth Contractors who were engaged to carry out similar works, completed the projects within the agreed time.
And District Crop Marketing Officer, Josephine Phiri indicated that the contractor has been warned several times over the failure to finish the project on time but there has been no serious change.
Ms. Phiri disclosed that government has done its part by giving the contractor, an upfront payment towards the project.
Once completed, each storage shed is expected to hold about 3,500 metric tonnes of maize.
Efforts to get a comment from JOCEDA contractors failed by news time as the people responsible were reported to be in Lusaka
The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD in Eastern Province has added its voice to those who have condemned illegal trader of Mukula trees.
MMD Provincial Youth Chairperson, Chembe Daka says that it is also sad that some members of the ruling PF, Patriotic Front Party and some police officers have been implicated in the illegal trade.
Mr. Daka told Breeze News, that the indiscriminate cutting down of Mukula trees, will have devastating effects on the climate if not stopped.
And Mr. Daka has commended Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Grace Chipalila for taking a firm stance against illegal trade of Mukula trees.
Five officers are reported to have been disciplined after they were implicated in the illegal trade of Mukula trees in Eastern Province.
Meanwhile, PF Provincial chairperson, Attan Mwamba says that he is not aware that some people in the ruling party are involved in the illegal timber trade.
Mr. Mwamba told ZANIS that the law should take its course regardless of the political inclination of people involved in the illegal timber trade.
The problem of accommodation in some schools has been worsened by some retired officers, who are still waiting to be paid their repatriation allowances.
Zambia National Union of Teachers, ZNUT Chipata District Chairperson, Isaac Ngoma told Breeze News that more than 400 teachers who have retired have not yet been paid their repatriation allowances.
Mr. Ngoma says this is a source of concern as the district is still paying the officers, who retired in 2001 and 2002.
He noted that some of the teachers, who are owed the allowances, have even died.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ngoma has confirmed to Breeze News that teachers, whose salaries were locked, have started receiving their money.
He has thanked government for dealing with the matter urgently.
The Public Service Management Division locked salaries for 200 teachers in Chipata, after a salary audit could not establish the whereabouts of the teachers.
Government has given the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative 60 million Kwacha for crop purchases.
Government has also affirmed the commitment to procure maize and pay farmers on time.
This is according a statement released to Breeze News by Ministry of Finance spokesperson, Chileshe Kandeta.
Mr. Kandeta says that the money is part of the 1.6 billion Kwacha released by the treasury between June 30th and July 4th 2014.
He also explained that the treasury has released 378 million Kwacha to the Ministry of Education of which 240 million Kwacha is for school infrastructure projects in various provinces.
Mr. Kandeta says that 2 million Kwacha has been set aside for the construction of markets and bus stops across the country.
He explains that four million Kwacha for construction of chiefs’ palaces has also been released.