Shortage of qualified teachers compromising the quality of education in most rural schools.

Government through the Ministry of Education owes teachers in Chipata district over 20 billion kwacha in unpaid allowances.
This came to light during a joint statement by the Zambia National Union Teachers, ZNUT, the Professional Teachers Union of Zambia, PTUZ, and the Basic Education Teachers Union held in Chipata.
The three teacher unions have, therefore, called on government to expedite the payment of various allowances owed to teachers.
And the unions observed that pupils in rural areas are denied quality education due to the shortage of qualified teachers.
They explained that most schools in rural areas are run by only a few teachers.
The unions thanked government for the teacher’s deployment exercises it has started, saying this will reduce the shortage.
However, the unions explained that most teachers shun working in rural schools due to challenges they face in getting their rural hardship allowances.

Government expresses concern with the increase in uncollected garbage in Chipata.

Government has urged the Chipata Municipal Council to take garbage collection seriously.
Chipata district commissioner, Kalunga Zulu says that uncollected garbage is now making Chipata town look very dirty.
He said this has now become a source of concern.
Mr. Zulu further urged the council to sensitise residents not be throwing litter anyhow.
He said this during the District Epidemic and Preparedness Meeting held in Chipata.
Meanwhile, Chipata Municipal Council has set up a task force on land to carry out a land audit in the district.
Chipata Municipal Council Senior Land Surveyor, David Tembo told Breeze news that says the task force has been set up in order to have well-coordinated development of construction works in the district.
Mr. Tembo explained that for a long time there has been no sanity in the construction of buildings and land allocation in the district.
He explained that the exercise which has started with Kalongwezi Extension, will extend to all residential areas in the district in order to correct mistakes on land issues.
Mr. Tembo says that the local authority has observed that illegal invasion of plots, building of houses and structures without plans approved by the local authority is on the increase in the district.
Mr. Tembo further says that the exercise is not meant for witch-hunting but to ensure that developers who did not have legal documents for their plots, can normalise the situation.
He, however, urged the public not to shun the exercise, as those whose data will not be captured during the exercise will be charged.

Magwero School for the deaf and blind is not on the list of schools to be rehabilitated next year in Chipata district.

Magwero School for the deaf and blind in Chipata has been left out of next year’s implementation plan for the construction of school projects in the District.
Provincial Education Officer, Thomas Mwanza told Breeze News that the school does not appear in the implementation plan of the rehabilitation and construction of schools for the period 2012/2013.
This means that the school, which has been in a deplorable state for a long time, will not be rehabilitated soon.
Mr. Mwanza, however, says that government remains committed to the pronouncement that was made by former president, Rupiah Banda that the school should be rehabilitated.
He says that the issue was also raised in Parliament by Chipata Central Member of parliament, Reuben Mtolo Phiri who wanted to find out when the school will be worked on.
Mr. Mwanza says that the school has continued to receive grants from government according to the enrolled number of pupils.
Magwero School for the Blind and Deaf was constructed by the Dutch Reformed Church in the late 1840s as a Primary School and since then, the school has not been upgraded despite it being a Secondary school now.
Head Teacher of the School of the Deaf, Sara Dipa had indicated that only a one by three classroom block was constructed with the help of PTA, the Parents Teachers Association.

Parents in Chadiza district have been cautioned against violating children’s’ rights.

Government has warned that it will punish parents who violate children’s’ rights.
Chadiza district commissioner, Paul Phiri says that government has observed that a lot of parents, especially fathers, are in the fore front in violating children’s rights in the district.
Breeze FM correspondent in Chadiza, Paul Adams Phiri, reports that the District Commissioner sounded the warning during the commemoration of the Human Rights day in Chadiza.
Mr. Phiri also cautioned that government will not allow perpetrators of Gender Based Violence, GBV, in Chadiza district to go unpunished.
However, Mr. Phiri said that the fight against GBV is being affected by the failure by victims to report cases to police and other relevant authorities.
He urged all women and children to change the attitude and start reporting GBV cases if the fight is to yield results.

Government expresses concern with the failure by civil servants to follow the public service code of ethics.

Government says that most civil servants do not follow the public service code of ethics.
The code of ethics is a document that provides guidance on standard behaviour required of public service employees.
Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Zachiria Luhanga, says that government developed an umbrella public service code of ethics for the purpose of promoting professionalism in the public service which is not adhered to by most civil servants.
He was speaking during the commemoration of the International Anti- Corruption Day held in Chipata today.
Mr. Luhanga urged heads of departments and other institutions to ensure that all employees adhere to the code of ethics in the discharge of their official duties.
He says that it is important that decisions made in the public service should be guided by the core values as contained in the code of ethics to help provide service in a professional manner.
Mr. Luhanga added that government has remained committed to the fight against corruption.
Meanwhile Anti- Corruption Commission Regional Manager, Raymond Banda urged the general public to take part in the fight against corruption by reporting corruption cases to relevant authorities.
Mr. Banda says that people should not be scared to report matters of corruption because they are rules that protect them from being harassed.
Meanwhile, very few people turned out for this year’s international Anti-Corruption Day.
This has disappointed eastern province Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Zacharia Luhanga.
Mr. Luhanga says that government is disappointed that most provincial and district heads of departments could shun away from such an important occasion.
He says that the Anti- corruption day is very important on which government officials and various stakeholders should share ideas on the fight against corruption.
Mr. Luhanga warned that disciplinary action will be taken against all district and provincial heads of departments who did not attend this year’s Anti- Corruption Day celebrations.
This year’s international Anti-Corruption Day is being commemorated under the theme, “Act against Corruption Today”.

Two young people from Chipata have arrived in South Africa to attend this year’s MEDIA KIDOCRACY KONFRENCE.

Two young people from Chipata have been selected by Breeze FM radio station to attend this year’s MEDIA KIDOCRACY KONFRENCE in Cape Town, South Africa.

The two delegates are Bertha Chulu, aged 12, a Grade 9 pupil at Hillside Girls High School and Simon Nkhoma, 18, a grade 11 pupil at Anoya Boys High School.

The two are among the many committed young people who have been working with Breeze FM on different kids programmes.

Speaking before departure for Cape Town, the two expressed happiness at the opportunity to represent Breeze FM and the country at such a high level children’s conference.

They urged other young people to be determined and believe in themselves if they are to achieve what they want in life.

The MEDIA KIDOCRACY KONFRENCE has been organised by Bush Radio, in partnership with the South African Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

The conference, taking place from 9th to 14th December, 2012, is being attended by children from across the world to mark South Africa’s 18 years of democracy.

The Media Kidocracy Konfrence aims to provide youth delegates, aged 12 – 21 from around the world, an opportunity to critically examine the media landscape as it pertains to young people.

This year’s conference will focus on themes such as youth understanding of Gender, Human Rights, Environment, Health, Labour and Arts and Culture.

People in Chipata have been warned against transporting fuel in plastic containers.

The Energy Regulation Board, ERB, Consumer Watch Group in Chipata has warned people against transporting fuel in containers.
Chipata district consumer watch group coordinator, Martins Njekwa, says that some people have continued transporting fuel in containers which is not allowed.
Mr. Njekwa also observed that some people are buying fuel in huge quantities and keeping it in containers, thereby, creating an impression that Chipata is experiencing a fuel shortage.
He said that the group will now be more vigilant to ensure that the trend comes to an end.
Mr. Njekwa has also warned people who are smuggling fuel to neighbouring Malawi to immediately stop.
Recently, Ministry of Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary, George Zulu accused some fuel station operators of creating a false impression that Chipata is experiencing a fuel shortage.

Four people have died in a road traffic accident on the Katete Mozambique Road.

Four people have died in a road accident on the Katete Mozambique Road.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba confirmed the accident to Breeze News which happened around 13: 30 hours.
Mr. Mwamba says that two adults and two children died on the spot when they were hit by a ZRA, Zambia Revenue Authority vehicle registration number ALF 6095.
He said that the accident happened near Chimbundile Basic School when the driver of the vehicle lost control and hit five pedestrians.
Mr. Mwamba says that the ZRA driver and an officer were beaten by the people from the community and are currently admitted to St. Francis Hospital in Katete together with the other pedestrian.
Mr. Mwamba says that he has directed the Katete district commissioner’s office to assist with funeral arrangements and that ZRA will meet all the funeral expenses.

Residents in Sinda district have accused the council of failing to collect garbage in the district.

Residents of the newly created Sinda district have complained over the piling of uncollected garbage in some of the main markets.
The residents are now worried that diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea may break out if the garbage is not collected soon enough.
Breeze FM correspondent in Petauke, Mercy Maseko reports that a random check at both Sinda New and Old markets have revealed piles of uncollected garbage.
Meanwhile, Sinda Ward councillor, Shadreck Mwanza has called on the district council to take garbage collection seriously.
He also expressed worry of disease outbreaks especially after the onset of the rains.
And Sinda district council acting secretary, Toid Mwale acknowledged that the newly established local authority is facing challenges in waste management.
Mr. Mwale, however, explained that the council has requested the RRU, Rural Roads Unit to assist with a front loader machine to be used to collect the garbage.

Farmers in Chipata complain of being swindled of fertilizer under the Farmer Input Support Program.

The distribution of inputs under FISP, the Farmer Input Support Programme for this year, has been described as poor.
This is because farmers are getting less number of bags than expected.
Sisinje Ward Councillor, Samuel Lugomo Phiri, says that farmers are sharing one pack, consisting of four bags of fertilizer and a 10 kilogramme bag of maize seed.
Mr. Phiri said that previously, each farmer used to receive a full pack.
He says that this is likely to contribute to poor yields and that the situation has been worsened by the delay by FRA, the Food Reserve Agency.
Mr. Phiri also said that the distribution of inputs is too slow.
And Provincial Agriculture Coordinator, PACO, Dr. Obvious Kabinda says that his office has received reports on the matter, and that investigations are underway.
Dr. Kabinda said that each farmer receives inputs according to the number of packs they applied for.
He has also warned that cooperative members who will be found to be stealing from farmers risk losing their jobs.