Cheshire Home of the disabled children in Chipata has not been receiving funds from government for close to three years now.
The home which is currently accommodating 28 disabled children attending primary school is also not receiving donor support.
Assistant sister in-charge at the home, Judith Chanda says the home is supposed to receive funds from government once or twice per year, which is not being done.
Sister Chanda says that Cheshire Home has to look for money to feed and accommodate children and take those with complications for medical operations.
And Sister Chanda says that the situation where some parents abandon their children at Cheshire home due to the nature of disability has not stopped.
Sister Chanda says that most parents do not come back to pick up their children when they close school.
She explained that the children are supposed to be taken back to their parents during holidays and after a confirmation by the doctor that they are well.
The Chipata High Court Session has officially opened with the Judiciary expressing sadness with the increasing number of defilement cases in the province.
High Court Judge, Flavia Chishimba, says that the criminal cause list of the cases for this February High Court session reveals that sexual offences particularly defilement are prevalent in the province.
Judge Chishimba says that the Magistrate Courts in the region are flooded with sexual offences adding that the statutory minimum sentences imposed by parliament are beyond their sentencing powers.
The judge explained that after convictions, the Magistrate courts have to refer the convicts for possible sentencing to the High Court, which later results into congestion in the prisons as the convicts remain in remand centres pending the transmission of records to the High Court.
She says that the judiciary is however, considering the possible means of enhancing the sentencing powers of the magistrates as a solution to the backlog of cases.
Judge Chishimba says the maximum power of sentencing for magistrates currently stands at 9 years and proposals are in the process to have the powers increased to 15 years.
And Judge Chishimba has bemoaned lack of transport which has hit the judiciary saying this impact negatively on the timely dispensation of justice.
Judge Chishimba called on government to urgently look into the matter as the vehicles used are old with mechanical faults causing frequent breakdowns.
Illegal street vendors trading along Umodzi Highway near Saturday market in Chipata have vowed not to stop trading from the area.
This is despite warning by the former Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Mwamba that lives of people will be lost in case of a road accident happening on the stretch of the road where vendors trade from.
The illegal vendors say that they do not care whether there will be a serious accident because they are ready to die.
They told Breeze News that they will only move out when the local authority provides them with trading stands in markets.
Meanwhile, some traders in Saturday market have refuted claims that they refuse to allow illegal vendors trade from inside the markets.
The traders say that those trading along the roads have left their stands in markets claiming that there is no business as a lot of people buy from the streets.
Close to two thousand bags of fertilizer under FISP, the Farmer Input support program distributed by OMNIA fertilizer have gone missing in Chadiza district.
Provincial Agriculture Coordinator, Dr. Obvious Kabinda confirmed this to Breeze News.
Dr. Kabinda says that 1, 498 bags of Urea and over 400 bags of Compound D fertilizer meant for farmers have gone missing.
Dr. Kabinda says that police have arrested two suspects who were working for OMNIA fertilizer and they will appear in court today.
And Dr. Kabimba says that his office has not received any complaint from farmers who have received underweight fertilizer.
He says that if there is any company that is giving fake fertilizer to farmers, the supplier will be made to repay farmers for swindling them.
Dr. Kabinda says that companies, who have signed contracts with government to distribute inputs to farmers are not supposed to swindle farmers because inputs under FISP are meant to benefit genuine farmers.
Some parents in Chipata have condemned a decision by the Ministry of Education to overenroll pupils in grade 10 classes.
Justine Phiri and Mariah Tembo say that over enrolling is contributing to the poor performance of pupils in most schools.
The duo says that if pupils are too many in class, they fail to concentrate while teachers find it hard to teach.
They say that the ministry should construct more secondary schools as the population has grown in the province.
On Friday, Eastern Province Education Officer, Thomas Mwanza announced that the province will overenroll pupils in grade ten in some schools.
Mr. Mwanza stated that out of the over ten thousand pupils who have qualified to grade ten, close to 400 pupils do not have schools due to lack of secondary schools in the province.
Over 13,700 pupils who sat for their grade nine examination last year in Eastern Province have failed.
Provincial Education Officer, Thomas Mwanza confirmed this to Breeze News.
Mr. Mwanza says that out of a total 24, 441 pupils who sat for their examination, only 10, 692 pupils have qualified.
He says that out of the number of pupils who qualified, 6, 519 are boys while 4, 175 are girls.
Mr. Mwanza says that the pass rate represents a percentage of 43.75 per cent, which has dropped from last year’s 48.79 per cent.
He expressed sadness over the low pass rate, which has dropped by about 5 per cent.
Mr. Mwanza says that the low pass rate by the pupils clearly indicates that the effectiveness of the teachers is questionable.
The PEO says that the Ministry of Education will try its best to find out what has caused the low passing rate so that it does not occur again.
And Mr. Mwanza says that out of the over 10 thousand pupils who have qualified to grade 10, almost 4 thousand do not have places in secondary schools because of lack of schools in the province.
Mr. Mwanza says that the ministry will have no choice but to again over enrol pupils in certain schools.
Some youth groups who benefitted from the 2012 YDF, Youth Development Fund are reported to have already misappropriated the money.
Eastern Province Minister, Malozo Sichone says that he has received reports that some youth groups have misused the funds.
Mr. Sichone says that government will not spare anyone who will be found wanting adding that any person found to have misappropriated YDF will be sent to jail.
Mr. Sichone says that YDF is a program aimed at empowering youths to address the problem of unemployment in the country which is not to be misused because it has to be paid back so that others also benefit.
He was speaking in Chipata when he met two youth groups from Chadiza and Chipata with the aim of empowering them with hammer mills but one of the group did not qualify.
Thieves who broke into Stanbic Bank Chipata Branch stole more than 418.6 million Kwacha unrebased.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner Grace Chipalila also confirmed that the three thieves gained entry into the bank through the roof.
She explained that the thieves used a cutter to break the asbestos roofing.
Ms. Chipalira explained that after entering the bank, they blew one of the metal doors to the store room using explosives.
The police commissioner says the police were still doing the investigations in order to bring the culprits to book.
Between the night of Wednesday and Thursday, thieves broke into Stanbic bank in Chipata, an incident which paralyzed operations at the bank.
Breeze FM Station Owner and Managing Director, Mike Daka has described 10 years of Breeze operations in Eastern Province as a milestone.
Mr. Daka also says that the Breeze FM 10th Anniversary is special to people of Eastern Province because they now know that they have a reliable channel of communication.
Mr. Daka also told Breeze News that the 10 year period is special to members of staff due to the effort that they have put in through the years.
And Mr. Daka says that the Breeze FM expansion programme to cover the entire Eastern Province in 2012 has been one of the major achievements recorded by the station.
He says that the expansion programme means that Breeze FM is now in a position to support government, non –governmental organisations and anyone who is doing anything to help the province.
Mr. Daka however, bemoaned lack of financial support to the station from various institutions in Eastern Province.
He explained that according to financial figures, contributions from institutions like non-governmental organisations, government departments, private companies and individuals is less than 30 per cent of the total operational costs for Breeze FM.
Government has observed that some private media organisations have taken advantage of the freedom of information to publish malicious, defamatory and false stories about citizens and government.
Director of Planning in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Beaton Kaluba says that such media organisations have become experts in reporting rumours.
Mr. Kaluba says that government has allowed the media to operate freely without any interference so that journalists can investigate on true stories and not reporting on rumours.
Mr. Kaluba was speaking on behalf of information permanent secretary, Amos Malupenga during Breeze FM 10th Anniversary held in Chipata.
And Kaluba has appealed to entrepreneurs to support local radio stations by advertising and sponsoring programs.
Mr. Kaluba says that government is committed to supporting community radio stations and other private media institutions.
And speaking at the same function, Eastern Province Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary Zacharia Luhanga thanked the owner of Breeze FM for playing a big role in informing the people of Eastern Province through radio.
Mr. Luhanga pledged the provincial administration’s support in ensuring that the station is financially stable through sponsored programmes.
He noted that the government sponsored “Budget Trucking Radio Programme”, which had been running on Breeze FM in 2011, had assisted government a lot in informing people on how public resources were being spent.