The Chipata High Court has jailed a 28-year-old man to 40 years imprisonment with hard labour after convicting him on three counts of defiling minors.
Appearing before High Court Judge Mubanga Kondolo, State Counsel was Jairos Banda of Chiparamba area who stood charged with three counts of defiling girls below the ages of seven.
Particulars of the offence were that on April 28th 2012, Banda had unlawful carnal knowledge of two girls aged six and one aged five.
Facts before the court were that the suspect slept with the girls one after the other between 07 and 09 hours in the bush along or near Jabes village in Chiparamba.
In passing judgment, Justice Kondolo said it was unfortunate that the convict could go to that extent of defiling minors.
In the same court, a 28-year- old man of Magwero School of the Blind in Chipata has been jailed for twelve months for causing death by dangerous driving.
Justice Kondolo jailed Anderson Mbewe who caused the death of Stavin Mutewele on Chipata-Magwero road on August 30th 2011 due to over speeding.
Facts before the courts were that Mbewe who had no driving license during the accident whilst driving a Toyota Sprinter registration number ABE 9155 due to the high speed failed to slow down and ended up crashing a cyclist near Sunnyside area.
Chief Mnukwa of the Ngoni people has warned his subjects not to get involved in land wrangles.
Speaking during the commissioning of various CDF, Constituency Development Fund projects in his area, Chief Mnukwa urged his subjects to live in unity.
He says that if subjects get involved in land disputes that chiefs may be having, the people would be the ones to suffer the most.
The chief further cautioned his subjects against forcing their children into early marriages because it is against the law.
Chief Mnukwa explained that forcing children to give birth whilst still young causes a condition in women called fistula.
He says that it was for this reason that government has scaled up the program of building schools in villages to encourage parents to stop forcing children into early marriage.
Some of the projects that were commissioned include Mwai and Muliliwa community schools.
Armed masked robbers have shot and wounded a field manager of Danavant Cotton Company in Lundazi in an attempt to steal 30,000 Kwacha cash.
Lundazi Police Officer Commanding, Felix Ngoma has confirmed the incident, which happened at Nanga area in Chief Chikwa in Chama district.
Mr. Ngoma explained that the armed robbers staged an attack to grab the money from Daniel Phiri and company cashier Harrison Chibobwa, who were on their way to pay cotton farmers using a motorcycle.
The robbers, who laid a trap using a wire across the road, shot Daniel Phiri, who was riding the motorcycle, wounding him in the stomach.
Mr. Ngoma says that the robbers however, failed to grab the money after a fight ensued with the cashier Harrison Chibobwa, who eventually managed to identify one of the attackers after removing his mask.
And Acting Lundazi Medical Officer, Paul Mulenga says that Daniel Phiri sustained six wounds where bullets from the muzzle loader gained entry.
Dr. Mulenga explained that the bullets are still stuck in the victim’s abdomen and he has been referred to Chipata General Hospital for operation since Lundazi Hospital had no water supply to conduct an operation.
Police have launched a manhunt for the two armed robbers who are on the run.
Some villagers in Chief Mlolo’s area in Vubwi district have expressed anger over unfulfilled campaign promises by area Member of Parliament, Eustakio Kazonga.
Mkwabile Village Headman Boniface Mvula says that Dr. Kazonga promised to drill boreholes and build a bridge across Namwera stream if re-elected.
The traditional leader says that despite the voters having voted for Dr. Kazonga in 2011, nothing has been done.
He complained that villagers are drinking water from shallow wells where domestic animals also drink from, a situation which he described as a health hazard.
And when contacted, Dr. Kazonga says that he is waiting for the release of CDF, Constituency Development Fund to drill boreholes while government is also expected to drill more boreholes in the area.
He further explained that the construction of a bridge across Namwera has been prioritized and that they were in the process of submitting to the council in Chadiza for inclusion in the work plan.
Petauke and Chadiza districts are the highest contributors to the forty per cent business loss being recorded by Eastern Water and Sewerage Company.
Managing Director, Wamui Changani says that Petauke has the highest illegal connections while most customers are using substandard water pipes, which lead to water leakages.
Speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Changani also explained that 70 per cent of water at the water tank in Chadiza is being lost due to leakages.
He said that it was a big task to reduce this loss to the acceptable 25 per cent because of these challenges.
And Mr. Changani revealed that Eastern Water and Sewerage Company is owed about 4 million Kwacha by government departments.
He has appealed to the departments to ensure that they pay the debts, stating that it will assist the company enhance service delivery.
Mr. Changani further indicated that government has directed all water companies in the country to put government departments on pre-paid meters to address the issue of debt.
The Human Rights Commission has expressed concern with the deplorable state of prisons in the Eastern Province.
Commissioner Mulenga Chisenga, notes that the state in which the prisoners are being kept, is inhuman, and has implored government to quickly attend to the dilapidated structures.
Mr Chisenga says that the prisons were built a long time ago when the population of inmates was small.
Namuseche Prison in Chipata currently has over 700 inmates while its capacity stands at 250.
Mr. Chisenga has described the situation as a calamity, which the prison staff are failing to cope with, due to inadequate structures.
He says the only viable solution, is to construct new structures instead of rehabilitating the current ones.
On Monday, the Human Rights Commission toured Namuseche Prison to inspect the prevailing condition of the facility.
Erratic supply of cement has hit Chipata with most traders running out of the commodity.
The scarcity has pushed up the price of the commodity, which is now being sold at between 92 and 95 Kwacha per 50 kilogramme bag.
And some residents have expressed concern that the price of cement has increased by 10 Kwacha, within the last three weeks.
John Banda and Lucas Ngámbi told Breeze News that the prices are also not stable, as dealers change the prices two to three times in a day.
They complained that traders are taking advantage of the shortage to exploit people.
And some traders spoken to said that manufactures were facing challenges to produce enough cement, a situation which has resulted in their trucks spending days in Lusaka before being given the consignment.
The traders also stated that they found it difficult to send empty trucks to collect cement unless there was another commodity like maize to be transported to Lusaka.
Residents in Chipata have been cautioned against disposing off garbage carelessly.
Speaking in an interview with Breeze News, Town Clerk, Eckani Chingangu, bemoaned the illegal dumpsites that are on the increase in various areas of Chipata.
Mr Chingangu has warned residents in Chipata to stop creating illegal dumpsites, stating that the only legal dumpsite is situated opposite Lutembwe Dam.
Mr Chingangu added that the municipal council has penalised people that have been caught disposing off rubbish in undesignated places.
And Mr Chingangu added that the ‘’Keep Chipata Clean Campaign” had been temporarily suspended due to the Chipata Central parliamentary By-election.
The Town Clerk however, says that a committee meeting will be held this week, to discuss the way forward.
Over two months ago, the Provincial Minister, Malozo Sichone launched the “Keep Chipata Clean” campaign to address the issue of cleanliness in the town.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia ECZ has advised traditional leaders in Petauke to desist from partisan politics during any elections.
ECZ Commissioner Minerva Tembo has advised chiefs to form voter education committees at village levels so that they can assist to reduce voter apathy, which has characterized elections in the recent past.
Ms. Tembo was speaking during a sensitization meeting with traditional leaders in Petauke ahead of the parliamentary by-election for Petauke Central Constituency.
And speaking during the same meeting, Chief Mumbi of the Nsenga people said that political parties who are fond of bringing cadres from other constituencies and provinces should stop as it is a source of conflict among political parties during campaigns.
The traditional leader observed that political players did not exercise respect in the manner they send campaign messages to voters adding that character assassination were common.
Chief Mumbi also said it was unusual that political leaders visit chief’s palaces at night, which brings suspicion among community members on what goes on during such meetings.
Some headmen in Chief Mwangala’s area in Chadiza district are reported to have shunned a project of building a school in the area.
Kabvumo Ward Councillor, Gabriel Mvula says that he is disappointed with the negative attitude of the village headmen towards work.
Mr Mvula told Breeze News that the headmen had agreed to mould 10 thousand bricks for Kabvumo Primary School per village but only three villages from the nine responded.
The civic leader has expressed concern that if work on the project fails, illiteracy levels in the area will continue to increase.
Mr. Mvula further explained that the villagers should not blame the government if a new school is not constructed in ward.