MMD and UPND deny any involvement in a scam where PF cadres have been accused of swindling over 300 villagers in Chadiza district.

The ruling Patriotic Front, PF, has been challenged not to drag opposition parties in a matter in which its members allegedly swindled over 300 villagers in Chadiza district of their money and domestic animals, by cheating them that they would be given jobs.
United Party for National Development, UPND and Movement for Multiparty Democracy, MMD, say that the PF should just settle the mess created by its members, instead of blaming the opposition.
Speaking in different interviews, UPND provincial vice publicity secretary Victor Mbuzi and MMD provincial youth chairperson, Chembe Daka told Breeze News that the PF should learn to be honest and tell people the truth.
They wondered why PF Chadiza Constituency Chairperson, Christopher Banda, decided to lie that the people were cheated by the opposition, when the affected villagers clearly explained that they were swindled by PF members.
The duo who described the act as stealing, said that the PF should just urge its members involved in the scam to go back and apologise to the affected people, and return whatever they collected.
They also called on the police to investigate the matter and ensure that all those involved are punished.
More than 300 villagers in Chadiza district have been swindled out of their money and domestic animals after being promised jobs by suspected PF, Patriotic Front cadres.
On Tuesday, the villagers gathered at Chipata-Chadiza junction waiting to be employed in the tarring project of Chipata- Chadiza road.
Some villagers, who came in as early as 04 hours for the employment narrated that people purporting to belong to the ruling party promised that they would be offered employment.

ZESCO about to finish installing pre-paid meters to all customers in Chipata.

The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation ZESCO says that it is about to finish installing pre-paid meters to all customers in Chipata.
Regional Manager, Wilbroad Chanda says that the power company has installed 8,000 pre-paid meters against a total of 8,500 domestic and commercial customers.
Mr. Chanda says that from the time ZESCO started installing the pre-paid meters in Chipata, it has recorded a reduction in power consumption because customers are now careful with how they use electricity.
Meanwhile the power company says that it does not give individual notice to customers before installing pre-paid meters.
Mr. Chanda says that this is because all customers were informed before the exercise started.
Mr. Chanda was responding to complaints from customers that the ZESCO staff installing the pre-paid meters, turn up at any time and without notice, a situation, which is inconveniencing as power has to be switched off to facilitate the installation.
Mr. Chanda says that customers are at free to negotiate with ZESCO staff if they are not ready to have their premises installed with a pre-paid meter at a particular time.

More than 300 villagers in Chadiza district swindled after being promised jobs by suspected PF cadres.

More than 300 villagers in Chadiza district have been swindled out of their money and domestic animals after being promised jobs by suspected PF, Patriotic Front cadres.
Breeze FM Staffer, Paul Phiri reports that the villagers this morning gathered at Chipata-Chadiza junction waiting to be employed in the tarring project of Chipata- Chadiza road.
Some villagers, who came in as early as 04 hours for the employment narrated that people purporting to belong to the ruling party promised that they would be offered employment.
But PF Constituency Chairperson, Christopher Banda has dismissed the report stating that the party has no authority to employ anyone and that no PF members were involved in such dishonest activities.
Mr. Banda has instead accused MMD, Movement for Multi-Party Democracy and UPND, United Party for National Development members of being behind the scam, stating that they want to destroy the name of the ruling party.
Mr. Banda says that on Chadiza District Council and the contractor have the mandate to employ workers for the project.
And Council Chairperson, Richard Zimba confirmed receiving the report but urged people not to be cheated by what he described as cheap politics.

The project of putting up four boreholes to supply water to Nyimba residents is one month behind schedule.

The 6. 2 million Kwacha rebased project of putting up four boreholes to supply water to Nyimba residents through Chikuyu Dam has delayed to be completed.
The project, which was supposed to be completed by the end of February this year, has not yet been completed.
Easter Water and Sewerage Company Public Relations Officer, Henry Kashoki says that the works have delayed because the contractor is still waiting for water pipes from South Africa.
Mr. Kashoki says that the contractor, China Janchu is using water pipes from South Africa, which have not yet been delivered.
Mr. Kashoki however, says that 80 per- cent of the works have been done.
He says that all the four boreholes have been sunk and power has been connected adding that only the laying of pipes is remaining.
Once the works are completed, the boreholes will be used to supply water to Chikuyu dam, which runs dry at the end of every year for more than five years now.

Thirty-seven year old woman goes to jail for 30 days after escaping from lawful custody.

A 37 year old woman of Lundazi district has been slapped with 30 days simple imprisonment for escaping from a police cell.
Appearing before Magistrate Milton Nyirenda was Veronica Elina Moyo, a peasant farmer of Dunda Compound.
Facts before magistrate Nyirenda were that Veronica Elina Moyo on 27 February 2011, whilst in detention for child stealing escaped from police custody in unclear circumstances contrary to the laws of Zambia.
Veronica was re- arrested on 20th March 2013 by police after tips from the general public.
In mitigation, Veronica says that she was a widow and a mother of three adding that if convicted her children will suffer as they will have no one to take care of them because her mother is old.
But Magistrate Milton Nyirenda says the offence committed was serious, adding that being the first offender, he sentenced her accordingly.
Veronica is expected to appear in court on April 9th for the offence of stealing a child.

A budget tracking exercise by Civil Society for Poverty Reduction reveals shortage of staff in agriculture blocks and camps.

Some of the Agricultural Blocks and Camps in the province are not manned and lack adequate staff housing for extension officers.
This is according findings by CSPR, Civil Society for Poverty Reduction through their budget tracking and service delivery monitoring programme.
CSPR Provincial Coordinator, Maxwell Nkhoma says that his organization recommends that a block should be manned by at least two agricultural officers namely, a field services officer and a veterinary officer.
He says that CSPR is also recommending that more inputs and crop storage sheds be built to alleviate the shortage of storage space currently obtaining in the province.
In a statement availed to Breeze News, Mr. Nkhoma further says that Msekera research station is ill equipped and that there is need to buy modern equipment to furnish the station.
He adds that in order to encourage diversification in the sector, damming of major rivers and streams for the purposes of irrigation to be intensified is required.
Mr. Nkhoma notes that despite the sector being a business venture, many farmers in the province treat agriculture as a secondary economic activity.

Chieftainess Kazembe of the Chewa people of Lundazi district has died at the age of 77.

Chieftainess Kazembe of the Chewa people of Lundazi district has died at the age of 77.
Lundazi District Commissioner, Janet Mvula has confirmed the death to Breeze News.
Ms. Mvula says that the traditional leader died at the palace on Thursday last week around 22:30hours after a short illness.
Chaiftainess Kazembe has been on the throne for close to ten years following the death of Chief Kazembe 8, Henry Phiri in 2009.
She will be buried on Wednesday in her chiefdom.

Some parents in Chipata complain over high school fees for children in lower grades.

Some parents in Chipata have complained over the school fees schools are charging for children in lower grades.
The parents told Breeze News that the school fees are too high for the junior pupils.
The parents say that the amount they are paying of 100 Kwacha and 70 Kwacha rebased, is contrary, to the free education policy that government promised people during campaign.
They have asked government to consider reducing the school fees to at least 50 Kwacha per year.
When contacted for a comment, Provincial Education Officer, Thomas Mwanza, says that the fees are constituted by PTA, Parents Teachers Association, and that government has nothing to do with that.
Mr. Mwanza says that the PTA fund, is meant for school projects, and paying school workers who are not on government payroll.
Mr. Mwanza has advised parents to be attending PTA meetings whenever they are called, so that they understand such issues.

Government describes as alarming the hunger situation, which has hit some parts of Chadiza district.

Chadiza District Commissioner, Paul Phiri has described as alarming the hunger situation, which has hit some parts of Chadiza.
The District Commissioner says that he has so far visited Naviluri ward to check on the situation with the team of experts.
And Mr. Phiri has directed people from Kavumo, Naviluri and Mangwe wards to start buying maize from FRA, the Food Reserve Agency because of hunger.
Councillors from the three wards have reported that people are now relying on pumpkin leaves and wild fruits to survive.
Mr. Phiri however, says that it is hard sometimes for government to reach out to all the people at once because such situations need proper planning.
Mr. Phiri says that government has at the moment come up with this initiative of allowing people buy maize from FRA so that they are assisted.

Government t is looking for wagons for the Chipata-Mchinji Railway line to start operating.

Government says it is looking for wagons for the Chipata-Mchinji Railway line to start operating.

Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Deputy Minister Panji Kaunda says the railway line has taken time to become operational because it was being handled by RSZ, Railway Systems of Zambia whose concession was cancelled by the PF Government.

In September last year, Government through Minister of Finance, Alexander Chikwanda announced the cancellation of the concession of RSZ operations in the country.

Colonel Kaunda says the other delay was due to the laziness or delay of the MMD government to operationalize the project after its official launch in 2010.

He says companies who were forming the Public Private Sector PPP including Government would start transporting goods to NACALA port in Mozambique using the railway line.

Col Kaunda says, the railway line would not become a white elephant again, because the PF Government was determined to link the railway line project to Tanzania–Zambia Railway Authority TAZARA via Petauke District.