Expired food products confiscted from Choppies Chipata

A combined team of council and health inspectors have confiscated expired and unlabeled food products from Choppies Supermarket in Chipata.

Chipata City Council Public Relations Manager, Kameko Manda has confirmed to Breeze News.

Ms. Manda says that the food products were confiscated during the time, the health inspectors were conducting inspections on banned processed meat products from South Africa that are contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

She says that the council immediately obtained a court order to destroy all the expired and unlabeled food products that were confiscated from Choppies Supermarket.

Meanwhile Ms. Banda says during yesterday’s joint inspection process by the council and Ministry of health, it was discovered that most chain stores had already removed the banned products.

She further says that tests that were conducted on other South African meat products found that they were not contaminated.

A spot check by Breeze News this morning found that most chain stores have removed all South African imported meat and vegetable products while others have not.

And in response, Ms. Manda said the directive was not to remove all South African products but those that are from a manufacturing company which products had contaminated with Listeria bacteria.

Yesterday Provincial Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo advised people to avoid all South African imported meat and vegetable products until investigations are concluded.

Water supply problem looming

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company says that there is a possibility that not enough ground water will be collected during this year’s rainy season.

Company Managing Director Lytone Kanowa says that this means water supply during the dry season might be affected.

Speaking in an interview with Breeze News, Mr. Kanowa says that the company does not rely on runoff water but rather on ground water recharge.

He says when the ground is saturated with water; the rest of the water becomes river flow during the rainy season which is what is used by the company as their source of water.

Mr. Kanowa says that this year’s rainy season has been interrupted by long dry spells in parts of the province.

He says that districts that are mostly affected by little river flow during the dry season are Chipata and Lundazi.

The managing director however, says that the company will continue monitoring river flow in all districts so that people in affected areas are warned about the looming water shortage three months beforehand.

Police investigate officers harassing journalists

Police in Chipata have instituted Investigations into the harassment of a journalist by police officers during this year’s Nc’wala traditional ceremony.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner Luckson Sakala confirmed receiving a complaint lodged by Chipata Press Club demanding for an apology over the harassment of a journalist on February 24.

Mr. Sakala said his office has involved members of the public who were present when the incident happened.

He said that so far, it has been discovered that the journalist in question was not from Chipata district, but from Lusaka.

Mr. Sakala noted that the officer involved is still unknown, because there were other officers who came from Lusaka for security reinforcement.

2018 International Women’s Day to be special

Women organizations in Chipata district are currently doing various activities ahead of the International Women’s Day slated for tomorrow.

Provincial Gender and Child Development Coordinator Ariel Tembo says this year’s International Women’s Day will be unique because women will be showcasing what they are doing in their respective institutions.

Mr. Tembo says government is trying to shift the issue of matching, to showcasing what women are implementing.

He says this means that the match past will not take place tomorrow.

He says the wish of government is that every woman participates in such activities because the International Women’s Day is dedicated to them.

Mr. Tembo says this year’s theme, “Time is now, rural and urban activist, transforming women’s lives” is timely because more women are now engaged in programs that empower them in both rural and urban areas.

Eastern recording high cases of dysentery

Eastern Province has been recording an average of two hundred suspected dysentery cases every week this year.

This came to light during the Provincial Epidemics Preparedness, Prevention, Control and Management meeting in Chipata yesterday.

Provincial Surveillance Officer, Jordan Banda says that Chipata so far has recorded the highest number of suspected dysentery cases with five hundred and twenty nine cases.

He says that compared to the same period last year, there has been a big reduction in the number of suspected dysentery cases being recorded.

Mr. Banda explained that last year, the province used to record about 400 suspected cases per week.

Mr. Banda says that the measures the districts have put in place to eradicate cholera have also helped in reducing the number of suspected dysentery cases in the province.

He says even though the province has had a number of suspected dysentery cases, only a few of those have been tested for confirmation.

And speaking during the same meeting, Lundazi District Health Officer, Davy Zulu, says the ministry faces challenges in confirming dysentery cases because fecal samples for suspected cases must be tested within a day.

He says testing the fecal matter within a day is not possible, as most suspected dysentery cases come from far areas and the samples usually reach the hospitals labs after the viability of the sample has expired.

Dr. Zulu says there is need for more labs to be constructed in hospitals to ensure that samples reach hospitals in good time.

UPND confident of winning April 24 by-elections

The United Party for National Development UPND in Eastern Province says it is optimistic that the party will win the local government by-elections in Sinda and Nyimba districts.

Electoral Commission of Zambia, ECZ, has set April 24th, 2018 as the date for Local Government By-Elections in areas where vacancies have arisen in various districts of the country.

In Eastern Province, by-elections will be held in Chiweza ward in Nyimba district and Chiwuyu ward in Sinda district.

UPND Provincial Spokesperson Victor Mbuzi says his party is optimistic that the party will scoop the two seats that were in the hands of the ruling party.

Mr. Mbuzi says the opposition political party is ready and that candidates who are contesting the two seats have been picked.

He further says that countrywide, the party will scoop all the fifteen local government by-elections.

Mr. Mbuzi adds that the ruling party should not expect people to vote like they voted in the last general elections, because electorates have lost faith in the ruling party.

Four major roads to be rehabilitated

Government through the Ministry of Local Government will soon release funds for the rehabilitation of about 160 kilometer feeder roads in Chipata district.

Chipata City Mayor Sinoya Mwale says four roads have been earmarked for rehabilitation in Luangeni and Kasenengwa constituencies.

Mr. Mwale has named the roads earmarked for rehabilitation as Madzimoyo- Kagunda road, covering 64.1 kilometers and Mwami border-Mlanga school via Mwami Mission hospital covering 34 kilometers.

He says others are Mchelile- Kamlaza road covering 43 kilometers and Mducha- Mgochi road covering 27 kilometers.

Mr. Mwale says the contractors were on sites this week for feasibility studies.

He says once documentation is completed, government will release money and that road works will commence.

He has further called on councilors and the community in the respective areas to work in partnership with the contractors.

Eastern records 15 maternal deaths within two months

Eastern Province has so far recorded fifteen maternal deaths since the beginning of this year.

This came to light during the Provincial Epidemics Preparedness, Prevention, Control and Management meeting in Chipata yesterday.

Provincial Surveillance Officer Jordan Banda says that the fifteen maternal deaths were recorded in Chipata, Petauke and Katete with each of the districts recording five deaths.

He says while the rest of the districts have recorded no maternal deaths, the fifteen from the three districts is high and serious measures need to be put in place in order to correct the situation.

And speaking during the same event, Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that it is important that going forward, any clinic or health post constructed should have a maternity annex to reduce the deaths.

And commenting to the remarks by the Permanent Secretary, Acting Provincial Health Director Charles Fanaka says that the Ministry is aware that that the infrastructure they have is not adequate.

He says that it is for this reason that the Ministry of Health with the support of NGOs is in the process of constructing mother shelters, were expectant mothers can go to wait from, until labour commences.

Dr. Fanaka says that this will help in ensuring that all pregnant women receive the help they need in giving birth as soon as possible.

2018 Nc’wala described as a success

Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people in Chipata District says this year’s Ncwala traditional ceremony was more successful than those held in previous years.

Speaking in an interview with Breeze News, Chief Madzimawe says this year’s Ncwala Traditional ceremony was better organized compared to past ceremonies.

He says misconduct by some unruly people, who attend the ceremony were avoided.

Chief Madzimawe also expressed happiness that no road accidents were recorded during the period of the N’cwala ceremony.

He adds that the absence of the president did not impact the ceremony in any negative way.

Gogo Madzimawe says the ceremony is important because it brings people from different political affiliations together.

Army worms attack 5,000 hectors of crop fields in Lundazi

Over 500 hectors in different parts of Lundazi district have been affected by army worms.

This has affected about 6,300 farmers from the time the army worms broke out last year.

Lundazi district agriculture coordinating officer, Philemon Lungu, confirmed this to Breeze News this morning.

Mr. Lungu says it has not been easy for his office to control the pest from spreading to more areas due to the unavailability of funds for government to purchase chemicals.

He says the district has so far received 300 liters of chemicals to distribute to farmers whose fields have affected.

Mr. Lungu explained that due to insufficient chemicals, only farmers, who are not under the Farmers Input Support Program, FISP, will be given the chemicals for free.

He added that those under FISP program can redeem the chemical using the E-voucher cards.

Mr. Lungu further urged farmers across the district to be on the lookout for army worms and report any suspicions so that measures can be put in place to control any further spread.