Government acknowledges challenges in solar milling plants

Government has acknowledged that some solar milling plants are less efficient.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, says the solar milling plants are less efficient because of lacking batteries to support the system.

He says government will soon address challenges faced by cooperatives in operating the solar milling plants.

Speaking during the Voice Program on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Kasolo says he has already discussed with a technical team from China, who have been installing the solar milling plants, and that the only solution is to provide batteries.

He says affected cooperatives should be patient because the issue will soon be addressed as batteries will be supplied to act as a power back up to the system.

He says a named contractor in Chipata is building a facility that will help cooperatives operate their solar milling plants without challenges.

Mr. Kasolo says when the facility is handed over in the next six weeks, cooperatives will be trained on how to operate the solar milling plants.

NZP Plus in new project

A 34,000 Kwacha project looking at sexual reproductive health for adolescents has kicked off under NZP Plus in Chipata.

NZP Plus Coordinator Cecilia Sakala says that the project will be implemented in partnership with other organizations that include CSPR, Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, YDF, Youth Development Foundation and Breeze FM.

Mrs. Sakala says that the project involves adolescent participation in planning process for HIV and sexual reproductive health services.

She says that the project has a component for budget monitoring and addressing public resource management gaps.

Mrs. Sakala observed that in most cases young people are not involved when planning for activities involving the adolescents.

Mrs. Sakala says that the project is supposed to be implemented for three years depending on the availability of funds being provided by Action Aid Zambia.

 

Government challenged to work on a major road in Mambwe

The United Party for National Development UPND has expressed concern at the poor state of Mphomwa-Kapilinkonde-Msoro road in Mambwe district.

UPND Provincial Spokesperson Victor Mbuzi told Breeze News that the road has become impassable.

Mr. Mbuzi says that the road, which passes through an area where a lot of people have settled in farms, needs to be rehabilitated as soon as possible.

He says that this is to facilitate the transportation of farm produce to markets and easy distribution of farming inputs for the next farming season.

Mr. Mbuzi stated that he had confidence that Malambo Member of Parliament, Makebi Zulu is in the position to attend to the problem.

And Mr. Mbuzi further pointed out the need for the Ministry of Education to send teachers to Lutembwe Primary School, which is situated in the same area.

He claimed that the school only has one trained teacher, a situation which is not conducive for pupils, who need enough trained teachers to learn.

Vubwi district hospital works advance

Works on the construction of Vubwi District Hospital have reached seventy per cent.

Ministry of Works and Supply, Senior Works Supervisor, Marko Mtonga says the Chinese contractor, Zamchin Construction Company, has already done the roofing and plastering.

Mr. Mtonga told Breeze News that the District Hospital, which is being constructed at a total cost of 13 million Kwacha, is expected to be completed in November this year.

He says the construction works, which started in 2015 were supposed to be completed last year, but that the contractor delayed to move on the site.

He says once completed, the hospital will help people in the district, who are forced to walk long distances, seeking medical services.

Government terminates contract in Vubwi district

Government has terminated the contract for the contractor working on Vubwi Civic Centre, in Vubwi District.

Vubwi District Commissioner Enelesi Banda, says the Zambian Contractor, Brut Construction Company, has delayed in completing the works.

Mrs. Banda says the construction of the Civic Centre, which started in 2015 at a total cost of 6 million Kwacha ,was supposed to be completed in 2016.

She says government has decided to terminate the contract because there was no progress despite the contractor being paid 20 per cent of the total cost of the project.

And Mrs. Banda says the construction of administration offices in the district has been completed.

She says the Chinese Contractor Potec, completed works last week, built at a cost of over 7 million Kwacha.

She says the offices will be ready for occupation once ZESCO connects electricity.

The District Commissioner says government has lost a huge sum of money in rentals at its current offices, because the rentals were being hiked almost every month.

Senior Chief Nzamane questions delayed works

A traditional leader in Chipata District has expressed concern over the construction of Chikando Secondary School, whose works have stalled for over 10 years.

Senior Chief Nzamane of the Ngoni people says the delay in the construction of the school is worrying.

He says it is surprising to note that works have delayed to be completed when some schools, which were initiated recently, have been completed.

And the traditional leader says he has faith in foreign contractors, because local contractors are not sincere in their execution of duties.

He says local contractors should not be embraced and given contracts because they have previously done a lot of shoddy works.

Senior Chief Nzamane says the challenge with local contractors is that they divert materials meant for the construction of a particular project for their own personal gains.

He said this when Chipata Mayor Sinoya Mwale called on him at his palace.

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And Chipata District Senior Education Standard Officer, Binwell Dokowe, says the Ministry of Education had discussed the matter and that an action will be taken before the end of this year.

Parliament approves Threatened State of Emergency motion.

Parliament has approved President Edgar Lungu’s declaration of Article 31, to curb the recent fires that have rocked the country.

Last week, President Edgar Lungu sought parliamentary approval to the Preservation of the Public Security Act, by invoking Article 31 of the Zambian Constitution.

Parliament adopted a motion tabled by Vice President Inonge Wina to confirm and extend the declaration of a state of threatened public emergency by President Lungu.

Out of 118 Members of Parliament eligible to vote, 85 voted in favor of the motion, while non of them voted against the motion, non of them voted in abstentia, and 34 did not take part.

All PF MPs supported the motion.

47 UPND MPs are serving a one month suspension for boycotting President Lungu’s address to the house.

Deputy Speaker Catherine Namugala said the question was resolved in the affirmative.

500 megawatts coal power station set for Chipata district

An investor has shown interest to set up a 500 megawatts coal driven power station in Chipata district at a cost of 900 million United States dollars.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says the investment will create over 2,000 jobs.

Mr. Kasolo says discussions on the matter have reached an advanced stage as the investor is just waiting to come and identify land.

He says two pieces of land have been offered for the project but the challenge is that about 20 families will have to be relocated when the investor choses one of the land.

Mr. Kasolo added that his office has received another inquiry from another investor interested in setting up a 300 million United States dollar solar and wind farm to generate 200 megawatts of electricity.

He says the province has seen an overwhelming response from people trying to invest in agriculture ranching, energy and food processing, which will have a positive impact on the economy.

Police detain 14 illegal immigrants

Police in Petauke district have rounded up 14 illegal immigrants at a check point on entering the town from Nyimba district.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Alex Chilufya confirmed this to Breeze News.

Mr. Chilufya says that nine of the suspects are Malawians while the remaining five are Congolese.

He says that the Immigration Officers charged the 14, who were using public transport, with relevant offences, after screening them.

Mr. Chilufya has explained that such check points are meant to deter and foresee possible aggravated crimes against the state and citizens by what he described as rogue elements.

Meanwhile Police in Eastern Province are investigating a case of aggravated robbery allegedly involving Malawians.

Police Commissioner Alex Chilufya says Time Mbewe aged 44, a teacher of Chankhandwe Primary School in Vubwi District, reported that on Thursday last week, he was attacked by a group of unknown people at his residence around midnight.

Mr. Chilufya says Mbewe was confronted by the attackers, who had unknown type of a fire arm and threatened to kill him.

He says the attackers used their own key to drive his vehicle, a Toyota Nowa Black in colour, registration number ACV, 1701 valued at 45, 000 Kwacha.

Mr. Chilufya says according to Mr. Mbewe, the attackers were speaking Malawian Chewa and that they drove away in the vehicle heading towards the Malawi direction.

He says this is why the police are suspecting that the attackers are Malawians adding that no physical harm was done to the victim.

Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner says a man of Lundazi District was allegedly eaten by crocodiles.

Mr. Chilufya says Mukane Manda aged 35 of Fosta Village in Chief Mwanya, was caught and eaten by the reptiles on Wednesday last week around 20 hours in the Luangwa River.

He says that according to the report, the deceased went fishing with other eight fishermen.

He says Manda decided to run away and attempted to swim across the river, in fear of being caught by officers from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, who were approaching the area.

Mr. Chilufya says the conclusion by the police was that his body was completely eaten up, because a thorough search conducted by the officers, did not find his body.

A Malawian caught with albino bones

Police in Chipata have arrested a 42 year old Malawian for being in possession of suspected albino human bones.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Alex Chilufya, told Breeze News that Blessings Mwale was arrested this morning from Magazine Compound in Chipata, after a tip off from members of the public.

Mr. Chilufya says Mwale was found with two human bones suspected to have been extracted from an albino, which he was trying to sale, with an unknown friend, who has gone back to Malawi.

He says police have taken the bones to medical experts for further tests, while Mwale is in police custody for interrogations and will assist police establish the whereabouts of his friend.

Meanwhile, a 37 year old man of Zingalume area in Lusaka has been arrested for impersonating a police officer.

Mr. Chilufya says Paul Banda was arrested by ZNS, Zambia National Service Officers manning ZESCO Msoro sub-station in Mambwe district on July 6th.

He says police are still investigating Banda, who was found with a police labeled torch teaser gun, paper-treat spray and an American flag.