The Food Reserve Agency FRA has warned farmers against detaining trucks carrying maize and harassing FRA employees.
And FRA says that it has recorded 86 per cent achievement rate in the crop purchasing exercise for the 2012/2013 marketing season
FRA Board Chairperson, Guy Robinson says that it is a criminal offence for farmers who sold maize to the agency to detain trucks and harass FRA employees due to delayed payment.
Mr. Robinson says that FRA is committed to ensuring that all farmers are paid and it is not its intention to delay payments to the farmers.
And Mr. Robinson says that FRA has purchased over 864,000 metric tonnes of maize amounting to approximately 1.1 trillion Kwacha as at September 28.
He says that the agency has so far paid out 100 billion Kwacha and more payments will be made starting this week.
Mr. Robinson has urged farmers to remain calm as the process of payments progresses and that no single farmer will be left out.
This is according to a press statement released to Breeze News by FRA Public Relations Officer, Mwamba Siame.
Some ZESCO clients in Chipata have accused officers installing pre-paid meters of carrying out the exercise in a haphazard manner.
The clients have wondered how officers, who were installing the metres in Kapata Township on Monday suddenly changed and moved to David Kaunda Township the following day.
Penius Simukoko told Breeze News that this is surprising and inconveniencing to people who have been waiting to be given pre-paid meters.
But ZESCO has defended this kind of system of installing pre-paid metres.
Regional ZESCO Manager, Wilbroad Chanda says that houses in areas, which are already being billed for the September-October period using the normal system, are being left out because it will create conflict in the billing system.
Mr. Chanda explained that this should not worry the clients because they will also be connected with pre-paid metres later.
Meanwhile Mr. Chanda says that ZESCO has already installed over 700 pre-paid metres since the exercise started two week ago.
A school that has been built in Masupe Local Forest in Chipata was constructed without consultation from the Forestry department.
Deputy Provincial Forest Office, Kingsley Muyunda says the Forestry Department was not involved in the sitting of the area for the construction of the school or any environmental impact assessment of the area.
Mr. Muyunda however, says that since resources have been spent in the putting up of the school, the department will try to legalise the area where the school is located.
He added that a Chinese contractor who was constructing the School told the department that he was contracted by government some years back.
And Mr. Muyunda says that some people who have encroached Chipata Local Forest have been dragged to court where their cases are currently being handled.
Mr. Muyunda thanked government for showing its concern in forestry protection.
Some civil society organizations have demanded for the enactment of the tobacco law.
The Zambia Anti- Smoking Society, Zambia Media Network Against Tobacco, ZAMNAT and the Zambia Consumer Association, are all demanding that the Minister of Health quickens the process of enacting the law in line with the country’s international commitments.
The organizations have expressed concern that nothing much has been done, despite the PF government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promising that it would domesticate all treaties to which Zambia is a party.
This is contained in statement made available by to Breeze News by Zambia Consumer Association executive director Muyunda Ililonga and Raphael Makowane of Zambia Anti- Smoking Society.
The organizations say that there is no justification to continue delaying on the legislation because the health, economic and social consequence of tobacco use are well known.
The United Party for National Development, UPND, says that ZCTU, the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions should concentrate on fighting for workers conditions instead of commenting on matters that do not have serious impact on people.
UPND National Chairman for Sports and Youth Development, Michael Chuzu, says that a lot of workers are going through problems at their work places that need ZCTU’s attention.
Mr. Chuzu said this in reference to ZCTU secretary general, Roy Mwaba’s comment on the tearing of the presidential speech by MMD’s Michael Kaingu.
Mr. Chuzu made reference to workers of some cotton companies who are walking long distances to and from their working places on foot, and such companies do not provide transport, having many vehicles, as some of the problems that ZCTU, should be working hard to solve.
The Fire brigade in Eastern Province has complained of using outdated fire tenders.
Provincial Focal Point Chief Fire Officer Fackson Mbewe told Breeze News that only Chipata Municipal Council has a Morden fire tender.
Mr. Mbewe says that this has created challenges in situations where other councils are unable to attend to emergency cases because of outdate fire tender.
He further explained that such cases are attended to by Chipata Fire Brigade officers.
Government has however, indicated that it has procured 14 fully equipped modern fire engines to be distributed to different councils in the country.
Eastern Province has been given about 700.4 million Kwacha for YDF, the Youth Development Fund.
Provincial Youth Development Coordinator, David Musonda has confirmed this to Breeze News.
Mr. Musonda says the amount is out of 11.8 billion Kwacha that has been allocated to all provinces in the country.
Mr. Musonda however, says that the money will be shared in three categories of which part of it is for grants and administration while the other is for loans.
He has advised youths to register for loans at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Child Development.
Mr. Musonda explained that youths who own enterprises, belong to youth cooperatives and youth groups, which are legally registered are the ones that qualify for the loans.
Financial challenges faced by Chipata Municipal Council have resulted in the local authority failing to meet some of its obligations.
Public Relations Officer, Taonga Kaonga says that it is not deliberate that the council has not been collecting garbage but finances have been inadequate.
Ms. Kaonga says that the situation has caused the council to be using a front end loader machine meant for rehabilitation of roads to collect garbage.
She says that currently, the same front end loader machine is busy working on some roads.
Ms. Kaonga however, says that the council will manage to collect garbage using the little resources they have from revenue collections.
And Ms. Kaonga says that there are a lot of areas where garbage has not been collected for a long time.
She was responding to reports that outbreak of waterborne diseases is imminent at Nabvutika Market, where garbage has not been collected for three months now.
Waterborne diseases are looming at Nabvutika Market in Chipata because of accumulating garbage, which has not been collected for three months.
Zone three Chairperson, Ignatius Ngoma told Breeze News that the garbage has started producing maggots, which are finding their way into the market stands.
Mr. Ngoma says that the outbreak of waterborne diseases like cholera is imminent, if the garbage is not removed immediately.
He wondered why the council is failing to remove the garbage when marketeers are consistent in paying levies.
Mr. Ngoma also says that previously the council was unable to collect garbage because they did not have a front end loader but that this is not the case as the local authority purchased a truck for garbage collection.
He has also appealed to the council management to ensure that council workers working in toilets at the market are given protective wear.
And when contacted for comment, Chipata Municipal Council Public Relations Officer, Taonga Kaonga said that she would give the council’s position on the matter later.
A five year old boy has drowned in Nyamalembo stream in Chadiza district.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Grace Chipalila confirmed the incident which happened yesterday is to Breeze News.
Ms. Chiplila says Sailota Zulu of Lumbe Village in Chief Mulolo who was in a company of his friends wanted to drink water from the stream when he slipped and fell into the water.
His body was retrieved by police officers.
Meanwhile a 43 year old man of Chipata district has been arrested for defiling a 12 year old girl.
Ms. Chipalila says that the identified man of Referendum area defiled the juvenile of the same area on Saturday around 18 hours.
Ms. Chipalila says that mother to the girl Maria Mwale of the same area reported the matter to the police who later picked up the suspect.