The Supreme Court has upheld nullification of the election of MMD, Movement for Multi-Party Democracy’s Rueben Mtolo Phiri as Chipata Central Member of Parliament.
Mwape Kumwenda from Muvi television reports that Supreme Court Judge, Marvin Mwanamwamba ruled that there was electoral malpractice perpetrated Mr. Phiri during the September 2011 general elections.
Donation of one thousand Kwacha rebased to the Reformed Church in Zambia in the run up to the general elections is among the issues that has resulted in Mr. Phiri losing the seat.
And former Chipata Central Member of Parliament, Lameck Mangani, who dragged Mr. Phiri to court, has expressed happiness with the ruling of the court.
Mr. Mangani told Breeze News that the ruling of the Supreme Court was a lesson to the MMD that it does not pay to cheat during elections.
He also indicated that he would apply to contest the seat under PF, the Patriotic Front Party despite his ailing relationship with the ruling party.
Meanwhile Mr. Phiri has accepted the decision by the Supreme Court to nullify his election at Member of Parliament for Chipata Central Constituency.
Mr. Phiri has however, denied any wrongdoing, stating that his campaigns for the Chipata Central Constituency seat was done transparently.
Bus operators in Lundazi District servicing local routes have hiked bus fares by 5 Kwacha rebased.
A check by Breeze News today at the bus station found most buses for local routes displaying new bus fares on their windows.
A further check revealed that people travelling to the furthest point in Chief Magodi’s area were now paying 30 Kwacha rebased from the previous 25 Kwacha rebased.
The new fares, were approved by Lundazi Bus Association and signed by a man only identified as Mr. Chaya.
And some bus operators talked to told Breeze News that the hike is followed by the unexpected increase of fuel by government last week.
But Lundazi District Council Secretary Magubwi Simunkolomba says that he was not aware of the hike made by local bus operators.
Mr Simunkolomba says that there is need for bus operators to convene a meeting with RTSA, the Road Transport and Safety Agency and described the move as illegal.
Long distance bus operators on the Chipata-Lusaka route are proposing to hike bus fares by between 20 and 50 Kwacha rebased.
This means that passengers travelling to Lusaka would now pay between 150 and 180 Kwacha.
One of the proprietors, Johabie Mtonga confirmed this in an interview with Breeze News yesterday.
He says that the bus operators were supposed to hike the fares by Friday last week, but following government’s directive, they have had to wait until further consultations.
And Synet Zulu, who is an operator for one of the buses, says that although the public may not gladly welcome these fares, they have no choice due to government’s decision to hike fuel prices.
Two people have died while 18 others have been injured in a fatal road traffic accident, which happened near Azere Kacheka in Chief Mbang’ombe’s area in Katete District yesterday.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Grace Chipalila confirmed this to Breeze News.
Ms Chipalila says that the accident happened after the driver of a Mercedes Benz truck, which was carrying 35 passengers and goods, failed to negotiate a curve.
She says that the vehicle swerved to the left side of the road, resulting in the goods and some of the passengers falling off from the vehicle.
Ms. Chipalila says that Levy Nkhoma, 29 and Alice Lungu, a juvenile both sustained head injuries and died.
She says the bodies of the duo are lying in St Francis Mission Hospital mortuary while the injured passengers are also admitted to the same hospital.
The driver is in police custody.
Meanwhile a 43 year old businessman of Chipata District has been robbed of 330, 000 Kwacha rebased cash and his vehicle by armed men.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Grace Chipalila says that Dauti Mwanza of Magwero was attacked by three men armed with a pistol, who called him at night pretending that they wanted to change money from him.
She says that Mr Mwanza, who is involved in money changing business, was led to Chadiza road where the bandits tied his hands, beat him up and stole the money and his Toyota Corolla.
Ms. Chipalila says that Mr. Mwanza, who has been admitted to Chipata General Hospital, was later dumped along Mwami road.
And Ms. Chipalila says that police managed to recover the car although the armed men are still on the run.
Chipata Municipal Council is to construct a city market at a cost of 15 million Kwacha rebased.
Town Clerk, Ekan Chigangu has confirmed the development to Breeze News this morning.
Mr. Chigangu says that the design for the market has already been done and is currently with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
Mr. Chingangu says that the local authority is now waiting for central government to release the money.
He further explained that the local authority has proposed to build the city market at Saturday Market or an area near Kapata Modern Market.
The Eastern Province Planning Authority has issued a demolition order for shops that were built on land which was allocated for housing units of ZRA, the Zambia Revenue Authority officers at Chanida border in Chadiza district.
Regional Planner Mukuka Chibwe disclosed this when Provincial Permanent Secretary Bert Mushala took a familiarization tour at the Zambian border with Mozambique.
Mr Chibwe says that the land in question was allocated to ZRA by Chief Mlolo who later released it to private developers before ZRA started constructing the houses.
He observed that the developers constructed the shops without getting construction permits from the local authority.
He says that the demolition order was issued because the shops were built on state land which was already allocated for the construction of housing units for ZRA staff operating at the border.
Mr Chibwe has however, advised developers to seek construction permits before they start constructing structures in any part of the country.
And Mr Mushala says that there is need to find an amicable solution to the problem stating that cases of land disputes in the province were a source of concern.
Some private companies in Eastern Province are still struggling to meet the government revised minimum wage.
Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI Chief Executive Officer, Josephine Chirwa has confirmed to Breeze News.
Ms. Chirwa says that EPCCI has received submissions from some of its members, who want government to reconsider its decision on the salaries.
Government last year in July revised the minimum wage, which put the lowest paid domestic worker at not less than 522 Kwacha rebased while shop and general workers are expected not to get less than one thousand Kwacha.
Ms Chirwa disclosed that most companies, especially micro financial institutions have been forced to lay off some workers in order to meet the minimum wage.
The Zambia National Farmers Union ZNFU in Lundazi district has called on farmers not to rush into selling their maize to unscrupulous traders.
ZNFU District Chairperson, White Banda says that the farmers should exercise patience and wait until the official buying price is announced by government.
Mr. Banda’s call comes following reports of brief case buyers, who have invaded most parts of the district buying produce at exploitative prices.
And Mr. Banda revealed that Malawian brief case buyers have invaded Chief Mwasethembwe’s area where they are buying Soya Beans at One Kwacha eighty Ngwee per kilogramme.
Mr. Banda expressed worry that the farmers will fail to settle their Lima Credit Scheme loan especially for Soya Beans.
He further told Breeze News that farmers should exercise patience as two local companies and two foreign companies have expressed interest to buy Soya Beans at the better price in Lundazi district this marketing season.
Republican Vice-President, Guy Scott says that there are no violations in Zambia warranting international intervention.
Dr. Scott says that this is because the country is functional democracy where the rule of law, respect for property rights and a free political space were guaranteed in the constitution.
Speaking to BBC Focus on Africa, Dr. Scott dismissed as noisy, the Zambian opposition who had it a habit to rush to the international community seeking sanctions against the people of Zambia.
He charged that the opposition are trying to create trouble for the government because they have lost support.
This is according to a Press Statement availed to Breeze News by the Zambian High Commission to the United Kingdom.
Dr. Scott also told the BBC that the question of the trial of former president Rupiah Banda was before competent courts of law that would decide the outcome following Parliament’s decision to lift his immunity from prosecution.
Meanwhile Dr. Scott says Zambia is seeking to create opportunities for young Zambians to access affordable mortgages in a bold move designed to reduce the housing deficit in the country.
He says the lack of access to affordable loans for decent homes has led to many young people entering the labour market to live in sub-standard accommodation for which they pay rents perpetually.
Dr. Guy Scott said this when delivering a keynote address at the Oxford University-Africa Society “Pan-African Conference 2013” themed “Towards a 21st Century African Renaissance”, in the United Kingdom.
The Vice-President says the high interest rates banks charged on home loans hindered people’s access to affordable housing.
As Zambians in the Eastern Region worry about the crop forecast for this years’ farming season, the United States have put in some 3.5 million dollars initiative to help boost food security in the country.
United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) Chairman, Jack Leslie says that the foundation has this year allocated half a million dollars for food production projects.
Mr. Leslie says that Chipata District Women Development Association, Petauke District Women Development Association and Katete District Women Development Association are among those benefiting from this funding.
He was speaking yesterday in Chipata during a Press Briefing.
Mr. Leslie further explained that USADF targets the most marginalised communities in bringing about sustainable development as their philosophy is to empower Africans to help themselves.
He said that his entourage, which included USADF Regional Programme Coordinator, Tom Coogan and Mission Director, Susan Brems were impressed with the two projects visited that are among the 20 projects that the USADF is funding.
Mr. Leslie said that he had taken note of some of the challenges that the funded projects are currently facing in the area of storage and transport.
The two projects visited are involved in the production of groundnuts and cooking oil.