Government has been urged to bring back extra duties that were withdrawn from teachers.
Speaking during the World Teachers Day held in Chipata today, Zambia National Union of Teachers National Trustee, Lazarus Chongo says that teachers need the extra duties because they are helpful to society.
Mr. Chongo says that duties like sports are very important as they produce National champions in various activities.
And Mr. Chongo says that this year’s Teacher’s Day is an opportunity to honour men and women who inspire and nature people.
Mr. Chongo called on government to create a supportive teaching environment, adequate teacher training and safeguard the rights of teachers.
He added that government should break the vicious cycle of declining professional conditions for teachers in order to improve the quality of learning for all.
Mr. Chongo also says that an estimated 1.7 million more teacher position are required to reach the goals of Universal Primary Education by 2015.
Meanwhile hundreds of teachers in Mambwe district this morning joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Teachers Day which falls today October 5.
The event which was spiced up by the brass band from Gonda Barracks, attracted all schools in the district to Jumbe Basic School, where it took place.
Speaking during the cerebration Basic Education Teachers Union of Zambia, BETUZ, chairperson, Obby Phiri, said that unions are aware of government’s efforts in mitigating teachers’ challenges that directly affect delivery and implementation of government policies.
Breeze Staffer, Peter Sukwa reports that Mr. Phiri says unions also appreciate government’s commitment in reducing the teacher pupil ratio which stands out as one of the major challenges faced by most schools in rural areas.
He, however, stated that teachers hope that government shall consistently recruit more teachers.
Some beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in Chipata have defied government’s directive to stop begging on the streets.
The beneficiaries who refused to be named told Breeze News that the money they are given is very little to sustain their lives.
They vowed that they will not stop begging on the streets until the government increases the amount of allowances being given to them under the Social Cash Transfer Scheme.
When reached for comment, District Social Welfare Officer Charity Phiri says that those who are still begging are just stubborn.
Mrs. Phiri says that a household which gets 240,000 Kwacha and 100 hundred thousand Kwacha per month can do a lot with the money than begging.
Mrs. Phiri says that some people, who are also on the scheme, are doing well and have started small businesses using the money.
Meanwhile the office of an officer at the district social welfare office that was locked by the Network for People Living with Disabilities has been reopened.
Acting Provincial Social Welfare Office, Cosmus Sikwibele confirmed to Breeze News that the issue was resolved.
The office was closed after the officer was accused of disrespecting people living with disabilities.
Villagers in most chiefdoms of Mambwe district are facing a serious problem of how to access safe drinking water.
This has been revealed by Mambwe District Commissioner, Janet Palukani to Breeze FM Staffer, Peter Sukwa who is in Mambwe.
Mrs. Pakulani says that most of the areas visited found that people are sharing drinking water sources with animals.
And Mrs. Pakulani is concerned with continued delay by FRA, the Food Reserve Agency to pay farmers who sold maize to the agency.
She says that more than half of the farmers who sold maize in Mambwe district have not been paid.
Mrs. Palukani says that this is despite FRA having promised that farmers would be paid on time.
Management at Chipata Cotton Company has dismissed reports that the company is about to be sold.
Managing Director, Ma told Breeze News this morning that the company has only changed the name from Chipata Cotton Company to China Africa Cotton Company.
Mr. Ma says that the company has decided to change its name because the previous name was not associated with the owners of the company.
He also indicated that the name had to be charged because of other businesspersons that have bought shares into the company.
Mr. Ma was responding to reports that the company was about to be sold to another cotton company operating in Eastern Province and that workers are not aware of this development.
But Mr. Ma has attributed this report, which he described as misleading, to the change in company name.
China Africa Cotton Company has employed more than three hundred workers.
Public resources have gone to waste after a newly tarred tarmac on Kafula Road in Chipata has been damaged barely 2 months after it was worked on.
The damage follows an underground water pipe burst almost on the middle of the road near Chipata District Agriculture offices.
The situation has inconvenienced motorists, who are now forced to use one lane of the road, which was recently re-constructed by Sable Construction Company.
And Chipata Municipal Council Public Relations Officer, Tawonga Kaonga says that the local authority has directed Eastern Water and Sewerage Company to repair the pipe.
By 12 hours, Engineers from Eastern Water and Sewerage Company where busy carrying out works on the site.
Ms. Kaonga however, did not state how much it will cost to repair the damage on the tarmac.
Meanwhile about half a billion Kwacha has been used to upgrade Obote road into concrete level in Moth residential area near Saturday market.
Ms. Kaonga says that 80 per cent of the works that include putting cab stones on the sides have been completed.
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.