Police in Chipata have arrested two Malawians for smuggling fuel.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Grace Chipalira confirmed this to Breeze News.
Mrs. Chipalira says that Richard Silazi aged 30 and Kennedy Silver aged 22 both of Lilongwe in Malawi were found in possession of 3 drums of petrol at as they were entering Malawi from Zambia at Mwami border over the weekend.
Mrs. Chipalira says that the two are currently in police custody and have been charged with transporting dangerous petroleum contrary to section 15 cap 435 of the laws of Zambia.
And Mrs. Chipalila warned that police will work hard to stop the smuggling of fuel as it is causing shortage of the commodity in Chipata.
She says that Mr. Silazi and Mr. Silver were expected to appear in court today.
Meanwhile erratic supply of Petrol and Diesel has continued in Chipata district.
A check by Breeze News found that some filling stations have run out of Petrol and are only selling diesel while others do not have diesel and are only selling Petrol.
Chipata district has recorded a total number of 508 cases of gender based violence from January to November this year.
And Eastern Province Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Zechariah Luhanga has described this number as worrisome.
Mr. Luhanga says that 289 of these cases where wife battering,134 were defilement, 36 husband battering, 27 rape, 9 child marriage, 8 incest, 4 child abuse battering and 2 sodomy cases.
He was speaking this morning in Chipata during commemoration of the 16 days of activism on gender Based Violence.
Mr. Lungu expressed sadness that most of these cases go unreported adding that there is need for society to change their altitude by reporting the cases to police.
And Mr. Luhanga further indicated that cases of Gender Based Violence are stubbornly high in the country.
He says that statistics by UNDP, United National Development Programme, revealed that there were more than 8000 cases of GBV in Zambia by 2010 and the majority of the victims were women and children.
This year’s commemoration of the 16 days of activism on gender Based Violence is being commemorated under the theme” GBV ZERO TOLERANCE NOW’’.
Fire has destroyed undisclosed number of ginned cotton bales at Cargill Cotton Ginnery in Chipata.
Chipata Municipal Council Chief Fire Officer, Fackson Mbewe, confirmed the development to Breeze News.
Mr. Mbewe says the fire destroyed a number of finished ginned cotton on Friday night at Cargill plant.
He explained that heat from the ginning machines generated fire for the cotton, which was being stocked from the plants.
Mr. Mbewe says that the fire started around 03: 00 hours but the company only realised around 04: 00 hours and reported the matter to the Fire Brigade who rushed to the scene.
He however, stated that the damage was minimal and the department is waiting for the company to give the number of bales destroyed in the inferno.
The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD has warned of further confusion if the withdrawal of recognition for Everson Mumba as Chief Kalindawalo of the Nsenga people is not handled properly.
MMD Provincial Chairperson Alexander Miti has also questioned government if wide consultation was made before President Michael Sata decided to withdraw the recognition.
Mr. Miti says that the confusion that has already ensued in the area is a sign that things could get out of control if not properly handled.
Unknown people are reported to have burnt houses at the former chief’s place while a billboard leading to the palace was vandalised.
Mr. Miti told Breeze News that it is strange that Traditional and Chiefs Affairs Minister, Professor, Nkhandu Luo was assigned to convene a meeting with traditional elders in Petauke when the decision was already taken by the head of state.
Professor Luo is today expected in Nyimba district to address the matter following a directive from President Sata.
And the MMD Provincial Chairperson has condemned people who vandalised the billboard and burnt houses.
Mr. Miti says that it is important for people in Petauke to realise that confusion will not assist to resolve the matter.
The shortage of fuel in Chipata has taken a twist with filling stations running out of Diesel while supply of has remained erratic.
A check by Breeze News showed that some filling stations have run out of both Petrol and Diesel while others had Petrol but no diesel.
Only one filling station was selling Diesel causing panic among motorists who have now resorted to even buying the commodity using containers.
And MMD, the Movement for Multi – Party Democracy says that government should issue a statement on the erratic supply of fuel in Chipata because people do not know anything.
MMD Provincial Chairperson, Alexander Miti says that the erratic supply of fuel is an indication that something is wrong in the Ministry of Energy.
Mr. Miti pointed out that it is important for government to explain on the matter because fuel has a serious impact on the economy.
Chipata District has been hit with a sudden huge demand for Petrol resulting in all filling stations struggling to maintain stocks.
And reports from Malawi indicate that the neighbouring country has been faced with a serious shortage of Petrol forcing some motorists to park their vehicles.
Chipata Auto Services Managing Director, Dudia Shakil who runs Eugene Filling Station, told Breeze News that he could not understand how 8,000 liters which was delivered Thursday night finished before 08 hours on Friday.
Mr. Shakil however, says that Eugene Filling Station is expecting to receive more supply of Petrol in the evening from two trucks, which are in Lusaka.
And the shortage of Petrol has continued in Chipata with Total Filling Station being the only service station that is selling the commodity after receiving Petrol today.
A check by Breeze News found long queues of motorists attempting to refuel their vehicles.
Meanwhile Zodiak Radio staffer, Grey Kazako reports from Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, that a fuel crisis has hit that country.
Motorists are being forced to look for alternatives on how they can find fuel including travelling to neighbouring countries like Zambia.
Three people have died after being struck by lightning in separate incidences in Chama and Chadiza districts.
A 25 year old man of Love Village in Chief Mlolo’s area of Chadiza died under a tree around 16 hours yesterday when he was coming from Chanida border.
Dickson Banda’s father, Folo says that his son was sent to a grinding mill at Chanida border and on his way back home, he decided to stop under the tree after seeing that rains were about to start.
Mr. Banda explained to Breeze FM Correspondent, Paul Phiri that it was while his son was under the tree that he was struck by lightning and died on the spot.
Meanwhile Chama District Commissioner, Josphat Lombe says that a grade 8 pupil from Nkanjo Basic School and some unidentified woman died after being struck by lightning.
Efforts to get a comment from Police failed by news time.
Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people in Chipata district has castigated Kasenengwa Member of Parliament, Victoria Kalima for not visiting the area frequently, to discuss developmental issues.
The Chief says that he only saw Ms. Kalima in the constituency once, from the time she was voted into office.
Chief Madzimawe says that Ms. Kalima’s behaviour is not different from that of former MP, Vera Tembo.
The traditional leader says that he has been working with councillors to develop the constituency.
He added that the constituency needs a serious MP to work with traditional leaders.
Chief Madzimawe was speaking to journalist before the news maker’s forum meeting on access to information taking place at his palace.
But Ms Kalima told Breeze News that only people in the constituency will be able to judge if she has not been consistent in visiting the constituency.
Ms. Kalima says that she has visited the constituency for more than four times since she was elected with the latest being last week when she was in Chiparamba, Chiwoko, Mukowe and Mboza to check on developmental projects.
The Food Reserve Agency FRA, says slow bank procedures have contributed to delays in paying farmers who sold maize to the agency.
Vice Chairperson of the FRA Board, Allan Sakala says that interbank systems when transferring money have resulted in farmers delaying to get payment.
Mr. Sakala says that the decision by government to increase the amount of maize to be bought from 500,000 metric tonnes to 1 million metric tonnes also provided another challenge because FRA had to look for more money.
Speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Sakala however, said that FRA will pay all farmers before the end of this year.
He explained that from maize purchase worth 247 billion Kwacha in Eastern Province, FRA has so far paid out 190.8 billion Kwacha.
And speaking during the same programme, FRA Regional Marketing Coordinator, Godfrey Munyoro revealed that FRA has this marketing season fired six workers for failing to perform.
Mr. Munyoro however, said that FRA has not recorded any case of corruption in the 2012 maize marketing system.
Over 700 million Kwacha under YDF, the Youth Development Fund has been given to different entrepreneurs in Eastern Province.
The amount is out of 779 million Kwacha that was allocated to the province in this year’s budget.
Speaking when presenting the cheques to the successful candidates in Chipata this morning, Minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development, Chishimba Kambwili advised the recipients to use the money for the intended purpose.
Mr. Kambwili says that the purpose of YDF is to reduce unemployment levels among youths by creating more jobs through entrepreneurship.
And Mr. Kabwili has warned the Provincial Youth Director to ensure that money is recovered stating that YDF is revolving tax payers money, which should benefit more people.
He added that the recipients for the funds risk being arrested if they do not pay back the loans.