Government introduces crop insurance

All farmers who will access government subsidized farming inputs under the 2017/2018 farming season are expected to make payments of 100 kwacha for insurance.

Provincial Agriculture Coordinator PACO, Roy Lumamba says this is to ensure farmers are covered for any loss incurred during their farming activities.

He says farmers have for many years incurred losses due to natural disasters such as drought, flooding and army worms.

The PACO says is it important for farmers to insure their crops in order to mitigate challenges they face.

Mr. Lumamba says the Ministry of Agriculture will be advised in due course, on the insurance company engaged for the program.

He says this means that farmers will this year deposit 500 kwacha, stating that the 100 kwacha will be channeled to the insurance company while 400 kwacha will be loaded in their e-voucher cards.

EPCCI calls for more fuel reserves

Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI  has called on the government to consider putting up fuel reserves in Eastern province and other provinces that do not have fuel reserves, to prevent sudden change in fuel prices.

EPCCI President Thomas Mtonga says that putting up more fuel reserves will stop sudden fuel price increases as the country will have enough fuel in stock before effecting an increase.

He says that enough Reserves would also help the country have enough fuel whenever Indeni Oil Petroleum Refinery is undergoing maintenances.

Mr. Mtonga says the last increment was not expected and has therefore, led to an increase in costs for transporting goods, which is being passed on to consumers.

He further says that it is worrying that the fuel prices went up barely a month after the presentation of the national budget, which was silent on fuel costs going up.

Mr. Mtonga says this move by the government gives the impression that possibly going forward, many prices for major commodities will go up.

Collapsed houses in Nabvutika Compound cause desparation

Some residents in Nabvutika Compound of Chipata district are spending nights outside, after their houses collapsed during the last rainy season.

One of the affected residents, Moses Soko says no help has been rendered to him and his family since the incident in February.

Mr. Soko says the area councilor Naphtali Banda promised him that renovations will be done within two weeks, but that nothing has been done up to now.

And Kapata ward councilor Naphtali Banda says he will soon engage DMMU, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to help people whose houses collapsed after heavy rains experienced during last rainy season in Chipata.

The area councilor says he is aware of the situation, but that no help has been rendered from DMMU, since the incident occurred.

He however, says affected residents should be calm as he is doing everything possible to correct the situation.

The civic leader has also appealed to well-wishers to come on board and help those who need urgent attention.

Zambia celebrates 53 years independence

As Zambians celebrate 53 years of independence from colonial rule, some Chipata residents have called for the need to make the occasion more memorable.

Speaking to Breeze News, a cross section of residents say that parents have an obligation to teach their children about the importance of Zambia’s independence.

Daniel Sakala says that it is important to teach children the history of how the freedom of Zambia was gained from British rule.

He says this will make Independence Day more meaningful than just celebrating the day by drinking alcohol and engaging in promiscuous activities.

And another resident, John Nyati says that it is important to celebrate independence because that is the day when Zambians started making their own decisions on issues of governance and policy formulation.

Mr. Nyati says Zambia has come a long way since it gained independence, and the changes that have come with freedom are evident everywhere in the country.

The 53rd Independence Anniversary is being celebrated under the theme: “Celebrating our freedom for continued peace, unity, patriotism and development”.

East PF unhappy with MPs and ministers

Patriotic Front PF Eastern Province Publicity and Information Secretary Bright Chihana say most ministers and Members of parliament are rubberstamps who have failed to perform.

Mr. Chihana says that many MPs and Ministers are not visiting their constituencies to deliver what they promised the people during campaigns.

He charged that it is embarrassing and unexpected that some Ministers and Members of Parliament are not working according to the people’s expectations.

He says that some Ministers are purely occupying offices to feed their stomach than giving service to the public who voted for them.

Mr. Chihana revealed that the ruling PF in the region is getting bad feedback from stakeholders and members of the public that some Members of parliament and Ministers have failed to deliver development.

He explained that when President Edgar Lungu appointed Ministers into office, he was giving them an opportunity to visit the people and hear their challenges.

Mr. Chihana explained that even opposition political MPs were equally in the same position, where they are failing to represent the people in their areas.

Breeze FM goes digital

Breeze FM radio station has today migrated from analogy to digital transmission.

The digital transmission starts barely two weeks after Breeze FM moved from Plot 866 Parirenyatwa Road to Plot 21/22 Parirenyatwa road opposite Wildlife Club.

The radio station procured state of the art equipment to ensure that it deliverers the best to its listeners and customers.

The radio station has now been operating for more than 15 years after starting its operations on October 5th, 2002.

With digital transmission, your number one radio station promises to continue meeting your needs in the world of broadcasting.

Chief Mpezeni says 2016 voting pattern was balanced

Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people in Chipata says the voting pattern in last year’s general election in his area was well balanced.

In an interview with Journalists at his palace, shortly after the commission of inquiry paid a courtesy call on him this morning, the Paramount Chief says tribalism, commonly known as wako ni wako does not exist in his chiefdom.

He says people are free to make decisions of their choice when choosing leaders.

The traditional leader says there is need for candidates who lost elections, to accept defeat and move ahead.

The Commission of Inquiry into the voting patterns and electoral violence are in Eastern Province receiving petitions from people.

Fuel hike sparks complaints

Concerns have continued over government’s decision to increase the pump prices of fuel.

Chipata District Farmers Association CDFA says that the increase in the pump prices is likely to push up the prices of farming inputs.

Coordinator Virgil Malambo says that the price increase in unjustifiable.

Mr. Malambo further notes that the upward adjustment in fuel prices will lead to an increase in poverty levels among rural communities.

Government through ERB, the Energy Regulation Board yesterday increased the prices of all petroleum products effective last midnight.

ERB vice chairperson Ngande Mwanajiti said that the price of petrol has increased from 11 Kwacha 67 Ngwee to 12 Kwacha 97 Ngwee per litre while the price of diesel has increased from 9 Kwacha 87 Ngwee to 11 Kwacha 9 Ngwee.

Mr. Mwanajiti also said the pump price of paraffin has increased from 6 Kwacha 50 Ngwee to 7 Kwacha 82 Ngwee while the low sulphur gas is now pegged at 13 Kwacha 38 Ngwee from 12 Kwacha 16 Ngwee.

PF defends Chipata Central MP

Patriotic Front PF Party members in Chipata Central Constituency have dismissed a statement by CSPR, Civil Society for Poverty Reduction that Chipata Central Member of Parliament Moses Mawere has abandoned the constituency.

PF Chipata Central Constituency, Information and Publicity Secretary Rabson Musendo and Constituency Youth Chairman Muhalakwa Kawana have described the statement as misleading.

They say that Mr. Mwere is among the leaders who have demonstrated development, stating that he has drilled boreholes, donated computers to schools and media houses and rehabilitated bridges in the constituency.

The duo says Mr. Mawere has been visiting his constituency several times from the time he was voted MP on August 11 last year.

On the issue of Youth Empowerment Fund, the duo says Mr. Mawere is ensuring that 250 youths benefit in Chipata Central Constituency.

They added that the MP has so far lobbied for funds to assist all streets kids in Chipata Central Constituency to enable them go back to school.

And PF Chipata Central Constituency Secretary Patrick Kalema says CSPR Provincial Coordinator Maxson Nkhoma should come out in the open and announce to the public that he is supporting an opposition political party and that he is also interested to contest as Member of Parliament.

Mr. Kalema says Mr. Nkhoma should not hide in the name of his organization, but tell the people what his agenda is, and stop criticizing leaders who are working hard in developing their constituencies

Eastern Water recovers K38,000 from customers

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company has so far collected 38,000 Kwacha after engaging bailiffs to recover unsettled water bills amounting to 10.5 million Kwacha.

Company Commercial Manager Mukela Simbuwa says that the money was recovered from 57 out of 80 customers that have so far been visited by bailiffs.

Mr. Simbuwa says that the company has a list of about 5,000 customers, who make up the 10.5 million Kwacha debt.

He says that no debtor is being treated special by bailiffs unless those who have engaged the company to work out a debt repayment plan.

And company Public Relations Officer Christabel Malama says that water theft continues to be a problem the company is battling with although it is not at a large scale.

Ms. Malama says that the company has introduced a new facility where those who report illegal water connections will be given a reward of 500 or 1000 Kwacha.

She further indicated that the water utility is introducing a number of systems, which clients will be using to pay their bills instead of standing in queues.