Chichele Lodge not for sale but lease

Government has clarified that Chichele Presidential Lodge in Mfuwe has not been sold.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that the lodge is only on lease, which is about to expire.

Mr. Kasolo explained that this is why the current people running the lodge decided to advertise the lease to cut down on losses and make profits.

He says that Zambians should take advantage of the opportunity to buy the remaining eight year lease.

Mr. Kasolo pointed out that government would like Zambians to take charge of most lodges because most foreign owned lodges keep 80 per cent of their money abroad.

He says that this does not benefit Zambia in any way because foreign lodge owners are supposed to keep their investment in Zambia and only take out profits.

Mr. Kasolo indicated that he is aware that the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism is trying to address this matter to ensure that the country benefits.

He was speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM.

PS Kasolo warns those planing to protest

Provincial administration has warned anyone with intentions to demonstrate over removal of street vendors and demolition of illegal structures in Chipata that they will be arrested.

Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that he has information that some people are intending to carry out protests at his office.

Speaking during a live radio programme dubbed “The Voice” on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Kasolo says that rules have to be followed because he came to Eastern Province to work and not to make himself popular.

And Mr. Kasolo says that Chipata City Council and the mayor do not have authority to discipline or summon management from Eastern Water and Sewerage Company.

Mr. Kasolo says that only the permanent secretary has authority to discipline any person working in the civil service and parastatals in Eastern Province.

He says that according to the reporting lines, the mayor reports directly to the provincial minister and minister of local government while the town clerk and his executive officers report to the provincial local government officer, who then reports to him as provincial permanent secretary.

Mr. Kasolo explained that this was among the reasons why Provincial Minister, Makebi Zulu advised Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director, Lyton Kanowa against appearing at the council when he was summoned over the demolition of houses.

Meanwhile Mr. Kasolo revealed that lack of funds has made it difficult for his office to fight the illegal mining taking place in various parts of the province.

He stated that he was directed by the minister of mines to flash out all the illegal miners in Nyimba, Petauke, Lundazi and Vubwi districts.

Government dismisses abuse of funds in the Lundazi trades project

Alleged mismanagement of resources is reported to have affected works of constructing Lundazi Trades Training Institute.

But authorities in Lundazi have however, dismissed the allegation that works at the learning institute stalled because of resource mismanagement.

Lundazi District Building Officer Felix Kaite says that delay in the completion of the institute was because government has not been funding the project for some time now.

Speaking in a telephone interview, Mr. Kaite stated that this has resulted into the contractor running behind the scheduled time of completion.

Mr. Kaite told Breeze News that the project is likely to resume this year, although he was unable to give a specific time when the project will resume.

He stated that it was up to the Ministry of Higher Education to honour the certificate of payment in good time for the works to resume.

About 21 million kwacha was budgeted for the construction of the project.

Congolese walks to freedom

A Congolese national who was charged with unlawful entry into Zambia has been acquitted by the Chipata Magistrate Court.

This was in a matter where John Chichi from DR Congo was charged with unlawful entry into Zambia.

Facts of the matter are that on January 6th 2018, police had detained the Congolese national, who had no entry documents or documents that allowed him to stay in Zambia.

Resident Magistrate Boniface Mwala who acquitted Chichi said the matter was brought before the court in a premature manner that lacked enough evidence.

Seventeen street vendors arrested in Chipata

Seventeen street vendors have been arrested following confusion that ensured last evening during an operation of removing street vendors from the streets in the central business area in Chipata.

Police were forced to use tear gas canister to disperse the unruly street vendors, who resorted to throwing stones at vehicles, which were being used by officers from the council, Zambia Police and DEC, Drug Enforcement Commission.

And speaking during today’s cholera update meeting, Director of Legal Affairs Lynn Galapa confirmed that 17 street vendors had been picked during the confusion.

She says that fifteen of the vendors are male while two are female adding that the number of those in custody has increased to twenty.

Ms. Galapa adds that the vendors who were caught selling on the street and that those who were throwing stones will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

She says that the vendors will be released after 48 hours because they cannot be kept for longer than that period.

Ms. Galapa however, says that the vendors will be dragged to court after the fast truck court starts operating.

The Director of Legal says the council in partnership with the Zambia Police, DEC and the Immigration Department will continue patrolling the district to ensure that there is compliance.

Frank Bwalya is new high commissioner to Australia

President Edgar Lungu has appointed Patriotic Front PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya as Zambia’s High Commissioner to Australia.

President Lungu has congratulated the former priest on his appointment to the diplomatic mission.

And President Lungu says that the appointments into Foreign Service are a preserve of the president.

He says that he is therefore, greatly concerned that there is a perception that when one has been appointed into Foreign Service, they will be there permanently.

Mr. Lungu says that those serving in Foreign Service, once their tour of duty has come to an end, will be recalled and either redeployed locally or abroad.

The head of state was speaking on Friday morning when he swore in Mr. Bwalya

 

Chipata Council demands payment

Chipata City Council Mayor, Sinoya Mwale has directed the Council Town Clerk and the legal department to make follow ups on two contractors, who failed to deliver the skip truck and the rig drilling machine.

Mr. Mwale says the two departments should use court bailiffs in order to recover the money from the contractors.

He says this is because the two contractors have failed to fulfill their promises.

The mayor said this yesterday during a full council meeting.

Mr. Mwale says deadline for the contractor, who is paying back money for the rig machine, was 31st January, while the contractor paying back money for the skip truck had promised to finish paying on January 15th.

He says the two contractors need to be followed up and taken to task because they are not serious in paying back the money.

Cholera still not under control

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that the cholera situation in the province has not improved.

Speaking during the cholera update meeting on Thursday, Mr. Kasolo says that since the circular stating that only Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya can give statistics, the province has continued to record new cases of Cholera.

He says the cholera epicenter for Eastern Province is Lundazi district.

The Permanent Secretary says that there is need for a multi sectorial team to go to Lundazi to see what exactly is causing the district to have more cholera cases than any other district in the province.

He says there is a possibility that there is something that the cholera preventive team in Lundazi district has missed out that can be caught by someone looking at the town with new eyes.

Mr. Kasolo says all the districts in the province have continued implementing the cholera preventive measures that where put in place and will continue to do so until the battle against cholera is won.

Government officials not paying water bills

Provincial administration has revealed that some government officials have high unsettled water bills from Eastern Water and Sewerage Company.

Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo however, says that the government officials who have high water bills in the province will have to pay or face prosecution.

Speaking during a cholera update meeting today, Mr. Kasolo says that because of the cholera outbreak in the province, Eastern Water and Sewerage Company has not been disconnecting its customers.

He says people owing the most money to the company are government officials who can afford to pay the high bills they have accumulated compared to ordinary citizens with very low water bills.

Mr. Kasolo says because of this, the company’s revenue collection has fallen and they have been unable to pay their electricity bills to ZESCO.

He says that ZESCO yesterday disconnected its electricity supply to Eastern Water and Sewerage Company for failing to pay the bills.

The permanent Secretary says this has meant that the company is now supplying water to its customers in the district using a generator which is very costly.

Fourteen Basic Schools upgraded in Lundazi district

The Ministry of Education has this year upgraded 14 basic schools into day secondary schools in Lundazi district.

Lundazi District Education Board Secretary DEBS Chiza Mtonga says that this is in an effort to provide quality education nearer to learners.

Mr. Mtonga says government’s desire to provide education in all the community has to be achieved by upgrading more primary schools to secondary level.

Mr. Mtonga says that it was the Patriotic Front’s PF manifesto to upgrade more primary schools to secondary level in the district and to reduce congestion in few township day secondary schools.

He added that the upgrading of schools into day secondary schools was also meant to reduce distances which pupils have to cover to access education at the nearest learning institutions.

On staffing levels in schools, Mr. Mtonga says Lundazi has enough trained teachers to handle the fourteen upgraded secondary schools.

He says currently, township schools are over-staffed and that teachers will be redistributed to rural parts of the district to reduce the teacher/pupil ratio and to be promoted.

Mr. Mtonga named some of the upgraded schools as Tigone, Msuzi, Nyangwe, Kapichila, Mphamba and Mkomba in Lundazi Central constituency.

Others are Mwasemphangwe, Chaomba, Luamphamba and Chanyalubwe in Lumezi constituency while in Chasefu constituency, the upgraded schools are Kakoma, Egichiken, Nkhanga and Lupamadzi schools.

He says that Lundazi district now has a total of 28 secondary schools, three of which are boarding.