President Edgar Lungu has declared Chipata a city.
Speaking during the occasion this morning held at Chipata Municipal Council, President Lungu stated that Chipata has the needed infrastructure to be declared a city.
He said that the declaration of a city meant that the district now has the potential to attract more investment.
Meanwhile Minister of Local Government and Housing, Vincent Mwale has paid tribute to President Lungu for fulling the dream of people in Eastern Province to have Chipata declared a city.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Mwale stated that people in Chipata and Eastern Province have been waiting anxiously to have Chipata declared a city.
And Mr. Mwale explained that government is committed to ensuring that the operations of local authorities across the country are improved.
He says that this is among the reasons while government has been implementing the decentralization policy.
The minister challenged councils in the country to emulate Chipata Municipal Council so that they can be upgraded to municipalities and cities.
Meanwhile President Edgar Lungu has expressed happiness with the unity being exhibited by Zambians in Eastern Province.
Speaking upon arrival at Chipata Airport where a huge crowd of people from all walks of life welcomed him, Mr. Lungu was particularly happy that the crowed included members of some opposition political parties.
He said that the presence of the opposition leaders was an indication that the country believes in the One Zambia One Nation motto.
The Zambia National Service ZNS has been hired to construct the new Lundazi airstrip at a cost of about 1 million Kwacha.
Lundazi District Council Secretary Boyd Kaoma has confirmed the development Breeze News in Lundazi.
Mr. Kaoma says that the works have already commenced in Champheta area of Chief Mphamba.
He revealed that the six weeks project has already reached 60 per cent and that it was set to be completed by March 20th.
Mr. Kaoma explained that 590,000 Kwacha has already been paid to the contractor for the project.
He says that the construction of a new airstrip follows the agreement with the Civil Aviation to surrender the current airstrip to the local authority for developmental purposes.
The United Party for National Development, UPND in Eastern Province has condemned the decision by government to temporarily suspending the distribution of farming inputs to farmers under the E-voucher system in Chipata district.
UPND Provincial spokesperson, Victor Mbuzi told Breeze News that the suspension is uncalled for because it will contribute to poor crop yields as the exercise has already delayed.
Mr. Mbuzi says the issue of investigating farmers, who may have accessed the inputs twice, should not be a reason to suspend the exercise.
He says the exercise should have continued despite the investigations as most farmers have delayed to apply fertilizer to their crops.
Mr. Mbuzi alleged that there may be other reasons why government has suspended the exercise such as lack of money to load the cards and not the investigations that only involve about ten farmers.
He called on government to quickly resume the distribution of farming inputs in Chipata.
Early this week, government unearthed a scam where some farmers had accessed the inputs twice after banks erroneously credited their e-voucher cards twice.
A fifteen year old boy of M’chini Compound in Chipata has been recommended to Katombola Reformatory School in Southern Province for defiling a 13 year old girl of the same area last year.
The juvenile appeared before High Court Judge Mwila Chitabo in Chipata this morning after the magistrate court last year referred its recommendation of the case to the high court for confirmation.
The juvenile was arrested by police on October 11th 2016 for defiling a fellow juvenile girl of thirteen years.
Judge Chitabo said he had read through the report from the Social Welfare Department and recommendations of the magistrate court that found the juvenile guilty of one count of defilement contrary to the laws of Zambia.
Judge Chitabo said he is satisfied with the report and recommendations from the magistrate court and confirmed that the juvenile be committed to Katombola reformatory school for behaviour change.
He said the juvenile is at liberty to appeal if he is not satisfied with the high court’s recommendation.
Government has started mobilizing resources to improve infrastructure at Mwangala Primary School in Chadiza district.
This follows a visit to the school by provincial minister, Makebi Zulu early this month, where he found that pupils were learning in deplorable conditions.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says that some business houses have accepted to contribute bags of cement and roofing sheets towards construction of classroom blocks.
Mr. Kasolo says that he has been visiting a number of businesses to lobby for support in addressing the challenges at Mwangala Primary School.
He says that this is being done in line with the minister’s resolution to ensure that the provincial administration finds local solutions for some challenges affecting Eastern Province.
And Mr. Kasolo revealed that some civil servants have agreed to contribute 300 Kwacha each towards the works at Mwangala Primary School.
A visit to the school which started operating in 2006, found pupils learning in mad grass thatched classrooms.
Some people of Nthope Ward in Chipangali Constituency have complained that their elected leaders have not visited the area from the time they were elected into office.
Sadima Banda of Chief Chinunda’s area says that Member of Parliament, Vincent Mwale and Ward Councillor, Tedson Maseko have not bothered to familiarise themselves with challenges which people are facing.
Mr. Banda says that the two political figures have not even bothered to hold a meeting in Nthope ward ever since they were elected.
Mr Banda says Nthope ward has a lot of issues that need attention like dilapidated roads, poor infrastructure and lack of clean water.
He pointed out that Mnukwa-Mnduwi road, Undi- Chinunda Palace road and Chiziye- Chanyumbu road are in a dilapidated state while bridges have been washed away.
Mr Banda says people in Nthope ward are worried whether they voted for right people that will bring development to the area or not.
And when contacted for comment, Chipangali Member of Parliament Vincent Mwale has dismissed the complaints suggesting that he has never visited the area.
Mr. Mwale explained that last month, he visited the area to check on the impact of army worms and also attended a meeting in the same area, which was discussing health matters.
He says that people raising the concerns should be specific as to where they are coming from because it is not possible for him to visit every part of the ward.
Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people has asked government to increase grants for traditional ceremonies.
The traditional leader says the current 5,000 Kwacha grant that government releases towards the hosting of big traditional ceremonies such as Nc’wala is too minimal.
Chief Madzimawe was speaking during the Nc’wala Ceremony preparatory meeting at Laweni in M’tenguleni yesterday.
Chief Madzimawe, who is former House of Chiefs Chairperson, noted that traditional ceremonies such as Nc’wala of the Ngoni, Kuomboka of the Lozi and Kusefya Pang’wena of the Bemba need to be well funded by government.
He says this is so because big ceremonies attract a huge number of people who need to be catered for by the organising committees.
The traditional leader wondered why the grant from government was reduced from the previous years when it was about 15 thousand Kwacha.
A 17 year old boy of Chadiza District has been detained at Chadiza police Station for allegedly defiling a 13 year old girl.
Chadiza District Commissioner George Phiri who ordered for the detention of the boy confirmed the development to Zambia News and Information Services in Chadiza.
This is after the District Commissioner George Phiri found the named girl who is a grade eight at Kabvumo basic school locked up in a classroom after she was apprehended for running away from her parents’ home on the pretence that she was going for evening studies when in the actual fact she went to the boy’s hut where she spent the whole night with him.
Mr. Phiri ordered for both the girl and boy to be taken to his office for counselling and it was whilst the two were being counselled at the DCs office when the boy submitted that he had canal knowledge of the girl but he insisted that he had used a condom.
The district commissioner then handed both the girl and the boy to the police Victims Support Unit where he directed that medicals should be done and if possible the boy should be arrested for defilement.
The boy is still in police custody waiting for the medical report for the girl to be handed over to the police.
Chisitu Primary School, which was closed indefinitely three months ago due to teachers’ harassment by the community is set to reopen tomorrow.
Eastern Province Education Officer Allan Lingambe revealed this to Breeze News in an interview.
Dr. Lingambe says that seven new teachers and a new head teacher have been mobilized to take up the job at Chisitu Primary School.
He says that following a fruitful meeting organized by Chief Chanje, the Mayor and the community, the ministry is happy to say that the school will be opened on Monday.
Dr. Lingambe says the onus is now on the community to take care of the new team of teachers and the head teacher.
He commended the community for taking up the challenge to clean up the school surrounding and engage a security guard in the absence of the school authorities.
And Dr. Lingambe explained that the two teachers that are at Chisitu School are serving suspension and will be moved to pave way for the new team.
Government says the social cash transfer scheme will be scaled to cater all districts in the country by the end of 2017.
In Eastern Province, this means the program will also be rolled out to Chadiza and Nyimba districts.
Provincial Assistant Secretary, Royde Tembo, says that this follows significant positive impact the program has had on beneficiaries from the time it started in 2003.
He said that the scaling up process will see the number of beneficiaries increase from over 240,000 to over 500,000 beneficiary households in the country.
Mr. Tembo, said this when he officially opened an orientation workshop for district welfare assistant committees on the new electronic payment system, which will now be used in the social cash transfer program.
He said the electronic payment system will be introduced in order to deal with challenges that the manual payments system has been presenting.
Mr. Tembo said the new system has a lot of benefits such as secure payment, timely delivery of transfers, risks of carrying money, as well as lessen administrative costs such as paying pay point managers.
Eastern together with Lusaka and Central, will be the first provinces where the system will be piloted, before it is rolled to other parts of the country.