Provincial administration to take over Printing Press

The provincial administration wants to take over the printing press in Chipata, which has been lying idle.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that he has already communicated to the director in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services over the matter.

Mr. Kasolo says that his office wants to operationalize the printing press to create about 100 direct jobs for youths in the region.

He explained that one team of the youths will be involved in printing while another group will be involved in marketing.

Mr. Kasolo says that the provincial administration will also ensure that district commissioners are involved in getting all printing business works from their districts.

Eastern Province records a reduction in cases of Tuberculosis.

Eastern Province has recorded a decrease in cases of Tuberculosis, TB in the last one year.

Communicable Disease Control Specialist based at the Provincial Health Officer, Jairos Mulambya says in 2016 the province recorded a reduction in cases compared to 2015.

Speaking to Breeze News, Dr. Mulembya explained that the province in 2016 recorded 1,935 cases while in 2015, it recorded 2,150 cases.

He says that 87 per cent of the 1,935 cases were treated successfully with 86 per cent complete cure.

Dr. Mulambya however, says that the region recorded 6 per cent mortality, which was lower than 2015, when the mortality rate stood at 9 per cent.

Dr. Mulambya called for stakeholders’ involvement in the fight against TB, stating that the Ministry of Health alone cannot manage to eradicate the disease.

High poverty leading to spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

High poverty levels among the youths have been cited as one of the major contributing factors to spread of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and early pregnancies.

This came to light during a dissemination meeting for the national standards and guidelines for health friendly services in Chipata.

It was observed that most elderly men and women, often take advantage of the poverty levels to abuse youths, by offering them money and other materials.

The participants attributed the high poverty levels among the youths to lack of job opportunities.

During the discussions, it also came out that mobile markets, popularly known as Kabwandile, have also been contributing to sexual challenges that youths are facing.

It was revealed that in some cases, people take advantage of the Kabwandile to engage in sexual relationships.

Some traders selling expired goods in Chipata exposed.

Breeze FM has unearthed a scam where some traders in Chipata are selling expired goods to unsuspecting customers.

A check by Breeze News found that goods, which expired three weeks ago that include soft drinks like Tangy Cola were still being sold.

A further check revealed that dairy products like Bonita Milk, which are supposed to expire next week, are still on the shelves.

A team of inspectors from Chipata City Council who inspected a room where the goods are being stocked behind the shop, found large quantities of goods, which are about to expire.

The shop owners and workers at the shop, admitted wrong doing but insisted that it was not intentional because they receive high consignments of goods.

And Chipata City Council Public Relations Officer, Taonga Kaonga declined to comment on the matter until she receives a report from the inspection team.

Provincial administration to hold a job creation youth forum.

The provincial administration is to hold a youth forum aimed at interacting with young people on issues of job creation.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo has confirmed this to Breeze News.

Mr. Kasolo says that the provincial administration wants the youths to be involved in developing the economy of the country since young people are future leaders.

He says that government wants to share with the youths how it will create jobs and how Eastern Province will advance in curbing unemployment.

Mr. Kasolo observed that one of the programmes, government intends to look at is the Pave Zambia road project, which has not benefited the youths.

Mr. Kasolo says that according to the initial plan, youth groups with support from government were supposed to be the ones involved in the Pave Zambia project.

He says that he has tasked Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Patrick Mwanawasa to spearhead preparations for the youth forum.

Chipats city attracts investment in education sector.

The Ministry of General Education in Eastern Province says it has received a good number of applicants wanting to set up private schools, colleges and Universities in Chipata City.

Provincial Education Officer, Allan Lingambe told Breeze News that this follows the declaration of Chipata as a City.

Dr. Lingambe says his office is overwhelmed with the response from people as it will increase learning facilities in Chipata whose population is expected to increase with its new City status.

Dr Lingambe says this shows that people are willing to bring development in the city of Chipata.

He says the idea of setting up new schools, universities and colleges is a welcome move as it will assist in providing adequate school places for the learners.

Dr. Lingambe says what is required is land to be provided to the people willing to build learning facilities in Chipata city.

More than six pupils sent home for using phones at school

More than six pupils at Katete Girls Secondary School have been given transfers after being implicated in an issue concerning possession and use of a phone while in school.

The move has however, sparked complaints from parents of the affected pupils, who have accused school management of being unfair.

One of the parents, Due Phiri told Breeze News, that some of the affected pupils were innocent and should not have been punished harshly.

Mr. Phiri accused the administration of being insensitive as they also chased the pupils from school without giving them money to travel back to their homes.

He has appealed to government to intervene in the matter, stating that the hash disciplinary action will destroy the future of the pupils, who should have been given a lesser punishment since 6 of the affected pupils are in grade 12.

But Katete Girls Secondary School Head teacher, Titus Mbewe says that rules over the use of phones while at school are clear that any pupil who possesses or uses a phone will be given a forced transfer.

Mr. Mbewe says that all parents, who have pupils at the school, are well aware of these rules because they even signed agreements with the school administration.

He however, denied the complaint that the school administration bundled the affected pupils in a school mini-bus and dumped them at the bus station without giving them transport money to go back home.

Meanwhile the District Education Board Secretary’s office in Katete says it is not aware of the matter but will investigate to establish the truth.

Chief Kathumba gets tough on early marriages

Chief Kathumba of the Chewa People in Katete District has warned his people against marrying off girl children.

Speaking to ZANIS in Katete, Chief Kathumba says that it is worrying to note that child marriages have continued in the country despite several measures by government and its partners to end the practice.

He explained that after attending a Workshop hosted for Chiefs in Kitwe on Ending Child Marriages in February this year, he has vowed not to allow any person to marry off their children.

The Chief pointed out that in order to achieve this, he has established committees in all schools, which will validate and spearhead the program.

He added that from now onwards, any person who wants to marry or get married should present enough evidence of their age like a birth certificate to show that they were above the age of twenty.

Chief Kathumba explained that headmen will no longer be in charge of validating marriages as the committee will sit and advise on the intention presented to them.

He warned that in order to bring the practice to an end any person found acting to the contrary will be reported to the police and ensure that the courts of law puts out firm punishment on the perpetrator.

He further warned his subjects that any headman or woman found encouraging the practice will be stripped off their title.

In less than one month Chief Kathumba has managed to take back to school about 39 children, who fell impregnated or stopped school.


Not too late to collect inputs

The Ministry of Agriculture says that it is not too late for farmers to start getting inputs under the e-voucher system.

Chipata District Agriculture Coordinator, Michael Ngulube says that maize is not the only crop that farmers can use for the inputs.

Mr. Ngulube says that farmers can use the inputs to grow other crops including maize using irrigation farming.

He stated that government has been encouraging diversification so that farmers do not restrict themselves to growing maize.

Mr. Ngulube was speaking to Breeze News when reacting to concerns that the rain season is nearing the end and that there is no need to collect the inputs.

He explained that the e-voucher cards are still valid to farmers that would want to use the inputs to grow vegetables.


People advised against buying fuel from unlicensed dealers

The Energy Regulation Board ERB has advised people against buying fuel from unlicensed dealers.

ERB Director for Consumer and Public Affairs Agnes Phiri says that this is because it becomes difficult to follow up a complaint as illegal traders have no fixed abode.

Speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM, Ms. Phiri also advised motorists to be alert when fuelling up their vehicles at Service Stations to avoid being swindled.

And speaking during the same programme, ERB Engineer for Electricity Boyd Chilembo advised people against engaging untrained electricians to wire their houses, because such houses have ended up being gutted by fire due to poor workmanship.

Mr. Chilembo further explained that it is difficult for ERB to follow up such cases because untrained electricians are not licensed to carry out the works.

Meanwhile Mr. Chilembo and Mrs. Phiri will on Saturday witness the launching of a 48 kilo watts standalone solar power plant in Lundazi by National Technology Business Centre

Meanwhile the ERB, Energy Regulation Board has announced that there will be no adjustment of fuel prices.

In a statement availed to Breeze News, the board says that this is in line with the Cost-Plus Model that is currently used to set fuel prices.

The board says that the decision is also in line with the policy guidance at the last price adjustment that fuel prices shall be reviewed after every 60 days.

The statement states that the marginal price increase for the current consignment that would have been made is lower than 2.5 per cent, which is the minimum threshold for adjusting prices under the Cost-Plus Model.

It further states that although there is an indication that if the wholesale and pump prices are retained at current levels, there would be marginal losses, a price adjustment can only be implemented if the wholesale prices rose or reduced by more than 2.5 per cent.