Cultivation of cannabis still illegal

The Drug Enforcement Commission, DEC has clarified that cannabis cultivation is still illegal in Zambia, unless one has lawful authority to cultivate for medicinal purposes.

In a statement, the commission says it has been receiving numerous queries from members of the public on whether cultivation of cannabis has been legalized in Zambia.

It says this follows a recent statement made by Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kapyongo, on medicinal cannabis to Parliament.

The statement explains that section 9 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act Cap 96 of the Laws of Zambia provides that any person who, without lawful authority, cultivates any plant which can be used or consumed as a Narcotic or Psychotropic, or from which a Narcotic Drug or Psychotropic Substance can be extracted, shall be guilty of an offence.

It also says such a person shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not less than five hundred penalty units or to imprisonment not exceeding ten years or to both.

It says the act adds that that no person shall be guilty of the offence under the same section if the plant is cultivated for purposes of medicine or is not on a substantial scale.

DEC says it should be noted that the commission shall continue with its mandate of arresting persons found cultivating cannabis without lawful authority.

The commission has urged members of the public to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act Cap 95 of the Laws of Zambia and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act Cap 96 of the Laws of Zambia.

East MMD distances itself from anti Felix Mutati members

The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD in Eastern province has dismissed reports that some of its members are calling for the removal of party President, Felix Mutati.

MMD Provincial Chairperson Jacob Mwamba has told Breeze News that the call is false and wishful thinking by what he has described as mentally drained political individuals.

Mr. Mwanza says that the party in the province wishes to distance itself from the scheme, which is aimed at disorienting the former ruling party.

He says that the MMD in the region is extremely happy with the presidency of Mr. Mutati, who is also Finance Minister in the PF government.

And Mr. Mwanza says that there is nothing wrong with Mr. Mutati serving in the PF government because he is a citizen of this country, who has a civic duty to provide service.

He says that there is an existing alliance with PF and this does not divorce members from working together.

The MMD provincial chairperson further says that there is no MMD constitutional clause that debars any member to serve in another party.

Chipata City Council issuing plots in sewerage areas

Confusion has continued between Chipata City Council and Eastern Water and Sewerage Company over the construction of houses near sewer ponds.

Chipata City Council has been allocating residential plots close to the sewer ponds, which has led to the utility company failing to connect the sewer line to the ponds.

A check conducted by Eastern Water and Sewerage Company and Chipata City Council Planners on Thursday revealed that the local authority is still giving plots to people to construct houses close to the sewer ponds.

And speaking to the media one of the developers, Samuel Mwafulira says the plot was given to him by the local authority adding that paper work and survey was done, which made him start constructing the house.

Mr. Mwafulira says nothing will stop him from building his house because he has been told to go ahead with the construction by the Council.

And Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Technical Manager Aaron Mulinda says the structures have to be destroyed to pave way for the connection of sewer lines to the ponds.

Mr. Mulinda says any structure has to be constructed 500 meters away from the ponds adding that the houses which are being put up near the ponds will block the smooth running of the faecal matter into the ponds.

Meanwhile District Sewerage Operations Superintendent Joel Kapasa says the people constructing near the ponds will be affected with effluence whenever the pipes are blocked.

Mr. Kapasa says the construction of the houses close to the ponds is also a danger to human lives adding that the breeding of mosquitoes in the ponds will spread malaria.

But when contacted for a comment Chipata City Council Director of Planning Kaonga Namenda indicated that the local authority will only issue a comprehensive statement on the matter after discussing the issue with Eastern Water and Sewerage Company.

Forty-one Indians nabbed in Lusaka

The Immigration Department has arrested an Indian national in connection with the facilitation of the unlawful stay in Zambia of forty-one Indians.

Public Relations Officer, Namati Nshinka has confirmed to Breeze News the arrest of Charles Matthew Makaliki 41, a Manager of Capital Hotel.

Mr. Nshinka says that Mr. Makaliki was nabbed on Wednesday, at Woodlands Police station where he had presented himself upon learning that he was being sought after by Immigration.

He says that the department on 19th February apprehended thirty–nine Indians at Capital Hotel, off Mumbwa road, in Lusaka and later arrested two others.

Some of those arrested had forged Employment Permits in their possession whilst others either did not have any documentation or had overstayed.

Meanwhile, the Department between Monday, 6th March, 2017 and Wednesday, 8th March, 2017 arrested a total of twenty persons for various immigration offences.

Among them include four Malawians in Chipata, four Malawians in Lusuntha, one Rwandese in Lusaka and one Congolese in Luanshya, all arrested for unlawful stay.

Mr. Nshinka says that during this period, the Department also removed a total of eleven illegal immigrants from the country.

These include five Burundians in Livingstone, two Chinese in Solwezi, two Malawians in Nyimba, one Tanzanian in Mazabuka, and, one South African in Lusaka.