Armed robbers attack old couple, kill wife in Chipata

Armed robbers have killed an elderly woman and seriously injured her husband in Chipata’s Moth residential area.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Alex Chilufya has confirmed the incident to Breeze News.

Mr. Chilufya says that Bernard Muchuchuti, 78 and his wife Esther Chiwala, 73, were attacked by unknown robbers in the early hours of today.

He says that Esther suffered two deep cuts on the back of the head and one on the right ear.

Mr. Chilufya says that a hoe was used in the attack, which left the husband unconscious.

He says that the robbers got away with a television set and two decoders from the house.

The police chief says that Margate Zulu, 30, a Maid of Mchini compound discovered the scene as she reported for work at 07 hours.

Eight pupils fall pregnant at Kabele School in Petauke

Eight pupils have dropped out of school after falling pregnant at Kabele Primary School in Petauke district.

President for Tisinthe Saving and Internal Lending Communities Simon Zulu revealed this in an interview with Breeze News on Tuesday morning.

Mr. Zulu says that pregnancy cases among pupils in Petauke Central Constituency have become a matter of public concern.

He says that cases of early marriage have also become rampant with an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

Mr. Zulu expressed concern that pregnancy cases were affecting girls below the age of 16 with those in grade six and seven being victims.

He has urged the authorities to take critical interest in the matter to ensure disparities experienced in the education of girls and boys in Petauke are addressed.

Provincial Education Officer, Allan Lingambe could not be reached for comment by News time.

A five year old boy murdered in Sinda district

A five year old boy of Chanjobvu Camp in Sinda district has been murdered.

And police have detained the mother to the boy identified as Monica Nyambe aged 37 to assist with investigations.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner Alex Chilufya told Breeze News that Dickson Banda was found dead in a bush few metres from his mother’s house.

Mr. Chilufya says that the murder is believed to have occurred between 21 hours on Sunday and 05 hours yesterday.

He says that the body was hanging from the shrubs with a mosquito net to appear like suicide but suffocation by strangulation is highly suspected.

The police chief says that the body awaits post-mortem.

Lundazi hospital works reach 90 per cent

Construction works of Lundazi district hospital at cost of 23 million Kwacha is at 90 percent completion.

Eastern Province Medical Director, Abel Kabalo says the works are progressing well and will be completed next month.

Dr. Kabalo says that phase one of the project, which started in 2010 by China Gansi has gobbled 4.4 million Kwacha and includes works of constructing a Service Block, maternity Block and Theatre ward.

Dr. Kabalo says phase two of the works, which started in 2013 at a cost of 8.7 million Kwacha by Shachitali Contractor include the construction of a mortuary, Incinerator, male ward, Outside Patient Department and four medium cost staff houses.

He says phase three works, which started in 2015 at a cost of 10 million Kwacha by Mercury Contractors include construction of children and female wards and six low cost staff houses.

Dr. Kabalo says government has paid out money to the three contractors carrying out the works while other payments are being made upon receiving a request from a contractor.

He says the contractors are now finalising the buildings by painting, roofing and putting traces.

Dr. Kabalo says once the hospital is completed, it will be handed over to government for the official opening so that it starts operating.

The medical director noted that the completion of Lundazi district hospital will reduce on the referral cases in the district.

ZABS exceeds its quarterly product sample testing target

The Zambia Bureau of Standards ZABS has exceeded its quarterly product sample testing target by 37% for the first quarter of 2017.

ZABS Head of Marketing and Public Relations Hazel Zulu has confirmed this to Breeze News.

Ms. Zulu says that the Bureau targeted to test and analyse 2,625 product samples in the first quarter of 2017 for compliance and conformance to set Zambian standards.

She however says that ZABS instead tested and analysed 3,608 product samples, representing an increase of 37% above target.

Ms. Zulu says that products tested during the period under review include miscellaneous food stuffs, petroleum samples, water, condoms and fruit-flavoured drinks.

The highest product samples tested was water.

She says that ZABS is very pleased with this positive development as it reflects the increase in levels of awareness and the value that industry and individuals alike have seen in ensuring that their products are reliable and safe through laboratory testing.

Ms. Zulu explains that product sample testing is important because it is the only sure and accurate way to confirm that products are compliant to set standards thereby making them competitive.

UPND and CSPR against electricity tariff increase

The opposition UPND, United Party for National Development says that the ZESCO proposed tariff increase should not be approved.

Provincial Spokesperson Victor Mbuzi says that the timing for the tariff increase is wrong because the country’s economy is not stable.

Mr. Mbuzi told Breeze News this morning, the any increment in tariffs will push up the prices of all basic commodities in the country.

He further says that most ordinary Zambians are struggling to make ends meet and that any increase will subject them to more poverty.

Mr. Mbuzi says that the increase in electricity tariffs should wait until Zambia’s economy stabilizes.

Meanwhile the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction CSPR says that government seems to have already made a decision to increase the electricity tariffs.

Advocacy and Communication Programme Coordinator Maxson Nkhoma says statements coming government especially Energy Minister, David Mabumba are clear that the tariffs will be increased by 50 per cent on 1st May.

Speaking to Breeze News this morning, Mr. Nkhoma says that this renders the whole process where ERB, the Energy Regulation Board has called for submissions on whether ZESCO should be allowed to increase tariffs useless.

He says that this is against the major principal of governance because the process of consulting stakeholders has not been finalized.

Mr. Nkhoma says that CSPR is aware that electricity bills for senior government officials are paid by government, which is not the case with those running small businesses like saloons and barbershops.

And Mr. Nkhoma observed that 60 per cent of the power generated by ZESCO is consumed by the mines at a very cheap rate.

He says that this means that ordinary Zambians are subsiding the huge costs incurred by mining companies, a situation he described as unfair.

Patriotic Front calls for national peace

The Patriotic Front PF Party has called on Zambians to maintain peace at all cost.

National Committee member, Benjamin Siwila further says that youths should not allow to be used for violence.

Speaking to Breeze News, Mr. Siwila says that it is important for Zambians to support President Edgar Lungu to deliver on his promises.

He says that the head of state has been going round the country to check on projects, just to ensure that all parts of Zambia experience development.

Mr. Siwila challenged young people in the country to come up with project ideas so that they can be supported to develop Zambia.

He also pointed out the need for Zambians to provide an environment that will create investor confidence through discouraging any form of violence.

Christians told to buy vehicles for men of God

A clergyman has directed congregants to buy vehicles for their pastors to fulfill God’s Word that faith without actions does not serve a purpose.

Reverend Harry Nkhoma says that congregations especially from rural parts should start buying vehicles for their pastors so that they become mobile in their delivery of the gospel.

Reverend Nkhoma was speaking in a sermon at the closure of RCZ Reformed Church in Zambia, to mark 50 years jubilee of self-governance in Katete district yesterday.

Reverend Nkhoma explained that RCZ has grown with over 700,000 full communicant members from 170 congregations throughout Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

Meanwhile Church Moderator Professor Edwin Zulu says the church is self-supporting.

Professor Zulu says RCZ is an agent of reformation adding that it has continued partnering with all successful governments in all spheres of development in Zambia.

He says the church also recognizes traditional leaders who have provided the land for structures, stating that without their assistance, the church would not have progressed.

ZESCO asked to further break down the 75 percent proposed tariff adjustment.

The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation ZESCO has been asked to further break down the percentage of the proposed tariff adjustment.

Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI says that this will assist to provide relief and reduce the cost of doing business.

EPCCI President Thomas Mtonga says that the 50 per cent increment for May and a further 25 per cent increment for September are too much for ordinary Zambians.

Mr. Mtonga says that although electricity tariffs in Zambia are low compared to other countries in the region, a gradual increment would be the best way to handle the issue.

He says that EPCCI is aware that ZESCO wants to ensure that its operations are cost efficient but the country’s economy has not been performing well.

Mr. Mtonga says that the proposed 75 per cent increment should be implemented for a long period unlike within five months.

ZESCO on Sunday indicated that domestic consumers who use less than 300 units per month will not be affected by the tariff adjustment.

Spokesperson Henry Kapata called on consumers to maintain power usage discipline if they are to continue buying electricity at 15 ngwee per unit.

EPCCI says fruit and vegetable ban is retrogresive

The Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI has commended government’s decision not to ban the importation of fruits and vegetables.

EPCCI President Thomas Mtonga says that any decision to ban the importation of fruits and vegetables would have a negative effect on the business sector.

Mr. Mtonga told Breeze Business News, that there are traders who sell fruits that cannot be locally produced in the country on a large scale like apples.

He further says that those dealing in the hospitality business like hotels and lodges have particular meals that require certain types of vegetables and fruits, which are not locally grown.

Mr. Mtonga further points out that horticulture industry in Eastern Province has not fully grown where it can produce specific types of products that meet international standards.

He says that until at a time when the country will have farmers that can produce all vegetables and fruits that have high demand, any ban would be retrogressive.