Over 3,000 e-voucher cards not activated in Katete district

Over three thousand e-voucher cards have not yet been activated in Katete district.

Katete District Commissioner, Joseph Duma Makukula, confirmed this to Breeze News.

Mr. Makukula attributed the delay in the activation of the cards to a lot of mistakes on the data for farmers.

He noted that in some instances, some cooperative leaders where deliberately giving force information, in trying to get more inputs by swindling their members.

Mr. Makukula said some cards with such false data, had to be destroyed.

However, Mr. Makukula says government engaged some agro dealers, who gave most of the affected farmers inputs on credit, with the view that they will get their money when government deposits the funds to activate the cards.

Meanwhile, Mr. Makukula disclosed that over 1,000 cards have still not been collected by their owners.

Man jailed eight months for stealing iron sheets

A man of Chipata district has been sentenced to 8 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing iron sheets contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Facts of the matter are that on March 16, 2017, Zulu stole Iron sheets valued at 220 Kwacha, property of Elina Phiri but denied the charge.

Chipata Principal Resident Magistrate Janepher Bwalya said she was satisfied with what was testified about the accused person and found him guilty of the offence despite the property being recovered.

In mitigation, Phiri asked the court to exercise lenience on him because he was a first offender who only bought the stolen property from another person.

Magistrate Bwalya said she took note of Phiri’s mitigation but that the offence he committed was a serious one which attracted a maximum sentence of five years.

She asked Phiri to appeal to the High Court within fourteen days if he was not satisfied with the sentence.

Pupils at Magwero School for the Blind appeal for computers

Pupils at Magwero School for the Blind have appealed to government to equip the school with computers to help them start learning ICT, Information and Communication Technology lessons.

Lison Ngoma says pupils with special education needs would love to move with the digital world by studying computer lessons and other practical subjects.

He says special education has helped restore self-reliance and reduced the number of street begging amongst the blind.

Lison further asked government to provide Braille paper and other learning materials to the school.

He also asked government to expand infrastructure at the institution and rehabilitate the existing ones to allow more blind pupils enrol.

Lison says the school has no transport of its own, because of the small and limited number of pupils with no capacity to contribute towards buying of the vehicle.

Last week, education permanent secretary, Henry Chikome, highlighted that it is the responsibility of government to provide special education to the needy.

People warned against cutting trees at Chipata Forest.

The Forestry Department in Chipata has warned people to desist from cutting down trees in the forest or face stern action.

District Forestry Officer Emma Sakala told Breeze News that her department has intensified patrols in the forest to stop illegal cutting of trees.

Ms Sakala says people cutting trees, either for planks or charcoal without permits will be arrested.

She says that the department has so far facilitated the conviction of two people from Chief Madzimawe’s area for illegal cutting down of trees in the forest.

The  Forestry Officer  says people found cutting trees without permits will be fined two thousand kwacha and sent to prison for the offence.

Ms Sakala says the district forestry department has also apprehended 9 people, who were illegally found cutting trees in the forest and will appear in court next week.

Man jailed 18 months for stealing curtains

The Chipata magistrate court has sentenced a man of Chipata to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing curtains at Chipata College of Education.

Chipata Principal Resident Magistrate Janepher Bwalya sentenced Yohane Zulu for the charge of breaking into a building, thereby committing a felony.

Facts of the matter are that Zulu on December 1, 2016 whilst acting together with two unknown persons broke into the male students’ hostel at Chipata College of Education and stole curtains valued at 250 Kwacha, contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Magistrate Bwalya read the charge that three witnesses, Sandford Kalito, a head security at Chipata College of Education, Abel Banda, a Security officer at Chipata College of Education and Samuel Chainda an arresting Officer from Chipata Central Police testified in the case but Zulu denied the charge.

The magistrate said she was satisfied with the testimonies given by the three witnesses and found Zulu guilty of the offence.

In mitigation Zulu asked the court to exercise lenience on him as he was a first offender with a pregnant wife who needed his support.

He further asked the court to exercise lenience on him as he did not like the condition of the prison.

And Magistrate Bwalya said she took note of Zulu’s mitigation but that the offence of breaking into a building and committing a felony was a serious one, which attracted a maximum sentence of six years imprisonment.

She told Zulu to appeal to the High court within fourteen days if he was not satisfied with the sentence.

A 30 kilowatts mini grid plant launched in Sinda district

Muhanya Solar Limited has launched a thirty kilowatts Mini Grid Power Plant in Sinda Village in Sinda district.

The project is targeting about 300 households in the first phase.

Gracing the occasion, Sinda District Commissioner Paradious Sakala said the move is aimed at increasing access to affordable renewable energy in rural areas to reduce poverty and promote economic growth.

Mr Sakala stated that the country has hydro power production potential of 6,000 Megawatts, but only 2,000 megawatts are currently generated, with a deficit of 4,000 megawatts.

He further said the solar plant has come at a right time as it will also reduce dependency on wood fuel which will ensure sustainable provision of affordable reliable modern energies in rural and urban areas.

Mr Sakala said the country has great potential to generate solar power as it is estimated that it has over 3,000 sunshine hours per year.

He urged the community in Sinda village to ensure they guard the infrastructure jealously saying the area is destined for economic development.

Speaking at the same function, Muhanya Solar Limited Managing Director, Geoffrey Kaira said that the project has enabled 60 households to be connected with customers buying the electricity through a prepaid metering system.

He said his company has connected 60 households so that it attracts further investments to prove to the potential investors that the concept is both economically and technically viable.