Government confirms compulsory HIV testing

Authorities at some health centers in Chipata have continued forcing people to get tested for HIV.

Some residents, who spoke to Breeze News on condition of anonymity, cited Kapata clinic as one of the facilities which are testing people for HIV without their knowledge whenever they go to seek for medical attention.

They wondered why VCT is called Voluntary Counselling and Testing if a person can be tested without undergoing any counselling.

The residents have asked the Ministry of Health to explain more on why HIV testing is now being forced on people.

When contacted for a comment, Eastern Province Medical Director, Abel Kabalo says it is unfortunate that health workers are not counselling people when testing.

Dr. Kabalo says a health worker is supposed to inform a person before testing them for HIV, under the Provider Initiated testing counselling system.

He explained that the Ministry of Health has now introduced a Provider Initiated testing counselling system where everyone accessing medical services at a health facility should be tested for HIV so that they know their status.

ZNUT calls for calm over working conditions

The Zambia National Union of Teachers, ZNUT, says negotiations with government over conditions of service are still going on.

ZNUT Provincial Chairperson, Alakwisa Phiri, says that the negotiations are likely to be concluded in the coming few weeks.

He asked teachers to remain calm, as union leaders are still engaging government on the matter and members will be informed of the outcome.

Recently, a number of union leaders across the country have questioned why negotiations over new conditions of service are taking too long to be concluded.

Meanwhile, Mr. Phiri says as schools open today for the second term calendar, managers need to improve in the manner they handle issues affecting teachers in their institutions.

He explained that last term, the union received a lot of complaints about the manner in which, some head teachers handled challenges that affect teachers.

The union leader says there is need to improve managerial skills among education institutions, as this also helps in ensuring that high quality education is offered to learners.

Mr. Phiri also emphasized the need for the Ministry of Education to ensure that teachers are given various allowances that are due to them.

Chief Madzimawe bans brief case crop buyers

A traditional leader in Chipata district has banned the sale of farm produce to briefcase buyers, before government announces floor prices.

Speaking to the media when a Swedish delegation paid a courtesy call on him at his palace, Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people warned that anyone found selling farm produce to briefcase buyers in his area will be dealt with severely.

The traditional leader says his subjects should wait until government announces floor prices for farm produce.

He says this will help the farmers get more money from their crops.

Chief Madzimawe added that this will help people to sell their produce at reasonable prices and later give them advantage to prepare for the coming season without waiting for government fertilizer.